Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

When my son was first diagnosed with celiac disease, I thought that meant saying goodbye to all my cookbooks. I definitely have learned that is not the case! So many recipes in my favorite cookbooks (like Mastering the Art of French Cooking) are naturally gluten free or can be adapted. The tricky adaptations come when I want to bake something and can clearly remember what the full gluten version tastes like.

Making these blueberry muffins from the First Edition of McCall’s Cookbook (1963) has been challenging, but I finally got it right! We have been housebound this school vacation week due to one kid with pneumonia, who is luckily on the mend, so the kids wanted to bake. In between marathon games of Monopoly, playing Angry Birds Star Wars on the Ipad and watching many, many movies, this recipe finally came together!

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins (adapted from McCalls, First Edition 1963)

Ingredients

1 ¾ cups sifted gluten-free Cup4Cup flour

¼ cup sugar

3 teaspoons of baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

1 1/3 cup of milk

6 Tablespoons of melted butter

3 eggs, beaten

8 to 10 ounces fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried

Cinnamon sugar, optional for topping (1/4 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and either grease muffin tin or line with paper liners. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add cinnamon and grate in nutmeg. In another bowl combine milk, melted butter and eggs. Add wet mixture to dry and mix using a fork, just until all dry ingredients are combined. Fold in blueberries. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop a little less than 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin cup, around 3/4 full. Sprinkle about 1/8 of a teaspoon of cinnamon sugar over each muffin, if you like. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

These muffins are not very sweet, so the cinnamon sugar on top helps give a little more sweetness to each bite. This usually makes 14 to 15 muffins each time. We made these yesterday and are already down to 5 this morning 🙂 I’ve only had one. These are great to throw in with school lunches or bring as a snack on a road trip.

If you want to try one of my other baking adapations, try these amazing Buttermilk Biscuits! You would never even know that they are gluten free.

I have started quite a cookbook collection, which I keep adding to whenever I go into a consignment shop or get a gift card to Amazon. I love cookbooks. I could sit and read cookbooks all day. What are your favorites?

Eating Gluten-Free

Words cannot describe my son’s reaction when he found out that Tom Brady eats gluten-free food. I wish I had it on video. A six year old boy with celiac disease who lives about 20 minutes from Gillette Stadium, as you can imagine, it was filled with pure joy and excitement. Although Tom does not have celiac disease, that I know of, it is still great for my son to know that someone he looks up to, eats like him.

We don’t exactly #eatlikeagoat, as you can see if you read my blog. We eat a lot of meat, vegetables, fruit and some processed foods (for much needed sanity and convenience). I am trying to get more seafood into our diet, but find it challenging, since I need to buy the fish the day or day before I’m going to cook it and I only go to the store once a week. It takes some planning and coordination. I am trying to get the habit of buying larger quantities that were not previously frozen so that I can freeze some to take out, when the timing works. This Baked Lemon Cod recipe from Food.com is one of my go to recipes. I just substitute gluten-free flour for the all-purpose flour. If you have any leftover, try my fish stick recipe!

Our food habits have not changed that dramatically since our whole house went gluten free about 3 years ago. We are still a meat and potatoes kind of family. More habits have been added however. I make more from scratch and more in bulk to freeze. We eat less fast food, order take-out less and eat out less. I save chicken bones and vegetable scraps in the freezer to make stock from scratch a couple of times a month. I keep the ends of all of our bread in the freezer, as well, to make croutons or bread pudding because that $6 loaf of bread definitely needs to be used in its entirety!

Gluten free Bread Pudding

Ingredients

About 2 to 2 ½ cups of stale bread, cut into cubes

2 Tablespoons of melted butter

¼ teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of cardamom

1 cup of milk

½ cup of heavy cream

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup of brown sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of cardamom

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Toss bread, butter, ¼ teaspoon of sugar, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of cardamom and spread out on a sheet pan. Toast in oven for about 15 minutes, mixing once half way through. Whisk the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl. Place bread in a casserole dish and pour mixture over it. Let sit for 15 minutes. Place in a water bath and cook for 45 minutes, until set. Serve with your favorite ice cream!

The eating and cooking habits we have added are all good. Are they all easy? Not always, but it has become our normal. Eating 100% processed foods, gluten-free or not, is not healthy. Eating 100% all natural, whole foods may be healthy, gluten-free or not, but not always convenient for everyone. Everything in moderation is what I try to follow for my family. I don’t judge anyone for how they eat or cook. Everyone does what they can, with what they are dealt with. If you have any questions about going gluten-free, please feel free to contact me, mammascooking@gmail.com or comment on this post! More ideas for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter coming up next week!

Boston Cream Pie Cake

The complaint most often heard about gluten-free cakes is that they are too dry and crumbly. To combat this, whenever I use a gluten-free cake mix I make these changes:

  • Use milk instead of water, if the instructions call for water
  • Use melted butter instead of oil, if the instructions call for oil
  • Add an extra egg
  • Add ½ cup of melted white chocolate

With these changes, you can serve cake to those who are not gluten-free and they will never know! Betty Crocker, Wegmans and King Arthur are my go to gluten-free cake mixes.

Boston Cream Pie Cake

Ingredients

1 yellow cake mix, prepared according to package with my changes noted above

1 package of vanilla instant pudding, prepared according to package pie filling instructions (for Jello Instant pudding this means, using 1 ¾ cups of milk instead of 2 cups)

1-16 ounce container of chocolate frosting (Pillsbury is gluten free)

Directions

Prepare cake using two 8 or 9 inch rounds. Make pudding and place in fridge to set. Once cake is cool and pudding is set place one of the rounds on a serving platter and top with the pudding.

Place second round on top and then cover completely with the chocolate frosting.  Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

This is a great dessert to entertain with, easy enough for your kids to help with and absolutely delicious!

If you need more ideas to feed your sweet tooth, check out some of my favorite dessert recipes.

Gluten-Free Crispy Treats

Raspberry Lemon Tiramisu

Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska

Check one item off my 2017 Cooking Bucket List! For Valentine’s Day I made Baked Alaska for my family. It is definitely old fashioned and definitely delicious! I scoured the internet and my cookbook collection for recipes to learn the process. Allrecipes.com never fails to provide good recipes, so I used this recipe to make sure I got the meringue right.  Some use pound cake and sorbet and bake the meringue while others use sponge cake and ice cream and use a torch on the meringue. The thought of putting ice cream in the oven, made me nervous, so I decided to go the torch route. Plus that is more fun!

Baked Alaska

Ingredients

1 gallon of Hood Patchwork ice cream

1 box of gluten free chocolate cake mix, plus an extra egg (I like Wegmans GF chocolate cake mix)

8 egg whites

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/8 teaspoon of salt

1 cup of sugar

Directions

Take the gallon of ice cream out to soften, about 10 to 15 minutes. Prepare a medium sized bowl by lining with plastic wrap, wax paper or parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray. Press the ice cream down into the bowl and cover. Freeze for at least 4 hours.

Make 8 inch round cake according to instructions, adding the extra egg. Cool the cake and cut to size of the ice cream in the bowl if needed. Press cake onto the bottom of the ice cream. Cover and freeze for another 4 hours or overnight. About 10 minutes before you are ready to serve, take the bowl of ice cream and cake out of the freezer and make the meringue. Add the remaining ingredients to a mixing bowl. Whip until stiff peaks form. Turn the bowl with ice cream and cake onto a plate and take the bowl and wrap or paper off.

Frost the ice cream with the meringue. Take a culinary torch and run it over all the meringue until toasted. Serve immediately. Freeze the leftovers.

It was much easier to make than I thought. It does take planning, however. I froze the ice cream in the bowl and made the cake one night. The next morning (day of service) I cut the cake to fit the ice cream and put back in the freezer until after dinner, when I finished it with the meringue.

Working my way through my bucket list. I found cornish game hens on sale this week and put them in the freezer, so a fancy dinner where we will each have our own “little chicken” according to my kids, is coming soon 🙂 What is on your cooking bucket list? What would you love to cook?

Gluten-Free Buttermilk Biscuits

That’s right. Buttermilk biscuits that are gluten-free! These are so good and so satisfying. They can be covered with butter and your favorite jam or your favorite sausage gravy. Fill them with some pulled pork for a fun dinner or game day snack. I topped them with leftover swedish meatballs for a twist on biscuits and gravy. The options are endless.

I have adapted this recipe from Southern Living. I had a subscription for a long time and loved every recipe I made from  it and now from one of the many cookbooks I have acquired since then. This is from an online recipe. You can find the original recipe from which I drew inspiration here.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients

2 cups plus more for dusting, all purpose gluten-free flour (I used Cup4Cup Gluten-Free Flour)

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, diced and cold

1 ¼ cup buttermilk

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together all ingredients except for butter and buttermilk. Add butter and press together with fingers until the size of peas or a little smaller or use a pastry cutter to combine. Add the buttermilk and mix until it holds together. Transfer onto cutting board and knead together for a minute. Add flour as needed. Flatten out or roll out to about ¾ of an inch. Use your favorite biscuit cutter or cup to make the circles. Add to a buttered cast iron skillet. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Please let me know if you try this! Would love to hear good or bad how they turn out at your house!

The Best Recipes of 2016

To celebrate the end of 2016, I’m sharing this list of your favorite recipes from Mamma’s Cooking. Thank you for reading!

1.  Appetizer Ideas for Thanksgiving

2. Rainbow Pizza

3. Cooking Your Thanksgiving Turkey

4. Spoon Roast

5. Gingerbread Cookies

6. Gluten-Free Holiday Treats

7. Holiday Mashed Potatoes

8. School Snack and Lunch Ideas

9. Apple or Pear Crisp Recipe

10. What to do with Leftover Cod

This completes my 31 days of posts! I challenged myself with a post a day in December and I did it! Best wishes to you all for a great celebration tonight and an even better 2017. Look tomorrow for my 2017 Cooking Bucket list.

 

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats

As I have already shared how I adapted my Gingerbread Cookie recipe, now on to some other festive holiday treats. Sugar Cookies and fudge are favorites in our house. As with the gingerbread cookies, after my son’s celiac disease diagnosis, we wanted to find a way to continue our tradition of decorating cookies and enjoying plates of fudge and cookies during the holidays.

For the sugar cookies I have used King Arthur’s Gluten Free Baking Mix. There is a recipe on the back of the box for sugar cookies. I have used that for the last 2 years with great success, for gluten and gluten-free eaters alike. I keep it simple and use already made frosting (Pillsbury is gluten free). I may try a royal icing this year so I can actually stack cookies 🙂 If anyone knows of a good one, let me know!

Fudge is one of my favorite treats. I’m actually not a huge sweets person, but I love fudge in very small doses. Chocolate fudge, peanut butter fudge, caramel fudge, really any kind of fudge. I discovered this super easy recipe many years ago. You can make many variations.

Easy Fudge

Ingredients

3 Cups of your favorite chocolate chips (I like to use milk chocolate)

1 – 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk

1  teaspoon of vanilla

pinch of salt

Directions

Line an 8-inch pan with wax paper. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and microwave for 1 minute. Take out and stir. Microwave for 15 more seconds and stir again. Repeat until melted. Pour into lined pan and refrigerate to cool. Once cool, cut into squares. Keep in an airtight container in your fridge.

There are many ways to change this basic recipe. After the mixture is melted, mix in about 1/2 cup of your favorite chopped nuts, crushed candy canes or crushed Heath Bar.

Add these two treats to your holiday plate and be ready for friends or family dropping by or bring as a hostess gift. I also bring some along in a separate container for my son when we go to holiday parties, so he can have some safe treats to eat.

More good food that is gluten free coming up every day in December! Let me know if there is something you would like to see.

Past post that will also be a good addition for your holiday treat plate:

Gluten-free Crispy Treats for the Holidays

Comfort Food and a Cookbook!

As the weather gets colder I really start to crave comfort food. My kids love french fries. Who doesn’t? I’ve been testing recipes and came up with these Baked Shoestring Sweet Potatoes. To cut them I use my OXO mandolin or julienne peeler (see picture below) or you can use a spiralizer and then just cut to desired length of fries.



Baked Shoestring Sweet Potato fries
Ingredients
1 large sweet potato, julienned
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut up the sweet potato and soak in water for 15 minutes. Dry between towels for 5 minutes. Toss with olive oil and spices, then spread out on cookie sheet. Cover with foil and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover and cook for 15-25 minutes, depending on your oven and how crispy you want them.


These sweet potato fries pair very well with the grilled pork chop recipe below or even just hot dogs or sausage. Whatever works for your timing or tastes.You can also also substitute chicken for the pork and it will be delicious! Too much food for your family? Cut this recipe in half.

Grilled pork with Peach Sauce
Ingredients
3 pounds of pork chops or chicken breasts/thighs
1 Tablespoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of cumin
¼ teaspoon of pepper
¼ teaspoon of paprika
6 Tablespoons peach preserves, I like to use Bon Maman.
3 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Directions

Combine spices in a small bowl with a fork. Rub spice mixture on the meat and let sit about 10-15 minutes, while you prepare the sauce. In another bowl mix the peach preserves (apricot would also be good) and apple cider vinegar.  Grill the pork chops 5 to 7 minutes on each side. Top with the sauce and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve. 

Some of my favorite comfort foods are appetizers or small bites. A great new cookbook is coming out at the end of this month from Nicole Hunn of Gluten Free On A Shoestring called “Gluten Free Small Bites: Sweet and Savory Hand Held Treats for On-The-Go Lifestyles and Entertaining.” I have had a chance to preview the book and it is amazing! If you pre-order the book, you can also get a sneak peek of some of the recipes and some other goodies, like a GF flour calculator, shopping list and menu plan! I have made a couple of recipes from the book and they are amazing! Cannot wait to try more. Share with anyone you know will be interested!

I made the cheese puffs from the cookbook for the kids as a snack after school one day and plan on making the crab rangoon today! The two trays of cheese puffs disappeared in about 15 minutes. Amazing! Very addicting. Keep an eye to my Instagram this week for more photos and reviews of recipes from the Small Bite’s Cookbook!

If you haven’t made anything from Gluten Free on a Shoestring before, you definitely need to visit the website and check out Nicole’s other cookbooks! I have made so many of her recipes: puff pastry, wonton wrappers, pretzel rolls and most recently chocolate cake donuts!

What are your favorite comfort foods? What are your favorite comfort food cookbooks? We learn from sharing with each other, so let me know!