The Sunday Recipe: Vanilla and Peach Coconut Custard

Vanilla and Peach Coconut Custard

This is a simple custard with just a few ingredients that comes together quickly and is gentle on the stomach.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of full fat canned coconut milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 peach slices, frozen or canned, for each ramekin, diced

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place the four ramekins in a square baking dish, metal or glass work.
  3. Put one layer of chopped peaches in the bottom of the dishes.
  4. Heat 2 cups of water for a water bath.
  5. Place the rest of the ingredients in a blender or bowl and mix thoroughly. (I used a bullet blender.)
  6. Pour batter slowly over fruit.
  7. Pour hot water into pan around ramekins. (Be careful, the pan can now become quite hot.)
  8. Bake for 40 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and remove ramekins from pan to a towel using tongs.
  10. Allow to cool then refrigerate for several hours.
  11. Enjoy!

The Sunday Recipe: Non-Traditional Irish Soda Bread Muffins

This is definitely not what you would call a “traditional” Irish soda bread.

I started out with a muffin recipe from A Spicy Perspective, which can be found here – ttps://www.aspicyperspective.com/irish-soda-bread-muffins/ – if you want a recipe that uses regular flour.

Then I started making my substitutions to create something gluten free and a little more friendly for me. Here’s what I came up with. It’s similar, in some ways, but also different. However, my husband and I agreed that it was delicious – buttery, sweet, and tender. (I actually think he liked it better than regular Irish soda bread.)

If you give it a try, let me know how you like it.

Paleo Irish Soda Bread Muffins

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, gently melted
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • ¾ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup coconut flour, sifted to break up clumps
  • 1 cup raisins, plumped in hot water and drained (I used golden raisins.)

Directions

  1. Plump your raisins in hot water for 20 minutes then drain.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350.
  3. Prep 18 muffin wells with cooking spray or paper liners. (I have a 12 cup and two 6 cup tins so I used one large and one small.)
  4. Cut up the butter and warm it gently in the microwave, stirring to melt every minute or so. Set aside.
  5. Whisk the egg with the maple syrup.
  6. Add in the buttermilk.
  7. Add the almond flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  8. Stir in the melted butter.
  9. Add the coconut flour and raisins last, folding to combine quickly but gently. (Coconut flour has a tendency to stiffen dough quickly.)
  10. You will have a fluffy dough. Spoon gently into the prepared tins. (This won’t puff a lot when baking so you don’t want to deflate the air you have in there.)
  11. Bake for 20 minutes.
  12. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
  13. Enjoy!

The Sunday Recipe: Cheese Sauce for Cauliflower and/or Pasta #glutenfree

Gluten Free Cheese Sauce for Cauliflower and/or Pasta

I based this simple cheese sauce on Betty Crocker’s old-fashioned Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Something about the lack of the flour requires some extra flavor boost from an increase in mustard and Worcestershire sauce. I’ve used it several different ways since then. The first time I steamed a head of cauliflower in the microwave and mixed it with the prepared sauce then baked. That was a delicious side dish. The next time I prepared some gluten free pasta and combined the pasta with the cheese sauce and a steamer bag of frozen riced cauliflower that had been cooked in the microwave. I just stirred it all together and served my daughter for a thumbs up.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 ½ tablespoons tapioca or corn starch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups whole milk + ¼ cup whole milk
  • 2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken up and steamed (optional)
  • 1 bag of riced frozen cauliflower, steamed (optional)
  • 2 cups cooked pasta (al dente) (optional)

Directions

  1. Shred the cheese into a bowl or on a plate.
  2. Combine the starch with the ¼ cup of milk.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the butter to melt and add the milk.
  4. Stir in the salt, pepper, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce.
  5. Continue stirring gently until the milk begins to steam and small bubbles appear around the edge.
  6. Put the cheese in a handful at a time while stirring to melt.
  7. Give the starch and milk mixture a little stir and pour into the cheese and milk mixture.
  8. Continue stirring for a minute while it thickens then remove from heat.
  9. For baked cheese cauliflower – prepare a baking dish with cooking spray or butter and arrange the steamed cauliflower then pour the cheese sauce over it and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
  10. For creamy mac and cauliflower – simply stir in the steamed riced cauliflower and cooked pasta then serve.

Gluten Free Buttermilk Cornbread

My go-to cornbread recipe uses all cornmeal without any other flour, but it’s a very grainy texture and sometimes you just want something a little more sumptuous. I’ve found replacing wheat flour with a combination of white rice flour, tapioca flour or starch, and cornstarch, produces a consistently good product. If you want to use plain wheat flour, just replace the combination with a half cup of wheat flour. This recipe is adapted from Betty Crocker’s Southern Buttermilk Cornbread. I like honey in my cornbread so I also replaced the white sugar with honey and increased it just a touch. For a real treat, make some honey butter to slather on slices of the bread, recipe below, you’ll be glad you did!

Gluten Free Buttermilk Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup light olive oil, or other neutral cooking oil 
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk (the higher fat content the better)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey (sugar is okay too)
  • 1 ½ cups of cornmeal (I used stone ground yellow)
  • 6 Tablespoons white rice flour
  • 1 Tablespoon tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. (This comes together fast so make sure you do that first.)
  2. Whisk the eggs then whisk in the oil until combined.
  3. Mix in the honey and the buttermilk.
  4. Add the cornmeal and whisk.
  5. Measure the rest of the ingredients and pour on top then whisk them all together.
  6. Pour into a greased or sprayed 8-inch or 9-inch square pan. (Either will work.)
  7. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Slather with butter, or honey butter.
  9. Enjoy!

For honey butter, combine 1 stick of softened unsalted butter, 3 Tablespoons of honey, and a good pinch of sea salt. Beat them together. If they are too cold to combine, microwave on 30% for a minute and beat together. Even if it all gets melted and has to be chilled, it will still taste fabulous.

The Sunday Recipe: Soft Molasses & Buttermilk Spice Cookies

Soft Molasses & Buttermilk Spice Cookies

This is a recipe from my great, great-grandmother via my mother, with a couple changes of hers, then a couple of mine. This is actually one quarter of the original recipe and makes a nice dozen cookies. I use the same recipe every year to roll out for ginger bread men as well.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoons ginger
  • 1 ½ cups flour (wheat or gluten free)

Directions

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  2. Mix in the molasses.
  3. Stir in the buttermilk, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
  4. Measure in the flour and baking soda then stir.
  5. Dump out onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap.
  6. Form into a log and roll up then twist the ends.
  7. Refrigerate for at least an hour. (You can refrigerate overnight, or even freeze for a month or so before using.)
  8. Preheat oven to 350.
  9. Prepare a pan with parchment paper or non-stick cooking spray.
  10. Slice roll of cookie dough into 12 equal portions and lay out on a prepared pan.
  11. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.
  12. Cool and enjoy. (Note: the gluten free flour may make them a little drier but they will soften up overnight in a container.)

The Sunday Recipe: Eggnog Bread

Eggnog Bread

If you’ve never made an eggnog bread, I highly recommend you give this a try before the eggnog is gone. It’s a great holiday treat. Don’t be intimidated by the 2 teaspoons of rum extract. You’ll miss it if it isn’t there. This is adapted from a recipe at The Recipe Critic –  https://therecipecritic.com/eggnog-quickbread-eggnog-glaze/  If you want a recipe that uses regular flour and sugar, follow the link.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs plus 1 egg white
  • ¾ cups maple syrup
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons rum extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cups of Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 baking mix, or 2 cups white rice flour with 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Optional glaze: 1 cup sifted powdered sugar well mixed with 3 tablespoons eggnog

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour a loaf pan, or spray with cooking spray and create a parchment sling.
  3. Cut the butter into tablespoons and melt in a microwave proof mug or bowl on 50% power, approximately 1 minute. (If there are chunks, stir so they dissolve instead of microwaving more to keep the butter at lower temp.)
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs.
  5. Whisk in the maple syrup, eggnog, rum extract, and vanilla.
  6. Add the melted butter in a thin stream, whisking continuously.
  7. Stir in the baking mix, baking powder, nutmeg, and cinnamon just until combined.
  8. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool ten minutes before removing from pan.
  10. Cool completely before glazing, if using glaze.

This bread is best served cut into thin slices to get the full effect of the flavors. I cut the slices in half so they can be easily picked up, particularly when serving with other Christmas cookies.

*This year I had made vanilla buttercream frosting for molasses cookies so I just heated a half cup in the microwave for 45 seconds and poured it over the top of the second half of the loaf on Christmas Day. It worked great.

The Sunday Recipe: Simple Fruitcake

I wanted to try making this recipe with gluten free flour and maple syrup this year. When it came time, I thought I either had apples or applesauce in the freezer. Turns out I had only a couple apples, so I pulled out some peaches and made peach applesauce. It turned out just fine.

Simple Fruitcake

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups applesauce
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup butter (light tasting olive oil or coconut oil should work fine for vegan)
  • 2 ¼ cup flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Blend)
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces dark raisins
  • 8 ounces broken pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Pick over pecans to remove any shell pieces in grooves and break up into 6 or 8 pieces each.
  2. Boil together applesauce and maple syrup for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in the butter, pecans, and vanilla then set aside to cool.
  4. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  5. Prepare a 12 cup Bundt pan, or two loaf pans, or a mini Bundt pan tin.
  6. In a large bowl, blend together flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt.
  7. Add raisins to flour mixture.
  8. Stir the liquid ingredients in thoroughly.
  9. Pour into prepared tins and bake, about 40 minutes for the smaller ones or up to 2 hours for the large cake, or until a thin knife inserted in center comes out mostly clean.
  10. This cake is best aged a bit, at least a few days.
  11. For the adults – I decided to try soaking and aging a half of the mini fruitcakes with blackberry brandy this year. The directions I found say to simply poke holes all over with a toothpick then brush with the alcohol and wrap. Reapply alcohol each week. We’ll see what happens.

The Sunday Recipe: Glorified Rice

Glorified Rice

This is a simple gluten free dessert my grandmother used to make from just a few ingredients. I’ve even made it from leftover Chinese takeout rice. You can even add mini marshmallows, if you like, but I’m not a big fan of marshmallows.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Drain as much juice from the crushed pineapple as you can.
  2. In a small dish, combine the rice and crushed pineapple.
  3. Whip the cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla.
  4. Fold the whipped cream into the rice and pineapple combination.
  5. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.
  6. Enjoy!

The Sunday Recipe: Mincemeat or Pumpkin Butter Macarons

Mincemeat or Pumpkin Butter Macarons

I’ve been wanting to try making French macaron sandwich cookies for a while now, but cooking shows made it sound a little intimidating. Finally, I decided to take it as a challenge for myself on my birthday. It’s actually incredibly simple. So, today is an amalgamation of recipes really.

This recipe is adapted from Beth’s Foolproof Macarons from Entertaining with Beth. She offers a Raspberry Butter Cream recipe as well as many other recipes on her site. I highly recommend checking it out.  

Vanilla Macarons

Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup white granulated sugar (50 grams)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (200 grams)
  • 1 cup almond flour (120 grams)
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white vinegar (or cream of tartar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Homemade Mincemeat Recipe for filling.

And/Or

Homemade Pumpkin Butter Recipe for filling.

Martha Stewart’s Cream Cheese Frosting (Just make half a batch.)

Directions

  1. Beat the egg whites until beginning to froth. (A minute or so on 6 on my KitchenAid stand mixer.)
  2. Add the granulated sugar, white vinegar, and salt.
  3. Beat on 6, or medium high, for 10 minutes, until stiff peaks are formed.
  4. In the meantime, sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together.
  5. Add the vanilla and fold the almond flour and sugar mixture into the egg whites until you can get a long ribbon off your spatula that will make a figure 8.
  6. Pipe or spoon the mixture into little dollops on parchment paper covered cookie tins. (I used a plastic bag with the corner cut out the first time, and an iced tea spoon the second time. That’s not an “iced teaspoon” it really is the long handled smaller spoon called an “iced tea spoon” for stirring iced tea.)
  7. Allow the tins to set at room temperature for 45 to 60 minutes before baking.
  8. Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes per tin.
  9. Cool thoroughly before filling.
  10. Pipe cream cheese frosting in a circle around the inside of one side of the macaron.
  11. Place a generous dollop of fruit filling in center.
  12. Sandwich cookies together gently.

Sadly, do not eat. These must go in a container and go in the fridge for 24 hours in order for the marshmallow like magic to occur. If you do eat one immediately, they will seem incredibly lackluster. You’ll quickly decide they weren’t worth it and you’ll never make them again.

However, if you make these and refrigerate them for a day, they will undertake a magical transformation, not unlike a caterpillar going into a chrysalis and transforming into a butterfly. They will explode in your mouth with flavor! The mincemeat one was like taking a bite of Christmas.

Enjoy!

The Sunday Recipe: Lekvar Cake

This was an attempt to recreate the Lekvar cake my mother makes for Christmas using only paleo ingredients. It did and it didn’t work. It creates a dense, dark cake, but it doesn’t quite recreate the flavors of my childhood. I think next time I will try swapping out some of the pecan flour for tapioca flour. I also may try it as an upside down cake in a pie plate rather than sandwiching it. Make sure you cook the lekvar down until it is a true jam consistency.

Lekvar Sandwich Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces pitted dried prunes 
  • Water to cover the fruit
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

  1. Place prunes in a small saucepan and cover with water.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until fruit is soft, adding more boiling water as necessary.
  3. Remove from heat and purée fruit in a food processor or blender.
  4. Return to saucepan, maple syrup; and cook until thick 30 – 45 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice.

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces pecan flour
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 5 large eggs (separated)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  3. Separate the 5 eggs into 2 mixing bowls. (I highly recommend you do the actual separating over a small bowl and then dump the egg yolk into the one bowl and transfer the egg white into the mixing bowl.) If you don’t know how to separate eggs, here’s a simple 1-minute video on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAGX-54iR30
  4. Mix the maple syrup into the egg yolks then stir in the vanilla and pecan flour.
  5. Using a mixer, beat your egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. (Tip: for best results make sure your bowl and beaters are clean and dry, free of any oil.)
  6. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, about one third at a time. (Basically, folding means to use a large rubber spatula to stir up gently from the bottom.)
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes, until a knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool completely, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  9. Slice across under the top third of the cake.
  10. Slice the remaining two thirds of the cake across to create a third layer.
  11. Spread half the lekvar on the bottom slice of cake.
  12. Place the middle layer on top and spread with the other half of the lekvar.
  13. Place the top layer on and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  14. Slice to serve.

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