Category Archives: gluten-free

Fruitcake in February

I love fruitcake. It is another treat that is not universally loved in my family. A few years ago, my mother and I decided not to bake it at Christmas and to focus instead on more popular desserts. Then, later, after all the Christmas baking is long forgotten, we can make and really enjoy this treat.

Gluten-free fruitcake holds up fairly well. Because of the strong flavour of the batter and the way it’s loaded with nuts and fruit, you don’t need a large piece. This means there are fewer, um, “structural issues” than there would be if you needed to cut larger slices. We make a dark fruitcake from a recipe in Edna Staebler’s Food That Really Schmecks. It has molasses, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

This is, of course, also an excellent breakfast cake. In case you were wondering…

Fruitcake in February

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Scallops and Bacon and Garlic! Oh My!

My niece is brilliant. She came up with an incredibly delicious idea this week. As part of a meal, we had bacon-wrapped scallops. But they were scallops with double plus bacon, really. First, she fried a slice of bacon for each scallop. Then, she cooked the scallops gently in bacon fat. Next, I fried chopped garlic in bacon fat—I chopped five large cloves for 10 scallops. She assembled them, wrapping each scallop in bacon and carefully distributing the garlic over the scallops. This photo does not do them justice at all.* The result was pure bliss.

*(I guess that means we will be forced to make them again so I can get a better photo…)

Scallops and Bacon and Garlic! Oh My!

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Poutine: Yes, I Am Canadian!

Poutine is a staple of French-Canadian cuisine. It’s simple but extremely tasty.

A few years ago, I went with my sister and my niece to a concert put on by Ron Cahute and Jane Lapko, the creators of these educational French songs. They performed their Poutine song, which goes like this:

Poutine, let’s start with the french fries,
Poutine, add the cheese and the gravy!
Poutine is my favourite thing,
It’s fries with an attitude!

Poutine is easy to make at home. You can use cheese curds or (if you don’t mind the wrath of poutine traditionalists) any cheese you like. I like a blend of mozzarella and old cheddar. I make my own gravy (with gluten-free beef broth and potato starch) and I bake my french fries until they are extra crispy.

To make it, you just need to make or reheat some gravy, prepare your chosen cheese and bake some fries. Then, all you do is layer your cheese curds or grated cheese on top of the fries and ladle gravy on top. Et voilà! The heat from the fries and gravy will melt the cheese, creating an ooey-gooey, delicious mess, all ready for you to dig in. Miam miam!

Poutine: Yes, I Am Canadian!

Poutine is a Québécois dish that combines french fries, cheese and gravy.

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No Such Thing as Too Much Cheese…

I love cheese, as may already be obvious despite the young age of this blog. Four out of my six recipe posts feature cheese. A simple grilled cheese sandwich is one of my very favourite meals.

But a grilled cheese isn’t so simple for those of us avoiding gluten. Anyone who has tried commercially available gluten-free breads will know how disappointing they can be. I am lucky, though, to have stores that sell incredible gluten-free bread near where I live. I made this grilled cheese sandwich with the Romano Bean Bread in the Queen St. Gluten Free bread line baked by Yoshi’s Sweets. There are other breads in the same line—including one made with grape seed flour—and they all have a texture which is incredibly like bread with gluten in it.

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Jalapeno Cheddar Sauce for Pasta

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I love jalapenos. I first learned how to use a canner just so I could pickle my own peppers. I have grown my own plants a couple of times, too. One year, when I had a large garden, I ended up pickling 60 cups of peppers.

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Happy Birthday to Me

One of my sisters made me this fabulous cake from Martha Stewart for my birthday. It was absolutely amazing.

She made it using three boxes of Betty Crocker gluten-free chocolate cake mix. Other than that, she followed the recipe. It was truly decadent.

And the best part? We celebrated my birthday a day early and I took leftovers home. That meant that on my actual birthday I got to eat this cake for breakfast. That’s a pretty good way to start the year.

Happy Birthday to Me
This dessert features six layers of chocolate cake, a ganache topping and a salted caramel filling.

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Brown Sugar Cookies

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These black-eyed susans are in my mother’s garden. She worries about the weeds, but all I ever notice are the contrasting textures, the curves of the beds and the bursts of brilliant colour, like this one.

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Broccoli Bacon Cheddar Salad

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I have had broccoli salad on the brain lately. My mother had made one, which was delicious, but quite different from the one I’m posting here. Hers was made with feta, raisins and a yogurt dressing. After I ate some, I started thinking about THIS broccoli salad…

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Kalakand

kalakand

Kalakand is an Indian sweet. My mother, who was born in New Delhi, loves this treat. My brother and one of my sisters don’t think much of it, but my other sister and I adore it, just like our mother. We three kalakand lovers aren’t sad that it’s not to everyone’s taste, because that means there’s more for us.

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Chewy Cheddar Cheese Breads

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I fell in love with these breads long before I stopped eating gluten. I love how simple they are to make. And I love their chewy texture.

I have made versions of them for brunches and they are always a crowd pleaser. And they are so fast to make. The most time-consuming part of the recipe is putting the batter into the muffin tins. The batter can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for up to a week.

The original recipe is for Brazilian-style cheese breads and uses queso fresco. Since I’m not trying to replicate a traditional pão de queijo, I use a variety of other cheeses.

I have made these with feta, Parmesan, chèvre and cheddar. Each type is delicious, but the cheddar are my favourite. They are good eaten both warm and cold, but, let me warn you, they are so addictive that if you start eating them warm, you might find you don’t have any left to find out exactly how they taste at room temperature.

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