Pear Salad

Pear salad …..so amazing. It’s more a summer salad. But as we near the end of winter, we need some reminder of warm summer nights.

If you have never tried this version of pear salad — you must! You won’t be sorry!! And if you want to show off to friends and family – make this salad the next time they are over!

The red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard help give the dressing the right amount of zing, while the goat cheese brings the settle balance to the sweetness of the Bartlett pear.

Ingredients

Spring salad mix

2 Bartlett pears (Dice up 1pear per person)

125g Soft unripened goat’s milk cheese – crumbled

2/3 cup olive oil

6 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 cloves diced garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cracked pepper (or more to taste/preference)

200g crushed pecans

1/4 cup white sugar

Directions

1) In a frypan over medium heat, stir 1/4 cup of sugar with the pecans. Continue to stir gently until sugar melts and caramelizes. Be patient. Don’t turn up the heat or it will burn. Trust me.

Carefully cool on parchment paper.

2) In a 1 cup glass measuring cup blend the oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Let it sit for atleast an hour. Ideally, the longer it rests, the better the dressing flavours blend together. I try to make it the morning of the day I want to enjoy.

This dressing recipe makes enough for 4+ servings. The dressing is even flavour wise better the following day.

3) I layer lettuce, goat cheese, diced pear and candies pecans.

Layer 1:

Layer 2:

Drizzle the salad dressing over top and serve promptly. Enjoy!!

Advertisements

Review: The Wheatless Gourmet Gluten Free Puff Pastry Sheets

I was so excited when I saw this product!! Finally Gluten Free Puff pastry?!?! Eeek

So I bought some at our local gluten free specialty bakery. They warned me on purchased, it took some time to get use to when baking but I ignored any warnings – I was sold at gluten free puff pastry.

First reality check is the lovely puff pastry pictures are only suggestions – it’s a frozen log that takes waaaaay longer than the 20 minutes suggested to thaw. I found closer to 40 minutes.

Once ready, set up your area. I put down my parchment, with a sprinkling of Gluten Free Flour. I gently rollout out a square. I hardly modified how it came due to this being the first time.

Ahead of time, I fixed up 2 apples. Threw them in a fry pan with some unsalted butter, a couple of Tablespoons of ground cinnamon, a splash of orange juice, a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and a few heaping tablespoons of brown sugar.

I stirred and let them lightly cook for about 15 minutes.

Set aside.

About a tablespoon or so of room temperature cream cheese as a base, on the pastry then put the cooled apple topping on top. Fold over.

I found I was able to make 3 large apple turnovers with one box.

I did use an egg wash to seal the ends and sprinkled sugar on top before placing into a preheated 350F oven.

Cooked for about 40minutes.

Oh. My. God. It tastes light and just like I remember gluten puff pastry to taste like. Delicious.

A nice alternative to making pastry from scratch! It will take getting use to and will be considered a treat but a nice option to have!

**this review was not sponsored**

Gluten Free Waffles

I do have my own made-from-scratch pancake and waffle recipe.

Fluffy Yummy Gluten Free Pancakes

But let’s be honest, there are many days I don’t have the extra time to do that. With the wonderful gluten free Bob’s Red Mill Pancake Mix, quick, tasty waffles are easy!

What you need:

3 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake Mix

5 eggs

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups milk

In a bowl, whisk together ingredients.

Once well mixed, let sit for 10minutes.

It should be a nice thick-like consistency.

We have the Cuisinart Classic Waffle maker. I warm it to half-heat setting first. Then I lightly coat the top and bottom with olive oil.

A 1/2 cup of batter seems to be the right amount to create fluffy, full size waffles. *depending on your waffle maker – temperatures and amounts will vary

I find I need to re-coat with olive oil between each waffle or else a piece always stick!

But trust me when I say these are delicious!!

Enjoy!!

We serve ours with homemade maple syrup!

Review: XO Baking Gluten Free Oatmeal Gourmet Cookie Mix

So we hosted some family for dinner. Being a celiac family, while the rest of our family is not can sometimes make meal gatherings difficult and stressful.

When our relative brought us this Oatmeal Gourmet Gluten Free Cookie mix by XO Baking Co. as a hostess gift; I have to admit, it sat in our pantry for quite a while.

I wasn’t expecting the picture and “unforgettably delicious” claim to be true. But on a day when I wanted a “quick” baking treat, I thought I’d try it.

At first, I was a bit disappointed that it is a cookie mix only. From the box I adored the cranberries and hearty appearance of the cooked cookie.

Any add ons from the oatmeal cookie mix are optional and not included.

You will need 1 large egg and 1/2 cup of softened butter.

I added 3/4 cup butterscotch chips, 1/2 cup shredded coconut and 3/4 raisins.

It mixed together really well. Almost reminded me how Gluten cookie dough would stick and mix so easily together.

I used a rounded table spoon to measure out the drop dough on the cookie sheet.

I found they needed 16 – 18 minutes – not the estimated 10-12 minutes to reach a lightly golden state with an oven at 350

I have to say my family was pleasantly surprised with how wonderful these gluten free cookies tasted!!

Chewy and delicious!

When you want to bake some cookies, but want something quick and convenient -this would be a great gluten free cookie mix box to keep in your pantry for such a time!

check out: www.xobaking.com

**this is not a paid review**

Gluten Free Almond Cookies

This is a family recipe that my husband has warm memories of with Christmas.

With a bit of tweaking these taste just as great gluten free!!

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

1cup brown sugar

1 egg (beaten)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

1 + 3/4 cup Gluten Free flour mixture

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup ground blanched almonds

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

Cream butter to soften. Add brown sugar and cream thoroughly. Add egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and xantham gum. Blend into creamed mixture.

Stir in ground almonds.

Chill.

Roll out between floured parchment paper. *this dough can become sticky very quickly. When that happens, just put back in fridge to chill again.*

Cut with cookie cutters.

Bake at 350.

Watch closely. 10-14 minutes with edges browned. Let sit on cookie tray for 5 min before moving to cooling tray.

And then we turn them into amazing Christmas cookies!!

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family!!

Gluten Free Whipped Shortbread

Who knew making whipped shortbread would be easy?!

With a few slight adjustments, this shortbread is as light and fluffy as it’s gluten version.

Ingredients

1/2 lb butter

1/2 cup icing sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 1/2 cup Gluten Free Flour (I normally make a mixture of Bob’s Redmill GF all purpose flour (1 cup) and mixing chickpea flour, brown rice flour & tapioca flour until I reach 1/2 cup)

1) Preheat oven to 325F.

Beat butter & icing sugar until very smooth. Add flour and cornstarch. Best until light and fluffy

2) add vanilla. Mix

3) Put in fridge to chill – about 30minutes.

4) Using a teaspoon drop onto parchment covered cookie sheet.

5) Bake until edges are light brown. (About 10-12 minutes)

Enjoy these light fluffy gluten free shortbread!

Ultimate Gluten Free Cookies

Finding a wonderful homemade gluten free cookie recipe can be difficult. Prior to my husbands celiac diagnosis, I had many family cookie recipes I would make. But ofcourse they all have wheat flour, so I have been working at converting them all.

The cookie dough base of this recipe can be used to make endless cookie possibilities.

Cookie Dough 

1 cup soft butter 

1 1/4 cup firmly packed Brown sugar 

2 Eggs 

1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

1 cup + 1 table spoon Gluten Free Flour mix (I mix 1/2 cup Bob RedMill All Purpose Gluten Free flour, 1/8 cup + 1 tablespoon Gluten Free Coconut Flour, 1/4 cup Gluten Free Chickpea flour and 1/4 cup Only Oats Gluten Free Flour )

1/4 teaspoon guar gum

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Additions: 

Add whatever your heart desires to the cookie dough. For today’s cookie I mixed chocolate chips, raisins and gluten free oatmeal. But shredded  coconut, cranberries and nuts are delicious additions too! 

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips 

1 cup raisins 

1 cup gluten free oatmeal. 

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 


1) Preheat oven to 350

2) Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Mix well. Stir in gluten free oats. Put in fridge to cool – atleast 20 minutes.

3) use a heaping teaspoon to drop onto parchment paper cookie sheet. Leave space between cookies as they will spread out while cooking


For crispy cookies I bake for 18 minutes:


For more soft cookies I bake for 15 minutes or less. This picture compares my 18min cookies to my 15 min ones. 


As you can see the baked 15 minute cookie on the right is more lighter in colour and less crispy. 

Hope you enjoy these cookies as much as our family does! Even my dad raves about these cookies!

Gluten Free Pineapple Upside down cake 

My dad’s favourite cake is an upside down pineapple. For a recent family gathering I decided to bake one! 

Who wouldn’t enjoy the caramel, almost toffee like coating with pineapples and cherries?!?! 

Pineapple Upside Downcake 

1 Gluten Free Cake mix 

1 cup heaping with Brown sugar 

1 can pineapple slices 

1 container of candied cherries 

1/2 cup Butter 

1) Mix up GF cake mix of your choice per box instructions. Set aside 

2) Drain can of pineapple. Set aside 

3) Prep cake pan by covering bottom and sides with butter then dusting with flour. This greatly stops the cake from sticking to the pan. 

4) Melt butter.  Mix in with brown sugar on bottom of cake pan.  


5) Using fork spread mixture and pat down evenly all over bottom of the pan 


If you like more brown sugar goodness to your cake  just add more brown sugar and butter to your original mixture  – like below:


6) Place pineapple and cherries on top of brown sugar 

You can be creative! 


Or 


7) Pour cake batter on top. Try to spread evenly   


8) Bake as per cake box instructions. I like to use the tooth pick method to ensure my cake is cooked. 

9) Enjoy! 

Hope you enjoy this pineapple Upside down cake as much as we do!  

Fresh cherry Gluten Free Pie 

I couldn’t resist the fresh cherries in the market. First of the season; sweet and refreshing. 

The only downside of any type of fresh fruit is it can spoil quickly. With a large bag of fresh cherries and not wanting to waste even one the only option was to make a fresh cherry pie! 

A cherry pie is simple to make and tastes amazing! How could I resist? 

Fresh Cherry Pie: 

Fresh pitted cherries – atleast 2 heaping cups. You want to have a full pie shell. It can be painstaking to pit each cherry but fresh cherry pie tastes so much better then can. 

1/4 tsp of pure almond extract 

Pinch of salt 

3 heaping tablespoons of gluten free minute tapioca 

2 tablespoons of softened butter 

1) Preheat oven to 385F   

Place pitted cherries in a bowl. Add almond extract, salt and tapioca. Mix well 

2) Prepare pie shell. Refer to my earlier post about my amazing Gluten Free dough! 

3) Place cherry mixture into pie shell. 


4) Place Gluten Free Dough over cherries. I personally like the fence style for pie tops. I place small dips of butter in the wholes of the crust 


5) Place pie on middle rack of oven. Cook for 50-60 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cherries are bubbling. 


Enjoy!! 

Warm Apple Pie 

Apple pie is always a favourite. It is mostly associated with the Fall season but apple pie anytime is a crowd pleasure! It’s also super simple to whip together and is always tastey! 

Apple Pie 

6-8 Macintosh apples 

1/2 cup brown sugar 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1 tablespoon lemon juice 

1 tablespoon butter 

Maple syrup 

Pie shells – one for the bottom and one for the top 

1) I find the best way to know how many apples is to just start peeling and cutting them into your pie shell 

Preheat oven to 350 

   

2) With the apple slices in a bowl mix in the lemon juice, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Place this in a pie shell. 

3) Cut the butter into tiny bits and place through out the top. Drizzle maple syrup on top 

Place top crust on top. 
 

  
4) cook for about 60 minutes. Pie should be bubbling through out. 

  
Let cool and enjoy!