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Monday, October 26, 2015

Pumpkin season....and Pie in the sky!!!

Wow...where did this icky weather come from? It seems like yesterday fall had just begun, and now Halloween is less than a week away. Next thing you know Thanksgiving will be here, and then Christmas. Well I myself am at least going to try and be ready for Thanksgiving this year before it comes, so therefore I am trying out a few new recipes ahead of time. One being Pumpkin pie cupcakes.

Although this recipe turns out to be more pie like in texture than a real cupcake that's fine with me, because then I don't have to roll out pie dough and clean up the mess that comes with it on a already busy holiday. As the saying goes....I can have my cake, and eat it too. Or in this case PIE! Another nice thing is that the servings are smaller so your guests can always go back for seconds, that is after they have sampled all the other goodies we tend to busy ourselves making in the kitchen to celebrate this special holiday.

I use my own flour mixture here which makes a full cup of 140 grams, so for this recipe you will only use 93 grams of the mix or 2/3 cup. I like to weigh my flours for better accuracy.

Flour mix:

45 gr white rice flour
35 gr brown rice flour
18 gr sorghum flour
25 gr tapioca starch
17 gr potato STARCH not flour

*140 grams total = 1 cup

                                                         Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

15 ounces canned pumpkin  (not pie filling)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup evaporated milk ( makes creamier)
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teas vanilla
93 grams flour mix from above
1/4 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
1/4 teas baking powder
1/4 teas baking soda
2 teas pumpkin pie spice ( recipe to follow below)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12 cupcake pan with spray. Using liners will make cakes stick...
Sift together all dry ingredients except the sugar.
Mix together the pumpkin puree, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and evaporated milk..
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until evenly combined. A mixer on low speed works well for this.
Using a little over 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup  fill each tin in the pan.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set on cooling rack. Let the cupcake/pies cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then remove from pan to cool completely on rack. Store in the refrigerator covered when cool. These are quick, easy and delish. Why not give them a trial run before the Holidays.....they won't last long, I promise!

                                                Homemade Pumpkin pie spice mix:
(makes about  31/4  teas but you only need 2 teas for above recipe)

2 teas ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teas ground ginger
1/4 teas ground cloves

Mix and store in small airtight container.

Friday, October 16, 2015

If at first you don't succeed....fallen leaves, oops.....loaves that is.


Have you ever had one of those days, weeks, months, where nothing seemed to go right, or was just a little off ? Well this is one of them for me. I have been faithfully searching the web for a place for my sister to rent to no avail. It seems that even if you are aloud to have pets, they must be small or weigh less than 20 pounds....Since she has a large German Shepard it is virtually impossible to find anything at all for her. She has till the end of this month to be moved and I have no idea how this job fell onto my shoulders to find her a place, but it has.

Since loosing my mom in July I have had this overwhelming pressure of responsibility that sometimes takes my breath away. Since we have no parents, or grandparents left, I now have the role of "Top Dog" as my husband puts it, in the role of this family. Its funny how being only 3 years older than my sister that I feel such pressure to make sure she is safe. She's not a child anymore by any means, she's a grown woman, yet I feel responsible now.

I have an allergy to dogs, and since we live in a restricted pet community, a dog of that stature is not aloud. Also I have a 19 year old cat that would not withstand the pressure of such a massive creature being in the home.

I understand her dilemma, and being a pet owner myself would hate to see her have to give up her two year old pet, but life is sometimes about survival, is it not? Its kind of like baking bread, if at first you don't succeed, then try and try again.

Well thank God I am not under pressure about baking that perfect loaf of bread...Or am I? I set the bar pretty high for myself. Seems the older I get the more I expect from myself. I have a tendency to attempt the best from myself and when I don't reach that goal I can get pretty down on myself. Therefore I am still seeking that perfect loaf of bread that may never happen, but I strive on. I guess anything is better than most of those store bought frozen loaves, right?

I made a loaf yesterday that fit every criteria. Soft and spongy, excellent taste and mouth feel, perfectly browned, flexible.. Wow I thought I was on the right track, that is until the top sank after cooling. So I cut out some water from the recipe for the second loaf I made, and although the top did not rise very high, it at least didn't sink.

I have to say that the recipe is getting pretty darn close to being posted for you also to also enjoy. Be patient and give me just a little bit more time, and I promise to post the recipe soon!

Until then, enjoy your gluten free week.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

GF Bread baking..If at first you don't succeed....try and try again....

Another day has come and I am excited to head to the kitchen for some more "trial and error'. To be perfectly honest, I'm becoming a creature of nature in this area. I have plopped more baking efforts into the trash than I care to mention. Like the old saying goes...If at first you don't succeed, try and try again.

You are probably wondering why I don't just give up trying to find that "PERFECT" flour blend and use what's out there on the store shelves. Well to be honest, sometimes so do I. My own family thinks I have a bad case of PROFESSIONALISM, but my thoughts on the subject are that I just want my baked goods to taste like my mom use to make, plain and simple!

In case I have peaked your curiosity I will straight out mention that yes I have tried almost every "Cup for Cup" flour out there on the market, and although there are some pretty good ones, to me everything tastes the same. Same texture, same mouth feel, same....same....same!

I have even tried almost every flour mixture recipe I could get my hands on. I have followed the mixtures, and the  recipes to the tee, and still had major flops! What is a girl to do? I lost my mom this July and her recipes have now become mine as my sister is not a baker by heart. Some of the recipes are hand written and are now my treasures and keepsakes. Oh what I would give to make her famous Texas sheet cake and remember the exact taste from my childhood! Getting close, but no cigar yet!

Recently I have been working on that perfect loaf of gluten free bread. To be honest I have several loaves of store bought in my freezer for emergencies, but they just lack that taste and texture I am looking for. I am getting close though! At least close enough that I can say the past few loaves have gone into the freezer, not the trash. OK, so my bread may never completely look like a loaf of  wheat bread, but it will be spongy, has a nice bend, hold up to sandwiches, and have a great taste. When I have it to where I think its as close to the perfect "wheat" laden loaf I remember from my moms kitchen, then I promise to share.

Well I have things to do, and bread to bake, so I'm off. Have a great day, and stay gluten free!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Gluten free pesto for the soul!

Hello everyone. I trust your day is going well. I got off to a shaky start this morning but things are hopefully back on track. It has been a really hectic week. I have been trying to help my sister find a new place to live that will be closer to her job. I watched my five year old grandson yesterday as he was running a fever and couldn't attend school. I have to drive my oldest grand child to an appointment today as she doesn't yet have her drivers licence. All of this while still trying to perfect a vanilla cupcake recipe...

I have been up since 7:00 AM today and already have unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, made a batch of cupcakes, which I have yet to sample. I have tackled several chores and I am about to get ready for the rest of the day, but wanted to share a great pesto recipe with you first.

I love pesto, that is if done right, and I hate all those added "things" they contain when purchased in the store, especially pine nuts as I am allergic, so this is a nice recipe for me as I can sub walnuts, and I know it's fresh. My friends at Miracle Noodle had this great recipe on their site that I really, really  like, so I will post it here.

This is the easiest recipe I have made to date for pesto, and the taste really is super. So I hope you  enjoy. In my book it rates a #10....Oh....Did I mention that their noodles are great too....and 0 calories!!!




2 cups fresh basil leaves
4 medium cloves garlic
A pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted (you can sub chopped walnuts)
2 1/2 tablespoons (1 ounce) freshly grated Parmigiana cheese
2 1/2 tablespoons (1 ounce) finely grated Pecorino cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Rinse the basil leaves and spin dry. Place them together with pine nuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a several times. Add the peeled garlic and pulse several times more to mix.Slowly add the olive oil to emulsify until the mixture is creamy.
  2. Transfer the contents to a separate bowl and mix in the grated cheeses with a spoon or spatula. At the end stir in some salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Serving suggestion:

  1. Pesto can be served with rinsed package of Miracle Noodle pasta right away or on any of your favorite gluten free pastas.