I’m really not one for cakes (cheesecake is the one exception, but that’s totally different). But I have to admit, every once in a blue moon there is nothing better than a huge cup of coffee and a slice of coffee cake. I absolutely loved this recipe. I actually only made it because I had all the ingredients on hand, but it was so simple and quick to get together. Perfect for a quick breakfast sweet or an easy last-minute tea/coffee date.
I have to say that this coffee cake is definitely at its best straight from the oven. Despite wrapping the cake up nice and tight, the next day it was close to rock solid the next day. That’s just the way gluten-free flours tend to be. A quick 10, 15 seconds in the microwave and the problem was solved.
1/3 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (Bob’s Red Mill is fine.)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease a round 9 in. cake pan and set it aside.
Mix the cream cheese filling in a small bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the butter, milk, eggs, vanilla and sugar. Gradually add the flour and mix until well combined.
Spread about a little more than half of the batter in the bottom of the pan. Next put the cream cheese filling on top and try to spread around. (It may be difficult, but using the back of a tablespoon works well.)
Lastly, put the remainder of the dough batter on top.
In a small bowl, using a pastry blender tool or 2 forks, combine the topping ingredients until it resembles crumbs. Sprinkle over the batter in the pan.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes (I would start checking it around 20). Insert a tooth pick into the cake and it should come out clean and dry when done.
Cool well before dusting the top with sifted confectioner’s sugar, if you like. After cooling, be sure to keep covered for freshness.
Back when I was living in Budapest, there was this amazing Greek restaurant that I loved to go to. It was right on Danube and had a wonderful patio during the summer and was nice and cozy in the winter. At the time I was also a pescatarian and trust me when I say it can be a challenge to find tasty vegetarian options in a land full of szalámi and gulyásleves. (I never quite understood where fish in a landlocked country came from, so I either didn’t question it or steered clear completely.) Between good veggie dishes and an excellent wine list, it was one of my favorite places in Bp.
I have really had a hankering for Greek food recently. Unfortunately nearly every dish I could think of involved pita or phyllo… While attempting to make gluten-free phyllo dough sounds like a wonderful challenge, unfortunately I just don’t have the time or patience to attempt it. Being the resourceful type that I am, I took a look around the kitchen and decided to improvise. I made the executive decision that corn tortillas would make a perfect substitute (might sound strange to some, but corn tortillas are a staple in these parts, plus they are gluten-free and are very handy for holding/transporting food).
Spanakopita quesadillas were the perfect (gluten-free) fix for a Greek craving. Not authentic by any stretch, but the flavors were there and they were so, so, so easy to make. I threw in a few chopped kalamatas for fun and I served up these quesadillas with some delicious tomato pasta sauce (Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic) and some Greek yogurt mixed with dill and a few spices in an attempt to make a totally illegitimate tzatziki. I do kind of , sort of, like tzatziki, but cucumber in general makes my skin crawl, so plain Greek yogurt and dill, garlic powder, pepper and lemon juice was the perfect compromise.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
4+ cloves garlic, minced
5 cups baby spinach
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
4 corn tortillas
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup prepared pasta sauce
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 teaspoon dill
1/2 lemon, juiced
First make the ‘mock’ tzatziki. Combine Greek yogurt, dill, garlic powder, pepper and lemon juice. Set aside.
Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is heated add onion and cooking until translucent and starting to brown, about 6 minutes. Add in minced garlic and cook another minute or two until fragrant. Add oregano, black pepper and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir until mixed.
Next add the baby spinach. Stir to coat and cook until spinach has wilted.
Remove pan from heat and put the spinach mix into a bowl or plate and set aside. Wipe down the pan return to medium heat and spray with cooking spray (you can use a new pan, but why do more dishes?). Place one tortilla in the pan and heat. Flip over when warmed and sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella. Top the cheese with half the spinach mixture, 1/4 cup of the feta and half the olives.
Place another tortilla on top, spray lightly with cooking spray and use a spatula to flip the quesadilla over. Cook until the tortilla is warmed through and slightly crisp, about 3 minutes.
Repeat with the other tortillas to make a second quesadilla.
Way back over New Year’s on my little jaunt up to San Francisco, my friend Nancy made mini-chicken pot pies with her awesome mini pie maker. I’m fairly certain it was the first time I have ever had chicken pot pie and I’ve had pot pie on the brain ever since. I know today is the first official day of spring, but it was sort of cold and super windy here today, so warm comfort food seems fitting.
I was super impressed with how the biscuit topping came out. I really didn’t have high hopes for Bisquick, but there was no way I wanted to try to roll out my own crust. The biscuit topping was the perfect solution. It was quick and easy and ended up being perfectly fluffy and crusty all at the same time. I served my pot pie with garlicky mashed potatoes and delicious roasted asparagus in garlic brown butter (there’s a garlic problem in these parts).
Turkey Pot Pie with Gluten Free Cheddar Biscuit Topping
For the Turkey Mixture
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups cooked, shredded turkey
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large leek, chopped
1 large onion, diced
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
4+ garlic cloves, minced
10 ounces baby bella or button mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon tomato paste
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I used Gluten Free Bisquick)
1 cup milk, warmed
2 teaspoons dry sherry or dry white wine
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup frozen peas
For the Biscuit Topping
1 1/2 cups biscuit/baking mix (I used Gluten Free Bisquick)
3/4 cup shredded EXTRA sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Heat oven to 400° degrees.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the leek, onion, and carrots. Season generously with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. While the vegetables are cooking, shred/cut the turkey into bite-sized pieces. When the vegetables are just tender, transfer to the bowl with the shredded turkey. Return the pot to the heat.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan. Add the mushrooms, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their liquid, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste. Increase the heat to medium-high, stirring often, until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are somewhat browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the chicken and the vegetables. Return the pot to the heat.
Melt the butter over medium heat. When it is fully melted, whisk in the flour so that no clumps remain. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, milk and sherry. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring frequently, and cook until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the thyme and lemon juice. Stir in the turkey-vegetable mixture and the frozen peas. Adjust seasoning to taste.
For the Biscuit Topping
In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients; spoon over top of turkey mixture.
Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly and topping is golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
This was my first attempt at making soufflés and I must say I was quite impressed. I know I have had soufflés in the past, but I only remember them being in dessert form, so I really had no idea what was going to happen once I closed the oven door. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. The texture was wonderful, really light and airy with just a little bit of crisp from the top crust. I really like that you could taste the goat cheese in every bite as well.
I think for this recipe to be a success, a scale is going to be necessity. I absolutely adore my small little kitchen scale and it’s definitely one of the most worthwhile investments I’ve made in a kitchen accessory. At the time I didn’t have any one cup ramekins to bake these, so used half cup ramekins instead. I have since found bigger ramekins at Ikea for next to nothing, so next time I will try the bigger cup.
Butter 4 x 250ml/1 cup soufflé dishes. (I used 8 half cup ramekins.)
Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for a minute or so. Slowly add the milk, stirring all the time to make a thick sauce. Cook for a couple of minutes to get rid of the floury taste.
Stir in the cheeses and chives then add 4 of the egg yolks, season generously and mix well.
In a clean bowl, whisk all the egg whites until they are stiff and form soft peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture and pour into the buttered soufflé dishes.
Cook for 12-15 minutes until the soufflés are risen and golden.
This soup is phenomenal. It might actually be one of the best things I’ve made recently. And it’s soup-er easy (sorry, just can’t resist a bad pun)! A bit of chopping and boiling and you have a delicious meal. The flavors are just amazing together. Granted paprika, onion and garlic are probably my favorite flavors, but really they were just made to be in this soup together.
The original recipe called for kalamatas. I ran out last week and much to my extreme disappointment, my Costco has decided to stop stocking them… At the rate I go through olives, kalamatas are just too expensive to be bought in any quantity less than Costco-sized bulk. I used green pimento stuffed olives and they were wonderful. Since they are so salty, I made sure to use low-sodium broth and didn’t add in any extra salt. It definitely was not needed.
I absolutely loved this soup. I definitely plan on making it again, hopefully the poor weather keeps up and it will be repeated sooner, rather than later. Even though this soup was great, I might make a few minor changes. I think the paprika could have used another flavor to combine with. I was thinking a bit of cayenne maybe or a squeeze of lemon perhaps or even a little drizzle of balsamic. Just a little addition could add a whole new layer of depth and deliciousness.
3/4 cup roughly salty chopped olives (I used green pimento stuffed olives)
Heat oil a large soup pot over medium high heat. Saute onions in oil until translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and saute about a minute or so, then mix in the thyme and paprika.
Add the lentils, broth, and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to medium and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are almost tender. Add the tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for another 20 minutes or so, or until lentils are very tender. Add spinach and olives and stir frequently until spinach is wilted and velvetty. Add water or more broth to thin, if necessary.
I was quite happy to find asparagus everywhere at farmers’ market last weekend. I love asparagus, especially during the spring when it’s super thin and not gross and woody. Roasting just about any vegetable makes it about 100 times better in my book and asparagus is no exception. Roasting the asparagus give it a little crispy crust to the tips that is just amazing. While not a traditional Irish side dish, it’s green, seasonal and delicious. It’s also one of the simplest side dishes in the world. Perfect for a quick, weeknight dinner or a fancy dinner party.
This dish is adapted from my balsamic roasted asparagus, but I made an amazing garlic brown butter sauce instead of the balsamic. As much as I love balsamic, it is a bit harsh and very overpowering. I think the garlic brown butter sauce works with a lot more dishes.
Excuse the Instagram photo, I wasn’t planning on posting this originally, but it turned out too delicious not to.
Oven Roasted Asparagus with Garlic Brown Butter
For the Asparagus:
2 pounds fresh asparagus, woody stems removed
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the Brown Butter Sauce:
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
6+ garlic cloves, minced (I used a whole head, but I’m crazy)
Heat oven to 400F/200C.
Arrange the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray until coated and season with salt and pepper.
Place the asparagus in the oven and roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender and just starting to crisp.
While the asparagus is in the oven, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is almost completely melted, add in the minced garlic. Stir to coat. Allow the garlic to cook until crispy, stirring occasionally so the butter and garlic don’t burn.
When the asparagus is done, place in serving dish and pour garlic and butter over. Serve immediately.
Look beyond the Irish Beef Stew and let’s talk about the potatoes. I’m Irish. I love potatoes. I’m basically a potato expert. While I have nothing against tried and true, plain mashed potatoes, sometimes you just need to spice things up a bit. I like horseradish quite a lot and horseradish is quite nice with beef dishes. I knew I was going to like these, but I was very pleasantly surprised about how well the horseradish went with the stew. The horseradish really brought out the best of the flavors on the stew. I think these potatoes would be the perfect side dish to any St. Patrick’s Day meal
Horseradish & Scallion Mashed Potatoes
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
1/2 stick softened butter or 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup milk
Freshly ground pepper
2+ tablespoons prepared horseradish (I think more is better)
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup chopped scallions
Put the potatoes in a saucepan; cover with cold water and add 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-low to medium heat and cook, uncovered, until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let sit until just cool enough to handle, then peel and transfer to a bowl.
Add the butter/oil to the potatoes. Add the milk, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and pepper to taste; mash with a potato masher or large fork.
Fold in the horseradish and half the scallions. Spoon the mashed potatoes into a serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining scallions.
So many of St. Patrick’s Day’s drink options involve Guinness, which can be a bit disappointing if you have to avoid gluten. I know whiskey isn’t everyone’s favorite, but this drink is so light, slightly sweet, a bit fruity and really reminiscent of a Moscow Mule that you might not even notice the whiskey. The other reason I like this cocktail so much is it is so, so simple. Simple is better sometimes, especially on a festive day.
I went a little wild and decided to use homemade ginger ale… It was received with mixed reviews. I found it too sweet and too gingery, but I watered it down a bit more and it started to grow on me. I have ventured into the world of homemade sparkling beverages after getting a Sodastream for Christmas. I love it. It is amazing And there are endless possibilities.
2 ounces Irish whiskey
1 lime, juiced
3 ounces ginger ale (recipe for homemade follows)
Lime wedge, for garnish
Fill a lowball glass with ice. Add whiskey, lime juice, and ginger ale. Stir and garnish with a lime wedge.
Homemade Ginger Ale
1 cup peeled, finely chopped ginger
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
Club soda (I used water from my Sodastream)
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add ginger. Reduce heat to medium low and let ginger sit in the simmering water for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes. Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Discard ginger pieces.
In a separate saucepan, make the Simple Syrup by dissolving 1 cup granulated sugar into 1 cup of boiling water. Set aside.
Make individual (tall) glasses of ginger ale by mixing 1/2 cup of ginger water with 1/3 cup of Simple Syrup and 1/2 cup of club soda. Add a few drops of fresh lime juice and a lime wedge to each glass.
Even though I’ve posted two beef recipes in a row, I am generally pretty picky about my red meat. I usually only eat red meat on the rare (pun!) occasion I go to a steakhouse (NY strip, medium please). Red meat in general, and steaks to be exact, are the one thing I have yet to find and master a go-to, fail-proof recipe (quality beef is too expensive to experiment with). Brisket would be the one exception to the red meat rule. I can make a mean brisket. I did learn from the best. Mama CC makes the best corned beef I have ever had. Yes, I am completely biased, but really her recipe is wonderful. So wonderful I need to share it.
The special secret to her corned beef is the amazing mustard glaze she puts on top before serving. It’s delicious. There is something about the sweet, slightly caramelized mustard and the combination of salty corned beef that is out of this world. If you really want to impress any St. Patrick’s Day guests, I highly recommend this recipe. I would also recommend serving with a horseradish sour cream sauce on the side. It’s the perfect finishing touch.
Mustard Glaze Corned Beef
For the Corned Beef:
3-5 pounds corned beef (with spice packet or brine, if included), trimmed of excess fat
12 ounces pale ale/light beer or low-sodium beef broth
1 large onion, quartered
2 large carrots, peeled and cut in half
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 dried bay leaves
For the Glaze:
1/2 cup grainy mustard
1/4 cup packed brown sugar (dark or light, doesn’t matter)
Place corned beef in a large pot. Add the beer/broth, onion, garlic, carrots, bay leaves, 1 1/2 cups water and the contents of the spice packet/brine, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until very tender and easily pierced with a fork, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Heat oven to 375ºF. Transfer the beef to a foil-lined baking sheet.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the mustard and sugar. Brush the beef with the mustard mixture and roast until the sauce has thickened and set slightly, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the beef to a cutting board and let sit 5-10 minutes. To serve, slice thinly across the grain.
This stew is the perfect alternative to corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day, especially if you don’t have all day to cook. Slow cooker recipes are great for entertaining a crowd.
Some people put potatoes into their stew, which I think is just a waste of perfectly good potatoes. Stew just cries out for creamy mashed potatoes. I made a delicious horseradish and green onion mash, which was absolutely amazing with the beef and the broth of the stew.
One other note about the onions… I got a new crockpot recently and for whatever reason it does not like cooking onions unless they have already been softened a bit. To make this stew turn out, I sautéed the onions in the same pan I browned the beef in and deglazed it after all that. If your slow cooker isn’t as moody, feel free to skip that step, but it really does help add some extra flavor to the stew.
The result is a great combination of tender beef, wonderfully flavored veggies and the broth is so flavorful I can’t even put it into words. The broth and potatoes I used to sop it up were probably my favorite part.
Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 pounds stew meat,
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF Blend)
1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
kosher salt & pepper, to taste
4 large carrots, peeled & cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion, diced
4-8+ cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup frozen peas
kosher salt & pepper, to taste
1 large bay leaf or 2 small
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup rich red wine (I used Pinot Noir)
Place the carrots and peas into the crockpot.
Rinse the meat and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Toss and coat beef with flour, garlic powder, paprika and salt and pepper, to taste. (I recommend using a large bowl or large plastic bag.)
In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil and 1 Tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté in batches until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Add more butter and oil as needed and make sure not to over crowd the pan. When beef is browned, add to crock pot.
When done browning the beef, add in onion, sauté until softened and starting to brown. Add in garlic and brown until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Use a generous drop of beef stock or wine to deglaze the pan and add everything to the crock pot.
Add the rest of the ingredients (bay leaf, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, broth, wine) to the crock pot. Stir together.
Cook on high for 4-6 hours or 6 to 9 hours on low.