Crafty Kitchen Christmas

17 12 2013

Like many people, I really don’t buy into the whole commercialization of Christmas. In fact, I don’t even identify as Christian, so I’m not sure why I celebrate the holiday. Oh that’s right, it’s actually a pagan holiday to begin with so you know what, let’s all celebrate. Not that we are all pagan, but if Christians can reclaim Christmas for themselves I say let’s all have a part in the fun. And, that’s what I think this holiday is: fun. So, I don’t intend to get stressed out about getting a gift for every single person in my life. That’s right, even if you are my best friend in the entire world, you may not get a Christmas gift from me. Still, there is something so fun about creating kitchen magic during the holidays, and giving it away to friends and family makes it even more magical. Inspired by some amazing bloggers, I decided to steal some of their ideas and spend a whole day of fun in the kitchen with my family. The results were as magical as those amazing bloggers claimed, plus took very little time actually cooking (leaving more time for hanging out with my family and watching Christmas movies – have you seen the 1947 version of Miracle on 34th St? It’s perfect!). So without further ado, here are the results of my Crafty Kitchen Christmas:
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Infused Maple Syrup from My New Roots.

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Mocha Chocolate Bark (my favorite) from Speak With Your Food.

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And finally, White Chocolate Bark from Fork and Beans.

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Happy Holidays everyone!

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Baked Green Tomatoes

9 10 2012

Cleaning out my mom’s beautiful garden before frost hits, we found ourselves inundated with green tomatoes.  What’s a girl to do?  So, I decided to try fried green tomatoes for the first time.  Honestly, I was feeling a bit lazy so I baked them in the oven instead, which resulted in less oil. I love the way these came out.  My non gluten-free family said the bread crumbs were a bit too crunchy when I served them for dinner, but the next day for lunch they loved them.  Next time I think I will try to make them ahead of time, chill, and re-heat.  Or, it’s time for me to find better bread crumbs (I used Gillian’s Original). My mom also recommended spicing the tomatoes before breading – maybe just some salt and pepper, I don’t know how this would work out but I’m going to give it a try next time.

Ingredients:

5 green tomatoes

1.5 cups bread crumbs

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 cup coconut milk (or any alternate milk)

1 T canola oil (or olive)

Extra oil

Slice the tomatoes to about a 1/4 inch thickness.  Mix your bread ingredients and spices.  Separately mix one tablespoon of oil into the coconut milk.  Dip the tomato slices in the milk/oil, then coat in the breadcrumbs and place on oiled baking sheet (or use parchment paper).

While you are doing this, preheat the oven to 400.

When you have finished breading all of your tomato slices, spray the topside with oil.  If you don’t have spray on oil, then try to brush or drizzle the tops with oil.  Cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes.  Flip all of the tomatoes and spray the second side, then cook again for a final 10-20 minutes (until tomatoes are soft and the breading is browned).

Cool slightly and serve with Pesto Mayonaise Sauce my mom came up with:

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Ingredients:

Fresh pesto

Soy free Follow Your Heart mayonaise

Cayenne pepper

Mix ingredients together until you get desired taste.  We only used a small amount of cayenne because it is spicy!





Cream Cheese

30 09 2012

Home on vacation again! I whipped up some cream cheese to eat on my Food for Life gluten free english muffins.  I used a recipe I found at Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom. I added a cup of chives from the garden for some extra flavor.

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It was really tasty, however since I don’t have a vitamix I couldn’t get the right texture.  Although it worked great for what I wanted, I have to admit it didn’t taste exactly like cream cheese.  It is a wonderful creamy spread that I recommend for eating with bread/english muffins/bagels, but I wouldn’t try to make a dessert with it.  Next, I’m going to try this recipe.





Low Sugar Jam

10 07 2008

Makes about 3 pints

This recipe works with all berries (except maybe eggplants;). Pick your favorite or a combination of different berries.

Ingredients:
3 cups berries
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup sugar

Wash berries and spread them on a paper towel to drain. Pick them over, removing any damaged or moldy fruit. If using strawberries, cut them into quarters.

Heat berries and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon to keep berries from scorching. Bring mixture to a boil.

Add sugar to the boiling berries, stirring until sugar dissolves.

Return Jam to a simmer and continue stirring for at least 15 to 20 minutes. To test whether it’s done, put a teaspoonful of jam in the freezer. Remove it after 2-3 minutes. If jam is thick and doesn’t run off the spoon, it is done.

can jam in jars. Un-caned jams will last up to 3 weeks in the fridge, and up to 3 months in the freezer.

recipe from: Living Without August/Sept 2008

for more canning recipes check out: http://www.pickyourown.org/allaboutcanning.htm





Pesto

8 07 2008

I’ve started making pesto from scratch on the fly, using whatever is around the house.  It is so easy to make and goes great on bread, pasta, pizza, etc.! Below is a rough outline, but feel free to play with the amounts to make it your own.  Mix with Follow Your Heart soy-free mayonaise for a great dipping sauce.

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Ingredients:

1/4-1/3 cup olive oil

4 cups fresh basil

2 cups fresh parsley

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2-3 cloves garlic

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup cashews

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly cracked pepper

Place all ingredients in a food processor, and process until well blended.





Homemade Ketchup

6 07 2008

After deciding to make all my own condiments from scratch I found and tried this recipe. It isn’t the best, but then again I don’t really like ketchup all that much. This does go great with sweet potato fries and garden burgers!








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