gluten free Feed

It's Fridayyyyyy!!!

What a week, friends, amiright??

And what's with the snow today??  Isn't it supposed to be spring?!  So over it.

But onto more important things, like donuts.  Browned butter baked donuts from Joy the Baker, to be exact.  Because, delicious.

So, since it's Friday and it's snowing, and we needed something to make us feel better about life, I whipped up these bad boys, and glazed them with a light & luscious maple cream cheese glaze.

browned butter donuts from Joy the Baker

No, these are not on my candida detox diet, but I wanted to make them for my coworkers, since, you know, snow and all that crap, so I made them gluten free so I could taste one.  Good god are they delicious.  It's been so long since I've had sugar, so half of one was really plenty for me at this point since I'm not used to the sugar anymore, but I will definitely be making these again in the future.

That's how we're gonna be starting our Friday in the office - donuts.  And copious amounts of coffee.  

Happy Friday, friends!!

Sig


Sunday Things.

Sundays are for pancakes.  And stitching.   And reading.  And maybe some scrapping. And really not much else. 

This week, I finished two books - In the Garden of Beasts, and The Fault in our Stars.  Both were exceptionally good, and not what I expected when I started reading.  Now, I'm working through finishing Elizabeth I, since I've been reading it for over a year now...

Although I have to be gluten-free for health reasons, I've really been trying to stay away from all grains over the past year, but today I was really, really craving pancakes.  God only knows why.  So, luckily I found this recipe for grain-free banana pancakes.  Heaven.

I also worked on some Christmas stitching.  Nora Corbett has a line of Red Ladies, all for Christmas.  I have almost all of them (I really have a problem...), and I decided to start with the one who's holding the black kitty, since I used to have one.  Just need to fill in with the Wisper threads on her dress and for the kitty & it's done!

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Happy Sunday, friends!  I hope you're enjoying your day!

Sig
 


NYC | Travel

This past Saturday, I decided it was high time I went back to NYC.  It's been since before Christmas (I didn't even want to be outside this winter in Philly, let alone go NORTH and be walking through NYC in that hellacious cold. nothankyouandgoodday.), so since I had no set plans for the weekend, I decided to hop the train and head up there.

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I'm not a big fan of the center of Manhattan....you know, around Times Square and all that crap.....so I get on the subway from Penn Station and head either Uptown towards Columbus Circle or to the museums, or Downtown to my favorite....SoHo.  Greenwich is also fabulous.  Oh, and the Fashion District - the fabric and trim stores are TO DIE.  Now I feel like I need to sew something.

Anyway.  Focus.

Aside from the usual shopping while I was in NYC, I was on the hunt for Tu-lu's Gluten Free bakery, and I found it, nestled on 11th Street.  Like Babycakes, it's in an unassuming spot, bare-bones interior, but has phenomenal goodies.

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I had the mini coffee cake, cranberry almond muffin, and the raspberry glazed donut.  The cranberry almond muffin was hands-down my fav of the three things I got.  I need to hit them up earlier next time (I was there around 1pm) and see what they have in the mornings before it's all picked over.

For my fellow gluten-freebies, I highly recommend this bakery when you're visiting NYC.  You will not be disappointed. 

Tu-lu's Bakery:  Web | Twitter | Facebook 

 

Sig

 


Cake. | Baking

I've been on a bit of a baking binge lately.

I swore off sugar because I need to stop my cravings, but somehow, cake always ends up coming out of my oven.  It's the weirdest thing.

The other day, I thought, "These blueberries in my fridge look delish.  They'd look even better in a coffee cake." It was pretty much all downhill from there.

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This is a recipe I converted from one of my cookbooks to make it gluten free and refined sugar free.  It was outrageously delicious.  I shared a few pieces with a coworker who is also gluten free, and then shoveled the rest into my mouth.

Then, there were cake balls.  Not just any run-of-the-mill cake ball, mind you.  Oh no.

Snickerdoodle cake balls.

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They may not look pretty, but they're RIDICULOUSLY delicious.  These I made for the department picnic yesterday, and they were gone in no time.  Best part?  No one knew they were gluten free.  I feel like it's my calling in my baking life to take all these fantastic recipes I have in my cookbooks on my kitchen shelf and convert them to gluten free.  And, if I'm really feeling sassy about it, refined sugar free and dairy free, too.

Last, but not least, there was strawberry shortcake.

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Strawberries infused with sugar, making that runny glaze that seeped off the berries and ran down the cake.  Homemade whipped cream that had me licking every last piece of evidence off the beater and spatula.  Good lord there is nothing quite like homemade whipped cream.  This cake was not gluten free (this was also for the department picnic), but next time, it sure as heckfire will be.

It's been quite a while since I've been around, but now you know part of what's been keeping me busy!  I hope to pick up a needle and thread at some point this weekend, since it's been too long since I've done that, too.  

Next week is the big 4th of July holiday!  What's everyone up to??  BBQ's?  Parties?  Fireworks????  

Sig


Comfort Food | Baking

Hello lovlies :-)

I haven't posted about baking in a while, since, quite frankly, I haven't done much of it lately.  I baked some cookies for Christmas, but in all honesty, I haven't felt compelled to bake.  Odd, amiright?!  I feel like I dont know me anymore.

Well, last night it snowed, meaning my plans to meet up with friends for happy hour got cancelled, so I thought to myself, "Self.  I think you should maybe use some of the entire banana tree's worth of frozen bananas you have in the freezer."  Now that I think about that, it's kinda sad that I ended up substituting Captain Morgan for baking banana bread.  There is something very, very wrong with this.  Pardon me while I go fix myself a drink....

Ok.  I'm back.  

I've actually been thinking about banana bread ever since I saw a gluten-free recipe posted at King Arthur Flour's website.  

I love KAF.  So much, I took a class there this summer.  I love them even more now.  The baker who developed the recipe I used last night was one of the instructors I had for the class I took.  

The baking started off with these ---

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Fun fact: flax meal can be used as an egg replacer.  Mix with water, let it come to a paste, and viola!  Egg replacer!  Full instructions on how to do this are on the back of the flaxmeal box I got from KAF, and I'm sure they're also on the interwebs somewhere, too.

Ok.  So.  Flax meal plus gluten-free all-purpose flour and a bunch of other ingredients, most importantly those frozen bananas that have been hoarding space on my freezer door (and i still have i don't know how many more....ugh....), becomes the most DE.LI.CIOUS batter I've tasted in years. 

No.  I'm serious.  Do you know how godawful most gluten-free batters taste???  It's nothing short of a miracle that what ends up coming out of the oven is in any way palatable.

Moving on.

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 Gah.  Seriously.  This batter is insanely delicious.  I was licking the bowl.  Embarrasingly enough...that's not a joke....

Ahem.

For all you gluten-free bakers out there, the pan I used for this bread is not your regular run-of-the-mill 9x5 in loaf pan.  If you've made gluten-free quick breads before, you know they don't behave like those gluten-filled ones.  This pan was a Christmas gift, and is made by my favorite people, KAF, and is slightly shorter in length which allows the bread to rise higher and keep its form.

Mkay.  So, that bad boy went into the oven for about 55 min...and came out looking like this --

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Holy hell.  Might be the most moist gluten-free banana bread I've ever made.  Ever.  See those white specks? Unsweetened coconut, my friends.  Unsweetened coconut.

Now, have you ever had this?

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As many people can attest, I loathe hazelnut.  The thought of it kinda makes me wanna vom.  Hazelnut coffee?!  Gag me with a fork.  Yet, for some reason, I was compelled to taste nutella one day (i blame the packaging - it looks so inviting, and it says there's cocoa in it...), and I would swear to you there's a secret ingredient not listed on the nutrition panel, that just makes it so friggin addictive you can't.stop.eating.  I contend it's either crack cocaine or black tar heroin.

Anyone else agree?  No?  No one??  (sigh....)

Moving on, then....

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I took the crack-filled hazelnut-cocoa spread....I mean.....nutella....and spread it over a particularly thick piece of bread, so thick I really did need that fork.....

....and inhaled it.  So.damn.good.

Wipe off the drool from your keyboard.  It really is THAT good....but let's not make a mess at our computers.

Want the recipe?!  Of course you do!!!  This is the link for the recipe over at KAF's website.  I substituted coconut oil for the vegetable oil, and used dark brown sugar, but other than that, I made no alterations.  

Friggin amazeballs.  Thank you, Amy!!  This is DEFINITELY going to be the only gluten-free banana bread I make from now on!!!!

Alright bakers...what will you be baking this weekend???

Sig

 


A Very Special Christmas Ornament | Cross Stitch

Today I have a very special little piece to show you :-)

For those of you lovely readers who don't know, I have a very sensitive gluten intolerance, and have to eat gluten-free.   Ten  years ago, when I found out I had to live the GF lifestyle, there was virtually nothing out there in terms of information, foods, or resources for those of us searching about how to adjust to this lifestyle change.

Now, information is everywhere, and I'm eternally grateful for people like Amy at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free who have complied easy, healthy recipes, and shared them with the gluten-free world.  I've been following Amy's website for a few years now, and when I saw that she and her husband recently had an adorable baby boy, I offered to make a personalized baby's first Christmas ornament for him.

She graciously accepted my offer, and I couldn't believe I'd be making something so personal as this keepsake for her little boy to hang on the tree every year :-)

This adorable little polar bear is the Lizzie Kate design I chose to stitch --

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Using letters from various Lizzie Kate projects, I graphed the name and date on the back --

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I sewed the piping in between the layers, grabbed a pretty red ribbon for the hook, and voila!  A personalized, handmade baby's first Christmas ornament :-)

If you're a gluten-freebie like me (or need to be sugar-free, since her recipes are free of that, too!), please please please go visit Amy's site - she has wonderfully tasty easy recipes.  I guarantee you'll be bookmarking her page!

Thanks for visiting today, everyone!  I hope you enjoyed my little Christmas ornament anecdote!  

Thank you, again, Amy, for allowing me to stitch this for you!  I so enjoyed making every stitch :-)

Have any of you made a special keepsake for Christmas that you treasure every year?

Much love ~~~

Sig


It feels a little fall-ish

Yesterday it really started to feel like fall here in the Philly area.  The air was crisp, but the sun was still beating warm rays through the big, puffy white clouds.

So what happens at my house when it begins to feel like fall?

I make gluten-free spice bread....

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I brew a pot of coffee...

 

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ohhh my this looks scrumptrulescent....

 

And I get to stitching.....

 

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pattern by Blue Ribbon Designs

 

I don't know about the rest of you, but I can't wait for my first mug of mulled cider...

Until then...go forth and be crafty....or bake something yummy ;-)

Much love ~~~

Sig

PS - don't forget to enter my giveaway! Head to the original post & leave a comment there to win!!  :-)

 


My King Arthur Flour Weekend!

PEEPS!!!  Hello!!!!  I just got back from an amazing roadtrip!!
This past Thursday, me and my Philly girl attitude headed up to Vermont to the King Arthur Flour Baking Education Center and took a gluten-free baking class!!!!  For those of you unfamiliar with King Arthur Flour, check your grocery store - their high-quality products can be found on their shelves!
Ok, so, how did I end up 7 hours away for a baking class when the culinary institute is right here in Philly?  Well, I figured, who better to teach me about how gluten-free flours behave in baking than flour people! Amiright???  
Besides.  It's King Arthur Flour.  And it's an opportunity for a road trip to a state I haven't been to yet.
And...I got to stay at the Butternut Lane Bed & Breakfast.  For any of you who follow me on Instagram, you saw all the pics I posted from this weekend which involved the absolutely phenomenal breadfasts I had all weekend.  OMG.  To.die.for.
Case in point.
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An omelette, gluten-free toast, & bacon from a local farm.  Holy delicious.
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Gluten-free toast, gluten-free chicken sausage, and an egg souffle with goat cheese & onions.  Amen.
Ok.  Mop up the drool.  These pics do the breakfasts no justice, btdubs.  I tried so hard to eat slow & savor every morsel.  Ohsogood.
Best part?  The owners are a couple who lived in the Philly area for 30+ years, & the husband, George, is a descendant of the original owners/builders of the house!  The house was built in 1820, & expanded on in 1860.  Awesomesauce.  The house had the original WORKING doorbell.  You know, the kind with the wire that runs all the way over the wall & rings a little actual bell????  THAT KIND.  I'm not sure even the old houses in Old City (Philly) have any of them in working condition!!! 
Seriously.  If you go to VT in that area, stay at that b&b.  You will NOT be disappointed.  Check out the link so you can see the pics of the house.  So awesome.  Oh - and I forgot - Carol, George's wife, emailed me my confirmation when I reserved the room so long ago, and asked if I had any dietary restrictions so they could accommodate (OK!), so I told her I was gluten-free.  And poof - all these gluten-free goodies at breakfast.  They are amazing people and you need to stay there.
Now.  The actual purpose of my trip.  Although, staying at that b&b could have been the purpose of my trip.  For serious.
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This is baker heaven, my friends.  I love to bake, although I haven't had much time for it lately (plus, it's been too friggin hot to want to turn the oven on), but I do love it.  I will not be sharing the recipes we tested at the baking education center during class, since their recipes are not posted anywhere, including their website, so I'm honoring their copyright, if you will.
However, this pic, which I also posted to Instagram, is the fruits of our labor - 
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Imma tell you something about those pumpkin muffins.  Holy Mother of God.  I will not be able to make these and keep more than 3 in the house.  If I don't give most of them away, I will eat the ENTIRE batch.  They are SO.FRIGGIN.GOOD.  Now, I've been trying to be grain-free these days, too (like I need to be "free" of something else, but grains tend to be inflammatory for us auto-immune sufferers), but I've been treating myself to pieces of this ah-may-zing sandwich bread we made.  It's hearty.  It's yeasty.  It's delish.  YUM.  Ohsodelish with peanut butter slopped on top.  (peanut butter is my biggest weakness, btw.  before sugar.  the entire jar has gone missing in mere days & i've blamed ghosts b/c i don't want to believe i polished it off myself. plus, poultergeists get hungry, too. you've seen ghostbusters. slimer eats all that food off the room service tray. love that movie.)
I really don't know what else to say here, other than I had a great time learning a few new tricks about gluten-free baking!  I would definitely go back there, even if it's not a gluten-free class; there are baking tips that are universal, and I'm always open to baking do's & don't's!  If you ever have the opportunity to take a class there, DO IT.  Their store is also fantastic - just walking through the store was worth the trip.  
I have to run - but I hope you all have a wonderful Monday!!
Go forth & be crafty.....or BAKE ;-)
Much love ~~~
J :-)

The Day is Finally Here!!

Well, everyone, I can FINALLY share with you the madness that has been going on in my house.
My sister's bridal shower was yesterday, and it was a huge success, despite the fact that it POURED rain all daggone day.  All day.  Like, not even a little bitty spritzy rain.  POURED.  
However, that did not stop either of us from wearing our new springy dresses and shoesies for the occasion ;-) (OMG.  Shoes.)
This is me and my lil' sis all gussied up for the event --
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That's me on the left, in black, as usual.  Sis is so much more bold with color.  At least my dress has ruffles!  haha!
Today's spotlight will be on the guest book that I made for the event.  Rather than have everyone sign just a regular ol' book to commemorate the day, I decided to have everyone bring a recipe on a 4x6 in recipe card (my OCD went slightly haywire and induced twitching when people brought index cards, but after about 2 or 3 non-recipe cards handed to me, I got over it).  They were either given a dessert, entree, or appetizer (by random selection) in their shower invitation, so Sis didn't end up with 19 Devil's Food cake recipes, 2 chicken dinners, and 15 taco dips.  Also, by having them write out the recipe and sign it, she has something from everyone in their own handwriting, and record of everyone who came to the shower!!!  Yay!!!
This is the front of the book -- 
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I used my Cricut to cut out the pot for the window, using my From My Kitchen cartridge (I used this cartridge for the entire book).  The background paper was something I picked up on sale at Michaels...and of course, don't remember the brand.  It was so cute with all the bright colored kitchen utensils & accessories, I just had to pick it up.   The flowers were just something I had to add to liven up the front of the binder.  
I chose a D-ring binder with photo page inserts, because this was the easiest way to make sure Sis could add and subtract pages as she needs them, plus the recipe cards are easily accessable and everything is customizable.
Inside the front cover, I wanted a "title page" of sorts, so this is what I came up with  --
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How adorbs is that apron!  Love!  Nothing too fancy -- just enough color & whimsy to make it fun!
Then, after this page, I made separations for each major section.  I didn't make one for seafood or breads, but will have to go back and make these pages since Sis got an heirloom recipe for Irish Soda Bread and a crabcake recipe, but I have time for that ;-)
Here are the pages for the major categories --
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The last one is my favorite :-)  Always eat dessert first!  I mean.....
I know it's tough to see in these pics, but if you look closely on the left of the shot, you can see the 4x6 pages with recipe cards already in them.  I had blank ones in some of the slots so she had some of her own, and in case anyone forgot to bring their recipe with them, they could write it down on one of these cards.  Also, on the backs of all these category pages, I put a coordinating patterned page, so the backs weren't just plain, boring white when you turn the page to find a recipe.  
Fun, huh???
Unfortunately, I don't have any snapshots of the book with the recipes which Sis received, but at least you can see the section pages that I made, along with how it's assembled.
For those of you planning a bridal shower, I highly recommend doing this.  My sister was SO excited to have this with all of everyone's favorite recipes, and all the guests were thrilled to pass on their favorites!!
I hope you enjoyed Day 1 of Bridal Shower Madness Week!!!!  Stay tuned -- tomorrow is my post about the giveaways we had!!
Much love ~~~~~
J :-) 

The Great Pumpkin Cupcake

Oh.  My.  Goodness.  Gracious.

These cupcakes are freaking DE.LI.CIOUS.  I would definitely stay up all night in a pumpkin patch hoping that The Great Pumpkin would bring one of these cupcakes instead of candy on Halloween.  But that's just me.

I LOVE pumpkin, and even though I'm not particularly fond of the weather getting cooler, I love the spices and comfort foods that come with the crisp air, falling leaves, and those cooler temps.  

Pumpkin absolutely, 100%, without-a-doubt, falls into that category.  There's just something about nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves that send my heart all a-flutter.  That and Nathan Fillion.  He is handsome and just plain adorable, and should be cloned and made mine.  

I'm sorry.  Where was I???  Right.  Pumpkin cupcakes. 

Add pumpkin cream cheese icing, and it's all over.  Oh, yes.  PUMPKIN cream cheese icing.

I am slightly ashamed to admit that I ate three of these when they came out of the oven.  Three.  Two went down so fast, I could barely control it.  They didn't even have any icing on them.  The third did.  And it was good.  Really good.  Really REALLY good. And then the baker rested.  

But not until she shared this fanfreakingtastic recipe with all of you.

These are gluten-free and sugar-free, but I'm telling you, you would never know it.  Ever.  Now, I'm not as adept (yet) at making icing sugar-free, so that definitely has sugar in it.  But, these cupcakes are so delicious, you don't even need the icing.  In fact, throw the batter into a loaf pan and you've got yourself some pumpkin bread!  PS - I've done that with this recipe, and it's amazing.  

Anyway.  Without further ado....the recipe:

Gluten-free, Sugar-free Pumpkin Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (I used Amy's High-Protein Flour Blend, but Bob's Red Mill works just as well) 
  • 1 cup agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 16-oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix) Note:  save about 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin for the cream cheese icing, if desired

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a muffin tin with paper liners.  Mix agave nectar, coconut oil, eggs, and pumpkin in mixer on medium-high speed until blended.  In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients, and gently fold into wet mixture.  Spoon batter into lined muffin cups.  Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before icing.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 8 tablespoons (one stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin you saved from meeting its demise in the cupcake batter

Directions:
Whip cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.  Add vanilla extract.  Add pumpkin, blending until incorporated.  In a separate bowl, combine powdered sugar with your favorite fall spices.  I added cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.  You can add all, some, or none of the spices to your icing.  Totally up to you!  Slowly add powdered sugar mixture to cream cheese/butter mixture until just blended.  

Spread this fantabulous whipped icing all over those pumpkin cupcakes and shove one into your mouth.  Eat another one so you can actually taste it and enjoy it.   Then have another.

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Don't they look amazing????

Now.  Go forth, and make yourself some so I'm not the only one inhaling pumpkin cupcakes faster than I can blink.

:-)