Monday, April 28, 2014

Lemon Bars

I love lemon bars. I used my regular recipe and turned it into a gluten free version and was THRILLED with the results. My daughter, Anna, said that the GF ones are better than the regular ones. There you have it, folks!

Lemon Bars
½ cup confectioners' sugar
2 cups plus 6 tbsp. flour, divided (I used half of Maninis flour and the other half I used this flour)*
Pinch of salt
1 cup room-temperature butter, sliced into 8 pieces
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
6 tbsp. lemon juice
Grated rind of one lemon

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 13×9-in. baking pan.
2. In a food processor, blend confectioners' sugar, 2 cups flour and salt. Add butter and pulse until mixture is crumbly. Press into pan and bake for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, beat eggs, 2 cups sugar, 6 tbsp. flour and lemon juice until well combined. Stir in lemon rind. Pour on top of hot crust and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Cool completely, then sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Cut into squares.

*If you use a flour that doesn't already contain xanthan gum, you will need to add some to that flour. I wanted to use Maninis because it isn't a rice-based flour and I find that when I use only rice-based flours that the results are more grainy in nature, so I like to use half of a rice-based flour and then use Maninis for the other half.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pork Carnitas

This recipe takes time and effort. It is worth it. The leftovers were divine.

Photo found here.

Pork Carnitas
4 pound boneless pork butt, fat trimmed and cut into 2 inch cubes
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
2 Tb fresh lime juice
2 C water
1 medium orange, juiced and keep the spent halves

1.  Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat to 300 degrees.  Combine all the ingredients in a large Dutch oven, including the spent orange halves and juice.  Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, uncovered.  Once it simmers, cover pot and transfer it to the oven.  Cook until the meat falls apart when prodded with a fork, about 2 hours.
2.  Remove the pot from the oven and turn on the broiler.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pan and place it on a large foil-lined jelly roll pan.  Remove and discard everything from the pot except for the cooking liquid.  Place pot over high heat on the stove and boil until thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes.  You should have about 1 C of liquid remaining when it is finished.
3.  While the liquid is reducing, use two forks to pull each cube of pork into three equal sized pieces.  Once the liquid has become a syrup, gently fold in the pieces of pork into the pot.  Try not to break up the pork any further.  Taste and add additional salt and pepper.
4.  Spread the pork back onto the foil lined pan and evenly spread the meat around so there is a single layer of meat.  Place the jelly roll pan on the lower middle rack of the oven and broil until the top of the meat is well browned and edges are slightly crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes.  Using a wide metal spatula, flip the pieces of meat and broil the other side until well browned and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 8 minutes.  Serve immediately in a tortilla with all your favorite toppings.

Pulled Pork with Ginger Sauce

I made this on Sunday. It was really nice and makes great leftovers. I served it over rice. I found the recipe here. I love my Taste of Home magazine.

Pulled Pork with Ginger Sauce Recipe
Photo found here.

Pulled Pork with Ginger Sauce
2 medium onions, chopped
1 boneless pork shoulder butt roast (3 pounds), trimmed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons honey
4 teaspoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon minced fresh gingerroot
Cooked rice
Thinly sliced green onions

Place onions in a 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker. Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper; add to slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low 6-8 hours or until pork is tender.

Remove pork and onions; cool slightly. Discard cooking juices or save for another use. Shred pork with two forks. Return pork and onions to slow cooker. In a small bowl, whisk ketchup, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, honey, butter, coriander and ginger. Stir into pork mixture.

Cook, covered, on low 1 hour longer. Serve over rice; top with green onions. Yield: 6 servings.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe

I made this recipe last night so we could eat it for dessert today. I couldn't wait, so I stole a small piece while mixing up dinner. It is out of this world fabulous. Being gluten-free doesn't mean you miss out on decadence! Eat your heart out, chocoholics! I substituted Choffy for the coffee. I found the recipe here

Flourless Chocolate Cake - easy and gluten-free!
Photo found here

Choffy Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe
16 oz. solid dark chocolate (use your favorite GF dark chocolate bars)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup very hot strong Choffy
2 sticks butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
8 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract- yes, a tablespoon!


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 10-cup Springform pan by lining the bottom with a circle of buttered parchment. Wrap the outside of the whole pan (underneath, to catch any leaks) with a big piece of foil.

Break up the dark chocolate into pieces and put it into a microwave-safe bowl. Add hot Choffy and stir. It probably won't melt all the chocolate, so put in the microwave for 30 seconds and then stir. Put back in the microwave if the chocolate isn't melted all the way. Stir. Add sugar and mix well.

Add the butter pieces and the cocoa powder, and mix to combine. Add the eggs and vanilla, and process till smooth. The batter will be liquid and creamy.

Pour the batter into the lined Springform pan.

Bake at 350º F in the center of the oven, till puffed and cracked and lovely - about 55 to 65 minutes. Use a wooden toothpick to check the center of the cake; pick should emerge clean, with maybe a crumb.

Place the cake pan on a wire rack to cool. The cake will deflate. Don't worry!

When the cake is completely cooled, cover, and chill it for at least three hours (best up to eight hours), until serving. Overnight is even better.

Serve thin slices with drizzled chocolate sauce or a sprinkle of sifted powdered sugar. Garnish with a fresh berries or mint leaves.

Yield: 12 to 15 slices

Choffy Ice Cream Float

I saw a similar recipe made with coffee here. I don't drink coffee, myself, so Choffy was a natural replacement and my family loved it! Such a fast and easy treat. Perfect for any time of the year!

Choffy Ice Cream Float

Hot brewed Choffy
Sweet Cream* creamer, optional
Chocolate Ice Cream
Vanilla Ice Cream

Pour a tiny amount of creamer in the bottom of a glass, just enough to barely coat the bottom. Pour in hot brewed Choffy to fill the glass half full. Add one scoop of chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Top with more Choffy. Enjoy! So easy and so delicious.

*You can use any kind of creamer to change things up. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

2 months!

2 months and counting! It feels so good to be gluten-free. I have seen benefits that make me never want to eat another glutenous food again. Really, it is worth it to change out the flours and forego the bread at restaurants. I am excited for the future. This past week my menstrual cycle started. I haven't had that in 9 months. And it only lasted 2 days, but it is a start. One of the reasons Tyler wanted me to go GF is because he heard benefits about it helping with inconsistent cycles. I have a feeling that in a few months, it will be better than it has been in years. So looking forward to that! (yes, really!) Feeling so positive about the future!

My weight is still the same, give or take 1-2 pounds. It is nice to see consistency, but I am eager to see the scale go down. When I pray about it, I feel the impression of "not yet", so I am waiting on the hand of The Lord. I know that God will help me when the time is right. For now, I am learning how to eat better in the world of gluten-free.