Four-Star Brownies (because five is impossible and three is an insult…)

oh, wow, look at that. I actually found time to pull together another food post. ITS A MIRACLE – CALL THE PAPERS.

All sarcasm aside…it is wholly satisfying to write a food blog post and actually have the pictures for it.

You may be wondering at the title: allow me to explain. These are not just any brownies. They are grain, gluten, egg, and dairy free. For being all that, they’re incredible. (Dad had seconds…he won’t admit it, but he did.) However, when you start pulling out ingredients from brownies – which in their original form should contain copious and unhealthy amounts of flour, oil, sugar, egg, and chocolate – they just don’t slice. (Sometimes literally.)

I believe my words for these were “they contain potential”.

Bad things: I don’t know if my oven is breaking down or something, but it seemed like these had a hard time baking evenly. They were almost too moist on the bottom half, and in some spots were almost completely raw. They also took forever to cook (more on that later) and on the over-done parts were a little rubbery (side effect of tapioca flour…maybe I will have to try them with arrowroot instead? Or a half-half mixture of the two.)

Good things: chocolate (duh.). They contain sweet potatoes, which are totally good for you. Lots of B vitamins.  They are moist on the bottom half of the slice. Sometimes not even real brownies do this. I was proud of these little chocolatey buggers.

I originally got this recipe from The Real Food Guide. (Check out the link and let me know what you find. I haven’t done a whole lot of snooping on their site.)

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Four-Star Everything-Free Brownies 

INGREDIENTS:

3 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate (If you don’t have any lying around (like me) just use 3 Tbsp. Cocoa power + 1 Tbsp. Oil for every ounce of chocolate you need.)

6 Tbsp. Coconut milk (yes, the thick canned stuff, not the thin carton gunk.)

5 Tbsp. Oil. (Original recipe called for coconut oil, but I used avocado oil instead… I would recommend using whatever you have on hand and are comfortable with. Choose healthy!)

1 cup maple syrup

1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato (about 1 medium potato)

2 tsp. Vanilla

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Baking soda

6 tbsp. Cocoa powder

6 tbsp. Coconut flour

6 tbsp. Tapioca flour

(The recipe says here that  the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips is optional BUT I DONT SEE HOW CHOCOLATE CHIPS ARE EVER JUST OPTIONAL. Unfortunately we didn’t have any in the cupboard. Oh well…they were good enough without them.)

HOW TO:

Mix the baking chocolate, coconut milk, and oil in a small pan on the stove. Take note here: the point is not to cook these together. You merely want a smooth consistency between all three of the ingredients. Once you have this consistency (I whisked it really quickly for  a minute-ish and then turned off the burner.) pull the pan off the burner.

The recipe I went off of said to use a double boiler (pan with water boiling in the bottom, put a mixing bowl on top) for the previous step, but I didn’t. (I am such a rebel.) So, use whatever you like: BUT MOVING ON.

Whether you are already using the mixing bowl or you need to put the chocolate into the mixing bowl – do that.

Once you’re there, add the maple syrup, sweet potato, vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Blend with a immersion blender.

Then add the cocoa powder, coconut flour, and tapioca flour. Mix slowly in with a rubber spatula until the batter is consistently mixed.

At this point you can add in the very necessary and totally not option chocolate chips.

Pour in to a well greased 8×8 pan, and bake in the 350 degree oven until a toothpick or knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. (Again, inconsistency with the recipe…they said cook for 20 minutes, but my batch took closer to an hour.)

Let cool (lol that’s hilarious everyone knows you should always eat brownies warm) slice, and serve.

OVERALL:

I liked these…I think they need work, but they have incredible possibility. For starters, crumbling these and re-baking them until they were crisp would make a great ice cream topping. Also, switching out the flours for something less spongy, and adding in the chocolate chips…by the time I’m done with these they’re going to be heavenly. 

ENJOY!  And stay tuned to this post to see if I actually get around to making the revisions. 🙂

-XOOX-

Sami

1 Pan Southern Fried Chicken and Gravy

This was something I came up with one evening and was so tasty we have had it several times since! I say it’s one pan in the title but that only works if you have a cast iron pan, but it only takes one extra pan if you don’t have cast iron.

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What you will need.
Southern Fried Chicken with Gravy.
2 lbs chicken. ( legs, thighs, breasts, whatever you like.)
1large onion (sliced)
5cloves garlic (crushed)
2 cups bread crumbs and/or 2cups uncooked rice noodles.(Optional)
1tablespoon basil
1can white beans (any kind)
1can coconut milk
1can green beans
1cup frozen peas
1cup bread flour
1tablespoon salt
1teaspoon paprika or Cajun seasoning.
Butter or oil for frying.

Directions:

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First put your flour, salt and paprika in a bag with chicken, onions and garlic and shake it.. the bag. Coat the chicken well.

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Next put oil or butter in your pan and get it hot. Brown your chicken and onions. It doesn’t have to be cooked clear through but crispy brown is best.

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If you are using 1 pan dump the coconut milk, beans, basil, peas, green beans, noodles and/or bread crumbs over the fried chicken. If this is your second pan mix the above ingredients in a separate pan and put chicken on top.

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Put in the oven and bake at 375 F. For 1 hour.
Enjoy!!! This is an easy to make family favorite!

About Dani

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About me . . . Dani Hale . . .well . . .

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I am a daughter of God, the wife of an incredible man, and a mother of two beautiful little girls. I often find myself in the kitchen for two reasons.
#1: I LOVE TO COOK! (Although we do believe in cereal for dinner occasionally.)
#2: We are a family with dreaded food allergies. Allergies like corn, wheat, milk and a few fruits like watermelon and grapes. Having these allergies means when we go to events my girls and I can only have the fruits and veggies off of party platters.
It really is a healthier diet but it also means taking the extra steps to have food similar to everyone else at social events. Plus I personally want food that tastes good! (Who doesn’t?!) I’m on a mission to make cooking for allergies as simple and easy as possible.
I hope you enjoy the recipes my sister and I have on this blog!     

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Flour and Tips (What to use where, when and why.)

One of the most frustrating things I have found gluten free cooking is what flours or blend of flours to use for certain recipes. I hate that each recipe that you find has a different blend of flours. I mean that takes a lot of time to mix your flours before you use them, not to mention that you soon end up with 5+ different mixes. Are they really that different? Answer: No. I have narrowed it down to 2 different blends to have in my cupboard and depending on what I’m making I use one of them.
The first blend is the same as; Bread. (Need I say more?). I use it for my artisan breads, pizza crusts, breading for meat ect.

BREAD FLOUR MIX
6 Cups Rice flour
3 1/4 Cups Sorghum flour
1 3/4 Cups Tapioca starch
1 1/4 Cups Potato starch
1/4 Cups Guar Gum

The next blend I use is more all purpose. It’s is for pancakes, quickbreads, and “sweeter” dough in general.

ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
1 Cup potato starch
1 Cup tapioca starch
1 Cup white rice (or brown rice) flour
1 Cup sorghum (Milo) flour
1 Cup coconut flour.

Your coconut flour is what makes the airy, poofy part of your creation happen. You always need your starches otherwise you will have your creations crumble to pieces. If you have too much starch you will have rubber textured food. Your rice and sorghum flour give you protein and substance to your creations.
The only other flour I have on my cupboard is garbanzo bean flour for very specific recipes, like crepes.

TIPS TO GLUTEN FREE COOKING

Tip 1: eggs and baking powder are your risers. If you want your creation to not be flat, these are necessary. (There are other replacers for both these ingredients but your creation will not be quite the same).
Tip 2: when replacing cornstarch replace with equal parts of potato starch and tapioca starch. (Note don’t replace when frying on meats it will turn very slimy.)
Tip 3: it may take several tries to get a recipe right. Even if you follow directions exactly. Don’t give up!
Tip 4: full fat canned coconut milk is the best dairy, soy, corn, and gluten free cream replacement.

(I’m sure I will constantly be adding tips on this page.)

If you need any tips that I haven’t mentioned or have any questions please comment and we will try our best to find and answer your question on gluten free cooking!

Happy cooking!

10 Foods to Try

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So Dani’s been over here blogging up a storm and I have successfully NOT POSTED ONE SINGLE BIT on this site. What an accomplishment.

However, I have thought A LOT about what I could blog and I’ll be honest: I’m really terrible at doing recipe posts. The pictures, the amounts, the work, the clean-up. I am a lazy person when it comes to blogging and food put together.

SO WE’RE GONNA DREAM ABOUT FOOD INSTEAD.

Because if you just can’t bring yourself to face the mountain of dishes that always come after cooking…well then Pinterest here we come. You can just fantasize about what you would make if you had the energy and motivation to do so!

Here are ten (10) things that we should totally try. (And I say “we” but I really mean “I” and you can steal my list.)

  1. Milk Tea with Boba balls. I tried this when I went to Oklahoma for a week. Granted the Boba balls take a little getting used to (they’re like a chewable sweet bouncy ball) but they grow on you really fast. f9e6a588dc6f1e729c3cb1c003812698
  2.  Avacado Seed. I have never tried this. BUT I want to because I saw an awesome video on facebook for it. Apparently they’re really good for you. So, you know, the health nut in me kicked in and I added avacado seed to the list. (health nut….avacado seed…oh joy, now I’m making puns on my blog.) MOVING ON.
  3. Chai Ice Cream. Because WHY NOT?09bb1a2208987efb7f9a20f2fb403ebe
  4. London Fog Sugar Cookies. My friend told me to make these. Did I believe her when she said they were amazing? No, I did not. Did I end up making them anyway because I am a rebel to my own dictatorship and also have a soft spot for anything Earl Grey? Yes I did. And they were delicious. ea8cf3eb06d4fb610daabd6ae8dd8302
  5. Peach Tea. Never made it. But I plan to. I mean, its peaches, and tea. DUH. easy-peach-tea-recipe-homemade
  6. Flourless Chocolate Zucchini Muffins. I don’t know why people have such a hard time with the fact that we put chocolate and zucchini in the same food. IT’S GOOD. But flourless? Even better. flourless-chocolate-zucchini-muffins2
  7. Knock Off Panda Express Orange Chicken. Its one of those things that you make and go “Well…I hope this turns out yummy…” and then you put it in your mouth and your taste buds bring out the maracas and the disco ball for their party time. Not even kidding. panda-express-orange-chicken
  8. Homemade Cookie Dough Butter. *ahem* EXCUSE ME. COMING THROUGH MY LAZINESS HAS VANISHED I MUST GO MAKE THIS.  cookie-dough-butter-from-girlgonecountry-com-1
  9. S’morps. These are the unadorned champions of the campfire food world. Except we actually don’t make this particular version over the campfire. (*insert horrified gasp here*) Now, now…don’t go getting your head stuck in a pickle jar. We make real s’mores on the campfire, just not s’morps. Because s’morps have to be frozen. Here’s what you do: lay out some graham crackers, in a cookie sheet (halves are fine.) On top of the crackers place chocolate to your liking. Then put marshmallows on top of the chocolate. Brown these in the oven, until the marshmallows are toasted and nicely browned and the chocolate is melted. It shouldn’t take long. If you have a toaster oven you could just do it in there. While you are waiting for the magic to happen in the oven, spread peanut butter over the other halves of the graham crackers. (Ohhhhhh yesyesyes…..) When the oven is done with the rest of your s’morps, smash one square with the chocolate and marshmallow and one square with the peanut butter together. Repeat until all are done this way, then place all on the cookie sheet again and freeze. Once these are frozen, you can enjoy at leisure. (*WARNING* These will make you fat if consumed in large quantities.)   6e8c931a4b68d7fc0bf377cccee076c7
  10. And then, let’s be honest. Sometimes you just need something easy from the store that is sweet and cold (even though we got snow yesterday). Something you don’t need to work at. (The cat approves wholeheartedly.) (I am being dead serious here: talenti gelato is the best. Especially Choco PB Cup when you put another spoonful of peanut butter in with it. Just, YES.)12825733_1037357236337631_953610382_n

 

SO – I hope you decide to go find some new recipies, try some new food. I’m realizing now that a lot of what I suggested was cold or dessert or not very simple to make. BUT HEY – still fun.

Keep cookin’, y’all. (Or scanning Pinterest looking for new recipies…whatever works.)

Sami

 

P.S. None of these pictures are mine…except the last one. Check out my instagram @saminuxoll for more weirdly cool and maybe slightly grainy shots!

Oatmeal Waffles

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Now there are two types of people in this world. Those who like oatmeal and those who don’t. I am one that hates oatmeal, it’s like eating a bowl of glue and wheat fresh out of the field, it’s chewy and slimy and smells weird. You can’t add enough sugar to make it good! So why then am I putting up a recipe of oatmeal waffles? I found a recipe similar to this about a year ago but have slowly made it my own and it is GOOD!
I will give you the basic recipe with some variations but this is one recipe you can get creative with!
It’s dairy free, soy free, gluten free, and corn free!

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Oatmeal Waffles

1 3/4 Cup Quick Oats
3Tabelspoons Dairy Free Butter or oil (or applesauce).
2 Tablespoons Sugar
3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon vanilla
1 Cup Almond Milk or 1/2 can full fat Coconut Milk.
2 Eggs
2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds (optional)
If you are feeding an extra mouth or want this to go a little farther you can add 1/2 Cup Sorghum flour and an extra 1/4 Cup Dairy free milk.

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Chocolate Variation
Add an extra 1/3 Cup Cocoa

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Pumpkin Spice Variation
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Pinch of Ground Cloves
Pinch of Nutmeg
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
1/2 Cup Applesauce
Cut the milk in the recipe to only 1/4 Cup

Now let me clarify a few things. I use quick oats for the smoothest and fluffiest texture, BUT you can and I have used all kinds of oatmeal!

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Now take your food processor (another item if you don’t have you should) and add all the dry ingredients. Blend until it’s a flour. It should look like the picture above. (The picture above was the chocolate recipe, thus the cocoa color.)

Slowly add the wet ingredients till it’s a nice soupy consistency.

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Now cook in your waffle iron. These can be cooked, stacked, then frozen for later use.
Top with your favorite toppings or see topping ideas below.

Topping Ideas
Peanut Butter
Butter
Maple Syrup
Fresh Berries
Jam
Or one of my favorites:
Take 6oz cream cheese
2Tabelspoons lemon juice
2Tabelspoons brown sugar
Whip together and serve as a spread or dollop on top!

ENJOY!!!!!!

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Bread. (Need I say more?)

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Hello! It’s Dani! I am so excited to start food blogging! I’ve been meaning to start my own blog but after talking to Sami, two kitchens are better than one right! This bread recipe I have seen on many food blogs but let me take it and simplify it for you. I LOVE making new food that my family can eat and since we don’t eat wheat, corn, or dairy, bread is a tricky one! It might take you a few times to get it but don’t give up! It’s soooo worth it when you can eat warm yummy yeast bread! (Just to clarify this is a dinner bread. Not a breakfast bread. I have a different recipe that I use for breakfasts.)

Artisan Bread
6 1/2 Cups flour mix. (See below)
4 eggs
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoons yeast
About 3 3/4 Cups warm water

Flour Mix
6 Cups Rice flour
3 1/4 Cups Sorghum flour
1 3/4 Cups Tapioca starch
1 1/4 Cups Potato starch
1/4 Cups Guar Gum
This mix is about double what you need for 3 loaves of bread.

Variation Ideas
1/2 cup cheese.
Or
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp basil
1/2 cup sauteed onions

Now I like my recipes to be very simple. The more I have to do the less I am likely to make it. So……

Take your flour mix, yeast, sugar, salt and eggs and put in the mixer. Slowly add warm water. You want your dough to be smooth, sticky and gooey.

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Now take your pizza stone and put a handful or more of flour on there. (This minimizes the mess on your counter.) Don’t be afraid of too much flour! It shouldn’t be sticking to you hands or pizza stone at all. Some of you are thinking “I don’t have a pizza stone”. Just put some parchment paper on a cookie sheet for this time and go out and buy a pizza stone. They are well worth your money and are very helpful for baking bread and other things for that matter. You NEED a pizza stone!!!
With your handful of flour take a third of your dough and drop on flour. Roll it around and shape dough. Repeat for the rest of dough. Divide it in half put on flour and roll it around. (A little secret. If you want to make pretzels this is the step where you roll your dough like a snake and shape into a pretzel. Another little secret. You can take these balls of dough and freeze them! Pull them out an hour before you want to stick them into the oven. It’s perfect!)

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Your bread should look like the picture above. Now you preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Let your dough relax, NOT RISE! You will end up with flatbread if you let your dough rise.

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You will know when your bread is ready when cracks start appearing on the tops of the loaves. Pop them in the oven. Now for the last step. Put a metal cookie sheet with sides, on the rack below your bread, with about 1 cup of water.  This will keep your bread moist and not crumbly. Bake till done. (About 45 minutes.) You will know it’s done when it’s golden brown on top and is hollow sounding.

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This is a family favorite and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Enjoy!!!!! If you have questions please post in the comments.