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Gingerbread Skeletons, Gluten-free

Gingerbread Skeleton Cookies, Gluten-free

Let me start out by saying that I am not a big Halloween fan.  I don’t like horror movies, I don’t like feeling scared, I don’t like corn mazes, and I don’t like candy corn.  

That being said, I do like some of our family traditions for Halloween.  One of my favorite memories is while growing up we would go to my grandparents’ houses to trick or treat.  My Grandma and Grandpa B would ALWAYS dress up.  Even after us kids were older and had stopped dressing up ourselves, they were still dressing up.   I just have to share these pictures. 

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You can see why my Papa called Grandma his ‘Little Woman’

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A recent tradition is when the family gets together we have for a ‘themed’ dinner.  We have Pumpkin Guts (pumpkin chili…recipe to follow soon), Salad with Juicy Bugs (cranberries), Goblin Eyes (Olives or grapes), Witches Brew (homemade root beer), etc. 

We typically get pumpkin pies for dessert, but there are those in the family that don’t like it, or can’t have it because of eggs, dairy, and gluten. I usually do a cookie, and this year, I decided to make some gingerbread cookies and decorate them in a way befitting of the season.  

Gingerbread Skeletons
Yields 36
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  2. 1/2 cup potato starch
  3. 1 cup sorghum flour
  4. 3/4 cup teff flour
  5. 1 teaspoon xanthum gum
  6. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  8. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  9. 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  10. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  11. 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  12. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  13. 3/4 cup sugar
  14. 1/2 cup vegan margarine (e.g. Earth Balance)
  15. 1/4 cup molasses
  16. 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  17. Powdered sugar
  18. Additional sorghum flour
  19. Favorite dairy-free buttercream frosting (I just use a Wilton recipe and substitute non-hydrongenated shortening for the butter)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. In a medium bowl sift together dry ingredients (tapioca starch through nutmeg). Set aside.
  2. In a larger bowl, cream margarine, sugar, and molasses together until combined. Divide into two portions and wrap each portion with plastic wrap, flatten slightly, and refrigerate for about an hour.
  3. Mix together 1/4 cup of sorghum flour and 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Sprinkle a portion of this mixture on a piece of parchment paper. Unwrap one of the dough portions and place on the parchment paper, sprinkle with additional flour, and top with another piece of parchment paper. Roll out to about 1/8" thick, remove top sheet of parchment paper and cut with a gingerbread man cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes, or until set. Let cool on pan for 3-5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough.
  4. Place the frosting in a piping bag (or a ziploc bag) with a #4 tip. Pipe the bones on the gingerbread men (this isn't an anatomy class, have some fun with it!).
Notes
  1. Best part about gluten-free dough? It's not a big deal to re-roll the dough. With 'regular' dough if you roll it and re-roll it, the cookies get tough because of the gluten developing. No issue with gluten-free dough!
One Fine Tomato http://onefinetomato.com/
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Roasted Tomato Sauce

Wow, where did the summer go?  Between the busy season of my work as a landscape designer, and spending time with family, I have been slightly overwhelmed. 

I spent some time in the mountains, enjoying the sunsets and wildflowers

 

And making birthday cakes for my nieces and nephews (I have 18).

Now that things have started to calm down, I wanted to get back to creating recipes.  So to re-introduce myself into the blogosphere, I have a tomato recipe. I figured with a website name like One Fine Tomato, it was high time I do a recipe that has tomatoes as the main ingredient. 

Another reason for this recipe is I had to come up with a use for my overabundance of roma tomatoes.    Seriously, I have not been able to keep up with these tomato plants.  Made salsa with one harvest, but you can only do so much salsa before you just can’t look at another tomato or pepper without a shudder.   

I was searching the internet for something to do with this all of these tomatoes that didn’t involve an excessive amount of work (unlike salsa where you have to chop, steam, peel, can etc.).  I came across this recipe from Martha Stewart’s website.  It sounded somewhat promising (other than the carrots, that just seems weird to me).   I modified it a bit to my liking, and the result surpassed my expectations (being one who prefers an vegan alfredo-type sauce to a tomato sauce).

 

Roasted Tomato Sauce
Yields 5
This sauce is great on pizza and pasta
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Cook Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 pounds of roma tomatoes
  2. 2 medium onions, halved, and sliced into 1/4" slices
  3. 4 garlic cloves
  4. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  5. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  6. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  7. 1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  8. 1/4 teaspoon pepper (or more to taste)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice all tomatoes in half and remove the core (this is one reason I like romas, you can just cut off the top 1/2 inch of the tomato and you're done).
  2. In a large bowl, toss all of the ingredients together. Divide evenly between two 9x13 glass dishes. Arrange tomatoes so the onions are on the bottom of the pan (otherwise they can burn), and arrange the tomatoes to they are cut side up. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour.
  3. Transfer mixture to a high-powered blender (in batches if necessary), and blend until smooth. If you don't have a high-powered blender, remove tomato peels before transferring to a blender. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if desired.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Adapted from Martha Stewart
One Fine Tomato http://onefinetomato.com/
Even my dad who dislikes tomato sauces more than me likes this sauce.  Roasting the romas really concentrates the flavor, and lends it some depth. Seriously, this sauce is delicious and it makes the house smell AMAZING.

Put the Lime in the Coconut Cupcakes (Gluten-free)

Put the Lime in the Coconut Cupcakes (Gluten-free)

Two flavors that to me say spring like no other is citrus and tropical.  I was in the mood to try out a new cupcake when I thought about making a coconut cupcake.  To take it one step further in the spring flavor department, I figured a filling would be good.  That brought to mind a song I heard once when I was only 6: “Put the Lime in the Coconut.”  There was my answer for the filing: lime curd.   

I know I am completely biased, but these cupcakes really are delicious.  The people I have given them to are shocked when they find out they are gluten-free, egg-free, and dairy-free.   Consequently, I felt it was worthy of entering into the So Delicious and Go Dairy Free Spring Fling Dairy-Free Recipe Contest

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Put the Lime in the Coconut Cupcakes
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Cake
  1. 2/3 cup sorghum flour
  2. 1/3 cup millet flour
  3. 1/2 cup potato starch
  4. 1/3 cup tapioca starch
  5. 1 teaspoon xanthum gum
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  8. 1/4 teaspoon soda
  9. 4 tablespoons non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (such as Earth Balance)
  10. 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  11. 1-1/4 cups sugar
  12. 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  13. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  14. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, mixed with 1/3 cup applesauce
  15. 1 cup So Delicious Original Culinary Coconut Milk.
Filling
  1. 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  2. 1/3 cup lime juice
  3. 1/2 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk, unsweetened
  4. 1/3 cup sugar
  5. 3/4 teaspoon lime zest
Frosting
  1. 1-1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
  2. pinch of salt
  3. 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (such as Earth Balance)
  4. 1/2 cup shortening (non-hydrogetnated preferred)
  5. 1 pound powdered sugar
  6. 3 tablespoons So Delicious Original Culinary Coconut Milk
  7. Toasted coconut (for garnish)
Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a cupcake tin with liners and set aside. In a small bowl, combine flours, starches, xanthum gum, salt, baking powder, and soda. In a large bowl, beat together margarine, coconut oil, and sugar until combined. Mix in extracts and applesauce mixture.
  2. Add half of coconut milk, then mix in half of the dry ingredients. Repeat with remaining coconut milk and dry ingredients, mixing until fully combined. Fill lined cupcake tins 3/4 full and bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan and then transfer to a cooling rack.
Filling
  1. In a small bowl, stir together lime juice and cornstarch until cornstarch is dissolved. In a saucepan, bring So Delicious Coconut Milk and sugar to a boil. Slowly pour in cornstarch mixture, whisking continuously, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in lime zest. Let cool slightly, then transfer mixture to a piping bag fit with a large round tip.
Frosting
  1. In a large bowl cream together coconut extract, salt, margarine, and shortening together. Slowly beat in powdered sugar. Add coconut milk and beat until nice and creamy.
Assembly
  1. There are two ways that I have assembled these cupcakes. With one way, I take an apple corer and remove a portion of the center of the cupcake (being sure to not to go through the bottom). Fill cupcakes with lime curd. The second way, I put a large round tip on the end of a piping bag, insert the tip into the center of the cupcake a little over halfway down. Squeeze in a small amount of filling while pulling the tip up.
  2. Frost with coconut frosting. I find using a piping bag is easiest. Top with toasted coconut and lime zest if desired.
One Fine Tomato http://onefinetomato.com/
 You have to admit, that any time you hear someone say the phrase “Let it Go,” you starting singing (whether in your head or out loud) the popular song from Frozen.  For me, whenever I hear someone say “Now let me get this straight,” I think of this song and video and it makes me chuckle every time (not only because the lyrics are ridiculous, but because the dance is equal in ridiculousness). For everybody’s sake, the video has been shortened significantly.

I figure since this is over 20 years old, the people in the video are likely unrecognizable so I hopefully won’t get in trouble for posting it (especially since my uncle is wearing parachute pants).