Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Pumpkin milk shake for Heidi

I have been fighting a sweet tooth all day, there is nothing in the house and I am not in the mood to bake, so I thought up this quick semi-sweet treat inspired by my friend Heidi. She loves anything with pumpkin in it almost to a creepy level. I could just see us whipping up a batch of these and vegging out to an episode of "Bondi Beach."

It's not as thick of a shake as I would like, but if you just need something low calorie and quick to hold you over, this is definitely the treat for you!

2/3 cup pumpkin purée
1 cup almond milk
1 and 1/2 tablespoon powdered milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon sugar
Dash (or dashes) of nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on low until smooth.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ham and Mushroom Stuffed Manicotti

So this recipe is definitely not Gluten Free, but its so delicious it might be worth that tummy ache. ;)

Its complicated and tedious, to so make sure you start cooking before you are hungry. This a a great dish for parties, potlucks and "New Mommy" drop offs. I have never delivered this dish with out a subsequent recipe request. You will enjoy this one.

14 Manicotti Shells
3 Tablespoon Butter
1 Cup Minced  Fresh Mushrooms
2 Cups Minced Ham

1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

¼ Cup Butter

¼ Cup Flour

1/8 Teaspoon White Pepper

½ Teaspoon Salt

3 Cups Milk

1 ½ Cup Shredded Havarti Cheese

½ Cup Parmesan Cheese

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook Manicotti as directed on box, set aside to cool.  In Large skillet melt first quantity of butter, sauté Mushrooms over medium heat until mushrooms are done. Remove from heat and mix together minced ham, first amount of Parmesan cheese and dash of white pepper. Set aside to cool.
Once completely cooled place ham and mushroom mixture into a food processor and mince until crumbly in texture.

In a large sauce pan, melt remaining butter; add flour while stirring constantly until flour turns a golden brown color. Add milk one cup at a time while stirring, and then add the salt and rest of white pepper. Stir with a whisk constantly to avoid lumps. Remove from heat and add Havarti Cheese, stir to melt cheese.

Fill manicotti shells with ham mixture and place in a greased 13 x 9in baking pan. Pour cheese sauce over shells. Bake, covered for 40-45 minutes, uncover and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until top is slightly brown and cheese is bubbling.

Mashed Spiced Pumpkin

This was a spontaneous creation inspired by a trip to a pumpkin patch on a night I had dinner guests. Its very dangerous to test out new recipes on guests, but I took a risk and it turned out beautifully!

2 Fresh Pie Pumpkins
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 Teaspoon Allspice
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons cup Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Melted Butter
3 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
1/2 Teaspoon Salt


Using a sharp knife, quarter and clean out the pie pumpkins.

Place pumpkins pieces in a steamer and steam for approximately 12 minutes or until you can stab a fork completely through the flesh with no resistance. (in the picture below I have a 'fresh' pumpkin piece next to a pumpkin piece that is finished steaming...notice the difference in color and texture)

Once the pumpkin is finished, remove from the pot and set aside to cool Be careful as the pumpkin will fall apart easily and if you drop it and splatters it will burn the snot out of you!

Then once the pumpkin meat is cool enough to tough, using an ice cream scooper, scoop out all the pumpkin meat and place in a bowl. Mash with a potato masher and add the remanding ingredients. Depending on the consistency you like, you might want to dig out your food processor or mixer to create a smoother texture. I used a hand mixer and was able to get it very smooth and creamy. Be sure you test your creation prior to serving in case you need to adjust any spices. If the flavors of the spice is too strong adding a few tablespoons of white sugar will help.

I saved the tops of the pumpkins to use as a garnish and I also sprinkled it with dried Cilantro. :)

Pork Scallopini with Mustard Creme

This is my "go to" recipe when I have company over. Its easy, elegant and the flavors are so unique and complimentary that you will literally be licking your plate (or at least wanting to)

2lbs Pork Scallopini (thinly sliced pork)
2 Tablespoons Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2/3 cup dry Vermouth (or white cooking wine)
2/3 cup GF Chicken Broth
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
2 Tablespoons Honey Dijon Mustard OR 1/2 Tablespoon Stone Ground Mustard
DASH of Nutmeg OR Allspice
Salt and Pepper to taste

Pour oil in a nonstick skillet and heat to medium high heat. Lightly coat the meat with the the all purpose flour and and cook quickly in the oil. Set aside and keep warm.

Pour the Vermouth, broth and lemon juice into the skillet and whisk together to mix in all the tasty bits and remove any potential lumps. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to half. Remove from heat and whisk in cream, mustard and spices.

Pour sauce over warmed meat and serve!

Best EVER G-free pancakes!

I made these pancakes this morning and they where the BEST EVER! This is a recipe I pulled off and modified to make it slightly healthier. (no fake sugar, potato flour or corn oil here!) I'm not a big pancake fan as I always seem to burn them, but for some reason even I couldn't mess these up. They where perfectly golden brown and not at all gummy!

1 cup rice flour
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoon tapioca starch
4 tablespoons powdered milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 eggs
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups water

In a bowl, mix the rice flour, tapioca starch, dry milk powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum. Whisk with a wire whisk until very well blended.

Whisk in eggs, water, and butter until well blended and few lumps remain.

Heat a large, well-oiled skillet or griddle over medium high heat. Spoon batter onto skillet and cook until bubbles begin to form. Flip, and continue cooking until golden brown on bottom.

Serve immediately with pure maple syrup!