Saturday, March 30, 2013

Lemon Almond Cake (Gluten Free)

Happy Easter! I hope you're having a good holiday weekend.

It's thundering outside right now and I am so excited. I have everything turned off so I can hear it. Probably sounds crazy but it must be because I grew up with thunderstorms and really miss them. My brother and I both feel the same way. It reminds me of really hot summers in the south and a thunderstorm would roll in and cool everything off...for about five minutes.

I'm trying to cut gluten from my diet. For a while anyway. We'll see how it goes. I know it can't hurt and maybe it will make me feel even better. Now if I could only cut out sugar, I'd really be getting somewhere. But one step at a time.

Here's a really nice, light and bright tasting dessert. I added a lemon sauce to it just to send it over the top but you certainly can just do the cake and it will be delicious. You can always grind your own almonds in the food processor if you can't find blanched ground almond flour.

Stiff peaks...

Almonds, eggs, sugar and zest

After you fold the egg whites into the egg almond mixture

Just out of the oven...

Ready to eat!

Lemon Almond Cake

1/2 pound or 1 3/4 cup blanched ground almonds or almond flour
1 1/4 cup superfine sugar
6 eggs, separated
zest of two lemons
1 teaspoon almond extract
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend the sugar and egg yolks together until a pale yellow. Add lemon zest, almonds, and extract and mix well. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold in egg whites gradually to the egg almond mixture. Pour into a greased 9 inch springform pan. Bake 35-40 minutes until firm to touch and lightly golden brown. Remove outside ring and let it cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with lemon syrup below if desired. 

Lemon Syrup

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup water

Bring all ingredients to a boil. Turn off heat and let sit for 20 minutes to thicken. 

Adapted from Epicurious
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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Easy Turkey Chili

Did you know the original color associated with St. Patrick's Day was blue and it slowly transitioned to green as early as the 17th century? Just a bit of St. Patrick's Day trivia for you. Are you wearing your green today?

I was craving chili the other day and saw this recipe. I changed a few minor ingredients and within 20 minutes, had a delicious lunch...and dinner on Sunday. That's what happens when you're busy and only cooking for one. You end up eating the same thing for lunch and dinner sometimes. Not so bad when it tastes good. Depending on how many times you eat it though, you may not want to see something resembling the dish for another 10 years.

I think chili can be really fun to make for a family or party. You can have a bunch of toppings set out for people to choose from like avocados, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, cheese, Fritos or tortilla chips. Let everyone add their favorite toppings. Really yummy.

Easy Turkey Chili

2 tablespoons oil (your choice)
1 lb. ground turkey (can use ground beef or ground chicken)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin 
1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1 15oz can white kidney beans and juice
1 15oz can black beans and juice
1 15oz can fire roasted tomatoes with garlic
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup pepper jack cheese, grated (can use cheddar or monterey jack)
1 jalapeno, chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper

In a large saute pan, add your oil and heat pan to medium high. Add onion, jalapeno, and ground turkey. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until no longer pink. Add your spices and stir well to coat all the meat. Add in the beans with their liquid and tomatoes. Stir to combine. Heat to a simmer. Add a little more salt to season the beans and tomatoes. When hot, stir in cilantro and turn off heat.

When ready to serve add to serving bowls, sprinkle with cheese. Add optional avocado, onion, tomatoes, Fritos, hot sauce, tortilla chips, etc... 

Adapted from Sunset Magazine
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Friday, March 8, 2013

Chocolate Muffins (Gluten Free)

TGIF! It's funny how Friday is almost always a good day. Now Monday's on the other hand are usually the opposite only because you know you have a long work week ahead. But we always have the weekends to look forward to. I just wish they wouldn't go by so fast. Wouldn't it be nice to have a four day work week and three day weekends. I could definitely go for that. How about if we take a vote?

I know this is my second chocolate posting but can you really have too much chocolate? Chocolate makes even Monday's better.

The difference with these muffins is that they're good any time of the day. Soft, chocolaty, moist and made with some extra good ingredients that no one will even notice like oat flour and flax seed meal. Even your kids will eat these. All you taste is... CHOCOLATE. They work great as a mid-afternoon snack. 

I've been busy with work the last few weeks so my postings have been a little behind. It's a good thing but doesn't leave a lot of time to be creative in the kitchen. I have a few recipes lined up though so stay tuned. 


Wet Ingredients:
1 cup no sugar added applesauce
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon flavorless oil (canola, grape seed)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Dry Ingredients:
3/4 cup oat flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons flax seed meal (optional)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Powdered sugar for decoration (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Prepare a muffin pan with 9 liners. Doesn't hurt to coat them with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together. In a smaller bowl, mix the the dry ingredients together, everything except the chocolate chips. Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix well. Add in the chocolate chips. Spoon batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 20-22 minutes, rotating muffins half way through. Muffins are done when they are firm to the touch. Let cool on a rack. Once cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes 9 muffins.

Adapted from Bethanybakes 
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