Gingerbread

Homemade Gingerbread

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup Earth Balance non-dairy/non-soy butter substitute
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tsp baking soda
1 Tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tsp ground ginger
1/2 Tsp ground cloves
1/2 Tsp salt
1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a loaf pan. In a large bowl combine butter substitute and sugar and cream until smooth then add applesauce and blend well. Add the rest of the wet ingredients at this time. In another bowl add all dry ingredients and whisk together. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredient bowl and blend until smooth. pour into loaf pan and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Test by inserting a knife into the center… if it comes out clean its done. Let cool completely then serve.

Cherry berry pie

Cherry Berry Pie  

Pie crust:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tsp salt
1/2 cup cold Earth’s Balance Non-dairy/soy-free butter substitute
1/2 cup vegetable shortening… I prefer Spectrum brand
6 to 8 Tbsp ice water

Filling:
3/4 cup plus Tsp sugar
1/3 quick-cook tapioca
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 Tsp salt
1 1/4 cup cranberry juice
3 cups of fresh cherries or 16 oz pkg frozen (thawed)
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
1 cup cut fresh strawberries

Make pie crust. Whisk flour and salt together in a large bowl. Cut in butter and shortening with a pastry blender or cutter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle in Ice water 1 tbsp at a time kneading it in until dough is moist enough to hold together and if you squeeze it no water comes out. Divide it in half.. shape two disks, wrap in saran wrap and place back in the fridge until later.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare filling. In a large saucepan pour sugar, tapioca, salt, cornstarch. Whisk together then add the juice. Turn burner on and heat to a boil stiring constantly. once boiling you will see it thicken. remove from heat. Add cherries and berries. Stir in until well coated.

Take out your two dough disks. Roll out one and place in a pie pan. Then pour your pie filling into it. Then take your other disk and roll it out and with a pastry cutter cut out strips of dough and place like lattice work one on top of another. Press the edges together. Then with a pastry brush wipe a touch of water accross the top of the pie and shake a tiny amount of sugar over it. Bake in the oven at 400 for 15 mins. Then turn it down to 375 and bake for an additional 45 minutes with a pie cover over the edges. Cool at least 1 hour before slicing. Enjoy!!

Apple Cinnamon muffins

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

3/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup Earth Balance non-dairy, non-soy butter substitute
3/4 cups brown sugar
3 Tsp baking powder
2 Tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce
3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup Rice milk
2 cups finely chopped tart apples

Preheat oven for 375 degrees. Cream the sugars with the butter substitute first. Then add the applesauce and blend well. Then add the baking powder, cinnamon, flour, and the rice milk and mix up well. Lastly, fold in the chopped apples. Scoop evenly into a pre lined cupcake pan. Will make about 20 muffins. Bake for approximately 18-21 mins until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!!!

Apple Crumb Pie

 

Apple Crumb Pie

Soft Pie Crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp sugar
1/2 cup of Earth Balance dairy-free soy-free butter substitute
1/2 cup Spectrum Organic Butter flavored Shortening
1/2 cup ice water

Crumb topping;
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup each packed light brown sugar and refined white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2cup cold Earths Balance dairy-free soy-free butter substitute
Filling:
7 med-lg Honeycrisp apples (about 3 1/4 lb)
1 Tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 ground nutmeg
Make pie crust. Put flour, salt and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add in the butter substitute and shortening. Using a pastry blender cut in the butter and shortening and water. Mix quickly as it needs to stay cold. You may want to refrigerate every so often if you are struggling. lay out two pieces of saran wrap onto your counter. After kneading your dough into a nice shaped disk shape. Place onto saran wrap in disk shapes. Fold the saran around trying to maintain that disk shape then place back in the refrigerator for 10 mins to get cold again. Place out your pastry mat if you choose or use a clean counter and sprinkle some flour onto your surface. Take your dough disk  out and roll it out with a rolling pin into a minimum  9 1/2-10 inch diameter circle or roll it out completely and you can trim the edges off once it is in the pie plate. This is tricky which is why I invested in a pastry mat that is premarked. Once rolled out carefully pick up your large circle and drape it evenly over your 9 inch pie plate. Take the extra 1/2-1 inch dough around the top and fold it over crimping the edges as you go using your thumb and fore finger. Try to crimp evenly so it looks pretty when you are done. This is tricky so don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t look perfect… it will taste the same either way. If you are making two pies you can tear the large ball in half and it will make exactly enough for two 9 inch pies, just refrigerate one disk while working on rolling out the other so it stays as hard and cold as possible.
Preheat oven 425–   Peel, halve, and core apples, cut into 1/8 in slices. Place in a lg bowl. Add lemon juice and toss to coat. Mix remaining ingredients and sprinkle over apples and toss to coat. Make crumb topping by mixing flour, brown sugar and granulated white sugar and the cinnamon in a bowl. Add in butter substitute using a clean pastry cutter until mixture  forms moist, coarse crumbs that clump together. Now layer apples in pie shell, mounting them higher in center. Place crumble on the top.. Place pie on foil lined baking sheet to catch any spillover. Place foil around edges of your pie or use a pie shield and place pie on bottom rack. Bake for 15 mins at 425 then reduce heat to 350 then bake an additional 45 mins or until a knife meets only some resistance when center of pie is pierced.  Serves 6-8.

Blueberry muffins

Blueberry Muffins

1/2 cup Earth Balance non-dairy, non-soy butter substitute
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce
1 Tsp Vanilla
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
2 1/2 cups fresh preferably organic blueberries
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Rice Milk
1 Tsp white sugar for dusting the tops

Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Cream butter substitute and sugar in a large bowl. Next add the applesauce and blend well. Then add the vanilla, baking powder, salt and blend well. Then add the flour and mix well. Fold in the pre-washed fresh blueberries. Using a cupcake/muffin scooper scoop even mounds into pre-lined cupcake/muffin pan. This recipe will fill approximately 15 cupcake/muffin liners. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with the Tsp of sugar, you wont use all of it. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 20-25 mins. Check with a toothpick when done. The toothpick will come out clean when they are ready. Let cool completely before serving. Enjoy!!!

Roasted coriander chicken

Roasted Coriander Spiced Chicken

3 Tbsp all-purpose flour (use glueten-free if needed)
4 Tsp ground roasted coriander
1/2 Tsp Thyme
1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
1/2 Tsp Black pepper ground
1 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (I will also use chicken breast tenders for less fat)
4 thick slices of Applewood Smoked bacon
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lg yellow onion, cut into 1 inch chunks or smaller
1 cup chicken broth
1 large sweet potato ( about 1 pound, so you may need two) Peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 container of white button mushrooms
2 medium zucchini cut into 1 inch half moon slices
1/2 cup orange juice

Using a pie pan mix flour, thyme, coriander, salt and pepper then set aside. Prep vegetables first- this make everything must easier. Cook bacon in separate skillet on medium high heat (don’t forget your spatter cover!) And turn on your fan if you don’t want your whole house to smell like bacon. Once cooked place onto paper towels and dab the excess oil off and cut into 1 inch pieces. Set bacon aside for now. Take about 1 Tbsp of the extra bacon oil from the skillet and place into a new large dutch oven, cast iron skillet or large saucepan at least a 5 qt. Add 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and coat the bottom of your new cooking pan. Coat your chicken in your flour mixture and fry up in your pan or pot on medium  heat browning each side  about 2 mins a side, no more. try not to let it stick to the bottom- although it can be challenging sometimes depending on your pot choice. Add some of the chicken broth if you need to prevent it from burning towards the end of the batch. I would add your onions and mushrooms next cooking 4 mins or until soft – (use your pot’s lid). Add your extra flour mixture to your chicken broth that is left whisk it then add to the pot. Add in your sweet potatoes and your orange juice and you may need to now turn your heat up to medium high again to get it back to a small boil. cook for 10-15 mins- until the sweet potatoes are starting to feel tender. Take the lid off after 5 mins and add you zucchini and bacon and turn down heat to low cooking another 5 mins or so until your zucchini is tender. Serves 6

Garlic lemon tilapia

Garlic Lemon Tilapia

4 Tilapia fillets thawed
Juice from 2 large lemons
2 Tbsp Earth Balance dairy free/ soy free butter substitute
1-2 Tsp Sea Salt
2 Tsp parsley
2 cloves fresh minced garlic
Ground black pepper
1 package angel hair pasta (Egg free of course)
1 Tsp plive oil
1 Tsp Sea Salt- for pasta water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a glass 13×9 baking dish place thawed Tilapia in the bottom. Take a small sauté pan and squeeze lemon juice into it with the butter substitute, the garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper. Cook on medium heat for 2 mins stirring constantly. Pour this sauce over your Tilapia and place any extra lemon slices on the top of the fish and place in the oven. Bake for about 25 mins or until fish flakes when cut with a fork. Now that the fish is in the oven let’s get the pasta cooking. With about 10 mins left on your timer put a medium- large pot filled with water on to boil. Add your angel hair pasta in once you have achieved a rolling boil. Add a Tsp of olive oil and about 1 Tsp of sea salt to your water. Stir. After about 3-5 minutes (check to see if it is al dente by tasting one noodle or by cutting one with a fork if it cuts just easily and isn’t mushy its done)  remove pasta and drain. Once fish is finished remove from oven and plate it. Add any extra juices from the fish pan to drizzle over the pasta for extra flavor. Enjoy!

Rice cereal pumpkins

These cute little pumpkins are super easy to make and look so cute for festive parties this time of year. To make them Gluten Free the only thing you need to do is change the cereal to the Rice Krispy Brand’s Gluten Free cereal, or buy the generic/health brand rice cereal like I have which is Erewhon (strange name I know). Otherwise it is already gluten free below. Enjoy!!

Rice Cereal Pumpkins 6 cups Rice Kripsy Cereal or equivalent rice cereal (Use the Gluten free variety if needed)

3 Tbsp Earth Balance Dairy-Free, Soy-free Butter substitute also (Gluten free already)

Wilton Green, Orange and Yellow Food coloring (Gluten-free already)

1 10.5 oz bag of mini marshmallows…I prefer Jiffy-Puffed made by Kraft (Gluten-free already)

Dunkin Hines Classic White icing…(gluten-free already) (or you can make my buttercream icing on the previous post and dye it green instead. I prefer mine, but if I’m running late this is what I will use. the only bad thing is that it is made in a facility that also produces tree nuts so I try not to give it directly to my son but I am ok with using this in a pinch for school parties etc.)

Plastic icing bag Any small Wilton leaf icing tip Green Dots candy (already Gluten -free and dairy/nut free)

Wax paper

Spectrum Brand shortening (already Gluten-free and dairy-free)

In a large glass or french white porcelain bowl pour all your marshmallows into it and scoop out your 3 Tbsp of butter substitute. Microwave for 1 min. Take it out and stir immediately. Add your food coloring Yellow and red to make orange and stir immediately. Keep adding color until it looks the shade of orange that you prefer. I think I used ten drops of color total. Then quickly add your pre-measured rice cereal and stir coating all of the cereal. This will be difficult, and you may want to try to use disposable gloves and do it with your hands. Once coated, slather your hands in shortening and take a large handful of cereal into your palm and round it into a ball and place on a large piece of wax paper. Do this until you run out of cereal.. should make approx. 12 balls. This is a bit of a sticky mess so be prepared to handle it and act fast as it sets once it is cool. Wash your hands well then get your icing ready. Place your icing tip in your disposable icing bag cuting the tip of the bag and pushing your tip down. Dye your icing to the color green that you prefer stirring it well either in the bowl you made it in or in the container you bought it in. Then scoop it into the icing bag and begin to ice you pumpkins. I made a dollup in the center for the green Dot candy to sit on, then I made leaves down each side of the dot. Let cool to set and harden. You can transport them in a pre-lined cupcake carrier or a cupcake pan. Enjoy!!

Chocolate cake, frosting and marshmallow fondant

Chocolate Cake Recipe

3 cups All-purpose flour
2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 cup Hersey’s Unsweetened Pure Cocoa
2 cups white granulated sugar
1 Tsp salt
2 cups water
1 Tsp Distilled White Vinegar
2/3 cup Canola oil
1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Combine all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and blend well. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add all wet ingredients and blend well. grease the sides of your cake pans using butter substitue and place baker’s liners or wax paper cut to size in the bottom of all pans. I used a 13 inch round and an 9 inch round for this particular cake. It took me tripling this recipe to make enough batter. Twice for the large 13 inch round and once for the 9 inch round. Once your pans are lined and greased pour your batter into each pan. Place the larger pan on the bottom rack and the smaller one on the top rack. Bake carefully about 40-50 minutes… check on them periodically- but carefully. Toothpick test the center to see if it is done… if the toothpick comes out clean then it is ready. Set them on top of the stove for 5 mins to begin the cool down then move them to a cooling rack or onto a cooler counter top- with pads underneath to protect your surfaces. Let them completely cool before moving on…. at least 1 hour.

Vanilla (Not-So Butter) Buttercream Frosting

1 cup Earth Balance dairy-free, soy free butter substitute
6 sups of powdered sugar
2 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
pinch of salt
0-2 Tbsp Rice milk- depending on how stiff you prefer

Beat the butter substitute and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on low for about two minutes. Add the vanilla, water and salt and mix again on low for about two minutes. Add any additional rice milk for the level of consistency desired. For thicker, dryer frosting leave as is… for runnier icing add a little rice milk 1 Tbsp at a time. If you are doing decorative icing leave it thicker, for simple cake frosting a little runny is ok, not too runny though. You don’t want this to resemble a glaze.

For this cake I made the icing and set it aside. I took out my baker’s cake board and my pretty baker’s foil and covered it. Then I took a butter knife and ran it around the sides of each round cake loosening it from the pan. Then I took the larger cake first and flipped it over onto my hands slowly and placed it upside down in the center of the cake board. Then I peeled off the wax paper/baker’s liner. Then I took my frosting and dirty iced the bottom layer completely. Next I took the smaller cake and did the same thing, slowly flipped it over upside down onto my hands carefully placing it in the center of the larger cake and dirty iced the top cake. Then I set it aside.

Homemade Marshmallow Fondant

1 10.5oz bag of Jiffy-puff mini marshmallows or 16oz- even better
2 Tbsp water
Food dye or gel food coloring… I prefer Wilton, but whatever
1 small bag 16oz of Confectioners powdered sugar
1/2 cup Spectrum Shortening

Take a large glass mixing bowl pour all of your marshmallows into it Add your 2 Tbsp of water place in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds- 2 minutes. Pull out immediately. Stir until completely melted, add your food coloring of choice… I choose green by Wilton for this cake in particular. Then stir completely and as quickly as you can. Add in 2/3 of your bag of powdered sugar and continue mixing as quickly as possible. Wipe shortening all over your hands and your counter top. then dust that with some of the extra powdered sugar to make a good kneading surface. Next begin to knead this lump of fondant just like dough until all the powdered sugar is blended. If it gets too dry add a tiny bit of extra water… by the Tbsp. If it gets too runny add a little powdered sugar.  Knead until well blended then grab your rolling pin… wipe a small amount of shortening on it and dust it with a tiny bit of powdered sugar then begin to roll out the fondant from a disk to a large circle. If you have a nonstick bakers mat measuring how wide to roll to will be much easier. Otherwise take the measurements of your larger pan and the extra inches you will need vertically to come up with the width needed. For this particular two tiered cake was around 16-17 inches. Have someone else help you lift it carefully and quickly and drape it over your cake. You can use a rolling pin to drape part of the fondant over to help you carry it to the cake, but be careful tearing of the fondant can occur so be careful. Once on the pre-iced cake, use your palms to smooth the cake and form fit it to your tiers. Then take a sharp knife and cut the excess fondant off at the bottom wrapping the excess under the edge of the cake if you prefer. You can save all your extra fondant to roll back into balls and use to make figurines or other decorative pieces for the finished cake.

For the decorations on this cake I used Wilton tip number 233 for the grass and I used purchased Angry Birds cake topper birds and pigs. You could make these out of fondant, but that does take a really long time.I piped my message on the cake using a Wilton tip number 7.
This cake turned out great I thought. It did take a while to make, but I think pretty much anyone with time can do it. Now making the figurines by hand with fondant etc requires a serious level of artistic skill. Maybe next time…. Enjoy!!
To alter this cake recipe to make it gluten free all you need to change is the all purpose flour in the cake recipe to either preferably Better Batter or Tom Sawyer’s gluten free flour. All the other ingredients are already gluten free. Make sure you use Wilton food dye though as it is gluten free.

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup white granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 Tsp baking powder
1/2 Tsp salt
2/3 cup Rice milk
1/2 cup Earth’s Balance dairy free, soy free butter substitute
1/2 cup no sugar added (preferably organic) applesauce
1 Tsp vanilla
5-10oz Semi-sweet chocolate chips by Enjoy Life

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter substitute and the sugars. Next add in the applesauce and vanilla and blend well. Then add in the flour baking powder and salt and rice milk and mix well. Finally fold in the chocolate chips and scoop into a prelined cupcake baking pan. Makes about 12-15 muffins. Bake in the oven for 15-19mins or until slightly golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean after inserting into the center.  Let cool then serve. Enjoy!