Cherry Sunrise Pie…a Tradition for Easter Lunch

In a few short days it will Easter, the day of baked ham, chocolate candies and hard boiled eggs… We are having locally smoked, lower salt, and gf ham from Saylors right here in Hellertown; it was great last year.  As for any holiday meal, I wanted dessert to be special yet not too heavy: an attractive fruit based pie, but easy to construct and yummy: a tall bill to fill but this cherry sunrise pie checks off all those requirements.  Last year my sister asked me to make it for the big meal and she melted my heart when she said it felt like Easter when we ate that pie! They always fork it down as they are cherry lovers plus my sisters love how light it tastes.  I share it so you can make it anytime you want an easy company dessert.   You should make it the night before so it is chilled enough to eat by 1 pm.cherry sunrise pie

It has to have a gluten free crust for me but if you are making it for the wheat eating public there are redi-made crusts out there that will make this so simple yet so delightful.

Cherry Sunrise Pie

One pie crust: I made mine from an 8 oz box of gluten free graham crackers crushed and mixed with 1/3 cup melted butter and pressed gently into a 9 inch pie pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 9 or 10 minutes.  Let cool completely before filling. I made mine the night before.

Ingredients for filling

18 or 19 oz can of crushed pineapple in own juice

1 21 oz can of cherry pie filling

1 8 oz pkg light cream cheese, room temp.

½ tsp vanilla

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup powdered sugar

Directions

Drain the pineapple for 20 min; save the juice!  I used my microwave to gently warm the cream cheese; it has a softening setting for cream cheese which works perfectly. I unwrapped it and placed the cold slab on a small plate and warmed it on a very low heat until supple and smooth.  Dump in a mixing bowl, add 2 tbsp pineapple juice, the vanilla, 1/3 cup crushed pineapple, ½ cup cherry pie filling.  If you are smart you will mostly use the goopy stuff and not too many cherries.  Save them for on top! Next, stir this all together really well.

Then whip the chilled heavy cream in a separate bowl with an electric

mixer until soft peaks form, add powdered sugar and mix well with the mixer; be careful not to over beat it.  If it gets clumpy you went too far.  Fold this into the cream cheese mix until it isn’t streaky with white areas.

Gently spoon the filling into the pie shell, spread it out to fill the entire bottom.  I used a spoonula (blend of spoon and spatula) and smooth the top with a flat cake spatula.  I like to leave a sort of tiny ridge on the outer edge to keep the pineapple from spilling out onto the crust.  Then carefully pour the rest of the cherry pie filling in the center spreading it to cover ¾ of the top from the center out.  Finally, use a spoon to put clumps of pineapple around the outer rim of the cherry filling.  Chill

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at least 2 hours, preferably 4.  Cut and slice. No adornments are needed. It has a light fluffy consistency and it isn’t that sweet.  Great to top off a big meal; not too filling and the fresh fruity taste is a spring treat.  Try it soon and you will be giving the recipe out afterwards!

I have no pictures of creating this pie; maybe this Easter I will take the time to snap a few and add them to this post at a later date.

This is about the fourth time I have blogged this recipe; first was in 2014. Been making it for like 18-20 years!

Almond Torte for Dessert

I found this recipe on line somewhere for an almond cake but it was in British measurement and oven temp. I did some math and measuring; a lot of number changing and a bit of guessing. I gave it a whirl; made some minor changes to amounts, simplified a bit and added some almond extract for more flavor. And it turned out so delicious.   More of a torte in my mind so that’s what I am calling it. Next time I think I will use a slightly smaller spring-form pan; an 8 inch rather than the 9 inch I made it in.  That will make it thicker; might have to bake it longer. Otherwise; perfect dessert treat: tender with a delicate almond flavor. The coconut is a back note but I liked it in there. Just sweet enough for us. You can add another quarter cup of sugar if you are mad for sweet…

I wasn’t planning to blog this so I took no pictures. This is the last slice left 24 hours after it was baked. Went fast…definitely a keeper recipe! Next time I will snap a shot of the whole torte and some pictures of the process of making it.

almond torte slice3

Almond Torte – serves 6-8

Ingredients:

11 Tbsp. butter; melt it and let it cool to room temp. Plus a tsp. to butter the pan.

1 ½ cups almond meal plus a Tbsp. to coat the buttered pan

2/3 cup sweetened coconut, flaked

¼ tsp. sea salt

1 cup sugar

4 eggs, room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. almond extract

3 Tbsp. sliced almonds

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place shelf in center of oven.

Melt the butter and let it cool. I did that in my microwave. Butter a 9 inch spring-form (8 will work too) on bottom and first inch and a half up the sides and then dust with almond meal; about a Tbsp should do it.

Mix almond meal, coconut, sea salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl beat the eggs until frothy; add almond extract and vanilla extract. Add the cooled butter. Mix. Add to dry ingredients. Mix well with whisk. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top evenly. Bake 35-40 minutes.

Top should spring back lightly when touched, lightly browned. You can dust with powered sugar but I liked the look of it plain. Guessing it could be yummy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Cover to store leftovers; doubt they will last long. Enjoy!

 

Kitchen Sink Muffins – 2.0 Version

This healthy muffin is my own most recent mixture of muffin recipes from Annalise Roberts’s wonderful cookbook: Gluten Free Baking Classics and some morning glory muffins I saw somewhere, maybe King Arthur Flours.  They are breakfast muffins so not that sweet, great texture and totally yummy.  I also love them for snacks. They are healthy; more fruit and no sugary topping.  If you want to add extra sweetening use my oatmeal topping from my chocolate chip banana muffin recipe.  This time I used chopped apple, pumpkin puree, craisins and big curls of dried coconut; great combo!

Because they lose moisture if they sit around I freeze any I won’t eat in 2 days; I love using a Ziplock freezer bag for this but cool them first.  Label carefully with date and contents…be sure to eat them within a month.kitchen sink muffins and spring flowers 001

kitchen sink muffin 001

Kitchen Sink Muffins 2.0

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

2/3 c coconut palm sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

2/3 cup finely shredded carrots or 2/3 cup pumpkin puree

1 c finely chopped fresh apples

½ c flaked coconut (I used unsweetened big curls this time)

½ c craisins or raisins

½ c walnuts, chopped (optional)

2 large eggs beaten

½ c plus 2 Tbsp. milk, whole or 2 percent

½ c canola oil

Directions:

Heat oven to 375, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes 15-16 muffins.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl

Add fruits and nuts; stir to coat them with dry mix

Combine milk and oil, beat in eggs.  Add liquids to big bowl; stir until blended.  Note: If you used regular sugar you will need to leave out the extra 2 tbsp. of milk.

Fill muffin pans 3/4 full.  Bake 20-24 min until golden brown. Do not overbake or they will be dry.  Remove immediately from the pans and cool on a rack.   Freezes well for up to 3-4 weeks and keeps in fridge (well wrapped) a few days.

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Originally published in March 2016; minor recipe changes.

 

Chicken Tenders, Crunchy Meal Treat

If  you like chicken tenders fried to a crunchy turn this recipe is for you. It is a riff on the spicy chicken tender recipe I have posted before.  I reduced the spiciness to cater to a 7 year old.  Easy and yummy.  We had it with oven wedge fries, baked slices of butternut squash and broccoli.  Great supper last night.

There are a lot of commercial food items that I don’t get to eat anymore, specifically most fast food being a major no no.  I miss crispy chicken like I used to enjoy at Wendy’s.  I make my spicy version but when my grandson moved in we needed something just a bit less spicy.

If you look on Glutenfreeonashoestring there is a recipe for making your own gf Bisquick; it is attached to a recipe for mini breakfast pancake bite muffins. I had the flours needed; white rice, potato starch and tapioca flour plus the add ins of baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.  Easy peasy to put a double batch together; I will keep it in my freezer in a Ziplock freezer bag; sure have been wanting some of that Bisquick!

I lowered the hot sauce even more; ditto for the cayenne powder as I was pretty sure I didn’t want it quite so spicy; do as you wish. It was simple to do; mix the spices with the Bisquick, mix the hot sauce with the water, dip the chicken in the spices, then the hot water and back in the spiced flour and fry. I used a non stick frying pan and 1/4 inch canola oil.  It was almost like deep frying but not quite.

chicken tenders

You can also cut the chicken up into chunks, pound them briefly and you have lovely fingers that are somewhat smaller, great for kids. Fried chicken tenders are not something I would eat every week but it sure was yummy! I think this recipe is well worth trying even if you just buy some gf Bisquick.

Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders

1 Tbsp. Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

1/2 c Water

1/2 c Gluten-Free Bisquick

1 Tsp. Sea Salt

1/4 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper

1/8 Tsp. Fine Ground Pepper

1/2 Tsp. Paprika

1/4 Tsp. Garlic Powder

1 lb. Chicken Breast tenders – pound them a bit if they are very fat; you want it ½ inch or thinner.

Mix together the Gluten-Free Bisquick, Salt, Cayenne Pepper, Pepper, Paprika and Garlic Powder in a low bowl.  I used a wide soup bowl.

In a separate small mixing bowl mix together Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and water. In a  high-sided sauté pan heat 1 cup of canola oil – it should come up about 1/2 inch the side of the pan depending on the size of your pan. I started it on medium heat and put in a candy thermometer to regulate the temperature; I got it pretty hot; 350 degrees before putting in the chicken.  Or use my frying pan method I described above; less oil for that and no thermometer needed. Take one chicken breast tender at a time and dredge it in the GF Bisquick mixture, then roll it in the hot sauce/water mixture and then put it back in the Bisquick mixture and roll it to coat.  This can get messy; try to keep one hand dry and one for the water/hot sauce part. Or, if you want less coating start the raw tenders in the hot sauce water bath and just put one at a time into the seasoned flour to coat; one dip unlike first version. Let rest a few minutes to dry somewhat. Slide one into the hot oil and then a second one. Cook chicken for about 4-5 minutes, until they are golden brown and no longer pink in the center (I used a meat thermometer just to make sure).

Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels to blot any excess oil. If you have the oil hot enough they shouldn’t be greasy. If you want a sandwich, serve on a gf bun and top with mayonnaise, tomato and an additional piece of lettuce.

chicken tenders 2

Go ahead, indulge in this delicious chicken and I promise you it will be a hit with your family!

Adapted from creativecookinggf.wordpress.com, February 2011.

Adapted from my spicy tenders post in May 2017.

Update 2019….GF Keeps Getting Better

It’s been 6 years and a month. I find it fairly easy to be gluten free at home. It’s when I go anywhere that it becomes fairly difficult. I bake a lot of treats rather than buying them as I find the readi-made stuff to be drab and of poor quality. I sure don’t want to eat it if I can bake something easy and tasty. My family is quite understanding and accommodates my gluten free lifestyle. We get together at frequent intervals, my sisters and I and they always make sure we are eating safely for me. And yummy food too! They love my gf french bread, my lemon birthday cake was a huge hit and the recently enjoyed banana cake has been requested for this Saturday night supper with family.

banana cake

A big hunk of banana cake.

I cut back on breads although I had a rare grilled cheese sandwich today. Needed a quick meal. T hat I could take somewhere. My seven year old grandson is living with me and he is not gf. He eats gf for most part but I don’t want to make him eat gf store bought snacks and I just don’t have time to bake them for him. So there is a bit of effort needed for me to remain safely gf. I did find some Everything bagels at Aldi’s last week and that made me so happy; great flavor and texture. Their bagels are the best. Honestly, I shop more and more there; great dairy, super chocolate, love their salsa and chips and I’ve never had bad meat from there yet.bratwurst package

My Instant Pot is a great resource for making quick gf meals. I use it most weeks at least once. Plus it is perfect for making yogurt in it; I use organic milk from Aldi’s; makes great cheap yogurt. I also love making rice in my IP; perfect.  I do a lot of chicken thighs in it in a wide array of recipes from Indian to Thai and Italian. It is portable and can be used anywhere you have an outlet. instant pot 2

I still am experimenting with flours although I truly am happy with the King Arthur All Purpose flour blend. I do like gf bisquick and Better Batter. I have experimented with cassava flour for tortillas and I have a new blend I want to try soon that uses meringue powder to lift the dough. I enjoy that sort of baking. My dad was a chemical engineer and I am clearly his daughter! lemon birthday cake slice

We went out to dinner at Jennys Kuali in South Bethlehem recently. Their egg rolls are absolutely the bomb and we adored the ginger garlic sauce. We both enjoyed the chicken on a stick; kinda a curry flavor there.Jenny eggrolls

My fish special; a whole fish in very spicy sauce was enjoyable if a tad overcooked and Joe’s chicken with mango was rather bland but he dressed it up with hot sauce and that ginger delish sauce and happily devoured it. The staff there is very pleasant and they go out of their way to make it easy to eat GF; only dumplings and egg noodle dishes are off my menu. We agreed that we want to go back there soon and try some other dishes.  And eat more eggrolls! I haven’t had one since I went gf. We had a great table and I had a glass of bubble tea; a novelty in Bethlehem. Joe loved the Thai black iced tea. We tried some desserts and left stuffed and happy.

Eating at church functions is tough; sometimes I bring my own food. Sometimes there is fresh fruit I can enjoy at gatherings. Not complaining. Just observing.

Life is good, I try to avoid even minor gluten incidents so I don’t eat at events most of the time nor do we eat out as often as years ago. I eat so much healthier than I did six years ago. I feel better for it and am so glad I need no medicine for my celiac disease. Many thanks to all my family and friends who accommodate my strange diet. I’m doing great!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin makes homemade baked goods even better tasting. A few days ago I made a batch of pumpkin muffins; they turned out nice.  I did the upgrade version: mini chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.  Really amazing flavors and great texture in the resulting muffins!

This recipe is my version using the banana muffin recipe from Annalise Roberts’s wonderful cookbook: Gluten Free Baking Classics as my jump off place.  They are easy to make, perfect in texture and totally yummy. I used coconut palm sugar; low on the hypoglycemic scale which is great for me.  I do love to sprinkle the raw muffins with chunky sugar before baking.  I sprinkled them this time with oatmeal but I do love to use coarse sugar too.

I freeze any I won’t eat in 2 days; in a Ziplock freezer bag.  They make perfect snacks. My grandson loves them as much as I do. Enjoy!

chocolate-chip-pumpkin-muffins-011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (14 muffins)

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

2/3 c granulated sugar or coconut palm sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp. ginger

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 c packed canned pumpkin

½ cup mini chocolate chips

½ cup chopped walnuts

2 lg eggs beaten

½ c milk, 1 or 2 percent plus 2 extra tbsp. if you use the palm sugar

½ c canola oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes 12-14 muffins depending on how large you want them.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl. Add nuts and then pumpkin puree, stirring into the dry ingredients. Combine milk and oil, beat in eggs.  Add liquids to big bowl; stir until fully blended.

Fill muffin pans 2/3 full.  Bake 22-23 min until golden brown. Do not over bake or they get dry.  I baked these on the convection setting of my new range; done in 17 minutes. Rest for five minutes and then remove from the pans using a fork, cool on a rack. Freezes well for up to 3 weeks.

Brown Rice Flour Mix mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Originally published in 2016; minor updates to recipe as to using a convection oven.

 

Sweet and Sour Pork Stir Fry

This is another old school entrée. But old school often means very tasty and not too fancy (read complicated!) This is in that category. Lots of veggies, amazing flavor and super easy. I can’t think why I haven’t made it yet this winter.  So we had it the other day for supper. As easy and as tasty as ever. I simplified my Betty Crocker recipe just a bit. Feel free to add more or less veggies and vary them; just need that pineapple and some pepper for sure! Be sure that your soy sauce is GF: La Choy is my favorite brand.

Notes; use all the pineapple if you like lots of it. You can add raw bean sprouts instead of the celery or try sliced water chestnuts. Add them with the pea pods. If you hate any of these veggies sub in something else; I used some sliced zucchini in my most recent version; about a cup of it, added with the pepper chunks. I love lots of veggies.  You can add a bit more sugar and vinegar if you like your sweet and sour more pronounced. The chili sauce makes it a bit spicier.   Serves 4.

Sweet and Sour Pork

Ingredients:

¾ lb pork cubes

¼ cup rice flour mixed with 1.5 tsp. ground ginger
2-3 Tbsp. mild olive oil

2 Tbsp. cider vinegar

2 Tbsp. reduced salt gf soy sauce

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbsp. brown or white sugar

2 tsp. chili sauce (optional)

1 tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

1 large onion, diced

1 large red pepper, diced in large chunks

2 celery ribs cut thin on bias

1 cup zucchini rounds

2 garlic cloves minced

1-1.5 cups pea pods ( I cut the blossom ends off before cooking)

¾ can drained pineapple chunks canned in juice; save juice for sauce

2 Tbsp. cornstarch, mix with half the pineapple juice

Hot cooked rice; I prefer brown rice but what ever floats your boat!

DIRECTIONS:

Roll pork cubes around to coat with flour blend. Add 1-2 Tbsp oil to wok, Heat and add pork. Stir fry (chow) on high using a big spatula or spoon to toss: brown all sides. I have a wonderful tool with a rounded front edge which is perfect in a wok; can’t stir fry without it! While the pork browns mix vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, chili sauce and salt/pepper. Dump into medium sauce pan, add the pork once browned, cover and cook on low for 15-20 minutes until tender. While it cooks make rice. When you got that going and have 10 minutes left on the pork, reheat wok and add 1 Tbsp. oil to wok, add onion, stir for 2 minutes, add celery, and stir 2-3 minutes. Add red pepper and zucchini , cook a minute, add garlic, cook another minute. Add pea pods, stir fry 3 minutes. Add back the chicken and sauce. Stir and add the cornstarch slurry and pineapple chunks. Cook a minute and then add most of the rest of the pineapple juice. Cook another minute; add more juice if too thick. Adjust seasoning. Serve over hot rice. Enjoy!  sweet and sour pork on plate