Monday, September 17, 2012

Gluten Free Noodle Pudding (Kigel) Recipe

L'Shannah Tova!  Happy Rosh Hashanah!  Today is the first day of the Jewish new year.  Since I was little, my mother always made kigel for Rosh Hashanah.  What is kigel, you ask?  Kigel is a traditional noodle pudding.  I have heard it called kugel, but that is not how my mother and grandmother said it.  Actually, my husband calls it kugel, but I joke with him that I do not understand this word.  I only make kigel!

This recipe was passed down from my grandmother.  There are numerous sweet and savory kigel recipes, but I have never tasted one that even compares to this.  So, here is my gluten free version of my grandmother's kigel.
Grandma Taube's Kigel

8 oz gluten free linguine noodle, broken into 1-2 inch pieces
1 cup sugar
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 eggs
16 oz cottage cheese
1 pint sour cream
Crushed walnuts

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Cook the noodles according to the directions on the box.  While the noodles are cooking, grease casserole dish with Pam.  When the noodles are cooked, drain the water and place them back into the pot you used to cook them.  Add the sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, eggs, cottage cheese, and sour cream.  Mix all of the ingredients together and pour into the greased casserole dish.  Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and crushed walnuts.  Put it in the oven and bake it for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the topped is nicely browned.  (I baked it for only 60 minutes in my convection oven.)  Then shut off the oven, and let the kigel stay in the oven for 1 more hour.  Then remove from the oven and serve.  This kigel can be served warm or at room temperature. 

This kigel turned out amazingly well.  The broken linguine noodles worked well substituting for broad noodles.  It tasted just like it did when I was a child.  My husband was impressed that this recipe was gluten free.  It is a great dish to serve for a holiday meal, and it is easy to travel with for a pot luck dinner.  I would be proud to serve this to anyone.  I hope you enjoy!

<3 Cassidy

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Gluten Free Guitar Cake

This weekend was my son's 7th birthday.  I am so proud of the young man he is becoming.  He is kind, smart, and a hard worker.  He started 1st grade earlier this month, and he is loving every moment of it.  He proudly told me that he does not miss me at all while he is at school for the whole day, and that makes me so happy.  He should be enjoying school.  He is in the second year of a wonderful Spanish immersion program.  He is learning so many amazing things.  He has a wonderful teacher who loves using music as a teaching tool.  And he is making some lasting friendships.  And he knows that I will be there to pick him up when the day is done.

This year I asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday, and he said that he wanted to celebrate with his friends from school.  So, we picked a local park, and we invited all of his classmates and a few other friends  from our community.  I really wanted to keep the party simple, because my son says that it is not a birthday without celebrating with your friends.  We had snacks of fruit, veggies, cheese, crackers, and lunch meat.  We also had cupcakes!  I made 58 regular cupcakes, and I ordered a dozen gluten free chocolate salted caramel cupcakes from Ruby Cakes Bakery.  (I am fortunate that I am just gluten intolerant.  I can use flour in my kitchen, and I will be fine as long as I do not ingest it.)  I loved spending the morning while my kids were in school making cupcakes, frosting them, and dipping them in sprinkles.  My kitchen felt so alive, and I knew that I was just getting started.

As I has previously talked about, I like to make themed cakes for my kids.  This summer, my son decided that he wanted to learn how to play the guitar.  Since he is so young, we decided to talk to some of our friends who play instruments.  We were told that he is young, but if he has interest, it would be worth looking into lessons for him.  So, we went to a local guitar store to get more information, and left with an electric guitar, amp, and signed up for guitar lessons once a week.  We were so impressed with how the owners of the guitar store listened to my son, and set him up with a program that is doable and fun for a 7 year old.  Since, my son is now enamored by the guitar, he asked for a guitar cake.  I found this template on the Parenting magazine website.  This is how I made the cake.

Gluten Free Guitar Cake

1- 9-inch round cake
1- 8-inch round cake
16 oz can chocolate frosting
16 oz can vanilla frosting
Yellow food coloring
1 box gluten free chocolate-coated wafer cookies (I used the brand Glutino)
2 large marshmallows
4 gluten free pretzel sticks (I used Snyder's gluten free pretzels)
8 yellow m&m's

I made the same chocolate cake batter I made for my daughter's unicorn cake.  Make sure to use different pans, because this recipe needs 2 different sizes of cake pans.  Once the cakes are cooled, remove them from their pans, and cut a 2 and 3/4 inch curved cut from an edge of the 9-inch cake.  Place the cakes next to each other on a large serving platter or a piece of sturdy cardboard covered with aluminum foil.  Secure the cakes with a little chocolate frosting.  Place the cakes in the freezer for an hour, so the cakes will be easier to frost.

When you are ready to frost, spoon 1/4 cup of the vanilla frosting into a bowl.  Spoon 1/2 cup of the chocolate frosting into another small bowl.  Reserve these for later*  Add 2 teaspoons of chocolate frosting and a few drops of yellow food coloring to the remaining vanilla frosting.  Blend it well, until it looks beige.  Then take the cake out of the freezer.  Spread the sides of the cake with the remaining chocolate frosting.  Then spread the top of the cake with the beige frosting.  Place a canning jar rim on the smaller round cake to make an outline for the guitar's sound hole.  Pipe the chocolate frosting inside the canning rim to form a circle.

For the neck, arrange a row of 8 chocolate-coated wafer cookies above the top of the cake for the guitar neck.  Spread some chocolate frosting on top of this row.  Add another layer of chocolate wafers, and then spread chocolate frosting on top.  Place one of the chocolate-coated wafer cookies onto the lower third of the cake (underneath the sound hole).  Pipe 4 lines of un-tinted vanilla frosting from the top of the neck to the chocolate wafer near the bottom of the cake.  These will be the guitar strings.  Add the yellow M&M's to the end of each guitar string.  Cut 2 marshmallows in half and stick a pretzel in each one.  Stick the 2 pretzels with marshmallows into either side of the guitar neck.

Then serve this to the special birthday boy or girl!

*Cook's Notes:  I use a Dessert Decorator by Wilton, so I put the reserved frosting in a bowl until I can put it in my decoration tool.  If you do not have one of them, you can use sandwich-sized plastic bags.  When you are ready to use the frosting, snip off the the corner of the bag and pipe the frosting where you want it to go.  

<3 Cassidy

Monday, September 10, 2012

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins Recipe

As much as I hate to admit this, my kids love pop tarts.  They would be happy to eat them every morning, but they do not fill up their tummies.  When my son went to Kindergarten last year, I made up the rule that pop tarts were only allowed as snacks or on the weekends.  He grumbled a little, but he gave up on that pretty quickly.  My son ended up eating bagels, eggs, or cereal, and it seemed to satisfy him longer.  Fast forward to a year later, and I am going through this with my daughter who started Kindergarten this week.  She is very stubborn and is morning the loss of the pop tarts for breakfast.  So, I decided that I would make muffins to give my kids something special in the morning.  My first attempt this week was blueberry muffins.  I got some blueberries at our local Farmer's Market, so I thought that that was a good place to start.  Here is my recipe.  

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest, dried
2 1/2 cups almond flour
1 cup fresh blueberries
Cinnamon and sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Place muffin papers in the muffin pan and set it aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, honey, eggs, and vanilla.  Then add the baking soda, salt, lemon zest, and almond flour.  Mix together again until everything is well combined.  Pour the blueberries into the batter, and gently stir them until they are blended well.

Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin pan.  I was able to get 11 muffins out of this batter.  Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar over the muffins, and then place in the oven.  Cook for 28 minutes or until a knitting needle comes out clean when inserted into a muffin.  Remove from the oven and let cool.  Then serve.

These muffins turned out wonderfully.  They were moist and lightly sweetened.  I am not a big fan of blueberry muffins, but I thought these were delicious.  My kids devoured them every morning before school last week.  Unfortunately, they were so delicious that they were all eaten before I could take a picture.  I hope you enjoy!  

<3 Cassidy


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Gluten Free Peach and Blueberry Crisp Recipe

Hooray!  It's peach season.  My children and I picked some peaches at our local Farmer's Market on Thursday.  They are sweet and juicy, and we cannot seem to get enough of them.  We have been eating them by themselves, but tonight we had a special friend come over for dinner.  Whenever she comes over, we like to have a scrumptious dessert to serve.  Since the peaches have been so yummy, I decided that I wanted to make a peach crisp.  When I was looking in the fridge for the peaches, I saw that we still had some blueberries from the same Farmer's Market trip.  So, I decided to throw them in as well.  Here is my recipe.

Peach and Blueberry Crisp

6 peaches
1 cup blueberries
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar

2 cups gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  I sprayed my baking dish with Pam, but I am not sure that it is absolutely necessary.

Pit the 6 peaches, and cut them into bite size pieces.  Put them in a medium bowl.  Add 1 cup of blueberries, lemon juice, and sugar.  Mix these ingredients together, and pour them into the baking dish.  Place baking dish on a lined cookie sheet to keep your oven clean in case the juices overflow from the baking dish.

Rinse out the medium bowl and pat it dry.  Add the gluten free oats, tapioca starch, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.  Mix the dry ingredients together.  Add the melted butter and mix together again until the topping is crumbly.

Pat the topping onto the filling, and bake in the oven for 60 minutes.  When the topping is browned, and the fruit is soft when you stick a knitting need in it, it is done.  Take it out of the oven and let it cool.  Serve it by itself or with a scoop of ice cream.  YUMMY!

This crisp was an amazing, and I would be proud to serve this to anyone who stopped by.  The fruit just melted in my mouth, and I loved the crispness of the topping.  I might try this topping with other seasonal fruits too.  Hope you enjoy sharing this recipe with your loved ones as well.

<3 Cassidy