Gluten Free Brownie Bites

In our house it's not Christmas until the Boney M Christmas album is playing and there is something to eat covered in festive sprinkles.  Last week, it was almost December and so, with a light snow falling outside, I found myself baking and sprinkling to the tune of Feliz Navidad.  
I have been excited to share these brownie bites!  They are so good!  They are moist and chocolaty and it' hard to tell they are gluten free.  We have been eating them plain but I thought, for Christmas I would dress them up a bit.  I think they look so cute with their whipped cream swirl and sprinkles.      
They are so festive I have made them December's cover photo for the Dinner Was Delish Facebook page!  
   
Having to eat gluten free can be especially difficult throughout the holiday season, for a child it can be even worse.  If everyone else is enjoying all types of cookies and treats that you can't have, it can take the fun out of holiday parties.  These brownie bites can help.  They are good enough to share with guests who do eat gluten and so if there is a little one in the crowd who is gluten free they can enjoy the same treats as every one else.
 
If dairy is also a problem they can be made with coconut oil, with a whipped coconut topping.
 

Gluten Free Brownie Bites

  • 1 1/2 cups Gluten Free Flour Blend
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cups chia seeds, ground
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar or Truvia
  • 1 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cold water
Melt butter or oil, set aside to cool slightly.  Mix all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix with an electric mixer on med-high for 2 minutes.  Fill muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees.  If using mini muffin tins, bake for 12 minutes.  For medium sized muffin tins, bake 20 minutes.  Yield: 4 dozen minis, 2 dozen medium.  

Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Whip cream until stiff peaks form.  Add honey and vanilla, mix until combined.  Fill an icing bag and use a large decorator tip for the whipped cream swirl.  

Gluten Free Butternut Squash Soufflé

It's hard to believe that this is the last full week of November.  We've had such nice weather it seems December has snuck up on us.  This week is Thanksgiving in the United States, what a wonderful way to usher in the Christmas season!  Getting together with family and friends to give thanks for everything we have is a good idea before we begin all the shopping, baking and decorating that usually fills December.  

 

 

This recipe is my version of a dish that my daughter tried and loved when she spent Thanksgiving in Texas a few years ago.  Since then it has become a tradition in our house.  When I made it this week my family wanted to know why the house smelled like Christmas.  
  This soufflé can be made with squash, sweet potato, or carrots.  I have replaced the sugar in the original recipe with maple syrup and used gluten free flour.  The topping definitely makes this side dish extra yummy, with the flavour of the pecans and the crunch it is almost good enough to serve for dessert!

Gluten Free Butternut Squash Soufflé

  • 3 1/2 cups cooked butternut squash, sweet potato, or carrots ( approx. 2 lb. raw)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 Tbsp. Gluten Free Flour Blend
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Topping:

  • 1 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup Gluten Free Flour Blend
  • 1/4 cup gluten free oatmeal
Peel and cube squash, place in a medium sized pot along with a small amount of water.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until squash is soft when pierced with a fork.  Drain water and mash.  Add remaining ingredients and mix with an electric mixer until smooth.  Turn into a 6 cup casserole dish.  Prepare topping by mixing all ingredients together and gently spoon onto squash.  Bake, uncovered for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
 
 
 

Turkey Chili

   
  Soon the festive season will be upon us!  Time for getting together with family or having friends over to watch the big game.  In the near future there will be skating and sledding parties, Christmas concerts, shopping trips and decorating.  These are the times when it is great to have a meal that is hot and good but doesn't need much preparation.  Chili is the answer!
Last Christmas we visited my Sister-in-law and her family in Alberta. We had a wonderful time filled with hay rides, games, visiting and great food!  She made us a pot of her chili and since then I have been making my own version with just a few changes.  Anyone who knows me knows I almost never stick to a recipe.  Most of the time this works out...but not always.  In this case it's great! I have been using ground turkey and we really like it because it lets all of the other flavours shine through.   If you have a busy day planned you can put everything in the slow cooker and it will be ready when you want it.  Just serve it with some taco chips and maybe a veggie tray and you are all set.
 

Turkey Chili

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 can (796 ml, 28oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (680ml, 23oz) tomato sauce
  • 2 cups cooked red kidney beans
  • 2 cups cooked chick peas
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked corn 
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 Tbsp potato starch (or corn starch)
  • 1 Tbsp water
In a large pan brown ground turkey in olive oil, drain.  Add all other ingredients except potato starch and water.  Cover and simmer for 1 hour.  Just before serving mix potato starch and water and stir into chiliuntil thickened. For slow cooker method, brown Turkey in oil in a fry pan then place all ingredients except potato starch and water in slow cooker cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-3 1/2 hours.  Before serving add potato starch and water and stir till thickened.

 

Creamed Cabbage with Bacon

This has been a favourite in our house for years!  Cabbage is not usually any child's favourite vegetable but when my kids see this coming to the table they have always given a little cheer.  We do have a house rule in place, "no skimming"!  
Of course bacon makes anything better.  That's why it was disappointing to hear the recent news from the World Health Organization about processed meats being as bad for you as smoking.  However I recently read an article in Time Magazine explaining the WHO's position.  If you eat 50 grams of processed meat every day then you greatly increase you risk of getting cancer.  That is the equivalent of 6 pieces of bacon a day.  
So we have decided we won't eat 6 pieces of bacon a day!  But, once in a while we will enjoy it on our cabbage, in spinach dip, on baked potatoes and maybe even have the odd bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich.  Everything in moderation!    
It turns out that a cream sauce is very easy to make gluten free.  The recipe is the same as if you are using regular flour. This works the same if you want to make cheese sauce as well.   Even though you will get a few pots dirty it is still worth it.  I try to make this a bit early then assemble it and either keep it warm with a lid or reheat it just before serving.    




Creamed Cabbage with Bacon

  • 1/2 pkg. bacon
  • 1 medium Cabbage 
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp Gluten Free Flour Blend
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 cup milk
Cut bacon into small pieces, in a frying pan sauté over medium heat until lightly browned.  Lay on paper towel to absorb extra grease.  Shred or chop cabbage, place in large pot and sprinkle with a small amount of salt, add approx 1 cup water.  Cook  over medium-high heat until tender crisp (15 minutes). Meanwhile, in a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat.  Add flour, salt, and pepper; stir until combined.  Gradually whisk in milk.  Cook, stirring constantly until thickened.
 
To assemble, drain cabbage and place in a serving dish.  Pour cream sauce evenly over top and sprinkle with cooked, drained bacon.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

  Nothing beats Carrot Cake! It is always so moist with the perfect blend of spices and the added bonus of vegetables.  Does it even count as dessert if it has carrots and cheese? This cake looked so good I could hardly restrain myself while taking pictures!
  I have made this a bit healthier than the standard recipe.  With the addition of ground flax and using honey in place of sugar this is almost a guilt free cake.  Honey does make the finished product a little darker.  I also modified the frosting, using whipped cream and honey with the cream cheese so it is very light and fluffy.  However, if you are serving it to people who mainly like carrot cake for the frosting (you know who you are), then you might want to go with a more traditional frosting recipe.
 

Carrot Cake 

  • 2 cups Gluten Free Flour Blend
  • 1/3 cup ground flax
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp GF baking Powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum 
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup honey or 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup raisins(optional)
Mix dry ingredients together and set aside.  With an electric mixer mix oil, honey, sugar, eggs and vanilla for 1 minute.  Add flour mixture and blend.  Fold in carrots and raisins.  Bake in greased pans or cupcake papers.  Yield: 2 round 8 inch pans, 1 9x12, 12 cupcakes.  Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  35 minutes for round, 45 minutes for 9x12, 20 minutes for cupcakes.  Remove from pans an cool on a wire rack.  

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla
In a large bowl beat whipping cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  In a separate bowl cream honey, vanilla and cream cheese until no lumps remain.  Fold cream cheese mixture into whipped cream.  
 

 

Gluten Free Orange Cranberry Scone

Orange...which came first, the fruit or the colour?
 
As I was grating the orange zest for my Orange Cranberry Scone the aroma was amazing.  It is so fresh and sweet smelling, there is nothing like it!  It got me started thinking about the orange, what a marvellous fruit it is!  It is useful in so many ways, for the zest of the skin, for the juice, in baking and just eating fresh.  Isn't it amazing how you can peel it by hand, and then inside it can be divided so nicely into bite sized pieces?  No human could have invented anything so perfect!  
 
I was also thinking how there are so many different types of fruit available now from tropical locations such as mangoes, pineapple, pomegranates, kiwi, that the simple yet perfect orange is often overlooked.  The orange has a long history in North America,  it is believed that the seeds for the first orange trees were brought over by Christopher Columbus and planted in various locations so that when they returned there would be oranges available. They knew how important they were in preventing survey.
 
Oranges have long been associated with Christmas.  First because the early settlers would enjoy them as a Christmas treat, because of the cost they couldn't be eaten on a regular bases.  As a young girl I always looked forward to mandarin oranges at Christmas time and there was always one in the toe of my stocking.  Today mandarin oranges are around for a much longer season and so they aren't so special at Christmas anymore.
 
And then there is that important question, which came first the fruit or the name?  Although not quite as big as the "chicken and the egg", I have wondered a few times when I have been eating an orange or when colouring.  According to Wikipedia the fruit came first, and our name for the fruit is from the old French, une norenge.
These scones are a great addition to any lunch or brunch menu.  The orange and cranberry flavours go nicely together and they are yummy eaten warm with a little butter!
 

Gluten Free Orange Cranberry Scone

  • 2 1/4 cups Gluten Free Flour Blend
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp GF baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp zanthan gum (optional)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • Zest and juice of one orange (1/2 cup)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup sweetened, dries cranberries 
Mix dry ingredients, cut in butter finely.  Add orange zest.  Mix Orange juice, egg, and buttermilk.  Add to dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Turn into 1 greased, 8 inch round cake pan.  Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.  Cut into 6 or 8 wedges for serving.  Freeze extra in an airtight container.