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Category: Recipes

  1. Friday, April 12, 2019

    Meagan Francis, Co-Host of The Mom Hour Podcast, Talks Motherhood, Food and Her Most Versatile Recipe (Ep. 53)

    This Week for Dinner Podcast: Interview with "The Mom Hour" Podcast Co-host Meagan Francis (Episode 53)

    Today on the podcast I get the chance to interview my friend and colleague Meagan Francis. Meagan is co-host of the podcast The Mom Hour, an author, and an all-around thoughtful, inspiring person. Meagan and I talk about all kinds of topics related to parenting, from how motherhood has evolved to offer new career opportunities for women, the impact of social media on parenting, food values, cooking tips and more. Meagan also describes her favorite go-to recipe, one that provides a base for at least four other dinners every time she makes it. I hope you enjoy getting to know Meagan and walk away with feeling ready to get in the kitchen and cook, no matter how busy you are!

    Shownotes:

    Multi-tasker Pork Shoulder
     
    This pork shoulder can be prepared on one day and used for several more meals! Ideas for modifications in the notes below.
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Boneless or Bone-In Pork Shoulder
    • A few swigs of your favorite oil
    • Herbs and spices, your favorites (Meagan's suggestion: minced garlic, salt, Mexican spice blend, sometimes oregano/thyme/rosemary depending on what you'll be using the meat for; garlic/salt and whatever mix you like!)
    • Liquid: Stock (beef, chicken, or vegetable), Beer, or Mix of water and orange juice
    • Optional: Limes or oranges halved
    • Optional: Sliced onions
    Instructions
    1. It's generally easiest to cut the shoulder up into fist-sized pieces, but not necessary.
    2. Drizzle oil into the bottom of a dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat on the stove while preheating the oven to 250º F.
    3. Rub the shoulder all over with your choice of herbs/spices This first go around can be mildly spiced because you can re-season the meat in all its incarnations.
    4. Sear all sides of the meat in the oil for a few minutes on each side until golden brown
    5. Add your choice of liquid to the pot. Meagan also likes to add oranges or limes, cut in half, to the bottom of the pot as well, and you can't go wrong adding some sliced onions either now or earlier, while the meat is searing.
    6. Put in the oven for 6-7 hours. You want the meat to be falling apart. If you don't have quite this much time, you can increase the heat to 275 or 300, but if you have less than 4 hours I'd recommend using a pressure cooker.
    7. When you pull the pork shoulder out it should pull across easily with two forks.
    Notes
    As Carnitas: Heat the shredded meat in hot oil on the stovetop or under the broiler in your oven until it's crispy-brown. Season with lime and cilantro. Serve with tortillas, onions, more lime and cilantro, queso fresco, pico, or whatever you like.
    Shredded as-is: Serve with rice/potatoes and a vegetable
    BBQ Pulled Pork: Mix meat with barbecue sauce and serve on buns as pulled-pork sandwiches.
    Meagan's Magical Mix: Roughly chop 2 sweet potato (skins on, natch) and roast in the oven at 400º F until nearly soft. Add to a hot, oiled skillet with shredded pork, lime, and cilantro and stir until you have a golden-brown hash. Serve with eggs over easy or medium. This is the Day 3 version of the recipe, the one Meagan's son Owen called an "almost 10!"

     

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  2. Wednesday, March 13, 2019

    Gluten-Free Vegan Cashew Butter Cookies

    In the last of my cashew butter cookie recipes, I wanted to provide a completely plant-based, vegan version. My regular cashew butter cookies and molasses cashew butter cookies both use an egg. Given my new year’s resolution, I wanted to see how these cookies would do with an egg alternative. It worked and so I definitely want to share this recipe for gluten-free vegan cashew butter cookies with you.

    Gluten-free vegan cashew butter cookies cooling on a rack with backlightingStack of gluten-free vegan cashew butter cookies on a blue plate

    The vegan version of these cookies come out wonderfully, but they do in fact have a different texture than the version with eggs. The cookies come out much flatter and are a little more “wet,” if you will (i.e. they stick to your fingers a little bit when you eat them). They taste awesome, however, and the texture is delicious, so if you want a plant-based alternative, these cookies are great. (See picture below comparing the two different versions of the recipe.)

    Top view of two racks of cookies, comparing two cashew butter cookie recipes - one made with an egg, the other made with ground flaxseed.

    In addition, if you want to add chocolate chips, go right ahead! And if you want to molasses-ize them, use the molasses cashew butter cookie recipe and sub out the 1 egg for the ground flaxseed and water, like you see in the recipe below. As with the other two cashew butter cookie recipes, these cookies are dairy free and gluten free. Enjoy!

    Side view of a stack of vegan, gluten-free cashew butter cookies

    Vegan Cashew Butter Cookies
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Serves: 12-16
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup cashew butter
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (or flaxseed meal)
    • 3 tablespoons hot water
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla
    • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
    • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
    2. In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flaxseed and hot water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
    3. In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients, including the flaxseed mixture. Stir well.
    4. On a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet or a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat, drop cookie dough balls, evenly spacing them like you would chocolate chip cookies. I used a medium (2 tablespoon) cookie scoop. The dough is quite wet and the scoop makes it easy to create the cookie dough balls. If you don't have a scoop, use a spoon and wet fingers to form your dough balls.
    5. Bake for approximately 11-15 minutes, or until the cookies are starting to brown lightly around the edges. They will look cooked, if you know what I mean - if there is cracking, the cookies should no longer look wet inside. (See pictures as a guide.)
    6. Let cool at least 10 minutes before eating.

     


  3. Gluten-Free Molasses Cashew Butter Cookies

    This week is the parade of cashew butter cookie recipes! Once I figured out how to make a really good gluten-free cashew butter cookie, I had to start experimenting. The result was the recipe below for gluten-free molasses cashew butter cookies. These cookies are wonderful. Yes, they would be perfect for the holidays, but honestly I love them any time of year, especially with a nice cup of coffee or tea.  

    Gluten-Free Molasses Cashew Butter Cookies Uneaten on Blue PlateGluten-Free Molasses Cashew Butter Cookies broken open to show crumb

    When I first tried turning the cashew butter cookies into something that was reminiscent of molasses cookies or gingerbread, I wasn’t 100% sure it would work. But I’m really glad I tried because cashew butter cookies proved to be an excellent base for these spicy flavors. 

    Gluten-free cashew butter molasses cookies side view on panGluten-Free Molasses Cashew Butter Cookies from above on pan

    Next up in the parade of cashew butter cookies will be a vegan version. And don’t forget the original recipe, which is especially tasty with chocolate chips! 

    Gluten-Free Molasses Cashew Butter Cookies Uneaten on Blue Plate view from above

    Gluten-Free Molasses Cashew Butter Cookies
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Serves: 12-16
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup cashew butter
    • ⅓ cup brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons molasses
    • 1 egg
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla
    • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
    • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
    • Granulated Sugar for sprinkling
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
    2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg then add all the other ingredients. Stir well.
    3. On a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet or a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat, drop cookie dough balls, evenly spacing them like you would in other cookie recipes. I used a medium (2 tablespoon) cookie scoop. The dough is quite wet and the scoop makes it easy to create the cookie dough balls. If you don't have a scoop, use a spoon and wet fingers to form your dough balls.
    4. Once the dough balls are on the cookie sheet, with wet hands, gently press each dough ball down a bit so they are a bit more disc like, rather than balls. Sprinkle each dough ball with granulated sugar, gently pressing the sugar into the dough.
    5. Bake for approximately 11-15 minutes, or until the cookies look set, with some cracking. If you peek in the cracks, the cookies should no longer look wet inside. (See pictures as a guide for what they should look like.)
    6. Let cool at least 10 minutes before eating.

     


  4. Gluten-Free Cashew Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips

    I’ve known I have a peanut allergy for nearly 20 years but only recently discovered I also have a wheat allergy {cue sad music}. I’ve tried making my favorite chocolate chip cookies with gluten-free flour, but they just are not the same. Last December when my daughter Cate’s cello group was out wassailing with their cellos (yes, really, and it was awesome), one of the houses served us dairy-free, gluten-free cashew butter cookies. The cookies were divine, so first thing I did the next day was start researching gluten-free cashew butter cookie recipes. 

    Gluten-Free Cashew Butter Cookies on a plate, broken open to show chocolate chips

    The result of all my researching and testing is today’s recipe for gluten-free cashew butter cookies with chocolate chips. In addition to this recipe, I will also be sharing a vegan version and a molasses version. I’m basically a cashew butter cookie junkie now. 

    Top view of gluten-free cashew butter cookies on a panSide view of gluten-free cashew butter cookies with chocolate chips

    This recipe for gluten-free cashew butter cookies has chocolate chips, but they could easily be made without the chocolate. Sans chocolate would make for a reallllly good cookie. That said, these are excellent with some chocolate thrown in. In addition, if you are like me and finding yourself allergic to peanuts but really missing peanut blossom cookies, this recipe would be a great alternative and I know “cashew blossoms” would be just as tasty as the original. Maybe more so, Nate and I find we like these cashew butter cookies than peanut butter cookies, actually. With all the great new options that gluten-free cashew butter cookies have provided, I can truly say I’m not missing wheat-based cookies any more. It’s a miracle!

    Side view of gluten-free cashew butter cookies on a plate

    And, yes, the texture is like an actual cookie. And, no, there is no flour. And yes, it’s pure magic.

    Gluten-Free Cashew Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Serves: 12-16
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup cashew butter (other nut butters like peanut and almond would work in this recipe as well)
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla
    • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
    • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
    • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
    2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg then add all the other ingredients. Stir well.
    3. On a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet or a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat, drop cookie dough balls, evenly spacing them like you would chocolate chip cookies. I used a medium (2 tablespoon) cookie scoop. The dough is quite wet and the scoop makes it easy to create the cookie dough balls. If you don't have a scoop, use a spoon and wet fingers to form your dough balls.
    4. Once the dough balls are on the cookie sheet, with wet hands, gently press each dough ball down a bit so they are a bit more disc like, rather than balls. This will make for a nicer shaped cookie in the end, although this step is not critical to the success of the recipe.
    5. Bake for approximately 11-15 minutes, or until the cookies are starting to brown lightly around the edges. They will look cooked, if you know what I mean - if there is cracking, the cookies should no longer look wet inside. (See pictures as a guide.)
    6. Let cool at least 10 minutes before eating.
    Notes
    To make "Cashew Blossoms" (a peanut-free alternative to Peanut Blossoms), Once you place the dough balls on the cookie sheet and press them down a bit, sprinkle generously with granulated sugar. Bake as directed. When the cookies come out of the oven, press a Hershey kiss into the center of each cookie.

     


  5. Friday, March 1, 2019

    Entrepreneur and Children’s Book Author Rana D’Orio Shares Her Entrepreneurial Career Path, Her Latest Book and Italian Food (Ep. 49)

    This Week for Dinner Podcast Header for Episode #49 Interview with Rana DiOrio

    In episode #49 of the This Week for Dinner Podcast I get the chance to speak with Rana DiOrio. Rana is an entreprenuer, author, mom to 3 and life learner. Rana has an interesting background. She started out as a corporate securities lawyer and took a winding road through a few endeavors, eventually matching her values with her career by creating a publishing company for really cool children’s books. She is a great example of a working mom who cooks for her kids all the time. (You’ll find out in the episode what her kids thought of the time she tried a meal delivery kit service.) Rana and I talk about how her new book What Does It Mean to Be American? came to be, and of course Rana shares with us one of her favorite recipes and a great kitchen tip. You can follow Rana on Twitter @ranadiorio and on Instagram @ranedear. In addition to Rana’s interview I also share this year’s first plant-based eating hack. Enjoy the episode!

    Cover of "What Does it Mean to Be American?"

    Shownotes:

    Rana's Crock Pot Sausage & Peppers
     
    Adapted from The Spruce Eats
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 2 pounds sweet or hot Italian sausage
    • 2 yellow onions, chopped
    • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced into 2-inch pieces
    • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into 2-inch pieces
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into 2-inch pieces
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 (28-ounce) can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes
    • ½ cup dry red wine
    • 1 tablespoon dried parsley leaves
    • ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
    • 4 fresh basil leaves OR 2 Trader Joe's frozen basil cubes
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    • Additional ingredients for transforming into a Puttanesca sauce:
    • 1 cup red wine (whatever you're drinking with dinner that night!)
    • Olives, chopped or sliced (Rana prefers green Castelvetrano, but any olives will work)
    • Handful of sun-dried tomatoes
    • Red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Over medium heat in a heavy skillet, cook the sausage until browned, slipping occasionally during cooking time. Remove skillet from the heat and set aside.
    2. Lay half of the onions in the bottom of a 4-quart crockpot then top with half of the bell peppers. Add all of the sausages then do another layer of the onions and peppers along with the bay leaves and garlic.
    3. Add the diced crushed tomatoes, red wine, parsley, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper to the skillet and mix well. Pour the tomato mixture into the crockpot
    4. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or until sausage is 165º F. Resist opening the lid until near the end of the cook time to check on the sausages.
    5. Once sausage is done, remove the bay leaves. Taste the sauce and add any additional spices to taste if needed.
    6. To adapt the above recipe to make a Puttanesca sauce:
    7. Once the sausage is done cooking, remove them from the slow cooker and slice into rounds.
    8. Add the additional 1 cup wine, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper flakes (if using) and the sliced sausages to the slow cooker.
    9. Simmer in the crockpot until you are ready to serve over the pasta of your choice.

     

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  6. Wednesday, February 27, 2019

    Gluten-Free Buffalo Chicken Wings and Drumsticks

    Before I knew I had a wheat allergy, my friend Natalee, who eats gluten free, made homemade gluten-free buffalo chicken wings for a football game our families were watching together. Natalee had also purchased regular wings at the store to serve alongside the gluten-free wings. Interestingly there was no comparison between the “real” wings and Natalee’s gluten-free buffalo chicken wings – Natalee’s wings were a million percent better.

    Gluten-free buffalo chicken drumsticks with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing

    Once I found out about my wheat allergy, I was at Natalee’s feet begging for her recipe. She simply said, “Go to this link and use gluten-free flour.” Well, that was easy!

    Top view of gluten-free buffalo chicken drumsticks with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing

    Or so I thought. It took me a few tries to get this chicken really tasty. Really it was all about perfecting the technique for baking them in the oven, but we finally go there. Every last person in our family loves these gluten-free buffalo chicken wings and Nate and could probably drink the sauce it’s so good. Also, we’ve started using drumsticks instead of wings. We just like them better and this recipe makes for a really great dinner option. We no longer reserve buffalo chicken just for watching football!  

    Backlit side view of gluten-free buffalo chicken drumsticks with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing

    Gluten-Free Buffalo Chicken Wings and Drumsticks
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • About 20 chicken wing pieces or 12 chicken drumsticks
    • ¾ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I like Namaste's Perfect Flour Blend)
    • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¾ cup melted butter
    • ¾ cup Frank's RedHot pepper sauce
    Instructions
    1. Place a metal cooling or roasting rack on top of a rimmed cookie sheet. I use my metal baking cooling racks and my half-sheet rimmed baking pan. I also like to cover the pan with aluminum foil to make for easier cleanup, and then place the rack on the pan on top of the foil. Cooking the chicken raised up off the pan surface is KEY to success here. The chicken comes out significantly better when it's raised up out of the pan while cooking.
    2. Whisk together the flour, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and salt in a large bowl. Toss each chicken piece in the flour mixture then place them on the prepared pan.
    3. Refrigerate chicken for at least 1 hour.
    4. Preheat oven to 400º F.
    5. Whisk together the melted butter with the hot sauce. Dip each piece of chicken into the sauce and place back on the prepared pan. Sometimes the cold chicken will make the sauce thicken. If this happens, simply zap the sauce in the microwave for 10 seconds or so to get it runnier again.
    6. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink inside and/or reaches a temperature of 160º-165º F at the deepest part of the meat. Be sure to flip the chicken half way through the cooking time, about 20-25 minutes in.
    7. Serve hot! Also, we love the sauce so much, so I often make more sauce to serve with the chicken. Just mix equal parts butter with Frank's RedHot sauce, usually 2 tablespoons each is a good amount.

     


  7. Tuesday, February 12, 2019

    Gluten-Free Chicken Gumbo with Tasso and Andouille Sausage

    Last month I visited my Aunt Sue. Sue had to change to a gluten-free diet many years ago due to some health issues. She is an excellent cook with an even more excellent attitude and has navigated cooking without gluten in the most delicious way. Also, she is my own personal treasure trove of tips, product recommendations and recipes now that I can’t eat wheat.  While visiting her I stole several of her recipes (okay, she gave me the recipes, no stealing happened, stealing just sounds more exciting). One recipe was for her gluten-free chicken gumbo, which she served while we were visiting. I ate a lot of that gumbo. For dinner. Then breakfast. Then dinner again. Then I came home and have made it twice in the last month.

    Bowl of Chicken, Tasso and Andouille Sausage Gumbo with hot sauce on top

    Sue lived in New Orleans and knows her Louisiana cuisine. She originally found this gumbo recipe on the back of a package of Chef Paul Prudhomme smoked meat. The recipe she shared with me is straight from the package and she’s been cooking it for years. Since going gluten-free she started using her favorite gluten-free flour (Namaste Perfect Flour Blend) and it works like a charm. It works so well you would never be able to tell the difference. You can, of course, use regular all-purpose wheat flour if you do not need to cut wheat or gluten.

    Top view of a bowl of gluten-free chicken gumbo with hot sauce

    I have added my own notes as well as Sue’s input in the directions below. This gluten-free chicken gumbo has andouille sausage and tasso, but there are several suggestions for meat substitutions if you can’t find either of those.

    Side view of gluten-free chicken gumbo in a bowl with hot sauce

    Gluten-Free Chicken Gumbo with Tasso and Andouille Sausage
     
    Recipe originally from a Chef Paul Prudhomme package. Modified for gluten free and with our own notes included.
    Author:
    Serves: 6-8
    Ingredients
    • MEAT:
    • 1 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (shrimp, pork or okra can be substituted)
    • ½ pound tasso ham (or smoked ham like Cure 81; Jane note - I used smoked ham hocks from the butcher)
    • ½ pound Andouille smoked sausage (or smoked Kielbasa; Sue note - it's worth finding Andouille sausage and should be pretty readily available everywhere, the original recipe listed smoked kielbasa as an alternative, but Sue says no way, stick with Andouille!)
    • 1 cup finely chopped onions (Jane note: I used ½ cup)
    • 1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
    • 1 cup finely chopped celery
    • 1 cup finely chopped carrots (this is a Jane addition because I had carrots AND tons of cajun recipes start with mire poix (onion/celery/carrot), so I felt good about the modification)
    • ROUX:
    • ¾ cup gluten-free one-for-one flour (like Namaste Perfect Blend or King Arthur GF AP Flour) OR ¾ cup all-purpose flour
    • ¾ cup oil, preferably sunflower, peanut or other high temperature cooking oil (Sue uses avocado oil; Jane note - I used BUTTER! woohoo!)
    • SEASONINGS:
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 2 tablespoons dried parsley, lightly crushed in palm of hand
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
    • ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground red pepper (preferably cayenne and depending on desired heat level)
    • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
    • ¼ teaspoon dried sweet basil
    • STOCK:
    • 6-7 cups canned low sodium chicken stock
    Instructions
    1. Cut chicken, tasso and andouille into bite-sized pieces and set aside in separate bowls.
    2. Combine finely chopped onions, green bell pepper, celery and carrots (if using) in a single bowl. (Jane note: I just chop them and keep them on the cutting board to save on washing an extra bowl.)
    3. Heat chicken stock in separate sauce pan until nearly boiling.
    4. In large heavy skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Using a long-handled whisk, slowly add flour one tablespoon at a time until completely combined. Cook, whisking constantly, until roux is dark red-brown to dark brown in color, about 10-15 minutes. Be careful not to scorch or burn the roux – watch it carefully and whisk, whisk, whisk! (Jane note: I do this step in a big soup pot, again to save on washing dishes.)
    5. Once the roux reaches desired color, remove from skillet and transfer to large stock pot at a slightly lower heat. (If you just cook the roux in the soup pot to begin with like I did, simply reduce the heat to low.) Immediately add the tasso and andouille to the roux, cooking for several minutes until seasoning from meat transfers to sauce.
    6. Add cut chicken, cooking for an additional 2-4 minutes.
    7. Add chopped vegetables, sauté and let cook for a few minutes. Add chicken stock and seasonings, stirring constantly and scraping the pan bottom well.
    8. Slowly add hot chicken stock, one to two cups at a time until incorporated, reduce heat to medium/medium-low and simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes, stirring often toward the end of the cooking time.
    9. Serve hot over cooked rice and topped with Crystal Hot Sauce.

     


  8. Sunday, January 27, 2019

    Week 609 Weekly Menu

    Time for the weekly menu! And I’m sharing a gluten-free Super Bowl menu with you for Sunday! (Yep, I’m officially allergic to wheat. Fun times!)

    Week 609 Weekly Dinner Menu

    MONDAY:
    – Pot roast leftovers

    TUESDAY:
    Chili

    WEDNESDAY:
    Grilled Salmon Tacos with Zesty Slaw

    THURSDAY:
    – Baked Potatoes with toppings

    FRIDAY:
    – Leftovers

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY: Gluten-Free Super Bowl Menu
    Southwestern Layered Bean Dip with Tortilla Chips
    Gluten-Free Baked Buffalo Wings (use the recipe I linked to but use your favorite 1-for-1 GF flour)
    – Classic onion dip (sour cream + Lipton onion soup mix) with Potato Chips
    – Tossed Salad
    Football-themed Casheweroos

    Side landscape view of football cashew rice Chex treats

    One, two, three, Go! Share your own menus in the comments! And have a great week! And GO PATRIOTS!


  9. Casheweroos: Cashew Rice Chex Treats with Sea Salt (Gluten-Free)

    A few weeks ago, the team from Big G Cereals at General Mills sent a cute football-themed package, complete with Rice Chex and ingredients to make treats for Super Bowl Sunday. I recently learned I have a wheat allergy, which means I can no longer partake of all the delicious baked goods I normally make. As a result, I’m now on the lookout for great wheat-free desserts to try to soothe my wheat-free sorrows. When Nate saw the Chex package, he was like “You should make those scotcheroo bar things.” And I was like, “Remember, I’m allergic to peanuts, too?” UGH. Can I eat nothing??? But then I had a thought: cashew butter. And thus Casheweroos were born! And, while casheweroo is fun to say, it’s super hard to spell, so you can also just call these babies cashew rice Chex treats with sea salt, which is kind of a mouthful, too, actually. I’m apparently really good at naming things.

    Side view of a serving platter with Cashew Rice Chex Treats

    Cashew rice Chex treats are a lot like scotcheroos, except you use cashew butter instead of peanut butter and you sprinkle the top with coarse sea salt to make them extra tasty. Cashew butter is a bit more expensive than peanut butter, but it’s worth it. These treats taste awesome, similar to scotcheroos but without an overpowering peanut flavor, which some people don’t love. This recipe is perfect for people with peanut and/or wheat allergies, too!

    One serving of a cashew rice chex treat

    For the topping I used one bag of chocolate chips. If you want a thicker chocolate layer on top, feel free to double that amount or do a combo of one bag of semisweet chocolate chips with one bag of butterscotch chocolate chips (which will taste more like scotcheroos). No matter how you decide to do the topping on these cashew rice Chex treats, I promise it will taste delicious!

    Top view of cashew rice chex treats topped with coarse sea salt

    Also, if you are making these for Super Bowl Sunday, you can turn the treats into little footballs with a bit of white frosting. Just buy the frosting in a tube to keep it super simple and fast and draw lines on top of each treat like so. Thanks for the great idea, General Mills!

    Top view of Football Cashew Rice Chex Treats, decorated with white frostingSide view of super cute football cashew Rice Chex treatsSide landscape view of football cashew rice Chex treats

    Without further ado I give you Casheweroos!

    Casheweroos: Cashew Rice Chex Treats (Gluten-Free, Peanut-Free)
     
    Prep time
    Total time
     
    These casheweroos are inspired by scotcheroos, that classic treat recipe that uses peanut butter. With no wheat or peanuts to be seen, this recipe is great for people with those allergies.
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Serves: 18
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup corn syrup (light or dark, doesn't matter)
    • 1 cup salted cashew butter
    • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt (if your cashew butter is unsalted, use ½ teaspoon salt instead)
    • 8 cups Rice Chex
    • 1 12-ounce package good quality semisweet chocolate chips (like Ghirardelli or Guittard)*
    • Coarse sea salt
    Instructions
    1. Butter a 9" x 13" baking pan and set aside.
    2. Add Rice Chex to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
    3. Mix the sugar and corn syrup together in a large pot. Cook over medium heat until sugars are melted together. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
    4. Add the cashew butter and ¼ teaspoon salt to the pot and stir until well mixed.
    5. Pour sugar-cashew butter mixture over the cereal in the mixing bowl and stir until well and evenly coated.
    6. Pour cereal mixture into the baking pan and press firmly and evenly into the pan. Getting your hands wet with water helps with the process so the treats don't stick to your fingers as you press.
    7. Place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook chocolate chips on high for 30 seconds at a time, stirring at each 30-second interval, cooking until chips are fully melted.
    8. Pour chocolate over the top of the Chex bars, spreading evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle coarse sea salt evenly over the top.
    9. Place in fridge until chocolate hardens, about 30 minutes. Remove from fridge and store at room temperature, covered.
    10. It is much easier to cut the bars if you remove them from the pan and place on a cutting board. Using a knife, cut all around the edge of the pan then carefully lift the treats out of the pan onto the cutting board. Cut into 6 rows by 3 rows.
    Notes
    Optional: If you want a thicker chocolate topping, use two bags of chocolate chips. If you want the topping to taste more like the original scotcheroo treat that inspired this recipe, use one bag of chocolate chips and one bag of butterscotch chips.

     


  10. Saturday, December 29, 2018

    Kardemummabullar | Swedish Cardamom Buns

    “I want bulle.” 

    Kardemummabullar, Swedish cardamom buns, viewed from the side on a plate

     

    Those words have come out of my 7-year-old’s mouth no less than 1,000 times over the last week. Bulle is our family’s word for Swedish cardamom bread, whether in bun or braided loaf form. Bulle technically means “bun” in Swedish, so the cardamom version is actually called kardemummabullar (bullar is sort of like the plural version of the word for bulle…my dad explained it to me and it was weird Swedish grammar stuff that I cannot re-explain, so we’ll just leave it at that). I’ve had the recipe for vetebröd (braided Swedish sweet bread, in our case flavored with cardamom) on my site for years. I even shared a bun version of that recipe, the way my grandmother always made it. When Nate and I went to Sweden with my family this summer we had kardemummabullar like we’ve never made it here at home. Obviously the first thing we did when we were all together post-trip was try to replicate that Swedish goodness. My sister-in-law Cora and I took a first crack, then she and my mom have since perfected the recipe and technique. Cora graciously wrote a post and recipe for us, which I am sharing below. These cardamom buns are magic.

    One beautiful Kardemummabullar, Swedish cardamom bun, on a plate

    Kardemummabullar

    By Cora Wallin

    You’re welcome.

    Sorry, wait. That’s supposed to come at the end, isn’t it? But seriously… you’re going to be so grateful to me. I accept flowers, love notes or life-sized Chris Hemsworth cardboard cutouts. Jane has my details.

    Let me start off by saying I am not Swedish.

    *gasp*

    I have the height and love of all things butter and cardamon but not the stoicism or obsession with rotten seafood. I leave those to my father-in-law, Hansy-Poo. (He’s really going to hate that I called him that. But he won’t show it because, well… stoicism, remember?)

    Kardemummabullar, Swedish cardamom buns, just out of the oven and on the panWhen Christian (Jane’s brother) and I first started dating, I knew my husband’s family was Swedish but mostly only on the holidays. Christian told me fabled tales of Christmastime and, in particular, the Christmas Eve feast: breaded Swedish ham, savory meatballs, pickled herring and sugary bullar. Turns out he was mostly right about the deliciousness, just exclude the fish.

    His mother is basically Mrs. Claus. Her home becomes utterly transformed at Christmas. Her presents are decorated so beautifully she uses them for decorations on high shelves and in her windows. The candles, the non-creepy Santa collection, the music and the tree with 15 strands of lights make it all feel like Christmas might actually be hugging you. Then she starts to cook.

    Kardemummabullar, Swedish cardamom buns, cooling on a rack(All photos in this post are by Jane, except this one from, which is from Cora and Christian)

    Lawd, the food. I eat, roll over for a nap, eat some more and only then do I leave the table. It’s goooood, people. After everyone’s rib cages are finally able to expand again, she gives one final gift. She makes bullar. And this is now my gift to you fine folk.

    We went to Sweden last summer and ate bullar at every stop, from gas station to coffee shop. I kid you not. Then Jane and I came home and started tweaking the old family recipe. We did a damn fine job, if I do say so myself. Of all the authentic sampled kardemummabullar, I can think of only one small shop in the-middle-of-nowhere-Sweden whose bullar outdoes what we made. So it may seem like a lot of steps but stay with me. It’s worth it.

    Kardemummabullar, Swedish cardamom buns, viewed from above on a platePlease do try to wait until they’ve cooled some before eating three (or more) right off the cookie sheet. Taste buds grow back but it does take time.

    Side view of Kardemummabullar, Swedish cardamom bread, platedPresenting…Phyllis, Jane, Cora and Some Old Swedish Broad’s Cardamom Buns!

    Swedish Cardamom Buns | Kardemummabullar
     
    Note: Fresh, home-ground cardamom is worth the effort. I’ll attach the link for where we got ours. https://www.thespicehouse.com/cardamom-whole-seeds
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • BREAD
    • 2½ cups scalded milk
    • 2 packages or 4½ teaspoons dry active yeast
    • 7½ - 8 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup butter, melted then cooled
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 2½ teaspoons coarsely ground fresh cardamom (or 3 teaspoons store-bough ground cardamom)
    • EGG WASH
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • FILLING (There is debate about the amount of filling. Cora and Phyllis do the amounts listed below, Jane uses half amounts listed below. Cora says it's because Jane is more American but she crazy (luckily for Jane she got final editing rights to this))
    • 1 cup butter, softened
    • ⅔ cup light brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground fresh cardamom (here is where you really do want to use freshly-ground cardamom, it makes a difference!)
    • SIMPLE SYRUP
    • ¾ cup water
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • TOPPING
    • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground fresh cardamom (again, fresh is best!)
    • 1½ tablespoon coarse sugar
    Instructions
    1. Scald milk and cool to lukewarm. Add yeast to mixing bowl then soak with ½ cup of the luke-warm milk and gently stir. Let yeast dissolve and bloom, 5-10 minutes. Add remaining milk and ¼ cup sugar. Beat in 3 cups of flour and beat until smooth. Cover and set aside to rise until double in bulik 45 minutes - 1 hour. (We use a KitchenAid stand mixer to make this bread.)
    2. Add remaining ½ cup sugar, cooled butter and salt. Add cardamom as listed under the bread ingredients as well as 4½ more cups of flour to the yeast mixture. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead in ½ cup more flour. Knead until elastic and smooth. (We use the dough hook in our stand mixer to do the kneading. Jane usually adds that final ½ cup flour at this point; Cora and Phyllis just let the mixer knead without adding the ½ cup flour.) Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise until double, 45 minutes to 1 hour. (Jane usually just leaves the dough right there in the mixer bowl and covers it, works just fine. One less bowl to wash.)
    3. Turn dough unto to lightly floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle. Spread evenly with filling and fold dough in half. Cut 1-1½ inch strips of dough with pizza cutter.
    4. FORMING THE KNOTTED BUNS: Now it's time to form the beautiful, awesome-looking buns. This part is tricky. There are lots of ways to do this. Jane does it differently than Phyllis and I remain as neutral as Sweden conforming to whatever method takes my fancy. There are links below this recipe so you can watch videos of people shaping the rolls. Definitely go watch those videos! You will essentially twist the strips and tie a knot. They’re supposed to be rustic, so don’t stress if they don’t all look the same. They will all still be beautiful.
    5. One strip at a time, gently hold one end of dough with one hand while the other twists the dough until it stops, making a spiral. Be careful not to break the dough. Now wrap dough around two fingers once or twice depending on the length of the strip and tuck ends into the center of dough. Phyllis tucks one end in the top and one end in the bottom. Jane holds the bottom end while wrapping around her fingers and uses the other end to go over the center of the top before tucking into the center of the bottom. See, confusing! Watch the videos they’ll help.
    6. Place rolls on un-greased, parchment-lined or Silpat-lined cookie sheets. Let rise until double, 30 to 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 400º F.
    7. While buns rise a final time, make simple syrup. In a medium saucepan combine sugar and water. Bring to a gentle boil and allow to cool.
    8. When buns are double in size, gently brush with the egg wash. Bake in oven 14–16 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
    9. When buns are done the tops and bottoms should be a dark brown. The bottoms are your key to doneness, so be sure to lift one before you take them out and make sure it's dark brown. Immediately brush hot buns with simple syrup and sprinkle with sugar cardamom topping or pearl sugar.

     

    This is the way Jane forms the kardemummabullar knot:

    This is the way Phyllis forms the kardemummabullar knot:

     

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