Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

I found this recipe in Parade Magazine in the Sunday paper a while back. Not everyone in our family loves butternut squash as much as I do, but even those who won't eat the squash will eat this soup!

I don't bother with the optional garnishes or nutmeg when spicing it and it still turns out great.

1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
3 slender or 1 1/2 large leeks, white parts only, split lengthwise, washed, and cut into 1 inch pieces.
3 cups whole milk
3 cups water
salt & pepper
freshly grated nutmeg

Peel the squash. Remove the seed and string, then cut into 1 -2 inch chunks. Put in soup pot or dutch oven with leeks, milk, and water. Salt generously and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until squash is soft enough to mash when pressed lightly with the back of a spoon.

Using an immersion blender, blender, or food processor, puree the soup in small batches until it is very smooth. Thin to desired consistency with milk or water. Season with salt & pepper to taste. You may also season with nutmeg.

Optional Garnish: 1 tart apple, peeled and finely diced, about 1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts or walnuts, about 1/2 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gluten Free Coconut Cake w/Buttercream Frosting

Rather than typing out the recipe today, I am being lazy and only sharing a link. I made this cake for Easter and it was fabulous. It has a wonderful flavor and fabulous texture. It reminds me of a cross between a normal cake and a pound cake with it's density. The only thing I would recommend changing is the frosting. For some reason the frosting recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of shortening. I'm thinking it must be a typo but haven't found a correction for it yet. While the frosting was the right consistency, it was simply too greasy for me. So please, give the recipe a try and let me know what you do with the frosting and how it turns out for you.

Gluten Free Coconut Cake w/Buttercream Frosting


Not the prettiest picture, I guess I should've made that cut a little more neatly. LOL But it was definitely yummy!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hamburger Rice Skillet

I created this recipe with some leftovers and odds and ends of veggies I had in the fridge one night when I was desperate to get dinner on the table. It has become a dinnertime staple and any leftovers are quickly gone.

1 lb. hamburger
1 medium onion, diced
5-6 large carrots - peeled and sliced
2-3 stalks celery, diced
2 cups white rice
1 quart beef broth ( I use Pacific Foods Organic, which is also gluten free)
2 TB soy sauce (I use La Choy which is gluten free)
2 cups frozen peas
Black Pepper to taste

Brown hamburger with onion and black pepper. When no longer pink, add celery, carrots, soy sauce, rice, and beef broth. Cover and simmer until the liquids have been absorbed and the rice is tender. Add frozen peas and heat through.

The first time I made this dish it was with leftover roast beef and veggies that needed used up. I've also made it with leftover chicken (and chicken broth). You can add as many or as few veggies as you like. They can be fresh, frozen, or leftover. If using leftover or frozen veggies, you will want to add them when the rice is done and only cook long enough to heat them through so they don't become mushy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mexican Rice

I've been trying for quite a while to recreate the Mexican Rice that you find at most any Mexican restaurant. I think I have finally found the right combination of ingredients and balance. Please note that I use a rice cooker when making this but I don't see any reason why you can't make it in a covered pan on the stove.

2 cups white rice
4 cups water
1 can diced tomatoes - do NOT drain
1 can diced green chiles
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 - 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
chili powder
black pepper

I don't have measurements on the spices because I simply added them until it seemed about right. I would start with 1/8 or 1/4 teaspoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, and a pinch of black pepper.

Add all ingredients into a rice cooker and cook on the "white rice" setting. If using a pan on the stove, bring water to a boil, add all other ingredients, reduce heat, cover, and simmer till rice is done.