Seasonality……

After 20 years in Australia you would think that my seasonality would be sorted, wouldn’t you? But the plethora of pumpkin recipes on the various food blogs and Pinterest right now are right up my alley for two reasons. The first is my obvious affinity for pumpkin. The second is that at this time of the year I long for the comfort of Oklahoma for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our family was so incredibly lucky to have spent last Christmas in OK with my parents, sister and nieces so I am grateful that I have those memories so fresh in my mind.

Pumpkin is such a Holiday flavour that I simply can’t put it down for our Aussie spring and summer. Surely it can be had year ‘round? And what can be better than a yummy sweet spread for home made gluten free fruit toast?

Easy Peasy Pumpkin Marmalade – (3 small jars)
2 cups cooked pumpkin and mashed
1 cup low sugar orange marmalade
1 tsp ginger
2 Tbls lemon juice

In a medium saucepan combine cooked fresh pumpkin puree, marmalade and ginger. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat to simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

Remove from heat after 5 minutes and stir in the lemon juice. I added a TINY amount of gelatine powder in hot water here as I wanted it to be really set and not runny (totally a personal choice). Transfer to a serving bowl or jars, cover and cool.

This is delicious served with gluten free fruit bread. Another thing I tried was a toasted sandwich with very thinly slice pink lady apple, a slice of light jalsberg cheese, and this marmalade generously smeared in the middle and it was divine!

Cheese, crackers and this marmalade will never be turned down at a party whether it is spring or autumn so join me in letting go of seasonality issues and just embrace the taste  This will store in the fridge for about 10 days.

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Friendly Farmers Birthday…..

And what a better cake decoration than a pumpkin 🙂 (sorry for the poor lighting!)

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Strawberry Fields Forever……

 REMINDER – I am upgrading the site (already) and the techies may have it offline for a couple of days from Monday night AEST.  Just wanted to let you know in case you can’t load the pages.

What is better than discovering that strawberries have finally come down in price and have been running at $3 for two punnets? SCORE! Much better than the $9 a punnet for raspberries that one of the teenagers adores.

Well, I’ll tell you what is better than the price……..making a super low fat, fruity and cool dessert in less than 5 minutes. 

You cannot go wrong with this tangy treat and it can be adapted so easily. We have already tried a few variations that were very yummy and well received. Only one warning with this recipe and that is it needs to be eaten on the day it is made and within about 5 minutes. Otherwise it becomes very hard and icy and would need to be re-blended and doctored. It’s a tough trade off to eat it all immediately 🙂 but trust me, you will be making this time and time again for the summer!

5 Minute Low Fat Strawberry Gelato
250 grams strawberries washed, hulled and chopped into small pieces
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
75 grams low fat vanilla yogurt

Wash, hull, and chop the strawberries and place them in the freezer until frozen solid (I left mine in overnight).

About 10 minutes before you are ready to serve/eat your gelato, place the frozen strawberries in the food processor with the “S” metal blade and process until smooth. Add the vanilla and yogurt and process until blended but don’t overwork the mixture.  

Place in a plastic container and put in the freezer for no more than 5 minutes. The gelato should be relatively soft but not drippy to serve.

And of course it goes marvelously with chocolate cake (doesn’t anything?)

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Blog-e-sphere……

Check out my guest post on the Vegan and Vegetarian Shop!

PLUS – I am upgrading the site (already) and the techies may have it offline for a couple of days.  Just wanted to let you know in case you can’t load the pages.  In the meantime, here’s a little treat to think about 🙂  

Have a great weekend!

 

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Go To Girl…….

If you came to me a few years ago and said that I would have people asking me for recipes I would have told you to dream on! I never ever in a million years would guess that cooking and recipe adaptation would completely consume my spare time but, it gives me a thrill to have people ask me for tests and ideas.  It is so gratifying to adapt recipes that are gluten free and have others enjoy the spoils!

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from my sweetie pie sister who lives in Virginia. All it said was, “Had an awesome chocolate torte last night and I need a recipe, Sister”. My sister is gluten intolerant and is developing the same latex allergies that I have so I knew the limitations of the dessert. So I started researching and planning and the first test is below. A word of warning…….there may be an overload of chocolate torte recipes in the next few weeks as this was the first attempt.

While it was pretty darn good, it was more of a cake/brownie like texture and I really wanted something more ganache/mousse inspired.  However, it didn’t seem to faze the diners as this was all that was left 🙂

The gelato that accompanies the torte is super duper easy and oh so delicious. It will be the next blog post for you so stay tuned.

Brownie Chocolate Torte – (10 servings)
Our house was full when I was testing this so there are very few photos I’m sorry!! I’ll do better next test recipe.
1 cup sugar or 3 Tbls sugar substitute
1 cup gluten free all purpose flour
½ tsp xanthan gum
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 eggs
½ cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
For Ganache topping
250 grams of chocolate chips
80 grams of cream
Preheat a oven to 180 or 160 fan forced. Spray and line with baking paper an 8 or 9 inch springform pan.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs, applesauce and vanilla and mix with a wooden spoon. The batter should be quite thick.  
Pour into prepared pan and bake for approximately 30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean about 4 cm from the edge of the tin.

Cool on a rack for 5 minutes then remove the springform outer. Allow to cool completely on the rack for an hour.

Make the ganache by microwaving the chocolate in 15-20 second bursts and stirring in between until thin and glossy. Add in the cream, stir and return to the microwave until the mixture is the desired consistency to run over the cake. Pour over the cake and allow to set.  

Slice and serve with either ice cream, berries, or the super easy and delicious gelato I’ll bring you next time. 

Oh, and because I’ve been so busy it took me a few days to write this up and in the meantime I’ve had a request from someone else for a recipe. This is so much fun!

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27…………

There are lots of things I miss about Oklahoma. My family, Sonic, my friends, Sonic, my family, Sonic, Queenie’s, Sonic, my family, friends and……yep, Sonic.  

It amazes me how, after 20 years in Australia, the lure of fried food is so strong as soon as we get off the plane. Each and every time we visit OK, Sonic is the first stop we make. I really love the vanilla Cokes, but last time we were there, I think I shared some tater tots and only had a couple of cheddar bites. I simply cannot tolerate the fried food overload any more. My kids, however, have no such issues.  Sonic becomes not only a lunch and snack stop, but a late breakfast stop a few times. I can’t say that a chilli dog LOOKS real appetising at that time of day, but it didn’t seem to faze the eater.

The problem with copy catting the fave Sonic delight in Australia has always been the hot dogs. The hot dogs here are just gross. I think, when I was still eating meat, I only ever had one. Gross, people, gross. So when the local supermarket started carrying “American franks” in their deli section I brought some home for the troops and requested feedback. Hot dogs on soft buns earned a  double thumbs up.

Again, I simply don’t know when to leave well enough alone and started thinking about the items that my family love that involved hot dogs. I know I will never be able to reproduce the taste of Coney Islander, the top OK favourite of the chief culinary consultant in our house.  The smell makes it the only meat I still contemplate and waver,  but I still cannot succumb.  But the buns make the Coney’s so I wanted to create what the family view as the next best thing from Sonic.

Enter my brand new kitchen toy, the New Wave 6 in 1 cooker I bought from Kitchenware Direct.  

This has a slow cooker, a pressure cooker, a steamer, rice cooker, a browner, and…… a deep fryer. I have never had a deep fryer, never used one, and refused to buy one since I simply don’t fry. But this is one of the 6 so what the heck! The new cooker, coupled with my desire to do something completely surprising for my family, resulted in a shout of “Oh My Gawd” from the next room after a taste testing by the 6 foot tall teenager! Mission accomplished!

Gluten Free and (not) low fat Sonic copycat Corn Dogs – (12 dogs)
Note: I source A LOT of gluten free items from Sunnybank …… They carry the largest range of Bob’s Red Mill products in Australia, are super friendly to deal with, and delivery is very quick. It saves me searching 15 different places for my favourite items and I don’t have to carry anything home. If you are looking for anything in particular, give them a call as they have more items that are not listed on their website. Check it out here!

2 x packs Hans gluten free American Franks (in the cold meat section of Coles and Woolworths) (**This recipe can easily be made vegetarian.  See note at the end of the post)
2/3 cup gluten free all purpose flour (I actually used Bob’s Red Mill biscuit & baking mix but you can also use any gluten free pancake mix)
1 & 1/3 cups medium ground cornmeal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 tsp paprika
1 cup skim milk
2 eggs
¼ cup oil
2 Tbls sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tsp baking powder
½ cup gluten free flour
Paddle pop sticks

Preheat a deep fryer with oil as directed for use. Insert paddle pop sticks into the dogs leaving about 4cm exposed for dipping and holding. You can place your dogs in the freezer for about ½ an hour to ensure the sticks will hold.

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. The batter will need to be thin enough to dip your dogs but not too runny to slide right off. I found the easiest way to dip the dogs is to fill a tall glass with the cornmeal mixture. Roll the dogs in flour and shake off excess.  Dip the dog into the glass with the cornmeal mixture and swirl until it completely covers the dog but not the stick you are holding. If your mixture is too thick use a bit of milk to thin out.

As you dip each dog, place in the fryer. Only do a couple at a time to prevent them sticking and fry until browned. Cool on paper towel and keep warm on a baking paper lined tray at a very low heat in the oven.

Serve with curly fries or tater tots and ketchup or mustard of your choice (roller skates & 50’s music are optional).

Oh, and you may be asking why this post is called 27? Each time we get ready to leave to travel to the USA, our family has a bet and tipping pool on how many corndogs the 6 foot teenager will consume. The record is 27 in 20 days! I have a feeling that I may need to limit the number of times this recipe is requested 🙂

** If you want to make this vegetarian you can use the Not – Dogs that the 6 foot teenager thinks are yummy.  I haven’t tried them because not eating meat for me is not about ethics or humanity, but because I simply don’t like the taste.  Check out the veggie dogs here.

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Mmmmmmm pizza……

Disclaimer   – these pizzas were made for my family, not me :0) I’ve already featured my fave pumpkin based gf pizza here, which I made again last night.

I even made one stuffed crust that was VERY well received!! All in all I made stuffed crust cheese lovers, Hawaiian, ricotta based chicken and spinach, and meat lovers.  Enjoy!

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