Homemade Gluten Free Syrup

syrup

 

My kiddos love pancakes, waffles, French Toast and crepes, so we make a lot of syrup.  My dad and mom always made syrup from scratch and it was a very rare day indeed when we used a store brand to top off our pancakes and other breakfast foods. When I was young I always wanted to have the store brands, but when I got older, they were not even close to the yummy syrup we made at home.

Making your own homemade syrup not only guarantees that it is Gluten Free, but you can also know that you are not getting extra ingredients that you can’t pronounce in your syrup.

You can also change the flavors you make is a snap, and my absolute favorite has become vanilla.  I love it more than maple. Can you believe that?  Sometimes I will add grenadine or fruit purees to my syrup, but for the most part my kiddos just like a plain, maple or vanilla, so those are my go to recipes.

This recipe is super duper easy, and you can change it a bit if you have a preference for thicker or thinner syrup. I prefer thinner which is a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water, but I also change that up a bit sometimes as well and use a 2:1 ratio (2 C sugar to 1 C water).

For my regular syrup, using a 1:1 ratio (I usually double everything to have extra.)

Ingredients:

  1. 2 C Sugar
  2. 2 C water
  3. 2 T. Vanilla (make sure you use pure, gluten free vanilla, and not an imitation.)

Add sugar and water to a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil. (You can also do this in the microwave if you are in a hurry, but use a glass bowl.)  Boil for 3-5 minutes or until all sugar is dissolved. Leftover sugar will crystalize as it sits in the syrup.

Add the vanilla or maple and stir and you have a delicious, hot, homemade, Gluten Free Syrup. Let the syrup cool and pour into jars.

I store my yummy syrup on the counter or in the pantry in old-fashioned syrup containers. It will keep in the fridge for up to a month.

Thicker recipe ingredients:

2:1 ratio of sugar and water

  1. 2 C Sugar
  2. 1C water
  3. 2 T. Vanilla (make sure you use pure, gluten free vanilla, and not an imitation.)

 

Check through my posts for the homemade Buttermilk syrup too.  That one is out of this world.

-Happy Gluten Free Eating!

Decorating Easter Eggs

easterbasketI still have young kids at home so we still love to decorate Easter Eggs. There are a lot of fun ideas for decorating Easter Eggs, and we especially love to create family memories together by coming up with our own ideas and designs.

This is a fun and easy way for kids to decorate eggs.

  1. 5 quart size baggies with about 2 T. of rice in each one.
  2. Add about 8 drops of different food coloring to each baggies (blue and green don’t need as many drops of color. Maybe use 5 drops.
  3. Seal baggie and shake vigorously until all the rice is coated.
  4. Then put an egg in the baggie and shake, shake, shake.
  5. Make sure the eggs is completely colored. The rice adds a fun speckled look.
  6. Remove egg from the baggie with a spoon, and set on paper towel to dry.

The color is absorbed quickly into the rice and the eggs come out with a light speckle. If you want a bolder color, add 1/4-1/2 t of vinegar to the rice and shake it up before you add the egg. This will give you a bolder, darker color. If you add the vinegar, the color is wetter, so when you take the egg out of the baggie, some of the rice might cling to it.  Try to scrape the rice off gently with a spoon, and then set the egg on the paper towel to dry.  Any left over rice will brush right off with another paper towel.

eggsforeasterricebaggiericewithcolorredricecoloredeggredcoloredeggyellowColoredeggsHave fun with this and remember that memories are worth making!

-Happy Egg Coloring!

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs for Easter

eggsforeasterI LOVE this time of year. Spring is coming and the flowers and tree blossoms are budding. The air still has a little nip to it in the morning, but generally the days are starting to warm up nicely and the skies are pretty and blue.

I also love Easter and whether you are a religious person or not, this is a wonderful time of year! Renewal and reawakening. That’s how I think about it. I grew up on a small farm, and this time of years reminds me of new chicks, ducks,  horses,  cows, bunnies and all kinds of baby animals.

Most of all, this special Holiday of Easter reminds me of family, special gatherings and making memories. For all of those family get togethers there were special food dishes that we prepared like potato salad whether cold, or hot (German), beautiful salads laden with fruits like strawberries, oranges, pears, and apples, delicious ham dishes, and most popular of all, the infamous deviled eggs.  I need not mention I’m sure the incredible desserts and Easter candy.

Today, I am just focusing on the eggs. We love to scatter colorful boiled eggs around the yard for the Easter Egg Hunt, and then gather them up and make deviled eggs or add them to the potato salad. So Yummy!!!

I have learned from experience that if the eggs are a little older they work better for boiled eggs. Fresh eggs don’t peel very well and then you have ugly eggs, so if you are preparing deviled eggs for easter, make sure to buy your eggs ahead of time by 4-8 days or even longer. Then your eggs should peel nicely and look pretty.

I usually boil as many eggs as I can fit in the bottom of the pan, and I always start with room temperature eggs and cold water. This way the eggs won’t crack. Never put eggs into a hot boiling pan of water. Bring eggs to a gentle boil and boil for 12-15 minutes. I will take one egg out and peel it to see if they are to my liking, and when they are done to my satisfaction, I pour out the hot water from the pan and fill with cold water, and let the eggs cool down for 5 minutes. Pour out water, and your eggs are ready to go. If you are decorating the eggs, make sure to dry them really well before starting to color them.

eggsinpanOf course eggs are a delicious gluten free food, and if you only add gluten free ingredients when making potato salad and deviled eggs you will have some wonderful gluten free food dishes for Easter, and throughout Spring and summer.

Note: Today I boiled an extra large pan full of eggs, (about 30) because I was very pressed for time, and it worked just fine.  I have always been told that this is a big ‘NO NO‘, but I have to say that it worked very well.

It took a longer time to bring the water to a boil, and the cooking time was longer as well, but that said, the rest of it was a piece of cake and the eggs were awesome. I brought the eggs to a boil, and then boiled the eggs with a rolling boil for 8 minutes, and then I removed the pan from the heat, and let them sit in the pan with the lid on for 20 minutes.

boiledeggs
INGREDIENTS

12 large eggs (or you can add as many eggs as fill the bottom of the pan)
DIRECTIONS

  1. Place eggs in a large saucepan.
  2. Cover them with cool water by 1 inch.
  3. Slowly bring water to a boil over medium heat; when the water has reached a boil turn off heat.
  4. Cover and remove from heat.
  5. Let sit 12-15 minutes. (I usually sacrifice one eggs to slice open and check to make sure it is done.)
  6. Drain water from pan, and re-fill with cool running water to stop the cooking.
  7. Eggs can be peeled and served immediately, or you can set them aside in the fridge for later.

-Wishing you all a wonderful Easter and Spring! 

Gluten Free Girl Scout Cookies

GFgirlscoutcookieMy family loves Girl Scout Cookies! Oh yes, we do. We love them all. From the Thin Mints, and the Do-si-dos to the Samoas, and everything in between.  Yum, Yum is all I can say.

But now the Girl Scouts have done it again with a Gluten Free butter cookie called Toffee-tastic!  This means that all you Gluten Free folks with a sweet tooth for cookies can get a fix of something wonderful.

These cookies are awesome!  So much so that they sold out of them this season. So stay tuned for next cookie time and when you see the Girl Scouts out and about with boxes of cookies for sale, make your move so you can get your own box, or two… or three, of Gluten Free Toffee-tastic cookies! Maybe they will come up with a Gluten Free Samoa cookie. That would be the very best, but until then enjoy what you can get. 🙂

 

-Happy Cookie Munching!

 

 

DIY Gluten Free Sugar Scrub

Glutenfreesugarscrug1This stuff is so easy to make, and it’s so yummy! You can use this scrub in the shower or tub. In the shower, I slather it on and scrub my skin while I am still wet and then rinse it off. Dry off and your skin will be silky smooth. I Don’t even need lotion.

If you are in the tub, rub and scrub it vigorously all over like a soap. It will rinse off immediately. The only bummer for the tub is that the oil in the sugar scrub will leave a film around the waters edge. I quickly wipe down my tub with a wash cloth as it is draining, and it wipes right away. I don’t like to let it sit because I don’t want to scrub it later.

To make this Gluten Free Sugar Scrub you will need:

  • small bowl
    spoon
    measuring spoon (1 Tablespoon)
    2 T. sugar
    2 T. Coconut oil
    small jar
    edible grade doTerra Oils or scents, (Gluten Free)

I decided to quadruple my batch, and I added a few drops of Grapefruit doTerra Oil.
*It was scrumptious! 

Directions:

Add your sugar and coconut oil to the bowl and mix well. If your coconut oil is solid, just melt it in the microwave for a few seconds until it is liquid. (See how easy.) Next, add any edible grade scent or oil you would like. I have used orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, and lavender doTerra Essential oils. You can leave it plain if you would like. You could even use a little edible grade rose water. That would be delicious too!

Glutenfreesugarscrub2

Glutenfreesugarscrub3

Make sure to use Gluten Free edible oils and flavorings so that you are able to use this scrub on your face and lips. This is a wonderful Sugar Scrub, and best of all it’s gluten free with no chemicals or weird ingredients!

-Happy Scrubbing!

Things You Might Not know About Soy Sauce And Eating Gluten Free

gluten-free-soy-sauce

Did you know that Soy Sauce contains gluten? Soy Sauce can be in a lot of things, so check your ingredients well.

I love Sushi, so I was pretty bummed to find that most of the sauces for the Sushi rolls contain soy sauce. Make sure and talk to your waiter and tell them you need gluten free rolls and sauces, but remember that not all restaurant workers know about gluten. If you have Celiacs, it is very important for you to tell the waiters and the Chefs what you need. Don’t just sit back and hope they will know how to prepare your food.

Be very specific about the fact that you can’t have any gluten in your food. You will need to order a gluten free soy sauce for dipping, and you might need to make substitutions in your Sushi Rolls if they contain soy sauce. I will usually substitute Salmon or Tuna into the middle of a roll that has something made with soy sauce. I love Eel Rolls and sauce but they are a BIG FAT NO NO!

Sometimes it is hard to find anything to eat if the restaurant doesn’t really know about gluten free foods, so be prepared to have a salad, or eat somewhere else if they don’t seem knowledgable. For those with Celiacs, it isn’t worth your health.
You can buy Gluten Free Soy Sauce to take with you when you eat out at Walmart, Harmons and Smiths grocery stores and at Good Earth or other Health Food stores

Stay ahead of the game by knowing your facts and doing your own research. You need to protect yourself. Happy Gluten Free Eating!

Refreshing Fruit Flavored Water

Refreshing Fruit Water

Refreshing Fruit Water

I love diet coke, but since I am trying to stay away from soda and artificial sweeteners I have really grown fond of flavored water.  Don’t get me wrong, I love regular water too, but sometimes I just want a ‘little something else’.

I have decided that making my own fruit flavored water is not only fun, but cheaper, and I can make a variety of flavors with whatever fruits I have on hand. Since I don’t want added sugar or sweeteners in my water either, making my own  fruit flavored water gives me exactly what I am looking for, especially since I can only find flavored water with sweeteners at the grocery store.

If you use doTera essential oils, you can add a drop or two of lemon, lime or wild orange into your water also. Just make sure it is an oil that is approved for consumption.

Ingredients:

  • fruit –2 cups of whichever fruit you choose. (I like to mix at least 2 or 3 fruits.)
  • strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, lemons, limes, oranges, pineapple, or melon
  • herbs –for a fun twist you can add a sprig of lavender, thyme, tarragon, mint, sage, basil, rosemary.
  • water –tap or filtered
  • ice

Directions:

  • –You will need a large pitcher or jar with a lid (2 quarts or larger) and a long handled wooden spoon. If you are adding herbs to your water, add a sprig of herbs first and using the spoon, press and twist the leaves against the jar in order to bruise the leaves and help release the flavor (muddle).  You don’t need to mash the herbs to bits, just give them a few gentle twists and presses.
  • –Next, add your fruit. Press the fruit with the spoon as well, to help release some of the fruit juices.
  • –Fill the pitcher with ice cubes
  • –Add water to the top of the jar and cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (As I drink the water, I add more, so it stays full. The flavor isn’t as strong after a while but it’s still delicious.

Suggested flavor combinations:

STRAWBERRY LEMON–Add strawberries and lemon slices, muddle fruit, add ice and water

PINEAPPLE MINT — Add a sprig of mint to the jar (Muddle the mint. Add 2 cups pineapple pieces, muddle the fruit, add ice & water.


BLACKBERRY SAGE — Add sage sprig to jar and muddle. Add 2 cups blackberries; muddle, add ice & water.


WATERMELON ROSEMARY — Add rosemary sprig to jar & muddle. Add 2 cups watermelon cubes; muddle, add ice and water.

CITRUS (no herbs) — Slice 1 orange, 1 lime, 1 lemon into rounds, then cut the rounds in half. Add to jar and proceed with muddling, add ice & water.

RASPBERRY LIME (no herbs) — Quarter 2 limes; with your hands, squeeze the juice into the jar, then throw in the squeezed lime quarters. Add 2 cups raspberries. Muddle, add ice & water.

LEMON LIME MINT – Add a sprig of mint to jar and muddle, and lemon and limes, muddle,add ice and water.

These fruit flavored waters are refreshing and colorful! Get creative and think outside the box, and see if you can find your own personal favorite.

 

Enjoy–

Delicious Buttermilk Syrup For A Sinfully Delightful Breakfast!

I love a big breakfast spread on the weekends. Pancakes, or french toast, with a meat choice like sausage or ham and of course, eggs. Yum!

My family prefers homemade syrup to store bought brands, so we make our own syrup to finish off our sinful meals. Vanilla syrup is our favorite, but  I also stumbled upon a Buttermilk Syrup recipe that is to die for. So next time you’re in the mood for pancakes or french toast, give this delicious syrup a try.

This syrup makes a wonderful topping for ice cream too!

Buttermilk Syrup:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1C buttermilk
  • 1 vanilla
  • 1 T corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
Bring first 5 ingredients to boil. Add baking soda and boil for 10 seconds. The syrup will become very frothy. Delicious!
I always double this recipe, so that I can have some left over.

Delicious S’mores Monkey Bread With A Gluten-Free Twist!

S'mores Monkey Bread With A Gluten-Free Twist!

S’mores Monkey Bread With A Gluten-Free Twist!

I love Pinterest! I always find the best recipes there. The other day, I saw this delicious looking recipe from recipesnobs.com.  S’mores Monkey Bread. Oh my… I must say that this recipe proved to be heavenly as a gluten-free dessert.

I have learned the hard way that not all recipes work well for a gluten-free swap. This one, however worked out very well. I used a gluten-free flour that works well with a cup for cup exchange, and also works well as a rising bread, which this recipe needs. Jules Gluten Free Flour has worked really well for me in my recipes, whether it is for bread, cookies, pie crusts; you name it.

This recipe also has graham crackers, so I made a batch from Jules Graham Cracker Mix. I have my own recipe to, but the mix is easy and convenient and turns out really nice.

So the first thing you need to do is make some gluten free graham crackers. You will find a recipe on my last post.

Gluten Free Graham Crackers:

 

Ingredients needed for Monkey Bread:
 Graham Cracker Bread:
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 packet fast rise yeast
  • 1 cup gluten-free graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 cups plus 2 Tbsp. gluten-free all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt

Marshmallow Caramel:

  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows

Assembly:

  • 1 additional cup gluten-free graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 2 (1.55 oz.) Hershey’s milk chocolate candy bars
Directions:
  • In a small bowl, combine warm water and brown sugar. Stir together until sugar is mostly dissolved. Add yeast and stir until dissolved. Let sit for 10 minutes until surface of mixture becomes foamy.
  • Meanwhile, in a food processor, add 6 or 7 gluten-free graham crackers (add more if you need to in order to measure 1 cup)
  • Pulse until graham crackers are very fine.
  • Set Aside
Next:
  • In a medium bowl, add 1 cup gluten-free graham cracker crumbs, 3 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (find one that exchanges cup for cup), baking powder, and baking soda.
  •  Mix together well. Set aside.
  •  Add butter and milk in a small microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute, or until butter is melted.
  • Let cool slightly.
  • Add  eggs and salt and mix well.
  • Add yeast mixture and flour mixture. Beat until just combined. (Do not over-beat)

Don't over mix dough.

  • On a lightly floured surface, knead 2 Tbsp. of gluten-free all-purpose flour into dough.
  • Knead until dough comes together and is equally consistent throughout. About 5 minutes (by hand).
  • Place dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat entire surface of dough.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size.

let dough rise

  • While bread is rising, make caramel by combining butter, sugar, heavy cream, corn syrup, and vanilla in a medium saucepan.
  •  Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, continuously stirring.
  • Boil caramel until sugar has dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Turn heat down to low. Wait until caramel stops boiling.
  • Add marshmallows. Cook on low heat, continuously stirring, until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth.
  • Take off heat and let cool slightly before assembly.

gooey marshmallow caramel

Ok, now the fun really begins.

  • Take another 6 or 7 gluten-free graham crackers and pulse them in the food processor until they are fine crumbs. Place in a small bowl and set aside.
  • After dough has risen (keep in mind that gluten-free dough usually does’t rise as much as regular dough) pour 2/3 cup marshmallow caramel into a greased 10-inch fluted pan. Sprinkle 1/2 cup marshmallows and 1/4 cup chocolate chips over caramel. Set aside.
Monkey Bread layering
Monkey Bread layering
  • Punch down dough and shape into 40 balls (about 1-inch diameter). Place melted butter in a small bowl and retrieve graham cracker crumbs. Roll balls in butter, then roll in crumbs. Place 20 balls in the pan over caramel/marshmallow and chocolate chips.
yummy layers
yummy layers
  • Drizzle 1/4 cup marshmallow caramel over dough balls, and top with other half of marshmallows and chocolate chips.
  • Pour 1/2 cup caramel over marshmallows and chocolate chips.
last layer
last layer
  • Roll remaining balls in butter and crumbs and place over caramel in tubed pan. Sprinkle some of the left over crumbs to fill in any holes between the dough balls to cover exposed marshmallow or chocolate areas. Cover and set in a warm place to let rise for another 30 minutes.
  • Place fluted pan on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. (Don’t over bake)
  • Cool bread in the pan until edges are touchable, about 3 minutes.
  • Invert pan onto a serving plate.
  •  Do not remove pan until bread is just warm!! About another 5-10 minutes. (you don’t want to take pan off while bread is still hot or else it will fall apart)
  • Slowly remove pan and set bread aside.

The Grand Finale:

  • In a small microwave safe bowl, microwave 2 Hershey’s bars (broken up) for 30 seconds.
  • Stir chocolate until smooth.
  • Pour melted chocolate into a small zip lock bag.
  • When chocolate is cool enough to handle, clip the corner of the bag and pipe chocolate over monkey bread.
  • Repeat the same process by putting leftover caramel into a zip lock bag and piping over chocolate/monkey bread. (You may have to warm up caramel just a little.)
  • If there is left over caramel, serve on the side for dipping.
  • Bread is best when served warm.

This is a  Food Snots Original Recipe, but I substituted gluten free flour for regluar wheat flour and I also substituted gluten-free graham crackers for regular graham crackers.

This recipe turned out fantastic, but keep in mind that you’re choice of gluten-free flour will make all the difference. You might have to experiment a few times until you find a flour that works well for you. I have finally found a few, but I am always up to try a new one.

–Enjoy!

Thanks for visiting my blog!

 

–Enjoy!

Delicious Gluten-Free Graham Crackers – Perfect For Pie Crust

Oh so yummy gluten-free graham crackers!

Oh so yummy gluten-free graham crackers!

While looking for a gluten-free crust for a few pies for Thanksgiving this next week, I came across a gluten-free graham cracker mix from Jules Gluten Free Flour. I decided to try them, and WOW! they are delicious. I give these tasty morsels two thumbs up!

You can make these gluten-free graham crackers from scratch, or you can order the mix. I bought the mix from Jules Gluten Free Flour, and it made it a breeze to whip out these yummy gluten-free graham crackers.

So here is the recipe. Try them, you will love them! I also used gluten-free flour from Jules. She has one of the best cup for cup exchange gluten-free flours I have found. The foods I make from Jule’s gluten-free flour taste like the real thing. I L.O.V.E. this flour. I made a big batch of gluten-free graham crackers and keep them handy for snacking, but I also decided that these gluten-free graham crackers will be perfect for pie crust as well.

Since I was just going to pulverize the graham crackers in my food processor for pie crust, I didn’t take the time to roll them out. I pressed the dough into a parchment lined cookie sheet, cut the dough into squares, and poked each square two times with a fork. They turned out very pretty.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! –Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter (Dairy-Free: Earth Balance® Shortening or Buttery Sticks/Soy-free: coconut oil)
  • 1/4 cup honey or agave nectar (use molasses if making gingersnaps)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Jules Gluten Free™ All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat or brown rice flour
  • dash of salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cold water

Directions:

  • Beat together the first four ingredients in one large bowl, and mix all of the remaining dry ingredients in another bowl.
  • Slowly stir the dry mixture into the first bowl, adding water as necessary to create a consistency such that you could make a ball with the dough.
  • Divide the dough in half, cover and refrigerate or freeze for at least two hours or until very cold. Using all butter and/or without chilling first, this dough will be very sticky to work with.
  • Preheat oven to 325º F for static ovens, 300º F for convection.
  • Roll one half out onto a surface dusted with Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour. The dough should make a large 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick rectangle. You may roll it more thinly or more thickly, but slightly thicker works better for s’mores.
  • Cut into smaller rectangles like graham crackers and lift with a spatula onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Finally, prick each cracker with a fork in rows, as you would with a graham cracker.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture before baking, if you like.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until they are lightly browned. Let them cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes before lifting to a cooling rack.

Viola! Beautiful Gluten-Free Graham Crackers!

Gluten-free Graham Cracker Dough

Gluten-free Graham Cracker Dough

Gluten-Free Graham Crackers ready for the oven.

Gluten-Free Graham Crackers ready for the oven.

Gluten-Free Graham Crackers

Delicious Gluten-Free Graham Crackers. Ready to eat!