Tag Archive: Gluten-Free

Sweet Tea Vodka Lemonade

Sweet Tea Vodka Lemonade

Though it’s only Wednesday, this week definitely calls for a drink.

It’s funny how much the seasons and weather change our tastebuds. This is by far one of my favorite Summer drinks (though the elderflower fizz puts up a tough fight). It’s just light and sweet enough but also packs a punch. 

I’ve posted before on how to make a drink like this from scratch, but that’s not always the most efficient thing to do. This drink can absolutely taste just as good with ingredients from the store; it’s just important to buy quality ingredients. If they don’t taste good on their own, they won’t taste good mixed together. 

Sweet Tea Vodka Lemonade Pitcher

If you really want to kick this drink up a notch, I’d recommend adding crushed fresh herbs. You can add crushed mint for a classic sweet drink flavor or a little crushed basil for something more sophisticated.

Sweet Tea Vodka Lemonade

Prep time: 5 hour

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 servings):

  • 1/2 cup quality iced tea
  • 1/2 cup lemonade (the fresher the better)
  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • Lemon wedges to garnish

Method:

  1. Combine the iced tea, lemonade, vodka, and ice cubes in a large cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake vigorously until well mixed and the ice begins to break up. 
  3. Pour equally into two tall glasses.
  4. Garnish with a lemon slice before serving.

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Creamy Feta and Sun-dried Tomato Dip

The best way to be a better cook is find recipes you like and learn to make them your own way. Some months I get lazy and never make anything new–I don’t mind the same lunch every day of the week. But reading blogs help me find recipes good enough to break me out of my rut.

This recipe from Mississippi Kitchen looked too good to pass up. I never buy as much spinach and salad mixins as I should so instead I wanted to take the same flavors and put them in a dip. This has a ton of savory, salty flavor and surprisingly healthy ingredients. You could serve this at a party and they’d never know it’s a bean dip!

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Seasoning should be the last step of this recipe. There’s no right amount of salt–you’ll need to taste it and figure out how much to add based on how salty your ingredients are.

Always taste a sauce or dip with whatever you’re using for dipping; if you’re using vegetables you’ll want the dip to be on the saltier side, while if you’re using seasoned crackers keep it on the bland side.   

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 12 servings):

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained

  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

  • 1/3 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup buttermilk

  • 4oz feta, crumbled

  • Salt to taste

  • Vegetables for dipping 

Method:

  1. Add the beans to a food processor and pulse until smooth.

  2. Add in the tomatoes, sour cream, 1/2 cup buttermilk, and feta and process.

  3. Slowly add more buttermilk to get the dip to the right consistency while processing. Only add as much as you’d like to make it the right thickness.

  4. When done, season to taste with salt.

  5. Serve at room temperature. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator when not enjoying. 

4th of July Flourless Chocolate Cake

Gluten-Free Flag Cake

Cake is never my favorite dessert. Brownies, fudge and frosting are. So when I make a cake the fudgier and dense it is the better.

My mom’s made this flourless cake for years. I first had it during passover at a bake sale when it was one of the few flour-free treats people would flock to. Since then it’s been a go-to recipe.

The cake is just eggs, sugar, chocolate, and butter; it can’t get any simpler than that. For the frosting I used a basic vanilla buttercream and fresh berries to make it festive. When adding berries to baked goods you make the shelf life much much shorter, so add them at the last minute and make sure to eat it up fresh!   

Flourless Flag Cake

If you do prefer a lighter and cakier base, try this gluten-free recipe using almond and coconut flours. 

4th of July Flourless Chocolate Cake

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 20 servings):

For the cake:

  • 1 stick butter, melted

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 6 eggs

  • 1 cup chocolate chips OR 8.5 oz chocolate, melted

For the frosting:

  • 1 stick butter, room temperature

  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 Tablespoons milk or cream

  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced

  • 1 pint blueberries

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar, adding in eggs one at a time until all of them are incorporated. The batter should be smooth and ribbony.
  3. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave.
  4. Slowly temper the melted chocolate into the batter until it’s completely mixed in.
  5. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and pour the batter in.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake and let it sit undisturbed until it cools to room temperature. It should deflate as it cools. Don’t worry if the top cracks since it will get covered eventually.
  8. To make the frosting, whip together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth.
  9. Lightly dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar to make sure the frosting doesn’t pull crumbs.
  10. Spread the frosting on gently and evenly.
  11. Arrange the strawberries and blueberries however you’d like right before serving. Store leftovers in a air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.  

Vegan PB & J Smoothie

Vegan PB & J Smoothie

I somehow have become a morning exerciser. The first day of waking up, rolling out of bed, and putting on gym shorts instead of a pot of coffee was rough. The second was just as rough. But every day since it’s gotten a little easier.

After working out I’ve been more inclined to make a smoothie than bowl of oatmeal or anything else. It’s quick and easy to drink when getting ready for work. I’ve been trying different mixes to keep things interesting every time and this one is a winner.

It has the classic flavor of the inside of a PB & J, just in liquid form. It’s perfectly sweet and even packs some greens in it, too, if you opt in for the spinach(which you won’t be able to see or taste fully blended–I promise). 

IMG_7064_2

If you’re not a fan of peanut butter or just don’t have any lying around try making this with almond butter or even coconut butter.      

Vegan PB & J Smoothie

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 meal serving or 2 snack servings):

  • 1 medium banana

  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries

  • 1/3 cup frozen spinach

  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter

  • 1/2 cup water

Method:

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a high-power blender. 

  2. Pulse briefly and then blend until the ingredients make a creamy smoothie. Add water if necessary to make smooth and creamy.

  3. Pour into a tall glass and drink cold. 

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

Now that it’s no longer cold out it’s hard to get excited about a bowl of oatmeal or stove-cooked breakfast in the morning. It’s a lot easier to down a quick smoothie–especially if it’s chocolate. 

You’ll be surprised how much this smoothie tastes like a chocolate covered strawberry, especially since it’s fat-free. There are no chocolate chips in the recipe but I wouldn’t stop you from adding a few on top. 

Personally I think chocolate and raspberries or chocolate and blueberries go together just as well as chocolate and strawberries. I’d recommend trying this one out with any berry you love most. 

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

If you‘re a grown-up and don’t have chocolate milk you can use regular milk and add a little cocoa powder and a tablespoon of sugar or honey. Adding protein powder or chia seeds will help make this more fulling for a complete meal.   

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 serving):

Method:

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a high-power blender. 

  2. Pulse briefly and then blend until the ingredients make a creamy smoothie.

  3. Pour into a tall glass and drink cold. 

The Elderflower Fizz

The Elderflower Fizz Cocktail

Every time I find something new I’m not sure how I lived so long without it.

Last Summer I couldn’t get enough of elderflower drinks. A friend made this awesome recipe I’m about to share a few weeks back and I had to recreate it. It also was the perfect excuse to use my SodaStream and silicone ice cube trays. Why did we settle for plastic, rectangular ice cube trays for so long?

This cocktail is the perfect balance between sour citrus and sweet elderflower liqueur. It’s a great introduction if you haven’t tried it before. Using soda makes it even more Summery and refreshing.

The Elderflower Fizz Cocktail

Make sure not to shake the ingredients too vigorously or you’ll lose the carbonation. I used SodaStream’s diet grapefruit soda for this. If you don’t have that, you can opt for Fresca or a different brand. 

The Elderflower Fizz

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 drinks):

  • 1.5oz Vodka

  • 1.5oz Elderflower liqueur

  • 6oz Grapefruit soda

  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice

  • Ice

Method:

  1. Mix the vodka, elderflower liqueur, soda, and juice delicately in a cocktail shaker.

  2. Pour into two glasses over ice. Drink cold. 

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

Everyone has a go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe but not many have a go-to oatmeal cookie recipe.

As soon as I pulled these out of the oven and tasted them these became mine.

Chex is launching this month a line of oatmeal including flavored oatmeal packets and sent me some to try. I’m glad gluten-free oats aren’t a “specialty” food anymore and it’s easier to get classics like packaged oatmeal. The maple brown sugar flavor was by far the best breakfast I’ve had in a while.

Instead of loose oatmeal this recipe uses quick-cooking packaged oatmeal. It’s an easy way to add a lot of flavor. When you’re baking it’s better to use quick-cooking oats than rolled oats because they’ll bake faster and softer. 

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookie Ingredients

I made mine with chocolate chips, but if you wanted to make these healthier you could add chopped walnuts, pecans, or even dried blueberries! Basically, if you’d have it with a bowl of oatmeal, it’s going to go great with these cookies. 

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 14 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 24 cookies):

  • 3 packets Chex gluten-free maple brown sugar oatmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free or regular flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 eggs

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oatmeal packets, flour, sugar, chocolate chips, and baking powder.
  3. Add in the vanilla extract, butter, and eggs and mix thoroughly until it makes a soft dough.
  4. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and flatten them out just a bit before putting them on a nonstick baking tray. 
  5. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the bottoms begin to brown. 
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. 

SodaStream Review + 2 Cocktail Recipes

SodaStream Review

Sometimes when you try something new it takes a while to warm up to it. Other times it’s love at first sight. This was closer to love at first sip.

I’ve been to parties where people have SodaStreams but I’ve never owned one until SodaStream sent me their Source machine along with plenty of flavorings to review. I only drink soda usually when it’s with a cocktail but I’ll drink seltzer every day. If it wasn’t for seltzer I probably wouldn’t be half as hydrated.

By far my favorite advantage of using a SodaStream to make drinks is adjusting sweetness and flavor. I’ve always found most sodas too sweet, or sometimes you’ll get a pack of flavored seltzer and it tastes totally plain. You never have that problem when you’re making your own drink. They give you suggested portions of mix for each liter but I’ve been using 2/3rds of the suggested amount and it’s just the right sweetness.

For that reason I didn’t really like the caps or samplers that are designed to be just for a 1 Liter bottle but I could understand those being convenient for people who want to use just that amount or plan on using it on the go. 

Berry Vodka Soda Recipe

The MyWaters have been great for adding natural flavor without calories to seltzer. I could see myself going through a LOT of those tiny bottles. I’ve also been using them to make really simple vodka sodas that pack a lot of flavor. One of my favorite tricks is using frozen berries instead of ice cubes in clear drinks for extra flavor and extra color.

Berry Vodka Soda

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 drink):

Method:

  1. Mix the club soda and vodka delicately in a cocktail shaker.

  2. Pour over a handful of frozen berries in a short glass.

Of course there’s also a TON of flavors of soda for the SodaStream. I admit I’ve started drinking more of it since I got the machine. The diet orange mango and diet pink grapefruit are too good to pass up after dinner.

Blue Whale Recipe

If you’re trying to have less sugar or less chemical sweeteners I still think this is a good product. Like I mentioned, I’ll usually use 2/3rds the amount of mix suggested to cut the sweetness and sugar. It’s especially useful when mixing cocktails with sweet liqueurs like this version of a blue whale.

Fizzy Blue Whale

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 drink):

Method:

    1. Gently shake all of the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker.

    2. Pour into old-fashioned glasses. Garnish with a fresh lemon wedge.

Of course another huge advantage of using a SodaStream has been reducing bottles and cans and saving money. I never have 1/2 a flat bottle of Coke or recycling building up. It’s also very easy to clean which I definitely appreciate.

Have you ever played around with a SodaStream before? What kind of fizzy cocktail recipes would you want to try? 

4 Memorial Day Dessert Recipes

When the Summer comes around, it makes me realize how boring the Winter was. Every weekend someone’s having a picnic or a party or a birthday. It’s a really good problem to have.

Assuming you have one(or all) of those lined up for Memorial Day weekend, I wanted to share 4 of my favorite recipes to celebrate the warmer weather(of course if it’s too warm and chocolate starts melting, then it’s a travesty).

Any of these are a great way to finish off a picnic or a backyard barbecue depending on what your mood is. Each recipe is also gluten-free or easily tailored to be. 

Gluten-Free Chocolate Flag Cake

Gluten-Free Chocolate Flag Cake–Because every memorial day needs some patriotism. The great thing about cake is that it can’t melt, so if it’s hot out you can still have a tasty time. This cake defies normal gluten-free cakes with a super moist base and a rich vanilla frosting. You can’t really go wrong.

Chubby Hubby Cheesecake

Chubby Hubby Cheesecake is on my short list of recipes to make soon. It’s pretty much a home run with any crowd with good taste. It’s easy to make gluten-free, too, by using gluten-free pretzels or even vegan with dairy-free substitutes.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries are of course a classic dessert for any Summer party. As long as it’s not too hot out, these are a refreshing way to cool down. Create a variety by using milk, white, and dark chocolate.

Red White and Blue Stuffed Strawberries

Red, White, & Blue Strawberries take the chocolate covered strawberry idea and flip it inside out(literally). These take a little more time and skill but they’re worth the effort. If you’re up for a challenge and ready to impress, give these a go.

Happy Memorial Day!

Banana White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Banana White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bananas get a worse rap than any other fruit. You never hear of people who refuse to eat blueberries or mangoes; what makes the banana so loathable?

If you do love bananas then this is the right cookie recipe. They aren’t overly cakey or fruity–they’re just right.

The flour I used was Betty Crocker’s gluten free baking flour. It’s mostly rice based which keeps the cookies light and airy. If you use wheat flour I’d suggest all-purpose or cake flour.

Banana White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made mine with coconut oil and the flavor was even better. If you don’t have coconut oil, try adding shredded coconut.

Banana White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 12 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 18 cookies):

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil(coconut oil works well here)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips 

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the banana, eggs, oil, and vanilla. 
  3. Add in the baking powder, sugar, flour, and salt and mix well until it makes a soft dough.
  4. Fold in the white chocolate chips evenly. 
  5. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and flatten them to about 1/2 inch thickness before putting them on a nonstick baking tray. 
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the bottoms begin to brown and the top is crispy. 
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.