Archive for Appetizers
You’ve probably tried Pepper Jelly over Cream Cheese with crackers, right? When we get together with my husband’s family, we almost always have it for an appetizer. My mother-in-law makes a wonderful pepper jelly every year. Sorry, I don’t have that recipe to share with you. Simply Recipes has a good recipe for it. But you can also find it in the stores or on Amazon. Just be sure to check the labels to make sure they’re gluten-free.
Here’s the very simple non-recipe: Place your cream cheese on a plate or serving dish and pour the jelly over the top. Then, spread gluten-free chips or crackers around it, for a nice presentation. How easy is that?! Now check out my notes and my new twist on it below.
Additional Notes and Ideas:
- I like to use whipped cream cheese (or whip it myself) because it’s a little easier to dig into with crackers.
- If you’re like me, and don’t tolerate dairy well, then try Toffutti’s non-dairy cream cheese. I buy the Non-Hydrogenated Plain variety in the yellow tub. With the jelly on top, you won’t notice the difference. OK, maybe you will, but it still tastes really good.
- Another fun option is to buy the blocks of cream cheese (Tofutti’s works, too) and cut them into holiday shapes with cookie cutters. You can make a whole tray of cream cheese Christmas trees, stars, holly leaves, etc.
- Use any favorite gluten-free crackers or chips that don’t break too easily. Gluten-free rice crackers, Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Crackers, and FoodShouldTasteGood Multigrain Tortilla Chips (in the photo above) are my favorites for this.
- Sometimes I get jelly or jam that is too solid, and doesn’t want to pour or spread easily. In this case, I usually just put the jelly into the microwave for 20-30 seconds and stir well. Then, pour/spread it over the cream cheese.
- For a festive holiday look, use both green and red pepper jelly. Add sweet pepper slices, cranberries, or raspberries for garnish.
- Use any kind of jelly. Pepper jellies have a nice spice and flavor that complements the cream cheese, but you can use any favorite jelly. In fact, that’s just what I did by combining two flavors that always taste good together: chocolate and raspberry.
Chocolate and Raspberry Variation. When I received a sample of FoodShouldTasteGood’s Chocolate Tortilla Chips, I knew what I wanted to try: Cream Cheese and Raspberry Jelly served with the Chocolate Tortilla Chips. Delicious treat! (It looks nice with a couple fresh raspberries on top, but I didn’t have the raspberries or the raspberry jam for the photo. Fortunately, the triple-berry jam I used in the photo turned out just as tasty.)
If you haven’t tried the Chocolate tortilla chips, you really should. They have a rich cocoa flavor, and are just lightly sweetened. The flavor really works well with the creaminess of Tofutti, and the tart, sweetness of the jelly.
Having a party this weekend? Or, maybe you want to take something you can eat to share at a party. Here’s a gluten-free recipe that would be great for a Super Bowl party, a birthday party, a homemade Valentine gift, or just a fun snack to share.
It’s not sticky like caramel corn, but it is a little crunchy, a little sweet, and a little salty. It’s gluten-free and dairy-free (lactose-free and casein-free, too!). Kids and adults are going to LOVE this. I make a big batch because it disappears so quickly.
Caramel Corn Puffs Recipe
12 oz. (2 pkgs) plain, unsweetened whole grain Puffed Corn
1 Cup (2 sticks) Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
1- 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar, lightly packed
1/2 Cup Agave or Honey
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Sea Salt, finely ground
- Preheat oven to 250º F.
- Pour plain Corn Puffs into a large roasting pan, or onto two large baking sheets with sides, and set aside.
- In a 3- or 4-quart sauce pan, combine vegan buttery sticks, brown sugar, and agave syrup. Over medium-high heat, bring it to a boil and and let it continue to boil for 5 minutes.
- Carefully pour in the vanilla and baking soda. This will cause it to bubble up, so watch it carefully and stir quickly.
- Remove it from the heat and quickly pour the mixture over the corn puffs in the roasting pan. Gently stir the corn puffs so that all are covered with the caramel mixture.
- Put the corn puffs in the oven and bake at 250º F for a total of 60 min, taking it out of the oven and stirring every 15 minutes to make sure every piece gets baked evenly.
- After 60 minutes, remove from the oven and sprinkle sea salt on the corn puffs while they’re still warm. Stir, cool, and enjoy!
- You can store this in airtight containers on the counter for a week, without losing any quality of taste. (Maybe longer, but that is as long as I can keep it on the counter without eating every last piece.)
- Make sure the puffed corn you purchase is gluten-free. Some brands may have cross-contamination warnings.
- Add some nuts, or other ingredients to make it a trail-mix treat.
Pigs in a blanket, or hot dogs wrapped in dough: Whatever you call it, they are sure to please taste buds of all ages. This idea came about as an afterthought. I was trying out Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix. I followed the directions on the package for making the crust. The recipe says it makes two 12″ pizzas or one 16″ pizza. Well, my 16″ pizza turned out to be more like 14″. So, I had dough leftover. Since my daughter doesn’t like pizza, I decided to use the dough for hot dog buns. I cut the remaining dough into four rectangles and wrapped them around uncooked hot dogs. Then, I put them onto a lightly greased baking sheet and baked them for about 15 minutes. (No pre-baking was necessary.) They turned out great. And, how did my daughter like it? Well, let’s just say she’s used to eating hot dogs without buns. My husband and I thought they were delicious. We’ll definitely make them again. I think next time I’ll try some with a slice of cheese in them, too.
I wanted to share this because I thought it would be a great idea for a kid’s (or grown-up’s) gluten-free birthday party. Make the dough in advance, and have the hot dogs wrapped with the dough, covered on a baking sheet and waiting in the refrigerator until the guests show up. Then, pop the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. You could have a whole tray of these cooked and ready to serve while the kids play games, open presents, etc.
I should also mention that the pizza crust turned out very good, too! But somehow, I forgot to take a picture of the pizza we made. It was devoured way too quickly for me to even get a shot of it.
- This post is shared on this week’s edition of Gluten-Free Wednesdays at The Gluten-Free Homemaker.
- Try a recipe for a yeast-free crescent roll at Better Batter.
- Ginger Lemon Girl has a recipe for gluten-free Crescent Rolls and her version of Pigs in a Blanket.
- Kate posted her version of mini-crescent dogs at Gluten Free Gobsmacked.
That’s right! For this month’s Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger, I made gluten-free soft, warm pretzels. I saw the recipe on Flour Arrangements, a blog full of wonderful recipes posted by Sophie. I love her blog name: It just seems so appropriate for someone baking lots of gluten-free treats, doesn’t it? I don’t know about you, but I probably have a dozen different gluten-free flours in my pantry. I’m always impressed by the big, beautiful photos on Sophie’s site. They always make my mouth water. And when I saw her post for these pretzels, I immediately thought of the buttery, gluten smell of the hot soft pretzels at the mall. You know the ones I’m talking about. I just had to give her recipe a try.
So how were they? Good. Really good. But perhaps not perfect because I think I erred a little bit. I tried my best to follow the recipe exactly, but did have to make a couple substitutions. I did use teff flour and almond meal as instructed for the high-protein flour. But, I had to substitute brown rice flour for the white rice flour. I didn’t realize I was out of white rice flour. (Actually, I think I quit buying it.)
Another problem I had, the recipe calls for 1-1/4 tsp of yeast. When I tried to proof it, nothing happened. So, I added another teaspoon of yeast to the mixture. That seemed to do the trick. Now for the big mistake: I put the dough into the warm oven to rise, but I didn’t cover the bowl. Oops! By the time I got the dough out, it hadn’t really risen much. And, the surface of the dough got a little dry and crusty in spots. But, I was determined to make it work. So, I got it out and worked with it a little and pressed on. I didn’t find the dough to be very sticky at all. Perhaps it got too dry in the oven. But, I actually found it to be fairly easy to roll it out and shape into pretzels.
The baking soda and water mixture was a lot more than I needed to brush on the pretzels. But, it is definitely necessary for the taste and texture of the crust of the pretzel. As the pretzels came out of the oven (Oh, what a wonderful smell!), I brushed them with melted butter and sprinkled a mixture of coarse Kosher salt and coarse sea salt on them. The flavor is just what you would expect for the pretzels. The texture was good, too, however I would prefer a lighter, airier pretzel. I think the combination of letting the dough dry out in the oven and then kneading the dough probably deflated the necessary air pockets from the dough.
I was hoping to get a chance to make another batch of pretzels before posting this, but I ran out of time. I will definitely make these again! Even with the denser dough product, these were really good. The flavor was right-on and they were soft and tender. Even the next day, they still tasted good. My husband heated one up in the toaster oven two days later and said it was still good.
So for my next batch, I will use 2-1/4 tsp yeast and cover the dough before putting into the oven to rise. I would also say that for the baking soda solution, you can use 1/2 cup hot water with 1 tsp baking soda. That should be more than enough to brush onto the pretzels. And, my husband would say, “Don’t forget the mustard!” I prefer mine plain, with just a little salt.
My thanks to Sea at The Book of Yum for creating this fun and productive blog carnival. It’s great motivation to learn about some fellow gluten-free bloggers, and try some new gluten-free recipes. Thanks also to Thomas of The GFCF Experience for hosting the event this month. And, thanks to Sophie for sharing so many wonderful gluten-free recipes. I know I’m not the only one who appreciates your tasty recipes!
We eat hamburgers in my house almost weekly. It’s my daughter’s dinner request every night. Most nights we eat them just as patties, no bun. Sometimes we buy some frozen gluten-free rolls or buns at the grocery store. But a couple weeks ago I decided to try something new and exciting. Earlier this month I saw two great-looking recipes on Gluten Free Gobsmacked: Cheese Bread Rolls (aka Pao de chejo and Chebe bread) and Jalapeño-Popper Dip. They looked like a great way to change up our hamburger dinners.
And, since Book of Yum is hosting another Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger this month, I decided to use those two recipes to share with you. I’m happy to share my good results with you, and introduce a gluten-free blogger you may not have checked out yet. Gluten Free Gobsmacked is a blog that has been around for a while. Like so many other celiacs, the author Kate suffered years of illness and health problems before finally being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. She began the website as a way to share recipes and connect with family and friends. And the rest of us out here in cyber land have gotten to benefit from her knowledge and recipes. I certainly enjoyed them this month.
The Cheese Bread was so much easier to make than I thought it would be. It really was fairly quick to mix up and bake in the oven (maybe 30 minutes total). In my attempt to make it, I followed the recipe as close as I could. For the cheese I used about 2/3 cup shredded cheddar, 2/3 cup shredded provolone, and 2/3 grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses. For the herbs I used finely chopped fresh chives and dried dill. Because I was hoping to use these as hamburger buns, I made them a little larger and flattened them a little more than Kate did in her post. I was able to make nine of them with the recipe, and baked them on a Silicone Baking Mat for about 10 minutes. They smelled fabulous and tasted just as good. My husband ate one of the rolls as they were cooling down on racks. He said he was just going to have a taste, but it was so good had to finish it off. The very airy texture of them worked well as hamburger buns. They don’t rise or expand much during baking, so make them the size and shape you want them before baking. We used two rolls for each hamburger. We also found that they stayed fresh on the counter (in a sealed container) for a couple days. To eat them with dinner later that week, we just popped them into the toaster oven to warm them up. We will definitely make these again!
So, to make our hamburger night even better, I also made Kate’s Jalapeño-Popper Dip. This recipe I didn’t follow as strictly as I should have, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients and had to make some adjustments. I didn’t have the Pasilla Chile Powder, so I used 2 tsp of Hot Mexican-Style Chili Powder. I also didn’t have dried green onion, so instead finely chopped up a few fresh green onions. We really enjoyed the fresh onion flavor. It was delicious. It works great as a dip, but I thought it was so good I slathered a thick layer of it on my burger. Not that’s a better burger! I had a lot of the dip leftover, so since then I’ve also used it on steamed vegetables. It was great and would make a great dip to make for a Super Bowl Party, too!