Category Archives: Gluten Free

Minestrone Soup with Blue Cheese-Parmesan Meatballs

Sunday is our day to rest, which includes a rest from cooking, so dinners throughout the week have to carry us through the weekend. As the weather turns colder, soup is ideal to comfort from the chill in the air, as well as provide for Sunday’s break from the kitchen.  I have had this Minestrone Soup recipe rolling around in my head for months. It is one of those things you have to get into the kitchen to work it out—even take an entire day just to make it as you imagined. Well, that’s how it is for me, anyway.

Yes, I’ve had those times when not all the tweaks and additions measure up to what my taste buds anticipated, though it is never a waste, I always learn. Fortunately, yesterday wasn’t one of those times :D.  This recipe turned to gold right before my eyes with beefy broth, loads of savory vegetables, and tender meatballs.

Rolling mini-meatballs can be a bit tedious, but I am a perfect bite kind of gal, so there has to be more than just a meatball on the spoon.  The blue cheese is subtle, blending with the Parmesan beautifully, packing deep flavor in each morsel—it was exactly as I imagined. If it is the perfect bite you’re after, you will want a hearty, crusty bread to soak up every drop of the delicious broth too.

Minestrone Soup with Blue Cheese-Parmesan Meatballs

Serves 8-10
For the Meatballs:
2          eggs
1/2      cup  milk
1 1/2   teaspoons  Worcestershire sauce
1/2      cup  bread crumbs [for gluten-free, use GF bread]
3/4     cup  Parmigiano-Reggiano — grated
1/4      cup  fresh parsley — minced
1           teaspoon sea salt
1           teaspoon  pepper
2          teaspoons  unrefined sugar
1/2      teaspoon  ground ginger
1/2      teaspoon  ground nutmeg
1/2      teaspoon  ground allspice
1          teaspoon  Italian seasoning
1          teaspoon  oregano
2         tablespoons  extra virgin olive oil
1          medium  onion — finely chopped
3         cloves  garlic — minced
1          pound  ground beef
1          pound  ground lamb
1/2      pound  hot Italian sausage — casing removed
1/4      cup  blue cheese — crumbled fine

For the Soup:
3        quarts  beef stock
2×3 piece  Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
4        tablespoons  extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2  cups  leeks — white and light green part only, coarsely chopped
1         cup  fennel bulb — sliced, then coarsely chopped
1         cup  celery — chopped
6         cloves  garlic — minced
1         cup  carrots — diced
1 1/2   cups  parsnips — diced
2         teaspoons  oregano
1/2     teaspoon  rosemary leaves — crushed fine
1/4     teaspoon  red pepper flakes
2         cans  diced tomatoes — crushed or pulsed in processor
1          can  red kidney beans — drained and rinsed
1 1/2   cups  dry pasta [for gluten-free, use Ancient Harvest Quinoa Shells]
3          cups  baby spinach leaves — lightly packed
1/2      cup  fresh parsley — minced
sea salt and pepper, to taste

For the Meatballs:
In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs with milk and Worcestershire sauce.  Mix in the bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, salt, pepper, sugar, and spices; set aside.

Saute onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until softened.

Mix meats and blue cheese together, add egg and spice mixture and onions; mix thoroughly. Shape into small 1/2″ meatballs. Place meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Broil on HI until lightly browned, about 6-8 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on size of meatballs.  Break one open to be sure they are cooked through, extend cooking time if needed.

Set meatballs aside to finish the soup.  Note: This meatball recipe will produce more than is needed for the soup, though you can add as many as you like. Add the remaining meatballs to a pasta sauce or use for appetizers, simply freeze until ready to use.

For the Soup:
Pour beef stock into a soup pot and add a 2×3″ piece of Parmesan rind, bring to a low simmer (if you do not have Parmesan rind, grate some Parmesan into the stock). In a skillet over medium heat, saute leeks, fennel, and celery in half the olive oil until the vegetables begin to caramelize. Add garlic and continue to cook until garlic is fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add to the soup pot with stock.

In the same skillet, saute the carrots and parsnips in the other half of the olive oil over medium heat. Sprinkle with the oregano, rosemary, and red pepper flakes and cook until vegetables begin to brown lightly and herbs are fragrant. Add to the soup pot.

Crush the tomatoes by hand or in a food processor until desired consistency. Add tomatoes with juices to the pot along with the drained kidney beans and meatballs. Stir to combine and simmer until flavors meld and vegetables are cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Add dry pasta, spinach, and parsley to the soup and simmer an additional 15 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with more Parmesan and serve with crusty bread or Parmesan-Garlic toasts.

Note: This meatball recipe will produce more than is needed for the soup, though you can add as many as you like.  Add the remaining meatballs to a pasta sauce or use for appetizers, simply freeze until ready to use. A versatile soup, easy to substitute your favorite vegetables in place of any of those listed.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
The Healthy Home Economist Monday Mania
Premeditated Leftovers Hearth & Soul Hop
SS&GF Slightly Indulgent Tuesday
Real Food Forager Fat Tuesday
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday
Mom Trends Food Friday
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday
EKat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck
Easy Natural Food Sunday Soup Night

Turkey Pot Pie with Gluten Free Pie Crust

Over the past few months, I have experimented with a number of gluten-free recipes, especially on those nights our daughter will be home for dinner.  I have had some great hits and some real misses trying to find what works and still tastes good.  Cupcakes, stews and sauces, and pancakes all turned out, but pie crust was illusive, either crumbly or gritty.  There was advice about grinding the flour more fine or buying certain mixes, but I wanted a recipe that worked with the six flours I already had.

Yesterday, I hit a home run (in the spirit of the World Series).  This pastry crust was easy to handle, light and delicious, without the grit common in gluten-free pastry.  It got a thumbs-up from everyone, even our youngest who is not thrilled about anything GF, so she is my real tell.

Last year I posted a recipe for Inside Out Turkey Pot Pie with Whole Wheat Biscuits, this recipe shows how to make it gluten-free with a traditional pie crust. This one-pot meal is full of comfort for cold winter days.  Often we save leftovers from rotisserie or baked chicken for this recipe, but with the holidays coming, it is a great way to use up those turkeys.

Turkey Pot Pie [Gluten-Free]

Serves: 6
1/3      cup  butter
3/4     cup  onion — minced
1        cup  carrots — sliced thin
1/2      cup  celery — chopped
1/2      teaspoon  thyme
2        cloves  garlic — minced
3/4      teaspoon  salt
1/2      teaspoon  pepper
1/4      cup  sweet rice flour
1 3/4   cups  chicken or turkey stock
2/3      cup  milk
3        cups  turkey — cooked and cut into small pieces
3/4      cup  frozen peas — defrosted

Preheat oven to 425° and prepare pastry crust.  Roll out 2/3 of the crust for the bottom and press into 9x9x2 pan (minimum 2.2 quart).  Pierce with a fork to prevent bubbles and pre-bake the bottom crust at 425° for 5-8 minutes until set, but not brown. Roll out other part of crust enough to top the dish and refrigerate until ready to use.

Prep vegetables and rinse peas to separate.  Melt butter on medium heat, stir in onion, carrot, celery, and thyme and cook until vegetables are softened. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant. Stir in salt, pepper, and flour.

Add salt, pepper, and flour, stir until mixture is bubbly, 2-3 minutes.

Add broth and milk, heat to boiling stirring constantly.  Stir in turkey and peas; simmer for 3-5 minutes. Adjust seasoning, to taste.  Pour mixture into prebaked crust. Cover with crust, pierce crust with a fork to allow steam to vent.  Bake at 425° for 30 minutes and bubbly.

Remove dish from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Pie Crust [Gluten Free]

Adapted from You, Me & Gluten Free
Yield: 2 crust pie
1       cup  sweet rice flour
2/3    cup  tapioca flour
1/2     cup  cornstarch
1        tablespoon  coconut palm sugar
3/4     teaspoon  sea salt
1        teaspoon  xanthan gum
1        teaspoon  baking powder
3/4     cup  butter — very cold or frozen, cut into small pieces
2        large  eggs — beaten
2        teaspoons  lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

Combine the flours, sugar, salt, xanthan gum, and baking powder in a bowl or food processor until well mixed.

Cut in butter with a pastry knife or in the processor until blended and butter pieces are very small (smaller than peas).

Mix in beaten eggs and lemon juice until a smooth ball forms.  If the room is warm or the dough is too soft, refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour until firm. Sprinkle a little rice flour on a sheet of parchment paper and on a rolling pin to roll out dough into desired shape. Fold in half and place in the pan.

Unfold and gently press the dough into the pan and bake according to recipe directions.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday
Mom Trends Friday Food
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday
EKat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck

Chicken Broccoli Casserole with Fried Onion Topping [GF]: Remaking an Old Standby

I imagine most families in America have some version of this soup-mix classic in their recipe rotation, or at least in their distant memory.  Casseroles did not originate in the U.S., but the method of using canned cream soups to bind a hodgepodge of ingredients together in one vessel, is certainly on us.  In the 1930s, The Campbell Soup Company began producing Cream of Mushroom soup, leading to a host of new, quick-fix family meals for home cooks.

Campbell’s® Ready To Serve Cream Of Mushroom Soup: water, mushrooms, cream (milk), vegetable oil (corn, cottonseed, canola and/or soybean), modified food starch, contains less than 2 % of: bleached enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), salt, monosodium glutamate, soy protein concentrate, yeast extract, spice extract, dehydrated garlic, oleoresin paprika.

Thanksgiving green beans, canned tuna, chicken, rice, tortillas, has all been subject to the cream sauce short cut of creamed soups. Throw French’s Fried Onions on top and dinner is served all across the country.  I remember my mom serving it over cooked rice as a side dish and trust me, she knew how to make good gravy, but it was quick and easy.  When schedules are maxed, we have all turned to convenience items like this to get something on the table.

The pity is, generations raised on convenience foods lose the knowledge, skill, and taste for preparing real, whole foods. Butter, cream, homemade stock is abandoned for processed alternatives with sugar, MSG, bad oils, and preservatives.  A couple of years ago, I discovered Emeril’s Green Bean Casserole with a homemade mushroom sauce and I was ruined, never to return to the recipe on the can of French’s onions again.

With resolve to eliminate processed foods from our diet and accommodate our daughter’s sensitivity to gluten, I was determined to make Chicken Broccoli Casserole from scratch.  That’s right, no canned soup or pre-made onions, just fresh ingredients creating a satisfying dinner from a single dish.  Our original recipe includes Paul Prudhomme Poultry Magic to season the chicken, which is a great line of seasonings.  However, it is not available in all stores, so part of the remake includes a mix of spices common in most kitchens.

Oh, and the fried onions … be sure to make a few extra for snacking, and (confession) don’t start hungry or you’ll eat too many before you can get them on the casserole.  So here it is, Chicken Broccoli Casserole with Fried Onion Topping, also gluten-free—a warm, savory, crispy, creamy, and satisfying, one-dish meal; perfect for fall and winter evenings.

Chicken Broccoli Casserole with Fried Onion Topping

Serves: 6
For the Onion Topping:
peanut oil or coconut oil — for frying
1       large  sweet yellow onion — sliced into rings
1       tablespoon  Chipotle Tabasco
1       tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce
1       tablespoon  Tamari soy sauce (gluten-free)
1/2     cup  King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour Mix or whole wheat flour
1/4     cup  cornstarch
1/2     teaspoon  baking powder, if using GF flour
salt

For the Mushroom Sauce:
4       tablespoons  butter
1/2     large  sweet yellow onion — chopped fine
1/2     cup  celery — chopped fine
6       large cloves  garlic — minced
8       ounces  mushrooms — wiped clean and ends trimmed, sliced
1/4     teaspoon  pepper
1/2     teaspoon  salt
2       tablespoons  sweet rice flour or 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2  cups  chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium
1/2     cup  heavy cream

For the rest of the filling:
1       cup  brown rice, uncooked
8      cups  broccoli (about 1 1/4 lbs) — cut into small florets, blanched
2      tablespoons  butter
3-4  large  boneless and skinless chicken breasts — cut into 1″ cubes
1      teaspoon  granulated garlic
1      teaspoon  onion powder
1      teaspoon  oregano
1      teaspoon  thyme
1      teaspoon  paprika
1/2    teaspoon  coriander
1/2    teaspoon  salt
1/2    teaspoon  pepper
1/4    teaspoon  cayenne
pinch  nutmeg
2      cups  extra sharp cheddar cheese — grated
Note: To save a step, the spice mix for the filling can be substituted with 2 tablespoons Paul Prudhomme Poultry Magic

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a 9×13 casserole dish with butter and set aside.

Cook the rice according to package directions. 1 cup of uncooked rice should yield 3 cups cooks rice. Once rice is done, fluff and set aside to cool.  Blanch prepared broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute, drain, and rinse with cold water-or-plunge in water bath and drain again; set aside to cool.

For the Onion Topping:
Separate the onion slices into individual rings. Mix Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce together. Using your hands, combine the onion rings with the sauce in a mixing bowl and toss thoroughly until the onions are coated with the sauce. Mix GF flour, cornstarch, and baking powder in a shallow bowl until well blended.  Dredge the onion rings in the flour to coat (gently tap off any excess flour).

Heat 1/2 inch of peanut oil in a deep skillet until hot enough that onions sizzle, place onion rings one at a time in skillet, but not touching. Fry until onion rings are lightly golden on each side, about 30 seconds. (Since the onions will bake in the oven, you do not want them to brown too much, only set the coating). Transfer to a paper towel lined platter to drain and season onion rings with salt. Set aside. (The onions that are darker brown are great for snacking 🙂 )

For the Mushroom Sauce:
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over med heat and cook the chopped onions and celery until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are soft and golden brown and have released their liquid, 4 to 6 minutes. Sprinkle with the sweet rice flour, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the chicken stock and cream and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce begins to thicken, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover with a lid.

For the rest of the filling:
Mix remaining seasonings together in a small bowl. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet, place cubed chicken in the skillet and sprinkle with seasoning mix. Cook over medium heat until chicken is just cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.

Mix the rice, broccoli, chicken, and 1 1/2 cups of cheese together in a large mixing bowl until evenly mixed. Mix in cream sauce until incorporated. Pour into a prepared baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Top with fried onion rings. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly and the onion rings are golden brown.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
Mom Trends Friday Food
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday
EKat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck
Real Food Forager Fat Tuesday
SS&GF Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Pad Thai Recipe and Red Boat Fish Sauce

When writing about Emeril’s Wok Seared Duck Salad, I mentioned his recommendation for fish sauce with the ingredient list.  Shortly after posting, Red Boat Fish Sauce asked if I would try their sauce to compare.  I only recommend products I like and use, so it has taken me a couple of weeks to put it to the test.

Starting with Shrimp Lo Mein, I was pleased with the clean, bright flavor that melded perfectly into the sauce without being too salty or fishy.  The second recipe we tried it in was Pad Thai with Beef (below) and again, it brought a balanced dimension of savory flavor.  I was equally pleased to discover this new sauce has so few ingredients, just anchovies and sea salt.

Additives like hydrolyzed vegetable protein is commonly used in commercial fish sauces as a short cut to enhance flavor.  According to Celiac Solution, “HVP (hydrogenated vegetable protein), HPP (hydrolyzed plant protein), TVP (textured vegetable protein), MSG (monosodium glutamate) could contain wheat if made outside of the U.S.A.” This is a concern for anyone trying to avoid gluten and still enjoy Asian foods.

We cannot always be sure about the ingredients used in restaurants, but at home, I use pure, whole ingredients, as close to the natural source whenever possible.  I look for products like Red Boat to add to my pantry because quality ingredients make a difference in taste and eliminating unnecessary additives from our food is important to us.

To find out where to buy Red Boat Fish Sauce near you, just click on the link or order online directly from Red Boat.

Other recipes to try:
Thai Peanut Sauce
Beef Lo Mein
Thai-Style Pineapple Wraps

Pad Thai with Beef

Pad Thai with Beef

Adapted from Emeril’s Pad Thai
Serves 4
8       ounces  dried rice noodles
1/4    cup Red Boat Fish Sauce
2       tablespoons  rice wine vinegar
2-3       tablespoons  sugar or coconut palm sugar, adjust to taste
1       tablespoon  tamarind paste
1/2     teaspoon  crushed red pepper
3       tablespoons  coconut oil
7       cloves  garlic — minced
1       lb  beef, pork, or chicken (or a combination) — sliced in 1/4″ strips; or shrimp halved lengthwise
2       large  eggs
8       ounces  bean sprouts (about 2 cups) — rinsed and dry
2       cups  green onions (2-3 bunches) — white and green parts, chopped
1/3     cup  roasted, unsalted peanuts — coarsely chopped
1/3     cup  fresh cilantro leaves — minced
1        tablespoon  lime juice
1        whole  lime (optional) — cut into wedges for garnish

In a large bowl, combine the noodles with enough warm water to cover.  Soak until just tender, about 30 minutes, then drain and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, vinegar, tamarind paste, crushed red pepper, and sugar; stir until the tamarind paste and sugar dissolves and is well blended. Set aside.

In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or just fragrant.  Add the meat and cook until the just cooked through, about 2 minutes.  Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Add the eggs to the skillet and cook, stirring to break up into small pieces, about a minute.  Add the onions and allow to cook for 30 seconds to soften slightly. Add the sprouts, onions, fish sauce mixture, and noodles, and cook until mixed well and warmed through, stirring frequently.

Add the reserved meat and peanuts, and cook for 30 seconds to incorporate into the noodles.  Toss with the cilantro, lime juice, and serve immediately with lime wedges and Sriracha sauce on the side.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
Premeditated Leftovers Hearth and Soul

Emeril’s Cajun Shrimp Stew: A Hearty One-Pot Wonder

Perusing Emeril’s new Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders  this weekend was delightful, like having coffee with an old friend.  Part of the fun of the One-Pot Blogger Party hosted by The Secret Ingredient is sharing a few recipes so we all get a taste of what’s inside this versatile cookbook. Here in Colorado, crisp fall weather has arrived along with the desire for warm, hearty dinners. I decided Cajun Shrimp Stew would be the perfect way to get the party started.

Rich Shrimp Stock provides a fortified base for this stew, layering flavors of savory vegetables and seafood.  Unlike some comfort food, this dish is warming, but not heavy.  In the second photo, you will notice I added yellow carrots and celery for part of the potatoes—it is easy to customize for spice, vegetable preference, and food sensitivities like shellfish allergies or gluten-free diets (shown below).  You can be sure, when you pull out the Dutch oven, there will be enough to share, so invite someone to join you for dinner.

Cajun Shrimp Stew

Emeril's Cajun Shrimp Stew

This comforting, simple stew is a Cajun dish that many home cooks in Louisiana enjoy, especially during the Lenten season. It is easy to make and feeds a bunch. The trick is getting the roux to the right color . . . about a notch darker than peanut butter should do the trick. A homemade shrimp stock makes all the difference in the world. Make sure to add the shrimp just before serving so that they stay nice and tender. Some families boil eggs in their shrimp stew (as it simmers) to make the dish even heartier.

Serves 6 to 8
1 cup vegetable oil
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups finely chopped onion
¼ cup minced garlic (about 12 cloves)
10 cups Rich Shrimp Stock (pg 173)
2 bay leaves
1 ¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
3 large baking potatoes (2 ½ to 3 pounds), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 pounds small or medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ cup chopped green onion, green part only
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Steamed long-grain white rice, for serving

1. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat and, when hot, add the flour. Whisk to combine and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until a medium roux is formed (it should look a bit darker than peanut butter), about 10 minutes. (If the roux begins to brown too quickly, reduce the heat to medium or medium-low and take your time—it is important that the roux not be burned at all or the stew will have a bitter taste.) As soon as the roux is the right color, add the chopped onion and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, little by little, and bring the sauce to a gentle boil. Add the bay leaves, black pepper, cayenne, thyme, and 4 teaspoons of the salt and reduce the heat so that the sauce just simmers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the floury taste is gone, 30 to 45 minutes.

2. Add the potatoes and continue to cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are very tender and the sauce is thick and flavorful, 30 to 40 minutes longer. (Add a bit of water or chicken broth to thin the gravy should the stew get too thick during the cook time. The sauce is meant to be thick and rich but not pasty.)

3. Toss the shrimp with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Stir the shrimp, green onion, and parsley into the stew and continue to cook until the shrimp are just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Remove the bay leaves. Serve the stew in shallow bowls over hot white rice.

Savoring Today Cajun Shrimp Stew

Sometimes certain recipes are avoided due to food sensitivities like gluten intolerance, and one reader commented she has a shellfish allergy.  So everyone can enjoy this savory stew, here are a few adjustments to accommodate those needs:

1. Sweet rice flour makes a wonderful gluten-free roux, replacing wheat flour measure for measure. So long as the spices used are gluten-free, this one adjustment will create a gluten-free meal.

2. Any firm fish, cut into manageable pieces, can substitute for the shrimp; simply cook it in the same manner (briefly). Use fish carcass or heads rather than shrimp to make the stock as well.

Cajun Shrimp Stew and the entire collection of sumptuous recipes will be available September 27, but stay tuned, I will give one away later this week. You can also pre-order Emeril’s Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders, just click on the title link.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
Premeditated Leftovers Hearth & Soul Hop
SS & GF Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Labor Day Eats: Feature Fridays

Labor Day became a federal holiday 117 years ago, marked by parades and parties recognizing trade and labor organizations.  Today, families enjoy one last vacation before school starts, NFL and college football seasons begin, and backyard parties abound.  If entertaining or creating a dish for a potluck is on the agenda for this three-day weekend, here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.  Instead of featuring just one site this week, there is a whole list—Enjoy!

Menus:

Barbeque Menu – Savoring Today
10 Labor Day Menus – Ezra Pound Cake
Labor Day Gourmet Grilling Party Menu – Recipe Girl


Main Dishes/Meat:

Grilled Thai Ginger-Garlic Pork Chops – Fine Cooking
Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Roasted Red Pepper Dip – Family Fresh Cooking
Sausage Kebabs – Bell’ Alimento
Jamaican Jerk Chicken – Kayotic Kitchen
Pancetta-Gruyere Burger with Grilled Vidalia Onions – Savoring Today
Vegetarian Recipes for Barbecue Season – New York Times

Appetizers & Sides:

Melon & Mint Salad – Shutterbean
Roasted Garlic and Dill White Bean Dip – How Sweet It Is
Roasted Carrots with Goat Cheese – Jungle Frog Cooking
Sauteed Corn with Chile Peppers, Ginger and Garlic – Cinnamon Spice
Grilled Summer Sweet Corn – Simply Sugar & Gluten Free
Romaine Salad with Hatch Chile Dressing – A Communal Table
Goat Cheese Balls with Herbs, Pecans, & Bacon – The Kitchn
Parmesan Rice Crisps with Roasted Tomato Salsa – Gluten-Free Goddess

Desserts:

Brownies for Grown Ups – The 21st Century Housewife’s Kitchen
S’mores Pie – Foodess
Chocolate Caramel Peanut Bites– Sweet Pea’s Kitchen
Limoncello Cheesecake Bites – Bitter Sweet
Rustic Peach & Plum Tart – Eyes Bigger Than My Stomach
Honey Cinnamon Peach Pie – My Kitchen Addiction

Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes 2-Ways: Gluten-Free & Lactose-Free

While planning the menu for the bridal shower I was hosting, I used a couple of different recipes to accommodate those gluten-free and lactose intolerant guests. (I am reluctant to describe guests by their food sensitivities, but using their names on-line is even less appealing.)  Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting anchored the dessert table at the request of the Bride-to-Be.  I was thrilled to see Meyer lemons already available in stores and picked up the first of the season.

Although, I had a companion gluten-free cupcake in this same flavor for my daughter (recipe below), it seemed too confusing to try to do both for the event, so the cupcakes shared the dessert table with Cheesecake Strawberries with Chocolate Accents (also a crowd-pleaser).  The Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes were lactose-free, the Cheesecake Strawberries were gluten-free, and so there were safe dessert choices for everyone.

You will love these tender, citrus infused cakes with flecks of poppy seeds, topped with velvety cream cheese frosting. They are perfect for showers, parties, or as a treat with afternoon tea.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting [Lactose-Free Options]

Source: Recipe adapted from original recipe by Guilty Kitchen
Yields 12 cupcakes
1/2       cup  butter, coconut oil, -or- Meyenberg goat milk butter
— room temperature
1 1/2    cups  cake flour
1/2       tsp  baking powder
1/4       tsp  baking soda
1/4       tsp  sea salt
1          cup  sugar
2          large  eggs
1           large  Meyer lemon, or 2 small — juiced and zested
1           tsp  vanilla extract
1/2      cup  buttermilk -or- lactose-free milk + 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1           tablespoon  poppy seeds

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2      cup  butter, coconut oil, -or- Meyenberg goat milk butter
— room temperature
8          ounces  cream cheese – or – Tofutti® Better Than Cream Cheese
— room temperature
1           tbsp  vanilla extract
1 1/2    cups  powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a small bowl.   In bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about five minutes. Incorporate eggs one at a time until well blended. Mix in the zest, lemon juice and vanilla.

Add flour and buttermilk to batter in two separate additions, until well mixed. Fold in poppy seeds.  Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full, bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating half way through baking time. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For Frosting:
Beat butter and cream cheese together until fluffy.  Add-in the vanilla and stir to combine.  Mix-in powdered sugar on low speed until incorporated. Pipe onto cupcakes and serve immediately.

Note: Since lactose intolerance was the concern and not a milk allergy, goat milk or butter is often a fine substitution.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (GF)

Yields 12 muffins
Source: Recipe adapted from Gluten Free Gobsmacked
8         tablespoons  butter
1          cup  sugar
2         eggs
3         tablespoons  lemon zest — 1-2 lemons
4         tablespoons  lemon juice — 1-2 lemons (of those used for zest)
1 1/4   cups  King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1/2      cup  almond flour
1          teaspoon  xanthan gum
1          teaspoon  baking powder
1/2     teaspoon  salt
2         teaspoons  poppy seeds
1/2     cup  buttermilk

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2      cup  butter — room temperature
8          ounces  cream cheese — room temperature
1          tbsp  vanilla extract
1 1/2   cups  powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.  Cream together butter and sugar.  Add the egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, and buttermilk, and mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and almond flour until combined.  Add the dry ingredients to creamed mixture and stir just until moistened–do not over mix. Gently fold-in poppy seeds.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 16-20 minutes until lightly golden. A toothpick inserted in the muffin should come out clean. Once removed from the oven, allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire racks. Cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:
Beat butter and cream cheese together until fluffy.  Add-in the vanilla and stir to combine.  Mix-in powdered sugar on low speed until incorporated. Pipe onto cupcakes and serve immediately.

NOTE: If using another flour mix, check to see if it already has the xanthan gum. If so, omit adding it separately.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
Mom Trends Friday Food
EKat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck
SS & GF Slightly Indulgent Tuesday