Tuesday, May 19, 2015

For Chocolate Lovers Only

WARNING:   THIS ICE CREAM IS FOR CHOCOLATE LOVERS ONLY!!

I don't believe there is such a thing as "too chocolatey".  But apparently for the casual chocolate eater, there is. This stuff is for the serious chocolate craving.  I'm so thrilled to be able to make homemade ice cream that is nut and egg free. I bought a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker a couple years ago and have not regretted it.  We use it all the time, especially in the summer time!

This recipe I'm sharing with you today comes from Jeni's Splendid Ice cream at home (another life changing find) via David Lebovitz.  The only addition I made was adding crushed chocolate cookie pieces.  (Because it just wasn't enough chocolate for me I suppose)

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Egg Free Chocolate Ice Cream with Chocolate Cookie Pieces
From Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream at Home, via David Lebovitz

1 cup whole milk
4 teaspoons corn starch
1 cup  heavy cream
1 cup evaporated milk 
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch-process (I used Dutch-process)
3 ounces  bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used semi-sweet Baker's Chocolate Bar)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
6-8 Chocolate cookies (such as Oreos, cream filling removed and cookies crushed), optional
 
In a small bowl combine cornstarch with a few tablespoons of the milk.  Combine remaining milk, heavy cream, evaporated milk, sugar and corn syrup in a sauce pan.  Bring to a moderate bowl.  Sift cocoa powder and add to boiling mixture.  Boil 4 minutes.  Add cornstarch slurry (you'll want to mix it together again before adding).  Boil and stir one more minutes.  Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate, salt and vanilla extract. Transfer ice cream mixture to a ziploc bag and seal.  Fill a large bowl with ice water and submerge sealed bag into ice bath to cool for about 30 minutes, adding more ice as needed.  Pour ice cream into ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer directions.  Add crushed cookie pieces during last few minutes of churning if desired.  For best results, transfer ice cream to a freezer safe container and freeze until firm before serving.  Yield: 1 quart of ice cream


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Egg free Soft Pretzels

Eek!   I've been having these random moments of freaking out!  My hubs and I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary this summer.  We are taking off to Hawaii next week!!  Just the two of us.  I am so stinking excited.  I can't believe it's actually happening.  It will be my first time going to Hawaii.  And first time leaving the kids longer than overnight. (I'm a little nervous about that) It's all so surreal and exciting.  Lots to do this next week though.
 
So my sister sent me a text a couple weeks ago showing me some homemade pretzels she made and I've been craving them ever since! Making homemade pretzels isn't really that hard.  (Shaping them.  Maybe.  I could use a little more practice on that front)  I used these as a spring board for dinner one night and turned it into a cheese fondue night with these pretzels, sausage, broccoli and apple slices.  Yum!

All I had to do to make these egg free was omit the egg wash.  They still browned beautifully and tasted excellent.


Egg Free Soft Pretzels
From Mel's Kitchen Cafe, adapted Egg Free by Egg Free Bakery

1/2 cup warm water
2/3 cup milk, warmed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon instant yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 - 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 cups hot water + 1/2 cup baking soda for dipping
Coarse, kosher salt for sprinkling
3 tablespoons butter, melted 
 
Heat water and milk in a liquid measuring cup in the microwave until warm but not too hot.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together 2 cups flour, yeast and salt.  With mixer running, slowly pour in water and milk mixture and vegetable oil.  Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Let knead 3-4 minutes.  Lightly grease bowl and let dough rise covered until doubles in size 45 minutes to one hour.  Punch down down and divide into 8 equal pieces.  Roll each piece of dough into a long rope and twist into a pretzel shape.  Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. In another bowl heat water until hot.  Mix in baking soda until dissolved.  Dip each pretzel in hot water mixture and return to baking sheet.  (you may to reshape pretzels a little).  Sprinkle each pretzel with salt.  Let pretzels rest 10 minutes.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Bake pretzels for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and immediately brush with melted butter.  (use ALL the butter! Yum!) Remove from baking sheet to a wire rack.  Let cool and serve while still warm.  Serve as it or with your favorite dipping sauce (marinara or cheese are tasty!) Yield 8 pretzels

 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Recipes I'm Loving Lately

I love Pinterest.

I never thought I'd say that.  I never wanted to say that.  I was all anti-pinterest when it first came out but now I use it all the time.  I wanted to highlight a few gems I've found.  Recipes that were put in "the tried and true file".  Check them out!





Creamy Chicken and Rice Recipe (a one-pot meal). You’ll be going back for refills! @NatashasKitchen

Have you seen this one before?  Creamy Skillet Chicken and Rice from Natasha's Kitchen
Growing up, one of my favorite comfort foods was Chicken and Rice.  Except my mom baked hers in the oven and used canned cream of chicken soup.  I like this dish because 1- it's all cooked in the same pan 2- it comes together pretty quickly and 3- it's so delicious.  Creamy, but not heavy.  
*Couple of notes:  definitely use chicken thighs in the recipe.  And  if you are like me and don't cook with wine, I used apple juice as a substitute.
 
One Pot Garlic Parmesan Pasta - The easiest and creamiest pasta made in a single pot - even the pasta gets cooked right in the pan! How easy is that?

One Pot Garlic Parmesan Pasta (aka my new best dinner friend) from damndelicious
Another one pot quick and easy meal THAT MY KIDS WILL EAT!! and with picky eaters like mine, that is saying something!  I usually beef it up with some grilled sliced chicken.  This is my go-to on busy nights when I need something quick!

Southwest Chicken and Rice Casserole

Another quick and easy dinner?  This Southwest Chicken Skillet from Budget Bytes comes together really quick.  I usually serve it with tortilla chips.  
Note:  Because of my boy's allergy to legumes, I add the beans last, only for mom and dad after I've dished out the kiddos.

 

Ever heard of Strawberry Pretzel Jell-O Salad?  I don't really do the whole Jell-O salad thing.  But growing up I had my fair share believe me.  This tasty Strawberry Pretzel Parfait from Diply takes the idea of the Jell-O salad and uses the flavors for a refreshing twist on a breakfast parfait.  I think I ate one of these every day for like 2 weeks.

*Note:  One thing I did differently was I toasted the pretzels, butter and cinnamon in the oven for like 10 minutes.

Classic Tomato Soup 

Though it's not really "soup season" right now, I love this Classic Tomato Soup recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  Tomato Soup with a hot grilled cheese is yet another comfort food for me.  The travesty here is that I am the only one in my house who likes tomato soup.  More for me I guess.  I portioned them into single servings and froze to pull out for lunches on drizzly cold winter days.

 
I know you've seen this one.  Homemade Magic Shell?  It's been around for ages but we finally tested it out last weekend.  It was so fun and such a delicious touch to our ice cream cones.  Two Ingredients.  Super easy.  Check it out at whipperberry.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Nut Free Magic Cookie Bars

You've probably seen these before.  Surprisingly this was the first time I had actually made them myself. I told the kids these were called "Magic Cookie Bars".  Naturally they wanted to know why they were called "Magic!"

Me:  "I dunno.  Maybe it's because they are so tasty that they disappear so quickly-- like magic"

My 4 year old takes a bite.  Closes her eyes.  Opens them.

4 year old:  "MOM!  You were WRONG!"

Me:  "Why's that?"

4 year old: "These cookies aren't magic!  I took a taste and it DIDN'T disappear!"

It wouldn't be the first time that I've been wrong about something.  :)  

The thing I love about this recipe is how easily it comes together.  No mixing.  Just layer after layer and boom it's in the oven.  Like magic.  (maybe THAT'S why they are called magic bars??)



Nut Free Magic Cookie Bars
From Eaglebrand.com
Adapted by Egg Free Bakery

1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 Tbsp butter, melted
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips (I use Guittard Chips)
1-1/3 cup flaked coconut

Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil extending over the edges of the pan.  Lightly grease with cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together melted butter and graham crackers crumbs in a bowl.  Press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan.  Pour sweetened condensed milk over top of the crust and evenly sprinkle remaining ingredients on top.  Lightly press down toppings.  Bake 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool completely before lifting bars out of pan.  Slice into squares or diamonds and devour serve.

*Variation:
In place of chocolate and butterscotch chips, use 1-1/2 cups white chocolate chips and 1/2 cup dried craisins.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Best Egg Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Another familiar looking recipe?  Yes this is another recipe that I first posted back a couple years ago.  I thought it was due time I pulled this one out of the cupboards and dusted it off to show off again.  I made a few tweaks to the original posted recipe and the result--  Amazing.  The BEST egg free oatmeal raisin cookie!  Don't like raisins? (sub with chocolate chips!)


"Man I'm loving my oats lately!  ;)  You know, I don't think I've ever heard someone claim oatmeal raisin as being one of their favorite cookies.  Usually you hear something like "chocolate chip" or "sugar cookies."  Or Oreos.  When I announce I am making cookies and that I am making oatmeal raisin cookies, I get an excited "OH!" followed by a disappointed "oh."  from the hubs.  However, I got compliments on these cookies! (but I had to make some without raisins.  I don't know why I even bother sometimes. I like the raisins in them, but the hubs and the kids pick them out.)  I think the raisins pair perfectly with the cinnamon and nutmeg... plus with the cream cheese to substitute for eggs in the recipe... let's just say these are no ordinary oatmeal raisin cookies!  I actually prefer this recipe over ones that call for eggs!  Seriously, no one would ever guess these are made without eggs."

 


Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
From Egg Free Bakery, adapted from Art of Dessert

1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt 
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1-1/2 cups raisins (or chocolate chips, if you must)
2-3/4 to 3 cups rolled oats (NOT 1-minute quick cooking oats)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, cream cheese and sugars until smooth.  Add vanilla.  Gradually add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.  Add oats and then raisins. Shape into balls, about 1 heaping tablespoon of dough each, and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake about 10-12 minutes.  Let cool 10 minutes on cookie sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  

Recipe shared on Allergy Free Wednesday


Friday, April 10, 2015

Egg Free Banana Bread

So if you haven't noticed, I've done a bit of "house cleaning" here on the blog.  I've been deleting old posts that no one ever looks at anymore, including myself. And with Pinterest around nowadays, it seemed silly to re-post the awesome recipes I've found that were perfect just the way they are.  Instead I've got the links to those recipes pinned on my Pinterest account.  (though I'm sure I'll highlight the occasional recipe that knocks my socks off)

But speaking of Pinterest.  

Confession time:  I have two Pinterest accounts.  Some of you may have already figured that out.  I created one just for Egg Free Bakery to have mostly egg free recipes from the blog and other places that I've found.  But for kicks and giggles if you are ever interested in seeing what I'm into on a more personal level you can follow me on Pinterest here.  I mostly pin recipes I want to try, fashion ideas and stuff to do my kids!

Today I'm bringing you an oldie but a goodie.  One of the first recipes I ever posted on my blog, but with a few tweaks I bring you the refined Egg Free Bakery version of Banana Bread:

 "There are a million banana bread recipes out there and I have tried a million different banana bread recipes.  The one I keep coming back to is my mom's recipe...maybe for nostalgic reasons, I don't know.  But it really is my favorite banana bread recipe.  SO.  I had to convert it to be egg free.  It turned out great!  Just like the original egg version."



Egg Free Banana Bread
Recipe from: Egg Free Bakery

¾ cup shortening
2 cups sugar
2-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas(5-6 bananas)
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
6 cups flour
2-1/4 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a stand mixer, cream shortening and sugar together until fluffy. Add mashed bananas and buttermilk.   Mix until well combined.  Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix just until combined.  Divide mixture into two greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.  Bake for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10-15 minutes in pan before removing to wire rack to cool completely. Let bread cool completely before slicing.  Store cooled bread in bread loaf bag or wrapped in plastic wrap.  Delicious the day after smeared with butter! This bread can be frozen for up to one month. Yield 2 loaves.

 



Saturday, April 4, 2015

Egg Free Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

Holy smokes where has the time gone?? Has it really been since January since I last posted a recipe? Life. It happens. 

But, It's time for show-and-tell. In February it was my birthday. And it was a BIG one. I've now joined the thirties club. Yes. The big 3-0. The question I always get is "so how does it feel? Being thirty?" 
It's weird. I still think of myself as 21. But I'm okay with being thirty too. I feel grown up now (even though I've been "grown up" for awhile). 

I wasn't planning on making myself a cake but my children insisted. It wouldn't be a proper birthday celebration with a cake, presents and decorations. 

So why not. My cake skills could use some practice. It is my birthday and all. I hopped on Pinterest to find an idea and came across this:


Ta-da. I'm pretty proud of myself. It was so easy and pretty forgiving. I just used a 1M cake decor tip and starting on the sides went at it- swirling into little rosettes. It was fun. I want to make a pink "smash cake" like this for Lil' Bo Peeps 1st birthday in June.

So now how's about a recipe? We tested out food allergy mamas chocolate muffins and they didn't disappoint. We opted for white chips, but chocolate chips are called for in the recipe. Delicious with a smear of butter.




Egg Free Double Chocolate Chip Muffins
From "The Food Allergy Mama's Easy, Fast Family Meals" 
slightly adapted by Egg Free Bakery

1-1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup canola oil
4 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.  In a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, soda and salt.  In another bowl, whisk together milk, oil, water and vanilla.  Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, being careful not to over mix.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Measure out 1/4 cupfuls of batter and divided among lined muffin cups.  Bake 15-18 minutes in preheated oven until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove muffins to wire rack to cool completely before serving.  Yield 12 muffins.