When my friends, Carmine and Francine, invited me to their antique store, The Shop 2, to be the featured guest in celebration of Hazleton’s Second Friday, I was a little hesitant at first. I said, “Let me think it over.”
I was hoping that my partner, Daria (my daughter), might be able to join me in this adventure, but just having started as the Executive Pastry Chef at The Mill in Hershey, I knew it was a longshot!
“Oh, Mom, just do it and have fun!” was her response. So I thought, “Why not?”
“Yes, I’ll do it!” was my response to Carmine. She wasted no time in letting the association who coordinates Hazleton’s Second Friday about my visit, and the next thing I know, I am speaking with Jill Whalen from our local newspaper! Here is the result of my phone interview!
Alright…now to decide on which gluten-free goodies I will make for the open house.
It’s fall and what do most people crave in the fall? Pumpkin? Chocolate (that’s a given)? Apples?
Of course….all three!
So I immediately go on a hunt for recipes….if you’ve read any of our previous posts on this blog, you will remember that I am a recipe addict! I have tons of recipes written down on paper, too many cookbooks to name, and a recipe file on my computer.
Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin….how about a great pumpkin bread?
I look over a few recipes and then consult with Daria and viola! A pumpkin bread recipe is born!
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread
2 ½ cups brown rice flour
½ cup arrowroot starch
5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
4 large eggs
1 cup veggie oil
½ cup fresh orange juice
2 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 can pure pumpkin (15 oz.)
1 cup dried cranberries (we like Trader Joe’s brand)
Preheat your oven to 350˚F. Grease with shortening and flour with brown rice flour, two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, OR one 9 x 5 and 4 small loaf pans (which I did).
Whisk all of the dry ingredients together. In another bowl mix eggs, oil, and orange juice. Then add the sugar and pure pumpkin. Blend on medium-high if using a stand mixer or handheld mixer until thoroughly combined.
Now add dry to the pumpkin mixture. Mix until well combined.
Stir in the dried cranberries if you are adding them.
Bake for 45 minutes to one hour. Watch the small pans if you are using them! You may need to adjust the time.
Cool for at least 10 minutes in pans before attempting to remove them. Let the breads cool completely on wire racks.
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate….how about a no-bake recipe?
Daria’s friend Amanda visited with us a while ago and brought with her some delightful no-bake chocolate balls. So thanks to Amanda from Michigan for this recipe!
Chocolate Orange Balls
1 cup Almonds
1 cup Pecans
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup honey
3 T cocoa powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup shredded sweetened coconut
½ cup chocolate chips
Zest of 2 oranges
Extra crushed pecans (about 1 cup)
Using a food processor, pulse almonds and pecans until finely chopped.
Add salt, honey, cocoa, vanilla, shredded coconut, chocolate chips and zest.
Process until well combined.
Roll chocolate mixture into 1” balls. Roll each ball in crushed pecans.
© 2011, Amanda Schmidt
Notes from Monica for chocolate balls:
I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder and Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Rolling the balls is super messy…. and you lose too much of the dough, because it’s so sticky! I ended up forming balls with my fingertips. Much better!
I made this recipe twice…did not double it initially due to the size of my food processor. In total the 2 recipes yielded a little over 7 dozen balls.
Apples, apples, apples…apple pound cake, anyone?
A great gluten-free blog that we follow is Gluten Free on a Shoestring. The author of this blog, Nicole, has written a few cookbooks, in addition to her blog. We have found them to be wonderful additions to our gluten-free library!
These apple pound cakes are her recipe. She calls them Starbucks-Style Gluten Free Apple Pound Cakes. The batter is delightful….with the addition of the cinnamon, it took everything in me not to just eat it! Oh my goodness…these little cakes came out great!
Last but not least, I wanted to have a vegetable dish for our gluten-free celebration and decided on a Black Bean Salsa. It’s easy and has a great flavor profile!
Black Bean Salsa
2 cans black beans, washed and drained
I bag frozen sweet white corn, thawed
1 large can diced tomatoes, drained
3 green onions (scallions), diced (also dice the stems)
½ green pepper, seeded and diced
½ red pepper, seeded and diced
½ yellow pepper, seeded and diced
2 cups fresh, chopped tomatoes
Red wine vinegar to taste (about ¼ to ½ cup)
1 fresh lemon, juiced
Dried cilantro (1-2 tsp)
Garlic powder to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
Dash of cumin
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Season the black bean salsa to your taste. Serve with gluten-free corn chips or any of your choice! I served Garden of Eatin’ Organic Tortilla Chips.
© 2014, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk
All in all, we had a great little spread of gluten-free goodies for our guests! Yes?
I can’t tell you how excited I was to meet so many people last evening who are fellow celiac disease sufferers. Many told me of their struggles and triumphs with this autoimmune disease while others who were just diagnosed, were looking for some guidance.
While I had my blog up and running during the open house, I also prepared some handouts and had many posters scattered throughout the store, regarding celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.
If anyone would like any of the information I shared, just email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment here; I would be happy to share!
Thanks to The Shop 2 for helping to spread celiac awareness! You two are the best!
Hoping everyone got something out of the experience! I know I came home happy!
© 2014, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk