Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd

We have been having an interesting time on our end.

Last week, exactly one week ago today, we were making our weekly Wegmans run (as we do), it was pouring rain, and as per usual, despite the weather, I insisted on wearing flip flops. This turned out to be a terrible choice. I slipped and did not immediately realize that I had whacked the back of my head on our stairs, and landed myself with a concussion. I, therefore, have been pretty limited in what the doctors have allowed me to do, and it has been super frustrating as there are so many fruits that are coming into season right now that I have wanted to be baking with.

For the first few days I was completely lethargic (still am quite tired), but we had a date with Neil Gaiman. Neil is my favorite author. I have a deep love for the Song of Ice and Fire series, but Neil wins for me. American Gods, Anansi Boys, Good Omens, Stardust, you name it. Josh and I had purchased tickets to go see him in Northern Virginia months earlier, and despite how I was feeling I was determined that we go. It was at Wolftrap which I am not sure if any of you have been there but it is a beautiful venue and it is partially outdoors.

We had an amazing time but when we got home, I was absolutely exhausted. This resulted in my laying on the couch and watching episodes of the great British bake off on Netflix. Everyone was using different curds in their desserts, and as lemon is in right now, I thought it would be time for lemon curd.

Ingredients
100 grams of butter
220 grams of sugar
5 lemons – zest and juices from all five.
3 whole eggs
2 egg yokes
Steps
Mix your sugar, butter, lemon juice, and zest in a bowl.
Heat a pot of water and place your bowl on top of the pot of boiling water. Whisk until everything is properly mixed together on high heat.
In a separate bowl whisk together your eggs and yokes.
Lower your heat to medium, and slowly add your egg mixture to your bowl all the while mixing.
Once all the egg mix has been added, whisk until the mixture is thick (15-20 minutes).
I sieved my curd at the end, this way when you jar it, it is entirely smooth with none of the lemon zest.
Jar it, and store in the fridge!
Broccoli Mac & Cheese

Broccoli Mac & Cheese

I hope you all had a great holiday weekend!
This was not the first 4th of July that I have spent in the US, but it was first one as a resident. We decided that we wanted to avoid crowds and still see friends, so we had a meet point (my in-laws), which is in a lovely rural part of Virginia.
The weekend included boardgames (exploding kitty and red dragon inn), as well as a lot of laughter and baby cuddles.

If you are as sleepy as we are then I can bet you are looking for a quick and easy meal. This is it!
It is quick, delicious, as well as a help with any possible hangover.

Ingredients
1 lb gluten free past
1 head of broccoli
2 tbsp butter
1 shallot
2 cloves garlic- minced
1/4 cup gluten free flour
1 cup milk- I used 1 %
1/2 cup chicken broth (can be subbed with veggie)
1&1/2 cup shredded strong cheddar
1 cup smoked gouda
1/2 cup mozzarella
gluten free breadcrumbs to cover the dish
Instructions
Preheat oven to 375F.
Bring water to a boil, salt, and add your pasta (if you can find gluten free pasta shells, use these)
2 minutes prior to the pasta being fully cooked, add your broccoli to the pot.
Strain together.
In a pot, melt the butter and add the shallot- cook for around 5 minutes.
Season with salt and add the garlic.
Add the flour, mix well, and cook for 1 minute.
Add the milk, and broth. Stir until it thickens, and then add your cheeses.
Have your pasta and broccoli in a baking dish. Pour the sauce over the pasta, get it all covered.
Cover the pasta with a thin layer of breadcrumbs.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until gold and bubbly.
Lemon Cupcakes with Strawberry filling

Lemon Cupcakes with Strawberry filling

Yesterday was Canada Day- it is the first time in my life that I was not in Canada for it and I was a bit homesick. It is incredibly close in terms of its date with the 4th of July in the US and therefore no one really acknowledges it down here.

For the 4th this year we are headed to my in-laws where we will meet up with our best friends. We decided that we would each contribute a food, and I decided on dessert. I wanted to make cupcakes and I wanted to make them festive.

I saw on the blog wife mama foodie that she had a recipe for cupcakes that I wanted to try. The result ended up being pretty good. I changed a few things from the original recipe and made the icing more patriotic!

They are quick and simple to make, so I hope you enjoy!

 

Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes

July 2, 2017
: 1 Dozen Cupcakes
: 1 hr

By:

Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups of all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yoke
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup milk - up to you to use whatever type of milk you like. I used 1%
  • 1/2 cup butter or melted coconut oil- I used butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Strawberry preserve
  • Icing:
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 1.5 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • lemon juice to your taste
  • red + blue food coloring
  • * You will need piping bags for this- or ziploc bags that you convert.
Directions
  • Step 1 For cupcakes:
  • Step 2 Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Step 3 Mix your flour, salt, baking powder, and lemon zest together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Step 4 Add vanilla, milk, butter, and eggs slowly into the mixture.
  • Step 5 Mix until smooth.
  • Step 6 Line a muffin tin with wrappers and fill them 2/3 of the way up.
  • Step 7 Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  • Step 8 Once done remove from oven and allow them to cool.
  • Step 9 Once cool, remove the centre of the cupcakes with a knife. Do not pierce the bottom, just make a small hole in each.
  • Step 10 Fill your first piping bag with 2-3 tbsp of strawberry preserve and pipe into the holes.
  • Step 11 Allow these to sit for a while.
  • Step 12 For icing:
  • Step 13 Place your softened butter into a mixer and beat for a few minutes until fluffy. Add your icing sugar and allow it to beat for about 5 minutes.
  • Step 14 Once the icing begins to look light and fluffy slowly add the milk. When it is fully incorporated and fluffy, add your lemon juice. If at any point the icing becomes lumpy and is no longer smooth, simply add a bit more icing sugar until it is back to normal.
  • Step 15 Once the icing is ready, divide it into thirds. In one bowl, add blue food coloring to the mixture, in another bowl add red, and in the third bowl, leave it white.
  • Step 16 Take your second piping bag with a star tip and evenly distribute the three (or 2) colors in the bag in a straight line. This was when you pipe, all colors will be present.
  • Step 17 You can freeze these cupcakes if you want, or serve right away.
  • Step 18 Enjoy!
Custard Fruit Tart

Custard Fruit Tart

Montreal is amazing in that it has specialty shops everywhere. Fromageries, butchers, bakeries, it is all wonderful. There was a bakery that was very close to our house and a few times a year we would pick up a dessert from there for a family event (usually mothers or fathers day), and we would always get a fruit tart.

These tarts were absolutely beautiful in their design and beyond delicious. When I moved, we were going through all the books that I wanted to take and my grandmother offered me cookbooks that she no longer needed or wanted. One book that she gave me is one that I have been eyeing forever, it is a baking guide. Of course, it is for regular baking, but there are inspiring ideas in there none the less. I was going through some of my books the other day and came across this one, and on the cover was a fruit tart. I decided that it was time that I try to make this gluten free and have it taste halfway decent.

The result ended up being awesome, and I was in a blissful state for quite some time. Seven years is a long time to not indulge in a fruit tart. So if you are anything like me and it has been a while. Give this a go. Plus, as an ex-pat Canadian now living in the USA, Canada Day is a perfect excuse to bake this.

 

Gluten Free Custard Berry Tart

June 30, 2017

By:

Ingredients
  • For the crust:
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 3.5 tbsp butter chilled
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • splash of vanilla
  • For the custard:
  • 3 egg yokes
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Berries-
  • For glaze, I used strawberry preserve but you can also use red currant jelly, or apricot jelly.
Directions
  • Step 1 Steps:
  • Step 2 For the crust:
  • Step 3 Put all the ingredients in a food processor with the butter chopped up and allow it to form a crumble. Add the egg and pulse until it forms a ball in the food processor. Remove and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Step 4 Remove from fridge, roll it out, lay it over the tart plate you wish to use, cut off excess. Poke your form into the base so the crust can breathe while it bakes.
  • Step 5 Bake for 10 minutes at 350 or until golden.
  • Step 6 Let the crust cool entirely.
  • Step 7 For custard:
  • Step 8 In a pot, heat up the milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the other ingredients (except the cream).
  • Step 9 When the milk is boiled, pour it slowly over your bowl and whisk everything together. Once it is all combined, transfer back to pot on the stove. Stir until it is thick and like custard! Remove it from the heat and place in a clean bowl. Cover and let it sit until it cools. Once cool, whip the cream until thick and mix it into the custard. Spoon the custard evenly into the pie crust. Put the tart in the fridge and allow everything to set for 1 hour.
  • Step 10 For fruit:
  • Step 11 Arrange the fruit how you want it- I used strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
  • Step 12 Heat up your preserve in a pot and mix it with some water. It will be like a syrup. Distribute it evenly over your fruit.
  • Step 13 Serve within 3 hours of making.
Baingan Bharta (Eggplant Curry)

Baingan Bharta (Eggplant Curry)

I was not over my Indian craving from a few days ago and ventured back into the youtube realm. One of my favorite youtube channels is Manjula’s Kitchen. Her recipes are fantastic for our household as all of her food is vegetarian, and a lot of it is naturally gluten free. Her name is Manjula Jain, her last name is reflective of her religion as she is a Jain. Jainism is an ancient religion of India, and Jains (as the practitioners are called) believe that everything has a soul. They, therefore, adhere to a strict vegetarian diet. It is a super fascinating religion if any are curious to explore its roots.

A food that Josh and I both love is eggplant. It is super healthful and can be transformed into countless dishes. We had an eggplant sitting in the fridge and Manjula came to the rescue. This is her recipe, so she gets all the credit.

 

 

Ingredients
1 eggplant
1 red bell pepper
2 tbsp oil – I used sunflower oil
2 medium tomatoes
1 green chili
¼ inch piece of ginger
3 tablespoons oil
Pinch of asafetida – if you cannot find this, substitute onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon red chili
1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
¼ teaspoon garam masala
cilantro to garnish

Steps
Microwave (yes, microwave) your eggplant for 8 minutes.
Remove from microwave and allow to cool. Once cool remove all the skin and chop the eggplant into small pieces.
Take your tomatoes, chop them, and remove the seeds from your chili pepper, blend in a blender or food processor with the ginger.
Heat your oil, and chop your bell pepper into small pieces, fry the pepper until it is soft. Remove the pepper from the pan, but keep the oil.
Add the cumin seeds and asafetida (also known as Hing) to your pan and let it sit for a minute. Add the tomato puree. Once you see the oil begin to separate from the puree, add all the spices except for the garam masala.
Cook for a few minutes and then add your eggplant. Cook the eggplant in the sauce for around 7-8 minutes, meanwhile mashing it with a wooden spoon. Once it begins to look more like a puree, add the garam masala and your peppers.
Cook for a few more minutes, remove, plate, and add your cilantro.

Shrimp Coconut Corn Curry Chowder

Shrimp Coconut Corn Curry Chowder

I moved to the United States in January of this year. I am stuck between the feeling that it has been much longer and that I have not been here for very long. Immigration is an exhausting process, and we are lucky that Josh (being a lawyer) understands the law, forms, etc. My area of employment is education. I recently graduated with a master’s degree in ancient history and will be looking for a teaching position. My work permit arrived (praise be), but unfortunately, it was after the majority of full-time positions for the fall had been filled. I am keeping my fingers crossed that substitute positions will be open and possibly lead me to something bigger. As most educators have the summer off, I continue to be in a bit of a limbo and have therefore been spending a lot of my time continuing to experiment with recipes.

The weekend that I made the move to our new home, our heating system broke. We arrived at our house and it was freezing. It was luckily fixed relatively quickly, but I had a chill in my bones that felt as if it lasted for two weeks. This was mainly due to emotional and physical exhaustion and therefore resulted in my making a bunch of soups.

This soup ended up being one of mine and Josh’s favorites. It packs a punch and is delicious in the winter as well as the summer. It has elements of both. It is warm and has heat, but it is light and has the flavors of summer.

I hope you like it as much as we do.

Ingredients
2 cups chicken stock (or veggie stock)
1 14oz can of light coconut milk
1/2 lb deveined shrimp
1 jalapeno pepper
2 cans corn
1/2 medium onion
1 tbsp red curry paste
1 tsp lime juice
salt + pepper to taste
sriracha to taste
cilantro to garnish
basil- optional
1 tbsp coconut oil
Steps

Take soup pot and heat coconut oil on medium heat.
Add onion and allow it to cook for about 3-5 minutes.
Add the red curry paste and coat every piece of onion with it. Cook for 2-3 more minutes.
Add stock, coconut milk, and corn. Bring to a boil. Use a submersion blender or blender to combine everything in the pot.
Bring the soup back to a boil and add the shrimp.
Add lime juice, salt and pepper.
Cook for 5 minutes, if using pre-cooked shrimp. You’ll have to keep an eye on the pot if the shrimp is not pre-cooked.
Add sriracha to the pot to your taste.
Cut up cilantro- use as much as you want. You can use the stems- there is a great flavor in the stems.
Add jalapeno near the end, and basil if you wish.
Allow to cool for a couple of minutes and serve.

Chocolate Coconut Strawberry Cakes

Chocolate Coconut Strawberry Cakes

Gluten Free Chocolate Coconut Cakes

Last night I went into a zen mode of watching youtube videos on cooking and baking. I will begin on one topic and end up at an entirely different culinary place, all the while loving what I am seeing and learning. I came across a video that used strawberries to form a rose on top of a cupcake and I thought “hm, I think that would be neat”, but seeing as I plan to make cupcakes later this week for the 4th of July, I didn’t necessarily want to wait. So I got to thinking, what could I put that on instead.

A staple in my pantry is coconut. It is a delicious gluten free friendly ingredient and it can be added or used to make several awesome creations. I thought at first I would maybe use it for basic macaroons but then quickly came across a recipe from Molly Yeh that changed my mind. She used the basic macaroon recipe but instead made it into a cake. I thought that it would be a great choice, but instead of making a full sized cake, I decided to make mini ones (I really wanted to try these strawberries).

Her original recipe calls for orange and I decided to swap that out entirely for strawberries as it is the season.

 

I decided to use ramekins instead of a cake tin- however now having made this, you can use a cake tin and then simply use a biscuit cutter. It is entirely your choice.

The result was delicious, and beautiful.

Gluten Free Chocolate Coconut Cakes

June 27, 2017
: 5

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 14 oz bag of shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 14 oz can condensed milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp salt
  • For buttercream:
  • 1 stick of softened unsalted butter
  • 1.5 cups of icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp strawberry preserve or jam
  • fresh strawberries
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat your oven to 350F.
  • Step 2 Grease the bottom of your ramekins and line them with parchment paper.
  • Step 3 Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl, and in a separate bowl mix together your wet ingredients.
  • Step 4 Using a rubber spatula, pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until all are combined.
  • Step 5 Use a spoon to transfer mix into ramekins and make sure each is equal.
  • Step 6 Bake the ramekins for 30 minutes- check on them after 25 minutes and if they have lost their shine, then they are ready.
  • Step 7 Allow them to sit in the ramekins for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Step 8 Using a standing mixer, beat the butter for a few minutes until light and creamy.
  • Step 9 Add the icing sugar and beat it until buttercream forms. Add your strawberry preserve. Transfer icing to piping bag with a round tip.
  • Step 10 Use 2 cake pieces for cake, ice in the middle and then on top. Be generous with the icing on top as the icing will work as the glue for the strawberries.
  • Step 11 Slice your strawberries, and place them as seen in the picture. The result is a rose.

Vegetarian Kofta

Vegetarian Kofta

I wrote in another post about my love for the Great British Bake Off. One of my favorite contestants ever is a woman named Chetna Makan. She would infuse her bakes with really interesting spices, mainly Indian influences.

Something that I found out when I initially went gluten free is that Indian food is almost universally gluten free. Of course, delicious things such as naan bread are not, but the dishes themselves are almost always 100% gluten free or can be modified to be gluten free. Montreal has an amazing Indian food scene. I occasionally (often) will space out dreaming about my favorite restaurants in Montreal, that I will go to immediately as soon as my green card is granted.

I was looking around the internet to see what Chetna was up to since Bake Off and came across her youtube channel. She weekly updates a video and this recipe caught my eye. I made a couple of changes, but minor ones. The outcome was delicious, and I hope you will give this a try.

Vegetarian Kofta

June 27, 2017
: 4
: 3 hr
: 30 min
: 3 hr 30 min

By:

Ingredients
  • For Koftas:
  • 275 g Paneer (see note for homemade paneer)
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 boiled potatoes
  • Oil for frying
  • For sauce:
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tbsp oil (I used sunflower)
  • 1 tsp cardamom seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 garlic cloves - grated or minced
  • water
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Half and half or cream
Directions
  • Step 1 To make the koftas, grate the paneer or mash into chunks with your hands in a bowl. Add the boiled potatoes, salt, chili powder, and corn flour. Form into balls and set aside.
  • Step 2 Heat your oil on a medium heat and add the koftas. Fry until golden and remove and set aside.
  • Step 3 In a pan, add tbsp oil and allow to heat. Add your cardamom seeds and cinnamon stick.
  • Step 4 Add onion and allow to cook until it is golden.
  • Step 5 Add the garlic and cook until the rawness is gone from the garlic.
  • Step 6 Add the tomatoes, and fill half of the can with water and pour into the pan.
  • Step 7 Cook on medium heat and covered for 15 minutes.
  • Step 8 Remove cover, add remaining spices, and 100 ml more water.
  • Step 9 Place cover back on and cook for 10 more minutes.
  • Step 10 Remove lid, add either 4 tbsp of half and half or 2 tbsp of cream.
  • Step 11 Add the koftas back into the gravy and allow them to soften. Put in a serving dish and serve immediately. Garnish with coriander or cilantro.
  • Step 12 *If you cannot find paneer in the store, purchase whole milk. 1.5 cups of whole milk will give you 275g of paneer. Bring the whole milk to a boil and use the juice of three lemons. This will allow the milk to curdle. Turn off the heat at this point and stir for 3 minutes. Place a cheesecloth in a strainer in the sink and pour the milk into the cloth. Drain the liquid from the cloth and wrap the cheese in the cloth into a ball. Place something heavy on the cheese and let it sit in the sink for 30 minutes. Then place the cheese in the fridge for at least 2 hours, it is best if it is left overnight. For Chetna’s page, see here.  
Rhubarb Scones

Rhubarb Scones

Everywhere I look lately I have been seeing scones. Whenever my husband and I go out for breakfast, regular scones are available but there has never been a gluten free scone offered (except at Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore, and it was awesome).

One of my all time favorite shows is the Great British Bake Off (if you have not seen it, check it out on Netflix or PBS). Each week, the contestants were given a theme for the week, and the history of that baked good would be explained. I really enjoyed the episode where they discussed scones. I decided that I would be up to the challenge and see what I could do with gluten free flours. It ended up being pretty darn good.

Rhubarb Scones

June 27, 2017
: 6 Large or 12 small
: 15 min
: 30 min
: 45 min

By:

Ingredients
  • Use your scale for this recipe!
  • 115 G almond flour
  • 140 G all purpose gf flour mix (I used cup 4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1 stalk of rhubarb chopped and coated in maple syrup
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Step 2 Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt in a large bowl.
  • Step 3 Work the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is the size of lima beans.
  • Step 4 In another bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and the egg. Pour it into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix it with a rubber spatula.
  • Step 5 It is up to you now how you want to shape them, I took a round cutter and would form a ball with the dough, flatten it, and then cut it. Fill the entirety of the center with the maple rhubarb and then cover it with a top piece.
  • Step 6 Bake for 12 minutes and then turn the baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow it to sit on the pan for an additional 10 minutes before serving.
Williamsburg, VA

Williamsburg, VA

Richmond is kind of cool in the sense that it can be a good jumping off point for weekend trips to historical places, or just a place to relax. My mother is an American history buff, not my era, but she has talked about Williamsburg forever. After my move from Montreal in early January, I figured that Josh and I would like a weekend away to just de-stress, also a weekend away from our kitties. We love them dearly, but sometimes, you just need a break.

Josh’s birthday is near Christmas, so this year I decided to get him a bit bigger of a gift and combine them. I planned a weekend away for us in Williamsburg, and planned the surprise of a couple of our friends meeting us there.

I booked us a beautiful room at Wedmore Place . It is very classic in its architecture and design, plus the setting of a winery is just generally more romantic. One of the best aspects of this hotel is that each room is its own theme and is decorated accordingly. We stayed in the Westphalia room, and it was lovely.

I stalled Josh as long as I could until our friends arrived and we made our way out to dinner at Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant before heading on a ghost tour of historic Williamsburg. Dinner was nice and the tour was fun. We called it a night and decided we would wander around the historic centre again in the daylight.

It is a really cute town, albeit very touristy on a weekend. The shops are sweet, and a bit pricey, but the experience overall is very nice. We will definitely go back, and visit the spirits that are walking around the old town square.