Lemon Ricotta Tart with Gluten-free Ginger Snap Walnut Crust

Lemon Ricotta Tart
I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a beautiful lemon-ricotta tart recipe from Simply Healthy Family on Twitter several weeks ago, and finally had a chance to make it. It was well worth the wait! The lemon-ricotta filling has a great consistency that reminds me of cheesecake, and it pairs wonderfully with the wild blueberry topping and ginger snap crust. In addition to bringing together such interesting flavors, it holds up well in the fridge and simply looks great.

The only modification I made to the original recipe was to double the amount of crust, as I found the single serving wasn’t enough to fill the edges of my pan. With that, here’s the recipe I used to make this stunning tart:

Lemon Ricotta Tart with Walnut Ginger Snap Crust and Wild Blueberries

For the Crust
1 and 1/2 cup walnuts Continue reading

Gluten-free Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake

imageOver the weekend, some friends introduced me to a great blood orange margarita recipe while they were visiting from out of town. Not only did this make me realize that I need to eat this beautiful fruit more often, but it also reminded me of a recipe I had once seen on Smitten Kitchen.

The recipe, a blood orange olive oil cake, seemed a bit ambitious for me in the past, so I never tried it. But since I’ve had some success recently with modifying conventional recipes for those that are gluten-free — and conveniently had some blood oranges already in my fridge — I figured this was the perfect time to give it a try.

Below is the original recipe from Smitten Kitchen, with some notes about making a gluten-free version. It takes a bit of work, but you won’t be disappointed with this one. And you would never know that it’s gluten-free!  Continue reading

Easy Gluten-free Peanut Butter Cookies

2014-02-09_2211Don’t get me wrong: I love it when cooking feels like chemistry. I enjoy the occasional hunt for obscure and hard-to-find ingredients. And I’m not one to shy away from ambitious recipes.

But sometimes, I want to look into my seemingly-empty fridge and know there is the potential for magic to happen. I want to Google “easy recipes” and have all of the ingredients hanging out in the cupboard, waiting to be whipped into something that would make Martha Stewart proud. Sometimes, I want cooking to just feel effortless.

A few weeks ago, a friend introduced me to a recipe that satisfies this more-than-occasional desire for simplicity: five ingredient peanut butter cookies. While part of me is shocked that I’ve never thought about these before, I suppose there is a historical explanation. Frankly, my family never really ate peanut butter cookies when I was growing up, save for the occasional bag of Nutter Butters (yum). And since I avoided eggs, sugar, and peanut butter for so long, these cookies haven’t really been an option since the 10th grade. Continue reading

Throwback Sugar Cookie Recipe – Take 1

image_1Well, to say it has been a while since my last post would be an understatement. The past several months have been busy ones to be sure, but also full of exciting updates when it comes to food.

The quick version of the story is that I’ve had a very successful experience with my elimination diet, and gluten and soy are pretty much the only foods I avoid these days. Pretty crazy, right? It’s hard to believe that I’m back to eating so many foods I’ve avoided over the past 8 years, including one of the big ones: dairy!  Continue reading

Infographic: What cities have the most gluten-free friendly restaurants?

Can you believe August is just around the corner? Time has quite literally been flying by lately, especially because I have been spending many weekends out of town for business trips, weddings, graduations, and even a lovely vacation to the beach. It has been a wonderful few months to be sure, but has reminded me of how difficult it can be for those with food allergies to eat on-the-go in an unfamiliar city. A friend sent me the infographic below about ordering gluten-free food across the country, and it seemed too timely not to share. Enjoy it and look forward to more posts soon! Continue reading

New to Me: Trader Joe’s All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour

Baking MuffinsOn a recent trip to Trader Joe’s, I came across one of their newest items: an all-purpose gluten-free flour. I’m always excited to see brands coming out with new gluten-free products, especially in the baking department, so I was particularly happy to have this new option at one of my favorite grocers. And bakers on a budget will appreciate that the flour is only $3.99 per bag, which is relatively inexpensive for a g-free flour mix.

The back of the flour bag contains two recipes, one for apple-cinnamon muffins (pictured above) and one for pancakes.  I tried both of the recipes over the past few weeks, and though I still have lots of experimenting to do with this new mix, I can say that my experience so far has been great. I even tried it in the oatmeal cookie recipe I recently posted, and liked the taste better than Bob’s Red Mill (sorry, Bob!). So stay tuned for more recipes using this new gluten-free flour!

GfreePancakes

Love making these pancakes for breakfast!

P.S. – I recently read an interesting article about how Trader Joe’s sells other companies’ name-brand foods at a lower price. And when I asked one gluten-free friend what they thought about the TJ’s g-free flour, they said it seemed very similar to King Arthur’s all-purpose gluten-free flour mix (which sells for nearly $8 per box). This blog thinks so, too. I’ve never had the King Arthur flour, but now I’m definitely curious to test for a comparison.

Have you had the chance to try this flour yet? Let me know what you think so far!

Snowquester Gluten-Free + Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

photo (6)With all of the snowquester hype earlier this week, I wanted nothing more than to put on my pj’s, brew up some tea, and bake a batch of cookies. I mean, what else is a girl to do on a cold night with an impending snowstorm?! So on Tuesday night, I decided to try something new: gluten-free oatmeal raisin cookies.

I can already hear some folks saying, “But wait a hot minute, I thought oats weren’t gluten-free!” Well, the story there is a bit complicated, but the short answer is that oats are gluten-free, so long as they are certified to not be cross-contaminated with other glutinous foods.

These cookies were also an interesting experiment for me because it was one of my first times eating oats after I cut out gluten several years ago. I’ve had some cookies with gluten-free oats in the past, but never to the quantity of this batch. Though I’ve tried to exercise some will power and introduce new foods like this slowly into my diet, I have to admit that I scarfed down a few cookies as soon as they came out of the oven. I ended up not getting sick from the oats (yay!) but I definitely plan to be less ravenous with future food introductions. Continue reading

A Gluten-Free in DC Gem: Cat Lady Cookies by Brett Gerson

2013-01-29_1310A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Brett Gerson, the genius behind Cat Lady Cookies. Brett is a DC-based, gluten-free baker who dedicates her kitchen to making delicious homemade treats that are free of gluten and other common allergens including nuts and soy.

When I first met Brett, I was so excited to chat with someone who could relate to my experiences as a gluten-free girl in DC. We had so much common in everything from exploring the gluten-free restaurant scene, to navigating the health issues surrounding food sensitivity, to trying to find new ways to enjoy cooking with a restricted diet. It was so great to have this reminder that I’m never alone on the gluten-free foodie journey – and it was an all-around fun conversation filled with laughs and exchanges of new recipe ideas!

Besides being an awesome person, I can also say that Brett’s baked goods are simply amazing.  Case in point: When we met up, Brett and I shared a laugh over how difficult it can be for our friends (boyfriends included) to appreciate good gluten-free baking…except the occasional time when it tastes like “normal” food. Well, Brett was kind enough to give me a generous sample of her chocolate chip cookies after we met, and I admit that I couldn’t resist having one (or maybe two…) on my trip home. Let me tell you guys: these cookies were unreal. They really tasted like “normal” chocolate chip cookies! They were rich, buttery, and didn’t fall apart like so many gluten-free cookies do. All I could do was enjoy each bite and wonder “how does she do it?!” – because my cookies are never this good! Continue reading

Getting Ready for Summer with Gluten-Free Key Lime Pie

photo 1This past Saturday, I was able to escape the Inaugural craziness in DC and visit with some friends in Annapolis. It was a great chance to relax enjoy some of the amenities of suburban life – including a spacious kitchen. That night, we had a wonderful meal of steamed mussels, grilled salmon, and roasted vegetables, followed by key lime pie for dessert. I had never made a key lime pie before but had been craving it all week, so I was glad everyone let me indulge and try it out!
The pie itself is lactose, soy, refined sugar, and gluten free – yet still reminded me very much of the key lime pies we would eat on vacation in Florida when I was younger.  I will say that this pie was definitely better cold the next day as opposed to hot out of the oven, but I suppose that’s typical for key lime pie.  The citrus flavor had me thinking about the warm months ahead, and made me excited to make key lime pie again soon (maybe with some meringue?!).
So without further ado, here’s the recipe: