Lemon Lime Margarita

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Ingredients

*Makes 2 Margaritas

4 ounces of 1800 Silver Tequila

Juice of 1/2 Lime

6 ounces of Limeade (I used Santa Cruz Organic Limeade)

Ice

San Pellegrino Limonata Sparkling Lemon

Shaker

Kosher Salt

Sugar

True Lime Crystallized Lime

Mix a few Tablespoons of kosher salt, sugar, and the crystallized lime together on a plate. Run the lime around the edges of your glasses and dip in the mixture. 

Add the tequila, lime juice, limeade, and about 1 cup of ice to your shaker. Shake vigorously. Fill each glass 3/4 full. Finish with the San Pellegrino Limonata.

Garnish with sliced lime and serve with pico de gallo, guacamole, and blue chips.

A few days ago I posted a gluten-free, dairy free, Cherry Braid and for some reason it didn’t go out to any of my email followers. Here’s a picture and a link in case you missed it!

( p.s.   …they were SO good! )

Cherry Braids

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Cherry Braids

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I like to keep a list of blog ideas hanging around for those moments of clarity (which are rare!) when I have what I think is going to be a great gluten free and dairy free creation or re-creation of a gluten filled recipe. I jot it down when it pops in my mind or I see something that inspires me. Then later when I’m thinking about what to blog, if I’m lucky enough to be able to read my writing, I have a list of ideas to pull from.

These cherry braids are one of the many ideas I have scribbled on numerous lists around my office and in the kitchen junk drawer. If I were able to eat in an average bakery, this is the type of dessert I’m drawn to. You see them often filled with all kinds of fruits and nut mixtures. The other day on Pinterest, I saw a braid filled with pizza ingredients. Can’t wait to try that one!

For this I just used my cinnamon roll dough. It was incredibly easy and I made both braids from scratch while talking on the phone the entire time, writing a check for our lawn clipping picker upper (a story for another time), and keeping an eye out for stray bears because I had all the doors open airing out the house. So truly, don’t be intimidated by the braiding part, it’s all very easy.

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Cherry Braids 

*Wait until both desserts are braided and ready to rest before pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees.

4 Tbsp. Earth Balance Natural Butter Spread

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Almond Milk,warmed but not hot to the touch

2 Eggs

1/2 Cup Canola Oil

2 tsp. Pure Vanilla

1 1/2 Tbsp. Yeast, dissolved in the warmed almond milk

1 Cups Sorghum Flour

1/2 Cup Mama’s Almond All Purpose Gluten Free Flour

2 Cups Potato Starch

1/2 Cup Tapioca Flour

4 tsp. Xanthan Gum

4 tsp. Baking Powder

1 tsp. Kosher Salt

4 Cans of Oregon Pitted Red Tart Pie Cherries in Water

3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/4 Cup Mama’s All Purpose Gluten Free Flour

1 teaspoon Pure Almond Extract

More Flour For Dusting

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Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer on high until thoroughly combined and fluffy.

Warm the almond milk lightly, not hot and add yeast. Stir and let rest while you’re measuring the flours, etc. Measure the sorghum flour, almond flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, xanthan gum and salt in a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.

To the creamed mixture, add the eggs, oil, vanilla, and milk/yeast mixture. Mix on medium speed scraping down bowl at least once, until combined. It will look curdled.

With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour and scrape down bowl. Mix on high until thoroughly combined (about 1-2 minutes). Dough will be sticky.

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Cut two pieces of parchment paper to fit your baking sheets. Working with one piece of parchment at at time, flour the first piece of parchment and scoop out half of the dough onto the floured parchment.

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Sprinkle more flour on top of the dough and pat out to get it started into the shape of the paper.

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Add a little more flour and roll to the size of the parchment paper.

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Cutting about 4 inches in on each side, slice 1 inch flaps all the way down the dough (both sides). Set aside, repeat with the second piece of parchment.

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Open and drain all 4 cans of cherries in a colander. Add to a medium-sized bowl and add the flour, sugar, and almond extract. Stir carefully but thoroughly until the flour is dissolved.

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With a slotted serving spoon. Spoon half of the cherries down the middle of one of the dough pieces. Repeat with the second piece.

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Beginning at one end of the dough, flap the ends over one at a time. Right side first, then left, repeat down the end of the dough

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If the cherries are seeping liquid after both braids have been completed, just dab up the moisture with a paper towel.

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the braids lightly, and set them in a warm place to rest for 30 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes and allow to cool for ten minutes before frosting.

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For the frosting I just used a simple mixture of melted dairy free butter (about 1/2 cup or so), powdered sugar (probably 4 or 5 cups), pure almond extract (I’d say about 2 teaspoons), and a little almond milk to make it spoonable. I whisked it until smooth and then spread it on with a spoon allowing it to drip down the sides.

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Fail! Organic Black Bean Pasta

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I ran across this pasta in the co-op the other day and was intrigued by its color. The black bean aspect intrigued me too, but black pasta?

Cool!

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I had no idea how it would turn out, but I had my heart set on pesto and that oh so good salty sheep’s  Pecorino Romano I bought the other day. I had a beautiful picture in my head of what it would look like on the plate, drizzled with a lovely extra virgin olive oil. The contrast of the pesto and cheese with the black noodles….the drizzles of olive oil around the dish….ahhhh.

I should have taken note of the picture on the front of the bag.

 My pairings were totally wrong for these noodles and the photos turned out nothing like I had created in my mind.  It’s probably a better noodle for soup and Asian cuisine. It reminded me very much of the texture of Top Ramen noodles. Except more earthy flavored and almost the same color as something you might find slithering around in the soil in your garden.

Mmmmm appetizing!

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There are probably a lot of people out there looking at food blogs who don’t blog themselves who have never considered how many fails it takes to create great recipes. With Pinterest right at the tip of everyone’s fingers, it’s clear to see after a short look-see, food can be ART and they make it all look so easy.  And don’t get me wrong, I love looking at beautiful food just as much as the next person, maybe more!

But, it’s also nice to see the struggles and the not so artsy every now and then. Because realistically, all of us are not sitting down to a three course meal worthy of a gallery wall every night.

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It’s easy to just call it a loss and only post the fantastic and beautiful recipes. I mean, you would never know!

But I’m here help you learn and to help you love being allergen free, not fib about how easy it is. This is only just one of many, many, of my recipe “fails”. It can be frustrating (and expensive) but if you look at it on the positive side, they really aren’t fails if you’re figuring out how to use new products and experience new things. And one oops out of about 10 YAY’S!! really isn’t a fail, it’s just a good try.

So here it is in all of its ugly and very unsavory glory!

Ha!

Better luck next time.

Pots De Creme ~ Breakfast Fit For a King

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The name makes this sound like an incredibly fancy production, but really, pots de creme is simple to make!

The only thing you need to remember when working with heat and eggs, is don’t curdle them. Pour the hot liquid into the eggs very, very, slowly and whisk  very, very, quickly. Then, don’t over cook it once it’s in the oven. If it’s overcooked, it takes on a very eggy texture and taste. I prefer mine like a light and creamy pudding. It’s as easy as that.

Of course, you can make this with all different types of flavors and you can have it for dessert rather than breakfast. However, if you don’t start your day off with something you love for breakfast that pleases all of those taste buds you were blessed with, it can set the tone for a very boring day.

You know what professionals say about eating healthy?

“Eat like a king for breakfast, eat like a prince for lunch, and eat like a pauper for dinner.”

Who am I to argue?

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Lemon Pots De Creme:

1 14 ounce Can of Full Fat Coconut Cream

6 Large Organic Egg Yolks

1/3 Cup of Pure Raw Honey

Juice & Zest of 2 Large Organic Lemons

Pinch of Kosher Salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees, place 6 ramekins in a large roasting pan and set aside, and start a tea kettle of water to boil.

Zest and juice the lemons and set aside.  Scoop the coconut milk into a small sauce pan and whisk to combine the solids and liquid. Heat on low just until it begins to simmer and remove from the heat. Crack the egg yolks into a large bowl. Add the honey and salt and whisk until thoroughly combined and a little fluffy. Add the lemon juice and zest and whisk again until thoroughly combined. Very, VERY, slowly drizzle the hot coconut milk into the egg mixture while whisking the entire time.

 Pour the mixture into a large glass measuring cup and pour into ramekins. If you have a lot of bubbles you can sift it with a fork to get rid of most of them.

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Very carefully transfer the roasting pan with the filled ramekins to the middle oven rack. Don’t pull the oven rack out. Pour hot water from the tea kettle into the corner of the roasting pan being careful not to splash into the pots de creme and fill to about half way up the sides of the ramekins.

Cook for 25 minutes. The pots de creme should be set on the sides and jiggle (not wave) in the middle when done.

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Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven and allow to sit for about  5-10 minutes or until you can safely pick them up with your fingers. Then, remove ramekins being mindful not to drip water onto the tops of the other ramekins. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Below you can see the texture you’re shooting for.

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 Blueberry Sauce:

3/4 Cup of Maine Wild Blueberries

1 Tablespoon of Granulated Sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons of Fresh Organic Lemon Juice

Rinse the berries if they’re fresh. Place in a small bowl and add the sugar and lemon juice. Crush (some, not all) carefully with the back of a spoon, stir, and refrigerate until ready to use.

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Lemon Ginger Granola:

2 Cups of Gluten Free Rolled Oats

1 Cup of Raw Sliced Almonds

1/8 Cup of Dark Brown Sugar

1/8 Cup of Pure Maple Syrup

1/8 Cup of Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, melted

1/2 teaspoon of Kosher Salt

Zest of 1 Large Organic Lemon

1/2 teaspoon of Freshly Grated Organic Ginger Root

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Spread onto cookie sheet.

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 Bake for about 30-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before topping the pots de creme.

It will be golden when done.

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Top the chilled pots de creme with a bit of granola, and a bit of the wild Maine blueberries.

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Meatloaf For Two

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DSC_5277Meatloaf For Two

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 pound of Organic Hamburger

1 Organic Egg

2 Tablespoons of Organic Onion, chopped

1 Tablespoon of Dried Organic Basil

1 Tablespoon of Dried Organic Oregano

1 teaspoon of Organic Bragg’s Sprinkle Seasoning

2 Tablespoons of Sugar Daddy Sugarhouse Special BBQ Sauce

1 teaspoon of Kosher Salt

4 Grinds of Fresh Pepper

4 teaspoons of Organic Tomato Paste

Bragg’s Sprinkle Seasoning

Place all ingredients in a large bowl.

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Mix with one hand until thoroughly combined. Not too much! I like my meatloaf light and fluffy. If you mix it too much it will be dense and have a weird texture.

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Spoon it into oiled ramekins, pat down, and smooth with the back of a spoon.

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Top each meatloaf with 2 teaspoons of tomato paste and spread with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with Bragg’s Seasoning.

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Place on a baking sheet and cook in a preheated oven for 50-60 minutes.

I served mine with smashed potatoes and pan gravy. You can either eat it right out of the ramekin, or take it out and slice it like I did.

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For the smashed potatoes:

Organic Red Potatoes

Almond Milk

Earth Balance Soy Free Butter

Salt

(The amount will depend on how many people you’re cooking for.) Boil and drain the potatoes. Mash by hand with a potato masher. Warm milk and butter and slowly mash/stir into the potatoes. Salt to taste.

For the pan gravy:

Earth Balance Soy Free Butter

Mama’s All Purpose Gluten Free Flour

Organic Beef Broth

Kosher Salt

Bragg’s Organic Sprinkle Seasoning

Heat the beef broth. Place butter and flour in a pan and whisk to create a roux.  Slowly add the beef broth whisking the entire time until the gravy is to the consistency you want it. Season with salt and Bragg’s seasoning.

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Am I Ready For Fall?

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As I type this blog post, I’m wearing flannel pajama bottoms, a nightgown, and a sweatshirt. It was 54 degrees when we rolled out of bed at 6:00 this morning. It’s already turning into tea and fireplace mornings!

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Two small red potatoes, olive oil, 1/2 of a small sweet onion, kosher salt, pepper.

Rewind to two weeks ago when it was 94 degrees and 98% humidity for several days in a row, my answer would have been a resounding, “YES! I AM ready for Fall!”.  It was the type of weather that no matter how little clothing you were wearing, you felt like you were standing in a steam room…with a campfire. Even the central air conditioner couldn’t get a handle on the humidity. Have you ever tried vacuuming carpet when it’s extremely humid? It’s a major workout. The tile and wood floors are also sticky and damp and if you plan on keeping anything you cook or bake crisp…forget it.

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Fast forward to today.

 The dogs are completely covered in blankets.

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Romeo

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Abigail

I’m warming my hands with a hot cup of tea so I can type.

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 And it’s only the beginning of August.

It’s true that you should be very careful what you wish for.

Soon, Mount Monadnock will be covered in color. New England in Fall…Now THAT, I’m looking forward to!

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How is your weekend going? I hope you’ve had a chance to get a bit of relaxation in. My husband is off to Massachusetts for a motorcycle ride this morning, so it’s breakfast for one.

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Organic breakfast for one. New potatoes, sweet onion, egg over easy, sliced strawberries, & Maine wild blueberries.

We tried a new restaurant last night and I went to bed with a horribly sick stomach and woke up with stiff joints, cement neck, and a lovely headache. They had a very nice menu filled with pasta and seafood but everything was swimming in dairy and piled on gluten. I had to settle on a bunless hamburger of all things! I’m always upfront with the wait staff right from the beginning that I’m allergic to gluten and dairy and they are usually very helpful. But, even in the best circumstances, which this was not, things “happen”. The waitress brought the burger with potato chips and then went into a huge panic saying, “WAIT! You can’t have potato chips……can you?” I told her that was fine but I had actually ordered the fries. So she brought me the fries and after taking one look at them I could clearly see they had been dredged in flour.  At this point I was thinking that we were probably by far her most annoying customers of the day.

Tony said, “Who cares if they’re annoyed? They’ve already delivered our food, they can’t spit in it now.” Way to set the bar high, honey. Ha! The fact that he even thought that was the type of restaurant we were in, made me wonder even more about my measly burger laying on a piece of wilted lettuce.

So she returned, eventually.  I asked her kindly if she wouldn’t mind asking the chef if the fries had been dredged in flour before frying. She came whipping back into the room (which was luckily empty except for Tony and I) saying in a loud voice,  “Don’t eat them! You didn’t eat any did you? Do we need to call for EMS?!” Which I’m assuming was her way of asking if I needed an ambulance.

Just shoot me. Gawd, the drama of it all. 

Remember in one of my earlier posts when I told you I absolutely dread bringing attention to myself at restaurants and having to tell people who invite us to dinner that I have food allergies? The only thing that saved me from walking out was the second glass of wine I was sipping. Which probably also gave me just enough wine fog to ignore the warnings going off in my head about the supposedly “safe” hamburger I was about to eat.

There’s still a bright side to my evening though.  We met and visited with some neighbors down the street who were very nice and our own age. They also have a very sweet and well-mannered 13 year old daughter, Hannah. We think Hannah will make a very kind dog babysitter. AND Hannah and I saved a baby bird from certain death and were able to return it to its nest.

Now, I’m off to enjoy the remainder of the weekend and I hope you do too! ~ April