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Do you like to eat breakfast for dinner? My family does, and one of our most loved meals is Eggs Benedict. Sometimes I make them with Gluten Free English Muffins. Other times I make a delectable “country” version with drop biscuits and melted cheese (they are very Paula Deen!). If we have fresh asparagus on hand that will always make it’s way on top of our gluten free Eggs Benedict. Asparagus and hollandaise sauce are such a perfect pair! I use packaged gluten free hollandaise sauce to speed up the prep time, and it tastes great. Of course my gluten free Country Style Eggs Benedict with Asparagus also tastes fabulous for breakfast or brunch. If you have a large family, or are hosting a brunch you can make large amounts of poached eggs and keep them warm in a oven set to a very low temperature, as you continue to cook. Give this satisfying gluten free meal a try… it really hits the spot!

Country Style Eggs Benedict with Asparagus – Gluten Free

1/2 cup white vinegar

8 eggs

1 package Mayacamas brand gluten free Hollandaise Sauce mix – prepared according to package directions

2 recipes Pamela’s Drop Biscuits (recipe to follow)

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

2 tbsp. water

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed

Salt

Cayenne pepper

Freshly ground black pepper

Prepare 2 batches of Pamela’s drop biscuits (recipe to follow).

Fill a large, deep skillet 2/3 full of water. Pour vinegar in water. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.

Meanwhile, crack eggs into 8 individual tea cups. Prepare an “egg draining plate” by layering 2 paper towels on a dinner plate; set aside.

Prepare the hollandaise sauce according to package directions (tip: although the package directions don’t state this, the sauce will be much smoother if you whisk it constantly until the mixture comes to a boil). When the sauce is ready, reduce heat to low and cover to keep warm, stirring occasionally.

Place trimmed asparagus in a shallow casserole dish. Add the 2 tablespoons of water and cover with lid. Microwave on high for 4 minutes, or until crisp tender. Drain and keep covered, set aside.

Lower tea cups containing eggs into simmering water, tipping them sideways as the make contact with the water to gently release the eggs under the water (eggs should not touch in water). After 1 minute, gently turn eggs over with a large slotted spoon. Continue cooking until eggs reach desired doneness (be sure not to over cook them if you like the yolks on the runny side). Remove eggs with large slotted spoon and place on prepared “egg draining plate”. Gently pat the tops of the eggs with paper towels to absorb excess water. Sprinkle eggs lightly with salt.

Place 2 biscuits on each of 4 dinner plates. Place 2 poached eggs right along side the biscuits. Sprinkle 1/8 cup shredded sharp cheddar over each plate of eggs and biscuits. Top each plate with asparagus. Sprinkle with cayenne and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Yield: 4 servings.

Pamela’s Drop Biscuits – Gluten Free

Double this recipe for Country Eggs Benedict

1 cup Pamela’s Ultimate Wheat Free Baking and Pancake Mix

1/4 cup shortening

1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl pour in Pamela’s Baking Mix and cut in shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour milk into flour mixture while stirring with a fork. Do not let dough sit. Immediately drop generous tablespoon fulls of dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes or until golden brown on top. Yield: 5-6 biscuits.

Enjoy!

Good news… there is still time to enter the Mayfair Lane “Happeez” giveaway on my giveaway website The Freebie Fairy!

You will love the artsy, fun designs on this awesome collection of clips, photo frames, whiteboards, list pads, and note pads! “Happeez” products stick everywhere that magnets stick (and even where magnets don’t!) including stainless steel, glass, lucite and wood paneling, without damaging any surfaces.

Follow this link to enter:

HURRY… giveaway ends on Tuesday September 29, 2009 at 10:00 PST.

Don’t let your chance to win $75.00 worth of adorable “Happeez” products pass you by!

By now you have probably figured out that I love comfort food. I adore old fashioned recipes, made by hand, and made with love. That is my idea of good eating! Aleia’s Gluten Free Bakery feels that way too. Kim Snow, the originator of Aleia’s Gluten Free Bakery, decided to go in to the gluten free baking business because she knew “it was purposeful and meaningful”. With her training as a baker from the Culinary Institute of America, Kim set out to create a line of gluten free baked goods that would appeal to the whole family. Kim says “I wanted to make it taste good and look better with really delicious flavor”. Guess what? She succeeded!

Aleia’s Gluten Free Bakery lovingly bakes mouth watering gluten free cookies, croutons, breads, stuffing mixes, and bread crumbs in their dedicated gluten free facility in Connecticut. All of their products are also CSA and Kosher certified. That’s Aleia’s founder Kim Snow (above) in the Aleia’s bakery ready to bake some homemade gluten free goodies!
I must admit I became a wee bit spoiled by Aleia’s. ;-) They sent me a box of freshly baked goodies that won me over at the first bite. The Aleia’s gluten free Parmesan Croutons were fantastic, with their delicate cheese flavor and hearty crunch. I tossed the croutons in my soup one afternoon in lieu of gluten free crackers and I was instantly a fan. I didn’t want soggy crackers in my soup from that day forward, only Aleia’s Parmesan Croutons! I didn’t even want to use the croutons in our dinner salads because I was afraid I would run out of them to fast, and not be able to use them in my lunch time soup!

The grand-Daddy of all gluten free comfort food cookies are the Aleia’s gluten free Almond Horns! Have mercy! Words cannot do these babies justice. My first bite of an Aleia’s Almond Horn took me back to my teenage years. As a teen, I was best friends with a girl who came from a family of amazing Italian cooks. I remember eating a similar cookie at her house, handmade by her mother and aunt. Those buttery, delicate, Almond Horns were not overly sweet and had tender slices of almonds on top that were the crowning glory of the cookies. I never had an almond cookie that tasted anything like it until now. It took 30 years, but I have finally rediscovered the bliss of a perfectly made Almond Horn thanks to Aleia’s Gluten Free Bakery.
My kids gobbled up the Aleia’s gluten free Chocolate Chip Cookies so fast that I was lucky I even got to try one. The few that I did get my hands on were so tasty! Think thick, crunchy, super-chocolaty cookies that are perfect for dunking in your favorite beverage. These are ideal to keep in your pantry for school lunches, after school treats, play dates, and for late night munchies. :)
I was so grateful to receive a tub of Aleia’s gluten free Italian Bread crumbs! I save each and every crumb that falls of of a piece of gluten free bread and store it in a container in my freezer. Once in a blue moon, I will have enough bread crumbs to actually cook with after ages of “crumb collecting”. Sure, I could dry out gluten free bread and purposefully make bread crumbs, but honestly I rarely make time to do this. Behold… Aleia’s Gluten Free Bread Crumbs. Bread crumbs that taste great and are ready and waiting for me anytime I choose to use them. I love that! Thank you Aleia’s… for giving me back a greatly missed convenience.

Aleia’s makes it a point to travel to trade shows and food conventions sharing their delicious gluten free baked goods. That’s Aleia’s Account Executive Catherine Doneghy and Account Manager Josh Wells sharing some of Aleia’s goodness with the world. And yes, they are as friendly as they look. :)

By now I’ll bet you are wondering where you can get your hands on these wonderful Aleia’s products to try them out for yourself. Currently, Aleia’s is only available in select locations on the east coast. Since I am way over here on the west coast it made me wonder if I would ever be able to taste Aleia’s delicious gluten free croutons, cookies, and bread crumbs again. Also, I really want to try the other Aleia’s products that I have not yet had the pleasure of experiencing! I spoke with Aleia’s Vice President James Snow to find out if Aleia’s planned to expand it’s distribution. James said that Aleia’s has experienced rave reviews and this relatively new company has seen extremely rapid growth in a short period of time. They are currently working with natural foods markets on the east coast, but have every intention of expanding to the midwest, and eventually the west coast (yea!). Although Aleia’s Gluten Free Bakery products are not currently available on line, James said that they may be in the future. If you do not live on the east coast, be sure to bookmark the Aleia’s Gluten Free Bakery website. You won’t want to miss the chance to try Aleia’s gluten free, family style baked goods when they come to your town!

This delicious recipe for gluten free Chocolate Cupcakes with Fluffy Chocolate Frosting is one of (6) tempting cupcake recipes that I included in my Cupcake Craze feature article in the Fall ’09 issue of Delight Gluten Free magazine. If you haven’t had a chance to experience Delight Gluten Free magazine yet, I highly recommend it. There are so many delicious recipes inside, it will make you hungry just reading it!

This is the perfect all-occasion chocolate cupcake recipe. One bite of these, and you won’t believe they are gluten free! These gluten free Chocolate cupcakes are not dry, dense or gritty. These are cupcakes like you remember them… honest to goodness can’t-stop-at-one cupcakes. You really need to whip up a batch for your self to believe it!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Fluffy Chocolate Frosting – Gluten Free

½ cup sorghum flour
½ cup tapioca flour
¼ cup brown rice flour
¼ cup white rice flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
¾ cup salted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 recipe Fluffy Chocolate Frosting (recipe provided below)
1 oz square semi-sweet baking chocolate, shaved (optional, for garnish)

Preheat oven to 350˚. Prepare cupcake pans with paper liners. Whisk the flours together. Add the cocoa powder, xanthan gum, baking powder, and baking soda to the flours and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Beat in the butter until creamy. Slowly add the brown sugar and the granulated sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time. Add the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk. Fill the cupcake liners until nearly full. Bake for 16-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then remove cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack. Frost cooled cupcakes with Fluffy Chocolate Frosting and sprinkle with shaved chocolate if desired. Yield: approximately 1-1/2 dozen cupcakes.

Fluffy Chocolate Frosting – Gluten Free

Makes 3 cups

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus additional if needed
1/3 cup milk, plus additional if needed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (for flavor variations, try raspberry, peppermint, or coconut extract instead of vanilla and use 1 teaspoon of chosen extract instead of 2)
¼ teaspoon salt

Place the butter and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until the mixture is soft and well combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine. Place the confectioners’ sugar, 1/3 cup milk, vanilla, and salt in the bowl, and beat with the mixer on low speed until the frosting lightens and is fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add more milk if the frosting is too thick, OR confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon at time if the frosting is too thin. If a firmer frosting is desired, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or use immediately to frost your cupcakes or cake. Yield: 3 cups frosting.

* Cupcake recipe adapted from recipezaar.com

*Frosting recipe adapted from The Cake Doctor Cookbook


Enjoy!

I recently received a big box of gluten free goodies to sample from Kinnikinnick Foods. Imagine my kid’s delight as I pulled a box of gluten free chocolate dipped doughnuts from the box! Of course we all sampled one immediately, and they got a thumbs up from everyone. I love that they are stored in the freezer for freshness, so I can defrost only the amount I need and still have some on hand for future doughnut cravings. Since I don’t always have time to make my homemade gluten free Unbelievably Good Cake Doughnuts, the Kinnikinnick doughnuts are the next best thing.


Squeals (yes, squeals) of excitement came from all 3 of my kids when I pulled a package of Kinnikinnick gluten free S’moreables Graham Style Crackers from the box! One of the treats my kids missed the most since our household became gluten free was S’mores. We used to make them at the fire pit in our yard on summer nights. Guess what we had for dessert that night?? You got it… homemade S’mores! Kinnikinnick Foods even provides a recipe for s’mores on the box that can be made in the oven in less than 5 minutes. I congratulate Kinnikinnick Foods for giving the joy of eating S’mores back to gluten free children (and adults!). The S’moreables gluten free Graham Style crackers taste excellent on their own for after school or late night snacks, or tucked into a school lunch box for a special treat.

This picture speaks a thousand words. Oreo’s are a staple in most school age children’s school lunch boxes. My daughter was painfully aware that her lunch box never had any Oreo’s in it. I made homemade gluten free Oreo’s for her to take in her school lunch. Although they were delicious, they didn’t look like “real” Oreo’s and some of the children at her lunch table actually made fun of them. My daughter never wanted to take them to school again. Kinnikinnick Foods to the rescue! Imagine my daughter’s delight as I pulled “real” looking Oreo’s from the box of samples. One taste of these gluten free KinniTOOS Chocolate Sandwich Creme Cookies, and we all said the same thing “These taste JUST like Oreo’s!”. Guess what cookies are going in to my daughter’s school lunch box?

Gluten free KinniTOOS Sandwich Creme Cookie are also available in Vanilla Creme (these are my oldest daughter’s favorite!).


All Gluten Free Waffles are not created equal. The gluten free Kinnikinnick Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Waffles we pulled from the sample box looked promising. The true test would be at the breakfast table the next day. We eat A LOT of frozen waffles at our house on busy school mornings, so I had many willing “taste-testers”. The verdict? The gluten free Kinnikinnick Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Waffles were crispier and had a more appealing texture than other gluten free waffles we have purchased. An added bonus was the brown sugar and cinnamon flavor in every warm, crispy bite. I really love these!


With only a few samples left in the box, we were all eager to see what other tasty treasures Kinnikinnick Foods had sent me. When I pulled out a package of gluten free Kinnikinnick Montana Chocolate Chip Cookies my son did a happy dance. He is a chocolate chip cookie fanatic, other wise known by our family as “The Cookie Monster!”. These scrumptious, crunchy chocolate chip cookies are loaded with chocolate chips. My son agreed with the rest of us that they were wonderful. These really passed the test.


Just when we all thought things couldn’t’ get any better, I pulled the last sample from the box. Gluten free Animal Cookies!! Oh happy day! I practically get tears of joy in my eyes when I think how thrilled my children are to be able to once again eat the types of treats that they
used to enjoy “pre-Celiac”. I have nothing but happy memories of eating circus animal cookies when I was a child. I want those memories for my children too. Thanks to Kinnikinnick Foods, now they can have them by eating Kinnikinnick gluten free K-Kritters Animal Cookies.


The best part about Kinnikinnick Foods isn’t just the wide range of food choices they produce, but the wide range of people they make them for. Check out their mission statement:

“To provide Celiacs, people with Autism and other people with special dietary requirements with an uncontaminated, risk free source of food products.To provide our customers with food that actually looks and tastes Great Gluten Free Has Never Tasted So Good.”


As the mother of a child with Celiac Disease living in a 100% gluten free household, I am grateful to Kinnikinnick Foods for making “normal” treats that children on gluten free diets can enjoy safely, with pride.


Try Kinnikinnick Foods for yourself… you’ll be so glad you did!

If you are looking for a crowd pleasing side dish, my gluten free Classic Macaroni Salad is just the answer. The simple, fresh ingredients in this creamy salad add wonderful flavor and texture. This is the comforting, sweet macaroni salad you may remember eating at your mother or grandma’s house growing up (minus the gluten!). The addition of a sliced hard-boiled egg and paprika as garnish make for a lovely presentation. Prepare some tonight to enjoy with your loved ones!

Classic Macaroni Salad – Gluten Free

2 cups uncooked gluten free elbow macaroni (I always use Tinkyada brand)

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

2 teaspoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon ground mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup thinly sliced celery

1/3 cup chopped carrot

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 hard-boiled egg, sliced

Dash Paprika

Cook macaroni until al dente; drain and rinse with cold water. Cool completely.

For Dressing: in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, pickle relish, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. In a large bowl, gently combine the macaroni. celery, carrot and onion. Add dressing and toss gently to coat.

Refrigerate Macaroni Salad on Foodista until serving. Garnish with egg and paprika. Yield: 8 servings.

*Recipe adapted from Taste of Home Magazine

Enjoy!

The (3) winners of the StoreHouse Foods giveaway are:

– *Grannie4*

– *Gluten Free Greenie (Wendy)*

– *Chandice*

Congratulations! I am e-mailing you all now. Please respond within 48 hours or new winners will be chosen.

Special thanks to StoreHouse Foods for sponsoring this giveaway.

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