Saturday, December 7, 2013

Flourless Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Coconut Cookies / Breakfast Bars

As you can see, I never got to finish re-designing this blog since my last blog entry from nearly nine months ago, but there is a good reason for that: I found out soon after that I was pregnant with identical twin boys, and was on bed rest for most of this year. Finally, I gave birth to our boys -- Shane and Patrick, on November 9th, and was kept busy until now.

So, to celebrate my comeback (haha), here is a delicious recipe that I developed in my kitchen this morning: Flourless (and gluten-free!) sweet potato coconut cookies. These cookies are not overly sweet, since they are meant to be healthy. However, there is a pleasant sweetness to them, and the other flavors from the coconut, sweet potato, oatmeal, and spices all have a chance to shine through.

Do try the recipe out; I know that you will love it! In the mean time, I will continue to work on redesigning the blog. Until then, this place may look a little bit funny for a few days.


Yields: 24 cookies. You may also bake this as a large square and then cut it into smaller rectangular bars afterward.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix the following dry ingredients together in a bowl:

2 cups oatmeal flour (make your own in the blender to save money)
2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes (the direction on how to make this is at the end of the recipe)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix the following wet ingredients together in another bowl:

1 cup mashed sweet potato or yam (I left a few small chunks in because I wanted to taste the sweet potato)
1/4 stick of melted butter
1 beaten egg
3 Tablespoons honey (you may add more if you want your cookies sweeter, but remember that it'll make your dough wetter, so have extra oatmeal flour on hand)

Direction:

1) Combine the wet and dry ingredients together. If the dough is too wet, add more oatmeal flour. If it is too dry, add a little bit of milk or water at a time.

2) Grease your cookie sheet with olive oil.

3) Dispense the dough with a spoon, and gently press down with the back of the spoon. You may wet the spoon if your dough is too sticky, although I didn't really have this problem.

4) Bake for 20 minutes.

5) Let cool, and remove the cookies with a spatula.

Enjoy!

How to Make Toasted Coconut:

In a pan over low-medium heat, toss in the coconut flakes. Stir constantly. Once half of the amount has turned golden brown, turn off the heat, but continue to stir the coconut flakes; the residual heat in the pan will continue to toast the coconut.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Most Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookies in the World



These are not gluten-free. However, I am working on a gluten-free recipe in my kitchen, and will post that one soon!

Oatmeal raisin cookie is Sean's most favorite cookie; he's such a wholesome guy, seriously! :-)
So, I baked him a dozen as a surprise, and I was so pleased with the result. 

These cookies turned out so ooey-gooey and chewy. So delicious!

Without further ado, I present you: the best oatmeal raisin cookies in the world.

World's Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Yields 48 cookies. These are so delicious, you'll be happy that you baked 48. I used a lot of oatmeal and raisins in my recipe, but feel free to cut back if you feel that the amount called for is too much for you.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups of multipurpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
3 cups oatmeal
2 cups raisins

Direction:

1. Mix all dry ingredients together. Set aside.

2. Cream sugar and butter together, and then add in the beaten eggs.

3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix together evenly.

4. Drop by teaspoonfuls on to ungreased cookie sheets.

5. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool slightly, remove and let cool completely.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Gluten-Free and Yeast-Free Gourmet Margarita Pizza



Fresh, zesty, and deliciously wholesome! A few nights ago, I wanted to make mini margarita pizza, so I ended up making four palm-sized ones, and Sean and I had two each. We ate them with forks and knives.

This is extremely easy to make, and once you've had it, you'll want it again and again!

Even though this recipe is for a yeast-free pizza, the dough will still rise.

Gluten-Free, Yeast-Free Gourmet Margarita Pizza

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Dough:
1 1/2 cups of gluten-free multipurpose flour of your choice. I used Bob's Red Mill
1 teaspoon xanthan or guar gum (I always use guar gum because it costs 50% less than xanthan)
2 teaspoons of sugar
A few grinds of sea salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup and 1 teaspoon of water

Sauce:
I used Enrico's Organic Gluten-Free pizza sauce; it comes in a resealable jar and does not contain high fructose corn syrup! I find the sauce to be a little bit bland, so I mixed in a little bit of sea salt, brown sugar, ground black pepper, a little bit of dry parsley, dry basil, and dry oregano, a little dry minced onion, and a little bit of garlic powder.

Toppings:
Fresh Mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, and grape tomatoes.

Direction:

1. For the dough: Stir all of the dry ingredients together and mix evenly. Add the olive oil and water and knead with your hands until everything is evenly mixed. Add a little bit of water if you feel that the dough is too dry. Form a pizza crust, and bake in the oven for 7 minutes.

2. Remove the baked crust, add the sauce and toppings, and bake for another 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

3. Remove from oven. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Steak With Southwestern Rub and Baked Potato Topped With Paprika


Earlier tonight, I made us Southwestern steak with baked potato, topped with paprika. For the steak, I made a Southwestern rub to go with it. The recipes for both the rub and potato are below!

The recipe for the Southwestern rub was adapted from Emeril's. I tweaked his recipe a bit, and I think I made it taste way better.

Southwestern Rub

3 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander, ground
1 teaspoon dry minced garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon olive oil
A few pieces of sundried tomato, preserved in olive oil, chopped into small pieces

Direction:
Drizzle some olive oil into a pan, and place over medium heat. Skip this step if you want to use your grill.

1. Mix all of the ingredients above together.

2. Make small cuts in your steaks, in order to really get the flavor in.

3. Generously apply the rub all over the meat. Don't be shy, just use up all of the rub!

4. Cook the steaks in the pan, turning only once. Turning it only once will retain the natural flavors and juices, along with keeping the meat from getting too hard, chewy, and overcooked. 

Baked Potato With Paprika on Top

1. Wash the potatoes.
2. Cook them in a pot.
3. Cut the potatoes in half, scoop out the inside, but leave some so that the peel can "stand up."
4. Mix the scooped-out potato with a little bit of sea salt (better than regular salt), brown sugar, a few pinches of ground black pepper, a few slivers of butter, 1 Tablespoon milk, 3 Tablespoons non-fat Greek yogurt.
5. Scoop the mixture back into the potato, sprinkle some paprika on top, and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

I recommend cooking the steak while baking the potatoes, so they both can be served hot at the same time.

Enjoy!

Tammy

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New England Chinese Duck Sauce Recipe



Sean always says that one of the things he misses most about New Hampshire is a sauce called "duck sauce," which is apparently ubiquitous in Chinese restaurants everywhere in the New England region. Mind you, until I visited New Hampshire and experienced the sauce for myself, I thought he was talking about that unpleasant, gooey and clear orange-colored sauce that resembled sweet-and-sour sauce, but no! New England Chinese Duck Sauce is something completely different, and is amazingly delicious. It is good on everything, and you can use it to cook any cuisine; it makes a wonderful dipping sauce, or marinade for your grill.

We spent quite a bit of time experimenting in the kitchen today, and finally perfected the recipe. Sean, being a native New Englander, got to take the final taste test and confirmed that the 6th formula (let's just say that we really did spend quite awhile in the kitchen!) was the most accurate one, in taste and appearance.

Without further ado, here is the recipe.

New England Chinese Duck Sauce 

Yields: 6 oz

5 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce (make sure that there isn't any sugar or high fructose corn syrup added!)

3.5 teaspoons  of Dynasty-brand Plum Sauce (not Dynasty Golden Plum Sauce!)

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon molasses

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

A few sprinkles or grinds of sea salt

A few sprinkles of ground ginger

Directions: 

Over low heat, mix ingredients until they're hot and dissolved. Pour into a container and keep in the refrigerator. This will keep for awhile when kept cold in the fridge, but if you're anything like Sean, it won't last you that long!

Tammy and Sean

Monday, December 31, 2012

Nautical Mantel Display



When I was still living in Orange County, I used to drive to the beach and sat on the pier, looking out at the ocean whenever I needed a pick-me-up. There is just something so tranquil about the sea.

Sean and I moved into our new home recently, and it took me awhile to figure out what to do with the fireplace mantel because that was the focal point of our living room. I then thought of mine and Sean's favorite places in the world, which were Huntington Beach, where we went on our first date, and Sandy Beach Park in Hawaii -- a non-touristy beach that was a secret with the locals.

So, I decided to build a nautical mantel display, and here was how I did it:

1. I went to Home Depot and bought the following items: wooden planks; sandpaper; paintbrush; work gloves; rope, and a ball of twine. Then, I had a store employee cut the planks down to the size that I needed.

2. At Michael's, I bought a bag of large shells, sea glass, a glass bottle, along with black and white acrylic paints.

3. Supplies I already had: a hot glue gun; Elmer's Wood Glue (carpenter's grade), and smaller paintbrushes.

Directions:

1. Sand the front, back, top, bottom, and sides down to remove splinters and prepare wood for painting.

2. Assemble the wood pieces together with wood glue, following the instruction on label.

3. Once the glue had dried (I let it dry overnight), paint the entire thing white. Rinse your brush and paint container, and go take a break for 30 minutes. Perhaps you can take this time to plan where each seashell was going to go, and hot glue the twine to the shells that can't be tied on with the string.

4. Mix the black paint with a little bit of white to create a deep gray color. Paint the wood display again.

5. Wait 30 minutes for the paint to dry, and began sanding the areas that would naturally be worn out by the elements, such as the edges. Then, quickly run the sandpaper across the front to roughen the paint job up a bit.

6. Now comes the fun part: Attach the net and rope to your display. Hang up the shells that you want to, and hot glue the others. Lastly, hot glue the sea glass to the display as well.

7. If you have smaller sea glass pieces left over, just put them in a glass bottle and display that. The larger shells can be placed on the mantel as well.