Gluten-Free Pork Schnitzel

26757095_788451031365523_6251534751525026988_o.jpgI have to confess before my husband, I had no clue what pork schnitzel was. And I still say it wrong. I was intrigued watching him make it for his frat boys, though. Needless to say it’s been on my list for awhile.

The last year I’ve been cooking up some delicious lunches and dinners for Zach and I. Taco Chili. Deep Dish Pizza. Ricotta Baked Chicken. Chicken Enchilada Casserole. Buffalo Chicken Dip. And Philly Cheesesteak Meatloaf. The meatloaf was one of my favorites and I’ll post the recipe once I make a tweak to it. So good.

This dish though, was one of my other favorites. I really like using pork rinds in place of bread crumbs in pretty much every recipe. This meal was SO filling. Mashed cauliflower has kind of been my go-to lately too. It’s so easy. Just boil the cauliflower and puree in a food processor. I have found a tablespoon or tow of cream cheese makes it whipped and wonderful. Definitely gives the best texture.

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Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Blueberry Cookies

20171206_180748I love lemon. I think I’ve shared that a few times on here. I especially love some lemon curd. I could just nibble on some lemon curd.

I had someone contact me to collaborate on some vegan cookies. Granted gluten-free is my focus, I started brain-storming on cookies that were gourmet, vegan, and gluten-free. My initial idea was lemon lavender with white chocolate. One I prefer white chocolate over chocolate and I have finally found a white chocolate recipe that works really well. Plus I have really liked baking with lavender the last ten years. If used properly, it’s a nice subtle surprise. You don’t want it to be too overpowering. No one like to feel like they’re eating flowers. However, the perfect amount, is just right to have people intrigued. What is that other flavor I’m picking up?

The cookies were soft, which is exactly how I like my cookies. However, in the baking business, especially wholesale, you have to take into consideration: packaging, handling, storage over time. And these cookies would have crumbled or not held up over-time.

Back to the drawing boards. I did not want to give up on the lemon. It’s refreshing to me. I tried a glazed cookie (click the link to get it). Delicious, but not able to withstand the wholesale world. I thought of thyme, that could be lovely. But likely only to attract foodies and not your average person. We wanted a cookie that could be kid-friendly as well.

Blueberry.

Blueberry and lemon are also a beautiful pairing. Plus the blueberries would add a beautiful color. Something else to consider in baking is the aesthetic and visual appeal. I don’t want to offer 3 cookies that all look similar. You need some pop and color. The blueberry could add, some much needed color, especially in a sandwich cookie. I found a recipe inspiration that I could  convert to be both gluten-free and vegan.

The result?

My favorite of all the gluten-free cookies (which was about 7 or so) I made. The flavors were heaven. The texture of the cookie was great. The ratio of filling to cookie, awesome. Half a cookie was good for me!

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Gluten-Free Banana Fosters Scones

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Bananas are hit and miss with me, I will confess. My husband loves them pretty much anytime, but I am particular about my combos. For instance, I’ve made some banana almond butter cookies lately, they’re good, but not my thing. I like bananas and I like peanut (almond) butter, just not together. I do really enjoy caramel together. Maybe because I love caramel at all times. I guess I just realized I would probably take caramel over chocolate. I made some banana fosters danishes and saw a recipe on pinterest for some scones and had to tweak them to fit the gluten-free mold.

Sometimes I like to try out other bakeries to see what’s out. To get inspired. Granted I did make these scones before then, but I got a Banana Fosters Cupcake for Zach from the Flying Cupcake in Indianapolis. It just solidified the fact that I do indeed enjoy some bananas/caramel combination.

And I will not lie scones have been hard for me in the part. I generally try to make them dairy-free as well with coconut oil, but I do sometimes use butter, so I made these more traditional and they held up a lot better. Sometimes I can produce some really beautiful/delicious things, but there are a good a lot of things that give me challenges. Some have taken years to find something workable-like pie crust. And bread. Don’t get me started on bread-it is by far my biggest gluten-free baking challenge. I have worked as a conventional baker. I can make many good things, including traditional bread. But gluten-free? That is another story. There is no elasticity or stretch in the same way. I’ve been watching the British Baking Show. It really made me want to try some babka and braided breads. I did make a nice pumpkin swirl one. However, the dough was not easy to work with or to shape properly. It tasted FANTASTIC, however. Gluten-free baking (especially because I only use tapioca, coconut and almond flour-occasionally arrowroot and every once in a while cassava when I order it), it a lot of trial-and-error. It takes a lot of preservation. You can’t be apt to giving up because sometimes it has taken me 5+ times on a recipe to get one that I’m fully satisfied with the texture and flavor.

These, these I like.

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Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Lavender Cookies

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Happy Thursday you all! Hope you are having a wonderful week as we gear up towards the Holidays coming up. This is a wonderful time of year to make cookies. I LOVE lemon. Like I could just nibble on little bits of lemon curd. I recently paired lemon with some blueberries, great combination. I also really enjoy lemon with lavender. The key is to have just the perfect amount of lavender. You don’t want it to be too in your face. Or too florally, like you are eating flowers. You want just a touch, so people are intrigued. Hmm… what’s the extra flavor I’m getting? We’re going for curiosity, not disgust.

These cookies are delicious on their own, they are nice and soft, but I added a little glaze to make them a little more festive and to get a tinge more lemon taste. SO good. It is very refreshing. They could be a nice little food gift if you know someone who needs vegan or gluten-free eats.

However, I was designing this recipe for someone interested in collaborating on vegan cookies. They were too soft for freezing or shipping, so they didn’t fit the bill on that. But they are my favorite vegan cookie I made (granted I really enjoyed the ones with white chocolate again- I definitely prefer white chocolate over chocolate). This cookie base could also be used for an assortment of other flavors. Maybe switch the lemon for orange, fold in a few cranberries (that’s a wonderful flavor combo for this season). Or maybe switch the lavender for the thyme and keep the lemon. Or maybe switch the lemon for lime and add some white chocolate. Who knows there are all kinds of different flavors you could do and you could rotate them throughout the year seasonally. Maybe freeze-dried raspberries and white chocolate. Who knows. Get creative with it. Use the flavors YOU like.

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Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake

20171122_151224Finally, we are here! The grand finale. We are going to put all the components I’ve been posting together into one show-stopping cake. A combo of chocolate-pumpkin-honeycomb-meringue-awesomeness!

I think the cream cheese frosting is also a crowd-pleaser as well.

I’ll keep the writing short and simple on this one, because frankly we’ve talked about it for a week, so let’s get to the good stuff.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake

Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

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Super Simple Truffles

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Back to yet another component of the delicious Thanksgiving cake I made. I recently started my adventures into truffle making. It all began with a coffee toffee truffle (see the picture below).

For the Thanksgiving cake, however, I wanted something simple, not to over-power the other elements. These were SO easy to make.

The plus of truffles, besides being gorgeous, is that you can make a variety of flavors. Next I really want to make a caramel truffle. All chocolate is a little too rich for my personal taste, but adding other flavors, that would be my style. Maybe a lemon white chocolate. Or chocolate cherry. Or chocolate raspberry. Or a coconut. Or an Almond Joy inspired truffle.  Or an orange chocolate, just zest some orange into the ganache. So many options.

Super Simple Truffles

  • 8 oz. Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp organic powdered sugar

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Honeycomb

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I made this beauty of a cake for Thanksgiving. I’ve been branching out of my comfort zone lately too, making things I’ve never made before. I made toffee for the first time EVER a month ago. I am hooked, it is delicious and easy to make. I have been using it for all kinds of things. Firstly, with some truffles (also a first for me). Secondly, with some cookies. And on the naked banana cake I posted yesterday. I’ve also been branching into truffles (as mentioned above and I’ll have an easy recipe to post on Thursday). And I have been really, really working on my macaron abilities (they are so tricky, there are so many areas where you can over/under mix).

I will note that I have no reference of honeycomb to compare this too. But I have been watching a bit (lot) of the British Baking Show and they use honeycomb often. So I have been a little bit eager to try and make some. What is this honeycomb they talk about?

I also have to tell on myself about something else. I do not have a candy thermometer. And I can be a terrible about measuring. I do a lot of baking (and pretty much all cooking) by feeling- which makes posting hard sometimes because I don’t know exactly how much I put in something. I also don’t have an timers. Sorry, it makes it kind of hard to post, but I like it old school. So I can tell you what temperature it’s supposed to go to (because I read it), but I personally just kind of felt my way through this and looked at the color.

I found a traditional honeycomb recipe and tweaked the sugars. And to me it looked like honeycomb and my husband liked it.

Stepping out of my comfort zone never tasted so good!

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