Gluten-Free Bacon Asparagus Quiche

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Hello Wednesday! Hope you are all having a bright and blessed day. I tell you what, it is getting hard to choose what recipes to share. I have a stock pile of ones to share with you all and I can’t decide on an order. Do I post savory? Do I post sweet? Decisions. Decisions.

Today I opted for savory. I was prepping food a couple of weeks ago (something I’ve done a lot of lately, I’ve already spent at least 5 hours this week prepping meals to just bake or veggies to just cook) and I was staring at some asparagus. What am I going to do with this asparagus. Quiche. It just popped in my mind. It seemed so natural and sounded incredibly delicious.

As I was making the crust, I was further prompted, add Parmesan. I am not going to argue with that! Granted, I was slightly worried about adding another fat, how that may effect the crust and bake. I was so geeked when the crust turned out beautiful. What a great flavor it had. I actually filled a whole pie pan and I have 3 mini tart shells in my freezer waiting on me to fill as well. Spinach pies? That is my current mood for them potentially.

I had plenty of taste-testers on this one. Our roofer friends agreed to share in the quiche with us one afternoon. They had never eaten quiche, let alone a gluten-free one. They praised the taste. I get a lot that many would never know my pie crust is gluten-free if I didn’t tell them. Which to me is a huge compliment. A few weeks ago when I took tarts to Bible Study, they said the same thing. That is my goal always, to make something gluten-free that tastes as good as the real thing (or better, that is an even bigger goal).

As always, that beauty of a quiche is that you can fill it however YOU like. This week I made another quiche (with a shredded sweet potato crust) with spinach, mushroom and bacon. On this Parmesan one, I put asparagus, garlic, and bacon. You can do butternut and goat cheese. Broccoli. Peppers. This list is ongoing. Have fun and be creative with it.

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Gluten-Free Blackberry Ricotta Tarts

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Cheesecakes are probably my favorite dessert to eat. Pies are my favorite to make, but if I could eat any dessert, it would be cheesecake. In fact, for my birthdays growing up my granny would make me cherry cheesecake instead of cake (another truth- I hate cake and cherries are my ALL time favorite food).

I do like to play around sometimes, though. Sometimes I like to swap out the cream cheese. One of my favorite tarts (things) I’ve ever made, was a Blueberry Basil Goat Cheese Tart (click for the link for the recipe). Last week, however, I wanted to replace the cream cheese with a ricotta cheese.

I like ricotta cheese. I remember about a decade ago one of our clients came to our family with a ricotta pudding recipe. It was the first time I had ever had ricotta. It was delicious. Last month I got some ricotta to make a spinach lasagna (click the link for the recipe). Since then I kind of kept some in the fridge. Last week while baking tarts, it just came to me to make a ricotta tart. I had some blackberries, why not add those?

These were delicious! I made like 4  different tarts/pies and these were hands down my favorite. The ricotta layer on the bottom had a lovely texture and not-to-sweet flavor. And the blackberry toppings added a nice freshness to the tart. Plus they were beautiful. I also had some extra egg-whites, so why not add in some little meringue cookies?

Blackberry Ricotta Gluten-Free Tarts

  • Gluten-Free Pie Dough

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Gluten-Free Raspberry Pistachio Frangipane Tarts

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As I’ve mentioned, I have a bit of a British Baking Show problem (is it a problem though if it leads to delicious food, high creativity, and beautiful treats?). It has inspired me A LOT lately. Choux. I’ve got an upcoming eclair recipe. I really wanted to try that one.

I also like pastry week. Some may know, pies and tarts are kind of my all-time favorite thing to bake (hence my company being called P3: Polifroni PIES and Pizzas). I was really intrigued with the frangipane. It’s not something you see a lot here in the Midwest, actually I have never seen one offered anywhere. No restaurants. No bakeries (which there are a lack of actual bakeries in my town-not the premade and just-bake. Those do not count). So my experience with frangipane only comes from TV and then searching for it on Pinterest.

Last summer I made my first frangipane for a market. It had a lovely rhubarb lattice on top (pictured below). The feedback was a success. Most gave me a clueless look when I said there was frangipane underneath the rhubarb. But they were all pleasantly surprised that they liked the flavor.

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Braided Pesto Braid

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Some times I get in a bread making mode. It’s not too terribly often. I WANT to make bread. I do, it’s not that I don’t want to make bread. It is just that gluten-free bread is rough and tricky. I can get good flavor. Getting a rise can definitely be a challenge. Gluten-free bread has a tendency to be small and dense. Add to that, that I wanted to do a braided bread. That is a challenge on its on. To fill it, roll it, slice it and then have it withstand to twisting? Wow, that is tough, I will keep it real.

However, I love braids and twists. Growing up, I used to braid and do hair all the time. I taught myself on my dolls how to do it. Then my cousin Angelica became my muse. I would do elaborate designs in her hair and put curlers in the rest for her gymnastics meets. Which, was also a challenge as she has very fine, very straight hair (I just can’t make things easy for myself).

I’ve been watching the British Baking Show (again, maybe for the 3rd time, don’t judge), and I have watched them make several braids and twists. They are just so beautiful and the artist in me, really yerns to make beautiful (as well as delicious) food.

And pesto. I adore some pesto, it has such a great flavor.

I have to say, this loaf didn’t rise and get super huge (next time I think I would use a small loaf pan, however, it had AMAZING flavor. And this is the best twist have been able to obtain. I felt accomplished to say the least with this bread. I would serve it toasted with some spaghetti squash and meatball pie maybe (click the link for my recipe on this).

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Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Scones

20180202_164047Oh man it has been a moment since I posted! Sometimes life gets a bit busy though and takes our focus elsewhere, temporarily. But my busyness has passed for now and here I am, ready to share with you all. Because I actually have several recipes I made last month, that I just haven’t got around to posting.

In order to share, I’ve got myself pumped up with the British Baking Show. I am currently re-watching it, curled up with some tea and writing to all you lovely people. I would compare it to an athlete watching game film. It gets me super pumped up to bake and dream up recipes. It also gives me loads of ideas of things I want to make or convert. Plus I learn a ton, because they share things I have never heard of. The only downside, though, may be that I fixate on making something. Like eclairs. I have it set in my heart that I am going to make eclairs. And then my brain spirals with flavors I want to make. Lemon meringue. Sweet potato cream with a maple praline frosting. Triple Chocolate. White chocolate raspberry. Rose pistachio. Blackberry lavender. Before I get ahead of myself, though, I have to make the choux pastry. I have tried it once, but was not satisfied. But sometimes gluten-free baking takes SEVERAL attempts. So soon (hopefully Thursday or Friday) I will have another go at it.

As you can see, sometimes I get caught up in a flavor. Lemon. I love lemon. I confessed before how I can just nibble on lemon curd. I also adore some lemon paired with blueberry. A while back I posted a recipe for Lemon Blueberry Cookie Sandwiches (click the link and check it out, probably the best vegan cookies I have ever made). I decided to use the combo again in these Lemon Blueberry Scones I am about to share with you. I like them in mini sizes. I typically make large triangular scones, but I really liked the bite-sized one this time. A slight drizzle, adds a touch of sweetness. I would like to try this again, with maybe a lavender infused glaze.

Regardless, I hope you enjoy these. They freeze well. And the flavors can be changed. Maybe a lemon raspberry or lime raspberry. Or a cherry almond. Or a chocolate orange.

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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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