Flourless Chocolate Cake: My Company Go-To

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I have to share this absolutely fabulous recipe. I got it from my friend, Meg, about a year ago and I’ve made it multiple times since for company or to take to friends’ houses. It’s by far the most easy and delicious gluten free treat I’ve made. Plus, it’s really fun to concoct. I love the separating of the eggs, the beating of the whites, and the folding in at the end. I feel like I’m on Master Chef, and yet it’s so simple! The cake comes out fudgy, airy, and chocolatey–but not too rich, as most flourless cakes I’ve eaten. Since I make no changes to the original, I direct you to Martha Stewart for this fabulous recipe. The photo in this post is from the middle of enjoying the cake with friends last night. Enjoy!

How to Host an Apple Tasting Party

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Have you ever had an apple tasting? It’s something my mom did with us kids every so often when I was growing up. About a week ago, I had some of my Bible study friends over for an Anne of Green Gables with Apple Tasting Party. We watched the first Anne of Green Gables movie, ate hot soup and toast, did a lot of laughing and chatting, and competed in apple tasting.

How to Host an Apple Tasting Party

  1. Buy a variety of apples. I bought Macintosh, Gala, Red Rome, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, and Braeburn.
  2. Cut the apples up into small slices and put each variety in a numbered bowl.
  3. Display randomly-ordered list of the varieties of apples you’ve chosen so everyone knows what to guess from.
  4. Provide a pen and paper to contestants.
  5. Have everyone taste the apples and write down which variety they think each number is.
  6. Winner gets a prize.

It’s simple but really fun and it’s also handy way to determine your favorite kind of apple. My favorite is honeycrisp. =)

{GF Recipe} Zuppa Toscana Imitation Soup

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This recipe is one of my all-time favorites. Have you ever eaten Zuppa Toscana at Olive Garden? If not, I’d venture to say you’ve not yet lived.

A couple of years ago, I was looking through soup recipes on Eat Better America and came across this one, which sounded very similar to Zuppa Toscana…so I gave it a shot. Andrew and I think it tastes almost exactly like Olive Garden, and it’s gluten free!

Here’s my adaptation. I change amounts and leave out ingredients. For a dairy free version, use almond milk. It won’t be as creamy but it will still be flavorful, I’ve done it.

  • 1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage
  • 4 medium yellow potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (omit if you don’t like spicy)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth (I use chicken bouillon dissolved in water)
  • 4 cups chopped fresh kale or Swiss chard leaves
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  1. In a saucepan, cook sausage over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until no longer pink. Drain well on paper towels; set aside.
  2. In same saucepan, mix potatoes, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, pepper flakes, water and broth. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cook uncovered about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in sausage and kale. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes and kale are tender. Stir in half-and-half; cook just until heated.

Original recipe here.

{Seminary Journal} Update Letter October 2013

For those of you who don’t attend our home church in Washington, this letter went in the church mailboxes last week. =) I loved that Andrew thought of and made time for doing this…it was a fun way to feel connected with everyone back home. If the text is too small, you can click on the letter to enlarge it.

Letter

{GF Recipe} Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips

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It is still in the 80’s and 90’s here in northern Los Angeles. But that doesn’t keep fall from happening in our apartment. All I have to do is light a candle and start mixing pumpkin bread, and it almost feels like back home…minus the fact that I’m wearing shorts and a tank top. This recipe was delicious and moist! I adapted it from here, but changed a number of things so here’s my version. Happy fall!

Did you know you can get a variety of gluten free flour blends here?

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
2 cups gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill blend)
1 teaspoon xanthum gum
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees, and lightly grease a bread pan.
2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Add vanilla and pumpkin and mix until well-blended.
3. Add remaining dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) and mix well until combined.
4. Add chocolate chips and mix until combined.
5. Pour into prepared bread pan and bake for an hour and fifteen minutes to hour-and-a-half, or until knife comes out clean.

{GF Recipe} Quick n Easy Zucchini Pizzas

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I’ve seen pictures of something like this circulating Pinterest and been meaning to try it. I grabbed a few Italian squashes when I was at Sprouts last week and tonight I gave this a try. For those who already love the squash family, this may threaten to become a staple on your dinner table! What you’ll need:

  • A few zucchinis or similar squash
  • Pasta sauce
  • Grated cheese
  • Canadian bacon or pepperonni
  • Salt & pepper

I simply sliced the squash about 1/8 inch thick, spread a little sauce on, sprinkled cheese and a dash of black pepper, and topped with a slice of Canadian bacon. They baked at 325* for about 13-15 minutes and came out tasting fabulous. I’m going to eat them with fresh tomato slices and a little Ranch dressing. Mmm, mmm! Not bad for gluten free. =)

What’s For Dinner?

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This week I went grocery shopping with the following dinners planned…

Stuffed peppers
Leftover BBQ pork
Veggie burritos/burrito bowls (twice)
Pepperoni pizza
Pancakes
Pork fajitas

What’s on your menu? Any ideas for fresh and easy meals that require minimal time on the stove or in the oven? Our apartment is already hot, and then I start cooking…