Flowers 2015

June was so rainy and July has been so hot.

My roses have been battling with aphids and green caterpillars. I am really happy with my purchase of foxglove. They were $7 each and have continuously bloomed since I bought them.

Here is a glance at my flower garden this year so far.

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Poppy’s , Corn Flower and Roses
Colombine Flower
Dahlia
Foxglove
Colombine Flower
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Tomato Chicken Curry

This recipe turned out way better than I expected. Usually omitting garlic, onion and chilies to make something low fodmap doesn’t always taste as flavorful as the original. I don’t know what the original recipe tasted like but I do know I will be making this curry again. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Carla’s Gluten Free Recipe Box – Chicken in Coconut Almond Sauce 

Serves two people

Ingredients:

Curry:

1-2 pre-cooked organic chicken thighs (I roasted a whole chicken with rosemary, thyme, sage, salt and pepper)

1 cup chopped tomato

2 carrots grated

3-4 glugs of fish sauce

½ – 1 Tbsp Sugar (suit your taste)

2 bay leaf

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

½ -1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)

Salt

For the Spice Paste:

2 small slices fresh ginger

A few cranks of cracked black pepper

Salt

2 pieces of garlic sautéed in 1 tbsp oil then removed

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

8 raw walnuts

½ cup coconut milk

1 cup hot water

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat, put halved garlic and a sprinkle of salt in oil
  2. In a coffee grinder combine fennel seeds and cumin seeds and grind
  3. In a food processor add walnuts, coconut milk, ground fennel, cumin, pepper and blend. Add hot water.
  4. Remove garlic from oil and discard.
  5. Put turmeric, fennel seeds, cinnamon, cardamom (seeds in pod) and salt into the coffee grinder.
  6. Add the just grinded spices to the oil with two bay leaves, let it mix cook in the oil for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add the tomatoes and carrots and let cook for a few minutes.
  8. Add spice paste and mix, add sugar, black pepper and fish sauce.
  9. Shred the chicken thighs and add to pot.
  10. Let cook for 10 -15 minutes and serve on pre-cooked rice of your choice or with Nan bread.

Cinnamon Pecan Sugar Cookies

These are delicious sugar cookies. The texture is incredibly soft but still firm when they are shaped into larger balls. I should call them maple syrup cookies because  it is the main sweetener. However this is not a very sweet cookie, if you want it sweeter I suggest adding 1/2 cup of white or brown sugar.  I was hoping that the maple flavor would come out more in the cookie, but it doesn’t! I am a maple syrup fanatic though, I drink it straight from the jug when I am looking for a hit of sweetness.

This is a recipe I already have talked about on this blog. Its so good that I use it as a base for other cookie recipes. So here is the recipe for Cinnamon Pecan Sugar Cookies based on the Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe by Nicole on Rolling Out Dough.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups Gluten Free Flour  ( refer to my favourite here)
  • ¾ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 4 tablespoons Fine Granulated Sugar or Powdered Sugar
  • 8 tablespoons Vegan Margarine
  • 1 Large Egg, beaten (this should be at room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients and blend until well combined. If you have a mixer drop butter by tablespoons into the dry ingredients until dough has formed into little balls.Add the egg and vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overwork gluten free dough. Scrape sides of bowl with spatula and form dough in a large ball.
  3. Put parchment paper on a baking sheet and grab a large hunk (such technical terms) of dough and roll it into a ball.
  4. Place a pecan half on each cookie and pat down slightly.
  5. Bake for about 7-8 minutes, maybe longer but you know your oven watch it. Cookies should be a light golden brown on the bottom. They should be moved to a cooling rack immediately.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This zucchini bread is my go to dessert during the week. I have lessened oil from the original recipe and made it gluten free. This recipe is low in FODMAPs and IBS friendly. It also tastes great. Sometimes I make a simple butter cream icing using icing sugar, vanilla and vegan margarine to put on top… usually when my husband convinces me to, he has a serious sweet tooth ;).

Adapted from Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread by A Thought for Food.net

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Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Ingredients

3 Zucchini grated

3 Eggs

1/2 cup Almond Milk ( or any milk you like)

1/2 cup Canola Oil / Veg Oil

2 tsp  Real Vanilla Extract

3 Cups Gluten Free Flour Blend with Xanthan Gum

1 – 1/2 Cups Sugar

1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1- 2 tsp Cinnamon

2 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Salt

1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips, I use PC Decadent Brand, check the label because there is different types and it still may contain dairy

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put parchment paper in a large baking pan  ( 9×13 Glass is what I use).

2. In a bowl or stand mixer combine all of the dry ingredients.

3. In the same bowl as the dry make a well with the dry ingredient (except for chocolate chips) and add the wet (except for the zucchini) into the middle.Combine This is my lazier version, you can separate the wet and the dry and then combine. I don’t find a difference when making this recipe if I use one bowl.

4. Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips and put into pan and bake for 35-40 mins at 350 degrees. When using gluten free flour it is important to use enough moisture and to not over bake. Check your bread towards the end of cooking. Typically its fine to come out when an inserted knife it a little sticky coming out.

Note :

Gluten free flour can become dry after a few days. I put my cake in the fridge, which dries it out more but I am a little neurotic about leaving baked goods out of the fridge, especially when they have eggs in them. So definitely by day 2 you want to wrap each piece in tin foil and put in a ziploc bag and pop it into the freezer. Then you can just heat it up for a few second and your cake is good as new.

Easy Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

These cookies were a wonderful surprise.I pinned the recipe from a website called Rolling out Dough.

First attempt came these came out great, so great that I decided use my new snowflake cookie cutter and make Royal icing for the first time. I used vegan Becel instead of butter, my go to dairy substitution.I haven’t been much into baking in the past but the more I learn, the more I do and the more I want to know.

Lets just say I ate 10 in one day and felt really sick after. So eat 5 not 10. They are great dipped into tea!

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Easy Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
Author: Nicole@RollingOutDough.com
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose gluten free flour (I recommend XO Baking Co, Jules Gluten Free, or Gluten Free Pantry All Purpose Flours-bean based flours do not work well with this recipe-)
  • ¾ Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup fine granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (this should be at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum- If your flour blend already contains xanthan or guar gum then do not add.
  • 1 large egg, beaten (this should be at room temperature)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Instructions:
  2. Preheat oven to 350°.
  3. Mix all the dry ingredients and blend until well combined. Add egg, butter and vanilla and stir until dough is well blended and thick.
  4. Take large amount of dough and shape and work into dough with your hands and form dough into a ball . Roll out your dough onto parchment paper and roll until dough is about ⅓ of an inch thick.
  5. Use a cookie cutter cut out dough and place them onto cookie sheet, with parchment paper, leaving about 1 inch between cookies. I dusted some sugar on top at this point for the ones I didn’t plan to frost.
  6. Reform and roll out scrap dough. Cut out more cookies into desired shapes.
  7. Bake for about 9-11 minutes until set. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet until set then transfer onto a cooling rack, approximately five minutes.
  8. Edges may be slightly golden brown. Once cooled these can be frosted with fun colors or for the holidays! Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

No-Oven Peanut Butter Squares

IMG_0657This recipe was borrowed from the Kraft website. To see the original click here.

My version is without dairy and gluten.

This is very similar to the peanut butter cups I love to make but its easier since your not making them individually.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Becel vegan margarine

2 cups icing sugar

1 cup Kellog’s Rice Krispies

1/2 cup homemade gf df sugar cookies (or other cookie of your choice)

1 cup Kraft Smooth Natural Peanut Butter

4 Squares Unsweetened bakers chocolate (microwaved with additional vegan margarine and icing sugar until melted and sweet enough for your taste)

1/2 Cup (around) PC Decadent Chocolate Chips ( may contain dairy FYI)

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Recipe:

1.  Pulse sugar cookies in a food processor until they are crumb consistency.Combine peanut butter and margarine in a microwave bowl and heating for about 30 seconds, stir. You want it a little melted but not a liquid.  Add rice krispies, sugar cookie crumbs, icing sugar and peanut butter mixture in a Kitchenaid mixer or by hand until combined.

2. Line 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with tinfoil and a little bit of cooking spray. Pour crust mix in and press down, trying to make a flat even compacted peanut butter crust.

3. Melt the bakers chocolate and vegan margarine in the microwave on 30 second or less intervals, stirring each time you stop. Add chocolate chips and let melt. Add 1/2 cup icing sugar and check for sweetness and constancy If its too bitter add more sugar. If its too dry add more margarine.

4. Pour the chocolate topping on the peanut butter crust and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Tip: I often put a lot of my bars in the freezer after the initial cooling session. I like the cool crunch it offers, you may want to give it a try as well.