Saturday, March 30, 2013

1 Gluten Free Banana Nut Bread

Hey everyone, I hope you're all having a fun and safe Easter weekend with friends and family! One thing I always loved eating as a child was banana bread. It's one the few ways that I'll actually eat a banana (I know, it sounds weird, but I am not a huge fan of raw banana texture).

Being gluten free, I've grown to have less cravings for breads and other starches. But when I get that craving, I love making a few loaves of banana nut bread to satisfy them.

In my banana nut bread, there's three ingredients that help make the most satisfying of breads. First, use ripe bananas. Think 1-2 days past after it reaches the point of having a brilliant yellow color. Second, toast the walnuts in a dry pan to bring out the oils within the nut. Third, use a little bit of gluten free whiskey. It adds a great flavor, and don't worry, all the alcohol will cook out.
Prep Time:  15 minutes
Bake Time:  50 minutes for one large loaf pan, 40 if using mini-loaf pans
1 1/4 cup gluten free flour blend
1 1/2 tsp xantham gum
1 tsp baking soda
1 stick of butter, room temperature and cubed
1 cup of white sugar
2 eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp gluten free whiskey
4 ripe bananas
2/3 cup walnut pieces

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease the inside of the loaf tin. On medium heat, add the walnuts to a dry pan. Move occasionally and roast for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and chop into pieces.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour blend, gum, and soda. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until the butter is creamed. Add in the eggs vanilla and whiskey. Blend until the eggs are completely combined with the butter. Fold in the bananas and walnuts. Distribute into the loaf pans and place in the oven. If in one large pan, bake for 50 minutes. If using mini-loaf pans, bake for 40. The bread can be removed from the oven once an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Monday, March 25, 2013

1 Charlottesville Pig Roast and The Green Pig

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend! This past weekend I had a wonderful friend and pig filled weekend!

I went down to Charlottesville, VA for a weekend of doing community service with my college fraternity and stayed for the amazing food. We went to a local winery after service, and had some great wine and napped in the warm sun.

We went to a pig roast in the evening at Champion bar, and I got to have this amazing photo to the left. They were serving on buns, but I asked them for no bun and go some wonderful Carolina BBQ with coleslaw and crackling.

Instant. Heaven.

I also wanted to share about a Clarendon restaurant called the Green Pig. Most of the meals are under $20 and I had an amazing pig taco (hooray for corn tortillas!) that I definitely recommend.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

22 #SundaySupper - Asparagus Bell Pepper Salad

It's Sunday and time for another #SundaySupper! This week we're inspired by Spring and are sharing some of our favorite recipes that make us think of spring coming. To me, I always think of a salad made with fresh raw ingredients when someone mentions spring. I love a fresh and crisp salad that can be enjoyed on a warm spring day.

This recipe is a really simple raw salad that easy to make, but balances the distinct flavor of asparagus with the sweetness of apples and bell pepper. 

Be sure to check out everyone else's spring recipe underneath mine, and join us at 7pm tonight for our twitter chat! Just search for #sundaysupper.

Asparagus Bell Pepper Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2 people

1 bell pepper
1 handful of shredded carrots
3 stalks of asparagus
half of one apple
half of one lemon
salt and pepper

Thinly slice the pepper, asparagus, and apple into very thin strips, about the same thickness as the shredded carrots. Combine the pepper, carrots, asparagus, and apple in a bowl. Add the juice of the lemon and a dash of salt and pepper. Toss, and serve as an appetizer or a side.

Check out the recipes of all the other participants!

Green and Spring Dishes Menu Includes:
Apps, Bread, Salads, Soups and Dressings:
Main and Sides:

Guinness Beer Milkshake by The Urban Mrs
Wines to Pair with Springtime #SundaySupper Dishes by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
Irish Spring Tea Party by My Cute Bride

Saturday, March 16, 2013

0 Gluten Free Chicken Cacciatore

Happy Saturday everyone! I hope you all had a great pi day yesterday! This weekend is St. Patrick's Day, and to celebrate my Irish roots I'm posting a recipe based on my...Italian roots. OK, so maybe my cravings for Italian food outweighed my craving for Irish, but this is definitely a recipe worth eating.

Traditionally, chicken cacciatore is a chicken dish prepared by braising chicken in a tomato sauce. First the chicken is quick seared in an oiled pan, and then removed to prepare the tomato sauce. The tomato sauce normally includes a base of onion, garlic, bell peppers, red wine and tomato. Once the sauce has cooked for a bit, the chicken is added back and braised on a lower heat. The result is a beautifully rich tomato sauce and tender, juicy chicken breasts.

Here's how my recipe deviates from some of the ones I've seen out on the internet. To make it gluten free, I don't dust the chicken in any type of flour before searing. It's simply seasoned with some salt and pepper and seared in a hot pan. Also, I like to add some portabello mushrooms in my sauce for some added texture and flavor. The other way I like to deviate is to use white wine instead of red, I prefer the lightness that the white wine brings to the sauce. I hope you guys try this! It's a recipe I'm proud of, nothing like eating chicken you can shred with a fork!

Gluten Free Chicken Cacciatore

A recipe for tender chicken braised in a tomato wine sauce. Filled with bell peppers and mushrooms, best served with gluten free pasta.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 70 minutes
Servings: 6 chicken breasts
6 chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bell pepper chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 large portobello mushroom caps
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 14.5oz can chopped tomatoes
1 bayleaf
2 tsp chopped basil
2 tsp chopped thyme

In a large, 2-3 inch deep sautee pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts. Cook the breasts in the pan, about 4 minutes on each side, flipping once in between. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add the bell pepper, onion, mushroom, and garlic to the pan, and reduce to medium heat. Sautee for 5 minutes, and then add the wine and paste. Cook on medium for 5 minutes. and then add the sauce, tomatoes, bayleaf, basil, and thyme. Cook on medium high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Reduce to medium heat, and add the chicken and any juice back to the sauce. Ensure that both sides of the chicken are coated in the sauce, and cover. Cook at medium heat for 20 minutes, then reduce to medium low for another 20.

Gently remove the chicken from the pan, and serve with the sauce and gluten free noodles.

Monday, March 11, 2013

1 Book Review: Fast & Simple Gluten-free

Fast & Simple Gluten-Free by Gretchen F. Brown, R.D. is a must-have for any gluten free home kitchen. Gretchen Brown (check out her blog published a gluten free cookbook last fall, and is an amazing food blogger, photographer, and now book writer. Her blog work is truly inspirational, and this translates to her cookbook. And even better, she's from Charlottesville, VA (go Hoo's and their fourth seed in the upcoming ACC tournament), a place near to my heart.

Fast & Simple Gluten Free contains over 100 recipes and is worth the cost. I've tried many recipes and cookbooks that claim a meal can be ready in 30 minutes where it ends up taking me 10-20 minutes longer. I love that many of the time estimations for food preparation are accurate and truly 30 minutes or less to make.

She starts the book with a section for those starting a gluten free diet, with some short tips of what to avoid eating, and an explanation of some common gluten free flours. The recipes range from breakfast meals, to main dishes, salads, and desserts. The images are all full color, and are plentiful among the recipes. The beautiful, well lit images illustrate the innovative recipes that are easy for cooks of any expertise level to make.

I made the sweet potato hash with ham, chicken marsala, sweet orange biscuits, and snickerdoodles. The recipes were all easy to make, and are all well written. I recommend this book to anyone looking to add to their collection of gluten free recipes.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

0 Garlic and Leek Mashed Potatoes

Hey everyone! Happy March, and more importantly, who else is happy that spring is coming closer? This month we're hosting an #irishlove event, recipes inspired by Irish culture. I'm planning on posting an Irish drink next week, this week I'm sharing my favorite mashed potato recipe. I love using leeks in recipes, and who doesn't love a combination of butter, garlic and potatoes? This is a simple recipe to prepare, and is perfect with a good hearty family dinner.

Check out all of the other #irishlove recipes this month, and feel free to share your own! Just add it to the blog hop below, or ask me for an invite to our Pinterest board or Google+ community! Thank you to all the co-hosts this weekend!

Jennifer @ Leave No Scone Unturned | @Foodie2Choux
Mary @ Franny Cakes | @frannycakesblog
Serena @ Teaspoon of Spice | @tspcurry
Kimberly @ Badger Girl Learns To Cook | @Bdgergrl
Susan | Girl in the Little Red Kitchen | @littleredkitchn

Gluten Free Garlic and Leek Mashed Potatoes

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes


4 russet potatoes, rinsed
1 leek, rinsed
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp milk
salt and pepper


1. Cube the potatoes, leaving the skin on. I recommend cutting them into about eights, and aim for cubes of relatively the same size so all of the potatoes cook evenly. Place them into a pot and fill with water until the potatoes are just covered. Boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes, or until the potato is tender when inserted with a fork.
2. Chop the leek. Preheat a sautee pan to medium heat, and coat the bottom with oil. Add the leek and garlic, cooking for about 5 minutes until the leek is tender.
3. Drain the potatoes, and transfer to a bowl. Add the leeks, garlic, butter, milk, salt and pepper. Mash and stir together until well combined.