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Repost: Chocolate Cinnamon Banana Loaf

18 Jan

This is a repost of an old favourite of mine – Chocolate Cinnamon Banana Loaf! I’m going to be sampling it today during at radio interview at CBC Kelowna, so I wanted to make it easy to find. 

Chocolate Cinnamon Banana Loaf

You probably know the feeling of  “ick” I’m referring to – you’re trying to keep up with all the fruits and veggies you should be eating and then you see them sitting there on your counter. Once beautiful and firm with shades of yellow and green, they are now browning and wasting away like a grape in the sun. Some call them overripe. I call them rotten. That’s the ick I’m referring to!

Since I really only enjoy eating bananas when they’re more green than yellow, I’ve decided to not let them waste away anymore. Banana chocolate chip muffins it is!

Oh wait – I have no gluten free chocolate chips – I had to throw out a huge bag of them that were maybe once gluten free but spent way too many afternoons hanging around the Evil Mr. Flour in my pre-diagnosis days.

So searching for a tasty alternative to banana chocolate chip muffins, I came across this Food and Wine recipe for Cinnamon Banana Bread.

I amended a few things – took out the Xatham Gum (which is already in most all-purpose mixes), amped up the cinnamon and vanilla factor and added cocoa among other things and I have to say… it turned out great and much better than I expected for a first time go at it!

The loaf, although of the ‘dense’ consistency of many gluten free ‘breads’, was moist and flavourful and it may just become a staple in my house! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten free, all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder

    Chocolate Cinnamon Banana Loaf - a new favourite!

  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp gluten free cocoa (I used Hersheys)
  • Dash of salt
  • 3 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup milk (any milk of your choice – dairy, soy, almond, etc)
  • 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly oil a loaf pan and line with parchment paper.

Mix all the dry ingredients into one bowl. In another bowl, mash the bananas and then add in the oil, agave nectar, milk and vanilla. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before slicing. (Or, nibble on it straight out of the pan like I did!)

*Optional: Mix a half teaspoon of each: cocoa, sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle onto banana loaf after 10 minutes of baking – this will give you the crackle effect seen in the photo. Tastes pretty good too!

Happy New Year!! Your Favourite 2011 Recipes (preceded by a red wine coloured rant)

4 Jan

Happy New Year everyone! Wow, 2012, sounds so futuristic, doesn’t it?!

So people have been asking me over and over, “when are you going to start blogging more”? No matter that these people are all of my real life friends who are asking me because they’ve referred recently diagnosed friends. But they have a point. Having a stale blog makes me feel icky, I mean, I work in marketing! How often do I huff at blogs that I really want to read but have gone months without a new post. And that’s what I’ve become?

Note to readers here: this is just my personal “forgive me, I have blinned” (blog sinned, made that one up) rant. Skip down for the hottest in recipes from 2011 ladies and lads.

I have to say though, that nagging feeling I get when I’m blazy (blog lazy, ha!) is when I talk to people who feel like getting diagnosed Celiac is going to ruin their life and cooking is going to be impossible. And I tell them, “No sister, it ain’t gonna ruin you, you just gotta learn the secrets.. I can tell you.. And you can find them on my web log!!” Okay, I totally don’t talk like this.

But I do tell people to not let a diagnosis get you down, that things are going to get easier. Because you quickly learn what you can and cannot eat. And you learn that you don’t have to follow complicated gluten free recipes to be able to eat. (Just learn how to substitute ingredients like a seasoned Celiac!) And let’s not forget that not only is gluten free knowledge on the uptake in society because people think it’s a weight loss tool (idiots), but because more and more people are being diagnosed with it. Restaurants and grocery stores are finally starting to get it. Some more slowly than others. (And yes, some will possibly be forever oblivious.)

But these secrets, and developments, are what I wish someone had told me when I was first diagnosed with Celiac. I thought my life was ruined! And it was not. I’ve learned to live with it, and make tasty food in a jiffy, and you can too.

So expect to see more of my rants and raves throughout 2012!

Now, for the top recipes of 2011? Here they are!

  1. Oven Baked Risotto. Apparently this was popular with the new-to-risotto crowd. So if you’re reticent of making your first batch of risotto, start with this one. And then try some of my other risotto recipes and see what you’ve been missing all these years! Risotto – gluten free food of the gods. And perfect for a creamy, savoury treat if you have to refrain from dairy as well!
  2. Cranberry Banana Walnut Loaf. Shave off 10 minutes to make muffins, or add in chocolate chips for a real anytime treat. Yummzers!
  3. Celery Leek Soup. I’m glad you liked it as much as I did! Because simply, it’s to die for. Put it on your list for a winter-warm-up fast!!

Enough from me for today. I wish you all the best in 2012 and look forward to continuing our gluten free journey together!

One cake, two desserts! Gluten Free Strawberry Chocolate Trifle

1 Sep

One Friday night, not too long ago, I decided to make a chocolate cake to bring over to a friend’s house for the evening. I armed it with vanilla bean ice cream, and a farm-fresh raspberry puree from raspberries I found at the farmer’s market. It was pretty good, but nothing over-the-top.

Then, with so much of the cake leftover, I decided to try making a trifle. I layered the cake (chopped into 1 inch cubes), with chocolate pudding, vanilla whipped cream, strawberries, and chocolate whipped cream. Can you say YUM! I served it up at my friend’s house the next night after dinner. My friend even let me use her actual trifle serving dish. It was awesome. And we all ended up with a major sugar high!

Great way to use leftover gluten free chocolate cake? Yes. Great for the diet that I’m trying to be on, or lactose intolerant in me? No. But good, even still!

Gluten free strawberry chocolate trifle

Gluten Free-Friendly Okanagan Orchard-Themed Wedding in Kelowna (not mine!)

30 Aug

My friends Erin & Todd got married this month in a beautiful Okanagan orchard-themed wedding. The wedding took place naturally, on a sprawling orchard, complete with an English garden and adorable house in the background that made me feel like I was on the set of Anne of Green Gables. Everything was thoughtful and sweet, right down to the name place cards shaped as leaves and atop green apples. Now… getting on with the food!

Todd & Erin’s Wedding Menu

Can you tell that my good friend Erin has an amazing taste in food? Much of the menu was gluten free and locally sourced. This was the most amazing wedding food I’ve ever experienced, and very allergy friendly. Erin has many allergies on her own (gluten not included), so she chose a Details Catering from Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar (a small but infamous restaurant is Kelowna) that is known for being allergy aware. The menu was full of many real foods, most of which were naturally gluten free (I can eat!), and egg/dairy free (the bride can eat!)

Pre-dinner cocktail. Canapés

  • Grey Goose Vodka-spiked lemonade with fresh local raspberries Gluten Free!
  • Smokey Eggplant Caponata with Focaccia Crostini (on a rice cracker for me!) Gluten Free!
  • Fresh Halibut Ceviche with Crisp Corn Tortilla Gluten Free!
  • Prosciutto wrapped apricots with goat cheese cream Gluten Free!

First Course

  • Fresh local spinach with organic strawberries and a balsamic, tarragon pepper vinaigrette Gluten Free!
  • Spice chick pea, red pepper and potato salad, Arlo’s Honey and fresh lime Gluten Free!
  • Asparagus risotto, Carmelis Lior cheese, fresh mint Gluten Free!
  • Fresh made focaccia

Second Course

  • Local free range chicken with grainy mustard jus Gluten Free!
  • Grilled AAA N.Y. striploin, cabernet sauvegnon jus Gluten Free!
  • Penne noodles with housemaid pancetta and basil pisto
  • Roasted new potatoes with rosemary and caramelized onions Gluten Free!
  • Local baby carrtos with dill Gluten Free!
  • Grilled asparagus with lemon butter Gluten Free!

Third Course

  • Flourless chocolate tart with local raspberry and vanilla whipped cream Gluten Free!
  • Blueberry and white chocolate cheesecake
  • Lemon panna cotta with bayberry gelee Gluten Free!

Cheese Course

  • Kootany Alpine Cheese Co. Organic Nostrala, Triple Island Gouda, Carmelis Misty, Fresh Fruit Gluten Free!

Continue reading

Gluten Free Summer – A Feast for the Eyes

4 Aug

Strawberry Daiquiri

My first tomato. Newbie gardener!

Chicken Tacos. Earls Patio, Kelowna.

Sparkling water with lemon balm & mint-from my garden!

Truffled parmesan fries. Need I say more?

Gluten free mini-brownies with caramel swirl fro-yo & dark chocolate M&M's!

Alli's Amazing Mango Salsa-I love my friends!

Tuna Carpaccio at the Manor Casual Bistro in Edmonton. (Pepper crusted west coast tuna with mango fennel salad, smoked sea salt & sherry shallot vinaigrette)

Gluten free raspberry chocolate fudge brownie. What?!? Yum.

Gluten free pizza, three ways. (Recipes to come!)

Gluten Free Cranberry-Walnut Banana Loaf

27 Jan Gluten Free Cranberry-Walnut Banana Loaf

Although I love my Chocolate Cinnamon Banana Bread (one of my all time favourite recipes!), I had to try this banana bread recipe with cranberries – yum! I had to hold my hands behind me to resist throwing in some cocoa, cacao nibs, chocolate chips or the like, but it was worth it. The tartness of the cranberries gives it the zing factor so chocolate isn’t needed in this case. (Yes, I’m a bit of a chocolate snob.)

Even my boyfriend Mike – who resists almost everything on the non-savoury side of things – ate it up!

This recipe is from Allergic Living – I made a few adjustments to maximize deliciousness, so you can check of the original recipe here.

I hope you like it as much as we did! This goes great with tea for breakfast or for an anytime snack. Enjoy.

Gluten Free Cranberry Banana Loaf

Ingredients

  • 1¼ cup all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp of xanthan gum
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs or 4 tbsp egg replacer
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups frozen cranberries
  • A handful of chopped walnuts (not in the original recipe, but they add a nice crunch)

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and xatham gum.
  • In a separate bowl, use a whisk to cream together oil and sugar. Stir in eggs, bananas, cranberries and walnuts.
  • Add wet ingredients to flour mix and combine. Pour into loaf pan and bake about 45 minutes, until a sharp knife inserted comes out clean.
  • Turn loaf out onto cooling rack to cool. Slice and serve.

Fun Gluten Free Party Foods

16 Jun

Easy entertaining idea – gather an army of fun treats (fruits, nuts, chocolate, olives, whatever your fancy), put them in adorable cups, and then assemble on your biggest wooden cutting board or cute little coffee table.

A gluten free party spread!

Next, offer a variety of different wines, and then have people sample the different foods when sipping their wines.

You can then either a) discuss the different traits of each wine when paired with different foods – I live in wine country – we do actually engage in wine banter! Or b) continue catching up with your friends, all the while knowing that they’re thinking – “why have I never thought of that?! What a perfect party idea!”

This particular platter was at my friend Lisa’s house when we were co-hosting a jewelry party. I brought some gluten free appys, while my friend made sure some of her foods were gluten free as well – what a sweet heart!

Brilliant!

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