Spiked Oatmeal Cake

Spiked Oatmeal Cake -- Gluten Free

Living in a rainy climate like we do here in Oregon means lots of indoor days. I’m not used to this, and the girls aren’t used to this. We’re trained to expect a daily trek outside that ends up at the local grocery shop, random park, or the beach. Living on a student family budget also means we don’t get to cheat by stocking up on museum passes and extra-curricular activities. Luckily there’s always baking. 

Spiked Oatmeal Cake -- Gluten Free

I had to be strict not letting the girls lick the spoons after the the final steps of this cake had been completed as it’s magical flavor comes from rum soaked oats. Although they saw it was cruel and unusual punishment, they forgave me when we moved on to prepping the frosting and I let them have at it with as many finger scoopin’ tastes they wanted.

Spiked Oatmeal Cake -- Gluten Free

Being pregnant, my feelings towards food change constantly and are irritatingly unpredictable. That’s why I turned to this cake for our latest bake, because cinnamon rum spiked oats and can never ever be wrong.

Spiked Oatmeal Cake -- Gluten Free

I most certainly did excuse a cold square of this cake for breakfast the next few days because, ca’mon, I’m not going to wait until the afternoon to taste it again, and the extra punch of sugar than I’m used to does a sleepy preg-body some good.

Spiked Oatmeal Cake -- Gluten Free

In other non-food related updates, we know this next offspring of ours will be a boy. Yay for teeny-weenies! I am considering calling in retirement after this one because now we’ve secured our little bub I don’t have to worry about any future “I wonder… what if…”

Andrea and her family have finished their stay in France and have taken temporary harbor in Canada, the beautiful Motherland. Speaking of which, I am trying to perfect the Nanaimo bar, and a variety of other Canadian specialty foods that Phil misses constantly. If any of you have a Canadian food requests, please send it my way as I’m in the zone right now figuring out these new wonders until thisMontreal Boy of mine give is the big approval. When that Nanaimo bar is ready, I promise to be kind and share the love here.

Spiked Oatmeal Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: desert cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups water
  • 1½ cups gluten free flour (regular flour can be used)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons of bourbon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cubed-at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1¼ cups brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons of cinnamon
  • (ca’mon, if you have it add a pinch of cardamom!)
  • ————-
  • 8 ounces chopped pecans
  • ½ teaspoon bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons GF flour
  • ————-
  • FROSTING:
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a 9″x13″ baking pan.
  2. This first step is not only to add flavor, but it helps the nuts from all sinking to the bottom of the pan: Begin by tossing the chopped pecans with ½ teaspoon bourbon in a small bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of GF flour over the nuts and toss until coated. Set aside for later.
  3. Place the oats and butter in a large bowl. Bring 1¼ cups water to boil. Pour boiling water over oats and butter. Wait 30 seconds, then stir to moisten oats and melt the butter. Add the 2 tablespoons of bourbon. Set aside to soak for 30 minutes. *I’d recommend you lean over the bowl several times during this 30 minute period and take a massive whiff of the warm butter/bourbon/oat magic.
  4. Whisk together eggs, the sugars, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. You’ll probably have to tap your fingers here for a moment waiting for the oats to soak; or you can be diligent and clean up the mess so far like a pro would. I’ll also remind you to make sure the butter and cream cheese is sitting on the counter for the frosting later.
  5. When the timer is up on those oats, fold all these remaining mixed ingredients in with the oatmeal, stirring until well combined.
  6. Lastly fold in 1½ cups flour and the prepped pecans. Pour batter into greased pan.
  7. Bake 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool raised on a rack about 30 minutes.
  8. For the FROSTING: Beat room temp butter until smooth. Add cream cheese and beat until combined. Add bit by bit the powdered sugar, cinnamon, & vanilla extract until smooth.
  9. Frost the cake and enjoy both fresh and cold from the fridge! Top with extra chopped pecans and cinnamon if you’re a gourmand like me.

 

Posted on by Tawny in Cakes and Cupcakes, Desserts, Gluten-Free Meals We truly love to hear from you, Please Leave Us a Comment.

Light Chicken Lettuce Wraps — PF Chang Style

It’s been a good 3 months since I’ve last posted, I had to leave the goodness in Andrea’s capable hands for a time. But I’m back, I’m alive, I’m here! Three months… hmmm…. why would I avoid food-blogging for that specific amount of time? Oui, Oui, the obvious, I’m “with child” yet again! A majority of the women that exist in the world who’ve done it I’m sure can agree on one thing: food is the enemy for a minimum of 3 months. The kitchen is the enemy. Anything with flavor or smell within a 10 mile radius is the enemy.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps, PF Chang Style, Gluten Free

The food you see above I refused to touch with a ten foot pole. Had I posted something before now it might be titled “Look How Much I Love Grazing on these Cardboard Crackers.” Unfortunately my family insists on eating every single day, THREE times a day no less, so I was forced into the kitchen to make food stuffs. I doubt it tasted any good because I wasn’t testing it along the way myself…

This was my survival method. Not a joke. Ninja style. It’s very uncomfortable and difficult to breath as a grossed-out ninja. It goes without saying there were many buttered toast and sliced fruit dinners for the fam-damly.

Then about a week ago I got interesting in doing the whole chef thing again. Finally! I’d been resurrected. Pregnancy is so weird and irritating. Any-hoo, I started off cautiously by following a few saved recipes from some of my favorite fellow food-bloggers just to make sure I still knew how to chop, fry, and mix ingredients together. First was a veggie filled white bean casserole  from my number one blog crush, An Edible Mosaic. If humans could marry blogs, I might go for this one. (This was easy to make GF, simple replacement)

The second attempt at dinner was also a success, and the idea came from a new found blog I’ve been very much enjoying called Urban Baker. These Mini Gluten Free Corn Dogs were FUN to make and a huge hit with the family–particularly with Phil. They were surprisingly easy &  satisfying. As she recommended,  I froze the left-overs and used them in Teya’s school lunch later that week. I really like smart people….. Thank you smart people, you make us all very happy. (I was also able to make this sans gluten and without eggs, using EnerG Egg replacement)

Now back to that intro pic. Comfortably back in the saddle, Phil and I worked in tandem tonight to come up with a chicken wrap that mimics one of our favorite places, PF Changs. We’ve made these several times before, but they’ve always tasted a tad too Ammrrrcn. With the use of some new ingredients true to traditional Japanese cuisine and flavors, and cutting out items they’d never use like peanut butter, this time we hit it on the money. They’re very light and healthy when made true to form. Using just one chicken breast instead of two and then throwing in a heaping pile of  sugar snap peas in place also improved upon the weight of this meal.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps, PF Chang Style, Gluten Free

You know those white crispy rice noodles called Maifun rice sticks? Don’t skip on those! Not only do they add the necessary dry crisp, they’re a total blast to fry. It’s like a magic trick in your kitchen; a surprising confusing magical trick to make the burliest of manly men giggle. I witness it. Really, they’re in the Asian section of any store (bottom shelf usually) and only a couple bucks. Invest in the fun. When you fry them, make sure the oil is blazing hot (400 degrees) or no magic happens. Test one little noodle at a time: if it sinks its not ready, if it explodes in the blink of an eye it’s ready.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps, PF Chang Style, Gluten Free

Chicken Lettuce Wraps, PF Chang Style, Gluten Free

This meal is extremely simple to prepare. It looks like a long list of ingredients, but that’s mostly sauces and spices which mix up in a jiffy. Yes, jiffy is still a cool word to use. The 90′s are making a comeback, don’t ya know. When it comes down to it this meal took no more than 30 mins from beginning to end. Bon appétit…  or in true Japanese fashion, douzo meshiagare!

 

Chicken Lettuce Wraps, PF Chang Style, Gluten Free

Chicken Lettuce Wraps, PF Chang Style, Gluten Free

Light Chicken Lettuce Wraps — PF Chang Style
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • For the Stir-Fry:
  • 3 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce*
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons mirin**
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • about 3 tablespoons coconut oil- used in separate intervals
  • 1 chicken breast
  • one 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and minced
  • sugar snap peas
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste (or freshly grated, ½tsp if using powder)
  • 3 tablespoons green onion, chopped
  • ½ bag of maifun rice sticks, fried**
  • large leaf lettuce for the cups, either iceberg, butter, etc.
  • For the Dipping Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons agave (regular sugar can be used)
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons Braggs Liquid Amino or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
  • a smidgen of spicy mustard
  • a small splash of mirin sauce
  • 1 – 3 teaspoons siracha chili sauce, depending on your level of heat pref.
Instructions
  1. Begin with the chicken breast. In your saute pan/wok, fry it up on med-high in a couple tablespoons of coconut oil, 4 to 5 minutes each side until it’s nearly finished. When it’s done, set on a plate to rest and cool as you work on frying the veggies.
  2. While the chicken is cooling, prep the stir-fry sauce by whisking all the ingredients together in a bowl (this doesn’t include the coconut oil).
  3. Dice the water chestnuts, snap peas, and mushrooms. When the chicken is cool enough to touch, dice it as well (very small bits). Now add another tablespoon of coconut oil to the saute pan/wok over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, water chestnuts, peas, mushrooms, and garlic to the pan. Cook the mixture for 2 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add the stir-fry sauce to the pan and saute for a couple more minutes, then stir in the green onions at the very end before removing from the heat.
  5. Fry the maifun sticks according to instructions on bag — usually in just a couple inches of oil (we use coconut here) on super high, 400 degrees, for a few seconds. Flip once so the other side of the noodles can explode. Let cool on a paper-towel or rag. TIP- the sticks are crazy stiff before fried, use kitchen scissors to cut them in half before frying. You’ll only need to use half the bag, save the other half for next time.
  6. Whisk together the ingredients for the dipping sauce in a serving bowl.
  7. Serve the chicken with a side of lettuce cups and the sauce drizzled on top with loads of crunchy maifun sticks.
  8. *If you’re unfamiliar with Braggs Liquid Aminos, it’s a gluten free soy sauce replacement, tastes practically the same.
  9. **Mirin is also easy to find in the Asian isle and only a couple $ per bottle. It’s sweet, and slightly alcoholic, so use lightly in dishes, but it’s quite necessary when going for a balanced authentic Japanese flavor. It’s also always used in teriyaki sauce, so there’s another good use for it once you’ve bought it.

 

Posted on by Tawny in Dairy Free, Gluten-Free Meals, Main Dishes, Travel Inspired We truly love to hear from you, Please Leave Us a Comment.

Fois Gras My Burger Please!

What is Fois Gras? Well, how can I best describe it… it is a smooth, rich, buttery indulgent delicacy that everyone must try in their life time-and that is about all you need to know.  A thin dollop will turn a dish from good to mind blowing in an instant. It isn’t a pretty thing, and it actually comes in a simple can, but don’t let that fool you, and don’t worry, the price will remind you of its novelty.

I will never forget the first time I tried it. I looked at it and thought, hmmm, no thanks, but gave it a try anyways and basically fell off my chair. All you need is a tiny spread and it will turn anything from good to ‘oh my gosh, what in the world is this’ incredible.

The Mr. Fois Gras Burger…

fois gras best hamburger ever, France, Bordeaux

The Mrs. Fois Gras Burger…

Fois Gras Hamburger, France, bordeaux burgers

So the reason I bring up Fois Gras is because Shem and I have been slightly obsessing over finding a good burger these days. I guess being away from home can bring out certain cravings, and for my husband, this one was just not budging. Basically we gave ourselves the project of discovering a ‘Great Hamburger’ in Bordeaux. Hamburger joints are starting to pop up as of recently and so we were curious of the French’s interpretation of an American Burger. Let’s just say… the fries are always good…. Click here to Read More

Posted on by Andrea in Living in France, Main Dishes, Meats, Sandwiches, Travel Inspired We truly love to hear from you, Please Leave Us a Comment.

Gateau au Chocolat Fondant de Nathalie aka BEST Chocolate Cake EVER

Gateau au Chocolat Fondant de Nathalie, best chocolate cake in the world, french chocolate cake
 What do you get when a oooey gooey  and perfectly chewy chocolate brownie makes sweet passionate love to a moist and rich chocolate cake?  This baby right here. Her name: Le Gateau au Chocolat Fondant de Nathalie. I am telling you right now, there is NO chocolate cake in this WORLD that is better than this one. I dare you to challenge it.
If you look at any other blog that features this cake, they say the same thing.
This cake is from its own planet and if finding this recipe is the only thing we leave with from France- well, it has all been worth it!
And get this, the original recipe can easily and unnoticably be transformed into a completely gluten free item because this cake only has a tablespoon of flour as is! Click here to Read More
Posted on by Andrea in Cakes and Cupcakes, Desserts, Gluten-Free Meals, Living in France, Travel Inspired, Uncategorized We truly love to hear from you, Please Leave Us a Comment.

Dark Almond Buddies

 

Andrea did it! She survived! That’s one great big Check Mark on the list of “Things To Do Before You Die” list: Have a baby in France. Baby Ira is ridiculously handsome already, which in my opinion is a rare thing for baby boys… I mean, they can be cute as in Old Man Cute, but Ira is the real-kine legit cute with out the old man face. And they’re both doing really well.

Dark Almond Buddies, alternate to muddy buddies, a fantastically satisfying crunchy chocolaty sweet treat when you're eating light and healthy.

Our family also survived…. a less impressive feat than having a baby, but a feat none the less: both our girls’ b-days, cousin Chloe’s b-day, Christmas, a trip to Flagstaff, the husband had a month off school (come on, all women know having a man around the house 24/7 is ten times the work and effort than kids are…) and this was all in just a months time. Thus the near month absence from blogworld. Eden, now 2 yrs, believes that “fêtes” are daily routine and won’t stop requesting cakes, candles and cadeaux. It’s time to tell her the truth how life really works.

Dark Almond Buddies, alternate to muddy buddies, a fantastically satisfying crunchy chocolaty sweet treat when you're eating light and healthy. Click here to Read More

Posted on by Tawny in Cookies and Candies, Desserts, Snacks and Healthy Treats We truly love to hear from you, Please Leave Us a Comment.
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