My sweet celiac and youngest, Izzy

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Things that I've been working on lately....

First and foremost, the last month has been crazy busy!  A girls trip with my baby sister to Chicago to scout places to live when she moves there in the fall plus a little fun.  We had an amazing food adventure while we were there and in turn I truly fell in love with that city.  It's like NYC with a midwest flare. being on Lake Michigan was cool, and nice this time of year but I can only imagine what winter will bring.  The seafood was spectacular everywhere we went though.  I got back and right after Memorial Day and my other sister, Justine arrived with her two beautiful kiddos for about a week and a half in between Maryland and her move to Oklahoma City.  We did some crafts with the kids, made homemade magic shell chocolate sauce for ice cream, made homemade blueberry sauce for pancakes/waffles/ice cream, made a sugar scrub for the shower and possible gifts later, and the supplies for some Father's Day presents and some other crafts.  Lots of swimming and eating and fun and then they left and have closed on their house.  We are headed out that way this week for a few days to help unpack!  Cannot wait! 

So Saturday was Isabelle's very first ballet recital and we had to get up very early for her dres rehearsal.  Once we finished with that, we headed for the Farmer's Market.  A meltdown from Noah and Dad later, Izzy and I were strolling with our fresh zucchini and peaches we had bought when my eye caught something that made me stop dead in my tracks.  The prize and coveted and never found in this little small town of mine....squash blossoms.  A WHOLE HUGE bag of them for $3!!!!!!!!!! I knew we were having friends over for dinner and that got my mind twirling with possibilities.  After Izzy's draining but adorable recital (any recital mom's out there know, you hurry up and wait, then wait in a crowded room with a bunch of 4 year olds, then finally in 2 minutes all the waiting is over and you tear up with how proud you are!) we rushed home to marinate the chicken and zucchini and prep the squash blossoms.  I made homemade GF tempura batter and put it in the fridge to rest for an hour and then stuffed the blossoms with a delicious herbed goat cheese mixture and set in the fridge for 30 minutes while out friends arrived, we chatted and caught up and let the kids play in the back yard.  I came back in while Jason was grilling the corn, zucchini and chicken (so this was my esaiest meal to prepare and cook EVER!:)) and took out the gorgeous blossoms, dipped in the tempura batter and added to the golden peanut oil and watched with baited breath.  To my surprise, they fried up beautifully and tasted absolutely AMAZING!

Tonight, I took the last of the zucchini and cut into 1/4 inch slices, tossed in olive oil and then with homemade italian gf bread crumbs and parmesan cheese I topped each zucchini round, popped in a preheadted 400 degree oven and watch them crisp up and taste like fried zucchini with half the fat. I took the remainder of the corn from our garden and took it off the cob and made creamed corn and then we had leftover grilled chicken from last night.  All the good recipes start NOW:

Magic shell:

1 1/4 C semi sweet chocolate chips (for GF, DF and Nut free I use the Enjoy Life semi sweet chips, you can also use Hershey's for just GF)
1/2 C solid coconut oil (it's like Crisco)

melt for 1 minute in microwave or stove top and let rest, stir until the oil melts the chips and then store in mason jar in refrigerator.  When time to serve, warm in microwave 1-2 minutes swirling in between until the solid melts and top on ice cream of choice.

Blueberry sauce:

4 1/2 C fresh blueberries, pulsed in food processor
2 TBSP lemon juice
7 C sugar for regular syrup recipe ( you can use juice with sugar free fruit pectin for lower sugar content)
2 pouches of fruit pectin

make as if you were doing a cooked jam recipe: add fruit to saucepot, stir lemon juice. Stir in sugar or juice into fruit, add 1/2 Tsp butter for no foam and bring mixture to a rolling boil. Quickly stir in pectin, and return to full rolling boil for 1 minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat.  You can either can the blueberry jam at this point or pour into mason jar and add to fridge.  I canned ours and it did not set completely so we used as syrup.  Once opened, we refrigerated it and then it set but when we wanted the syrup/sauce, we took some, added to microwave bowl and warmed for a minute or so until liquidy and syrup texture.

Sugar scrub:

Its 2 to 1 ratio of sugar to coconut oil with 4 or so drops of essential oil.  So depending on if you are making a large batch for gift giving or a small batch for home would depend on your measurements but we did 1 C cane sugar; 1/4 C coconut oil and 4 drops or til fragrance desired is reached of essential oil (we used lemon verbanum since it's summer but you can use lavender or at chirstmas use candy cane or gingerbread or vanilla with brown sugar instead of cane.)  Mix all ingredients in a bowl with hands until desired consistancy and store in mason jar or decorative container with cute fabric top if gift giving and little tag or hand written note.

Zucchini Blossoms: (adapted recipe from Wolfgang Puck:

Tempura Batter:

  • 1/4 cup super fine white rice flour
  • 2 cups GF all purpose flour of choice ( I used the GF Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in a cool, dark place, or in fridge for long-term storage). 1 C of this mix equals 140g. Use this mix cup-for-cup or gram-for-gram in all of your recipes:
    1 1/4 C (170 g) brown rice flour
    1 1/4 C (205 g) white rice flour
    1 C (120 g) tapioca flour
    1 C (165 g) sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour or under the brand name, Mochiko)
    2 scant tsp. xanthan gum

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 cups soda water

Goat Cheese Filling:

I had a huge bag of squash blossoms (20-25) and I used a 16 ounce log of already herbed goat cheese, softened and added the olive oil for some time savings as well as money savings and it was FABULOUS!
  • 1 (8-ounce) log mild goat cheese, softened
  • 5 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chervil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary leaves
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 16 squash blossoms
Tempura Batter:
Sift together all of the dry ingredients. Whisk in the soda water, a little at a time (about a cup at a time), until the right consistency is achieved. The batter should coat the back of a spoon, but some excess batter should run off the spoon. Allow to rest in the refrigerator at least 1 hour before use.
Goat Cheese Filling:
Combine all of the ingredients and mix well. or if using already herbed goat cheese that's softened, add olive oil and mix together.  For easy filling put into a ziploc or piping bag and cut tip, add about I TBSP each blossom into base of blossom. Cover with the petals and pinch the top to seal. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat a fryer or a deep pot halfway filled with peanut oil to 375 degrees F.
Hold the squash blossoms by the stem. Dip each into the tempura batter, making sure to coat completely. Let any excess batter drip off. Place the blossom in the oil and fry until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes, turning often to brown evenly. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.

Zucchini Crisps: (adapted from Elie Kreiger's recipe)

  • 1 lb. zucchini or squash (about 2 medium-sized)
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan (heaping)
  • 1/4 cup Glutino parmesan and garlic bagel chips, ground in food processor
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil and spray lightly with vegetable spray.
    Slice zucchini or squash into 1/4 inch-thick rounds. Toss rounds with oil, coating well.
    In a wide bowl or plate, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt and pepper.
    Place rounds in parmesan-breadcrumb mixture, coating both sides of each round, pressing to adhere. The mixture will not completely cover each round, but provides a light coating on each side.
    Place rounds in a single layer on baking sheets. Sprinkle any remaining breadcrumb mixture over the rounds.
    Bake for about 22 to 27 minutes, until golden brown.