Recipe Rut

Happy #WheatlessWednesday lovelies.

Today, I am in a recipe rut. Actually, I’ve been stuck in this rut the whole month (as evidence of a rather empty blog). Nothing I have seen has jumped out and said MAKE ME AND MAKE ME DELICIOUS!

Working non-stop is also not helping me cook at home enough, and I have been ordering out at work and I have found quite a few places that have gluten free and dairy free options for me which is great! I am working on complying a list of places near my office (around Columbus Circle NYC) that have affordable gf/df options so check back for that!

I ALSO want to try out some new products and desserts and I have my eyes set on two. Baked by Melissa Gluten Free Cupcakes and Cookie DO NYC. I mean cupcakes and cookie dough HELLO DELICIOUS! There is a Baked by Melissa down the street from my office and I have yet to go in so that is coming soon as well.

Bear with me as I try to get out of this rut, try some new things and bring you yummy new content. Until then stay hydrated (it is HOT outside! I love it but there have been a few scorchers), stay inspired and stay beautiful.

xx

Kwegyirba


SNACK ATTACK!

Happy Thursday everyone!

Recently I started a new job and with that comes some food questions? Does the cafeteria have options for me? Is there a restaurant nearby that has some gluten free options? What about the snack machine? There lies an important question (at least for me). What about snacks? At my old office I had my own desk so I could keep snacks and goodies underneath it. Now I don’t have my own desk so stashing snacks away is not an option.

I love to snack. Sweet, salty, savory (ok mostly sweet haha) but I do like to snack. Snacks are great to give you a little boost of energy and keep you going through the day. Earlier this week I ran into a little snag where I did not have snacks at the office. There was an engagement celebration at the office and with that comes cake. Not one cake but two. Slices are being cut and my boss says, “Kwegyirba come get a slice!” before another one of my bosses says “Wait, Kwegyirba is allergic to wheat,” to which she replied “That’s right I forgot!”

Now I am very used to not taking part in cake eating at celebrations where I did not bring a sweet for myself. With a surprise mini engagement celebration, it was just that, a surprise so I did not have provisions lol. Later that same day, someone came back from vacation and brought back goodies which prompted another gathering around the table. One of the interns said “Oh well you can have another piece of cake” and I said “Oh no I can’t, I’m allergic to wheat and dairy” to which she replied “OH WOW! Wait, so what can you eat?” Lol. So I began to explain how there are a LOT of things I can still eat and listed some and then returned to my snack-less desk.

Which brings me to my point. What are some good snacks to bring to work? For me, it’s usually some kind of fruit or a muffin if I have baked that week. My new favorites have been Food Should Taste Good Chips, specifically the sweet potato, guacamole (yes guacamole and it is good) and my favorite, multigrain. Gluten free, dairy free, simple ingredients and just a good chip. If you haven’t checked them out take a look at their website here because they are great!

Nature Valley has also entered the gluten free arena with 10 new products – 6 nuts bars and 4 protein bars. So far, I have tried the Peanut Crunch Roasted Nut Crunch Bar (try saying that 10 times fast) and the Simple Roasted Peanut Honey Bar. Now of the two, I prefer the Peanut Crunch Roasted Nut Bar. Be careful with the protein bars because some of them do contain milk. You can check out the new Nature Valley Gluten Free line here.

My other go-to snack is an oldie but goodie. General Mills Gluten Free Chex . Put them in a baggie and you are ready to go! Need some more advice? Check out PopSugar’s 10 Gluten Free Snacks Under 150 Calories!

Go forth and snack confidently!

xx

Kwegyirba

 


peanut_butter_fudge

Peanut Butter Fudge

Happy Thursday loves! Yes I’m a day late for #WheatlessWednesday BUT right on time for #ThrowbackThursday.

Thanks to Good Morning America’s Facebook page, I was reminded that is it National Fudge Day! (gotta love a food holiday!) So in honor of all things fudgey and throwback Thursday-y….I present a treat to satisfy your fudge craving. Peanut Butter Fudge.

But wait Kwegyirba! (You must be saying to yourself) This isn’t a chocolate recipe. I know I know BUT who doesn’t love peanut butter! (Unless you are allergic, sorry) This recipe is quick, simple and maybe JUST maybe will become your new fudge favorite

Peanut Butter Fudge

Adapted from Food Network.com (an Alton Brown recipe)

What You’ll Need:

  • 8 ounces unsalted vegan butter, plus more for greasing pan (Earth Balance is the best. There are more and more dairy free butters coming out each day but Earth Balance is definitely my favorite)
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter (Peanut Butter & Co. is my go-to AND they have a great variety of flavors. White Chocolate Peanut Butter HELLO DELICIOUS!)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (make sure it’s gluten free!)
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • parchment paper
  • 8×8 inch pan

Time to get fudgy!

  1. Combine the Earth Balance and peanut butter in a 4-quart microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  2. Microwave for 2 minutes on high.
  3. Stir and microwave on high for 2 more minutes. (Use caution when removing this mixture from the microwave, it will be very hot.)
  4. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar to the peanut butter mixture and stir to combine with a wooden spoon.
  5. The mixture will become hard to stir and lose its sheen.
  6. Spread into a buttered 8 by 8-inch pan lined with parchment paper.
  7. Fold the excess parchment paper so it covers the surface of the fudge and refrigerate until cool, about 2 hours.
  8. Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. (or you know, 3 days because you are going to gobble this stuff up!)

The hardest part of this recipe? Waiting 2 hours for the fudge to cool:)

Happy Baking! (or in this case refrigerating since no actual heat besides melting the butter and peanut butter:) )


Summer Sips

Happy #WheatlessWednesday loves! Also HAPPY SUMMER! It’s June!!! YAY!!! Summer (and Spring) are my favorite seasons and with warmer weather comes cool cocktails.

Now anyone who knows me knows I have two go to drinks, Malibu Bay Breeze and Amaretto Sour. Both sweet and simple and almost impossible for a bartender to mess up. But having only two go to drinks isn’t very exciting. Now with a gluten/wheat allergy comes figuring out what you can and can’t have when it comes to booze. I’m not a dark liquor girl by any means so for me that nixes a few things (although a Dark & Stormy is delicious!)

So before you head out to the bar, having some gf booze knowledge is key. From cider to vodka and rum, ordering at the bar doesn’t have to be a challenge.

Here are a few suggestions!

Gluten Free Hard Cider Brands

Ace Pear Cider

Angry Orchard

Crispin Cider

Magner’s Cider

Smith and Forge Hard Cider

Spire Mountain Draft Cider

Strongbow Cider

Stella Artois Apple and Pear Hard Cidre

Woodchuck

Woodpecker Cider

Gluten Free Vodka

I have never been a huge vodka drinker but a lot of bars use a variety of vodkas in speciality cocktails and behind the bar, so getting familiar with a few brands can be very helpful.

Blue Ice Vodka

Bombora Vodka

Chopin Polish Vodka

Ciroc

Cold River Vodka

Devotion Vodka

DiVine

Famous Vodka

Fleischmann’s Vodka

Monopolowa

New Amsterdam

Smirnoff Vodka

Three Olives

Tito’s Vodka

Gluten Free Tequila Brands
When tequila is made the traditional way with a blue agave plant is naturally gluten free!

1519 Tequila

1800 Tequila

Don Julio Tequila

Hornitos

Jose Cuervo

Patron Tequila

Suaza Tequila

Gluten Free Rum Brands

Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum

Bacardi (only Gold, Superior, 151, and flavored)

Bayou Rum

Bundaberg Rum

Captain Morgan Rum

Cruzan Rum

And guys don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t know! Drinking something that may make you sick is definitely not worth it! Ask you bartender or good ol’ GOOGLE!

Here a two Malibu cocktails that I haven’t ordered at the bar before but are quick to make at home!

Twisted Pink
What You’ll Need:

1 part Malibu
1 part Cranberry Juice
1 part Grapefruit Juice
Pour all the ingredients over cubed ice in a highball.
Stir to mix and chill. Then garnish with a twist and a wedge of grapefruit.

Sun Splash
What You’ll Need:

1 part Malibu
1 part Pineapple Juice
1 part Pink Grapefruit Juice
Stir all the ingredients on rock ice in a highball glass.
Garnish with a twist of grapefruit and a pineapple wedge.

ENJOY & DRINK RESPONSIBLY!!

xx,
Kwegyirba


5

Baked Coconut Shrimp

Happy [LATE..I know] Wheatless Wednesday!

Here is an oldie but delicious goodie! Baked Coconut Shrimp!:)

Baked Coconut Shrimp

via allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (FRESH shrimp) You can get
    it deveined with the shells on and take the shells off yourself or deveined and peeled but definitely use FRESH shrimp, not the pre-cooked stuff.
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or a little more depending on how much kick you want. I like it a little spicier than most!)
  • 2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
  • 3 egg whites, beaten until foamy
  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Rinse and dry shrimp with paper towels. Mix cornstarch, salt, and cayenne pepper in a shallow bow; pour coconut flakes in a separate shallow bowl. Working with one shrimp at a time, dredge it in the cornstarch mixture, then dip it in the egg white, and roll it in the coconut, making sure to coat the shrimp well. Place on the prepared baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining shrimp.
  3. Bake the shrimp until they are bright pink on the outside and the meat is no longer transparent in the center and the coconut is browned, 15 to 20 minutes, flipping the shrimp halfway through.

Plump shrimp with sweetened coconut with the hint of cayenne – perfect with a baked potato, or mashed potatoes and another one of your favorite sides!

ENJOY!

xx,

Kwegyirba


IMG_6670

Taste Test:Sugar Cookies

Happy #WheatlessWednesday my sweets!

It is time for a taste test! Today’s culinary treat on the plate is King Arthur’s Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Mix. Now confesstion time. I bought this mix a while ago…like maybe almost a year ago. Ok I bought November 9,2015. I was shopping for muffin mix for Thanksgiving time, found their GF pumpkin bread mix (which btw I did not care for at all, but that is a story for another post) and saw the (then) new GF sugar cookie mix was on sale. SO naturally I bought two.

But I never made them. Why? They take a little more time than the other GF King Arthur mixes. The dough has to set in the fridge for a least two hours. Which I totally understand and is very important but I just put off making them.

Fast forward to last week. I had a somewhat stressful afternoon at my part-time job and what is best to curse stress. Wine. Ok not ALWAYS wine but if not wine then sweets. Opened my pantry searching for something to make and there in the back, next two the powdered sugar, was the sugar cookie mix. So I decided to give it a whirl and Snapchat the process. (follow me on Snapchat EKCroffie..I’m fun:) )

Like all the King Arthur mixes, the sugar cookie mix is very easy to follow. You can make roll out cookies or drop cookies. I went drop. Drop cookies = a lot of (vegan) butter. I’m talking 10 tablespoons of it. Trust me, do it. Just do it. Make sure it is nice and soft and do it.

Once you get over the butter shock, the rest is very straight forward.

I split my dough into two like the directions said and then when it was time to roll them in sugar, I decided to make one into sugar cookies and the other into snickerdoodles rolling the dough in sugar with cinnamon AND NUTMEG! (very happy I added the nutmeg for a little extra spice.)

Now as you can see, I did not use a cookie sheet because at the time I did not have one. That day while the cookies were in the oven I popped over to Amazon and bought a set of three for $10. I have not broken them in yet but soon my darlings soon. So I put my cookies in the oven, set the time and waited. (Well shopped and waited).

As you can see, my cute little circles because bulky blocked with rounded edges but STILL tasty.

Several things I probably could have done differently:

  1. Smaller balls.
  2. More space between ball.

Other then some spacing issues, the cookies came out delicious. As expected, those 10 tablespoons of Earth Balance really made the cookies tender and gave them a nice buttery flavor that I think complimented the cookies.

Overall I was very happy with this mix and because I did buy two boxes, I will be making them again but this time with smaller balls.

Let me know what you think!

Happy Baking!

xx

Kwegyirba


IMG_6599

Food Network Remix -Indonesian Ginger Chicken

Happy #WheatlessWednesday loves!

A few days ago I was planning my meals for the week and found that I had a lot of ginger. A LOT. Ginger is one of my favorite roots/spice to use. The spice it gives to foods is amazing. So upon discovering lots of ginger waiting to flavor something delicious it was time to head to Fairway for some other groceries, mainly some protein. Which meant one thing…

Chicken. It is my go to protein and it can be used so many ways and with so many flavors. PLUS Fairway was having an awesome sale so it was a win win.

Once home, it was time to find a recipe. Normally I would just grate the ginger over the chicken with some salt, pepper and either rosemary or thyme. But this time I wanted to try something new. Cue googling “Ginger Chicken Recipes” Out popped a few Food Network recipes, one of them being Indonesian Ginger Chicken from Ms. Ina Garten circa 1999, from yes her show Barefoot Contessa. Sure I was 9 when this particular episode aired but that’s neither here nor there.

What I love about this recipe is the fact that there aren’t a lot of ingredients, it’s easy to follow and it starts by marinating the chicken which may be my favorite way to flavor chicken. Plus this easy was SUPER easy to convert to gluten-free because I was only changing one thing – the soy sauce.

Let’s get started.

Indonesian Ginger Chicken

Adapted from Ina Garten’s Food Network Recipe

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup gluten free soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic (8 to 12 cloves)
  • 1/2 cup peeled and grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 (3 1/2 pound) chickens, quartered, with backs removed (now I used drumsticks and it was fine)
  1. Cook the honey, gf soy sauce, garlic, and ginger root in a small saucepan over low heat until the honey is melted.
  2. Arrange the chicken in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan, skin side down, and pour on the sauce.
  3. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.
  4. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Uncover the pan, turn the chicken skin side up, and raise the temperature to 375 degrees F.
  6. Continue baking for 30 minutes or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh and the sauce is a rich, dark brown.

Now, I left my chicken uncovered for 45 minutes because I wanted a little more of a char on my chicken and it was perfect. The chicken was nicely flavored and there is no need for any additional salt because of all the gf soy sauce. The ONLY thing I wish was that it was a touch sweeter. I feel like the soy sauce overpowered the chicken just a bit but it was still delicious.

Pair with rice, carrots, parsnips or your favorite side dish!

ENJOY!

xx

Kwegyirba


DF Chunky Monkey

Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy Review – Chunky Monkey

Happy #WheatlessWednesday my loves.

It happened. After weeks of searching Whole Foods, Fairway and Stop & Shop I FINALLY found the dairy free Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream! (Note I found it at a ShopRite so if you have one near you and you haven’t checked there…GO QUICK RUN!)

All four flavors were in stock which was nice to see, and I could tell people were buying it so OF COURSE I HAD TO BUY ONE! I had signed up for Ben & Jerry’s “ChunkMail” (how cute!) and they sent me two coupons for one free pint of the vegan dessert and I kept one in my purse so that when I found, I would be ready and boy was I excited and ready when I found it! The cashier said “Wow a coupon for a whole free pint? Nice! Enjoy! Ben & Jerry’s is delicious!

Now if you remember from my first Ben & Jerry’s post (ICYMI click here), out of the four flavors, I can only have 2 of them, Chunky Monkey and Coffee Carmel Fudge. I decided on Chunky Monkey. 🐵🐒🍌🍫

Now here’s the thing. I HATE walnuts. I’m actually not a huge fan of nuts as a whole. I like peanuts, cashews, and almonds. Oh and hazelnuts. I know I know. You must be saying to yourself “Kwegyirba, if you hate walnuts, WHY buy the Chunky Monkey!” 1. It is one of the flavors I can have. 2. Chunky Monkey is like one of Ben & Jerry’s most famous flavors so I had to see what all the fuss was about. 3. Chocolate Chunks. Need I say more. 4. Maybe this ice cream will change my mind about nuts in ice cream!

🐵🐒🍌🍫

So putting aside my dislike of nuts, I got my spoon and dug in. First thought: “It tastes like ice cream!” I know that sounds crazy but many dairy free know that some df alternative desserts, especially ice cream don’t taste like ice cream. The texture was creamy and the taste creators at B&J were smart to use almond milk.

Second thought:”Ok it lives up to it’s name. It is chunky!” The chunks of chocolate are definitely in there as are the walnuts. Third thought: “Yea, I definitely do not like walnuts.” So much for changing my mind B&J. Fourth thought: The banana flavor in the ice cream is not bad. It’s an interesting taste with the almond milk base but it is not terrible at all. Final thought: Yea I hate walnuts. hahah yes the walnuts really did not make me happy.

Aside from my dislike of walnuts the ice cream itself is good! I would give it 3 out of 5 stars. Based on that, I do not think I will be getting the DF Chunky Monkey again. However, I’ll enjoy the rest of the Chunky Monkey  in my freezer (while picking out the nuts) 🐵🐒🍌🍫

I hope you guys find the Ben & Jerry’s Vegan Ice Cream if you haven’t already!

xx

Kwegyirba


st-patrick-why-green_HD__366187_still_624x352

Chase That Pot o’ Gold!

Happy Early St. Patrick’s Day & #WheatlessWednesday!:)

You know what that means….CUPCAKES! Cupcakes and cocktails!

Thanks to Pinterest and kraft.com, I have found 2 boozy beauties, one mocktail and modified a cupcake recipe to make it gluten and dairy free! Let’s get started!

Green Velvet Cupcakes 

Adapted from Kraft’s Green Velvet Cupcakes

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 oz. BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. green food coloring (or more depending on how GREEN you want your cupcakes! I always use however much it takes to get the color I want)
  • Festive cupcake liners
  • 1 jar (7 oz.) JET-PUFFED Marshmallow Creme
  • 1 tsp. gluten free vanilla
  • Resealable plastic bag
  • Festive decorations (sprinkles, cake toppers whatever you want!)

Baking Time!

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line your cupcake tin with your festive muffin cups
  2. Prepare and bake cake batter as directed on package for 24 cupcakes, (remember to replace the butter and milk with vegan buttery sticks (Earth Balance is my favorite) and rice milk) blending melted chocolate and food coloring into batter before spooning into prepared muffin cups.
  3. Cool completely. You can’t frost a hot cupcake!
  4. While your cupcakes are cooling, prepare your frosting. Beat toffuti cream cheese, marshmallow creme and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until blended.
  5. Spoon mixture into resealable plastic bag. Cut corner off one bottom corner of bag; use to pipe mixture onto tops of cupcakes.
  6. Decorate with sprinkles and enjoy!!

Now it’s time to raise a glass (or two or three) and toast good times and good friends!

First up, a pretty girly green drink sure to make you do a jig!

The Midori June Bug

What You’ll Need

  • 1 oz Midori melon liqueur
  • 3/4 oz Malibu coconut rum 
  • 1 oz sweet and sour mix
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • Ice

Shake ingredients together and pour into a festive glass with some ice. Now this recipe only makes one drink so double or triple (or quadruple etc…) the recipe for how many you are planning to serve! Easy peasy.

 

Now, how about fun and tangy drink that EVERYONE can enjoy for St. Patrick’s Day!

Lucky Leprechaun Lime Slush

Adapted from Taste of Home – Sweet, tangy and non-alcoholic! This is a great mocktail for a St. Patrick’s Day party, watching your local parade! It would go great in green tumblers!

What You’ll Need

  • 1 quart lime sherbet , softened
  • ½ cup frozen limeade concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 (12 ounce) cans lemon-lime soda , chilled (Sprite, 7-Up etc…)
  • 1 -2 cup crushed ice
  1. In a blender, blend sherbet, limeade and sugar. Pour in soda and ice. Blend into smooth.
  2. Pour into glasses. Garnish if desired.

 

I hope everyone enjoys their St. Patrick’s Day! Remember ALWAYS DRINK RESPONSIBLY! You can have fun without acting like a complete fool! Now go chase that pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow!:)


IMG_6427

Review: Scratch & Grain Baking Co. GF Cornbread

Happy #WheatlessWednesday chickadees.

When I find a new gluten free product I am always curious so when I stumbled upon Scratch & Grain Baking Co.’s Gluten Free Cornbread Kit at Target (oh yea, I love Target), I HAD to pick it up and give it a try.

Scratch & Grain Baking Co. has a variety of mixes however not all of them are gluten free. Their cornbread mix was the only gluten free option at my local Target so that is what I picked up.

First things first the packaging is adorable, easy to read and easy to follow. Second and probably my favorite thing is the fact that it is a baking kit, which means they have measured EVERYTHING out for you in the box! The only ingredients you need to measure out is the egg (just 1), 1/3 cup of butter (in my case dairy free butter) and 1 cup of milk (for me Rice Dream).


Each ingredient is in its own little pouch, numbered and colored which corresponds to the instructions on the box. Super cute and super easy to use!

Just like any box mix, I followed the instructions, substituting my dairy free butter for butter and rice milk for regular milk.

Once all the ingredients were mixed, it was time to pour into to my trusty muffin tin! Now the batter was very wet which made me nervous but it smelled good so I was hopeful.

Time for some heat!

IMG_6451

Now here is where things changed. I had my oven nicely preheated to 375 as per instructions for my dark muffin pan. According to the baking directions, the muffins should have taken 12-15 minutes. I set my timer for 13 minutes and patiently waited.

After 13 minutes, the muffins were definitely not ready so I put them in for another 3. (Yes 1 minute over the recommended time for muffins). I checked on them again once the timer went off and they looked done. When I put my knife in the muffin to see if they were in fact done…

IMG_6452

yea…not wonderful. Not only were they not done, the batter didn’t taste that great. So I decided they needed to go back in the oven because half baked corn muffins are not very tasty.

Another 4 minutes later…

and they were a dark golden brown and the knife came out clean. I let them cool and tried one.

In my opinion they were just ok. Not the best corn muffin I have ever made but not the worst either. They were sweet and they were moist but I felt something was off. I don’t know if it was because I used dairy free butter instead canola oil (which is what was suggested on the box) but they just weren’t the best corn muffins. This is the first time using dairy free butter hasn’t worked in a recipe for me but then again it could have been something else but I’m not sure.

That being said, the baking kit is a wonderful idea and it was very easy to use. When I checked the Scratch & Grain website, the cornbread kit is now longer on the list of their gluten free products so there’s that. There are three gluten free products if you would like to check them out here.

Happy Baking!

xx

Kwegyirba