Thursday, June 25, 2015

Watermelon Salad

I was away when the Mr. and the cherubs went to lunch.

My boy cherub called me afterwards, all excited about this salad he had eaten.

"Mom, it's so good!  You're going to have to make it!"

Mind you, he had a general idea of the ingredients.

By general, I mean what he could see!

No thought of the ingredients that might be in it, but unseen!

This week at the store, I bought the ingredients to make this salad he has raved about.

To be fair, I want you to know that I've doubted this as remotely being something I would want to eat.

It doesn't sound good.

But he and the girl cherub say it is!

I even splurged on real Greek Feta cheese.

The one in the brine.

Just like we had while in Greece.

It DOES make a difference!

I had no idea, but that's for another post!

I measured nothing, but went my sight and the cherub's taste.

I am delightfully surprised and I actually like it.

I will be making this again, that's for sure!

Watermelon Salad

1 small seedless watermelon, cubed
1/4 red onion, sliced thin and chopped (I had 1/2 moon pieces)
feta cheese, crumbled
Kalamata olives, chopped (I used about 6 of them)
olive oil, drizzled
dried oregano, just a sprinkle
fresh mint leaves, chopped (I used about 8 leaves)

Toss everything in a bowl and allow the flavors to meld together.

Serve cold.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Gluten Free Hummingbird Cake

The Mr. loves hummingbird cake.

He always requests it for Easter and for his birthday.

Since we have become gluten free, I've been avoiding this cake.

In my mind, if I'm going to make this cake, I want it like it is supposed to be.

But with gluten free, things aren't always like that!

Sometimes gluten free baked goods are drier.

Or gritty.

Or disappointing.

That's truth!

The Mr.'s birthday was this week and when asked what he wanted for our traditional "birthday dinner," he picked two things that I've been avoiding since we've been gluten free!

I'm gonna kill him!

Silly me, tackled both!

Here's my take-away!

If there's enough time between the gluten version and the gluten-free version, your mind forgets what it is "supposed" to taste like, and then the gluten free version is very satisfying!

14 months is a good amount of time to wait!!

There are lots of gluten free versions of hummingbird cake on the Internet.

But, like "regular" recipes, you can kind of tell if it's going to be worth your effort or not.

I took two different days to search.

This recipe was a winner for us!

This may not be my "for keeps" hummingbird cake recipe, as there is one other that I want to try, but this was definitely worth it!

Gluten Free Hummingbird Cake

1 1/4 cups white rice flour
1/2 cup  corn starch
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup light buckwheat flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (or guar gum)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups canola oil
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple with juice
2 cups diced bananas
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350° F

Use two round 9-inch cake pans, one 9x13 pan or muffin cups for this recipe. If using cake pans, lightly grease and dust with sweet rice flour. Line cupcake tins with paper cups.

Place all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and use a large whisk to thoroughly combine.

Add oil, eggs and vanilla and use an electric mixer to combine. The batter will be stiff.  Stir in pineapple with juice, bananas and pecans and stir to combine.

Allow the batter to sit for 30 minutes.  This is an important step to gluten free baking.  This allows the flours to become hydrated, which in turn, makes a better baked product.  Don't skip this . . . you'll thank yourself later!

Pour batter evenly into pans or muffin cups.  Place pan(s) into preheated oven. Bake batter in cake pan(s) 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of cake comes out clean. The top of the cake with be golden brown.

If making cupcakes, depending on size of cupcakes, bake cupcakes for about 25-35 minutes or until done.

Cool cakes before frosting. Remove round cakes from pans by carefully running a thin spatula around the edges of the cake to loosen the sides of cake from the pans. Invert pans with cooled cakes on a wire rack before frosting.


8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups gluten-free powdered sugar

While cake or muffins are cooling place butter, cream cheese and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until smooth. Add powdered sugar gradually and beat until smooth and creamy. When cake is cool frost.