International Food Blogger Conference – Portland, OR

I will be at ifbc 2012 – August 24th through 26th, 2012

International Food Blogger Conference 2012 Portland

Let’s meet!

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Créme de Menthe Brownies – St. Patrick’s Day Style

The last few days have been really busy and I missed my St. Patrick’s Day post of these totally tasty green treats.  I made these for a pot-luck that we had in our office on the 16th to celebrate St. Pat’s day (as well as my birthday) and they were a huge hit.  Not only was the frosting minty, but the brownies had a subtle hint of mint as well.  When combined gave a nice refreshing burst of mint.  I used the green Crème de Menthe for added color, but there is also a clear version if you want to use it for this or other minty treats as well.

Créme de Menthe Brownies

Crème de Menthe is by all accounts Gluten Free – the alcohol is distilled, yet some people still react from distilled alcohol from grain sources so I will leave it to you to know your sensitivities.

½ cup butter, room temperature
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate powder
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
¼ teaspoon mint extract
2/3 cup GF all-purpose flour (I used Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour)

¼ butter, room temperature
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Crème de Menthe (green)
½ cup sifted

1 ounce of semisweet chocolate

Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x9x2 inch pan and put aside.  In a saucepan melt butter and chocolate over low heat. Stir in sugar, eggs and mint extract. Using a wooden spoon, beat lightly by hand until all ingredients are combined.  Stir in flour.  Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another mixing bowl beat 1/4 cup butter until fluffy. Gradually add the 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar.  Beat in Créme de Menthe.  Gradually beat in about 1/2 cup more of the sifted powdered sugar until the frosting is easy to spread.  Once brownies are cooled, spread frosting over brownies.  In a small saucepan melt semisweet chocolate on low heat.  Drizzle all over the top of the brownies.  Let chocolate cool, then cut into bars/squares.

Make about 16 bars/squares.

***adapted from***


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Vegetable Soup – Home-made!

I love the way my house smells after I cook something with lots of big flavors.  But I especially love the smell of sautéed onions.  Right now my house is bursting with that yummy aroma of sautéed onions and garlic.  All these heavenly scents are packed tight in my vegetable soup.  And since I’ve been sick the last couple of days, nothing “hits the spot” more than home-made soup.

Vegetable Soup

2 cups of broccoli
2 cups baby carrots (cut into small chunks)
3-4 red potatoes (peeled and par boiled)
3/4 cup sweet onions (chopped)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1-1/2 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 (32 oz) container of Vegetable Stock (gluten-free)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon black pepper (add more/less depending on personal taste)
1 teaspoon sea salt (add more/less depending on personal taste)
1 teaspoon McCormick Perfect Pinch Garlic and Herb Seasoning (no salt added)

Freshest Ingredients

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large stock pot.  Add onions and cook until onions are clear, about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add vegetable stock, water and vegetables to the sautéed onions and bring to a boil.  Once boiling add potatoes (cut into small chunks first) and cook for 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

In a separate small sauce pan, add milk and 1 tablespoon of butter over low heat.  Cook until butter is melted.  Add cornstarch and stir with wire whisk until cornstarch is dissolved.  Keep on low heat until ready to mix with vegetables.

Once veggies are done, use a Braun Hand Blender (or the like) to blend veggies in the pot they are cooking in.  You can blend as little or as much as you like for texture.  I like a few chunks left so I don’t blend 100%.  When everything is blended add cornstarch mixture slowly and stir constantly until all liquid has been added.  This step will also be a preference thing.  If you like a thicker soup, add more cornstarch or less if you don’t.

Keep on heat for another few minutes until soup is completely heated through and serve.

This makes approximately 6 servings at 1-1/2 cups each.

 ***This recipe was NOT adapted from anything – this is my recipe***


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Double Stuff Brownies

Oh how I’ve loved Oreo Cookies.  But sometimes gluten-free versions of these chocolate sandwich cookies just don’t have enough frosting.  Hence the “double stuff” in this post.  These brownies are truly a delight of the taste buds.  There is something for everyone here – brownies, chocolate sandwich cookies, frosting and a drizzle of chocolate.  Chocolate overload of the best kind!

Chocolate Sandwich Cookie Brownies

1 box of Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownie Mix
1 package of Mi-Del Gluten Free Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
1/2 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
4 tablespoons of vegetable shortening
2 cups of confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons of clear vanilla extract
1 Hershey milk chocolate bar

Follow instructions on box of Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownie Mix and set aside. In and 8×8 baking dish spray bottom of pan with cooking spray.  Then cover the bottom of pan with as many chocolate sandwich cookies as you can, break them in half if you need to in order to cover bottom completely.  Then pour in brownie batter.  Bake as instructed on box of brownie mix.

While brownies are baking, mix butter and vegetable shortening in stand mixer. Beat together until mixed and creamy.  Then add the sugar and vanilla extract.  Mix on high for about 5-6 minutes or until the mixture is fluffy. Make sure to scrap sides of bowl every so often to get it all mixed up.

Brownies must be completely cooled before frosting.  Frost brownies with a nice even layer of the mixture and then drizzle with melted Hershey bar.

For drizzle: I put the Hershey bar in a plastic bag and microwaved it until it was melted.  Then I cut one corner of the bag open and used it as a piping bag and drizzled over my brownies.

Frosting recipe comes from GlutenFreeGirl.



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GF Pocket Pastries (aka “Pop-Tarts™”)

As a kid I loved Pop-Tarts™, it was so easy to have a couple of those on Saturday morning for breakfast as I watched cartoons. As I got older, I realized while I loved them, they weren’t so healthy for me, convenient, but not healthy. Still it didn’t stop me from eating them. But as a diagnosed Celiac these are impossible for me to eat and enjoy without consequences. Then a couple of months ago I was shopping at William Sonoma and found a Toaster Pastry Press  and viola – I’m re-living my childhood once again. I used the recipe that was on the back of the template box and changed up a couple of things to my liking. I am happily surprised at how flaky these turned out. I think I might be making these more often as it’s important to have the child within a happy camper.

Gluten Free Toaster Pastries

For pastry dough-
2-1/2 cups GF all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
6-8 tablespoons ice cold water

Gluten Free Toaster Pastries

For frosting-
½ cup fruit preserves or jam
1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk (I used heavy whipping cream instead)
Decorative sprinkles (if desired)

In a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt and granulated sugar until combined, about 5 pulses. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 pulses. Add 6 tablespoons of the ice cold water and pulse 2 or 3 times more. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it’s crumbly, add more water 1 teaspoon at a time, pulsing twice between each addition. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, divide in half and shape each half into a disk. Wrap separately in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out 1 dough disk into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. You will need to flour the dough and the roller often to have it not stick or tear apart. While rolling try to make infrequent long rolls versus a lot of short rolls. This will prevent the dough from becoming tough. Using the outer ring of the mold, cut shapes out of the dough. Replace the inner ring of the mold inside the outer ring. Using a small offset spatula or butter knife, spread 1 tablespoon of preserves onto each of the 4 pieces of dough, leaving a ½ inch boarder. Brush the edges with the egg mixture. Top each with a plain piece of dough, place the mold on top and press the inner ring down to seal the edges. Remove the mold. Transfer the pastries to a prepared baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough disk and preserves.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the pastries until golden, about 20-25 minutes. Let pastries cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks and cool completely.

In a bowl, stir together the confectioners’ sugar and milk until well combined. Using a small offset spatula spread the icing evenly on top of the pastries and decorate with sprinkles as desired. Let the icing harden completely before serving. Makes 8 pastries

**adapted and converted from William-Sonoma Kitchen – Toaster Pastry Press**


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