Category Archives: Cooking At Home

Gluten & Dairy Free Cauliflower Crust Mini Quiches

Gluten-free and Dairy-free dishes have been coming to the forefront in recent times.  Some folks choose to be GF and DF for health reasons and others just do.  My Friend, Missus Dear Friend is now GF/DF and Vegetraian for a little more than a year now.  This has nudged me onto that culinary path and researching recipes has been very eye opening.  I made this dish for our Easter Brunch Potluck (yeah, I know I’m behind, but what can I say, we’ve been busy).

GF/DF Cauliflower Crust Mini Quiches

1 head of Cauliflower

1 tsp. Salt

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 tsp. Granulated Garlic

1/3 C. diced Sweet White Onion

½ C. Dairy-free grated Parmesan Cheese

Salt & Pepper to taste

6 Eggs, separated

Preheat the oven to 375⁰

*Rice the Cauliflower by either using a large holed Box Grater or whiz it up in a Food Processor fitted with its Metal Blade.

 

Place Cauliflower in a Microwave safe dish; stir in well the Salt and cook on high for 5 minutes.  Set aside to cool until you can handle it.  Transfer the now steamed Riced Cauliflower to a large piece of Cheesecloth, and wring as much of the water out as you can (this will take a lot of upper body strength, believe me!)

In a large bowl, whisk 2 of the Eggs; add the Cauliflower, Olive Oil, Granulated Garlic, Onion, Parm and S&P to taste, remembering that the steamed riced Cauliflower already has 1 teaspoon of Salt.  Combine well.  Spray a Muffin Tin well  and divide the Cauliflower mixture evenly in the cups.

I used a small round, flat bottomed glass to press the Cauliflower into each cup, pressing firmly, but you could just use your fingers, making sure to push the mixture up the side of each cup.  So what you’re doing is forming the crust on the bottom and side as evenly as possible.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and set firm.

Whisk the remaining 4 Eggs and pour evenly between all of the cups.

 

Here’s where you can show your personality.  Add in any fillings (or not, plain is good too) that you like in a Quiche.  I chose leftover steamed Rapini with Garlic and Olive Oil, leftover sautéed Crimini Mushrooms with Olive Oil and Garlic, diced Tomatoes, freeze dried Chives and topped each with more DF Parm.  Bake 15-20 minutes or til the Eggs are set.

Allow to cool slightly before removing, using a plastic-disposable knife is best.

Serving Suggestion above, either warm or at room temp.

*Cooks Note: For convenience, just buy a bag of already Riced Cauliflower, also they stick like a son-of-a-gun!  Be sure to spray non-stick-spray liberally just before putting in the Cauliflower mixture.

Also, Mrs. DF later tried this recipe as well and used a silicone Muffin pan, works even better!

This was a lovely Easter Potluck Brunch, what a schpread!

(You’ll note that the only  Meat, Dairy or Gluten ((those are GF Crackers and Chips there)) is the Ham and Cheese Sandwich Platter meant for DH)

Meatless Monday Baked Ziti, My Way

There’s got to be a gazillion different ways to make Baked Ziti.  What is Baked Ziti you ask?  Well, it’s pretty much any type of tubular pasta, like Penne or Rigatoni, but my personal favorite right now is Cavatappi, combined with Red sauce and Cheese, then baked in a casserole dish.

Let’s get started.

Once the pasta of your choice is cooked to al dente, drained well and returned to the pot, I stir in enough of my homemade Marinara to get it nice and saucy.  Next goes in the cheese.  Now most recipes call for three to even four different ones, but I went with grated Grana Padano and Mozzarella, give it a good toss and then dump it all into a baking vessel.  Add some more cheese to the top and bake, uncovered at 350⁰ for about 20 minutes, until the cheese melts and turns a bit brown.

MMM!

It’s that simple.  This smells like Lasagna!  I made enough for two pans of pasta.  One stays here and the other goes to our next door neighbors for their lunch.  All we need now is some nice bread and a salad.

Manigamo!

Hawaiian-Style Lunch For Two At Home In The Middle Of The Desert

Yup, that’s right.

My husband made a request the other day, he said that he was really ono (hungry for) for some Poke and Sushi.  Well, I was out and about and stopped into my favorite green grocer.  HEH! They’ve got a Sushi Counter, ya know the kind were they make it right in front of you to take home, complete with Wasabi, Pickled Ginger and a small packet of Shoyu (they had chopsticks and forks too 😉 ).

Also in the fresh fish case they had Ahi fillets, CHEAP…I love this place.

DING DING DING!!!  LUNCH!  YUM!

When I got home, I made up a batch of Shoyu Ahi Poke with a beautiful half pound Ahi steak and served that with the Unagi (Fresh Water Eel) Nigiri Sushi.

What a treat!

Baked Disco Tots

You’ve heard of Disco Fries, Right?  Well, here’s my spin on it.

This dish couldn’t be easier!  I baked some Trader Joe’s Trader Potato Tots, following the directions on the package; sprinkled loads of shredded Cheese over the top and put them back into the hot oven for like 30 seconds, just to melt the Cheese.

Now plate and enjoy.  I like mine with Kewpie Mayonnaise, you choose your own dipper, but it’s really not necessary, these gems are perfect just as they are.

 

Chicken Marsala, My Way

Chicken Marsala is one of my favorite dishes not only to make but to eat as well.  I’ve tried several different recipes and have mashed together my own version.

Auntie Doni’s Chicken Marsala

4 boneless-skinless Chicken Thighs (or Breasts), diced into bite sized pieces

1/4 C. Flour

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Pepper

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

10 oz. Crimini Mushrooms (Baby Bellas), diced

1/2 of small White Onion, diced fine

1 Garlic Clove, mined

3/4 C. Dry Marsala Wine

1 1/4 C. Chicken Broth

2 Tbsp. Butter, cold

In a large pan, heat the oil; sauté the Mushrooms until nicely brown, remove to a bowl.  Add more oil, if needed and sweat the White Onions until translucent; add the Garlic and sauté until fragrant, transfer to the bowl with the Mushrooms and set aside.

Toss the Chicken in the flour, salt and pepper, shake off any excess.  Add more oil to the pan if needed and brown the Chicken, about 3-5 minutes per side; transfer to a plate and set that aside as well.  Add the Wine to the pan and scrape up the nice brown bits in the pan and bring to a bubble.  Pour in the broth, add back in the Mushrooms, Onions and Garlic, stir well and simmer for a few minutes; add back in the Chicken, stir to combine it all and continue simmering until the sauce starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.  Add that cold Butter and swirl the pan around to melt and incorporate it into the sauce.   The sauce will thicken further, but don’t let it reduce too far.

Serve over Pasta, Rice, Polenta or even mashed Potatoes.  Garnish with some chopped Parsley and grated Cheese.

ENJOY!

 

Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies For Mom

Back home in Hawaii, we can get these a~maz~ing Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies from The Big Island aka Hawaii Island.  Now that we’ve moved to the mainland, NOPE, NADA, NO CAN GET!  So once again the mother of need raises her head and says, MAKE YOUR OWN!

My Mom no longer lives 12 miles away from my DH and I, so I make up my version of a care package for her every so often.  I’ve added these to her most recent box.

Auntie Doni’s Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies

½ C. Macadamia Nuts, Roasted, unsalted and coarsely chopped

1/3 C. granulated Sugar

½ C. Unsalted Butter, softened

½ tsp. Salt

1 ¼ C. Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

½-1 C. Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers

In a food processor, pulse the nuts until ground fine, set aside.  In a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, salt and those ground nuts.  Mix in the flour, just until combined.

Macadamia Nut Cookie logs

Form the dough into two 14 X 3 X 1” logs and wrap them in plastic.  Stash them in the `fridge for 1-24 hours.  Preheat the oven to 350⁰.  Line a **baking sheet** with either parchment paper or a Silpat® Mat (optimum choice).

place slices 1 inch apart

Slice the dough in ¼ inch widths; place on the sheet pan one inch apart.

Bake for 10 or until just lightly golden on the edges.  Place on a cooling rack.  Melt your dipping chocolate as directed on the package.

Chocolate dipped Macadamia Nut Cookies

Dip half of the cookie in the melted chocolate;

Place back on the Silpat® Mat (or parchment paper),

oh my, garnished chocolate dipped macadamia nut cookies

Add optional garnish of ground Macadamia Nuts;

Allow to cool completely, wrap and gift.

ALOHA!

**It’s best to use a light colored baking sheet for lighter colored baked goods**

a lighter colored pan makes for lighter colored bottoms on my our baked goods

Trader Joe’s Soft Pretzel Sandwiches

A few days back, I was telling you about a new find I discovered at Trader Joe’s,  Soft Pretzel Sticks.

YUM!

WELL!  On my most recent journey to one of my favorite places to shop for food, I grabbed a bunch of these culinary delights and stashed them in the deep freeze for later.  I was looking for something for lunch a coupla days later and thought THAT  would make a terrific sandwich!

TJ's Soft Pretzel Ham & Cheese Sandwich

DING DING DING!  We have a winner folks.

I heated the rolls, split them open, slathered them in some Spicy Brown Mustard and lastly layered on Ham and Swiss Cheese.  DE~LI~CIOUS!!!

Me: So how’s that tastin’ ?

DH: MMM [garbled mouth-full mumbles] Where did you get this, this is really good!

Me: Trader Joe’s

DH: Can you make this again?

Me: YUP, you betcha.  😉