Cherry Clafouti

cherryclafouti2 Cherry Clafouti

I have wanted to make a gluten free clafouti for a long time, but wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. When I passed this recipe a few days ago in The Quick Recipe (The Best Recipe Series) Cherry Clafouti and had fresh cherries on hand, the time had come to give it a go. I was intimidated by what flour to use for a long time because I knew the flavor of the flour would come through in my custard. I ultimately chose sweet rice flour because of its neutral flavor and thickening abilities. I paired the sweet rice flour with an equal amount of almond flour. I was concerned that the almond flour would be too coarse for the custard but I knew it would be the perfect flavor. I used a commercially ground almond flour (I normally grind my own) and the custard turned out smooth. The custard had both a great texture and flavor. With that gluten free adaptation problem solved, I decided to change the recipe further by adding 1 teaspoon of vanilla to the original recipe. I frequently change the amount of vanilla I use in gluten free recipes. I also used fresh cherries in my recipe instead of the jarred sour cherries called for in the recipe. You can pit your cherries with a straw or use an unnecessary (although very fun) cherry pitter. Cherry Clafouti

Note: If you have never tasted a clafouti before, it is reminiscent of a custard pie. If you like custard pie, you will love this recipe.

cherryclafouti3 Cherry Clafouti


1 1/2 cups fresh cherries, steams removed and pitted (enough to cover the bottom of your pie plate)

6 large eggs

1 cup milk

2/3 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup almond flour (needs to be really fine)

1/4 cup sweet rice flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

melted butter for greasing the pie plate

cherryclafouti11 Cherry Clafouti


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 1/2 glass pie plate with melted butter. Place a single layer of fresh cherries on the bottom of the pie plate. In a blender, mix the eggs, cream, milk, and lemon juice for about 45 seconds. Add the flour, sugar, and salt to the blender jar. Blend for one minute! Place your pie plate on a cookie sheet (in case of spills in the oven). Carefully pour the batter in the pie plate. Place the pie plate (on cookie sheet) in the center rack in the oven. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour. The clafouti is done when it is puffed and brown. (Don’t worry if your clafouti does not puff too much- they fall when they cool anyway) If the center is still jiggly (tee hee), the clafouti needs longer to cook. If you want to be sure it is done, insert a knife into the center to check. Cool the pie plate on a rack for a minimum of 15 minutes before serving. The clafouti should cut nicely into wedges, so if that is not happening- cool it for longer! You can serve the clafouti warm or chilled- my favorite is chilled, which makes this a perfect make-ahead gluten free dessert recipe for company.

Serves 8-10

bbqlogo Cherry Clafouti

I am submitting this to Gluten Free Gobsmacked’s Gluten Free BBQ event. I think I will also bring my favorite gluten free chocolate cake to this virtual BBQ because it looks like everyone’s coming! If you have a favorite gluten free recipe that would be great at a BBQ be sure to send Kate an email about it (non-bloggers too)!

Herb Scallion Drop Biscuits

biscuits Herb Scallion Drop Biscuits

These aren’t southern biscuits- notice the absence of shortening, lard, or butter. I made these with olive oil, herbs, and scallions instead. So even though they may not be traditional, they make a fantastic accompaniment to dinner. They are also great eaten the next day for lunch with a side of tomatoes and fresh basil.

Herb biscuits are delicious and can be made with whatever herbs are overflowing in your herb garden right now. Sage and thyme would be a great combination too!

If you premix the dry ingredients these biscuits take no time at all to throw together. You can also freeze the biscuits and warm them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes (or until warm).

Read more…

Lemon Opera Cake

operacake1 Lemon Opera Cake

After seeing how much fun my fellow Gluten Free Bloggers were having with the Daring Bakers Challenges, I decided to join in the fun. And boy do they mean business when they say Daring! May’s challenge was to make an Opera Cake. When I read the ingredient list, the supply list, and scrolled down the list of instructions I knew I was in for quite an afternoon.

The Opera cake recipe is based on the Opera cake recipes in Dorie Greenspan’s Paris Sweets and Timothy Moriarity’s Chocolate Passion.

The recipe itself was not hard to make gluten free. The joconde (cake layer) was already made primarily of nut meal and had tons of eggs, so I figured it would make a great gluten free cake. I chose millet flour and sweet rice flour to substitute for the 1/2 cup flour called for in the joconde (cake layer). I also added 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum.

Since we could personalize our Opera Cake, I chose to make mine lemon flavored. My only other problem was the jelly roll pan size. I did not have the right size nor could I find the right size (at two stores). I opted to make my joconde in one 12 x 17 jelly roll pan and bake the leftover batter in a smaller pan so I could taste the results before assembling the entire cake. I baked my cake layer at 400 degrees because of this change. This meant I had to make 2 squares and 2 rectangle cuts from the one jelly roll pan, which resulted in a cake that was half the size (still serves about 10, so I was glad it worked out this way). This actually made the cake easier to handle/transport because the layers were smaller. The cake actually wasn’t that hard to make, but the steps and bowls required were a little daunting. I really enjoyed this cake, but the white chocolate is sweet (although delicious). I think I will stick to the darker flavors next time, but there will definitely be a next time. I think an Opera Cake makes a wonderful gluten free cake! Next time I will work on making it look like a fancy Opera Cake. I think it will be easier with darker flavors and a more experienced baker (me)! I should have piled on more butter cream frosting between the layers. I need to get better at this food styling thing! Check out the Daring Bakers’ Blogroll for more Opera Cakes that look even fancier than mine. It is easy to swap out the flour (my recommendation is 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum), so go check out the flavor variations!

operacake Lemon Opera Cake

Lemon Opera Cake

Joconde (Cake Layer)

6 large egg whites, at room temperature

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

2 cups almond meal/flour

2 cups icing sugar, sifted

6 large eggs (Note: You will need a total of 12 eggs but you will not use 6 of the egg yolks)

1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons millet flour

2 Tablespoons sweet rice flour

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 12 x 17 jelly roll pan (remember I had to change pan sizes from original recipe). You can also line with parchment paper but I did not have any handy. I also greased a small cake pan to pour the extra batter because of my pan dilemma. In your stand mixer (with whisk attachment), beat egg whites until soft peaks form and add the 2 Tablespoons sugar. Beat until stiff and shiny. If you don’t have another bowl for your stand mixer, pour egg mixture into separate bowl and clean for the next step. Fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment and mix the 6 whole eggs, powdered sugar, and almond meal together for about 3 minutes. Once fluffy, add your flours and xanthan gum. Combine but do not overmix. Using a rubber spatula gently fold in the egg mixture and stir in the melted butter. Pour most of the batter into the jelly roll pan (3/4 full) and pour remaining batter into a small cakepan. I used the joconde from the small cake pan as a taste test because I did not want to continue with the recipe if I did not like the results of the cake. However, the cake tasted great so I moved on. Bake for about 10-14 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Loosen the edges and unmold on a piece of parchment paper. Let cakes cool to room temperature.

Lemon Syrup

½ cup water

⅓ cup granulated sugar

2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Stir all the syrup ingredients together in the saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let the syrup cool to room temperature.

Lemon Butter Cream Frosting

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup water

seeds of one vanilla bean (split a vanilla bean down the middle and scrape out the seeds) or 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1¾ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 Tablespoon lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

2 Tablespoons lemon juice


Combine the sugar, water and vanilla and lemon extracts in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat just until the sugar dissolves.
Cook the syrup until the syrup reaches 225F on a candy or instant-read thermometer. Once it reaches 225 degrees, remove the syrup from the heat.

While the syrup is heating, begin whisking the egg and egg yolk at high speed in the bowl of your mixer using the whisk attachment. Whisk them until they are pale and foamy.

Reduce the mixer speed to low speed and begin slowly pouring the syrup into the egg mixture- be careful not to get any of the syrup on the sides of the mixer bowl. Some of the syrup will spin onto the sides of the bowl but don’t worry about this and don’t try to stir it into the mixture as it will harden!
Raise the speed to medium-high and continue beating until the egg mixture is thick and the mixture is cool to the touch. This will take about 5 minutes.

While you are waiting on the egg mixture to thicken, mash the softened butter in a bowl with a fork. Once the egg mixture becomes thick, add the butter in small chunks until is all incorporated. The buttercream mixture will be thick and shiny at this point.
Mix in 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 Tablespoon lemon zest and beat for an additional minute or so.

Refrigerate the buttercream. Go back and stir it occasionally until it is firm enough to be spread on the cake- this will take about 30 minutes. Note: You can not use salted butter in this recipe!

Lemon White Chocolate Mousse

7 ounces white chocolate

1 cup plus 3 tbsp. heavy cream

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice


Melt the white chocolate and the 3 tbsp. of heavy cream over a double boiler. Stir until smooth. Add the lemon juice and combine. Set aside to cool completely. In the bowl of a stand mixer (you have to wash this like 3 times), whip the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate. If it’s too thin, refrigerate it for a bit until it’s spreadable. Refrigerate until you are ready to use.

This was my favorite part of the whole recipe so don’t skip it!

White Chocolate Glaze

14 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup heavy cream

Melt the white chocolate with the heavy cream in a double boiler. Stir the mixture gently with a spatula until smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes and then pour over the chilled opera cake. Using a long cake cake spatula/frosting spreader, smooth the glaze into an even layer. Place the cake into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set.


Cut your joconde into four layers. In order to do this, I placed a piece of wax paper over the joconde layer. I measured the width of the cake with a ruler and marked the half way point. I took this measurement and marked it on the halfway point on the length side. I drew lines outlining my 2 rectangular and 2 square pieces and then cut them. Place one square of cake on your cake plate and moisten it gently with the flavoured syrup. Spread buttercream frosting over this layer. Top with the two rectangular pieces of cake, placing them side by side to form a square. Also Moisten these pieces with the flavoured syrup. Spread more buttercream frosting on this layer and then top with the third square of joconde. Use the remaining syrup to wet the joconde and then refrigerate until very firm (at least half an hour). Do not add buttercream to this layer- this is where the mousse will go.

Spread the mousse over the top layer once the cake is firm. Refrigerate for at least two to three hours so the mousse will set.

Make the glaze right before you finish the cake. After the glaze has cooled, pour/spread it over the top of the chilled cake. Refrigerate the cake again to set the glaze.

Serve the cake slightly chilled. This recipe will yield approximately 10 servings.

Candied Lemon Peels for Garnish

silueta 200px Lemon Opera Cake

Thanks to the hosts, Shea at Whiskful and Fran at Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie!

A Frugal Healthy Grocery Budget

fridge A Frugal Healthy Grocery Budget

Prices just keep going up at the grocery store! I thought it would be a good time to reflect on eating healthy and frugally, since sometimes it seems that the two are mutually exclusive. When you add on other dietary requirements or preferences like eating gluten free or shopping locally, it can seem downright impossible. I was raised that healthy eating is a priority and worth the expense, but there are ways to be frugal and eat healthy too. For those of us who are gluten-free, we know first-hand that what you put in your body matters! Consider healthy eating to be an investment in your future health.


1. Set your budget. I shop at a few different places for my groceries. I set a total budget and one for each place I shop. Paying with cash will help keep your budget in line.

2. Evaluate where you shop. For many of us, this may not just be about what is cheapest, but what is local. I try and balance my desire to buy what is local and organic with what is cheapest. If you are trying to eat healthy, your grocery list will likely consist of whole foods. You are not going to find a lot of coupons for these types of items. I ruled out playing the Grocery Game for this reason. I simply did not want to cut coupons when most coupons consist of items I couldn’t or shouldn’t buy. I also avoid my local grocery stores like Food Lion, Lowes, and Harris Teeter unless they are having an unbeatable sale on something I need, i.e. pantry sale. I find that shopping at SuperTarget or Walmart is always cheapest. I might be able to find a sale on a particular item at the other stores, but will then blow the savings on another item. Normal everyday items are always cheaper at these stores , so I buy as much off my list at SuperTarget as possible.

Price Check from just last week: Reduced Fat Feta Cheese was $5.69 at Lowe’s Grocery Store and $1.77 at SuperTarget.

I have a great SuperTarget in my area that carries a lot of organic foods and items like grass-fed beef, EnviroKidz Cereals, flax meal, and agave nectar at great prices.

Walmart is farther away and not worth the frustration for me. For us gluten-free folks, it is great that they clearly label their Great Value brand with allergy information.

Costco and similar warehouse type stores are not worth it for me either. Produce can be bought far cheaper at the Farmer’s market or Target. Paper towels and the like can be bought for about the same price if you wait for them to go on sale and stock up.

3. Do a Weekly Menu Plan. Try to limit your trips to the store with a well-thought out grocery list based around a weekly menu.

This is how I plan my menu!

  • Find out what is on sale before you plan your menu. I always go to the online Weekly Ad at SuperTarget to get coupons and find out what is on sale for the week. If you shop at a local grocery store, you probably get their ad in the mail every week.
  • Clean out your refrigerator and pantry. Not only will you make room for this week’s groceries, but the inventory you take will help you plan your menu. For example, if your bell pepper will only last another day or two, you might consider making a stir-fry early in the week. Note the items that need to be replaced and those that will need to be replaced in the near future.
  • Note the items you bought at the Farmer’s Market or received through your CSA subscription. When the Farmer’s Market is in season in North Carolina, I try and go on Saturday and plan my menu on Sunday evening.
  • Write down your budget for each store at the top of your grocery list. I have one for SuperTarget, one for Whole Foods, and possibly one for the Farmer’s Market or Amazon.
  • When planning your menu, pay attention to what meals require vegetables/fruit that may go bad and plan those meals for early in the week. Rely on vegetables and fruits for the latter part of the week that will keep a long time, like sweet potatoes. Another frugal option is to buy frozen vegetables for the last part of the week.
  • Write down your menu ideas for each day. Cookbooks, online recipes, and the Gluten Free Menu Swap are good places to start. I have started bookmarking favorite recipes on to make meal planning faster. I look for recipes all week rather than all at once. You might also find great success with a six week meal rotation.
  • Make sure that when you write down the meal idea, write your grocery list at the same time. Write a ballpark figure of what something costs and which brand you want to buy or whether you need to check the gluten-free status of the item. This way, if you are coming close to your budget you will know to plan lower cost meals rather than finding out at the end of your planning.
  • Once you have dinners done, plan ideas for breakfast and lunch too. My husband and I find that if we double a dinner recipe and eat the meal again for lunch our food bill is lower.
  • Leave room in your budget in case you find a good deal. If something goes on sale, you want to be able to take advantage of it without breaking the budget.
  • Keeping track of prices will help you plan your menu within your budget.

4. Don’t shop for specialty gluten-free items every week. Most of the time I find that it is much cheaper to stock up on gluten free flour at Bob’s Red Mill or Amazon than to buy it in the store at Whole Foods. FYI, I also plan to buy my agave nectar in the future through Amazon. It seems to be half the price of purchasing it at Whole Foods. My Whole Foods store does not sell any flour in bulk, but maybe your Whole Foods or local health food store does. I stock up on Tinkyada pasta when it goes on sale. I probably spend $25-50 on specialty items per month. I know this is a big range, but I budget for $50! It really depends on what I need to replace in a given month.

5. Learn to make things homemade. Chicken stock is much more healthy and inexpensive if made at home. If you are gluten-free and especially if you are casein-free, it may be very beneficial to invest in an ice cream and yogurt maker. Those alternative milk grocery items add up really fast!

6. Freeze baked goods and homemade bread. Gluten free items get stale rather quickly. Freeze what you won’t use immediately. Frozen muffins, quick breads, and dinners can be eaten during the week. Not only will you save yourself money, but possibly frustration over being gluten-free.

7. Do not go to restaurants. The biggest way to kill a food budget is to eat out. It is also a good way to get “gluten-ed.” If you are eating lunch away from home, brown bag it!

8. Eliminate sodas, bottled water, and juice. Soda is an expensive habit you might pass on to your kids. Tap water is less expensive than buying bottled water. And if you feel like orange juice, eat an orange. These habits are hard to break, but think dental bills!

9. Grow a Few Herbs and Vegetables at Home. Since I use herbs all the time, my little herb garden has been quite a money saver. My husband and I are going to plant a little garden in the backyard too. Frugal Dad created a Square Foot garden for about $40.

10. Don’t buy Non-Grocery Items at the Grocery Store. Don’t buy things like Diapers and Trash Bags at your grocery store, buy them at Target or Walmart. I suppose gigantic sales with triple coupon days could invalidate this one, but I just don’t play that game.

Add your own frugal tips in the comments!

Make sure to check out Gluten Free Cooking School’s 10 Strategies to Lower My Grocery Bill.

Asparagus Salad with Raspberry Almond Vinaigrette

asparagus Asparagus Salad with Raspberry Almond Vinaigrette

Gluten Free Mommy was mentioned in the May 2008 NFCA newsletter under “Hot Products.” How cool! Welcome to those of you who found the blog through the newsletter! If you don’t know about the NFCA, it stands for National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for celiac disease.

If you are interested in donating to their organization to help fund celiac research you can do so on the NFCA website.

whb two year icon Asparagus Salad with Raspberry Almond Vinaigrette Now on to my asparagus salad!

I am submitting this asparagus salad recipe to Weekend Herb Blogging hosted this week by Sweetnicks.

Weekend Herb Blogging was started by Kalyn’s Kitchen and it gives food bloggers the chance to show off recipes featuring a vegetable, herb, or flower. My featured herb this week is parsley. For years when reading the ingredient ‘parsley’ I merely skipped over it. Now I grow parsley and add it to a lot of my dinners. Parsley contains vitamin C and Iron which are invaluable to those who may have suffered from anemia. If you find that you have leftover parsley, you can freeze parsley (with water) in ice cube trays! Once the ice cubes have frozen, you can put the parsley cubes in plastic bags. If you would like to add parsley to soup, just throw in a parsley ice cube.


1/4 cup white balsamic raspberry vinegar (or other raspberry vinegar or sub champagne vinegar)

1 teaspoon almond oil (optional)

1 Tablespoon agave nectar

1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

1 Tablespoon shallot, minced (optional)


Asparagus spears, steamed until al dente (I used one bunch- sorry I didn’t weigh it!)

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Shredded or Shaved Parmesan or Asiago Cheese to taste


Cook your asparagus. Prepare your vinaigrette- combine all the ingredients and whisk (or shake) until well-mixed. For the salad, arrange the asparagus spears on a platter. Drizzle with vinaigrette and sprinkle with almonds and cheese (optional for those who are casein-free).

asparagus1 Asparagus Salad with Raspberry Almond Vinaigrette

I served this asparagus salad with pork tenderloin (lazily marinated with a little white wine, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper) and mashed sweet potatoes (plain, drizzled with agave nectar) for a tasty dinner.

This recipe would be suitable for South Beach Phase 2 since it contains agave nectar. If you omit the agave and use reduced fat cheese, it would be suitable for Phase 1.