Gluten Free For Good


More About Melissa

Archive for November, 2010

gluten-free pumpkin pecan boyfriend bait

I know, I know. Not the best keyword-rich title for a recipe post, but these cupcakes lead to hanky-panky. I thought I better mention that right off.

Sometimes I just can’t help myself. Off-the-wall recipe titles often trump SEO in my world. I understand that’s not the best strategy for improving online search results, but it’s so much more fun. Plus, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to mix cupcakes with sex.

According to a recent study by the Taste and Smell Treatment and Research Foundation, essence of pumpkin is the way to a man’s heart. Or, at least to his boy parts.

Dr. Alan Hirsch and his smart-smelling colleague, Dr. Jason Gruss, conducted an in-depth plethysmographic (don’t even ask) study on the food smells men find most sexually stimulating. Empirically documented through hemodynamic testing (so to speak).

The results are in and guess what, ladies? No need to wear high heels or buy expensive perfume (not that I do either). Just stick a doughnut in your pocket, munch on some licorice and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice in your hair. You’ll be irresistible.

But, be careful. I’d think twice before setting bait for the doughnut guys.

The Top 10 Odors Male Volunteers Responded To
actively responded to, like in a physically noticeable way)
1. Pumpkin pie and lavender
2. Doughnut and black licorice
3. Pumpkin pie and doughnut
4. Orange
5. Lavender and doughnut
6. Black licorice and cola
7. Black licorice
8. Doughnut and cola (doughnuts and cola? seriously? who are these guys?)
9. Lily of the valley
10. Buttered popcorn

So — the way to a man’s heart (with a stop here and there) is through pumpkin pie spice and doughnuts? I bet men wish the reverse was that simple.

Doughnuts versus shiny, sparkly things.

Men are from Mars via Dunkin’ Donuts and women are from Venus via the jewelry store (or in my case, Bent Gate Mountaineering).

Here’s a recipe for love ~
Gluten-free pumpkin pecan boyfriend bait cupcakes
(I threw in some chocolate so the ladies would also be in the mood)

what you need
1 and 1/2 cup Pamela’s Gluten-Free Baking & Pancake Mix
1 and 1/2 teaspoon 5-spice blend *
1/3 cup organic Turbinado sugar (or another form of sugar)
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla (I used Madagascar vanilla — sniff and swoon)
1 and 1/2 cups pumpkin purée (I used Farmer’s Market canned organic pumpkin pie mix, it smells divine)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional, but recommended for obvious reasons)

what you do
• In a medium bowl, whisk together Pamela’s mix with the 5 spice blend. Set aside.
• Place melted coconut oil and sugar in mixer bowl and mix on medium speed until well blended. Blend in eggs (one at a time), vanilla and pumpkin pie purée.
• Slowly add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until well blended.
• Fold in chopped pecans and chocolate chips.
• Fill paper-lined muffin tins 3/4ths full and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 22 to 26 minutes (depending on your oven temperature), or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. You can also use silicone baking cups.
• Cool on wire rack and see what happens.

* I use Frontier Chinese Five Spice powder. Oh my gosh, the research team should have set their standards higher than doughnuts and popcorn. This stuff is heavenly. It’s a bit exotic though, so if you want to play it safe, use cinnamon (1 teaspoon) and nutmeg (1/4 teaspoon).

* I didn’t make this research story up. Here’s the official study. Anybody up (no pun intended) for a gluten-free version of this research?

You might also like the smell of garam masala and Moroccan stew. Very sensual.

Peace, love and sexy cupcakes.
P.S. I almost forgot. These cupcakes are wonderful! Top with cream cheese frosting or vanilla ice cream and serve at your own risk. And selectively.

gluten-free cherry cobbler

Those of you who have been following this blog know I’m head-over-heels in love with my local farmer, Andy Grant. The way to this woman’s heart is via freshly harvested, organic produce.

Or expensive glittery things.

Or new backcountry gear.

A study in contrasts? Most likely. I have no problem wearing sparkly earrings while backpacking the Colorado Trail and eating organically grown, homemade, dehydrated kale soup or bison jerky. I love my life.

But I digress. Sort of.

The organic cherries used in this cobbler were locally grown and part of last week’s CSA delivery from Grant Family Farms. They were harvested some time ago, frozen as organic pie cherries and saved for fall baking. And oh my gosh – what a difference between the canned, processed, blah version of pie cherries and these little gems.

This recipe is my contribution to Shauna and Danny’s Gluten Free Thanksgiving Baking Challenge and online celebratory launch of their tasty new cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef (which by the way, is wonderful).

Melissa’s gluten-free cherry cobbler
what you need for the filling

• 3 cups unsweetened pie cherries, about 1 & 1/2 pounds
• 2/3 cup organic cane sugar (or turbinado sugar)
• 2 tablespoons Pamela’s GF Baking & Pancake Mix
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• dash of sea salt

what you need for the crumble topping
• 1/2 cup organic cane sugar (or turbinado sugar)
• 3/4 cup Pamela’s GF Baking & Pancake Mix
• 1/3 cup pastured butter (frozen works best)
• 1 cup chopped pecans
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

what you do
• Preheat oven to 400 degrees
• Put prepared cherries in a large bowl
• In a medium bowl, mix up the dry ingredients you need for the cherry filling
• Pour over cherries, gently folding until well blended and cherries are covered
• Put cherry mixture in a glass pie dish
• Mix up the ingredients for the crumble topping *
• Place crumble topping mixture over cherries and press firmly in place
• Place pie on center rack of oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, checking after 20 or 30 minutes to make sure the top isn’t burning (I cover the pie loosely with tin foil after about 30 minutes to prevent burning)
• Tip – place tin foil on the bottom of the oven to prevent a mess if it boils over

* Freeze the butter and then grate it into the mixture using a cheese grater. It’s much easier than cutting it into the mix using knives.

* Shauna and Danny will be in Colorado on their book tour. Please check here for times and places and join in on the gluten-free fun.

Peace, joy and gluten-free love.

sweet and spicy gluten-free Moroccan stew

This Moroccan stew is steeped in sensuality. The sweet and spicy smells of garam masala and cayenne pepper give a hint of what’s to come. Garam masala is to me what madeleines were to Proust. I love the stuff. The smell alone is intoxicating. There’s a divine fusion of sultry aromas and warming spices in this stew.

Excuse me while I sniff the spice bottle.

“I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through my whole body and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place. An exquisite pleasure invaded my senses…” Marcel Proust (1871-1922) Remembrance of Things Past

I know exactly what he means, although my pleasure fixation is not for madeleines. It’s for the cardamom, cinnamon, cayenne, clove, cumin, coriander and black pepper that give this stew such complex and sensual flavor.

Walk into a fine spice shop and take a deep, slow whiff of freshly ground and mixed garam masala. You’ll know what I mean.

sweet and spicy gluten-free Morrocan stew
what you need

2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
2/3 lb organic, 100% grass fed beef, cut into stew cubes
1 medium onion, chopped, about 1-1/4 cup
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped in 1 inch cubes, about 3 cups
3 garden-fresh and roasted tomatoes (optional, but good) *
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained *
6 mejool dates, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup coconut milk (optional, but good)
1-2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper *
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

what you do
• Preheat oven to 375 degrees if you choose to add roasted tomatoes. Wash and cut tomatoes into quarters. Put in a bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil, add some sea salt and freshly ground pepper and toss to coat. Place in a shallow glass baking dish, skin side down and put on center rack of the oven for 20 minutes. (You can do this as you’re preparing the other ingredients.) Let cool slightly and mash with a fork. Set aside for later.
• Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large soup pot or sauce pan. Add beef chunks in batches, so they don’t crowd each other. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper and brown on all sides, about 4 or 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
• Add a little more coconut oil to the pot (1/2 to 1 tablespoon). Add the onion and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes, until golden brown. Add garlic and continue cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often.
• Pour the chicken broth into the pot and add the chopped sweet potato chunks. Bring to a low boil and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
• Add the beef, roasted and smashed tomatoes, garbanzo beans, mejool dates, coconut milk and spices. Gently stir to combine ingredients. Let simmer until juices thicken and ingredients combine. Add the cilantro, cook for another 2 or 3 minutes.
• Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
• Take a big sniff, serve and enjoy. Makes about 6 servings.

Eat alone as a stew or pour over brown rice. Next time I think I’ll add a few chunks of candied ginger. Doesn’t that sound good?

* The tomatoes are an option. I have so many tomatoes right now, I’m tossing them in everything I make.
* Eden Organics uses BPA-free cans.
* If you don’t want spicy, skip the cayenne pepper and use 1-2 teaspoons of paprika. I actually used more cayenne pepper than I mentioned in the recipe, but I like spicy.

Peace, love and aromatic spices.

Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for informational and educational use only and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Consult with your physician regarding any health or medical concerns you may have.
recent posts

my book
(co-written with Pete Bronski)

stay connected
Gluten Free For Good on Facebook Gluten Free For Good on Twitter Gluten Free For Good RSS Feed

Subscribe with Bloglines
Add to Feedburner
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to Google
Add to NewsGator
Add to MyAOL