Thursday, December 23, 2010

Slow Cooker Bacon Jam

1 1/2 lbs sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1" pieces
2 medium yellow onions, diced small
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 cup brewed coffee

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium high, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon from skillet (reserve for another use); add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup and coffee and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes. Add bacon and stir to combine.

Transfer mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker and cook on high, uncovered until liquid is syrupy, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. (Or leave in the skillet on very low for about half that time, stirring occasionally). Transfer to a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Let cool, then refrigerate in airtight containers, up to 4 weeks.

Makes 3 cups
Active time: 30 minutes / Total time: 4 hours
Original recipe: Everyday Food Magazine


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10 TBL Earth Balance Butter
3/4 cup sugar

1 cup Wendy Warks Flour Blend
1/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1/3 cup coconut flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 pack (about 2 tsp) unflavored gelatin
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp powdered egg replacer

1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp powdered vanilla extract
3 TBL Silk vanilla soy creamer
3 TBL Dairy free sour cream


preheat oven to 375*F

Cream butter and sugar.
In a separate bowl blend the following: Wendy Warks flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, coconut flour, xanthan gum, gelatin, baking powder and egg replacer.
Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter until a "sand" like consistency forms.
Turn off beater and add in all at once the vanilla extract, powdered extract, creamer and sour cream.  Mix until dough forms.

Roll half of the dough at a time between two pieces of parchment paper, to 1/8” thick. Cut into desired shapes on one of the parchment papers and pull away the excess negative space dough leaving the cookies in place so they don't become misshapen by moving them. Place the parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake at 375*F for 8-10 minutes  or until the edges and bottoms are very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.



500g / 1lb 2 oz icing (confectioner's) sugar
2 lemons
3 - 4 teaspoons glycerine

Sift the sugar into a the bowl of a mixer.
Juice and strain the lemons.
Beating continously, gradually add the juice and glyercine to the sugar

Originally sourced at:

Vegan Royal Icing:

3 tbsp water
2 tbsp egg replacer powder
3 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
Add water to egg replacer and whip with electric beaters until it's thick. Add cream of tartar and 1/2 a cup of the icing sugar and mix until thick. Add another 1/2 cup of icing sugar and whip until thick again. Finally add the last 3/4 of a cup icing sugar and beat until a thick icing forms. If it's too thick (which mine was) add another 1/8-1/4 cup water slowly while beating until it softens a little (I added too much! Disaster area, seriously!!)

Originally sourced at:


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1/3 cup butter (room temp)
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg*
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup potato starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp unflavoured gelatin
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (scant)
1 tbsp milk


preheat oven to 375*F

In a large bowl, beat margarine and shortening until creamy. Add sugar to cream.
In a seperate bowl whisk egg and vanilla. Add to creamed butter mixture.
Add rice flour, xanthan gum, gelatin, baking powder and salt. Beat well.
Add tapioca starch and potato starch. Beat until well combined.
Add milk if needed.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours.
Divide the dough in half and chill the unused portion of the dough until needed.
On a lightly rice-floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time, to 1/8” thick. Cut into desired shapes and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. (if the dough becomes sticky, return to the fridge to chill again.)
Bake at 375*F for 7-8 minutes (for 2 ½ inch cookies; less for smaller ones, more for larger ones) or until the edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

From Sheri L. Sanderson's "Incredible Edible Gluten-Free Food for Kids" cookbook.
*I've tried making this without eggs... doesn't convert. The cookies melt out of shape too much.



Royal Icing Using Egg Whites:

2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups (330 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted

Royal Icing Using Meringue Powder:

4 cups (440 grams) confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar
3 tablespoons (30 grams) meringue powder
1/2 teaspoon extract (vanilla, lemon, almond)
1/2 - 3/4 cup (120 - 180 ml) warm water


For Royal Icing with Egg Whites:
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg whites with the lemon juice. Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined and smooth. The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.

For Royal Icing with Meringue Powder: In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the confectioners' sugar and meringue powder until combined. Add the water and beat on medium to high speed until very glossy and stiff peaks form (5 to 7 minutes). If necessary, to get the right consistency, add more powdered sugar or water. The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.

To cover or 'flood' the entire surface of the cookie with icing, the proper consistency is when you lift the beater, the ribbon of icing that falls back into the bowl remains on the surface of the icing for a few seconds before disappearing.

Makes about 3 cups (Enough for a double batch of the sugar cookie recipe listed above)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Homemade Chicken Stock

A savory stock perfect for soups, stews and a variety of other dishes, brought to you by The Barefoot Contessa.

3 (5-pound) chickens
3 large onions, unpeeled and quartered
6 carrots, unpeeled and halved
4 celery stalks with leaves, cut in thirds
4 parsnips, unpeeled and cut in 1/2, optional
20 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
15 sprigs fresh thyme
20 sprigs fresh dill
1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in 1/2 crosswise
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

Place the chickens, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, salt, and peppercorns in a 16 to 20-quart stockpot with 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Skim the surface as needed. Simmer uncovered for 4 hours. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander, discarding the chicken and vegetables, and chill. Discard the hardened fat, and then pack the broth in quart containers.

Yield: 6 quarts

Lentil Sausage Soup

This is a delightful soup brought to you by The Barefoot Contessa (Episode: Tale of Two Soups). It's the perfect soup for a cold winter night with a wonderful meaty flavor in which thick rich lentils add to the hardiness of this flavorful soup. We often have bulk mild Italian sausage on hand which is easily subbed for the kielbasa, just brown in a separate pan and add at the same time.

1 pound French green lentils (recommended: du Puy)
1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for serving
4 cups diced yellow onions (3 large)
4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (2 leeks)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 large cloves)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups medium diced celery (8 stalks)
3 cups medium diced carrots (4 to 6 carrots)
3 quarts Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 pound kielbasa, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and sliced 1/3-inch thick
2 tablespoons dry red wine or red wine vinegar
Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.

In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and tender. Add the celery and carrots and saute for another 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and drained lentils, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender. Check the seasonings. Add the kielbasa and red wine and simmer until the kielbasa is hot. Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.