Monday, December 24, 2012

GF French Silk Pie - with a great GF crust

                       Gluten-Free French Silk Pie!
          Of Course filling of a French silk pie is naturally gluten-free but not the crust - this GF crust is awesome - perhaps better than a gluten one! 


         1 1/4 cups GF rice flour blend
         1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
         1/2 teaspoon salt
         6 tablespoons cold butter
         1 large egg
         2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar

1) Lightly grease a 9" pie pan.
2) Whisk together the flour or flour blend, sugar, xanthan gum, and salt.
3) Cut the cold butter into pats, then work the pats into the flour mixture till it's crumbly, with some larger, pea-sized chunks of butter remaining.
4) Whisk the egg and vinegar or lemon juice together till very foamy. Mix into the dry ingredients. Stir until the mixture holds together, adding 1 to 3 additional tablespoons cold water if necessary.
5) Shape into a ball and chill for an hour, or up to overnight.
6) Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before rolling.
7) Roll out on a piece of plastic wrap, on a silicone rolling mat, or in a pie bag that's been heavily sprinkled with gluten-free flour or flour blend. Invert the crust into the prepared pie pan.
8) Fill and bake as your pie recipe directs.
Yield: crust for one 9" single-crust pie.
         The egg yolk makes this crust vulnerable to burned edges, so always shield the edges of the crust, with aluminum foil or a pie shield, to protect them while baking.
         To pre-bake without filling, preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the bottom with pie weights, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the weights, and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, till the crust is a light golden brown.

French silk filling –
3 oz Hershey's® unsweetened chocolate, cut into pieces
1 cup Butter, softened (do not use margarine)
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
4  eggs
½ cup sweetened whipped cream

Chocolate curls, if desired

In 1-quart saucepan, melt chocolate over low heat; cool. In small bowl with electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in cooled chocolate and vanilla until well blended.

Add eggs 1 at a time, beating on high speed 2 minutes after each addition; beat until mixture is smooth and fluffy. Pour into cooled baked shell. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate curls. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Melted Crayon Ornaments!

It may be wrong - but I love to melt crayons!!!
This Pinterest inspired project is Hot! Literally! But so much fun!

Here's How it's done -
What you will need: Clear glass ornaments, crayons, and a hair dryer.

Take the top off of the ornament and drop in bits of crayon - not too many. Think about color mixing for best results (This is where I hope you listened to your art teacher and remember how colors mix!)
Put the top back on and hold by the top. Apply heat to the crayons until they begin to melt. 

Spin or twirl the ornament to allow the crayon to spread around the ornament. Careful! It does get hot! 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Pinterest Project #11 - Not really a project but a very handy tip!

Chocolate Chip Storage - Genius!

I pinned this one a while back and knew we had to try it. Chuck and I love, I mean really Love, our Ghiraardelli 60% dark chocolate chips. We prefer them to be kept in the freezer. They are super good like that. If you haven't ever tried them - give 'em a go! They satisfy that need for something just a bit sweet and my ever present chocolate craving.

These are great chips but the bag rips easily. So if you go to grab the bag and sprinkle out a handful you may end up having some fall out of ripped sections of the bag. I get really upset at the shameless loss of such good chocolate as they bounce to the floor! (There is no 5 second rule in this house - we live with two labs!)

So when I saw this idea I thought it looked genius. I had a couple of failures at trying to get it to work though. First I tried a regular water bottle - which is what the pinned picture looked like to me. See the pin here.  It worked to close it but really was too small of an opening to let chips come out.  Then I tried a larger water bottle, but the opening wasn't really any wider. I spotted a Gatorade bottle in the store and knew that would probably work better. 

So a trip into Sara's room and her overflowing garbage can supplied me with a Gatorade bottle. I had to fish around a bit to find the lid...Jeez...the junk food wrappers in there! After a good rinsing and drying, I cut the bottle to just keep the top portion. I cut open a new bag of chocolate chips along the seam and fed it through the opening in the bottle, wrapped the extra down the side, and made sure the chips had a clear opening to make their way out. The lid was able to twist right on securing them from spilling out!

 Here's how it looks with the lid off. Like my new nail color?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pinterest Project #10 - Melted Crayon Art

Of Course - Did you really think I wouldn't get around to this one?!
Choosing a 102 degree day was probably not the best idea -but it worked out well and the melting was fast!

Here's the finished project -

I decided to try something a bit different than just melting the crayons. I wanted to incorporate text into the design so I cut out letters in duct tape and stuck them onto the canvas. My thought is that I would melt the crayons over and around the tape and then pull it off when the wax was hardened.

I picked out the crayons I wanted and hot glued them in place.

Then out to the back deck with the blow dryer (in 102 degree sun) and let the melting begin. I really wasn't sure how the wax would react. I figured it would drip down as I turned the canvas. I was surprised by the splattering the happened. Luckily I put a piece of brown paper down as I melted, but it didn't all stay there...could be a bit of color on the deck and even possibly the house (oops).

After the wax was hard, I peeled the tape letters off. I was expecting the caves to be white under the tape but some of the color must have seeped under. I liked the look, however the word was a bit hard to read so I went over the edge of the letters with a black sharpie.

Molly gives her sniff of approval!

If you want some other melted crayon ideas - visit my Pinterest board "Crayon Projects"

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Lemon Poppy Seed Yumminess!

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with lemon glaze
It has been awhile since I used my cupcake pans...just haven't been baking much lately. So it was time! Chuck seemed quite pleased when I mentioned thinking about making lemon poppy seed muffins today while we were at the store - he quickly added, "with the lemon glaze!"  The recipe I normally would have used for this would have been my sister-in-law's recipe in a wonderful family cookbook she gave us one year. Unfortunately that calls for a box mix and pudding that are not gluten-free. =(  But I went on the hunt for a from-scratch recipe that I could adjust to make it GF as well as a bit less of the unhealthy sugar that Chuck and I try to avoid when we bake things.

I have not yet tasted one...too full after the best ever sesame chicken...but he has had at least two and declare them to be great. So Success!!

The final adjusted recipe can be found on the following page of this blog - Gluten-Free Cupcake & Muffin Recipes

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pinterest Project #9 - Even Better GF Sesame Chicken

Gluten-Free Sesame Chicken - This One is a Keeper!!

I tried what I thought was a pretty good Sesame Chicken recipe last week -(Pinterest Project #6). It was yummy - but this one I pinned more recently looked more like the sesame chicken I used to get at Chinese restaurants before going GF. So tonight I gave this one a try. So glad I did!!! This one is Very Good!!!!

Here's the original pin --> 
The blog that  is linked to has a bunch of really good recipes.

Pinterest Project #8 - Let's Melt Some Plastic Beads!

Melted Inexpensive Pony Beads = Suncatcher!

This idea was pinned to my "Gotta Try" board. You place a single layer of plastic beads into a metal pan and heat them at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Here's the original pin -->

So here's what I did ---
I grabbed a couple of pans. I thought this heart pan would work nice and I had some small fluted pans (honestly don't know where these came from!) I put a small nut into the heart pan - thinking that it would leave a hole for hanging. I placed both of these on a cookie sheet to make it easier to handle.

 Then I just started filling the heart with beads I thought would work well together. It was taking quite awhile to pick out these colors and get them into a single layer, so I enlisted the help of Shawn to make it go faster (and to give him something different to do). I asked him if he wanted to help me with an experiment. "Are we going to blow something up?" He asked with a smile. "No, not today...we're going to melt something."

When I told Shawn I was going to melt the plastic beads in the oven he asked, "Isn't that kind of toxical?" Gotta love him!  I turned the exhaust fan onto high just make sure it didn't smell too "toxical", lol.

The little pan took about 20 minutes. The larger heart took about 25 minutes.

I had Shawn put some blue opaque beads into the little one because I wanted to see if these would look as good as the transparent ones. They came out interesting -but not for a suncatcher. They would look good as a melted bowl perhaps.

Isn't this heart-shaped one pretty right out of the oven?
 I did a second run of these using a round cake pan that was smaller than the heart one. I noticed from my first trial that the nut worked -but wasn't really needed. To create a hole just leave beads out of a small area. So that is what I did on the round one. I also put the beads into a design on my second try. I think I like it better randomly placed.

I strung the heart and the round shape together and placed them into the garden. The sun bounced off them as the spun around with the breeze.

 Here's the little guys from the fluted pan. It's better to use a smooth-sided pan. These have sharp edges.