Monthly Archives: March 2013

Easter Basket of Goodies! “3 Karat” Gluen Free Carrot Cupcakes with Pineapple Whipped Cream-Cream

To be sure it can’t be Easter week already! But alas, tis true… so time to throw together something tasty for all our favorite little (and big) bunnies. Lately, I’ve found myself concocting more and more gluten-free delights. About a year ago, my bestie Giny was thrust into the GF

Wendy & Giny... 1st grade circa 1963

Wendy & Giny… 1st grade circa 1963

world by her doc with little to no info on what that meant…. now keep in mind, “the girl don’t cook”… and like my dearly departed mama, makes no bones about it. Rather proud of it as a matter of fact. She has me on speed dial and calls me from the grocery store for guidance… or just for directions on how to get outta there before she breaks out in hives! (ok, just kidding) Her idea of ‘cooking’ supper “pre-gluten-freeous” was putting out some cheese and crackers. This journey has had us taste-testing a plethora of store bought GF stuff… from crackers to breads (ugh!) and I’ve been having fun throwing together new treats for her and the hubs… my human guinea pigs. I have become her culinary coach for this new journey and I must say, I’m darn proud of her accomplishments… and she’s tickled that her health has improved and she feels better to boot (and gets Wendy-made food, which Hubs particularly enjoys). In the process, I’ve had fun playing in the kitchen and have stirred up some pretty darn good stuff.

Also, for the past year, I have been doing some recipe development for a line of gluten free food products made here in North Carolina… and was featured on-stage chef for them at the premier Raleigh Gluten Free Expo last summer. The turnout was HUGE and will be in a bigger venue this year… stay tuned about that. From that collaboration came a marathon personal chef cook’n last week for a family member of the company… my first 30 breakfasts/30 lunches/30 suppers!
Ninety meals and sides! If that keeps up, I need to be investigating new orthopedic appliances. The sweet little lady has painful neuropathy in her feet so after trying everything else, we’re trying gluten free for her. We are all hoping this clean-eating will bring some relief… time will tell.

Mainstream eaters are migrating to more gluten free options too, self included. My sis and BIL along with his in-laws are all virtually gluten free now. It’s rather simple to cook and eat this way… especially IF you use nekkid foods… and stay away from all the processed gunk filling the shelves and coolers in the grocery stores. If you don’t read labels, START NOW. We are what we eat… so do you know what all that stuff is you can’t pronounce you are eating and feeding those you love? As a gal who shops, cooks and eats Nekkid, I encourage you all to point yourself in that direction and challenge yourself to eat “clean.” I’m not 100% there, but I do read labels, and cook fresh foods… because “undressed tastes best!”

With all this in mind, and because I’d love nothing more than to be in my kitchen concocting new recipes all day every day, I hopped right in there today to create the Easter recipe I woke up with this morning. Somehow, I seem to have it in my genes to just know what to throw together and rarely do I have a failure… and few tweaks are needed. That was true with these Easter cupcakes… I did not have to adjust one thing after making the first batch… tasty, moist and gluten free! This is a perfect recipe for children to throw together too. And a great way to get veggies into those picky eaters.

I hope you will make a batch of these… they can be thrown together in about 5 minutes while the oven is preheating…. and on their way out in about 25 minutes. Thirty minutes to an Easter dessert that will make all your guests “hoppy” that are not super sweet and just right to top off your Easter buffet… especially your gluten free friends who often have to bypass dessert.

Here’s to a Blessed Easter season to you and yours… and be sure not to forget the reason for the season...."3 Karat" Gluten Free Carrot Cupcakes

…make as cupcakes, mini cupcakes or layer cake!

Gluten Free Carrot Cupcakes

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes, 24 bite size cupcakes or 1 layer cake

Gluten Free Carrot Cupcakes

These moist gluten-free carrot cupcakes are a perfect dessert for your Easter buffet... not too sweet or heavy, and a great treat anytime for those picky eaters who need more secret veggies!

What to throw together...

  • 2 1/2 cups almond meal (I prefer from Trader Joe's)
  • 1/2 cup Sucanat organic sugar (or brown sugar)
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 2 cups (about 3 large) grated carrots
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise (only Duke's used in my kitchen)
  • 3 farm fresh eggs
  • PINEAPPLE WHIPPED CREAM

  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 1-8 ounce creamed cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1- 15 1/4 ounce crushed pineapple in juice, well drained
  • 2 tablespoons honey

How to throw together...

  1. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  2. Line cupcake pan with papers. Divide mixture into cupcake papers.
  3. Bake about 20-25 minutes until center is done to touch.
  4. Cool and frost with your favorite frosting or dollop of Pineapple Whipped Cream:
  5. Whip cream and cream cheese until well blended and stiff peaks. Fold in extract, pineapple and honey.

...gently sweetened with local honey, this Pineapple Whipped Cream-Cream is just right to dollop on the cupcakes!

…gently sweetened with local honey, this Pineapple Whipped Cream-Cream is just right to dollop on the cupcakes!

 

Southern Colcannon… get’n my Irish on for a day!

Southern Colcannon with NC Sweet Potatoes

Southern Colcannon featuring North Carolina Sweet Potatoes and Wendy’s Cabbards (collards and cabbage) @ WendysHomeEconomics.com

UPDATE…. my Colcannon and “Cabbards” recipes were published in Our State Magazine in March 2015! This is such a tasty recipe to serve anytime, but just right for adding a southern twist to your St. Patrick’s Day supper table.

With all the blogs and newsletters filling my inbox with St. Patty’s Day recipes, I got to pondering what I could do to put the “Wendy Twist” on things while throwing some Irish South In Your Mouth. So far as I know, there’s nary a drop of Irish in me, but green IS my favorite color.  Those are (that is) my credential(s) for this recipe.

All my life, I’ve seen “colcannon” but never really paid attention to what that is, so being the Culinary Adventurist that I am, it was time for me to dig deeper… turns out, “DIGging” around was appropriate since this dish involved taters that have been dug up… somewhere…  sometime.

I first turned to a few dictionaries to find out just what such an oddly named dish is made of… and find that to be potatoes, greens (traditionally kale, but cabbage and other greens have come to be used), butter and seasoning.  Bestill me heart, you little Leprechan!  Some of my FAVs… this is a no-brainer for me.  Since I love to sub this for that, and that for the other, I got to it.

Let’s start with the potato part.  Seeing as how I am lucky to live in the heart of sweet potato country here in North Carolina, it only makes sense to me to throw aside plain old potatoes and grab Sweet Taters as I mostly prefer using anytime a potato is called for…  This past week, at my local Piggly Wiggly, I got THE best white sweet potatoes… about the best of ANY colored sweet potato ever to pass my lips… so good in fact I got a whole case of them.  All you have to do is throw some in the oven and bake until nice and soft when squished with a hot pot pad.  (Note: I Dig the Pig, cause they are local folks who buy local NC goodies for their store.)

Next.. cabbage.  I do luv me some cabbage, but even mo’ better are my cabbards.  We’ve cooked those here before… and just so happens I still have plenty of my winter stash in the freezer, so just had to thaw and heat those.

Ahhh… Butter!  A staple in my kitchen.  Not much that makes butter better… except browning! I’ve been throwing browned butter into all sorts of stuff lately, so why not atop my Southern Colcannon too?  And according to the song I found, see below (after creating my recipe), it seems there is supposed to be a butter hole on top!  So there’s your pot ‘o gold.  Toasty, nutty browned butter.  I’m quite certain the fountains in heaven doth flow with luscious browned butter.

As I read more about Colcannon, it seems that it is mostly served with ham.  Yet another staple in my kitchen, it only makes sense to this “Irish for a day gal” that a helping ‘o country ham (from here in North Carolina of course) snuggles up next to my concoction of Southern Colcannon!

Now that, my friends, is my contribution to the day of Irish celebration.  Colcannon is so groovy, it has its own song.
So here you go… tap along.

The song “Colcannon”, also called “The Skillet Pot”, is a traditional Irish song that has been recorded by many artists.

“Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?”

The chorus:

“Yes you did, so you did, so did he and so did I.
And the more I think about it sure the nearer I’m to cry.
Oh, wasn’t it the happy days when troubles we had not,
And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot.”

The story of its name and the colcannon traditionalists versus “the other group” is rather interesting.  I’ll let you decide if you need to know more… over here!

And on a personal “toot my horn” note, St. Patty’s Day is special for me… because it was on that day in 2005 I QUIT SMOKING!

If you have a Colcannon story or memory to share, please do in the comment box.  Share your recipe too… for Colcannon or how you quit smoking.

Southern Colcannon… get’n my Irish on for a day!

Rating: 51

Southern Colcannon… get’n my Irish on for a day!

What to throw together...

  • baked sweet potatoes, any kind but white used in photo
  • cooked and seasoned cabbards, cabbage or collards
  • roughly chopped scallion, white and green parts (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • browned butter

How to throw together...

  1. Use about equal parts baked sweet potatoes and greens. Exactness is not important.
  2. Throw baked potatoes into mixing bowl and mash. Fold in greens and mix well. If using, add scallion into mixture and stir to combine. Or, simply add into greens when cooking or heating. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Make well in serving of colcannon and fill with browned butter.
  4. ENJOY!

“Ewww Be GONE!” homemade veggie wash…

“Ewwww Be Gone”…. all natural veggie wash for your fresh produce!

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