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Lemon Raspberry Muffins – From Beth

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One year ago, Katie’s and my friend, Shea, delivered her third beautiful baby girl.  While I visited with her at the hospital, she mentioned that she was hungry and her husband offered to get her something from the hospital cafe.  He suggested several possibilities to her, among them different kinds of muffins.  I know, MUFFINS!  One of the kinds of muffins he mentioned was lemon-raspberry.  That was it!  My mind was fixated on the thought of lemon-raspberry muffins.  I had never had one before, in fact, I’d never even heard of that combination but the idea immediately captivated me.  So, after I got home, I set about creating a recipe for them.  I started with a lemon-poppyseed recipe from Gluten-Free Baking Classics, and tweaked and adjusted it to my tastes.  It is now my favorite muffin and, I have to add, my daughter who is not gluten-free is jealous of those muffins.  The gluten-free products in our home are reserved for Matthew and I, due to the cost and labor involved in keeping us supplied with food.  So, every now and then, I have to make up a batch of non-gluten-free muffins for her.

When I make these, I use frozen raspberries, because I found that fresh ones were to delicate to stir into the batter without breaking them to pieces.  Even with frozen ones, you have to be careful to stir gently so you don’t just end up with pink batter.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do.  And happy birthday, Baby “A-B”!

Lemon-Raspberry Muffins

2 Cups Brown Rice Flour Mix
2 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. xanthan gum
½ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. grated lemon peel (I use what I can get from one good-sized lemon)
1 Cup sugar
½ Cup + 2 Tbsp. canola oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp. lemon extract
¾ Cup milk
2 Cups frozen raspberries

1 Cup powdered sugar
Juice of one lemon

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, and lemon rind in bowl.
  3. In mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, eggs, lemon extract then add milk.  Beat for 1 minute.  Add flour mixture to bowl and mix until blended.  Fold in raspberries by hand, just until mixed through batter.
  4. Divide batter between muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean and muffins are slightly browned. With frozen berries, it could take a little longer.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool in tins.
  6. Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice and drizzle over muffins.  I allow the glaze to set, then wrap muffins individually in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag in the freezer.

Lemon Coconut and Banana Nut Muffins

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I owe you some recipes!

Remember this?









I just enjoyed a delicious banana muffin for breakfast. Ok, it was two, but they are small. I didn’t do the 1 1/2 recipe like Beth talked about.

This past Saturday, I had some bananas that were screaming to be made into muffins. I’d been wanting to stock up my freezer with some baked goods, so I flipped open Gluten Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts ((Hi Annalise!) <—I’ll explain that later! :)), to make banana nut muffins – sans the nuts. The recipe happens to be on the page next to the lemon coconut muffins. Have you ever had a lemon coconut muffin? I had never, nor had I ever heard of the combination. I looked over the recipe and discovered I had all the ingredients. The basic recipe is identical for the two flavors so I decided to mix up both. It was rainy, my freezer was void of yummy baked goods and I was in the mood to bake, so why not?

It was easy to mix up both recipes at the same time and I had both in the oven with only a few minutes added onto the time it would have taken me just to do the banana. Score!

I’ve made the banana muffins quite a few times, so I know they are a family favorite. I love how light and cakey they are. They get that perfectly delicious “gooey” top like my Mom’s banana bread recipe does. That’s my favorite part! My oldest ate one as soon as they cooled enough and while her mouth was still full from her last bite, looked at me and said, “Can I have another one?”

The lemon coconut muffins smelled wonderful and I was tapping my toes as they cooled enough to dig in. They are really good! I love the texture the coconut gives and I like that the lemon flavor is there, but to me, allows the coconut to be the star. Hubby and I did decide that if you wanted to give these a more dessert like twist, a lemon glaze topped with some toasted coconut would be awesome!

Lemon Coconut Muffins

2 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 packed tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Position rack in center of oven. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt in large mixing bowl. Add coconut and lemon rind and stir to combine.
  3. Combine milk and oil in small bowl; remove 1 tablespoon of combined liquid and discard it. Beat in eggs. Add liquids to flour mixture and stir until just blended.
  4. Fill muffin pans 2/3 full. Sprinkle top with granulated sugar. Bake 18-25 minutes until light and golden. Remove from pan and serve immediately.

Makes 12 muffins. Muffins can be store in an air-tight container in refrigerator or covered with plastic wrap and then with foil and stored in freezer for up to 3 weeks. Best when eaten within 3 days of baking. Rewarm briefly in microwave.

Banana Nut Muffins

2 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 packed cup very ripe chopped bananas (about 2 medium bananas)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
**I add a teaspoon of vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Position rack in center of oven. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray (or three 5X3 inch loaf pans).
  2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt and cinnamon in large mixing bowl. Add bananas and walnuts; stir to coat evenly.
  3. Combine milk and oil in small bowl; remove 1 tablespoon of combined liquid and discard it. Beat in eggs. Add liquids to banana mixture and stir until just blended.
  4. Fill muffin pans 2/3 full. Bake 18-25 minutes until golden brown (35-44 minutes for loaf pan). Remove from pan and serve immediately or cool on a rack. (**I like to sprinkle with a cinnamon and sugar mixture)

Makes 12 muffins or 3 5X3-inch loaves. Muffins and bread can be store in an air-tight container in refrigerator or covered with plastic wrap and then with foil and stored in freezer for up to 3 weeks. Best when eaten within 3 days of baking. Rewarm briefly in microwave.

Breakfast – From Beth

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I don’t know about most of you, but when I had to make the switch to gluten-free, I found breakfast the most difficult meal to accommodate.  Maybe I should say instead that breakfast seemed to need far more gluten free changes or substitutions to what I used to eat.  Lunch and dinner either already had gluten free items or minor changes could be made to a recipe to make it gluten free.  But unless you’re on the Atkins diet or just love bacon and eggs every morning, breakfast seems to be made up of carbs.  You know, cold cereal, oatmeal, toast, pancakes, waffles, muffins, french toast, etc.  And I LOVE my carbs in the morning.  You know how some people need their morning coffee?  Well, make mine carbs!  As a matter of fact, I have always been a breakfast eater and for years, I started every day with a bowl of cereal.

So, my first and biggest challenge when I changed my diet was to find substitutions for regular breakfast items.  Of course, there are eggs and GF bacon or sausage, yogurt and such, but I needed substitutions for the carbs, and the items I could find at the store were either very expensive, not very good, or both.  Remember, I said we were food snobs.  That was probably the beginning of my baking craze.  I used to bake occasionally but now it’s a regular part of my housework.  And when I mix up a recipe of something for breakfast, I usually double it and freeze it.  My GF son doesn’t like to work too hard for his food, especially first thing in the morning, so having frozen items ready to be warmed up has been a lifesaver.  I should add though, in his defense, he is a really good cook and likes to find and make new recipes, but only when he has the time and is in the mood.

Anyway, in the course of expanding our breakfast options, I have started making my own granola (with GF oats and from my own recipe), several different kinds of muffins, Belgian waffles, and bread for toast or sometimes even breakfast casserole.  We have found Pamela’s to be our favorite store-bought mix for pancakes and Belgian waffles and as I said, when I make the waffles, I double the recipe and freeze the extras, which we pop into a toaster when we’re ready to eat them.  They’re actually even better after toasting them.  When I make pancakes, I usually add blueberries to them but my son likes cinnamon in his.  There are also several pretty good brands of GF bagels on the market but most of them are fairly expensive.  One brand I found that was good and not too expensive was “Forever Bagels”.

But of all the breakfast items I make, the one we eat the most of is muffins.  All kinds of muffins.  Funny story, when Matthew (my GF son) was five and went to school for the first time, I picked him up afterwards at the bus and he came right up to me in his typical enthusiastic fashion and told me that for a snack, they’d had muffins!  It was the highlight of the morning for him and we loved the story so much, that for years we called him “the Muffin Man”.  Little did we know that several years later, he really would be the muffin man!

Anyway, after a couple of years of making standard sized muffins and wrapping them individually, then freezing them in a freezer baggie and having Matthew go through a couple at a time (you know how teenage boys eat!) I decided to buy large muffin tins and so now I make giant muffins.  Usually, doubling the recipe makes the muffins too big for the cups, so I went to 1 ½ recipes per baking.  Now, I have less wrapping after baking and we eat only one larger muffin for breakfast.  I’ve already shared my blueberry muffin recipe and Katie has already shared the pumpkin muffin recipe, in which I always substitute honey for molasses.  In following posts, I’ll share some other recipes.

Breaking Out of A Rut

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I’m in a rut with food. I’ve somehow lost the excitement and creativity I usually have when it comes to meal planning and choosing recipes. We’ve been really busy, which makes spending a lot of time in the kitchen tricky, but I also haven’t been feeling that great. Like I shared in an earlier post, I’ve accidentally glutened myself a couple of times which triggered a few days of feeling crummy. But, this crummy feeling has been hanging around, so I need to do a good review of what I have been eating to see if I’ve snuck something with gluten into my diet without realizing it.

I sat down this morning and searched through the gluten free recipes on Gina’s Skinny Recipes and came up with a few that I think we’ll be trying this week. Here are a couple of links to two I am excited to try:

Pork Chops with Mushrooms and Shallots

Western Omelet Potato Skins

I’m trying to focus on well-rounded meals with a lot of fresh and healthy produce, in hopes that feeding my body really good food will help me feel better. I’m planning a lot of in season veggie side dishes and fruit to go with our meals. I also need to do a much better job planning out my lunches and snacks. I’ve been short on good choices for me to snack on and I am sure that is contributing to my less than stellar energy level and yucky feeling.

So – eat well this week! Take the time to plan some delicious, good for you meals and nourish your body! I’ll let you know how the pork chops and potato skins turn out!

Blueberry Muffins – From Beth

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It’s blueberry season here in southwest Michigan. If you don’t live here, or some other place where blueberries are grown, you can’t imagine how big blueberries can be and how wonderful it is to be able to pick or buy fresh ones. Every summer, I buy 30-40 pounds of them, rinse them and let them dry, and then freeze them in quart-size baggies. This is one of the reasons I have a large chest freezer as well as two refrigerator/freezers. Canning produce isn’t something I’ve ever done, but I do freeze some fruits. My family goes through a lot of blueberries and strawberries (which we also freeze) throughout the year. We, and by we, I mean (usually) me, make blueberry cobbler, put blueberries and strawberries on Belgian waffles, but mostly, I make loads of blueberry muffins. It’s the first kind of muffin I started making when I went GF and is still one of our favorites. Some other time I’ll tell you the “muffin story” but for now, I’ll just share my recipe for blueberry muffins. If you can get a hold of fresh blueberries, I would highly recommend it. After eating and cooking with local berries, it’s hard to go back to the frozen ones you can buy in the store. They’re so puny!

I should start by saying here that the basis for this recipe comes from “Gluten-Free Baking Classics” by Annalise Roberts, but I have tweaked it to my tastes. When I refer to the “brown rice flour mix”, it is the same one that Katie has mentioned before. I REALLY believe in using the superfine ground brown rice flour that is made by Authentic Foods. The texture of the baked goods is just like non-GF products, not grainy like most rice flours are.

Blueberry Muffins

2 cups brown rice flour mix
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries (I use frozen right from the freezer since I wash them before freezing. It takes a bit longer for baking but when stirring them in, they don’t mush up in this very thick batter.)
½ cup milk
½ cup + 2 TBSP canola oil
2 large eggs
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Streusel topping:
½ cup brown rice flour mix
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
3-4 TBSP melted butter

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt in mixing bowl.
  3. Add in milk, oil, eggs and vanilla and mix until blended.  Batter will be very thick.
  4. Stir in blueberries.
  5. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full.
  6. For streusel topping, mix ½ cup flour mix, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Stir in melted butter and sprinkle over batter in muffin tins.  I like to press the streusel into the batter a bit so that after baking, it doesn’t flake off.
  7. Bake 18-25 minutes (longer if using frozen berries).  Test with toothpick to see if centers are done.
  8. Cool in pans then remove to cooling rack.

Chicken Sausage, Asparagus and Red Potato Scramble

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Our family loves breakfast for dinner.

Eggs can be scrambled, fried, poached, made into a frittata. Bacon, sausage, veggies and fruit. Smoothies, juices…so many options, so little time. I love to spend time making a delicious breakfast spread for dinner because I don’t have that “just woke up fog” that makes me want to just drink coffee.

Yes, the spread has changed a bit. It takes a bit more effort to have a perfect sunny-side up egg on a great piece of toast since I have to actually bake the bread first. I can’t just pick up a loaf of french bread for the favorite oven baked caramel french toast anymore. Well, I could, but I wouldn’t be able to eat it too and that’s just not fair! For the most part though, breakfast is an easy go-to meal for deliciousness and quickness.

I love the versatility of eggs and all they can be combined with. Here’s a delicious scramble recipe you’re sure to love!

Chicken Sausage, Asparagus and Red Potato Scramble

A note on my recipes that are not for baking – I’m not much of a measurer. I tend to just put enough into the meal to feed our family of 4 – 2 adults and 2 kids. If you need measurements to make this recipe, let me know and I will do my best to share how much of each ingredient I used. 

Toss some leeks (or onions if they make you happier) into a saute pan with a little butter or oil.

Once the leeks are softened, add your favorite gluten free sausage. For this meal, we enjoyed Aidell’s Roasted Garlic and Gruyere Cheese Smoked Chicken Sausage. Smoked sausage or breakfast sausage would be good too.

Next toss in some asparagus – I did toss these in some salted, boiling water for a minute or two to soften them a bit and to add a little flavor. You don’t want them to overcook in the scramble, so just soften them a bit.

Add some diced, red skin potatoes that have already been cooked. I boiled mine.

Pour in some beaten eggs and scramble together. If you have a pan that can be transfered to the oven, you could lightly mix the eggs around and let it start to firm up and then finish it in the oven. Slice it into nice portions. I sprinkled a bit of kosher salt in while I “scrambled” everything. Be careful how much salt you add though because the sausage will be a bit salty and will add a lot of flavor.

I topped ours off with grated parmesan and plently of freshly ground black pepper. YUM!

What’s your favorite breakfast for dinner recipe?

Uh-oh, what’s for breakfast?

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I woke up this morning and realized I basically had nothing to eat for breakfast – at least as breakfast foods are concerned. No cereal, out of my favorite pancake mix (I’ll share that soon!), nothing in the freezer. Don’t you hate it when this happens? So, I grabbed Gluten Free Baking Classics to see what I could find for a relatively quick breakfast solution. I discovered I had everything I needed to make a batch of Pumpkin Muffins. Pumpkin – not exactly a Spring/Summer flavor, but I’ll admit, it sounded good. So, pumpkin muffins it was…

It took me about 20 minutes to mix together the batter – I wasn’t quite at full-speed for the day yet. Anyone else need a good cup of coffee before feeling at full speed? This girl does. Anyways, they came together nicely and the house smelled wonderful. As I have found with all the recipes I have made from this cookbook, I’d dare someone to tell me they could tell they were gluten free! Moist, perfect texture and delicious flavor. My oldest cutie snarfed one down as fast as she could and asked for more. 🙂 I did make slight changes to the recipe, which I will note below.

Once you have a little practice of gluten free baking under your belt, whipping up a batch of something when you’re hungry and have nothing to eat will be quick and easy. And, now I have muffins to put in the freezer for more mornings or a snack. woo-hoo!

Pumpkin Muffins

  • 1 3/4 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger (I didn’t add this b/c I didn’t have any!)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbls canola oil (I added about 1 Tbls more oil)
  • 2 tablespoons molasses (I used honey b/c that’s what I had)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Position rack in center of oven. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, and spices together in large mixing bowl.
  3. Combine eggs, water, oil, molasses (or honey), and pumpkin in separate bowl. Whisk to blend.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until blended. Do not over beat.
  5. Pour batter evenly in muffin pan and bake about 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. (Mine took about 20 minutes)
  6. Remove muffins from pan immediately and cool. Cool completely on rack before wrapping for storage.
Anyone else think these would be delicious with a dollop of cream cheese frosting on top for a sweet treat? YUM!