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Easter Meringues! Guest Blog Post 2 by Gracefully Gluten Free

One of my favorite things about gluten free & food blogging is the people I come into contact with! I truly cherish the different perspectives and creativity of my blogging peers. One blogger that I am continuously impressed with is Ashley over at Gracefully Gluten Free! I am so excited to share this recipe she created for you here, and even more excited to try this with my kiddos today! I love her tips and hints that will help you attain the perfect meringues!  

You can find her blog here, with lots of great recipes and info on eating out and living gluten free.

Follow her on Twitter here.

Find her on Facebook here.

Follow her on Pinterest here.

Enjoy! 

Easter Meringues by Gracefully Gluten Free

If you are just starting out being gluten-free (or are operating on a limited budget), going out and buying a whole bunch of new ingredients can be daunting, not to mention expensive! Here is a fun little Easter recipe you probably have all of the ingredients on hand for. And if you don’t, everything in this recipe is pretty cheap! We’re talking $7 or less for about 50 “fluff piles.” All of these items should be available from your local grocery store as well. I adapted this recipe from the December 2011 issue of Bon Appetit, but I used coconut flavoring, and I dyed them pastel. Aren’t they cute?

3 egg whites, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
food coloring- whatever colors you’d like! I used the “Neon” palette by Kroger. This worked pretty well to make pastels.

ingredients for easter meringues

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again (and I’ll probably keep saying it!). The secret to good meringues is to use room temperature egg whites. Really! Those elusive stiff white peaks will form right up! I put my egg whites in a little bowl on the stovetop while my oven pre-heats to speed up the process a bit.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

I also like to clean out my stainless steel bowl with a paper towel dampened with vinegar. The acid helps the peaks to form, and the vinegar also helps to make sure the bowl is really nice and clean (contaminants are usually what ruin meringues).

Using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites and salt together until they get really foamy. This should take about a minute.

Keep mixing, and slowly add the sugar. Mix this until it gets shiny, and stiff peaks form. Then add the powdered sugar and coconut extract, and mix those in as well. It will be sort of moldable at this point.

meringue ready eggs

Spoon about a fourth of the egg whites into a sealable plastic bag. Drip some food coloring in there, and squish it around until it is mixed in. This would be a great step to let kids help with if they are around! You can mix it thoroughly for an even, pastel look, or less for a more “swirly” look. Do this with the other colors in other bags.

Cut one corner off of the bottom of the plastic bag, and squeeze the egg whites out in little swirls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put them into the oven for 2-2 1/2 hours. Then take them out, and let them cool for 1 hour. Don’t worry if they are soft when you take them out of the oven, they’ll harden up as they dry.

Store in an airtight container.

And there you have it! Cute, easy, and low-cost! These can be modified for any holiday or occasion. Just change up your flavoring extract and your colors! (For a winter parties this past winter, I used almond extract, kept them white, and put blue sugar on top. I called them snow drifts!)

Battle of the Blogs, Round Two: Bacon and Eggs

Joe over at Joe’s Primal Scream and I had so much fun last week doing our asparagus/mushroom food blog challenge (here and here) that we decided to pick it up again this week. We chose two more ingredients, and whipped up some new recipes neither of us had ever made before.

We have a ton of fun, and get to play with our food and creatively invent things. Let us know if you have any ingredient suggestions for future challenges! You can find his bacon&eggs entry here.

So. Bacon and eggs for this week’s challenge.

Here is what I did.

Cheesy Basil Bacon Bread Quiches

I preheated the oven to 375 and started with bacon, organic eggs, and Udi’s gluten free sandwich bread. Ingredients used were: four strips of cooked bacon, four eggs, four slices of the GF bread, a small shallot, a clove of garlic, four leaves of basil, a tablespoon of heavy cream, half an ounce each of sharp cheddar and parmesan, and a tablespoon of butter.

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Divide butter into 12, and place each portion into the bottom of a mini-muffin pan. Press the butter into the pan.

Next, using a mini-biscuit cutter, cut out a dozen mini circles. On the Udi’s bread, I could fit three to a slice.

*NOTE* I saved the bread remnants to use later. Probably soaked in milk for a panade for meatballs.

Press the mini cuts of bread into the prepared pan.

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Combine the eggs with the cream and the clove of garlic, minced. Whisk until the mixture turns a pale yellow.

Chop the shallot and the bacon. Shred the cheeses, chop the basil, and then combine all ingredients into the eggs. Spoon over the bread coins in the pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

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Remove and allow to cool a bit. Serve and enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

4 eggs
4 slices of bacon
4 slices of Udi’s gluten free sandwich bread
4 leaves of basil
1 small shallot
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 oz Parmesan, shredded
1/2 oz sharp cheddar, shredded

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375.
Divide the tablespoon of butter into twelve and press each portion into the bottom of the mini muffin pan.
Cut out a dozen mini circles from the bread, using a mini biscuit cutter. Press the rounds into the muffin pan.
Combine the eggs, garlic, and cream. Whisk until pale yellow.
Chop the shallot, bacon, and the fresh basil leaves. Shred the cheeses. Add all to the eggs. Stir.
Soon into the muffin pan onto the bread rounds. Fill almost to the brim with the egg mixture.
Allow this to sit for a minute, and then pop into the oven.
Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and pan, and allow to cool slightly. Serve and enjoy!

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Gorgeous & Flavorful Eggs

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I love Pinterest. I found this gem of a simple way to create yummy hard boiled eggs on the site. The original recipe is here. I was struck with the deep color the minute I saw it…I had to try it. Gluten-free tamari sauce is a staple in my kitchen, so I already had the ingredients to do it on hand.

Ingredients:
12 eggs (older eggs peel easier)
1 cup gluten-free tamari soy sauce (I use San-J organic low-sodium)
Two ingredients. Simple, yes?

First, place a dozen eggs in a pot and cover them with cold water.

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Bring them to a boil over med-high, uncovered. Once the water starts boiling, time them to boil for ten minutes. Place a lid over the pot and remove from heat. Time for another ten minutes. Drain off the water, and roll the eggs around a bit to crack the shells.

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Peel the eggs and set aside. If you can get a finger or thumb under the thin shell covering, they peel super easy – particularly if you are using older eggs.

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In the same pot, bring 1 cup of the tamari sauce to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium. Add the eggs, gently. Roll them around to coat them.

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Continue rolling them around as they cook. This takes a bit of patience. When much of the tamari sauce has evaporated and thickened and the eggs are a nice rich brown, gently remove them and set them out to cool.

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These eggs are gorgeous to look at, and I love the flavor. I sliced some up for a pretty salad topping.

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Prosciutto-Dill Petite Quiche

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I absolutely love these mini quiches I created for a company holiday party. They were such a hit, so I made them for the Christmas meal as well this year. These are really pretty, easy to create, and fun little hors d’ouevre.

It all started with some extraordinary prosciutto from La Quercia. This stuff is amazing. So much so, that I find myself driving hours just to locate some. Conveniently, it can also be ordered directly online here if you’re like me and in the middle of nowhere. Seriously…this brand is what takes this recipe and knocks it out of the park. Trust me on this. It is sliced super super thin, and the taste is out of this world. I’ll never want another brand of prosciutto.

First, cut the prosciutto into quarters. Then, place the portions into a mini muffin pan that has been prepared with non-stick spray.

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Mix together a minced garlic clove, 2 tablespoons of grated onion, 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped dill weed, 1 teaspoon of pepper, 1/8 cup of grated Parmigiano-reggiano, 1/4 cup of milk, and ten eggs. Blend together until eggs turn that happy yellow color, like so

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Pour egg mixture into prosciutto cups. Do not overfill. You will have just a bit of mixture left over.

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Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. The dill egg mixture will puff up.

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Ingredients:
3 oz package of La Quercia prosciutto, quartered
10 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/8 cup shredded Parmigiano-reggiano cheese (you can substitute cheddar as well)
2 tablespoons grated onion
2 tablespoons chopped dill weed + a few pieces for garnish
1 teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove, minced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Spray mini muffin pan with nonstick spray. Place a piece of prosciutto in each cup. Mix together all other ingredients, blending until the eggs turn a consistent yellow, and then pour it into each prepared cup. Pop into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove, garnish with remaining dill if desired, and serve.

Makes 24 mini quiches.