Christmas Lemon Cake


Let there be cake!  I had been thinking about this lemon cake the whole week before Christmas.  I wanted to experiment and combine the gluten free lemon muffin recipe (see earlier blog post) with a gluten free cake recipe and the result was a light, soft, lemony gf cake!  Now, I want to share this recipe with you all.  Buon appetito!


2 cups gf flour mix*

  • I created this mix by using a 70/30 ratio with 70% whole grain flours and 30% starches.  I used 350 grams brown rice flour, 75 grams arrowroot starch and 75 grams potato starch.

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tbsp flax seed

3 tbsp boiling water

2 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 tbsp lemon zest


coconut fat from 1 can of coconut milk**

** I used the Rain Forest brand to get the most coconut fat.

1 tbsp lemon zest

1 tbsp honey


Preheat oven to 350F.  Place mixing bowl from stand mixer and whisk attachment in fridge for 1 hour.

Mix flax seed and boiling water together to create a slurry.  Set aside to cool.

Whisk together dry ingredients: flour mix, baking powder and soda, salt and nutmeg.

In a separate bowl, whisk together liquid ingredients: eggs, coconut milk, vegetable oil, lemon juice and zest and honey.

Add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients and mix until batter is smooth.

Poor batter into grasped and floured 9″ cake pan.

Bake at 350F for 35-45 minutes and toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from oven and place pan on rack to cool for 5 minutes.

Remove cake from pan and allow to cool completely on rack.

Prepare frosting:

**Coconut milk must be placed in fridge overnight before baking to allow fat to solidify!

Scoop gently coconut fat from can and placed in cold mixing bowl.

Add 1 tbsp lemon zest and 1 tbsp honey.

Whisk on low speed to combine, then increase to high speed and beat until cream forms stiff peaks.

Frost cake when completely cool and place in fridge until ready to serve.






Gluten Free Panettone

 Hurray for gluten free panettone!  I never thought I

imagewould be able to find this Italian sweet bread that is also gluten free.  Thanks to my wonderful husband, I had this gluten free panettone, Trentasette Collection, which tastes very close to the original one.  It was light, airy and filled with candied fruit.  Delicious!  I highly recommend it and you can find it at specialty grocery stores like Cardullo’s here in Cambridge.  Online I only found it on this site,, but they are currently out of stock 😦

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Mmm…muffins!  Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

This is what we made yesterday during the ongoing snow storm.  Cooking and baking lets us cope with this ridiculous weather!


Here is the recipe adapted from “Gluten-Free Baking: Delicious Gluten-Free Baking for All Occasions”:

2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour blend*

“Here I used my own blend of 70% whole grain flours and 30% starches.  I measured 700gr. of of whole grain flours (250gr. buckwheat, 250gr. corn, 200gr. brown rice) and 300gr. starches (100gr. arrowroot, 200gr. potato) and whisked them together. Once I had my gf all-purpose flour mixture, I measured out the 2 cups I needed by spooning the flour mix into the measuring cup and then, scraping off the excess flour.  It’s best to spoon in the gf flours rather than scooping them out which will make them compact with a higher weight.  If you have time, when you measure the 2 cups of the gf flour mix, weigh them on a scale and record the weight in grams for future reference.  This way you can change your gf flour mix in the future and always use the same weight in grams.

1/4 cup poppy seeds

grated lemon peel from 1 1/2 lemons, divided in half

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tbsp flax seed + 3 tbsp boiling water

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup or 1 stick butter, melted

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup lemon juice from approx. 1 1/2 lemons, divided in half

1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 425F.

Place flax seed and boiling water in small bowl and whisk to create slurry.  Set aside to cool.

Melt butter and set aside to cool.

Whisk all dry ingredients together in bowl.

Beat eggs in separate bowl, add flax seed slurry, then cooled butter, then milk, then juice.  Beat until combined.

Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Butter or oil lightly 12 standard muffin cups.

Fill muffin cups up to 3/4 with batter.

Bake in oven (center rack) for approx. 15-20 min. until golden and toothpick comes out clean.

Prepare glaze by combining 1/2 of lemon zest and powdered sugar.  Then, add 1/2 lemon juice to create thick glaze.

Allow muffins to cool in pan for 10 min. on rack.

Remove muffins to a tray and spoon glaze on top of muffins.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


Gnudi, Strozzapreti, Ricotta Dumplings

Gnudi, Strozzapreti, Ricotta Dumplings

Just to make your mouth water a bit, I have to post this picture of Gnudi, Strozzapreti, Ricotta Dumplings that I made over the holidays with leftover ricotta filling from my ravioli.  I will be posting the recipe soon, but consider this a little teaser!


And now for the recipe!  First, you will need a very good ricotta cheese.  For these gnudi, we used a ricotta cheese from Bob’s Italian Foods in Medford, MA.  Bob’s is a great local Italian grocers with not only imported products, but also a selection of cuts of beef and pork and handmade sausages, mmm sausages!  You can use your favorite ricotta cheese as long as it does not have too much moisture in it.  I haven’t strained ricotta yet with a cheesecloth, but I think that would work for a wetter ricotta.

Gnudi, Strozzapreti, Ricotta Dumplings (4 portions):

450 gr. ricotta

2 eggs

3 tbsp parmesan cheese

100 gr. brown rice flour* *you may have to add some more flour depending on the amount of moisture in the ricotta.

2 tbsp butter

3 leaves of sage

Beat eggs, add ricotta and beat again.  Add parmesan cheese and brown rice flour and mix until combined.  Flour hands and form 1-inch balls, covering them lightly with rice flour.  In a large stock pot, bring water to a boil and then, add a tablespoon of coarse sea salt and a tablespoon of olive oil.  Prepare sauce, by melting butter in saute’ pan and saute’ing sage leaves on low heat for a few minutes.  When water returns to a boil, add a half dozen dumplings.  Cook dumplings until they float up to the top of the water (approx. 2-3 min.).  Remove dumplings from water with a slotted spoon and place them directly in saute’ pan with sauce.  Stir dumplings to cover in sauce and serve with a generous grating of parmesan cheese.

Buon Appetito!

Schiacciata con l’uva – Grape cake

Mmm…cake…Sometimes experiments surprise you.  Our attempt at making an Italian grape cake called schiacciata con l’uva was one of them.  We loved this cake!  It’s a cross between a tart and cornbread and of course, gluten free.   We used red table grapes and walnuts, but I’m sure you could easily use other fruits like blueberries or strawberries and any type of nut.  The cake has very little sugar and is great not just for dessert, but also for breakfast.  Yes, cake for breakfast!  So without further ado, here is the recipe.  Enjoy!Schiacciata con l'uva - Grape cake

Precook fruit and make sauce:
1.5 cups red table grapes – cut in quarters or blueberries
1 tbsp sugar or honey
Combine fruit and sugar/honey in pan and cook until fruit is soft and you have 1/2 cup – 1 cup of juice.  You might have to add some water.  Strain fruit and set aside juice to cool.
Prepare dough:
3 tbsp flax seed
9 tbsp boiling water
1 cup cornmeal
84 gr brown rice flour
31 gr arrowroot starch
25 gr sweet rice flour (I think you could also use potato starch.)
1/8 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fruit juice – as prepared above
1 cup chopped walnuts
Combine flax seed and boiling water to create slurry.  Set aside to cool.
Put rest of dry ingredients in bowl and whisk together.
Create well in flours and add olive oil and flax slurry.  Combine.  Slowly add 1/2 cup of juice while stirring until you have consistency of thick batter.  You may have to add less or more juice if you change your flours.
Stir in 3/4 of nuts, then 3/4 of  fruit.
Pour into oiled cake pan.  Add rest of fruit and nuts to top of cake and press down.
Bake at 425F for approx. 30 min. or until golden and fork comes out clean.

Buckwheat Month

Good Morning,

I just saw that the Whole Grains Council has chosen Buckwheat as its grain of the month.  Since I use buckwheat flour in most of my gluten free recipes, I thought I would share their post.  The council shares information about the origins and history of the buckwheat plant as well as nutritional information and, of course, recipes!

Have you cooked with buckwheat groats?  I haven’t yet, but I would like to try their Kasha and Beet Salad recipe.

To celebrate buckwheat, I am including a recipe for Gluten Free Buckwheat Almond Biscotti, adapted from “Biscotti di Prato” in “The Complete Book of Florentine Cooking” by Paolo Petroni.

Gluten Free Buckwheat Biscotti
Gluten Free Buckwheat Biscotti

Gluten Free Buckwheat Almond Biscotti

4 cups buckwheat flour (Arrowhead Mills)*
2 cups sugar
3 whole large eggs and 3 large egg yolks
¼ cup Passito di Pantelleria**
1 slightly rounded teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons melted butter or 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
1 ½ cups whole roasted almonds with skins

*I use Arrowhead Mills buckwheat flour because it is produced in a gluten free facility.

**Passito di Pantelleria is an Italian sweet dessert wine produced on the small island of Pantelleria off the southwestern coast of Sicily.  Passito di Pantelleria can be found in specialty food stores such as Trader Joe’s and in some local wine stores.  If Passito di Pantelleria is not available to you, other sweet dessert wines such as Vin Santo or Muscats can be used.)

Preheat oven to 350F and place rack in center of oven.

In a large bowl, place the flour and make a well, add sugar, 3 whole eggs, 2 yolks, Passito, baking powder, melted butter and pinch of salt.

Mix ingredients quickly with hands until well combined.

Add almonds and mix until they are covered by dough.  Flour hands if dough becomes too sticky.

Form loaves 1.5″ wide and .5″ high on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Leave 1.5″ between loaves.  Brush with yolk.

Bake loaves for approx. 25 min. or until golden brown.

Remove loaves from oven and cut diagonally to make .5″ wide biscotti.  Place biscotti on their sides on baking sheet and return to oven for approx. 5 min. or until toasted on sides.

Place biscotti on racks to cool.

Serve biscotti with small glasses of Passito di Pantelleria.  Store biscotti in aluminum tins for up to 1 month.

Buon Appetito!

Recipe adopted from “Biscotti di Prato” – from “The Complete Book of Florentine Cooking” by Paolo Petroni

Vegan Gluten Free Gingerbread

vegan gluten free gingerbread men
vegan gluten free gingerbread men

The holidays are here and don’t you want the smell of gingerbread in your house?  I do and last week I went searching  for a gluten free (and vegan) gingerbread recipe for a friend and her daughter who cannot have gluten AND dairy.  So I started by looking at a traditional wheat-based gingerbread recipe to get an idea of the ratio between flour, sugar, spices and fat.  Then, I moved onto one of my favorite gluten free sites, Gluten Free Girl and the Chef, where I found a gluten free gingerbread recipe, but it had both eggs and butter.  To check out a vegan recipe, I turned to a new site for me, Oh She Glows, and the closest I could find was a recipe for molasses cookies.  This recipe used flax seed instead of egg and vegan butter instead of butter.

After this bit of research, I decided to follow more or less the Gluten Free Girl and the Chef recipe, but with flax seed and vegan butter.  Since I like to tweak recipes depending on what allergens I have to avoid and what ingredients I have, I am going to write this one out for you.  The result is a traditional tasting gingerbread cookie.  Buon Appetito!


600 gr gf cookie flour mix which is 40% whole grain flours and 60% starches
I used 240 gr Bob’s brown rice flour and 360 gr Bob’s white rice flour.
2 tbsp flax seed + 6 tbsp hot water
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
230 gr Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread (about half the tub), room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup blackstrap molasses
2 tsp vanilla
orange zest from 1 organic orange

Put flaxseed in measuring cup and add hot water. Whisk to combine and set aside to gel and cool.

Place dry ingredients: flours, baking soda, salt, spices, in bowl and whisk thoroughly.

Put sugar and butter in stand mixer and mix on low with paddle until combined. Add vanilla, orange zest, flax seed slurry and molasses. Mix on low until combined.

With mixer on low, add dry ingredients, in 1/4 batches, scraping down sides until flour has disappeared into dough. Dough will be sticky.

Divide dough into 4 pieces and place each piece in saran wrap and store disks in fridge for at least one hour and up to 3 days.

Roll out dough on parchment with brown rice flour until 1/4 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters.

Bake at 350F on parchment lined cookie sheets for 15 min. or until center is firm to touch.


The Bread Kitchen – a must-see video blog for gluten-free bread!

Hello all,

It has been a while since my last post, but I am going to make up for it with a few additions today.  I have also decided to dedicate this blog to all of my friends and family who are suffering from some sort of gluten intolerance, allergy or celiac disease.  This week I have discovered that almost every friend or family member of ours has a loved one who becomes very ill after eating gluten.  We all know that the number of people with celiac disease is on the rise and the New York Times recently reported that “the prevalence of celiac disease is estimated to range between 0.6 and 1 percent of the world’s population“.  I highly recommend this NYT Sunday Review article because it sites a number of different studies of autoimmune diseases around the world.  I hope this information will be helpful.

And, of course, I am sharing a link to a blog, The Bread Kitchen, the my husband (who can eat gluten) found this morning while we were talking about buckwheat flour while eating our buckwheat pancakes.  He is becoming a buckwheat fan and will be trying The Bread Kitchen’s gluten-free buckwheat loaf and The Bread Kitchen’s gluten-free white sandwich bread recipe which uses whole grain flours like sorghum and brown rice flour along with starches like potato flour and white rice flour.  If this experiment goes well, we may become a gluten-free household to take advantage of the nutritional benefits of gluten-free flours like buckwheat, teff, sorghum, millet…We’ll let you know!

Buon Appetito!

Chicken Broth

I always thought that making chicken broth was complicated and time consuming… definitely out of my league!  Until, my friend Kathleen introduced me to Glorious One Pot Meals by Elizabeth Yarnell which has recipes that can be made by putting all of the raw ingredients in a dutch oven and cooking on the stove-top or in the oven.  Once the meal is cooking, you can put on a kitchen timer and simply walk away to do other things.   Now, that seemed feasible and since I had an enormous bone-in whole chicken breast defrosting, I thought I’d try this chicken broth recipe with some adjustments based on the vegetables and herbs I had in the house.  The result was even better than I expected and as a result, I’m hooked!  There’s no more going back to store bought chicken broth or bouillon so I try to always have a quart of broth or a chicken breast in the freezer ready to go.  I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I have!  In future posts for soups, risotto and some meat dishes, one of the ingredients will be this chicken broth so you can see just how much you can do with it.   Buon Appetito!


Chicken Broth adapted from Glorious One Pot Meals

1 large bone-in whole chicken breast or 1 small whole chicken, cleaned*

2 large carrots, peeled and cut in half or quarters to fit in dutch oven

3 stalks of celery, cut in half or quarters

1 medium onion, diced

2 tbsp olive oil

3 small parsnips, peeled

3 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 sprig rosemary

1 sprig dill

1 sprig thyme

4 leaves of sage

cold water, enough to cover chicken in pot by one inch

5 quart dutch oven

*When cleaning chicken, you can remove some or all of the skin, if desired, or none at all depending on your taste.  I prefer to remove the majority of the skin to have less fat in my broth and to avoid having to skim fat at the end of cooking.

Place olive oil and onions in dutch oven and sauté on medium-low heat until translucent.  Add all vegetables and herbs, place chicken on vegetables bone-side down, add cold water  enough to cover chicken by one inch.  Cover dutch oven with lid and bring water to boil on medium heat.  Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer covered until chicken reaches at least 160F.  Cooking time  will depend on size of chicken.  Add more water if needed to keep chicken covered by on inch.

When chicken is done, remove from pot to cutting board.  Remove vegetables with slotted spoon to bowl.  Allow broth to cool and skim any fat on surface.

Slice chicken and serve as desired, i.e. with a side of the cooked vegetables and cranberry sauce.  Broth can be used immediately to make a chicken soup by adding in some of the cooked chicken or to make tortelli in broth by bringing a part of the broth to boil and adding tortelli to cook until al dente.  The remainder of broth should be cooled to room temperature and can be poured into quart sized tupperware to refrigerate or freeze.  The remainder of chicken can be used for sandwiches, quesadillas (recipe with homemade corn tortillas will be posted soon) or any chicken dish you want to create.  It’s that easy!

Bantam Cider


Check out this Boston Globe article about Bantam Cider opening a tap room in Union Square in March.  If you haven’t tried their cider, I would start with Wunderkind.  So far, it’s my favorite cider and it’s gluten free!  And they make it locally in the Boston area – Somerville, MA.