Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Chicken Carbonara {Egg-free}

Every so often, I take inventory of the food in my freezer and pantry to see what I may need to use up.  I really hate wasting food and plus it encourages me to maybe come up with something new.  This week, I had a box of spaghetti in the cabinet and some bacon and peas in the freezer.  What to make out of it?  I decided to try an egg-free version of Chicken Carbonara.  I researched various recipes and methods.  I am really happy with the results.  My husband especially enjoyed it!  There are so many foods that are off limits to him while dining out.  It is always a treat to have one of those made egg-free!

I have cayenne pepper listed as an ingredient.  I didn't use it on my first attempt but will for sure add it next time.  I am pretty confident on the amount needed, based on my experience making Spicy Shrimp Spaghetti (EF, DF, GF).  I have found I really like a little kick when a pasta dish isn't very saucy. 

Chicken Carbonara

6 slices bacon*, chopped
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed
1 t salt
1 t ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic
1 pound spaghetti or gluten-free pasta
2 c frozen peas
1 c cream*
1 ½ c grated Parmesan cheese
3 T finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ t cayenne pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt if desired.  Cook spaghetti in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite.  While pasta is cooking, cook bacon and chicken (see below).  When the pasta is ready, put the peas in a large colander. Drain the pasta in the colander with the peas.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon from skillet with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Drain fat from skillet, reserving 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings.

Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in the skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken breast in the bacon drippings until no longer pink.  Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.

Heat remaining tablespoon bacon drippings in skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onion in skillet until onion starts to soften.  Add garlic and cook until garlic starts to brown.   Stir in cream and parmesan cheese and cook to thicken slightly.  Stir in parsley, cayenne pepper and chicken.  Toss with spaghetti and peas. 

*If you are on a gluten-free diet, make sure the bacon is gluten-free.  If I were to make this on a regular basis, I may try to lighten it up by replacing the cream with evaporated fat-free milk or fat free half and half. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins {Egg-free, Dairy-free}

A couple of months ago, I posted a recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (EF, DF) that my friends and family really liked.  I decided to try them as muffins.  They cook faster than the bread and tasted great!

If you like this recipe, you may also like the most popular recipe on my blog Banana Muffins (EF, DF).

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
Adapted from Taste of Home Banana BreadRecipe

2/3 c sugar
1/3 cup shortening
2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 t vanilla
1 c mashed ripe bananas, about two medium
½ c chocolate chips (dairy-free can be used)

Beat sugar and shortening for about 5 minutes until combined.  Slowly mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix in bananas and vanilla.  The batter will be thick.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Spoon evenly into a greased muffin tin. Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes. Cool in pan.  
Makes 12 muffins.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Chocolate Frosting

Do you need a frosting for your Chocolate Crazy Cake (EF, DF)?  I found this chocolate frosting on the Food Network website.  It is so easy and so delicious.  I followed the ingredients as listed but I did use half and half rather than the heavy cream, as that is what I had handy.  I also added a little more than the recommended four tablespoons to make it more spreadable.  As another review noted, I also dumped all the ingredients into my stand mixer at one time and mixed for a few minutes.  So quick and chocolatey! 

Chocolate Frosting - Please link to recipe. 

Note:  If you are on a gluten-free diet, make sure the vanilla you use is labeled as gluten-free. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Chocolate Crazy Cake {Egg-free, Dairy-free}

Delicious!!  I love this cake!!  I have a sweet tooth and so does my husband.  I think we have passed this on to our kids.  We love sweets in our house!  But I think everyone has a favorite type of sweet.  My husband's is pie.  Hands down, mine is cake!  I LOVE cake.  I have found that cake can be a bit of a challenge egg-free.  I have several recipes that are still in the 'trial' phase.

I first saw this recipe in a cookbook.  Then I noticed it was all over the internet.  This recipe first emerged during the depression.  It became popular because it didn't include eggs or dairy when these ingredients were hard to come by.  The recipe seems to have made quite a come back now that food allergies are becoming more and more common.

Not only is this cake egg-free and dairy free, it bakes up beautifully and tastes fantastic!!  It really is a dream come true for this cake lover, who wants to share treats with her food allergy husband!

I topped my cake with this quick, delicious Chocolate Frosting (EF, GF).


Chocolate Crazy Cake
Sources:  I am not sure if any of these sources can really take credit for this cake, but I referenced recipes by Very Best Baking, Allrecipes.com and A Grandmother’s Legacy:  Amish & Mennonite Cooking.

3 c flour
2 c sugar
1/3 c cocoa
1 t salt
2 t baking soda
¾ c vegetable oil
2 T white vinegar
2 t vanilla
2 c cold water

Preheat oven to 350o.  Sift dry ingredients together in a 9”x13” ungreased pan.  Make three wells in the dry ingredients.  In one hole pour oil, in second pour vinegar and in third pour vanilla.  Over everything, pour cold water.  Mix all ingredients together with a fork until well blended, but do not over mix.  Bake 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool and dust with powdered sugar or top with your favorite frosting. 

To make into a layer cake:

Cut out wax paper into a circle that fits the bottom of your two round cake pans.  Place wax paper in the bottom of the pan then grease with shortening on top of the paper and up the sides.  Mix cake in a bowl or stand mixer, but be sure to still follow the same directions by mixing the dry ingredients then making the three wells for the wet ingredients.  Pour evenly in the two prepared pans immediately and bake for about 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool cake in pans on wire rack for about 20 minutes.  Invert onto wire rack, carefully peel off wax paper and cool completely.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread {Egg-free}

Shortbread cookies are not really my husband's favorite.  He much rather have Chocolate Chip Cookie or a variation of it like Chocolate Chip Oat Cookie.  But since we learned about his egg allergy, he has started to like shortbread cookies more and more.  Since they don't have egg in them, they are always a safe treat he can have without needing to read the ingredients.  When I came across this recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread, I just had to try it.  The peanut butter and chocolate definately jazz up your basic shortbread cookie!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread - I made these according to the recipe.  Please link here.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fresh Blueberry Muffins {Egg-free}

I had blueberries left over from a 4th of July get together.  They weren't disappearing fast enough.  So, I started looking for something to make with them.  I found this recipe on Pinterest and it is delicious!!

The recipe came from Rak's Kitchen blog.  She adapted the recipe into Eggless Blueberry Muffins from a recipe for Eggless Vanilla Cake from Easy Cooking blog.  According to that blog, the original cake recipe came from Nita Mehta.  So, the genius behind the delicious yogurt cake in the recipe is Nita Mehta.

The Eggless Blueberry Muffins recipe said it makes 10 muffins.  I don't know about your family but I need at least 12 for breakfast at my house.  So, I increased the ingredients to now make 18 muffins.  I would rather have leftovers than not enough!

Fresh Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from recipes by Nita Mehta and Rak’s Kitchen

2 c flour 
¼ c cornmeal
1½ c plain yogurt
1 c sugar
1½ t baking powder
1 t baking soda
¾ c oil
1 t vanilla
1½ c fresh blueberries
2 t flour

Preheat oven to 350o.  Wash the blueberries; pat dry it using a towel.  Set aside.  Combine flour with corn flour to ensure even mixing. With a wire whisk, mix yogurt and sugar in a large bowl.  Mix in the baking powder and baking soda and let it rest for 2 – 3 minutes.  Once the mixture becomes slightly frothy, mix in the oil and vanilla. Add the flour one tablespoon at a time, mixing well.  Dust the blueberries with 2 teaspoons of flour, add to the batter and gently stir.  Line the muffin tin with liners and spoon the batter.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.
Makes 18 muffins