Quick & Easy BBQ Beans

This is one of my husband's favorie recipes. I thought I'd share it with all of you in time for your end of summer barbecue parties. It's so simple, I almost feel guilty...almost.

Quick & Easy BBQ Beans

The measurements are not exact because I have never measured them and really, it's mainly by taste anyway. If you prefer it sweeter, add more maple syrup...more tangy, add more tomato paste/ketchup...not too spicy, then add less garlic. I'll be sure to post a pic of this fab dish soon!

4 strips thick-cut applewood bacon, cut into small strips (I use kitchen shears for this and it's a snap)
2 cans small white beans (GF), drained and rinsed well
2 spoonfuls tomato paste (or in a pinch you could use ketchup - GF of course)
dash or two salt, to taste
1-2 tsp. crush fennel seeds, optional but we really like the flavor
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup (more or less depending on how sweet you like it)
6 cloves garlic, pressed (again, more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
a little water to thin (especially if using tomato paste)

Place bacon in a medium saucepan and heat over med/high, stirring, until cooked thorugh but not crispy. Remove from heat and add the beans, scraping up the bits on the bottom of the pan (take care not to over stir or the beans will become mushy.) Add remaining ingredients and heat over low just a minute or so until warm. Taste and adjust flavors to suit you.

*Feeds: 4/side dish OR 2/main dish


*To make this recipe even easier, cook the bacon, mix in the beans and then stir in some Organicville BBQ Sauce (which is GF and oh so delicious!) Add just a little maple syrup, fennel and garlic - bam! You've got amazing beans!!!

*Try adding some cut up hot dogs for a new and flavorful twist on franks and beans!


Sun Butter is Just Better!

I confess...I used to stick my finger in the jar of peanut butter. Hey, my hands were clean!!! I couldn't help myself - all that lovely, velvety, sweet smoothness with a touch of crunch and saltiness that would stick to the roof of my mouth in that weird yet endearing way... pure heaven!

Sadly though, since discovering my various food sensitivities over the last few years, I noticed my tummy not appreciating the attributes of P.B. anymore and, therefore, have been denying myself of this sticky seductress. Until now.

I recently discovered something that I dare say is actually better than my good old P.B. It is slightly sweeter and has that yummy, velvety texture with just a hint of salt...and it can be crunchy too, if you like. And here's the real clincher, it's much healthier! I'm talkin' about Sun Butter!!!

This amazing spread is made from the humble sunflower seed! And although it is made from such a tiny kernel, it packs tremendous flavor! One of my favorite snacks is to dip apple slices into crunchy sun butter with a drizzle of pure honey - amazing! And my latest exploration has led me to Sun Butter Ice Cream...mmmmm! So very rich and creamy with the sweet/salty taste that leaves you wanting more. I use this recipe from Karina Allrich as my base. Here's what I do:

2 cups unsweetened So Delicous Coconut Milk (the one in the green carton)
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. 1/4 tsp. coconut flour (instead of x.g.)
large pinch sea salt

-Whisk it all up really well, especially if using the coconut flour, so there are no lumps. Pour into ice cream maker and let it go for about 10 minutes. Add:

2 very generous soup spoonfuls crunchy sun butter (in the last 10 minutes of the ice cream cycle)

-Let in whirl about another 5-10 minutes until it's very thick. Eat right then (soft-serve style) or place in container and freeze.

So, so good!

Pizza and a New Hair Cut

So what is new in the world of Tammie? I'm so glad that you asked!

First, let me just say that it has been years since I have been able to have pizza (FYI: I don't count all the crappy cardboard attempts at GF pizza that I have endured nor my last BJ's gluten-contaminated pizza but that's for another blog post...), I mean really good PIZZA! But now I have found it, and I'm going to share it with all of you...ready?
I've only got eyes for this pizza pie

Ta-da! Conte's GF Pizza Shells are awesome! I get mine at Whole Foods. They're so good that I now keep a couple of packages in the freezer at ALL times.

Here's what I do: I make a quick pizza sauce by mixing tomato paste with some agave and crushed garlic. Sometimes I add a little dried crushed fennel or oregano... it's all good. Then I spread it all over the frozen shell and top it with real whole milk mozzerella cheese. Now I know what you're going to say, "Hey, wait a sec - aren't you dairy-free? What gives?" Well, truth be told I am 90% dairy-free. Occasionally, I indulge in some real dairy goodness and will suffer the consequences. However, for some inexplicable reason I don't have any trouble with real-deal mozzerella, or feta for that matter. (Can I get a "Woo-hoo"?) And besides, I only have it occasionally - see how I can rationalize with the best of them? ;)
Pesto and sausage - perfecto!
So back to the recipe, I top it with the gooey-cheesy goodness and pop it straight onto the oven rack. I let it bake at 450 for about 10 minutes and when it comes out,  crown it with some fresh basil leaves from the garden. Voila! PIZZA!!!

Now, my husband is more into meat so I made him a pesto and sausage version that he said was delicious (pictured above because I scarfed mine down before I remembered to take a pic - sorry.) I've also tried just brushing the shell with olive oil and topping it with crushed garlic and some cheese. Excellent as an appetizer with wine.

These crusts are crisp on the outside but still slightly chewy on the inside - just like pizza should be. (And I think it's even better the next day reheated in the microwave!) No crumbly, dry, tasteless, cardboard crusts here folks. These are the real deal! It's just so exciting to be able to have pizza in my life again...*contented sigh* Yes, my life is small but my dreams are big...and my food is delish! (lol)

Trying to give you a serious thinking type of pose...ha!
So on to the other new thing in my life...I have a new hair cut! Yep, I decided to whack it off for summer and give my locks a break from the bleach. What do you think? BTW - I love black and white forgives all the imperfections - and a violet photo filter helps too!


Rice Dream Ice Cream Bites

I am hooked. Period.

Don't be afraid - they're actually really good!

Why have ice cream when I can have these little morsels of pure joy!

Usually I detest rice milk products. (Well, maybe detest is too strong of a word. How about mildly despise?) They are just watery and unflavorful to me. I say why bother when there's almond milk (sweet and smooth) or coconut milk (creamy and silky) to turn to for my dairy-free needs. So, the other day when it was 100+ outside and I was in need of a cold treat, I found these in the freezer aisle and decided to give them a try. They just looked so good (in spite of the whole rice milk thing.) Truthfully, I figured if I hated them - oops, I mean mildly despised them - I would just leave them for my husband to eat. He'll eventually eat almost anything in the fridge...

Only 11 left - what is a girl to do?

So, once home and feeling the California heat, I decided to try one. Mmmmm...dark chocolate followed by a light vanilla ice milk-like lightness. Perfection! Of course one led to two, and then three, and eventually 8...ok, maybe more like 15 BUT they're tiny so 15 make up one serving. Honest! I did however finish these little babies off in less than 72 hours...

I've yet to buy them again. I know doing so would be extremely dangerous...they're just that good! Take it from this rice milk (mild) despiser - you'll never know it's rice milk hiding in there, just pure awesomeness!


GF Vegan Doughnut Bread

Yum. That is the perfect word to describe this recipe because it really does taste like a delicious crumb cake doughnut.
Doughnut Bread warm from the oven...

I found this recipe at Gluten Free GiGi. Check out her blog - it's filled with tons of wonderful recipes like this one...and because it's vegan and gluten free, this is a treat you can feel good about too.

Try making these into muffins for a quick morning treat!

The only changes I made were to use toasted pecans in place of the oats in the streusel and coconut flour in place of the xanthan gum. My bread is quite a bit darker than GiGi's (I left it in the oven about 10 minutes longer than I should have *sigh*) but it still tasted wonderful!


GF Brownies

I had a chocolate craving today and have been wanting to try this brownie recipe from Karina, The Gluten Free Goddess. And let me just say, these brownies are spectacular!

Rich, moist and oh so chocolaty!!! I decided to cut the recipe in half (because I figured there would be less temptation that way...) and they came out perfectly (I baked them in a small glass pan for only 35 minutes.)

I had (notice the word "had" instead of "have" used here...) six extra large fugdy and delicious brownies. Oh my! So, so very good :)

So the next time you get a chocolate craving, go ahead and give these a try! You'll be in chocolate heaven! Here's the recipe.

GF DF White Bread

I have finally, finally found a decent delicious gluten free "white" bread. I'm totally speechless!
Just look at this squishy white deliciousness!
Basic gf white bread is usually not very good - inevitably, it is usually heavy, dry, and grainy in texture.
Lookin' good - yum!

But this tasty white bread is delicious! Completely worthy of taking on any regular gluten-laden sandwich bread on the market.

This is the real deal folks :)

And don't let the "Coconut" in the recipe fool you here - this bread has just the faintest taste of coconut. All you really taste her is lovely bread. Yummmm :)

GF DF Coconut White Bread

1 1/3 cups warm water
1 tsp. sugar
1 package instant dry yeast
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup oil (coconut oil - melted, or canola)
1 cup sorghum flour (or superfine brown rice flour)
1 1/2 cups tapioca starch (or flour)
1/2 cup corn starch
1 cup ground toasted coconut
2 tsp. xanthan gum

Grease bread pan with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 200 degrees, then turn oven off.

In bowl of stand mixer, combine water, sugar and yeast. Set aside until mixture foams.

Place flour, starches, coconut and xanthan gum in a large bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.

Add the eggs and oil to the mixer and blend on medium speed for 1 minute. On low, slowly add the flou mixture in four or five additions, letting it mix well after each addition. Once the dough begins to thicken, mix on high for 1 minute.

Place dough into prepared bread pan, smoothing top of dough. Sprinkle with extra ground coconut, if you like. Place in oven and let raise until top is just above edge of bread pan, about 30 minutes.

Remove bread from oven and let it preheat to 350 degrees. Bake 30 – 40 minutes until top is brown. Turn oven off and leave door open slightly. Let bread cool for about 30 minutes, then remove from oven. Let cool for another 30 minutes. *Makes: 1 loaf