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Tuesday
Apr262011

Chive Pepper Muffins & Cookbook Review

Seven-ingredient Chive Pepper Muffins from Elana Amsterdam's new cookbook "Gluten-Free Cupcakes." These muffins were quick and easy to prepare and made a tasty addition to a pot roast dinner. With my kiddos in mind, I used 1 teaspoon black pepper and substituted 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes for the chives. Yum!

Much Anticipated Gluten-Free Cupcake Cookbook Launches!

Today is a day to celebrate! Elana Amsterdam's Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour has hit the market and is flying off Amazon's shelves like hotcakes—or rather, shall I say, sweet and tempting cupcakes.

I have read my preview copy of Gluten-Free Cupcakes cover-to-cover, have made five recipes and want to share my impressions.

Simple Recipes, Quick Prep

If you’ve met Elana, you quickly pick up that she is a no-nonsense lady and the same goes for her recipes and cookbooks. She’s all about keeping it basic and simple (yes!). Ingredient lists are short and directions are clear and concise. Take, for example, her three-ingredient Flourless White Chocolate Cupcake. It calls for is three, yes only three, ingredients—buy the book to find out what they are :).

And speaking of ingredients, after stocking up on the few basics Elana suggests, you can make virtually all of the cupcakes and frostings in the book. For those unaccustomed to baking with ingredients such as almond flour, coconut oil or chia seed, Elana explains what they are, what they do, where to buy them and how to use them.

A Treat for Everyone

If are nut-free, dairy-free, sweetener-free, kosher, paleo, vegan—there are recipes in this book for you. Some recipes call for almond flour, some for coconut flour. I really enjoyed the date, banana and stevia-sweetened Banana Pecan Cupcakes, and made extra to keep in the freezer for a quick bite.

I will note that if you are egg-free, all but one of the cupcake and muffin recipes call for eggs.

Satisfying and Nutritionally Dense

Like Elana, I gravitate to foods that are nutritionally dense; foods that pack goodness into every bite. Unlike traditional cupcakes, Elana's use of high-protein almond flour and eggs ensures just this. I was pleased to find six savory muffin recipes that require not sweetener. The great thing about nutritionally dense foods is that they fill you up. One cupcake (okay, maybe two) and I am satisfied.

Sweet Toppings

Gluten-Free Cupcakes offers a whopping 14 frostings, fillings and toppings—four of which are vegan! I used the Vegan Buttercream to top the Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes I made. Delightful! Elana uses agave nectar in most of her recipes but encourages experimentation with honey, brown rice syrup, xylitol or fruit purees.

Tasty Photos and Clean Layout

This cookbook is very easy and pleasing to the eye. The layout is clean, the photos are rich. It’s a fun book to flip through.

Keep In Mind

Follow Directions: I like it when an cookbook drives home the importance of following directions. Elana tactfully does this. I need the reminder, for I am the queen of improvisation in the kitchen. Follow the directions for optimal results.

Let the Cakes Cool: With these cupcakes, cooling is a step that cannot be skipped. Keep the temptation at bay to pop a fresh one in your mouth and let the cupcakes cool for the length of time Elana says they should.

_______________________________________________________________________________

WIN IT!

Be one of the very FIRST to own a copy of Elana Amsterdam's new cookbook, Gluten-Free Cupcakes.

To Enter: Leave a comment at the end of this post. If you'd like, share with us the one cookbook you could not live without. For and additional chance to win, "LIKE" Lexie's Kitchen on Facebook.

Deadline: To qualify, leave your comment by 5:00 p.m. (CST) Wednesday, May 4th.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Meet Elana

Elana launched the blog Elana's Pantry in 2006. Five years later she continues to serve up at least one new gluten-free recipe a week. In 2009 she published her first cookbook The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook. Elana is near and dear to my heart and I am honored to call her a friend. Though she may not know it, through her blog, she was a help and inspiration to me long before we met. I am certain thousands of others would say the same. Her recipes and anecdotes were rays of sunshine and hope in our home in the days following our food allergy diagnosis. Elana lives with her family in Boulder, Colorado.

Support a Food Blogger

Bloggers do what they do because they love it, because it is their passion—sacrifices are made to bring you the posts that they do. If you'd like to show your appreciation for the efforts of your favorite food blogger turned cookbook author, consider purchasing their book. Here are just a few you might enjoy.

NEW! The Spunky Coconut Grain-Free Baked Goods and Desserts: Gluten Free, Casein Free & Often Egg Free
Kelly V. Brozyna | www.thespunkycoconut.com

NEW! Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free
Silvana Nardone | www.silvanaskitchen.com

NEW! Everyday Paleo
Sarah Fragoso | www.everydaypaleo.com

NEW! More Make it Fast, Cook it Slow
Stephanie O’Dea | crockpot365.blogspot.com

NEW! Simply...Gluten-free Desserts: 150 Delicious Recipes for Cupcakes, Cookies ...
Carol Kicinski | www.simplygluten-free.com

NEW! Good Morning! Breakfasts Without Gluten, Egg, Sugar or Dairy
Ricki Heller | www.dietdessertndogs.com (pdf e-book)

NEW! Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free: 180 Easy and Delicious Recipes You Can Make ...
Amy Green | www.simplysugarandglutenfree.com

Some of the recipes in these cookbooks call for ingredients I do not regularly stock/use (e.g. cane sugar, eggs, etc.). If you have certain dietary restrictions, read the full description and reviews of a book to ensure it is a right fit for you.

Reader Comments (37)

I am with you on the savory muffins from Elana's new book. I've made the Goat Cheese and Scallion Muffins twice and we also devoured a batch of the Spinach Feta mini muffins. The strawberry cupcakes were bursting with strawberry and Mama does love Elana's hazelnut and dark chocolate cupcakes. I spied one book on your list that I didn't have and just bought it. I am such an easy sell. Great review, Lex!

Love that photo, Lexie, and the review! I haven't tried any of Elana's savory muffin recipes yet, but I love hearing how great they are. I'm not at all surprised and I can't wait to try them, too. So far the sweet cupcakes like marble and vanilla have been winners in my home, both for us and our guests! I'm not entering the giveaway, but just wanted to add my feedback. The listing of latest cookbooks is also very helpful. Thanks so much, dear! :-)

xoxo,
Shirley

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShirley @ gfe

I couldn't live without the book "easy vegan." Such simple, vegetable centric dishes that I love to bulk up with some chicken or fish.

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErica

I liked lexie's kitchen on facebook!

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErica

Thanks so much for hosting a give-a-way!
I do have one much loved cookbook that I really could not live without. When I was in college, my mom made a scrapbook for my sister and me, filled with all of our childhood favorites and the recipes that have been passed down through generations. I'm still making my way through the book, figuring out how to adapt each one to a gf/cf recipe, but so far so good! Plus, there's A LOT of love in that cookbook. Thanks again!

The Joy of Cooking! :) love it.

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea M

I liked you on Facebook and would love a copy of Elana's book. As for my favorite cookbook I couldn't live without---I think my favorite is The Pioneer Woman Cooks, even though it is full of everything we can't eat :)

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCassidyS

I can't wait to get this cookbook! It looks soooo good!

It's almost garden season, and my can't live without it cookbook for summer & fall is Simply in Season. :)

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharmista

I like you on FB.

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharmista

Since I was just diagnosed with a wheat, refined sugar, and corn allergy, I haven't really been using cookbooks much and just making simple meat and veggie recipes with basic ingredients. I guess my favorite cookbook is the internet right now, since most of my seasoning ideas I get or modify from online recipes. I would really like this cookbook though, since everything I've found out about it fits with my new allergies.

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

I like you on facebook.

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

I'm not sure I could pick just one book!
Can I choose the whole internet? Food bloggers keep me and my food intolerant family very happy!

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMegan D

I love Elana's first cookbook, have learned so much! Thanks for this great review! My book is on preorder and I can't wait for it to arrive!

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Stiles

I like you on facebook. :)

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Stiles

I have a few cookbooks that I can't live without... :)

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaula

I just bought Elana's first book. I borrowed it from the library first but knew I needed to get my own to have. I have not made cupcakes yet but I would love to make ones from her new cookbook.

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKarin

The one cookbook I could not live without is The New Best Recipe from America's Test Kitchen. Love it!

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTressa

I liked Lexi's Kitchen on FB. :)

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTressa

I love Elanas first cookbook and would love to have this one as well!

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

I like you on fb

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

Fantastic, thanks for the giveaway!

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAri

I liked you on facebook. I like you all the time! Anyway, my bestest cookbook right now would have to be Elana's first. We are pretty much grain free.

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersue

I would LOVe to try these recipes! I'm an avid baker and need to learn how to bake without gluten for health reasons. Can't wait to learn how to bake with coconut flour!

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

I don't have just one cookbook that I can't live without. I know for sure that I couldn't live without all the great recipes on the internet though!

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

I "LIKE" Lexie's Kitchen on Facebook.

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

My favorite cookbook is Elana's other book "The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook". It was the first gluten free cookbook that I picked up and it is still my go to book. I modify things here and there to align to dietary restrictions we have in the house. The recipes are wonderful and I'm sure her new book is just as (if not more so) amazing!!

April 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

For the past year, I have been using Ali's cookbook, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. So many great ideas. I also use Nourishing Traditions extensively. Would love to win this cookbook and make good use of all the almond flour I ordered recently!

April 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah P

I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance under a year ago, and I struggled to find good recipes. Then a friend gave me The Gluten Free Bible for my birthday. I love it ! I think my favorite recipe is for the sandwich bread. I

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeidre F

I already LIKE you on Facebook because I just like you.

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaurel

Lexie you made me hungry. Either that or I should eat more than once every 48 hours. :0
I don't have a specific cookbook I like the most unless it's Robin Robertson(sp?) Fire and Spice because there is so much variety and so few changes (like take out all the soy and replace with meat). Seriously great international ideas except fire doesn't come into it. I've had to triple the spices in everything I've made although other folks complain about the heat... shrug. As I said though seriously great variety of allergy friendly goodies with a little judgment.

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaurel

What a great cookbook to have! We know we need be 100% gluten free but finding yummy recipes is so very challenging. :(

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

This chive pepper muffin recipe sounds delicious!!! Can't wait to try!
Since going gluten free just over a year and a half ago I have been a dedicated follower of Elanas Pantry! I love her recipes and can't seem to get enough! So adding this cookbook to my growing kitchen would be a blessing beyond words!
Thanks for the opportunity!

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarissa GF

The cookbook I could not live without is my family cookbook of recipes. It's filled with recipes from my friends and family. All of my go-to dishes (and most of my blogging recipes) are in it.

I've been a silent follower to your blog for the last few months. I was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that requires a gluten and dairy free diet to manage it. The dietary changes have had a steep learning curve especially with 2 little ones under foot. I am so appreciative of your blog and would say like some of the others that I don't really use any of my cookbooks right now since gluten/dairy free living is so new and I don't know how to modify recipes yet. The 3 blogs I've been using the most would be yours, the spunky coconut and Elana's Pantry. Thank you for the cookbook ideas! Elana' cupcakes look delish!

April 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNell

Hi Lexie, I just found out about your blog from one of our friends on Facebook. My daughters have both been put on a casein, gluten free diet just recently. One is a bread and cheese lover, so, very hard to come up with ideas. I've been practically living on the internet the past few days trying to find her a bread recipe and get ideas for what to cook. I'm completely lost when it comes to cooking without flour and dairy. I'm so glad to find your blog and hopefully come up with some recipes to tantalize her tastebuds! I think I'll start with the Nacho cheese :D I can't say I have a favorite cookbook, but I have always loved Taste of Home magazine, but...that was before. So, I would love to have Elana's cupcake cookbook to show my daughter there is still fun food to be had! I also liked you on Facebook.

May 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngie

I'd love to win this cookbook! I can't think of one cookbook I couldn't live without, since I'm more of an online recipe person (I bookmark everything as I go, then sift through it later when I'm looking for something to cook or bake). That could be because I've moved around a lot these last few years and really try to limit my possessions, especially heavy ones. But I should be settling for a little while come this fall, and I'm excited to add to my small collection of cookbooks.

Oh, and I'm already a fan on facebook. :)

May 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I'd have to say the one cookbook I use the most is Betty Crocker. You know, the bright orange one. Even if it's just to get some starting ideas.

May 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

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