A great big welcome to Lexie's Kitchen & Living. I hope you enjoy the recipes and ramblings. For the story behind this site read here

Follow a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free diet? Check out my recently released cookbook

 

 

 


 

 

 

Monday
Dec202010

Christmas Crepes Suzette

This post is linked to: Slightly Indulgent Tuesday 12.21.10

I don’t know how it goes for you, but on Christmas morning I can get so caught up in the moment and magic that I forget to fuel up. Fast forward to late morning and I realize that a cup of coffee and three pieces of Almond Roca haven’t gotten me very far. So I drag my feet into the kitchen to cook. But honestly, who wants to be in the kitchen on Christmas morning?! This year I am determined not to be. I have revisited and modified a recipe that I have served up for Christmas mornings past—a dressed-up “special” breakfast that I will prepare the day before and put together the day-of in under 10 minutes. It will be none other than the lovely Crepes Suzette.

Crepes Suzette is a traditional French dessert. I am excited that I can now make an exception and serve dessert for breakfast—and feel absolutely no guilt about it. You see, these aren’t your traditional crepes. Extra eggs and quinoa flakes give these pretty babies a hefty protein boost. And some of the honey can easily be substituted with liquid stevia for those following a low-sugar diet.

This recipe is not egg-free, but is gluten-free, dairy-free and grain-free (if you don't count the corn-derived flavoring in Earthbalance buttery spread!). And, no need to be intimidated by crepes. If you can flip a pancake, you can make a crepe!

Lastly, I have a special Christmas gift for one lucky reader—a copy of Elana Amsterdam's The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook? Entry details are at the end of this post.

 

Gluten-Free Quinoa Crepes Suzette

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Easily Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Rice-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Tree Nut-Free | Wheat-Free | Grain Flour-Free | Sesame-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Vegetarian

Makes: 16 crepes or 4-6 servings
Hands On Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

FOR CREPES
8 large EGGS
1-1/2 cups Silk Original ALMOND MILK (or other non-dairy milk)
1/4 cup runny HONEY (or liquid stevia)
1/4 cup light OLIVE OIL
1 tablespoon VANILLA EXTRACT
2 cups QUINOA FLAKES
1/2 cup TAPIOCA STARCH
3/4 teaspoon SEA SALT

FOR ORANGE SAUCE
1-1/2 cups ORANGE JUICE (preferably fresh squeezed)
1/4-1/2 cup runny HONEY (use liquid stevia for a sweetener-free version)
6 tablespoons Earthbalance Soy-Free BUTTERY SPREAD or butter
1 teaspoon VANILLA EXTRACT
1/2 cup GRAND MARNIER LIQUEUR, warmed (optional)

Directions:

1. Add ingredients to blender in above order. Pulse a few times and allow to sit 3-5 minutes to soften quinoa flakes. Blend on medium until super smooth.

2. Heat a 8-9.5" non-stick crepe pan (see Notes) over medium heat. Wipe pan with a well-oiled paper towel. Pour 1/4 cup batter into pan and swirl to coat bottom of pan. Continue to swirl until batter sets. Alton Brown demonstrates this at the end of Part 1 and beginning of Part 2 of his Crepe Expectations episode below.

3. When top of crepe is dry to the touch, lift one edge and fold crep in half. Transfer crepe to a plate and roll or fold in half again.

4. Repeat until all batter is used up.

5. At this point you may layer crepes in an airtight container, separating layers with parchment or wax paper and refrigerate or freeze. On the day you plan to use the crepes, simply set them on the counter and allow to come to room temperature. If you are ready to prepare your crepes, let's move on to the orange sauce.

6. Bring to simmer in a large skillet; all sauce ingredients except liqueur. Add to simmering liquid 8 folded or rolled crepes; bathing them in the orange sauce as they are added to the skillet. Allow to simmer 1-2 minutes, turning a few times.

7. Add half of the liqueur to the pan and, using caution, ignite the liqueur with a long-handled lighter or fireplace match. This "flambeing" is more for show. You can just as easily cook the alcohol off by allowing crepes to simmer an additional minute.

8. Transfer crepes to warmed individual plates, drizzle with orange sauce and serve!

Notes:

1. The Pan: Crepe making shouldn't be intimidating. If you can flip a pancake, you can make a crepe. For a video demonstration, see the end of this post. The key is in using a good non-stick pan. There are two non-stick pieces of cookware I just can't part with; my waffle iron and my crepe pan. My crepe pan is reserved for crepe makin' only and I take really good care of it. If you choose to tackle crepes with a stainless steel fry pan, be forewarned, you'll likely need to use a lot of oil or butter to prevent sticking. No guarantees here.

2. If using EarthBalance Buttery Spread, note that it does contain corn-derived flavoring.

The final step—add fire and flambe (fun but not necessary)! Folded in quarters is the traditional way to serve Crepes Suzette.

Alton Shares All We Need to Know About Crepe Making

I swoon for Alton Brown! Here is his Good Eats: Crepe Expectations episode. At the end of Part 1 and beginning of Part 2 he demonstrates the technique for cooking crepes. Unlike Alton, I don't flip my crepes. I just fold them in half when the tops are dry to the touch and transfer to a plate. Folding them in quarters is the traditional way of making Crepes Suzette. I like folding them in half and rolling them to change things up a bit!

The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook Giveaway

Don't have a copy of Elana Amsterdam's The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook yet? Then enter to win one! This was the first gluten-free cookbook I added to my cookbook collection and cherish it to this day. In it Elana uses basic ingredients to whip up some pretty amazing eats and treats.

To Enter: Leave a comment below and share with us what your favorite Lexie's Kitchen recipe is or one you've been wanting to try. That's it!

Deadline: This giveaway is now closed.

Happy Holidays to all!

Lexie

Thursday
Dec162010

Floppy Broccoli and Wilted Kale

No offense, but I think my grocery store (and I won't mention names) is at the end of the truck delivery line. Either that or organic produce just hasn't caught on here and sits and wilts on the shelf. I just want fresh, crisp organic produce. Is that too much to ask? I guess it is. But, aha! I've discovered a little trick that helps return floppy broccoli and wilted kale to its former glory. Simply trim the stems a quarter inch and stand them in a glass or bowl of water. In an hour or two your kale and broccoli should feel garden fresh again!

If you like tips like this one, please leave a comment. I'd love to know.

Oh and one more thing.

If You Like Lexie's Kitchen, Cast Your Vote

I assume, since you've read this entire [short] post that you kind of like Lexie's Kitchen? If I'm right I'd love it if you would give this blog a THUMBS UP.

Visit the 50 Best Mom Food Bloggers site. Scroll down to my name and click "LIKE." But really folks, only cast a vote if you really and truly like Lexie's Kitchen :) And be sure to nominate/vote for your other favorite mommy bloggers, too! And thanks to those who have already cast their vote.

[Update:  WOW! I am in the top 50 now, gee, thanks!!!]

xo
Lexie

Wednesday
Dec152010

I Will Be Having ...

Yesterday was the final day of Share Our Holiday Table; a virtual, progressive dinner, hosted by Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry. And a bountiful holiday table it was! Today as I took another look at the incredible dishes that have been put before us I thought it would be fun to, as my boys say, "play restaurant." And so I did. And it was fun. Better than a Calgon Take Me Away moment. I dreamily browsed through each Share Our Holiday Table post and ordered a complete 7-course meal! Delish. And so fun.

Here is what I ordered. Oh and by the way, the meal was beyond my every expectation!

 

APPETIZER

Sun Dried Tomato Polenta Bites
presented by Chef Lori | The Recipe Girl

DRINK

Reindeer Antler Punch
presented by Bartender :) Shirley | Gluten-Free Easily

SALAD

Cranberry Pecan Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
presented by Chef Shaina | Food for My Family

SOUP

Roasted Chestnut Bisque
presented by Chef Perre | The Runaway Spoon

ENTREE

Bacon Wrapped Turkey Spiedini
presented by Chef Nancy | The Sensitive Pantry

SIDE

Couldn't decide so ordered two!

Stuffed Acorn Squash
presented by Chef Jenn | Jenn Cuisine


Root Vegetable Gratin
presented by Chef Heather | Heather Cristo

DESSERT

Pomegranate Poached Pears
presented by Chef Jeanette | Jeanettes Healthy Living

Images copyright and courtesy of their respective chefs.

 

Now THAT was a holiday feast!

How about sharing your holiday table with a child in need of nourishing meals. If you would like to contribute to the Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry™ campaign to end child hunger in the United States by 2015, please make a pledge here.

 

Sunday
Dec122010

A Sweet Gift For Smelly Friends

My super cool Canadian blogging pal, Kirsten (Miss Dropsie), and I had intended to do a joint post on holiday gifts you can make in the kitchen. Well, I dropped the ball—sorry Kirsten. Today I looked at the calendar and realized how insanely behind I am in more things than posting. So much so that it's stressin' me out. It's no wonder I've been slathering on a bit more of my favorite hippy chick deodorant. Ha! Now wait, there's an idea. If you've got a friend who stresses out this time of year and gets to smelling, well, not so fresh, how about dropping a pot of this homemade deodorant in their stocking! Subtle hint? Innocent gift?

Okay so the recipe for this deodorant is one I shared earlier this year. I cannot rave enough about it! This has been the only deodorant that has worked for me since giving up antiperspirants 15 years ago. I swear by it. Maybe it's the perfect fit for my chemistry, I don't know. It just works. It is a recipe I found over at The Angry Chicken. Here are the ingredients you will need. You can visit The Angry Chicken for the how-to's.

Angry Chicken Deodorant

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons SHEA BUTTER
3 tablespoons BAKING SODA
2 tablespoons CORN STARCH or ARROWROOT STARCH
2 tablespoons COCOA BUTTER (found mine at Whole Foods)
2 VITAMIN E OIL GEL CAPS (puncture and squeeze out the oil)
ESSENTIAL OILS (Amy uses ylang ylang and orange, I used lavender and orange)

You can read my original post for ways to re-use and fill a plastic deodorant stick.

For gift giving, I use little pots. To apply, just roll a bit into a pea-sized ball and rub in. Pretty up the pot by adhering a strip of decorative paper (scrapbooking paper works great).

So there you have it. A gift you can whip up in the kitchen in minutes (my friend Abby can attest to that—thanks Abby!).

If deodorant is a little too personal of a gift, how about Elana's foot balm. Find it at Elana's Pantry. Hello, who turns down a foot rub!!?

And Kirsten, thanks for coming through for both of us. Kirsten has rounded up a few "make in the kitchen" gift ideas. You'll find them posted here.

Tuesday
Dec072010

Cashew Horchata & Sharing Our Strength

Cashew Horchata | A simple but festive beverage for your holiday table!Welcome to Day Two of Share Our Holiday Table—a virtual, progressive fundraising dinner designed to raise awareness of child hunger in the U.S. This event is being hosted by Share Our Strength®—a national organization that works hard to make sure no child in America grows up hungry.

Yesterday a dynamite food blogger line-up treated us to nine tasty appetizers. Today we move on to drinks. But before we make our festive toast to good health and prosperity, I have something to ask and something to share.

Have you been missing the signs of child hunger in your town?

I had.

There is a route through downtown Cheyenne that I drive a couple of times a week. It was last fall, at the corner of Lincolnway and Pioneer, that I first noticed the brown bags. Most Wednesdays I would pass by and see hundreds of them filled and neatly lined up on the floor of the vacant Dineen building. It wasn't until July of this year that I made the connection when an article ran in the Wyoming Tribune Herald. The article was about Cheyenne's Friday Food Bags program and the number of school children in Cheyenne living in food insecure households. I had been missing a sign. I had been driving past one for over a year.

Turns out, over 300 food sacks are handed out to Cheyenne school kids every Friday with the intent to ensure these children, who normally get free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunches at school, don't go hungry over weekends. Having had my eyes opened, I was shocked and ashamed for being oblivious to the hardship some of the children in my own town were facing.

I have come to applaud the efforts of organizations like Share Our Strength and grass roots programs like Friday Food Bags. When you read the statistics, they are pretty mind blowing. In 2008 (and this was before the U.S. fell deeper into recession) the USDA reported that 22% of the children in the U.S. were living in food insecure households [read more about that here]. They were experiencing hunger—"hunger" defined as an uneasy or painful sensation caused by lack of food.

Now most will argue that children going hungry is just a symptom of deeper-rooted problems in our society—ones that need to be addressed. I agree. However, the ability to obtain enough food for an active, healthy life is the most basic of human needs. The idea of any child going hungry troubles me. Why? 1) Obtaining food is something a child has little control over, 2) it should not be their responsibility to do so and 3) there are mental and physical changes that accompany inadequate food intake which directly affect learning, development, productivity, physical and psychological health and family life.

Okay, I am hopping off my soapbox (thanks for hanging in there with me).

Now, shall we toast?

Here is to health, prosperity and no child going hungry this holiday season! Please consider making a contribution [click here] to the Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry™ campaign. Then as you gather around your holiday table, know that you have extended it beyond your circle of family and friends. You have shared it with a needy child—and very likely, one in your own town. Thank you.

The recipe I bring to Share Our Holiday Table is one for simple horchata. Popular in Mexico and with origins dating back to ancient Egypt, horchata can be made with three basic ingredients—rice, cinnamon and sweetener—and costs just pennies to make. Nuts may be added for extra creaminess as can vanilla. Serve it over ice or warm and blend it with melted chocolate for a decadent hot cocoa. Place a pitcher at the kids' holiday table and they're sure to feel extra special.

Happy Holidays to all!

Cashew Horchata

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Wheat-Free | Easily Tree Nut-Free | Sesame-Free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Easily Vegan

Makes: Approximately 5-6 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Soak Time: 4-6 hours

Ingredients:

1/2 cup WHITE RICE
4 cups boiling WATER
1 CINNAMON STICK (2 if you love cinnamon!)
2 teaspoons VANILLA EXTRACT
1/2 cup raw CASHEW NUTS
1/4 cup, or to taste, RUNNY HONEY (see Notes for sugar-free version)
Dash SEA SALT
1-2 cups COLD WATER

Directions:

1. Using a blender, coffee grinder or food processor, grind rice to fine meal. Transfer to medium bowl along with cinnamon stick and vanilla. Pour boiling water over rice meal mixture. Allow to stand at room temperature 4-6 hours.

2. Add cashews to a separate bowl. Cover with water and allow to soak 4-6 hours. Rinse well.

3. Transfer cashews and rice mixture (including the cinnamon stick) to high-powered blender.

3. Blend on high 1-2 minutes or until smooth.

4. Strain mixture into large bowl using cheesecloth or nut milk bag.

5. Return liquid to rinsed blender carafe. Add honey, pinch of salt and 1-2 cups additional water to achieve the consistency of milk.

6. Blend on low 10 seconds.

7. Chill and stir before serving over ice.

8. Optional: Dust with cinnamon and garnish with a star anise pod for a festive touch (pictured above).

Notes:

Cashews may be replaced with an additional 1/2 cup soaked rice or 1/2 cup almonds that have been soaked for 8-10 hours and rinsed well. Cinnamon stick may be replaced with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. For a subtle licorice "twist", throw one star anise pod in with the rice/water mixture. Blend with the rest of the mixture. Easily sugar-free: Sweeten to taste with SweetLeaf Liquid Vanilla Creme Stevia instead of honey.

 

Share Our Holiday Table Progressive Dinner

Day 1: Appetizers

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

Day 2: Drinks

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

Day 3: Salads

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

 Day 3: Soups

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

 

 Day 4: Entrees

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

 

Day 5: Sides

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

Day 6: Desserts

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free