Thursday, November 29, 2012

Two Year Anniversary and a Giveaway

**The giveaway is now over. Congratulations to April for winning the cookbook and cooling racks, and thank you to all who participated! Happy baking!

Yesterday was my two-year blogiversary, but I was swamped and wasn't able to post this until today. Happy Anniversary to Mama Me Gluten Free! It's been an exciting two years and I've loved getting to know so many of you, as well as fellow bloggers.

Tis the season for joy, sharing and giving, and I am so THRILLED to share this blogiversary by celebrating YOU, readers, by giving away an awesome cookbook recently published by one of those fellow bloggers I've enjoyed getting to know. Jeanne Sauvage of Art of Gluten-Free Baking blog has generously donated a signed copy of her new cookbook, Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays: 60 Recipes for Traditional Festive Treats. I enjoyed sharing a lunch with Jeanne and a couple of other bloggers at P.F. Chang's in Austin last summer during the IACP convention, and had a great time laughing and sharing stories with all of them. Jeanne is funny, smart and friendly. I know you don't want to miss out on her book. It's gorgeous. And the recipes are amazing. Jeanne is an artist baker and some of these recipes are unbelievable! (Thank you for making this possible, Jeanne!)

In addition to Jeanne's fabulous book, I'm including this 3-tier Wilton cooling rack - because every person needs stacking cooling racks when baking! The combination of the book and cooling racks would make an amazing gift for your favorite gluten-free loved one (even if that loved one is yourself!) - so read the directions below on how to maximize your chance of winning and getting multiple entries.

Now, here's how to enter:

This giveaway is for one signed copy of  "Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays: 60 Recipes for Traditional Festive Treats" and one set of 3-tier Wilton cooling racks, and the entry period begins today, November 29, 2012 and will end on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) CST. The winner will be picked through the Random Sequence Generator on

You are eligible for up to seven entries in this giveaway. To enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me your baked holiday treat (only one comment per person will be counted this way, and this counts as one entry).

Additional entries may be earned by leaving a comment EACH TIME you do one of the following (you get an entry for each one only if you leave a comment for each):

2. "Like" Mama Me Gluten Free on Facebook (if you already "like" the blog on Facebook, that also counts as an entry) and leave a comment here telling me you've done this.

3. Follow @MamaMeGF on Twitter (if you already follow, that counts as an entry), then leave a comment here telling me you've done this.

4. Share this giveaway on Facebook with a link to this post, and leave a comment here telling me you've done this.

5. Share this giveaway on Twitter: "I want to win "Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays" & cooling racks @MamaMeGF! " and then leave a comment here telling me you've done this.

6. Subscribe to Mama Me Gluten Free RSS feed, then leave a comment here telling me you've done this. (If you already subscribe, then that counts too - just leave a comment letting me know!)

7. "Like" Jeanne's page on Facebook and then leave a comment here telling me you've done this. 

You must leave a comment on this post for each of things if you want an entry for each one. Only one comment per item per person will be counted. In other words, if you comment more than one time saying you "like" Mama Me on facebook, only one of those comments will be counted, etc. On the other hand, if you only leave one comment saying you did all of these things, you will only get one entry rather than seven.
********Be sure to leave a contact email if you are posting anonymously or don't have a way to contact you listed in your profile!

Good luck! 

*In the interest of full disclosure, Jeanne Sauvage provided a copy of this book for my giveaway. I was not compensated in any other way, and the opinions of this book are entirely my own. Mama Me Gluten Free is providing the cooling racks.

**The giveaway is now over. Congratulations to April for winning the cookbook and cooling racks, and thank you to all who participated! Happy baking!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Squash Casserole and Thanksgiving Menu

It's here again - exactly one week and one day away. Thanksgiving. Are you cooking yet? Are you baking yet? (We've been sick over here in my house, so I'm not. I hope to get to it SOON.)

We have much to be thankful for, even when things don't seem to be going our way, and I'm trying hard to continue counting my blessings each day. Among so many other blessings I'm counting, this year I am thankful that all the scary stuff with my health last year turned out not be cancer or an illness we feared with a poor prognosis. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is no walk in the park, but I'm learning to live around it.

Some of our wall art for Thanksgiving last year - a painting by one of my daughters and leaves the girls made to scatter around the house.

My Thanksgiving menu this year is the same as last, with my goal once again to get as much of it prepared as I am able, and not fret if I don't get every recipe made. (Here is last year's post:

Thanksgiving Menu:
-Turkey (roasted)
-Gravy (Just whisk together some of the turkey juice with some butter and sweet rice flour or brown rice flour over heat)
-Crockpot cornbread dressing (stuffing)
-Squash casserole (see below)
-Sweet potato casserole
-(Dirty rice, if I have time - another one I grew up with!)
-Broccoli with cheese
-Corn (from my brother-in-law's family farm, sauteed in butter)
-Marinated beets
-Yeast rolls
-Cranberry bread
-Cranberry sauce
-Cranberry jelly
-Fruit salad
-Pecan pie tarts
-Pumpkin pie
-Fresh whipped cream
-(And apple pie if I have time!)

This year I'm adding the recipe for squash casserole to the list (I didn't have the recipe for you last year), and I hope one day I'll have all the recipes on this menu available to you. Maybe one a year??

I'm proud to be able to share the squash casserole with you. It's a recipe from my grandmother and has been in my family for as long as I can remember. I've loved it as long as I can remember, and I love that I've passed my love for it on to my daughters. We always have it at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it's equally good for other meals during other times, as well. The wonderful thing about this recipe is it's very simple and even the prep is mostly just cooking it on the stove with no stirring. It's also nice because you can freeze squash from your summer garden in advance for the casserole months later. You can also prepare the entire dish a few days in advance.

Squash Casserole
(Printable Recipe)
5-6 medium yellow squash (zucchini also works), sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/2 medium size white onion, chopped
1/4 cup plus extra seasoned bread crumbs (I just make my own and use Italian seasoning)
Light olive oil or grapeseed oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Pinch of dried oregano

Place sliced squash in large saucepan with small amount of salted water, cover and steam until tender. Drain.

In small amount of light oil in a large pan, cook chopped onion until tender. Add seasonings and squash. Chop squash until broken. Cook until most of the water has evaporated.

*At this point you can freeze it if you want, for use later.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Add 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs and stir until combined.

Place in shallow greased baking dish (I use a glass pie pan).

*At this point you can put plastic wrap on top and refrigerate it for a few days - making this an easy dish to prepare in advance.

Sprinkle more seasoned bread crumbs on top.

Bake at 400 degrees until squash is heated through and breadcrumbs are browned - usually about 10-15 minutes.


Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Date Pecan Bundt Cake with Orange Glaze

This cake is good. Really good. It only lasted a day in our house - a few bites here, a few bites there for dessert and snack and then a few slices toasted for breakfast the next morning (served with some eggs, of course). It was gone, and as I'm typing this and listening to election coverage at the same time, I'm in desperate need of another slice ...

You'll notice that the title says this is a bundt cake, but the pictures don't tell that truth. Something happened to my bundt pan and when I finally had the last-minute chance to make this cake, I didn't have time to get another one. I don't recommend you using your angel food cake tube pan for this recipe, but that's what I did. It was a huge mistake as I lost a bit of batter from the bottom of the pan as the batter started getting hot and rising. Thankfully I was able to clean it up from the bottom before the cake had a chance of falling and put some aluminum foil down for the rest of the drippings - and salvaged everything without that dreaded smoke taste!

Many thanks to Adina from Gluten Free Travelette for hosting our Gluten-Free Ratio Rally this month and giving us the challenge of bundt cakes. Be sure to check out her delicious cake as well as the cakes the other participants have baked up for you. They all look amazing and you don't want to miss them! 

If you aren't familiar with the rally, you can check out my rally page here, where I list the other rally posts and find out why we are so excited about the freedom we've discovered in our kitchens when we bake by weight and ratio.

Logo designed by Anile Prakash
I chose the flavors in this cake because I was craving a dessert my grandmother makes (I really need to give you that recipe one day - it's incredible!) and with the holidays coming up, wanted to add a festive twist to the flavor with the orange glaze. I used Ruhlman's ratio for pound cake, which is 1 part butter: 1 part sugar: 1 part egg: 1 part flour, but reduced the amount of butter by a fourth and was pleased to see it still came out delicious. It really has a perfect texture that I was very pleased with.

Date Pecan Bundt Cake with Orange Glaze

6 ounces butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
8 ounces (228 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces egg (4 large eggs plus 1 large yolk), at room temperature and whisked lightly together
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2.5 ounces (71 grams) tapioca starch
1 ounce (27 grams) almond flour
1 ounce (27 grams) sweet rice flour
1.5 ounces (42 grams) millet flour
2 ounces (54 grams) brown rice flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground chia seed
1 cup chopped dates (chop them yourself for best results and don't use the already chopped stuff)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Orange glaze:
1/4 cup refined sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice
Zest of an orange
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice

Preheat over to 325 degrees and butter a bundt pan.

Mix flours together with ground chia seed.

Beat butter with paddle attachment in stand mixer (or however you mix if you don't have a stand mixer) at medium speed for about a minute. 

Add the sugar and salt, then beat on medium-high until butter mixture becomes fluffy and lighter in color (about three minutes). Scrape bowl if necessary.

Have your eggs ready and lightly whisked together, then slowly add them to the butter mixture, continuing to beat until they are mixed in. Scrape bowl and mix a little more. Scrape again and mix in the vanilla.

Slowly add the flour with the mixer going at low speed. Scrape bowl and mix again just until everything is mixed together.

Pour batter into pan and bake at 325 for about 50 minutes to an hour. Cake is done when toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. Let cake sit for 5-10 minutes, then turn onto plate and cool on wire rack to cool completely.

For glaze, heat refined sugar and zest with orange juice until bubbling and sugar is dissolved, then add powdered sugar and more orange juice. After cake has cooled, spoon over top and sides, letting sauce saturate the top of cake.


Don't forget to stop by Adina's post and check out her cake as well as the other cakes this rally. Thank you again, Adina!


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