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Food. Eaten. Made. Discussed. All gluten-free.

Super-C Salad

Some days, I want to cook. Some days, I don’t. Some days I go to Whole Foods and buy a pile of fruit with no plan. And then I get sick of smoothies. And parfaits. So I go hunting on the interwebs for ways to use up said pile of fruit. Ways that will work for just one person. Or that don’t make me hate what I made because of the sheer amount of excess food.

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gluten-free chocolate raspberry muffin recipe

Chocolate Raspberry Gluten-Free Muffins

It’s been a hot minute since I really took time to create a new recipe. I’ve avoided baking aside from very special requests for quite some time. It’s been partially the pain from CRPS holding me back. Dance classes have been keeping me busy. I have a job that never seems to quit.

I’ve been writing. Essays about former friends. Wellness advice that I should be following whole heartedly (rather than the half-heartedly way I follow it at the moment). I’ve been making videos about gluten-free makeup so I can learn how YouTube works. Someone told me video is the future…three years ago. Those will be making some appearances here…when I figure out exactly what “even curiouser” means when it comes to videos.

But something hit me last weekend and I wanted to bake. No. I needed to bake. I needed to mix up something sweet and I needed it to be something I hadn’t made before. It needed to be simple enough because the urge hit me at 9pm on a Sunday night. The recipe couldn’t be sized to feed an army because I live in a household of one. It had to be something I would want to eat. Something that keeps well.

gluten-free chocolate raspberry muffins in a tin

I settled on a small batch of gluten-free chocolate muffins. One bowl. I wanted to bake them in my counter top convection oven. (You know, I haven’t turned on my actual oven in nearly year…). I poked around in my freezer looking for chocolate chips and came up with a bag of raspberries instead. I decided to go for it.

This recipe is what resulted. Rich. Slightly tart. Almost too decadent to be a muffin…just the way I like it. They aren’t the prettiest (I should have smoothed out the tops a little), but this isn’t a beauty pageant. This is serious food. It’s breakfast. The kind of breakfast that makes sure that I am deserving of my mom’s nickname for me when I was young – Mary Muffin. Actually, if I was a muffin, I might just be these. Or these might be me. I’m not too sure how that would go…

Ok, enough rambling. Let’s make muffins.

gluten-free chocolate raspberry muffin recipe

Gluten-Free Chocolate Raspberry Muffins

gluten-free chocolate raspberry muffin recipe Muffins are the best. They’re like a baked pancake. Or a breakfast cupcake. These rich, chocolate ones with tart raspberries are simply decadent. *I use Cup4Cup Gluten-Free All-Purpose flour in all of my recipes. Any other blend you use should weigh about 140 grams per cup. Any substitutions should be similar in both weight and …

  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 25m

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (100 grams) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon strongly brewed coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond or soy milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup (50 grams) cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups (175 grams) gluten-free all purpose flour*
  • 3/4 cup raspberries (a full cup may cause you to have enough batter for a 7th muffin)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 6-pan muffin tin with paper liners or grease and flour the wells. If you only have a 12 pan tin, fill the middle 2 rows of 3 wells.
  2. Melt butter and cool slightly.
  3. While your butter cools, in a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together your gluten-free flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. I a large liquid measuring cup where you measured your milk, add your egg, sugar, vanilla, coffee and melted butter. Whisk them all together. This limits your dishes. If your liquid measuring cup is small, use a small mixing bowl.
  5. Add your liquid mixture to your dry mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in your raspberries but try not to mash them.
  6. Fill your muffin papers to nearly the top.
  7. Bake for about 6 minutes until the tops of your muffins have domed up. Drop the temperature to 350 degrees for the remaining baking time. Bake an additional 10-20 minutes, checking doneness after 10 minutes. Differences in flour blends and milks will affect baking time. A toothpick should come out clean or with a couple crumbs when inserted into the center of the muffin.
  8. Cool slightly and enjoy warm or let cool completely and store in an air-tight container. Muffins will keep for 3 days at room temperature or several months in the freezer.
tomato rice soup

Mammacakes’ Famous Tomato Rice Soup

An epiphany came to me when I was mad that I couldn’t get my favorite meal delivery. I wanted to order chicken that could be reheated easily and that would arrive in less than 20 minutes. In the 10 minutes I took to decide which sides I wanted, all the meals sold out for the night. I was annoyed and hungry. It led me to a giant pot of my mom’s famous tomato rice soup.

My kitchen and I went through a trial separation. Ultimately, it got so bad that I didn’t do any cooking other than microwaving or boiling pasta for two months. I cleaned out my fridge last week and found some terribly old leftovers. Like, I found leftover jellied cranberries from Thanksgiving old.

Cooking was the proverbial last straw. I went to adult ballet camp for 6 days and only took 2 days off of work. I’ve only worked one week at my recommended hours in the last 4 months. Every time I have tried to take a day off, something has come up. Even days I was in the hospital for surgery. (I might have some issues with saying no and setting boundaries…). But that stress just built. And work became consuming.

I had to reassess

I was killing it at work and knocking out great work for awesome clients. You might even come across this work on Facebook and Instagram. I worked my body into the ground. My health is already not the best and I did everything I wasn’t supposed to. I worked non-stop, skipped dance classes, and I even stopped seeing friends. It got to the point that I stopped cooking and even stopped making easy smoothies. As my health got worse, the spiral deepened.

A couple weeks ago, I decided that I had to stop. I had to start making real food again. It was the fateful night that the gourmet, chef made, reheat at home meal delivery service failed me for the second day in a row. I was hungry and exhausted with nary a fresh fruit or vegetable in the house. The fridge was full of half used condiments, bottles of juice and containers of questionable contents.

tomato rice soup

Famous Tomato Rice Soup

After a large Instacart order of staples and produce and a fridge deep clean, I felt like I could make friends with my kitchen again. I started with one of my favorites, chicken & chorizo paella. I made bacon cookies to bribe a friend to watch a ballet movie with me. And I had a craving for soup. A soup that was part of the regular rotation growing up. Once, a dear friend requested that I ship it to India. My mom’s famous tomato rice soup is incredibly easy to make and requires mostly things you already have on hand.

It starts with a bottle of tomato juice and only requires rice (short grain is best), garlic powder, tomato paste, paprika and a parmesan rind or two. You can eat the soup as soon as the rice is cooked and tastes much better than something made that quickly should.

The flavors

The parmesan rind is the secret to the salty depth. The soup will still be pretty tasty without this, but it will lack dimension. If you shred your own parm, you should save your rinds for soup. If you don’t use enough of the cheese to have rinds on hand, they’re incredibly cheap at the cheese counter at your local Whole Foods. 3 rinds cost me about $1.

Tomato paste intensives the tomato flavor. Tomato juice is bright and light, so including some tomato paste adds layers of depth and a bit of umami to the soup. Adding it at the beginning allows the rice to really absorb the tomato flavor.

Butter adds a richness. The recipe calls for butter rather than olive oil because of the richness and creamy mouthfeel that butter can add to the soup. Also, it starts to brown and creates a nutty undertone to the soup. You can always use olive oil if you need to make a dairy free version of the tomato rice soup.

Mammacakes’ Tomato Rice Soup

tomato rice soup I can’t believe I’m giving away the secret of this super easy soup. It’s so easy, I’ve been making it since I was little.

  • Prep Time: 5m
  • Cook Time: 35m
  • Total Time: 40m
  • Serves: 4
  • Category:

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons paprika (smoked if you have it)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 bouillon cube if not using stock (if you don't have this or stock, you can always adjust the seasoning as the soup cooks)
  • 1 cup short grain rice (sushi, arborio, sweet brown, etc.)
  • 32 fluid ounces tomato juice
  • 32 fluid ounces stock or water

Instructions

  1. In a large sauce pan, over medium heat, melt your butter.
  2. Add paprika, garlic, tomato paste and bouillon cube (if using). Stir and cook for about a minute. You want the spices to become fragrant.
  3. Stir in the rice until it is coated in the seasoning. Cook for 1-2 minutes stirring constantly.
  4. Add in the tomato juice and water or stock. Stir well. Cover.
  5. Bring to a boil. And then reduce to a simmer. Stir every so often so rice doesn't stick to the bottom.
  6. When rice is completely cooked, soup is ready to eat. Remove the parmesan rinds. Taste and add salt & pepper to taste. Make sure not to simmer too long or your rice will get mushy and it will be more of a sludge than a soup.
  7. Soup is great with pesto, pistou, fresh tomatoes or parmesan added on top.
Why I buy bagged onions | Cooking for 1

Cooking for 1: Buy bagged onions

One-derful Kitchen is a series of kitchen and grocery tips for those of you who find yourself making Single Lady Suppers (or other meals for one). It can be tough to shop for one when food is packaged for families. This is a series where I share tips and tricks to help you learn how to save money and reduce food waste from expiring or extra food.

I can’t be the only person that buys an onion for a recipe, uses half of it, puts the other half in the fridge and forget it is there for 2 weeks. (Maybe I sliced or diced a whole onion and only needed part…or I left half intact but every other time I cooked I needed a whole onion).

Or the only person who lives alone and doesn’t make a big batch of something to eat all week.

When cooking for one, the onions that come in bags are typically smaller, so they work better than large onions for small batch cooking

The stupid easy solution? Buy bagged onions. They’re often half the size (or less) of the onions you buy individually, making them just right for cooking 1-2 servings. Making a big batch of something? Just use 2 small onions in place of one large one.

Onions are one of the few things I don’t mind buying by the bag because they are used in my kitchen pretty regularly. Plus, they do have a relatively long shelf life, so for someone who cooks a few times a week will easily go through a bag before they go bad.

a recipe for a simple, delicious roast chicken

Sunday Roast Chicken

Roast chicken might be one of my favorite meals. It is simple. I mean, really, really simple. It is delicious and tastes like home. It is also one of those meals that I hadn’t bothered to tackle for quite a while. Why would a single lady need to roast a whole chicken? It’s not like I am feeding a family or trying to get some handsome fella to propose (seriously, it is a thing people do).

And then I realized that a chicken can be made into meals for the whole week. A nice roast dinner on Sunday. Grain bowls for lunch. Chicken salad sandwiches. Tacos. Enchiladas. BBQ chicken. Any number of soups or chili varieties. As a topping for a green salad. Roasting chicken is a great shortcut for meal prep and quite the economical choice. (Ugh, such an adult thing to do – when did that happen?)

a recipe for a simple, delicious roast chicken

I’ve now made this chicken at least a dozen times, and is in regular rotation both for dinners with friends and for prepping meals for the week.

Sunday Roast Chicken
Recipe Type: Dinner
Author: Jamie Oliver
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 20 mins
Total time: 1 hour 30 mins
Serves: 6-8 servings
An easy roast chicken is a must have in any cooks arsenal. This classic, adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution is a great basic to have in your rotation.
Ingredients
  • 1 approximately 3 1/2 pound chicken (preferably organic)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme, rosemary, bay or sage, or a mixture of those herbs
Instructions
  1. About half an hour before you are going to make your chicken, take it out of the fridge. Your chicken won’t cook right straight from the fridge. Preheat your oven to 240°C/475°F/gas 9. The best part of this recipe is that you don’t have to peel any of the vegetables. Just wash and roughly chop them.
  2. Pile all the vegetables and garlic into the middle of an 11×13″ pyrex or other roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper – making sure you rub it all over. Prick the lemon all over with the tip of a sharp knife. Put the lemon inside the chicken’s cavity, with the bunch of herbs.
  3. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the pan and put it into the preheated oven. Turn the heat down immediately to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes. If you want to roast some potatoes or vegetables, put them in the oven for about the last 45 minutes or so.
  4. Baste the chicken halfway through cooking and if the vegetables are looking dry, add a splash of water to the tray to keep them from burning. When cooked, take the tray out of the oven and transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest for 15-20 minutes. Cover it with a layer of foil and a tea towel while it rests. If you are making gravy, make it now.
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Won’t you be my GFF?: Gluten-Free Forever Summer 2015 Issue [Sponsored]

I posted a picture of my food magazines on Instagram a little while back. It was a tower of the food magazines that I find myself going back to – sometimes just for the pictures, sometimes for the recipes and sometimes for the stories. If you look closely at that stack, the famous food glossies are noticeably absent. It’s full of magazines that are as lush and beautiful as cookbooks. It was mostly Jamie Oliver magazines, a few copies of Lucky Peach, a few issues of Cherry Bombe and my latest favorite, GFF magazine.

 

I might have a food magazine problem…@gffmag being my latest favorite…

A photo posted by Mary Fran Wiley (@frannycakes) on Aug 31, 2015 at 5:35pm PDT

It’s a magazine that combines my love of food and cooking with my need to be gluten-free and my design snobbery. Everything from the choice of the paper to the style of the photography bring gluten-free eats to a level that is normally off-limits to us custom eaters.

The summer issue grabs you with perfectly fried chicken on the cover and holds you captive all the way to the no-bake marscapone cheesecake on the last page. In between there are articles and recipes for everything from elevated cook-out meals to fancy schmancy cocktails to quick things you can make from items you probably have in your pantry (my weeknight M.O. 🙂 ).

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The magazine takes you on a culinary tour of gluten-free Denver (that has me planning my next vacation). Profiles of mixologists and chefs have me plotting how to make them my new BFFs. (Or maybe I can add them to my GFF crew?

If you haven’t subscribed yet, there are print and digital subscriptions available (plus back issues are available on their site so you can get your hands on a copy of the summer issue). Use the code GFFCAKES at checkout for a 20% discount!

I was provided a copy of the magazine to review, but I was a supporter early on in the Kickstarter. All opinions are my own – if I didn’t love the magazine, I wouldn’t write about it.