Breakfast Ideas, Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Easy Entertaining, Entrees, gluten-free, Low Carb, Pantry to Plate

Kitchen Therapy… Crustless Quiche with Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Spinach & Cheddar

Bacon Spinach and Cheddar Quiche' 3As I continue to focus my nervous energy in the kitchen, I find my favorite time to cook is in the the early morning – especially if I’m having trouble sleeping.

I’ve really been trying to challenge myself to work with whatever I have in my refrigerator and pantry, which has cut my trips to the store way down.  My goal is to only go to the store once a week during this important time of social-distancing.

This morning, I was in the mood for quiche – which is one of the most versatile menu options ever… great for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Plus, I look at what I have on hand and that is what I use, making it a great way to clear out my crisper drawer the day before I shop.

Today’s creation… a low-carb, gluten-free crustless quiche with bacon, caramelized onions, spinach and cheddar…

Recipe - Crustless Quiche

Bacon Spinach and Cheddar Quiche'

Be sure to cool your quiche for about 5-10 minutes as it will slice better.  Hope you enjoy!



#vegetarian, Easy Entertaining, Entrees, Gluten-fress, Healthy Eating, Pantry to Plate

Pantry to Plate… Easy Sautéed Mushrooms & Gravy

As promised, I am sharing some of my favorite pantry recipes over the next week or so…

I had some nice cremini mushrooms in the frig, which made me think of a recipe from one of my very favorite cookbooks, Oh She Glows, by Angela Liddon. Mine has a few modifications for those who are gluten intolerant, but the recipe is stil vegan when served over mashed potatoes or smashed cauliflower.  It also makes a healthy gravy option to serve with roast turkey or roast beef.

Sauteed Mushrooms and Gravy

This comes together in a snap with just a few basic ingredients from you pantry. It’s a great for my family as we have as many vegetarians as onmivores and this can be served with or without meat.

Sauteed Mushrooms and Gravy 2Recipe - Sauteed Mushrooms & Gravy

From your pantry to your plate.  Delicious, economical and so easy… Enjoy!


Breakfast Ideas, Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Desserts, Easy Entertaining, gluten-free, Healthy Eating

Gluten-Free Goodies… GF Frosted Chocolate Donuts

This is going to be a quick one!… I thought I had posted these donuts the last time I made them, but alas – I did not.  It’s a great (and pretty healthy) recipe to have handy for easy entertaining for those with gluten sensitivities.  Quite honestly, gluten sensitive or not, they satisfy a chocolate craving for anybody.

So here is the recipe for those who requested it.

GF Chocolate Donuts

Chocolate Frosted Gluten-Free Donuts
1 cup       Multi-Grain GF Flour Blend*
1/2 cup    GF Oat Flour
1/2 cup    Almond Flour
1/2 cup    Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup    Ground Flaxseed
2 tsp        Baking Powder
1 tsp        Baking Soda
1/4 rsp     Sea Salt
1 1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1/2 cup    Pure Maple Syrup
1/3 cup    Grape Seed Oil
1/2 cup    Choco chips (semi-sweet, dark or mini)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mist donut baking pan with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (Flours through to the salt).  In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (Milk through Grape Seed Oil).
Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.
Carefully fill the donut pan with batter.  Bake 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.  Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.  Remove donuts to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature… then frost if desired.
Chocolate Frosting
(This is a small batch of frosting to drizzle or spread on donuts)
2 tbls    Butter or Coconut Oil  ( I usually use real butter – I figure to donuts are pretty healthy)
1 cup    Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 tbls    Almond Milk (or milk of your choice
1/2 tsp  Vanilla Extract
Whip or whisk together.  Add additional milk to loosen to desired consistency (I usually do a teaspoon at time so it doesn’t get too runny).
Drizzle, sprinkle…Enjoy!
GF Chocolate Donuts
Appetizers, Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Easy Entertaining, gluten-free, Healthy Eating

Make it a Home… Bang Bang Cauliflower (gluten-free)

One of my favorite appetizers was Bang Bang Shrimp, but not the healthiest option – especially for anyone with celiac or is gluten-sensitive.

Utilizing an product that we always have on the shelves of our store, Terrapin Ridge Thai Aioli – I am able to create and healthier, lighter but equally tasty version using Cauliflower.

Bang Bang Cauliflowe 2020 2

I’ve don’t this without any breading by just roasting the cauliflower and then tossing it with the Thai Aioli before serving.  However, you miss out on the crunch.

I’ve also done it with gluten-free panko but found the best success by just making my own fresh bread-crumbs from a couple of pieces of whole grain gluten-free bread.  (My favorite store-bought bread is Canyon Bakehouse Heritage Style Whole Grain – hands down!) I just put them in the magic bullet and process to create bread crumbs.  For added flavor, I add a bit of ground ginger, tumeric and black paper, minimal salt, if any.

Canyon Bakehouse Heritage STyle Whole Grain Bread

I then beat up an egg and add a dash of milk for a two-step breading process.  Take cauliflower flowerettes and first dip in the egg mixture, then the bread crumbs and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Once all the flowerettes are breaded, I lightly spray them with cooking spray and roast at 425 degrees for about 27-30 minutes (depending on the size of your flowerettes).

Bang Bang Cauliflower 2020

When flowerettes are nicely browned and tender on the inside.  I transfer them to a bowl and toss with about a 1/3 – 1/2 jar of Terrapin Ridge Thai Aioli.

Bang Bang Cauliflower 2020 2

Serve on a bed or shredded lettuce or mixed greens for a healthy appetizer with a kick!

Recipe - Bang Bang Cauliflower 2020



Find Terrapin Ridge Farms Thai Aioli in stock at à la Maison. à la Maison is a home and lifestyle boutique located in Baldwinsville, New York featuring home décor, lifestyle products and kitchen essentials. 






Desserts, gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Recipe of the Week

Gooey Peanut Butter Bars… an almost guilt-free treat!

Gooey Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars - close up

I’ve been trying to behave, eat healthy and tame my sweet tooth, but I had a craving for chocolate and peanut butter so it was time to whip up a batch of these Gooey Peanut Butter bars.

With a relatively small amount of sugar and no grain flour, these come at about 17 grams of carbs and a good dose of healthy fats – thanks to the almond flour, coconut flour and flaxseed.  You could use stevia or your choice of sweetener to drop the carbs down to about 7 grams, I just personally prefer natural sugar if I’m doing to indulge.

I can attest that these will cure your peanut butter & chocolate craving.  I couldn’t wait to try them… and as I was enjoying my peanut butter chocolate moment, I realized I hadn’t taken the photo!

Gooey Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

Oh well… I think you will enjoy these too!

Recipe - Gooey Peanut Butter Bars



#gluten free recipes, Healthy Eating, Lunch Recipes, Recipe of the Week, Triple Play Recipes

Fig Balsamic Vinegar Triple Play: Recipe #2 – Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

I often start the week off by making a batch of healthy grains and a big salad to make weekday lunches easy and healthy.  (I’ve definitely learned that if I have to make last minute lunch choices on the go, they often are not very healthy).

Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl 3

This week, I’m reaching for my Fig Balsamic Vinegar to bring rich flavor to Triple Play Recipe #2:  Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette.  My grain bowls tend to go heavier on the veggies then most, adding  added fiber, nutrients and antioxidants.

Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl 1

Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette
1  Cup        Brown Rice or Brown Rice Blend
1 3/4 Cups Vegetable or Chicken Broth (low sodium)
4 Cups       Butternut Squash (1” cubes)
3 Tbls.       Extra Virgin Oil Olive*
¼ Tsp.       Chili Powder
¼ Tsp.       Cinnamon
14-15 oz.   Bag of Pre-Shredded Brussel Sprouts
Salt & Pepper to taste
1                 Large Apple (cubed) – I like Gala for this
4 oz.           Maple Cheddar Cheese or Sharp Cheddar (cubed)
½ cup        Pepitas or Almonds (raw or honey roasted is great too)
½ cup        Dried Cranberries

Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette
4 Tbls       Orange Juice
4 Tbls       Napa Valley Naturals Fig Balsamic Vinegar*
½ Tsp       Dijon Mustard
¾ Tsp       Dried Thyme
¼ Tsp       Black Pepper
½ Tsp       Salt
½ Cup      Extra Virgin Olive Oil*

Add rice and broth to a medium saucepan then bring to a boil – prepare per rice package instructions.  (Left over rice is also great for this recipe).

Make the vinaigrette:  Combine all ingredients in a small lidded jar.  (When using dried thyme – rub in in between your hands before dropping it into the jar to release its natural oils).  Shake until mixed and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butternut squash cubes in a bowl – toss with 1½  tablespoons of olive oil, the chili powder and cinnamon. Salt & pepper to taste.  Toss together then place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast until tender- a total of about 15-20 minutes (stirring after 10 mins).

Next, add shredded brussel sprouts, remaining 1 ½ tablespoon of olive oil, along with salt & pepper to taste, to a bowl and toss together (you can use the same bowl that you tossed the squash in). Place on a second parchment lined baking sheet and put in the oven when you stir the butternut squash- roast both for another 10 minutes or until brussel sprouts are lightly brown and tender.  Cool for about 5 minutes.

Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl - roasted veg

Combine all the rice bowl ingredients in a large bowl and lightly toss – then mix in ½ of the Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Garnish with additional nuts & dried cranberries.  Serve immediately or chill for later.  Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Autumn Harvest Rice Bowl 6

Save additional vinaigrette to use when serving rice bowls and for your favorite mixed greens salad.


*Ingredients available at à la Maison in Baldwinsville, NY or contact us at 315-440-6637.

Appetizers, Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Recipe of the Week

Easy Entertaining… Pear, Goat Cheese & Balsamic Herb Jam Tart

Easy and elegant… go to our Pear, Goat Cheese & Balsamic Herb Jam Tart for a quick appetizer or addition to your brunch menu.


Pear, Goat Cheese & Balsamic Herb Jam Tart

1 Pie/Pastry Crust Dough (use our recipe below or grab on from the grocery store refrigerator section)

½ Jar of Terrapin Ridge Farms Balsamic Herb Jam* (room temp)

2-3 Fresh Pears, peeled and sliced thin

4 oz. Goat Cheese (or Bleu Cheese if you prefer)

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Roll out dough to fit into a fluted tart pan. Trim or pinch edges.
  • Spread herb jam over crust, and lay pear slices over jam.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, top with crumbled goat cheese – then put back in oven for another 5-6 minutes, or until bubbly.
  • Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting into thin slices.

*Find Terrapin Ridge Farm Balsamic Herb Jam at `a la Maison in Baldwinsville or call 315-440-6637 to order.

My Gluten-Free Pastry/Pie Dough

¾ cup Tapioca Starch

½ cup Oat Flour

½ cup Brown Rice Flour

¾ teaspoon Salt

8 tablespoons of COLD butter, cut into 12 pieces

1 large egg white

2-3 tablespoons of water

In your food processor, combine the dry ingredients (including salt) and pulse to combine.  Add the cold butter and pulse until the pieces are small (pea-sized)

Add the egg white – pulse to combine.  Add the water, one tablespoon at a time and pulse until the dough starts to come together.  Transfer to a board and gently knead into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Roll out dough in between two pieces of parchment paper until it’s slightly bigger than the opening of your tart pan (about 11 inches).  Remove top parchment paper, lay the tart pan on top and flip over.  Remove last piece of parchment and gently push the dough into the pan.  Trim and flute edges… read to use for your recipe of choice!





Breakfast Ideas, Recipe of the Week

Time Saving Blueberry Lemon Coffee Cake Muffins (Gluten-free too!)

I had a craving for coffee cake this morning, but didn’t have enough time to prepare it and bake it for the 50 minutes that it needed to properly cook. With a few adjustments, I reworked my recipe to create individuals sized coffee cakes using my muffin tin which shaved 30 minutes off the baking time.


Here’s my recipe for a quick and easy way to have warm and delicious coffee cake muffins ready for your family or guests.

Gluten Free Blueberry Lemon Coffee Cake Muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Bourbon Barrel Foods bourbon vanilla extract*
½ cup Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
½ cup Gluten Free Oat Flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Streusel Topping
2/3 cup oat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin pan (12 muffins). Beat the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice. Mix until combined.

Combine the flours and baking powder in a bowl. If using fresh blueberries, toss a small amount of flour mixture (2 table). Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients – stir just til combined. Add the sour cream, mix again, gently just til combined.

Gently stir in the blueberries and pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin. For the Streusel Topping: Place the flour, sugar and butter in a bowl cut in butter with a pastry blender until it crumbly. Sprinkle generously over muffins.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and knife comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes then transfer for a cooling rack to cool through… Or enjoy a delicious warm muffin right now:)


*Find bourbon vanilla extract at a la Maison, 25 Syracuse Street, Baldwinsville, NY or email to order.



#eating healthfully, Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Our Favorite Things...

Our Favorite Things… Vegetable Spiralizer

Perfect kitchen tool for any veggie lover. Make healthy summer-time eating is a snap with a vegetable spiralizer from a la Maison!


Healthy veggies noodles, or even veggie rice, will be right at your fingertips and can replace wheat or grain based pastas in many recipes. Well eaten raw or cooked, veggie noodles are nutrient rich and a great addition to your diet.

Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Recipe of the Week

Eating Healthfully… Gluten Free Cutout Sugar Cookies with Butter Cream Frosting


In my opinion, there is no better way to start the day on Christmas Eve (or any day the week before Christmas), than with a cup of tea and a Christmas Cookie… one of my personal favorites the classic cutout sugar cookie.

However, if you are unable to eat wheat – the selection of good Christmas cookies narrows dramatically! Fear not, as I will share a couple of recipes that are sure to hit the spot for you and your gluten-free guests. To start, here’s a great gluten-free sugar cookie recipe, compliments of the Natural Chow website:


3 cups of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup unbleached natural cane sugar
2 sticks of salted butter
1 large egg
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk (diary or almond)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Mix until combined and set aside.
3. Beat together the butter and sugar until light a fluffy. Add in the milk, egg and vanilla extract. Beat until combined.
4. Slowly add in the flowers mixture until combined (I found hand mixing easiest). Dough should come together when pressed with your hands. NOTE: I found my dough to be a bit moist so I did add an additional ½ cup of flour to the dough…
5. Turn dough onto a floured work surface (dough will be soft and very easy to work with). Using a rolling pin, gently roll the dough to a ½ thick disc. Cut out the shapes and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
6. Place tray with cookies in the freezer for 5 minutes. Remove and back for 10 – 12 minutes.
7. Cool cookies on a wire rack before frosting.

These cookies are delicious but a bit delicate so handle with care when packing them on your cookies trays. No one will even know they are gluten free! To finish them off, I use my classic go-to buttercream frosting recipe and sprinkles…



5 tablespoons of butter (slightly softened)
4 cups of powdered sugar
3 tablespoons of almond milk (or diary milk)
2 teaspoons of vanilla

Beat together with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Separate into individuals bowls to add in food coloring as desired.

Enjoy! My best wishes to all for a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!