Happy Spring, MomAdvice readers! My name is Sarah and I’m the baker/blogger over at Sarah Bakes Gluten Free Treats. I have loved baking for as long as I can remember and for the past 3 years, I have been baking 100% gluten free. My husband has celiac disease and both my son and I have a gluten allergy. Most of my baking is also dairy and egg free. It was quite the adventure, learning how to transition over to gluten free baking. Now I have a passion for sharing delicious gluten free recipes with others so that they can also have the confidence to bake again!
April is one of my most favorite months. Beautiful spring weather, flowers are in bloom and most importantly…Easter! Such a joyous holiday, celebrating with family and friends. We always gather around a good meal (total feast) and enjoy plenty of satisfying sweets. Always too many desserts!
I’m sharing a few of my favorite gluten free treats with you today! All of these goodies would be a lovely addition to your Easter gathering. They also egg and dairy free too (vegan), which is great for those with multiple food allergies. Each recipe features Sarah’s gluten free flour blend, a staple in my pantry. Perfect for all of your gluten free baking needs!
Every celebration becomes that much more fantastic when cupcakes are involved! These chocolate cupcakes are simply delicious. Moist chocolate cake, topped with a creamy dairy free chocolate buttercream. Those colorful sprinkles are a must!
Anything in miniature size is my favorite. That’s one reason to love these mini lemon blueberry cakes. Bursting with blueberries and drizzled with a simple glaze. The fresh lemon zest gives this cake a beautiful brightness.
Wouldn’t this apple cinnamon coffee cake be a delight to serve at your Easter brunch? Vanilla cake, topped with sliced apples and covered in cinnamon crumb topping. Everyone will be asking for a second slice.
I remember the first time I made these raspberry hand pies. It took me right back to my childhood. Eating those “home run” pies that we would get from the local market down the street. This homemade version is even more delicious and let’s not forget…it’s pie you can eat with your hands!
Every kid loves a good frosted sugar cookie. This gluten free version is just about as yummy as you can get. Let the kids help with the decorating and get creative. They may end up eating more frosting and sprinkles along the way, but that’s the best part!
Thinking fast on your feet is one of those skills no one ever tells you you’ll need as a mom. I often feel like there should have been a prerequisite before choosing to have kids, a mini boot camp that presented you with harrowing situations and tight time limits for figuring out the solution. Where were those life skills taught?
More often than not, when I reach the 5 o’clock hour I’m in a mad rush to throw something together before whatever activities the evening holds. I have four kids emptying their backpacks on my dining room table as I stare into the refrigerator, and as I’m stress-searching the contents of crisper drawer and the inner door, one of them is bound to ask for homework help. Why didn’t I remember to take the meat out of the freezer?
It is in these parenting moments where I feel utterly defeated by life that I find the greatest opportunities to defeat it instead. This meal is one of those that lends itself to last-minute meals. I try to keep ingredients for it on hand, ready at a moment’s notice, along with a Greek seasoning blend and taco seasoning and cans of beans in the pantry (which isn’t really a “pantry” as much as basement shelves and a cupboard in the garage at my house). They’re the things I turn to when everything is falling apart, when I’ve dropped every ball there was to juggle. The thing they have in common: quick cooking times.
Cutting the chicken thin helps it cook faster. If you only have chicken in the freezer, thaw it partially and then cut it. It’s wonderfully easy to slice thinly when there’s still a bit of frozen resistance. The vegetables are interchangeable, for the most part. Use what you have on hand. Zucchini and mushrooms can be great in this curry, too.
Let’s talk rice. I’m not going to judge the type of rice you use here, whether you’re a boil-in-the-bag home, a minute-rice family, you rely on those microwaveable pouches and trays, you are a diehard stovetop rice cooker, or you – like me – are devoted to your rice cooker. For me, I find that the best way to cut down on rice cooking time is simply to make exactly the amount you need. My rice cooker takes far longer to cook six cups of rice (I like leftovers) than it does to cook two. Similarly, if you are making it on the stove, bringing several cups of water to a boil is going to take more time than if you only make what you’ll be eating.
In a wok or large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add in the chicken and cook until white on all sides. Stir in the curry paste. Add the red bell peppers and the daikon and saute for 3 minutes.
Stir in the brown sugar, fish sauce, and coconut milk. Bring just to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
Sprinkle green onions and cilantro over the top just before serving. Serve over rice.
You can substitute bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, or another vegetable for the daikon.
I have been looking forward to sharing with you all week my new partnership with Mama Francesca Grated Cheese. The company reached out to me to share about their beautiful product and I couldn’t wait to start cooking with it and showing it off on our site.
Have you heard of Mama Francesca? It is a delicious new grated cheese that comes in five different varieties. I am showcasing three flavors that I found at my own store. The ones pictured here are: Aromatico (Parmesan, Basil & Oregano), Fiero (Parmesan & Red Pepper), & Pungente (Parmesan & Garlic). As you can see from the picture, the cheese is light and fluffy while blended with delicious spices that you can see and taste in your dishes.
You can also find Audace (Parmesan & Romano), and Perfetto (Classic Parmesan) on your store shelves.
Many times when we think of parmesan cheese, we think of it as a way to just dress our dishes. With these fun cheese blends though, they offer a delicious ingredient alternative in your favorite recipes that, not only add flavor, but can save you time in the kitchen since they incorporate that perfect blend of spices.
My family is a big fan of pasta and meatballs. I wanted to create that familiar dish that we love, but in a gluten-free variety using Mama Francesca’s cheese as the inspiration for our new dish. I replaced the spices and cheese with the Aromatico (Parmesan, Basil & Oregano) cheese blend and then replaced the breadcrumbs in these meatballs with a little gluten-free panko. The replacement of spices and cheese saved me time digging through my spice rack and the cheese blend managed to still perfectly spice our meatballs. When it comes to meatballs, I recommend doubling these to enjoy a delicious meatball sub for a busy weeknight meal- topped with sauce & cheese.
With this dish, you can use any variety of gluten-free pasta shape you love. Rotini, shells, and elbow macaroni are three of my favorites in this dish. The pasta can be tossed gently in this delicate fresh tomato sauce.
Of course, just because you use the cheese in the meatballs doesn’t mean you can’t shake on the cheese liberally over your plates of pasta. Set out a few varieties of cheese and let your family member’s customize their dishes for a fun family meal!
I hope you will give Mama Francesca a try for your next family dinner! I promise that this cheese does not disappoint!
I am excited to share with you that I have partnered with Mrs. Butterworth today for a fun family prize pack giveaway and to share about their sweet-stakes they are hosting for their fans through April 30th! Lucky for us, I am not only giving away a prize pack for our MomAdvice readers, but I am showing you a fun new recipe you can try to put that wonderful prize pack to work in your kitchen.
This month, Mrs. Butterworth’s has teamed up with Busch Gardens to generate some more fun around the dinner table. They have launched a Family Fun Sweet-stakes where you can enter to win a trip to one of the Busch Garden parks. You can read all about their fun contest here! This contest inspired me so much that I knew I had to head to my kitchen and create something in honor of it.
I have always been a syrup-loving girl. For years, we have made it a family tradition to indulge in, what we lovingly call, “Jazzy Sunday.” Jazzy Sunday amounts to throwing on a few jazz records and making waffles and pancakes drenched in syrup for a delicious Sunday brunch.
With eating gluten-free, I have found that it takes a lot of practice to replicate my favorite pancake and waffle recipes. I began to think about the fluffiest waffles I had ever made and it was an overnight waffle recipe that my best friend shared with me years ago. I started wondering if I could replicate this with a gluten-free waffle recipe. Low and behold, after a few experiments, I found it is possible to make fluffy-as-air waffles with the overnight technique of warm milk, frothy yeast, and easy all-purpose gluten-free flour.
The batter is still dense, but it yields a fluffy waffle that no one will ever know is missing the gluten. When topped with fresh berries and Mrs. Butterworth’s Syrup, it is truly a Sunday treat that will make your own, “Jazzy Sunday,” complete.
In honor of this fun contest, Mrs. Butterworth’s gave me a Family Fun Breakfast Kit that include goodies from Mrs. Butterworth’s and Busch Gardens, as well as jungle animal-themed pancake pans, perfect for the explorer in the family. If you don’t win it here though, they will also be giving away a Family Fun Breakfast kits every two weeks during this contest so there are some great chances you can win there too!
Enter our giveaway of one Family Fun Breakfast Kit using our Rafflecopter widget below and let us know one of your favorite breakfast traditions and LIKE Mrs. Butterworth’s for an additional entry! I will be selecting one winner on April 3rd so be sure to get those entries in! Grab the recipe for Gluten-Free Overnight Waffles below!
From our food contributor, Diana Bauman.Rapunzel, It’s Hazelnut Soup! Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Whenever I think of hazelnut soup, I’m reminded of one of my favorite Disney movies about a beautiful princess and her long silky hair. Along with a dreamy guy, a cast iron skillet, and parsnips… what’s not to love? Honestly, the first time I saw this movie I was more intrigued with the mention of hazelnut soup than the rest of the movie. Rapunzel’s fake mother brought home parsnips after a trip to town in order to make her hazelnut soup. I happen to love parsnips and hazelnuts so I knew this was a soup I had to recreate… animated or not. Parsnips are carrot-like root vegetables that contain vitamins, minerals and nutrients, most notably fiber, folate, potassium and vitamin C. They’re in season during the late fall and winter. They’re sweet, yet can have a bit of bite to them. Large parsnips can have a bitter center which is best removed before cooking. They taste great mixed into stews, soups, and any other way you would normally use a potato or other root vegetable. I tell you what, when I saw one of my favorite vendors at my farmers market selling freshly harvested parsnips in the fall, I stocked up and purchased about 15lbs of them to carry me through the winter. They keep wonderfully in the crisper and actually get sweeter over time. When I purchased them, I knew right away that I was going to be using some of them to make a comforting batch of hazelnut soup.
I usually make this rustic hazelnut soup once or twice during the winter season – thick and silky, just the way I like it. In order to create complexity, I start by sautéing onions in a cast iron dutch oven until they’re caramelized, deep and sweet. While the onions are caramelizing, I roast the hazelnuts to deepen their flavor. Once the onions are caramelized, I deglaze the pot by adding a bit of homemade beef broth. To the pot, I then add the parsnips, carrots, a potato, some of the roasted hazelnuts, seasonings, and a fair share of more broth. If you decide to use store bought organic broth, be aware that it won’t have as much depth and character as one made over a stovetop and simmered for 24 hours. If something like this intimidates you, I promise, you’ll be surprised at how simple it is to make and the nutrients inside will be unlike anything that can be purchased at a store. Once the additional broth has been added, the vegetables are covered and simmered until tender. Once tender, a bit of milk or cream is added to the soup and is then ready to be served with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with roasted hazelnuts. This soup serves beautifully with a green salad and a hunk of crusty bread (or not… if you’re gluten free).
A rustic hazelnut soup made with parsnips and roasted hazelnuts.
2 large yellow onions, sliced
3 tbls butter
3 parsnips, roughly chopped
1 potato, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 cup hazelnuts, roasted, divided
4¼ cups beef broth, divided
1 tsp salt
dash of fresh cracked pepper
1 tbls fresh thyme leaves
1 cup milk
chopped hazlenuts to garnish
sour cream to garnish
In a large pot or dutch oven, over medium heat, melt the 3 tbls butter and add the onions. Stir the onions into the butter and allow to gently cook for 20-25 minutes or until the onions caramelize to a deep golden brown, stirring them along the way.
Once Caramelized add ¼ cup beef broth to deglaze the pan.
Once deglazed, mix in the parsnips, potato, carrots, ¾ cup hazelnuts, the rest of the broth, salt, pepper, and thyme leaves. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and then cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Once tender, with an immersion blender or working in batches using a blender, puree the contents of the pot. If using a blender, return the puree to the pot over medium heat.
Add 1 cup milk and stir through. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with roasted hazelnuts
Do you enjoy soups? Share with us, what’s your favorite comforting soup during this season?
Semi homemade cakes have become a speciality of mine for birthdays. Today’s gluten-free snickerdoodle cake offered the perfect celebration cake for my husband’s birthday this year and I loved that it tastes just as heavenly as our usual snickerdoodle cake and our chocolate snickerdoodle cake that I had made before going gluten-free.
As we have gotten older, we need less and less. Frankly, if we really want something, we usually just go and buy it for ourselves. Special & thoughtful gifts seem harder to come by, but I was determined to make this guy’s day special.
His favorite books as a child were Ed Emberley’s drawing books. While these books have been reissued, my husband more than anything wanted the original books that he had loved as a kid. I found the three of his favorites and wrapped them in ribbon to give him for his birthday. I could not wait to see his face.
Unbeknownst to me,one of the books contained Ed Emberley’s autograph, which my husband said was the best gift he had ever received. What a happy surprise that was.
If your spouse had a series of books or a book that was their childhood favorite, imagine what a joy it is to see that original again.
To top the night off, we celebrated with a slice of this cake. While I find gluten-free cakes to be a little on the dry side, we have found that a little pudding mix really helps this cake… and a thick layer of homemade cinnamon buttercream doesn’t hurt either.
The cake is laced with cinnamon, as is the frosting, and the base is made from a simply yellow cake mix. Any gluten-free brand should work beautifully in this cake.
Happiest of birthdays to the love of my life. I still shake my head that I have been present for his birthday since he was just sixteen. A million moments shared, and I pray for millions more with my best friend!
When I went gluten-free I never realized how exciting it would be to recreate some of my favorite gluten-filled dishes at home. Today I am sharing a Gluten-Free Pad Thai with Shrimp recipe that you can create in your own kitchen and your guests will never know that this delicious dish is gluten-free!
This month Walmart challenged me to create a delicious Lent recipe that you could enjoy with your family. I am no stranger to creating fun dishes for the Lenten season. You can see last year’s round-up of 30 fish and meat-free meal ideas.
For this challenge, I wanted to recreate one of my favorite takeout dishes. Have you ever had Pad Thai? If you haven’t, you are in for a delicious treat. Pad Thai, according to Wikipedia, is a stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as a street food and at casual local eateries in Thailand. It is made with soaked dried rice noodles which are stir-fried with eggs and chopped firm tofu, fish sauce, dried shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chili pepper and palm sugar, and served with lime wedges and often chopped roasted peanuts.
While I love the delicateness of the rice noodle, I prefer a more linguine-style noodle in this dish to balance the lightness of the shrimp and because these hold up well to a lot of reheating. Just like my chicken noodle soup I made last month, I am relying on the Tinkyada noodles to create this dish. You are looking for the Fettucini Style Pad Thai Noodles.
Be sure that you are using a gluten-free soy sauce and fish sauce. I rely upon the La Choy Lite Soy Sauce as my soy sauce substitute, but there are reports that some people have a reaction to this. I have not, but be sure to do your own research on what product will fit your gluten-free needs best.
The fun part about sharing this with your family and friends is that you can also create a variety of toppings so everyone can personalize their dish. I love roasted chopped peanuts, sriracha, fresh limes, and cilantro on mine.
I hope you love this dish as much as we did and can enjoy this during the Lent season…or any season, really! We polished this dish off in no time at all and I can’t wait to make it again. Thanks to these sturdy noodles, the dish reheats beautifully and can be eaten for your lunches or a late night snack!
A gluten-free Pad Thai dish that you can enjoy right in the comfort of your own home.
1 package (14 ounces) Tinkyada Brown Rice Pad Thai Noodles
⅓ cup fresh lime juice
⅓ cup water
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons gluten-free fish sauce
3 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or white vinegar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 ounces mushrooms
2 eggs, beaten
12 oz frozen peeled deveined medium shrimp, thawed (raw not cooked)
Sriracha Sauce (to taste)
¼ cup finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts
¼ cup firmly packed cilantro leaves
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the noodles as directed on package. After they are done cooking, drain and rinse with cool water; set aside.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir lime juice, ⅓ cup water, the brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of the oil until well mixed; set aside.
In nonstick wok or 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat. Cook shrimp for approximately three minutes and remove from pan; set aside. Next cook mushrooms and then set aside.
Using the same oil, cook garlic for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly, until starting to brown. Add eggs. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring gently and constantly, until scrambled but still moist.
Stir in noodles and lime juice mixture. Increase heat to high. Cook about 1 minute, tossing constantly with 2 wooden spoons, until sauce begins to thicken. Add remaining ingredients except cilantro. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, tossing with 2 wooden spoons, until noodles are tender.
Place on serving platter. Sprinkle with cilantro. Garnish with additional chopped dry-roasted peanuts, and lime wedges.
I am so excited to share a delicious Gluten-Free Rainbow Bundt Cake recipe that you can make using a simple boxed mix, a little food coloring, and a few odds & ends from your pantry. This Rainbow Cake is made in a tube pan, versus a layered cake, and is a fun addition to your St. Patrick’s Day spread.
Walmart challenged me to share a St. Patrick’s Day project that you could create out of items from their store. You may remember my rainbow cakes in a jar that I created a couple of years ago. Now that I am eating gluten-free, I wanted to replicate the idea of a rainbow cake, but I wanted to do it in one pan and I wanted to make it a quicker process by using a cake mix.
To make a vibrantly colored cake, I want to point out that it is really important to use good icing colors to achieve your rainbow cake colors. Over by the party supplies, you will find professional cake decorating supplies at Walmart. You want to purchase the Wilton Icing Colors. These concentrated gels offer a much brighter color than what you will find over in the baking section of the grocery section. I just use a toothpick to dip in the gel and then swirl it through my cake batter. You may need to do this a couple of times to achieve this level of brightness, but it still will take a lot less than the other brands of food coloring.
When I decided I wanted to make this cake, I went through tons of tons of cake recipes to figure out how to layer the batter. My inspiration for creating my rainbow arch was from not martha and her Leprechaun Trap Cake that she created a few years ago. Her arch is so much more beautiful than mine. I highly encourage you to read her tutorial for a perfect arch and read mine for a just meh arch. That being said, do prepare this in a tube pan versus a bundt pan to achieve the best arch.
Do you have a digital scale? I highly recommend purchasing one because it will make projects like this a million times easier. I have had mine for many years and I use it for both weighing packages and as a food scale! Be sure to tare it with the bowl on top to begin your measurements each time.
I used the measurements outlined by not martha for measurements for my batter:
6 ounces – red
5 ounces – orange
4 ounces – yellow
3 ounces – green
2 ounces – blue
1 ounce – purple
The remainder of the rest of the batter, leave it white.
To scoop batter into the bowls, I relied upon an ice cream scoop to scoop it into the bowls on the scale. To make pouring the batter easier, place the cake batter in a baggie in a tall glass and hang the opening over the sides of your glass. Pour your batter in and then seal the baggie. Just snip a corner of the baggie to begin pouring your batter into the pan.
Gluten-free cakes tend to be more delicate so you definitely want to let this fully cool before trying to work with it. The side that has all the beautiful vibrant colors is not the top of the cake. It is the bottom of the cake. I accidentally iced this side so don’t make my mistake. If you find that your cake is puffy on the bottom, use a serrated knife to even it up a bit so your cake is not lopsided.
I posted a picture of this cake as I was glazing it on Instagram. To quote myself, “I never go easy on the sprinkles. I consider them the jazz hands on my desserts.”
Who quotes themselves? Sorry about that!
Glaze and sprinkle this cake liberally!
I was disappointed that I had iced the wrong side and that my purple didn’t get perfectly centered. I think it is one of those cakes that might take a little more practice. My friends didn’t seem to notice or mind my errors though because this was one yummy cake! I doubt your kids would notice or care either. It might be a fun one to try together!
I hope you love it as much as we did and I hope this tutorial helps you while you make your own gluten-free rainbow cake!
A gluten-free rainbow cake perfect for celebrating St. Patrick's Day
1 Hodgson Mill Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix (over by the gluten-free ingredients in the candy aisle of your store, not in the baking aisle)
½ cup butter softened
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 package of Wilton Gel Food Colorings
1½ cups confectioners' sugar
2½ teaspoons milk (or milk substitute)
⅛ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan liberally with cooking spray.
In a mixing bowl, cream butter until soft. Add cake mix and blend completely.
Add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract and beat until completely blended. The batter will be thick.
Divide your batter into eight bowls using the measurements in this post and tint accordingly.
First pour the larger amount of white batter into the pan. Then pour the red batter in, making it a wide ring of batter. Then pour the orange over that, keeping it inside the red. Pour in each color, creating smaller and smaller rings.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, testing with a toothpick to check when the cake is done.
Once the cake is cooled, prepare your icing.
Melt the butter and add to rest of ingredients. Mix until creamy.
Spoon the glaze over your cake and finish with rainbow sprinkles.
Enjoy this tasty treat with a DIY Shamrock Shake and our free St. Patrick’s Day straw printable!
If there is one thing this girl loves, it is pancakes. Today I am sharing a recipe for gluten-free pancakes that taste as light and fluffy as our gluten-filled variety, but are perfect for creating for those who cannot tolerate gluten.
Fluffy gluten-free pancakes are easier to create than you might think, it just requires the right measurements, a good flour, and a little milk on hand if your batter gets too thick. Before we made the switch to gluten-free, I loved to throw wheat germ into our hearty wheat-filled pancake. No wonder I felt so awful after our Sunday brunches!
Now we have substituted our wheat love-fest with flax seed in our pantry for our pancakes and energy bites, a deliciously healthy addition to just about anything, and still get that taste and texture that I love. As with all my favorite pancake recipes, it is laced with cinnamon and vanilla while these pancakes get their sweetness from a little honey.
When I first discovered that I had to go gluten-free, my best friend recommended a book called, “Gluten-Free on a Shoestring.” (affiliate link) I treated myself to the cookbook for Christmas and loved that the author relied upon one all-purpose mix to make almost all of her recipes.
I placed my first order for Better Batter after reading it and started testing recipes with this cup-for-cup substitute shortly after buying it. None of us could believe how good everything had tasted and with very little adjustments in our favorite family recipes.
I immediately wrote the company and asked if they might be interested in a partnership. I truly believe in their product and how it can help beginner gluten-free chefs overcome their difficulties with baking. Not only did they send me some products for our recipes, but they also are offering valuable coupon codes for our readers to try their flour too.
Not only does the flour perform well, but it is much more affordable than other flours on the market. You can even buy their product in bulk to snag additional savings.
What are the Ingredients In This Flour?
The flour I have featured today is an an all-purpose flour substitute that you can use as a cup-for-cup substitute in your recipes. The packaging states that it contains: Rice flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, potato flour, xanthan gum, and pectin (lemon derivative). It is the blend of these flours that makes it such a great performer in baking recipes. I hope that helps!
How Can I Save Money On This Flour?
I truly believe you will love this flour and am so excited that Better Batter is sharing some coupon codes with our readers to help them save even more. This month you can use the coupon code XNF6EBYK4JRT for $8 off ANY SIZE ORDER.
That’s right, I said ANY SIZE!
I hope you can take advantage of the savings and can enjoy a stack of these delicious pancakes in your home!
You won't even miss the gluten with this delicious pancake recipe. Be sure to double your recipe so you can enjoy these all week long!
2 cups Better Batter All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons flax (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons honey
2 eggs, lightly beaten & at room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2½ cups milk (or milk substitute)
Heat your griddle or nonstick pan and coat generously with butter.
In a large bowl, place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, flax, cinnamon, and salt in and whisk to combine.
Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the eggs, butter and milk, one at a time, blending well after each addition. Add vanilla and honey and continue to mix until the batter comes together and there are no lumps.
Working quickly, ladle the pancake batter on the griddle surface, and allow to sit until bubbles begin to appear on the surface (2 to 3 minutes). Flip and continue cooking for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the underside is browned.
Remember that your batter thickens as it stands and may require more milk to keep your batter in a pourable consistency.
I feel under qualified to be talking about grits. Coming from the Midwest, grits are not exactly an everyday food. In fact, an upbringing and solidified love for farina and creamed wheat cereals is what led me to believe I would love a bowl of grits equally, and so when the opportunity arose to order them on a road trip well into my teen years, I did just that.
I’ll leave it at this: Truck stop grits are not the type you fall in love with. Still, there was something to that bowl of white and creamy food with a big pat of butter melting on top. I was not to be thrown off course in my desire to adopt grits as my new “it” food. It had all the same promises as my breakfast favorites, but with expanded possibilities for my palate. At the top of the savory list: shrimp and grits.
Creamy, cheesy grits get topped with vibrant shrimp and crisp green onions. What’s not to love about this? The idea of adding butter and cheddar and plump shellfish to a bowl of warm comfort food seemed to me like a decision that was already made in the affirmative. So I set out to learn as much as I could about grits.
The first issue was obtaining them. Outside of the generic “quick-cooking grits” on the market shelf, there weren’t many options at first in the urban Midwestern area I lived in. I finally settled on making grits with white cornmeal to begin my experiments and then ordering online. Traditional grits are made from hominy, alkali-treated corn, and were stone ground in a rough, coarse texture. You’ll find both white corn and hominy when looking, so determine which you want to go for.
Once you have the grits in hand (or nearly grits), the rest of the preparation is satisfyingly simple, and the payoff is pure comfort food. It’s the kind of meal that leaves you satisfied at the end, the type of dish that begs to be made again and again.
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese (I used Kerrygold Dubliner)
3 slices thick-cut bacon
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed (if desired)
½ cup chopped scallions
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Bring the water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Slowly whisk in the grits. When all the grits have been added, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, for 25 minutes. Keep the butter and cheddar cheese ready off to the side.
While the grits are cooking, in a large skillet cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon pieces, leaving the grease in the pan and add in the garlic and the shrimp. Cook the shrimp over medium heat just until pink.
Add in the scallions, parsley, and the lemon juice. Cook for 3 minutes to combine the flavors and then remove from the heat and stir in the bacon pieces.
Stir in the butter and shredded cheese at the end of the cooking time for the grits. Immediately spoon into a bowl and top with shrimp and bacon to serve.