Gluten-Free Decadent Chocolate Cake

I’ve missed baking since starting my Paleo diet. By baking, I mean baking from scratch. I’ve tried several different gluten-free mixes that I’ve bought at the store, and while some of them have been pretty good, they all seem to be a bit sweet for my taste buds. I’ve doctored them by adding in things like coconut oil, but I figured I’d better start finding some scratch-made recipes in order to appease my sweet tooth.




My goal is to eventually convert my favorite family recipes into gluten-free and Paleo-friendly versions, but while I was looking at recipes on Pinterest, I came across a gluten-free recipe that I couldn’t wait to try. It’s from Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, and the recipe is super simple. If you omit the glaze in the recipe, which has whipping cream, it’s even Paleo, but I wanted to try the recipe as it was written – then the next time I make it I’ll put my own spin on it. I will say that I’ll probably increase the amount of cinnamon next time, just because I really couldn’t taste it. It was there, just not enough for my taste. The recipe also gives you an option for the liquid you use: brewed coffee, dry red wine, or water. I went with the coffee because I still had some in the coffee pot, and besides, I love the flavors of coffee and chocolate together, but I bet the wine would be killer too.

This cake has no eggs and no butter (in the cake anyway), and it was absolutely moist as could be. Sometimes I notice an off-texture in the store-bought gluten-free cake mixes, and I didn’t notice that with this cake. The boys said I had to make this again – and soon!

 

Decadent Chocolate Cake – Gluten-Free

3 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1-1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your flour already has it)

1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I’m going to increase this to 1 teaspoon the next time I make this)

12 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons good vanilla extract

2 cups of either brewed coffee, dry red wine, or lukewarm water

For the Glaze:

6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons brewed coffee, dry red wine, or lukewarm water

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a standard 12-cup Bundt pan, dust it lightly with cocoa powder, and set aside.

In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon, and whisk to combine well.

In a separate medium-sized bowl, place the melted coconut oil, vinegar, vanilla, and coffee (or wine/water). Whisk to combine well.

Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients, and whisk until just combined. The batter will be soft. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan, and smooth into an even layer. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven, and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean (about 45 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, make the glaze. Place the chopped chocolate and the butter in a small heat-safe bowl, and microwave in 30-second bursts (or melt over a double boiler), stirring until melted and smooth. Add the whipping cream and your choice of the coffee, wine, or water, mixing well to combine. Allow the glaze to sit until no longer hot to the touch. Pour the glaze over the top of the cooled Bundt cake.

 

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How to Make Kombucha

I’m a newbie to the fermenting world, and I’ve always wanted to try making kombucha, but I admit I was definitely intimidated by the whole process. Which is really silly considering how much canning and preserving I do, which is way more labor intense than home brewing. I love fruit-flavored tea, so I decided to make the plunge and brew my own kombucha. Kombucha has a world of health benefits, as the fermentation process develops good bacteria that your digestive system loves. As I’ve given up soda and am weary of drinking plain water, kombucha seemed to be the way to go for me.

I originally ordered 2 SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) from Amazon. This is what turns sweet tea into fermented kombucha and adds all the wonderful health benefits. When my family first saw a SCOBY , they weren’t too thrilled about the idea of something that looked like a blob of gelatin floating in their tea, but they’ve come around and really do like kombucha now.




There are literally hundreds of places to buy a SCOBY  (if you don’t have a brewing friend who can give you one to start). If you buy one, make sure the SCOBY  comes with enough starter kombucha fluid (about 1-1/2 cups). On my first purchase of 2 SCOBY , there wasn’t enough starter, so that batch didn’t ferment like it should. I found a different vendor on Amazon, however, and they sent me one huge SCOBY  and more than enough starter tea. The first batch turned out great, and it made a new baby SCOBY  (it grows on top of the original SCOBY ), just like it was supposed to.

You can do an Internet search and find multiple different recipes on how to make kombucha, and everyone has their own tricks of the trade. I read a lot before I decided to make my own. What I did may be different from someone else who brews, but here’s what I did, and it turned out very tasty.

 

 

You can see the SCOBY to the right side – the dark shadow is a new baby SCOBY that has yeast tendrils hanging from the bottom side. This is normal.

 

 

Floating SCOBY.

 

The first picture was taken right after I added the fruit.

 

This picture is after the kombucha sat for a day. The colors really deepened.

 

How to Make Kombucha

5 to 6 tea bags (I used black tea)

1 cup sugar

1 gallon water less 1 cup

SCOBY  and 1-1/2 to 2 cups starter tea

Gallon jar

Cover for jar (I used a coffee filter and a rubber band)

 

Boil 2 quarts of water in a stockpot. Turn the heat off and add 5-6 teabags. Let steep for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the tea bags, and add the sugar. Stir to completely resolve. Let tea cool to room temperature.

When the sweet tea is at room temperature, pour the tea into a clean gallon jar. Add the additional 2 quarts of water (room temperature), making sure you leave room in the jar for the SCOBY and starter tea. With clean hands, add the SCOBY and starter tea to the gallon jar. Cover the top of the jar with something that is breathable (kombucha needs oxygen to ferment), and let sit out of the sun for 7 to 10 days.

Fermentation time will depend how warm your room is. I brewed mine in mid-March with an average room temperature of 72 degrees, and my batch took 10 days. Obviously, cooler rooms will take longer, and it won’t take as long when it’s hot outside. You should smell a sweet, vinegar-like smell.

You have to taste your brew to see when it’s ready. Some people like it sweeter, and some don’t. After about a week, remove the lid. Carefully slide a straw underneath the SCOBY, and taste. When it tastes good to you, carefully remove the SCOBY and place it in a small dish. Remove about 1-1/2 cups of your fermented tea, and place it in the same dish as the SCOBY – this will be your starter tea for your next batch.

Now it’s time for the fun part – flavoring your kombucha 🙂

The flavor possibilities are endless. If you do an Internet search (and Pinterest is a great starting place), you’ll find both sweet and savory ways to flavor your “booch.” I’m more of a fruit tea person, so I experimented with peaches, red raspberries, and blueberries on my first brew. Now, you don’t need special equipment to do the second fermentation where you’re flavoring your kombucha. You can use Mason jars or whatever you have on hand – just make sure if you want it to be fizzy that you can cap the container to let the carbonation build up. I purchased Grolsch bottles on Amazon, which are pretty inexpensive and work perfectly for this.

When I was ready to flavor my kombucha, I chopped up peaches, blueberries, and red raspberries and added about 2 tablespoons of fruit into each bottle. Pour the kombucha into the bottles, and cap the lids. Let the bottles sit on the counter for a day or two (out of the sun), but keep an eye on the fermentation. The tea will interact with the sugars in the fruit, and it won’t take long for carbonation to take place. You may need to “burp the lids” to release some of the pressure – you don’t want your bottles or containers exploding (it can happen).

After a day, taste your brew. If the taste is pleasing, place the bottles in the refrigerator. Fermentation will still keep occurring, but it does slow down once in the cool.

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Fermented Garlic Dill Pickles

I’ve made a lot of pickles over the past 25 years: garlic dills, sweet pickles, bread and butter pickles, pickled beets, mustard pickles, and even dilly green beans. I’ve made tons of cucumber relish and salsa too, but everything I’ve done in the past has been vinegar based. That’s great if you have a huge garden and want to preserve your veggies for winter storage. However, after working for a Paleo diet expert, I’ve come to the realization that I’m not getting much nutrient value from these types of pickles.

The best way to preserve your veggies and get the most nutrition from them is to ferment them. It’s so simple to do, and fermenting has been around forever. And the best part is when you eat fermented foods, you’re adding good bacteria into your digestive system.

It doesn’t take much for special equipment to ferment your veggies. I already had a ton of canning jars (although other jars will work fine). All I needed to do was purchase some air locks (can find a variety of styles on Amazon), and I was all set.

I wanted to experiment with some cucumbers before gardening season arrived so I could decide 1) if I liked fermented pickles and 2) how much garden to plant. Wal-Mart actually had a small bag of pickling-sized cucumbers, so I snagged those and proceeded to start my experiment.




I had enough cucumbers to do 2 quart jars of fermented pickles. One I decided to do as close to my usual garlic dill pickles as possible, and the other quart jar I experimented with some pickling spice. The recipe that was closest to my usual dill pickles turned out terrific, and my youngest son told me I had to make crocks of them this summer when we’re overloaded with cucumbers. These pickles did not last long. The second jar – not so much a success. It fermented as it was supposed to. I just didn’t like the taste of the pickling spice, so the chickens got a fermented treat.

For my experiment, since it was March and fresh dill just isn’t available in Iowa, I used a combination of both dill seed and dill weed in my quart jar, but come summer, I’ll be using fresh, probably a big head of dill per jar. I like lots of dill and garlic in my pickles, but if you prefer less, feel free to adjust the amounts. The red pepper flakes are also optional. Sometimes I would make my usual garlic dills with a small piece of pepper to kick up the flavor, but the pickles will taste just fine if you don’t want the extra heat. I also didn’t have any grape leaves or horseradish leaves ready in the garden yet since it’s March, but I do add them when available. However, these pickles were perfectly crisp without them, so if you don’t have access to the leaves, don’t worry about it. Just be sure to keep the salt-to-water ratio the same so that you have enough salty brine for the fermentation to take place.

The spices and brine recipe are for 1 quart jar. Double as needed depending how many jars of pickles you want to make.

 

Fermented Garlic Dill Pickles

6 to 8 pickling size cucumbers (whole or slice into chunks as you prefer)

1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled

1-1/2 tablespoon dill seed

1/2 teaspoon dill weed

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Grape leaf or horseradish leaf (optional – this provides tannin to help keep pickles crisp)

For the Brine (per quart):

3 cups water (room temperature)

3 tablespoons fine sea salt (can use canning/pickling salt too)

 

To each quart jar, add the grape or horseradish leaf if using, the garlic, and the spices. Pack your cucumbers in tightly. Combine brine ingredients until the salt is dissolved, and pour the brine over the cucumbers.

Add a glass weight to the jar to keep the cucumbers submerged in the brine, and place an air lock to the top of the jar. Let the jar sit on the counter for 2 to 3 days out of the sun. How fast fermentation takes place will depend on how warm the room is. Ideal temperature would be around 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, so if it’s wintertime, it will take longer, and fermentation will definitely speed up when it’s hot.

You’ll see the brine turn cloudy after a day or two. Don’t panic – that’s what you want to happen. It means things are fermenting as planned. After a couple of days, remove the air lock and the glass weight, and taste a pickle. It should be crunchy and full of dill and garlic flavor. If it isn’t, replace the glass weight and air lock, and let the jar sit for another day before re-tasting. When you’re happy with the pickles, remove the air lock and glass weight, place a different lid on the jar (I use a new canning lid and ring), and put the jar in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Note: If you slice your cucumbers, the slices will ferment a bit quicker than if you leave the cucumbers whole in the jar. My whole cucumbers took about 4 days in mid-March before they were fermented all the way through, but my slices were ready in 2-1/2 days.

 

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Pressure Cooker Mexican Rice

For our Mexican-themed dinner the other night, I made Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas, and my oldest son asked to have a rice dish to go along side. Wanting something quick and easy, I used my Instant Pot and came up with my version of a Mexican-style rice dish.

Cooking rice in a pressure cooker is super easy, and it’s definitely how I cook rice now. No more guessing how long to cook the rice or having to keep a close eye on it. Just add the rice and liquids, add the lid, and cook. It’s that simple.




I didn’t remember to take a separate picture of just the rice, but I did get one with the entire meal plated.

Feel free to experiment with variations of spice in this dish. My husband doesn’t like super spicy things while my kids do, so this is kind of middle-of-the-road as far as the spiciness goes.

Pressure Cooker Mexican Rice

2 cups white rice (I used jasmine)

3 cups beef or chicken stock, whichever you have on hand

1 package taco seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt, optional depending how salty your taco seasoning is

1 can diced tomatoes, including juice

1 can Rotel tomatoes, including juice

Whisk together the stock (or water if not using stock) and the taco seasoning until the seasoning is completely dissolved. Add all ingredients to the pressure cooker, and stir everything to combine.

Add the pressure cooker lid, remembering to seal the vent. Select the manual setting, and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. When the beeper sounds, turn off the pressure cooker, and let it set for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, do a quick release to release any remaining pressure. Serve warm.

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Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

I love enchiladas, and I’ll eat them with whatever protein is available: beef, chicken, beans, or cheese. I hadn’t made any at home for a while, so I decided to make chicken enchiladas. Of course, since I’ve been on a kick of using my pressure cooker, I decided to use my Instant Pot to cook the chicken ahead of time, and then it was simply a matter of throwing all the ingredients together and baking in the oven.

You can definitely use leftover chicken or other precooked chicken you may have. I wanted to infuse my chicken with taco seasoning, and the pressure cooker is great way to do that. Plus the chicken is done after 10 minutes of cooking time, so if you are using raw chicken, the pressure cooker is a terrific time saver.




This recipe made a bunch of enchiladas — I ended up with 15 of them and had to use 2 baking dishes, but since there are 4 of us, and the guys have big appetites, this worked out fine for us. Feel free to adjust to how many people you are cooking for.

I served a quick version of Pressure Cooker Mexican Rice and refried beans – this was a super easy dinner to make, and the kids said I can make this anytime.

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

1 package of chicken breast tenders (about 1-1/2 pounds)

1 package of taco seasoning

1 cup hot water

Salt and black pepper

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

Tortilla shells

Enchilada sauce

2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar but use your favorite)

Shredded lettuce, optional

Sliced black olives, optional

Pico de gallo, optional

Sour cream, optional

 

Season your chicken with salt and black pepper, and place them in the pressure cooker. Whisk together the taco seasoning with the hot water, stirring until the seasoning has dissolved. Pour the mixture over the chicken. Place the lid on the pressure cooker, remembering to seal the vent, and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.

When the beeper goes off, turn off the pressure cooker, and do a quick release to release the built-up pressure. Remove the chicken to a bowl, and shred the pieces with 2 forks. Set aside for a few minutes until the chicken is cool enough to work with but still warm.

To the bowl with the shredded chicken, add the softened cream cheese, and stir to completely combine.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Add some of the chicken and cream cheese mixture to each tortilla shell, and roll up, placing the seam side down in the baking dish. Once you’ve filled your tortilla shells, spoon the enchilada sauce over each tortilla. Top everything with shredded cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30 minutes, or until the cheese is nicely browned.

To serve, top enchiladas with shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, sliced black olives, and sour cream if desired.

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Crustless Chorizo Quiche

I like easy-to-make breakfasts on the weekend, and quiche is definitely something that is super easy to make. Pick a protein, some veggies, and eggs, and you’ve got a quick breakfast.

I had some chorizo in the refrigerator and some leftover pico de gallo (onions, peppers, and tomatoes) from when I made enchiladas for dinner, so I had the basics for a spicy-style quiche. I’ve made lots of different quiches over the years, usually with a ham or traditional breakfast sausage as a base, so I was ready to try something a little different and use up some leftovers.



It turned out to be very tasty and was on the table in 30 minutes – that’s a perfect, quick weekend breakfast in my book.

Crustless Chorizo Quiche

1 package of chorizo

1/2 cup pico de gallo (can also use 1 diced tomato, 1/2 a green pepper that has been finely diced, and about 1/4 cup diced onion)

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

10 eggs

Milk

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Liberally grease a pie pan, and set aside.

In a skillet, brown the chorizo. When browned, add the pico de gallo, and cook for a few minutes until the veggies begin to soften. When the veggies are softened, evenly spread the meat and veggie mixture in the prepared pie pan. Sprinkle 1 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese over the meat mixture.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs with a splash of milk. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, and pour the eggs over the meat and cheese in the pie pan. Top the eggs with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30 minutes, or until the cheese is nicely browned, and the eggs are done when you test it with a knife. Let set for about 5 minutes before cutting, and serve warm.

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Pressure Cooker BBQ Ribs

 

I love BBQ, especially barbecue ribs. We grill year-round, and it doesn’t matter how cold it is outside. We prefer pork ribs over beef, but I’m sure I’m be trying out a short rib recipe in my Instant Pot soon. Today, though, the guys brought home a nice stack of baby back ribs for me to play with. Of course, I pulled out my Instant Pot (okay – it sits out on my counter every day because I use it every day) and tried a recipe I found at Our Best Bites that sounded really good. I basically followed that sauce recipe, but I did add some garlic powder and some molasses to the sauce, just to make it a little closer to the one I usually make.




The ribs had a cooking time of 30 minutes on high pressure, and then I let the pressure reduce naturally for 15 minutes. You could put the ribs on a baking sheet, slather on more of the sauce, and stick them under the broiler for a few minutes if you wish, but as my broiler is on the fritz, we just dove in and eat. Absolutely delicious.

For sides, I tried another new recipe from I Wash You Dry for Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower and also fixed some home-canned green beans. Not a bad dinner for a cold winter Iowa evening.

Pressure Cooker BBQ Ribs

Baby back ribs (3 to 4 pounds)

Spice Rub:

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Sauce:

1-1/2 cups ketchup

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon dry mustard

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon molasses

Other Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

Cut the ribs into 2-rib sections, and set on a baking sheet or cutting board.

Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl, and mix to completely combine. Use your hands to rub the mix into both sides of the meat; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients. Mix thoroughly, and set aside.

Select the Sauté function on the Instant Pot, and add the olive oil to the pan. Sauté the onions for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic, and sauté for another 30 seconds or so.

Add the sauce mixture to the pot, and stir to combine. Add the ribs a few pieces at a time, using tongs to coat them with the sauce. Arrange the ribs meat side out, standing them upright as best you can. When you’ve got all the ribs in the pot, spoon some of the sauce over them again.

Secure the lid, making sure the vent is sealed, and select the Manual function. Set the time to 30 minutes on high pressure.

When the beeper sounds, turn the cooker off. Let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes and then manually release the pressure. Can place ribs with sauce in a foil-lined pan and broil for a few minutes if desired.

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Pressure Cooker Beef and Noodles

I was in a hurry the other night and didn’t have much time to prepare dinner, so I went through what was available in the freezer and pantry and decided to make beef and noodles. I had some really nice Amish-made wide egg noodles, and I knew the stew meat I had would turn out super tender if I used the pressure cooker. But I didn’t have any beef stock in the house. I knew I wanted to have a tasty beef gravy to pour over the cooked noodles. A little more rummaging through the pantry found some home-canned tomato juice and a individual-sized bottle of Merlot, both of which are perfect to cook beef in.




I did cook the noodles separately from the stew meat. I have yet to cook pasta in my Instant Pot, and I’ll get there someday, but these were such nice noodles, and I didn’t want them to get all mushy by overcooking them under pressure along with the meat, which was still partially frozen. After cooking the noodles separately and finishing the gravy for the meat, everything went back into the Instant Pot to keep warm and let the noodles soak up some of the sauce. All in all, it turned out to be a pretty good meal.

Beef and Noodles

2 pounds beef stew meat

Olive oil

4 ounces Merlot or other dry red wine

1/4 cup tomato juice

1 cup water or beef stock

2 teaspoons garlic powder

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Salt to taste

One bay leaf

2 teaspoons cornstarch

Milk or cream

Cooked egg noodles

Drizzle some olive oil in the Instant Pot, and select the Sauté function. Season the stew meat with garlic powder and black pepper, and add the stew meat to the Instant Pot. Sauté on all sides until nicely browned. Add the wine, tomato juice, water or beef stock, and the bay leaf to the pot. Secure the lid, and select the Beef/Meat function, setting the cooking time to 40 minutes at high pressure. Make sure to close the vent.

When the cooker beeps, turn off the Instant Pot. Let it naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, do a quick release to let out the rest of the pressure.

Remove the bay leaf and the beef with a slotted spoon; set aside and keep warm.

Select the Sauté function. In a coffee cup, add 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and enough milk or cream to completely dissolve the cornstarch and make a slurry. Stir to completely combine. Add the slurry to the liquid still in the Instant Pot, and cook until it reaches a gravy consistency. Carefully taste the gravy (it will be hot!), and add additional salt and/or pepper if needed. Add the beef pieces back to the pot along with the cooked egg noodles. Stir everything to combine well. Can select the Keep Warm function if you like or serve immediately.

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Baked Coconut Shrimp

I absolutely love shrimp however it’s prepared, and for a while now I’ve been wanting to try making coconut shrimp at home. I’ve had it when eating out, and you get these huge shrimp that have been butterflied and have this nice crispy coating—delicious stuff. Living in Iowa, however, I don’t always have access to those huge shrimp, or if they are available, they are outside my food budget, so I just drool and dream. That said, Hy-Vee will have occasional sales on seafood, especially around the holidays, so I usually stock up. While my go-to recipe for shrimp is shrimp scampi, I decided to try my hand at coconut shrimp, and my family thought the results were great. I used roughly 2 pounds of shrimp in my recipe (we’re big eaters and absolutely love shrimp), but you can definitely pare this back and use only 1 pound.

Some coconut shrimp is fried, but I wanted to keep my recipe as healthy as possible, so I baked mine. I also made this recipe gluten-free, so here is one more recipe for those of you who have celiac disease or wheat sensitivities. Of course, if you don’t have these medical problems, feel free to use regular all-purpose flour in place of the coconut flour.




A lot of recipes I looked at for coconut shrimp had a fruity and/or spicy dipping sauce that accompanies the shrimp. I saw one that had pineapple marmalade and one that used apricot preserves. I had neither of these items in my pantry, but I did have a bunch of homemade peach jam sitting on the shelves, so that was the inspiration for my dipping sauce. Feel free to experiment with whatever jams and preserves you may have. We each tried the shrimp first by itself and then with the dipping sauce, and we all agreed that the dipping sauce made the dish perfect.

Baked Coconut Shrimp

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Batter:

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 can coconut milk (or enough to make a thick batter)

1 egg, beaten

Coating:

1/2 cup gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs

1-1/2 cups coconut flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Peachy Dipping Sauce

8 ounces peach jam

2 to 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or to taste)

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

Instructions:

Prepare the dipping sauce by mixing all ingredients together in a small bowl, combining thoroughly. Refrigerate to let flavors marry together until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside (for my 2 pounds of shrimp, I needed 2 baking sheets).

In one bowl, combine all the batter ingredients, whisking them together to thoroughly combine. You’re looking for a pancake batter consistency, so keep adding the coconut milk until you reach a thick batter. You may or may not need a full can of coconut milk.

In a separate bowl, combine all the coating ingredients, and thoroughly mix.

Dip the prepared shrimp in the batter and then into the coconut/breadcrumb mixture. Shake off excess coating, and place the shrimp on the prepared baking sheets. Bake shrimp for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with the dipping sauce.

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Pressure Cooker Rum Raisin Rice Pudding

I’ll admit I’ve been on a rice pudding kick ever since I got my Instant Pot. It’s just too dang easy to make it in the pressure cooker. Plus I found a good deal on bulk Arborio rice on Amazon, so a couple of clicks and 2 days later, I was stocked up on rice for a while. While the plain old-fashioned recipe is delicious, I wanted to add some spice to it for a change. There are so many different flavors you could add to rice pudding, but this one has just a hint of the cinnamon and nutmeg without it being overpowering.

Rum Raisin Rice Pudding

Follow the instructions for my Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding, but after cooking the rice, add the following to the egg/milk mixture:

1 to 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (to taste)

Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste

3 tablespoons good rum

Continue to follow the above recipe for the old-fashioned rice pudding. Serve either hot or cold.

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