Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Food, glorious food!

This summer we saw a stage production of the musical "Oliver!" based on the Charles Dickens book Oliver Twist. We've since obtained a DVD of the full-length movie. I remember seeing it when I was young and it is fun introducing these classics to my children. The music and dancing is fun. The story, is, of course, full of very sad pieces of history. My children are stuck with a teacher for a mom even when we watch movies!

One of the songs we love from this musical is "Food, Glorious Food." We actually noticed a different version of this song in one of the Ice Age movies! With Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching, I've got food on my brain. Oh, who am I kidding. Being a Pampered Chef consultant and having to eat "special" food with no gluten, food is always on my mind! I thought I'd share a few of my favorite recipes for this time of year. Enjoy!

Pecan Tassies (The Pampered Chef)

This one makes up wonderfully as a Gluten Free Recipe! Just substitute in any GF flour blend. I've even made it with Bob's Red Mill mix, which has bean flours in it (I don't like it in most foods), and it was delicious. Even my gluten eating friends & family couldn't tell it was Gluten free!


Tart Shells

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

3 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup all-purpose flour


2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup pecan halves, finely chopped

Powdered sugar (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. For tart shells, beat butter and cream cheese in Classic Batter Bowl until well blended. Add flour; mix until a soft dough forms.
  2. Using Small Scoop, shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls of dough into ungreased cups of Deluxe Mini-Muffin Pan. Dip Mini-Tart Shaper in flour; press into dough with even pressure until dough rises slightly above rim of pan.
  3. For filling, place butter in Small Batter Bowl; microwave on HIGH 30 seconds or until melted. Stir in brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Finely chop pecans using Food Chopper; add to batter bowl and mix well.
  4. Using Small Scoop, fill each tart shell with level scoop of filling (do not overfill). Bake 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven; cool in pan 3 minutes. Remove from pan to Stackable Cooling Rack; cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
Yield: 24 tarts

This next one is one I made when I'd only been a Pampered Chef consultant a few months & my dad, who doesn't like pumpkin pie, liked this.

The Pampered Chef Pumpkin Lattice Pastry

1 package (15 ounces) refrigerated pie crusts (2 crusts)

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon pecan halves, divided

1 egg

2 tablespoons sugar

1 can (15 ounces) solid pack pumpkin

1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided

1 package (3.4 ounces) cheesecake instant pudding and pie filling

1 teaspoon Pantry Cinnamon Plus Spice Blend

Additional pecan halves (optional)

1.Preheat oven to 375ºF. Let pie crusts stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Lightly sprinkle Large Round Stone with flour. Gently unfold one pie crust onto center of baking stone. Lightly brush with water using Pastry Brush. Using Food Chopper, finely chop 1/4 cup of the pecans; sprinkle evenly over crust. Unfold second crust and place over first crust, matching edges and pressing to seal. Using Baker's Roller, roll crusts out together to edge of baking stone. Fold edges of crust 1/2 inch toward center, forming an even border; press to seal seam.

2.Using smooth end of pastry tool, form a decorative fluted edge; prick entire surface of crust. In Small Batter Bowl, lightly beat egg and brush over crust. Place sugar in Flour/Sugar Shaker; sprinkle evenly over crust. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to Stackable Cooling Rack. Cool 15 minutes. Carefully slide crust onto Round Platter; cool completely.

3.Meanwhile, for filling, combine pumpkin, half of the whipped topping, pudding mix and spice blend in Classic Batter Bowl; whisk until smooth using Stainless Steel Whisk (mixture will be thick). Using Large Spreader, spread filling evenly over crust.

4.Attach closed star tip to Easy Accent Decorator; fill with remaining whipped topping. Pipe 3 horizontal rows of topping across surface of filling, followed by 3 diagonal rows, forming a lattice pattern. Pipe a decorative border along edge of filling. Using Deluxe Cheese Grater, grate remaining pecans over topping. If desired, arrange additional pecan halves around edge of pastry. Cut into wedges using Chef's Knife. Serve using Slice 'N Serve®.

Yield: 12 servings or 20 sample servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 290, Total Fat 15 g, Saturated Fat 8 g, Cholesterol 25 mg, Carbohydrate 34 g, Protein 3 g, Sodium 250 mg, Fiber 2 g

Cook's Tip: Pumpkin pie spice can be substituted for the Cinnamon Plus™ Spice Blend, if desired.

I know many people have a chocolate sheet cake (or sheath cake) recipe that is the "best" but MY MOM'S is THE BEST! LOL! Note how this can be changed up for Christmas.

Mammaw’s Chocolate Sheet Cake

For a GF version, I use a mix of half sweet rice flour & half corn starch or tapioca starch. All white starches with a powdery feel (not gritty).

Sift: 2c. sugar, 2 c. flour, 1 t. baking soda, and 2 t. cinnamon in a large bowl.

Put: ¼ # margarine (1 stick), ½ c. shortening, 4 T cocoa and 1 c. water into a pan. Melt margarine and cocoa. Bring to a rapid boil over low to medium heat (not high, it will burn), stirring frequently. This will take a while. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix.

Add: ½ c. buttermilk (OR mix 1 T. lemon juice plus milk to make ½ c. let this sit for awhile or put in micro for 20 sec. to sour), 2 beaten eggs and 1 t. vanilla.

Grease a cookie sheet (jelly roll pan, one with edges) 11”x16”. Pour in batter. Bake at 400° for 20 min.

Meanwhile make frosting:

Fudge Icing:

Over low heat bring to a boil:

¼ # margarine (1 stick)

4 T. cocoa

6 T. milk (1/3 c)

Add: 1 box (1#--3 ¾ c. ) powdered sugar, 1 t. vanilla and ½ c. nuts (optional) (for a variety at Christmas you can omit nuts & after pouring on icing sprinkle w/ crushed candy canes)

Mix well. Pour on cake while still warm. (Most cakes say wait til it cools, but this one is different).

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