Anyone can be "the family chef". You just need good recipes and techniques! Chef Amy Fothergill shares her best recipes with you for quick and easy dishes with an emphasis on gluten-free.

Get information here about her cookbook, The Warm Kitchen: Gluten-Free Recipes Anyone Can Make and Everyone Will Love.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Specialty coffee drinks for the holidays

Thanks to Krups for sending me these delicious looking recipes for coffee drinks. I usually make my own eggnog latte around Christmas time; I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes this!

Krups suggests using their combo coffee/espresso machine. I have used them at other people's homes; it does make good coffee.

Enjoy and happy holidays!!

Eggnog Coffee
2 ½ cups freshly brewed coffee
1 cup eggnog
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Brew coffee in your favorite coffee maker. Warm eggnog in a pot over low heat and add the hot coffee and nutmeg. Serve immediately. Garnish with nutmeg.

Chocolate Mint Latte
2 fluid ounces espresso coffee
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup milk, steamed
1/8 cup frothed milk
Whipped cream
Chocolate shavings

In a coffee mug, brew the espresso coffee.  Add the peppermint extract and then pour in steamed milk and frothed milk. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Coffee Hazelnut Milkshakes
1 cup chilled coffee
4 scoops coffee ice cream
¼ cup crushed hazelnuts
Whipped cream
Crushed toffee or chocolate shavings

Blend coffee, ice cream and crushed hazelnuts in a blender until mixture becomes a smooth but thick consistency. Pour into a coffee mug and top with whipped cream and sprinkle toffee pieces (or chocolate shavings).

Monday, December 17, 2012

Santa hat cupcakes

Santa Hat Cupcakes courtesy of Lauryn Cohen

I know you might think I'm clever, but really, I'm not. Full credit goes to Lauryn Cohen, aka Bella Baker, who came up with this cute concept. Lauren is the queen of sweet and is known for her uniquely creative treats and crafts. She recently launched a holiday baking guide (entitled Sweet Gifts Holiday Baking and Crafting Guide- available nationwide) filled with innovative and delicious recipes for the holidays.

Lauryn was nice enough to share one of her creations with The Family Chef. In this recipe, she calls for a red velvet cupcake (you will find a gluten-free, no-dye recipe in my upcoming cookbook). You can always use a basic vanilla (regular or gluten-free).

Here is her technique for making super cute holiday cupcakes for your friends or family.

Santa Hats

Santa Baby! This cupcake is topped with your favorite buttercream frosting and uses an upside-down ice cream cone, sprinkles, and a white gumball to create Santa’s signature cap. Here's what you will need:

  • 12  sugar ice cream cones (regular or gluten-free)
  •  red candy melts
  •  red sanding sugar sprinkles
  • 12  white gumballs
  •  white dot sprinkles or white sanding sugar sprinkles 

With an offset spatula, frost a thin layer of buttercream icing onto the top of each cupcake. If you have a strip of some fun paper, wrap it around the cupcake.

Cut the pointy tops off of the ice cream cones (I might try it with kitchen scissors).

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the red candy melts in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring vigorously with a spoon between intervals, until they are completely melted. They should take 2 or 3 intervals to melt completely.

To decorate each cupcake, place your index and middle finger inside the large opening of the ice cream cone for stability and then carefully, using a spoon, coat the entire outside of the ice cream cone with the melted red candy melts. Immediately coat the entire cone in red sanding sugar. Gently slide your fingers out of the cone and stand the cone on a sheet of parchment paper (or a silicone baking mat).

Dab a small amount of the melted candy onto a gumball and place it on the top of the ice cream cone. Allow to dry completely. Place the Santa Hat onto the cupcake.

Finally, sprinkle the white dot sprinkles or white sanding sugar over the icing that is peeking out around the edge of the ice cream cone.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Farmigo brings Farmer's Markets to you

Would you be interested in a company which brings delicious farm-fresh foods to families but also benefits farmers?  Farmigo has the potential to change the way San Francisco families eat.

The first online farmer’s market has been launched as of December 11 to connect communities (such as workplaces, schools and community centers) directly to complementary local farms to provide “food community” members with an online marketplace for local, fresh-from-harvest food. They have kicked off in a handful of markets, and the Bay Area is one of them. (Get a look at what they are doing in Brooklyn here).

Once the food community site is established, it will be matched with complementary local farms that offer seasonal fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, cheeses (even wine and coffee in some locations) that was harvested within 48 hours of delivery and has traveled less than 100 miles.

The farms drop off the orders at the site at the same time each week and members can come by to collect their fresh produce. It’s a great way to bring communities together over food, and Farmigo even helps organize events for all the new communities.

Farmigo recognized there were many awesome, passionate people in the Bay Area, not just San Francisco, who want to bring fresh food to their communities.  Food sites can be organized at almost anywhere that a group of people can get together, etc. Anyone who is interested in a Farmigo food community can sign up on as of today. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe

 I was experimenting with gluten-free oatmeal cookies a few months ago and created this recipe based on a combination of a few other recipes I had found. Initially, I made it with butter which meant my daughter couldn’t have them. However, the last time I made chocolate chip cookies, she wasn’t so interested.

I still thought it would be good to make sure these tasted just as good without as with butter. Multiple Organics was kind enough to send me a sample bag of chocolate chips. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try them. Besides being organic, kosher, and fair-trade, these very tasty chips are also allergen-free. I was almost surprised at how good they were! They are produced in a dedicated facility free of major allergens including milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, soybeans, and sesame.  

It was a surprise to me when my daughter came over to the cooling rack and grabbed one enthusiastically. Her comment was “Mama! Yummy”! Even my husband who does not have much of a sweet tooth grabbed a second cookie and commented “These are GOOD”.

You can be the judge. See my comments for each ingredient. I really hope you try them. These are worth it and make almost 4 dozen!


Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 40-48 cookies

1 1/2 cups Amy's Gluten-Free Flour Blend

1/2 cup almond meal (for nut allergies, use the same amount of the above flour mix in place of the
almond meal)

1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)       

1 teaspoon baking soda                                                                            

1 teaspoon xanthan gum                                                                   

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup white sugar                

1/2 cup brown Sugar

1 cup butter substitute (I like Spectrum butter flavored shortening), softened

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats

1/2 cup organic shredded coconut, unsweetened

1 cup organic dairy-free chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

2. In a medium bowl, mix flour blend, almond, cinnamon, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt.

3. In a large bowl with a hand-held mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter
substitute and sugars for 1 minute. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined,
scraping the sides.

4. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined. Add oats and coconut. Mix until combined. Add
chocolate chips and mix on low until just combined.

5. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets, pressing down slightly.

6. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire