{gluten free} Kourambiedes – Greek Christmas Cookies

These Greek holiday cookies, called Kourambiedes, are covered in powdered sugar, melt in your mouth and have been modified from my grandma’s recipe to be gluten free!

 

gluten free Kourambiedes - Greek Christmas Cookies

This recipe is bittersweet for me to share. These Greek Christmas Cookies, called “Kourambiedes” are something I’ve made every year with my grandma (“yia yia”) since I can remember. This being our first holiday season without her, it was hard to make them alone. But at the same time, I knew she’d want me to carry on our tradition.

{gluten free} Kourambiedes - Greek Christmas Cookies

I decided to modify them to be gluten free so that I can enjoy them too! Even though she was not here making them with me, I felt like a part of her was. As I tried to figure out and adjust her measurements, I could envision her saying “this much sugar!”… holding out her hand and getting mad when I tried to put everything into measuring cups!

These Kourambiedes are a staple in every Greek house during the holidays, and I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp brandy
  • 3 cups gluten free flour (I always use Cup4Cup)
  • 1 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in mixer for about 15 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time.
  4. Add the baking soda, brandy, vanilla and gradually add the flour until you have dough (add more flour as needed).
  5. Stir in almonds and knead lightly.
  6. Break off small pieces of dough (about 1 1/2 tsp), form into ball (or whatever shape you’d like).
  7. Place on baking sheet and lightly flatten each dough ball.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until pale gold. You do not want them to brown.
  9. While the cookies are baking, cover serving plates with about 1 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar (just make sure the plates are covered).
  10. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven dust them generously with half of your remaining confectioners sugar.
  11. Let them cool only for a couple minutes (you want them warm), and carefully transfer them to sugar-coated platter. Sift the remaining sugar on the cookies, making sure they’re completely covered.
  12. Let cool and then serve!

*My yia yia always served them in cupcake liners because they’re quite messy and this way if you hold up the the liner to your mouth as you bite into the cookie, all the sugar gets caught.

{gluten free} Kourambiedes - Greek Christmas Cookies

Enjoy!

Question:

  • Does you family have a tradition of making certain cookies during the holidays?
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Christmas Gift Ideas for Someone Who’s Gluten Free

Christmas gift ideas for someone who's gluten free

When someone is gluten free, it affects them so much more than just their diet (trust me, I’d know!). Being gluten free can often be challenging, so embracing the diet/lifestyle is crucial. This Christmas, why not give the gluten free person in your life a gift that will be really useful and helpful to them!

Christmas Gift Ideas for Someone Who’s Gluten Free:

Cookbooks

Let’s be real, chances are the gluten free person cooks a lot due to the fact that dining out freely is a little more challenging. These are a few of my favorite gluten free cookbooks:

Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Gluten Free Cookbook

The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook

The Spiralizer Cookbook 

It’s A Pleasure 

Make it Paleo II: Over 175 New Grain-Free Recipes for the Primal Palate

Kitchen Gadgets

People that are gluten free tend to make a lot of their own things and spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so why not have fun have things that make their life easier & some that just look pretty!

Quick Pop Maker   

Batter Dispenser

Personalized Cutting Board

Pineapple Measuring Cups 

Microwave Popcorn Popper 

Diamond Ice cube Tray

Smart Slice Mandolin 

5-Piece Kitchen Gadgets

Herb Chopper and Mincer

Entertaining Items

Most people that are gluten free tend to host parties more often because it’s easier for them to control the food situation and avoid getting sick. Here are some things they will love to help  them entertain!

Wire Brass Candlestick Holder

Marble & Wood Cake Stand  

Jar Candle

Gold Mirrored Tabletop Tray

Gold Stemless Wine Glasses   

Marble & Copper Cheese Knives

Kitchen Towels, Potholders & Aprons

If your gluten free friend spends a lot of time in the kitchen, let’s help them look good while being practical! Here are my favorite towels, potholders and aprons!

Kate Spade Kitchen Towel

Jumbo Kitchen Towels

Indigo Towels  

Braided Potholders 

Striped Potholder

Gold Polka Dot Apron 

Herringbone Apron 

Dollie & Me Mommy & Me Apron

Cuisine Couture Apron

Picnicking

Lets face it, if you’re gluten free… especially those of us with celiac do a lot of picnicking! Not just the typical picnic in the park, but we literally bring our food everywhere! Here are some helpful gifts to help your gluten free friend pack their food.

Stackable Lunch Pot 

Insulated Lunch Bag   

Stainless Steel Lunch Jar 

Picnic Basket 

Portable Grill 

Blanket Tote

Picnic Backpack 

Cheeseboard Wine & Tools Set   

Picnic Cooler on Wheels 

Picnic Tote 

I hope these give you some ideas for the gluten free person in your life!

Happy Shopping!

*This post contains affiliate links. You can read more about that here

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Weekend Recap

monday

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I haven’t done a weekend recap in a while, so I thought it would be a fun way to start the week!

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First of all…we got a new fridge Saturday! As many of you know my grandma passed away over the summer and now their house is for sale, so my family decided Erik and I should have her refrigerator and washer/dryer. We are so excited to have these new appliances, but also happy that a part of her will be with us everyday!

Erik was joking that we know we’re adults when we keep going into the kitchen just to look at our “new toy”! It’s like Christmas came early for us.

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We also finished our Christmas decorations. I wish we could keep them up all year because it makes the apartment feel so cozy!

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We got this ornament as a gift in the Bahamas at our wedding, so it’s in the center of our garland as a reminder of our special day!

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On Sunday Erik and I went with my brother George to this event in LA called “Unique La” which is a giant trade show-sized shopping event that has local made design and art. They also had food vendors, DJs and arts & crafts for kids. This event happens four times a year in LA, so I’m glad we were able to make it! (Side Note: The cover of the brochure is George’s photograph!) 

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Each vendor had an area set up with their items for sale. They had everything from clothes, home goods, art, jewelry, mens section (even with a barber giving free haircuts!), children’s toys/clothes/etc, things for pets, and so much more. It literally was a one-stop shop for all your Christmas shopping!

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Erik was really excited to get a new wallet. But, I told him I’m wrapping it and putting it under the tree!

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Our holiday picture from the event! Ha… please note George is holding an ax!

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As many of you know finding gluten free nuts and seeds sometimes can be a challenge, due to shared facilities, so I was really excited to meet the vendor Imlak’esh Organics. All of their superfood products are gluten free, vegan, raw, non-gmo… and made in a dedicated facility!

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They were selling food too… so I was excited to be able to eat!

Erik and George both got the quinoa bowl, and I had the salad… they were all delicious!

After we left, we headed to my parents house where my cousin was visiting from Arizona with her family (she has twins that are 9 months old and a 3 year old)… they’re going to Disneyland today (wish them luck)!

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Poor Bella is not used to being around kids, so she was exhausted when they left!

We had a wonderful/busy weekend, so by the time we got home last night I felt exactly like Bella!

Hope you all have a great week! xoxo

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{gluten free} Cranberry Coconut Macaroons

These coconut macaroons, flavored with cranberries and orange zest are sure to be a big hit this holiday season!

gluten free cranberry coconut  macaroons

Baking with coconut is a good idea all year long, but then add cranberry into the mix and suddenly it becomes the perfect holiday treat!

These coconut cranberry macaroons are so simple to make that I’m sure they’ll be your new favorite holiday cookie!

Ingredients:

(makes about 24 cookies)

  • 1 (14 oz) bag of sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup gluten free all purpose flour (I always use Cup4Cup)
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 orange, zest of

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Line pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine coconut, gf flour, condensed milk, salt and vanilla. Stir until evenly mixed.
  4. Add in the cranberries and orange zest and stir everything together.
  5. Drop about two tablespoons full onto parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for a couple mins.

*Make sure you read my post on Gluten Free Baking Products, so you know which brands to buy!

If you like this recipe, make sure you check out my White Chocolate Peppermint Macaroons!

gluten free cranberry coconut macaroons

Enjoy!

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2016 Gluten Free Baking Product List

2016 gluten free baking product list

Holiday baking season is officially in full swing, and I know there is nothing more annoying and discouraging than finding a recipe you want to make, going to the grocery store and then not knowing what is gluten free! Trust me… I’ve been there (with my eyes filled with tears from frustration and hating being gluten free).

As with everything that goes along with being gluten free, baking is no different… we just need to be prepared! Looking back, I can’t believe the first year I was gluten free I missed out on baking all my favorite things, just because I was unsure of what I could have. Now I always research ahead of time and bring a list with me of brands and products I can have!

Don’t worry friends, I’ve got you covered on which baking products (and brands!) are gluten free!

Baking Chips:

Hershey’s
– Butterscotch
– Cinnamon
– Milk
– Mini Semi-Sweet
– Premier White
– Semi-Sweet
– Special Dark
– Sugar Free
Ghirardelli
Baking Chips
– Double Chocolate Bittersweet (60% Cacao)
– Milk Chocolate
– Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate
– Semi-Sweet Chocolate
Enjoy Life
Dark Chocolate Morsels
Mega Chunks
Mini Chips
Reese’s
Peanut Butter Chips
Andes
Baking Chips
– Creme de Menthe
– Peppermint Crunch

Baking Powder:

Rumford
Clabber Girl
Bob’s Red Mill
Argo
Ener-G
Dr. Oetker
Royal
KC
Hearth Club (Clabber Girl)
Hain
Davis

Baking Soda:

Bob’s Red Mill
Arm & Hammer
Ener-G

Butter:

Smart Balance
Land O’ Lakes
Great Value (Wal-Mart)
Cabot
Kerrygold
Earth Balance Natural Spreads
Organic Valley
Country Crock
Blue Bonnet

Candy Canes:

Spangler
Bobs Candy Canes
Jelly Belly
Starburst
Lifesavers

Condensed Milk:

Carnation
Eagle brand

Dried Cranberries/Raisins:

Ocean Spray Craisins
Sun-Maid
Sunsweet

Extracts:

McCormick
– Pure Almond
– Pure Anise
– Pure Lemon
– Pure Mint
– Pure Orange
– Pure Peppermint
– Pure Vanilla
– Raspberry
-Gourmet Collection Vanilla Beans
-Gourmet Collection Organic Pure Madagascar Vanilla Extract
Durkee
– Pure Almond
– Pure Anise
– Pure Lemon
– Pure Mint
– Pure Vanilla
Tone’s
– Cinnamon
– Pure Almond
– Pure Anise
– Pure Lemon
– Pure Mint
– Pure Vanilla
– Raspberry
Spice Islands
– Pure Almond
– Pure Lemon
– Pure Vanilla
-Bourbon Vanilla Bean

Evaporated Milk:

Carnation
– Original
– Fat Free
– Low Fat 2%

Flour:

There are many out there, but my favorite is Cup4Cup

Non-stick Cooking Spray:

PAM
– Butter Flavor
– Olive Oil
– Original
** “PAM Baking is not gluten-free, as it contains real flour, which is derived from wheat.”

Smart Balance
– Butter
– Original

Nuts:

Planters
Blue Diamond
Diamond of California
Almonds
– In-the-Shell
– Sliced
– Slivered
– Whole
Black Walnuts
Brazil Nuts
– Large
– Shelled
Hazelnuts
– Chopped
– Large
– Shelled
Chopped Macadamias
Walnut Nut Topping
Raw Spanish Peanuts
Pecan Chips
Pecan Halves
Pecans – 3 varieties
– Chopped
– In-the-Shell
– Shelled
Pine Nuts
Walnuts
– Chopped
– Finely Diced
– Jumbo
– Shelled
Walnuts Chips
Walnuts Halves

Pre-made Mixes:

These are easy to spot at the store since it says it big on the box, but my favorite are the Betty Crocker mixes. Make sure the box says “Gluten Free” because they are often on the same shelf as the others.

Spices:

McCormick
Spice Islands
Simply Organic
Durkee
Tone’s
*You can read my post about Gluten Free Spices & Seasonings here!

Sugars (granulated, brown, confectioners):

Pure sugar is naturally gluten free.

As always, I use my favorite shopping app when I’m grocery shopping!

If you know of other brands/products I missed or want to know about something I didn’t list… please let me know!

Happy Baking!

**This list is for the US. If you’re in another country, please contact the manufacturer first.

Questions:

  • What’s your favorite thing to bake for the holidays?
  • What’s your favorite gluten free baking product to use?
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{gluten free} Cheese & Herb Bread

This no yeast bread is quick to make with bold flavors of cheese and herbs. To top it off it’s moist from Greek yogurt and gluten free! 

gluten free cheese & herb breadSweet quick breads are something I bake often, but I thought I would mix it up and make a savory bread. This bread is light and moist, yet not lacking in flavor as the cheese, garlic and herbs gives this quick bread a pop of boldness!

If you’re gluten free, you no longer need to sit at the table dreaming of enjoying a piece  bread while everyone passes the bread basket!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups gluten free flour (I use Cup4Cup)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp finely minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped, mixed fresh herbs (I used rosemary, thyme and sage)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease 9 inch bread pan and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk, Greek yogurt, egg, garlic and herbs. Then add in the cheese and gently stir so evenly mixed.
  5. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir only until combined.
  6. Pour batter into your prepared pan.
  7. Bake in oven for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
  8. Allow bread to cool completely before cutting it.


gluten free cheese & herb cheese bread

Enjoy!

Question:

  • Do you prefer sweet or savory breads?
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Friday Favorites: Thanksgiving Entertaining

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week?… How did that happen? I’ve mentioned it before, but I come from the queen of entertaining. I swear, my mom was Mrs. Pinterest before there even was a Pinterest!

So, naturally I love all the details that go into entertaining. Today I thought it would be fun to share of my favorite things to help with your Thanksgiving celebration.

1. Iona Cheese Board – Nothing says entertaining like a good cheese board! My Cranberry Pecan Brie would be the perfect match for this board.

Thanksgiving entertaining

2. Leaf Bottle Stoppers – These are the perfect gift to bring your host!

Thanksgiving entertaining

3. Agate Bottle Opener – I think your host would also love this bottle opener (I know I would!)

Thanksgiving entertaining

4. Give Thanks Napkin Rings – These are a great reminder all year long!

Thanksgiving entertaining

5. Covered Pumpkin Pie Dish – This is calling my Nutella Swirled Pumpkin Pie’s name!

Thanksgiving entertaining

6. Marble & Wood Cake Stand – My Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Bunt Cake would look fabulous on this… just saying! 🙂

Thanksgiving entertaining

7. Metallic Lace Dessert Plate – These are just so perfect.. right?!

Thanksgiving Entertaining

I hope you love these as much as I do!

Incase you’re still in need of some cooking ideas, make sure you check out my Gluten Free Thanksgiving Sides. 

Question:

  • Would you rather… host Thanksgiving or get invited somewhere?

Have a wonderful weekend! xoxo

Today I’m linking with Erika. 

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Gluten Free Alternatives to Traditional Stuffing

I think it’s safe to say that stuffing is a staple on everyone’s Thanksgiving table. Since classic stuffing is made with bread, that means missing out on this Thanksgiving favorite if you’re gluten free.

gluten free stuffing alternatives

I know what you’re thinking.. why not use gluten free bread? Why yes, this is a great option! You can read about my personal favorite gf stuffing here and the recipe I make here! However… many people don’t want to make gluten free stuffing for everyone, due to cost or not everyone wanting to eat it.

I’ve search Pinterest for some delicious gluten free (non-bread) alternatives to classic stuffing!

Sweet Potato Cranberry Pecan Stuffing via Lemon Tree Dwelling (*This contains bread, but I loved the recipe so much that I included it. Just switch it out for gluten free bread!)

gluten free stuffing alternatives

Gluten Free Walnut and Kale Quinoa Stuffing via Healthy Seasonal Recipes

gluten free stuffing alternatives

Best Ever Paleo Stuffing via Zenbelly

gluten free stuffing alternative

Quinoa Stuffing with Apples, Sweet Potato & Hazelnuts via Marla Meridith

gluten free stuffing alternative

Wild Rice & Mushroom Stuffing via Detoxinista

gluten free stuffing alternative

Cauliflower Rice Stuffing via The Healthy Maven

gluten free stuffing alternative

Wild Rice Stuffing with Butternut Squash, Pears & Pecans via The Roasted Root

gluten free stuffing alternative

Don’t these all look so delicious?! I guarantee even your gluten-eating Thanksgiving guests will love any of these!

Question:

  • What’s your favorite way of making stuffing? Classic or non-traditional?

 

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{gluten free} Nutella Swirled Pumpkin Pie

A pumpkin pie, swirled with creamy Nutella puts a twist on a classic favorite your Thanksgiving guests will never forget! 

gluten free nutella swirled pumpkin pie

I’ve been gluten free ever since I got a Pinterest account. I remember at first I would be so bummed to see all the recipes I could not longer have! Once I decided I just needed to modify them, I’ve been Pinning recipes to try ever since.

This is one I found a while ago and comes from Sally’s Baking Addiction. Ummm… hello pumpkin and Nutella!!  I really don’t think it needs much of an introduction other than this will be a game changer this Thanksgiving!

Recipe modified from: Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients:

  • *1 pre-made gluten free crust (I used Mi-Del’s Graham Style pie crust)
  • 3 eggs
  • 15 ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup Nutella, warmed (microwave for about 30 seconds)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pie crust on baking sheet or pie dish and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the remaining ingredients (except for the Nutella) and stir to combine until evenly mixed.
  3. Pour the mixture into pie crust.
  4. Drop spoonfuls of warmed Nutella onto pie, swirling carefully with the back of a knife.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until the filling is set.
  6. Allow to cool completely and serve at room temperature.

*In the original recipe, she made her own crust out of gingersnap cookies. I will probably try this next time. But the pre-made crust was easy to use and still tasted delicious!

Because the Mi-Del’s crust is a little smaller than your typically pie dish, I had about 3/4 cup leftover of the pie filling. Since I don’t like to waste, I added:

1/2 cup gluten free flour (Cup4Cup)
1/2 tsp baking powder

Mixed everything until evenly combined, poured batter into muffin tins, baked them at 350 degrees (same time as I baked the pie) for 20-25 minutes. I got 4 muffins from this! 

gluten free nutella swirled pumpkin pie

Happy baking!

Questions:

  • What’s your favorite pie to bake for Thanksgiving?
  • What’s your favorite pie to eat on Thanksgiving?!
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