Tres Leche Cake

Invite your friends over for this sponge cake, soaked in 3 milks, topped with homemade whipped cream and fresh raspberries.

Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix

Make your own gluten free flour mixture at home. It is really simple to make and it's texture is smooth. You can substitute this equally for regular wheat flour.

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

Start your day with this easy and moist quick bread, topped with cinnamon sugar.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Coconut Oil Cooking Spray

Thank you Kelapo for sending me a sample of your Coconut Oil Cooking Spray!  Friends, this cooking spray is amazing!  I am so excited about it and let me tell you why.  There seems to be a lot of talk now days about the benefits of using coconut oil, here is an article in Shape Magazine discussing the possible benefits.   It contains no trans fats and is high in omega-3 fatty acids.  I have been using Coconut Oil in my baking since discovering Erin McKenna's Babycakes Cookbook.  Surprisingly, it is a great egg substitute as long as there are only 1-2 eggs in the original recipe.  It works great in muffins and quick breads and is actually the oil used in my favorite gluten free, egg free bread recipe.  I love that Kelapo's products are organic and certified "Fair For Life" by the IMO Fair Trade Program!  I am hooked.  If you try this, let us all know what you think too.

Way to go Kelapo and thank you!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Last week, my kids had a day off of school that was filled with doctor appointments.  To add in a little fun in our day, we went out to Culver's for lunch.  I let the kids have a scoop of custard for a treat.  Since the custard contains eggs, we were going to head to McDonald's for Anna to have ice cream too.

For maybe the second time in her life, she told me she wished she didn't have food allergies.  I told her,  "Me too" and we are doing the best we can and praying for her too.  She is always a tough cookie about her allergies and really accepting of them.  But, like any of us, sometimes we just have to be real and express that allergies stink.

While driving, she asked me if she could have bananas on top of her ice cream.   So we decided to head through Dairy Queen's drive through since they have banana sundaes.  Then, she asked if she could have bananas AND strawberries.  I told her she had to pick one.  I ordered her banana sundae, drove up to the window and the high school boy who was holding her sundae asked, "Do you want any other toppings on this, like maybe strawberry?"  What?!  How did he know?  When have you ever had anyone ask if you want an additional topping, for free, and then have it be exactly what you were wishing for.  He had no idea about our previous conversation but he blessed Anna in such a big way.  I wanted Anna to treasure this moment and realize it was like a big hug from God.  We don't have answers to why she has allergies but we do know that God loves her deeply.  God does not change and neither does His great love for us.

Onto today's recipe post...
These are the best Gluten Free, Egg Free cookies I've ever made.  They are soft like a little pillow, and taste like a little magic in your mouth.   My husband who doesn't even really care for pumpkin, LOVED these! 

2 c Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix (or use your GF flour mix + xanthan gum)
2 t baking powder
2 t pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t salt
1 t baking soda

1 c canned pumpkin (or puree)
1 c sugar
1/2 c coconut oil (melt before measuring)
1 flax gel egg (1 T finely ground flax seeds whisked with 3 T warm water, let sit about 10 minutes)
1 t milk (if you have a dairy allergy, substitute with rice milk)
1 T vanilla

1 c white chocolate chips (if you have a dairy allergy, use Enjoy Life's Chocolate Chips instead)

1.  Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.  I used Kelapo's Coconut Oil Cooking Spray.  (Read more about this cooking spray in tomorrow's post)
2.  In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Whisk together well.  Set aside.
3.  In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.
4.  Stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Then, stir in white chocolate chips.
5.  Drop by spoonful (or use small cookie dough scoop) about 1 inch apart, onto cookie sheet.  Bake 12-14 minutes.  Let cool 5-10 minutes, before transferring the cookies to wire racks to finish cooling.

Makes 37 cookies (when using my small cookie dough scoop).

Adapted from a recipe found on

This recipe has been shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays , Gluten Free Fridays, Cybele Pascal and Fireflies & Jellybeans.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thank You!

You all have overwhelmed me with your support of Hope's Kitchen.  Thank you for voting!  Hope's Kitchen made the Circle of Mom's Top 25 Food Allergy Blogs of 2012.  I am so grateful!

If you haven't had a chance yet to visit Circle of Mom's Top 25 list, you should soon.  It will be a great resource to you and others you know with food allergies/sensitivites.  The diversity of the blogs listed is impressive.  I know I found a couple new blogs I plan to follow and hope you will find some more too. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Buttery Apple Crumble

Apple season always draws to mind some great memories of my childhood.  Every fall, my family would pack up into our station wagon and drive to the Minnesota River Valley area.  The trees along the bluffs were full of vibrant fall colors.  We would go to a little, family owned, apple orchard and pick apples for the day.  We were equipped with ladders and apple picking bags.  My sister and I would get to eat an apple while we were picking and we would see how far down the bluff we could get apples to roll.  The orchard was quite rustic.  The restroom was even an old wooden outhouse (that was not a favorite part of my memories).  By the end of the day, the back of our station wagon was filled with apples galore.  My favorite thing Mom made out of the apples, was her Apple Butter.  Now, that I'm thinking about it, my mouth is watering.  Mom, I need that recipe! 

This Apple Crisp has become our family favorite!  The original recipe is from Cooking Light's September 2003 issue and I have adapted it for our family.  Cooking Light's version calls for whole wheat flour to provide a little nutty taste without using nuts.  So I substituted used Gluten Free flour and ground flax seeds to replace it.  The result is delicious.

1/2 c Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix (or use your favorite GF flour, it doesn't need xanthan gum)
1/4 c ground flax seeds
1 1/4 c Gluten Free Oats
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/2 c butter, melted
2 t vanilla, divided
1/2 c apple cider
1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 t cornstarch
dash of salt
10 Haralson apples, cored, peeled, sliced
cooking spray

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.
2.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, flax, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.  Whisk together well.  Add butter and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  Stir with a fork until moist.
3.  In a large bowl, combine 1 teaspoon vanilla, apple cider, sugar, cornstarch and the dash of salt.  Whisk together until sugar is dissolved.  Then, add the apple slices and toss to coat.
4.  Spoon apples into 9 x 13 pan, sprinkle with crumbly oat mixture.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 30 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

Serve warm with drizzled caramel, vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream!

Shared this recipe on Allergy Friendly Fridays.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Enjoy Life Free E-Cookbook

Good Morning friends!  How about starting off your Monday morning with a free ebook cookbook from Enjoy Life?!  It is filled with 71 recipes that are free of the major 8 food allergens.  The recipes include egg replacement, pancakes, doughnuts, mac-n-cheese, meatballs, whoopie pies and so many more.

I tried the pancake recipe.  The recipe said it would make 6 medium pancakes.  I doubled the recipe and it ended up making 8 pancakes, roughly 4 inches in diameter.  When I finished the recipe, my batter looked more like the consistency of cookie dough, so I added extra milk to make it more like pancake batter.  It was a little dense.  However, I had a little helper and it was probably stirred a little more than it should have been.  They tasted great and I was impressed with their appearance too.  This was the first gluten free, egg free pancake recipe that I've made, where you actually know when to flip them, like the regular version.  The little bubbles appear, telling you it is time to flip.   I will try this recipe again.  Next time, chocolate chips might get added to the batter.

Here is how the pancakes turned out :)

The idea of a "tapioca egg" is interesting to me and I look forward to trying that idea in other recipes.  The next recipe in their ecookbook that I want to try is the Enjoy Life "Moon Pies."

So enjoy your Monday morning with an Enjoy Life FREE ecookbook!  Just click here.  Thanks Enjoy Life!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Apple Pie

If my Mother-in-law had me pick my favorite dessert of hers, my answer would always be her Apple Pie.  In fact, have you ever had something homemade that was so good that you just couldn't order it in a restaurant anymore because it wouldn't taste as good?  My girlfriend's chinese cooking has also done this to me.  Since I've tried her homemade fried rice, restaurant fried rice just isn't as good anymore.

But anyhow, back to pie.  This Apple Pie is classic.  Normally, I don't eat pie crust but this one is so tender and full of flavor.  It's actually the Crisco crust recipe.  If you are not confident making pies, check out their video and pie making tips.  They are really helpful. 

My pies might not be pretty yet, but someday my friend I hope to figure out how to make the beautiful fluted edges that my mother does so easily.  For now, I'm happy when the crust doesn't fall apart when I transfer it to the pie pan.

The crust:
2 c Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix  
1 t salt
3/4 c Spectrum Organic Shortening
5-6 T  ice cold water

1.  Whisk flour and salt together in a large bowl.
2.  Using a pastry blender, or 2 knives, cut in the shortening until the mixture is coarse with pea-sized crumbles.
3.  Sprinkle 5 T water into the flour mixture.  Stir with a fork.  Add 1 T water, if necessary, to make sure the dough sticks together, forming a ball.
4.  Divide the dough into 2 halves and form into balls so that one dough ball is a little larger than the other. 
5.  To prepare a rolling surface, lay down some saran wrap then sprinkle with flour.  Place the larger dough ball flattened into a disc on floured surface and sprinkle a little more flour on top.  Then cover with another sheet of saran wrap and start rolling.  Roll until a couple inches larger than your pie pan.  To transfer the dough, carefully remove the top saran wrap.  Then gently roll up the crust on bottom saran wrap, flip upside down and unroll onto the pie pan.  Now, carefully remove the saran wrap that is on top of the crust in the pan.

The Pie Filling:
1/2 c Corn Chex or Gluten Free Cornflakes, crushed
6 c Haralson Apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
3/4 c sugar
1/2 t cinnamon (adjust to taste)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Sprinkle the crushed cereal over the bottom pie crust to cover.
3.  Place apples on top of the cereal.
4.  Sprinkle with sugar, then sprinkle with cinnamon.
5.  Top with a couple pats of butter.
6.  Then roll out the smaller dough ball and transfer it on top of the pie.  Trim the crust and press the edges together.  Using a knife, cut a few little slits in the center of the crust for air to escape.  Bake 50-55 minutes or until you see a little juices on the side of the crust.

Tip:  Lay a sheet on tinfoil (edges creased up) or a cookie sheet on a rack under the pie rack, to catch any juices that bubble over.

Thanks Gluten Free Mondays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free WednesdaysCybele Pascal @ Allergy Friendly Fridays, Fireflies and Jellybeans, Gluten Free Fridays and Show and Tell Saturdays for letting me share this recipe on your site.  These blogs have a great collection of allergy friendly recipes.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dinner Rolls

When I look back, knowing what I know now, it is a wonder to me how my Mom prepared a huge, all homemade Thanksgiving dinner single handedly.  Maybe us kids helped her a little but maybe we "helped" by making it take even longer too.  That I don't remember, but I do remember her being up early, apron on, and very busy.  The table was pretty, the food was delicious and we got to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with Dad.

One of my favorite additions to our meal, was always Mom's homemade cloverleaf dinner rolls.  She had a technique down to making them and I can't wait to try and make them this year with her as my teacher.   In the meantime, these dinner rolls are little less pretty but still quite tasty.  When Mom and I get together, we will use this same recipe and attempt to make them into cloverleaf rolls.  Ok Mom?  All I did to make these tasty little guys, was use my favorite Gluten Free Bread recipe.

*Make sure dry ingredients are at room temperature before starting

3 c GF Flour Mix - I used Paula's GF Flour Mix - see below for her recipe
2 t xanthan gum
1/2  t sea salt
3 T sugar
1 t dry yeast
2 t coconut oil (melt before measuring)
1 1/2 c + 2 T warm water

1. Grease and dust with GF flour an 8×4 loaf pan.  Heat oven to 200 degrees.
2. Combine GF Flour Mix, xanthan gum, salt, sugar, and dry yeast in a medium sized bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
3.  In mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil and warm water together and then add the dry ingredients. Mix on high for 2 minutes, this activates the yeast. It should resemble a thicker cake batter.
4.  Pour batter into prepared pan and cover with a tea towel.  Turn OFF the oven and set the covered bread in the warm oven to rise. Carefully shut the oven door.
5. The bread will take about 30 min. to rise to just below the top of the pan.  Take the bread out carefully and set aside. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
6.  Place bread in preheated oven and bake 45-55 minutes.  After the first 10-15 minutes, tent tinfoil over the bread for the remainder of the baking time to prevent the crust from darkening too much.
7. Test the bread with a toothpick. After you’ve removed the bread from the oven, immediately rub the top with butter. Remove loaf from the pan to a wire rack to cool.
8.  Let cool completely before cutting.   This makes a big difference on how well it will slice and stay together.

Paula's Gluten Free Flour Mix (this makes enough for 2 loaves of bread plus 1 extra cup)
1 1/2 c. millet flour
1 1/2 c. sorghum flour
1 c. tapioca flour
1 c. potato starch
1 c. arrowroot powder 

Paula also recommends this recipe for dinner rolls...
  If you let the dough sit a bit longer after you’ve mixed it, it will thicken to the point that you can scoop the dough in a muffin-sized scoop and drop it in rows of three. Leave a bit of room in between them, maybe a 1/2 to 1 inch or so.
Use a 9×13 cake pan that has been greased well. Let them rise about the same time – enough to get just to the top of the pan. Cover them with tin foil for the first ten minutes just like the bread and bake them the same amount of time and at the same temperature.

When I made these Gluten Free Vegan Dinner Rolls, as soon as it was done mixing (step 3.), I just spooned a little dough into greased and floured muffin tins, filling them about 1/2 way.  Then continued with the directions above starting with 4, covering them with a tea towel and letting them rise in the 200 degree preheated oven, turned off for 15-20 minutes, then follow the rest of the directions above.  

A great dinner addition, warm homemade dinner rolls :)  Thanks again Paula at!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pumpkin Biscuits with Orange Honey Butter

Pumpkins Biscuits

This weekend was full of pumpkin treats.  For breakfast yesterday, I made Tessa the Domestic Diva's Pumpkin Pancakes and added White Chocolate Chips. They were amazing!  We had one extra and I saved it for a snack later in the day.  Oh man!  It was so good cooled, almost like a cookie.  Next time I make these, I will double the recipe to plan to save some for snacks and to send with the kid's lunches.  For the chia meal, I substituted ground flax seeds (1 T ground flax, whisked with 3 T warm water, let sat about 10 minutes) and I used rice milk.

Pumpkin Biscuits

In the afternoon, I baked Pumpkin Biscuits with the leftover canned pumpkin.  This recipe was always one of my favorite Cooking Light recipes.  It was easy to adapt the recipe to make it safe for our family.  All I needed to change was the flour.  And when you top them off with the Orange Honey Butter...Mmmmm!!  These biscuits would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving dinner.

Note:  I mix my own flour at home (called Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix)  but if you buy a package of gluten free flour mix at the store just make sure it has xanthan gum in it.  If it doesn't, you will need to add 1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons xanthan gum to your 2 c flour.

2 c Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix
3 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/4 c chilled butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 c buttermilk
1/2 c canned pumpkin (I use Libby's)

1.  Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour through the nutmeg.  Cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender until it resembles a coarse meal.
3.   In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk and pumpkin.  Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture, stirring just until moist.  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead lightly and roll dough to about 1/2 - 3/4 inch thickness.  Cut biscuits with a biscuit cutter and place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
4.  Bake at 450 degrees for 11 minutes or until golden.
5.  Serve warm with Orange Honey Butter.

Orange Honey Butter
1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c honey
1/2 teaspoon orange zest (grated orange rind)

Mix together well.

This recipe share on Mealtime Mondays, Tasteful Tuesdays, Gluten Free Fridays and Show and Tell Saturdays.

Circle of Moms compiles a list of the Top 25 Food Allergy Blogs each year.  This list is a great resource of food allergy blogs and could be very helpful to you.  Hope's Kitchen is still pretty new, but would love to be added to that resource list.  If you would like to help me get added, vote for me by clicking on the little badge below.  There are just a few more days to vote (you can vote once a day) and voting ends of October 17 at 4 pm.  That's all folks!

PS.  See you again tomorrow morning for easy Dinner Rolls.

Thanks!  Happy Tuesday!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

This hotdish (yep, I'm from the midwest) is a great comfort food.  I found this recipe on Cooking Light and have adapted it.  Next time, I might try it in my dutch oven or a corningware dish.  But I have to say, somehow the 9 x 13 pan makes the casserole look a bit fancier.

This recipe can be made ahead of time.   Enjoy!
2 c cooked chicken breast, chopped
2 c (about 7 oz) uncooked corn spaghetti, broken into 2 inch pieces (Gluten Free- I used Trader Joe's)
1 c red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c onion, chopped
1 c gluten free chicken broth
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 boxes Pacific Foods Cream of Chicken soup (Gluten Free) or to make your own see below
1 c shredded cheddar cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  In a large bowl, combine the chicken, noodles, red bell pepper and onion.
3.  In a separate bowl, stir together the broth, salt, pepper and cream of chicken soup.  Add the soup mixture to the chicken mixture and toss.  Pour into baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with cheese.
4.  Cover with foil.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 10 more minutes.

To make your own Cream of Chicken Soup:

3 T butter
3 T gluten free flour
2 c (or 15 oz can) gluten free chicken broth

1.  Melt butter in pan, add flour and whisk together until smooth, about 1 minute. 
2.  Slowly add broth, while stirring with whisk continuously until thick and bubbly.

Shared on Allergy Free Wednesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fireflies and Jellybeans, and Gluten Free Fridays. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cornbread Muffins

When you try these you won't believe there are no eggs and no gluten in them!  These muffins are such a hit with our kids (ok... and me too!).  My family loves to top them with honey or maple syrup.  Try these Cornbread Muffins with Chili, Taco Chili, Best Ever White Chili, or Chicken and Rice Soup.

1 c cornmeal
1 1/4 c Natalie's Gluten Free Flour
1/4 c sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

1 1/4 c milk (I've used rice milk successfully as well)
1/2 c olive oil
2 T white vinegar
1 T corn syrup

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
2.  Grease 8 or 9 inch square pan or muffin tins.
3.  Combine dry ingredients.  Stir in the wet ingredients, just til moistened.  Pour batter into pan.
4.  Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

This recipe makes 12 muffins.

Shared on Gluten Free Fridays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays and Tasteful Tuesdays.  These blog parties are full of allergy friendly recipes.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Taco Chili

The air is crisp, the fall leaves crunch under your feet and you walk into your home to the wonderful aroma of chili all ready for you in the crockpot.   Cool weather and crockpots seem closely related.

This Taco Chili recipe is one of our family favorites.  It is so simple to make and full of flavor.

1 # ground beef, cooked and drained (or ground turkey works too)
1 package of taco seasoning mix (I use McCormick's Original Taco Seasoning)
30 oz diced tomatoes with green chilies (I use Rotel's Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies or Rotel's Mexican Diced Tomatoes with Lime Juice & Cilantro)
32 oz tomato sauce 
15 oz red kidney beans
15 oz can whole kernal corn

Combine all ingredients in crockpot.  Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.  Top with cilantro, shredded cheddar cheese or sour cream.

This Taco Chili goes well with Cornbread Muffins or tortilla chips.

Thank you Tasteful Tuesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Fireflies & Jellybeans, Gluten Free Fridays, Be Different Act Normal, Made By You Mondays and Allergy Free Wednesdays for letting me share this recipe!