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.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chocolate Chip Sunflower Seed Butter Muffins

As a little girl, my Mom always made a nutritious breakfast before school.  Our breakfast often included pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, sausage, omelets or oatmeal.

Now, as a Mom myself, I often wonder, how did my Mom do it?!!  She was early to rise, productive and calm in the mornings.  What a great example she was for me!  I wish I could be all of those things.  But to be like that, I need to get my butt out of bed earlier!  Which also means going to bed earlier than I do.

Most mornings, I find myself waking up just in time to make sure the kids get dressed, fed a quick breakfast, hugged and out the door on time.  The quick breakfast I'm talking about is a bowl of cereal. {Gasp!} I know, I know...some of you might be thinking that is a horrible breakfast.  But then again, maybe others of you see nothing wrong with that.  Well, my role model, Mom, set the bar high for me, so when my son says, "Cereal again?!" with disappointment in his voice, I feel guilty and want to make them something different.

I've given myself a little goal of making something other than just cereal, twice a week.  So yesterday, it was oatmeal with raisins and a little brown sugar and for today I planned ahead.

So that I didn't have to wake up really early, I made muffins last night.  And that made everyone happy this morning :)  We just warmed them up a little so they tasted like they just came out of the oven.

The kids all loved them!   They are mildly sweet and the sunflower seed butter taste is subtle.  I used mini chocolate chips but next time, I will probably try regular sized chocolate chips for a little more punch of chocolate goodness.

I packed a few away into the freezer.  Next time we go to a coffee shop or out for breakfast, we can bring these yummy little guys along.

If you haven't already entered the giveaway for The Bugabees: Friends With Food Allergies children's book, do it now!  You won't want to miss this opportunity!  The book is beautiful, charming and a great educational tool.  There is even an app for it which is amazing! (Shhh...don't tell him I told you, but my 9 year old son even said, "It's really cute!")


1 T + 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2/3 c brown sugar, packed

6 T butter, melted & cooled
1/2 c sunflower seed butter
1/4 c coconut oil, melt before measuring
1 c milk, warm up a little

3/4 c Mini Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips


1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place liners in muffin tins.
2.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar.  Set aside.
3.  In a medium bowl, combine butter, sunflower seed butter, coconut oil and milk.  Whisk together until thoroughly mixed.
4.  Add the wet ingredients, into the dry and stir just until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.
5.  Scoop into muffin tins, up to the top of each muffin cup.  They rise only a little.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Makes 1 dozen muffins.
6.  Enjoy!

This recipe was adapted from a recipe I found on pinterest, by Kaitlin In The Kitchen.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Bugabees Book Givaway

This giveaway is now closed.  Thanks everyone for entering and helping to get the word out about this wonderful book!  I put each entry into the Random Number Generator
and out popped our winner! 

And the winner is...  Becca Groves!  Congratulations!  Becca, please email me at with your address and how you would like the author to personalize your book.  Your gonna love your new book!

February is "I Love To Read Month," so it seems fitting to do a book giveaway this month on my FAVORITE children's food allergy book.

You have a chance to win The Bugabees: Friends With Food Allergies book!  If you don't have kids, you will still want to enter because I'm sure a parent with an allergic child, a teacher or school nurse near you would LOVE to receive this!

Last fall, I was happy to meet the author, Amy Recob, when I was doing a cooking demo at the MN Food Allergy Conference & Expo.  She very generously gave my kids a copy of her book.   I couldn't wait to show them!  They loved it so much that they had me read it to them 5 times in a row that afternoon.  The story rhymes.  The information is clear, simple and positive.  The illustrations are charming, colorful and adorable!

Last week, I read the story to my daughter's first grade class.   It was the day before their Valentine's Day Party which gave us an opportunity to talk about how to help keep their friends safe at the party. The story helped them understand more about their classmate's food allergies.  Their teacher was really impressed with the book and how well it was written.

The book is available to purchase through The Bugabees website, Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  There is special pricing for schools and non-profits through The Bugabees website.

She also has a Bugabees Interactive App available for the Kindle Fire, Nook and iPad.

One Hope's Kitchen reader will win a personalized copy of The Bugabees!

Contest Details:  Contest is closed

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below.

For additional entries, leave a comment letting me know you did the following:
1.  Like Hope's Kitchen on Facebook
2.  Like The Bugabees on Facebook

The contest will be open until Monday, February 25th, 2013 at 11:59 pm CST.  The winner will be chosen at random and posted on this post.  So remember to come back to see if you won!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

I've been craving Cinnamon Raisin Bread lately.  A warm slice, topped with a little butter melting on top sounded so good.  Or maybe lightly toasted.  Mmm...I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

Unfortunately, shopping for Cinnamon Raisin Bread that is gluten free, egg free and nut free is a rather difficult, if not impossible feat. 

So I decided to try turning my favorite gluten free bread recipe into Cinnamon Raisin Bread and I'm excited to share it with you!  You can make this in a loaf pan or in muffin tin.  For a little sweeter treat, drizzle icing on top when your loaf has cooled.

*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
1 t cinnamon
2 t coconut oil (melt before measuring)
1 1/2 c + 2 T warm water

3/4 c raisins

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, dry yeast and cinnamon 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.  Gently stir in raisins.
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 50-55 minutes.  After the first 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 


This recipe has been shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Allergy Friendly Fridays and Gluten Free Fridays.

Friday, February 15, 2013

School Parties & Food Allergies

Thank you to all the parents who sent non-food valentines to school yesterday! 

I feel kinda old school when I think, "What ever happened to just sending valentine cards?"  I remember being excited as a kid for Valentine's Day parties and all I remember getting was cute little cards.  Yesterday, I was in my son's class for his party and not many of the kids even read their cards, it was just about the candy the got.  Sometimes I really like the simpler days.

Don't get me wrong, I really LOVE sweets!  But food allergies and school complicates that.

On February 13, my daughter's teacher let me come into the classroom to read a beautiful and informative children's book on food allergies, called The Bugabees (watch for a giveaway next week).  We had a great discussion with the kids about how to keep their friends safe at the Valentine's Day party the next day.  He decided to have the children open their cards during the party, but to wait to have their treats until they got home.

That little decision made a big impact on me.  We have a wonderful school and wonderful teachers!

When school was over, my kids poured out their candy on the living room floor to sort through what what they could and couldn't keep.  Unfortunately, with the combo of food allergies and now orthodontics (no chewy or sticky candy), there are very few safe candies.  And between those two things, now all of my kids are affected.

So as Mom, I'm trying to figure out how to bring something good out of these situations.  Here are the two ideas I came up with.

1.  Go to the store today and buy them safe candy to exchange for the candy they can't have.


2.  Exchange the candy for money.

I'm pretty sure my kids would want the money so I'm gonna weigh it on my food scale and pay them per ounce.

I have two questions for you dear readers:

1.  What do you do with all the candy you can't have?

2.  What is your favorite non-food valentine ideas?  

Please share your ideas with the rest of us!

Thank you!

Candy Store

I woke up to the kids playing together really well in our basement.  When I opened the kitchen cupboard, I noticed the kids candy was missing.  Hmmm...I wondered what was going on downstairs.

 {deep breath by Mom}  Was the basement a big mess of candy?

The kids heard me and called for me to come downstairs and shop at their "Kandy Store."

They were suppose to be cleaning their playroom in the basement today and now they created a store with more to clean.  I had a choice to make.  I could be upset with them for creating even more mess to clean (unfortunately, this is my natural tendency) or I could choose to soak in the moment and their fun ideas.  They were so excited about it.

{another deep breath}  As they were taking my order I realized I needed to embrace this sweet moment of them working together creating something.  These moments will be gone before I know it.  They are growing up so fast, I wish I could slow time down.

 They made a wonderful (although, not exactly accurate) menu...

And they had a wonderful selection to choose from of candy for breakfast.

Thankfully, they gave me play money to pay with because when I bought a Twix for 1 cent, they charged me $3.00. Hmmm...

 P.S.  Later I found several empty candy wrappers hidden under the couch.  This whole store may have been just a ploy to eat candy for breakfast (and a little more than Mom knew about).

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Apple Turnover for one

With all my attempts at the French Silk Pie, I kept finding myself with extra crust I didn't want to waste.  So one day I made a mini apple pie in a custard cup.  Another day, I made these delicious gluten free Apple Turnovers.  So when you are making pie, don't throw away your extra dough, make a little treat instead.

First, roll your leftover dough into an oval, cut one small green apple into slices or chunks and place on half of the dough, leaving space at the edge.  Sprinkle with a teaspoon of sugar, a little cinnamon and a small pat of butter.  Fold the empty side of the dough over the apple slices.  Next, pinch together the edges.  Poke a few small holes on top with a fork.  Sprinkle with a little more cinnamon and sugar.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with tinfoil for easy clean up.  Then, bake at 375 degrees (at the same time as your pie crust) for about 25-30 minutes.  And voila...easy peasy gluten free Apple Turnover for now or to save for another day.

leftover pie dough
one small green apple

Monday, February 11, 2013

French Silk Pie

Are you looking for a sweet treat to make for your sweetie?  Here is a a delicious idea for you!  French Silk Pie!  And yes, it really is gluten free, egg free and nut free...Hooray!

A pretty pie crust is like art work.  Do you remember my Apple Pie?  I was determined to improve how the pie crust edge looked.  I've been practicing away and my fingers are finally catching on.

Do you have a hard time fluting your pie crust edges?  Let me share what my Mom taught me.   Once you've laid your dough over the pie plate, using a butter knife, trim the dough edges leaving about an inch overhang. Next, tuck the overhang into the pie plate.  Using your thumbs and fore fingers, pinch the edges all the way around.  Remember, practice will help.   And let's be real, who doesn't enjoy practicing pie crusts?  When you practice the crust, you get to eat the pie!  Even the mistakes are yummy!


1 1/3 c Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix
1/2 t salt
1/2 c shortening (or use 1/2 stick of Crisco shortening sticks)
3 to 6 T ice cold water  (I put ice cubes in a bowl, then add water and let it sit to get it really cold)

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Whisk together flour and salt in medium bowl.  Cut in shortening using a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about pea size.
3.  Sprinkle in 3 T cold water, toss with a fork.  Add water one T at a time until the dough is moist and holds together when pressed.
4.  Shape the dough into a ball, then flatten into a round disc about 1/2 inch thick. 
5.  Sprinkle a couple of drops of water onto your work surface.  Lay a sheet of wax paper on top of the water droplets.  Sprinkle flour on wax paper, place dough on flour and sprinkle a little more flour on top of the dough.  Then, place another sheet of wax paper on top of the dough.  Roll out the dough between 2 pieces of wax paper.  When the dough is rolled out about 1 inch bigger than your pie plate, carefully remove the top wax paper.  Starting at one side, roll up the dough (with the bottom wax paper).  Then, carefully unroll it upside down on top of the pie plate, and remove the second sheet of wax paper.   Flute the edges (for help read above).
6.  Prick the dough several times on the bottom and side of the plate with a fork to prevent it from puffing up.  Bake 20 or until lightly golden. Cool completely on wire rack before filling.

Tip:  If you use a gluten free flour mixture that doesn't already contain xanthan gum, then be sure to add 1/2 t xanthan gum to your dry ingredients.

Chocolate Layer (filling)

1/2 c sugar
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa
1/4 t salt
1 3/4 c 1% milk
4 oz milk chocolate chips
1 t vanilla

Cool Whip or homemade whipped cream
Chocolate Bar to shave

1.  Whisk together sugar, cocoa, flour and salt in a medium saucepan.   Slowly add milk.  Over medium heat, bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat and cook 2 minutes until mixture is thick and bubbly, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.
2.  Add chocolate chips and vanilla.  Stir until chocolate chips have all melted.  Allow to cool then pour into pie shell.
3.  Cool completely.  Then top with cool whip or homemade whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
4.  Chill 4 hours before serving.

This recipe has been shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Gluten Free Homemaker , Allergy Free Wednesdays and Gluten Free Fridays.  If you are looking for more blogs on gluten free or allergy friendly foods be sure to follow these links for lots of great ideas.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dreamsicle Delight

This dessert is light and refreshing, it's that simple.  You can make it a day ahead and store in the refrigerator, covered.  Enjoy!  And have a great day!


9 T butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 c Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix
dash of salt


1/2 c juices from canned mandarin oranges
1/2 t orange zest
1/4 c sugar
24 oz light sour cream
2 boxes Dr. Oetker vanilla pudding mix (or your favorite instant vanilla pudding mix)
22 oz canned mandarin oranges, drained


1 container of Cool Whip or homemade whipped cream

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.
2.  In mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar and vanilla.  Mix at medium speed until combined well and butter looks "whipped."  Add flour and salt, mix in well.  Don't overmix.
3.  Pour crust crumbles into 9 x 13 pan and gently pat to cover pan.  Bake for 15 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool on wire rack until completely cooled.
4.  While crust is cooling, in a large bowl combine sugar, sour cream and pudding mix.  Mix well.  Gently fold in mandarin oranges.  Pour on top of crust and carefully spread to cover the crust.

Shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays Allergy Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Friendly Fridays and Gluten Free Fridays.  If you are looking for more gluten free/allergy friendly blogs, check these out!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Allergy friendly cooking requires trial and error.  This recipe took several tries but by George, I think I've got it!  And no one will ever know there is no wheat and no eggs.

These bars remind me of church potlucks growing up.  A friend told me they reminded him of the Hostess' Banana Flips, he loved as a kid.  Unless you L-O-V-E frosting, spread only about 2/3 of the frosting over the cooled bars.  I used all of the frosting to spread over the bars and the frosting got a little too thick for me.   I am not a big frosting girl.

Banana Bars

1/2 c butter, softened
1 1/2 c sugar
1/3 c coconut oil, melt before measuring
1 t vanilla
3 ripe bananas, mashed

2 c Natalies's Gluten Free Flour Mix
1/2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t baking powder
pinch of salt

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 pan.
2.  In a large mixing bowl combine butter, sugar, coconut oil, vanilla and bananas.  Mix well on medium speed.
3.  In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Then add to the mixing bowl of wet ingredients.  Mix together thoroughly.
4.  Pour into 9 x 13 pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until lightly brown and toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely on wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 c butter, softened
8 oz light cream cheese, softened
4 c powdered sugar
2 t vanilla

1.  Combine butter and cream cheese in mixing bowl.  Mix on high until smooth, about1 minute.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla, mix another minute or until combined and smooth.
2.  Spread on completely cooled banana bars.  Store in the refrigerator.

Shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays & Gluten Free Fridays.