Gluten-Free Apple Crisp 🍎

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy

We're keeping things simple for Thanksgiving this year so we will forgo the traditional apple pie & pumpkin cheesecake for our (OH so simple & delicious) gluten-free apple crisp. Not having to make pie crust saves a lot of time in the kitchen with better than pie results! We use Gala apples for this recipe as they are juicy, sweet, and hold their shape well. It’s a big hit with our family by itself or topped with a little vanilla ice cream or a Klondike Heath Bar divided (pictured below).

Ingredients

    • cast-iron skillet (10-inch preferred but  12-inch will do)
    • 5-7 large Gala apples (approximately 1200 g), peeled, cored & cut into wedges
    • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/3 cup white sugar
    • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1½ tsp cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    • 3 Tablespoons salted butter
    • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/4 water
    • Crispy Topping
    • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour (we use Bob’s Redmill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour)
    • 2½ Tablespoons brown sugar
    • 2½ Tablespoons white sugar
    • 3/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp table salt
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) salted melted butter
    • 3/4 oats (regular old fashioned or Quaker 1 minute)
    • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a large bowl place the apples, lemon juice, white sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Toss until all apples are well coated and combined. Set aside.
  3. Melt 3 Tablespoons of butter in a heated cast-iron skillet.
  4. Add the 1/3 cup of brown sugar. Stir to combine well.
  5. Add the apple mixture to the skillet, mix well. On medium-low heat keep a simmer while preparing the topping.
  6. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour, 2½ Tablespoons of brown sugar, 2½ Tablespoons of white sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  7. Once combined, add the 8 Tablespoons of melted butter. Stir well to combine.
  8. Add the oats and chopped pecans.
  9. Stir the apples in the skillet, liquid should start to thicken. Add 1/4 cup of water over the apples and combine. It will create a syrupy mixture when done.
  10. Remove skillet from the heat and sprinkle the crispy topping mixture evenly over the top.
  11. Place the entire cast-iron skillet in a pre-heated 375º F over and bake for 35 minutes until the crispy top is golden brown edges are bubbling.
  12. Best served while hot but delicious cold or at room temperature too. Top with vanilla ice cream for an added treat!

Note: To cut your total prep time in half, peel, core & slice your apples ahead of time.  Sprinkle some lemon juice on them to prevent apples from turning brown then cover & refrigerate until you start the mixing portion of ingredients.

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Thai Sweet Chili Chicken Gluten-Free – Twiins Style

Thai Sweet Chili Chicken Gluten-Free - Twiins Style

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy

It's no secret our second favorite cuisine after Italian is Thai. Who can resist crispy, tender chicken bites coated in a scrumptious sweet chili & sesame seed sauce just like your favorite Thai restaurant? Since we haven't been going out during this pandemic, we wanted to reproduce the meals we would order at a restaurant. Tonight we served it over Jasmine brown rice which soaks up the flavorful sweet chili sauce. Our husbands gave us rave reviews so we hope your family will too. Try this recipe for a quick & easy weeknight meal or impress your friends & family with great appetizers once you can gather again. 😋😋

Ingredients

  • deep skillet or wok
  • oil for frying (peanut or canola or olive)
  • 4 large skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour (Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour)
  • 3/4 cup corn starch
  • 1½ cups Thai sweet chili sauce (store-bought or homemade, check the label to make sure it’s GF)
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
  • 2-3 Tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted in a small, dry skillet
  • 2 cups brown jasmine rice
  • 4 cups gluten-free chicken broth

Directions

  1. Place brown jasmine rice in a medium bowl filled with cold water, enough to cover rice. Set aside for 20 minutes. (soaking in water helps breakdown the bran and keeps the rice from sticking together.)
  2. While the rice is soaking, use this time to start prepping the chicken & the remainder of ingredients.
  3. After 20 minutes, drain the rice and place in a medium saucepan. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, lower heat to a low simmer and cover. Cover and cook approximately 40 minutes, check after 30 minutes.
  5. Using a shallow bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt & pepper and mix well.
  6. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs.
  7. Dip each piece of chicken into the egg then roll into the flour mixture to coat well. Repeat with all of the chicken pieces.
  8. Heat about 3-inches of oil in a wok or deep skillet. Make sure oil is very hot before adding dredged chicken.
  9. Fry 5-8 pieces of chicken at a time, depending on the width of your skillet, until golden brown. Do not overcrowd as it will cause the chicken to steam instead of crisping.
  10. Remove and drain on paper towels then repeat until all the chicken is cooked.
  11. Heat chili sauce until hot. Pour over the chicken bites to combine. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and green onions.
  12. Spread cooked rice on a plate and top with sweet chili chicken bites. Garnish with extra green onions and enjoy!

 

NOTE: If you want to include more vegetables in your meal,  steam some broccoli or cut green beans and add to the chicken before serving.

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Twiins Stir-Fry Leftover Rotisserie Chicken & Vegetables 🥢🥢

Twiins Stir-Fry Leftover Rotisserie Chicken & Vegetables

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy

The other night we had a rotisserie chicken from Costco and wound up with both breasts leftover. I looked in the refrigerator to see what I had and grabbed the vegetables I thought would go together and started dinner. When my youngest son was in elementary school, I became friends with the mother of one of his friends who happened to be Chinese. Wanda was a fantastic cook (they used to have a Chinese restaurant) and she could turn anything into a scrumptious meal. One day she came over and showed me how to make stir-fry & fried rice that was to die for. I took copious notes for both recipes but for the life of me, I cannot find them. Dinner turned out great in spite of not having the written instructions. I guess I remembered more than I thought I would. One of these days I'm going to try the fried rice.😋 🥢

Ingredients

SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 4 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cornstarch

STIR-FRY

  • 6-7  Tablespoons peanut oil, approximately, divided (canola oil can be substituted)
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 large leeks, 1/4-inch slices, up to the green
  • 2 rotisserie chicken breasts, cut crosswise into 1-inch strips (I used Costco rotisserie chicken, both breasts, skin removed)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 6 red sweet peppers, cored & seeded then cut into 1/2-inch wide strips (bell peppers can be substituted)
  • 3 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch thick half-moons
  • 2 medium broccoli crowns,  cut into small florets
  • 8 white mushrooms, sliced 1/3-inch thick
  • cooked rice or Thai rice noodles
  • 2-3 scallions, sliced for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Make sure the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Heat your wok (or large deep skillet) until a drop of water immediately vaporizes. Drizzle 2 Tablespoons of peanut oil and swirl around the wok. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Push all the garlic to the sides of the wok.
  3. Add another 2 Tablespoons of peanut oil  & swirl around the pan. Add the broccoli & season with kosher salt. Stir-fry broccoli until it just starts to turn the edges brown & has softened somewhat 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Add enough of the remaining peanut oil & swirl around the pan. Add the mushrooms, zucchini, sweet peppers, & leeks. Season with kosher salt to taste.
  5. Stir-fry until browned and softened about 1-2 minutes.
  6. Move vegetables to sides of the wok and pour the cornstarch sauce into the middle of the wok. Stir constantly until it just starts to thicken.
  7. Add the strips of leftover rotisserie chicken and stir to heat throughout.
  8. Serve over your favorite rice or noodles & garnish with scallions.

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Authentic Steak Fajitas – Twiins Style

Authentic Steak Fajitas

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy

Whenever we go to a Mexican restaurant we can smell the sizzling steak fajitas with onions & peppers as soon as we open the door & walk-in. We both start to drool! The smell is wonderful & my husband will order them 9 out 10 times. Since we don't go out for dinner during this pandemic I figured I'd give it a try. I'm so glad I did. These fajitas are incredibly authentic tasting and very satisfying all in one. Overall it seems to take a long time to make but that's because of the marinating time. Believe me, they are worth the effort!😋

Ingredients

  • 1 lb flank steak, sirloin tip steak, or skirt steak (I used sirloin tip steak here)
  • 1 large green Bell pepper, 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1 large red Bell pepper, 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons EVOO  (for sauteeing onions & Peppers)
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

MARINADE

  • 3 – 4 limes juiced (about 1/2 cup) (I used 3 large limes)
  • 2-3 scallions, white & green parts, diced
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp EVOO 
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp coriander ground, optional

FAJITA SEASONING

  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 tsp Lawry’s Roasted Chili & Garlic granules (regular chili powder may be substituted)
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 beef bouillon cube, crushed (don’t use paste that you refrigerate)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin, ground

FIXINGS

  • 8-12 flour tortillas, warmed (estimate 2 tortillas per person unless they are big eaters like my hubby!)
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Shredded cheddar
  • Pico de gallo
  • Salsa
  • fresh cilantro for garnish

Directions

Night Before:

  1. Whisk together the lime juice, soy sauce, scallions, minced garlic, 2 tsp EVOO, cilantro, red pepper flakes & coriander.
  2. In a large plastic food baggie, pour the marinade over the steak, seal well, and refrigerate overnight (at least 8-12 hours) flipping once or twice. (Usually, I place the food baggy on a plate then put it in the refrigerator so there is no accidental leaking in my fridge.)

Next-Day Cooking:

  1. Heat 3 Tablespoons of oil in a large (12 or 13-inch) skillet on medium heat. When the oil is hot enough (look for rippling or striation lines in the oil. Best way to tell the oil is hot enough but not yet smoking.)
  2. Add the onions & bell peppers. Cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the soy sauce and cook another 20 minutes to caramelize the onions. They should be a dark golden brown color. Remove from skillet & set aside.
  4. Mix all of the fajita seasonings together in a medium bowl.
  5. Prepare an outdoor grill to medium-hot. If using the same skillet as the onions & pepper, bring the heat to medium-high.
  6. Remove the steak from the marinade and generously sprinkle with fajita seasoning all over.
  7. Grill meat to an internal temperature of 130-135º F regardless of how to grill it.  (Approximately 3-4 minutes per side) I pan-seared my marinated steak in the same skillet I used to cook onions & peppers.
  8. Once it reaches the 130-135º internal temperature remove immediately and let the steak rest for 10 minutes. After resting cut against the grain into thin slices, no thicker than 1/4-inch (or to whatever thickness you like).
  9. Carefully place the caramelized onions & peppers back into the hot skillet to heat for about 3-4 minutes. (They will sizzle)
  10. Place the meat on top of the onions and bring it to your table.
  11. Squeeze some fresh lime juice over the fajitas. (optional)
  12. Serve with warmed tortillas, sour cream, shredded cheddar, salsa, or whatever you like.

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Ciambotta Twiins Style (Italian Summertime Vegetable Stew)

Ciambotta Twiins Style (Italian Summer Vegetable Stew)

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy

If you’re lucky enough to have a have a garden with an abundance of fresh vegetables, you must try making some Ciambotta (pronounced chim-botta)! Even if you don’t have a garden, grocery stores are full of a variety of fresh, local produce during the summer. It’s a delicious and nutritious way to use your harvest or take advantage of the fresh produce available now. Ciambotta can also be spelled giambotta, depending on the region of Italy. This version is a southern Italy farm dish. The great thing about this dish is you can use whatever veggies you like. The key is big, equal size cubes or chunks... and it’s naturally Gluten-Free. I served it with crusty whole wheat French bread drizzled with EVOO and Za’atar seasoning. It was delicious. Enjoy. 😋❤️

Ingredients

  • 1 large yellow onion, cubed
  • 8-10 cloves large garlic, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 4-5 golden Yukon potatoes, cubed
  • 6 large Roma tomatoes, skin & seeds removed, cubed
  • 2 medium eggplants, ends removed and cubed
  • 2 medium zucchini, ends removed and cubed
  • 1 large green bell pepper, washed, seeded & cut into big chunks
  • 1 large red bell pepper, washed, seeded & cut into big chunks
  • 1 large yellow or orange bell pepper, washed, seeded & cut into big chunks
  • 2 handfuls of fresh spinach (optional)
  • 1 jalapeño (I used jalapeño) or long Italian hot pepper (optional)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 20 fresh basil leaves, torn right before adding
  • 1 sprig Greek oregano, (optional)

Directions

  1. Boil the Roma tomatoes for a few minutes until the skin starts to crack. Remove from boiling water and cool. Once cool enough to handle you can easily peel off the skin., Cut them in half, remove the seeds and cube.
  2. In a minimum 6 qt deep Dutch oven, On medium-high,  heat EVOO until it starts to shimmer.
  3. Add the onions and garlic and turn several times until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeño pepper, zucchini, potatoes, give it a good turn.
  5. Add the eggplants last. Turn well and cook about 10 minutes.
  6. Add salt and black pepper to taste and tear the basil leaves, sprig of Greek oregano (if using) and add to pot. Stir together.
  7. Lower flame to medium-low and cover. Cook about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Now is a good time to prepare any pasta or crusty bread.
  9. For the bread: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Slice the Italian or French bread into 1/2-inch slices and place on foiled baking sheet. Drizzle each piece with EVOO then sprinkle with Za’atar seasoning, garlic powder, & a little sea salt.
  10. Bake about 4 minutes until golden brown. (Bake when Ciambotta is just about done)
  11. Serve in pasta dishes with crusty bread on the side or over pasta & garnish with  fresh basil leaves.

Notes: Serve with crusty gluten-free bread to keep completely gluten-free or use Italian or French bread to soak up the juices! Can be served with pasta too.

Recipe adapted from Pasquale Sciarappa.

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Easy Breakfast Spinach Fritters

Easy Breakfast Spinach Fritters

  • Servings: about 12 fritters
  • Difficulty: Easy

Barbara and I have been in a breakfast rut lately...sick of the same old oatmeal, cereal, plain eggs or just a cup of coffee. During these times of social distancing and staying at home, more than ever we need to be creative in the kitchen and treat ourselves to some fun ways to enjoy breakfast. While making chicken parmigiana for dinner the other night we had some leftover egg mixture, breadcrumbs, and some baby spinach leaves. Just by adding a few simple ingredients, we came up with a make-ahead breakfast meal we could enjoy the next morning. It was so easy and is sure to please. Any leftover cooked vegetable will work in this recipe...zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes, peas or any combination of your favorite veggies. You can make these as a side for any meal too. Be creative and Enjoy! ❤️😋

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon milk (any milk will do)
  • 6-7 tablespoons seasoned breadcrumbs (substitute Gluten-Free seasoned breadcrumbs if gluten is an issue)
  • 3 tablespoons Pecorino-Romano cheese, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder  (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/2 oregano
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, loosely packed, chopped into medium size bites
  • 1-2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt + /- to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 pat of butter
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of EVOO

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl add 4 large eggs and the milk. Whisk until scrambled well.
  2. Add salt, pepper, onion powder, thyme, oregano, garlic, bread crumbs, and grated cheese. Mix well and set aside for 10-15 minutes for the breadcrumbs to absorb liquid. You should have a medium liquid texture, not a thick paste.
  3. In a large skillet heat butter & EVOO until hot on medium heat. When oil & butter start to sizzle, using a large tablespoon, drop mixture into the hot skillet. No more than 4 at a time. Cook 1-1½ minutes until golden brown. Flip over and cook another 1-1½ minutes until golden brown. If browning to quickly lower the heat a bit.
  4. Remove from skillet and place on paper towels to drain & cool completely.
  5. Once cooled pack in an airtight glass or plastic food storage container and refrigerate. These fritters will last up to 3 days in the refrigerator if they don’t disappear on the first day!
  6. These can actually be served cold or heated in a toaster oven or microwave.

Notes: These fritters can be made gluten-free by substituting with gluten-free seasoned breadcrumbs.

 

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