Blogging Annoyances

Hello my fellow readers. I firstly wanted to apologize for not being here for a while. This is a new blog, it’s a new situation and I just don’t know where I want to totally go with it but I’m going to try to stick with it, get more recipes up and more posts. I won’t set a schedule for anything because that was getting to me. I just want to have fun with this blog and go with it so to speak but I will be here as often as I can posting. That does mean some days I’ll post 3 times and then there won’t be much for a week or 2 but hey that’s how I roll.

Today I wanted to touch base with some things I have gotten to get quite annoyed with in the way of blogging and more specifically with food blogging. I have noticed most of these (no it’s not a long list, don’t worry!) as I have been surfing through food blogs in general mostly and so far one in the way of my own blog here.

1. (my own blog) spam comments – No one seems to be taking actual part in the posting that they are commenting on but instead trying to make me realize that for one reason or another that I should be doing some special program or what not to enhance the ‘sale’ aspect of my blog and to spam my comments with some sort of advertising link to their special programs/site. Come on people, take a look, do you see one advertisement?? Do you see any ‘money’ being made through this blog? Ok perhaps down the road I might start an amazon listing for items I use or something but for now, this is just a fun project that is home grown and run. No money baking, no money making. And for the few of you out there that are following, I have previous knowledge in web site designing and the background knowledge owning domains. The only other spamming thing is someone asking for help to build a website of their own to help them make money, I’m not here to instruct you in how to make money in any shape or form. This is a FOOD BLOG.

2. Recipes not being recipes – There seems to be a trend now a days, throwing a can of this product, a roll of this product and some already processed this product together, baking/cooking it and calling it a ‘recipe’. You know the kinds of things that make you wonder if the producer of the so called ‘recipe’ is making this in a collage dorm or something. Recently my mother and I have found a new product (will post about it more later when I have photos) but basically pre-made gluten free pie crust and it’s been wonderful. We have been messing around with different recipes but all from an old cook book that she has. Not *once* so far has there been a ‘use this can of what ever’ or ‘this package of whatever’ in it. It’s all every day ingredients like butter, flour, fresh veggies/fruit. These are recipes! They use actual real whole down to earth ingredients, not pre-made and processed canned/boxed/frozen items. I don’t boost to *never* use a canned item here or a frozen item here but there is a big big big difference in adding say frozen peas to a dish or using a pre-made crust of some sort (especially when it comes to gluten free dough!) or pre-made pasta but you will never ever see a recipe of mine including nothing but pre-made/pre-cooked/processed item only.

3. Pop-up subscriptions requests – This is SOOOOO starting to get on my nerves. I think about 90% of my food blog surfing now a days includes me clicking off a pop-up box asking me to subscribe to what ever blog it is I’m looking at. If I want to subscribe to a blog, I’m not going to be lazy about it and not look for a subscription link. The pop-up requests are getting way out of hand on these sites and a big annoyance when they pop-up in the middle of reading a recipe or entry. I mean come on give it a rest, it’s not a good trend in my eyes. If one really wants to remember your site they are either going to bookmark it or they are going to go in search of a way to subscribe without one putting it in their way. In fact in my eyes, it’s a reason to *not* subscribe to a blog because it means every time I come to visit, I’m going to get this annoyance and I don’t like that idea.

Ok I think that is all really, I’m sure there is going to be more but *shrug* it’s just some items that have been on my mind lately. Now back to the fun I hope 🙂 I’ll get in here with a nummy snack recipe soon and hope that the blog does what people want it to! Peace.

My Own Green House – Week 5 & Week 6

Hello every one! I’m sorry that I have not been  here in a couple of weeks but it’s been holiday around here with DH having more days off along with a VERY nice hot spell which made being with family even more important. So this week I’m posting both week 5 and 6 in this posting just to make up for lost time.

Firstly though, let me introduce you to a friendly little visitor that we had on the Sunday photo shoot of the green house in week 6… a baby (I assume from the size but not 100% sure to be honest) dragon fly. Not only was I surprised to see it in my green house itself but really to see it at all because I have not seen bugs like this in Belgium since I moved here over 16yrs ago. It was a pleasant surprise and yes we helped him/her get out of the green house so it could continue to live a full life. I loved the fact that it felt calm enough to have it’s photo taken!

Visiting Dragon Fly 1 Visiting Dragon Fly 1

Week 5

Everything is still growing nicely and wonderfully with exception of the lavender for some reason. It still have only one lonely little sprig but man oh man that little thing is strong and pushy! I’m just going to leave it and see what happens really. I’ve also added another set of plants to the green house this week and it will not be the last I don’t think, some red grape plants. We now have a bit of grapes that every one in the house likes and we have a wide range really of what grapes we each prefer. My father prefers the darker blue grapes, my mother loves a nice firm crunchy red grape and I like a sweet plump green grape… DH likes it all I think.

Oh, and I’ve already started to pluck some VERY sweet strawberries from one of the pineberry plants. Man, if this is what growing your own produce is like, I’m all in for it for as long as I can do it!

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Week 6

As mentioned before, we’ve had a very nice, dare I say it, HOT spell! Yes, for Belgium and this time of year considering it’s not even summer months yet, it was hot. We got to a high of 26c – 28c (79f – 82.5f) while some days were cooler but not by far. Even tomorrow is suppose to be a high of 24c (75f) which is pretty nice on itself. We will be dropping quite a bit for the next 10days that I can see with a high being 20c (68f) at the end but getting as low as 12c (58.5f) as a high this weekend. Just enough of a dip to make a nice pot of bean soup before the end of the cooler weather sets in I think.

More and more am I surprise at this wonderful little (but getting bigger and bigger) project. With the warm spell we’ve been having, within just a few days of not visiting, things are just budding all over the place. I think about 80% of the green house is now producing either buds for fruit or are already producing fruit. We even found that the green goose berry plant has it’s first fruits, they are SOOOOO small and cute! Seeing as they are the green verity, they look like cute little minis of their soon to be full selves. I hope they come out as good as I think they will when it’s time to pick some!

The green grape plant is taking to the sky as well! It’s so tall now that I’ve had to officially tether it to the green house rods now because it’s far taller then any of the bamboo rods that I’m using. Not an issue though, that was the propose of putting the vine type plants against the back walls anyhow. Still have this plant growing some kind of green leaves in the dirt around it too. It doesn’t seem to be harming it at all but I think when I go to look for my tomato plants, I’ll take a photo with me to show the nursery and ask if they know what it could be.

I’ve also added another set of plants to the green house, mini bell peppers. I did originally buy one yellow and one red plant but they seem to also be producing green ones too. I haven’t looked up much on these plants yet but they were already producing peppers when I bought them. DH loves all manners of fruit and veggies in his lunch so I thought why not. Note to self though, start looking up information on these plants as well as how to trim back herbs. My dill plant is now so tall I had to move it from the self it was on to the self with the trash bag in it just to give it more head room! Until week 7!

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My Own Green House – Week 4

Hello all my fuzzy blog readers out there. I’m so sorry that I wasn’t here this week for posting but I have been dealing with the worst migraine that I’ve had in a long time. It’s mostly past now and I wanted to share all the wonderful photos that DH took last week of our green house project!

Things are still coming along great it seems. Everything is in bloom and growing bigger & stronger every time I look. I water often, especially the small plants seem to need extra watering during the week, and I’m now leaving the windows open day in and out despite my DH persistent pleading for me to close them at night because he thinks it’s getting too cold… yes we are staying above the freezing mark, just barely by 2c (38f/40f). It’s also another reason though I haven’t planted tomatoes yet as they are even more susceptible to the cold temps but here is hoping next month will be better and I can start to plant them.

The first things to start actually producing any kind of fruits rather then just leaves are the pineberries. With that happening though, today I did indulge in buying a pint of them from my wonderful Fruit4You store and I must admit they are wonderful. A nice strawberry flavor with just a hint of acidic pineapple after taste, quite pleasant actually. I will also admit to force feeding my entire family wonderfully sweet Belgian strawberries already by the crate full (8 quart size containers per crate)… without too much fighting mind you, so much so that I’ve just bought my 3rd crate in about 2weeks time as of today and 2 of them are already hauled, placed in containers and sitting up here with DH and I for dessert tonight. So yea, you could say my family are very big lover of berries, specially strawberries.

The only thing still not really taking off though and I have no ideas as to why is the lavender. There is still only one very lonely spring in the whole pot. I have been reading and many say it can take a month or longer for them to really start growing. Time will tell. I also have a new plant to add this weekend, I’ll talk about it in next weeks green house update though. Enjoy the photos and don’t be afraid to ask questions, I’ll help as much as I can and comments/suggestions on how to better care for this wonderful project are more then welcome!

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My Own Green House – Week 3

Hello every one. The peek in on the green house this week has me all excited but also started to get me a bit concerned. One of the gooseberry plants toward the back left corner of the house started to grow some mold on it’s soil. I stopped by my local nursery and asked about it. The best advise was to open it up more because it sounded like too much moister. I did that (thank goodness for built in windows) and not does it seem the mold is giving up but the plants seem to be happier with the change too. They started to look a bit wilted and when I started to leave the windows of the house open, they seem to come back to life.

The hanging berry plants are already starting to produce fruit pieces, the vine plants all seem to be growing day by day, the herbs are showing more and more green and I’m looking forward to next month when I can start planting my tomato plants as well as trying my yellow wax bean seeds out. The only thing I’m keeping an eye on is the lavender because so far, even as of yesterday, there is only a single strand of green coming out of the soil. If it doesn’t start to produce more, I’m thinking of taking it from the green house and putting out side on the window ledge in hope that it’ll get more direct sun as it is the lowest plant in the green house and it might be competing for the direct sunlight…. I’m not totally sure but I’m keeping an eye on it.

I can’t wait til the berries are ready for picking! I know I know… it’s a long way off yet but hey I’m still allowed to be excited! I mean what better way to be gluten free then growing you own food!

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Recipe – Fizzy Raspberry Lemonade

Ok, this isn’t so much of a recipe as a mixture. I’m sitting here in a semi mellow mood after a sunny day, DH has gone to bed super early tonight so it gives me a bit of alone time and while enjoying this time I’m sipping on one of my most enjoyed sodas… lemon Schweppes (what else did you expect?… sorry couldn’t help myself).

I vamped this soda up a bit a couple of years ago when I had a bought a case of fresh raspberries from one of my local fruit shops called Fruit4You. Check them out, they are a great store if you are ever in Belgium! I drive out of my way just to go to them every month. Sorry, the web site only seems to be in Flemish but a web site translator should help.

So here it is… sweet and simple but very refreshing for a hot sunny summer day. I just love the photos my DH got of these.

Fizzy Raspberry Lemonade 1 Fizzy Raspberry Lemonade 2 Fizzy Raspberry Lemonade 3 Fizzy Raspberry Lemonade 4 Fizzy Raspberry Lemonade 5

Fizzy Raspberry Lemonade
A mix between a nice lemon soda and fresh raspberries, chilled over ice. Perfect for a hot summer day!
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 bottle lemon Schweppes soda (1.5 liters)
  2. 300g to 500g fresh raspberries
  3. 1 or 2 tbs sugar
  4. ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Rinse raspberries well, add to a small bowl and then taste a few to see how sweet they are or aren't.
  2. Add 1tbs to 2tbs sugar depending how sweet the raspberries are... the sweeter, the less sugar. You do want at least 1tbs of sugar though no matter how sweet the flavor for the following step.
  3. Mash the raspberries and sugar with just the back of a fork. You want chunks but you want the juice to release as well, the sugar will help with this as well as being an abrasive to help the mashing process.
  4. Fill a 2liter pitcher about half way full with ice.
  5. Pour over soda until 2/3rd full and then mix in the mashed raspberries.
  6. With a long spoon or other long utensil, stirring well while watching the wonderful color of the raspberries bleed into the soda and make it look just gorgeous.
  7. Serve over glasses of ice with a few whole raspberries placed on top for a wonderful treat not only to the taste buds but the eyes as well.
The Gluten Free Experience http://www.theglutenfreeexperience.com/

Recipe – Red Quinoa Breakfast Bowl v1

I guess I really have not found any recipe to not be interesting in some form or fashion but this blog is all about recipes I made, tried and really enjoyed while bringing their wonderfulness to others that might enjoy them as well. This one hit that mark along with it being super healthy in the way of being a super food for all of us and especially all of us having to live a gluten free life style! Here is just one of my takes on an easy, quick and wonderfully warming red quinoa breakfast bowl.

Red Quinoa Breakfast Bowl v1 1 Red Quinoa Breakfast Bowl v1 2 Red Quinoa Breakfast Bowl v1 3 Red Quinoa Breakfast Bowl v1 5 Red Quinoa Breakfast Bowl v1 4 Red Quinoa Breakfast Bowl v1 6 Red Quinoa Breakfast Bowl v1 7 Red Quinoa Breakfast Bowl v1 8

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl v1
Serves 2
A super healthy breakfast bowl packed full of nutrition, sweetness and energy without taking house to make.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup red quinoa seeds
  2. 1 cup milk
  3. 1 cup water
  4. 1/4th cup mixed seeds
  5. 1/4th cup diced and/or small dried fruits
  6. couple tsp light or dark brown sugar (optional)
Instructions
  1. Rinse the quinoa through a fine mesh sieve until the water runs clear. This is going to remove the natural coating that these seeds have called saponin which can make the cooked product have an almost soapy taste.
  2. In a small sauce pan, combine rinse quinoa, milk and water. Allow it to slowly come to a simmer but do not boil, you are warming milk in this one remember.
  3. Reduce heat as low as possible while still having a simmer going on, cover and leave for 20-30minutes. Peak in every so often throughout, give it a small stir but let it simmer until you have about 2tbs of the cooking liquid left.
  4. Divide into 2 bowls, add half the seed mixture and half the fruits to each bowl. Top with a bit of brown sugar if you like a bit sweeter breakfast.
Notes
  1. In my photos I chose to soak my quinoa for 15minutes on top of the rising. I find that it takes the cooking process a bit farther by letting the seeds start to soak up some water already.
The Gluten Free Experience http://www.theglutenfreeexperience.com/

Cheese Sauce v1

Simple and classy cheese sauce recipe at a quick link.

Cheddar Cheese Sauce
A yummy cheddar cheese sauce created originally for my Italian Hamburger Helper but would go great with any dish you need a cheese sauce for.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 TBS butter (butter is a must or the sauce won't set right)
  2. 2 TBS gluten free flour mix
  3. 1 cup skim or 2% milk
  4. 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  5. 2 or 3 TBS sour cream
  6. freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a small sauce pan over a low to medium low heat. Don't let it boil or burn.
  2. Add gluten free flour and whisk. Keep moving flour & butter mixture around for a minute or two in order to cook out some of the raw flour taste.
  3. Remove from heat and slowly start to whisk in the milk. Go slow to start as you want to prevent lumps. Once you have about half of the milk added, you can add the rest all at once then return to a low to medium low heat.
  4. Heat mixture but do not let it boil. This stage of the mixture is very easily burned so take caution and stay near by. Keep whisking often to keep it moving and not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  5. When mixture is heated through, add shredded cheese and continue to whisk until cheese is melted and well combined.
  6. Add sour cream and pepper. I would suggest not adding salt at all to this sauce if you are making it for this recipe simply because there is salt in many of the ingredients already.
  7. At this stage you can choose to thin your cheese sauce if you wish to but I suggest not to as you will be adding it to the main dish which will thin it more on it's own. To do this, simply add milk 1 tbs at a time until thinned to your liking.
The Gluten Free Experience http://www.theglutenfreeexperience.com/

Peanut Butter Frosting

Simple but sinful peanut butter frosting recipe at a quick link.

Peanut Butter Frosting
A rich and sinful peanut butter delight, perfect for any chocolate cake!
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup powdered sugar
  2. 1 cup creamy peanut butter (chunky will work too if you want a bite to it)
  3. 5 tbs butter, cut and at room temperature
  4. 3/4th tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1/3 cup heavy cream
Instructions
  1. With an electric mixer on medium mix together sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla until smooth. Make sure to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula to maker sure everything gets mixed in.
  2. Add in cream and mix until mixture almost doubles in volume and has become light & fluffy.
Notes
  1. 1. Don't substitute the cream in this recipe unless you are 100% certain your choice will whip as well as normal cream.
  2. 2. This recipe makes 2-3 cups of frosting in the end. I used all of it and it made for about 3/4th an inch worth of frosting over the entire cake.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
The Gluten Free Experience http://www.theglutenfreeexperience.com/

My Own Green House – Week 2

It’s Wednesday already! (sits here eating her first batch of season store bought Belgian strawberries while finishing the post) I’m going to try to get the posting for the green house out by this time every week. We take the photos on Sunday while DH has off work but it takes time to get watermarking done and of course the posting itself.

Today marks week 2 of my wonderful little tropical get away from the house. Seedlings are doing well, nothing is sprouting yet in the planted seed department and I’m afraid to say the aloe vera plant is/had died a slow and painful death no matter what we did to try to save it. I think it didn’t like the re-planting process.

We have made some changes to it as I got the shelves I had ordered last week as well as finding *bows head in shame* more berry plants. I couldn’t resist though! They were hybrid versions of raspberries and strawberries. 3 of them in fact. One called pineberry which seem to be becoming more and more known around the world and has a flavor mixed between strawberries and pineapple, another is called bubbleberry which from the planter insert says it should be kind of a bubblegum taste when it’s ready to eat and the last is framberry which well in this case is in the dutch language but should be a mix flavor of raspberries and strawberries. On top of it, they were already set in hanging plant form! So I took down the herbs from hanging, put them on the shelves in back, hung the 2 pineberry ones and placed the other two on the top of the shelves.

Until next week… I’m love being able to view the progress in my photos!

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Recipe – Chocolate Cake w/ Peanut Butter Frosting

Are you a lover of chocolate and peanut butter as much as I am?? This recipe is surely one of the most wonderful things I have made to date that covers this craving and then some. I have tried it two ways now, one was with the cake that is in my photos and the other is with a brownie recipe for the cake base instead, both were equally as good and is really just a toss up on whether you like your cake a bit more dry or a bit more moist. The frosting I made using honey peanut butter so those little bits in it are pieces of candied honeycomb.

The recipe is based off the Chocolate Cupcake & Peanut Butter Icing recipe of Barefoot Contessa with my own tweaks of course. I don’t have a lot of chefs that I like but there are a few, she is one of them along with Jamie Oliver… I would say those two are my most liked. I do find an odd recipe or two from other chefs as well but these two are ones I keep coming back to time and time again when I need some ideas.

Chocolate Cake 1 Chocolate Cake 2 Chocolate Cake 3 Chocolate Cake 4 Chocolate Cake 5 Chocolate Cake 6 Chocolate Cake 7 Chocolate Cake 8 Chocolate Cake 9 Chocolate Cake 10 Chocolate Cake 11 Chocolate Cake 12 Chocolate Cake 13 Chocolate Cake 14 Chocolate Cake 15

Chocolate Cake
A sinfully chocolate experience that is only matched to perfection with it equally sinful peanut butter frosting... a match made in heaven!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 12 tbs butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  2. 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  3. 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  4. 2 xl eggs
  5. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1 cup buttermilk
  7. 1/2 cup sour cream
  8. 2 tbs brewed coffee
  9. 2 cups GF flour
  10. 1 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
  11. 2 tsp baking powder
  12. 1/2 tsp salt
  13. 1 recipe peanut butter frosting ~ see below
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 335f or 170c & lightly grease cake pan (I used a smaller 10x8inch non-stick pan).
  2. In an electric mixer cream together sugars and butter on high speed until fluffy.
  3. Lower speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each and add vanilla. Mix until well combined. Turn off mixer.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, give a quick whisk to mix up the GF flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. You want the cocoa powder and flour to combine well for the final mixing process. You can also choose to shift them together but I find it just as easy to use a whisk.
  5. In another separate bowl or 2 cup large measuring cup. whisk by hand buttermilk, sour cream and coffee.
  6. Turn mixer back on to low speed, adding bit by bit each of the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients while alternating them. Scrap down sides with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is well combined.
  7. Pour cake mixture into lightly greased cake pan and bake for 30mins to 45mins or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean. Baking time varies depending on what size baking pan your using. Start testing at 30mins.
  8. Let cool completely and them spread 1 recipe peanut butter frosting evenly over cake. Cut, serve and enjoy!
Notes
  1. 1. All ingredients should be room temperature. I'm not sure what difference it makes to a gf recipe but I still followed this tip and with a very good outcome so I shall continue to do so.
  2. 2. I've made this recipe into a cake while I followed a cupcake recipe. Only difference is a slightly lower temperature and longer baking time. If you want to change back to a cupcake recipe, follow Barefoot Contessa's baking time and temp.
  3. 3. Do *not* skip any of the direction steps. It's important to mix the butter/sugars apart, the dry ingredients apart and the wet ingredients also apart. It all makes the recipe come together that much better and without any lumps or bumps.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
The Gluten Free Experience http://www.theglutenfreeexperience.com/
Peanut Butter Frosting 1 Peanut Butter Frosting 2 Peanut Butter Frosting 3 Peanut Butter Frosting 4 Peanut Butter Frosting 5

Peanut Butter Frosting
A rich and sinful peanut butter delight, perfect for any chocolate cake!
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Print
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup powdered sugar
  2. 1 cup creamy peanut butter (chunky will work too if you want a bite to it)
  3. 5 tbs butter, cut and at room temperature
  4. 3/4th tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1/3 cup heavy cream
Instructions
  1. With an electric mixer on medium mix together sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla until smooth. Make sure to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula to maker sure everything gets mixed in.
  2. Add in cream and mix until mixture almost doubles in volume and has become light & fluffy.
Notes
  1. 1. Don't substitute the cream in this recipe unless you are 100% certain your choice will whip as well as normal cream.
  2. 2. This recipe makes 2-3 cups of frosting in the end. I used all of it and it made for about 3/4th an inch worth of frosting over the entire cake.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
The Gluten Free Experience http://www.theglutenfreeexperience.com/

You can also find the Peanut Butter Frosting Recipe posted on it’s own.