Homemade Ginger Tea!! Sore Throat And Cold Banisher!

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I must have inherited my love of all things ginger from my mom and maternal grandmother and I remember my grandmother giving us this tea when I was little with an upset stomach, but I find this tea works great as a cold remedy.  I have included an option for adding lemon to the recipe as well. It is a simple recipe that you can make up very quickly and keep around for when you need it.  Just keep the finished syrup in a glass jar with a lid in your fridge or even on your counter.

Image courtesy of A Beautiful Mess
Image courtesy of A Beautiful Mess

Homemade Ginger Tea Syrup

1 1/2 – 2 pounds fresh ginger cut into 1 inch pieces (no need to peel)

3 cups water

3 cups sugar or other sweetener like honey

juice of one lemon (optional)

3 inch strip of lemon peel (optional)

Place all ingredients in your blender, I have a Vitamix which is an awesome gift from my lovely husband, Will.  It does a great job of whizzing up the ingredients into a paste.  Blend well until ginger is finely chopped.  Place the mixture in a heavy pot over medium heat and cook for 10 minutes until the ginger changes colour and goes a bit translucent.  If the mixture is too thin, cook longer, if too thick, add a bit more water.  Remove from heat and strain well.  You can leave it untrained and eat the ginger pulp for the added heat and fibre if you want.  Place in a large glass jar and keep til needed.  In a large mug place about 3-4 Tbsps of the syrup depending how spicy you want your tea and then top with hot water.  It is also nice cold over ice.  Great for soothing a sore throat, an upset stomach or anytime you need to feel warmed to the core.  It is delicious and good for you too.  I like a cup after supper as it aids in digestion and warms me up and relaxes me before bed.  Cheers, Michele

Potato Salad Nicoise!! Delicious!

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I made this salad recipe to serve with our home made ribs fresh out of my husband’s new smoker.  The ribs were excellent and this recipe was voted a clear winner.  So I thought I would share it.


Potato Salad Nicoise

3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces

3 pounds of new potatoes cut into bite size pieces if too large

1/2 small red onion diced small, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup of pitted Kalamata olives, rinsed, drained and chopped small

2 Tbsp drained and rinsed capers chopped small

6 hard-boiled eggs peeled and sliced


2 garlic cloves minced

1/2 cup olive oil

juice of a lemon

3 Tbsp white wine vinegar

1 cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

dash of Worsteshire sauce

Mix all dressing ingredients well and set aside.  In a large pot, bring salted water to the boil, place green beans in the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.  With a slotted spoon, remove the beans and place in a bowl of ice water.  Place potatoes in boiling water and cook for 15 minutes til tender when pierced with a knife.  Drain potatoes and place in a bowl.  Cover the hot potatoes with the dressing.  Add the olives, capers and onions.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  Drain the green beans and add them to the potatoes and dressing and mix well.  Top with the sliced eggs.  Serve.  If you are not serving the salad right away, place in the fridge to keep cool.

I hope you enjoy this salad.  Cheers, Michele

Easy Pasta Salad With Shrimp!! Deliciously Gluten-free!

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I made this salad today as we are busy working on our patio and need something that is quick and easy to eat.  I hope you try it out!

Gluten-Free Shrimp Pasta Salad

2 pounds of cooked peeled shrimp chopped into bite sized pieces
1 yellow pepper chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 Orange pepper chopped
3 green onions chopped fine
1 English cucumber chopped
1 can of black beans drained and rinsed
1 can of white beans drained and rinsed
3 tomatoes chopped
2 cups of gluten-free rotini pasta cooked in salted water


Juice of two lemons
3/4 cup of good olive oil
1 large Shallot minced fine
2 cloves of garlic minced fine
1 tbsp minced fresh dill
1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar
1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Mix all ingredients together and pour over dressing.  Allow to sit in fridge for 1 hour to marinate.  Serve.  Cheers, Michele

Pavlova For My Niece Cheryl!! Delicious New Zealand Gluten-free Recipe!

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My niece Cheryl spent some time in New Zealand and while she was there she tried Pavlova and fell in love with it.  So this past weekend I made this dessert for her.  I tripled the recipe to serve 10 people with a small amount of left overs.  I hope you enjoy this delicious gluten-free dessert.


4 egg whites at room temperature
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 pint of whipping cream whipped with 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 tsp of vanilla
4 cups of mixed fresh fruit

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.  Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, then add sugar and cornstarch in small amounts while beating until meringue is stiff and shiny.  Fold in vanilla and lemon juice.  Line a pizza pan with parchment paper and place the meringue in a mound in the centre.  Spread the meringue out to form a shallow bowl of meringue.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours until meringue is lightly browned and crispy.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before peeling off the parchment paper and placing on a large plate.

You can serve this Pavlova with the following lemon/lime curd using up the left over egg yolks.

Lemon Lime Curd

4 room temperature egg yolks
2/3 cup of white sugar
pinch of salt
juice of one lemon
juice of 1 1/2 large limes
zest of one lemon
zest of one lime
1/4 cup of butter cut into small pieces

Place egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler which has about an inch of water in the bottom pot over medium heat.  Whisk for 1 minute and then add the salt, juices and zests.  Whisk continuously until the curd thickens and coats the back of a spoon.  Add butter gradually while whisking.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.  Refrigerate and when Pavlova is ready, spread over the cooled meringue before topping with the whipped cream and fresh fruit.

Pavlova is traditionally served with passion fruit purée or chopped kiwis but we had it with berries, melon, banana and fresh pineapple.  It was delicious.  For an extra decadent treat drizzle cooled melted chocolate over the top of the assembled Pavlova before serving.  It can be made into individual Pavlovas by portioning the meringue into the appropriate number of mini meringues.  Reduce the cooking time and keep an eye on them until they are very lightly browned and crisp on the outside.  I hope you enjoy.  Cheers, Michele

Almond Cake!! A Gluten-Free Recipe From My Aunt Jackie and America’s Test Kitchen!

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My Aunt Jackie made this recipe recently for a group of her friends, it was a big hit and she was kind enough to share it with me. She served it with the Orange Creme Fraiche that she shared the recipe for as well.  I have modified the recipe slightly to make it completely gluten-free.

Almond Cake

1 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup of sliced almonds, toasted

3/4 cups of gluten-free flour mix

3/4 tsp Xanthan gum

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

4 large eggs

1 1/4 cups of plus 2 tablespoons of sugar

1 tablespoon plus 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel

3/4 tsp of almond extract

5 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted

1/3 cup of vegetable oil

Place rack into middle position in oven.  Preheat to 300 degrees F.  Grease a nine-inch round pan and line with parchment paper.

Place 1 1/2 cups of sliced almonds, gluten-free flour, Xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a food processor.  Pulse 10 – 15 times until almonds are finely ground.  Remove from food processor and place in bowl.  Place eggs, 1 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon peel and almond extract in food processor.  Process for 2 minutes til pale yellow.  With processor running, pour melted butter and oil into feed chute.  Then remove the lid of the food processor, add the almond mixture and pulse til combined.  Pour batter into prepared pan.

With remaining lemon peel and sugar, mix together until well combined.  Sprinkle extra 1/3 cup of sliced almonds over cake followed by lemon peel and sugar mixture.  Place pan in oven and bake for 40 minutes, rotate pan and bake for an additional 15 minutes til tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes.  Then loosen edges with a paring knife and turn cake onto cooling tray and remove parchment paper.  Allow to cool fully.  Serve with Orange Creme Fraiche.

Orange Creme Fraiche

2 oranges

1 cup Creme Fraiche

2 tablespoons sugar

1/8 tsp salt

Take the zest off one orange, place in mixing bowl with Creme Fraiche, sugar and salt.  Cut the peel and pith off the two oranges and cut the fruit sections off the membranes.  Mix into the Creme Fraiche mixture and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving with cooled Almond Cake.  Enjoy.  Cheers, Michele

Lemon Buttermilk Cake With Lemon Glaze!! Gluten-Free Lemony Heaven!

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To celebrate the sunshine, the coming of spring and hopefully no more snow, I made this lemon cake with lemon glaze.  I hope you enjoy it!

Lemon Buttermilk Cake With Lemon Glaze!!


1 cup room temperature butter

1 3/4 cups of sugar

2 2/3 cups of gluten-free flour

2 tsp Xanthan gum

1/2 tsp soda

1/4 tsp salt

11/4 cup buttermilk

1 Tbsp lemon zest

5 Tbsp lemon juice

4 large eggs at room temperature

Lemon Glaze

3/4 cup confectioners sugar, more if needed

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp lemon zest

1 Tbsp water

Cake:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously butter and flour with gluten-free flour a 9 inch Bundt pan and set aside.


Place room temperature butter and sugar in stand mixer and beat until light and creamy; approximately 5 minutes.  Add eggs one by one and beat well until light and creamy.  In a separate bowl mix buttermilk, lemon juice and lemon zest.  In another bowl mix flour, salt, baking soda, gluten-free flour and Xanthan gum.


Add dry and wet ingredients alternately and run mixer on low speed until all ingredients just incorporated.  Pour into Bundt pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes until cake bounces back when touched and skewer comes clean when poked into cake.  Place pan on a cooling rack to cool.

Glaze:  Mix confectioner’s sugar, water, lemon juice, and lemon zest.  Set aside.


When cake is cool, invert it onto a plate and pour glaze over.  Sprinkle 1 tsp grated lemon rind over top of cake.  Serve and enjoy!!  Cheers, Michele


Gluten-Free Meyer Lemon Blueberry Muffins!! A Tart and Sweet Treat!

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I am baking my orange cranberry buns today and since I am in a baking mood, I decided to make these muffins.  They use both dried and frozen blueberries to make them extra tasty.  If you don’t have a Meyer lemon, just use a regular one.  They make a perfect breakfast, brunch or snack time treat.

Image from www.spadespatula.com
Image from www.spadespatula.com

Michele’s Meyer Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Dry Ingredients:

3 cups gluten-free flour mix

2 tsp Xanthan gum

2 Tbsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients:

4 small Meyer Lemons washed and cut into wedges, seeds removed (leave peel on) or 2 regular lemons

3/4 cup buttermilk (or 3/4 milk with 2 Tbsp lemon juice)

3/4 cup soft  butter

2 1/2 cups sugar (use 1/2 more if using regular lemons)

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 cup dried blueberries

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray muffin pan with non stick spray or line them with paper muffin cups.  Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.  Place butter, sugar, lemons and eggs in blender and process until lemon is very fine.  Add wet ingredients to dry and just mix til incorporated.  Gently fold in blueberries.

Image from www.amazon.com
Image from www.amazon.com

Using a releasing ice cream scoop place 1/4 cup of batter into liners.  Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until golden brown and a tester comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 5 minutes then remove to cooling racks.  Delicious!  I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Cheers, Michele