Gluten & Dairy Free Big Cluster Maple Granola

Gluten Free Big Cluster Maple Granola (adapted from Deb Perelman @ Smitten Kitchen)big-cluster-maple-granola

3 cups (240 grams) gluten free rolled oats
1 cup (50 grams) unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
1 cup (100 grams) walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup (25 grams) toasted seeds (chia, flax or hemp) ground to flour;
2 tablespoons (30 ml) coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup (120 ml; or increase to a cup if a sweeter granola is preferred) maple syrup (the real kind, of course)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg white
1 1/2 cups (215 grams) dried cherries or another dried fruit, diced if large pieces

1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Combine all ingredients but the egg white and dried fruit in a large bowl, tossing to coat evenly. Whisk the egg white in a small bowl until frothy. Stir into the granola mixture, distributing it throughout. Spread it in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
2. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes. About halfway through the baking time, use a large spatula to turn over sections of the granola carefully, breaking them up as little as possible. Rotate the pan if granola is baking unevenly. When it is evenly browned and feels dry to the touch, transfer the pan from the oven to the cooling rack. Cool completely. Once it?s completely cool, break up granola into whatever size clusters delight you. Sprinkle in dried fruit while warm.

Fall Garden


A quick peek at the fall garden – lots of romaine lettuce, spinach and more broccoli in this bed. I also did another bed of leeks and onions but didn’t photograph them.


The peppers are holding out nicely still dropping new fruit. The Brussels sprouts are going gangbusters and I can’t wait to cook them up for the kids! I still have to figure out how to harvest them…


Not some bizarre Seuss thing, the kale has held out nicely and helped me add some zesty crunch to the salads at school!

Magic Bars


One of the children’s favorites, these are quick and easy to pull together! You can also convert this to a gluten free version, see my end notes.


1 stick butter (4 oz, 8 Tablespoons)
7 oz unfilled cookies (you can use graham crackers, vanilla wafers, molasses cookies or chocolate wafers. If you’re going GF use a GF version)
1 cup butterscotch flavored chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup crushed pretzels
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 and place the butter into a 9 x 13 baking pan. If you’d prefer, prepare a sling or line with foil then add the butter. Place in oven 3-5 minutes until butter just begins to melt. Remove pan, let cool slightly.

Crush the cookies up into largish chunks and crumbs. Sprinkle over the butter and toss lightly with fork in the butter to coat crumbs evenly in the butter and distribute across the whole pan. In order add the butterscotch chips, the white chocolate chips and pretzels over all. Pour sweetened condensed milk over everything evenly. Bake 25 minutes, rotating after 14 minutes for even browning. Top will be golden & bubbly when done, edges will be dark golden brown.

You can make this recipe gluten free by substituting a GF cookie – I’ve used the Trader Joe’s Ginger Snaps cookie with great results. You can make also make this a dairy free version by making your own Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk and using Earth Balance soy free baking bars. I’m not a fan of the honey in this mix, so try agave or brown rice syrup for this chip combination, or use honey and swap out the butterscotch chips for chocolate or peanut butter chips.

Rotkraut mit ?pfeln


We served Rotkraut mit ?pfeln (red cabbage with apples) for our Oktoberfest and it was (surprisingly) wildly popular with the kids, so I thought I’d share the recipe!

1 Medium Red Cabbage
2 Granny Smith or other tart apple, peeled, seeded & cored
6 Tablespoons bacon fat (chicken or pork fat also ok)
2 Medium yellow onions sliced thin
1 Quart water
1/2 c red wine vinegar
2 yellow delicious or other sweet apple, peeled, seeded & cored
1 tsp seasoning blend (mixed salt & pepper)
3 cloves
1 bay leaf
Juice of 1 lemon

Wash cabbage, drain dry and cut as for cole slaw. Cut apples and onions into rings.

Heat fat in dutch oven and add onions, saute 3-4 minutes until fragrant, add apples and cabbage, cook on medium 3-4 minutes longer.

Add water, juice, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Bring just to boil then reduce to simmer. Cook 2 hours stirring occasionally. Add vinegar & stir well before serving. Serves 8 as a side.

Mucking Around


I’m still arguing with Paypal over the GSES account. It’s highly annoying, so after my daily headbanging I rewarded myself by spending an hour on the new learning management software. It’s still a bit hinky and it’s screwed up my site navigation again, but it’s coming along. I’m thinking of how to best use it right now based on its constraints but the flexibility is intriguing. I still haven’t figured out how I’m recording/preserving my classes and need to.

Tomorrow is breakfast for lunch and our first open house of the fall. I’m doing french toast in the oven again as well as a mushroom & onion quiche for lunch, and for the open house I’m doing a spinach, onion and leek vegetarian strata, cinnamon coffeecake and fresh fruit trays:


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It’s fall and that means German food is at the top of my cravings list. We’re celebrating Oktoberfest this Thursday (late, I know, but it takes time to sour meat) with the kids and one of the traditional sides with Bratwurst is sp?tzle. Like most family comfort foods there are endless variations on sp?tzle, but here is the Cline family version.


3 cups sifted AP flour
1 tsp salt
4 room temperature large eggs, beaten
3/4 c milk

Sift the flour into a bowl, add salt then make a well in the center and deposit the beaten eggs. Stir to combine while gradually adding milk. Dough is very stiff. Let rest while you bring a large pot (at least 6 quarts, please) of salted water to a rolling boil.

Put 1/2 c dough into sp?tzle press or use colander and spatula to extrude dough into boiling water. Remove sp?tzle as soon as it floats to surface of pot and drain. Do not rinse!


Brown 2-3 tablespoons of butter in a skillet. Grate in whole nutmeg (maybe an 8th of a teaspoon) to bloom the flavor. Add sp?tzle and toss to coat well. Cook 6-7 minutes.


Feeds 4-6 as a side dish. If you must be a foodie sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.

Mushroom Goug?re (Gluten, Dairy Free)

I do a lot of gluten and dairy free cooking, both at school and home due to food allergies and sensitivities.

One of the staff & student’s favorite dishes is a medley of mushrooms served within a savory Goug?re ring of pastry. Because choux pastry uses very little flour it was easy enough to convert it to a GF version – stripping out the dairy was a little harder but this solution worked nicely. If you can tolerate it, the Earth Balance soy free sticks (use the equivalent of 4T) works well also.

This is a very versatile staple as the Goug?re ring can be filled (as in the images shown) with anything that contains at least 1/2 to 2/3 c of liquid after preparation. I’ve done this version with carmelized onions, mushrooms, chicken, venison and mixed vegetables and it’s always a reliable hit. Just make sure to get as little liquid as possible on the choux as it will prevent it rising to its full potential.

Gluten, Dairy Free Mushroom Goug?re


Choux Pastry

1/2 c flour mix provided
2/3 c water
4 T fat (canola oil, bacon fat, coconut oil, etc)
2 eggs
3 oz nutritional yeast


1m onion finely diced
8-12 oz mixed mushrooms (fresh or frozen sliced)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T gf flour or cornstarch to thicken (I’d use cornstarch, it’ll work better)
2/3 c stock (mushroom, vegetable, chicken – use what you have)
3/4 c chopped walnuts
salt & pepper to taste

Put water and fat onto stove, heat until fat is melted but NOT BOILING. Once fully melted, add flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until mix is smooth and silky looking. Cook while stirring about 1 more minute to lightly dry mixture. Remove from stove and let cool, 10-15 minutes.

Beat in eggs one at a time, being sure to completely incorporate them into the mix. The last egg will not want to go in, stir vigorously. Mixture will be smooth and glossy at this point.

Add cheese after 2nd egg is completely worked in, stir well to distribute.

Spread all around the diameter of a greased 8 or 9″ round oven safe dish. You can use a pie plate, tart pan, etc, just don’t exceed 9″. Spoon dough out in dollops and spread to create continuous ring around pan with hole in center.


Set aside and cook filling.

Saute onions in Eevo until soft, 3-4 min. Add garlic and mushrooms, season and cook until mushrooms are browning. Keep stirring! Sprinkle with flour or cornstarch and stir to incorporate. Continue cooking 2-3 minutes, then gradually add stock and bring to boil. Stir constantly 2-3 minutes until mixture thickens.


Remove from heat and stir in all but 3 T of walnuts. Pour into open center of choux pastry and garnish with remaining walnuts.


Bake 35-40 minutes in 400 degree oven until pastry rises and is light golden in color. Rest 10 minutes before serving or cutting!


Meringue Cookies


Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

2 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup regular or superfine sugar (I use a bit less ? 1/2 cup ? they?re plenty sweet)
6 ounces chocolate chips, miniature chips or finely diced semi or bittersweet chocolate
1/4 chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted first is even tastier

Preheat oven to 300?F.

Beat egg whites until foamy. Add salt, cream of tartar and vanilla, and beat mixture again until it holds soft peaks. Add the sugar, gradually, beating the batter until it is stiff. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips. Spoon batter onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake for 25 minutes. Undersides of cookies should be golden or lightly tanned.

Note: There are two approaches to baking meringues. This shorter cooking time at a higher temperature yields a cookie with a crackly, crumbly exterior and an almost hollow center. A more traditional approach is a longer baking time, 200 degrees for 1.5 to 2 hours. Take the longer-baked version out when they are slightly golden and firm to the touch. They will be more soft and fluffy, like miniature pavlovas.

Lemon Meringue Cookies

3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cups of super fine sugar (if you don?t have it, put regular sugar in a blender for 10-15 seconds until a fine powder forms)
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer (standing or hand-held) with the whisk attachment, start beating the egg whites. When they start to foam, add the cream of tartar and beat until loose peaks form with the meringue.

Add the extract and sugar in small amounts and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. You can either spoon meringue onto cookie sheet or, for a more uniform look, you can put meringue into a pastry bag and pipe using a round tip into 2 inch wide by 1 inch tall circles.

Bake for 1 3/4 to 2 hours at 200. Open the oven a crack and let come to a cool slowly. It will take about 2 hours. Do NOT use higher temperature method with citrus flavors unless you want a chewy cookie.


Dairy & Gluten Free Krumkake Cookies

Dairy & Gluten Free Krumkake Cookies

Another of my favorite dairy and gluten free recipe adaptations this holiday season were spicy Krumkake cookies. These are shown unfilled/undipped, although I also did jam filled and chocolate dipped versions.

1 C (200g) granulated sugar (I used the natural turbinado sugar pulsed 4 times in the food processor)
1/2 C (1 stick; 4 oz; 115g) earth balance, softened
2 large or extra large eggs
1 C (235ml) coconut milk (the full fat kind)
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp ground cardamom toasted until fragrant stirred into flour mix (below)
1 1/2 C (210g) King Arthur Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Mix

In a medium bowl, cream together sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the almond extract and stir until blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Beginning and ending with the flour, add the flour and the milk, alternating between the two. Beat until mixture is smooth?a few seconds.

Preheat the krumkake iron. If you have an electric iron, preheat it. You may or may not have to oil your irons for this – depends on how well seasoned yours is.

When iron is ready (i.e. really hot), place a heaping tablespoon of batter in the middle and close top. Let cook for 60-70 seconds. You will need to make a few in order to find out the best cooking time for your iron. Remember, this gets shorter the longer you’re doing these. Once cooked, remove the cookie from iron onto a plate or cookie sheet and quickly roll around roller cone. Let sit for a minute or two until the cookie has cooled into the cone shape. Remove cone. No cone no problem – you can roll the cookies individually so long as you do it quickly once they’re removed.

Repeat process with the rest of the batter. Let the cookies cool completely?they will crisp as they cool.

Immediately before serving, fill with your choice of filling. Keep it DF/GF by using jam or coconut cream ganache.

No cardamom? Substitute 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg. If you’re out of nutmeg, you can substitute powdered ginger instead of nutmeg. Regardless, toast your spices in a skillet until fragrant!