Gluttonous and Good For You!

Gluttonous and Good For You!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Creamed Spinach

This year for Thanksgiving, creamed spinach is on the menu.  Why?  Because everyone requested it.  To be honest, it wasn't top on my mind for a veggie side.  It's a classic for a reason.  So simple to make.  I used fresh spinach from my local farmers market.  I recommend fresh spinach over frozen.

Creamed Spinach
  • Butter, 4 tablespoons
  • Garlic, 4-6 cloves, minced or pressed
  • Nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon
  • Spinach, 2 pounds, cut into small squares/dice (washed well)
  • Potato starch, 1-2 teaspoons as needed to thicken
  • Cream, 1/2 cup
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

  • Heat the largest skillet you have over medium heat, add in the butter.
  • Add in the garlic and nutmeg with stirring.  Cook out the pungent aroma of the garlic.
  • Add in the spinach in a large handful at a time to the skillet, and allow to wilt with stirring occasionally. (I cut the spinach in batches as I go to make it more manageable. Repeat until all spinach has been added.  This way much of the water will be cooked off.
  • Sprinkle the potato starch as needed depending on how much water is there.  Stir well.
  • Add in the cream with stirring.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add in salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh ground black pepper.

-Erin Swing
Swing Eats

This is part of Food Network's Fall Fest. Check out The FN Dish and the family of bloggers' recipes. The fall theme we're focusing on here are Thanksgiving Side Dishes. On twitter, we're tagging #FallFest.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Braised Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Shallots and Sherry Over Loose Polenta

Braising is my go-to method for cooking Brussels sprouts.  It's super easy, cooking the Brussels sprouts perfectly by steaming them tender, while searing them with a slight browning.   This recipe sounds fancy, yet so simple but no one needs to know.  The trick is to cook up the bacon first to render out the bacon fat to cook the Brussels sprout in, removing the cooked bacon bits to be added in at the end.  The braised Brussels sprouts are a perfect fall and winter side.  I happened to be making up so polenta, and thought this could be the perfect base for this beautiful tasty side.  "Loose" polenta just means it's not set up and has a "loose" texture.  I added in some broth, cheese, chives and parsley into the polenta.  Personalize it according to what you like and have fun experimenting.

Braised Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Shallots and Sherry Over Loose Polenta

  • Bacon, about 4 slices, cut into medium dice
  • Brussels Sprouts, 1 bag or 1 small stalk, cleaned and cut in half lengthwise
  • Shallots, 2, chopped small dice
  • Sherry, 1 ounce
  • Salt and Pepper to taste, I also added in Penzey's Country French seasoning (my fave)
  • Loose polenta made to your liking
Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add in the cut bacon and saute until bacon is cooking.  Remove the bacon and reserve in a bowl, leaving as much bacon fat as possible, to be added in last.  Add in the Brussels sprouts and cover skillet tightly.  Reduce heat to low-medium.  Add in the chopped shallots.  Occasionally turn them over.  Once the Brussels sprouts turn a rich green, about 10-15 minutes depending on size, add in the sherry and allow to cook off uncovered.  Add in the bacon and stir until completely incorporated.  Serve over the polenta, or whatever you fancy.  Other ideas: Italian style smashed potatoes.  Enjoy!

-Erin Swing
Swing Eats

This is part of Food Network's Fall Fest. Check out The FN Dish and the family of bloggers' recipes. The fall theme we're focusing on here are Brussels sprouts. On twitter, we're tagging #FallFest.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Spooky Halloween Buckeyes

Buckeyes are the confectionary for the state of Ohio.  They resemble the nut of the Ohio buckeye tree.  It's a confection made from a peanut butter fudge mostly dipped in chocolate, leaving a circle on top visible.  To make them festive for the season, I topped them with candy eyes I purchased to a cake and candy store.  I think they look adorable with the eyes - more adorable than spooky.  These are homemade Halloween treats that are easy to make and everyone loves, if they like peanut butter.  In this batch I added in a little bit of the fall spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice) which created a little bit of warmth and depth, but not necessary.

Spooky Halloween Buckeyes

  • Creamy Peanut Butter, 1 1/2 cups
  • Vanilla Extract, 1 teaspoon
  • Butter, Salted, 1/2 cup softened at room temp.
    • (add in 1/2 teaspoon salt if using unsalted butter)
  • Powdered/Confectioners Sugar, 3 cups, or as needed
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, 1 package/12 ounces
  • Coconut Oil, 2 tablespoons

Combine peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on LOW until blended. Add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating until blended. Beat in additional powdered sugar until mixture, when shaped into a ball, will stay on a toothpick. Shape into 1-inch balls. Refrigerate.

Place chocolate chips and shortening in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on MEDIUM for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat until mixture is smooth. Reheat as needed while coating peanut butter balls.

Insert toothpick in peanut butter ball. Dip 3/4 of ball into chocolate, leaving top uncovered to resemble a buckeye. Remove excess. Place on wax paper-lined tray. Remove toothpick. Place candy eye(s) over holes. Refrigerate until firm.

Makes about 50 buckeyes.

-Erin Swing
Swing Eats

This is part of Food Network's Fall Fest. Check out The FN Dish and the family of bloggers' recipes. The fall theme we're focusing on here are Halloween treats. On twitter, we're tagging #FallFest.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cincinnati Chili

Let me first start with the fact that Cincinnati chili is not chili.  It's Greek spaghetti sauce that been embellished in a way that is much more appealing after a few drinks.  Even if you don't drink, the first time you have it - it's so unexpected to the palette that you may not like it.  Then you'll start to crave it.

Cincy Chili


  • Lean Ground Beef, 2 pounds
  • Onion, 2, medium dice cut
  • Beef Broth, 1 quart
  • Garlic, 4 cloves, minced
  • Tomato Sauce, 1 x 15 ounce can
  • Chili (Ancho) Powder, 2 tablespoons
  • Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/4 cup
  • Worcestershire Sauce, 1 tablespoon
  • Cocoa Powder, 2 tablespoons
  • Cinnamon, 2 sticks or 1 teaspoon ground
  • Cumin Ground, 1 teaspoon
  • Oregano, 2 teaspoons
  • Cayenne Ground, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cloves Ground, 1/4 teaspoon
  • Allspice Ground, 1/4 teaspoon
  • Nutmeg Ground, 1/4 teaspoon
  • Bay Leaf, 2-3
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Pepper Ground, 1/2 teaspoon
  • ---------------------------------------------------
  • White Onion, chopped fine for topping
  • Kidney Beans, for topping
  • Mild Cheddar Cheese, Finely Shredded, fluffed for topping
  • Spaghetti of your choice (I love Le Veniane Italian corn pasta) or a baked potato
In a large skillet heated over medium heat, add in the ground beef and break up with a spatula and turn while browning. Add in chopped onions and keep turning occasionally until onions become transparent. Finally add in the minced garlic. I know most Cincy chili recipes call for boiling the meat, but you get more flavor with browning (the Maillard reaction) and well get a smooth texture at the end by using an immersion/stick blender.

In a large pan over medium heat, add in the broth, tomato sauce, vinegar, cocoa, cumin, oregano, cayenne, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Yes, all these ingredients are worth in for the final flavor. Add in the beef/onion/garlic mixture. Stir well. Reduct heat to low. Cover. Cook for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Remove any bay leaves and cinnamon sticks. Use an immersion/stick blender on low and run through until smooth like a slurry. Do a final taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Building time.  On a bed of spaghetti or a baked potato, ladle a generous portion of chili on top.
  • "3-Way": add on a generous amount of fluffed finely mild cheddar cheese onto of the chili
  • "4-Way": add either beans or chopped onion on top of the chili, then a generous amount of fluffed finely mild cheddar cheese
  • "5-Way": add either beans and chopped onion on top of the chili, then a generous amount of fluffed finely mild cheddar cheese
Generally, most people put hot sauce on top.  Afterwards, it's tradition to eat a peppermint patty - just a great way to end this meal.
This recipe makes a lot. Store leftovers in fridge or freezer. This is a recipe that taste better as you reheat it.

-Erin Swing
Swing Eats

This is part of Food Network's Fall Fest. Check out The FN Dish and the family of bloggers' recipes. The fall theme we're focusing on here is chili. On twitter, we're tagging #FallFest.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Molasses Marshmallow (GF)

I love whoopie pies. They are individual cake sandwiches with whatever frosting/marshmallow sugary goodness my heart desires for the filling. Since the gooey filling is on the inside, that means less mess on my hands. Most importantly, the only special equipment I need to make perfect whoopie pies are parchment sheets and a scooper for consistent portioning. This makes for professional looking cake/cookies that all cook at the same time.

As a Celiac, cake is on top of my most wanted list. It has been since long before forced to going gluten-free. Whoopie pies make cake more accessible and everyday in my mind. And a great way to share an indulgent treat without too much fanfare. This time of year, I want everything pumpkin, with lots of spices. For this cake, I love using Pamela's Baking Mix, which has all kinds of yumminess that works perfect with pumpkin cake: almond meal, brown rice flour, and powdered buttermilk. Pumpkin has more options with flavor pairing than I could have ever imagined. In a sweet treat, I like to pair pumpkin with full-flavored natural sweeteners. In my pumpkin cake recipe, I use brown sugar which has a richness to pair nicely with the pumpkin and spices. Pumpkin can pair up with even a darker, more complex flavor and sweeter: blackstrap molasses. I think it has more depth and complexity than chocolate. Molasses also is acidic in nature, giving a lightness and balance to the flavor profile. Since molasses is unrefined it has significant nutritional content: vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron; one tablespoon provides up to 20% of the recommended daily value of each of those nutrients. I decided to make the marshmallow filling using molasses. Perfect flavor pairing. It knocked my socks off.


Pumpkin Whoopie Pie Batter:
  • 200 grams (1 1/3 cup packed) Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking Soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 100 grams (1 stick minus 1 tablespoon) of unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 110 grams (1/2 cup, packed) brown sugar
  • 85 grams (generous 1/3 cup) pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100 grams (scant 1/2 cup) buttermilk, room temp (can use milk + 1 teaspoon cider vinegar)
Molasses Marshmallows:
  • 22 grams (3 x 1/4 ounce packets) unflavored granulated gelatin
  • 120 grams/mL (1/2 cup) cold water
  • 420 grams (2 cups) sugar
  • 195 grams (2/3 cup) molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 60 grams/mL (1/4 cup) water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla &/or bourbon
Pumpkin Cake Cookies:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a medium/large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, all the spices, and the salt and mix well. Set aside. 
  3. In the workout of the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and brown sugar; cream for a couple of minutes. One at a time, slowly add in the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. (At this point it may not come together. No fear.)
  4. Add in about 1/3 of the flour & spice mixture into the butter mixture at a slow speed. Allow to come together.
  5. Alternate with 1/3 of the buttermilk and allow to mix well. Continue alternating additions until all added.
  6. Portion out batter using a 3/4 - 1 ounce scooper onto parchment paper. About 12 per sheet.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes, until edges are golden brown.
Molasses Marshmallow:
  1. In the work bowl of the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, sprinkle the gelatin over 120 grams/mL (1/2 cup) cold water. Let sit for 10 minutes for gelatin to bloom.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, blackstrap molasses, salt, and 60 grams/mL (1/4 cup) water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil with occasional stirring. Boil rapidly for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Turn on the mixer to high with bloomed gelatin, and slowly pour the boiling syrup down the side of the mixer bowl into the gelatin mixture. Mix for 12 minutes. The mixture will become light (in color, too) and fluffy.
  3. Add the vanilla &/or bourbon; mix until well combined. Spray your scooper with cooking spray. Immediately portion 1 scoop marshmallow between 2 pumpkin cake cookies and press until the marshmallow comes to the edge.
  4. Work with the marshmallows quickly before setting. There will be plenty of leftover marshmallows. Perfect for hot chocolate, s'mores, etc. Lightly spray a small baking pan with cooking spray, line with plastic wrap, leaving a 2 inches overhang on all sides. Spray a silicone spatula with cooking spray. Spread soft marshmallows into prepared pan. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place, spray side down, to top of marshmallows. Let stand for 2 hours. Carefully remove from pan, removing plastic wrap. Cut marshmallows into squares using oiled knife. In a large bowl or ziplock bag, place powdered sugar. Working in batches, add marshmallows and toss to coat.
(Makes about 16 whoopie pies)

-Erin Swing
Swing Eats

This is part of Food Network's Fall Fest. Check out The FN Dish and the family of bloggers' recipes. The fall theme we're focusing on here is squash. On twitter, we're tagging #FallFest.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Zucchini Soufflé (gluten-free)

Why zucchini?  Because zucchini was in abundance and cheap ($1.50/lb) at the farmers market.  Guaranteed fresh and tasty.  This souffle/casserole is easy to make and will compliment any meal.  You can make it ahead, even serve it cold or at room temperature.

Zucchini Souffle

  • 4 cups shredded zucchini (I used 4 medium sized zucchini)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 5 large eggs, scrambled
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper (black pepper is you don't have it)
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme or oregano
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Place the shredded zucchini in a colander over a bowl to contain the water from the zucchini.  Toss in the salt and mix in thoroughly.
  3. In a medium/large mixing bowl, scramble the eggs. Then mix in the rest of the ingredients from the seasonings to the cheeses, to the cornstarch.
  4. Press the zucchini against the walls of the colander to remove excess water using a silicone spatula or your clean hands.  Add to the egg mix and stir thoroughly.
  5. Turn into a greased medium casserole dish and baked until the top is evenly and lightly browned, about 35 minutes.
-Erin Swing
Swing Eats

This is part of Food Network's Fall Fest. Check out The FN Dish and the family of bloggers' recipes. The fall theme we're focusing on here is squash. On twitter, we're tagging #FallFest.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Cauliflower Fritters With Cheese, Jalapeño And Cilantro (Gluten-Free)

Cauliflower deserved to be dressed up a bit, made into a fritter, with other tasty ingredients that compliment this white variety of a cabbage.  This flavor combo is perfect for cauliflower.  This recipe turned out light and fresh, as much as a fritter can get.  I pan-fried them in a minimal amount of avocado oil in a few batches.  Avocado oil has a high smoke point and is heart-healthy.  For a more time efficient cooking method, it may be easier and quicker to bake them in an oven; try 375F for 20 minutes, flipping halfway in between.  I'll have to try that next time.  They freeze easily and can be garnished to make pretty and extra tasty.

Cauliflower Fritters With Cheese, Jalapeño And Cilantro (Gluten-Free)


Cauliflower Florets, 500 g (about 3/4 head)
Garlic Cloves, 2-3 (blanched and minced)
Sweet Onion, 40 g (about 1/4)
Jalapeño, 50 g (about 1 large, diced fine with seeds and ribs removed)
Cilantro, 20 g (about 1/2 bunch, chopped fine + extra for garnish)
Green Onions 20 g (about 2 stalks, chopped fine)
Shredded Cheese, 100 g (about 1 cup, I used a Mexican mix)
P.A.N. Arepa Flour, 50 g (about 1/3 cup) or use tapioca flour/starch or GF flour mix
Salt and Pepper to taste
Ground Cumin, 1/4 teaspoon (optional, gives a nice smokiness)
Eggs, 2 large, lightly beaten
Avocado oil or any oil of your choice
optional garnish: Greek yogurt with a little Tajin or ground chipotle mixed in


In a large microwave safe bowl, microwave the cauliflower florets covered for 5 minutes or until steaming.  Remove and allow to cool covered.  Once cool enough to handle, drain any excess water, and run through food processor  until uniform. Peel garlic cloves and place in a small sauce pan of boiling water for 2 minutes, fish out with a fork, allow to cool, and mince or put through a press.  In a large mixing bowl combine the cauliflower, garlic, grated onion, diced jalapeño, chopped cilantro, cheese, P.A.N. flour, cumin, salt and pepper to taste.  If you want heat, leave the ribs and seeds in the jalapeño.  Once it's seasoned to your liking, then mix in the eggs.

(Chemist secret: how to clean your hands effectively after cutting a jalapeno....  Rub you hands with any kind of oil, followed by a good lathered wash with soap.  It works!  It removes all the capsicum that is oil soluble and that could burn your eyes when you inadvertently rub your eyes with hot pepper fingers.  Ouch.)

Warm a large skillet over medium heat with about 2 tablespoons of oil.  Portion out fritters (I used a 1 ounce portioner/ice cream scooper), place into skillet, and flatten.  Brown for about 8-10 minutes a side.  Flip and cook other side the same.  Transfer onto a paper towel lined plate.  Cook in batches until done.  For garnish, mix a little Tajin (found in Mexican section) or ground chipotle into Greek yogurt or sour cream to taste.  Sprinkle on some chopped cilantro.

Makes about 16 fritters.

-Erin Swing
Swing Eats

This is part of Food Network's Fall Fest. Check out The FN Dish. The fall theme we're focusing on here is cauliflower. On twitter, we're tagging #FallFest.