Posts Tagged ‘Nut Free’

Gluten Free Banana Bread (…The Only Recipe You’ll Ever Need)

Oh, look. I made you banana bread. AGAIN.

But this time, I mean it.

The Only Gluten Free Banana Bread Recipe You'll Ever Need || The Not So Desperate Housewife

No. LISTEN. This here is the one and only banana bread I’ve EVER had–gluten free or otherwise–that looks, tastes, and feels like the good old fashioned stuff of my youth.

The BEST Gluten Free Banana Bread | Not So Desperate Housewife

I can’t decide if the fact that, since I started blogging 3 years ago, I’ve made banana bread approximately one billion times means that I’m just that committed to experimenting and learning new things? Or if it’s just…sad? Or maybe I just have commitment issues?

Gluten Free Banana Bread | Not So Desperate Housewife

This recipe, actually, is still one of my favorites and I have used it as a base for so many other baked goodies (like these muffins). So, if you’re feeling like something Paleo, you really won’t find anything better…unless you want nut free and then there’s this recipe I threw together…and then apparently went on some kind of banana bread rampage when I made it almost weekly with some new flavor combo. Coconut curry? Choco-Cherry Upside Down Banana Bread? Smokey Bacon Ginger? I was totally tripped.

The BEST Gluten Free Banana Bread || Not So Desperate Housewife

And now that the itch seems to have returned, I spent the entire weekend destroying the kitchen in search of the perfect gluten free version. I wanted it tender and moist without being crumbly. I had to LOOK like banana bread…you know, the light brown interior with those little black flecks? And–most of all–it could NOT have the rock solid crust that is so characteristic of gluten free baked goods.

So…I did some research—and MATH…so much MATH!—and found out that one of the most popular mixes used in a lot of commercial gluten free blends is *roughly* a 1:2:6 ratio of tapioca starch, potato starch, and rice flour with a little xanthan or guar gum. So for every cup of flour blend, that’s about 11% tapioca starch, 22% potato starch, and 67% rice flour (white, brown, or a combo).

The BEST Gluten Free Banana Bread ||| The Not So Desperate Housewife

It was perfect. I will literally never use another recipe. Never. I seriously cannot impress upon you just how perfect this is.

For the purposes of this recipe—and I am telling you all of this so that you not only understand the method to my madness but so you can appreciate just how much time and energy I expended to deliver this loveliness to the world—one cup of GF flour blend consists of 2/3 cups of rice flour (I used brown), 3.5 tablespoons of potato starch, and 2 tablespoons of tapioca flour.

Now you know. Let’s eat.

Gluten Free Banana Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes


  • 2/3 c white or brown rice flour
  • 3 1/2 T potato starch (not potato flour)
  • 2 T tapioca starch
  • 1/3 c light brown sugar
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t guar gum or psyllium husk powder
  • 1 c mashed banana (about 2 or 3)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c melted butter
  • 1/4 c applesauce
  • 1 t vanilla


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking soda,guar gum, and cinnamon Set aside.
  2. Beat the eggs with the mashed banana, brown sugar, eggs, butter, applesauce, and vanilla until well blended.
  3. Slowly pour the wet mixture over the dry and stir until just combined.
  4. Pour batter into a parchment lined loaf pan.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

The Only Gluten Free Banana Bread Recipe You'll Ever Need | The Not So Desperate Housewife

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Buttery Bourbon Glazed Flourless Chocolate Cake

*A dense and sinfully rich flourless chocolate cake with a bourbon-spiked drizzle*

Know how to not only avoid holiday weight gain, but actually drop a few pounds?

Decide it’s a good idea to start throwing back shots with your cousins at a large family dinner. Like magic, you’ll be rendered unable to keep anything down for the next 36 hours and subsequently void any and all damage done during the holiday season up to that point.

Once recovered, however, there will be some catching up to do.

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Bourbon Drizzle - Not So Desperate Housewife

Suffice it to say that that is no longer the case.

Flourless Chocolate Cake w Bourbon Drizzle 5- Not So Desperate Housewife

I don’t know what it is, but somehow the prospect of making a flourless cake seemed super daunting to me. I guess I’ve just had one too many at restaurants that went overboard with chocolate syrup art on the plates? Whatever. That was crazy. This was so easy to make and is infinitely preferable to plain old chocolate cake. Not that I EVER have a problem with chocolate cake. This is just so much more…it’s so rich it’ll give you vertigo. Less sweep-you-off-your-feet, more knock-you-off-your-feet-slam-your-face-in-the-ground. Less shy, wholesome girl next door, more leather clad motorcycle dude named Skyye with a neck tattoo.

Flourless Chocolate Cake w Bourbon Drizzle 6- Not So Desperate Housewife

This cake doesn’t even need frosting…and coming from me? That’s just heresy.

Flourless Chocolate Cake w Bourbon Drizzle -- Not So Desperate Housewife

Buttery Bourbon Glazed Flourless Chocolate Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Buttery Bourbon Glazed Flourless Chocolate Cake


  • 8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 c sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 T bourbon
  • pinch cinnamon
  • Glaze
  • ¼ c butter
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ c water
  • 1/3 c bourbon


  1. Heat a saucepan over medium low heat.
  2. Add the butter and chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
  3. Remove from heat, cool slightly, and transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  5. Add the vanilla, cocoa, bourbon and cinnamon. Beat until smooth.
  6. Pour batter into a greased and parchment lined 9-inch springform pan.
  7. Bake at 375 for 25-30 mins.
  8. To make the glaze...
  9. Heat a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  10. Melt butter, then add sugar and water. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Beat the egg in a separate bowl.
  12. Remove butter mixture from heat and cool slightly.
  13. Whisking constantly, add to the beaten egg.
  14. Finally, add the bourbon.
  15. Allow to cool and thicken a bit.
  16. Drizzle over cake.

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The Chocolate Chip Cookies That Taste Like Childhood

While prepping my shopping list for this year’s Christmas Cookie Bake-a-thon, I turned to my husband and asked him if he had any requests. He said he didn’t. So, I pressed the point because apparently I had nothing better to do than be overbearing.

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies - The Not So Desperate Housewife

“Don’t you have a favorite cookie?”

“Not really.”

“But you like cookies.”

“Well, yeah, of course I do.”

“So…I don’t know. What kinds of baked goodies do you remember from when you were a kid?”

“Um. I guess I don’t remember.”

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies - Not So Desperate Housewife


Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies -- The Not So Desperate Housewife

Despite the many places I’ve lived, the many ways I’ve celebrated, and the many different moods of Christmases past, the one thing that has been constant and truly symbolic of the season has been the massive amounts of baked stuff that made its way into my life. Even in my little CHU in the middle of Iraq, I had a box of Christmas cookies.

Ultimate Taste-of-my-Childhood Chocolate Chip Cookies - The Not So Desperate Housewife

There’s always a variety, sure, but at home–for better or worse–we kept it simple. My mom made exactly two jumbo batches of cookies: sugar cookie cutouts and…the star of the day…her “Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies.”

Taste-of-my-Childhood Chocolate Chip Cookies - The Not So Desperate Housewife

These cookies are the ones I have come to associate with every happy family Christmas memory I have. Starts with the taste of cookie dough on sticky fingers, then the smell wafting out of the oven, and finally with the sugar coma that inevitably ensues.

Taste-of-my-Childhood Chocolate Chip Cookies - Not So Desperate Housewife

So worth it.

These are the only chocolate chip cookies I ever make. But no, there’s no secret family recipe or anything like that–it’s just the one from the Crisco can. We don’t like to overcomplicate things.

Taste-of-my-Childhood Chocolate Chip Cookies -- Not So Desperate Housewife

Mom swears that the real secret to her cookies is the fact that she uses Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips (the ones in the silver bag) every single time. I won’t argue that. Although it still drives me absolutely nuts that, despite being corrected a hundred times a year, she still calls them, “Gardin-elly.” Mothers…

Ultimate Taste-of-my-Childhood Chocolate Chip Cookies - Not So Desperate Housewife

So, here’s the part where I tell you how I completely sabotaged everything. Obviously, I am now gluten free…so I use gluten free flour in place of all purpose. Thankfully, for things like cookies that don’t need to, well, hold much shape, you can get away with most “all purpose” blends. I have yet to find one that doesn’t work for these, though my go-to is now a blend of rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour. Anything that’s generally light in flavor is probably all you need. Then, there’s the shortening part. I am a firm believer in using shortening for cookies, as I much prefer the texture over butter-based cookies. Because I like to pretend like I’m a health freak, though, I have come to use organic shortening (I like Spectrum brand butter flavored shortening). Tastes just like Crisco and “organic” means it’s good for you. Fact.

OK, so I guess I’ve just been subbing some ingredients, so maybe I didn’t trash it up completely. BUT. I did add one little thing. Just one thing that made these cookies just a hint more moist, decadent, and rich. Believe it or not, all it took was just 1/4 cup of cream cheese to add such a subtle but noticeable difference. Not so much that it changed the recipe, just enhanced it.

Taste-of-my-Childhood Chocolate Chip Cookies -- The Not So Desperate Housewife

Tastes like childhood.

Extra-Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Classic tender, gooey, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookies.


  • 1/2 c butter flavored shortening
  • 1/4 c cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1 1/2 c light brown sugar
  • 2 T milk
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, at room temp
  • 1 3/4 c all purpose flour or GF all purpose flour blend
  • 1 t salt
  • 3/4 t baking soda
  • 1 c chocolate chips


  1. Cream the shortening, cream cheese, and sugar together with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the milk, vanilla, and egg. Beat for another minute.
  3. Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Bit by bit, combine the dry and wet ingredients until well blended.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.



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The Hemingway Burger (or, ‘Papa’s Favorite Wild West Burger’)

*Juicy all-beef burger made unique by Ernest Hemingway’s own secret blend of spices*

A quintessentially American meal for a quintessentially American guy.

The Hemingway Burger -- The Not So Desperate Housewife

For when you happen to be the voice of some of the most evocative works of American literature (despite the insanely minimalist structure–I mean, how does he DO that??) and arguably the most influential spokesman of the Lost Generation.

Clearly my English major is just as useful making hamburgers named after great American authors as for actually, like, reading.

The Hemingway Burger has been making its round on the culinary scene this past year–as a fan of both the author and a nice, juicy burger, I was down. Nothing fancy. No frills. Just enough flair to make it feel a little exotic and avant-garde.

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 little green onions, chooped
  • 1 heaping teaspoon India Relish*
  • 2 T capers
  • 1 heaping teaspoon sage
  • ½ t Beau Monde seasoning**
  • ½ t Mei Yen Powder***
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 c dry red or white wine
  • 1 T oil

Break up the beef in a mixing bowl and add the onions, garlic, and dry seasonings. Blend well—but don’t overmix!—by hand or with a fork.

Let the meat come to room temperature (Hemingway says to leave it out for 10-15 mins).

Add the remaining ingredients and let the bowl sit, “quietly marinating,” for an additional 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high (“hot but not smoking”).

Form 4 patties, and drop them into the skillet.

Turn the heat down to medium-low and fry for about 4 mins on one side.

Crank the heat back to medium-high and flip the burgers over.

After about 1 minute, turn the heat back down to medium-low and fry for an additional 3 minutes.

“Both sides should be crispy brown and the middle pink and juicy.”

Top with lettuce, tomato, onion, mustard, mayo, and ketchup.

*India relish – just use regular old hot dog relish…it’s pretty much the same thing

**Beau Monde Seasoning – Spice Island makes this, but if you can’t find it, just use teensy pinches of allspice, black pepper, nutmeg, celery salt, and mace.

***Mei Yen powder – apparently no one makes this anymore, but to make your own for the purposes of this recipe, use ¼ t salt, ¼ t sugar, and a splash of soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos.

The Hemingway Burger - The Not So Desperate Housewife

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Boozy Eggnog Oatmeal (Dairy Free & Vegan)

I know it’s not really “Fall” anymore but I’m obsessed with these cider cocktails. Bourbon, whiskey, and hard cider? Together?? Sounds like an accident waiting to happen. I’m down.

Eggnog Oatmeal (V, GF) -- Not So Desperate Housewife

Or, you know, just take your booze at breakfast. Maybe add some sugary treats on top? It’s totally fine, I promise. Oatmeal is a health food and absorbs all the sugar. Fact.

Easy Vegan Eggnog Oatmeal III - The Not So Desperate Housewife

I know eggnog is one of those love-it-or-hate-it things…but please. You must try this. ‘Nog on its own…I get it. Baked into oatmeal? Mind blown. Something about the warmth, the heartiness, the creaminess, the delicate spiciness…I’m dead.

AND. You won’t feel like you ate a brick (yet) because Califa Farms has a phenomenal almond milk ‘nog that’s egg free, dairy free, and vegan–yet somehow manages to be thick, luscious, and actually tastes good. And it’s only got 50 calories per serving…as opposed to approximately one billion in a cup of real eggnog. I don’t know what kind of voodoo magic this is, but I like it.

Easy Vegan Eggnog Oatmeal II - The Not So Desperate Housewife

Eggnog Oatmeal (Dairy Free & Vegan)
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
  • 2 c Califa Farms Holiday Nog
  • 1 c oats
  • Pinch salt
  • Dash bourbon (or dark rum)
  • Whipped cream
  • White chocolate chips
  • Pinch nutmeg
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the Nog over medium heat until it bubbles at the edges.
  2. Add the oats, stirring well.
  3. Cook for 3-5 mins or until oats are thickened to desired consistency.
  4. Add the bourbon.
  5. Pour into serving bowls.
  6. Top with some white chocolate and butterscotch chips. Allow to get all lovely and melty.
  7. Top with whipped cream and nutmeg.


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