Archive | Good Food Friday

{Good Food Friday} Gluten Free Carmel Apple Cheese Cake

A few months ago I found out I have Celiac Disease and I’ve gotta say it’s a big bummer.

It seems like wheat is hidden in everything — like just now I wanted to enjoy a pumpkin spiced Hersey’s kiss.

As I unwrapped the fall treat from it’s smartly autumn colored wrapper a thought went through my mind, “I bet this has gluten in it,” everything else I want to eat impulsively does. So off to the company website I go, and yep, it’s got gluten.

I sigh and place it back in the candy dish……bummer.

This is a typical day for someone with a Celiac Disease or Gluten-Intolerance and the Holiday’s are definitely tormenting with the rolls, stuffing, cakes, cookies, pastries, and pies. Don’t fret though, I have a cheese cake recipe that will make skipping Aunt Cara’s Cinnamon Sugar Apple Pie with a scoop of Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream not seem so bad.

Gluten Free Carmel Apple Cheesecake | Lori Danelle


  • 7 oz of Gluten Free Ginger Snap Cookies
  • 1 cup Toasted Walnuts
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. Dark Brown Sugar
  • 5 tbsp. Butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Orange Zest
  • 24 oz. Cream Cheese (at room temperature)
  • 4 Large Eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream

Gluten Free Carmel Apple Cheesecake | Lori Danelle

First preheat the oven to 350F while the oven is heating up place the walnuts on a cookie sheet once the temperature in the oven has risen place the walnuts into the oven for about 8-10 minutes then allow them to cool. After the nuts have cooled for a bit place 1/2 cup of them and the ginger snaps graham crackers 2 tbsp. brown sugar into a food processor or blender and process the mixture until its finely ground. With the motor running, add the melted butter and continue to blend until the mixture is well incorporated. With a bit of oil and a paper towel oil the bottom of a spring formed pan. Pat the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan, and then bake it for about 8 minutes.

Gluten Free Carmel Apple Cheesecake | Lori Danelle

Combine 1/4 cup of the sugar and the orange zest in a food processor or blender and process until combined.

Gluten Free Carmel Apple Cheesecake | Lori Danelle


Gluten Free Carmel Apple Cheesecake | Lori Danelle

Meanwhile, place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand fixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until light and fluffy it should take 3 to 4 minutes. Add the orange sugar mixture, remaining granulated sugar, and the 1/2 cup of brown sugar and beat again until the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time and mix until just incorporated, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl. Next, add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the salt and heavy cream and mix until just blended.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour hot water into the roasting pan until the water is halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake until the sides of the cake are slightly puffed and set and the center still jiggles, about 55 minutes.

Gluten Free Carmel Apple Cheesecake | Lori Danelle

Turn the heat off and prop the door open with a wooden spoon and allow the cake to cook in the water bath for 1 hour. Remove the cake to a baking rack and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover the cake and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours until chilled through.

Gluten Free Carmel Apple Cheesecake | Lori Danelle

Top with the warm apple topping, drizzle liberally with the caramel sauce and sprinkle with the remaining toasted walnuts. Serve additional sauce on the side.

Apple Mixture:

  • 2 cups Apple Juice
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbsp. Butter
  • 3 Granny Smith Apples (peeled, seeded and thinly sliced)
  • 3 Gala Apples (peeled, seeded and thinly sliced)
  • 1/4 cup Calvados Brandy

Bring apple juice, sugar and vanilla to a boil in a large saute pan over high heat and cook until slightly thickened and reduced to 1/2 cup. Stir in the butter until melted.

Gluten Free Carmel Apple Cheesecake | Lori Danelle


Next, add the apples and cook (I used the slicing blade of a box grater to cut the apples), stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized and soft. Then, add the apple brandy and cook until reduced by 1/2. Transfer the apples to a plate and let them cool slightly.

Apple-Caramel Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • Salt to Taste (I happen to like salty caramel)
  • 3 tbsp. Calvados Apple Brandy
  • 1/2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Place sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a roaring boil, swirling the pot occasionally to even out the color, should be amber. Meanwhile, warm the heavy cream and in the pan. When the caramel has reached the desired color, slowly whisk in the heavy cream and whisk until it is well blended and creamy. Remove the blend from the heat and stir in the apple brandy, and vanilla extract, seasoning with salt to your liking. Keep warm.

If you need to make the apples and caramel sauce ahead of time simply reheat them over medium heat in a sauce pan. I usually put the caramel in a glass container and reheat is in a pot of water.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, let me know what you think and cue us in on your favorite gluten free desert.


Candied Orange Peel S’mores!!

This time of the year the evenings are brisk, and the sun falls early. In our home that means weekend nights are spent around a bonfire with Munchkin and Peanut  demanding s’mores

Candied Orange Peel S'mores  |  Lori DanelleI’m the type of cook that likes to add some kick or zing to everything. While the s’more is close to perfect; I couldn’t help eat one and ponder, “maybe some mint, anise, vanilla…..,” then one day it hit me: “some zest!”

 You’ll want to make these the morning of.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 Peel of an Orange
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1 cup water 
  • Some more sugar
  • Graham Crackers
  • Premium, Ghirardelli, chocolate chips (that’s what I like, read on to see why)
  • Marshmallow
  • Some roasting sticks

How You Do It:

First thing you’ll do is peel the orange, I have a little tool from Tupperware that works great. If you don’t have one don’t sweat it, use a paring knife to cut the orange peel it into 1/4-1/2″ slices.

Next, throw the orange peel slices into a small pot, and cover with water. Then blanch em’ for about 2-3 minutes. Remove them from the pot, and set them on a paper towel.

Next, bring the cup of water to a boil, once boiling add the cup of sugar stirring until dissolved. Then add the the peel slices to the pot, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-17 minutes. Remove slices from the pot, and discard the syrup.

Place the orange peel on a cookie sheet, and sprinkle some sugar on; sprinkle a lot of sugar. Gently, but aggressively shake the tray back and forth to insure sugar covers the peel well. Then let em’ sit until time to use.

When the time comes make your s’more, you don’t need me to tell you how. I do want to make one suggestion though; instead of chocolate squares use chocolate chips, inserting them into the marshmallow after roasting. I have found the marshmallow will adhere to the graham cracker, and not slide all over the place when you bit into it. When you go to build your s’more simply place 1 or 2 of the peel slices on the bottom, and enjoy.

Let me know what you think.

Remember food is only good for you if you can eat it!

Additional Notes: Enjoy this s’more fireside with a shot or two of Frangelico.


Chicken Stock

Last time in Good Food Friday I showed you how we cut up chickens at our house, I hope the post was informative and will help you cut that grocery bill down.

At the end of that video she began to show you how to make stock; you should definitely make your own stock. It really is as easy as throwing some bones, vegetables, and herbs into a stock pot and simmering for a few hours. Besides infusing your home with a heavenly aroma, homemade stock is deeper and richer in flavor than store-bought stock. As we head into soup season I’d like to share how we make stock at our home.

Chicken Stock  |  Lori Danelle


  • 4 Chicken Backbones
  • 1 Medium Onion (quartered)
  • 2 Carrots (peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 2 Celery Stalks (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 2 tsp. Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • Salt to Taste
  • Any other herbs that are in the crisper that you’d like to add.

The important thing to remember when making stock is that it is a science experiment; be free and make something wonderful. Throw all the ingredients into a large stock pot and add water until they are covered. Bring the pot to a rapid boil and then reduce to a simmer leaving the stock uncovered. Allow the stock to simmer for about 3 hours, give it a taste test. If it’s deep and rich enough for you, it’s done. If not, let it simmer until it is.

Once the stock is done simmering, allow it to cool, then filter it through a fine mesh sieve. Place the stock in the fridge to chill. Once the stock has chilled, remove the fat on top and discard. You can leave stock in the fridge for about three days. We usually leave about 8 cups out and divide the rest up into 4 cup measurements in freezer bags.

We use stock not only just for soup, but it adds tons of flavor to grains such as rice, quinoa, and farro.

Let me know what spices and herbs you try in your stock, and remember food is only good for you if you can eat it!


How to Cut Up a Whole Chicken


Even though chicken is one of the greenest and most economical animial protein sources when my family switched to eating organic meats we wondered if we would be able to afford $6.99/lb for chicken breast. One way we flip the bill is buying whole chickens in bulk at $2.38/lb, and then cutting them up at home. I have tried several ways of cutting up chickens and had it down to under 9 minutes per bird, I came across this video and after a few times had it down to under 5 minutes per bird.

There are a few things that I do differently. I de-bone the chicken breast, Lori likes me to pound these flat for cutlets. Also, I pull the tenders off the back of the breast to make chicken fingers for the kiddos.


     Remember food is only good for you if you can eat it!




The first time I tasted pesto my eyes opened wide and only one thought went through my mind, “must have more pesto.” It’s a perfect paste that goes on pretty much every summer dish; eggs and toast, pasta, potatoes, caprese salad, burgers, chicken sandwiches, anything. In my quest to have “more pesto” I found basil to be quite expensive, so being the makers Lori and I are we began to grow the herb. This is the time of the year when basil bolts, this herb likes it hot, so we really get stocked up on pesto.  Here is our family recipe I hope you enjoy it as much as us, and don’t forget to include the kiddos; this recipe is super easy!

13.08.23_Pesto_01(This is what basil looks like when it bolts. Don’t let it do this, if you do it will stop producing foliage.)


  • 1 cup packed fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup whole walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cups fresh grated percino romano


In a food processor combine the basil, walnuts, and salt; pulse until finely chopped. Add romano and pulse until well blended.With motor running slowly add extra virgin olive oil. If you don’t have a food processor just chop by hand and mix thoroughly in a large mixing bowl.




    Remember food is only good for you if you can eat it!


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