Blog Posts by Caroline Shannon-Karasik

  • User post: Black & White Bean Burgers with Spicy Mango Salsa

    Last night I got my kitchen groove thang back on. Thank goodness.

    It was such a nice and warm evening, and when dinner came around, I was feeling in the mood for something reminiscent of summer. Naturally, grill food, like burgers or fresh fish, and gorgeously colored fruit make me think of summer on a plate. So, I put my creative food cap on and got to work on a vegan bean burger.

    I've made black bean burgers before, and lentil burgers are a yummy favorite, but I wanted to try something different. We always have tons of beans on hand, so when I spotted cannellini beans just behind a can of black, I thought, "Why not combine the two?"

    I went with a simple burger because I was inspired to top it with a spicy and sweet homemade salsa. The whole dish turned out wonderfully colorful, and the taste was even better!

    Check out the details:

    Black & White Bean Burgers with Spicy Mango Salsa (makes 4 burgers)

    (Print me!)


    • 1 15-oz. can black beans
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  • Gluten-Free, Vegan Lemon Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

    I. KNOW.

    Holy crap, I am in love with these tasty treats.

    With the holiday weekend and family cooking, I almost plump forgot about the last few days of the Gluten-Free with Rachael Ray Challenge! That is, until I spotted this recipe while sorting through ideas for last night's dessert possibilities.

    Something about Lemon Cookies just sounded wonderful in this little baker's heart.

    So, I settled on (that's an understatement!) these beauties, but not before I noticed Rachael's suggestion to consider adding ice cream between two cookies. Well, Rachael, I think I will!

    Here they are in all of their glory for Day 28 of the Gluten-Free with Rachael Ray Challenge:

    Lemon Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches (Makes 24 cookies, 12 ice cream sandwiches)

    (Print me!)


    • 1/4 cup safflower oil
    • 1-1/2 cups vegan sugar
    • Grated peel of 2 lemons, plus 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened natural applesauce
    • 1/4 cup arrowroot
    • 1-3/4
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  • "Kitchen Sink" Gluten-Free, Vegetarian Lentil Burgers

    Well, hello there, Mr. Sunshine!

    I was so happy to see this guy this morning after a long evening of thunderstorms and loads of rain. I love the moments after a good hard rain. All of the plants look quenched and ready to shine, as if their leaves and petals are saying, "Ahhh! Much better now!"

    Just gaw-geous, right?!

    As I mentioned I am in Pittsburgh for the rest of the week, so when it came to dinner last night it was another family affair. My mom had a box of Trader Joe's Steamed Lentils and that one ingredient helped us to decide that lentil burgers should be on the menu!

    We started these early in the day, so I had a bit of help from Dan in creating the mixture before he hit the road for Dayton. It was nice to have these prepared when dinner time came around because putting them in the pan was a cinch.

    Without a recipe in sight, we started out with lentils and started adding ingredients that we thought sounded good. Soon, the list included

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  • User post: My Baking Thumb: Gluten-Free, Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

    Well, hello there! I don't know about where y'all live, but the last few days here have been rather crappy on the weather home front. We're talking torrential downpours, flooding, and gloom and doom all the way around. So, you can imagine my delight this morning when I woke up and heard the birds chirping. I took one peek outside and knew today was going to be a real beaut of a day.

    That little bit of "outdoor" inspiration got me motivated to hit the kitchen early and get to work. I have been planning to attempt gluten-free, vegan thumbprint cookies for a few days now, and I felt like today was as good a time as ever.

    I feel like I need to preface this recipe by saying that prior to my Celiac disease diagnosis, thumbprint cookies were one of my all-time-favorite treats. I know they are a cookie you can find year-round, but for some reason they always seemed to call my name around the time spring weather began to emerge. Something about those Easter chick-y colors

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  • User post: Gluten-Free Almond Joy Mini Cupcake Sandwiches

    For as much baking as I do, you would think this house would have a consistent flow of baked goods.

    But, alas, that is not the case.

    Between friends and family members who have earned themselves a treat (or five!) and my husband who can toss back three cupcakes in one sitting (and not gain a pound -- oh, the injustice!), the yum-factor around here can go rather quickly.

    It's a tragedy, really. ;)

    So, when I found myself spinning in circles and whining in the kitchen last night because I only had a bag of chocolate chips on hand, I knew this morning meant it was baking time.

    And then ... I went a bit too far.

    But I make no apologies. Because when I saw this recipe for Almond Joy Sheet Cake in the May 2011 issue of EveryDay with Rachael Ray I knew it must be made ... and not just any ol' way. (As a side note, there is also a recipe to make this cake as a layer cake.) Instead of making the sheet cake (bo-ring!), I decided to make mini cupcake sandwiches.

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  • How to Make Brown Rice Flour

    Today, I made my first vlog and I am so-o-o-o excited!

    For those of you who know me, then you know I am not one to enjoy being placed on stage or in front of a camera, so this was a bit of a hurdle for me to jump! But I am actually pretty pleased with the results. Go me!

    We're still figuring out all of the kinks, but all in all this was a great first try. Notice the cell phone ringing in the background -- I tried to ignore it, but then I figured I would just make a joke out of it. Oh, well!

    OK, here it is! Let me know what you think:

    Find more recipes, gluten-free information and healthy living tips at The G-Spot.Read More »from How to Make Brown Rice Flour
  • User post: Feeling Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip-per

    I don't know about all of you, but I am a huge fan of peanut butter and chocolate. Gi-normous, in fact. So, when I saw this recipe for Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pound Cake with Peanut Butter Glaze from The Recipe Girl, I was immediately smitten and knew I just had to find a way to make it gluten-free.


    I got a pan for mini bundt cakes for my birthday, so I decided to halve this recipe (which is intended for a full-size bundt cake) and put my new pan to good use! I altered a few ingredients to help the recipe work well with gluten-free flour and could not have been more pleased.

    Here's what we're workin' with:

    Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Mini Bundt Cakes with Peanut Butter Frosting (based on this recipe)

    (Print me!)



    • 1-1/2 cups + 1/8 cup gluten-free flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (don't use natural)
    • 1/4 cup butter, at
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  • User post: Let Them Have (No-Bake, Gluten-Free) Cake

    How about a little sug-a for ya, eh?

    I recently had an opportunity to try Mary's Gone Crackers new cookies and as I was munching on them, I couldn't help thinking they would make a wonderful gluten-free swap in a graham cracker-based ice box cake recipe my mom used to make when I was younger. It was so simple, -- just pudding, icing and graham crackers -- but I always loved it and have been wanting to replicate it for my gluten-free requirements.

    So, I did it, making it up as I went along ... and it turned out wonderfully! Check out the details:



    • 3 boxes Mary's Gone Crackers cookies
    • 1 cup vanilla pudding
    • 1 cup chocolate pudding

    Whipped Topping

    • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

    NOTES: I used Jell-o pudding for this recipe (the kind you make on the stove; not instant) which is a great option given Kraft's gluten-free labeling policy. I

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  • User post: Double, Double Chocolate and (Tasty) Trouble

    Yesterday was a bit of a "blah" day for me. Not only was I tired after the long weekend, but I was feeling a little sad, missing my fam after spending such a nice weekend with them. I think a big contributing factor was the fact that my whole day felt so disorganized. For some reason, it seems like unnecessary chaos really seems to make icky feelings worse for me.

    I went for a run in the afternoon and even that didn't seem to help. Sometimes, I can go for a run and it helps me to shake a bad mood, and other times, it just causes me to think too much, lost in my thoughts while I pound the pavement.

    So, after finishing up my work for the day, I decided there was only one solution: Chocolate. And a lot of it.

    I have been wanting to try a Double Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe for a bit now, and I figured last night was as good a time as ever. I found this recipe at and decided making a few gluten-free swaps we be no problemo.

    Here's what I came up

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  • Gluten-Free PB&J ... Cookies!

    Today is going to be a great day (and not just because of those cookies)! My mom and youngest brother, Isaac, are in town to visit us for Dan's show this weekend and I am so excited to spend some time with them. They arrived last night and we had an opportunity to visit for a little, but today is going to be busy with a walk with my mom this morning, breakfast for all four of us, some shopping, more visiting, getting ready for Dan's show and, of course, opening night!

    As I have mentioned before, Dan had an opportunity to choreograph for this weekend's show, New Music for New Dance. The company's dancers will participate in performances generated by a collaboration between three up-and-coming choreographers (one of them being Dan!) and three original music scores created by selected composers. All of the finalists were chosen as a part of a national competition.

    So, anyway, like I said: Fun, fun, FUN!

    I made these Penny's PB&J Cookies yesterday as a part of Day 22 of

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