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Gluten-free that tastes good?

By Staff | Jul 19, 2013

CAROL OPP, of Garner, prepares to serve her caramel rolls. She said she learned her early kitchen skills from her mother and passed them on to her children, whom she said are all comfortable working in the kitchen.

By CLAYTON RYE

“mailto:crye@wctatel.net”>crye@wctatel.net

GARNER – When Iowans express their loyalties to their favorite college teams, a person expects to hear about Hawkeyes, Cyclones or Panthers.

However, the Harvey and Carol Opp family, of Garner, are fans of the Defenders of Dordt College in Sioux Center.

Carol Opp grew up in north central South Dakota on a farm near the small town of Artas, just south of the border with North Dakota, a population of nine souls, according to the 2010 census.

Caramel rolls always go well with a fresh cup of coffee.

The family raised crops and livestock that included cattle, sheep, chickens, goats and guinea hens.

“We had a little bit of everything,” said Opp.

They were self-sufficient, raising and preparing their own food. Opp said her mother did everything from butchering to canning to making homemade ice cream.

“We always ate really well,” she said.

In the kitchen Carol Opp likes baking bread and making cheesecakes.

When her son Mark and Bethany were married in Bethany’s home state of California, Opp had a reception for them in Garner and made a cheesecake bar for the guests.

Harvey Opp requires a gluten-free diet, and Carol Opp said she enjoys finding gluten-free recipes that taste good.

She said she knows it’s a success when her children reach for the gluten-free food.

All three Opp children are comfortable in the kitchen, said Carol Opp. She said she remembers her mother teaching her and her siblings about cooking.

“She was patient with us,” said Opp.

After completing high school, 18 miles away in Eureka, S.D., she attended Dordt College, graduating in agriculture with an emphasis in biology.

A trip to a friend’s wedding in Colorado Springs, Colo., resulted in a job with a local veterinarian where she worked for five years.

In Colorado Springs, she was introduced to Harvey Opp who was a pastor in Hastings, Neb.

During their marriage, the Opps served churches in Karval, Colo., for five years; Napoleon, Ohio, for 11 years; and moved to Garner in 2007 where Harvey Opp is the pastor at Peace Reformed Church south of Garner on U.S. Highway 69.

Opp works at the Hancock County Extension office where she is the school enrichment coordinator and does after-school programs for the Garner-Hayfield and West Hancock school districts.

“I work with a really good group of people,” said Opp.

She helps coordinate the FIRST LEGO League 4-H Clubs. FIRST is an acronym for First In Recognition of Science and Technology.

A team of students is given materials in August with the challenge to build a robot by December. This year’s challenge deals with natural disasters and the robot’s missions are designed around that.

Prior to moving to Garner, the Opps’ three children were home-schooled while in Ohio. They said they were pleased with the Garner-Hayfield School District and enrolled their children, a junior, a freshman and an eighth-grader.

After graduating from Garner-Hayfield High School, all three children continued their education at Dordt College.

Their son, Mark Opp, is 22. He and his wife, Bethany, live in Sioux Center and are expecting their first child at the end of August. He intends to enroll in law school.

Daughter Lauren Opp, 20, is a junior at Dordt enrolled in the nursing program and is in Uganda on a medical mission trip.

Nathan Opp, 19, is enrolled at Dordt in criminal justice.

Caramel Rolls

2 pkgs of yeast (5 tsps)2 c. flour

2 c. lukewarm water2 eggs

1/3 c. white sugar c butter (melted)

1 T. salt4 c. flour

Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water and let stand 2 minutes. Add the sugar; mix well, add the salt and 2 c. flour; mix well. Add the eggs and melted butter, and beat 1 minute. Add the remaining flour a cup at a time, mixing after each addition. When it becomes too hard to use a mixer, switch to a wooden spoon. Let rise until double. I like to cover the bowl and place in the oven with the light on so it is a little warm.

Roll out on a floured surface in rectangular shape to about to inch thick. Spread butter on top, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over it. Roll up dough and cut into 1 inch thick rolls. Place in greased pan. Let set for ten minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Makes approximately 2 dozen rolls, depending on how thin you roll them out. Rolls freeze well.

Caramel syrup:

c. brown sugar c. white corn syrup (can be light variety) 2 T butter

Place in pan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Spread in greased pans. I make this and put it in the pans right after I put the dough in the oven to rise. This way the syrup is cool when you are ready to put the rolls on top.

You can use this recipe to make cinnamon rolls, just put more butter and brown sugar on the dough before you roll it up. Frost with your favorite frosting instead of making the caramel syrup.

Chocolate Raspberry Crumb Bars

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened

2 cups all-purpose flour

cup packed light brown sugar

teaspoon salt

2 cups (12 ounce package) semi-sweet chocolate morsels, divided

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

cup chopped nuts (optional)

cup seedless raspberry jam

PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 13×9 inch baking pan.

BEAT butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in flour, sugar, and salt until crumbly. With floured fingers, press 1 cups crumb mixture onto bottom of prepared baking pan; reserve remaining mixture.

BAKE for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

MICROWAVE 1 cup morsels and sweetened condensed milk in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute.

STIR. Morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10-to-15 second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. Spread over hot crust.

STIR nuts into reserved crumb mixture; sprinkle over chocolate layer. Drop teaspoonfuls of raspberry jam over crumb mixture. Sprinkle with remaining morsels.

BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Company Cheesecake

Crust:

1 c graham cracker crumbs (about 16 crackers)

2 T sugar

3 T butter, melted

Filling:

3-8 oz packages of cream cheese (regular or 1/3 less fat), softened

c sugar

tsp lemon juice

3 eggs

c. low fat vanilla or plain yogurt

Crust: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together graham cracker crumbs and 2 T sugar. Mix in butter thoroughly. Press mixture evenly on bottom of 9 inch spring form pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool.

Reduce oven to 325 degrees. Beat cream cheese in large mixing bowl. Gradually add c. sugar, beating until fluffy. Add lemon juice and yogurt. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Pour over cooled crumb mixture.

Bake 45 min-1 hr or until center is firm. Let set for 15 minutes then use knife to loosen side of pan and remove. Cool to room temperature. Remove cheese cake to plate and chill at least 3 hours. This freezes well.

You can use this basic recipe to make many different flavors:

-Chocolate-add 1/3 c. cocoa and increase sugar to 1 c. Use vanilla flavoring instead of lemon.

-Peanut butter chocolate-add 1/3 c. cocoa, 1/3 c. creamy peanut butter, increase sugar to 1 c. Use vanilla flavoring instead of lemon. you can add Reese Pieces, peanut butter chips, or chocolate chips to the filling, and use crushed chocolate cookies for crust, if desired.

-Pumpkin cheesecake-add c. canned pumpkin, tsp cinnamon, tsp nutmeg, tsp cloves.

-Fruit-add the fruit of your choice, ie strawberries or blueberries. Cut or chop them up to blend into the cream cheese filling. You can use cool whip on each slice as you serve it and top it with fruit.

Crust-use cookies, pecans, graham crackers-whatever goes best with the filling of your choice.

This works well baked without a crust so it can be gluten-free. Grease the bottom of the spring form pan before you add the filling. Put pan on a round cookie sheet when you bake it just in case the filling would leak a little bit.

You can use this recipe to make individual cheesecakes in a muffin tin with vanilla wafers as the crust. Put cup cake papers in the tin or grease them. Leave out the wafers, if you want gluten-free cheesecakes, but use papers.

Whole Wheat Bread

2 pkg active dry yeast (5 tsp)

1 T salt

2 c hot water (tap water that is hot to the touch is fine)

3 c. whole wheat flour

c. firmly packed brown sugar

butter, softened

3 to 4 c. Gold Medal Better for Bread flour

In large bowl, combine whole wheat flour, brown sugar, salt & yeast. Add butter and hot water. Blend at low speed until moistened, and then beat at medium speed for two minutes. Gradually add the remaining flour, mixing by spoon and by hand as it gets thicker until it pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl. Knead on a floured surface until the dough is smooth and elastic, approximately 5-10 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and a dish towel until doubled in size. I like to put it in the oven with the light on. Take the dough and shape into dinner rolls, bread loaves, or sandwich buns. Let the dough rise again until about doubled. Bake at 350 degrees until browned and the loaves sound hollow when tapped; about 30 minutes. Recipe makes two loaves. Time varies depending on the shape/size you use. Remove from pans and let cool on a wire rack. I like to make it as loaves, slice it when cool, and freeze it.

The following recipes are gluten free.

Corn Bread

1 1/3 c. corn meal

1 tsp baking powder

tsp salt

tsp baking soda

5 eggs, beaten

1 c shredded cheddar cheese

1 (12 oz) carton small-curd cottage cheese

c. butter, melted

Combine corn meal, baking powder, salt & baking soda. Combine eggs, cheese, and butter and add to cornmeal mixture. Stir until moistened.

Sprinkle cornmeal in 13 x 9 x 2 in. greased pan. Pour in batter and bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm. Makes 12-15 servings. Refrigerate leftovers.

(Sometimes I only add 4 eggs and c. butter.)

Makeover Fudge Cake

4 egg whites

1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

1/3 c butter, cubed

3 egg yolks (I use all 4)

1 c. packed brown sugar

1 container (2 oz) prune baby food (I use applesauce.)

5 Tbsp strong brewed coffee

c. flour (I use tapioca or all-purpose gluten-free baking flour)

tsp salt

tsp ground cinnamon

tsp cream of tarter

Frosting

3 Tbsp butter, softened

1/3 c baking cocoa

3 Tbsp milk

tsp vanilla extract

1 confectioners’ sugar

1. Place egg whites in small mixing bowl and let stand at room temp for 30 minutes. Coat a 9 in spring form pan with cooking spray. Place pan on baking sheet and set aside. In small saucepan melt chocolate chips and butter over low heat (I use microwave), stirring constantly. Cool slightly.

2. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until stiff peaks form. Save to fold into batter.

3. In large bowl, beat egg yolks on high speed for 3 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually beat in brown sugar. Beat in the baby food, coffee and choc. mixture.

4. Add flour, salt, and cinnamon to choc. mixture; stir until mixed well. Gently fold egg whites into batter.

5. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs. Cool for 15 minutes before removing sides of pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

6. For frosting, in mall mixing bowl beat the butter, cocoa, milk and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in conf. sugar. Frost top of cake.

7. Refrigerate leftovers. Freezes well.

Corn bread

(Gluten free)

1 1/3 cups corn meal

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

5 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 12-ounce carton small-curd cottage cheese

3/4 cup butter, melted

Combine corn meal, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Combine eggs, cheese and butter and add to cornmeal mixture.

Stir until moistened.

Sprinkle cornmeal in 13-by-9-by-2-inch greased pan.

Pour in batter and bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Serve warm. Makes 12 to 15 servings. Refrigerate leftovers.

“Sometimes I only add four eggs and 1/2 cup butter,” Opp said.

Makeover fudge cake

(Gluten free)

4 egg whites

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup butter, cubed

3 egg yolks, (Opp uses four)

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 container (2 1/2 ounces) prune baby food (Opp uses applesauce)

5 tablespoons strong brewed coffee

1/4 cup flour (Opp uses tapioca or all-purpose gluten-free baking flour)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter

Frosting: 3 tablespoons butter, softened

1/3 cup baking cocoa

3 tablespoons milk

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 confectioners’ sugar

Place egg whites in small mixing bowl and let stand at room temp for 30 minutes.

Coat a 9-inch spring form pan with cooking spray. Place pan on baking sheet and set aside.

In small saucepan melt chocolate chips and butter over low heat, stirring constantly. Cool slightly.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until stiff peaks form. Save to fold into batter.

In large bowl, beat egg yolks on high speed for 3 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored.

Gradually beat in brown sugar. Beat in the baby food, coffee and chocolate mixture.

Add flour, salt and cinnamon to chocolate mixture; stir until mixed well. Gently fold egg whites into batter.

Spread evenly into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs.

Cool for 15 minutes before removing sides of pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Frosting: In small mixing bowl beat the butter, cocoa, milk and vanilla until smooth.

Gradually beat in confectioner’s sugar. Frost top of cake.

Refrigerate leftovers. Freezes well.

Chocolate chip muffins

(Gluten free)

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour

1/4 cup sugar

/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup tapioca flour

1/4 cup white rice flour

1/4 cup baking cocoa

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, milk, butter and vanilla.

Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

Coat muffin tins with cooking spray or butter; fill 3/4 full with batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm.

Carrot cake

(Gluten-free)

1 cup sugar

2 8-ounce cans of unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained

4 eggs

1/2 cup reduced fat mayonnaise (Opp uses plain yogurt)

1 1/2 cup white rice flour

1/2 cup potato starch, or brown rice or all-purpose gluten-free flour

1/2 cup soy flour (Opp said she uses other flour because she doesn’t care for the taste of soy)

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 1/4 cups shredded carrots

1 cup flaked coconut (options) or can use raisins.

Frosting:

4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese

1/4 cup softened butter

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

3/4 teaspoon grated orange peel (optional)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, beat sugar, pineapple, eggs and mayo (or yogurt) until well blended.

Combine flours, baking soda, cinnamon, xanthan gum, ginger and salt Gradually beat into sugar mixture until blended.

Stir in carrots and coconut.

Pour into 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool on wire rack.

Frosting: In small mixing bowl beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the sugar, orange peel and vanilla; beat until smooth.

Spread over top of cake.

Refrigerate leftovers.

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