Scroll to the bottom to see some of my eclipse photos!
My small hometown of Sweetwater, TN, is going to be the "sweet" spot for the Great American Eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017, with a full 2 minutes and 37 seconds of totality.
They are expecting 60,000 visitors to the town of 6,000 residents!
As you can expect, it is total solar eclipse mania around here! Most of the school systems in our area decided to close for the day, so my son and I will be spending the day at my parents' house in Sweetwater. It's only about 20 minutes from our house, but the traffic is expected to be madness getting there.
We plan to leave very early, so I'm making breakfast and a dessert for our little "eclipse party." My sister will be there also; she has some dietary restrictions, so these recipes are made with no gluten or dairy. She's a much better cook than I am (it is how she makes her living), but sometimes she does let me cook for her. I have secondary motives, however, because I secretly hope she'll share some yield from her garden with me.
I made this gut-friendly, low FODMAP Carrot Cake Cheesecake for her birthday this year, and it really was out of this world good! *eclipse pun* You can find the recipe here from Karlijn's Kitchen.
A few years ago, in order to make these types of dishes, it would take 30 ingredients to complete. I'm going to tell you, in full disclosure, that this brownie torte is SEMI-homemade and mostly from a box. We don't typically eat a low FODMAP diet, so I don't keep many of those ingredients in my pantry, which can be quite costly just to have on hand.
I'm glad that I can quickly mix up some gluten free brownies with only a mix, oil, water, and an egg. This really isn't about the recipe anyway, but just a way to have some eclipse fun. You can use any brownie recipe you want, but this is what I did.
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TOTALLY Easy Solar Eclipse Frosted Brownie Torte (Gluten-Free and Lactose-Free)
1 box Pillsbury Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Premium Brownie Mix with Chocolate Chips, 15.5 oz
1/3 cup oil
3 tablespoons water
16 oz. container Duncan Hines Creamy Home Style Dark Chocolate Fudge Frosting (most DH frostings are gluten and dairy free--check labels carefully)
Yellow writing icing
Gold edible metallic shimmer spray (optional, since some brands have traces of wheat)
Sparkling gold sugar
Mango sorbet (optional)
Preheat oven to 350o and a coat 9-inch tart pan with gluten-free cooking spray, such as Kelapo Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Cooking Spray, 5-Ounce Can. Stir the brownie mix, water, egg, and oil together; pour into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 25-28 minutes.
While cooling, cover a round serving platter with gold foil cake-board wrap. I used Wilton Gold Fanci-Foil Wrap. Once cooled, remove tart ring from the sides and place onto the serving platter. Spread the chocolate fudge frosting over the top.
You could stop there and dig in, but to make the partial eclipse, first trace the outline with a toothpick and go over it by either piping icing (if you want to get fancy) or just squeeze some yellow writing icing. If you use shimmer spray, lightly color the inside your outline with quick, short, sprays of the mist. Then cover with sparkling gold sugar.
Cut and enjoy! No eclipse glasses required! I served it up with a cold scoop of brightly colored mango sorbet, which complemented the warm, fudgy brownie perfectly!
Total Eclipse Breakfast Casserole (Gluten-Free and Lactose-Free)
1/2 cup Betty Crocker Bisquick Baking Mix, Gluten Free Pancake and Waffle Mix, 16 Oz Box
1 lb. ground sausage
1-1/2 cups lactose-free shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup lactose-free milk (coconut, almond, soy, etc.)
1-1/2 cups frozen shredded hash browns
4.25 oz. can chopped black olives
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400o and a coat 9-inch pie plate with gluten-free cooking spray, such as Kelapo Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Cooking Spray, 5-Ounce Can. In a skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat. For this recipe, I only used 1/2 pound of sausage. I'm going to spread it between the two batches I'm making, and I don't want too much sausage poking out through my solar corona.
(I bet you never heard anyone say that before)
Once the sausage has browned and no longer pink (about 10 minutes), turn off the heat and stir in the hash browns and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pie plate.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the Bisquick, eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour over the sausage mixture. Bake for 15 minutes until it starts to stiffen. Cover with the remaining cup of cheese. Bake an additional 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven, and using a 7-inch round baking mold, such as the Blacklip Kitchen Pastry Tools Stainless Steel Mousse Cake Ring Mold (6-12" Cake Ring), place onto center of cheese, and spread the chopped black olives evenly to the edges of the mold.
Remove the mold and continue baking for 5-10 more minutes. Slice and eat warm!
I hope you get a chance to view and have fun during the eclipse. Be safe and enjoy the experience!
(My lens' Solar Filter still needs some work, so please don't judge)
Update: The eclipse was so awesome...there just aren't words to describe how exciting it was! It was such a great day to spend with my family, although it took 2 hours to drive the 18 miles back home with all the traffic. I did fix my solar filter and spent quite a bit of time getting my camera prepared. I'm so glad I did, because I ended up with some really memorable photos. Here's a glance at some of them: