Sunday

Why try?

We usually buy Rudi's brand  bread, but it is grocery day and we are out.  Fortunately we just got a shipment  (subscribe and save ) of Pamela's brand cornbread.   We needed a quick lunch so, tada, corn bread ham sandwiches.  I'm getting a little more creative with the breads.  I've went the whole route trying to get the taste of wheat bread adding things like sweet potatoes, pineapple juice and apple cider vinegar to the various flour mixes to try and emulate the flavor, but it seems impossible so why try?  Cornbread tastes good.   :-)  A couple of weeks ago, we also found that mashed potato pancakes make very fine hamburger buns as long as they and the hamburgers are pretty small.   I make these with Bloomfield Farms gluten free flour mix.


Monday

At long last, a burrito!

I haven't had a burrito in a long time.  They just aren't the same with corn tortillas.  I have made enchiladas and tacos and taco salads but never a burrito.  Then a couple of weeks ago, I found some gluten free wraps at the salvage grocery store and finally, last night, we tried them.  They were good and I really enjoyed my first burrito in approximately 5 years.  :-)   I had tried some kind of brown rice wrap way back in the beginning, but it fell apart and didn't taste good, but this one stayed together and tasted fine.  It was from Wrap-Itz and apparently they have several varieties.  They have some recipes on their website, which I am going to go check out now.  :-)

Have a great day! #glutenfreeyum

Saturday

Experimenting.

This is what happens when I don't do meal plans at the grocery and have to improvise.  This time it was pretty good.  I looked in the pantry and fridge and decided to make chicken enchiladas but then realized I didn't have any chicken (which is very unusual, but we've been kind of chicken salad crazy lately.) but I did have some steak I had gotten on sale last week.  So I put the steak in the slow cooker on a 4 hour cycle around lunchtime and then took a nap.  Then, when it was time for dinner, I gathered these ingredients, cooking the rice in the microwave.




Then I layered them in a casserole dish and baked until bubbly.  It was very good topped with sour cream and cheese.

So to review, a small package of steak, a can of Progresso Creamy Mushroom, 2 small cans of red enchilada sauce (or 1 big can), 1 package of Zatarains Jumbalaya Rice (not the family size, the regular), and some Mission corn torillas.   After 15 minutes had passed, it was half gone and I estimate that the leftovers will be gone by dinner today, so it was a hit.  Really, it tasted very similar to the enchiladas I had at a restaurant last week.
Over the years, I have tried several fillings for enchiladas, trying to make it less expensive than just filling them with meat.  I've tried refried beans, cheese, plain rice and other flavored rices but this one was the best of all, nice and spicy.  :-)   I am thankful to all of these companies for making them gluten free and clearly labeling them gluten free.  


Monday

This is what comes from not following the directions.

Gluten free pasta is not as forgiving as wheat pasta.  If you decide to add a little more water in (because you didn't measure the water the first time, as you should have --- shame on you!), it will go all goopy and weird and have to be thrown out.   Fortunately I had some more.  Gluten free pasta is easier to find now at the grocery stores than it was 5 years ago when I first went gluten free and it is less expensive now than it used to be.  For a time, I used the Thai rice noodles for spaghetti, but most of the time now, I buy some of the various gluten free specially made pastas because they are cheaper.

The moral of this story is to follow the directions on the pasta exactly.  :-)

Sunday

Cherry cheese pie.

All 4 of the people living here had a simultaneous craving for this stuff.  One late Saturday night trip to the grocery store and here it is.  It is really good with the gluten free crust.

Saturday

Entertaining!

I was asked a question yesterday about how to entertain people who have gluten (and other) sensitivities.  It's funny because this is something that my friends have been dealing with for the past 5 years, very nicely and sweetly, but not something that I have had to deal with.  However, if I do have someone over who is gluten sensitive, I will worry that they are more gluten sensitive than me and my 2 kids and maybe I will make them sick.  What a horrible thought.  We do share our kitchen with the 2 gluten eaters in the household and though I am planning to divide it more and start using separate dishes and utensils, we haven't done it yet.

So what would I do?  That is a good question.

If I were baking using my baking pans that have been used for gluten-full items in the past, I'd use baking parchment.   I might make baked chicken or a roast with potatoes and carrots.  I might buy disposable or new baking pans and make things like

scalloped potatoes.

8 potatoes sliced thin - you don't have to peel them.
1 can Progresso creamy mushroom soup - which is gluten free.
1  1/2 onion
a few sprinkles (very light) of garlic salt.  Check the label on this, it may contain wheat.
10 slices american cheese or 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. 

Layer in 13 x 9 pan.
Cover with foil. 
Bake at 375°F for approximately 1 hour or until potatoes reach desired texture.
For a crispy top layer, uncover during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking time.  

or hash brown casserole
Here's the hash brown recipe:
Servings: 8
Prep Time: 15 Min.
Cook Time: 1 Hr.
What you need:
* 32 oz. package frozen shredded hash browns
* 1 c. cold 2 % milk
* 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
* 1 tsp. chicken bouillon
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1/2 c. chopped onion
* 1 c. sour cream
* 2 c. grated cheddar cheese (or bread crumbs from gluten-free bread tossed with melted butter)
What to do:
1. Spread hash browns in the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan.
2. In a small saucepan mix cold milk and cornstarch with a wire whisk. Add bouillon, salt, and onion.
Heat to a boil, stirring constantly.
3. Remove sauce from heat and stir in sour cream. Pour over hash browns.
4. Top with grated cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 F for 1 hr.
 If I were feeling very insecure about my ablity to cook gluten free, I might just buy a rotisserie chicken from either Kroger or Walmart, add some Country Crock mashed potatoes and Bush's Baked Beans (again, cooked in the disposable or new pans.)  

A great resource for gluten free crock pot meals is A Year of Slow Cooking.  There are over 300 recipes there and every one that my family has tried has been good.

Another good solution for a meal is taco salads/tacos.  This is a hit with most people and easy-peasy.  All of the Old El Paso mixes are gluten free and you can make some hamburger and/or chicken flavored with them and then get all the fixings, taco shells and chips, sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, avacados or guacamole, peppers, taco sauces and have a wonderful time with everyone building their own tacos or taco salads.

For dessert, have ice cream or if dairy free, fruit sorbets.  



Go ahead, be brave, be careful and invite them!  


Saturday

Chicken salad sandwich.

Chicken salad.

On Rudi bread (steamed in the waffle iron to soften).

For breakfast.
(this morning glory is symbolic of, well, morning, so breakfast time.) :-)

Yum.

#glutenfreeyum


Friday

Batch cooking.

I'm not sure what the word is, batch, bulk?  I don't do the marathon cook a month at a time thing (yet) but I do cook quite a bit on the days I don't have anything else scheduled.  I kind of have an odd rhythm to my life right now because I go see my mom every third day and I am gone a minimum of 4 hours.  So I work in the mornings, Tuesday through Saturday and do my visiting schedule so that means that often I am not here at dinner time, so on the afternoons when I am here I do extra cooking.  This seems to make the gluten free lifestyle a bit easier for me.  There are gluten free things in the fridge that just need to be warmed up, nearly all of the time.  Right now, I'm home so I have boneless chicken in a slow cooker for chicken salad to make later, I'm making taco soup and vegetable soup and later on, probably cornbread.   I use a 2 pound hamburger package for both of the soups, since each require one pound.  It will simplify my weekend, having this done.
Maybe I'll get some of the other housework done?  It could happen.  :-) 

#glutenfreeyum

Wednesday

A great trip to the salvage store.

There's a salvage store about 30 minutes from here.  They sell bent and dent kind of groceries and things that are past their expiration date.  I won't buy things that are way, way out of date, but if it was last month, sure.  I get a lot of bargains on gluten free foods in this way and this is a great way to try things that I wouldn't ordinarily take a chance on because of the expense.

Here's an excerpt from the Time Magazine article I linked above.

  • “Use by” and “Best by”: These dates are intended for consumer use, but are typically the date the manufacturer deems the product reaches peak freshness. It’s not a date to indicate spoilage, nor does it necessarily signal that the food is no longer safe to eat.
  • “Sell by”: This date is only intended to help manufacturers and retailers, not consumers. It’s a stocking and marketing tool provided by food makers to ensure proper turnover of the products in the store so they still have a long shelf life after consumers buy them. Consumers, however, are misinterpreting it as a date to guide their buying decisions. The report authors say that “sell by” dates should be made invisible to the consumer.
I got some Glutino crackers and cookies, some pasta, some cornbread mix, 4 of the big Snickers for a dollar, the ones that are at least a dollar each.  (Those are hidden in the pantry for a post-Easter-candy-chocolate emergency),  a Brownie mix and some to them were priced as low as 50 cents.  It's pretty amazing.  Do a Google maps search of your area for Salvage Grocery stores and see if you can find one near you.  


Sunday

Easter Dessert.

Its ready, in the fridge.  My daugher made it last night, a black forest trifle with chocolate cake (gluten free of course), cherry pie filling and ready to eat cheesecake.  Doesn't it look wonderful?  #glutenfreeyum

Saturday

Jarred salad.




Sometimes we gluten free peeps get tired of salads but sometimes we just get a hankering for them.  I made 12 small salads for the three of us who eat them and the other person here in the house made her own kind of salad. 

So then I got up this morning and was pondering a snack and what did I choose?  
Don't worry, they're Glutinos. 
#glutenfreeyum


Monday

Simple breakfast.

These sausages were clearly marked gluten free in letters I could have even read without glasses at Kroger the other day.  Today for breakfast, I fried them up with some eggs.  I could have added a piece of gluten free toast made with either Rudi bread or Whole Foods bread both of which I have in my fridge or I could have added some hash browns.

Simple.  Easy.  Good.

Saturday

Cornbread Taco Bowl

I made tacos today, and normally I'd just eat it with a corn tortilla or corn chips, but today, I just put it on top of some leftover cornbread.  It was pretty yummy.

Just read the labels to make sure everything is gluten free.


Friday

Pizza Toast.


I picked up some whole foods bread the other day and I had some leftover Hormel pepperoni, some mozzarella cheese and some pizza sauce from making pizza the other day so today I combined them.  I toasted the bread in the oven first, a little on both sides, then added the sauce, the pepperoni and the cheese.  It turned out really good and is a very quick lunch.

Wednesday

Carrot Cake.


Divas Can Cook

This past weekend was my husband's birthday and he wanted carrot cake.  I had my son (who is also not gluten free) bake him a regular cake from a mix, but my daughter and I kind of wanted some too.  Of course I had to look it up and found this wonderful recipe on the Divas Can Cook blog.  It's very, very good.  My carrots are not small enough is my only complaint.  Next time I will blend them up some more.


Monday

The care and eating of gluten free bread.

We eat Rudi brand bread.  We like it the best of the gluten free breads that we have tried, minus some that you have to bake yourself and some that they used to have at a local bakery.  That is to say, we like it the best of our current choices, not to say that it tastes just like regular, gluten-full (poisonous to us) wheat bread.   We have grown to like it but we have to adapt it.   It makes sandwiches, french toast and cinnamon toast possible.  :-)  On the package of the bread, it says for the softest bread, to let it sit on the counter, however, not having gluten makes it not very soft, even at its softest.  We have found that it makes an excellent grilled cheese and excellent, very tasty, toast but in our opinion, it's just not very good right out of the bag.  For some sandwiches (PB & J for instance), I like soft bread, but not really toasted bread, so I put the bread in the waffle iron for a short time, not enough to toast it, but just enough to kind of steam it.  This makes it soft and then it makes a very good sandwich.  I hope this helps you as you try to cope with your favorite brand of gluten free bread.


Sunday

Bacon Wrapped Chicken.

I made this bacon wrapped chicken a little differently, in that I just layered it in a pan, bacon, chicken, cream cheese and garlic powder, cheese and another layer of bacon, but if when I make it again, I am going to skip the bottom layer of bacon because I couldn't turn them over this way to get all of the bacon crispy.  Still yum.

I served it with a broccoli, carrots and cauliflower blend.
  Remember to read your label on your bacon to make sure it's gluten free!  

Thursday

Comfort food - Cinnamon Toast.


I don't have a dedicated toaster, ours is a split, gluten free and not gluten free household, so I tend to pan fry toast.  We do have a dedicated frying pan.  I fried up a couple of pieces of Rudi's bread, with a little butter and sprinkled it with a cinnamon/sugar blend.  It was pretty wonderful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that you are having a wonderful gluten free Thanksgiving!

Sunday

The First Donuts I have had in 5 years.

These are frozen, microwavable chocolate dipped donuts from Kinnickinnick..
A couple of minutes later ....

They were very good.  

Wednesday

Happy Gluten Free Thanksgiving - Trifle

Trifle


We call it a trifle because it's in a trifle dish, but it doesn't have rum in it, so I am not sure this is the true name.  Nevertheless, it is wonderful and we'll probably make one this Thankgiving.

Here are 2 recipes:  

Black Forest Trifle
1 package gluten free devil’s food cake mix, prepared as per package directions.
1 package Philadelphia Cream Cheese, ready made cheesecake filling.
1 can cherry pie filling.


Layer the prepared cake, the cheesecake filling and the cherries in a pretty bowl.  This will make you popular at pot lucks even among the people who can eat gluten some of whom have actually thanked me for bringing this dessert.  

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle
1 package Pamela's vanilla cake, baked as per package directions and cooled.
1 package whipped cream
1 pint strawberries. 

Just layer them up,  Easy Peasy.  


Tuesday

Green Beans! Happy Gluten Free Thanksgiving!

I am personally not a fan of green bean casserole but I know that it is a staple of many family's Thankgiving celebtations and those of us who are gluten free should not have to feel left out.  Unfortunately, for my blog readers, I really detest the stuff and I am not willing to grab a recipe, tweak it for ya'll and publish it here.  However, I will do a little research for you.  

Here are some options.

Betty Crocker has a recipe using Progresso cream of mushroom (since it is a gluten free soup).  However, it only has a 1 star rating, so proceed with caution here.   You might need to make it ahead and start tweaking it.

However, there are alternatives that don't use canned soup.  Here's one from Food.com.  Sadly, it has a billion ingredients and this is the kind of recipe that makes my eyes glaze over ...  

Here's another one from Food.com, a little better on the number of ingredients, but the recipe is not specifically a gluten free one and uses cracker crumbs for the topping.

Here's one from Celiac.com that uses Funyuns for the topping! Fun!

I personally think I'd combine the above 2 and make the 'from scratch" base and then cover it with the Funyuns if anyone at my house liked grean bean casserole.

And if you want to go in a different direction entirely try this recipe that I learned about from my friend over at Happy2BAHomemaker.  BACON WRAPPED GREEN BEAN STACKS!

Personally, I like my green beans pretty plain.  I don't make them into a casserole, I just cook them on top of the stove, in a pan,  put in a tiny bit of onion and ton of bacon and cook them for a long time, until the bacon is done.  
Greenie Beanies.

Monday

Gluten Free Turkey Gravy- Happy Gluten Free Thanksgiving!

This is the best thing about Thanksgiving, the gravy, pour it on!  I don't exactly have a recipe, so I consulted Gluten Free on a Shoestring's Nicole Hunn.  Of course, she had made some and I am sure it is good because everything she makes is good!  Just follow the link!




Sunday

Jam Cake - Happy Gluten Free Thanksgiving!

Jam Cake

3 large eggs
3/4 cup softened butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup jam
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper.
In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light. Add eggs, one at a time.
Add jam and mix again.
In a small bowl, combine the gluten free flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
Add dry ingredients to egg mixture alternating with the buttermilk.
Beat until batter is smooth.
Pour batter into baking pan, and bake for 35 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool.

EASY CARAMEL ICING
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. milk
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together in saucepan brown sugar, milk and butter. Bring to boil and boil three minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Cool to lukewarm. Beat until creamy and thick enough to spread. Add powdered sugar if not thick enough or a little milk if too thick.

Saturday

Blackberry Cobbler! Happy Gluten Free Thanksgiving!


Blackberry Cobbler 
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup butter
2 cups flour (I use Bob's Red Mill gluten-free)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 cups blackberries 
2 cups boiling water

Cream 1 cup of sugar with the butter; add flour, baking powder, salt, and milk; mix well. Pour into a 12x8x2 baking pan (or an 8-9 inch square pan if you've halved the recipe). Pour blackberries over batter. Sprinkle remaining sugar over berries. Pour boiling water over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve with vanilla ice cream

 

Friday

Just for fun, caramel apple dip. Happy Gluten Free Thanksgiving!

Caramel apple dip
1 8-ounce package cream cheese-softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
Mix the two together until smooth.
Pour into a pie plate or small baking dish.
Pour a 16-ounce container of caramel dip-found in the produce section-over the cream cheese mixture and spread all over the top.
Top with Heath chips found in the baking aisle.
Refrigerate until serving.



Thursday

Crustless Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Pie.


Crustless sweet potato pie.
Sweet potato or pumpkin - cooked without salt 4 cup, cubes
Sugar 2 cups
Milk  2 cups
Eggs  6 large
Butter 5 tbsp
Cinnamon, 2 tsp
Pumpkin pie spice, 2 tsp
Salt 2 tsp
Pamelas Products - Gluten Free Baking Pancake Mix, 6 tablespoons (Or baking mix of your choice)

Mix with mixer until it is smooth-ish. :-) Pour into 2 pie pans and bake at 350 for 1 hour, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. This pie only has 223 calories per serving, whereas a quick google search tells me that regular sweet potato pie with crust is 300-400 calories a serving. You won't miss the crust, trust me. :-)


So, so good.


Wednesday

Rolls! Happy Gluten Free Thanksgiving!

by subsituting 1/2 cup pineapple juice for part of the 3/4 of a cup of water.  In case you are not good at math that leaves 1/4 cup of water in the recipe and using 4 1/4 cups of your favorite gluten free flour blend.  I like to use one that has a potato, rice, tapioca flour blend, like King Arthur.

These are the best rolls I have had since going gluten free.  I like to call them Amish-Hawaiian Pineapple Potato rolls.  

:-)  

Disclaimer:  This is a stock photo of regular rolls, not gluten free rolls.  Mine looked this good, but were a bit flatter.  :-)  

Tuesday

Potatoes! Happy Gluten Free Thanksgiving!


I usually just cook the potatoes and mash them with butter, salt and milk (Lactose free milk and margarine if my oldest son is home).
But if I'm feeling fancy, I might make scalloped potatoes.
Yes, potatoes are naturally gluten free, but the boxed scalloped potatoes contain gluten and most of the cream of something soups contain gluten, so you really have to think before preparing your gluten free food.  Fortunately, this is easy and wonderful.

8 potatoes sliced thin - you don't have to peel them.
1 can Progresso creamy mushroom soup - which is gluten free.
1  1/2 onion
a few sprinkles (very light) of garlic salt.  Check the label on this, it may contain wheat.
10 slices american cheese or 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. 

Layer in 13 x 9 pan and bake 1 hour at 400 degrees.

Cover with foil. 

Bake at 375°F for approximately 1 hour or until potatoes reach desired texture.
For a crispy top layer, uncover during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking time.  

Other veggies can be prepared as long as they don't contain any toppings made with wheat products.  Casseroles are notorious for their cracker toppings!  

What about some nice corn on the cob?  

Monday

Stuffing or Dressing - Happy Gluten Free Thanksgiving!


I make dressing, which means I don't stuff it into the turkey.  It's a side dish.  

I have really been experimenting with stuffing this year.  I love stuffing, but to me, it means a simple cornbread sage stuffing.   Here's the recipe I use.

1 package Pamela's cornbread mix, baked and crumbled.
1 large stalk celery, chopped.
1 small or 1/2 of a large onion.
3 tablespoons poultry seasoning or sage.
A sprinkle of onion salt.

1 cup chicken broth or broth from your turkey.

Crumble cornbread and mix all ingredients together, press in a 13 x 9 pan and bake at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.  It doesn't need to cook, exactly, just kind of toast and blend the flavors. 


Sunday

Talking Turkey - Happy Gluten Free Thanksgiving!

The main dish, the turkey.  Isn't that already gluten free you ask?   Not necessarily, which is weird.  Some of the pre-basted turkeys will have wheat products in them.  Read the label.  Also, if you are not the one cooking the turkey, ask questions about how it is prepared, whether it is basted, has gravy or is stuffed, etc.  I found out last year that my mom-in-law puts "a little bit of flour" in the cooking bag to help the bag not stick to the turkey.   

So read the label and cook the turkey without adding anything that you haven't read the label on.  It seems like we wouldn't have to, but we do.  If you don't feel like cooking a turkey, I understand that Walmart's and Kroger's rotisserie chickens are gluten free.  I personally like to put a chicken in the crock pot.  Cook until the interior temperature is over 165 degrees Fahrenheit.  Then, I put it in the oven for a few minutes to brown.  


Saturday

Happy Gluten Free Thanksgiving! November 1.

Okay, I realize it's not Thanksgiving yet, but it's coming.  I love it.  Since I am gluten free these past 5 years, Thanksgiving dinner is more work (since I have to prepare more of it myself and show up at other people's homes with my own stuffing and gravy), but it is not less tasty and not one bit less wonderful!  I LOVE this time of year, the food, the fellowship and the expressions and feelings of gratitude for what we have.

Take a minute or two, go read this article and go look at your home and family with "fresh perspectacles". 


Seriously, this may be the best thing I've read this year.  Go ahead.  Read it.  I'll wait.

Now tune in, subscribe to this blog and get ready, because we are going to do as many Thanksgiving recipes as I can come up with this month!

Tuesday

Time Magazine Article on Rise of Celiac

So, the next day ...

One of the rolls was used as a biscuit and I made bacon, gravy and eggs to go with it.  It was yummy.  We kept the rolls in the fridge overnight, in a zip lock bag and then warmed them for a few seconds in the microwave before eating them.  The gravy I made with a gluten free bisquick and the bacon grease.  I have tried using corn starch to make gravy, but I do not have as much luck with that as I do with just using whatever gluten free flour blend that I have.


Monday

Rolls!

My issues with gluten free baking in the past have been that the bread has an aftertaste or that it has no taste at all.  So I have looked around, gotten a bunch of books on gluten free baking, read blogs and websites and there is one main problem with all of the recipes and one main problem with me.

The problem with me, is I'm a lazy cook.  The problem with the recipes is that they have a lot of steps.  I don't do well with a lot of steps or a lot of ingredients.  I just shut down about ingredient number 7 or something, when I am reading these.

But we as a family love bread.  Deeply.  So I have kept trying and by that I mean trying to find a recipe that has flavor and no aftertaste and is pretty easy to mix up.  My mother in law makes wheat filled potato rolls that are to die for and that is the standard I have been after in gluten free baking.  

Finally, I think I may have gotten close.   I took this recipe,   and modified it a little bit. What I mean by modifying it a little bit is the following.

1.  I used gluten free flour instead of wheat flour.  I had 2 different boxes of flour mix here.  One was a rice flour mix with xanthan gum and the other was a couple of other mixed flours.
2.  I did not use a stand mixer because I don't have one.  I mixed with a hand mixer.
3.  I did not exactly follow the add this and add that methods by which I mean, I didn't even read them and just dumped everything in one bowl.  Also, I did not mix it up very much because I have heard that gluten free flours, especially ones with gums added, do better with less mixing.
4.  For half of the water, I added pineapple juice, for that all important ingredient that gluten free flours often lack ... flavor.
5.  I cut out about half of the rising time because I am not only lazy, but impatient, but I would not recommend this.  They didn't, of course, rise as much as they should have.

They were very good, not the best rolls I have had in my life, but the best ones that I have had in the last 5 years since I went gluten free.

I'm going to work on perfecting them, so stay tuned ... by Thanksgiving, I want them to be the best they can be.