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!


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.  


Happy Gluten Free Thanksgiving - 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.  


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  Sadly, it has a billion ingredients and this is the kind of recipe that makes my eyes glaze over ...  

Here's another one from, 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 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.


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!


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

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.

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.


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



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.


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.


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.  :-)  


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?  


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. 


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.  


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!


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.



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.


I made a copycat Hamburger Helper.

Divas Can Cook!

I'm not talking about me this time, but I went searching for a hamburger helper copycat and this is where I found it.  It's pretty good and really not more work than the packaged hamburger helper.  A few weeks ago I had gotten some Mrs. Leepers Gluten Free Stroganoff mix marked down at our Kroger store.  I haven't found it again and besides, it's kind of pricey but my youngest son had liked it and had requested it again.  Meanwhile, a couple of things happened.  First, we were at the craft fair all weekend and haven't made a proper grocery trip this week and also my friend decided not to go gluten free and gave me a bunch of GF pasta.

I used half of a 2 pound package of hamburger (yes grocers, we have noticed that you are now packaging 2 pounds like you used to package 3 pounds and the price is still the same.  :-( )  and some of the pasta.  It's pretty good.  :-)

With the other half of the package of meat, I made meatloaf and I more than likely will go visit my mom and not cook tomorrow so we will be having leftovers.

Here follow some very unprofessional pictures.  Keep in mind, I'm not a professional cook, I'm lazy and if I can do gluten free, believe me, anybody can.


Veggie Dinner!

It's veggie night.  We're having smashed potatoes, corn and broccoli and cheese.  It's yummy.  It's easy.  It's gluten free.

Today's lunch.

Seriously, I am not suffering being gluten free.  I had cooked a chicken in the crock pot the other day, so today I made it into chicken rice soup and made a grilled cheese sandwich out of Rudi's bread to go with it.
There are great instructions on how to make soup from a rotisserie chicken here at Tori Avey and from what I understand (and I've eaten them with no problem) Walmart and Kroger's rotisserie chickens are gluten free.  You always need to read the label of course.  Using a rotisserie chicken cuts the prep time down and makes it easier on you.  



Chicken Chili.

This is the easiest way to make gluten free white chili.  It's tasty too.  Buy this.

And follow the package directions.  Easy and good.

Gluten free does not have to be complicated or terribly expensive.

Gluten Free Easy 30 Day Trial


What about a grilled sandwich for breakfast?

We only like gluten free bread if it is cooked like a grilled cheese, toasted or waffle-ironed.  Our toaster belongs to the gluten eaters in the house, so we often use a small frying pan and a little bit of butter to cook our sandwiches.  You could use whatever you feel comfortable using, even a sprayed olive oil works just fine.  This, I believe, is a photo of one of my daughter's creations, which I think is a grilled peanut butter sandwich.  Other combinations are grilled PB&J, grilled peanut butter and Nutella, grilled cheese (of course), grilled ham and cheese, grilled BLT and grilled bacon and egg sandwiches.

We are gluten free, but we aren't suffering, that's for sure.


What's for dinner?

Zatarain's gluten free yellow rice with some chicken and stir fry veggies.  Yummy, easy and quick.  Just the kind of meals I like.

Gluten Free Easy 30 Day Trial


My son's sandwich.

We have really been into sandwiches this summer, which is not really a good thing when you are gluten free.  We enjoy them, but the bread is expensive.  My son made a very nice looking sandwich to take for his lunch at work and left it sitting on a plate in the kitchen for a few minutes and I went and took a picture of it.  I had made a trip to a walmart near my mom's assisted living facility yesterday because we were out of lunchmeat (too many sandwiches, not enough real cooking!) and found that it had a great big gluten free section with the Schar bread and in their meat department, they had this ham that is clearly marked gluten free.  It was cheaper than the Kentucky Legend ham that we usualy buy and I didn't have to squint at the label to see if it was gluten free.  It's pretty clear.  :-)  

We like to either waffle iron or fry our sandwiches because gluten free bread tends to be better that way.  We would also use a toaster if we had a dedicated gluten free one, but we don't and we really don't have any more countertop space.  I may put another table by the microwave table for gluten free sandwich prep and get a toaster some day, in addition to the waffle iron, but for now, this works.  If only this had a home grown tomato ....


Interesting Idea - Breadless sandwiches.

Most of the time my daughter and I just put our sandwich ingredients on plate and eat them with a fork.  We've also experimented with baking them into a pie, a quiche or muffins but these are interesting

Gluten free breadless sandwiches 1


I personally am particularly interested in the spring rolls and red peppers.


Odd benefits of not eating gluten.

I'm just a little over 4 years gluten free.  First, and most importantly, my chronic fatigue, constant body aches and headaches have went away.  My fibromyalgia has basically disappeared.  But also, there have been some subtle changes and some of them are just happening recently, 4 years in.  I have had to turn down the volume on all the things I listen to, TV, my computer, my car radio and my husband's computer - all of them, because my hearing is better. 

My sense of smell is better.  At the time I actually went gluten free, I could only smell the strongest of scents and I was always a few minutes behind everyone else on noticing those.  If it's a skunk, that's a good thing, but still.  Smelling smoke might save my life at some point.  :-) 

My skin has cleared up.  I thought that acne was going to follow me into my 50s and this might be an aging thing, but my skin has cleared up.  The last thing is that my hair is thicker.  I used to be able to put all of my hair in a ponytail and it was only maybe 3/4 of an inch in diameter and now it is nearly twice that.  I feel like I have so much hair now! 

Have you noticed any odd benefits?


Gluten free mom getting the food on the table.

Since I went gluten free 4 years ago, 2 of my children have followed in my footsteps, so there is always someone else that I am cooking for besides myself.  I might be happy with the same thing for 3 days in a row, but they are not.  So I cook.  All the time.  I like to have meals I can get on the table quickly, because we often come home from places hungry.  Often we can't eat at parties or restaurants, so, you know, HUNGRY.   If you keep pre-cooked hamburger in the freezer, you can have these on the table within 15-20 minutes. 

My favorite go-to meals.

Pizza muffins - I use a cup and a half of Pamela's gluten free baking mix, 2 eggs and enough water to make it into a pancake-like batter, put a tablespoon of this mixture in the bottom of each muffin tin, put in about a teaspoon of pizza sauce (I use the Kroger brand), a few Hormel pepperoni minis and some mozerella cheese, then cover this all with another tablespoon of flour mixture.

Tacos - I use either the Kroger brand taco seasoning (make sure it's not reduced sodium) or Old El Paso with my ground beef then add corn taco shells (read the label), sour cream, cheese and lettuce.

Grilled Cheese - Rudi's bread, a little butter and a slice of cheese.

Taco Soup - One pound ground beef, 3 cans of Ranch beans, 1 can of corn, 1 can of tomatoes and green chilis and 1 packet of taco seasoning mix, see above.

Spaghetti - Cook Thai rice noodles according to package directions and pour on some Ragu chunky garden style roasted garlic.  I like to add in ground beef and make a meat sauce, but it's not necessary.  Also, sometimes I put it in the oven and melt mozerella cheese on top of it.  Yum.

Any of the Betty Crocker Impossibly Easy Pies - I just use Pamela's Baking Mix instead of Bisquick with no other alterations.