Sunday, December 12, 2010

Since having Taryn, I've received many meals from friends and family. A friend of mine who was admittedly nervous about finding gluten/dairy free recipes made me my favorite meal thus far. She used for her inspiration. She served us Lime Chicken Soft Tacos simply using corn tortillas and tofutti sour cream in place of their gluten/dairy filled counterparts. She also used cilantro instead of oregano. These soft tacos were super tasty. She made us No Bake Chocolate Oat Bars for dessert using Earth Balance instead of butter and dairy free chocolate chips. These cookie bars were delicious! I ate way too many. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gluten Free Basics

Store bought items:
Pamela's mixes are the best (breads, cakes, cookies, muffins, etc)
Glutino's pizza crust
Glutino's pretzels (are the bomb)
Udi's gluten free bread
Kinnikinnick buns (hot dog and hamburger)
Trader Joe's Gluten free spaghetti, penne and rotini
Trader Joe's brown rice tortillas
Cherrybrook Kitchen mixes are good
Chebe mixes are good (pizza dough is good, but has to be baked beforehand)

Eating out:
We've been doing this now for a few years and have found a few safe places to eat that everyone in our family can enjoy. Chinese food places and mexican food places and generally safe (just ask lots of questions and use substitutions if necessary, ie ask for a corn tortilla instead of a flour one)

PF Changs and Outback Steakhouse have gluten free menus
Olive Garden now has a gluten free pasta option
In and Out (Order your hamburger protein style and they wrap it in lettuce for you. Their fries are also gluten free (most places' fries are not))
Cookies From Home now has a line of cookies and brownies that are gluten free
Picazzo's (A pizza place) has a gluten free pizza crust and dessert (I think a cookie). You can also buy pizza dough from them.

Cookbooks and Recipes:
Most cookbooks are stupid because they say things like, "Use your favorite gluten free flour mix." That's not helpful. However my favorite gluten free flour mix happens to be equal parts tapioca starch, brown rice flour and sorghum flour. I use this mix when I'm changing a glutenful recipe and substituting. I find Sunflower has pretty good prices on these flours if you buy them from the bins and bag them yourself. Also, buying a wheat grinder or vitamix is helpful. We use our grinder to make our own brown rice flour all of the time. It's cheaper that way. You will need Xanthan Gum for all of your baking so just suck it up and buy it. Without it nothing has the right consistency.

I find I get most of my recipes on blogs and in a great magazine called Living Without. I highly recommend getting a subscription to that magazine. You can pick it up at Whole Foods or Sunflower to check it out before buying it. I also have a lot of luck with Vegetarian Magazines as most recipes are gluten free.

My favorite gluten free blogs are: (This is actually my friend's blog and she, myself and another girlfriend of mine share gluten free advice and recipes on it.) (I've taken a class from this woman and have her dessert cookbook. Her stuff is delicious. She's local too and offers classes often.)

Here are links to my favorite, most used Gluten free recipes...
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Gluten Free Bread

Ryan’s Favorite Gluten Free Pancake Mix (we adapted this ourselves from one of Becky's recipes)

1 C brown rice flour
3T tapioca flour
1/3 C potato starch
1T sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2t salt
½ t xanthan gum

Mix a large batch of dry ingredients and keep in a canister. When ready to make pancakes use:

1 C dry pancake mix
1 egg
1 ½ T oil
Milk until smooth

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I'm in full Thanksgiving mode, although I know April could give a flying... Anyway. I'm in search of a couple of great recipes which I deftly avoided last year:

Pie Crust
Dinner Roll

Eek. I know. A bazillion recipes to choose from so I was wondering if anyone had any tried and true on the back burner. For rolls, I was looking at this recipe which sounds comparable to the "butt rolls" served at my in-laws. As far as pie crust goes, I'm overwhelmed. I'm seriously considering buying a premade shell unless someone wants to scare me off from that. Little D wants a strawberry pie (out of season, of course, he was not interested in any of the many fall selections I offered) and I'm making a pumpkin pie so I don't want to kill myself baking. Plus I'm hangin' with one of my favorite ladies on the Wednesday before.

For anyone looking for something yummy, I made this Pumpkin Cake from the Gluten Free Goddess for Little C's birthday and it was decidedly un-GF tasting and super delicious. For my CF sisters, I'm not up on my dairy-free frostings, so I'll let you handle that issue if you wish.

Help a sister out?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Curried Sweet Potato Pancakes with Quinoa and Grilled Asparagus

Unappealing iPhone photo of a delicious meal

Since we're poor, I can't waste any food right now. But that doesn't mean we should eat crap, right? Well, sometimes it does. But not this time! The other night I was feeling sick to my stomach. I just couldn't eat rice pasta with marinara sauce again, but I had nothing in the fridge and one more day until Hubs got paid. What to do? I pulled out the perishables that were soon to perish: green onions, sweet potatoes, baking potatoes, asparagus. Then I pulled out my trusty iPhone and got to work.

Found this recipe for Sweet Potato Pancakes and altered it thusly:

Potato cakes:
1 8-ounce red-skinned sweet potato (yam)
1 8-ounce russet potato
4 green onions
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
1 tablespoon all purpose GF flour
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For potato cakes:
Heat oven to 300°F. Peel both potatoes and coarsely grate into medium bowl. Chop the white part of green onions finely and discard rest or reserve for garnish. Place grated potatoes and green onion in clean cloth and squeeze out excess liquid. Place potatoes and onion in large bowl. Add eggs, flour, curry powder, and sea salt; mix to incorporate evenly.
Line baking sheet with paper towel. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Measure scant 1/4 cupful of mixture, shape into ball, and add to skillet. Using spatula, gently flatten ball to 1/3-inch-thick, 3-inch-diameter pancake. Repeat, forming 3 more pancakes. Fry until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer pancakes to prepared baking sheet; keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining mixture for total of 8 pancakes.

The recipe also includes a recipe for mango chutney and recommends using plain greek yogurt as well. I had neither with the first try and it was yummy enough for me to make again. It was even better the second time with the yogurt and some pre-made chutney from TJs that is not certified GF.

I served it with some asparagus that I coated in olive oil and sea salt and grilled on the old Foreman grill for about 8 minutes, and some quinoa that I cooked with vegetable stock (no water!).

This is destined to become a regular in our rotation.

Special Stuff

Almond Flour:
Honeyville Grain is having a sale. Sorry it's ending tomorrow! 15% off if you enter the coupon code, "FALL". This is where I get my almond flour. It very fine and great for baking, better than any I've tried in the stores. It's a BIG BAG. You'd probably have to freeze half and refrigerate the other half.
Bakery Goodies:
Free samples of seasonal cupcakes at the Gluten Free Country Store in Gilbert.
Saturday, October 16 10am-2pm.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Vacationing and Eating Out

My family is going to California in two weeks and I'm starting to get nervous about food because we are going with lots of family that can eat anything. I know Disneyland has a food allergy guide (but where do I get it?), and I know I am pretty safe with Mexican food and Chinese food. I've also had success with Olive Garden's new gluten free pasta. But, what else is there? Any ideas? Or any knowledge about places in the Anaheim, CA area where we can eat sans problems (dairy and gluten allergies)?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Least Favorite

Sometimes convenience items are not convenient. I don't know if you have tried this item:
But if you have, I'm so, so sorry for you. This IS NOT FROSTING. It is corn syrup goo. It is not spreadable or edible. Blech.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My Favorite Things

I thought I'd write a post in honor of my newly GF (maybe temporarily) friend, Jenni. She recently made a ton of desserts for her celiac mom's birthday party and asked for my favorite recipes. Here are my top 4 with my recipe fixes:

#4 Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting
My chocolate cake recipe originally comes from this site , The Art of Gluten Free Co
oking, but I tweaked it to make it taste more chocolatey and less GF tasting.

Chocolate Genoise
16 tablespoons (2 sticks or 8 oz.) unsalted butter
4 ounces semi-sweet (62%) quality chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons sweet sorghum flour
2 tablespoons almond flour
5 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons tapioca flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons guar gum
8 eggs
1 cup + 2 tablespoon granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray muffin tins with nonstick spray or line with papers.

Combine dry ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly incorporated. Melt butter and finely chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl using 30 second intervals and stirring very well in between until chocolate is completely melted. Be careful not to overheat. Now pour the butter/chocolate mixture over your dry ingredients, whisk until smooth
and set aside.

In a stand up mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs and the granulated sugar until it is thick and mousse-like in texture, about 5 minutes.

Pour your butter mixture into the eggs and with the mixer on high, whip for 30 seconds. Immediately pour the batter into your prepared cupcake tins and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes. The cake should feel like a delicate sponge when touched with your finger. Allow to cool completely in the pan. Resist the urge to eat one straight out of the oven. You'll burn your mouth and it won't really even taste good.

Peppermint Buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
pinch of coarse salt
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp peppermint extract
mess of crushed peppermint candies (1/4 cup? to taste)
milk for consistency

In a stand up mixer with paddle on medium setting, beat butter and salt until creamy. Reduce speed and add powdered sugar slowly, scraping down sides of bowl, un
til combined. Add vanilla and mint extracts. Don't skip the vanilla. Add peppermint candies and beat until combined. Add milk until desired consistency is reached.

I like to poke a hole in the top of each cake with my pinky and pipe frosting into the hole as well as on top, but you need a wide tip to do that or the candies get stuck.

For CF, maybe try to alter this? I don't know. I haven't had any luck with CF frosting.

#3 Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips
From this recipe on

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
2 cups sugar (I like 1c brown and 1c white)
2 cups natural peanut butter (nonnatural won't cut it)
4 eggs beaten1 tsp gluten free vanilla (optional)
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Prepare pans by greasing or use parchment paper or silicone baking sheet.
Combine sugar, peanut butter, eggs and vanilla. Mix in chocolate chips. Dough will be very sticky.
Spoon onto prepared cookie sheets. Small cookies work best.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.Leave on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

#2 Brownies
Altered from this recipe at Gluten Free Goddess.

5 ounces finely chopped Belgian dark chocolate
1/2 cup butter or vegan margarine such as Smart Balance (or Spectrum Organic Shortening)
2 organic eggs
1 cup packed organic light brown sugar
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 sorghum
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon vanilla plus 2 teaspoons peppermint extract for mint brownies)
1/2 cup extra semi-sweet chocolate chips for the top, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line brownie pan with foil and lightly oil the bottom or use nonstick spray.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter and chocolate at 30 second intervals, stirring in between until chocolate is completely melted. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs on medium high till frothy. Add the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is smooth.

Add melted butter/chocolate mixture into the egg/sugar mixture a little at a time - incorporate it slowly- and beat well for a good minute. The chocolate will look smooth and glossy.

In a bowl, whisk the dry ingredients: almond flour, sorghum, fine sea salt and baking soda. Add the dry flour mix into the chocolate mixture and beat well for a minute. Add the vanilla, beat another half a minute or so.

Pour batter into prepared pan and strike pan on counter to even batter out.

Layer the semi-sweet chips all over the top of the batter and press them in slightly, if adding.

Bake in the center of a preheated 350 degree F oven for 33 to 35 minutes, or until the brownies are set. Don't overcook.

Cool on a wire rack; and remove the brownies from the pan by gripping the foil edges. Chill before cutting. Don't eat them hot! They're best chilled.

#1 Pistachio Cake with Honey Buttercream Frosting

I came up with this beaut after searching for a pistachio cake recipe for my dad and finding only recipes that called for 3 (!) cups of flour. I doubt I have to tell any of you that the less flour involved in GF baking, the better. So I altered an old flourless standby instead. This cake is my crowning glory because I DON'T EVEN LIKE PISTACHIOS! But this cake is addictive! If you do like pistachios, you will probably be kissing my feet for this one.

1 cup processed pistachios (Trader Joe's has shelled, unsalted nutmeats)
3/4 cup almond flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray the paper.
Process pistachios in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Beat 4 egg yolks, 1/2 cup honey, vanilla, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer (or use a paddle attachment on a stand mixer) on medium speed until well combined. Add the ground almonds and pistachios and beat on low until combined.
Beat 4 egg whites in another large bowl with the electric mixer (use clean beaters on a hand-held mixer or the whisk attachment on a stand mixer) on medium speed until very foamy, white and doubled in volume, but not stiff enough to hold peaks, 1 to 2 minutes (depending on the type of mixer). Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the nut mixture until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and gently remove the side ring. Let cool completely.

Honey Buttercream

1 cup unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
pinch of coarse salt
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey
milk for consistency

In a stand up mixer with paddle on medium setting, beat butter and salt until creamy. Reduce speed and add powdered sugar slowly, scraping down sides of bowl, until combined. Add vanilla. Add honey and beat until combined. Add milk until desired consistency is reached.

I like to carefully slice the cake after it's cooled to turn it into a layer cake and put a nice, thick layer of buttercream in the middle. Then do a light crumb coat of frosting, refrigerate for at least an hour, and them slop the rest of the frosting on that bad boy and go to town.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Olive Garden Eat Your Heart Out!

So, I have yet to try any recipes from my new book. I did go grocery shopping and while I got tons of great, tasty stuff, (I went when I was hungry...yummy for the tummy, but not so happy for the bank account) I didn't get anything that I needed for ANY of the new recipes.

Anyhoo, I had been craving chicken alfredo for quite some time. I don't think I've had that meal since I was living in Tucson and went to Macaroni Grill, ate delicious chicken alfredo and subsequently became violently ill afterward. I've stayed away from it since. I don't think I need to tell you why.

A couple of weeks ago, Brad was camping with the dogs and I was alone for a couple days. Really alone. It's different when there aren't even any animals to babble to. I really enjoyed it for the first couple of days, but then I got lonely, bored and inventive! Alfredo sauce? Who did I think I was? I don't even remotely know how to make such a luxurious sauce much less one without a ton of gut-wrenching dairy! But I popped on some tunes, poured myself a glass of wine and rolled up my sleeves. I browsed a few recipes online. The dairy-free, vegan sauces sounded horrid and the traditional ones made my stomach turn. So this is what I did:

1/4 c. Earth Balance
1 can coconut milk (in loo of the heavy cream)
4-5 baby bella mushrooms
2 chicken breasts
1 1/4 c. shredded cheddar style goat cheese from TJs
8 leaves fresh basil (from my herb garden yay!)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut chicken into bite size pieces and cook in a little olive oil. Melt earth balance and saute the mushrooms and half of the basil. Add coconut milk and bring to a boil. Turn down to low heat, add chicken, S&P and rest of basil. Slowly stir in goat cheese. I also added a dash of xanthan gum because I was afraid it wouldn't thicken, but in retrospect, I don't think that was necessary. Let simmer on low heat and sauce will thicken nicely on it's own. Add your GF noodles to the water you've so thoughtfully already started boiling!

One word: YUM! It was divine! It was heavenly! It was rich and creamy! It did NOT cause a night bowing to the porcelain god! I am grateful for goats! Take that cows!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Petit Fours

Oh hell, yeah. I made these.

These were made with a layer of strawberry cake, a layer of strawberry butter cream, a layer of chocolate cake and then covered with chocolate icing. The piping was done with a simple buttercream and the shimmery stuff is edible shimmer powder I got from Michael's.

I'm making them again for a friend's daughter's birthday party and have altered the recipe a bit. I felt the strawberry cake tasted too "GF" and the chocolate cake was not chocolatey enough. For the next round I adjusted the chocolate genoise recipe, subbing 2 tbl of almond meal for 2 of sorghum and 2 tbl of cocoa powder for 2 of the starches. The result was just what I was looking for. No one would suspect it was GF. I haven't done the strawberry yet, but I think I will adjust the plain genoise recipe by subbing in some almond meal, some strawberry jello and maybe some puree, but I hesitate because of the liquid content. Tricky business.

Monday, June 28, 2010

New Adventures

I just bought a new cookbook and I'm pretty excited to try some of the recipes.  I will post my adventures as they happen!  Stay tuned, there might be some great ones! 

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Made these and they were heavenly. I like the idea of using almond flour but it's so damn expensive. Bought some online for less, so we'll try a few more recipes soon.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Caila just graduated from college with two degrees and for her grad party she wanted something special and ambitious: churros. My initial response: hell, yes.
I set to work to figure out how the make churros in the first place, let alone make gluten-free churros. Turns out it was not too complicated. In the grand scheme of things, that is.
There were actually several recipes for gluten free churros online, but the ingredient lists didn't look too exciting. Once I realized it was just a fried pate choux, I headed straight to my fave sweets website by Karen Morgan. I used this recipe for the pate choux and just gleaned cooking instructions from other websites.

They were an enormous success. Not just to the GF folks. Everyone at the party stopped to thank me for the amazing churros, several said they were the best they'd ever had. The fact that they were gluten free was beside the point. This is the first time I've made a GF remake of a wheat treat that got this kind of response instead of "it's good for gluten free."

Churros (adapted from Karen Morgan)

For the Pate Choux:

2 large eggs + 1 egg white (enough for 2/3 c.)
¾ teaspoon baking powder
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons half n’ half
1 tablespoon sorghum flour
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon guar gum

Preheat oven to 425ºF and line a cookie sheet with a silpat or parchment paper and set aside.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter, water, half n’ half, sugar and salt over a medium-low flame until the butter has melted completely and the mixture has just come to a gentle boil.

In a small bowl, combine all the remaining dry ingredients, except the baking powder and stir to combine.

Pour eggs and egg white into a measuring cup, whisk thoroughly, and set aside.

After your butter has come to a boil, add your dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon, using a scraping motion, for three minutes. Once the dough pulls easily from the sides of the pan, and there is a thin veil of butterfat residue on the bottom of the pan, your dough is ready.

Immediately transfer dough to a food processor with the blade attachment or mixer with paddle attachment and pulse for 20 seconds to cool slightly. Add baking powder to the eggs and whisk until smooth. Pour egg mixture in a slow steady stream into the food processor or mixer until you have a thick, smooth sticky paste, about 1 ½ minutes.

Heat 32 ounces of cooking oil in a heavy bottomed pan to 380 degrees.

Fill a pastry bag with the largest star tip available.

Pipe churros directly into the oil. This takes practice. Let the end of the pate choux hit the oil as though you are piping it onto a cookie sheet made of hot, scalding oil. Be careful!

Fry the churros, turning as they brown, and drain on paper towels.

I eyeballed the sugar/cinnamon mixture and used caster sugar (superfine cane sugar). Dredge the churros in the sugar/cinnamon mixture then attempt to not eat every churro immediately. I used a large pyrex dish with a lid and shook the churros and sugar mix in that instead of dredging individually.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Banana Muffins

Trying this tonight. Let you know how it turns out.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Hows about we alert each other whenever one of our favorite super-expensive GF items is on sale?

I'll go first:
Erewhon brand rice crispies are on sale at Sunflower for 2.99. Great for rice crispie treats! I bought four boxes.

Also, I hope you've all jumped on the strawberry band wagon. 97 cents a pound, are you kidding me?? I bought and froze 12 pounds already.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pregnant Glairegg

Alrighty, you know I'm preggers...I have yet to have a pregnancy while following the no gluten, no dairy, no eggs rule. Any tips for getting enough protein besides gnawing on beef jerky all day. Dairy was my saving grace, now I don't have that. Also, anyone know if there is such a thing as a gluten free/soy free/dairy free protein powder?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Flour Power

I'm having flour issues. I hate brown rice flour and soy flour tastes like fresh cut grass. I like white rice flour, but it can be overpowering and I find sorghum works best with sweets. I was thinking about trying teff. Any thoughts? Your favorite flours?

Pizza! Pizza!

I've been experimenting with pizza lately. It's very important to our family. Thursday has been pizza night for... I don't even know how long and I vowed it would continue. I have been using Picazzo's, but it's kind of annoying to drive all the way down there, and it costs $5.50 a pop. I tried Bob's Red Mill mix but it. was. nasty. Even Declan refused to eat it. So I tried making my own... not bad!!! The flavor needs a little work but the texture was awesome! I'll keep you posted on the flavor thing (I have some ideas) but here's the recipe I used. Pretty easy (if you have a stand mixer). It's a french bread recipe, and the bread is not too bad, either. You just mold it into a pizza shape on an oiled nonstick pizza pan, cook for 15 minutes and then add toppings, cook for 5 minutes more, broil for a minute if you like.

Gluten Free French Bread (Pizza Dough)
1 cup brown rice flour (I like Bob's Red Mill)
1 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup flax meal
3 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
2 teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
3 egg whites, beaten slightly
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
melted butter, for brushing (optional)

1.In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, place flours, xanthan gum, salt and flax meal. Whisk to blend.
2.In a small bowl dissolve the sugar in the water, and add yeast.
3.Wait until the mixture foams slightly, then blend into the dry ingredients.
4.Add the butter, egg whites, and vinegar.Beat on high for 3 minutes.
5.To form loaves, spoon dough onto greased and cornmeal-dusted cookie sheets in two long French-loaf shapes or spoon into special French-bread pans.
6.Slash diagonally every few inches.If desired, brush with melted butter.
7.Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 20 to 25 minutes.
8.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
9.Remove from pan to cool.

If you're not in the mood to cook, the Barro's on Mill and Baseline has a decent GF pizza, too. You can check your local Barro's to see if they have GF.

Monday, February 22, 2010


I need a little help here. Anybody know of a GF lasagne noodle that doesn't fall apart?

Monday, February 8, 2010


Just had Holly over for dinner and decided to try to make the naan casein free. I subbed out the whole milk with coconut milk and the plain yogurt with coconut yogurt. Tasted exactly the same. I'm sure it would work with other subs as well. The recipe is here if you'd like to give it a go.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sweets for the Lazy Baker

I am not much of a baker.  Didn't care for it much even when I had the freedom of ingesting glutens, but now?  Fuggittaboutit!  Occasionally I will embark on a baking mission that leaves the kitchen and my brain a mess, but I would just rather find an easy fix for freshbaked goodies.  Well, I've found it and it's Betty Crocker!  That's right!  That famous lady/entity has done it again!  All you have to add is an egg, some vanilla and butter.  I used Earth Balance instead to keep it dairy free too, but you can choose your poisons.  I'm sure you could also make them egg-free too.  I made a batch the other night (of course they are all gone!) and they were ABSOLUTELY delicious!  Best homemade GF cookies I've ever made!  The mix wasn't as expensive as Pamela's or others that I've tried so that was a bonus.  So, if you're feeling lazy and need a fix, head to Fry's, plop down your $4 or whatever and get baking!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Summer Squash Polenta Bake

I've been making this for a couple of years, now. I originally got the recipe from my old boss, Maria. People who don't like vegetables tend to like this dish, though some would argue that it isn't a main course. I respectfully disagree. You can find the full recipe here. Below is how I usually make it.


3 carrots, sliced
1 large zucchini, sliced
1 large yellow squash, sliced
1 cup spaghetti sauce
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pinch garlic salt
ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups shredded Trader Joe's Three Cheese Blend
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 (18 ounce) package prepared polenta


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Saute carrots, zucchini and squash in a large saucepan with a small amount of olive oil. Season with garlic salt and pepper. Saute vegetables for approximately 5 minutes and pour in spaghetti sauce. Stir, cover and simmer until vegetables are slightly tender.
Slice polenta into 1/2 inch circles and season with garlic salt and pepper. Heat enough oil in a medium skillet so as to completely cover the entire bottom of the pan. Pan fry seasoned polenta in hot oil, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from oil and layer the slices in a large casserole dish. Spoon the vegetable mixture over the polenta and then sprinkle with shredded cheese and Parmesan.
Bake casserole for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Granola Bars

I need something in the house that I can grab on my way out the door. Individual bars are just way too expensive and this recipe is so easy, it's not worth the hassle to go down to the store and buy them anyway. Plus, it's really versatile and you can sub things out or in, the possibilities are endless. The original recipe is also casein free. Below is how I make them, but mostly because I used what was in my house at that moment.

Granola Bars:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)
1 1/2 cup GF oats
1 1/4 cups GF puffed rice cereal
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons allergen free chocolate chips, chopped finely
2 tablespoons candy covered sunflower seeds

Chocolate Drizzle (optional):
1/4 cup allergen free chocolate chips
1 tsp. spectrum shortening

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix together softened butter, brown sugar, honey, peanut butter, and the egg. In another bowl mix the remaining dry ingredients together thoroughly. Stir dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Press into a 9x13" baking pan, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until light, golden brown. Cool and cut into bars.

For Drizzle: Mix together chocolate chips and spectrum shortening. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir until smooth and velvety. Drizzle over bars. Let bars continue to cool completely. Refrigerate leftover bars. Makes 12 bars.

Friday, January 22, 2010


I plan on trying out a few pizza dough recipes in the future, but for the time being, I am making it through pizza nights care of Picazzo's. They sell gluten-free pizza dough for $5 a ball. It is waaay better than any store-boughts I've tried (curse you, Bob's Red Mill!) I like to split one in half, shape them into two pizzas and freeze them individually on parchment paper. Then they are ready to go when we order Red Devil's at my mom's. I can throw together a pizza for Dec in 20 minutes, about how long it takes for my dad to pick up the glutinous stuff for the rest of us. They don't give you any instructions when you pick it up, but gleaned from other recipes, here's my process:

1. Use a nonstick pizza pan. Period. This stuff will stick like no other. Or you can experiment with non-stick sprays or parchment paper or what-have-you.
2. Using wet hands, gently press out the dough onto the pizza pan. It's the consistency of batter, not dough. You don't need to set it out to rise or pre-bake it.
3. Gently spread sauce and arrange toppings.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

You're done! If working from a frozen crust, just place in the oven for two to three minutes, then add sauce and toppings and bake for 15 minutes.

Sneaky Health Tip: I mix flax meal into the sauce. Nobody suspects a thing...

I always make plain cheese pizzas, but last week I was inspired to add mushrooms and bacon. Turns out that, like other GF crusts, you must prebake for 10 minutes if you're going to add toppings!


Oh, naan. I thought I'd lost you forever. Then I found this great recipe. I've yet to try adding garlic butter, but I'll let you know when I do. This goes great with the Coconut Curry or just for dippin' with some hummus. You can also freeze it and just pop it in the toaster oven for a bready snack. Great for flatbread sandwiches.

2/3 cup tepid whole milk
2 cups rice flour
8 Tablespoons tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoons xanthan gum
ghee (optional) or olive oil (optional)

1. In a bowl mix tepid milk with 1 teaspoon sugar and the yeast, then sit bowl in warm place for 4-5 minutes.
2. Sift the flours, Xanthan gum, salt, baking powder into a bowl or food mixer. Add remaining sugar, oil, yogurt, egg and mix until smooth.
3. Preheat oven to the highest setting. Make dough into 6 equal sized balls. Roll out balls into a tear shape that is ¼ inch thick (use rice flour if necessary to prevent sticking). I just press them out with my palm into amorphous shapes. What do I care?
4. Preheat a heavy baking tray in oven. Remove tray and put the naan on it. Return to the oven for 3 minutes or until the naan puffs up and turns light brown. Place tray under the broiler 30 seconds to 1 minute for extra browning.
5. Brush with ghee or olive oil before serving.

Coconut Curry

This has quickly become a family favorite. I serve it with tofu since Cliff is a baconpescatarian, but I'm sure it would be great with chicken for those of you avoiding soy, or who just hate tofu. My boys love the stuff. Lovely over long grain brown rice, or your favorite grain and I recently tried it with gluten-free naan which was awesome. Adapted from this recipe at


1 bunch green onions
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1/4 cup tamari soy sauce, divided
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons chile paste
1/2 pound firm tofu, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
2 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 cups chopped bok choy
salt to taste


1. On medium high heat, lightly stir-fry tofu in about 2 tbl of olive oil until very lightly browned. Drain on paper towels.
2. Remove and finely chop white parts of green onions.
3. In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, mix coconut milk, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, brown sugar, curry powder, ginger, and chile paste. Bring to a boil.
4. Stir tofu, tomatoes, yellow pepper, mushrooms, and finely chopped green onions into the skillet. Cover, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in basil and bok choy. Season with salt and remaining soy sauce. Continue cooking 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender but crisp.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

I will start with my favorite gluten-free recipe to date. I dislike the taste of most GF flours, so flourless is always a good choice for me, and especially Cliff. I've made this for freaks and normals and everyone who likes peanut butter cookies, loves these cookies. They have a true soft cookie texture and a strong peanut taste. I absolutely need choco chips, but you're welcome to leave them out if you prefer. Adapted from this recipe on

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

2 cups sugar (I like 1c brown and 1c white)
2 cups natural peanut butter (nonnatural won't cut it)
4 eggs beaten
1 tsp gluten free vanilla (optional)
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Prepare pans by greasing or use parchment paper or silicone baking sheet.
Combine sugar, peanut butter, eggs and vanilla. Mix in chocolate chips. Dough will be very sticky.
Spoon onto prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Leave on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.