Wednesday, October 29, 2008

graham cracker-ness

gluten free graham cracker
After a long night of studying last night and a long day of test-ness today, I had to bake something.

I chose graham crackers. I've made these before, but not in a long time. And I have no idea why, they're delicious! They really have that distinct graham cracker taste. The cinnamon ones are great for snacking.

Gluten Free Graham Crackers

1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. sorghum flour
1/2 c. potato starch
1/2 t. xanthan gum
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
6 T. cold butter (smart balance works fine)
2 T. honey
2-3 T. milk (non-dairy will work)

Mix the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or a fork until it's nice and crumbly. Add the honey and mix in the milk until you get a dough.
Roll it out, cut into crackers, and prick them with a fork.
Bake them on an ungreased sheet at 350 for 12ish minutes. If they start to puff up too much, after 5 minutes I take them out and re-prick them.

They make the house smell absolutely wonderful.

[It helps to roll these out on wax paper, cut and prick, then invert them onto the cookie sheet.]

You know what I'm going to use these for? Besides stuffing my face, I mean. And besides S'mores.

Graham cracker cheesecake crust. You know, the kind I haven't eaten in ages, the kind I've tried to replicate with GF flours but couldn't get quite right? The only thing that tastes just like graham cracker crust... is graham cracker crust. I have high hopes and confidence that these will deliver.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I would love to be screwing around in the kitchen right now. The weather is crisp and cold and perfect for baking and cooking.

But these darn exams. They suck up all my free time.

Speaking of being up at school all the time, I want to make a quick shoutout to McAllisters, the deli on campus. Those baked potatoes have saved my life many times. Wooo.

Back to cell bio.
deuce like a moose.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

White Chocolate Chip Cookies

gluten free white chocolate macadamia nut cookiesThese were supposed to be white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, but I didn't have any more nuts and didn't want to go to the store. The first batch fell apart and came out kind of flat, but were tasty. After a couple changes, these were much better.


6 T butter, soft
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 t. vanilla

1/2 cup, rounded, brown rice flour
1/2 cup millet flour
2T. sweet rice flour
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. xanthan gum
1/2 c. white chocolate chips, or 1/4 c. each chips and nuts

Cream the butter and sugars. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix that up.
Combine the dry ingredients, and add that to the wet mixture in 3 parts. Mix in the nuts/ chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. It makes a little more than a dozen cookies.

Eat, enjoy, repeat. :o)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Enchiladas- 2 ways

It's been an enchilada kind of week.

Wednesday the Man and I went over to Scott & Dayna's for dinner. Props and thanks go out to Dayna, who is super-supportive of me and makes sure when we come over for dinner it's always safe. The menu was creamy chicken enchiladas & beans. I made mine with corn tortillas in a separate pan and everything else was the same. These are not your traditional enchiladas. They're mild and have an awesome flavor. I've been craving them all week. She mentioned they'd be good with green chiles, and I agree. We ate them with salsa.

The picture is un-artistic, but I had forgotten to take one until we sat down to eat and I was hungry.

I don't know where she got the recipe, but here is how to make them:

Season some chicken with salt, pepper, and cumin. Cook it (she used the george foreman grill) and then shred it with a fork.

Mix it up with some softened cream cheese and shredded mexican-style cheese until it's a chicken-salad-like consistency. Now would be the time to add a can of green chiles.

Roll up some of the mixture in tortillas and place them in a pan. Pour some cream over the top of them, and sprinkle with more cheese. Bake them at 350 until the cheese is melty. Mmmm.

For dessert I made white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, but I want to mess with that recipe some more before I post it.

For the second enchilada option, I made cheese enchiladas tonight. Super, super easy and quick.

To make them, you take about 6 tortillas, roll some shredded cheese in them, and put them in a pan. Open a can of GF red enchilada sauce (mine was from Kroger) and pour it over them. Sprinkle with more cheese, and bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes. I wish I had beans to mix with the filling, but I didn't. They were still tummy-filling.

Now- I need to get Missy's mom's enchilada recipe, which is the best EVER, and we'll be in total enchilada business.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Flour mix- updated

I like to keep an "all purpose" flour mix on hand for the recipes that I convert from regular to GF. It's also handy when my mom feels like baking. It's easier because she's not as familiar with the individual flours and the textures they produce.

I mix up a large batch at once:

2 cups cornstarch
1 cup tapioca starch
2 cups potato starch
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup brown rice flour (sometimes I omit the white rice flour and use all brown rice flour)
2 cups corn flour, sorghum flour, soy flour or millet flour. Any type of non-coarse flour will do.
3 T. xanthan gum

This is, of course, very general. I don't worry about exact measurements.

With each new batch I've been experimenting with raising the "flour" ratio and lowering the "starch" ratio and make it a little healthier. I also sub in some flaxseed meal or teff flour in a particular recipe, when it seems appropriate.

If you have a different one, share it!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cranberry Nut Bars

gluten free cranberry nut bars
(click on the picture to get a better view of the texture)

This, I am not taking credit for. My mom made this from the gluten-free flour mix that I keep in my fridge. I came home and ate... three of them. In fact, I'm brushing crumbs off my hoodie as I type. These ROCK. Perfect for breakfast. -Or when you get home from work.

It's got a coffee-cake consistency, with some tart bursts of yummy cranberries and toasty nuts. The top part comes out as a delicate crust that's sweet but not too sweet. My mom really did a great job.

She used the OceanSpray recipe- I think she clipped out of a magazine. She substituted the GF flour mix for the flour, and ended up with awesomeness.

To make awesomeness you need:

2 eggs
a little less than 1 c. sugar
1 c. flour (GF!!)
1/3 c. melted butter
1 1/4 c. fresh cranberries (or frozen)
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
cinnamon/ sugar

Beat the eggs until they're thick. Slowly add the sugar and mix it real well. Dump in the flour and butter, and blend that really well. Add the berries and nuts and just barely mix those in. Put the batter in a greased 8-inch pan, sprinkle with the cinnamon/ sugar and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. A clean toothpick and slightly brown edges means it's done.

*note- you can double the recipe and use a 13x9 pan.
*note^2- she tried the recipe again with regular flour and she said they weren't as good. Sweeett.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Nutty Rice/ Flax cereal

Before my diagnosis, I was a cereal kind of girl. I ate cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner some days. Every day for breakfast was cereal. It's a wonder I never caught on as I sat in my morning classes, nearly every day, nauseous.

After I found out I had Celiac, all of my previous cereal options were banned. It was a sad day, but also a happy day- because who likes feeling sick after breakfast??

So I began trying out gluten free cereals, one-by-one. Needless to say, as many of you already know, a lot of them were terrible. Cereal went in the mouth, only to be spit right back out. Boxes of cereal went into the garbage can, or were kept in the hopes that one day I would find some creative use for them.

There are only a few gluten free cereals that I like, and among those few are the Nutty Rice. They come in a small box and are WAYY expensive. I see them for normally upwards of 4 dollars. It's hard to justify paying that much for a box of cereal, so when they go on sale at Kroger for $3 a box, it's a happy day for me.

Anyway, what is this cereal like?
They're little crunchy nuggets. The cool thing about them is that they stay crunchy until the end of the bowl. It's got a mild, almost nutty flavor, although there are no nuts in the ingredients. I like to sweeten mine with some sugar.

To compare the two kinds, I like the rice better than the flax variety. The flax has a more complex taste, and I might be crazy but it reminded me of green tea. It wasn't bad, but I've become accustomed to the milder taste of the rice.

I am really interested in crushing these up and making them into a pie crust.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Rice Krispie Treats"

I'm not the only one who has thought of using rice chex as a substitute for rice krispies in these. I've used crisp brown rice, and that works just fine, but I more often have a box of the chex laying around. And when the munchies strike, no one wants to go to the store. And when they're made in the micowave to boot? Ohh yeah.

Here's whatcha do.

Take 3 T. butter and melt it in a big mixing bowl in the microwave. Do this slowly, in increments of 20 seconds or so, or use the defrost setting. You want to melt the butter, not blast the heck out of it.

Then, add in 4 cups of mini marshmallows (make sure they're GF). Heat them up in the microwave. The key is to not over-heat these or they will be stringy and harden. Heat them up slowly, as before, and stir in-between bouts of microwaving. Once it's smooth and melted, mix in 6 cups of rice chex cereal. Spray the spoon with cooking spray to minimize sticky messes.

When it's mixed up well, press it into a greased 13x9 pan. The easiest way to do this is to cover your hands in plastic sandwich baggies and spray them liberally with cooking spray. No marshmallow under the fingernails is a good thing.

If you can wait for them to cool, cut them into bars. I don't know why you'd want to do that, because they're awesome warm and gooey.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

gluten free pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
These were inspired by Ginger Lemon Girl. I don't think I would have thought of the pumpkin + chocolate combo. I gave one to my sister to try, and later that day I got this text message :

"So I don't normally like chocolate chips but omg. Those muffins were *expletive* yummy. I demand you make more."

Well, I complied with those demands.

To change the previous muffin recipe into this one, I cut the white sugar, added 1/4 c. more pumpkin, chocolate chips, and added 3T. of sweet rice flour.

The easier-to-read version:

3/4 c. flour mix
1 T. flaxseed meal
3 T. sweet rice flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/8 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 c. pumpkin
1 egg
1/4 c. applesauce
1/2 t. vanilla
2 T. water
chocolate chips*
*I just threw in the rest of the bag that I had, but I'm guessing it was around 1/2 cup.

Muffins are so easy. Mix the wet, mix the dry, then add the wet to the dry until it's just moistened. Mix in the chocolate chips, throw them in muffin tins and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or so. Again, this makes about 6-7 muffins.


My sister also told me that she shared one of these muffins with the baker at the restaurant where she works, and she LOVED them. And she's not even celiac :o)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Glutino Breadsticks

I have seen these in the store before, but I always thought they wouldn't be very good. I was in the store today with my mom, and she always loves to point out interesting items. She thought they'd be neat to try, so into the cart they went.

The box cost $4.99. I had imagined about 6 or so large breasticks, but I was really surprised to see a bag full of small, finger-sized breadsticks. Compared to "regular" sesame sticks, they are lighter and less crunchy; more crispy. While tasty, I thought they could have had a stronger sesame taste.

Did that stop me from eating almost half the box in no time? Nah. These are awesome for snacking or for 'portable carbs.' I was a little bummed to see that they pretty much have no nutritional value though.

I might buy these again- if they're on sale or something.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Grocery Store Trips

Last night the Man needed to run to Whole Foods for something and while we were there he wanted to buy me some gluten free stuff. Just to spoil me.

We walked around. I wasn't hungry so nothing stuck out. I also didn't want to make him buy me expensive items like a $6 box of granola bars. Even though he would- but come on- six dollars?! Anyway I found a few items.

What did we come home with?

A box of Glutino's strawberry wafer cookies, a bag of Arrowhead Mills' millet flour, some chocolate truffles, and one of those "gluten free" tags that was on the shelf. Not saying how that got in there but it starts with "the" and ends with "Man."

We tried the wafers in California and really liked them, but I've never tried millet flour before. Suggestions on how it bakes/ tastes/ recipes are very welcome!

The truffles were just good.

Also- At Starbuck's I picked up a free sample of Justin's Natural Maple Almond Butter. It looks neat, but I don't know what to do with it. Use it like peanut butter? The website, just begs for juvenile jokes. But I won't go there.

Anyway. Suggestions!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thai Kitchen

So there I was in Fiesta the other night, wandering through the asian aisle looking for something new or something on sale. I walked by these and stopped because I saw those two awesome words: Gluten Free.

This Thai Kitchen company offers a variety of instant noodle soups, much like old-school ramen noodles but with rice noodles and GF seasonings.

I tried two things:

the Toasted Sesame Stir Fry Rice Noodles- about $2-3
and the
Spring Onion Rice Noodle Soup- $1
See how it's clearly labeled? They even have a list of allergy info on their website, here. Good news, most of their products are gluten free!

The funny thing was, though, the Toasted Sesame isn't listed as gluten free on the website, but on the box it is. I checked the ingredients, just in case, and it all looked fine. So I dunno what the deal about that is. Maybe they recently changed the recipe.

But, the most important thing: How did they taste?

The soup cooked up quick, about 4 minutes in some hot water. The seasoning packet and oil packet added just enough flavor and it was a smallish sized portion so you didn't stuff yourself. I liked it.

The stir fry sesame thing was a little different. I brought it to school to try it out for lunch. You put some water in it, microwave for 3-4 minutes, and then pour out the excess water. This was a potential problem for me seeing as how I was in a cafeteria without a sink or open trash can. (They were all the kind that you push the flap). Fortunately (I guess...) all of the water bubbled out of the container into the microwave. I think that was the microwave's fault, though. It might have been one of those industrial ones.

Anyway. After the noodles are cooked you add the seasoning packet and oil and mix it up. Sounds simple enough, but I ended up with a clump of sticky noodles and had to mix pretty vigorously to evenly distribute the seasonings. Despite my noodle issues, it was tasty. Mildly spicy, somewhat sweet, and there were actual sesame seeds. The noodles just weren't working for me though. I don't know if that would be a good "bring to school" thing.

Would I buy them again? Yes.
Will I try more of their products? Yes.

*update* I'm not digging the thai peanut flavor...

OH OH and guess what? You know how I bitch about UH not having GF options in their c-stores?
They just started carrying these!! And those lara bars, which I could never develop a taste for...


My cat's name is pumpkin.

Yesterday I walked in the living room.

"Hey dad I made pumpkin muffins."

"You made your cat muffins?!"

tee hee.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

pumpkin muffins

I was a bakin' fool today.
I made bagels again, but I'm still tweaking that recipe so that will have to wait.

But I finally made something pumpkin. And I have a lot of leftover pumpkin mash from the huge can my mom got me, so there will be others to follow.

gluten free pumpkin muffin
The best thing about making these is the awesome smell. It just makes you think of crisp weather (which we do not have- grr).

This is your basic pumpkin muffin- I can't wait to expand and make tasty variations.

To make:

3/4 c. flour mix
1 T. flaxseed meal
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 T. sugar
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/8 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 c. pumpkin mash... stuff. (mine was from a can... I'm not that fancy)
1 egg
2 T. water
1/4 c. applesauce
1/2 t. vanilla

walnuts to sprinkle on top if you want

Mix up the dry. Beat the egg a little bit and mix up the wet. Add the wet to the dry, and mix until it's just moistened. Put it into muffin tins. Bake it at 350 for about 20 minutes until the toothpick is clean.

A few notes:

This recipe makes 6 muffins. When I make a small batch, I evenly space out the muffins and pour water into the empty wells. I don't know why I do that, it's something I've heard.

These muffins, when eaten warm fresh out of the oven, are a tad gummy, as if too much starch has been added. But, when they've cooled, the texture is just fine. You have to just hold your horses.

I added the water because I decided to add in flaxseed meal. In my experience it tends to soak up moisture, so a little extra is needed in the recipe. I use 2 parts water to 1 part flaxseed meal.

Ashley said that these don't taste pumpkin-y enough, but I think it's fine. I guess it depends on taste, but the next time I make these I'll up the pumpkin ratio and see what happens.

I make my own pumpkin pie spice. I mix up a bunch and store it in a small container until I need it.

1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. cloves
a little under 1/2 t. ginger

That is all for now.

My experience with Korean food

I accompanied the Man last night to a birthday dinner for one of his friends at a Korean restaurant, Seoul Garden. I was a little worried about the menu options because the research I'd done was not very helpful.

When it came time to order, you pushed a button and the waitress came. It was neat. Well, when I tried to ask questions the waitress freaked a little because she didn't speak much english. So they got a very helpful (and patient) waiter to come and talk to me.

The big thing at Korean restaurants is the grilled/ bbq meat. Pretty much every meat was marinated in soy sauce, except for some pork that you'd grill at the table. The problem with that, though, is that you had to get at least two orders of something "grillable at the table" and no one else was getting that.

Fortunately, we were with some people who knew the menu options and traditional food preparations who helped me pick something safe to eat and communicate with the waiter. They could tell me what had soy sauce and what didn't when the other foods arrived, too.

I ended up getting a bowl full of vegetables that included bean sprouts, lettuce, zuccini, and some other veggies that I can't remember the name of. It came with steamed rice that you were supposed to pour into the bowl and mix it all up. I preferred to eat them separately because there were some sprouts that were marinated or pickled in something that I did not care for at all. I just picked around them and it was all good.

The coolest part of the experience was, the huge amount of food that comes with the meals. The entire table was covered in small bowls of spicy potatoes, seaweed, spinach, fermented cabbage, pickled cabbage, and a couple other things I can't remember. It was very a colorful and festive sight, with deep greens, reds, yellows, all down the table.

They served miso soup and plates of salad, and this was all before the entree. There was hardly any table space with the huge amount of food.

Then, after the meal, they served slices of orange. I wish I had known because they looked really good but I was stuffed.

I don't think I'd go again, however, because the food wasn't "spectacular" and my options were very limited. But overall it was a cool experience and I didn't go hungry.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

pasta salad again

I made a really good pasta salad for lunch the other day. I was in a study group and when I busted it out my friends, who were eating pb&j or instant soup, said, "I wish I had that!"
Ohh yeah.

The picture I took was crappy because it was with my camera phone.

This is quick & easy, and to keep my paranoid self from worrying about the dressing going bad, I just froze the salad dressing in a baggie and by lunchtime it was thawed.

I chopped up some cucumber and carrot really small, and mixed it with some brown rice pasta and red beans.

Added the dressing and mixed it up right before I ate it. Yum.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Man. I swear, the worst part about getting glutened isn't the upset stomach. That goes away within a day.

It's these damn canker sores. I used to get them constantly, then I became gluten free and noticed that they went away. Except for when I get glutened. They last for more than a week and are excruciating at times. I got glutened almost 2 weeks ago and my body's still giving me shit for it. To make it worse, it's usually two right next to each other.

The last time I got one, it was in the back of my mouth and made the entire side of my face tender, and the pain could be felt all the way down my neck.

This time, they're in the front and I can't even rest my chin in my hand without stinging pain. In fact, any time I move my lip it's uncomfortable.

So I know I should focus on the damage to the small intestine or the stomach upset when I think about avoiding gluten, but it's really all about these stupid sores.

I've tried all sorts of remedies, and none of them seems to really work any better than the others. Does anyone else experience this when they get glutened? And what do you do to make them go away?!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Apple Crisp

...and ribs, and potato salad = dinner at Dayna and Scott's.

Scott made ribs, Dayna made potato salad, and I made apple crisp for dessert. I've heard about how Scott's ribs are awesome, and I'd never tried them before. In fact, I think I've eaten a total of maybe 5 ribs in my life. So this was really my first rib experience- and they were great.

gluten free apple crisp
2007 Champ- gotta get the apron in the shot

potato salad love

gluten free apple crisp
apple crisp & ice cream

The apple crisp turned out great. Between the 5 of us we left only a humble serving in the pan. To make it, I used the same recipe that I used for the peach crisp, and cut up 6 or so granny smith apples. It's so easy and it turns out so awesome, I wonder why I don't make it more often.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Celiac Sightings

My mom grabbed a couple of cheap magazines at the checkout today: Woman's World and First. And, while I was flipping through them, they BOTH mentioned Celiac Disease in either an article or one of those Q&A sections.

Can we say awesome?


Whoa, then just now I was watching tv on Discovery Health and they had a quick little segment on it! Today is just a Celiac awareness kind of day.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Whataburger's gluten list: this means that milkshakes (NOT MALTS) are ok. Sweeeeet.

*sigh* I remember the days of late-night biscuit and taquito runs.

That's ok. Mine taste better. :-p