Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Cake

gluten free pumpkin cakeWe've got quite a spread workin' here, but I wanted to post this recipe before the internet craps out again. Been having some trouble with that.

This "Pumpkin Pie" Cake is my absolute favorite thing that my mom makes during the holidays. Converted to GF, it tastes just as I remember it. Slightly sweet and moist with that fall pumpkin flavor.

It's from the Pillsbury's Money Saving Meals book, published in 1970. I have already told my mom I get dibs on this cookbook. It's yellowed and the spine is coming undone, and there are pages that have fallen out and have been tucked back in. It has that familiar old book smell when you open it up, and there are my mom's notes scrawled here and there among the pages. As you flip through it, there are old scrapes of paper titled "Christmas baking list" from years past tucked in, as well as other recipes clipped from magazines. It truly is a treasure.

And, here is the recipe, made GF, of course.

2 T melted butter
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 1/4 c. pumpkin
1/2 T. vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 c.each brown rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. ground ginger

Preheat to 350. Mix all of the ingredients together. Pour it into a 8-in pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. It can be topped with whipped cream or dusted with powdered sugar. Both are great.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I came home from work tonight to an empty flour bin, and a smorgasbord of gluten free treats.

Mom was on a roll today. All of the traditional Thanksgiving baked goods we usually make were converted to gluten free. And I was amazed at how they tasted exactly like I remember. The mini pumpkin cakes were light and sweet. The pecan nut cups (which I was unable to eat last year) had just the right taste. There were cranberry bars, pineapple upside-down cake, and pumpkin custard in place of pumpkin pie.

I truly am amazed, and can't wait to post pictures and recipes.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I hope you all have something to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


You know how awesome it is to go through a grocery store and see the words GLUTEN FREE on an item so you don't have to read through the ingredients and wonder if "natural flavors" is going to make you sick?

Well, the news lately has been raining on my parade. A friend sent me this link from the Chicago Tribune the other day. I found another related link here. Wellshire Farms is scrutinized in this article, and I happen to have some of their chicken nuggets in my freezer right now. I came across some more articles about false food labeling via this website.

How crappy is it when you can't trust the labels that are supposed to give us confidence that the food we eat isn't going to make us sick?

Good news- the Celiac Sprue Association has news posted on their website of FDA regulation in the works.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies & Life

gluten free chocolate chip cookies
Today is a glorious day. The sun is shining, the wind is blowing, and there's a nice chill in the air. Today also marks the 1-year anniversary of my Celiac disease diagnosis.

What a year it's been. I've learned a lot. In the picture above I realized that's the potholder that I burned. :o) I remember how frustrating it was learning how to read labels, figure out which flour to use, and figure out what to eat. I've had a TON of support from my friends & family. It's still not all hunky dory, sunshine and lollipops every day, but I feel better and I'm proud of myself.

I was raiding through the cupboards today and came across one of those Whole Foods 365 Chocolate Chip Cookie mixes that my brother bought me just to be nice, when I was first diagnosed. Now, they're not my favorite, and I wasn't a fan of the 365 Chocolate Cake mix, so I put off making these. I'm kinda glad I made them today.

This is a strange cookie mix recipe, one I've never seen before. The "dough" is very crumbly and you have to form it into balls with your hands. The cookies come out very un-flat without refrigeration (which surprised me).

There are two kinds of cookie people. Those who like crispier cookies (me!) and those who like cookies soft, barely cooked. I believe these cookies can please everyone. The first round came out crispy on the outside, softer on the inside. The second round I cooked a little longer, and still had that great crisp outside, but were firmer inside. The balance of flavors was really great too. I think I might have liked these. My mom and sister sure did: "Are you sure these are gf??"

So, I say try these, especially if you're a chocolate chip cookie fan.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

mom strikes again- brownies

gluten free brownies
After watching me lift the lid on the candy jar and ask, "Do we have any chocolate?" for the umpteenth time this week, my mom stole my flour mix and made brownies.

I must admit, I was skeptical. All of my attempts at brownies have been just, eh. They're either too fudgy or too cakey or too crumbly or... I could go on and on. I'm more partial to the fudgy kind myself.

These- don't look, taste, smell, or feel gluten free. They remind me of the brownies I always ate as a kid, and are a perfect mix between cakey and fudgy. I was very pleasantly surprised at how good these were- and promptly stole half the pan to hoard. So, this is this choco-holic's very first brownie post- made by madre, from the recipe on the back of the Nestle cocoa container!

1 2/3 c. sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
2 T. water
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 1/3 c. flour mix
3/4 c. cocoa
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

I advised her to deviate from the label's directions a bit and mix the cocoa with the hot water and melted butter. It helps the chocolate taste come out. That was mixed with the sugar, then the eggs and vanilla were stirred in. The dry ingredients were combined, then added to the wet. The nuts were stirred in, and it was baked at 350 in a 13x9 for 18-25 minutes.

Further evidence that my mom rocks.

gluten free brownies

click on the pictures for bigger views.
and prepare to drool.

Friday, November 14, 2008

survey whore and business expo

I love doing surveys- saw this on Sugar & Spice and thought it was neat.

The ABC's of ME

A - Age: 23- soon to be 24!

B - Band listening to right now: I heard Suzy playing 3oh!3- don't trust me. It's got a good beat.

C - Career future: working in a lab.

D - Dad’s name: John, Randy

E - Easiest person to talk to: I don't know. No one stands out.

F - Favorite type of shoe: flip flops all the way. I am one of those girls who likes shoes, but prefers to be barefoot- or the closest thing to it.

G – Grapes or Grapefruit: red grapes.

H – Hometown: Oceanside, CA relocated to Sugar Land, TX

I – Instrumental talent: absolutely none!

J – Juice of choice: lemonade?

K – Koala Bear or Panda Bear: they're both cute.

L - Longest car ride ever: either driving from CA to here or from here to Wisconsin. I hate road trips.

M – Middle name: Lynn <-- woot!

N - Number of jobs you’ve had: Subway, Gerland's, Miller Brothers, MNI, Carillion, Express, Tattle Tales, Honey Baked Ham, I didn't realize I've had this many jobs.

O- OCD traits: writing random words over and over in my head

P - Phobia[s]: roaches, puke, the dentist

Q - Quote: "I powdered their precious butts when they were babies and now they're all tattooed and pierced, smoke camels and drink Shiner." - I overheard my mom talking to her friends one night. Too bad it's true, lol!

R - Reason to smile: Things could always be worse.

T - Time you wake up: as late as I possibly can.

U - Unknown fact about me: i hate apple juice.

V - Vegetable you hate: onions. UGH!

W - Worst habit: eating junk food?

X - X-rays you’ve had: the usual torture of the teeth xrays, and I got my head x-rayed after my accident. It was cool; you could see my fillings.

Y - Yummiest food my belly likes: rice. always loved it.

Z - Zodiac sign: Saggitarius

Now you do it!!

In other news, I went to Sugar Land/ Stafford's business expo and there were tons of cool people giving away tons of stuff. I came home with bags of randomness- some of it pretty good.

There were a lot of restaurants and I talked to a lot of them about a GF menu, which was awesome because a lot of the owners were there. Some were already knowledgeable, like Outback. When I asked, the guy standing there said to one of the people handing out food, "Get her this and this but not that." He knew off the top of his head what was ok and what wasn't, and told me a little bit about the menu and stuff.

Other places, like Casa Ole, kind of knew what I was talking about, and the owner sounded interested and I told her where she could get more information.

Horray for spreading awareness!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

cranberry muffins with lemon icing drizzle

gluten free cranberry muffins
I stole this muffin recipe from hey, that tastes good!

Except I subbed fresh cranberries for blueberries, which I hate.

And it's not really stealing because I gave credit, so it's more like I'm promoting the recipe. Woo!

Anyway. I used half millet flour because I am still messing around with it to see what it's like in recipes.

They turned out gorgeous. When I pulled them out of the oven the berry juice was bursting from the tops in a bright red.

They were also tasty with a great texture. The top turned into a soft, tender crust.
...crust isn't the right word because when I think of crust, I think of flaky. But I can't think of anything else to describe it. It was good though.

They were a little less sweet than I would have liked, probably because the cranberries are a tad tart. So I made a lemon glaze to drizzle over the top and give it an extra kick of flavor.

The recipe made six, and four are gone. That leaves one for Ashley to snag and one for my breakfast. I guess it's better than peanut butter cookies, which I had for breakfast this morning. There's something about the combo of peanut butter cookies with coffee that is sooo good in the morning.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

listen to your body

I always pay attention to what my body is telling me.

Little clues, neurons firing, signals relayed to my brain. Sometimes subtle, sometimes in-your-face.

With my finicky stomach, I especially pay attention to what my body wants to eat. I always eat what I feel like eating; even if it's living off of ice cream and rice for 2 days. I figure if I'm craving it, I'm craving it for a reason. Everyone always asks if I'm pregnant, but I've always been this way.

For instance, I have been craving rice and ice cream the past couple days. This morning I woke up wanting ice cream, but figured I should eat something with some kind of nutrition. So I made eggs, and they weren't appetizing at all. After I ate them, my stomach hurt. I ate some ice cream, and it calmed down.

And I don't always crave junk food. Sometimes it's pumpkin. Sometimes it's tuna. Sometimes it's pasta salads, apples, or soups. But the bottom line is I always feel best when I listen to what my stomach is telling me- and eat accordingly. If I ignore it, I usually regret it.

I don't know why I second-guess myself.

Friday, November 7, 2008

pizza bite failures and pumpkin ice cream

I spent tonight trying to make pizza bites, somewhat like those Totino's ones. I failed!

I forgot that the dough rises, and didn't flatten it out enough. But if I flattened it out too much it would have had holes and the bites would have leaked.

I had very crust-ful pizza bites; but they were almost like mini-calzones. I could say that I was trying to make mini calzones, but I still want to figure out a way to make pizza bites.

Good thing there are things like Dreyer's Pumpkin Ice Cream on top of graham crackers to make a happy tummy. I'm serious. That stuff is awesome.