Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin Carving Party... gluten free

Whew, I'm pooped!

But the Second Annual Pumpkin Carving party was a success.

The menu:

Vegetarian vegetable soup (recipe to follow)
Chex mix (Glutino pretzels really made the mix.)
Apple cider
Toasted pumpkin seeds

And guests brought some snacks to share:
Betty Crocker GF Chocolate cupcakes with halloween sprinkles!
Boo cups made with Kinni-toos
Mummy dogs (to make them gluten free, substitute your favorite biscuit recipe for the crescent roll dough)

The vegetable soup was delicious. Even the babies gobbled it up.

ADORABLE- especially when they're happily eating my food. :o)

I made the soup with my friend in mind. She is a vegetarian and always makes sure there is something gluten free for me at her parties, so I wanted to make sure there was an option for her in my carnivorous world that wasn't just snacks. Besides, it's a great fall recipe that feeds a crowd.

It is beyond simple to make. Here's how I made it.

Vegetable Soup

Chop into small cubes

1 large potato
2 carrots
3 stalks of celery
1 red onion

Preheat your big soup pan to medium heat, and add a glug of olive oil. Saute the veggies for a while until they're tender. Season with pepper and salt. 
While they're cooking, chop finely and add in

3 cloves of garlic
a handful of fresh parsely
a handful of fresh rosemary (fresh herbs really make the dish)

Once the veggies are mostly soft, stir in 2 cups each of tomato juice and vegetable broth. Let it simmer until you're ready to serve.

I forgot to take a picture of the soup when it was finished. I did realize that I got my taste-test bowl in a picture though.

The apple cider was easy peasy too.

You can buy bottled apple cider in the juice aisle of the store. I poured some into my crock pot with a couple of orange slices and a cinnamon stick. I don't even like apple juice-type of things and I really enjoyed it.

Pumpkin seeds... Oh, such a treat.


Just separate them from the goop and rinse them in a colander. Spread them out on a cookie sheet, top with some salt, and cook for 45 minutes at 350, stirring them every 15 minutes.


Carved pumpkins... check

Happy belly and a nap in the afternoon sun... check and check.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pot Roast


There's not much better than coming home after a long day of work to a hot meal.
Remember this post? Well, I learned how to make pot roast. And it's friggin' delicious.

I've made it a couple of ways. I like this basic recipe, and then I can change it up as I feel like it.

  • Chuck roast (Use roughly 1/2 pound per person)
  • 2 peeled Garlic cloves
  • Bit of red wine (Whatever I've got open) (Or GF beef broth) (Appx 1 c.)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Onion
  • If my plant is still alive, a sprig or two of rosemary
My favorite, no fuss, least-amount-of-dirty-dishes way to cook it:

The night before, place everything in the crock pot. Eyeball the amount of liquid. You want enough to keep things moist, but you don't want the meat swimming in it. Keep in mind the meat will also release liquids as it cooks.

I feel like I have to mention that I keep it in the fridge overnight. In the morning when I leave for work I set it up on low heat, and come home to amazingly tender, falling apart, flavorful pot roast.

If you don't mind the extra dishes (I know, I have a complex), browning the meat & onion before placing it into the crock pot helps punch up the flavor. After it's browned, take a little wine and pour it into the hot pan and get all the drippings loose. Add that to the crock pot too.

I also have found that I prefer my pot roast to be cooked vegetable-less. I like to cook the meat by itself, and add veggies as sides.

Regardless, there are a billion ways to cook pot roast, and this works for me!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Glutino Honey Nut cereal

I saw this in the store and thought, "Hm, I bet this would be like honey nut cheerios!" and I was really excited to try them.

I got home, opened the box, and out of habit took a sniff. Oh, wow. What a strange smell. It just kinda hits your nose like POW. What a strange, strong, pronounced odor. What is that smell? Is that honey? Is that the smell of hardcore real honey, and it's just really odd-smelling because I'm used to an artificial honey-flavor smell?

I don't know what the deal is, but it's a definite and odd, unappetizing smell. I can't bring myself to eat a bowl of this cereal. I had some ready to put in my mouth, but the smell is so off-putting that I just can't enjoy it. It's just such a weird smell! Not a bad smell like bad food or rotten eggs or wet dog or anything, just really strange.

Has anyone else had the same experience or share the same opinion? Did I just get a bad box?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bisquick and My Blog Spark Giveaway

Oops, I completely forgot about the giveaway! It has been a very busy couple of weeks. I'm all tuckered out.

I finally remembered today and put the names in a coffee cup. The winner...


I hope she enjoys her " fresh homemade gluten free bacon and egg biscuit!"

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cube Steak in the Crockpot

Last week I ended up with some cube steak in my fridge. I've never cooked cube steak and have no idea what to do with it. Thankfully, a quick google search helped me out.

I found out that cube steak is a piece of meat beat the hell up to make it tender. It's budget-friendly and it's usually used in chicken fried steak. However, I was not feeling chicken fried steak. I wanted something a little lighter. I also wanted to use the crock pot. Coming home after a long day to a hot, cooked dinner is totally underrated.

As I searched the internet for recipes involving cube steak and a crock pot, it was hard to find one that didn't call for several cans of condensed soup. Gross.
Besides, most are not gluten free.

I decided to make it up as I went along. And it turned out pretty tasty!

Crockpot Cube Steak

1 cube steak
1 c. chopped spinach
1 chopped stalk of celery
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
1 minced clove of garlic
1/4 c. red wine
1 T. Worcestershire sauce (Lee & Perrins is GF)
1 1/2 c. beef broth (check to make sure it's GF)
Green bell pepper strips (I wanted to add some but didn't have any. I think it would taste great with them)

Flour coating:
1/4 c. tapioca starch
1 T. oregano
1/2 t. pepper

Preheat a pan on medium high heat. While it's preheating, chop the veggies, parsley and garlic, and add them to the crock pot. Cut the cube steak into strips and dredge them in the tapioca starch/ oregano/ pepper mixture. Spray some cooking spray onto the pan to prevent sticking, and brown the meat on both sides. Throw it in the crock pot. Pour the wine into the pan to dislodge any leftovers from browning the meat, and add that liquid to the crock pot. Take a sip or two of wine for good health. Stir in the Worcestershire and beef broth. Cover and set at low heat for 4 hours. Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or quinoa.

Makes 2 servings. If you make this small amount, it will probably be done sooner but leaving it in there longer doesn't hurt it. It just makes the meat more tender.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Crunchy Vanilla Sunrise

I'm a big fan of cereal, and this is my new favorite cereal. It's really, really good.

Most gluten free cereals are fairly plain- simple flakes, puffs, or whatnot. This feels like a punched-up version of normal cereal. It has texture variation and a more complex flavor. But not too complex. It's just... good.

I know, I'm talking about cereal having a complex flavor, but you notice things like that when you eat the same simple cereals all the time! Even the name sounds good. Crunchy vanilla sunrise. Don't you just want to eat that? Well, I do. And it's amazing as far as breakfast cereals go.

If you're a cereal buff, or even if you're not, I definitely recommend that you try this. If you don't like it, you can give the rest of the box to me. :o)

Friday, October 1, 2010

My Blog Spark, Bisquick Baking Mix... and Giveaway!

I've been getting text messages, phone calls, and hearing the buzz around the blogs about it, and Bisquick (through My Blog Spark) was kind enough to send me... a box of the new Gluten Free Bisquick baking mix!! Yay! My Blog Spark is pretty awesome, take a second to join! (No, I don't have to say that; I really mean it!)

I had so many ideas for this box of awesomeness, but decided to take inspiration from... the box. I followed the 4-ingredient biscuit recipe on the back:

2 cups Bisquick Gluten Free mix
1/3 c. shortening
2/3 c. milk
3 eggs

Heat oven to 400F. Cut shortening into mix, using fork, until particles are the size of small peas. Stir in remaining ingredients until soft dough forms. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 13-16 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 10 biscuits.

Super quick, super easy. Super yummy.

First I made 6 large biscuits, then I went down memory lane- when I was a kid I'd make these Bisquick cookie-type things with jam in the middle. Mmmm.

Next I'm going to try pancakes with the Pancake Pen. How fun does that look?? I'm also thinking it'd work fabulously for muffins- I always seem to make a mess when I fill the pan.

If anyone reads this poor deserted blog anymore, because My Blog Spark and Bisquick are so nice, one of you will receive a Gluten Free Bisquick prize pack!

Just leave a comment and share what you'd make first with the Bisquick baking mix. Biscuits? Pancakes? This amazing-looking apple pie? Mmm, chicken and dumplings ...or something totally unique? I'll pick a random winner a week from today.

Even if you don't win the prize pack, here's a link to a coupon  to save $1 when you buy a box of Bisquick GF baking mix.

Happy gluten-free-ing!