Friday, December 21, 2012

Biscuits, revisited

Back in the day I posted a biscuit recipe that I'd tried and liked. Over the years, however, I've slowly changed and adapted it to a simplified version that I can now whip up without measuring by eyeballing and throwing stuff together until it looks "right." 


1 c. GF flour blend
1/2 T. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/4 c. butter, cut into tablespoons
1/4 c. milk,

Mix the dry ingredients together and cut in the butter until the mixture looks like little pea-sized balls of butter covered in flour. Stir in the milk to make a sticky dough. Drop little mounds onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. Makes  6 biscuits.

P.S. Also makes a fantastic crust for chicken pot pie.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

GF "Gingerbread" House

I was running late to a gingerbread house party this weekend and didn't have time to make gluten free gingerbread. I DID have some old gluten free rice krispies and two half-full bags of marshmallows, so I made rice krispie treats.

I cut the shapes out of the treats and stuck them together- no icing necessary- and it worked very well! Much sturdier than a house made out of cookie and still edible and gluten free, without spending a lot of time in the kitchen.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Little Aussie = GF heaven

** I just came back from vacation, and this is part of a small series of restaurant reviews.

Now it's time for the crown jewel of gluten free restaurants, and it's actually the reason I was so excited to mini-honeymoon in San Antonio.

Last year, Chris spent his precious computer time in Afghanistan to find this gluten free restaurant. It's got to be one of the sexiest things he's every done for me.

Little Aussie not only makes the BEST gluten free bread I've ever tasted, but they have a completely gluten free restaurant AND bakery. I love this place.

Do you know how freeing it is to walk into a restaurant, hungry, and pick anything off the menu? To gaze at the display case full of desserts and instead of walking away, you get to pick whatever you want? To grab the roll from the bread basket and shove it in your mouth instead of politely ignoring it? To not worry about a single thing? I'm willing to bet that if you're reading this, it's been a lonnnnng time.
(BTW, I do have better table manners than I'm suggesting)

Seriously, I was in heaven. While we were waiting to order, the owner came by with sticky bun samples. Um, YES I would like a sample! I wish I could eat there every week.

We started with dessert, of course. Mine was raspberry sponge cake and his was something chocolate & pecan.

Then we enjoyed a delicious 100% gluten free meal. I had the meat pie, and my gluten-eating husband had a sandwich on gluten free bread that was delicious. I tell you what, I even ate the leftover meat pie cold a few hours later and it was equally delicious.

Before we left, I purchased 4 loaves of bread, some rolls, and a cookie to take home.

Be still, my heart.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sushi Zushi

** I just came back from vacation, and this is part of a small series of restaurant reviews.

Chris has this neat app on his phone that searches for gluten free restaurants in your vicinity. One night we used it, and found ourselves at Sushi Zushi. It's a small place, located on the street level of the riverwalk.

When our waitress came by, she saw that I was looking at the gluten free section and seemed very knowledgeable about it all. It made me feel comfortable right away.

The gluten free section of the menu is very comprehensive and thorough. I was able to sneak a quick picture.

We enjoyed the edamame and ordered a few rolls, and the one containing gluten arrived on its own plate, with the sauce on the side-- just in case I changed my mind and wanted some.

I love it when I can confidently eat a meal without fear of gluten. I've found that most sushi places are pretty easy to navigate gluten-free, but this place is just that much easier.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Las Canarias Restaurant

** I just came back from vacation, and this is part of a small series of restaurant reviews.

We stayed at the Omni on the Riverwalk in San Antonio for a few days as part of a mini-honeymoon, and it was just delightful. Charming, friendly, and right on the riverwalk. I recommend it.

One amazing surprise that neither of us were expecting was the inclusion of a gluten free table in the breakfast buffet. The restaurant is connected to the hotel, called Las Canarias. The gluten free fare was off in the corner, and as soon as I noticed it I swooped in. (I wish I could have taken a picture, but it was a classy place and I felt weird doing it.) There was a little table with a gluten free menu, laid out with gluten free english muffins and toast, complete with a dedicated toaster. There was also gluten free granola (Udi's, I think) and mini parfaits. Yes, they took the time to make mini gluten free granola and yogurt parfaits. There were also cranberry muffins that were made in-house. I was so happy!

One morning, we ate across the street at Ostra, which has the same gluten free items on its breakfast menu. Again, I was surprised and incredibly pleased.

Recommended? Absolutely. I'd go out of my way to eat there again. 

Joe's Crab Shack

** I just came back from vacation, and this is part of a small series of restaurant reviews.

After we arrived in San Antonio, we swapped our wedding garb for jeans and t-shirts, and headed down the riverwalk to get some grub. I've always heard of Joe's Crab Shack's gluten free menu, but had yet to try it. So when we happened upon the restaurant, we decided to try it.

I asked for the gluten free menu, which had a reasonable amount of dishes on it, and ordered the Bucket of Shrimp. I wasn't very hungry, so that and a cocktail made the perfect little meal. I loved the ease of ordering, low risk of contamination, the atmosphere of the riverwalk, and our awesome waiter.
Joe's is a winner in my book.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Saltgrass Steakhouse

** I just came back from vacation, and this is part of a small series of restaurant reviews.

One place that we tried during vacation was Saltgrass Steakhouse. They do not offer a gluten free menu, but that's the way it happens sometimes, right?

I notified the waitress that I would need something gluten free. She said that while they do not offer any specific dishes, she would notify the kitchen of any issues.

So, I ordered a grilled steak and shrimp, and a baked potato, requesting no seasonings or sauces. She seemed on the ball, and when the meal came, I inspected it, not wanting a repeat of Tx Land & Cattle. It all looked pretty unseasoned, so I dug in. The meal was good, especially the potato, which was the most flavorful thing. The meat was a little bland, but that was to be expected. I'd rather have bland food than gluten! Despite the lack of seasonings, it was cooked well.

Overall, I was pleased. I would not choose to go again, but I was grateful for the lack of gluten.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tx Land & Cattle -- GF??

** I just came back from vacation, and this is part of a small series of restaurant reviews.

First up, Texas Land and Cattle.

This was a special meal. Last week Chris and I got married in a small ceremony at the Justice of the Peace.

Afterwards, we had lunch with our families at Texas Land & Cattle. We chose this restaurant because of the location, the availability of a private room, and most importantly, the gluten free menu.

When we arrived, I asked the waitress for the gluten free menu, then proceeded to order, word-for-word, the salmon. After a few bites, I happened to compare it to the other salmon dishes on the table, and it didn't look "un-smoked, un-marinated, and without seasoning." So, I asked the waitress to double check. Turns out, it had been marinated. Fortunately, they had just pulled some salmon out to thaw and had not yet marinated it, and would cook that for me. In the meantime, I 'enjoyed' some plain steamed broccoli and some wine. A good while after everyone else had enjoyed their meal, my dish was finally served.

I didn't make a scene, but I couldn't help but think to myself... did I not just order a gluten-free dish from a gluten-free menu, specifying not to smoke, marinate, or season the dish? How does a restaurant offer a gluten free menu, then proceed to screw it up, even ignoring the specific requests made when ordering? And how pissed was I that I was served a "gluten free" dish containing gluten on my freaking wedding day??? Let's try not to poison the bride, guys.

Needless to say, it was a lovely, happy day, but I did not eat the replacement salmon, and was highly disappointed in the restaurant. I will not be dining there again, and I don't recommend it.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rudi's Gluten Free Tortillas

I was super fortunate to win a Rudi's prize pack from a fellow gluten free blogger a few months ago. I was BEYOND excited, mostly because it included Rudi's Gluten Free Tortillas. I've been hearing about them for a long time, but have yet to find them in stores. And oh my gosh, they hooked me up. I got a package of each kind of tortilla.

Now, I've tried other gluten free tortillas before, with super-disappointing results. These tortillas, however, are AMAZING. They're really big, enough for a nice-sized wrap or burrito. The flavors are good. They are soft and pliable, and roll-able-- even after being in the fridge for a while. They are a gluten-free WIN. So, if you see them on shelves and wonder if they're good, THEY ARE.

Also, don't forget to use your coupon...

Sunday, September 30, 2012

GF Oatmeal Squares

Found via Pinterest, these gluten free Oatmeal Squares from Gluten Free on a Shoestring are spot-on. Really delicious. Perfect for second breakfast. Make them.

I made a half-batch to try, but now I wish I had twice as many.

I modified the recipe a tad. The original version is here.

This is my version:

Oatmeal Squares

3 c. gluten free flour (1 c. each brown rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch)
1/4  teaspoon xanthan gum
2 T. flaxseed meal
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. gluten free oats
2/3 c. oil
2 eggs, beaten
2 t. vanilla
1/4 c. molasses

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line a a 13 x 9 pan with wax paper and set it aside.

Make the oat squares. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Mix the two together, making a stiff dough.

Press the dough into the pan. Remove the wax paper from the pan and, using a pizza cutter, cut into squares. Place the squares about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet. They will spread a little. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until centers are set.

I chose not to use icing, as I thought they were sweet enough.

Benjy's Restaurant

Last night I tried a new restaurant! That doesn't happen very often, since I tend to find a few with gluten free menus and stick to those.

It just so happens that Benjy's is a gluten-friendly restaurant. They have a chef-driven menu that changes with the seasons, and they use local vendors.

Though it's not posted on the website, they have a gluten free menu that I was able to peruse.


I chose the Arugula salad, which was delicious and light. My friends chose the 8oz filet minon and the salmon sashimi (not gf). Both raved over their dishes.

It was a little overpriced, with smallish portions, but delicious and fun. I'd go there again on a special occasion that deserves a splurge. I'd also like to try them for lunch.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Single serving microwave cake

I'm sure you've seen the single serving microwave recipes around. I think they're a freaking amazing idea. The only thing that bothers me is that most require separating an egg. I feel like that defeats the purpose of a quick, simple recipe. My opinion: Streamline!

So I came up with this.

It actually makes two servings, because there's always someone around who's going to be eyeing your treat. Like a husband with a sweet tooth (sigh- not soon enough). Or a pregnant sister. Or a mom who's always down for a treat. Or, at the very least, an extra treat for myself for later.

 This was originally intended to be a chocolate chip cookie, but turned out with a cake-like texture. I call that a win-win situation, especially since it makes a great basic recipe for other cake flavors. But for today, we enjoy chocolate chip-- A la mode.

 Single-serve Chocolate Chip Microwave Cake

2 ramekins

1 egg
1 T melted butter or olive oil
1 T brown sugar
1/8 t. vanilla
pinch salt
1/3 c. gluten free flour**
pinch baking soda
2 T mini chocolate chips

**Or blend of flours- see right sidebar for my preference: (2 T each of brown rice flour,sorghum flour, potato starch)

In a bowl, beat the egg, sugar and butter until combined. Add in the other ingredients and mix well. Spoon into ramekins. Microwave for ~60 seconds, and check to see if they're done with a toothpick that comes out clean. If they're not done, just pop them back in for a few more seconds. (Keep in mind that my microwave came free with the purchase of a george foreman grill about 10 years ago, and it took a little over a minute to cook mine)

P.S. Beats the heck out of heating up an oven in the middle of the summer.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

BJ's Brewhouse Party for Two

Saw a flyer in today's paper. BJ's Brewhouse is having a Party for Two promotion.
It includes two small salads, a shared gluten free pizza, and a gluten free Pizookie for 20 bucks!

I eat here all the time, and am excited to try this!

P.S. The pizookie is amazing. I suggest you order it before your entree just to make sure you have room. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Triple chocolate pancakes

Today, I woke up wanting chocolate. For breakfast.

And, because I'm an adult, I can do things like that. A simple bowl of cocoa pebbles would have sufficed, but there were none in the house.

Enter: Triple Chocolate Pancakes.

A basic pancake recipe chocolated up. You're welcome.

Triple Chocolate Pancakes

1/3 c. brown rice flour
1/3 c. sorghum flour
1/3 c. potato starch
1/8 t. xanthan gum
1 t. baking powder
1/8 t. baking soda
1/8 t. salt
1 T. oil
1 T. chocolate syrup*
1 T. cocoa*
1 T. lightly packed brown sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
2/3 c. milk
1/3 c. mini chocolate chips*

*Hershey's chocolate syrup, cocoa and chocolate chips are GF

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine the wet ingredients in another bowl. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix well with a whisk, and stir in the chocolate chips.

Preheat a griddle/ pan until water droplets dance around a few seconds before disappearing. (I use a nonstick pan on medium-low)

Ladle in about 1/3 cup of the batter and let it cook until you barely start seeing bubbles in the middle and the sides are set. Flip, and cook for a few minutes until the center is done.

Serve with whipped cream, and chocolate syrup in place of regular syrup.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Scones

A quick peek around the internet will tell you that everyone's got their own scone recipe. From the traditional, to the bizarre, and everything in-between. Some use cold butter, some use soft butter, some use cream. Some use milk, some use eggs, some don't use any of that stuff.

This is my version.

I love the combination of cinnamon and chocolate, in the right ratio so that you can taste both. They end up kinda tasting like a biscuit-y cookie. Perfect with coffee or tea.

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Scones

2/3 c. brown rice flour
2/3 c. sorghum flour
2/3 c. tapioca starch
pinch xanthan gum
pinch salt
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1 T. cinnamon

2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla

1 c. mini chocolate chips, or chocolate chunks

To sprinkle on top:
1 T. sugar
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. salt

Preheat the oven to 375.

Mix the egg, sugar, and vanilla until combined. Mix the dry ingredients together, then stir into the wet ingredients. It may take a little stirring, but they will eventually all mix together. It will form a soft, slightly sticky dough. Mix in the chocolate.

On a greased cookie sheet, plop the dough in a mound and form a flattened circle- not too flat, about a half inch or so.

Sprinkle on the cinnamon/sugar/salt mixture, and bake for about 20 minutes.

The center will be set and form a nice crust on top.

After removing from the oven, cut into wedges with a pizza cutter.

Please, learn from my mistakes and let them cool before enjoying. :o)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Nutella Swirl Cookies

Nutella is everywhere. It seems as if everyone loves it. I've had more than a few pieces of gluten free toast spread with a generous dollup of Nutella. I've seen cupcakes, cookies, cheesecake, Nutella mole, you name it.

Today felt like a Nutella cookie kind of day. I give you...

Nutella Swirl Cookies

1 c. gluten free flour (1/3 c. each sorghum & brown rice flour, potato starch, pinch xanthan gum)
1/8 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 egg
1/4 t. vanilla
1/3 c. Nutella

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and butter until well-mixed and a little fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Once everything is mixed, smooth out the cookie dough inside the mixing bowl. Spray the measuring cup with cooking spray before measuring the Nutella, then drizzle it over the top of the dough. Using the spoon, swirl it into the dough, being careful not to over-mix.

It helps to refrigerate the dough before baking, as they spread a little. 

Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the middles look set. Let them cool a few minutes before removing them from the pan.

Nom your face off.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Corn meal chicken nuggets

I've made a lot of chicken, and I've made a lot of chicken nuggets. So far, all nugget attempts have turned out so-so.

These nuggets were discovered on a random trip to my sister's place. I asked if she had any food, and she said she had some leftover chicken. Even cold from the fridge, this chicken is awesome. I was immediately hooked and I've made it about 5 times now.

It's ridiculously easy. The corn meal gives it a good flavor and a better texture than floured nuggets. Definitely a winner.

Corn meal chicken nuggets

1/4 c. corn meal
1 t. each salt and pepper
chicken breasts, cut into nugget-sized pieces
1 t. olive oil

Preheat a skillet to medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the corn meal, salt, and pepper. I find it easiest to put it in a tupperware container and shake it around.

Once the chicken is coated, add the oil to the pan and toss in the nuggets. Turn the heat down to medium. Cook on each side about 6 minutes, or until cooked through.

That's all it takes!

Best served with tator tots and ketchup. :o)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Strawberry muffins

I'm not going to lie, I make a pretty darn good gluten free muffin, and this is one of my favorite recipes.
Great with coffee or tea, and just sweet enough.

Strawberry muffins

1 c. gluten free flour (1/3 c. each sorghum & brown rice flour, potato starch, pinch xanthan gum)
1/2 T. baking powder
1/8 t. salt
2 T. brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. milk
2 T. oil
1/4 c. strawberry jam or preserves
dash of cinnamon

Mix the dry ingredients together. Mix the wet ingredients together, then combine. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or so. (Or, use your Xpress Redi Set Go and bake for 5 minutes)
They will be done with a toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 6 muffins

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Gluten free cinnamon roll waffles

Thanks to pinterest, lately I've been seeing recipes for cinnamon roll waffles. Basically you take a pre-made cinnamon roll and cook it on a waffle iron. Everyday genius, but not so fun for us gluten free folk who can't just pop open a tube of cinnamon rolls.

As with most things of this nature, we have to make a little more effort.

Thankfully, not much more.

This recipe is no more involved than making a regular batch of waffles. You get cinnamon roll taste without the labor of cinnamon rolls, and you don't have to worry about heating the whole house up with the oven. It's pretty much a win-win situation.

Cinnamon Roll Waffles: Makes 6

2/3 c. brown rice flour
2/3 c. sorghum flour
2/3 c. potato starch
1/8 t. xanthan gum
1/4 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1 t. vanilla
2 T. oil
2 eggs, beaten

1 3/4 c. milk, warmed
1 pkg fast-rising yeast

Cinnamon/ sugar mixture:
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 t. cinnamon

Add 1 t. of sugar to the warmed milk and add the yeast. Let it get bubbly while you mix your dry ingredients with a whisk. Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, and mix the dry ingredients into the wet. It should be pourable, but not too runny or thick.

Give the waffle iron a good coating with cooking spray in-between each batch. Pour ~1/4 c. of batter into a preheated waffle iron. Spoon some of the sugar mixture on top, and top with more batter. You're basically sandwiching the cinnamon/sugar into the middle of the waffle. Cook for a few minutes- I check to see if they're done when the steaming has calmed down.

Eat them with no embellishments, top them with a dusting of powdered sugar, drizzle them with syrup- or if you're really feeling the sugar rush- cinnamon roll glaze:

1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. cinnamon
2 T. milk
1/8 t. salt

Or a cream cheese frosting:

4 oz room temp cream cheese
1 c powdered sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter room temp
1/2 tsp vanilla

Now that we've gotten way too involved with the toppings, I should note that they are fantastic with just a little bit of butter spread on top.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Gluten is poison

I love this speech posted by a fellow Celiac, over at Gluten Hates Me...

I felt like she really explained everything well. It's often what I find myself trying to say, but can never explain it right. So go check it out:

Gluten Hates Me- Gluten is Poison

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ore Ida tator tots are gluten free

Again, I may be the last one to find this out, but Ore Ida Tator Tots (and many other of their products) are gluten free. Says it right on the bag. LOVE.

I went many years without a tator tot. Then one day I was at my sister's house and feeling peckish, so she busted them out of the freezer and heated some up in the oven. She even pointed out the gluten free-ness. Amazing.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tuna mac & cheese with peas and spinach

Trying to eat more veggies, so I veggi-fied this batch of tuna mac & cheese.

Here you go:

Cooked gluten free noodles, still hot
1 batch of cheese sauce, substituting cheddar cheese
frozen peas
chopped fresh spinach
1 can of tuna, drained
1 tsp mustard powder

Mix the ingredients together in a pan, topping with extra shredded cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted.  Sprinkle with paprika for extra yumminess.

P.S. If you choose to make the lower-fat version of the cheese sauce, a little cream cheese melted in helps make it creamier.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Baked Ziti (with greek yogurt)

As usual, this dish started with something in my fridge that needed to be eaten before it spoiled.

I recently tried greek yogurt. I love that it has more protein than regular yogurt, but it's too sour-cream tasting to eat by itself. I found that if I mix it 50/50 with regular yoplait yogurt, the texture and taste are perfect.

Anyway, I'd been eating yogurt for a while and the kick was nearing its' end. To use up the rest of the container, I made baked ziti. I'd never made baked ziti, and it was delicious.

You need:

Cooked gluten free pasta, drained and still hot
equal amounts greek yogurt and pasta sauce
shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese

Mix the pasta, yogurt, pasta sauce, and cheese and place it in a casserole dish. Sprinkle with more cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted.

Sprinkle with parsley. Easy peasy.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Dominos pizza fail

So you might have heard that Domino's pizza now offers a gluten free-ISH pizza.

My thoughts? I wouldn't eat it if you paid me.

Think about it: Cross contamination nightmare.

Then I did a little research, and I was right.
What pisses me off is that it's such a tease.

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness partnered with Domino's in this move, and I feel like they shouldn't have, for obvious reasons.

They follow the gluten free-ish crust announcement with a disclaimer, copied and pasted straight from the website: The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness supports the availability of Domino's Gluten Free Crust, but CANNOT recommend the pizza for customers with celiac disease. Customers with gluten sensitivities should exercise judgment in consuming this pizza.

What was the point of partnering with the foundation? Just to provide the disclaimer?
More importantly, why announce a gluten free crust, then advise your target market (Celiacs) not to eat it?

I don't know why they even bothered.

On a slightly positive note, at least they were forthcoming about it instead of trying to market a crust that was not truly gluten free. You can see some more info on their facebook page.

Oh, but I can see it now: head over to a party, and the means-well host says, "We got pizza, but I got the gluten free(ish) one from Domino's so you can eat it!"

Enter awkward situation.

Can I get an AMEN?

Or... would you eat it?

Monday, April 30, 2012

Idahoan instant potatoes

I know, the title of of this blog is "learning how to cook..." and I haven't actually posted anything that I've cooked recently. File this under "other kitchen adventures."

I've always been a mashed potato purist. Instant mashed potatoes were the devil at my house. They did not reside in my family's pantry, ever. I've had the instant kind of potatoes in school lunches, and I remember them being sticky, yet with a gritty mouth feel. Compared to the only other kind of mashed potatoes I've had, my mom's, they were nothing I'd ever consider bringing into my kitchen.

Then, I had an persistent cranky wisdom tooth get infected and eating became even more challenging. Soft foods were the only thing on the menu for a while. Soup and yogurt got real old, real quick. I needed comfort food that was going to make me feel full. The solution? Mashed potatoes.

I don't know if you've ever had an infected wisdom tooth, but they are darn painful. The only worse pain I've been in was tonsillitis, and this was pretty up there on the pain scale. There was no way, in my misery, that I was going to chop and peel potatoes, boil them, then mash them. I wanted to sit on my butt and zonk out on pain meds, which ironically, I was too scared to take. I'm such a weenie.

Anyway, desperate times call for desperate measures. I reluctantly picked up a package of instant mashed potatoes. The only ones in the store that said "gluten free" on the package were Idahoan potatoes.

I took them, home, grumbled at my own traitor-ism, and in about 5 minutes I sat down with a bowl. To my great surprise, they were really good! Maybe because I hadn't eaten anything substantial in a few days, but they were delicious. Some of the flavors are a little on the salty side, but honestly I expect that in a processed, instant type of dish. I don't plan on making them a regular thing, but in a pinch, they do just fine. I just had to post, because I was so surprised that they were tasty.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Want to get on my nerves real quick?

Say this phrase. "Oh, you're skinny because you don't eat gluten."

I hear it all the time, sometimes from the same people, over and over. No matter how many times I explain it.

I'm not thin because I don't eat gluten. I'm thin because I'm blessed with very good skinny-genes, I'm fairly active, and I dish out small portion sizes of generally healthy food. If I ate gluten, I'm pretty sure I'd lose weight because I would become malnourished. The truth is, I'm the same weight as I was before I was diagnosed. Only now I feel better.

I can see how the logic goes. Avoiding gluten forces you to choose food that is less processed. Many of the easiest gluten free choices are simple, whole foods: vegetables, meat, fruits, beans, etc. Naturally, making the switch could lead to weight loss. It's not about the gluten. It's about caloric intake and nutritional differences.

I try to tell people that most gluten-free foods are higher in calories and lower in nutritional content than their gluten-full equivalents, but that's usually the point where their eyes gloss over and I know I've lost them.

And I'm forever reminded of 'how lucky I am that I can't eat gluten because it keeps me thin.' And it drives me bonkers.

I know I can't be the only one.

I guess my point is, the weight doesn't really matter, most of us are just so happy to not feel like crapola all the time.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Last night I helped celebrate a friend's birthday. At an Italian place. Which, mentally, for me, that meant salad. As a celiac, I have become familiar with the restaurant salad. Ridiculously overpriced, generally mediocre, and rarely satisfying. I'm not a salad-loving kind of girl. But, most of the time, it means more to be surrounded by good company than devouring an exceptional meal.

However, it turns out that we went to Maggiano's. And my knock-me-over awesome friends checked it out beforehand on their smartphones. So when I walked in the door, they said, "They have gluten free!"

They mention gluten free pasta substitutions on the menu, but recommend that you let the server know so that a chef can come talk to you. A chef came and talked to me! That was certainly a first. In an effort to not be difficult, I chose the simplest dish that came to mind: chicken alfredo. He then reminded me that the creme brulee is also gluten free, so I could also have dessert. I could have kissed him.

For a place that offers gluten free options, they seemed much more knowledgeable than a few places I've been to. Usually the waiters are clueless, while the chefs are more gluten-savvy. Here, everyone seemed on the ball. I was not offered bread (don't you love it when you tell them you have celiac disease and then they plop a bread basket in front of you?), and she made a point to tell me that she could mix up a salad without croutons if I wanted one. I chose the spinach salad, which was so good that I practically licked the bowl clean. I said practically- I remembered my manners, haha.

When it arrived, the server said, "gluten free pasta," when she handed it to me.

I have to tell you, even though it was confirmed by the chef and the waitress, I was skeptical of the gluten-free-ness. I felt like there might have been a mistake in the kitchen. It was too good. I've always been able to tell gluten free pasta from regular pasta. In the end, I took faith and ate it. It was really delicious. The creme brulee was equally delicious, and by the end of the night I was stuffed. I walked out with a serious food baby.

And to put the icing on the cake, they gave me an extra portion of gluten free chicken alfredo to go. On the house. That's also never happened before.

So, was the pasta really gluten free? I had some discomfort last night, but I think that may have been due to stuffing my face rather than gluten. I figure if I had eaten that much gluten, I'd really be hurting.

It was a tad bit pricier than normal- For a glass of wine, a salad, entreee, dessert, and capuccino, it was about 45 dollars before tip. You know it's a good meal when the gluten free pasta is so good you are skeptical of it's authenticity. And creme brulee to boot? Maggiano's is a win in my book.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Bites

Now that it's warmer I will be mostly using my toaster oven and Xpress Redi Set Go. It's one of those as-seen-on-tv things that I actually use a lot. No sense in heating up my oven if I don't have to, and as a bonus I get a lot of mini-treats. (The mini-muffin insert is much easier to clean than the larger pan.)

I've never made carrot cake, and have always liked it. It seemed intimidating, but it's really not. It's just a glorified muffin recipe, and the hardest part is shredding the carrots- not hard at all. Rather than make these into a dessert with that glorious cream cheese frosting, I decided these would be best for a lightened up for a mid-morning snack.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Bites

1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 t. vanilla
1 c. shredded carrots (about 3 carrots)

3/4 c. gluten free flour (1/4 cup each brown rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch)
1/8 t. xanthan gum
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. baking soda

Optional: 1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat your oven to 350 or turn on your Xpress Redi Set Go. Mix the wet ingredients in a bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Regardless of what kind of pan you're using, grease it well. There is no oil in these muffins and they will stick without it. Spoon the batter into mini-muffin cups and bake for 5-6 minutes.

When they're done, turn them out onto a cooling rack. After they've cooled for a few minutes, dust with powdered sugar.

Makes appx 18 mini muffins

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Joy Ice Cream Cones- GF

I don't know if this is a new thing, because sometimes I discover gluten free things and everyone else is like, "Yeah where have you been? Psh ...and you call yourself a Celiac."

But today I was in the grocery store and I was picking up some ice cream when something in a display caught my eye.

Gluten free? Since when??

I bought one of each kind- since, you know, summer is coming up.

Not that having an ice cream cone is a huge necessity, but it's fun and believe it or not, I've found myself craving them when everyone else around me is enjoying one, and I'm having mine in a dish. No more!

And now I can make these!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Chicken & rice with veggies


Chicken: cooked this way, mixed with homemade cooking creme- In a food processor, blend cream cheese, fresh or frozen herbs, and a small amount of milk. Pour into the pan with the cooked chicken until it's warmed.

Rice with veggies: Cook brown rice in chicken broth. Once it's cooked, turn off the heat and add shredded carrots & chopped broccoli. Replace the lid. They will steam in the residual heat. When it's cool enough to handle, grab the pot, hold the lid tight, and shake to mix.

Serve the chicken atop the rice.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Best way to cook chicken breasts

I am paranoid about food-borne illness. As a result, I tend to overcook meats until they're dry and tough. That's why I'm such a fan of the crock pot. You can be sure it's done, and it will still be moist.

Recently, thanks to pinterest, I discovered a new way to cook chicken breasts so that they aren't dry and tough.

From The Kitchn, How to cook moist and tender chicken breasts.

I tried it, it works wonderfully. I'll be cooking them this way from now on! You can even skip the flour step if you don't want to fool with it.

A condensed version of the instructions:

Pound the chicken breasts so that they're an even thickness. (Put them in a plastic baggie first)
Heat a skillet to medium heat.
Add some oil and your seasoned chicken breast.
Sear on one side for 1 minute, then flip.
Cover the pan with a lid, and turn the heat to low for 10 minutes.
When the timer goes off, turn the heat off, and set the timer for 10 minutes again. Don't lift the lid.
When the timer goes off again, the chicken will be done.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Orange cupcakes

- - the flavor, not the color. Of course, you could color the icing orange and have both.

Orange cupcakes.

Subtle but noticeable flavor, delicious cupcake.

Grab a GF Betty Crocker Yellow cake mix*- Or other gluten free cake mix that you like. Make it according to package directions, but substitute orange juice for the water.

Easy peasy.

*I love Betty Crocker's yellow cake mix. I even used it to make my sister's wedding cake and it was awesome. Apparently they've changed the recipe and some people are saying it's not as good. Haven't tried the new recipe, as I used a box that was purchased a while back. Has anyone noticed the change?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ham & Pineapple pizza


Ham, pineapple, green pepper, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese. No sauce.

On my favorite GF crust, by Bette Hagman. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cinnamon rolls- step by step

Cinnamon rolls. Unfortunately, we can't just pop open a can of refrigerated biscuit or croissant rolls, spread some sugar on it, and call it a day.
Some days cinnamon rolls are worth the extra effort, some days they're not. Today, they are.

I've made cinnamon rolls many times, and have eventually streamlined the process.

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


2/3 c. milk
1 t. sugar
1 pkg fast-rising yeast

1 egg
1/4 c. oil (I use light olive oil. Vegetable or canola oil should be fine)
1 t. vanilla

1 3/4 c. gluten free flour**
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. xanthan gum
1/2 t. salt

2/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 T. cinnamon

Mix the sugar into the milk. Warm it to 100-110 degrees. I use a thermometer because I have not yet mastered the art of being able to tell otherwise. You can get candy thermometers for a couple of bucks.
Mix in the yeast and set it in a warm place to proof. Meanwhile, grab two bowls: 1 small, 1 big.

Large bowl: Beat the egg. Add the oil and vanilla and mix well.

Small bowl: Mix the flour, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt.

Prepare your counter space by taping a piece of waxed paper to the counter at each corner. Sprinkle 1/2 c. gf flour onto the surface. You want it covered pretty well.

After about 10 minutes, check the yeast. It should have bubbled up and will smell yeasty. It will look like this:

You can see the original level of milk, and the bubbling from the yeast. If it hasn't bubbled, try it again.

Pour the yeasty mixture into the large bowl with the egg, oil, and vanilla. Mix well to get any lumps from the yeast out. A couple small ones are ok. Add in the flour mixture from the small bowl and combine well to form the dough. The dough will be very soft. It's okay. Don't panic.

Dump the dough onto the floured surface. Spread the dough into a rectangular shape using the back of a wet spoon. Warm water works best. Work slowly. If it sticks, dip the spoon back into the water and keep going.

Take your cinnamon/ brown sugar filling and spread it over the rectangle. Don't worry too much if your sugar has gotten lumpy in the bag; you will get little pockets of melted brown sugar goodness in the cinnamon rolls and, really, that's not a bad thing.

To roll the dough, remove the tape from the corners of the waxed paper. Start lifting one end of the paper, coaxing the dough into a tight roll as you go. I prefer to use this, but a large knife would work too.

If you've floured liberally, the dough should not stick to the paper, and gravity does most of the work.You will end up with a nicely rolled piece of dough.

Slice the dough: start in the middle and cut it in half, then cut each half in half again, etc. This will ensure even-sized rolls.

Place each sliced roll into a greased pan, placing the ends cut-side-down. This is an 8x8 pan, I think. A round pan works well, too.

Cover the pan loosely with a towel and place it in a warm place for 30 minutes to rise. I stick it on top of the preheating oven.

After 30 minutes, remove the towel. They will have risen and gotten fatter and higher.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops start to get golden brown.

For a simple glaze, mix:
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. cinnamon
2 T. milk
1/8 t. salt

(It makes these rolls very sweet)

Makes 8 cinnamon rolls.

**If you don't already have a flour mix on hand, mix 3/4 c. each brown rice flour, sorghum flour and potato starch. Use 1 3/4 c. in the dough, and use the remainder to flour your surface.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bob's GF Pancake mix & Cheese Danish attempt

First off, Bob's GF Pancake mix makes a pretty good pancake. Nothing spectacular, but a good pancake.

I used to love cheese danish back in the gluten days, and I've tried once to re-create it gluten free, without much success. I recently came across a recipe on Pinterest, and my interest has been renewed. So with that on the brain yesterday morning, I used the rest of the pancake batter in this.

Recipe Link. Sandwiched filling between two layers of pancake mix, baked at 350 for 35 minutes.

I knew the texture of the pancake batter wouldn't translate into danish-consistency, so it turned out like a cheese danish coffee cake. Not bad. The cheese part turned out perfectly, and I didn't use the egg in the filling.

Now to get the bready part perfect. Anyone got a fabulous gluten free croissant recipe? Mine all turn out dense and hard, not soft and flaky.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bob's GF Cornbread Mix

What I've been eating this week:

Super easy to throw together.

Makes quite a bit of cornbread for one person.
Been eating it as second breakfast with some honey, and with leftover beef stew at lunch.