How the Blog was Born

Hi, my name is Geri and I'm a reformed Gluten Eater. I've been Gluten Free for over 4 years now, and I'm hanging on! In fact I'm such a Gluten Free fanatic that I'm sure I irritate my friends with all my "this is why gluten is bad for you" talk! But I have had a few friends want to jump on the wagon with me, so this is for them. I decided it might be easier to have my recipes in a place where they could get them instead of waiting for me to email them!! And it gives me a venue to talk all I want about the evils of gluten, and traditional medicine, and artificial sweeteners and so on and I will never know if you tune me out!! So that is How the Blog was Born. Whether it dies or not...we shall see....well I don't think you can kill one of these things, so I guess it's here to stay. If you want some ideas and recipes on how to eat Gluten Free, and how to keep your kids and yourself out of the doctors office then feel free to join me!! And if you have things to share, please comment and I'll add it on!!

Enjoy the Journey!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cinnamon Pull Aparts

Since Gluten Free Bread is not like Bread Bread you can't make cinnamon rolls the traditional way.  It is more the consistency of banana bread.  So what I do is I use a bundt pan and spray it really well.  Make a batch of GF white bread.  Take your brown sugar, cinnamon, a package of dry butterscotch pudding and hard butter  and cut the butter into it like you would a pie crust.  (amounts vary so just play with it. I use about 1/4 C of butter)   Put some sugar mixture into the bottom of the bundt pan and then add small drops (like with a spoon) of dough.  Each layer add sugar mixture.  Keep dropping till it's 1/2 filled.  Add the remaining mixture to the top then let it raise in a warm oven for 25 min and bake for about 40-45 min.  You just have to watch it.  Just make sure you have enough sugar mixture to cover all the dough.  
Tip them over onto a round plate that is larger than your pan so the gooey stuff can have a place to go!  Be brave!  Wing it!  See what happens!!


The wait is over.  This blog has been missing one of the most important staples to any gluten free diet.  Well, I'm finally adding it to make things complete....Brownies.  Ooooey, goooey, yuuuummmmmy brownies. 

Follow the recipe exactly and you will love the results!  If you are like me you will just start throwing the ingredients into a bowl and start mixing.  So I'm going to give the instructions while we go.  It's taken me years to perfect these, and I want you to get it right the first time!!

Use a big bowl and a wooden spoon.  Hide the mixer. Preheat oven to 350
2 Cubes of soft butter  (that's 1 Cup).  It's best that you anticipate making these and put your butter on the counter.  Microwaved butter always messes the delicate balance of the mixture!!  :)  We keep several pounds of butter on the counter at all times!
2 Cups of Sugar
Mix these 2 together SLIGHTLY,  just till the sugar is moist but not creamed
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla (did you know that you can get Mexican vanilla at the Mexican tiendas in town??  True story,   and there is NOTHING better than Mexican Vanilla - as far as Vanilla goes...)
2 Tbls Light Corn Syrup

Mix these ingredients only SLIGHTLY again.  Till eggs are mixed in.  You will see chunks of butter and maybe egg....don't keep mixing!

In another small bowl combine your dry ingredients well.  You want the xanthan gum to be mixed well into the flour.

1 C GF Baking Flour Mix (the one using the Asian White Rice Flour) *see GF Flour Mixes for info
1 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 C baking cocoa (I prefer the one in bulk at Winco over the Hershey's.  The one at Winco is a little darker and richer.)

Add to your wet ingredients and mix SLIGHTLY.  Just until you can see that all the dry is mixed into the wet.  The less you stir the better.  It will make a smooth batter but as soon as it is smooth stop stirring.  And  be careful not to eat all of the batter before you get to cook some or you won't know why you didn't stir it too much! 

Lightly spray your pan.  I like to use my Pampered Chef Rectangular stone.  It makes the brownies thinner.  So a smaller cookie sheet would work too.  (Not the big jelly roll-too big)
or a 9x13 works too.  For the thinner brownies bake 20-25 min.  Watch closely.  Edges should be slightly browned.  9x13 bake for 30-35 min.  check center with a knife.  Should be clean. 
Try to let them cool before digging in.  It takes will power!!

Banana Bread

1/2 Cup butter softened
1 C sugar
2 eggs
1 C mashed, really ripe bananas
1/4 C milk
1 tsp lemon juice

2 C  Featherlight mix  (For healthy breakfast muffins use instead- GF Flour Mix + 1/4 C flaxseed meal)
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbls cinnamon
1/2 C chopped nuts

Mix sugar and butter until blended.  Make sure you use a bowl and wooden spoon - NOT A MIXER.  Add eggs one at a time and blend.  Add bananas milk and lemon juice and stir till blended.

Mix dry ingredients well and then mix in to wet ingredients.  Add nuts if you would like.  The key is not to beat or mix too much.  

Pour into bread pan or muffin tins.  Makes 1 loaf.  Bake @350 for 50 minutes.  check with knife in the middle.  Depending on how your oven bakes it may need more or less time.  Gluten free flour generally takes a little longer than normal flour to bake!
Enjoy!! mmmmmmm

Friday, March 23, 2012

Where Do I Get It NOW?

WALMART!  Hooray for Walmart!  They now have a gluten free section.  At the Nampa, Greenhurst Walmart  it is on the isle with the Asian, and Latino foods.  It's small, but it's something.  My Albertsons across the street also has a small Gluten Free section so if I can't find it at Walmart I go there!

They have pasta, cookies, crackers, pretzels, Oats, box mixes.  They have a few of the flours like the Brown Rice Flour and Xanthan gum.  Sometimes they have the Potato Starch but not always.  I still get my Tapioca Starch at WINCO in the bulk section.  I also get my Xanthan gum there in bulk.  I think its the cheapest.

I have some friends that go to Seattle occasionally.  They stock me up on Trader Joes Gluten Free Pasta!!  It's the best price and I love their pasta!!  So if you have a Trader Joes connection, USE IT!!

Happy Shopping!!

Substitute for Creamed Soup

I thought I would put this on as a separate post.  I know I put it in a dinner recipe, but this is my standard filling for most casseroles, gravies, whatever.  I use this now instead of Cream of Chicken, Mushroom, Celery, Soup.
It's easy and fast and much better for you!!

In a pan add 1/4 C (1/2 cube) of butter or coconut oil.  Let it melt on low to medium heat.  When it's melted add 1/2 cup brown or white rice flour.  I like to use a whisk, so whisk it in and let it cook for a minute or so.  Slowly start adding milk or chicken broth until it gets to a thick gravy consistency.  Take it off the heat.  This is where I get creative.  Depending on what I'm making I might thin it some more with Chicken broth.  Or add more milk and some mayonnaise or sour cream. Season it with salt and pepper, or garlic salt and lemon pepper, or salt and curry powder.  Play with the amounts for what you need for your family!  Remember I usually super size things!!
You can also add mushrooms or celery or chicken for a creamed soup!

Some meals I use it for:

Chicken and rice, Hawaiian Haystacks.  Add the gravy to your chicken you've cooked in the crock pot all day or that you've just cooked on the stove.  Serve over rice.  Add condiments for Hawaiian Haystacks if you want!

Chicken, broccoli, rice casserole.  Layer cooked rice in the bottom of a 9x13 pan.  Put cooked, diced chicken on top of the rice, just barely steamed broccoli on top of the chicken, then pour the gravy with curry powder and mayonnaise over the top.  Top with grated cheddar and bake for 20 minutes!  YUM!!

Add a block of cream cheese and about 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and make an Alfredo sauce to go over gluten free fettuccine.  Add chicken if you'd like.

Tuna Noodle Casserole.  Make the gravy,  add chicken broth, garlic salt, lemon pepper, dill, and 1 or 2 cans of tuna.  Add pasta.  Mix together and top with grated cheddar and crushed potato chips!  I would add peas but my kids hate them!! I usually make a side of peas for me to add in!!

Pancakes or Waffles

GF Pancakes or Waffles
These work as pancakes but I use the exact recipe for waffles, which my kids like better!

2 C Featherlight Mix
1 tsp Xanthan gum
5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C ground flax seed (flaxseed meal)

mix dry ingredients together
2 1/4 C milk
5 Tbs oil
2 eggs

Put eggs and oil in a large mixing bowl.  DO NOT MIX.  Put dry ingredients on top and start to mix slowly, adding the milk.  Mix  minimally. Add about a tsp of vinegar to mix.  Leave the batter lumpy.

Cook on a warm griddle until bubbles appear on the surface.  Flip and cook.  They take a little longer to cook all the way through so be patient!!  Waffles take about 4 minutes.

GF German Pancakes

GF German Pancakes

Preheat oven to 425

1 Cup Featherlight mix
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 C milk
4 eggs beaten
Mix dry ingredients together.  Mix eggs and milk together then pour over your dry ingredients and mix well.
Put 2 Tbls of butter in a 9x13 pan and put in the oven for about 2 minutes until it is melted.  Tilt the pan to cover the bottom with butter then pour in your ingredients and bake for about 18-20 min.  The top that puffs up high might get a little burnt but it needs to cook all the way through!  Remember, for some reason, cooking with gluten free flours takes a little longer than regular flour.

Serve with butter and syrup!  (I don't add either.  I think it is yummy just plain!)

OPTIONS:  you can top this with cinnamon and pecans.  You could also add diced peaches.