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!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Homemade Granola Bars

These are for anybody!!  You don't have to be non gluten eater to love these!!  If you do have Celiac then make sure you use Gluten Free oats!  You will love these, guaranteed!!  My kids say, the more chocolate the better, but of course you can stay with the healthier version and add dried blueberries or other dried fruit.  Whatever you love!!  But be careful...they are addicting!!

Plain Granola Bars:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a jelly roll pan, toss together:
2 cups oats (I use old fashioned oats)
½ cup flax seed meal (or wheat bran)
¼ cup sesame seeds
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup coconut (I like to use 1/2 unsweetened and 1/2 regular)

Toast in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes. Stir every now and then and keep an eye on them so the edges don’t over brown.

Meanwhile, line an 11 X 13 inch (approximate) baking dish with parchment or wax paper that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick spray. Be sure the paper is long enough to fold over the top of the granola bars.

In a saucepan, bring to a simmer, stirring constantly:
2/3 cup brown sugar
½ cup honey
4 Tbls. butter
2 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp salt

Mix everything together in a large bowl. Add 1 cup of dried fruit if you like. Make sure everything is well coated. Pour into the paper lined dish, fold the paper over and press hard all over the granola. You want this very compacted so the bars won’t fall apart later.
My kids love to put chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in my little food chopper and then sprinkle them over the top of the granola bars.  Okay, I like it too!!

Cool and and cut into bars.  (if they last on the counter that long!!)

For Peanut butter granola bars use 1 cup peanuts and ½ cup of peanut butter instead of butter in the recipe and leave out the sunflower seed and the coconut.
Have fun and create your families own favorite granola bars!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

GF Graham Crackers

Bet you thought you'd never have cheesecake again!!  Or that your kids would never have graham crackers with frosting dripping off the sides like when we were kids!!  Or worse yet....S'MORES!!!Well, worry no more!!  Camping can be great again!  These Graham Crackers are so good!  People that have tried them that don't eat gluten free want the recipe!  They are so good!!  And easy to make!!  My kids can make them!  I have my good friend, Jennifer, to thank for these!! She helped me out a lot when I was getting started!  I couldn't have done it without her!!

3/4 C butter
1/4 C honey
1 C brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Beat together and add:
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3 t baking powder
3 C + 2 T GF flour mix ( make sure you use the mix that has the brown rice flour in it! It doesn't work  with the really fine flour)

Mix together then SLOWLY add  about 1/2 cup of water (more or less) just until dough forms a soft ball.
Refrigerate on hour (or throw it in the freezer about 15 minutes!)

Roll out 1/2 the dough at a time between wax or parchment paper.  Flip onto jelly roll and roll out more if you need to then trim to make a rectangle.  I just roll it to the edge.  Cut into little rectangles with pizza cutter and prick with a fork.  Sprinkle with sugar or cinnamon suger. 
Bake @325, 20-30 minutes.  You really want to watch them!!  I usually turn my pans a time or two.  You want them to be a deep golden brown.  For graham crackers, the crispier the better!!

Essential oils

I think Essential Oils are an Esssential! (I just crack myself up!)  I have been using Essential oils for about 11 years now!!  That was when my beautiful, 14 year old daughter, Libby, was diagnosed with a genetic disorder called MED. (multiple epiphyseal displasia)  She was 3 and had joint pain and of course the doctor said, "Give her ibuprofen every 4 hours."  And I thought "NO WAY am I giving her ibuprofen for the rest of her life!  I could just imagine her stomach by age 5!  So I set out on a journey to find something that God had put on the earth to help my daughter!  My sister, Karen, gave me the answer.  I used a pain blend.  You always put oils by the drop in a carrier oil.   I use Olive oil or coconut oil.  I would rub that on her joints and she loved it!  Every since then, after each surgery she would refuse to take the pain medication and would beg me to rub her legs with oil.  My little 6 year old, Jenica, has the same disorder. She does the same thing!

But there are many other oils too!  Essential oils are taken right from the plant leaves and roots and the pure oil is extracted.  I believe that God has given us everything we need to heal ourselves on this earth.  Now I also believe that God inspired Alexander Fleming to discover penicillan!  I'm not against doctors, just the overuse of medicines that are harming our bodies!  I have just found so many wonderful natural things that help with almost everything!!  Hopefully in future blogs I will share other things too!

I use oils for the first signs of Bronchitis.   I have 2 kids very prone to it.  One ended up in the hospital.  But now I use the Breathe blend and it never makes it into full blown bronchitis.  There is Lavendar, which helps me sleep and is great for cuts and burns.  It helps scars to heal better because it actually reproduces new cells.  I also use a blend called DigestZen to help with my digestive issues.  There is OnGuard to build the immune system.  I carry Peppermint Oil in my car for those kids that get carsick!  I will often hear, "Quick! Where's the Peppermint!"  You can google "essential oils for ..." just about any issue and get an answer.  It's great!  Don't you just love the computer!

If you've never used them before, what you do is usually use one drop of essential oil to about 10 or 15 drops of carrier oil. (olive, coconut)  Then you rub it on the bottom of your feet.  That is where all of your nerve endings are.  It travels up through your body!  You can also rub it directly on your chest or a scar or a joint that has pain. 

I now am a distributor for DoTerra oils.  I buy them all the time so I figured I might as well!  When choosing essential oils you want to make sure and pick 100% pure Therapeutic Grade.  Many oils will say 100% pure but arent.  You need to research your oils and good rule of thumb is not to buy them in a healthfood store or grocery store.  I like Doterra the best from what I've found.

You can check them out on  I give about a 10% discount from what you can get online plus I share shipping with whoever orders so shipping isn't so expensive.  If you want to order oils then just email me at

Okay, quick story!!  The other day I was rubbing my daughters foot. She just had surgery on her knee and begs for me to rub her foot all the time.  My 2 year old came and started pushing his feet toward me and grunting!  We mothers speak "grunt".  I said, "Do you want me to rub your feet too?"  He immediately got up and left the room, and came back carrying one of my essential oils!!  AAWWWW...It was so cute!! 

Enjoy the journey!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Healthy Gluten Free Bread

This is for you Hearty Bread Lovers!!  (Mar 23rd, I just revised it!!) This is a fabulous recipe!!  My kids love the white bread, but this is my favorite!!  It actually has some fiber and protein in it!! Gotta love that!!  I took it from a recipe book and played with it, and this is what I got!! Hope you like it as much as me!!  HOWEVER: this recipe has rolled oats in it, so if  you have celiac and you can't have oats, then either get gluten free oats or use the quinoa flakes instead.  I like it better with the oatmeal.  For those that may be confused, and just starting out, rolled oats are harvested with wheat and therefor are on the no-no list for gluten free foods.  I cut them out of our diet at the beginning and added them back slowly.  No one here seems to have a problem with them so we are okay!  So be careful!!  And remember that gluten free bread is WAY different from regular bread.  The consistency is more like a thick batter.  Don't be on!!!

2 C GF flour mix
1/2 C oatmeal (or quinoa flakes)
3/4 C teff flour
1/4 C sorghum flour
3 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp salt
Mix together in your mixer with beaters, not a bread hook.

Add 1 1/2 Tbs yeast on top of the dry ingredients

In another bowl mix together :
1 3/4 C warm water
1/4 C oil (I always use olive, grapeseed or coconut oil)
**1/4 C honey
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Pour this over the yeast and let it sit for about 3-5 minutes, until the yeast starts to get bubbly.
Add 3 eggs and mix.  For a nutty bread you can add 1/4 C sunflower seeds. Scrape sides and beat on high for 5 minutes.  This is really important in helping the bread to raise!
**I just revised this bread because I hadn't tried it with honey for awhile and couldn't remember if it worked!!  If you'd rather use sugar, then cut the GF flour to 1 3/4 cup and add 1/4 cup of sugar with the dry ingredients and leave out the honey! That's all!!
Spray your pans.   This makes 2 medium sized loaves.  I double it and make 3 large loaves.   Gluten Free bread does not last as long as regular bread so don't make more than you can eat in a couple of days!  You can keep it in the freezer too.  Its usually best to slice and then freeze.

Divide evenly among your pans and smooth the top.  Put in a warm oven (170 F) for about 20-25 minutes, until raised.  Don't touch the pans, just turn the oven to 375 F and set the timer for 40 minutes for a smaller loaf, and 45-50 minutes for a larger loaf.  It takes longer to cook gluten free flours for some reason!!

When they are done, cool on a rack.  Rub the top with butter (if you like -  It makes the crust softer!)  Wait till it is cool to cut into it.  (If you can keep your kids away from it for that long!!)


"LIFE TASTES GOOD AGAIN" !!  That is the name of my FAVORITE gluten free cookbook.  It is by Kirsti Kirkland & Betsy Thomas , Eating Gluten Free, LLC.  I found it at Jakes Gluten Free Store on Fairview between Eagle and Cloverdale.  I don't know if you can find it online.  but this is where my recipe is for my waffles, the best chocolate cake you've ever had, german pancakes, and more!!  This is where I got my bread recipes and tweeked them just a little!!  The waffles are great!  I haven't yet found a good way to make pancakes, because it takes longer to cook gluten free flours, and so they don't always get done in the middle!  So I use the pancake recipe but make waffles out of them!  Then they get done and they are great!!!  My 12 year old daughter that snubbs her nose at gluten free food makes them almost everyday for breakfast and loves them!!

The recipes I make my own, I will put on the blog, but if I don't change them then I didn't feel it was right to copy them and put them in here!!  So get the book!!  It's worth it!! (It was $16!!)

I also have found lots of recipes online.  It's a little more risky, but the more you experiment the better you will get!!  There are millions of recipes!  Just google "gluten free recipes" and they will never stop!!
Good luck!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

GF Pizza Dough

This is by far the best recipe I've found for Pizza dough!!  You can make it thick or thin.  I prefer thin, because I have to make lots of pizzas!!  One batch usually makes 2 large and 2 medium size pizzas.  That is with the thin crust.  Probably 2 pizzas with a little thicker crust!
Preheat your oven to 425 F

2 C brown rice flour
2 C tapioca starch flour
2/3 C powdered milk
3 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1 T sugar
**mix dry ingredients in mixer (I use my bosch with cookie paddles)  don't try using a dough hook!!
2 Tbs yeast - put this on top of the dry ing. and don't mix in
In a separate bowl put 1 1/2 C warm water, 1 tsp vinegar, 3 Tbs oil  - pour on top of the yeast and leave for about 3 minutes until you see the yeast get bubbly
add 2 eggs and beat until smooth! 
**I have also been in a hurry and just thrown all the ingredients in the bosch at one time and mixed!!  It seemed to turn out just the same!  Where you aren't expecting this to raise, it works great!

Spray your pizza pans with Pam.  The dough will be very sticky!!  If you have a little Pampered Chef  dough roller (or one like it), they work the best!!  You PLOP (it's really the best word I can think of!!) your dough onto your pizza pans.  Then spray the top of the dough with Pam and gently start to roll it.  It is really sticky so you have to do it carefully.  that is why the little spreader works better than a big rolling pin.  You can add a little flour to the top if you need to. I can usually get by with just the pam!

Put your dough in the heated oven for 5 minutes.  Then just take it out and add your toppings!! 
This is what I do:
Spread tomato sauce on the crust, sprinkle with pizza seasoning (from the bulk section of Winco) put on pepperoni and mozzerella cheese and cook for about 10 Min!! (or until the cheese is nice and brown!!) YUM!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Where Do I Get It???

You are probably noticing a lot more GLUTEN FREE items at your regular grocery store!! Supply and Demand!  There are people everyday realizing the health benefits of a gluten free diet!!  We'll talk about that one on another post, but for now, I know it may seem difficult to find all of these strange flours.  But it's not so hard anymore!!  I'm writing this for friends in my own City of Nampa, and Boise, so if you are far away, well then you'll have to do your own research!

The Boise Co-op has all of the different gluten free flours you will need and pastas.  However they are far away if you live by me!
Jakes Gluten Free Store in Meridian has everything gluten free, but they are a small store so I would suggest calling first to make sure they have what you want in stock before going there, unless you live next door!
Fred Meyers carries a whole line of gluten free products back in their health food section. 
Winco (who doesn't love Winco!!)  has a few things...getting more all the time.  They have white rice flour (not the asian market kind!!) - I get some of this to use in my gravies and sauces, they have Tapioca Starch in bulk, so it is a lot less expensive.  And my favorite!!  Just this week I found out that they carry Gluten Free Elbow Macaroni noodles!!!!! Yeah!!  It is WAY cheaper than anywhere!!  They have it in bulk.  I just buy it by the box!!
Several of the Albertsons carry a few things.  The one in Eagle has a lot of gluten free items!

Asian white rice flour - very important in baking, but don't use for bread!!  The Asian market I go to is in Boise by Shopko on Fairview.  I think it is called California Market.  But if you just look up Asian markets in the phone book and find one by you they will most likely have it!!

A Friend just sent me this info on another place you can find gluten free items.  She mentioned a really good premade mix for pancakes, and also lots of pasta!!  thanks Kathy!!
Cliff's Country Market
(208) 455-2460

217 Blaine St
Caldwell, ID 83605

If you know anything I don't, please comment and share!! I'll add it on here!!

Gluten Free Flour mixtures

Lets start at the very's a very good place to start.....

Oh sorry, okay, So let's start with the basics.  Most Gluten Free Recipes call for an all-purpose baking flour.   First I'll give you a list of what to buy that you MUST HAVE to bake Gluten Free.  (***Look at the bottom for a special TIP about baking goodies!!)

Brown Rice Flour
Potato Starch
Tapioca Starch
Corn Starch
Potato Flour
White Rice Flour from the Asian Market
Xanthan Gum  (this is what holds it all together, like the gluten does in regular flour!)

Featherlight Mix (used for breakfast foods, sweet breads, etc.)

1 Cup Brown Rice Flour
1 Cup Tapioca Starch
1 Cup Corn Starch
1 Tbls Potato Flour (not starch!!)

All Purpose Baking Flour:  (used mostly for bread and biscuits)

2 C Brown rice flour
2/3 C Potato Starch  (NOT potato flour)
1/3 C Tapioca Starch (sometimes called tapioca flour)   Confusing enough for you??

I keep a bucket of this mixed up.  Because I bake alot this is what I do (I'm sure you can figure it out, but here goes)

6 C Brown Rice Flour
2 C Potato Starch
1 C Tapioca Starch

Now, these are the recipes I use for bread, muffins, pancakes, and all of that sort of baking.  But I found a really great trick for baking goodies!!!   If you do this you won't be able to tell that it is gluten free!!  It makes a HUGE difference! You ready???

For my GF Flour mix for baking goodies I use WHITE RICE FLOUR FROM THE ASIAN MARKET.
It is this really fine powdery flour.  It doesn't work in breads, but for cakes and cookies it's fabulous!!!   Use the recipe for the All Purpose Baking Flour, just use the white rice instead of brown rice flour.  I keep two seperate buckets full.  I keep mine in my cupboard because I use them quickly.  But the freezer is a good place to store it too!!

Sugar Free GF Bread

I have a friend who wanted to go off sugar!  Well, my GF White bread has a 1/4 cup of sugar in it!  So I experimented today and made bread with Agave instead of sugar!  Agave and Stevia are both natural sugars (not to be confused with sugar free sweeteners that are harmful!! - you know who you are!!)   that are safe and don't raise your glycemic index.  And you can get Agave at Costco now!! Yeah!!

So to make this bread, use the GF white bread recipe with these changes
To dry ingredients add an extra 1/2 cup of gf flour mix
To wet ingredients add 2 Tbs Agave

Everything else is just the same!!

Gluten Free White Bread - My Favorite!!

Gluten Free Bread can be really tricky!!  Some things to know before you doesn't act like, look like, or work like regular bread dough!  As long as you get that in your head, you'll be fine!!  Just follow the directions and it will work!  Now, I use a bosch, so I really can't guarantee results with any other mixer, but as long as you have a pretty powerful mixer it should work!  You don't use a bread hook with gluten free bread!  I prefer to use my cookie paddles, but I've also used the cake wisks too.  So any beater you use in your mixer should be fine, just not a bread hook.  The batter is more like banana bread consistency.  You let the mixer "knead" it and you pour it in the loaf pan!

Okay, this bread is an easy "white sandwich" style bread.  Look on the link that says "sugar free" bread for a sugar free version using Agave (a natural sweetener that doesn't raise your glycemic index)

In mixer put:
3 C GF flour mix
1/2 C tapioca flour
1/4 C sugar
3 1/2 tsp.  xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp salt
Mix together quickly then add on top - DO NOT MIX IN
1 1/2 Tbs yeast

In a seperate bowl mix together
1 3/4 C warm water
1/4 c oil
1 tsp rice vinegar (i use white or apple cider vinegar)
Pour this mixture on top of yeast and let it sit for about 3 minutes or until the yeast gets bubbly
Then add 3 eggs and mix.  Scrape the sides and mix on HIGH for 5 minutes. 

You can make 2 smaller loaves (for this I use my glass loaf pans) or 1 larger loaf (for this I use my stone loaf pan).  I just like to make the smaller loaves.  I feel like my kids don't waste so much bread that way!!

Spray your pans with pam and divide the dough among the pans.  Put in a warm oven (170) for 30 minutes to rise.  Then don't touch the pans, but turn your oven to 375 and bake for 40 minutes.  When its done take it from the pan immediately and cool on a rack.  Rub the top with butter.  Let it sit atleast 15 minutes before trying to cut into it!

If your bread sinks, then you aren't mixing it enough.  My bosch is really powerful so it's getting mixed well!  If you have another mixer you may just want to mix it a little longer.