Monday, December 22, 2008

Homemade Guacamole

Here's a simple recipe I came across for a simple homemade guacamole that can be used in the taco dip recipe, as a dip by itself, or in any number of other dishes that call for guacamole.

Guacamole Dip Recipe


2 medium Ripe Avocados, halved, pitted, and removed from peel
1- 2 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Chunky Medium or Hot Salsa (Pace is gluten-free)
1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt


1. Sprinkle avocado with lemon juice.

2. Mash avocado with fork.

3. Fold in chunky salsa and sea salt.

4. Refrigerate until serving.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Here are a couple more baked goods to try!

Bob's Red Mill has a couple of recipes you can try using their gluten-free oats, if you don't have a sensitivity to pure oats (grown and harvested separately from wheat). I have not personally tried these recipes, so I can't weigh in on how they turn out, or taste, but they are on my list of items I would like to try relatively soon. Although, I don't know that I'll get to them before Christmas. They have a recipe for Oatmeal Banana Bread and a recipe for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Goodies

My daughter LOVES to bake treats, especially at Christmas time. Since I'm not great in the baking department, most of our treats come from pre-mixed packages of gluten-free treats. You still get to bake, but someone else has figured out the proper ratios of flours and whatnot.

We love making the sugar cookie mix from Cherrybrook Kitchen. The only word of warning is that unlike gluten-filled sugar cookies, these ones don't roll out nicely on your counter to use cookie cutters and then lift them onto the cookie sheet. BUT, fear not, you CAN still make cookie cut-outs with this mix. Just place a bit of the dough directly onto your cookie sheet, flatten the dough with your hand, use the cookie cutter, and while the cookie cutter is still in place, clear the extra dough away from the cutter. Lift the cookie cutter and voila! you have a cookie in whatever shape you want it! Repeat with the remaining dough. Bake, and then frost or add sprinkles. And speaking of sprinkles, my grocery store just started carrying this brand of gluten-free sprinkles! We haven't tried them yet, but I was oh, so excited about them! How awesomely wonderful!

I've also used this cake recipe to make a birthday cake for Jesus...and you can just make your own frosting, or Cherrybrook Kitchen makes a frosting mix (which I've used and found to be pretty much the same thing as making my own, it just costs more because someone else has done the measuring and packaging). You can also make cupcakes from this recipe and just serve those at a Christmas party.

I plan on making some Christmas wreath cookies as well (see recipe below). They were always a favorite when I was growing up and I knew I had to make sure I figured out a way to make them gluten-free.

Christmas Wreath Cookies

6 cups Nature's Path Honey'd Corn flakes
1 pkg. (approx 40) large Kraft marshmallows
1/3 cup stick margarine or butter
1 tsp. green food coloring (Both Wilton and McCormick have said their colorings are gluten free)
Red colored sugar crystals (again, Wilton and McCormick are fine)


1. In large saucepan/pot, melt margarine or butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Stir in food coloring.

2. Add corn flakes. Stir until well coated.

3. Using a 1/4 cup dry measure coated with cooking spray or butter/margarine, evenly portion warm cereal mixture. Using buttered fingers, quickly shape into individual wreaths. Sprinkle red sugar crystals on to resemble holly berries.

***This can also be formed into one large wreath and then served on a plate for people to cut portions from.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Gluten free baking!

Wow! It's been over a month since I last posted something here! It's been busy getting ready for the holidays. I'm hoping that I can offer some great cooking and baking ideas for the upcoming holidays.

For now, here are some baking supplies that are gluten free. As always, be sure to read labels to be sure that nothing has changed in the ingredient list, but this list is from the Celiac Forum. Hopefully it will give you a good idea of what is gluten-free in the mainstream baking aisle at your grocery store!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pot Roast

I have another yummy crock pot meal to share. It's getting to be that time of year where the crock pot gets used quite often at my house.

I go to the grocery store and buy a chuck eye roast (not to be confused with a chuck roast...definitely make sure it's a chuck eye). Usually I try to make sure I'm getting something in the 1.5-2 pound range. It feeds our family of 3 quite nicely with a little bit of left-overs.

I put the roast in to the crock pot straight from the package, but you can coat it in a thin layer of olive oil and dust with some rice flour and pan sear on all sides (about 2-4 minutes on each side) just to brown the outside and seal in any juices before putting the roast into the crock pot. I add about 2 cups of water to the crock pot and two tsp. of Herb-Ox Beef Bouillon granules. Then you can add whatever veggies you would like. I usually put in baby carrots and cut up half an onion. I've also added snow peas and diced up potatoes on occasion. This really will do well with whatever veggies you would like to add.

Set crockpot to low for 6-8 hours. When I don't add potatoes to the crock pot, I will often make mashed potatoes to serve on the side.

Chuck Eye roasts are fairly fatty, but the fat makes the roast very moist and it pretty much melts in your mouth. Very yummy and simple meal!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Homemade Butternut Squash

1 Butternut Squash, 2 1/2 to 3 lbs.
2 TBSP butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1 TBSP pure maple syrup (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
2. Cut squash in half through the stem end (top to bottom), remove seeds. Place cut sides down on baking sheet. Bake until easily pierced with a knife, 45-50 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
3. Spoon the flesh into a bowl. Add butter and syrup. Puree in blender. Add milk a little at a time to thin out the squash.

Cranberry Sauce from a can!

Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce is gluten-free! Enjoy your cranberry this Thanksgiving!

Gluten-free Stuffing/Dressing

This is another recipe that I knew I HAD to make gluten-free. It's just not Thanksgiving without stuffing (or dressing, if that's what you call it). So, I found a great recipe for homemade stuffing and just subbed gluten-free bread for wheat bread.


1 loaf of Ener-G brown rice bread, cubed up and dried in the oven
1 stick butter
3 medium onions, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. dried sage
2 cups chicken broth (you can use 2 cups of water with 2 tsp. Herb Ox Chicken Bouillon mixed in)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cube bread, spread on a cookie sheet, warm in the oven for about 20-30 minutes at 250-degrees F.
2. Melt butter in large skillet and cook onions and celery until soft (10-15 minutes) then mix in the herbs, salt, and pepper. In a large bowl, toss the bread with the onion/celery mixture and chicken broth to coat. Put the bread mixture into a large greased baking pan and cover with foil.
3. Bake at 375-degrees F for about 20 minutes, or until warmed through. Remove foil and bake for about 5 minutes to brown up the top (you can even put it under the boiler for a couple minutes, if you prefer).

Pumpkin Pie and Pie Crust

Last year at Thanksgiving, I was very new at doing gluten-free and I needed to make Thanksgiving as "normal" as possible, especially since we were going to my In-law's to celebrate with them. Pie is a huge thing. We had to have pie! It wouldn't have been fair to have everyone else eating a delicious pumpkin pie, while my daughter sat and watched and ate some boring cookie or something. I was on a mission to make a gluten-free pie. Our store didn't have any gluten-free pie shells, so I made my own pie shell. I didn't really know how to make something other than pumpkin pie, since I could only make a cookie-based crust (kind of like a graham cracker crust).

If you can get your hands on some gluten-free graham crackers, you can substitute those for the cookies in the crust recipe. Jo-Sef makes some really good gluten-free graham crackers.

Pie Crust Recipe

1 box of Pamela's Gluten-free Shortbread Cookies (or you can use the ginger cookies for a different flavor)
6 TBSP margarine, melted
2 tsp. sugar

1. Crumb up cookies in food processor. Toss all ingredients together.
2. Press into 8 or 9 inch pie pan

Pumpkin Pie Recipe (from Libby's)

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 eggs
1 can pumpkin (Libby's is gluten-free)
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 gluten-free pie crust

1. Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in small bowl
2. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar/spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
3. Pour into pie shell
4. Bake in pre-heated 425-degree F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350-degrees F. Bake 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for two hours.
5. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Another recipe from Kraft's recipe magazine.

2 large sweet potatoes (1 1/2 pound)
2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. package) Philadelphia light cream cheese, cubed
2 TBSP fat-free milk
1TBSP brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup pecans (optional)

1. Heat oven to 425 F. Cut potatoes length-wise in half; place cut sides down in foil-lined 15x10 baking pan. Bake 30-35 minutes or until tender.

2. Scoop out centers of potatoes into bowl, leaving 1/4 inch thick shells. Add cream cheese, milk, sugar, and cinnamon to potatoes; mash until blended.

3. Spoon potato mixture into shells; top with nuts. Bake 8 minutes or until potatoes are heated through and nuts are toasted.

Sweet Potato Fries

2 sweet potatoes
olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.

2. Cut sweet potatoes into wedges.

3. Cover baking sheet with foil; cover foil with olive oil. Spread wedges onto foil; drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

4. Bake 20 minutes, flip wedges over and bake 20 more minutes. Let cool before eating.

Shrimp Pomodoro Pasta

This is a recipe snagged from a Kraft recipe magazine. It's easy to make gluten-free.

1/2 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette (here's one that is gluten-free, but you can also check out Newman's Own and Kraft - check the labels)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups Tinkyada Penne Pasta, uncooked
1 pound cooked, cleaned shrimp
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (Kraft is gluten-free)

1. Heat large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add dressing, onions, and garlic; cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes; cook 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook pasta as directed on package.

2. Add shrimp to sauce; cook 2 minutes or until heated through.

3. Drain pasta; toss with shrimp mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Popcorn Balls

I just found this recipe and thought this would be a GREAT one to make for holiday cookie exchanges, bring to a holiday party as a great gluten-free treat, or to just make and share with the family at home. I think this is going to be one of our holiday treats this year.


  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 10-ounce bag mini marshmallows (Kraft brand are gluten-free)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • nonstick spray
  • prepared non-butter microwave popcorn
  • 1 cup Craisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • 1 cup mini M&M's (optional)
  • softened butter

  • Directions:
    1. Melt butter in medium pot over low heat. Add marshmallows and brown sugar. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat.
    2. Lightly coat a large bowl with nonstick spray. Add popcorn, then drizzle marshmallow mixture over popcorn and stir.
    3. Add Craisins and nuts. Toss with a spoon. Allow to cool slightly, then add M&Ms.
    4. Cover a baking sheet with waxed paper.
    5. Wash hands, smear them with softened butter and use them to form popcorn mixture into balls. Place balls on waxed paper. Leave a little space so they won't stick together as they harden.
    6. Offer the treat to family and friends so you can all crunch away!

    Melon Pops

    Here's a fun treat for kids to make (with adult help, of course)! You will need some popsicle molds to make them.

    Melon Pops
      Fresh Fruit (grapes, strawberries, blueberries, kiwifruit)

    1. Using a blender, puree watermelon and pour into Popsicle molds.
    2. Drop in chunks of fresh fruit, insert caps and place in freezer.
    3. Allow Popsicles to freeze overnight.

    Sunday, September 14, 2008

    Zucchini Muffins

    My mom found this recipe for gluten-free zucchini muffins and while we were visiting this weekend, we decided to give it a try. They turned out really well and even have sustained the dreaded "cool-down" and "next day eating". I've found that so many times, gluten-free baked goods tend to taste wonderfully when they come straight from the oven, but once they cool or when you go to eat them the next day, they are rather dry, crumbly, and really don't have that same flavor.

    These zucchini muffins do break apart a bit when eating them, but that's only because they don't have the gluten to hold them together as much. The Xanthan Gum works a bit, but definitely not the same as gluten that you find in wheat flour. The difference between some other baked goods I've tried and these muffins is that they are MOIST! We are definitely liking them here at our house!

    Zucchini Bread (Gluten-Free)

    1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
    1 ½ cups freshly shredded zucchini
    ½ cup vegetable oil
    1 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ¼ teaspoon baking powder
    1 ½ cups Gluten-Free Baking Mix (I used Arrowhead Mills)
    1 teaspoon xanthan gum for each cup of flour

    Shred the zucchini and chop the walnuts in a food processor and set them aside.

    Use a mixer to beat the eggs and add the sugar, oil and vanilla. Add the baking soda, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Slowly pour in the flour and xanthan gum until well mixed. By hand, mix in the zucchini and walnuts. Pour into lined muffin tins and bake at 350F degrees for approximately 35-45 minutes (or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean). Let cool.

    Friday, September 5, 2008

    Sundaes for Dinner

    We had a re-creation of a State Fair idea from this summer for dinner one night. We each built our own "Sundae", but using dinner foods. This served 5 of us.

    Ingredients we used:

    *6-7 servings of Betty Crocker Instant Mashed Potatoes (or you can make your own mashed potatoes from scratch). Betty Crocker's boxed Potato Buds are Gluten-free.
    *2 cups of gluten-free beef gravy
    *1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drain grease
    *8 oz. cheese, shredded (your choice...we used Monterrey Jack)
    *16 oz. Sour Cream
    *4-5 TBSP melted butter
    *small package of cherry tomatoes
    *1 onion, sliced and sauteed
    *1 small package mushrooms, sliced and sauteed

    1. Prepare mashed potatoes according to the box (or boil up your potatoes and mash them). Place potatoes into individual bowls or plates that have a bit of a lip to them. Pasta bowls work nicely.
    2. Prepare gravy and mix ground beef into gravy. Pour over potatoes.
    3. Top your mashed potato sundaes with cheese, onions, mushrooms, butter, sour cream and top with a cherry tomato.

    Enjoy your Sundaes for dinner!

    Tuesday, August 19, 2008

    Gluten-free Waffles

    If you have a waffle iron that has been collecting dust, or you're thinking you'll need to get rid of it because there's no way you can ever have yummy homemade waffles again on a gluten-free diet, please, pull that waffle iron out again and clean it up (gotta make sure there's no gluten-residue)! Grab yourself a box of Arrowhead Mills Gluten-free Baking Mix. There is a wonderful waffle recipe on the back of the box (although I used less liquid than they suggested because otherwise it was going to be too watery...use your best judgment and just add the liquid slowly as you're mixing). We tried it a few nights ago and it is wonderful. We couldn't tell the difference between those gluten-free waffles and the ones I used to make with regular wheat flour.

    Be sure you use Canola oil or Olive oil brushed on the waffle plates between each waffle you make, otherwise the waffles will stick to the waffle iron. We just use a basting brush for that purpose. It works quite well.

    If you are looking for some really yummy syrups that are gluten-free, Maple Grove Farms (go to their FAQ's to find more information about Celiac-friendly products) of Vermont makes all sorts of flavored syrups. They even have a gluten-free pancake mix available!

    Sunday, August 17, 2008

    Start of School...Lunch Ideas

    My daughter will be starting school in a couple weeks and I've been trying to think of some ideas to keep things fun and new for her lunch box. Here are some ideas I've come up with:

    **Bar-S Bologna rolled up, cheese sticks, cubes or slices, and a piece of fresh fruit

    **Deli meat (gluten-free brands - Hillshire farms is gluten free, along with some other brands) on buttered gluten-free bread, cheese, and fresh fruit

    **Peanut butter on "Nut Thins" (Blue Diamond brand), carrot and celery sticks sticks, and yogurt

    **Frozen gluten-free waffles, toasted and cut into waffle sticks to dip into syrup

    **Amy's frozen macaroni and cheese can be heated up and put into a thermos

    Some snack ideas:

    **Lay's Products are gluten-free, so you can include potato chips, Fritos, Doritos, Funyuns, Cheetos, and Tostitos in a lunch box, too. Pace Salsa and Ortega chunky salsas are gluten free. Bison French Onion Dip is Gluten-free.

    **Velveeta is gluten-free (a Kraft product), so you can make Velveeta and salsa for a cheesy dip with a little zip.

    **Celery or Carrot sticks and peanut butter is a wonderful snack.

    **Mi-Del makes some really good cookies, as does Pamela's

    **Jennies Coconut Macaroons are really yummy and gluten-free

    **Kinnikinnick makes donuts! We love the cinnamon sugar kind, but they also have chocolate dip and vanilla dip, which we haven't tried yet, but I hear they are very good. They must be kept frozen until ready to microwave and serve, but we recently microwaved one and put it in a baggie for later and it was still really good.

    I will add more ideas as I come up with them.

    Saturday, August 2, 2008

    Cracker Jack

    Want to enjoy some Peanuts and Cracker Jack on one of these nights when the baseball game is on and have the munchies? You can have some homemade Cracker Jack and it's not too hard to throw together for a party or just for a snack for the evening!

    Cracker Jack

    4 Quarts Popped popcorn
    1 Cup Spanish peanuts
    4 Tablespoons Butter
    1 Cup Brown sugar
    1/2 Cup light Corn syrup
    2 Tablespoons Molasses
    1/4 Teaspoon Salt


    1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

    2. Combine popcorn and peanuts in a metal bowl or on a cookie sheet and place in preheated oven.

    3. Combine all remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Stirring over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil.

    4. Using a cooking thermometer, bring the mixture to the hard−ball stage (260−275 degrees). This will take about 20 to 25 minutes.

    5. Remove the popcorn and peanuts from the oven and, working very quickly, pour the caramel mixture in a fine stream over them. Then place them back in the oven for 15 minutes.

    6. Mix well every five minutes, so that all of the popcorn is coated.

    7. Cool and store in a covered container to preserve freshness.

    Honey Lime Dressing

    For anyone who has gone to Chili's Restaurant and enjoyed their honey lime dressing, here's the recipe that you can make right at home. It's got all gluten-free ingredients, so you can enjoy it anytime you want!

    Honey Lime Dressing

    1/4 Cup Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
    1/4 Cup honey
    1−1/2 Teaspoon sugar
    1 Teaspoon sesame oil
    1−1/2 Teaspoon apple cider vinegar
    1−1/2 Teaspoon lime juice

    Blend all ingredients in a small bowl with an electric mixer. Cover and chill.

    Friday, August 1, 2008

    Chicken Enchilada Soup

    Chicken Enchilada Soup


    1/2 cup Vegetable oil
    1/4 cup Chicken base (can use Herb Ox chicken bouillon granules - 1/4 tsp. in 1/4 cup water)
    3 cups diced Yellow Onions
    2 tsp. ground Cumin
    2 tsp. Chili Powder
    2 tsp. granulated Garlic
    1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper
    2 cups Masa Harina
    4 quarts Water (divided)
    2 cups crushed Tomatoes
    1/2 lb. processed American cheese, cut in small cubes
    3 lb. cooked, cubed chicken


    1. In large pot, place oil, chicken base, onion and spices. Saute until onions are soft and clear, about 5 minutes.

    2.In another container, combine Masa Harina with 1 quart water. Stir until all lumps dissolve. Add to sauteed onions, bring to boil. Once mixture starts to bubble, continue cooking 2−3 minutes, stirring constantly. This will eliminate any raw taste from Masa harina.

    3. Add remaining 3 quarts water to pot. Add tomatoes; let mixture return to boil stirring occasionally.

    4. Add cheese to soup. Cook stirring occasionally, until cheese melts. Add chicken; heat through. Makes 1 1/2 gallons or 16−20 servings.

    Corn Tortillas

    Shauna from Gluten-free Girl has a great and easy recipe for making corn tortillas from scratch.

    (Masa Harina is a gluten-free item)

    Chili Powder

    For those who are unsure of what is in commercial chili powder or can't find one in your grocery store that you like, you can make your own:

    Chili Powder

    3 Tbsp. paprika
    1 Tbsp. ground cumin
    2 Tbsp. oregano
    1 tsp. red or cayenne pepper
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder

    Mix well. Place in an airtight container. Adjust red pepper to taste for a hot or mild blend. This makes 2/3 cup.

    Dill Potato Wedges

    Dill Potato Wedges

    7 or 8 new red potatoes
    2 cloves garlic, minced fine
    1/4 pound butter
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. black pepper
    1/2 tsp. celery salt
    2 tsp. dried dill weed


    1. Wash potatoes well and boil until barely soft. Drain, and cut potatoes in wedges. Melt 1 stick of butter, in large frying pan (use only real butter) and saute garlic for about one minute.

    2. Add potatoes and the rest of the seasonings. Pan−fry the potatoes until they are lightly brown.

    Broccoli Cheese Soup

    Broccoli−Cheese Soup

    1 1/2 pounds broccoli, fresh
    2 cups water
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup cornstarch, mixed with 1 cup cold water
    1 pint half and half
    1 pound Velveeta (this IS gluten-free)
    1/2 teaspoon pepper


    1. Steam or boil broccoli until tender.

    2. Place half−and−half and 2 cups water in top of double boiler.

    3. Add cheese, salt and pepper. Heat until cheese is melted. Add broccoli.

    4. Mix cornstarch and water in small bowl.

    5. Stir into cheese mixture in double boiler and heat over simmering water until soup thickens.

    Sunday, July 20, 2008

    Tuna Noodle Casserole

    Gluten-Free Tuna Noodle Casserole


    1/2 pkg of Mrs. Leepers rainbow rotini
    1 recipe of cream soup
    1 can Chicken of the Sea tuna
    frozen peas, cooked - you choose how much you want to include in your recipe. You can also sub corn instead of peas, if you prefer.
    salt and pepper to desired flavor (optional)


    1. Boil pasta to desired tenderness, drain.
    2. Mix in cream soup, tuna, and peas/corn
    3. Serve with or without salt and pepper for flavor.

    Sunday, July 6, 2008

    Weight Watchers Yogurt

    My sister-in-law sent me a message saying that as she was shopping, she noticed that the Weight Watchers Yogurt is gluten-free. It's a good source of vitamin A & D, Fiber and Pre biotics and probiotics and at only 1pt or 100 calories. She said that she likes the cherry or amaretto cheesecake flavors but they come in all varieties and are fairly inexpensive.

    Friday, July 4, 2008

    4th of July Meal (or just a nice summer dinner)

    We just finished our 4th of July grilled dinner meal. It was FANTASTIC!

    We had a Sirloin steak on the grill, homemade macaroni salad, and corn-on-the-cob grilled beside the steak.

    Sirloin Steak

    1. Choose a nicely marbled steak (you can ask for assistance at the meat counter).
    2. Lightly coat with olive oil.
    3. Rub on some Montreal Steak Seasoning (by McCormick) or just rub on some salt and pepper.
    4. Grill to 145 degrees.
    5. Let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting slices from the meat to allow the juices to distribute evenly.

    Corn On The Cob

    1. At your grocery store (or veggie stand), check the tops of the corn (pull back the husks slightly) to make sure that the kernels are plump.
    2. At home, soak the corn in water while still in the husks.
    3. Place on the grill and roast for about 10-15 minutes until husks are blackened and corn inside the husks are hot.
    4. Remove husks before eating (I had mine without butter on was plenty sweet and flavorful).

    Macaroni Salad

    1. Boil 8oz. Tinkyada elbow macaroni until tender, drain and rinse with cool water until macaroni is cold.
    2. Boil 2 eggs, remove shells and dice into small pieces
    3. Mix 1 cup mayonnaise (Hellmanns is Gluten Free), 1 tsp. yellow Mustard (French's is Gluten-free), 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper in a small bowl.
    4. Mix together macaroni, eggs, and mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle paprika on top and serve.
    5. If you prefer to add onion and green pepper, just add about 1/4 cup of each to the mixture. My family just prefers not to have those ingredients in a macaroni salad, so I didn't add them.

    It was a nice summer meal that everyone enjoyed!

    Friday, June 6, 2008

    A favorite lunch or snack

    My daughter used to love peanut butter on saltines in the days when she was not gluten-free. I had found these crackers that are similar in look to saltines. I bought them, but they are really expensive at my grocery store (nearly $9/box). We use them for soup and my daughter only gets two crackers per bowl of soup. I wasn't going to use them to spread peanut butter on whenever she got a craving for peanut butter crackers. It was just too expensive of a snack (or a lunch). But, she was still asking over and over for peanut butter crackers. I came across Blue Diamond's Nut Thins (we usually get the almond kind) and I thought I'd try those as a cracker substitute to spread peanut butter on. They work beautifully! And under $3 a box, I feel much better about using them. Plus, my daughter is at an age where 5-6 crackers spread with peanut butter is pretty filling if it's paired with a fruit and her standard slices of cheese she has with every lunch meal.

    You can also use plain rice crackers if you prefer not to use the nut/rice crackers that Blue Diamond makes. My grocery store carries this brand of rice crisps/crackers and I just got the "natural" (plain) kind for my daughter, but they come in a variety of flavors, if you prefer a flavored cracker. I imagine they would work well with cheese slices or a gluten-free dip, such as Bison Dips, as well.

    Saturday, May 17, 2008

    Spaghetti With Diced Tomatoes


    gluten-free spaghetti (4 servings worth)
    1 can diced tomatoes, drained
    1 small can sliced olives, drained
    cheddar cheese, cubed
    olive oil

    1. Cook spaghetti, drain, and mix in 2-3 TBSP of olive oil to keep spaghetti from sticking together.
    2. Add tomatoes, olives, and cheese to the spaghetti, toss.

    Sunday, May 11, 2008

    Did you know?

    Rice Chex are now gluten-free! Just be sure to check the front of the box. Some stores may still have some of their old boxes on the shelf. They have now switched their formula from using Barley Malt to using Molasses.

    Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

    My daughter and I just tried this recipe and so far, they taste really yummy. I'll have to give another review once they cool. But, so far they haven't crumbled apart like other cookies we've tried baking from scratch.


    1 cup shortening
    1 cup sugar
    2 eggs, beaten
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    2 cups rice flour
    2/3 cup potato starch
    1/3 cup tapioca starch
    1-1/2 tsp xanthan
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 cup sour cream

    1. In large mixing bowl beat together shortening and sugar; beat in eggs and vanilla.
    2. In medium mixing bowl combine dry ingredients. Add to creamed mixture with sour cream; mix well.
    3. Cover bowl and chill bowl at least 1 hour.
    4. On rice-floured surface roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
    5. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Do Not Overbake.
    6. Frost with Butter Cream Frosting. Color frosting with food coloring to desired colors.

    This recipe was found at: Gluten-free Recipe Exchange

    Gluten-free Hot Breakfast Ideas

    You can most certainly have eggs and gluten-free toast and butter. We usually add in some applesauce to round out that meal (or you can use fresh melon slices or any other fruit you'd like).

    Bob's Red Mill makes a good gluten-free pancake mix and you can use real maple syrup OR you can saute up some thin apple slices with butter, sugar, cinnamon and allspice (or you can substitute nutmeg/cloves for the allspice). I'll post the recipe for that apple topping below. That's a favorite at our house. You can even add a touch of Cool Whip (made by Kraft) or Reddi Whip (in the can), if you desire - both are gluten-free items.

    You can beat up some eggs and use some gluten-free bread and make some french toast as well. We prefer using the "Gluten Free Pantry bread mix" for our bread, and my daughter likes it with french toast. I'm not sure how it works with some of the other pre-packaged gluten-free breads, but you can certainly give it a try. Again, top it with real maple syrup.

    You can serve these hot breakfasts with melon, strawberries, a homemade fruit salad, or applesauce (or any other fresh fruits you desire).

    Recipe for Apple Topping

    2 medium apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced
    2 TBSP butter/margarine
    1/4 cup white sugar
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground allspice (I sub ground nutmeg)

    1. Melt butter/margarine over low heat in small skillet
    2. Mix in sugar, cinnamon and allspice
    3. Add apple slices, cover and simmer for 5 minutes, or until apples are very tender.
    4. Serve over pancakes either in addition to or instead of syrup.

    **You can double or triple this recipe depending on how many people you are serving.

    Friday, April 25, 2008

    Some Great Gluten-free Mainstream Items and Some Other Favorite Products

    Heinz Ketchup is Gluten-Free (we had been getting an organic ketchup, but when we went out to restaurants, we wanted to make sure that our daughter could have some ketchup when we were out).

    Many Lays products are Gluten-Free.

    EnviroKids cereals are wonderful...and 3 of them are gluten-free - Peanut Butter Panda Puffs, Koala Crisp (chocolaty cereal), and Gorilla Munch (a lot like Kix, but gluten-free)!

    Bar-S has many products that are gluten-free, including their bologna and hot dogs.

    Bison French Onion chip dip is gluten-free (goes well with Lay's Potato chips).

    French's Mustard is gluten-free.

    Hellmann's Mayonnaise is gluten-free. It's listed right on the label at the bottom of the ingredient list. And more from their website: What type of vinegar is used in Best Foods® Mayonnaise? Is it gluten-free?
    The vinegar used in Best Foods® Mayonnaise is distilled vinegar made from distilled alcohol and is gluten-free.

    **Best Foods and Hellmann's are the same product.

    Many Chicken of the Sea products are gluten free. The website link contains the items that are excluded from the gluten-free list. Be careful with many other canned tuna products...most contain vegetable broth that may contain gluten.

    Rice Chex are now gluten-free.

    Kraft products clearly list whether there is gluten (wheat, rye, or barley) on the ingredients list.

    Gluten-free Candy list - updated Halloween 2007.

    Ham with Yellow Squash

    Here's a fun spring or summer-time meal that's easy to make and makes good use of summer veggies.


    2 yellow squash
    2 zucchini
    about 4-5 TBSP butter or margarine
    ham, cubed
    1/2 cup rice, uncooked


    1. Cook the rice while preparing the rest of the dish.
    2. In a large skillet, melt butter/margarine.
    3. Slice zucchini and squash into thin discs, saute in the butter/margarine.
    4. Add cubed ham and heat until warm.
    5. Serve over a bed of rice.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008

    Taco Dip

    Another family favorite:

    Taco Dip

    1 can gluten-free refried beans
    2 avocados
    Lawry's guacamole mix or homemade guacamole
    8 ounces sour cream
    1 pound ground beef, cooked, drained, and cooled
    2-3 tomatoes, diced
    lettuce, shredded
    1 lb cheddar cheese, shredded

    1. Mash avocados well and mix with guacamole mix.
    2. In a 9x13x2 casserole pan, spread beans on the bottom. Layer sour cream, guacamole, ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese on top.
    3. Serve with corn tortilla chips (Tostitos are gluten-free).

    Sunday, March 16, 2008

    Meatball recipe II

    This is a little more flavorful and "kicked up" meatball. I've also found that it makes your house smell WONDERFUL!


    1 TBSP minced garlic
    2 tsp. chopped parsley
    1 TBSP dried basil
    1 TBSP dried dill weed
    1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
    1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (can crumble Ener-G rice bread)
    1 1/2 tsp. prepared yellow mustard (French's is gluten-free)
    1/2 tsp. salt
    2 eggs, beaten
    3/4 cup shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
    1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (can sub ground turkey)


    1. In large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well using your hands, making sure cheese is evenly distributed.
    2. Roll mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place in 9x13 baking pan.
    3. Bake at 350-degrees F for 20-25 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165-degrees F.

    ** We also serve these with gluten-free spaghetti and gluten-free spaghetti sauce.



    1 cup water
    1 tsp (or 1 cube) of desired Herb-Ox bouillon flavor (beef, chicken, vegetable)
    2 TBSP corn starch
    2 TBSP cold water
    salt and pepper to taste


    1. Heat 1 cup water and bouillon to a boil, to create a broth.
    2. In small bowl, mix corn starch and 2 TBSP water together to form a roux.
    3. Slowly whisk roux into simmering broth. Whisk for approximately 1 minute to thicken into a gravy.

    **I will use this recipe with chicken broth (or 1 cup of turkey drippings) at Thanksgiving. I've used the beef broth with meatballs as an appetizer.

    Meatball recipe I

    This is a very simple meatball recipe and is quite basic. I've made it for spaghetti and I've also made a beef gravy recipe to serve as an appetizer.


    1 lb. ground beef (or sub ground turkey)
    1/2 cup of gluten-free bread crumbs (or crumble some Ener-G rice bread)
    1/4 cup milk
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1 small onion chopped
    1 large egg


    1. Heat oven to 400-degrees F
    2. Mix all ingredients. Shape mixture into 1 1/2 inch meatballs. Place in ungreased 9x13 baking pan.
    3. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes until internal temperature is 165-degrees F.

    **You can serve this over Gluten-free spaghetti (we prefer Tinkyada). Hunt's has gluten-free sauces of several different flavors, if you opt not to make your own sauce.

    Turkey, Rice, and Vegetable Soup


    1 large Turkey Breast (or you can use 2-3 chicken breasts), cooked and cubed or shredded
    1 package frozen soup vegetables (or frozen mixed veggies)
    4 cups water
    3 tsp. Chicken bouillon granules or 3 vegetable bouillon cubes
    1/2 cup rice, cooked separately
    Any spices, salt, or pepper that you would like to enhance the flavor (I didn't add anything)


    1. Pour water and bouillon into large pot on stove (or in the crock pot). Add turkey and soup vegetables.
    2. If using a pot on the stove, simmer for 2-3 hours. If using the crock pot, set on low for 4-6 hours.
    3. Add cooked rice about 10 minutes before serving to make sure it is the same temperature as the soup, but don't leave in too long, or it will overcook and get too mushy.

    **This soup stores well in the fridge and reheats well for lunch the following day.

    Saturday, March 15, 2008




    1 to 1.5 lbs. ground beef (can use ground turkey, too)
    1 chopped onion
    1 egg
    1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (if you don't have any, you can always crumble a loaf of Ener-G rice bread and freeze those crumbs)
    1/2 cup Heinz Ketchup
    1/2 cup water
    salt & pepper, to your preferred amount for flavor


    1. Mix all ingredients and put into a loaf pan.
    2. Cook at 350-degrees for 30 minutes.

    Pork Chop Casserole - CROCK POT

    Pork Chop Casserole


    4-6 pork chops (I use boneless, since they fit better)
    3 cups water
    One cream soup recipe
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 cup rice, uncooked


    1. Add pork chops to crock pot.
    2. Combine water, soup, salt, and pepper and pour over pork
    3. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
    4. Add rice with about 3 hours left to cook. This will soak up the remaining liquid, making it a rice casserole feeling. Adding rice at the beginning may make the rice too mushy, though.

    Serve with your favorite veggie.

    Quick and Easy Home Fries

    Quick and Easy Home Fries


    3 medium red potatoes, cut into tiny cubes
    3 TBSP butter of margarine
    salt & pepper to taste
    Emeril's Rib Rub to taste


    1. Rinse potato cubes with cold water, drain well.
    2. Melt butter/margarine in large skillet over medium heat. Place potatoes in skillet, stir to coat with butter. Season with salt, pepper, & rib rub.
    3. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove lid and cook for another 10 minutes, turning frequently until brown on all sides and potatoes are tender.

    Chicken Hotsy Totsy

    Chicken Hotsy Totsy


    1 Small Jar Ortega Taco Sauce (you choose spice strength)
    2 recipes of the cream soup
    1 small bag of corn tortilla chips or Doritos
    4 chicken breasts cooked and cut into bite size pieces
    2 cups Colby-Jack cheese, shredded


    1. Mix Soups recipe and taco sauce together and spread on bottom of 9x13 or 11x7 baking dish. Layer tortilla chips/Doritos on top of mixture. Place chicken on top of chips and sprinkle with cheese.

    2. Bake at 350-degrees F for 35-45 minutes uncovered.

    Yummy Tilapia Recipe

    Parmesan Cheese Tilapia

    4 Tilapia Filets
    1-2 Eggs
    1/2 cup Kraft grated Parmesan Cheese
    Emeril's Rib Rub

    1. Beat Eggs in small mixing bowl. In a second small mixing bowl, stir Parmesan Cheese and Rib Rub (as much as you desire for spice/flavor) together.

    2. Dredge Tilapia filets in egg and then in cheese mixture.

    3. Place fish in large fry pan/skillet and pan-fry until internal temperature of 125-degrees F is reached.

    **I serve this often with rice and a side veggie. It gives the appearance of a breaded fish, but it has a much nicer flavor, in my opinion, plus it is gluten-free.

    Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    A family favorite side-dish

    Our family loves this Smushed Apples and Sweet Potatoes recipe. We served it at Thanksgiving (using a triple batch) and have served it with other meals as a veggie/fruit side dish.

    The recipe is below:

    2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
    2 TBSP butter
    1/4 cup white sugar
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. ground allspice (although I use nutmeg instead and it tastes great!)
    1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
    1/8 cup of milk (which I omit because I prefer this less liquidy)

    1. Place the sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan and fill with enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.

    2. Melt butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Mix in the sugar, cinnamon, and allspice. Add the apple slices, cover, and let simmer for 5 minutes, or until apples are tender.

    3. Mix the apple mixture into the drained sweet potatoes along with the milk. Mix well using an electric mixer or just a fork until potatoes are mashed. I have a little gadget that I use to really blend the mixture, so it's the consistency of whipped mashed potatoes. It works really well - much better than an electric hand mixer.

    Sunday, March 9, 2008

    My favorites...

    If you don't have a bread machine, you should invest in one. Gluten-free bread that is already made (frozen or not) is just pretty much inedible. I DO love to use the loaf of Ener-G Rice bread for bread crumbs, though. I just crumble it up (either by hand or in a food processor). But, my favorite Rice bread is Gluten-Free Pantry's Favorite Sandwich Bread. If you can buy a 2lb loaf bread machine, you can make this all at once (and I've found that separating the loaf into thirds and freezing 2/3 of the loaf at a time, I can get the max out of the loaf without it getting moldy).

    I love Tinkyada's pasta products, but I've also gotten into Mrs. Leeper's "rainbow" rotini pasta, as well. I like to use the rotini when I'm making something like tuna noodle casserole, or something of that nature. And Mrs. Leepers also makes a line of "boxed pasta dinner" options (you know, like the Hamburger Helper). We've tried the Lasagna version and that's pretty good! I haven't given the other ones a try yet, mostly because I like to stay away from the higher sodium contents in boxed meals like that and I make more things from scratch.

    My daughter loves pizza and that was one thing I've really struggled with making sure we can keep as an option. I tried making my own with different dough mixes and "from scratch" recipes. So far, the only good pizza we've found that we can make at home is Amy's Rice crust frozen pizza in our grocery's freezer section. If you follow that link, scroll down about half way. My daughter prefers the Spinach pizza rather than the cheese pizza, but I've tried both and they are both very good. The Spinach pizza actually is dairy-free as well.

    For now, those are some of my favorite brands/products for meals.

    Tuesday, March 4, 2008

    Macaroni and Cheese

    This is a recipe I got from my mother-in-law and I tweaked it to make it gluten-free. It's very yummy and definitely much better than the gluten-free macaroni and cheese you can buy in the store.

    Macaroni and Cheese

    2 cups uncooked rice macaroni (we have used elbows or pasta shapes - both from Tinkyada)
    1 serving of the Gluten-free condensed mushroom cream soup
    1/2 cup milk
    1 tsp. Gluten-free prepared yellow mustard
    3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
    salt & pepper to taste

    1. Cook macaroni to desired tenderness, drain.
    2. Mix together: soup, milk, mustard, salt, and pepper
    3. Pour soup mixture over macaroni and mix.
    4. Stir in 2 cups of the shredded cheddar cheese.
    5. Bake in a casserole dish (I use 11x7) at 425 degrees F until hot and bubbly.
    6. Just before removing from oven, sprinkle the last cup of cheddar cheese on top and return to the oven just until melted.

    An AWESOME recipe for Gluten-free cake/cupcakes

    We had tried the Gluten-Free Pantry's cake mix recipe earlier this fall. It was pretty dry and crumbly, but I went on the hunt for a recipe using that same cake mix, but modified to taste like "regular cake". We did a test run of it at Christmas time and it went over VERY well. I used it again for my daughter's birthday in January and no one could tell the difference. The recipe I used was from Catherine at Gluten-Free Guide. She was very helpful when I had some questions about the recipe.

    This was, hands-down, the best gluten-free cake I have made. I plan on using the recipe again when my daughter goes to friends' birthday parties, but just making them in cupcake form, so all we have to bring is one cupcake.

    As for frosting, I used a simple buttercream recipe using real butter, milk, gluten-free vanilla (McCormick's is safe) and powdered sugar. You can add food dye, if you would like a specific color. If you want pure white, you can use clear vanilla.

    Here is the recipe Catherine posted on her blog, just in case something happens to her site:

    Celebratory Cupcakes

    Yellow Gluten Free Cupcakes (adapted from the Celiac Disease Delphi Forums)
    1 package Gluten Free Pantry Old Fashioned cake mix*

    1 package Jello vanilla instant pudding
    1/2 cup sugar
    4 extra large eggs room temperature
    1/2 cup canola oil
    3/4 C orange juice
    1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons good vanilla extract

    *Do not follow the directions on the package

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

    Mix the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients and beat on high speed for two minutes.

    Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Fill liners 2/3 to ¾ of the way full.

    Bake for about 25 minutes, until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If making a cake, grease the pan first, pour in the mix and bake for 40-45 minutes.

    Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (adapted from Domino Sugar)
    1 pound confectioner’s sugar
    1 stick (8T) of good unsalted butter, softened
    2 teaspoons good vanilla extract
    ¼ cup of milk

    Combine half of the sugar with the butter and beat on low speed. Add the wet ingredients and beat. Slowly add the rest of the sugar while mixing until combined. Beat on medium-high speed for at least two minutes until the frosting is smooth and creamy. If you want the frosting to be a little bit stiffer (better for decorating) add powdered sugar a couple of tablespoons at a time. Frost cupcakes with icing at room temperature.

    Tip - I find if I am going to a party that cupcakes are difficult to transport already frosted. Instead I keep the cupcakes and frosting in separate Ziploc bags or Tupperware containers and then frost them quickly upon arrival. They may not be pretty but they will taste good. This recipe stood up against cupcakes made by a professional working at Martha Stewart! Making homemade frosting is key – it doesn’t take that much extra effort on your part but it will take your baked goods to the next level.

    Monday, March 3, 2008

    A major staple recipe at our house

    One of the biggest staples around our house before going gluten-free was Cream of Mushroom Soup. Once we went gluten-free, I wasn't able to find a gluten-free brand at my grocery store (which is really, pretty good at helping those who are gluten-free), so I looked online to see if there was a recipe to make my own. What I found was this recipe. It's very versatile and so far has worked in every recipe I've needed Cream of Mushroom Soup for. I will also post the recipe below, just in case, at some point that recipe gets removed or moved. I have also substituted vegetable bouillon for the chicken bouillon when I want something that tastes a little less "chickeny."

    Oh, and in case anyone didn't know, Herb-Ox makes gluten-free chicken, vegetable, and beef bouillon.

    Condensed Cream Soup
    1 cup cold milk
    2 Tbsp cornstarch
    1 1/2 Tbsp butter
    1 tsp chicken bouillon
    1/2 tsp salt
    dash of pepper
    1. In a small saucepan, whisk milk and cornstarch till well blended.
    2. Stir in butter, bouillon, salt, and pepper.
    3. Heat to a boil, stirring frequently. Simmer on low for one minute more to thicken.
    Use in recipes to replace one can of cream of anything soup.

    Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup:
    Stir in a drained 4 ounce can of mushroom pieces to the recipe above.
    Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Mushroom Soup.

    Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup:
    Stir in 1/2 cup cooked chicken pieces to the recipe above.
    Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Chicken Soup.

    Condensed Cream of Celery Soup:
    Stir in 1/2 cup sautéed chopped celery to the recipe above.
    Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Celery Soup.

    Our Family's Favorite

    This recipe started out as a family favorite before we were gluten-free, but with some slight modifications, we were able to make it into a gluten-free recipe.

    Macaroni and Beef

    1 pound ground beef (or turkey/other ground product)
    1/4 cup onion, chopped
    1/4 cup green pepper, chopped (optional)
    12 ounce can tomato paste
    2-3 cans water (just use tomato paste can)
    3-4 handfuls of rice elbow macaroni (we use Tinkyada)
    gluten-free chili powder, to taste
    salt & pepper to taste
    1 can corn, drained

    1. Brown hamburger with onions and green peppers in large skillet and drain grease.
    2. Add tomato paste, water, elbows, corn, salt, pepper, and chili powder to the meat in the skillet, stir until paste is mixed well.
    3. Bring to a boil and then simmer on medium until macaroni is tender (approx. 15-20 minutes)
    4. Serve.

    Yields Approximately 4 servings.

    My family likes grated parmesan cheese on top of this dish, but that's completely optional. It changes the flavor from a Mexican-type dish to a more Italian-tasting dish, but I guess it's whatever your tastes are.

    Getting Started!

    This is my first blog entry, so I want to introduce myself. I'm a 30 year old mom with a 5 year old daughter who is currently on a gluten-free diet. She's not a Celiac, but has shown a marked improvement in her behavior since starting on the diet back in mid-October 2007. My husband and I are semi-gluten-free, meaning that we often eat a gluten-free dinner together as a family, but breakfasts and lunches are sometimes not gluten-free.

    One of the most rewarding things I have heard from my daughter is this phrase: "Mommy, I'm glad that I'm on a gluten-free diet. I feel so much happier!"

    On our quest to be gluten-free, I've made some modifications to our diet, but for the most part, I've been able to keep our meals the same, with some minor substitutions of ingredients that just don't make a huge difference in the taste.

    My goal is to post some recipes that we currently use, as well as recipes that I come across that are fairly easy to modify.

    I hope that I can help even one person to add a new meal or two to their repertoire that are healthy, tasty, and easy to make.