Friday, December 11, 2009

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

My husband's favorite thing in the whole world is Pineapple Upside-down Cake. Since going gluten-free, we haven't made it. It's just been too troublesome and the yellow cake mixes either were too much cake or too involved to make it taste good (and ended up being too expensive to make it worth the trouble). But, Betty Crocker's Yellow Cake Mix makes it SO simple!

1 Betty Crocker Gluten-free Yellow Cake mix
2 TBSP margarine or butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 8-ounce can pineapple slices, drained and halved
1 TBSP water

1. Melt margarine in a 9x1.5 inch round cake pan (I just do this on the stove burner in the pan...use oven mitts to touch the pan as it can get hot).
2. Stir in brown sugar and water.
3. Arrange pineapple slices in the pan.
4. Prepare batter from cake mix according to the package instructions.
5. Carefully pour cake batter over the pineapples.
6. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted near center of cake comes out clean.
7. Cool in pan on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. Loosen sides, invert onto a plate. Serve warm.

Serves about 8.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Egg Nog

It's getting to that time of year for Christmas products. Here are some eggnog brands that are gluten free:

Gluten free Egg Nog brands...
*Upstate Farms
*Silk Nog (soy milk, dairy-free, egg-free)
*Ronnybrook Farms (can be found at Wholefoods and other locations - their egg nog is found in the milk section on their website and is included in their gluten-free statement of milk products)
*Byrne Dairy just wrote to me and indicated that their Eggnog AND Holiday Nog are both Gluten-free (see note below****)

If you have another brand of eggnog at your store that is not on this list, please contact the company and ask them before you consume. I could not find a statement on the websites of Land O' Lakes, Parmalat, or Borden that stated for sure that their products were gluten-free, so I did not include them in this list. The listed brands have right on their website that their products, including their eggnog flavors, are gluten-free. Always check on store brands of products. Many times a store brand label is really a national brand that has your store's name/label on it. So, perhaps ask what brand their eggnog is and you can determine in that way whether the product is gluten-free or not.

(****Dear Ms. Mansfield,
I am writing in response to your email received this morning. Both Byrne Dairy Egg Nog and Holiday Nog are gluten free. Thank you for contacting us.

Bill Byrne
VP Quality Assurance
Byrne Dairy Inc.)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

2009 Halloween Candy List

It's Halloween again! Here's an updated list of gluten-free candy from Surefoods Living. It was just put up a couple weeks ago, but as always, definitely double check labels and if you're in doubt, then definitely pull it out of the kids' Halloween baskets and either toss it out or give it away to someone who can eat it.

There's so much candy out there that IS ok for our GF kids these days. Halloween doesn't have to be a sad time...just explain to your child that you will separate their candy and give them the kinds they can eat and then perhaps you can take them out for a special non-candy treat in exchange for the candy they can't eat. OR, if you have some left-over Halloween candy that you passed out to neighborhood kids that is safe for your child, you can always trade them a piece of that candy for the candy they can't have.

I wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Beef Minestrone Soup

This recipe is from the Wegmans Menu Magazine, but we've adjusted it slightly to create a gluten-free version for our family.

About 1.5 lbs boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup rice flour
2 Tbsp pure olive oil
1-2 potatoes, cubed
2-3 carrots, cut
1-2 celery stalks, cut
1-2 leeks, cut
cabbage, coarsely cut
1 zucchini, cubed
1/2 onion, coarsely cut
salt and pepper
32 oz. gluten-free beef stock (or Herb-Ox beef bouillon)
1 can (14.5 oz) gluten-free diced tomatoes
24 oz. gluten-free smooth marinara sauce
3/4 cup Schar brand Anellini Soup Pasta
1 can (15.5 oz) gluten-free garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 pkg (6 oz) fresh baby spinach

You'll Need: 6-8 qt slow cooker, large braising pan


1. Create a pan-searing flour with rice flour, pinch of salt, and dash of pepper.

2. Dust beef with pan-searing flour; pat off excess.

3. Heat oil in large braising pan (or large skillet) on MEDIUM-HIGH until oil faintly smokes. Add beef; sear 10 min until all sides are paper-bag brown.

4. Transfer beef to slow cooker; don't discard pan drippings. Add 4 cups of vegetables (potatoes, carrots, celery, leeks, onion, cabbage, and zucchini) to pan with beef drippings; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, 3 min; add to slow cooker. (Any left-over veggies beyond the 4 cups can be frozen for future use or used for something else.)

5. Add stock, tomatoes, and sauce to slow cooker. Cover, cook 4 1/2 -6 hours on HIGH or 8-10 hours on LOW.

6. Add dry pasta and beans 30 minutes before end of cooking on HIGH (45 minutes before end of cooking on LOW).

7. Add spinach to slow cooker; stir to blend well. Allow spinach to lightly wilt, about 2 min.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Chicken Spaghetti

This meal was a hit tonight with my family. It kind of has an alfredo taste to it, but it's neat that it's a baked/casserole-like dish. It's definitely a recipe that takes some time to put together and then bake, but it's well worth the effort. Probably something you'd want to start preparing about 2 hours ahead of when you want to eat.

Chicken Spaghetti

3-4 chicken breasts or equivalent (I used boneless skinless, but, you can use bone-in or thigh meat)
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces
1/2 large vidalia onion, cut into small pieces
black pepper (to taste)
1/2 tsp. fresh minced garlic (or garlic powder, to taste)
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Double Recipe of Condensed Cream Soup
16 oz. spaghetti (I use Tinkyada's Spaghetti)
1 cup broth reserved

1. Bring chicken along with onion, carrots, pepper, and garlic to a boil in large pot of water. Simmer until chicken is cooked. Temp chicken to 165-F.

2. Save broth to boil spaghetti, but reserve one cup.

3. Hand-shred chicken once it's cool enough to handle.

4. Cook spaghetti in remaining pot of broth and drain. Set aside along with chicken.

5. Mix carrots, onion, condensed cream soup, 1 cup broth, sour cream, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, black pepper in a large bowl.

6. Add drained spaghetti and chicken. Pour into a 13X9 pan and bake for 30 minutes at 4oo degrees. Top with mozzarella and bake about 10 minutes - until mozzarella is melted.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


While on our vacation to the Boston area last week, we visited a Whole Foods. It was my first time going into a Whole Foods store and my first impression was that it looked like a typical supermarket. How awesome! The only difference was that it was a whole grocery store that carried products that the Nature's Marketplace within our Wegmans grocery store carry...and a whole lot more. We easily spent $60+ grabbing this item and that item off the shelves that I hadn't ever seen out our way.

One of the items we bought and just tried last night were the Namaste Foods brand Blondie Mix. I opted to make the whole package (9x13 pan) all at once rather than breaking it up into two 8x8 pans. I'm glad I did, because I think an 8x8 pan of Blondies would have been completely devoured a day later, so at least I have some for a couple of extra days.

They are super moist and really easy to make. I literally had them mixed up and in the oven in about 5 minutes. I think the only thing that I wasn't expecting was the flavor. They aren't bad tasting, just not what I remember a "Blond Brownie" tasting like. I think it might be the Arrowroot flour used in the ingredients. Again, it's not a BAD flavor, just different than I was expecting. We all love them here and we highly recommend them if you can find them. Namaste Foods has a store locator function on their website and I was able to locate stores in our area that carry some of their products. I just don't know which of their products those stores carry.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More from Betty Crocker!

After tasting the yellow cake and finding it delicious and my daughter and husband giving two thumbs up to the brownies, I went online to see about gluten-free frosting. Betty Crocker is going to begin labeling their pre-made frostings as gluten-free. They have their gluten-free FAQ's HERE. What a real blessing this company has been to those of us who are living gluten-free! I can make my daughter a birthday cake that tastes good and use frosting that most kids are familiar with! How wonderful!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Betty Crocker is baking GLUTEN FREE!

Well, Betty herself may not be baking gluten-free and certainly not all of their products, but apparently they have a new line of baking mix products out there that are gluten-free. Now, I have not gone looking for them in my local grocery store yet, but I certainly will be! I'm not sure how many grocery stores have come to realize that Betty is making and selling gluten-free products yet, but hopefully we'll see them around the stores soon!

If anyone finds the products and gives them a try, please let me know how they taste. I personally can't try the devil's food cake, chocolate chip cookies, or the brownies, since I am also sensitive to chocolate, so you won't find a review of those products from me, even if I can find them in the store. I really would like to give the yellow cake mix a try though, and if I find it and try it, I'll let you all know how it tastes!

Friday, July 10, 2009

General Mills is AWESOME!

I posted quite a while back that Rice Chex were gluten-free, but now I have just learned that we all have a wide range of "Chex Cereal" available to us! We can also choose between: Corn Chex, Honey Nut Chex, Strawberry Chex, Chocolate Chex, and Cinnamon Chex! Just be sure to check the box at the store, as the stores may be trying to get rid of their old stock (without the "Gluten-free" banner on the front of the box). How wonderful that we now have a choice of some "mainstream cereals" available!

Boring Burger Blues?

Are you getting bored with plain burgers? You can always dress it up with some cheese on top, but even that can get rather boring after a while. How about getting creative?

First off, you're going to need a bun, right? Check out The Grainless Baker. They make some really yummy hamburger buns! You can also check this site out. I haven't tried the buns, but you can order them and give them a try.

You can then get some ground beef (choose your desired fat percentage) and 1-2 TBSP of water to each pound of ground beef, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Use a 1/3 cup measure and measure out a portion for a ground beef patty. Split that portion in half, flatten half and then put some shredded cheddar cheese on top. Flatten and place the other half of the ground beef mixture onto the cheese, pinch the edges so that the cheese is INSIDE your burger. Put that burger on your grill until the internal temperature is 165F.

Some great toppings for your burger are: pickles*, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, sliced avocado, more cheese, and don't forget that Heinz Ketchup is gluten free, as well as French's mustard!

*Vlasic Pickles are gluten free. You can go to their website, click on "About Us" and then on "Q&A" to find their statement concerning their pickles being gluten-free.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Did you know???

Starbucks has a gluten-free baked good! It's a Valencia Orange Cake and it's individually wrapped. All you need to do is go to a Starbucks location (most locations carry them, but you might want to call ahead, especially if it's a small shop in a mall that might not carry the full variety that a stand-alone store might), ask for a Gluten-free Valencia Cake, and pay them $1.95! I ordered mine with some orange herbal tea and it was fantastic! They do have almond slivers on the top, so if you have any nut allergies, you would want to stay away from them, but if you simply cannot have gluten, this is a wonderful item.

One thing that Starbucks has NOT done is market this product very well. So, if you like Starbucks and want to see them feature this item and market it properly, so they can increase their business among people with a gluten-intolerance or Celiac Disease, be sure to tell your local Starbucks that you would like to see them market the gluten-free products a little better. I even went onto Starbucks' website and sent an e-mail telling them that I thought they were doing a wonderful thing and that they should do more to promote their product and the fact that they are willing to cater to people with gluten sensitivities. I encourage anyone else who wants to try this product to go support Starbucks and give them YOUR feedback as well!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

All In One Dinner

The vague title had me intrigued. The ingredients were all things I had or could obtain fairly cheaply from the grocery store. And it sounded fairly simple to put together and cook up in the oven. I gave it a shot and the reviews were good. My family likes it. My husband said it reminded him of what you might use to stuff peppers or make stuffed cabbage. It's got a lot of substance and a lot of wonderful flavors.

1 10-oz. box frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 green pepper
1 onion
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes (undrained)
2 8-oz. cans tomato sauce
3/4 cup uncooked rice
1/4 cup grated gluten-free Parmesan Cheese
3/4 tsp. gluten-free chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 400-F.
2. Squeeze the spinach dry. Place it in a large bowl.
3. Chop the green pepper and onion into small pieces. Add them to the bowl.
4. Sprinkle ground beef into the bowl (raw).
5. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, rice, cheese, chili powder, salt, black pepper, and water. Stir well to blend, breaking up meat and spinach with the edge of a spoon.
6. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish (I used an 11x7 oblong) with non-stick spray or lightly grease with olive oil. Place the mixture in the casserole dish. Pack it down lightly, and smooth the surface.
7. Cover the casserole with an oven-safe lid or foil. Bake for 1 1/4 hours (temp should be at least 165-F).

**This recipe is from the "Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Cookbook for Kids and Busy Adults" by Connie Sarros. This cook book is a wonderful addition to my kitchen. Lots of simple recipes that use ingredients that most of us keep around the house, rather than lots of unusual or expensive ingredients and complicated assembly.

Cheeseburger Pie

I've made this twice for my family. I adapted it from a recipe given to me from a friend. The first time around I had to fudge around with the proper amounts for the "bread" portion (baking mix to water ratio), but I just made it again the other night with "proper" amounts of everything and it turned out fabulous!

1lb. ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup G-F All Purpose Baking mix (I use Arrowhead Mills)
1/3 tsp. xanthan gum
1/4-1/2 cup milk (start with 1/4 and slowly add more as needed)
2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 400-F
2. Brown beef and onions, drain. Stir in salt.
3. Scoop into a greased pie pan (I use a small amount of olive oil).
4. Sprinkle cheese on top of beef mixture.
5. Mix eggs, milk, and baking mix (combined with xanthan gum). Consistency should be similar to pancake batter (not too runny, but still able to "pour"). Add milk in small amounts until desired consistency.
6. Bake for 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

***We serve this with diced fresh tomatoes and organic leaf spinach over the top with a little G-F ketchup on the side for dipping.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake

This is a recipe that was made for my daughter and me this past weekend and most of the guests enjoyed this version instead of the store-bought angel food cake (made with wheat flour). This is slightly more dense than a store-bought non-gluten-free angel food cake, but it's still very good!


*1 cup gluten-free flour (recommendation was to use 1/4 cup millet flour, 1/4 cup tapioca flour, 1/4 cup white rice flour, and 1/4 cup sweet rice flour, but the one made for us was made with Pamela's G-F Baking Mix)
*1 tsp Xanthan Gum
*12 egg whites, room temperature (to maximize volume of egg whites)
*1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
*1/4 tsp salt
*1TBSP vanilla
*1 1/2 cups granulated sugar


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Separate egg whites in a stainless steel bowl and let them come to room temperature.
3. In a separate medium bowl, sift gluten-free flour, salt, xanthan gum, and 3/4 cup of sugar.
4. Beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar. Beat until the egg whites form soft peaks. Beat in the other reserved 3/4 cup of sugar about 3 TBSP at a time. Beat until stiff peaks form.
5. Slowly fold in flour mixture about 1/4 cup at a time. Once the flour mixture is combined, fold in the vanilla.
6. Slowly pour the batter into a tube pan (Bundt cake pan or similar) and spread the batter evenly. Run a knife through the cake to eliminate any air bubbles.
7. Bake for 50-55 minutes until top is golden and sides begin to pull away.
8. Cool for 10 minutes. Run the edges of a knife along the pan and pull out the insert to the tube pan (if you have one). Run a knife along the bottom of the insert and invert onto a cake plate. Serve with topping of choice!

We served ours with strawberries and Reddi-Whip...very yummy!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Some of the best cookies ever!

I just got back from my weekly grocery shopping excursion and I found a "new" product stocked on the shelf. I'm not sure if it's a new product all together, or just new to my store, but I thought I'd pick up a package and give them a try. They are Pamela's Simplebites Mini Ginger Snapz (click on simplebites). So delicious! You definitely need to have will power to only eat a couple and then put the package away for another time. If you enjoy ginger snaps, these are probably the closest I've tasted to "regular" ginger snaps. Super yummy!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Homemade Split Pea Soup

I must admit, I was a bit intimidated to make pea soup from scratch. I've never done it before. I know my mom has made it before and it really is good. But, we had some left-over ham and I thought I'd give it a try. It's turned out quite well. So, I'm sure I'll make it again at some point.

1 package gluten-free split peas (16 oz.)
6-7 cups water
ham, cubed
ham bone
4 carrots, cut and diced
4 celery stalks, cut and diced
1 onion, chopped
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1. Prepare peas per package directions (some say to rinse and soak them first, other brands don't require soaking, but only rinsing). Mine, I rinsed well, removed any pea shells, and then just added to my water. I simmered them on medium heat in a large pot for about 45 minutes until they started getting soft.

2. Add carrots, celery, onion, cubed ham, ham bone, and pepper. Let simmer at medium-low heat for about 30 minutes. Remove ham bone.

3. From there, I transferred the soup from the pot on the stove to my crock pot and set it on high for about 2 hours and then reduced to low. You can also just keep this on your stove on low for several hours until peas get very soft. Stir occasionally.

4. Stir before serving. Pea Soup freezes well, if you have left overs.

This recipe makes about 6 servings.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti

1 (26 ounce) jar gluten-free spaghetti sauce
1 can (14 oz) plain diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (or we used Monterey Jack cheese and that worked well)
1 package (16 oz) Tinkyada Penne Pasta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (you can use fresh or Kraft is gluten-free)

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Boil pasta according to package directions, drain.
3. Mix together in a large mixing bowl: sauce, tomatoes, 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Pour sauce mixture over pasta and mix until pasta is coated. Pour into 9x13 inch baking dish.
4. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and Parmesan Cheese over top. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wegmans Grocery Store Chain

I know that this doesn't help the majority of the world, but if you happen to live near a Wegmans grocery store, they are wonderful with their gluten-free selections and labeling of their mainstream products that are gluten-free. Wegmans has locations in NY, PA, MD, NJ, VA and locations coming to MA. Here's a list from their website of all of their "Wegmans Brand" products that are gluten-free.

Hopefully this will be of some help to those who live nearby a Wegmans grocery store chain.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Another Yummy Nut Thin Snack

I'm sure this is not the most healthy of snacks, but I've been taking Almond Nut Thins (or you could use any rice cracker) and spreading cream cheese (Philadelphia - plain cream cheese is it a Kraft product) on top. Perhaps I'm a little crazy for really loving this combo, but I shared some with my daughter and she thought they were equally as yummy. She was disappointed when the cream cheese ran out. But, I have just returned from the grocery store with a new container of cream cheese and a fresh box of Nut Thins. We can go back to our snacking now.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Gluten-free Soup

My daughter and I just sampled some soups from Kettle Cuisine that just showed up in our grocery store's gluten-free freezer section. My daughter tried the "Chicken Soup with Rice Noodles" and I tried the "Angus Beef Steak Chili with Beans." We give those two varieties two thumbs up (I did get a chance to sample the chicken soup, but my daughter didn't want to try the chili, since she's not a fan of beans).

Kettle Cuisine has a few other varieties of soup that I'm sure are equally as delicious. I just wanted to be sure to share this brand, since we found them to be quite yummy. The portion sizes are probably just the right size for a lunch and can be microwaved right out of the box in the bowl it comes in. It was probably a bit small of a portion to be eaten alone as a dinner meal, so perhaps serve with a gluten-free sandwich.

Yummy Snack

I'm just starting out the gluten-free diet myself (my daughter has been gluten-free for nearly a year and a half now) and was looking for a snack for myself that would meet my need to "crunch" and still be gluten-free and yummy.

I bought some of Blue Diamond's Almond NutThins, sliced some Muenster Cheese on top of the crackers, popped the plate of cheese crackers in the microwave for 10 seconds until the cheese was bubbling and enjoyed. Crunchy, salty, cheesy. YUM!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread

Here's a recipe I was sent from a friend who found this on I have yet to try it, but from the reviews on the site, it sounds like most people enjoyed it.

Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread

"Searching for recipes for a gluten-free diet can be challenging during the holidays. Here is a recipe for Irish soda bread that I have adapted over time for St. Patrick's Day. The recipe calls for rice and tapioca flour instead of wheat and it still tastes yummy! Good if wrapped and left overnight, but I think it tastes great right out of the oven. Serve with butter or jam."


* 1 1/2 cups white rice flour
* 1/2 cup tapioca flour
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 egg
* 1 cup buttermilk (I imagine you can also do 1 cup milk + 1TBSP vinegar to sour the milk)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch round cake pan.
2. Combine the rice flour, tapioca flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and buttermilk . Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Pour into the cake pan.
3. Bake for 30-40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack, for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Wrap bread in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and let stand overnight for the best flavor.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Stuffed Cabbage

Here's another light meal that my family enjoyed the other night.

Stuffed Cabbage

1 head of cabbage
1lb. ground beef
1/3 cup rice, uncooked
1/2 jar spaghetti sauce (Hunts is gluten-free)


1. Cook up the rice; mix with uncooked ground beef.

2. Heat up electric skillet with about 1.5-2 cups of water (to cover the bottom of the pan) to about 350-degrees (or on the stove, in a large skillet, heat up to med-high). Water should be simmering. You may have to replenish the water from time to time as you are cooking the cabbage, since it steams the cabbage and may steam itself dry.

3. Carefully remove each leaf of cabbage, put a couple of spoonfuls of ground beef mixture into the center of the leaf, wrap leaf around the beef mixture, place seam-side down into water. Continue until all beef mixture is used.

4. Cover and cook until internal temperature is 165-degrees and cabbage leaves are soft

5. Serve with warm spaghetti sauce over the top.

***This can be served along with gluten-free bread or gluten-free rolls on the side.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A great meal to warm you

We had this meal the other night and it was a hit. It warmed our bellies on a cold night and just made us all feel cozy warm.

Turkey and Veggies Over Potatoes

~3-4 lbs. turkey meat (we prefer dark meat) cooked and shredded
-double recipe of chicken/turkey gravy (you can use the drippings of the turkey and add bouillon if needed)
-2 cans mixed vegetables, drained
-6-7 servings of mashed potatoes (we use Betty Crocker Instant)


1. Cook up turkey and shred it by hand (or cut up if you prefer). Add to large pot.
2. Stir in gravy and vegetables. Let simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Serve over hot mashed potatoes.