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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Gluten Free, Diabetic Recipes in progress...

Hi all. Today is one of those Saturdays when I lay in bed a full hour after I had woken up. Just another lazy day... I had a whole list of things to do this weekend. Sign up for a knitting class, purchase my much needed sugar substitute to try some new Diabetic recipes, and even run the vacuum. Yeah right!!!

Seems I am in a much lazier mood than I was hoping to be today. Having physical therapy yesterday did indeed play a roll in my less than adventuress mood though. I was given new exercises to do during the hour spent there, and it seems today I am paying the price. My arm has became numb at least once since my session ended, (which was the reason I was going) and I have pains in muscles I didn't even know existed... A small price to pay I guess for the improvement it has made over all.

I did however  made a  perfect pancake this morning with a new recipe I tried,  thanks to answers of prayer. I don't think I could have handled another failure in this area today of all days. Its been a stressful few past weeks to say the least. Not so good news on the family front, recipe after recipe not reaching up to my expectations, pain consistently....I really need to try not to be so much of a perfectionist sometimes.

I have also decided to make my GF recipes more diabetic friendly, so now it is a whole new ball game with switching up different flours and sweeteners. With that said, I just wanted you to know I am working on several new recipes and flour blends that I hope I will be able to share with you very soon whether you are diabetic or not.  I might even have a GF cook book in the making....Yeah!

Well until next post, I hope you have a great gluten free weekend.
Sharon

 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Gluten Free Contest...Win a box of gluten free goodies...

I am offering one Gluten Free Box of a assortment of  gluten free products to one lucky reader of this blog.  I have been so overwhelmed with products to try that I decided to SHARE...I know how overwhelming it can be when you are just starting out on a gluten free diet, or even if you have been on one for many years.
 
To enter the giveaway, leave the  comment "Following" at the bottom of  this post then sign up to follow this site to the left of the blog.

Some brief guidelines: (1)  one entry per person; (2) Make sure your comment states "following" and provides a way for me to contact you by leaving your name, address, and email for which you can be reached and prize shipped should you become the winner. (Information seen only by me) The contest ends October 15, 2013 at midnight.
 
Prize Items include:
 
1 bag Luce's GF Artisan Bread Mix
1 box Sans Sucre GF-Sugar Free- Chocolate Mousse Mix
1 box Streit's GF Chocolate Cake Mix
1- 8.8 oz  package Le Veneziane GF Shell pasta
1- 10 oz  De Boles GF Rice lasagna
1- 3oz package GF  Kitchen Table Baker's -Sesame Parmesan Crisps
1- 1.9oz Crystal Noodle Mushroom soup (single serving)
1- 1.6 oz Crystal Noodle Hot & Sour Soup (single serving)
1-7 oz  Illinois Prairie Corn Chowder soup mix (serves 6-8)
1 bottle Redmond Clay Daily detox tablets (120 count)
1 packet Nuts.com- Berry mix
 
Good luck to all!
Sharon
 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Freezing Red raspberries for the winter...



Yesterday I ran to our local Meijer to pick up some milk and other basic necessities. As I was going through the fruit  department to purchase some bananas that I needed to make my daily banana-pineapple smoothies, I noticed they were having a sale on red raspberries. I am particularly fond of this fruit because as a child we had red and black raspberry bushes growing along the side of our property. I can still smell the aroma of fresh berry pies my mother always made on Fridays when these tiny delectable fruits were in season. Since these containers of berries are usually sold for a whopping price of $4.99 and higher in other local stores, and the sale price was just 5 containers for $5.00, I grabbed a few.
 
Since I won't be making a raspberry pie soon my best option was to freeze them for around the holidays. I can then give my family a delicious surprise of the fresh sweetness of summer as we sit around the fireplace and try to ignore the iciness of the outdoor temperatures. Oh sweet mother nature....
 
To freeze these delicious berries choose raspberries packed in small containers. The larger the containers the greater the weight of the raspberries on those beneath them. These tender berries crush easily and will be difficult to clean if they have been crushed by other berries.
              
Gently pick up each raspberry and remove any traces of leaves, insects or other debris that might have been left during the packing process. Then place a dozen or so berries in a small bowl and rinse for a minute or two to remove any traces of dirt or sprays, then drain carefully. Lay the berries out on a tray lined with paper towels to absorb any remaining water.

To freeze raspberries, simply lay the berries on a cookie sheet so that they are not touching. I set my berries right side up with the opening towards the bottom. This takes a little while but it will be so worth it in the end! Set the whole cookie sheet in the freezer to flash freeze the berries. Once they are frozen, remove the berries and put them in plastic freezer bags. Put the bags immediately back into the freezer as they defrost quickly. I recommend doing smaller batches at a time. At this point you may even stack the bags, as the berries will now hold their shape and not get smashed as they were pre-frozen. When frozen using this method the raspberries will now hold their shape when thawed. These make excellent berries for on top of your cereal or to use in muffins or your favorite desserts.
             
If you intend to serve raspberries with sugar on a short cake or other desert recipe, simply add 1/2 to 1 cup of sugar, or Splenda to 2 quarts of raspberries and stir to mix well. This is one time when you actually want to bruise the berries to release the juice. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving to get the juices flowing.
              
You can also freeze these  sugared raspberries in plastic freezer bags. To serve, simply thaw the berries right in the bag. The juice created by the sugar will create a wonderful raspberry syrup that will add  flavor to any desert.

As always...Enjoy...and have a great gluten free week!
Sharon


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Easy Tomato sauce recipe...

Tomato sauce Stock Photos

Tomato sauce is the foundation for so many dishes such as pizza, pasta, chicken, and yes, even  fish. This recipe is for a basic tomato sauce that starts with simple ingredients such as onions, carrots, and celery cooked in a little olive oil. Then add garlic, tomatoes and seasonings.

With the end of summer and tomatoes in abundance at farmers markets its a great time to can or freeze batches of this basic sauce. Or you can even make when you catch a great sale on canned tomatoes at your local store! Its a great foundation on which you can add all the extras that your family enjoys, such as browned ground beef, sausage, and even mushrooms.

Its great to have on hand for those evenings when your to tired to cook, of just in the mood for something saucy, and comforting.

Hope you enjoy!
Sharon 

Ingredients:

2 T olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot or 1/2 large carrot, finely chopped
1 small stalk of celery, including the green tops, finely chopped
2 T chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or 2 T chopped fresh basil
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, (I like to use petite diced tomatoes) including the juice, or 1 3/4 pound of fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 teaspoon tomato paste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

 Heat olive oil in a large wide skillet on medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery and parsley. Stir to coat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened and cooked through.

 Remove cover and add the minced garlic. Increase the heat to medium high. Cook for garlic for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, including the juice and shredding them with your fingers if you are using canned whole tomatoes. Add the tomato paste and the basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a low simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered until thickened, about 15 minutes. If you want you can push the sauce through a food mill, or blend it with an immersion blender, to give it a smooth consistency. (I prefer to omit this step as I like my sauce chunky)

 
Yield: Makes 2 1/2 cups of sauce.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Quick and easy Stuffed green peppers with rice...

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1 cup rice  cooked according to package directions, or 1 cup precooked in cups
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
½ cup sliced mushrooms (or 1 small can of mushrooms, drained) I omitted these...
1 bell pepper, chopped (green, red, yellow or orange)
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried parsley)
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 bell peppers, any color, cut in half lengthwise with stem and seeds removed


In large skillet, brown ground beef. Stir in next five ingredients (chopped onion, chopped celery, sliced mushrooms (if using), chopped pepper and diced tomatoes). Continue cooking until vegetables are slightly browned and ground beef is well cooked and no pink remains.

Combine cooked beef and vegetable mixture with rice, parsley, and garlic. Pack tightly into the 12 bell pepper halves and arrange in a lightly greased 9x13 inch ovenproof casserole dish. Bake at 350’F for 45 minutes until filling is heated through and peppers are fork-tender.

Enjoy!
Sharon

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Gluten-Free, Low sugar, BBQ sauce...

Sugar Free BBQ Sauce


A few posts back I promised to try and find more gluten-free recipes that were lower in sugar to post on the blog. Well I believe that the recipe I am sharing with you today will not only meet the needs of my gluten-free friends, but also those who must watch their sugar intake for health reasons as well.
 
We all know that most commercial barbecue sauces are loaded with sugar. That's why they taste so good! Most have up to 16-30 grams per quarter cup, but many can reach as high as 44 grams! It doesn't have to be that way if you take a few minutes to make your own.
 
The one secret ingredient to use is diet cola. It's best to use a cola that is sweetened with Splenda, but any diet cola will do. Although, be aware that aspartame tends to lose its sweetness when heated for long periods of time, so a Splenda based diet cola will work best for this recipe. As always be sure to use GF ingredients when making.

This is so Delish, and great to have on hand for my husband, as he loves his BBQ!

 

Ingredients:

2 strips of thick bacon, chopped fine
1 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
6 oz can tomato paste
12 oz can sugar free diet cola, sweetened with Splenda
1/4 cup low carb, sugar-free, catsup
1/2 cup water
3 T mustard
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch ground cloves
Hot sauce to taste

Preparation:

 Fry the bacon in a 2 quart saucepan.

Add the onion and cook over medium until soft , about  3-5 minutes. Add garlic at this point if you're using fresh and stir it for half a minute.

 Add the rest of the ingredients.  Stir well.
 
 Simmer for 20-30 minutes. It will cook down a bit and the flavors will combine.
 
At this point you can adjust the seasonings so you have the balance you want. You can add vinegar, artificial sweetener, or hot sauce.

The recipe makes approximately 10 servings of 1/4 cup each. Each serving has about 3.5 grams of carbohydrate, plus 1 gram of fiber.
 
As always...Enjoy!
Sharon

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Potato Soup at its best...

Never lose this recipe - Just click "SHARE" to save this to the "photos" section of your page!

THE BEST potato soup recipe ever!

Ingredients:
2 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes, sliced into small bite sized pieces
1/2 regular package uncooked bacon, finely diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 bunch celery, diced
8 cups milk
4 cups water
4 chicken bullion cubes (use a cup of the hot potato water to dissolve, then use the cup of hot water in place of one of the above cups of water)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup salted butter
3/4 cup flour
1/4 bunch freshly chopped parsley
1 cup whipping cream
***For garnish:***
Shredded cheese
fried bacon bits
chopped green onions

Directions:
In large pot, boil potatoes in water 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. In sauté pan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain bacon fat and place on paper towel over plate to drain more. Add onion and celery to bacon pan over medium-high heat until celery is tender, about 5 minutes. To the large potato pan, add milk, water, bullion, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture is very hot, about 8 minutes, stirring often. Do not let mixture boil. In small, heavy saucepan melt butter. Add flour and mix well. Cook over medium-low heat until mixture bubbles, stirring 2 to 3 minutes to make a roux. While constantly stirring soup, add roux slowly until soup is thick and creamy, about 4 minutes. Stir in parsley, reserved potatoes, and cream. Garnish with cheese, bacon bits, onions or all three. Serve hot!

Come check us out at @[532710046768225:69:Carly's Support Group to Better Health] for more great recipe ideas, Everyone Welcome


The pool is closed even though the sun is still shining bright and the weather is suppose to be in the high 70's and 8o's this week...go figure! I guess it is all in the eye of the beholder. I have to admit though that I personally have only been to our community pool exactly three times this year. It seems that summer has come and gone right before my eyes and I missed it!

I guess with all the traveling I did this summer, my physical therapy, and trying to find that perfect GF cupcake recipe, that I didn't realize how fast time was flying. With that said, I guess its time to look forward, as it does no good to keep looking to the past...

I am still trying to find that perfect cupcake recipe but everything "good" takes time. In the mean time I came across a great potato soup recipe over at Face book that I wanted to share. This is one of the best potato soup recipes I have ever tried and I hope you enjoy it!




Ingredients:

 2 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes, sliced into small bite sized pieces
1/2 regular package uncooked GF bacon, finely diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 bunch celery, diced
8 cups milk
4 cups water
4 GF chicken bullion cubes (use a cup of the hot potato water to dissolve, then use the cup of hot water in place of one of the above cups of water) I just used 5 cups GF chicken broth instead of water and bullion cubes.
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup salted butter
3/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 bunch freshly chopped parsley
1 cup whipping cream


 ***For garnish:***
Shredded cheese
fried bacon bits
chopped green onions

Directions:
In large pot, boil potatoes in water 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. In saute pan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain bacon fat and place on paper towel over plate to drain more. Add onion and celery to bacon pan over medium-high heat until celery is tender, about 5 minutes. To the large potato pan, add milk, water, bullion, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture is very hot, about 8 minutes, stirring often. Do not let mixture boil. In small, heavy saucepan melt butter. Add flour and mix well. Cook over medium-low heat until mixture bubbles, stirring 2 to 3 minutes to make a roux. While constantly stirring soup, add roux slowly until soup is thick and creamy, about 4 minutes. Stir in parsley, reserved potatoes, and cream. Garnish with cheese, bacon bits, onions or all three. Serve hot!

Enjoy!
Sharon

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Frozen Peaches...

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My husband and I are huge Costco shoppers as we buy most things in bulk to save money. Things like paper towels, laundry soap, dish soap, and other necessities. The other day when shopping we decided to buy some fresh fruit as we both seem to be on a fruit smoothie kick lately. Heading for the fruit section we came upon boxes of peaches that were bigger than my fist in size. They looked so delicious they naturally ended up in the cart...

OK, I know sometimes I can be a impulsive shopper, but something sweet and juice was just what I needed since I have been trying to cut down on my processed sugary sweets. The first peach smoothie we made was out of this world, and left my taste buds tingling with it's sweet juicy flavor. The second was just as tasty as the first. By the third smoothie I was just about peached out as was my husband, so when we switched to banana pineapple smoothies.  I was in a dilemma as to what to do with the eight remaining beauties sitting on my counter, knowing that neither of us would be in the mood for a peach smoothie anytime soon...

What to do...I do not a can, although I find it quite interesting and envy those who do. Nor did I have time to make peach jelly, or peach spread, as it was over the holiday and we had places to go and people to see. I decided to search the web for information on freezing them, as I thought this would be the easiest of all my options. I am so glad I decided to not discard of them.

As I placed my bags of peaches on the freezer shelf I felt a wave of great accomplishment! Not only did I step out of my comfort zone, but I will now have the best tasting peaches to partake of during the coming winter months! Peaches for smoothies, peaches  on cereal, or smothered in milk on a cold Winter day...

Yep...I am one proud peach freezer!!! The only regret I have is that I didn't buy more boxes to freeze. Oh...did I mention I might be making a trip to Costco's tomorrow   =)

Enjoy the recipe!
Sharon


Freezing Peaches:

Wash and clean peaches. Place the whole clean peaches in a large pot and cover completely with water, leaving about 1" of water above the peaches.

Remove the peaches from pot and place the pot on the stove on a med-high heat until it reaches a rapid boil.

Lower the peaches into the boiling water for just under a minute using a slotted spoon or a small frying spider.

Move the scalded peaches to a large bowl that is half full of ice and cold water, to quickly stop the cooking process and to chill the peaches.

Remove the skins from the peaches then cut in half and remove the pits. Lay peach halves on a cutting board and slice each half into four even slices, removing any bruised or rotten sections at this time.

Mix 1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice and 2-3 T of sugar. Place peach slices into a large bowl and pour the juice over peaches, blending evenly using your hands. Place a even amount of peaches in each freezer zip lock bag (I put 12 slices in each) and pour the remaining juice from the bowl into the bags, distributing evenly.

 Mix the juice to evenly distribute over the peaches by gently shaking the bag before forcing out as much air as possible, then seal the bags.

Wipe down outside of bags with a paper towel and date the bags with a permanent marker. Lay bags flat on freezer rack to freeze so they can be evenly stacked later once frozen to save space. These are good for up to a year in the freezer, but I don't think mine will make it that long...