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Monday, October 13, 2014

Eggplant pizza bites...



Hi all. Its been  hectic around here and I have been eating mostly junk all week because I have been to tired to cook...I remembered my daughter giving me a recipe for zucchini pizza and remembered that eggplant works just as well, so here is a recipe trying the later of the two. If you are on the Mediterranean diet, this will work well for you also...Its a quick fix. Just toss together a light salad and bon appetite...
 
 
Ingredients:
 
1 large eggplant, sliced, about 12 slices
1 T extra virgin Olive Oil
1 C pizza sauce
12 slices fresh mozzarella, or use shredded to make same equivalent amount in weight
1 large red tomato, diced up
1 C fresh spinach

1 T Parmesan cheese
Instructions:
 
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
 
In a greasy baking sheet, place the eggplant slices and drizzle on the top with olive oil.
 
Bake them for about 15 minutes or until tender.
 
Remove from the oven and spread tomato sauce over each eggplant slice.
 
Then add mozzarella, spinach, diced tomato and Parmesan to the top of each eggplant slice.
 
Bring the eggplants to the oven again and broil them for about 3-5 minutes or until gold and brown.
 
 
As always enjoy, & have a great gluten free week....
Sharon

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

Tis the season for soup, as Mother Nature changes into Fall....I personally love soups of all kinds on a cool fall or winter day,.....Yuck, did I just use that dreaded word???

Chunky soups, bean soups, my mothers hearty homemade vegetable soup, and yes, creamy, stick to your ribs soups like the one I am about to share.

The ingredients are simple, and butternut squash is abundant on the groceries shelves at this time of year. So get out those kitchen utensils and your soup pot and lets get a cooking....


Ingredients:

1 C  yellow  onion, chopped 
3/4 C chopped  celery rib
3/4 C chopped carrot
2 Tbsp butter
1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped, seeds discarded 
1 tart green apple, peeled, cored and chopped, Granny Smith works well here
 (squash and apple ratio should be 3:1)
3 cups gluten free chicken broth, or gluten free vegetable broth 
1 cup water
After cooking you will need a few pinches of nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper..

 

Directions:

 Heat a large pot on medium-high heat. Melt the butter in the pot until it foams up and recede. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and saute for 5 minutes. If the vegetables begin to brown lower the heat.

 Add the butternut squash, apple, broth and water. Bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or until the squash and carrots have softened.

Now work in batches and puree the soup in a standing blender.

Finally add pinches of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cayenne, then add salt and pepper to taste. 

This is really a quick soup to make and the taste is out of this world. Add a quick side salad and you have a great Fall lunch.

Hope you enjoy...
Sharon

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cliffords Restaurant...

Good morning everyone. I trust you all had a great week. I just wanted to drop a quick line and let everyone who lives in the Evans City, Pa.  and surrounding areas know that Clifford's Restaurant is now serving the gluten free Angel Food cake  made with the recipe I recently posted! What a great privilege to have one of the recipes I recommended to be served at a local restaurant...I feel truly honored.

The manager of the restaurant told me that several of their gluten free guests gave it high compliments, as well as several members of the group that were attending dinner with them, even though they do not follow a gluten free diet.

It truly is one of my all time favorites and I really hope you will also give it a try and make it one of yours. If you live local to Clifford's and would like to visit be sure to make reservations first and tell them ahead of time you would like to try the Angle Food cake when you visit. They have a website with more info posted on the web for your convenience.

I am currently working on a zucchini bread recipe which I hope to have posted soon. I am now also trying coconut sugar in my recipes as of late to try and get the glycemic levels in my desserts down...I am sure my husband, who is diabetic, will enjoy.

So as always, until next post have, a great gluten free week...
Sharon

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ranch baked baby red potatoes...


Hi all. Wow this week sure has flown by. We found out recently my mom is ill and so I have been trying to spend as much time with her as possible. She will be having radiation and chemo in the future weeks to come, and family comes first as you all know. Between work, chores, baking, and all the other stressful things  that life throws at you when you least expect it, I thought I would take a much needed break and share a quick, simple recipe with you all...Well actually three!!!

Being a cashier at a local grocery store I have been seeing a lot of baby red potatoes come through my lane as of late. I remembered a recipe that I have made in the past and it is so simple and delicious that I wanted to share.

Lately I have been making soups and recipes that are easy for my mom to heat up in the microwave, but this will be a nice change. Since I like to make most everything from scratch I will include first the recipe for the ranch dressing mix that this recipe calls for. Although you only use about 1 T ( 1 oz ) of the mix for this recipe you will get about 3/4 cup of mix total, which you can use for salad dressings and also dips...

Homemade Ranch dressing mix:

1/3 cup (Saco brand)  GF Buttermilk blend powder
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes
2 T dried minced onion
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder

Store in a air tight container or jar in a cool dry place for up to 12 months. Recipe makes about 3/4 cup total.

For the Ranched baked baby reds recipe:

2 pounds baby red potatoes, washed (do not peel)
3T olive oil
1 oz homemade ranch dressing mix (recipe above)
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Wash the potatoes and cut in half. (do NOT peel)
In a small bowl combine the ranch mix, fresh ground pepper, and olive oil. Toss gently with the potatoes to coat.
Place coated potatoes onto a parchment lined pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.


To use the homemade ranch dressing mix as a salad  salad dressing:
Mix together...
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup plus 6 tablespoons milk
1 T vinegar
3 T homemade ranch dressing mix. Whisk all together and let set approx 1 hour in refrigerator before using.


To use as a dip:

To 2 cups sour cream add 3 T of the homemade ranch dressing mix. Mix until smooth and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve with fresh veggies or crackers for a great snack...

I hope you enjoy...
Sharon

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Angel Food Cake made Gluten free...



Hey everyone. I hope you are all enjoying your summer and taking advantage of all those delicious fresh fruits hitting all the farmers markets in your area. I myself love fresh peaches, strawberries and blueberries, and nothing goes as well with these fresh fruits as a light, fluffy Angle Food cake fresh from the oven!!!

Although this cake is made entirely from scratch and takes only a few minutes extra to make than a box mix, it is well worth the effort. You will definitely not be disappointed. My family didn't even know it was gluten free until I told them.

For starters you will need a old fashioned angel food cake pan. The first few times I made mine I used a dark Teflon coated pan and the cake browned a little too much for my liking, but when I used my old time pan it was light , moist and lightly browned. Most stores carry them, but if you can't find one check out your local thrift stores...

Give it a try and be sure to post a comment, or send me a pic of your results....


Gluten Free Angel Food Cake recipe:

1  1/2 cup egg whites at room temp..( I set mine out for about 1/2 hour ahead of time)
1  1/2 teaspoons cream of tarter
3/4 cup granulated sugar (will be added to flour mixture)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (used when beating egg whites)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup potato STARCH
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Assorted fresh fruit


Directions:

Place the egg whites in a large bowl and let sit at room temperature for about 1/2 hour. Sift the 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch, all flours and potato starch and sift together twice. Set aside. Be sure not to add the cream of tarter to this mixture as it will make the cake dry....Been there, done it!!!

Now add the cream of tarter, the salt, and vanilla to the egg whites. Beat on MEDIUM speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the 1/2 cup of granulated sugar to the beaten egg whites a little at a time, beating on HIGH until stiff peaks form.

Now add in the flour mixture about 1/2 cup at a time FOLDING it in with a whisk. This gives the best results as it helps keep the air in the beaten egg whites and insures a perfect rise to the cake.

Gently spoon the mixture into a UN-GREASED Angel Food cake pan. Cut through the batter with a knife to remove any large air bubbles. Bake the cake on the lowest rack level at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and appears dry.

I would not invert the cake to cool as most Angel Food cake recipes say to do, as both times I did the cake just plopped out of the pan onto my counter...It was just fine leaving it top side up until it cooled and then I removed it from the  pan and put inside my cake saver for storage. Make sure it is completely cool before covering.

This cake stays moist and fresh for about a week when covered. It is a monthly must have in my house! I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do, and will post and tell me how the recipe worked for you.

Until next time....Have a great Gluten free week!!!

Sharon

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bob's Red Mill Cinnamon Raisin Bread mix...

 
 
Hi all...I thought when I moved back to be by family I would have all the free time in the world to visit and reunite with everyone. What I didn't know was that taking a part time job would eat up a lot of the time I had planned on doing so, not to mention taking away time from my baking and trying new recipes for the blog.
 
Even though I still get to experiment with recipes and different flour mixtures on occasion, I find that occasionally I have to "cheat', as it were, and use a mix when time is of the essence.
 
Over the 4th my husband came home from the supermarket with a loaf of Pettridge Farms Cinnamon  raisin bread...  Oh did the memories come flooding back! Being gluten free for over 2 years now its still one of the faint memories I can vividly recall...The remembrances of the taste, texture, and smell as he toasted it really made my mouth salivate. Did I mention that I did not partake, even though it was a great temptation???  
 
I have to say I resisted the urge to eat the whole loaf, but ever since then I have had a taste for a slice of cinnamon raisin toast. Going through my stock pile of gluten free goodies in my cupboards I happen to come across a bag of gluten free mix of Cinnamon raisin bread from Bob's Red Mill. Oh happy day!!!
 
I usually stay away from their mixes because most have bean flours in them, and bean flour and I do not get along. This mix however does not contain any bean flour, and includes Sorghum flour which I happen to use quite a bit in my baking.  I must have picked up this mix on one of my  shopping sprees and forgotten about it. I found it located in the back of the cupboard and it was a blessing in disguise.
 
It was really so simple to make. Water, oil and eggs. I let it raise about 45 minutes, popped it in the over for 60 minutes, and it was done.
 
As you can see from the picture above it rose to perfection, and browned nicely. After it cooled and was  able to be sliced it was everything I had hoped for. Moist, doughy, and delicious. I smothered it with butter after I popped a slice in the toaster, and I thought I had died and gone to heaven! 
 
I have to say I was really impressed with this mix and with the ease of preparation it took to make, as well as the taste. I highly recommend this to anyone who doesn't have time to bake from scratch, and even to those who do. I can't wait to make some French toast with it...Oh happy days.   
 
Until next post....Enjoy your gluten free week...
Sharon
                                                                  

Friday, July 11, 2014

Gluten free Flours and Uses....

Listed below are a few gluten free Flours and their uses....Although there many others to try, these seem to be quite popular, although I also like to include Sorghum because it is more slowly digested by diabetics.

Almond flour:
 gluten-free
 not a whole grain but an ideal flour substitute for pancakes, muffins, cookies
 adds sweetness
 creates a cakelike consistency if used in a large quantity

Brown rice:
 gluten-free
 use for pie crust, breads, crackers, pizza crust (to make crispy)
 substitute in small amounts
 in breads  it must be combined with a sticky flour like oat or with xanthan gum or guar gum
 grainy texture
 purchase in small quantities as high oil content causes rapid rancidity/ or freeze for longer life as with all other gluten free flours

Buckwheat:
 gluten-free and wheat-free
 use in pancakes, waffles and pastas
 do not use in sauces as it becomes very gooey and pasty
 adds an earthy flavor to baked goods

Cornmeal:
 gluten-free
 use in pancakes, muffins, corn bread and tortillas
 use to thicken sauces

Garbanzo:
 gluten-free
 not a whole grain but an ideal flour substitute for crepes, flat bread, hummus and falafel
 high in protein and calcium

Millet:
 gluten-free
 provides structure to flat breads, bread, pizza and muffins
 provides protein
 easy to digest
 sweet, buttery, cornmeal-like flavor

Oat:
 low-gluten or gluten-free depending upon the factory in which it is processed
 add to cookies, pie crust and muffins
 use in soups and sauces
 sweet taste
 contains antioxidants that help baked goods retain freshness

Quinoa:
 gluten-free
 use in bread
 try 50 percent in cake recipes
 replace 100 percent in pancakes, crepes, muffins, crackers and cookies
 contains twice the protein of corn or rice
 dry-roast to enhance its flavor

Teff:
 gluten-free
 use to thicken stews, soups and sauces
 makes breads, pancakes and waffles
 sweet, malty flavor
 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Salmon with Kale & Rice...

A few years back after trying Salmon for the very first time I became addicted to the smooth flavor of this great fish. Seems when my husband and I go out for dinner it is the only item on the menu I am drawn to. I finally tried making it at home and the recipe that follows is my all time fave....Its loaded with healthy benefits and the flavor of the kale adds that little extra little kick!!!

I hope you like it as much as we do, and add it to your favorite list as well.







Salmon with Kale & Rice:

4 T lime juice, separated
1 teas  dried cilantro
1 T honey
2 salmon fillets
1/2 lb raw kale chopped
3-4 scallions diced
2 cups of cooked brown rice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
kosher Salt


Whisk 2 T of lime juice with 1 T honey, add the 1 teas of dried cilantro and a pinch of salt to make a  marinade.

Pour the marinade over the salmon and let it sit while preparing the rice. ( I use the premade cups of Uncle Ben's rice for convenience, so let salmon marinade for about 10 minutes if you use this step.)

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray. add the kale, 1 T of the lime juice and a pinch or two of salt. Cook for about a minute until kale is wilted.

Add the scallions, brown rice, cilantro, the remaining T of lime juice and another pinch of salt. Combine everything well allowing the flavors to merge. Pour into a bowl and set aside to now cook the salmon...

Wipe skillet clean. Reheat the skillet over medium-high heat and spray with a non-stick cooking spray. Cook the salmon 2-3 minutes on each side depending on thickness of the pieces, longer if pieces are thicker.. After  flipping to second side  pour any leftover marinade over the fillets. Cook until the salmon is tender and done. Serve on top of the rice and enjoy!

Sharon

 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Easy Chocolate covered strawberries...

Did you know that you could use old Styrofoam egg cartons when making chocolate covered strawberries? They makes the task quick,  and painlessly easy to clean up! With the abundance of strawberries now in season I urge you to give it a try...Ummmmm good.







Making chocolate covered strawberries. Make sure you clean egg cartons well before hand!

2 lbs. strawberries
12 oz. semi sweet GF chocolate chips
1 T oil

Wash strawberries and let dry on paper towels on a cookie rack earlier in day.

Mix the chocolate chips and oil together. Melt in a microwave safe bowl in microwave on 20 second intervals stirring after each until melted.

Spoon a bit of melted chocolate in the bottom of each "egg" holder, add a strawberry to each cup, and cover with more chocolate. Place in freezer or refrigerator until chocolate hardens and Enjoy...

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Gluten Free flour blend...

Hi all. As many of you know I recently moved from one state to another and have been mostly trying to just get settled in...Since then I have also went back to work after 2  1/12 years of enjoying life at its simplest form, all the while still trying to test and improve on a new gluten free all purpose flour blend.

Although it has been a winner in most recipe's it still needs a little tweaking. I realize I haven't written on the blog for quite awhile and for this I do apologize, as it is not my intention to have stayed away so long.

I am still trying to clear out our house in a different state to put it on the market, while also trying  to  manage a new job, and the blog, and  it has had its disadvantages. I am afraid it has been my blog that has suffered the most.

I have still yet another trip to make out of state this week. I also need to accomplish some work on the other  house in between driving to and from, all of which must be done in one day....I hope you will bear with me until I can faithfully return more of my attention back to the blog.

Until then I hope you have a great week in your gluten free living!!!

Sharon

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix......

Well Christmas and New Years  have come and gone, and as always I am in the kitchen experimenting with new flour mixtures and recipes. It has been a very hectic past few months to say the least. I had to pack a whole house to move. Clean and get ready our new home. Wait for carpet shampooers, loading and unloading persons, as well as starting a job, all after enjoying the peace and quiet of retirement. I still feel like I am in a whirlwind learning things at my new job, feeling overwhelmed leaving a part of my life behind even though I look forward to new adventures and being once again close to my family. I guess I  shall do as they say...."When life gives you a basket of lemons...make  lemonade"...Well in this case it's chocolate chip cookies!!!

I have been accumulating recipes using a new flour mixture I have come up with in the hopes of one day publishing a cookbook. Baking has always been something I have enjoyed doing and it relaxes me when stressed. I don't know if its the sweet smells that permeate the air from the oven, the hands on when preparing a recipe, or the wonderful taste of the finished treat....Whatever the reason I reach  for my flours, bowl, and recipes, when I feel low.

A few months ago I started using a special blend I accidentally fell upon when our local store didn't have one of the flours I needed and I had to "sub" it out. LUCKY me....This new combination it seems has made the fluffiest pancakes and chocolate chip cookies I have had in my whole course of gluten free living....As you can see from the photos, the cookie on the left is a basic gluten free flour mixture most of us can purchase in the stores locally. The cookie on the right uses my new flour mixture and tastes as close to the original "Nestle Toll House Cookies" recipe that I have ever had along my journey.

I would like my readers opinion on this mix, and will send the first 5 people who respond to this post the cookie mix absolutely free to try. All I ask is that they give me their opinion on the results they have after making the cookies.

If you are interested, leave a comment with your name and address in the comment forum below this post. No information  is ever seen by the readers as all comments are moderated by myself personally before ever being posted to the site.

I really have to say this is the best chocolate chip cookie I have eaten in years...My family rants and raves about them, and didn't even have a clue they were gluten free!!!

Hope to hear from you soon, and as always have a great gluten free day!!!
Sharon

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Testing....1....2....3....

Hi all! Recently moved and needed to change my information with Google. Just making sure my site is working.

Hope everyone had a great gluten free Christmas and New Year. More great recipes to come in the near future once I am settled in!!!

Sharon