Sunday, November 14, 2010

Acorn Squash

Ahh....fall is in the air!! This recipe makes an easy side dish, but I usually end up eating most of it for dinner instead! Crack open a cider, and enjoy the flavors of this awesome squash.

Cut the squash in half, starting at the stem. You will need a very sharp knife and a lot of muscle! Score the insides a few times in each direction. Once you have the halves, place them on a cookie sheet, cut side up in about an inch of water. This will keep the skin from burning. In each half, put 2T of butter or margarine, salt and pepper to taste, a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice and about 1/8 cup of raw sugar (brown sugar works as well). Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1.5 hours.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I have been dying to make something with pumpkin! It is by far my favorite fall flavor and to make it that much better, I combined it with chocolate. These aren't overly sweet, stayed super moist and were a huge hit with everyone. Next time I would double the batch just so they could stick around a little longer! These muffins are gluten free, and as an added bonus, are also vegan. They make a perfect on-the-go breakfast or snack and were incredibly easy to make.

And how cute are these reusable silicone cupcake holders??

1 package gluten free yellow cake mix (I used Cherrybrook Kitchen)
1/2 bag chocolate chips (make sure they're vegan if that's what you're going for)
3/4 15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 TBS vanilla almond or soy milk

Mix everything together until smooth and spoon into greased cupcakes pans. Bake according to directions on cake mix. I got 12 muffins out of this recipe.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Gluten Free & Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

It has been a long time since I've updated!! However, I am back and happy to be here! Life has a funny way of happening and disrupting the general order of things. My kitchen was in a state of disarray for so long, I thought I was going to forget how to cook. Thankfully, I did not, and couldn't wait to try out some new recipes. I'm a HUGE fan of cupcakes, and what could be a better time to make cupcakes than my favorite holiday...Halloween!! These really turned out adorable and so tasty even with their gluten free and vegan status. Taste tested and approved by non-vegans and non-celiacs alike!

Cake Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend, I used Namaste
1 cup turbinado or other raw sugar
heaping 1/4 cup gluten free cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift together the dry ingredients.
Add additional ingredients and mix together till smooth.
Pour into lined muffin cups, filling almost all the way full.
Bake for 20-26 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to cool before frosting.

Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
1/2 cup margarine
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
up to 1/8 cup almond milk

Cream together the margarine and the shortening. Add sugar and beat for
about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla then the soy milk 1 tablespoon at a time
while continuing to beat. Stop adding soymilk when you are
happy with the consistency and continue to beat another 5 minutes for a creamy consistancy.
This recipe makes a LOT of frosting. There will only be about 8 cupcakes, and it would be more than enough to half this buttercream recipe. However, it would be perfect for a cake!

I decorated these cupcakes with colored icing, sprinkles and little halloween-themed flags. Go crazy...just make sure all of your decorations are gluten-free and vegan safe.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Asparagus

Dinner with friends on a Tuesday night really breaks up the week and gives me something to look forward to! A big thanks to Kerryann for helping out with the stuffed chicken. She spotted this recipe in her South Beach Diet cook book, and we decided to give it a whirl. I recommend using extra large chicken breasts so you can make a nice, big pocket to stuff!

Spinach & Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

olive oil
4 large chicken breasts
1/2 lb fresh spinach
2 cloves of garlic
4oz goat cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a couple teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat and add chopped garlic. Saute for about 30 seconds and then start adding spinach. Cook until all spinach is wilted and then move to a plate. Next, cut each chicken breast almost in half (create a pocket), salt and pepper the inside, stuff with 1/4 of the spinach, 1oz of goat cheese and close. Use toothpicks to hold together if needed. Heat the skillet back to medium heat and brown chicken on both sides. Transfer chicken to a cookie sheet or just move skillet to preheated oven. Bake for about 10 minutes or until cooked thoroughly. 

To roast asparagus:
Cut tough ends off of fresh asparagus, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Lay the asparagus in a single layer on cookie sheet and cook at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until just starting to brown.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chicken Salad Wraps & Peanut Butter Bars

Chicken Salad Wraps 

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream (you can also use low fat)
1/2 cup seedless red grapes - halved 
1/2 cup walnuts
1 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper
4 large lettuce leaves

Bake the chicken breasts for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees, let cool and shred into a large bowl. Add mayo, sour cream, walnuts, grapes, onion powder, and salt and pepper to taste and mix to combine. Adjust any ingredients after a taste test. I know I added a little bit too much mayo! Oops! Still turned out great, but start with less and work up. Add a quarter of the mixture to a large lettuce leaf and wrap like a burrito. I served mine with fresh cut cantaloupe and avocado.

Peanut Butter Bars

1/2 cup butter
1 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup gluten free graham cracker or gingersnap crumbs 
1/4 cup butter
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Melt 1/2 cup butter in sauce pan over low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and add powdered sugar, peanut butter and crumbs. Stir until all combined and smooth. Spread mixture into a well greased square casserole dish and pat down. In the same sauce pan, melt 1/4 cup butter and then add chocolate chips and stir until melted and shiny. Pour chocolate over peanut butter mixture and smooth out. Refrigerate bars for at least an hour before cutting. Better than a Reese's!! 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Weekend in Review

I am completely in love with summer. Everything is more alive when the days are longer. There's nothing better than sleeping in, spending the day by the pool with my favorite boy and having a few drinks on the porch in the shade. August weekends are full of lazy relaxation and happiness. I completely recharge so I can be productive once again on Monday.

One thing no one wants to do when its hot outside is spend a lot of time in the kitchen. As much as I love to bake and try out new recipes, I just can't do it for hours at a time when its 100 degrees outside. Plus, why waste time inside, when you can be outside enjoying yourself? But a girl's gotta eat! So I managed to have a weekend of tasty meals without spending too much time with the oven on.

Summer Crisp Salad

This salad is crunchy and light. Easily prepared in about 10 minutes, its perfect for a quick lunch or dinner. I used Romaine lettuce, mini cucumbers, Gala apples, Feta cheese, chopped walnuts and Bolthouse's Raspberry Merlot Vinaigrette. 

Polenta with Marinara

Use pre-cooked polenta sliced into strips to create a fun appetizer or light meal. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on medium high, season polenta with Italian seasoning and cook on each side until crispy. Serve with marinara sauce. 

Sweet & Sunny Breakfast Bowl

Top instant or quick cooking brown rice cereal with a chopped banana, walnuts and honey for a filling and nutritious start for the day. This filled me up for hours and almost felt like dessert for breakfast!

Margherita Pizza

I used a pre-made frozen pizza dough (Gillian's Foods) for this amazing gluten free pizza. Roll out the dough, top with marinara, fresh mozzarella and basil and bake according to directions on package. This is by far the best gluten free pizza I've had to date! It's nice to have it fresh from the oven!

Rice Chex Treats

Of course there has to be dessert! These treats are made by melting one stick of butter in a large saucepan. Add one package of Jet Puff marshmallows (regular or mini), one TBS vanilla extract and melt. Once melted, remove the pan from heat and stir in an 8oz box of Rice Chex. Pour the mix into a greased 13x9 pan, press down (with greased hands!) and let cool before cutting. You'll want to have a couple of people around to share these with, or you will surely eat the entire pan!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sesame Chicken

This blog, among other factors, is really taking a toll on my waistline! I've decided to lighten things up a bit and try some healthier recipes. This recipe for Sesame Chicken is adapted from Martha Stewart's website (oh Martha, my hero). I found it while searching for "light chicken ideas". While it is indeed healthy, its quite filling and one of my favorite recipes yet! 

Makes about 4 servings

1 cup rice
3 TBS honey
2 TBS sesame seeds
2 TBS gluten free soy sauce
1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup cornstarch 
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks
salt & pepper
2 TBS olive oil
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 lbs broccoli, steamed 

Cook rice according to directions. Meanwhile, make sauce: In a small bowl, combine honey, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and garlic. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites and cornstarch. Add chicken, season with salt & pepper and toss to coat. In a large non stick skillet, heat 1 TBS oil over med-high heat. Add half the chicken. Cook, turning occasionally until opaque throughout. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken. Return all chicken to skillet, add reserved sauce and scallions, and toss to coat. Serve sesame chicken with broccoli and rice. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Product Review - Cinnamon Raisin Mochi

I spotted this packet of mochi in the refrigerator section of my local Whole Foods. Mochi is made of rice paste and molded into shape. Mochi ice cream is something I'm familiar with from Japanese restaurants, but I've never tried it on its own. The directions looked easy enough, so I took a chance. Apparently, Grainaissance makes several flavors of mochi, but all they had at my store was raisin & cinnamon.

The mochi was a little difficult to cut, but a heavy, sharp knife helps. The squares will puff up and grow larger in the oven, so make sure you have some distance between squares on the cookie sheet. Mine just barely touched in some places. I think next time I would cut them just a tad smaller.

There are many ideas for mochi fillings and toppings online, but since I had flavored mochi, I opted for a simple powdered sugar icing. Just mix about a tablespoon of milk into a cup or so of powdered sugar. The end result reminded me of a chewy danish.

I think these are a cute and quick breakfast treat. A pretty decent gluten free donut substitute, if I do say so myself. Don't we all need more donut substitutes? 

Lilit Cafe

Every Sunday afternoon, I hit up my favorite brunch spot, Lilit Cafe. This weekend we try breakfast and realize this isn't just a great gluten free sandwich shop, but an all around winner. I may have been tired and still recovering from Saturday night's activities, but Lilit always has something to start my day off on the right track. Elise ordered the French Toast (gluten free, so I could try it) and I ordered a breakfast sandwich. We each had dessert, because we just cannot escape that place without a scoop of gelato or a fabulous gluten free cupcake! They also have a menu for those who don't need to worry about a gluten free diet. My roommate asked me to order some Stuffed Shrimp and Caprice Salad to go, and Brandon enjoyed a Chicken Parmesan sub. They have quite the selection!

Elise's French Toast with Organic Maple Syrup

Bacon, Egg & Cheese on Gluten Free Bread

Pineapple Sorbeto

Gluten Free Coconut Cupcake 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gluten Free Crab Cakes & a Product Review

Since I live in Maryland, it's about time I learn to make crab cakes. I've lived in the state for eleven years now, you think I would have given it a whirl by now! So I took a stab at a gluten free version of the Maryland favorite. They turned out really great...I'm so proud! 

16 oz fresh crab meat (do NOT use fake crab, it is not gluten free!!)
1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs (I used corn meal based crumbs...something with more texture)
2 eggs, beaten 
1 tsp garlic
1 TBS Mayo
1 TBS Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 lemon's worth of juice
olive oil 

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until combined. Try not to over mix so there are plenty of lumps of crab left in the cakes! Form 6-8 patties and chill for about an hour. Coat a frying pan with a shallow layer of olive oil and cook patties on medium heat until golden. Flip patties and do the same on the other side. 

Serve with salad and lemon slices. 

Gluten free chocolate chip cookies

I went a bit crazy at Whole Foods this week and picked up a ton of products to try out. I stocked up on quick and easy items, so you can look forward to lots of entries about new products. I love to try everything that's out there to get ideas, add some variety and learn what to stay away from. I grabbed these gluten free chocolate chip cookies from the freezer section. This is pre-cut cookie dough just like I used to get back in my gluten eating days.

These are fairly large cookies and I was crossing my fingers that they didn't spread as much as regular cookie dough does. They didn't spread out at all, only puffed up slightly and turned golden brown. The smell of fresh baked cookies filled my apartment...I have missed that smell! 

As soon as they were cool enough, I took a bite, and I wasn't really pleased. Dry, crumbly cardboard filled my mouth and I was pretty disappointed. I plated the cookies and decided to come back after dinner to try again. My next bite was much more pleasant. These are not the soft, chewy homemade cookies I'm used to. They're supposed to be crunchy. Once I realized their true texture and they were completely cooled, I could enjoy them for what they were. I ate a couple after dinner and a couple the next day as a snack. Overall, better than most pre-packaged cookies I have tried and not too shabby! 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Egg Drop Soup & Chicken Fried Rice

The motivation behind this dish originally came from my need to make something without bacon or cheese for once. It actually took quite a while for me to think of something without either of my favorite ingredients. Obviously, I have a problem. I need a bacon/cheese detox! Then my mind started to wander and I began to wish I could just order Chinese take out. Ah-ha! Maybe I can't just dial up take out, but I could make it at home for half the price! The egg drop soup was surprisingly quick and easy. I will be making this again soon. It would make a great lunch, and maybe in the future I can try to make some gluten free fried noodles to go with it!

2 eggs
1/2 cup + 2 TBS water
4 cups chicken broth (make sure its GF)
2 TBS cornstarch
1 scallion, chopped
1 tsp grated ginger 
dash of salt

Bring chicken broth to a boil and add chopped scallions, ginger and salt. Add cornstarch to 1/2 cup of water and dissolve before adding to the chicken broth to thicken. Scramble eggs with 2 TBS water. Remove broth from heat and slowly pour in the eggs while stirring with a whisk or fork in a clockwise direction. Stir faster for thin ribbons of egg or slowly for thicker strands.

Egg Drop Soup

For the Chicken Fried Rice, it helps to cook the rice the night before or use leftovers. The rice needs to be cold to avoid clumping. You can also use leftover chicken and vegetables. I used peas and carrots this time. 

2 cups cold white rice
1 small onion
1 TBS butter
1 egg + 2TBS water
2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
about 1/4 cup veggies 
2 scallions, chopped
2 TBS GF soy sauce (La Choy is a good brand)
black pepper
2 TBS olive oil

Melt butter in large skillet, scramble egg with water and add to pan. Create a thin layer (like an omelet) and let cook for a few minutes. When the egg is cooked, cut into strips and remove from pan. Heat oil in pan and sauté onions to soft. Add rice, soy sauce, veggies, scallions and black pepper and cook together for a few minutes. 

So much better than delivery! 

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cheese Steak

Here it goes....I have a confession: I had never eaten a cheese steak before being diagnosed with Celiac! Shocking, I know. So I can say with confidence that I have no clue what a real Philly Cheese Steak tastes like, but I do enjoy the idea. It seems that soon after I was diagnosed these things started popping up everywhere and all I could do was sit nearby and pout as my friends devoured them and exclaimed, "wow! this is amazing!". Even though I can't have the real deal, I thought it would be a good idea to try to recreate something similar at home. Heck, I don't even have to take a three hour road trip to eat this one! Sounds great!

The Butcher at Whole Foods was fantastic. I wasn't sure what kind of steak to use, so I just asked. He said he liked to use Sirloin and went on to explain how he would slice it (thin, and on a diagonal, leaving out any gristle). I ended up with just over a pound of steak and it worked famously.

These cheese steaks were wonderful. I know I don't have much to compare it to, but if you're looking for a fairly easy weeknight dinner and you aren't anywhere close to Philadelphia, these turned out really great! I served these with Ore-Ida steak fries for a truly filling dinner.

I'm not sure how the Kinnikinnick hot dog buns work with hot dogs, but they were perfect for the cheese steaks. If you can't find these, you could probably use any gluten free bread substitute. I used Velveeta cheese since I had leftovers from the mini quiche and I think it worked out really well since it melts so nicely.

thinly sliced Sirloin
green pepper
Velveeta cheese
Kinnikinnick GF hot dog buns (or other GF rolls)

Slice all veggies and sauté with olive oil. Brown steak. When steak is done, lay slices of cheese on top of sections of steak, cover with a lid and allow to melt. Defrost buns in microwave and cut lengthwise. Layer buns with mayo, steak and cheese and then veggies. Serve warm! 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mini Quiche

Sorry for the long break...bloggers need vacations too! I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July. Mine was spent with friends near Rohoboth beach, DE. There will be plenty of gluten free vacation meal pics to come, but alas, that is another entry. For now, I want to talk breakfast.

I have grown so sick of fruit and yogurt for breakfast that something had to be done. I didn't think quiche would ever be an option, but decided to take on the challenge. I just wanted something warm, different and easy to grab for work in the morning. These mini quiches will do the trick. I've never had a better quiche, let alone a gluten free one! I got about 12 quiches out of this recipe, but next time I would double it so I could share.

1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
5 oz Velveeta cheese 
1/2 cup butter
2 TBS water
2 eggs
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup swiss cheese
2 TBS water
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1/2 cup crumbled bacon

Put flour, Velveeta and butter into a bowl and cut until crumbly.

Add water and form dough into a ball.

Put this into the fridge for an hour (this is when I made my bacon and thawed my spinach), then press into greased muffin tins.

Now for the filling!! Beat eggs with half & half and salt. Then add swiss cheese, spinach and bacon and mix. Spoon filling onto crusts and bake for about 20 min or until amazing!


Feel free to replace any of the filling ingredients and let me know how it turned out. I think I would like to try ham & cheddar or a veggie quiche with mushroom and onions next time!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chicken Parmesan

This my my second attempt at Chicken Parmesan. I liked it so much the first time, I just had to try it again! This is a pretty simple dish and I think its going to become a regular in my rotation. Aleia's Italian bread crumbs work great for this, but if you can't find them, I think any gluten free breadcrumbs would work with a little Italian seasoning. Serve this with a salad or with gluten free pasta!


1 egg
1/2 cup of milk

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I actually had 5 thin ones)
1 jar of tomato sauce (I like Classico Tomato Basil)
1 package of Mozzarella cheese 
Parmesan cheese
Aleia's GF Italian bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together egg and milk in one bowl and empty bread crumbs into another bowl. Dip chicken breasts into egg mixture and then coat with bread crumbs. Brown chicken on both sides in a frying pan with a little olive oil. Arrange chicken in a baking dish and cover with half of the cheese slices, entire jar of spaghetti sauce, a handful of Parmesan cheese and then layer on the remainder of the Mozzarella cheese slices. Bake for 25 min or until bubbly. 


Ta-da! Just a gooey mess of cheese and sauce!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Weekend in Review

This weekend was a beautiful and sunny (read: HOT!!) one in the DC area! I finally got the chance to lay out by the pool and soak up some sun with Jess and her family. We enjoyed several hours poolside before heading across the street to Dulles Town Center for lunch at Vapiano. Jess called ahead to check for gluten free options and they had a few salads to recommend. The four of us sat down to watch the soccer game and grabbed some cocktails. I stuck with wine (a light and fruity Riesling) because I wasn't sure about the gluten free status of the fancy martinis, but doesn't this Vapiano Martini with Gummi Bears look amazing?

Ever since the wonderful new caterers at work (more on that later) brought me their new Watermelon Caprese Salad, I have been obsessed. Caprese Salad is my new warm weather favorite food. When I saw this on the menu, it wasn't a hard decision.

This restaurant is nice in that you can watch them make everything right in front of you. They custom create every single order and you are welcome to ask questions and modify any ingredients. I asked for the Caprese Salad, which on the menu consists of, fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, basil and olive oil. The woman making my food didn't know what gluten was, but she was very helpful with telling me everything that was going on to my plate. She pulled out a huge ball of fresh mozzarella, added basil leaves and split tomatoes and then asked if I would like balsamic vinegar. YES.  Onions? YES. Then as she was drizzling olive oil over my dish, I asked if it would be possible to get grilled chicken with that. She seemed excited to make it for me and asked if I wanted fresh garlic. YES. She proceeded to grill the chicken on a small grill right next to her where I could continue to watch.The dish looked so pretty when she handed it over to me.

All in all a wonderful experience in Virginia and a big thanks to Jess' mom for use of her pool and for the lovely gluten free lunch!

Sunday morning I slept in (as long as the Princess would let me before she decided it was time for her breakfast) and took a long shower before getting a call from a friend (the fabulous Elise) to hit up our favorite Sunday brunch spot. You will hear many raves out of me about this little gluten free cafe in Bethesda, MD. Lilit is absolutely the best gluten free eats that I have experienced to date. It's even more amazing because my "normal" friends love it as well! This cafe is a beer and wine shop/deli. They are incredibly cautious of food allergies and have an extensive gluten free menu, including a selection of gluten free beers.

I believe, every single week we have gotten the hummus platter. I haven't tried all of the appetizers, but the ones I have sampled have been great. Their gluten free bread is soft and tastes like the real thing. The baguettes that can be made into sandwiches and come with several starter dishes are toasted and crunchy on the outside, yet soft and chewy on the inside. I have yet to be disappointed with a dish at Lilit.

Hummus Platter

I would like to reiterate my obsession with the Caprese Salad as of late. Obviously, my lunch was not a difficult decision. The hard part was trying to decide if I should take half of this sandwich home or eat it all there. I chose the later. 

Caprese Sandwich 

This sandwich is also available with turkey and on the plain sandwich bread. There are so many choices at Lilit, I HAVE to keep coming back so I can try everything. After I finish lunch, there is always the dessert choices. Lilit has plenty of gluten free options, including some beautiful gluten free cupcakes in several flavors (I love the lemon) and some amazing gelato in a variety of flavors. In the past I have been a fan of the toasted almond and peanut butter. Today, I opted for something light with a small coconut scoop. 

 I don't think my picture is blurry...I think my gelato was melting! 

Summer weekends with friends, and nothing at all to be missed out on! I filled in the blanks this weekend with some crisp chopped salads at home and quick corn tortilla and cheese roll-ups. Looking forward to some new recipes this week and another amazing adventure next weekend when I head to the beach for 4th of July. Stay tuned for more awesome gluten free meals! 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New Product Time!!

I get so excited when a new product shows up on my supermarket shelves. That doesn't necessarily mean I LIKE all of the new products available, but it does show that more and more people are aware of the need for gluten free foods and are making an attempt to create some kind of variety. Now, I started this blog with the intentions of putting more effort into my food and spending more time in the kitchen making meals for myself, however, life does get in the way sometimes and its nice to have more convenient options. 

I scooped Mrs. Leeper's Creamy Tuna off the shelf because it was reminiscent of that old pantry staple, Hamburger Helper. If you would have asked me five years ago if I liked Hamburger Helper, I wouldn't exactly have been jumping for joy, but I did like the fact that in 15-20 minutes I could have a decent all-in-one-pan hot meal that didn't come from the freezer. There is ALWAYS a can of tuna in my pantry and this would be great for those nights when I wanted to put in a little more effort than bagged salad, but didn't quite feel like making something from scratch or shopping for ingredients. 

Tonight was the night to give it a try. It has been a long week of allergies, exhaustion, dragging work days and endless leftovers. This just might carry me over that Thursday slump and into the weekend. I was definitely skeptical at first. I try not to put too much faith into gluten free breads, pastas or pre-packaged foods, for they are often a disappointment. I had also never had corn noodles before and was a little wary of how they would taste.

The way this is cooked is much like a box of Hamburger Helper. Add milk, water, butter and a packet of spices, stir in noodles, boil and then simmer until done. I was pleasantly surprised that it actually looked like Hamburger Helper as well, although the noodles were a little orange at first. I let it set and scooped out a bowlful of casserole goodness (the box says five servings, but I think its more like three). 

This really surprised me in the taste department. The noodles had a great texture and I could easily imagine serving this up to any of my friends that didn't eat gluten free (if I were to ever have the type of dinner gathering that required food from a box). The sauce was creamy and rich and it didn't leave a strange after-taste in my mouth like I have experienced before. For a little over $5.00 a box, this was a pretty good deal, as leftovers will carry me another night or two. I will be adding Mrs. Leeper's to the approved brands in rotation when I just don't have the energy to play with new recipes. 

Now if only the rest of my life were this easy!! 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

In honor of Father's Day, I thought I should make something that reminded me of my dad. It's safe to say that breakfast is my dad's favorite meal of the day and some of his favorite foods to cook. I still love going to visit and waking up to the smell of breakfast cooking. Some times it wouldn't need to be morning at all, we would just have scrambled eggs and bacon for dinner.

I used my Better Batter flour to make biscuits. Just 2 3/4 cups of Better Batter and 3/4 cup milk. Drop spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and brush with butter.

I use Oscar Meyer center cut bacon and Jone's All Natural sausage patties. The biscuits are drizzled with honey. A wonderful dinner to celebrate my dad even if we can't spend it together. 

I love you dad!! Happy Father's Day!

Food About Town

One of the most difficult things about being gluten-free is trying to fit in when eating with others. Special occasions, holidays and gatherings can all prove to be rather challenging. Luckily, I live in a great area where there is a high awareness of food allergies and Celiac Disease, but I know everyone doesn't have that advantage. The most important thing is communication. Don't be afraid to call restaurants ahead of time, ask questions and make sure people take proper precautions when handling your food. I used to be shy about this, but have learned to be assertive so I can enjoy going out with my friends. It's also a good idea to educate the public so more gluten-free options can become available in the future.

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending Rachel & Mike's wedding and had a fabulous time. About a week ago, I called the venue where the reception was going to be held and talked to the caterers. I asked them if it would be possible to make something gluten free so I could eat at the wedding. The manager was incredibly helpful, and even though he wasn't sure exactly what I could and could not eat, he did have a friend that had Celiac and talked to him about my meal. He called me several times and told me that he would make a plate separate from the buffet and if I asked for him, he would bring it to my table. There was also plenty of options for appetizers, as a lot of it was naturally gluten free!

fruit and cheese for snacking

grilled chicken, roast beef, green beans, and roasted potatoes

Luckily, I also have some really great friends that don't mind going out of their way to make me something gluten-free. Most of them have learned a lot about what I can have and always try to make sure there is something for me if we go out or get together for parties. Today, Jess came over and made me a delicious gluten free meal to help me recover from my wedding hangover!

Jess adds chopped bell pepper and McCormick's hamburger seasoning to ground turkey and makes burgers topped with cheddar cheese, avocado, more bell pepper, lettuce and tomato. They were awesome with a little mustard!

There is no reason to limit your activities just because you're gluten free. With a little planning, its easy to fit in and fill up on plenty of fantastic foods. Rarely do I feel like I'm left out of something because of gluten. It's all about taking charge of your life and making the best of every situation.