Here there be cookies.

Here there be cookies. (Blogger uses cookies, folks, but I am sure they are gluten free.)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Sweeties
















Both of these recipes were served to the people in my home who are not gluten, dairy, or egg challenged and they liked them too!

My first treat is adapted from a recipe for Eggless, Milkless, Butterless Cake, which was given to me by my sweet friend, Carol. It was published in the August 2009 edition of Guideposts, page 84 and there is a lovely story behind the recipe. The recipe that follows is my own gluten free adaptation.

Chocolate Craisin Pecan Spice Cake
No Gluten, No Dairy, No Egg, No Soy, No Kidding











Cake
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup Safflower vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups Ocean Spray Craisins
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons water
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup corn starch
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder

Topping
Enjoy Life chocolate chips
Pecans

Make sure all of your spices are gluten free (click on Spices label for possible options - I am picky about using pre-GF days spices from my cupboard due to cross contamination issues).

Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine maple syrup, water, oil, Craisins and spices in a saucepan, and boil for three minutes, stirring frequently. Take the pan off of the heat and allow to cool for ten minutes. Dissolve the baking soda with the salt in the 2 teaspoons of water and mix into the Craisin mixture (this foams up, which is almost as fun to watch as when the cherry liquid thickens in the next recipe...I love chemistry experiments in the kitchen!).

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and xanthan gum well and then pour into the saucepan with the Craisins and mix together. Pour into a greased 9 inch square pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips and then garnish with pecans.











Bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

In my opinion: This is really yummy, and I do want to try it with raisins some time. I believe the next time I make it I will add either 1/2 cup of pumpkin or unsweetened applesauce to make it a little bit more moist. Enjoy!

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This nice little Cherry Pie is adapted from a delightful recipe from one of my favorite GME chefs, Mel from France - Untidy Apple Pie - whose blog is called Pig in the Kitchen (I had to do some digging to find Mel's name and picture).

Mel uses metric measurements and some ingredients we can't get in the states, so I am posting my conversions and changes below.

Cherry Pie
No Gluten, No Dairy, No Egg, No Soy*, No Kidding











The Crust
(You need to get the full recipe from Pig in the Kitchen - linked above)
1/2 lb sweet potato (which is exactly what this little guy weighed!)












1 1/8 cup rice flour (with up to 5 tablespoons extra/I used brown rice flour)
A scant 1/2 cup of lard
(When I first made Untidy Apple Pie, I had not found any truly dairy free margarine in my town. Since that time I have discovered that Earth Balance and Fleishmann's salt-free margarine both fill that description; for my cherry pie, I used lard in the dough and Earth Balance to coat the dough before baking. If you can't use soy, use butter; if you can't use soy or dairy, use lard.)

For this particular pie, I also added 1/4 cup freshly ground almond mill (I grind my almonds fine in a coffee grinder) and some cinnamon.

Follow Mel's directions to put your crust together. I don't know if it was because of the lard, but I did't roll out my dough. Instead, I just pressed it into a pie pan I had coated with cooking spray. The back of my spoon worked very well. For this pie, you should press the dough all the way to the top of sides of the pan.












Cherry Pie Filling
1 - 14 1/2 ounce can tart red cherries, reserve juice
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/8 cup sugar
Reserved cherry juice and apple juice to equal 3/4 cup liquid, divided

Place 1/2 cup of liquid in a saucepan over medium heat.

Place the cornstarch in the bottom of a coffee cup and pour 1/4 cup liquid over it, stir to mix well - add more liquid if needed.

Pour cornstarch liquid into the saucepan and mix together, stirring until it thickens (which is fun to watch!). When thickened, fold in cherries and add 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla.

Assembling the pie
Put your cherries into the crust, exactly as you would expect they should go. Then using the back of your spoon, gently fold the dough over the cherries. I actually pressed the edges so that they stood up a little, making a wall around the cherries, as I was afraid the juice might boil over. Not sure that was necessary, but it turned out nice anyway. Then I pressed almonds all around the outside of the crust and coated it with about a 1 teaspoon of melted Earth Balance and then sprinkled the entire pie with sugar and bake at 350°F, according to Mel's time table.

In my opinion: this pie turned out very nice. The crust was quite light. My husband thought it was quite cakey and cobbler like.

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*To adapt this to be soy free, use lard in the crust and use apple juice instead of Earth Balance to coat the outside of the crust before baking

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cookies!!!

No Gluten, No Egg, No Dairy, No Soy, No Kidding

If you have a hankering for some yummies, go here and scroll down to the bottom of the article where you will find three lovely recipes:
Snap 'em Up Ginger Snaps
Two Tone Temptation Cookies,
Thumbs Up Thumbprint Cookies,


all from Better Nutrition: the Shopping Magazine for Natural Living. Make sure you watch your ingredients. Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips are gluten free and Sunspire puts out a gluten-free chocolate chip as well.
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UPDATE:
Want ANOTHER Thumbprint Cookie recipe? Go here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sleuthing again

I have been wanting to get to this, but it is such a busy time! I am going to put up a couple of posts as fast as I can.

Product information:
First, Tammy expressed concern about the soy status of Hillshire Farms Lit'l Smokies. I just called the company and was told that all of their products will clearly state if they contain soy or gluten AND if any ingredient is derived from soy or gluten. This is their standard policy, so consider them a trusted company! You will find no helpful allergen OR ingredient list on their website, only a list of products. It took a phone call to find out.

Some of the Better Than Bouillon products are gluten free and they appear to be soy free as well. The site this is on has comprehensive list of the items they sell which okay for particular dietary restrictions. Soy is not listed specifically, but that may be because it is the law that labels must say "contains soy." What bothers me about the FDA site, is I see nothing about gluten. I was told the law changed to include gluten on the list.

I contacted Hickory Farms and was told that they do not have a list of gluten free products, but they have lots of them. The particular product I wanted to know about was their Beef Summer Sausage (formerly known as Beef Stick) and they said it is gluten free. However, if I want to know about any other product I must contact them again. NOT USER FRIENDLY...and I have suggested they change their policy. They sent it on to the department that makes that sort of decision.

A friend contacted Crest and was told that none of their toothpastes contain gluten. I should note here that my husband and I have separate toothpaste tubes to avoid gluten contamination issues. I take no chances and he doesn't mind!

Business:
Labels: Diligence is still a necessity when you are purchasing products that say they do not have gluten in their ingredients list or say they are gluten free. I thought the labeling laws were a done deal, but from what I am finding it seems to me that this is still coming. The Celiac Sprue Association has this information posted. The FDA seems to still be working out the kinks. Never trust a label that says Gluten Free. Check for more information. Does it say in the fine print, processed in a facility that also produces products containing gluten? Because of the information contained in the next section of this post, my reasoning is if there is flour used to produce a product in a facility in the morning and then the lines are cleaned and a "gluten free" product is produced in the same location in the afternoon, cross contamination is a real possibility. As I said, diligence is important. Call the companies. Ask questions. If you have any better information about what is going on with labeling, please comment and I will post it.

Concerning airborne gluten: I have a friend who knows a man with Celiac who toured a flour mill that was not running at the time. After leaving the facility he had to find a bathroom because he was "reacting" (you know what I am referring to here) to the flour in the air. Check out Melissa's response to this issue here. [See updates below]

Another resource on Celiac and gluten intolerance. This is a gastroenterology site and it has some good (though not exhaustive) information on the page. Don't assume when you get to the resource list that you are done. Keep scrolling down, there is more to come Mordecai.

This is from the UK. I found it through Pig in the Kitchen (second entry under For your surfing pleasure below). There is lots of information on this site, so look around. Keep in mind that if you are not from the UK, their product lists, restaurant lists, etc. are not applicable. I like this site for its general information about the disease, cross-contamination issues, etc.

For your surfing pleasure:
Since I found out I am unable to eat dairy or eggs, I have been searching for others cooking for peeps with the same problem, so I could gather some recipes and figure this animal out. Thanks to Professor Google and Elizabeth at Ditch the Gluten, I have found a few that are very helpful.

I absolutely love this blog out of France, Pig in the Kitchen, by the Pig (that is the only identification I have been able to find so far). I have tried several recipes. You have to use the measurement conversion calculator she links to--unless you have a handle on metric measuring and the utensils to match. I made her Untidy Apple Pie for Thanksgiving, and it was a big hit. As I was eating, I was tweaking it in my mind; perhaps I will make a variation for my husband's birthday and post what I come up with.

Yummy Allergen Free, by Food Allergy Mom, looks like another great source for recipes. I just found her, so I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but I plan to!

I am a fan of Nutella, but it has milk in it, so I was pretty excited when I ran across this recipe! I will probably try it over Christmas when my kids are home from college.

Gluten Free in NC, by Jill, doesn't have all the allergy issues I have, but she posted a granola recipe that I can use. She also has a lot of product reviews. She hasn't posted anything since July, but her blog is still a nice resource.

I bookmarked this link from Dessert Obsessed in my "blog this" folder and this particular recipe is gluten/egg/dairy free; it is under the subtitle Gluten Free Decadence. Click on the labels on the recipe for links to other resources. Please note that most of her recipes are NOT allergen free.

Life, Gluten Free, by Sophie, is another blog stuffed with recipes and good information. She does not cook dairy and egg free, but I am not going to stop posting gluten free blogs that don't. I am not going to be a narcissist about this. I have plenty of just gluten free readers (like gluten free isn't enough to deal with).

Okay...it turns out there was nothing quick about this at all!

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UPDATES: I have been looking for more sources that agree with the airborne gluten problem this morning. Here is a guideline from the with a lot of good information on it, including the possibility of airborne contamination. About dot com weighs in on cross contamination here. On that site, there is an article on symptoms. My main symptoms are severe abdominal pain and sores in my mouth. It includes a good list, but I know there are more than that. I have a friend who has migraines and she gets puffy (including her face) when she has gluten. Some people have no symptoms at all. Here is a conversation about pizza places in New York that cater to the gluten challenged. Scroll down on the first page to Ben Cappel's two cents. One of his tell tale signs of exposure is swollen gums. I have never heard of that one before.

If you are one of those people who have been diagnosed with Celiac or gluten intolerance and you would rather just eat gluten than be a bother, or you think a little bit won't hurt you, or you are not looking into the cross-contamination possibilities because you thing what you don't know can't hurt you: things can get worse folks.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Almond Cabbage Chicken Pie

When I am creating a new recipe, I always use the Aunt Lorena method. Aunt Lorena was a wonderful cook and she used to encourage me to experiment.

Then, my daughter and I watched Rachel Ray together at lunchtime during her high school years of home schooling. We both became quite bold in our cooking and started tweaking and creating recipes. When I am cooking this way, I start out with a conservative amount of seasonings and increase as needed. Be brave, you will get the hang of it.

Almond Cabbage Chicken Pie

No Gluten, No Dairy, No Egg, No Soy, No Kidding

Preheat oven to 350°F

Bake 3 large chicken breast halves until they have an internal temperature of 170°F. I use Costco’s Kirkland brand frozen chicken breasts and follow package directions for baking. If they are frozen, they take about 50 minutes to bake. When they are done, remove from oven and cut into small pieces. I use a pair of scissors and while holding the hot chicken with a fork I just snip off pieces in the size I want. Building this pie takes a couple of hours or so, but it is totally worth the effort—plan accordingly.

For Crust

Dry

2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Brown Rice Flour

1/4 teaspoon gluten free Xanthan gum

½ teaspoon baking soda

4 teaspoons Argo baking powder

½ tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons Ener-G Foods Egg Replacer

Wet
6 tablespoons safflower oil (or whatever kind you like)

2/3 cup plain Pacific

Foods Almond Milk

2 teaspoons vinegar

Completely oil the bottom and sides of a 9x9x2 inch baking dish, set aside.

Combine all of the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. In a second bowl, mix the wet ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix with a fork until well blended. The resulting dough is a little sticky, a little crumbly, but easy to handle.

Take a little of the dough at a time and begin pressing it to line the pan, about a ¼ inch thick. I used a fork to do the bottom and then my fingers to press in the sides, it is really easy to work with. Continue this process until you have completely covered the bottom and nearly to the top of the sides. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400°F and then proceed.

For Filling

Prepared chicken (above)

Vegetable oil (olive, safflower, whatever you like)

1/3 cup brown rice flour (or so)

2 cups (or more) Pacific Foods Chicken Broth

3 medium carrots, cubed

4 stalks of celery, sliced

2 cups chopped cabbage

4 large green onions, sliced (when we ate the pie, we all agreed that it would be tasty to use more onions, maybe a cup of them chopped. You could use a regular onion for this instead of green onions.)

Salt (is what brings out the flavor in this dish, so keep adding a little bit at a time until you are content)

Garlic powder (probably around ¼ teaspoon, maybe more)

Ginger (optional)

Garnish

Whole raw almonds (mandatory)

To make your gravy—drizzle about 2 or 3 tablespoons of oil in the bottom of a large skillet. Add rice flour and blend it into the oil with a fork. You will quickly get a mucky mess.

Add the chicken broth a little at a time and slowly blend into the flour until you have added all of the broth and have a smooth mixture. If you do not rush this process, you will not have lumps. Season the gravy to taste.

Add the chicken and prepared vegetables to the gravy and mix them all together. You should taste the gravy to see if you need any more seasonings. Go ahead, it is perfectly safe, your chicken is already completely cooked.

Pie Assemblage

With the biggest utensil you can find, spoon the chicken mixture evenly into the prepared crust and garnish with as many almonds as you can manage.

Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes and serve hot. We had Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce with ours, which was just the right thing. Enjoy!!!


P.S. It is my intention to tweak this recipe and use it a lot for a variety of different flavors.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Honey-Mustard Smokies...in a Quilt - no dairy - no eggs - no gluten - no soy - no kidding

This is not an easy change, but it is also not impossible. I am determined to adapt to this new way of eating (well, I am adapting, since I haven't eaten any eggs or dairy for a week now). My biggest concern is to get all of the nutrients I need (my next concern is that I can actually stand to eat what I cook).




Earlier in the week I needed a fast meal. I looked in my fridge and cupboard, started my what-could-I-do-with-this-food-to-make-it-tasty-and-filling gears turning, and this is what I came up with:

Honey-Mustard Smokies...in a Quilt

1-14 oz. package Hillshire Farms Beef Lit'l Smokies
1/4 cup Safflower oil (or other oil of your choosing)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup mustard
1 pkg. Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Cornbread Mix
Pacific Foods Vanilla Flavored Almond Milk
Ener-G Foods Egg Replacer

The quantities on the honey-mustard sauce are a guess right now, because I used the Aunt Lorena method, as is my usual practice when I am coming up with a new dish, so you can make some adjustments according to your own taste. Just taste it and see if you are content.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Mix up the cornbread according to the package directions, using Egg Replacer instead of the eggs and almond milk instead of dairy milk. The Egg Replacer package says to mix together 1 1/2 t of egg replacer to 2 T of warm water per egg. Bob's calls for 2 eggs. Grease a 9"x9" casserole (I used a soy free spray) and spread the dough over the bottom.

Spread the Smokies evenly across the top of the cornbread and press them down into the dough. You could get fancy and make a zig-zag pattern or something exciting like this, but I was looking for something fast and I wasn't feeling that great anyway.

Pour and spread the honey-mustard sauce over the top to cover. Bake according to the cornbread package directions. It says 20 or 25 minutes (can't remember for sure), but I was thinking it could have baked a few minutes longer.

The sauce soaks into the bread a little ways and makes it really, really yummy. My family really liked it, but since my tummy is still in the post-dairy/egg healing period, it didn't set as well as I would have liked, but I am thinking that as I heal, it will be okay. I have always done okay with the Lit'l Smokies.

Stay tuned...I have been chewing on an idea for chicken, but it may be next week until it hatches.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hold the milk. Hold the eggs.

Life just became a bit more complicated. I have suspected that I should not be eating milk or eggs for some time, but I just didn't want to face it or admit it. I have finally come to the point that I can make gluten free versions of food that are really good, really satisfying, and now I have to start all over again. I will survive. I will figure it out. Things could be worse. Tonight I am feeling a little pouty though. A lot of my recipes just became obsolete.

However, I am quite certain that I am going to feel a lot better.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Candy candy candy

Here is a list of gluten free candies. Be sure to read the bullet points under each one.


Here is a good one with a warning to be cautious.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Italian Stuffed Green Peppers

A while ago, when I was in the checkout line at a fabric store, my son called and asked me for a recipe for stuffed green peppers. We started brainstorming on what might be nice to go inside of one to make it delicious. After a while, we started discussing going Italian with them and he made some and said they worked out wonderfully. I have been wanting to make some since that time, but just hadn't gotten to it, until tonight. What I came up with is delicious and good for you to boot! I am going to give the quantities that I used and you can adjust them for the size of your family.

Italian Stuffed Green Peppers
Preheat oven to 350º F

Prep the Peppers
Prepare by removing the stem end of 3 large green peppers and cleaning out all of the seeds. Place the peppers upright in a small enough casserole dish that they will not fall over. Set aside.

Italian Sauce
1 can S&W Ready-Cut Diced Tomatoes (this is a pdf file)
1/4 cup Kraft Parmesan Cheese
1 teaspoon McCormick Italian Seasoning (check label for gluten - they will clearly label any gluten ingredients)
1 teaspoon McCormick oregano
1 teaspoon McCormick basil
1 tablespoon olive oil

Pour the diced tomatoes (with liquid) into a large saucepan and mash the tomatoes with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for a while.

The Rest of the Stuffing Stuff
1/2 pound hamburger
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced olives
1/3 cup dry arborio rice
1/2 cup precooked quinoa*
1/2 cup Tillamook Shredded Italian Cheese

Put 2/3 cup of water into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Then add 1/3 cup of arborio rice and keeping it boiling, stir the rice for 1 minute. Turn the temperature down to low, put the lid on and let it cook about 13 minutes (shorter than the package calls for) and then stir in the precooked quinoa and about 1/8 cup of chicken broth. Replace the lid and cook on low about another 5 minutes.

Brown the hamburger in a skillet. When nearly finished, add the sliced mushrooms and stir fry until the burger is cooked through. Add the burger/mushroom mixture and the quinoa/rice mixture to the Italian tomato sauce. Stir these together well and then mix in 1/2 cup Italian shredded cheese.

Assemble
Spoon the mixture into each green pepper until they are full. If you have leftovers you can pack them in around the sides of the peppers.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from over and remove foil. There will be a fair amount of liquid around the peppers.

Cover the peppers with a generous amount of Tillamook Shredded Italian Cheese and put back in the oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Serve immediately.

You could have a salad with these, but it is satisfying
all by itself. Those peppers were so sweet!















The peppers were not the first stuffed thing in this home today!
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*I have started making my quinoa according to that part of Gluten Free Mama's recipe for Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini or Portabella Mushrooms. I made a batch about a week ago and have used it in three different recipes, which is why I am saying precooked quinoa (BTW: I made the Stuffed Zucchini this fall and it was really, really good). You could use any rice, or all quinoa and it would work fine, I am sure.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A very nice burger recipe

My friend, Kimberly, recommended this recipe and I have made it at least a couple of times, maybe three, because it is so stinking easy and so delicious. Recently, I needed to do something quick and easy with burger, so I just harvested some of the ingredients from the pork chop recipe and I have to say it was surprisingly, amazingly delicious.


My recipe is even simpler than the one for pork though:

A Very Nice Burger Recipe
1 lb of hamburger
1-15 oz. can S & W* black beans, undrained
1 cup of Chachies salsa
(these quantities are approximate, except for the black beans, because I was using the Aunt Lorena methodclick on label and go to the first entry to understand)

Brown burger and add the other ingredients. Cook to heat through and use one tortillas or in taco shells or wherever you imagine takes you. The best descriptive word I can give this is smooth. We loved it.
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*I spoke with someone from S & W Foods today and was told that the only product that has gluten in it at this time is their Malt Vinegar. She said all of their canned fruits and vegetables and their pickled beets are gluten free. She told me several times that we should always check the labels to be sure that ingredients haven't changed. I started to explain why it would be helpful if they had a statement of their policy on their website, was cut off, and can't get back through to them. Hopefully there was a power problem and not a snubbing that happened there.

P.S. Whole Foods Market has a lengthy list of gluten free foods that was updated on the 10/22/09 and it is 14 pages long! It is a pdf file, so give it time to load. Great place to check on brands you are wondering about!

Cow photog from FreeDigitalPhotoes.net

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gluten Free Pizza Bake

I have finally found a satisfactory pizza alternative. I just haven't found a yeasty pizza crusts and so I decided to alter a baking powder biscuit recipe the other night and even Mr. Gluten-Eater-in-My-Life enjoyed it; he said, "This tastes like the pizza my mom made all the time, I love it." High praise indeed. His mother was a master of scratch cooking and made the best gluteny cinnamon rolls I ever tasted...ever (Sarah has solved the cinnamon roll dilemma for gluten freers in an amazingly wonderful way).

This was the very last piece. I had it for lunch today and remembered to take the picture before I started eating. The pieces were cut in squares, but I think when this one's neighbors were taken, the taker fudged a bit.




Gluten Free Pizza Bake
Preheat oven to 425º F

For Crust
Dry
1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Brown Rice Flour
1/4 teaspoon Xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 scant teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons egg replacer (optional)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Wet
6 tablespoons softened butter
1 tablespoons honey, melted
2/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vinegar

In mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients; add butter to the dry mixture and using two knives, cut in until coarse crumbs form. Combine milk, melted honey and vinegar and pour into the crumb mixture. Mix together until it forms into a ball.

Grease a 9 x 9 casserole dish and press the dough evenly across the bottom. Set aside.

Sauce
1-8 oz. can tomato sauce - Contadina*
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon each (or to taste) basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Toppings
1 lb hamburger
1-6 oz. can of olives, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1-8 oz. pkg. Tillamook shredded Italian cheese
(Your favorite pizza toppings, you decide)

Assemble
Combine all of the sauce ingredients and blend together well. Spread evenly over the crust. Scatter all of your toppings evenly over the tomato sauce, sprinkling the cheese on last.

Bake @425º for 15 minutes, or until cheese starts to brown.

This recipe would probably be okay in a little bit bigger pan, in this size it made a thick, cakey crust.

Don't expect that yeasty, crispy crust you used to enjoy before you were deglutenified. This is something brand new and you need to let it stand on its own merits.
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* Scroll down to Product Information, third question

Friday, October 16, 2009

In the aftermath of gluten

My friend Sarah (see label Sarah bakes again) and I have been sleuthing for gf baking products and other things that have come up in our conversations. I have also discovered some things as I have searched for gf products for other peeps.

Product information:
Hodgson Mill has a lot of gluten free products. Just be careful, because they have lots of products with gluten as well.

La Victoria is great about letting us know if their products have gluten or not. Go to this link and click on products, then the type of product you are looking for, choose the name of specific product, click on the picture of the container and you will see the nutritional information. It will say if it is gluten free in the ingredients list in bold. What I discovered is that their Thick and Chunky Salsa Verde is gluten free and soy free, which is great, because mom can't have soy and I have been wanting to make an enchilada recipe that needs some.

For your surfing pleasure:

I had mentioned Living Without Magazine some time ago, but I was at their website yesterday and realized that they have a page of links to gf recipes.

Not exactly a blog, but lots of information, gf products, and recipes - Eating Gluten Free (I will be hanging out here, I can tell).

Betty Crocker has posted some recipes for their new gluten free mixes.

Restaurants:
I never eat at old MacDonald's. Just don't trust them.

For peace in the midst of pain:
This song was sung at my sister's funeral and then later at a church I attended, we did parts singing and sang it at my father's funeral. It has always stirred my spirit and helped me to be content.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

About that cornstarch

After enjoying the delicious adaptation of Rebecca's Banana Sheet Cake last night, as I was writing my post on it, I decided to double-check all ingredients to be sure they were gluten free. I used Clabber Girl Cornstarch and when I went to their website, I was a bit concerned. Their baking powder has these features listed:

  • Resealable, recyclable container
  • Double acting
  • Gluten free
  • Zero Trans Fat
  • Kosher: Pareve

  • But their corn starch has these:

  • Calcium fortified
  • Resealable, recyclable container
  • Zero Trans Fat
  • Kosher: Pareve

  • Notice the difference? I did too. I went to there contact page and sent an email. This morning, there was no response (and I am in pain...again) so I went back to their site and called them. I learned a lot. First of all, their corn starch is NOT gluten free. Apparently the container I purchased is from before they changed the labels on their products. They changed them once to say they are processed on equipment where wheat is processed and they have changed or are changing them again, though I don't know what the new labels say.

    What else I learned: There is a date on the bottom of the can (can't remember the exact name, if you know, please let me know in a comment) and she told me how to read it.

    Mine says: 08302

    That means the product was made in 2008, on the 302 day of the year. I am so glad to have this information and now you have it too!

    So what is a gluten free girl to do? Well, I just did a search and I am happy to announce that Argo and Kingsford are both gluten free. I will be adding this to my shopping list today. In the meantime, I hope my husband and mom like the cake, because I won't be eating any more of this one.

    Tuesday, October 13, 2009

    Banana Sheet Cake...deglutened

    Master blogger and sweet paper friend, Rebecca, posted the recipe for Banana Sheet Cake. That recipe caused my taste buds to covet. I decided I was going to figure out a way to degluten that recipe and I have finally done so. The reason it took so long to get it done is that sometimes when the bananas were getting close to being ripe enough, my husband would eat them. One time, I was just too stinking busy and one day my husband said, "I've never seen a banana so ripe that it was actually running out of the peeling, Becky." Yuck. We have both seen that now.

    (Rebecca, the little green plate came from my grandma's house in Bellevue.)

    Gluten Free Banana Sheet Cake
    Wherein Becky adapts Becky's cake recipe and finds herself in a pleasant place.

    For 15 x 10 x 1 inch pan*
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1-1/2 cup sugar
    3 eggs
    1 cup Tillamook Sour Cream**
    1 teaspoon Kirkland Pure Vanilla Extract**
    1/4 cup water (or a little more)
    1-1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 medium overripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)

    In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then add the eggs (you may notice that Rebecca suggested 2 eggs for the smaller cake, but I used 3), sour cream, vanilla and water. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. It was during this step that I added the extra egg and water.

    The batter was so thick that it became some kind of aggressive beast, forcing itself up the beaters of my mixer and causing the motor to drag. It could be that I used too much xanthan gum, but I am a cake lover not a chemist, and I just don't know why it did that.)





    Then stir in the bananas. At this point, the batter smelled so good my taste buds were clamoring for a smackeral, but I wouldn't cave in to their demands.













    Spread batter into a greased 15 x 10 x 1 inch pan (notice that mine is a x 2 inch glass baking dish). Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

    I don't know if it was the extra egg or what, but the cake was already taking on some impressive browning ten minutes shy of being finished. I checked it to see how it was progressing and the toothpick came out well coated. I thought I had spread the batter evenly, but apparently there was a thinner side and it really browned quickly, so I covered that part and let it go the rest of the time. It came out perfect. It seems quite dark, but it was not burned.




    It smelled so good...

    Cool and frost (see the delicious recipe for the cream cheese frosting on Rebecca's blog).

    This turned out so well! I served it to the men who come to my husband's Bible study (gluten gobblers every one) and they loved it. It just plain doesn't taste gluten free! This recipe will be well used in my home. Thank you Rebecca!




    Color me happy.

    ...........................................................................................
    *Rebecca has the quantities for an even larger pan, but I didn't adapt for that.
    **When I mention a specific brand, it is because that brand is gluten free. It also means that other brands of this particular ingredient could contain gluten. Check the labels, check with the company.
    ***If you use Bob's Red Mill, make sure the flour you are buying is gluten free. The one I linked to is, but not all of their flours are. Don't shoot yourself in the foot by buying the wrong stuff.

    Saturday, October 10, 2009

    Blaming no one else, just a caution

    I was in aisle seven at Walmart, looking at the "gluten free" section (in quotes because the gluten free section is a smattering of gf products nestled in among other items you would find at a whole foods store).

    Standing there, I had a silent conversation with myself: Now Becky, remember, there are things here that are not gluten free and you must proceed with caution. Yes, this is true, I must be careful.

    I was there for a specific Bob's Red Mill brown rice flour that no one else in town carries, but always on the lookout for gf products, my eyes scanned to the bottom shelf and I thought, Ah ha! MI-DEL Ginger Snaps! I love Trader Joe's ginger snaps (TJ's is nowhere near my town). I have eaten MI-DEL cookies before and decided to get some.

    I just checked my wallet and the date was September 24th. I ate those cookies, one at a time, for a little over a week. I probably had 5 cookies total - no more than one in a given day.

    I was still chewing the last one when I had a little panic attack. I was comparing the flavor of this ginger snap to the ones at Trader Joe's and it hit me, these don't taste gf. These taste normal! I went to my personal, gluten free cupboard and pulled the package out. First ingredient: organic unbleached wheat flour!

    Suddenly I realized where my recent pain and other symptoms were coming from! I wanted to kick myself. I finally remembered that the store I had purchased MI-DELs from labels which items are gluten free and some of the MI-DEL cookies are gf and some are not. I am not angry with Walmart OR MI-DEL; they are both offering options to the anti-gluten and I appreciate them for doing so. I am angry with myself for letting my guard down.

    My system is still torn up from those cookies. Hopefully this is a lesson I will not soon forget.

    Friday, October 9, 2009

    Opportunities Abound

    Stephanie @ Totally Together Reviews got a new Samsung refrigerator and now we have an opportunity to put our name in a hat for a $200 Best Buy gift certificate! I am doing that today...and apparently some other peeps have the same offer available.* Be sure and notice how it all works at the end of Stephanie's post.



    ..................................................................
    * Nikas Culinaria got a stove!
    * Fluid Pudding got a dishwasher!
    * Reviews by Suz got a washer and dryer with pedestal!