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.

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!
*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.
*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

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
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

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.

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

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)

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.
* 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.

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!

    Just in Time for the Holidays

    My son spent several months in the little resort town of Leavenworth, Washington and got there early in the spring when it was still winterish. He told me that he felt like he was living in Narnia, as there was snow on the pine branches and a door to points unknown in the back of his closet in his bedroom. For Mother's Day that year, he sent me a box of Liberty Orchard's Fruit Delights (my favorite flavor is pineapple)*. They are produced in nearby Cashmere, Washington and he took a tour of their candy factory. It turns out that the folks who make them are originally from somewhere on the other side of the world and they brought the original recipe for Turkish Delight with them and that is what all of their recipes today are derived from.

    Thursday, October 8, 2009