Friday, November 25, 2011

Sleuth’s 20/20 Hindsight: Thanksgiving foods

Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for His loving kindness is everlasting” (1 Chronicles 16:34).

First, I didn’t take a picture of our turkey. It looked just like your turkey. I used a fresh Honeysuckle White turnkey from Walmart. I bought two because the fresh turkeys were 98 cents a pound and the frozen were 1.49 a pound. I froze the second one for later. They don’t offer fresh turkeys all the time, and I am sure they had it cheaper to be able to sell the bazillion of them they had sitting in cold storage. My husband prepared it while I was working on other foods, and he noted as he was unwrapping it that it said “freeze or use by 11/22/11.” Way to go Walmart. I had been in the store on Monday and told the guy in the meat department that I thought I should wait until closer to Thursday to get it, and he told me that all the fresh turkeys they were getting were already at the store and that it wouldn’t be a problem anyway. No one got sick, so perhaps he knew what he was talking about, but the whole thing is a bit unsettling, even so.

All of these follow-up comments are on foods that I either gave recipes or links to the recipes in my post for 11/19/11.


Next, I made my first gluten free stuffing in six years (five years gluten free plus the gut-wrenching, life-draining pain when I didn’t know what was wrong with me, along with my more recent No Dairy, No Egg, No Kidding problems). In the past few months, I have found that I seem to be able to tolerate eggs. I haven’t had one straight up yet, but I did make French toast for my husband and I a couple of months ago and had no trouble with it. Anyway, I used Udi’s Whole Grain bread to make my stuffing, and the only changes I made to the linked recipe in the 11/19 post were to the onions and the seasonings. I did not pre-cook the onions, and I really seasoned it well poultry seasoning and thyme. I didn’t have the fresh herbs. I also did not use the butter, as she recommended. I cooked the turkey neck in chicken broth (Pacific, as usual), and used that liquid, as well as some from the turkey itself, and it really turned out yummy. Everyone enjoyed it, and I am the only gluten dodger.



Candied Yams. These were fantastic, not to mention entertaining for mom and I. Changes made: only one, I cut the yams up smaller than 1” cubes, probably 1/2” or less. I wanted to be sure they would be done in time. The entertaining part came with the marshmallows. My husband says it is because they were so fresh. I covered the yams with the marshmallows and stuck them back in the oven. I told mom, “We need to watch these carefully, we want them to toast, not melt.” Well, they were in for about 6 minutes (we had been keeping an eye on them) when I noted that their smell was sweetening the air, and I knew we were close. Right then, mom said, “The marshmallows are running over!” I’m like, what? It made no sense to me. The glass dish the were in had two or three inches of clearance above the mallows. Well, when I looked through the window on the oven door, it was suddenly clear. Those mallows had blown up like balloons! they were huge! It was fabulous and freaky at the same time. I thought, this is like some kind of well-kept gourmet secret. Then I grabbed a metal spatula and scooped the parts that were in danger of dropping to the oven floor back into the dish. Then I pulled it out of the oven, and like a cake startled by a bump, the mallows deflated to little more than creamy-white foam.  In spite of their sparseness, the yams were sensational. The one thing I did that wasn’t mentioned in the recipe was to baste them about half-way through since the maple syrup and oil didn’t cover them. The were moist and delicious. No butter needed.


Cranberry jello. The chosen recipe came from  Sorry for the blurry photo. This recipe was not what I was hoping for. It was waaaaaayyyy sweet and waaaaaayyyy tart. My face really didn’t know what to do when I tasted it. I am sure I was almost as entertaining as the mallows to watch. I won’t use this recipe again, but when the recipe said to cook the cranberries in water until they popped, that was fun. I thought the skins would split like tomatoes when they are dropped into boiling water to make the skins come off easily—but no—they popped. It was like a cross between popcorn and biting into a cherry tomato, only the juice that squirts out is hot.






The salad. I made an Olive-Garden style salad, with the necessary tweaks for me. I used a combination of pre-packaged iceberg lettuce and romaine lettuce, black olives, pepperoncini, sliced red onions, and grated parmesan on the side for the rest of the peeps. The dressing was one I have been waiting to try, and it was an adventure in itself. I found the recipe at The Spunky Coconut, and it is amazing and delicious. It starts out very liquidy and gets quite thick when it is refrigerated but ends up a really nice dressing when it is tossed into the salad. The challenge was finding the raw cashews.*

I didn’t bother with croutons, and no one seemed to miss them. If my daughter had been home, they would have been a necessity.



Dessert. The texture of the pie dough was amazing. The finished product beautiful. The taste…awful. I am not sure what the deal is. The lady who came up with the recipe for the pie dough really knows her stuff, and she said her non-allergy-challenged guests loved it, but mine did not. Nor did I. It had a strong, terrible taste to it. My son said it tasted like there was too much baking soda in it. I am not giving up on the recipe though. I am thinking I will try brown rice flour and use the strawberry-flavored So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk instead of the plain in the hope that the flavor will improve. Really, really love the texture.

There were also loaded, mashed potatoes (butter and cream cheese, I did not eat any), gravy made with the turkey broth, cornstarch, and seasonings (big hit), and a relish tray (dill and sweet pickles, marinated artichoke hearts, green and black olives, carrots, and broccoli) with Ranch Dressing for those who wanted it (those fresh veggies and the dressing were not even touched, the salad satisfied everyone), and vanilla ice cream for those who could eat it. There were many traditional dishes that were not on the table, but there wasn’t a hungry person in the house, and we have leftovers O’ plenty. I didn’t make the pumpkin trifle recipe because my mom made gluten-laden pumpkin pie, and I didn’t want to do a second pumpkin dessert. I still have the ingredients though, and I am hoping to make it before the weekend is through. All in all, I have to say it was a wonderful meal. It was such a sweet thing to eat foods I haven’t eaten for so long, stuff myself (somewhat), and walk away from it without pain. All this and spending time with my family to boot. I am thankful indeed!

Whoa! A friend posted this link to a recipe for four-ingredient fondant on Pinterest. A world of creative possibilities just opened up! I always use Kraft Marshmallows because Kraft is a trusted company, and they will say if there is any chance of gluten in their products. I also found this recipe for a quick pour chocolate fondant that also looks great. Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, or another brand you trust should work fine. I do need to make sure about food colorings, but I know there are some out there that are safe.

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I have considered ordering certified gluten free raw cashews online, but though the price per pound is something I could handle occasionally ($10), when you add in another $10 for shipping, I figure it is really more than I am willing to pay to be able to make creamy salad dressing or soft cheese. I looked at the health food stores in town and couldn’t find any, so I finally went to Winco to the bulk section, bought raw cashew pieces and then washed them off a few at a time in my hands to make sure any particles of flour that they might have picked up from nearby bins being loaded were washed off. So far, I have no signs of cross-contamination, so I think this will work. I might even talk to them about buying them right from the bag before they are taking to the bulk area.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sleuth Thanks: Holiday Food Ideas

I made these little guys for Christmas gifts a few years ago.
Wait, where am I? Oh yes. I blog.

The holidays are upon us, and I am hoping for a mellow and relaxing Thanksgiving Day celebration. Our son will be home for a few days, and my mother and uncle will be with us, but that is all. I would be happy if our daughter could come as well, but she graduated from college last May and was recently hired as a copy editor for a newspaper, and she can only get away for a few days at Christmas. Those luxurious month-long school vacations are no more. I have been collecting recipes for a while now, and I am including a bunch of links, as well as my dinner plans for Thanksgiving.

Dinners (this cook reserves the right to make changes at the slightest whim)
Thanksgiving: I am planning to make turkey, potatoes (probably mashed, but I won't eat them), roasted candied yams (my plans below), maybe a turnip/beet/rutabaga vegetable medley, a green salad, a veggie tray, and cranberry jello (still deciding on recipe). I am considering making stuffing. I found this recipe from Nancy Newcomer which looks quite promising.

Christmas: I am fixing an Italian meal full of gluten: lasagna, salad, garlic bread with cheese (Buddy's style), probably a veggie tray. I have my own plans for a gluten/dairy free version of the lasagna for me (maybe even the garlic bread). Not sure about dessert yet, but I already have a few options (see below). My family loves my lasagna and since discovering that the noodles don't have to be precooked, I have been much more comfortable making it. In fact, it is the only gluten-laden food I cook for them.

Recipes and links
Roasted Candied Yams
I haven't made this before (except in my mind), but I have had enough experience with roasting veggies that I am fairly confident this will turn out well. Quantities will vary depending on how much is needed. Using the Aunt Lorena Method for measuring.
- Peel and cut up yams into about 1" cubes
- Toss in olive oil and maple syrup
- Bake in a 375 degree F oven about 20 minutes or until fork tender
- Remove from oven and cover with tiny Kraft marshmallows (safely gluten free)
- Return to oven and toast marshmallows (watch carefully, you don't want to melt them)

I have been collecting ideas for food, and one thing in particular I am going to try (read: tweak), is this recipe for Pumpkin Praline Trifle (follow the link). My plan is to go all homemade, using almond milk instead of dairy to make the puddings. I don't have a pastry bag anymore, but my favorite trick is to cut a small hole in the corner of a ziplock bag and use it. Cheap, easy, and really easy cleanup (file 13 it).

I found a recipe for dairy/nut free toffee bits at the bottom of this recipe for Toffee Pecan Apple Streusel: Gluten-Free, Egg-Free and I may or may not use it in the praline part. I haven't used the Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine before, and I know it has a titch of dairy in it, so I need to think about this part. My digestive system is a bit of a mess right now, and I don't want to use oats. I can get away with them sometimes, but now is not sometimes. I am confident I can come up with a yummy praline using pecans, but I am still working that out.

A gluten-free version of the Two-Minute Microwave Brownie recipe

Here is a pumpkin pie recipe, but it uses Earth Balance, and sadly I cannot stand that stuff. But perhaps you can. I am interested mostly in the possibilities with the cashew cream recipe at the bottom.

Other delights
Frozen Banana Bites: look delicious and easy to make. No tweaks necessary.
Pumpkin Hummus: different dippers needed, but the hummus recipe is fine.
Stove Top Peanut Butter Breakfast Food Candy (my name for it): This one only needs different cereal.
Home made Gum Drops: You need to be sure to use gluten-free food coloring.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie: This one is going to be used before Thursday; I promise you.
Banana Ice Cream: with a twist
Marshmallow Snowflakes: Any shape will do.
Cookie Dough Dip: You won't believe the base of this.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sleuth morning!

It is funny that I am starting this post with a morning beverage discussion since my last post addressed coffee creamers.  This one is long, so you might want to read each section like a chapter of a book and come back until you have finished it. :)

My ongoing pursuit of foods that are healthy, safe, and satisfying

I have always had a love/hate relationship with coffee and recently a friend told me she thought I should consider giving it up. It is hard for me to ignore her because she heeded my advice to stop consuming diet drinks with their nasty, unhealthy, artificial sweeteners (that was no easy thing for her to do). But I do like a cup of something thicker than water in the morning, so this is my solution: I drop a bag of Good Earth Super Green Tea into a mug, fill it a bit less than half full with boiling water, allow it to steep for three to five minutes, and then fill the rest of the cup with Silk’s PureAlmond Dark Chocolate Almond Milk. When I mentioned this combination to a couple of friends a while back, they were both terribly grossed out at the thought of anything creamy being combined with green tea, but this tea has orange in it, and the combination of orange and chocolate has always seemed magical to my taste buds. I believe this screen shot of a Google search on chocolate and orange should adequately make my point.

Google search

When I had to stop eating eggs and dairy (in addition to the gluten ban) I found it so hard to get enough nutrition to keep me going. Since then, my energy and health have been gradually and decidedly diminishing.

A few weeks ago a friend told me about Hemp Hearts.  You can go to the link to learn all about them, but what I want you to know is that the first day I had them for breakfast was July 4th, and the results were, well, explosive.


That first day I had energy overload. Even though I had eaten them for breakfast, I was still hyper from those Hemp Hearts when the fireworks were bursting in the sky that evening. I spoke with a lady at the health food store about it, and she said that my body probably didn’t quite know what to do with this sudden onslaught of nutrition, but trust me, it has figured it out. By the second day, things were processing much more efficiently, and by now I am thrilled to announce that I feel normal. A better normal than I have experienced in years. I am not tired in the afternoon. I am living again. I can actually enjoy my work instead of dreading it. Color me vibrantly happy. Note: Hemp Hearts do not overrule the need for sleep.

Medical stuff
Dr. Vikki Petersen is our advocate. She cares about us and is always on the lookout for more information to help the world to better understand all things gluten free. At the Gluten Free Recipe Box, she has written an article on findings concerning MS and gluten intolerance. In the article I found this interesting, “Ten percent of the MS patients were found to have positive blood tests for celiac disease as compared to 2% of the healthy controls. Note: this study found 2% of the ‘general population’ to have celiac disease. This is significant for we have used the figure of 1% incidence for quite some time. It is my belief that it IS higher and this study certainly gives merit to that supposition.”

Our daughter graduated from college in May, and we spent several days in Salem, Oregon. I had googled the area to see if there were any new restaurants catering to the gluten free that we might try out. The results were surprising. I made a list of several, and we ate at a few of them.

Though we had new places to try, we still went back to Marco Polo after graduation. We love that place, and they never disappoint us.

Besides the yummy goodness inside, they have a lovely view to the outside,


They have become a tradition. I had this sweet and sour wonder,


and this amazo salad,


and these,


and yes, I did take a doggy bag for later. No way could I eat all of that food at one time!


On Sunday, we ate at a new to us, amazing place, Chipotle Mexican Grill!!! My daughter thinks I abuse the exclamation point, but sometimes I need the support of those little lines and dots to fully convey my message. This establishment has taken its place in my top five favorites (if there are five; I don’t know if there are. I need to think about that). The food is served up like at Subway. You get in line and when you get up to the counter you tell the first person what you want. He or she starts building your meal, passes you on to the next person, and then the next, until your order is filled, and you pay. When I said, “gluten free,” that first person peeled off her gloves, washed her hands, and put new gloves on. She told me the corn tortillas were safe and heated them between pieces of foil to avoid contamination. Those heated corn tortillas are soft and delicious, by the way. Before she passed my dish on to the next person, she let everyone in the line know that my food must be gluten free, and they all did the same thing with the gloves and hands that she did. This kind of treatment thrills me beyond words. It astounds and touches me when people are this careful.


I had the burrito bowl with pork carnitas, rice, black beans, salsa,  and guacamole. I probably also had whatever fresh veggies were available, but I don’t remember for sure. I know I took a picture of my food, but I can’t find it in my files. I must have eaten it too! There was too much food to eat in one sitting here as well. It is so handy to have a hotel with a fridge and microwave. P.S. We ate there twice!

We also ate at the Olive Garden. I had the mixed grill with all chicken and boy did I enjoy their Garden Fresh Salad sans croutons and cheese. It had been a while since I had eaten one of those, and they are really just so fresh and delicious. No photos of this place. There was a certain, nice young man who joined us for dinner; I wasn’t thinking about my blog at that point.

We also checked out Lola Foods: Gluten Free in Lincoln City. Her baked goods are delicious. Biscotti, her macaroons (I definitely got some eggs and maybe dairy in her baked goods, but I survived) and some incredible molasses muffin thing with caramel sauce. To. die. for. Lola shares the facility with a regular baker. She wasn’t there that day, but the lady who was working said that the gluten free goods are baked on days the gluten-death goods are not, and everything is cleaned between. I was a bit uncomfortable being in a place where gluteny stuff was baked. Flour in the air and all that.

Because of the leftovers and the food I took along, those were the only places we had tummy capacity for. All in all, the trip was a success. Our daughter and her friends got all graduated and we saw and tasted some lovely bits of Oregon.

Home movies! Well, photos anyway


Mustard plants. These florescent beauties were visible for miles.

Lincoln City’s version of The Birds
The Birds

It is surprising how beautiful this is for being so crabby.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sleuth rambles on about products

I know it has been a while. I just haven’t been particularly adventurous lately I guess. I haven’t been coming up with new recipes or even doing much by way of research on the web. However in spite of this, information still comes along if one just keeps her eyes and ears open and this is why I am here now. Nancy at Gluten Freeville made a gluten-factor inquiry to Wilton. I am so glad she did this; she gleaned great information!
From Wilton Customer Service:
"Thank you for your interest in our products. Our candy melts are gluten free and also free in the facility." I take that to mean the facility is gluten free. Does anyone else appreciate the level of normalcy this affords?
My mom can’t have soy, and she recently ran across some ranch salad dressing at Wal-Mart she thought looked like it would be okay for her. It is from Walden Farms, and I wrote to them to see if they were soy free along with all of the other things they are free of (gluten, dairy, fat, calorie, sugar free – scary free if you ask me), and they kindly gave a prompt response…
All of our products are safe for your mom to use with the exception of the following products:
Creamy Bacon Dressing
Bacon Ranch Dip
Creamy Bacon Single Serve Packets
Bacon Ranch Dressing
They are obviously trying very hard serve people with dietary restrictions by offering products that are safe, and I applaud their efforts. They put Splenda in everything, and I personally don’t use artificial sweeteners, but I wanted to let you know they are out there. Mom said the ranch dressing is quite tasty.
I finally have my coffee figured out. I don’t know if I have even mentioned it here, but I am now an official caffeine addict. I had been using So Delicious Creamers with Pacific’s Chocolate Almond Milk (which I can’t see on their website, but I can find on the grocery shelf, hmmm…), but I found the combination to be too sweet. Instead, I have started using Silk’s new PureAlmond Dark Chocolate Almond Milk (find it under the products tab. I can’t get a direct link for some reason). I use about half coffee and half milk, and it takes the bitterness of the coffee away, leaving me satisfied like Starbucks used to do, back when I could patronize that place.
“Mr. S, don’t those doughnuts…look delicious?”
Well okay, the first time I heard this line it didn’t contain the word doughnuts, it contained the word pies. It was energetically exclaimed by a sweet little boy (the son of dear friends) several years ago. His adorable voice reminded me of young Opie Taylor. We had walked into a restaurant that specializes in all kinds of fresh-baked pies. They have a very clever marketing strategy, they have an Opie eye-level glass case full of them, and they are sure to catch the eye of whoever walks in the front door. I doubt even Ron Howard could resist them. At any rate, that phrase always causes my mouth to water, as does the photo at the top of this website. Those doughnuts look real, don’t they?
It sometimes takes time to track the information down, but at Tom’s of Maine I was able to find the answer to the question…

Do any of your products contain gluten?
Yes, we have a Natural Moisturizing Body Wash contains wheat protein which in turn contains gluten.
Well, apparently I had more to say that I thought.

Oh, and P.S. You are all aware of this little gem of information right? Snap! Crackle! Pop! Hurrah!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wake up, Sleuth!

My sweet Katie
(She doesn't go by that anymore.)
Sorry, it only seems like I have been sleeping. I have really just been very busy and unable to blog. I finished the course on editing, but life has still been quite full. Today I should probably be napping, but I am here sleuthing about instead.

What's in Your Wallet?
I was looking for some other photos, but when I ran across these first two, I decided to post them in the "Me" section. Mommas have been known to miss their babies long after the babyness has worn off before this, and no doubt happen they will do so again. 

This top one is my daughter on the day she came home from the hospital. Can you tell she wasn't a preemie? She was a quarter pound shy of being ten pounds. I made the outfit she is wearing to bring her home in. Isn't she adorable? She is all grown up now and will be graduating from college in May, but I couldn't resist showing you her baby picture.

(He never did go by that name;
it was one a friend gave him.)
This next one is of my son. He was a wee one when he was born, less than five pounds (he was a preemie), and is nine years older than his sister. I like this picture of him so much. It was taken by a professional photographer, and I think it is beautiful. Of course, it helps that he was such a handsome little fellow. These days he is a teacher, but this day I am remembering my cuddly little boy. Thanks for strolling down Memory Lane with me.

On to business. Even though I haven't been posting them, I have been finding stuff, so here goes...

Food intolerance update
I have been slipping small amounts of dairy into my foods and getting away with it. I can eat ranch dressing in small amounts now, and I have been having tiny amounts of cheese (like a teaspoon or less of mozzarella and just a sprinkling of Parmesan - though not at the same time) and seem to do okay with them. I tried eggs again last week. Made me sick. Still. However, I didn't put one in a recipe, and it didn't bother me. I figure if I can eat them sometimes, it just means a little more nutrition. I will continue to use dairy alternatives for my daily use though.

Nogii Bars - from Elizabeth Hasselbeck

Popcorn, Indiana - I haven't tried these yet. I looked at our Costco and our Walmart, but neither one in my town seems to have them. I will be checking Walgreens. I have heard some impressive reviews, especially on their limited edition popcorn flavors.

At a blog called, Gluten Free Appetite, I found this wonderful news: Kellogg's is coming out with gluten free Rice Crispies soon! This blog also has a nice list of restaurants that do gluten free.

And speaking of mainstream brands having gluten free cereals, I was at Walmart the other day and could not find any Chex cereals. I know it is sometimes hard to find a specific cereal on the cereal aisle (they can hide so well there), but I looked and looked and looked. I hope I was just not seeing them.

Gluten Freeville posted this great news about Safeway stores (I like that blog, can you tell?) Safeway used to be in my town, but haven't been for years, but I do travel to states where they are and this is good information for those away-from-home times.

I have started using Honeysuckle White's Turkey Breakfast Link Sausages. They are pretty tasty and they don't have a lot of fat, making them easy on my gallbladderless body. I cook the whole package at once, eat a couple and put the rest in the freezer to heat up when I want them.

If you haven't already heard, Enjoy Life has just launched a bunch of new stuff. Would you just look at those Mega Chunks? I love this company: No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding! Now I have to find out who is selling them in my little corner of the world.

My Favorite Find
Have you seen them yet? I found these at Fred Meyer, and I love them.
Sometimes I eat a whole one, but I often just cut one in half.
They have teff in them, giving me another grain in my diet. They have a
different sort of after taste to them, but it is mild and reminds me a bit
of chocolate. Don't expect chocolate though. It just reminds me of it.
They are soft and pliable. I sometimes spread one with peanut butter and
and add whatever else I want, all-fruit jam, fresh fruit, raisins, nuts, etc.,
roll it up and eat it! No cooking necessary. I love these things. Haven't
figured out a savory combination that I like yet. It wants cream cheese.
I need to order some cashews and make some!

But if I want, I can heat them and they crisp up nicely. I popped this one
under the broiler for a few minutes and then added vegetables and topped
it with salsa. It is delicious. No Kidding.

Blogger Alert
Bitt of Raw. This site has recipes for delicious and nutritious foods: gluten and vegan, which makes them free of all I need them to be! Look around. I am sending you straight to the carrot cupcakes. :)

This is probably a good offering for the day. Sorry about the formatting issues.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

My friend, Kim (I am labeling her recipes Kim's Cooking Conquests, in case she wants to share anything else), is a wife and mother of five who has some tough challenges in her kitchen. She has a son who is diabetic and wheat intolerant (so she uses a lot of  gluten/wheat-free foods), and a husband who can't have dairy. In a house of seven people, this means she is always looking for recipes that will satisfy everyone's taste buds and dietary needs. She does an amazing job of keeping their tummies happy.

She has been working on perfecting this recipe for a long time and announced today that she had finally done so the other night. Her family loved it. She said it is too good not to share, so I asked, and she gave me permission to do so here. She uses soy when she cooks, and when she does I will include suggestions on alternatives.

In case you are wonder, no, I have not tried it; I just got the recipe this morning, but if a father, a mother, four teenage boys, and one adorable four year old girl can be trusted...they consumed every last bite of it! Also, Kim cooks with the Aunt Lorena Method (she probably doesn't call it that, but if you need an explanation - I have included it in the labels at the bottom of this post). I have adapted the recipe to the blog format and added my own comments, so I will put Kim's original comments in purple. The recipe text is a blend of her words and mine.

Kim's Mexican Lasagna
No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Kidding
20 corn tortillas
2lbs. ground beef
Diced onions
Taco seasoning (however you much you use to make tacos)
12 oz dairy free sour cream (soy or cashew*)
1 can creamed corn
1-1 1/2 cups salsa (make sure it is gluten free; I use Chachies)
2 cans refried beans (I have always done well with Rosarita)
Cheese, almond or soy (stop when it looks good to you), (I am tolerating small amounts of dairy these days, so I will try the almond cheese again, but if it doesn't work for me, I am just going to leave this out on the part I will eat.)

Lettuce, shredded
Tomato, diced
Cilantro, chopped
Olives, sliced

Before you build...
Brown meat and diced onion in pan, drain, add taco seasoning and stir—set aside.  Mix salsa, creamed corn and sour cream in a bowl.

In the bottom of a 9x13 pan...
First Floor
Thin layer of beans
Thin layer of sour cream mixture
TWO layers of tortillas to cover pan
Spread beans on the tortillas (I found it easiest to hold the tortillas and cover in beans)
Sour cream mixture
1/2 of the meat

Second Floor
THREE layers tortillas
Sour cream mixture
Last 1/2 of the meat,

Third Floor
TWO layers tortillas
Sour cream mixture

Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes.  In the meantime chop the olives, cilantro, tomatoes, and lettuce.  Top each piece with whatever you like.  I have attempted Mexican Lasagna many times, but have never found the right mixture, this is it!  So good!  Easy to add or subtract what you like or dislike, too!

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*The Spunky Coconut has developed sour cream and cream cheese recipes from coconut!
*Nuts Online has certified gluten free nuts available!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Applesleuth - in which advancement of understanding is pursued

Back to School!
I am going back to school! I have enrolled in a course on editing and am very excited to get at it. It is possible to download the first lesson as a demo, and I did. I discovered that I for the past 15-20 years I have been a copy editor and didn't know what to call myself. I have edited for family, friends, and even friends of friends through that time at no charge. I have figured out how to do edit and developed various methods to improve interaction between myself and those I edited for on my own, but I have recently crossed over into the charging-for-my-services world and feel I need some skill-polishing in order to be more efficient and effective. After seeking advice from trusted friends, I discovered an online course through a university in my state that seems to have been designed with me in mind! I begin the class Wednesday and must complete it in eight weeks, and I am very, very excited!!!

Laboratory Breakthroughs!
I am so appreciative of Dr. Vikki Petersen's understanding of the gluten dilemma. Her explanation of why some other foods bother us is very helpful. 

Cyrex Labs is the innovative laboratory that Dr. Vikki Petersen is referencing. Keep in mind that this service is not available to the patient; you must go through your doctor. 

Thanks to for the heads up on this great news!

No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Kidding! product to look into -  The Gluten Free Bar. They come in two flavors - Peanut Butter, and Peanut Butter/Chocolate. These bars contain soy protein.

No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, No Kidding! Easy Peasy Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe! I have all of the ingredients (except I will use Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips) and plan to make these ASAP!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sleuth Mentioning

You know me - any excuse to use a picture of one of my
kids from when they were little. :)
Check out this blog article—100 Delectable Recipes for Your Gluten Free Kid—over at Nursing School Dot Net. They have collected one hundred recipes from around the web that are all No Gluten, and some are even No Dairy, No Egg and/or No Soy, No Kidding.  When they asked me to link to their article I must admit that I put forth one condition...I want to use the recipes too!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sleuth: Going to the Dogs

For some reason I am having a hard time
 with formatting around the pictures
lately. It is making me crazy,
but I have decided not to lose sleep over it.
I have never been a big dog fan. Our family had dogs when I was little, and I did love having them around, but they have bad breath and they poop in the yard.

The cute little dust mops in the photos belong to a dear friend, and they went camping with us over Labor Day, and I must admit - I enjoyed them. Probably because I wasn't responsible for them in any way. I could just enjoy their energy and fluffiness.

You may be wondering what dogs have to do with a blog about food intolerance. Plenty.* That is why I am writing this post silly!

Elias, an amazing dog belonging to celiac, Hollie  Scott, is a dog I would love to own (or another dog with his amazing skills will do, thank you). Someone needs to give one of these away on their blogs. Now THAT would be a contest I would enter! Read about Elias and Hollie in this USA Today article.

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*Plenty is not the right word in this case, but it is usually the appropriate response to that sort of question.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sleuthing the Breadbox

Lately, I have been having this for breakfast. I didn't stage it for the photo; I just decided when I was eating it that I should mention it to you.

Waffle, frozen blueberries (I have to brush my teeth, my tongue and my lips to de-blue them after I eat this!), and banana. I usually slice the banana more, but this morning I just chopped 'em up with my spoon. A spoon is not a precision cutting tool.

The waffles are really tasty, but they are not soy free. The breakfast actually holds me until lunch time.

I haven't given up on quinoa. Just taking a little break.

No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Kidding!

If you are thinking you would like to try a new gluten-free bread, now would be a good time. Rudi's is offering a $1 off coupon and for each download they are giving a dollar to The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. This is not one I can eat as it has egg whites, like Udi's does, but it looks like it would be a pretty tasty bread. I like their website design.  :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Spicy Cocoa Nuts

Spicy Cocoa Nuts
1 pound of nuts of your choosing
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon cooking oil (I used safflower)
2-3 heaping teaspoons cocoa (Saco is gf)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each nutmeg & cloves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, put the nuts, and all of the rest of the ingredients and mix very well. Pour onto the parchment-lined cookie sheet, spreading out evenly.

Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes* pulling it out and stirring it every five minutes. This is important. As you stir it, more of the chocolate spice sauce with cling to the nuts. You will end up with far less on the parchment paper and far more on your nuts when they finish baking. Also, I save those crumbs to sprinkle on other things. 

Allow to cool before trying them (even though you won't want to). 

These  are a nice treat. They aren't overly sweet and have that all important ingredient a dairy free person craves...chocolate. If you want them to be sweeter, you could add some honey (not too much - you may have too bake them longer), or you might even sprinkle them with some of your preferred granulated sugar before you start baking them.
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* I used both almonds and pecans, but they can't be done at the same time. Pecans Publish Postrequire less cooking. Walnuts would be the same. The heavier nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and cashews should be fine cooking 20 minutes, but I would cook the more lacy ones for only fifteen.