Friday, December 10, 2010

Can you Digg this?

Google now has email alerts. I'm back linking to my alerts page to test this so I can hopefully post a widget to help you all get email alerts when I post. Try this out and let me know if it works. :)

Click here to get email alerts when I post a delicious recipe, great review or gluten free insight!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Apple Harvest Salad

A note about my recipes: You may notice my recipes don’t include a ¼ teaspoon of anything. This method of recipe writing frees the reader to use their instincts, follow their gut, and find their inner chef. I mean, would anyone really notice a dash more salt in a vat of soup? Alright, go ahead and put it in, just taste it as you go OK?

What It's All About:

Apple Harvest Salad is one of those "rave" gluten free recipes. This makes an excellent side dish or a healthy dessert and every time I make it people give me complements. So if you are having a down day, make this for your family. I guarantee you'll get so many kind words you'll beam with self confidence. This is the kind of recipe that makes kids do the dishes without being told and husbands notice that new hair do. I know that's a hefty claim, but this is really good stuff!

Stuff to Grab:

  • Large Serving Dish
  • Sharp Paring Knife
  • Slotted Spoon
  • Olive oil - Extra virgin gives it a richer taste, but you could certainly use the mild. You'll need about a cup.
  • Apples - 4 green, 4 red. I use Granny Smith and Gala, this gives the salad a tangy sweet taste. I've also used Red Delicious and Golden Delicious.
  • Dates - I've used both fresh and dried
  • Cashews - I use Planters. Be sure that if you buy fresh, you roast them and salt them first. You'll need about a cup.
  • Ground Cinnamon - Grab the big jar.
  • Ground Cloves - You'll need just a smidge
  • Ground Ginger - Same here, just a sprinkle will do.
Get your paring knife, peel and core your apples. I have young children, so I can accomplish this in about 5.3 seconds. If you are not that practiced, an apple corer makes quicker work of the job. Cut the apples in bite sized pieces, no smaller than a 1/2 inch. Toss the apples in your serving dish and drizzle with 1/2 of the olive oil. Coat the apples by turning them in the oil with the slotted spoon.

Cut the dates into 1/2 inch pieces and toss them in with the apples. Throw in the cashews and turn to coat them with oil. Next put in enough cinnamon to lightly color the apples, tossing as you go. I love cinnamon, so I put in too much, about 2 tablespoons. I know, I know, but at least it's good for ya!

Sprinkle on some cloves and ginger, but more cloves than ginger. A two to one ratio is about right. If you like spicy stuff, add more, if you like mellow stuff add less. Toss to combine.

Let sit for an hour or so to let the oil soak in a bit, then serve and get ready for the raves. Now, let's go have some fun! :)

If you like this recipe, please leave a comment, subscribe, or "like" me on facebook. You'll get all the latest news from GFF if you subscribe, including gluten free recipes, restaurant and product reviews, and other fun stuff. Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner!

I can't wait till the family shows up. this one's going to be great. Here is the menu:


Mashed Potatoes with rice milk and Earth Balance soy free (YUM!)

Puffed Corn Stuffing

Cranberry Candy Carrots

Homemade cranberry sauce

Adeenas Gluten Free Rosemary Teff Dinner Rolls I modify this recipe to exclude dairy. These are simply exquisite, if eaten on the day they were baked. They are tasty eaten the next day. They will not make it to the third, unless you have hijacked a bakery oven and are churning out thousands an hour.

Harvest Apple Salad - This was raved about at our church harvest party.

Apple Crumble

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie

The Pies came out of the oven just a few hours ago and they look perfect! I wanted so badly to slice off some to "test," but I abstained. I did however lick the cake tester!
I will post recipes for the Harvest Apple Salad next!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkin Dairy-Free Dream

This is a recipe I modified to suit our dairy allergy needs. Enjoy!

Stuff to grab:
  • Rice Dream Frozen Dessert, Vanilla - If you want it to last the afternoon, you'll need at least a quart-sized container. This is wheat free and soy free, as well as being dairy free.
  • Canned Pumpkin - I like using the organic brand I get from Whole Foods, but Libby's works too. Use about 2 cups or so, more if you really like pumpkin. Use the whole can if you bought the smaller size.
  • Spices - Cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, all ground. I love Cinnamon and put a ton in,
  • Salt - Just a dash to bring out the sweetness. I use iodized sea salt for the mineral content.
  • Big metal spoon
  • Large Seal-able plastic container
Now take your Rice Dream and pumpkin and place it in the fridge for about an hour or so.  This time will depend on how warm you keep your fridge. Refrigerating the pumpkin before you stir it in will help keep the Dream from becoming too runny. When the Dream is soft and stir-able, about the consistency of frosting, put it in your container. Stir in your pumpkin, spices and salt with your spoon.

If you are not dairy free, you may substitute regular ice cream. Now, let's go have some fun!

If you find this informative or interesting, please follow this blog, post it to your facebook page or quote me in your own blog. Just be sure to link back to this site. You can also "Like" my fan page to get all the latest news from GFF!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Genetic Disease? Really?

I was reading about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a disease that is supposed to be genetic, and I had a few thoughts:

  1. The viral component to our systems makes the genome dynamic rather than static.
  2. Exposure to certain viruses are known causes of some diseases, like celiac, and a suggested relation to others, such as autoimmune diseases like lupus and CFS.
  3. Some diseases that have a “known” genetic link do not always produce the same results in the same people.
  4. Genetic engineering of the food supply is increasing, along with certain diseases. While you may not make a direct correlation between the two, it can be assumed that the last 100 years of chemicals, irradiation and genetic modification of the food supply may have a possible effect on the dynamic genome.

 Where does that leave Celiac disease? What does it mean for those not "officially" diagnosed? Could these viruses, chemicals and genetic modification change certain proteins that your body uses as building blocks for tissue, like muscle for instance, into stuff that your immune system recognizes as an invader?
Maybe the genetic modification makes your blood cells recognize a genetically modified protein as a great building block for say your heart muscle, Then your immune system recognizes this protein as an invader and proceeds to attack your heart. This gives a whole new spin on diseases like RA and other auto-immune diseases. The body's immune system is working correctly, it's our retched food supply it's attacking!
If you find this informative or interesting, please follow this blog, post it to your facebook page or quote me in your own blog. Just be sure to link back to this site.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Me and Elisabeth Hasselbeck...

If you've read my post, "The Diet Connection," you know that the G-free lifestyle is literally a lifeline for me. Although all my tests were negative for the disease (I got the biopsy done after being on the gluten free diet for months) I could not argue with the results. My belly no longer hurt after eating, my seizures were disappearing, my hair was growing back, there was color in my cheeks again, I was gaining weight. It seemed like I'd found my cure.

This did not stop my doctor from arguing with proof though. She told me, "you don't want to go on that diet, it is so expensive." I now know that the diet is much less expensive than the medical care and drugs they would have had me sign up for. Rice is cheap, and when you grind your own into flour you might even say it's less expensive than a traditional diet, just alot more time consuming!

I knew Elisabeth Hasselbeck was G-free when she did an interveiw for "Living Without" magazine a few years back. But what I learned from an ABC interview is just how much we had in common. We both dealt with persistant doctors, questioning family members and bad stomach bugs. And we both question the traditional medical community's seeming ignorance of the mounting avalanche of wheat victims.

My latest post about pesticide residue possibly linked with gluten sensitivity brings a whole new development to the battle against the traditional medical community and the FDA. Stay tuned for lots more questions and maybe a few answers.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Is Pesticide Residue Causing Celiac Disease?

I was just reading an article about pesticides used in farming in the last 100 years and found a startling discovery about wheat. In "The Tangled History of Arsenic and Farming," Makenna Goodman excerpts a book by Will Allen called The War on Bugs. He happens to mention something about grain storage that made my skin crawl. Here is an excerpt:

In addition to its explosive and pest-killing abilities, all the tests on carbon bisulphide indicate that it is a neurotoxin and fetotoxin that causes thyroid and adrenal changes and heart, liver, and kidney damage. In spite of its considerable toxic drawbacks, it is today a widely used fumigant for insect control in stored grain. When used as a grain fumigant it is usually combined with carbon tetrachloride to reduce fire and explosive hazards.

Carbon bisulphide, as Allen illuminates, is a nerotoxin that causes metabolic changes in the human body. This sounds too close to some people's celiac symptoms for my liking. Virtually all people ate grain, including wheat, for thousands of years. Now all of a sudden this staple is not healthy for us anymore? Is it the carbon bisulphide treatment of grain that could be causing problems for some of us?

In her article, found here, she also details the use of other poisonous substances used in growing our food. Why is increase of things like autism, fibromialga, crohns and now celiac disease, paired with the last 100 years of chemical farm methods? Hmmmm....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Alexa, the Site Ranking Tool

I just ran across Alexa, a site monitoring tool that makes knowing how your site ranks really easy.

I just signed in, I was able to use my facebook account so it wasn't too taxing, and claimed my site. Then they prompted me to put in some code to verify I am the real owner of this blog and had me download the alexa tool bar. You can download your own here.

Hopefully this will make it easier to find me!!!

Let's have some fun!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Gluten Free Pantry - French Bread Mix A Review

OK, I've tried lots of GF mixes and found that some are so so, some are pretty good and some are outstanding. On that scale, I'd give Gluten Free Pantry's French Bread mix a "Pretty Good." I tried it yesterday for making bread for burgers. This mix is very basic, only having 6 ingredients, other than the yeast packet. It is soy free and dairy free, as well as gluten free, although the package does say it may contain traces of soy.

The "dough" mixed up well, even though I didn't use an electric mixer like the directions said to. I just used my whisk, another PC favorite of mine. If you want to get one, my friend Rachael will give you 10% off here. Make sure you send her an email at afterward so she can edit the price before she submits it so you'll be charged the lower price. It whipped up quickly and without too much arm fatigue. It calls for:
  • eggs
  • vinegar
  • oil or butter
  • "milk" or water
  • sugar and
  • salt
This stuff most of us have on hand. The directions are fairly simple, unlike some GF baking gymnastics I've had to do with other mixes. You simply pour the yeast and mix into your bowl, add the other ingredients in a well in the middle, and beat. Since I was using a whisk, I put the other ingredients in first and whipped the heck out of the eggs and then added the mix slowly.

When it came to baking, didn't dare try to shape them into rolls because like a lot of GF mixes, you just can't form the runny dough effectively. I suppose I could have made sliders and baked a mound in my Pampered Chef muffin pan, but I didn't have that kind of time. I had to put this into TWO of my over-sized Pampered chef stoneware loaf pans, as when I put all the dough into one it was almost overflowing. I let this rise for about an hour on my stove top. It baked in the recommend time, 45 minutes and it was a nice golden brown. It was as moist as any other GF bread I've tried, but as is the problem with most GF bread, it was crumbly. The moistness offset this a bit, but it still falls apart. *sigh*

I put the second loaf in a zipper bag overnight and fully expected it to dry out by the next day. It didn't. My girls and I enjoyed chicken sandwiches today for lunch with the bread, which was still moist. Because of this, I'd certainly buy this again.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Apple Cinnamon Gluten Free Pancakes

These are just plain good. My kids ask for this at least twice a week. I bet your kiddos will pine for them too.

Stuff to grab

  • Large Mixing Bowl - This is a recipe that feeds all three of my kids, plus my husband and I, you'll need a big one.
  • Wire Whisk - You could certainly make due without this, but those doughy lumps come right out with it without over beating.
  • Eggs - You'll need 4.
  • Applesauce - 1 cup will do.
  • Oil - I used olive, peanut and sunflower would work. About 1/2 cup or less. ( I used to recommend canola, but 80% of this is GMOs!)
  • Milk - I use ricemilk since my little one and I can't have the cow. Try a 1/2 cup, but save more to thin them out the way you like.
  • Sugar - Use a tablespoon, more or less. I use brown sugar because it has more minerals than white. Make it even healthier by using honey.
  • Cinnamon - 1 tablespoon, (I really like cinnamon :).
  • Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free Baking Mix - I've used some other baking mixes for pancakes before, but AM makes the best pancakes. 2 cups, or more if you like thick pancakes.
  • Oil for cooking - I Used to use PAM, until I found out that the canola in it is most likey genetically modified! Now I use  coconut oil. It adds such a wonderful taste! If you want something that doesn't change the taste, or you are allergic to coconut, use palm kernel oil.
  • Skillet with Lid -  I LOVE my cast iron skillet, no dead birds keeling over from the non-stick fumes at my house.
  • Large Spatula - I use a stainless steel one since I don't have to worry about scratching any non-stick coating. I got mine at Sam's in their restaurant tool section. It could flip your mattress for you it is so large.
  • Oven - Set yours on 200 degrees, just do it, you'll know why later.

Break the 4 eggs into your large mixing bowl. Whisk until the yolks and whites are combined. Add the applesauce, oil, milk, sugar and cinnamon and whisk until combined. You should have a gloppy mess. Now add the gluten free baking mix and gently stir. Add more milk to get the consistency you want, but not too thin. I found this out the hard way.

Heat up your skillet on medium high heat and spritz with cooking spray. Now pour about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter on your skillet. Cover with a lid and cook for about 2 minutes, longer for thicker batter. When the pancake is dry on the edges and air bubbles are coming to the surface, your cake is ready to flip. Cook for another 30 seconds and put it on a plate in your warm oven. Cook the rest of the batter the same way and when you're done everyone can sit and eat warm pancakes together, including the cook.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sandwich Cookies for Us

I love sandwich cookies. My brother and I used to make our own triple and quadruple stuffed Oreos by taking the cookies apart. I remember a car ride where he and I made a stack of sandwich cookie cream so tall you had to hold the thing with two hands. Boy did we enjoy the sugar high on that trip.

If you like sandwich cookies and you are gluten free, you have few choices. If you want classic Oreo style sandwich cookies, Ktoos by Kinnikinnick will most certainly make you forget you have any diet restriction whatsoever. Dip these in some ricemilk and you are in for a treat. My favorite is the chocolate, but the vanilla is awesome too.

Dear Kinnikinnick, can you please make a double stuffed Ktoo? Signed, Reminiscing G-Free

Gluten Free Recipe - Quinoa Breakfast!

You all know my recipes are, shall we say, adaptable. A little of this, a pinch of that, and you then have your own creation made the way you and your family like it.

Here is one of the recipes you can do that with.

Red Quinoa Breakfast

Stuff to Grab:

  • Red Quinoa - a half cup for each serving, more if you are hungry! I buy mine at Whole Foods in bulk. If you cannot find red quinoa, plain quinoa will work just fine
  • Water - enough to cover the quinoa and about 1 inch more
  • Salt - about 1 teaspoon
  • Brown sugar - about a 1/2 cup should do it, you can use honey or molasses for an even healthier alternative
  • Cinnamon - about a tablespoon, or more if you really like cinnamon
  • Nuts - I used mixed nuts, but peanuts, almonds or pecans would all be great. This is of course optional
Put quinoa and water in a saucepan and cook over medium high heat till boiling. Add cinnamon and sugar and cook until quinoa grain spirals out and puffs up. Remove from heat and serve. Garnish with salted nuts if desired.

Other ideas:

Garnish with fresh fruit
Add ginger and cloves for a spicy quinoa

Quinoa can be used just like rice in any savory dishes. It gives gluten free cooking a bit of a twist. The tiny grains are similar in size to couscous and make a very nice replacement to these gluten containing grains.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Yummy

We tried Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix tonight and I wanted to share the experience with my readers. My kids ate the two highly piled pizzas with ne'er a crumb left on my Pampered Chef pizza stones.

I purchased this at Whole Foods for a measly $3.99, which if you know gluten free mixes, this is a very small price to pay. I've paid a similar price for a pizza crust mix that was barely edible, so I wasn't expecting much from the mix, even though I used BRM stuff before going GF and LOVED it.

The mix requires only 3 ingredients, water, 2 eggs, and 2 tablespoons of oil, so you are not scrambling to the store for some strange stuff right before dinner. You are instructed to mix the yeast and warm water together and let sit for a few minutes, then add eggs, oil, and then the mix. It then said to mix on medium speed, but it was so thick, like real pizza crust, I just kneaded it.

When it came to spreading it on the stones, I "Pam"ed the stones and threw the glop of dough in the middle. I then sprayed my rolling pin with Pam and rolled out the dough. as far as GF dough is concerned, it was fairly easy to work with. It was a bit moist, but it still rolled out fairly well and didn't need too much patching.

I pre-baked the crust as per the directions. It turned a light gold and looked beautiful. I had the hubby and kids spread on the toppings and throw it back in for 15 minutes. These included black olives, onions and Welshire brand pepperoni. Since my one daughter and I are dairy free as well, we used our bean dip cheese substitute made with pinto beans, yum! I'll write that recipe on my blog soon for you, stay tuned.

When it came out it was a beautiful medium gold and flaky looking. It tasted crispy and a bit chewy, not dry and crumbly, which is refreshing for baked goods without gluten. The crust held together with only minor cracking. The bottom crust was thin and chewy, and the edge crust was almost cookie-like in texture.

To sum things up I'd try this again. I may use less water than it calls for next time just to get a bit more workable crust, but the finished product was well worth the small bit of trouble getting it on the pan. Share your experience with me!