Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Product Review of Pillsbury Gluten Free Pizza Dough; My Pizza Recipe

I was making pizza for a large group a few weeks ago and I needed more than our two large crusts that I make with my pizza recipe.  I decided to supplement with one more small to medium-sized-pizza and to give Pillsbury dough a whirl.  I like my recipe for pizza crust better (a subliminal hint to buy my cookbook).  :)



The Pillsbury pizza crust caused my eyes to light up, however, since it is great to see companies like Pillsbury joining the gluten-free product wagon.  I am rating the crust at 7, since the flavor was quite good, but it was chewy and dense and had a slight after-taste. See my blog post at this link for my pizza crust recipe, and hopefully you will like it so much you will buy my cookbook. :)

https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=2036047509040080967#editor/target=post;postID=2120220870250998932;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=29;src=postname


Friday, September 5, 2014

Review of Arrowhead Mills vs. King Arthur Chocolate Cake Mix

Our son recently got married and we wanted to have gluten-free cake at the wedding luncheon for those in our immediate and extended family who have celiac disease.  Our 12-year-old daughter loves art and so we decided to let her decorate the gluten-free cake.  We tested two brands of gluten-free cakes.  The Arrowhead Mills chocolate cake was very dry and didn't have great flavor.  Rating:  3.

Photo source:  http://www.arrowheadmills.com/product/gluten-free-chocolate-cake-mix

The King Arthur chocolate cake was delicious and moist.  Rating:  9.

Photo Source:  http://www.amazon.com/King-Arthur-Flour-Chocolate-22-Ounce/dp/B00473U3BM


We also used the following recipe from my cookbook, and we all LOVED the substitution of raspberry flavoring we used (we ran out of lemon flavoring).  Necessity is the mother of invention, right?

Cake Decorating Frosting

2½ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup shortening
⅛ cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons egg white
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon lemon (or raspberry) flavoring
1 teaspoon almond flavoring
2½ tablespoons milk

Combine all ingredients and whip for 4-5 minutes on medium speed.


We had a hard time finding the pearl centers for the flowers.  Every craft store we checked carried the Wilton brand, and they are not gluten free.  Happily, my older daughter eventually found this brand and they are gluten free. :)

Photo source:  http://shop.hobbylobby.com/products/celebration-silver-pearls-candy-812917/





Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My First E-Book!!!

I am soooo excited!  My first e-book is on amazon.com!  It is priced at $3.99.  Check it out!  :)

http://www.amazon.com/Gluten-Free-Cooking-Delicious-Breakfasts-Breads-ebook/dp/B00MFXXZG6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407901183&sr=8-1&keywords=susan+bell+breakfast+and+breads

I love the work of my graphic designer and photographer, who both did a spectacular job!




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Those Spunky Six Sisters and Their Yummy Biscuits

I was doing a book signing at a Deseret Book, and a friend told me I should sign up for the free drawing going on that night.  Wonder of wonders...I won!  And...I won a really fun cookbook called Six Sisters' Stuff.  The only challenge is that most of the recipes are not gluten free.  My daughter was undaunted by this, however, and used Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix as a substitute for the baking mix called for in their biscuit recipe.  It is a great recipe, and the 7-Up in the recipe gives the biscuits a delightful flavor.

Adaptation of Six Sisters Easy 7-Up Biscuits

1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix
1/2 cup 7-Up
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Cut sour cream into Pamela's mix with a fork.  Add 7-Up and stir just until combined.  Add melted butter.  It makes a very soft dough.  Drop by the spoonful onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake 11-13 minutes or until golden brown.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hummus with an Italian Flair; Our Most Important Work

Since we found out my husband's triglyceride levels are high, we have been trying to figure out healthy snacks.  He loves chocolate almond milk, and some of the Bolthouse juices, like Blueberry Goodness and carrot juice.  We also found some Popcorn Indiana chips at Sam's Club and on amazon.com that have far less fat than regular chips.  My husband likes to dip these chips in hummus, and I wanted to make a homemade recipe for hummus that would contain olive oil, instead of soybean oil.   He also doesn't care for the taste of cumin, which seems to be a prevalent ingredient for hummus recipes. So, I have been trying out different combinations of spices...and I came up with this one.  I hope you enjoy it. :)

Basil-Oregano Hummus

1 can garbanzo beans (15.5 oz.)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tahini (ground-up sesame seeds in a creamy mixture)
4 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 - 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder

Blend all ingredients for several minutes in a high-powered blender.



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We have had a whirlwind of activity at our home.  One of our sons returned from Mexico, another son got engaged to be married, we had a family reunion at our home, and we decided to paint several rooms in our house.  Whew!  One thing I know about all of this, I love FAMILY!!  I am impressed with this quote from Harold B. Lee:

“The most important... work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own homes.”
–Harold B. Lee
The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, sel. Clyde J. Williams (1996), 280



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Our Four Minutes; Recipe for Tortilla Pizza

Life is full of ups and downs, joys and difficulties.  I was touched to the point of tears this morning after reading a blog post about a faithful and courageous father and mother who are doing their best to cope with the passing of their newborn son.

Carver only lived for six and a half hours. He only experienced life in two rooms. He never saw the outdoors, he never got to taste food or drink, or feel the wind or rain or sun on his face. As far as he knew, life was floating inside a womb, and then it was a moment of horrible, dry, bright coldness, and then it was a warm dream that lasted only a few hours more. That first day was the longest day of my life, but when it was finally over I felt peace. It wasn't hard for me to see Carver's body later at the mortuary, the viewing, and the funeral. To me, that wasn't him. He didn't look the same. His face wasn't how I remembered it during those heart-wrenching hours in the hospital. I knew Carver was in a better place, and I felt like I could move on. Karen, of course, had and is still having a much harder time. After all, she carried him for nine months, felt him kick her in the ribs and bladder, and gave birth to him. Such a tiny amount of time in the hospital was probably not long enough for me to properly bond with him. This is probably lucky, since Karen needs my support and love more than any other time. We both know that we'll have more children, and the odds that another child will have a diaphragmatic hernia are next to nil; but that doesn't make it easier for Karen, and I completely understand that. That's why, I think, God designed the family to have a nurturing mother and a supportive, protective father. We complete each other. We're opposite and equal, like two wings on a plane. It may take her years, or decades, to completely grieve for Carver, but that's all right. With something like this, that no one could ever prepare for in a million years, that seems a reasonable price to pay.

http://pretzel-lectern.blogspot.com/2014/05/farewell.html

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It certainly leads us to ponder just how temporary life can be, and how we should make the most of each day.  I am impressed by the thoughts of Gary E. Stevenson:
I first share the story of Noelle Pikus-Pace. In Noelle’s event, the skeleton, athletes build momentum as they sprint and then plunge headfirst on a small sled. With their faces inches above the ground, they race down a winding, icy track at speeds that top 90 miles (145 km) an hour.
Remarkably, years of preparation would be considered either a success or a disappointment based on what happened in the space of four intense 60-second runs.
Noelle’s previous 2006 Olympic dreams were dashed when a terrible accident left her with a broken leg. In the 2010 Olympics her dreams fell short again when just over one-tenth of a second kept her from the medal stand.2
Can you imagine the anxiety she felt as she waited to begin her first run in the 2014 Olympics? Years of preparation would culminate in only a sliver of time. Four minutes total. She spent years preparing for those four minutes and would spend a lifetime afterward reflecting on them.
Noelle’s final runs were virtually flawless! We will never forget her leap into the stands to embrace her family after crossing the finish line, exclaiming, “We did it!” Years of preparation had paid off. We saw her Young Women medallion around her neck as the silver medal was placed there beside it.3
It may seem unfair that Noelle’s entire Olympic dreams hinged on what she did during just four brief minutes. But she knew it, and that is why she prepared so diligently. She sensed the magnitude, the urgency of her four minutes, and what they would mean for the rest of her life.
We also remember Christopher Fogt, a member of the team that won the bronze medal in the four-man bobsled race. While he could have given up after a devastating crash in the 2010 Olympics, he chose to persevere. After a fantastic, redemptive run, he won the prize he so diligently sought.4
Now, consider how your pathway to eternal life is similar to these athletes’ “four-minute performance.” In the presence of a loving Heavenly Father, you trained and prepared to come to earth for a brief moment and, well, perform. This life is your four minutes. While you are here, your actions will determine whether you win the prize of eternal life. 
In a sense, your four minutes have already begun. The clock is ticking. The words of the Apostle Paul seem so fitting: to run the race, that you may obtain the prize.6
In the same way that certain steps are essential in the very brief performance of an Olympic athlete—jumps or maneuvers for ice skaters and snowboarders, negotiating the turns of a bobsled run, or carving through the gates of a downhill slalom course—so it is in our lives, where certain things are absolutely essential—checkpoints which move us through our spiritual performance on earth.
My young friends, wherever you are in your “four-minute performance,” I urge you to ponder, “What do I need to do next to ensure my medal?”  Whatever it may be, do it now. Don’t wait. Your four minutes will pass quickly, and you’ll have eternity to think about what you did in this life.8
Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “I already blew it. My four minutes are already a disaster. I may as well give up.” If so, stop thinking that, and never think it again. The miracle of the Atonement can make up for imperfections in our performance. 
Remember, you are not alone. The Savior has promised that He will not leave you comfortless.11 You also have family, friends, and [others] who are cheering you on.
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/print/2014/04/your-four-minutes?lang=eng&clang=eng

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I am particularly mindful of the blessing it is to be a mother during my "four minutes."  I loved the opportunity on Mother's Day to talk with our daughter-in-law, granddaughter, and each of our children, including those who live far away.  It brought a feeling of pure joy.  

It seems like time slips away with lightning speed.  When our children were young, some people told me to enjoy our children when they were little because they would grow up too fast.  I found it hard to believe then.  Now I wish I would have listened more to what they had said.

One thing our children haven't outgrown is a tasty snack idea my sister shared with us.  It is called "Tortilla Pizza" and can be found in my cookbook.   It is a great after-school/pre-dinner snack.  I hope you enjoy it!



Tortilla Pizza


Top a tortilla with spaghetti sauce, pepperoni or bacon pieces, cheese, and other desired toppings. Put another tortilla on top and fry in small amount of olive oil on both sides until lightly browned and cheese is melted. Cut into pie-shaped pieces and serve warm.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What a Great Man! And...a Recipe for Gluten-Free, Cholesterol-Free Chocolate Oatmeal Blueberry Balls



We had the glorious opportunity to escape for a few days to a cabin near a mostly-frozen lake.  It was strange to leave the green grass of home and go where the snow still lingers.  Total relaxation enveloped us, and it was worth enduring the slush and ice.  My husband is a great man, and it was awesome to chat with him for hours about education, our children, and the joy of the gospel.

As we were enjoying these days off, we knew that my husband would likely get a phone call soon about his yearly physical exam results, particularly his cholesterol level.  Yep...a few hours after we returned home, the phone call came that his cholesterol levels are high.  So...we are launching into not only using the low-fat gluten-free recipes from my cookbook, but hoping to invent desserts to reward his efforts to eat cholesterol free.  It is a new level of learning and cooking for sure.

I hope you will enjoy the new recipe I invented for him.  He longs to eat something sweet after dinner, and he likes these...which is always a relief when inventions are in the works!  Our two daughters liked them, as well.  Give these treats a try. :)

Chocolate Oatmeal Blueberry Balls

1 cup gluten-free quick oatmeal
1 teaspoon cocoa
2 tablespoons Blueberry Craisins®
4 tablespoons date pieces
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons vanilla almond milk

1.  Pulse oatmeal in blender or food processor until it resembles coarse flour.  Pour into small bowl.
2.  Add remaining ingredients.
3.  Form into one-inch balls.  Chill until ready to serve.

Makes 14-16 one-inch balls