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







Thursday, April 3, 2014

Product Review of Ultra Gel; Mom's Awesome Gravy!



Ultra Gel is a great product.  About a month ago, my brother was making some jam out of his frozen raspberries to serve at a dinner for our family and others.  He mashed the raspberries with a fork, added some sugar, and added Ultra Gel until it was the consistency of jam.  It was a delicious way to get raspberry jam with minimal effort.  

A few days ago, I cooked one of my favorite recipes:  "Slow-Cooked Roast" on Page 146 of my cookbook.  I strained the broth from this roast in preparation for my mom to use for a demonstration about making gravy.  She wasn't just teaching me how she makes gravy.  My 85-year-old mother also taught a group of young women (ages 14-15) how to make gravy, which is awesome! :)

She taught them to make a cornstarch gravy (2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons cornstarch whisked into 1/4 cup cold water and added to 1 1/2 cups boiling broth).  This is the type of gravy I have made since our diagnosis of celiac disease.  I have been intrigued, however, by how my mom makes gravy with Ultra Gel.  So I was watching intently as she taught these young women how to make gravy with Ultra Gel  (4 to 4 1/2 tablespoons Ultra Gel whisked into 1 1/2 cups boiling broth).  It was every bit as good as the cornstarch gravy, and even better since the beef flavor came out more fully.  Maybe it is because you don't have to dissolve Ultra Gel in a liquid before it is added to the broth.

I wish you could see how well my mom navigates around with a power chair or a walker or a cane since her second hip replacement a few years ago.  She has pain from three bone diseases due to late diagnosis of celiac disease, yet she doesn't let that stop her from helping and teaching and showing service.   She taught these young women last night--not just to make gravy--but how much fun cooking can be.  She is a great example to me. The following quotes personify how I perceive that she embraced the teaching she received from her own mother, my grandmother:

"A mother’s love and high expectations lead her children to act responsibly without excuses, to be serious about education and personal development, and to make ongoing contributions to the well-being of all around them."

"[Her] intuition is to do good and to be good..."  
"No amount of money, authority, or public acclaim can exceed the ultimate rewards of family."  https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/the-moral-force-of-women?lang=eng  

These quotes remind me of my wonderful daughter-in-law, as well.  As my husband noted after a visit to their home recently, she is a great mother to our granddaughter and puts a lot of effort and love into motherhood.  She is an amazing person and nurtures and teaches our granddaughter, even when she could be doing many other things right now with her gifts and talents.  

Our daughter-in-law has also willingly adapted their diet to help our granddaughter to feel better.  So far, our granddaughter hasn't shown positive testing for celiac disease, but a diagnosis of gluten intolerance has been given.  A gluten-free diet has been the key to keep the rashes away that have shown up due to eating something with wheat.  

I am grateful for the wonderful example of these two women!  

Saturday, March 22, 2014

My Version of Loaded Chicken from Winger's Restaurant; The Joy of Giving and Receiving

Recently, I had a take-out lunch from Winger's with several of my friends. It is always a happy day when I see a variety of gluten-free items on the menu. :)

(Photo Source:  Google Images)

Here is my gluten-free version of Winger's Loaded Chicken.  The flavor of the chicken with the bacon, mushrooms, and cheese is so tasty! I hope you enjoy it.

Bacon and Mushroom Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 tablespoons bacon pieces
½ cup shredded cheese
1½ tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1. Bake chicken and water in a 9 x 13 baking dish for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees.

2. Sauté mushrooms and onions in olive oil.

3. Place chicken on plate and sprinkle with mushrooms, onions, bacon, and cheese. Microwave until cheese melts.

4. Add soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar and stir well.

5. Pour over chicken, or serve sauce on side for dipping.

Serves 4

My friend, Sheila, was one of the friends I was with when we had food from Winger's. I will never forget when Sheila made some delicious gluten-free macaroons and brought them to a cookie exchange party so I could have some cookies to take home. What a difference sharing with others can make in our lives! I feel that one of the reasons Sheila is happy is because she loves to serve and help others. Receiving a gluten-free treat from someone can bring so much joy as well!

As we strive to serve others, we may find out that it will benefit someone who is struggling and is having a particularly stressful time right now. The next time we make a loaf of gluten-free bread, I hope we will remember the following touching story told by Thomas S. Monson:

"Tiffany’s difficulties began last year when she had guests at her home for Thanksgiving and then again for Christmas. Her husband had been in medical school and was now in the second year of his medical residency. Because of the long work hours required of him, he was not able to help her as much as they both would have liked, and so most of that which needed to be accomplished during this holiday season, in addition to the care of their four young children, fell to Tiffany. She was becoming overwhelmed, and then she learned that one who was dear to her had been diagnosed with cancer. The stress and worry began to take a heavy toll on her, and she slipped into a period of discouragement and depression. She sought medical help, and yet nothing changed. Her appetite disappeared, and she began to lose weight, which her tiny frame could ill afford. She sought peace through the scriptures and prayed for deliverance from the gloom which was overtaking her. When neither peace nor help seemed to come, she began to feel abandoned by God. Her family and friends prayed for her and tried desperately to help. They delivered her favorite foods in an attempt to keep her physically healthy, but she could take only a few bites and then would be unable to finish.

"On one particularly trying day, a friend attempted in vain to entice her with foods she had always loved. When nothing worked, the friend said, 'There must be something that sounds good to you.'

"Tiffany thought for a moment and said, 'The only thing I can think of that sounds good is homemade bread.'

"But there was none on hand.

"The following afternoon Tiffany’s doorbell rang. Her husband happened to be home and answered it. When he returned, he was carrying a loaf of homemade bread. Tiffany was astonished when he told her it had come from a woman named Sherrie, whom they barely knew. She was a friend of Tiffany’s sister Nicole, who lived in Denver, Colorado. Sherrie had been introduced to Tiffany and her husband briefly several months earlier when Nicole and her family were staying with Tiffany for Thanksgiving. Sherrie, who lived in Omaha, had come to Tiffany’s home to visit with Nicole.

"Now, months later, with the delicious bread in hand, Tiffany called her sister Nicole to thank her for sending Sherrie on an errand of mercy. Instead, she learned Nicole had not instigated the visit and had no knowledge of it.

"The rest of the story unfolded as Nicole checked with her friend Sherrie to find out what had prompted her to deliver that loaf of bread. What she learned was an inspiration to her, to Tiffany, to Sherrie—and it is an inspiration to me.

"On that particular morning of the bread delivery, Sherrie had been prompted to make two loaves of bread instead of the one she had planned to make. She said she felt impressed to take the second loaf with her in her car that day, although she didn't know why. After lunch at a friend’s home, her one-year-old daughter began to cry and needed to be taken home for a nap. Sherrie hesitated when the unmistakable feeling came to her that she needed to deliver that extra loaf of bread to Nicole’s sister Tiffany, who lived 30 minutes away on the other side of town and whom she barely knew. She tried to rationalize away the thought, wanting to get her very tired daughter home and feeling sheepish about delivering a loaf of bread to people who were almost strangers. However, the impression to go to Tiffany’s home was strong, so she heeded the prompting.

"When she arrived, Tiffany’s husband answered the door. Sherrie reminded him that she was Nicole’s friend whom he’d met briefly at Thanksgiving, handed him the loaf of bread, and left.

"And so it happened that the Lord sent a virtual stranger across town to deliver not just the desired homemade bread but also a clear message of love to Tiffany. What happened to her cannot be explained in any other way. She had an urgent need to feel that she wasn't alone—that God was aware of her and had not abandoned her. That bread—the very thing she wanted—was delivered to her by someone she barely knew, someone who had no knowledge of her need but who listened to the prompting of the Spirit and followed that prompting. It became an obvious sign to Tiffany that her Heavenly Father was aware of her needs and loved her enough to send help. He had responded to her cries for relief."  https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/we-never-walk-alone?lang=eng