Friday, December 28, 2012

Product Review of Mom's Place Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

This mix is quite good and is easy to prepare.  I chilled the dough overnight and I decided to roll it out on parchment paper.  I tried doing it without dusting the parchment flour with gluten free flour (which is specified in the instructions :).  The dough rolled out easily, but removing the cookies was another story.  It was a sticky mistake.  So, my daughter scooped up the dough and got it off the parchment paper, and we started over on a new piece of parchment paper that was dusted with gluten-free flour.  It worked much better and we were able to remove the cookies with ease.

The mix directions specify to roll it out to 1/2 inch thick, but I prefer to roll them out thinner and add more frosting. :)  These cookies have great flavor, but because they are a little bit dry, I am rating them at 7 out of 10.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas!

My husband wrote this beautiful tribute to the Savior that I want to share with you.  I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

One cannot overstate the glory and power of the Savior's life and sacrifice for each one of us. The hymn "Redeemer of Israel," written by William W. Phelps, tries to capture the greatness of Jesus Christ.

Redeemer of Israel,
Our only delight,
On whom for a blessing we call,
Our shadow by day
And our pillar by night,
Our King, our Deliv’rer, our all!

The phrase, "our all"  is powerful.  It is as if W.W. Phelps in trying to describe the greatness of Jesus Christ came to the conclusion no title or list of titles describing greatness could adequately capture who the Savior is and what He has done.  The Atonement of Jesus Christ is both grand and glorious while being very personal and powerful.  It reaches out to all of God's children in the world and to world's without number while helping each of us in our daily personal struggles.  His sacrifice is for everyone and can mean everything to each one of us.  

Merrill J. Bateman stated, "The Atonement involved more than an infinite mass of sin; it entailed an infinite stream of individuals with their specific needs. Alma records that Jesus took upon himself the pains, afflictions, temptations, and sicknesses of his people. In addition, he experienced their weaknesses so that he would know how to help them (see Alma 7:11–12). Isaiah prophesied that the Lord would bear “our griefs, and [carry] our sorrows”; that he would be “wounded for our transgressions” and “bruised for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:4–5). Paul explained to the Hebrews that Jesus tasted “death for every man” and woman (Hebrews 2:9). No wonder “his sweat was as it were great drops of blood” coming from “every pore” (Luke 22:44).  (BYU Devotional Sept. 1997)

During this Christmas Season we pray that you and your family will feel the power of the Savior's love and atoning sacrifice.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Product Review of Glutenfreeda Gluten-Free Burrito

Every once in a while, it is nice to know there is something in the freezer that you can warm up quickly for lunch on a busy day.  My daughter and I tried out a Glutenfreeda Chicken and Cheese Burrito.  Unfortunately, it wasn't the tastiest.  I am rating it at 6 out of 10.  The texture of the tortilla was kind of spongy, which looked different than usual...but we are acquainted with some gluten-free food having an unusual texture. The biggest drawback was the lack of great flavor overall, and the chicken tasted like turkey--with a rubbery texture.

                      (Photo source: images)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Heavenly Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake

It was a good day when I was experimenting with the recipe in my cookbook for Angel Food Cake.  It came together the first time, which is rare when creating gluten-free recipes. :)   This was our daughter's request for her birthday.  I hope you enjoy it.

Angel Food Cake

1½ cups powdered sugar
½ cup brown rice flour
¼ cup potato starch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ cup tapioca flour
1½ cups egg whites (about 12 egg whites)
1½ teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract
¼ teaspoon salt
whipping cream, with 3 tablespoons powdered sugar added

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Mix powdered sugar (not granulated sugar), rice flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, and tapioca flour in a plastic storage bag or mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a separate 3-quart bowl on medium speed until foamy. Beat in sugar on high speed, ⅛ cup at a time, adding vanilla, almond extract, and salt with the last addition of sugar. Continue beating until stiff and glossy. Do not under beat.
  3. Sprinkle powdered sugar–flour mixture, ¼ cup at a time, over meringue, folding in with a rubber spatula until powdered sugar–flour mixture disappears. Spread batter into ungreased angel food cake pan. Cut gently through batter with knife.
  4. Bake until cracks on top of cake feel dry and top springs back when touched lightly, about 30 to 35 minutes. Invert pan on heatproof funnel (or a can of unopened food) until cool. Wash and slice strawberries.
  5. Whip the cream and add 3 tablespoons powdered sugar. Combine strawberries and whipped cream. Serve over cake.

Serves 6 to 8

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Product Review of Hodgson Mill Gluten-Free Cookie Mix

This is a tasty cookie mix, and I like the lower price compared to some other gluten-free mixes (although any gluten-free mix costs more than a gluten counterpart, unfortunately).  I am rating it at 7 out of 10.  The flavor is good, but the cookies tend to fall apart easily.

Photo Source:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Recipe for Mandarin Orange Salad

If you are looking for a delicious gelatin salad, this is a creamy and smooth recipe.  It is found on Page 79 of my cookbook.  I couldn't find tapioca pudding when I went to the grocery store last week, so I bought coconut cream pudding and it was a great substitute.

Mandarin Orange Salad

1 small box of orange gelatin
1 small box of vanilla pudding (not instant)
1 small box of tapioca pudding (not instant)
3 cups water
12 ounces whipped topping
2 small cans of Mandarin oranges

  1. Place gelatin and pudding in large pan. Add water and bring to a boil for one minute, stirring often.
  2. Cool mixture in large mixing bowl in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours. Add whipped topping and oranges.

Serves 8 to 10

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Delicious Gluten-Free Stuffing

I love it when gluten-free stuffing is consumed just as quickly as the gluten-type stuffing.  :)  I hope this recipe will come in handy next week for Thanksgiving.  Give it a try.

*It is helpful to make the bread ahead and freeze it, or buy Udi's Rich and Hearty Whole Grain Bread if you don't have time to make bread.

Delicious Gluten-Free Stuffing

8-9 slices Whole Grain Bread (see earlier blog post on 9-28-12 for this recipe or my cookbook on P. 42)
6 tablespoons butter
Half of an onion
2 stalks celery
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
Garlic salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chicken broth

Step 1:  Slice bread into cubes using a sharp knife or an electric knife.  This is easier if the bread is partially frozen.

Step 2:  Dice onion and celery.  I like to do this in my blender with water added, and then drain off the water.  It chops it finely.  (You can get the same results with a food processor).

Step 3:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter in frying pan. Add diced onion and celery.  Cook until tender, stirring occasionally.  Season with poultry seasoning, garlic salt, and pepper.

Step 4:  Add bread crumbs and chicken broth and stir well.

Step 5:  Bake for 30-35 minutes in greased 8 X 8" baking dish, covered with foil.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Product Review of Mom's Place Gluten Free Luscious Lemon Squares

These lemon squares are quite tasty.  I love the tart lemon taste, but both of my daughters and my son puckered a little and they feel the lemon squares are too sour.  My husband shocked us all since he is very opposed to sour foods, and he loves the taste.  Pretty amazing.  Eight out of ten is my rating for this product.

The preparation was easy and quick.  The first step is to prepare the crust and bake it.  Here is a photo of the crumbs.  It kind of made me nervous because the butter didn't mix in with the crust mix to become a creamy texture.  It looked like coarse crumbs.

Yet, when I pressed the crumbs into the baking pan, it combined together easily.

I baked the crust and I took it out at 18 minutes instead of the 20 minutes specified--probably due to the dark baking pan I used.  The next step was to add the sugar mix from a separate packet enclosed in the bag, to which I mixed in eggs and water.  I poured it over the slightly-cooled crust and baked it the full twenty-five minutes.

As you can see, the crust was a bit crumbly, but mostly just on the first piece out of the pan--which is tricky to remove.  Mom's Place Gluten Free scores again!  :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Recipe for Gluten-free Clam Chowder and Corn Bread

I have a guilt-free way of eating clam chowder and corn bread. Small servings.  :)  I don't think the butter can be left out of these recipes for lower fat purposes, 'cause it just tastes too good!*  So...serve up a nice, big salad on the side, and enjoy the creamy flavor of the clam chowder (P. 52 in my cookbook) and the moist cornbread (P. 46 in my cookbook).

Moist Cornbread

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
16-ounce can creamed corn
4-ounce can green chilies (optional)
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
¾ cup rice flour 
¼ cup tapioca flour
½ cup gluten-free cornmeal
½ cup gluten-free corn flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons xanthan gum

1                    Preheat oven to 350°F.
2                    Cream butter, sugar, and eggs. Add creamed corn, green chilies, and cheese.
3                    Add rice flour, tapioca flour, cornmeal, corn flour, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum.
4                    Pour into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.  Freeze leftovers.

Serves 12
*Tip: If you can't tolerate dairy products, Earth Balance Spread® (a dairy-free margarine) is delicious and has been used successfully as a substitute for butter in the recipes in this cookbook.
Tip: Any bread that includes baking powder should be mixed only until combined.

Clam Chowder
6.5-ounce can minced clams
1 cup finely chopped onion 
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 cups chopped red potatoes 
1 cup butter
¾ cup brown rice flour
4 cups milk or half-and-half (or 3 cups almond milk plus 1 cup soy milk)
1½ teaspoons salt 
½ teaspoon sugar 
¼ teaspoon pepper 
1 teaspoon gluten-free chicken bouillon powder 
½ teaspoon minced garlic
Bacon pieces and green onions (optional)

1                    Drain clam juice into water that barely covers the vegetables. Reserve clams.
2                    Simmer vegetables until tender. Do not drain.
3                    Melt butter in a small saucepan and add rice flour. Stir until mixture begins to gently boil.
4                    Add milk (or half-and-half or substitutes), salt, sugar, pepper, bouillon, and garlic. 
5          Stir over medium-high heat until thickened.
6                Add cream sauce and clams to the vegetables and mix well.

Serves 7 to 8
Tip: If you don’t like clams, leave them out and serve as a potato soup.  

Saturday, October 27, 2012

"Mom, What's for Dinner?"

There are two questions that nearly every child asks:  "Are we there yet?" when you are on a trip, and "Mom, what's for dinner?"  While I can't help you with the first question, I can definitely help you on the second question.

In my cookbook (P. 17-18), I have ten weeks of main-dish menu ideas (plus a list of 26 soup recipes for when the weather is cold).

For example, here is the list of recipes for Week 5:

1. Lemon Chicken
2. Shepherd's Pie
3. Grilled Salmon
4. Beef Enchiladas
5. Pizza
6. Thai Red Curry
7. Sweet and Sour Pork

I list the seven menu items and keep this paper on the side of the fridge so our kids can see it any time they wonder what is for dinner.  I mix up the order sometimes for flexibility when my schedule doesn't permit fixing a certain recipe or when I have meat thawed out for another recipe.  My sister-in-law has a cute black erasable board and she writes her dinner plan on it with a white or fluorescent erasable  marker.  It looks like the kind of board you might see on an easel at a restaurant with the daily special written on it.

A while ago when I was at Wal-Mart, I bought a grocery list notepad with a magnet on the back.  I loved it because it saved shopping time--from walking back and forth across the store due to a disorganized list.  Each grocery list had headings with categories provided (like "produce" and "meat").  Of course, you don't have to buy a grocery list notepad and  it works to simply write the categories or grocery store aisle numbers on a piece of paper.  Another idea is to select a grocery list template by going to the Microsoft Windows "Start" button (this is the one that is shaped like a circle and has the wavy-looking window on it).  I type in "grocery list" in the search bar at the bottom and print out a grocery list with color, for fun.

I enjoy having a menu plan.  It reduces stress in my day.  It reduces the contention that can result when the family is hungry and there is no dinner plan.  Life is busy enough without wondering what to cook for dinner. :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Review of Mom's Place Gluten-Free Pound Cake, Brownies, and Wonderful White Bread Mix

Mom's Place Gluten-Free has won my heart for their amazing mixes.  I had the opportunity to sample three of their products this last week, and they are DELICIOUS!!

Buttery Pound Cake Mix was smooth and silky with a perfect texture and great flavor.  It stayed moist for days.

Mom's Best Brownie Mix is a great solution for my chocolate craving.  I still hold to the idea that chocolate is an anti-oxidant...don't you? :)  Yum!  These are wonderful.

Wonderful White Bread Mix is sooo good that you kind of feel like you are cheating and eating bread with gluten...and you're not!!  It has a beautiful shape and a soft texture.

I suppose you can tell that I am excited about these tasty products...and I am rating them at 10 out of 10. Gluten-free mixes can be quite expensive, yet these are priced lower than the other brands of mixes I have tried.

Check out their great website and especially their "Gluten-Free Kids" tab with all of their fun ideas.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Gluten-free Chex Party Mix with Bread Bites

The holidays are coming and we are getting excited.  My daughter and I decided to make Chex Party Mix.  We used some slices of Whole Grain Bread (see previous blog post from a few weeks ago for recipe) to make a substitute for the bagel chips that the recipe normally calls for on the side of the Rice Chex box.  My daughter named them "Bread Bites."  They aren't exactly like a bagel chip, but it was worth a try. :)

We adapted the recipe a few other ways, including the obvious choice to leave out the Wheat Chex and substitute for gluten-free Chex.  Perhaps it would be a good idea to reduce the amount of the recipe by half or thirds to have the right quantity for your family.  We made the full batch and now we need to plan a party so we will have other people here to help us eat it!

Gluten-free Chex Party Mix with Bread Bites

3 cups Corn Chex cereal
6 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 cup mixed nuts (we used cashews)
1 cup bite-size gluten-free pretzels
1 cup "bread bites" with garlic salt and butter added
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon seasoned salt (the 1 1/2 teaspoons called for is too salty for us)
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Step 1:  Prepare bread bites by spreading butter and sprinkling garlic salt on bread slices.  Slice bread into small circles or cubes and place on cookie sheet.  Broil in oven for 1-3 minutes, watching carefully until toasted.  In large microwavable bowl, mix cereal, nuts, gluten-free pretzels, and "bread bites":  set aside.

Step 2:  In small microwavable bowl (I like using a glass measuring cup with tall sides covered with a paper towel), microwave butter on High for about 40 seconds or until melted.  Stir in seasonings.  Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.

Step 3:  Microwave uncovered on High 5 to 6 minutes, thoroughly stirring every 2 minutes. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Recipe for Southwestern Salad

This salad is fun because it is a little bit different than the "norm" since it has a variety of flavors in one bite.  I love the mango salsa and the slight barbeque flavor.  Yum!

Southwestern Salad

1 bag mixed salad greens
½ cup black beans
½ cup chopped tomatoes
¼ cup chopped green onions
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup cooked corn, drained
mango salsa or chopped mango
1 cup diced cooked chicken
cumin, to taste
tortilla chips

1 cup ranch dressing
2 tablespoons gluten-free barbeque sauce

1.      To make the salad, place salad greens, beans, tomatoes, green onions, cheese, corn, mango salsa,  chicken, tortilla chips, cumin and salt (to taste)  in a large bowl.
2.      To make the dressing, combine ranch dressing and barbecue sauce in a small bowl.
Serves 6 to 8

(This recipe is on P. 72 in my cookbook.)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Gluten-free Whole Grain Bread Recipe

I am sorry to say that I found an error in this recipe in the first edition of my cookbook.  I am not sure whether I did it or my publisher, but it lists brown rice flour twice.  So...please forgive me and make this bread recipe and you will love it.  I love how healthy it is with the whole grains, like teff and sorghum flour.  It has a nice light texture because of the eggs.

Whole Grain Bread

1 cup brown rice flour
½ cup sorghum flour
¼ cup tapioca flour
¼ cup potato starch
⅛ cup amaranth flour
⅛ cup teff flour
¼ cup ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 eggs, beaten
2 additional egg whites
2 tablespoons honey

  1. Preheat oven to 200°F.
  2. Sift dry ingredients, if needed. Combine brown rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, amaranth flour, teff flour, flax seeds, salt, xanthan gum and yeast.
  3. Add water, cooking oil, vinegar, eggs, and honey and mix well until lumps disappear.
  4. Spoon dough into one greased 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 5/8-inch loaf pan.
  5. Turn oven off and place pan in oven for 60 minutes to allow bread dough to rise.
  6. Without removing bread pan, set oven temperature to 350°F. Bake 40 to 43 minutes.

Makes 1 loaf

Saturday, September 22, 2012

His Gift to Us: Fall Colors Before Winter


My wonderful husband took us out to dinner at a restaurant that serves gluten-free pizza, so I didn't get a photo of a gluten-free dish today...but I did go on an awesome hike with my husband and our children.  We saw several waterfalls, and the most beautiful display of red, yellow, and orange leaves.  It struck me that even though Winter has its own beauty, the gorgeous Fall colors are God's gift to us before Winter begins.



Saturday, September 15, 2012

Lemon Basil Chicken

I just know you will love this recipe.  If you have my cookbook, it is on P. 101. Please note the following correction:  Delete 1 cup water and 1/4 cup cornstarch.  I know that is kind of a major correction, but originally I didn't like how runny the recipe was with the cream and I thought if I added water and cornstarch I could thicken it.  It didn't work as well and diluted the flavor.  I found that the cream ended up being absorbed almost completely and it worked out well without the cornstarch and water.  (I left out the sun-dried tomatoes because we think they are too sour.)

Give this recipe a try this week.  Our teenage son loved it and ate until he got full but wished he had room for more. :)   

Lemon Basil Chicken

2 cups cooked, diced chicken
¼ cup cooked, crumbled bacon
½ tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
2 cups cream
2 teaspoons gluten-free beef bouillon powder
1/8 cup lemon juice
5 large mushrooms, sliced
1 can artichoke hearts, drained
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
garlic salt, to taste
1/2 to 3/4 package Tinkyada Gluten-free Spiral Noodles, boiled and drained
Parmesan cheese, shredded

1.      Prepare cooked chicken and fry the bacon and set aside.
2.      Melt butter in frying pan. Add crushed garlic, basil, cream, beef bouillon, lemon juice, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes (if desired) to butter. Heat through, but do not boil. 
3.      Add chicken and bacon. Add garlic salt, to taste.
4.      Serve over gluten-free spiral noodles topped with freshly shredded Parmesan cheese.

Serves 5 to 7 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Review of Glutino Gluten Free Vanilla Milk Chocolate Wafer Cookies

Wow!  I love these cookies.  They are delicious and light and wonderful.  I rate them at 9.5.  My kind friend brought these for my celiac son and me at a Court of Honor for Scouting, while the others had donuts with gluten.  I got emotional as she gave us the cookies, because it was such an evidence of support for us with our gluten-free diet.

10-7005 Vanilla Wafers- Choc. Coated

(Photo source:

Saturday, September 1, 2012

These Are the Best Scrambled Eggs...Ever!

My husband has been making scrambled eggs for breakfast on Saturday for the last few months.  Before he starts, he says, "Honey, these are going to be the best scrambled eggs I have every made."  I laugh, and ask him how his scrambled eggs could get any better...because they are always awesome.  :)   He is such a great man...and a great cook.

Here is his recipe for scrambled eggs:

Olive or canola oil
1/4 cup green onions, diced
1/4 cup ham, diced
6 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons Hormel bacon pieces
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Garlic salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Step 1:  Heat cooking oil in a non-stick frying pan.  Add green onions and ham and saute until green onions are tender.


Step 2:  Whip eggs and milk until smooth.


Step 3:  Pour eggs into ham and green onion mixture.  Sprinkle with bacon bits.


Step 4:  Fold eggs gently over.  Don't stir vigorously.


Step 5:  Sprinkle with cheese, garlic salt, and pepper.  Serve when cheese has melted.


Makes 3-4 servings.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Coping and Support for People with Celiac Disease

It is comforting to be in the same room with people who have similar struggles.  We can learn so much from others.  My sister and I started a support group with this in mind.  We have learned about other gluten-free products from members of our support group, and we have shared recipes and ideas with each other.

I have felt that there are earthly angels who strengthen us, and heavenly angels who support us. 

I heard a quote once that “Good information leads to good inspiration.”  Education and information about our sensitivities will help us in our quest to live healthy lives.  As we learn more about celiac disease and become more comfortable with how to cope with it, we can then move on to helping others with celiac disease or with another medical condition.  

One way we can show support for others is by taking a few minutes to research about  whatever medical issue another person has.  It doesn’t take too long to do…yet it means so much to the person going through it to sense empathy and concern from another person.  I appreciate those who have learned about celiac disease and offer support.  I hope that I can do better at helping others as they go through their afflictions and strive to learn more about their medical condition.

After diagnosis, I realized that my attitude made all of the difference.  If I faced this trial with courage and strength and a positive outlook, my children did the same.  I know we can do this!  

Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic staff
Living with celiac disease can be difficult. Every day can be a challenge. Over time, however, managing your disease will become second nature. In the meantime, these suggestions may help you manage more easily:
  • Gather information about celiac disease. Talk to your doctor, look for information on the Internet, and read books and pamphlets. Ask your doctor for advice about reliable resources. Find cookbooks featuring gluten-free ingredients. Being informed about your condition can help you take better charge of it.
  • Seek out others with celiac disease. Talking to people who know what you're going through can be reassuring and informative. Your doctor may be able to refer you to a celiac disease support group in your community, or you may find one listed on the Internet or in your local paper.
  • Don't hesitate to seek guidance. If you're having difficulty coming up with suitable menus, talk to a registered dietitian. A dietitian has extensive knowledge of the nutritional aspects of food and what you can and can't eat. He or she can help you think in more creative ways about your favorite foods.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Recipe for Russian Beef Cutlets (Kotleti)


We just finished our first annual immediate family reunion.  It was so fun!

We went to Yellowstone Park,


Mesa Falls,


 and Henry's Lake.

We also had a great time doing tie-dyed shirts together, and our sons had a great time at the rock and fossil shop at West Yellowstone.



We went to see "Annie Get Your Gun" at Playmill Theater.  It was terrific, except I thought the fudge we bought at intermission was gluten-free and I think it had some cross-contamination because I got a terrible stomach ache.

We took turns being in charge of the brunch and dinner for the day.   Friday was our son and daughter-in-law's turn.  Our daughter-in-law is originally from Russia and she introduced us to Kotleti.  It is tasty!  She served it with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Russian Beef Cutlets (Kotleti)

Gluten-free bread crumbs
1 lb. ground beef
1 large potato, shredded
1/4 cup shredded onion
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Garlic salt

Step 1:  Toast gluten-free bread in a toaster or at 400 degrees until bread is light brown.  Break toast into fine crumbs in a blender.

Step 2:  Combine ground beef, shredded potatoes, shredded onion, egg, and garlic powder and form thin patties.  Fry in cooking oil on medium heat.  Serve with mashed potatoes and gravy.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Review of Glutino Chocolate Vanilla Creme Cookies

When our daughter went to Girls' Camp, we sent along some gluten-free cookies so she would have a delicious gluten-free substitute when the other girls were eating cookies with gluten.  She brought home some leftover cookies, which took some self control, since these are awesome. :)  I would rate these at 9 out of 10.  I like them even better than my memory of the taste of gluten chocolate sandwich cookies from before my diagnosis.


(Photo Source:

Friday, August 3, 2012

Alfredo Pizza Recipe

If you cover the delicious creamy Alfredo sauce with enough yummy vegetables, it helps you to forget that you are eating something with cream cheese in it. :)  I like to buy the Neufchatel cream cheese to reduce the guilt, as well.  This is one of our favorite recipes.  You can also find a tasty recipe for regular pizza (which uses the same crust recipe) in a past blog post.

Alfredo Pizza

Prepare Alfredo sauce at least a half hour ahead to allow time for sauce to thicken before beginning pizza.

2 teaspoons yeast
½ cup lukewarm water  
2 teaspoons sugar
1¼ cups warm milk or soy milk  
2 cups rice flour
1½ cups tapioca flour
2½ teaspoons xanthan gum
½ cup dried potato flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons Italian Seasoning
¼ cup shortening
2 tablespoons butter

4 ounces cream cheese
⅛ cup butter
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup milk
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon pepper

5 pieces bacon, fried
2 chicken breasts, fried or grilled
¼ teaspoon seasoned salt
1 cup grated cheese
Additional toppings could include artichoke hearts, green onions, sliced banana peppers, fresh tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms, olives, yellow summer squash, and extra Parmesan cheese

  1. Combine cream cheese, butter, Parmesan cheese, milk, garlic powder, and pepper in medium saucepan and cook until smooth and warm. Refrigerate for ½ hour or more.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Pour warm water into a small bowl, and sprinkle yeast and sugar on top of water.
  4. Microwave milk until warm.
  5. Combine dry ingredients-rice flour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, potato flakes and seasoning- in a heavy-duty kitchen mixer bowl.
  6. Mix yeast mixture, warm milk, shortening, and butter into dry ingredients. Beat at high speed for 3 minutes.
  7. Spray or grease 2 large pizza pans. Divide dough into 2 equal portions.
  8. Place hands in plastic bags and press dough evenly onto pans until thin. Bake 10 minutes on middle shelf of oven.
  9. Cut cooked bacon and chicken into small pieces. Add seasoned salt to chicken and stir well. Spread sauce over pizza crusts. Top with cooked bacon, cooked chicken, grated cheese and desired additional toppings. Bake for approximately 10 minutes.

Serves 9 to 14


Friday, July 27, 2012

Say "Thank You" to Wal-Mart

Remember my post about writing Wal-Mart to ask if they would change things so their potato chips would not be cross-contaminated?  We are part of that celiac army that wrote in....and the chips don't have the cross-contamination warning!  How awesome is that?

Let's write corporate Wal-Mart today and thank them.  :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Gluten-free 72-hour Emergency Kits

Have you ever wondered what gluten-free food you would survive on if there were an earthquake, hurricane, flood, or some other emergency crisis in your area?  It is vitally important that we have a backpack all stocked with gluten-free items.  As part of my preparation for a presentation at a university during their Education Week, I am planning to display a gluten-free 72-hour kit.  Here are the products I have so far:

Progresso Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Campbell's Chunky Grilled Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Soup
Dinty Moore Beef Stew
Bush's Baked Beans (I am going to include a can opener in my 72-hour-kit)
Blue Diamond Almonds
Idahoan Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Flavored Mashed Potatoes (I am going to include extra water in my 72-hour-kit to re-hydrate these)
Starkist Tuna Creations--Zesty Lemon Pepper
Starkist Tuna Creations--Hickory Smoked
Thai Kitchen Green Onion Instant Rice Noodle Soup
Kind Fruit and Nuts in Yogurt  (I am particularly fond of this flavor)

My friend from our support group told me about the following three products that would also work in a 72-hour-kit.  She takes these along when she travels.  I haven't tried these, but they look delicious!

Pamela's Whenever Bars--Oat Chocolate Chip Coconut
GoPicnic--Hummus + Crackers
GoPicnic--Turkey Pepperoni + Cheese

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Recipe for Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

I love the recipe for Creamy Butternut Squash Soup in my cookbook.  The only thing I don't like is how much time it takes to dice up the squash.  Here is a modified version with an easier method that worked well for me, especially since I baked the squash the day before I made the the squash was cold and easy to handle. It was a great way to use the butternut squash I got from Bountiful Baskets.  :)

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup (Easy Version)

2 cups butternut squash (bake this the day before you make the soup, if possible) *
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup leeks or green onions with tops, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup peeled and sliced yellow summer squash (or zucchini)
3 cups gluten-free chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt (or less)
¼ teaspoon dried basil leaves
¼ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
¼ teaspoon dry ground mustard
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup cream
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon Hormel bacon bits
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Slice butternut squash in 1/2 lengthwise.  Remove seeds.  Place in a large casserole dish, (skin side down) and add 1/2 cup water.  Cover with foil and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until tender.  Place in fridge to cool.

2.   Melt butter. Sauté leeks (or green onions) and carrots in butter for about five minutes.  Cool slightly.

3.  Scoop butternut squash away from skin and place in blender with yellow squash, one cup of chicken broth, salt, basil, oregano, dry mustard, and pepper. Add cooked carrots and leeks (or green onions).  Puree in blender until smooth.

4.  Pour mixture into saucepan, along with remaining two cups of chicken broth.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer soup for 10 minutes.  

5.      Remove soup from heat.  Add cream and milk.  

6.      Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with bacon and Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4 to 6

Friday, July 6, 2012

Dr. Oz and a Great Show on Celiac Disease

My hairdresser text messaged me a few weeks ago and said that she had seen a show about celiac disease.  She is a thoughtful person and it was sweet of her to let me know about it.  Here is the link to Part 1 of the show with Dr. Oz.  It has a short video that is helpful for showing what the villi are like as they flatten in the small intestine due to gluten consumption.  Check it out:

You can find Part 2 on the same web page and Dr. Oz demonstrates how long the intestine is and also shows how much absorption can be limited due to celiac disease by pulling a parachute over the audience.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Love Those Polka Dots!

I ordered some vinyl polka dots from Say It Your Way Vinyl (see   and for my daughter's bedroom.  The polka dots turned out awesome, don't you think?  The quality and price were great, too.  I love the idea of vinyl polka dots, because if my 13-year-old outgrows them...we can easily remove them.  It was a lot easier than painting the circles just right, too.

We all love chocolate around here, and since we are absorbed in a polka dot theme, we decided to make some chocolate cupcakes. We looked for gluten-free frosting to purchase to try to get the pink and brown colors just right for the polka dots.  (I don't know about you, but when I try to use the basic food coloring kit to come up with brown it ends up looking kind of gross. :)  I started reading labels and found out that Wilton cake decorating products have wheat. 

Here is a photo of some polka dot cupcakes we made.  I bought a King Arthur's Gluten-free Chocolate Cake Mix (which is awesome...I would rate it 10 out of 10),

and we added Hershey's S'mores Dessert Icing (which was fun and easy to work with...I would rate it at 8 out of 10 for workability, but 6 out of 10 for taste.  It tasted like pina colada instead of chocolate.)

(Photo source:

and Cake Mate Pink Frosting (too sweet, but fairly easy to work with, so 7 out of 10).

(Photo source:

We used the recipe from my cookbook for Fluffy Frosting for the main coating of frosting.

Fluffy Frosting

4 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup water
¾ cup shortening
½ teaspoon almond flavoring
½ teaspoon butter flavoring
½ teaspoon vanilla
Pink food coloring (opt.)

Whip ingredients with hand mixer until well mixed.

It was fun to make these cupcakes, and our daughters had a great time decorating some of the cupcakes.  I must admit, none of us could eat a whole cupcake at one time because the cupcakes were too sweet with all of that frosting!  However, we found that if we sectioned off a little piece at a worked out just fine. :)