Saturday, November 27, 2010

WOW - Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was leery about trying this cookie. I haven't had much luck with pre-packaged GF cookies. They are too dry for my liking. I like a soft chewy cookie. I was given this to sample at the Celiac Thanksgiving. I was pleasantly surprised. There is no way to pass this off as a gluten cookie - it has the gluten free after taste but the taste of the cookie its self is very good. It reminds me of eating raw cookie dough. It is great with a cup of coffee. Will I run right out and buy more? No. They are bad for my waistline at 170 calories per HALF a cookie, since I don't eat HALF a cookie it cost me 340 calories. OUCH! However, for the occasional treat I will definitely eat them. They are located in the freezer section at Hy-Vee, I have seen them, but never purchased any. They cost about the same as a cookie would cost at Starbucks and is about the same size.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with delightful dishes and surrounded by loved ones. I must admit that so far this has been my best gluten free Thanksgiving. I got some fantastic recipes at the Celiac Thanksgiving on Monday. My husband made me crock pot sage dressing. It was fabulous to have my own stuffing to go along with my own turkey thighs that I cooked in the crock pot so I didn't take a chance with bird that had been stuffed with bread stuffing and had the potential to have a basting solution injection. I also made my first gluten free pie crust to fill with pecan pie filling. AMAZING! I am so full, but I think I have room for one more piece of pie. The Recipes I'm sharing below were shared at the Celiac Thanksgiving. I do not know who/where the recipes come from, I just know they are fantastic!

Crock Pot Sage Stuffing  by Sue Miller

1 C Margarine                                         1 tsp Sage
1 C Chopped Onion                                1/2 tsp pepper
2 C Chopped Celery                               3 1/2-4 1/2 C Broth
12-13 C slightly dry gf bread cubes          2 well beaten eggs
1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning                       1 tsp salt

Melt margarine in a skillet and saute onion and celery. Pour over bread cubes in a very large bowl. Add all seasonings and toss and mix together well. Pack lightly in slow cooker. Cover and set on high for 45 minutes, then reduce to low for 4-8hrs. Do not remove lid while cooking.



2 1/2 cups flour  (I used Domata Living flour)
1 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold water

1) Cut Butter into the flour and salt. 2) Add cold water and mix well. 3) Roll out on a floured surface. 4) add to pie plate then pour in fillings and bake based on Pie filling needs.

I learned a couple tricks. One - put a pan down below the pie  - the leak all over the oven creating an oooey gooey mess to clean up. Also prick the pie crust with a fork several times and possibly bake for a few minutes without filling so it doesn't stick to the pie plate.

I used the Pecan Pie Recipe on the back of the Dark Karo Syrup bottle, its fantastic. I will only cook it 60 minutes next time, but it was still really good.

Hope everyone's Thanksgiving was as good and tasty as mine. Thanks to my husband who made my stuffing for me while I was at work, he did a fabulous job!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

President Reagan's Pumpkin Pecan Pie - Gluten Free Version

President Reagan's Pumpkin-Pecan Pie

Gluten Free Crust:  2 Cups crushed gluten free cereal (I used Honey Chex) 3 TBS melted butter,  3 TBS of sugar...mix well. Press into a 9" pie plate.

4 eggs
2 cups pumpkin (canned or fresh)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Break eggs into large bowl. Beat with wire whip. Add pumpkin, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt. Stir until sugar is dissolved and ingredients are well blended. Pour into pie shell and sprinkle with pecans. Bake for 45 minutes  (knife inserted in center of pie comes out clean).

Monday, November 22, 2010

QC Celiac Group's Thanksgiving Dinner

Tonight is the QC Celiac Group's Thanksgiving dinner at Hy-Vee in Rock Island. I can't wait. I have my date. I have my dish and I cannot wait to feast on gluten free food this evening. Hope to see some of my gf friends there tonight.

This is what I'm bringing to share:

Cornbread Corn

Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes
1 can Whole Kernel Corn - drained
1 can Cream style Corn
1 stick of butter - melted
1 ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Cornbread
8oz Sour Cream

Friday, November 19, 2010

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken is quite possibly my least favorite food. I cook it mostly because my husband would eat it often enough to start clucking at the end of each sentence. He could eat it every day. I couldn't even think about eating it at all when I was pregnant because the thought of the texture of chicken made me gag.

Unfortunately our freezer is low on beef and high on chicken, how the heck that happened, I am not sure! I got home from work today and had no idea how I was going to prepare the defrosted chicken breasts I had laid out. I searched a couple of GF cookbooks and come up empty, nothing sounded good. So I searched online and found this recipe! It was fabulous!

Chicken Parmesan was so good and gluten free! Check out this recipe. It took about 35 minutes total to prepare from Start to the Table. Even my 5 year old son really liked it.

I plated it with a side of gluten free fettuccine noodles topped with Classico sauce. FANTASTIC! So easy, I had everything on hand too. Give it a shot, you won't be disappointed.

Food Should Taste Good...Why Yes it should!!

I love the company Food Should Taste Good. I love their chips. I eat the Jalapeno ones regularly! I am actually eating them as I type this at 8:53 a.m.  They are red chips with Jalapeno pieces in them. They are addictive. I get them at Hy-Vee. I have also tried the Multi-grain chips - they too are excellent. They are sturdy chips that hold up to dip. An excellent addition to any holiday party.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rice Paper = Mandy's Rice Paper Rolls

I went to the Oriental Foods store today in Davenport. I have been wanting to try to make my own "rolls" to eat with filling - similar to an egg roll but without frying.

I found online where I could bake the rolls. So I decided to give it a try. That meant two more trips to two different Hy-Vee's to get exactly what I needed. My ingredients included: rice paper, julienne carrots, bean sprouts, red cabbage, green onions, vermicelli, minced garlic and medium spiced pork sausage.

I cooked the sausage and then drained it. I used the same skillet and sauteed the carrots, bean sprouts, green onions and garlic with the lid on to soften up the veggies.

 I then put the sausage and veggie mix in a bowl.  I put the vermicelli in a bowl of hot water until softened, then I drained the water off it. I then placed one piece of rice paper in the warm water until it softened then laid it out flat on the cutting board and put the filling inside. I then layered the vermicelli and red cabbage on top and rolled up the rice paper (looked like a see thru egg roll). I put them on a cookie sheet and brushed a bit of olive oil on top and browned at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. They didn't really brown, but did get a harder shell, just not very hard.

They were awesome!! My 5 year son liked them too. I made him a little one with peanut butter and jelly and it was good too.

I swear I ate like 10 of them. Will definately make these again!!

Hy-Vee West Kimberly Gluten Free Tasting on 11/17/10

They are doing it again!! The HyVee on West Kimberly will be having a gluten free tasting. They will also be having a special guest earlier in the day. You should definitely try to stop by if you are in Davenport at all that day.

The Special Guest is the CEO from Apple's Bakery, Mary Ardapple. She is coming because the store is adding her fresh baked goods and other products like stuffing mix to their gluten free section. Mary will be there from 9 a.m -12 p.m on 11/17/10.

The Store will be having a tasting from 3:30 -7 p.m.  also on 11/17/10. They will have lots of different gluten free products to try. They already have a holiday table set up to showcase some products to make your gluten free eating easier this holiday season.

Stop by and check it out. I can't wait. It's also 10% off day on all Health Market products!!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sausage & Potato Soup

It's freezing cold in Iowa today! OK - so its not quite freezing, but its a huge change when the high is only 40 degrees. BRRRR! Perfect day for soup!!

I was trying to use up the rest of a bag of potatoes and some chicken sausage links. I wasn't sure how it was going to all come together since I had no recipe. I got out my new crock pot bags and lined a 4 quart crock pot. I peeled 6 red potatoes and sliced them about 1/4 inch thick. I then layered them in the bottom of the crock pot. I then sliced a pack of Bistro Sensations Three Cheese with Roasted Tomato Chicken Sausages in to 1/2 inch pieces and layered them on top of the potatoes, continuing to layer until I was out of both potatoes and sausage. I then places several round thin slices of yellow onion on top.

I then mixed up a GF Cream Soup Mix to pour over top. I used 1/2 cup mix, 1/2 cup water and 1.5 cups of chicken broth and heated it until it started to thicken (I used the microwave, which is totally cheating for a cream soup mix, but it worked okay as long as I stirred it often). I got it to the thickness I wanted and poured it over top the layers and then put the lid on the crock pot. I cooked it on high for about 4 hours until the potatoes were tender. We tasted it and my glutenous hubby thought it could use some red pepper flakes...he was right! I also added just a sprinkle of tapioca flour to thicken the liquid a bit more as I added a few heavy shakes of crushed red pepper (like my measuring?) and stirred it in to mix the spices up well. I then put the crock pot on low for another 30 minutes or so.

I loved how spicy it was, but doesn't have to be it all depends on the person eating it. You can use any flavor of chicken sausages too. I added some shredded Swiss to my first bowl (yea I had two) and then Mexican mix cheese to my 2nd bowl...both were fantastic!!! It was easy and cooked all day without me doing anything except stir it - my kind of meal!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Crustless Pizza

Easiest Dinner EVER!! I made a pizza tonight without a crust. I used Italian sausage as my crust (thanks to Mitch from the QC Celiac Dinner).  I pressed it out flat in a 9" round dark metal pan. Then cooked it at 375 degrees in the oven for 10 minutes. I took it out and dumped the grease out of the pan, but left the sausage in, cooked it becomes the "crust".

Then I put on sauce, turkey pepperoni and lots of cheese. I baked for another 13 minutes. I was a little nervous it wouldn't be very good, my glutenous husband LOVES his pizza and it shouldn't be messed with especially by not making a crust. I must say the first bite I was converted! LOVE IT!!!

My glutenous family also loved it. Next time we will add some veggies and perhaps some other kinds of cheese, but there will absolutely be a NEXT time!!

I used 1lb of Hy-Vee Brand Italian Sausage (gluten free and comes in a roll). Contandina Pizza sauce is always in our fridge because its easy to use and tastes pretty good. Hormel Turkey Pepperoni is my favorite choice for pepperoni, it's yummy. Topped off with lots of Pizza/Mozzarella Cheese - - perfect!! Add a small glass of Sweet Red Wine and it was as good as it could get in 25 minutes.

Impossible Coconut Pie

My friend Patti at work got one of these Coconut Pie mixes from Mixes from the Heartland and made it last night. She brought me over a piece to try, it was my breakfast. If you like coconut - it is amazing. The texture is wonderful, it tasted like coconut cream pie! She got the mix at the local Farmer's Market over the summer. The company was from Texas, but opening a site in Tipton. You can order them online at a reasonable price. Patti told me she also tried the chicken casserole one as well and it was great.
Hopefully they will become more available locally, but until then I might just have to get a couple things on hand to have for a fast fix.

Holiday Gluten Free List

I was given a wonderful link by Becky at the QC Celiac Group. It gives you a list of items that are gluten free that are commonly used in holiday cooking. Hope this helps ease every one's holiday eating fears! Hy-Vee is so good about making sure they have excellent lists at our disposal to ease our gluten free eating. Thank you Becky and Hy-Vee!
Gluten Free Holiday List

Here is a list from Hy-Vee on some holiday recipes too.
Holiday Recipes

Thursday, November 11, 2010

To Drink or Not to Drink?...oh what a question!

With the Holidays coming up I figure now is a good time to touch on this topic and give a few reviews of some YUMMY adult beverages to help out my fellow GI/Celiac suffers. Alcohol is not something I thought I would miss. I am was not a big drinker, except in college when that was "the thing" to do. Parties aren't the same in college without a little underage drinking...I know shame shame, so I suffered and drank beer or the "malt" bottled drinks not knowing that I was GI. I did shots of red fruity schnapps (ugh what was I thinking) and I paid dearly for it.

Once I turned 21 (the legal drinking age in Iowa) it didn't really appeal to me any longer. The people around me all drank, but it wasn't something that made me "feel good" and I'm not a particularly fun drinker, it makes my brain/mouth filter (what little of one I have) malfunction. So I spent 10 years after that not really drinking, the occasional "taste" to see if it had gotten any didn't, so I just didn't bother.

Last year in July I went gluten free. I decided I should try some of the GF beers that are out there. I tried Redbridge and Bards. One of my friends was excited when she saw that Woodchuck Cider/Beer is naturally Gluten free, so I tried several of the flavors they offered.

Redbridge is made by Anheuser Busch. I thought it tasted very similar to what I remembered full leaded Budweiser had tasted like back in my college days. I liked it, but it's heavy, too heavy for me to drink consistently. I did use it in making homemade corn dogs - it was good there. Hy-Vee on W Kimberly has this product on the bottom shelf in the gf section of their Health Market. It's on the back wall.

Bard's makes gluten free beer too. Again this was pretty heavy for my taste. If you like a heavy beer - give it a shot. You can get it in most grocery stores that carry gf products. I have only seen it in 6 packs, but you might be able to get it in bigger packs if you like it.

Woodchuck Cider was really good. The only flavor I didn't like was their Spring Cider Flavor - YUCK! It tasted like Cotton Candy mixed with Beer - Gross! I did like all the other flavors, but they leave a sweet/sour taste in your mouth after a couple, so it's not something to drink a lot of at one time. I really like the Amber and Granny Smith flavors.

Over the summer my sister got hooked on Vodka Lemon Water (wow that makes her sound like an alcoholic - she's not). It tastes like Lemon Water - the lemon juice cancels out any alcohol flavor. She searched for a vodka I felt comfortable drinking with my belly issues. We went camping in July and she proudly came out of her camper carrying a bottle of Opulent Vodka - its made from Corn. We enjoyed quite a few Vodka Lemon Waters on that camping weekend :). I still have a bottle in my fridge that has about 3 shots left in it (I should just finish it since it's probably costing me more to refrigerate the bottle than it cost to buy the whole bottle). The vodka water I will admit was very refreshing and perfect while camping in 106 degree temperatures.

Fast forward to today and I am enjoying wine. I blame two of my best girlfriends for it. They had me try Moscato and I liked it. I am slowly branching out. I have found a sweet red wine (Serena) that I like too. I have tried many kinds of wine and even went to a wine tasting. I am not a Port Wine drinker, holy brandy spirits in there. I'm a little too weak for Brandy in any form and it did not lift my spirits in any way.  I have recently tried Rieslings and White Merlot as well as a little Mogan David Concord (referred to as gutter punk punch by Wikipedia). I like all but the White Merlot, had to sweeten it up with a little diet 7-up, but it worked out alright.

Even being GI, I have found I have a lot more options when it comes to alcohol than I realized. When people hear you can't have wheat/gluten they say, "OMG you can't have beer". That's okay with me...I can have lots of other kinds of drinks as long as I'm careful I don't usually have any ill effects. When in doubt don't drink it.

Also - always drink responsibly, do not drink and drive!! Hope this helps someone realize that if they once enjoyed Adult Beverages before they were gluten free that not all is lost being gluten free. Here is a Link to a site that has more options than I have listed: Gluten Free Alcohol Options.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Jimmy John's

Freakishly Fast and Gluten Free Friendly (if you want to take a chance on cross contamination - it is a sub shop after all). They allow you to "unwich" any of their sandwiches which make it easy since BREAD is the key offender at their shop. So tasty!

 Love the #11 unwich and I can take off all kinds of high calorie things like mayo and cheese and add veggies and mustard instead which makes it about 200 calories and its filling. Give it a try at a local jimmy johns!! Just be sure to order your sandwich # as an unwich!! Oh, and they deliver!! Jimmy Johns -- you can customize any sandwich!

They also offer "kettle cooked" potato chips, but I'd check the BBQ ones to be sure of the ingredients before I bought them, I love the Jalapeno and Regular versions of the chips. I am also getting a big dill pickle today, but obviously skipping the cookies since they are not gluten free!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Monster of a Meal...YUM!

I was given Apple's Bakery Gluten Free Stuffing to try from Hy-Vee last week. I couldn't wait to to try it. We bought a turkey yesterday and I planned a whole big meal. I used the package for directions and recipe to make the stuffing. I made garlic baked potatoes and apple dumplings in the crock pot using the "Make it Fast Cook It Slow" cookbook for gluten free crock pot recipes.

The turkey I had under control - I can cook a mean turkey - well a moist one at least. The stuffing recipe made be a bit had an apple in it. I don't think I have ever had stuffing with an apple in it. It was easy enough, the only problem was it said to moisten with chicken broth and I really didn't know how much was too much so I didn't really soak it. I stuffed the bird and put it in the bag and into the oven it went.

The garlic baked potatoes were fabulous. I took two large baking potatoes - washed them, cut 1/2 inch slits cross wise but not all the way through. Then I put thinly sliced pieces of garlic inside the slits, put them in the slow cooker and poured melted butter/olive oil over top and let it cook for 6 hours on low. They were amazing!! We didn't use sour cream on top as a garnish, we love turkey gravy a bit too much.

The apple dumplings were easy enough to make, my crock pot isn't as big as I needed and part of the "sauce" burned,but the majority were salvageable and bordered on awesome with some ice cream after dinner. So tasty.
Dumplings without sauce

Dumplings with Sauce and Ready to cook!

The stuffing was good, even my gluten eating family liked the stuffing that was gf. It was good as teh recipe suggested, but next time I plan to jazz it up in my own way like stuffing we normally make. It was definitely worth it. You will soon be able to find the bags of Apple's Bakery Stuffing at Hy-Vee on West Kimberly Rd in Davenport, IA.

So here are the links to two crock pot recipes I used today - they have a whole section on gf cooking w/the crock pot. Check it out: Apple Dumplings  and Garlic Baked Potatoes

Saturday, November 6, 2010

It's Turkey Time...

Did you know not all turkeys are created equally? Did you know some of them are injected with a basting solution that may contain gluten? It doesn't specifically say...which makes me want to scream, why can't they just tell me whats in that "natural" flavoring they add?

So today while shopping with my family I decide I'm going to try Apple's Bakery gluten free stuffing tomorrow inside a turkey. So I must find a turkey at my Hy-Vee (W Kimberly). I went back to the meat section and found them. I got the Hy-Vee Brand all natural Young Turkey - it says right on the package no artificial additives.

I wandered over to another section near the cheese that had another big freezer full of turkeys and it looked like every single one including the Butterball's that were in there had the tidbit on their labels saying it was injected with a basting solution. I read an article recently that said Butterball is now going to be putting "gluten free" on the turkeys to make sure we know which ones are safe. But until those turkeys are the only ones on the shelves you should check the turkey you buy to make sure it's safe.

Here is a link to an article on that gives you info on what turkeys are safe: Gluten Free TURKEYS. Good luck in your turkey hunt this holiday season. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Apple's Gluten Free Bakery - Poppyseed Bread

Another product from Apple's I got to try was the Poppy seed cake. It was very tasty. It comes in a cute little tin with a lid. It has a sort of sweet frosting on top, but so good. I did eat it in parts, I didn't eat it all in one sitting, but I definitely could have!

Hy-Vee (W Kimberly) will be carrying this line of products soon!! I can't wait to try all of them.

Exotic Thai 11-5-10

I tried Exotic Thai today again - I have to say I was very excited to leave the "comment/suggestion" card that I finally got this week. It tells them that a gluten free patron has eaten at their restaurant and gives them suggestions on how to improve for future gluten free patron. I also try to leave a positive comment especially if they try hard to accommodate me.

Today our waitress at Exotic Thai was awesome. I requested my "drunken" noodles without soy sauce and she didn't bring me the soup that was supposed to accompany my salad  because it contained soy sauce too. So grateful! The food was delicious and about $8 for lunch. My experience was much better today at Exotic Thai.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Reiga Cheese Sauce Mix

I was given this sauce mix to try by Hy-Vee (W. Kimberly). I was excited - mac n cheese could taste like the Kraft kind I used to love - in theory. I used Schar penne pasta - the sauce wasn't enough to really cover the pasta. There wasn't enough to make it really cheesy. The pasta I tried with the cheese sauce on it was tasty. It didn't taste like Kraft Mac N Cheese. It wasn't bad at all. I had to add shredded cheese to it to make it cheesier like I like it. It was $1.29 at the store which was affordable if you want an easy mac n cheese.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Eatsmart - Snyder's Naturals Garden Veggie Crisp

Have you ever eaten a mildly flavored packing peanut? Me either, but if I am to imagine what that would taste like I would immediately think of this chip. The flavor is not much of anything...its light and the texture reminds me of a squished packing peanut. I bought the 100 calorie bag for $.50 at Hy-Vee on W. Kimberly Road. I had this weird need to continue to eat them even though the thought that they might secretly be flavored packing peanuts was in my head...they were good...just odd. They would probably be an excellent choice to use with dip.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Apple's Gluten Free Kitchen it's coming...

Apple's Gluten Free Kitchen is a bakery in Peoria, IL. They make all kinds of baked goodies and their founder says she is "confident you will be able to taste what you've been missing."

 I tried one of the Raspberry Muffins today and I tried it on the drive home from the store. I didn't actually make it home with any part of it left...I barely made it two blocks before it was gone. It was very tasty. It made me crave a cup of coffee.

I have a couple more items to try since they are bringing these fresh baked products to "my Hy-Vee" (W Kimberly) soon. I can't wait to try the "stuffing" yes -- they have real cubed bread for stuffing. I was also given  Poppyseed bread to try, but haven't done so yet, I think tomorrow with coffee that will be breakfast! So far I am impressed and cannot wait to have the products readily available. I got to read a "brochure" about all their products and they seem to have a great selection of items to try, they are even being served in New York, Chicago and St. Louis.

Check out their website to see all their products: Apple's

Baked Mac n Cheese

I tried the Baked Mac N Cheese recipe from the book "You Won't Believe It's Gluten Free" and it turned out well. I was pleasantly surprised.

I used Schar's Penne pasta and regular cheddar cheese. It stuck to the pan, but was tasty.

8oz GF elbow or penne pasta
8oz Cheddar cheese

3/4 c milk
2 eggs
1 TBS corn or potato starch
3/4 tsp salt
4oz Monterey jack cheese

2 oz Cheddar Cheese

Preheat the oven to 350. Cook the pasta according to the package, rinse and drain well. Set aside.
Shred the 8oz of cheese and set aside. Separately, shred the 2 oz of cheese for the topping as well.
In a microwave safe bowl, combine the sauce ingredients. Microwave and stir in 20 second intervals until the cheese has melted and the sauce thickens. The frequent stirring is necessary to avoid a scrambled-egg effect.  Combine the pasta, sauce and 8 oz shredded cheese. Mix Well.
Place in an oven safe casserole dish. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes longer until the top begins to brown. Serve Hot.

Realize I made this because I love mac n cheese, but not enough to actually shred my own cheese - I am lazy busy and that's why Hy-Vee carries shredded cheese in convenient 8oz bags. I used shredded cheese and had no problems (not that I expected any). Next time I might try to add some cayenne pepper or something to spice it up, but it was still good!! Give it a shot.