Friday, December 18, 2009


And the winner of the Rachael Ray cast iron soup pot, by super technical pull a number out of a hat drawing technique is....

Brian
(who said he would cook soup and pot roast in it, but not at the same time)

Congratulations, Brian! Please email me your street address and Cookware.com will be shipping that directly to you in the next few days, so Merry Christmas from Off the Wheaten Path!

And to everyone else who didn't win, so sorry, but hopefully we will do another giveaway soon and you can get another chance. Don'f forget you can just buy yourself one of these awesome pots at http://www.cookware.com/, and click over on the Rachael Ray Cookware link. Thanks again to Cookware.com for sponsoring this giveaway, and thanks to everyone who entered! Merry Christmas and happy cooking, Brian!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cooking with Cast Iron

I am in love. Although I do dearly love my husband (a lot) this is what he does to me: He listens to me secretly drop hints about something I really really want and then POW! he comes home with it. He brings me the shiny new toy and I become obsessed with using it every day. It comes dangerously close to love. He keeps on creating competition for himself. He should probably rethink his strategy, but I'm not complaining.

His latest gift was an enameled cast iron pot that also doubles for weight lifting if you can't get to the gym. I love this pan. Since I love to make soups, it has really come in handy the last few weeks since everything we've eaten is liquid these days. You can also make a huge batch of super secret recipe caramels in it:

And I even made a roast with vegetables in it the other day. Nothing conducts heat quite like cast iron. And the enameled surface makes it a cinch to clean up. This pot is one of my very favorite kitchen items. If you don't have one, get one. Rachael Ray, my favorite queen of spunk, has a very affordable cast iron cookware line available at http://www.cookware.com/ And this week only you can save up to 60% on Rachael Ray cookware and even get free shipping on select items. I know you are all shopping online already this week, so just pop over there and check it out. The best gift you buy this week could be the one you buy for yourself!

But if your wallet is shrinking and your husband is mad at you for doing too much shopping (what? me? nooo...) and since Christmas is coming, I have just the gift for you: You can win your very own enameled cast iron pan from the Rachael Ray cookware courtesy of Cookware.com! Did you hear me? Your very own true love pot to play with every day forever and ever. Cookware.com is graciously giving away your choice of a 3.5 quart round or oval cast iron soup pot valued at $57.95 in your choice of three colors: green, orange, or blue. Check out the specs at the Rachael Ray Cast Iron Collection. I love the 11" round grill pan in orange for $49.95, by the way, if anyone needs to do some last minute shopping...husband, maybe?


All you have to do is leave a comment in the comments section and tell me what you would cook in your Rachael Ray pot and you will be entered into the giveaway! That is relatively painless, I think. The winner will be announced on Friday, December 17 at 5 p.m. MST, so check back then to see if you've won! Christmas truly is the season of giving, so why not give something to yourself? I can't wait to read about all your secret recipes you'll be making in one of Rachael's pots!
Happy winning!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gluten Free Chili, Sweet Style


Everyone I have ever made this chili for has loved it and wanted the recipe, except for my husband. Strange. It's from my friend Celia years ago, and I think she got it from some lady who got it from some lady who made it up. That's the thing about recipes, isn't it? We wouldn't know how to make anything unless someone showed us how. So thank you to whoever made up this recipe, because it's great for a crowd and it's a nice change from spicy hot chili. This chili is hearty and sweet, almost like baked beans. It has a creamy orange color and tastes like the chili they eat in heaven. Seriously. The original recipe calls for Nalley chili, but since that isn't gluten free I substitute with either Dennison's or Hormel. Both taste great in this recipe. And I would use your large 6 quart crock pot for this recipe. It barely fits in the 5 quart. Give this one a try next time you do a potato bar: it's great over baked potatoes.


Celia's Chili

4 cans gluten free chili, Dennison's or Hormel
3 pounds hamburger
1 onion, diced
3 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups ketchup
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream to taste

Place hamburger and onion in a large frypan and brown until all pink is gone from the meat and the onions are soft. If you don't have a large frypan, brown it in batches or else it boils in it's fat and doesn't taste right. Drain. Add cans of chili, hamburger, onion, sugar, and ketchup to crock pot and stir well. Cook on low 4-5 hours until flavors have melded together. Add cheese and sour cream just before serving, stir well.

I would love to know if your husband hates this chili, too, or if it's just mine. Leave me a comment after you make it and let me know!

Happy eating!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gluten Free Minestrone


Remember Gary? My awesome brother in law who used to work at an Italian restaurant and now has the best recipes? About four years ago we decided to start a Christmas tradition of an in-law dinner serving only soups. We wanted to make it easy on ourselves at this busy time of year, and our families all brought their favorite soups to the dinner. Gary, of course, brought his minestrone and I was hooked from the first bite. I love this soup. It feeds an army, it's full of vegetables, and I can easily make it gluten free by using my Tinkyada noodles. If you are having company over and need a great soup to feed a bunch of people, try this one. You can vary it by using whatever vegetables suit your fancy, but the ones in the recipe really are a great combination.
Gary's Gluten Free Minestrone
1 1/2 lbs hamburger or italian sausage OR 1 pkg kielbasa, cut to medallions
4 cups water
2 stalks diced celery
2 sliced carrots
1 diced onion
1 can beef broth (I use Better than Boullion Beef flavor and make my own.)
1 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1-2 cloves of minced garlic
1 T parsley
If using hamburger or sausage, brown in a skillet and drain fat. Add all ingredients to 6 quart crock pot and cook for 5 hours on low. Hour 4 add:
1 can white beans or cannellini beans, undrained
1 can green beans, undrained
1 cup gluten free pasta of your choice (I recommend Tinkyada shells, rotini, or elbows)
1 t sugar
salt and pepper to taste
When fifth hour is done and pasta is tender, serve in bowls with fresh parmesan grated over the top.
I have added zucchini to this, I have also added fresh green beans when I had them. I put these in at the beginning to make sure they are soft and tender by the time cooking is through.
Happy eating!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gluten Free Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Soup


When I took my kids to school this morning, my trusty car thermometer read 3 degrees. 3. Now it's up to a toasty 17 degrees outside and it's making me think there might be soup on the horizon for dinner tonight. One of my favorite December soups is one my friend Anna came up with for a great crock pot soup. You've seen those soup mixes in the soup aisle and sadly walked by them knowing they are full of wheat flour and other additives that are no good for a gluten free diet. Well Happy Holidays because my Christmas/Hannukah gift to you is this: Bear Creek Soup has several mixes that are gluten free, including Cheddar Broccoli. We had this soup for our Christmas Eve luncheon with my parents last year, and it was such a great and easy main dish. I got regular bread bowls for everyone else, and I had some Gluten Free 1-2-3 biscuits. Super delish. And let me introduce you to the newest member of my kitchen family: I went to Target to buy the $15 stainless crock pot on sale and OF COURSE they were all gone so I got the $20 red one instead. It's quite festive and cute for the holidays. I even leave this one out on the counter sometimes. It blends right in with all the Christmas decor. Anyway, try this soup and enjoy your gift of Bear Creek happiness.

Cheesy Broccoli and Ham Soup

4 packages Lipton Cup a Soup Creamy Chicken soup mix
1 1/2 cups water
1 package Bear Creek Cheddar Broccoli soup mix
4 peeled and diced potatoes
3 pieces diced cooked ham
1 package frozen broccoli, or 2 fresh broccoli crowns, cut into florets
3-4 slices American Cheese
3 tsp Better than Boullion Chicken flavor
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp pepper
8 cups milk or water

Whisk together the packages of Creamy Chicken soup mix and water. Microwave for 2 minutes 15 seconds. Dump into a greased Crock Pot. Add Bear Creek Cheddar Broccoli soup mix, potatoes, ham, broccoli (if you are using fresh broccoli, add last hour of cooking), American cheese slices, boullion, garlic, pepper, and milk or water. Cook on low for 4-5 hours.
I use milk in this recipe because I like it to be really creamy, but the packaging for the soup mix says you can use water too. I've never tried it that way, but I would love for someone to give it a shot and let me know how it works. Super runny? Thick and creamy like this one? Leave a comment if you 've tried it and let us know!
Happy eating!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gluten Free Portuguese Bean Stew and Corny Cornbread

It's snowing here in Utah, and you know what that means. Well, maybe you don't. It means I start making soup and stew almost every night of the week. There's something about pulling out the LeCreuset and simmering something in it all day that makes me happy. It seems like every event I go to in the winter is a dinner where soups are served. We have a neighborhood Christmas party on Saturday. The menu? Chili and Cheesy Broccoli Soup. When my parents come over for Christmas Eve? Minestrone and Potato Soups. When my inlaws come to town, we all bring a crock pot of soup and some unlucky soul has to buy the drinks and soup bowls. They are definitely a holiday menu staple. And recipes for soups and stews seem to abound, but GOOD recipes are hard to come by. The first time I saw this recipe was on the show, "Ask Aida" on the Food Network. She did this whole show on stews and soups. I was keeping a running tally in my head, looking for things that were inevitably needing substitutions to make the dish gluten free. Guess what? The tally was a big fat zero. A fully gluten free dish, Merry Christmas to me. I love naturally occurring gluten free recipes. It's like a smiley face on the cable bill, isn't it? So, I think that Aida should get the credit and the internet traffic for this beautiful stew that she created, so check it out here. And by check it out, I mean get all the ingredients at the store and make it tonight. I used tomato sauce instead of tomato paste because I was out of it, and it still turns out beautifully. You won't be sorry.

I do, however have a little variation on the classic cornbread recipe for you to try. I love the sweet cornbread flavor with this stew, which is slightly spicy-sweet itself. The honey in the stew complements the flavor of the cornbread nicely. And the whole corn kernels give it a little more texture and gusto than regular cornbread. So yummy. We've had it five times this month since I tried these variations. I hope you like it, too.
Gluten Free Corny Cornbread

3/4 cup Quaker Cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
2 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup oil
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup drained whole kernel sweet corn
Mix dry ingredients together. Make a well. Mix wet ingredients together. Add to dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. Fold in corn. Pour into an 8x8 pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes. Freezes well.
Happy eating!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holy Yum and Unholy Desires

So, a sweet, thoughtful friend of mine brought me two bags of Trader Joe's Gluten Free granola last week after her trip to Arizona. Holy yum. Have you tried this stuff? Sadly, I don't even have a picture of it (it comes in a yellow bag) because it's all gone and I threw the bag away thinking I had already taken a picture of it, but I hadn't. Darn. But did you hear that last part? IT'S ALL GONE. Maybe the worst three words any gluten free eater can hear when they find a product they really love. Gone. And the worst part of it all is I live in Utah. Do you think there's a Trader Joe's in Utah? Of course not. Something about not selling enough liquor to make a profit, I think. So I go online to try to order some, because now, I've gotta have my granola fix. Do you think Trader Joe's sells food online? Of course not. It's enough to make me batty. So now I'm going to have to call the store and ask them if I can buy some over the phone and have them mail it to me. Which, given the track record of this whole situation, do you think that will happen? Maybe. Maybe is good. I think I may be calling my friends who live in St. George to run down to Henderson, NV for me, or my friends in Phoenix to walk two blocks and buy some. Christmas is coming. It could happen. Maybe they sell it on Ebay! This is what I've resorted to, people, buying gluten free food off of the Ebay black market. If you like something that much, I don't think it's considered completely crazy. So if you are one of the lucky ones who is within driving radius of a Trader Joes, go on down and buy yourself some Loaded Fruit and Nut granola and enjoy a bowl, in honor of me. Or, send me an email and tell me when you are going to ship me some granola as my Christmas present this year, in thanks for all of my awesome gluten free tips!
If you have a Trader Joe's in your neighborhood, happy eating!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gluten Free Mrs. Fields'-ish Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


It seems like everyone has their own favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, and there are about as many variations as there are recipes. I am no different. Chocolate chip cookies to me should be thick and chunky and have always tasted best with oatmeal mixed in. I have this chocolate chip cookie recipe that has been photocopied about fifty times with a note on the bottom about how the person who wrote the recipe called Mrs. Fields' Cookies for their chocolate chip cookie recipe and they said it would cost them two fifty. They thought it was two dollars and fifty cents, it was really two hundred and fifty dollars. So this person was copying and giving the recipe to whoever would take it. I dont' know how truthful this story is, but it is a great recipe. The original calls for grating a Hershey chocolate bar and adding it to the batter. Personally, I never do this because a) I dont' have time and b) they are plenty chocolatey as they are. I have made these cookies with just about every type of gluten free flour, and they are good with just about any flour mix you like to use. My personal favorites are Grandpa's Kitchen and a mix of teff and brown rice flour. These cookies will blow you away. You will think you died and went to gluten free heaven when you bite into one. And don't forget a nice tall glass of milk (and a Lactaid pill)to go along with it!


Gluten Free Mrs. Fields'-ish Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream together:
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar

Add:
2 eggs
1 T vanilla

In a separate bowl, mix:
2 cups gluten free flour
3 cups gluten free oatmeal
1/2 t salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Add 12 ounces of chocolate chips, milk chocolate or semi-sweet, whatever you prefer. Mix well. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 9 minutes at 375 degrees. Cool on cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Trust me on this, you will never find another cookie recipe you like as much as this one. Good job, Mrs. Fields, or whoever said they bought your recipe. It's all good!

Happy eating!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Success... and Failure

Every year at Thanksgiving I look at the Brussels Sprouts in the produce department and think, "One day I will make those because they are traditional Thanksgiving fare." And almost every year I have thought, "Not knowing how to make them and have them taste great is a big roadblock for you." This year I just ponied up the two or three dollars and bought some because I was feeling extra confident in my cooking skills this year. I didn't know what I was going to do to them, but I knew I could pull it off. And I must say, these were my favorite veggie side dish that I made this year. I ate all the leftovers and forced everyone in my family to eat a bite of them. And a whopping three out of seven people liked them! So, if you love Brussels Sprouts or cabbage, and you've never tried them, this is so easy you will wonder why you never ate them before. And they have to be better for you than a Snickers bar, right? These are a great side dish for any holiday meal, and they look so cool on a platter that you have to try them at least once this season. And they are also one of those dishes that are naturally gluten free, so you don't have to feel freakish about any of the ingredients.
Halved Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts

1 pkg fresh Brussels Sprouts, washed and halved
1/4 cup chopped pine nuts
3 T butter
1 lemon

Melt the butter in a large nonstick frypan. Add the Brussels Sprouts and stir to coat in the butter. Saute for about 7-8 minutes in butter, letting them brown. Add the pine nuts and stir to coat. Cut lemon in half and squeeze the juice from both halves over the sprouts and nuts. Transfer to a serving dish and serve up warm. Delish!

On a depressing side note, my green bean casserole was a complete disaster. Complete and total. Here is a sad picture of the really yucky dish:

I topped it with sliced onions fried in olive oil that were a little too done. (Can you say black?) I baked it and thought for sure it would be the best thing ever. Not so much. Oh, well, at least no one can say I didn't try. I am going to try to perfect this dish eventually, though. It always sounds so good to me at the holidays and I'm determined to make a gluten free version that tastes fantastic. Did you make a fabulous version of a gluten-filled dish this Thanksgiving? Leave a comment, we'd all love to hear about it.

Happy eating!

Monday, November 23, 2009

What's on your plate this Thanksgiving?

Freedom from Want, by Norman Rockwell, courtesy Curtis Publishing

Rarely do I take a chance to post about the mental and emotional aspects of celiac's disease. I would always rather talk about the food. I think recipes and product suggestions are practical steps to helping us cope with a difficult life path and hope that some of the things I have posted on this blog have been helpful to someone. And now that I am starting to slow down a little this week and focus on my own food for my own holiday, I wanted to share some thoughts with you. And I promise I will be back with recipes on the next round of posting, so bear with me.

This Thanksgiving will be the first year in my entire adult life that I will be home with all my children, my husband, and no one else. Don't get me wrong, as a reformed only child, I love big holiday gatherings and big meals with lots of chatting and eating. I love each and every person that has shared our Thanksgiving table with us over the years and I really love each person that has invited my family to a Thanksgiving table over the years, saving me from lots of food chores. However, every few years I am finding that I just want time with my own family sometimes. I don't feel like I spend enough time with my children as it is, and I am resisting more and more the urge to go and do on those days off, however few and far between they may be. So as I have been sitting around thinking about our little family meal this week, I am becoming giddy with the anticipation of running my own show for me and no one else. And since I am the best chef in this house, we are going totally gluten free this year.

Here's a peek at my menu for Thanksgiving 2009:

*Roasted Herbed Turkey Breast (no one here likes dark meat, so why bother with the whole thing? Plus, shorter cooking time!)
*Homemade Turkey Gravy with Cornstarch
*Mashed Potatoes
*Green Bean Casserole with Progresso Creamy Mushroom Soup and Onions fried in Olive Oil
*Gluten Free Stuffing with Grandpa's Kitchen Bread
*Halved Brussels Sprouts sauteed in Browned Butter with Pine Nuts (a new recipe I saw in a magazine somewhere)
*Frozen Peas and Carrots
*Canned Cranberry Jelly
*Rhodes Rolls for the kids and hubby
*Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

I am so traditional. There isn't anything there that no one has ever made before. There's no new groundbreaking recipes that are going to take over the internet or make me a blog star. Just good homemade food that I can safely, comfortably eat myself into a stupor with. And I love that I just put down on the list all of the pre-made foods like frozen vegetables and canned cranberries on there. There's no shame in that. If they make it better than I can, why not? Food needs to be something that we feel safe with, not something to be afraid of or be constantly inspecting, looking for contaminants. We definitely need to be vigilant in our food choices, but I feel like sometimes I spend so much time researching and scrutinizing my food that the pleasure and satisfaction from eating it is lost. The best way to do that is to prepare and cook as much of your own food as possible. I know it's hard nowadays with our busy schedules and uber-frantic lifestyles, but the joy of following a recipe and getting something delicious from it that you know you can eat every last bite of is worth every last second you spend doing it. The more cooking I do, the more I realize that the relationship I have with food is better the more I get to know it while I am making it. Using a good sharp knife to slice an onion, sauteeing mushrooms in a pan, simmering something yummy until it is good and ready to eat while I talk with those children I don't have enough time with, these are the things that make me feel whole, like I'm not different from all the other people who can chow down some Chips Ahoy. I feel complete when I cook my food. My kitchen is my safe zone.

I would love to hear from my readers about your safe zone. Is it your own kitchen? Is it a favorite restaurant or health food store? What makes you feel mentally and emotionally balanced with your gluten free food? Leave me a comment. I'd love to know. Happy Thanksgiving everybody! And happy eating!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Potatoes Au Gratin--A Thanksgiving Twist


Everyone loves those mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving Dinner. However, some years you just have to mix it up and go with the unexpected dish. This year, I'm having Thanksgiving just with my immediate family and we'll be cooking up a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey. (No one here likes dark meat and it would take mountains of gluten free bread to make enough turkey sandwiches to use up the leftovers.) The other day on Food Network I saw the new "Tyler's Ultimate" and he did this turkey breast with cornbread stuffing rolled into it and it only took 25 minutes to cook. 25 minutes! Anyway, when you do a little bit less traditional cut of meat I think it's fine to take a less traditional side dish along for the ride. So, with that in mind, here's a great gluten free recipe for Potatoes Au Gratin that I know you'll enjoy any day of the year.
Potatoes Au Gratin
5 potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
4 T butter
2 T cornstarch
1 cup whole milk or heavy cream
dash salt and pepper
dried minced onions or sliced scallion onions
1 clove of minced garlic
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Layer the potatoes in a baking dish sprayed with non stick cooking spray. In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the cornstarch all at once. Whisk until thick. Add the milk, salt and pepper, garlic and onion and bring to a boil, until thick. Add cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat and pour over the sliced potatoes. Bake uncovered in a 400 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes.
The gruyere cheese is really the star of this dish. It's a little tangy and it melts really well, so you have ooey gooey delicious potatoes that the cheese doesn't fall off of. Enjoy these with any holiday meal!
Happy eating!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gluten Free Thanksgiving Stuffing...Finally!

Last week I did a little TV spot on a show called, "Good Things Utah" and I made gluten free stuffing. I think the recipe they have on their site is actually not the right one, so I wanted to make sure I got the right recipe up somewhere on the web. This recipe is the better recipe. The one on GTU is my prototype, but I feel like this version is way better.

The highlight of the day was meeting Bob and Randy Harmon of Harmon's Grocery Stores, who were there the very same day! You may call it coincidence, I call it karma. Food geeks of the world, unite.

Gluten Free Traditional Stuffing
8 slices Grandpa's Kitchen bread, dried and cubed
1 1/2 cups chicken stock made with 3 T Better Than Boullion chicken flavor
2 T sherry cooking wine
1/2 minced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 stalk diced celery
5 T butter
1 tsp sage
1 1/2 tsp parsley
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp black pepper

Bake a loaf of Grandpa's Kitchen Bread mix. Cut eight slices and cube. Lay out on a baking sheet and let dry for a day. Or, if you are short on time, you can dry the bread the day of baking. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Toast bread for 15 minutes, stirring twice. Remove from oven and let cool. Heat oven to 375. Heat water, better than boullion, and wine to a boil, remove from heat. In a large frypan, melt butter and saute vegetables until soft, about four minutes. Add spices, remove from heat. Place bread cubes into large bowl and add vegetable mixture, mix well. Pour stock mixture 1 ladlefull at a time, just until moistened (you might only use 1 cup of broth, you don't want a pool of liquid at the bottom of the bowl--it will make the bread soggy.) Place in a greased casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Take foil off and bake for another 10-15 minutes until lightly browned.
I have made this recipe with Blue Chip Baker's Brand of French Bread as well, and it's not too shabby. I just love the texture and flavor of the Grandpa's Kitchen bread, so I prefer it in this recipe.Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Eating!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Week of Pie Crusts #6: Fruit and Cream Tart with Shortbread Crust


There have been many times when I have quoted a cookbook recipe on this here blog. Usually it's from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, which I think is a pretty common cookbook and most people probably have it and I'm just re-typing it for those of you who are too lazy to dig out the actual book to find it. Or, I've changed it so dramatically that it doesn't matter what cookbook I took it from, it's now a completely different entity unto itself. However, the recipe today is from a brand new cookbook that just came out called, "Artisanal Gluten Free Cooking," which is a whole book of doable, mostly simple recipes that anyone can cook. And, let's be honest here, how many of you reading this are celiacs who didn't cook until they found out they had to? Most of us are novice chefs and we need cookbooks that are straightforward and not full of recipes we would never eat.
The other day I was looking on someone else's gluten free blog (I can't remember who! So sorry...)and saw their post about how their friends had written a new gluten free cookbook called Artisanal Gluten Free Cooking. It was written by Kelli and Peter Bronski, who have a blog of their own called No Gluten No Problem. The book is available through Amazon.com and only costs a mere $12.89. So of course I clicked twice and bought the book, because I always need gluten free inspiration. I looked through the book and noticed they have all kinds of familiar foods in there that I always want to make but am wanting for a good recipe. They also have their own gluten free flour mixture recipe (which, by the way, is almost the exact same ingredients as the Grandpa's Kitchen Flour, minus the xantham gum) that they mix up themselves and have the instructions right there for you to mix some up on your own.
I decided to try the Fruit Tart with the Sweet Pastry Dough using the Grandpa's Kitchen flour. I was way too lazy to mix up my own flour mix. Here's what I have to say: 1) the recipe is so easy to follow, 2) it's completely delicious. So, for today, you will have to go to the book yourselves to find out how to make it. That's right, just click up there where it says Amazon.com, put the book in your cart and buy it. It will come right to your door and you can make all kinds of goodies with this quite extraordainary cookbook. And, don't forget that Christmas is around the corner. Need a gift for a celiac friend? This book would be great for anyone, but especially for a newly diagnosed celiac who may be struggling with menu ideas and how to make them on their own.
Trust me, you won't be disappointed in this cookbook. It's worth having on your shelf just for the pastry dough recipe.
Happy ordering and eating!

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Week of Pie Crusts #5: Mini Cheesecakes with Cinnamon Chex Crust

I have been dying to try a crust with Chex cereal for months now. I went onto the Chex website and they have a button that says "Gluten Free" and when you click on it, scroll down and see all the fabulous gluten free recipes they have. They have a great little recipe for Triple Berry Cheesecakes that you might love to try. I did these with my favorite cheesecake filling, because I figure, once you find something you really love, why change it? Okay, that may be some other famous person's saying, but still. It applies. These are just about the easiest little desserts to make. Simply take one and a half cups of crushed Cinnamon Chex, 2 T of sugar, and 4 T of melted butter and mix them all together. Then put about one tablespoon of mixture in the bottom of a muffin tin lined with a paper liner and tap down until it's even. Mix up your cheesecake filling, and ladle out 1/4 cup of filling into each muffin tin. Top with two or three sliced strawberries and cover with plastic wrap or foil. Chill for about four hours, but really, overnight is best.

These are a really great dessert to take with you for Thanksgiving to someone's house. They are a classic, but a great break from traditional pumpkin and apple desserts. Bring along a little cake stand or cookie stand and set them out all gourmet like. You will love these little bites. The crust has great texture, tastes good, and is so easy to make. Check back here tomorrow for our last crust and a great gift idea!
Happy eating!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Week of Pie Crusts #4: Chocolate Layer Pie with Oreo Crust

Making this pie crust almost seems like a tragedy, because you have to scrape out the insides of these awesome gluten free oreo cookies to make it. But I just buy two bags and sacrifice one to the pie crust and save some whole ones for later. And, thank you, Kinnikinnick, for making edible oreo substitutes for us celiac-ish people. But I digress.Better Homes and Gardens has a 2009 Holiday Baking issue out that includes an interview with a lady named Betty Lessard, affectionately known as"The Pie Lady" since she ran her own pie shop for 30 years. There was a recipe of hers in that magazine for Chocolate Layer Pie that I wanted to recreate. Here's a picture of my cookies next to the article. Lovely, I know.

So, she uses a pastry crust, and hers looks about fifty times more yummy than mine, but if you are a chocolate lover, then this pie is for you. My recipe isn't exactly like Betty's, but her recipe was a great starting point for me. So here goes:

Gluten Free Chocolate Layer Pie with Oreo Crust

1 package Kinni-toos Oreo cookies, split apart and frosting scraped out

5 T melted butter

2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

1/4 cup cold water

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 cups cool whip

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 chocolate bar to peel garnish on top of

Crush crackers in ziploc bag, toss with melted butter and press into bottom and sides of a pie dish. Toast in the oven for about 8 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool completely. (Very important!) Place eggs, water, and chocolate chips in a saucepan over very low heat and stir until chocolate is melted. Place about 3 T of melted chocolate and spread into the bottom of the cooled pie crust. (I'm serious, put your crust in the fridge if you have to.) Take cool whip and mix cinnamon into it. Spread 1 cup cool whip over the chocolate. Mix the rest of the chocolate mixture into the rest of the cool whip and layer that over the cool whip. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours. When serving, take a vegetable peeler and shave off some pieces to go over the top so it looks, you know, gourmet-ish.

Try your hardest not to notice that my pie was not cooled for four hours. I was soooo dying to try it and I have deadlines, you know. It still tasted divine, but I really suggest cooling both the crust and the pie as long as you can. It will turn out looking way more fabulous than mine did. This is a very rich pie! Give slivers of servings to people unless they are total chocoholics, in which case give them whatever they can handle.

Happy eating!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Week of Pie Crusts #3: Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie with Pretzel Crust

Okay, technically, this isn't a pie. It's like an icebox cake or something. But it still has an original gluten free crust that you could use for whatever recipe might call for a pretzel crust. There's a really good strawberry one out there somewhere, I just haven't tracked down the recipe yet. And, by now you are probably thinking, "Does every crust recipe she makes have butter in it?" And the answer is yes! There's no other way around it. You need something that will moisten the crust enough so that it can stick together and something that will brown when you toast it. Butter it is. And please, please, please for the love of all that is gluten-free, use real butter. I do not ever want to receive an email from someone who bakes with margarine. That is just wrong. Now, on to our little recipe for the day.

I wanted to do something salty and sweet. And with this crust you have the option to be saltier or sweeter, which is nice. I used one small bag of the EnerG Gluten Free pretzels and crushed them in a ziploc bag with a rolling pin. Then I tossed the crumbs with 5 T of melted butter and 2 T of sugar. If you want a really salty crust, omit the sugar. I took out a handful of pretzel crumbs for a garnish and set them aside. I pressed the rest of the crust into the bottom only of an 8x8 pan. You could easily double this to fit a 9x13 pan. Then I toasted them in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes. When it cooled, I took 15 ounces (about half the jar) of the Baker brand pie filling and spread it over the top of the crust. (Use the whole jar if you are doing a 9x13 pan.) I love this pie filling because they divulge exactly what is in their filling on the label. They say where their modified food starch is derived from, that they use tapioca flour, and I can pronounce every word on there. Plus it tastes pretty good.
Then I created a cream cheese frosting layer to go over the top of the blueberries in my stand mixer. I put one package of softened cream cheese, the rest of my softened stick of butter (3 T), and 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar in the mixer and let it beat until it's nice and creamy. I'm somewhat of a purist, though, and next time I make this I think I'll leave out the butter. I like the tanginess of the straight cream cheese. But you may like it this way better. It's not bad. It actually makes it spread a little easier. I spread that over the top and then added my little pretzel crumbles to the top. Let this refrigerate for at least an hour (two to three is better) and use a squared spatula to serve it. It works a little easier in the square pan.
It may not come out looking like much, but it tastes great! You could substitute cherries or strawberries or raspberries, if those are your favorite flavors, provided you find a gluten free canned filling. Or, of course, you could make your own!
Happy eating!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Week of Pie Crusts #2: Gluten Free Seven Layer Bars with Chocolate Wafer Crust

These little bites of sin are truly one of my biggest dessert weaknesses. I love the combination of flavors, and being able to eat them comes so close to being normal I almost don't know what to do with myself. I also love these bar cookies because they are so rich that if you have to take a dessert to a holiday party you can make an 8x8 pan of them and cut them into little bite sized pieces and everyone will feel like they ate a sumptuous dessert in just a few bites. Really, three bites of one of these and you may die of sugar overload. But they are so worth it. So, here's the super easy instructions for making Gluten Free Seven Layer Bars:

Gluten Free Seven Layer Bars
1 package of Glutino Chocolate Wafer Cookies (you can either use the vanilla wafer or chocolate wafer version.)
1/2 stick of melted butter
1/2 package butterscotch chips
1/2 package semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
(you can easily crush two boxes of cookies and double this recipe to make a 9x13 pan full of treats. Then you can use a whole can of milk, a whole bag of chocolate chips, etc.)

Crush the wafer cookies in a large ziploc bag with a rolling pin. You can also use a glass or small bowl filled with change to smash them a little finer if you want to. (Tip courtesy of Alton Brown.)

Layer the wafer crumbs into an 8x8 pan and drizzle the melted butter over the top.
Top with a layer of butterscotch chips.
Add a layer of chocolate chips.
Chop your walnuts with either a knife or one of these nifty gadgets. Mine is from Norpro. I really love it.
Add the walnuts on top of the chips.
Add a layer of coconut. I always feel you can add the coconut to taste. I really love coconut so I add a lot.
Drizzle 1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk over the coconut.Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees until golden on top and nice and bubbly. If you can't handle it and need to eat one right out of the oven, you'll have to use a fork to eat it. But if you let them cool completely you can cut them into neat little squares and they taste just like mini candy bars. Mmmm. Sinful.

Happy eating!

 
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