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....

(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 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, and click over on the Rachael Ray Cookware link. Thanks again to 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 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! Did you hear me? Your very own true love pot to play with every day forever and ever. 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

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!
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