Thursday, December 27, 2012

Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole

If you've ever attended a potluck in the midwest, a cookout in the suburbs, or a church supper anywhere in the American south, you've probably been subjected to the dish known as Green Bean Casserole. I've always hated the traditional Green Bean Casserole, for a variety of reasons: (1) most people use frozen green beans, which have very little flavor, (2) I think Cream of Mushroom soup is vile, and (3) those french fried onions are crispy when they first come out of the can but end up soggy after sitting in a casserole dish for a while.

Interesting fun fact: did you know that the Green Bean Casserole was specifically invented by the Campbell's Soup Company in the 1950s, so American housewives would have a use for all those cans of Cream of Mushroom soup?

Anyway, I do love me some fresh green beans, so I decided that for this year's holiday side dish, I'd bring my own gluten-free version of Green Bean Casserole, made with fresh beans, shiitake mushrooms, and caramelized onions. I knew it could be done, it was just a matter of playing around with it a little bit - and the result was pretty damn tasty. The green beans kept their flavor and a bit of their crunch, and the onions were perfect.

Green Bean Casserole

2 lbs fresh green beans, washed and cut into 1" pieces

Vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
Salt & pepper to taste

1 egg
8 oz sour cream
1 tsp whipping cream
1 Cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 Cup shiitake mushrooms, chopped
Pinch of garlic

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease a casserole dish. If you've washed and snapped your beans into little pieces, just go ahead and dump them in the casserole dish. You'll add everything else later.

Heat a couple of tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet, and then add the onion slices. Let them cook a while, until they become transparent and soft. For a good caramelized onion, I'll leave them on low heat for about half an hour, just simmering away. Add a bit of salt and pepper for seasoning. Once a few of them start to turn golden, take them off the heat.

Meanwhile, while your onions are cooking, make your mushroom sauce - this is so much way better than that stuff in a can. Beat the egg in a small bowl, and add the sour cream and whipping cream. Blend until smooth, and then stir in the Parmesan cheese and garlic. Finally, add the chopped mushrooms, and mix well.

Pour your mushroom sauce over the green beans, and toss them all together. Top with the caramelized onions, and then bake for about 45 minutes. Prepare to impress your friends and family with your Way Better Than Theirs Green Bean Casserole.




Saturday, November 24, 2012

Gluten Free Buckeye Cheesecake

If you live in Central Ohio - or if you're a fan of college football - you know that the Buckeye is kind of an Ohio Thing. We're all about our Bucks on Saturday afternoons in the fall. However, what not everyone knows is that the Buckeye is not just a football team, it's actually a nut - a horse chestnut that grows in a lot of midwestern states. Okay, so what does that have to do with cheesecake?

Well, there's a candy version of the Buckeye - you can't eat a horse chestnut, they're disgusting and also more than a little bit toxic. So instead, every fall, those of us who live in the land of the Scarlet and Gray make dozens and dozens of Buckeye candies - it's basically a ball of peanut butter and powdered sugar dipped in a chocolate coating. It's cute, it's easy to make, and it's delicious.

So. Thanksgiving rolls around at Chez In-Laws', and I know darn well there will be two pies. A pumpkin one and an apple one. Both are probably tasty, and both are a disaster if you have a gluten allergy. So I started pondering the idea of what I could make that was gluten free, but still seasonal and not apple or pumpkin.

Hence, the Buckeye cheesecake. It's quite possibly the most incredible thing I've ever come up with. I made the cheesecake part a day ahead so it could firm up before I topped it with ganache, but I probably didn't need to, because it firmed up nicely in just a couple of hours. I think this is going to be my new go-to dish when I need to bring a dessert, because it's melt-in-your-mouth amazing.

BUCKEYE CHEESECAKE

Look at that. It's like angels singing.

Anywhere, here's what you'll need.

Crust:

2 Cups GF graham cracker crumbs
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 Cup sugar

Blend the crumbs, butter, and sugar together, and press into a lightly greased pie plate to form the crust. I've found that if you're grinding up your own graham cracker crumbs, one box of Kinnikinnick's S'moreables graham cracker cookies is exactly the right amount for a pie crust recipe.

Filling:

2 8-oz packages cream cheese
1 Cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 Cup heavy cream
1/2 Cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Soften the cream cheese in the microwave. Add the peanut butter, heavy cream, brown sugar and vanilla, and then mix on medium speed until nice and creamy. Spoon it into your pie crust. Refrigerate until firm - I let mine sit overnight, but it was actually pretty firm in just a couple of hours.

Topping:

1 Cup heavy cream
8 oz. baker's chocolate
Pinch of salt

This is just a basic ganache topping. Heat the cream in a saucepan, stirring so that it doesn't burn. Add the chocolate, and whisk until melted - it's going to be easier if you chop your chocolate into small pieces. Add a pinch of salt, and continue stirring until smooth. Remove from heat for ten minutes, then pour over the cheesecake, spreading out until you reach the edges. Refrigerate for an hour or so to let the chocolate cool.

All kidding aside, this was one of the most spectacular things I've eaten in ages. I'll even go as far as to say it makes twelve servings, because it's very rich, and if you slice that cheesecake into just eight pieces, you'll slide into a delicious Buckeye-induced coma.






Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Baked Squash and Apple Casserole










This is absolutely my favorite thing to bake during the fall harvest season. In fact, I can whip up a batch of this stuff and get at least four meals out of it for myself (no vending machine lunches at work for this girl!), or it makes a great side dish for any meal. I’ll probably bring it to Thanksgiving dinner, just so I don’t have to eat gravy-less mashed potatoes.

I make this with butternut squash because it’s got such a light, sweet flavor. It also works nicely with delicatas, but you need more than one. You could substitute any other squash you love, or even pumpkin for a variation in flavor. Skip the bacon for a vegetarian option.

You’ll need:

1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cubed
1/2 pound bacon, browned and chopped into little bits
1/2 Cup walnuts
1/2 Cup golden raisins
1/2 Cup Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
1/2 stick butter, cubed
1/2 Cup brown sugar (optional - skip it if you don't like sweet stuff)
A pinch of salt

Mix everything together in a bowl. Dump into a really big greased casserole dish. Bake at 350 for about 45 - 60 minutes, mixing occasionally. Seriously, it’s that easy, and it’s SO GOOD.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Muffins

Muffins + cream cheese = nom nom nom.
This is a post I put up last year at Thanksgiving over at Outside the Lines, and I've gotten a lot of requests for it, so I'm reposting it complete with turkey references, snark, and the obligatory sex toy joke.

******************************

So it's Thanksgiving, and since I've never been allowed to cook a turkey - other family members always insist on doing it - my job is to prepare the side dishes. My instructions this year were simple - bring a green vegetable. Well, I could have made a salad or something, but instead I decided to live it up a little bit - after all, food should be a celebration - and put together two veggies and a dessert. Why the dessert?

Because as much as I love my in-laws, I know there will be four or five different desserts on the table, none of which I can eat. Thanks, gluten intolerance!

So I decided I was going to make some kind of GF Thanksgivingy treat - and do so using only crap in my pantry, because I didn't want to set foot within a two mile radius of my grocery store on the day before Thanksgiving, when hordes of frustrated moms were fighting over the last two cans of cranberry flavored goop and confused dads on their way home from work would be asking me what kind of corn they were supposed to get. Just not in the mood to handle that much drama.

Anyway, I had a box of King Arthur Flour's basic muffin mix, a zillion cans of pumpkin, and some cream cheese. This sounds like dessert to me. If you haven't tried the KAF muffin mix, pick up a box. It's for making a very plain muffin, but it forms a great foundation to throw some extra stuff in. And I'm all about throwing extra stuff in, so you know I was all over this.

Also, I want to apologize in advance for the poor quality of some of the photos in this post - MY camera apparently went to Coshocton this morning in my husband's hunting pack so I had to use my 11-year-old's camera, which seems to lend things an odd yellowish cast, as though I was preparing food using my Jaundiced Liver Disease Glasses. However, I can't complain too much about him taking the camera, because on the off chance he manages to shoot me some dinner while sitting in a tree this morning, I'll then have the luxury of posting Before and After photos of my venison recipes - you know, if "before" means "Bambi's mom frolicking in a forest eating nuts and berries."

OK, so here we go.

Gluten Free Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins:

Here's what you'll need:

1 box King Arthur Flour GF Muffin Mix
1 can pumpkin (you'll only use half)
Half a stick butter, melted
3 eggs

1/2 Cup milk
Cinnamon
Sugar
1 8-oz pack cream cheese, softened
1 Cup powdered sugar



The night before, you'll want to go ahead and make the delicious cream cheese filling. Yes, the photo is bad, but trust me, it's tasty. Blend the cream cheese and the powdered sugar together, and then shape it into a log. Wrap it in plastic and toss it in the fridge overnight.

And yes, I'm well aware that this looks like something from the Food Network Sex Toy Collection. Stop judging me.

OK, so now your Cream Cheese Log is firmed up in the fridge. Go ahead and mix together your eggs, your melted butter, and your half can of pumpkin.











Add the muffin mix and blend it till all the dry stuff is mixed in, and then gradually pour in the milk. Blendity blendity blend. At this point, it should be a lovely orangey pumpkiny color.







Grease up some muffin tins. This recipe will give you a good 16 large muffins. You know, if you can try not to eat the batter, in which case, you might get five muffins instead. Use a scooper to fill each tin about halfway. The batter is thick, so make sure you smear it around and cover the bottom of the muffin cup.


Go get your Food Network Sex Toy Cream Cheese Log out of the fridge. Cut it into 16 equal chunks. Drop a chunk onto the center of each muffin cup, right in the middle of the batter.
Use the rest of the batter to fill the rest of the muffins up. Make sure you cover up all the cream cheese, or Very Bad Things can happen in your oven. Bad things of Vesuvian proportions.

Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon and sugar over the top of your muffins, and bake at 350 for 22 - 25 minutes or so.




Let your muffins cool for about ten minutes before you try to eat them. Seriously - do you KNOW what happens to cream cheese when you bake it into a muffin at 350 degrees? It reaches temperatures only rivaled by volcanic lava, Allentown steel mill production lines, and the sun.

DO NOT BITE.

Trust us, my precious. Trust us.
Once your muffins have cooled enough not to burn the hell out of your lips, tongue, and esophagus, dig in. They're super tasty, and your non-gluten-free eater friends will be asking you for the recipe. Send 'em on ovah.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hey, Look! Beer!

I'm not a huge beer drinker, being more of a tequila and rum sort of girl myself, but every once in a while it's nice to sit back with a cold one. I was traveling this weekend, and ate at a couple of Irish-style pubs, and there wasn't a damn thing on their beer lists that I could drink. Thank goodness I had giant Portobello mushrooms and fried potatoes to keep me content.

That said, if you're tired of slopping back bottles of Redbridge (which is pretty tasty) just because it's the only thing you can drink, turns out there are quite a few GF beers that are expanding their US market.

Men's Health - which I usually avoid like the plague because it's full of bro-tips on how to get that girl in bed even though she's already told you you're never gonna get any - actually offers something of use in one of their blogs: Best Gluten Free Beers

Bard's is a familiar standby for the GF community, but there's a bunch of stuff on here I've never heard of. Next time I travel, I'll just pack my own beverage cooler.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sweet Streets Chocolate Torte

As some of you may be aware, when I'm not being all fabulous on the Interwebz, I also work as a digital sales lead for Barnes & Noble. This gives me plenty of options to see what sort of gluten-free cookbooks are out there, but until recently it left me with very limited options as far as snackage over in the Barnes & Noble Cafe.

Last week, they added a Flourless Chocolate Torte to the bake case, from Sweet Streets, and OMG let me tell you - that stuff is goooooood. It's rich and moist and filling and everything a torte should be, and at $3.50 a slice, totally worth it. You can even buy an entire torte for $35 in my store, although prices may vary regionally.

One thing to keep in mind - I suspect the reason the Flourless Chocolate Torte is not officially billed as gluten-free is because it is stored in a bake case full of gluten-containing items, which means you could be at risk for cross contamination (if you order it directly from Sweet Streets, it is in fact labeled as GF). However, if you're like me and lucky enough not to have a problem with cross contamination, I highly recommend checking this out next time you're at a Barnes and Noble and looking for something to nom on.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Schar Classic White Bread Rolls

As most of you know, I'm not always a fan of commercially packaged gluten-free bread stuff. This is because for many years, most of it tasted like drywall, and all the peanut butter in the world wasn't gonna make it any better. Lately, however, a few companies have emerged at the top of the Hey That's Good Stuff list, and so every once in a while I decide to venture into the world of breads Not Baked By Me. And occasionally, I'm pleasantly surprised.

I had seen Schar's products in the GF section at my local Meijer (which, by the way, has a TON of good GF stuff) but never bought them. Frankly, the vacuum packaging makes them look like the breads have been hermetically sealed so that they can be re-opened and eaten after someone finds them in a time capsule in 2165.

(I should note that this is done so the rolls can be made without any preservatives, so it's actually a pretty good thing)

Weird plastic bagging notwithstanding, I had heard positive rumblings about Schar's stuff, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Honestly, I'm tired of eating hamburgers on my GF English Muffins, so I decided the Classic White Bread Rolls would be a good place to start.

I opened the package, heard a soft whoosh of air, and prepared for the worst. Much to my delight, the rolls were nice and soft. They sliced nicely, without mushing up. I warmed it up just a little for a burger, and - with a little trepidation - took a bite.

Holy cow. Great flavor, nice texture. A little more dense than its non-GF counterparts, but that's to be expected. They're actually quite filling - I didn't even finish my burger, only got about 2/3 of the way through before I was stuffed. But the best part was the taste - made with primarily rice flour and millet, they have a lightly grainy flavor that's yummy but not overwhelming.

Definitely worth buying, and versatile enough that you could use for sandwich buns, butter rolls, or other snackage.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bacon Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Nutella Frosting

I'm pretty sure I have found the dessert equivalent of the Spear of Longinus or the Ark of the Covenant. Nations will crumble, cities will fall, and leaders will be driven to their knees by the awesomeness found herein.

I probably don't need to eat any other food for the entire rest of my life.

Now, that said, I'm not going to bother posting a basic cupcake recipe. Everyone has their favorite, and you can use whichever one you want. Hell, you can even use the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Devil's Food Cake mix as your base. Regardless, whip up a batch of whatever chocolate cupcake batter you love the most. I used the one from Taste of Home in the link below, but I added an egg and used tapioca flour instead of oat flour for a softer, moister cupcake.

As for the Nutella, I like to make my own because it's delicious and it's cheap, but you can use the original store bought brand if you prefer.


Bacon Chocolate Cupcakes With Salted Nutella Frosting

One batch Chocolate Cupcake Batter
Half a pound of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 C butter
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
2 squares Baker's chocolate (2 ounces), melted
1/2 C Nutella
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs. heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt

Mix your batter according to directions, and blend in the half pound of bacon. You should probably just go ahead and cook a full pound to allow for snackage during the baking process. I did.

Use a batter scoop to fill cupcake tins - I got 18 cupcakes out of this. Bake according to directions on your cupcake recipe.

Once your cupcakes are cool, make the frosting. It will firm up, a bit like a ganache. Melt the butter, and add the powdered sugar and melted chocolate. Mix together using a hand mixer until creamy. Add the Nutella, vanilla, cream and salt, and continue blending. Frost the cupcakes as much as you like - I actually ended up with twice as much frosting as I needed, so you could make half as much.

Or you can eat the rest with a spoon. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Peanut Butter & Banana Muffins with Frosting


I love Betty Crocker's Gluten Free mixes, especially the cake ones, because you can use them as a base for pretty much anything (case in point: donuts). Although I'm a big fan of making stuff from scratch, mixes come in handy when I'm short on time, too. Today I had a hankering for something muffin-y and sweet, so I decided to make a banana muffin. But what makes a banana muffin even better?

A peanut butter cream cheese center.

And frosting.

So here's the end result:

Peanut Butter & Banana Muffins with Frosting
Makes 18 muffins

1 box Betty Crocker GF Yellow Cake Mix
1/3 C butter, melted
1/3 C water
3 eggs
2 tsp GF vanilla
2 bananas, mushed up

(Note: This is basically the same as the ingredients on the box, but you'll scale back on the amount of liquid that Betty tells you to use, because you're adding bananas)

Lightly grease 18 muffin tins, or use paper muffin tin liners. Mix everything together in a bowl until you have a nice smooth batter - you'll have some banana lumps, but that's ok. Use a batter scoop to fill each muffin cup about 1/3 of the way. Make sure the batter covers the bottom of the cup. Now, mix together the filling:

1 8-oz block of cream cheese, softened
1/3 C peanut butter
1/4 C powdered sugar

Once you've blended all these, drop a small glob of the cream cheese mixture into the center of the batter in each muffin cup. Finally, spoon the rest of the cake batter into the muffin tins, so the cream cheese is completely covered. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Let your muffins cool, and then add frosting:

1/2 stick butter, melted
2 1/2 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs milk

Mix together thoroughly until it's smooth, then top your muffins. Remember those peanut butter and nanner sandwiches you ate when you were a kid? BETTER x 10000000.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Mounds Bars via Babycakes

If you don't already own a copy of the Babycakes cookbook, Babycakes Covers the Classics, you really REALLY need to hie thee over to your local bookstore and pick one up. Author Erin McKenna has some completely amazing things in there, and even for someone like me, who doesn't really have a huge sweet tooth, there's a ton of good recipes. My new favorite? I decided to try the Babycakes Mounds Bars recipe.

Holy mother of dog, they are AWESOME.

I did change things up a bit - I'm not a fan of the flavor of agave, so I used corn syrup instead. Also, I doubled the recipe, which gave me 60 bite-sized Mounds bars. Honestly, making them any bigger would have been overwhelming, because they're very sweet and rich. But they taste fantastic, and probably better than those Actual Mounds Bars that have been sitting in my local Kroger for several months.

If you're a fan of all things coconutty and good, go buy a copy of Babycakes, and make some of these. You'll thank me after your arteries clog up.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Almonds

I've been trying to eat less processed stuff and more organically lately. While I wouldn't say my diet has gone totally paleo, I'm definitely focusing more on fruits and veggies, proteins and fiber, as opposed to, say, snarfling down an entire box of Nut Thins in one sitting. I like to snack, and while carrots and celery sticks are good snacky things, every once in a while I want something salty and crunchy. I had a bag of plain almonds in my pantry, so I decided to jazz them up a little. The result is pretty fantastic.

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Almonds

2 Cups plain almonds
1 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbs. cinnamon
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Roast the almonds in a pan until they're nice and brown. Add the butter and vanilla so all your almonds are coated.

Blend the cinnamon, curry and salt together in a small bowl, and then mix them into the almonds. Spread the almonds out on a cookie sheet to cool, then snack away!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Curried Chicken Spread

I'm a big fan of the Work Smarter Not Harder school of cooking, and if I can make something interesting with just five ingredients, I am on that like white on rice. I had a Fourth of July cookout last week, and needed something to scoop with my pretzels. Normally I eat my sister in law's cheese ball, but she wasn't attending, so I was left to my own devices. This is a super-easy throw-together spread that you can bang out using stuff that's probably already in your kitchen.

Curried Chicken Spread

Ingredients:

1 8 oz package cream cheese
3 6 oz cans white chunk chicken
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbs curry
1/4 tsp salt

Soften the cream cheese in a bowl in the microwave. Mix everything else into it. Seriously, that's it.

Then dig in, with pretzels, veggies, crackers or whatever.

Or just eat it with a spoon.

Rudi's Has GF Tortillas!

Rudi's Bakery, which makes some pretty awesome gluten-free breads, has introduced a line of GF tortillas. The tortillas, available in Spinach, Fiesta, and Plain, made their debut in May, but I haven't found any yet in my area. However, there's a pretty excellent review, complete with lovely photos, over at Celiacs in the House. Go check it out, and if you find Rudi's Tortillas anywhere, be sure to post in the Comments where you tracked them down!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sweet BrocCauli Salad

I'm gonna throw out a disclaimer here, which is that I don't really love broccoli, and I generally avoid cauliflower unless it's mixed in with something else. However, I discovered that my local grocery store has a broccoli and cauliflower salad with a sweet dressing that is just so darn good, I had to figure out a way to replicate it. I whipped up a batch to take to a cookout this afternoon, and the results are fantastic. This makes a fairly large salad, so it's perfect for family gatherings, or if you just want to keep it in your fridge and nom on it until it's gone.

Ingredients:

1 bunch of broccoli, chopped
1 bunch of cauliflower, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 lb cooked bacon, chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raisins

Combine everything in a large bowl, then mix up the dressing:

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 red wine vinegar
1 cup mayonnaise

Whisk the dressing together, then pour over the salad. Let it sit in the fridge for a while before serving. Trust me, you'll love it.





Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bacony Goodness!

Read my latest, Everything's Better With Bacon, over at An Army of Ermas:

I’m pretty sure that in a previous lifetime, I was a dude. Unlike so many of my organic-grass-fed-free-range friends, I am of the philosophy that bacon makes everything better. And if one slice of bacon makes it good, Gentle Reader, then TWO slices turns it into a little bit of pork-flavored heaven. Read Full Article

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Living Without Has Free Recipes

Living Without magazine is pretty good, although my mom and I have agreed we don't really like the title of the publication - anyone who looks at me can tell I don't really skimp on the meals, so it ain't like I'm living without a whole lot of anything, other than wheat gluten.

Anyway, their website has a signup bar, where you can subscribe for their free recipe of the week. It's a good way to figure out if their magazine is something you'll want to subscribe to (I do) before you actually pay for a subscription. When you first sign up, you'll be taken to a page that includes several links to recipes -- and these are for really good stuff, like cheesecake, cookies, and lasagna, not things like salad which is pretty much gluten-free anyway.

Also? Chocolate Beer Cake. My world will never be the same.

Hot Dog Buns - Om Nom Nom!

Remember last month when I used my Chebe Bread Mix to make some tasty flatbread? Well, tonight I used it to make hot dog buns.

Dudes, I haven't had a bratwurst on a bun in four years. These babies were spectacular! One package of Chebe gave me three deliciously light and fluffy buns. Ate one, saving the other two -- because I got a couple more bratwursts with my name on them, waiting patiently in the fridge!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Make Your Own Mayo

So any time I make a comment about making my own mayonnaise, inevitably I get 87 emails from friends along the lines of OMG YOU MAKE YOUR OWN MAYO NOM NOM NOM, so rather than sending out the same response over and over, I figured I'd just post the recipe here.


Why do I make my own mayonnaise? Well, partly because it's amazingly good, and it's cheap. Another reason, though - and this is important - is because some commercially available mayonnaise contains modified food starch. The problem with modified food starch is that unless you know exactly what it's modified FROM (corn, tapioca, rice, etc.), there's a possibility it's made from wheat. Not only that, manufacturers are not required to tell you on the label what the source of the modified food starch is. Thus, I sometimes have a reaction to stuff with modified food starch. Since one of my rules is "better be safe than sorry" (along with "work smarter, not harder"), I tend to skip anything that has modified food starch in it.


Thus, homemade mayo. I like to jazz it up sometimes with things like curry powder, dill, and other good stuff, and I use it as a base for an amazing Remoulade sauce.

Basic Mayonnaise


1/4 C. Eggbeaters
1/4 C. Olive oil
1/2 tsp. mustard (powder)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. lemon juice

Add all of these to the bowl of your food processor, and blend together. Then slowly pour in 1 C. canola oil.

That's it. That's mayonnaise. This gives you about a cup and a half of delicious creamy mayonnaisey goodness, and it'll last you about two weeks in a tightly sealed container in your fridge. Try it. It kicks ass.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

15% Off Betty Crocker GF Cookbook

Betty Crocker has a new gluten-free cookbook out, and for a short time, you can order it online with a 15% discount applied at checkout. According to their description, "Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cooking is an accessible, Approachable guide to eating gluten-free. With a mix of scratch and gluten-free mix-based recipes (using GM's new line of gluten-free mixes), this book helps today's busy families get food on the table and still meet their dietary restrictions."

You can get the discounted price through May 20 here: Betty Crocker GF Cooking

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Garlicky Good Hummus

Hummus is one of those foods that doesn't last long in my house. Sure, we'll smear it on bread or use it to dip our veggies, but it's also pretty tempting to just stand there and eat it with a spoon. The best part about hummus? OMG SO EASY.

Ingredients:

1 Can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbs olive oil
As much garlic as you like, but I go crazy with 5 - 6 large cloves
1/4 C lemon juice
Pinch of salt
1/4 C Greek yogurt

Blend all of it together in your food processor. Do a quick taste test, and adjust anything that needs adjusting.

The Greek yogurt makes it nice and fluffy. If you use a vanilla Greek yogurt, you get a really tasty blend of sweet and savory flavors, and it really brings out the nuttiness of the chickpeas.

Serve it any way you like - I like it with some goat cheese and veggies on flatbread - but if you want to eat it with a spoon, go ahead. I won't tell anyone!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Chebe GF All Purpose Bread Mix

I like to make my own bread and rolls, but since I'm the only GF eater in the house, sometimes it's more work than I feel like putting into it. In a pinch, I like to have some pre-packaged bread mixes in my pantry - I can add some seasonings, a handful of cheese, and go crazy with it. Half an hour later, I have bread. Yay bread!

I had a coupon for Chebe's Gluten-Free All Purpose Bread Mix, and since I was in the mood for hummus, I thought it would be the perfect base for a big ol' honkin' piece of flatbread. If you're unfamiliar with Chebe, it's a Brazilian cheese bread made from tapioca flour. Add some oil, a couple of eggs, milk, and a bunch of cheese, and you're good to go.

I put some together the other night, but because I was going to eat it with hummus and goat cheese, I didn't want to make it with the suggested sharp cheddar. Instead, I omitted the cheese altogether, and blended in a little extra milk, some fresh rosemary and oregano out of my garden, and a clove of mushed garlic. After flattening it out into a big circle, I baked it until golden brown, and it was delicious.

I've used the same mix, with some variations, to make hamburger buns, biscuits, and breadsticks. It's adaptable, and has a nice light fluffy consistency.

Top it with hummus and goat cheese like I did, or dip it in olive oil and garlic. It's pretty darn tasty, and I'll buy it again, even without coupons!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Gluten in Medicines Bill

This is kind of nifty. There's gluten found in a lot of medicines that you wouldn't even think about - both prescription and over-the-counter stuff. In fact, if you look at the ingredients list on your pill bottles, watch out for starches. If it doesn't say that it's made from tapioca or corn or some other grain, it may well be a wheat by-product. Also, a lot of the dextrose ingredients can be made from barley or wheat. As of now, the FDA doesn't require pharmaceutical companies to label their products as containing gluten.

Hopefully, that's about to change.

House members Tim Ryan and Nita Lowey have introduced the Gluten in Medication Identification Act of 2012 (HR 4972) which "requires that the label of drugs intended for human use contain a parenthetical statement identifying the source of any ingredient constituting or derived from a grain or starch-containing ingredient." The bill is supported by the Celiac Sprue Association, Gluten Intolerance Group, American Celiac Disease Alliance, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, and Celiac Disease Foundation.

Domino's New GF Crust

Domino's Pizza announced the other day that they will be making a gluten-free pizza available to customers. While this is a great thing if you order Domino's (I don't, because I have some issues with the company itself and I hate their sauce), Jane Anderson over at About Celiac Disease makes some pretty important points about whether or not you should spend your money on this pizza.

Nancy says that according to a Domino's press release, "While Domino's new Gluten Free Crust is appropriate for those with mild gluten sensitivity, Domino's and the NFCA do not recommend it for those with celiac disease. Domino's and the NFCA found that while the crust is certified as gluten free, current store operations at Domino's cannot guarantee that each handcrafted pizza will be completely free from gluten."

I'm fortunate enough that I don't have a problem with cross-contamination, and I have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity, but this is definitely something noteworthy if you have issues with either. Sounds like they're trying to make a conscientious effort, but didn't think things through all the way first.


Gluten-free: I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gluten-Free Flour Power

This is something nifty I have to share which comes to you courtesy of my mom (thanks, Patti's mom!), who also has to eat gluten-free goodies. Last fall, the nice folks over at Vegetarian Times magazine did a comparison of some of the different GF flour blends and baking mixes out there, just to see how different brands stacked up. The results? Well, turns out it kinda depends on what you're making.

Vegetarian Times: Flour Power

My one complaint about the article is that the comparison is based on cookies, muffins, and pancakes. If you're someone who uses flours in other stuff, this can be a bit confusing. I'll totally agree that there are some flours and blends I like better than others.

If I'm doing something that involves deep-frying, I like a combination of brown rice flour mixed in with some Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour. I also prefer Bob's and King Arthur brand for anything that's savory as opposed to baked yummies.

That said, this is a great comparison chart, especially if you like to have mixes and other good stuff on hand in your pantry.

Gluten-Free Beer-Battered Chicken

I'm a big fan of the fried chicken strip as finger food, but when you're eating gluten-free, it sort of puts a damper on your fried chicken consumption. However, by blending GF flour and a GF beer, I've managed to come up with the most amazing beer-battered fried chicken ever.

GF Beer Battered Fried Chicken

2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into tenders, nuggets, or whatevers
2 1/2 Cups gluten free multi-purpose flour (I used King Arthur brand)
2 Tbs your favorite seasoning mix
1/2 tsp salt
1 bottle GF beer (I used Redbridge - see below for why I like it)
Canola oil for frying

Put the baking mix in a bowl, and whisk in the salt and the seasoning mix. My personal preference is Penzey's Bicentennial Rub, because (a) it's amazing and peppery and (b) I *always* have it on hand. Once your dry stuff is mixed together, slowly pour the beer into the flour mix.



It helps if you let the beer get a little flat first, because otherwise you have fizzy batter. I used Redbridge, which I really like. It's made by the Anheuser-Busch folks, and I can pick it up at Kroger so there are no special shopping runs involved. It's made from sorghum, and even though I generally don't like the taste of beer, this actually has a pretty good flavor and no aftertaste.

Also, if you're feeling really adventurous, WoodChuck makes a nice hard cider that works pretty well for this too.  

Blend the beer and flour mix until it's good and thick. Coat your chicken chunks in the batter, drop into your heated oil, and fry until golden.

Dig in, and wait for your family to be impressed as hell that they're eating something that's gluten free.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Granola Goodness

I've never been a fan of cereal, but I loves me some granola. The problem with granola, once you go gluten-free, is you never really know whether those oats are gluten-free or not. Bob's Red Mill makes a certified GF Rolled Oats, available in an 32-oz bag, which is perfect for making my friend Stacey Graham's easy peasy granola recipe.

I added a bag of GF white chocolate chips, and two cups shredded coconut. This stuff is amazing, and so filling. Toss it in a bowl, add some milk and strawberries, and you'll be stuffed for days.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Get Stuff With Gluten-Free Saver

If you're familiar with the concept of Groupon, you know that there's a ton of stuff to be had at a discount when people buy it online - the basic principle is that an offer is made available for a limited time, and once it's done, it's done. It's kind of a deal-of-the-day sort of thing. Now there's something similar that focuses strictly on gluten-free products, and it's called Gluten-Free Saver.

Unlike Groupon, where deals expire after 24 hours, Gluten-Free Saver typically offers their deals for a few days at a time. And again, once they're gone, they're gone. Members sign up for email alerts to let them know about the current promotion, and stuff is discounted quite a bit - the deals I've seen so far have been pretty significant, up around 60% off retail prices.

This is a great idea if you're someone who buys a lot of prepackaged GF products. And let's face it, we've all had emergencies where we had to throw together a batch of cookies at midnight so we... no? OH YES YOU DID.

So anyway, if you like keeping mixes on hand, then this is definitely worth checking out. I've been getting alerts and found some good deals but have yet to actually buy anything - I'm sure I will eventually, once I see a product that I absolutely can't live without (Bob's Red Mill, I'm lookin' at YOU!).

The Obligatory Intro Post

I've been toying for a while with the idea of a blog dedicated to gluten-free food. While I'll be the first to admit it's not like there's a shortage of GF websites out there, I've also found that four years into my involuntary life as a GF eater, there's a lot of really awesome information to share. I'm not a professional chef, by any means, but I am someone who tries to eat locally, mindfully, and in a way that is healthy not just for me, but also my family.

Combine that with the fact that I'm a freelance writer who really loves to cook stuff from scratch (enough that a few friends are prodding me to create a cookbook) and Gluten-Free Redhead was born. For now, I'm going to start by sharing recipes I make and love - bear in mind that if it's someone else's recipe, I'll be providing proper credit where it's due. If it's one of my own, you'll know it.

I haven't always been gluten-free, and I haven't always been a redhead - but I've always loved food, and there's no reason I shouldn't continue to enjoy it. There's also no reason YOU shouldn't enjoy it. Dig in - eating gluten-free doesn't mean you're stuck with carrots and rice cakes for the rest of your life. On the contrary, there's some really sexy gluten-free food porn out there - you just have to learn to think outside your comfort zone. One of my favorite challenges is to take a Not GF recipe and turn it into something I can eat with reckless abandon. In the immortal words of that great intellectual, Paris Hilton, "That's hot."

I'll also be sharing links to other GF blogs that I love, restaurant information, and some tools and tips that I've found to be really handy when it comes to GF cooking. If you happen to see a product review here on Gluten-Free Redhead, know that I'm reviewing it because I went ahead and bought it myself, with my very own real money, unless you see a disclaimer stating otherwise.

Oh, and there's going to be times when I talk about stuff that has nothing to do with gluten-free eating at all -- and that all happens over at my main page, here, at Outside the Lines. Stop in and say howdy!