Green Eggs and Ham Quiche

My version was actually Green Eggs and Sausage, but that doesn’t have the same snazzy ring to it as Green Eggs and Ham!  The only reason I even used sausage is because that is what I had on hand for this final attempt at making a quiche (more of a breakfast casserole) for The Gluten-Free Homemaker’s Quiche Challenge.  I have made many a quiche these last few weeks, but they were not well received by my clan.  I think I was getting a little too fancy for them.  The Goat Cheese and Leek quiche I made, received the lowest fanfare (although I liked it!), so an idea came to me to revise the popular school snack my boys have made at their preschool each year during Dr. Seuss week.  I wanted to make a naturally green egg dish to hopefully inspire their teachers that you can make better green eggs, without the synthetic food dye and some added nutrients! 😉

*At the end of this post is a video clip of Dr. Rodney Ford talking about eczema and gluten sensitivity that you might be interested in watching.

Goat Cheese and Leek Quiche with a Pie Crust Made from Garbanzo Beans! 😀

I wish I had more pictures to share of the steps I went through, but Sam decided to play with my camera and accidentally erased everything, including all the photos of my first experiments with my new BFF, Ms. Vitamix!  Yes, I have made a very large “Note to Self: Dump your camera after each photo session!”

Onward and upward as they say…  I found this recipe and used it as my inspiration for this naturally gluten-free version of Green Eggs and Ham Sausage Quiche!  I omitted the pie crust and went with a hash brown crust, simply because it was easier. 😉

For the crust:

4 cups of Frozen Shredded Hash Browns, thawed

1 Tbs. Oil (I used Grapeseed Oil, but Olive, Canola, etc. would work fine)

Salt and Pepper, to taste

  • Toss together the thawed hash browns, oil and seasonings.
  • Press into a 9 x 13 pan.

For the filling:

8 oz. of fresh spinach (I believe I used more, quite possibly double this amount, but I forgot to to weigh it beforehand.  The fresh spinach came in my CSA box, but it wasn’t labeled with the amount, so I just used it all!)

1 cup Smoked Ham (I used lowfat breakfast sausage)

1 1/2 cups Gruyere Cheese, shredded

10 Eggs (I used fresh, local free-range eggs that I get in my weekly CSA box, it may be in my head, but they taste so much better!)

2 2/3 cups of Milk (I used Skim)

1 cup Heavy Cream (I used Half and Half to lighten it up a bit)

Salt and Pepper to taste (the recipe I used for inspiration called for nutmeg too, but I tend save my nutmeg for pumpkin pie.  Not very evolved of me, I know!)

To make the filling:

  • Add fresh spinach (I did not blanch it, as called for in Nick’s recipe) and eggs to a blender or food processor (I used my Vitamix).  Puree until smooth.
  • Add milk and cream (or substitute) to the spinach/egg mixture and puree until combined.
  • Season with salt and pepper, set aside.

To assemble the Quiche:

  • In the shredded hash brown lined pan, sprinkle with ham (or sausage) and cheese.
  • Pour the spinach/egg custard over the hash brown, ham and cheese layer.
  • Bake at 325º F. for about 55 minutes, then check for doneness.  A knife inserted in the middle should come out clean.

Note: Once the initial quiche was done, there was a Pronounced spinach flavor (remember, I didn’t measure how much spinach I used!).  Once it was done baking, I had to add more cheese, salt and pepper, in order for it to be more palatable for my kiddos.  All I had was sharp cheddar, but it did the trick!!  I added about 1 1/2 cups more of shredded cheese (so much for lightening it up!). 🙂

The boys really liked it and they have been eating a square of it for breakfast each morning this week.  It reheats very well in the microwave.  I will definitely make this again, but I will just be sure to measure out the spinach next time. 😉

Linda is doing a Gluten-Free Cake Challenge for this month and that is more up my alley!  Be sure to check it out for what I am sure will be some very amazing recipes!

Speaking of gluten-free cakes, did you see Jeanne’s Tres Leche Cake over at Four Chickens?  Yummy.

In the spirit of gluten-free awareness month, I want to share a video clip with you of Dr. Rodney Ford talking about eczema and gluten sensitivity.  I posted a little bit about eczema and artificial colorings the other day on my “Funny Oranges” post.  Ron Hoggan, Ed.D., co-author of Dangerous Grains: Why Gluten Cereal Grains May Be Hazardous To Your Health, left a very informative comment to that post last night (thank you, Ron!), that I encourage you to read.  I have solely focused on reading about celiac disease over the past few years, but am starting to read more on the entire spectrum of gluten-sensitivity, and what I have been learning is mind boggling.  For further reading, check out The Gluten

Funny Oranges

After I got the Breville Citrus Press and started making fresh squeezed orange juice each morning, I found myself knee deep in orange peels.  Instead of throwing them all away, I wondered if I could use some of them for a fun lunchbox treat.  I remembered seeing a recipe for Gelatin Oranges on Disney’s Family Fun website so I thought I would give it a try.  If you or your child has a beef allergy (gelatin), avoid artificial colorings, etc., keep reading…  this gets much better! 😉

These are relatively easy to make (and super easy if you have the Breville Citrus Press to do the juicing work for you!).

Funny Oranges

  • Just slice oranges in half and scoop out the fruit. Be sure to scrape well and remove all the orange pulp, you will want the inside of the orange to be white.
  • To keep the oranges upright, I used a muffin pan to set the oranges in.
  • Prepare gelatin (or substitute, see below) as indicated on the package.
  • Pour gelatin into the prepared orange halves and refrigerate until set.
  • Slice Orange halves and you will have a fun little treat for snacks or to stick in a lunchbox!

The juicer only does so much, I still had to peel the last bit of orange "stuff" out by hand.

Prop the hollowed out oranges in a muffin pan for support.

Pour prepared gelatin into orange halves.

After reading a few of the comments for the Easy Lunchbox Giveaway, I decided to send in tacos for a cool new lunch. Wish I had re-read the comments before I made them as I would have known NOT to assemble the taco the night before! They were pretty soggy come lunch time the next day, LOL! I always seem to learn the hard way. 😉 If you make a taco lunch, be sure to seperate all the components and let your child assemble their own taco at lunch time... this is "much cooler" anyway as they have their own taco bar!

So there’s that version.

I have been doing a lot of reading over the past few months on artificial colorings, dyes, preservatives, etc. and I’m now of the mind that “less is definitely more!”  Just yesterday, I was reading an article in the May/June 2010 issue of Well Being Journal titled, “ADHD Increase Linked to Modern Diet,” by Jane Hersey, pages 16 – 17.  In the article, Jane sited some research by Sanford C. Newmark, M.D., from the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine:

Research has shown a consistent relationship to the intake of artificial colors and/or preservatives on the symptoms of ADHD or hyperactivity.

After describing two large British studies linking food dyes and preservatives with hyperactivity, including one that was published in the Lancet, he concluded,

One can see how the intake of these substances could ‘shift’ in a positive direction the proportion of children diagnosed with ADHD.

The article went on to credit the late Ben Feingold, M.D. for first discovering the link between artificial food additives and hyperactivity.  I just read an article on the Feingold Association website pertaining to ezcema and ADD.  Seems that children with excema are far more likely to develop ADD (Wow, I didn’t know that.  I really encourage you to check out the Feingold Association website, there is some very interesting information on it, that only further demonstrates the negative effects of processed food on our health).  Funny, I had ezcema as a child and was diagnosed with Adult ADD about a year ago.  Luke also suffers from severe ezcema (worse than mine was as a child).  Hmmm…

Another startling fact that was mentioned in the article was the dramatic increase in American consumption of artificial dyes.  Consumption of these dyes has increased almost threefold since the 1980’s, rising from about 6.4  million pounds in 1985 to more than 17.8 million pounds in 2005!!

Last quote from the article that I want to mention, and I think it is very important that all parents think about this:

Newmark pointed out that since more and more families have two working parents, family meals increasingly consist of processed (additive-laden) foods.  “It is hard to know just when a Pop-Tart became an acceptable breakfast, but it often is.  School lunches are abysmal, with an unacceptably high intake of processed foods and [denatured] saturated fats.”

I just looked at my boys after reading the article and thought to myself, “They deserve better.  They have their entire lives ahead of them and I do not want to burden them with health problems (ironically, the very ones I have!), that I can control by simple diet modification.”  That’s right, I am the one who can potentially alter the course of their life and health by taking the time to think about what I am putting into their mouths.  While we already have the benefit of being a gluten-free family (which means we cannot eat most processed foods like Pop-Tarts, but there are obviously still many products like Jello and Koolaid that we can technically have, but probably shouldn’t!).

Needless to say, the rest of my Jello stash went into the trash, as did my remaining Koolaid stash (okay, I’ll admit it…  I was actually the closeted Koolaid drinker! 😉 ).

I have been experimenting with making my own “jello” from natural juice and pectin (the grape turned out to be a kickin’ Grape Jelly without added sugar or HFCS, but it really didn’t taste like Jello.  I have yet to try juice with gelatin, but I have that one on my short list.  I did however, find a really cool new product (new to me anyway) on a recent shopping excursion to my local co-op: Natural Desserts by the NutraDrink Company!!  Check this out from their website:

Natural Desserts’ line of flavored and unflavored Dessert Jels are a truly unique line of gluten free, vegan, dairy free, Kosher dessert jells that are truly indistinguishable from gelatin, yet are manufactured using an exclusive blend of vegetable gums.  Perfect as a simple dessert all by itself, or marvelous for use in the most elaborate mold.

They even have pudding!!  I have yet to find the pudding in my local store, but I am definitely on the hunt. 😀

So, I re-made the oranges with the All-Natural Strawberry flavored Jel Dessert:

This product is still high in sugar, so moderation is key.

We really liked these quite a bit, even though Sam is still hung up on the green Jello. Wonder if I could make a spinach/apple combo juice and just add the unflavored Jel for a natural and healthy green color?? He might disown me... but it's worth a try! 😀

Update: At the suggestion of Deanna, I just submitted this recipe to the May “Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free” monthly recipe roundup (it’s a Jello theme for May), being hosted by Mrs. Ed’s Research and Recipes.  This is my first time participating in this monthly event and I am so happy that Deanna mentioned it to me, because it introduced me to a new blog that I am excited to read.  Anyone can participate in this blog carnival, you do not need to be a blogger to join in on the fun!  The “Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free” blog carnival was created by Naomi Devlin over at “Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried.”  What a fun way to make cooking at home an even more rewarding experience.  It’s like sitting at the kitchen table, swapping gluten-free recipes and the stories behind them, with great friends over a hot cup of coffee.  🙂

Homemade Limeade Concentrate

I love Limeade, especially during the hot summer months.  I find it to be even more refreshing than Lemonade or water for that matter. 😀  While I have been learning to reach for water first, or even sparkling water with a spritz of freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice (no added sweetener), I still enjoy a cold glass of Limeade on occasion.

I grew up on the Minute Maid Frozen Limeade from Concentrate.  It is very easy to make, but it has high-fructose corn syrup in it and I try to avoid that ingredient at all costs.  Yes, this recipe does have granulated sugar in it and can probably still be improved upon, but for now, I will take this.  Baby steps and moderation is key.

I like making concentrates because, well, it’s convenient.  Being a busy mom, convenience items do come in handy at times, but if they are homemade convenience items, that is even better.  I control what goes in and can eliminate the undesirable ingredients.  And it’s cheap.  That is such a funny thing for me to actually say.  Up until fairly recently, the words ‘Frugal’ and ‘Heidi’ were never part of the same sentence!  Saving money by learning how to make many things on my own, has been seductively addictive! 😉

I found the following recipe on the Cooking for Engineers Website and it is by Michael Chu.  I am going to rewrite it here in a format that is easier for me to refer to in the future.  I like to make my Limeade Concentrate in large batches to reduce how often I need to make it, so I quadruple the recipe.  After doing this a few times, I realized that I am not a fan of juicing by hand, especially in large quantities!  So a bought a really nice electric citrus juicer by Breville, to do the work for me!  I love this juicer so much, that it stays on my counter and we have freshly squeezed orange juice each morning with breakfast.  No more Tropicana.  I also buy mass quantities of limes and lemons at Costco.  I like to juice them up and freeze the pure juice in ice cube trays so if a recipe calls for a little fresh lemon or lime juice, I just grab a cube, thaw and ta-da!  No more yucky lemon or lime “juice” in those little fruit shaped containers!  And no more getting caught unprepared and needing to run to the store at the last minute for a fresh lemon that is called for in a recipe.  The Breville citrus juicer is not inexpensive ($190), so I don’t recommend buying one unless you really plan to use it (and pay cash… living credit card debt-free is an amazing feeling!).

Homemade Limeade Concentrate

1 cup fresh Lime Juice (I use 4 cups, to quadruple)

1 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar (I use 6 cups)

1 1/2 cup Water (I use 6 cups)

  • Make a simple syrup, combining the sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir occasionally until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Add lime juice and stir to incorporate.
  • Now you have Homemade Limeade Concentrate!
  • At this point you can either portion out and freeze for future use (I freeze the concentrate in 2 cup portions because I like to make up a small pitcher at a time), or chill the hot mixture in the refrigerator until cool.
  • When you are ready to use it, simply add 2 cups of cold water to each cup of concentrate that you use.  It does not make a lot, but that is okay… keeps me from drinking too much!

Stir and Enjoy!

I like to make the lime juice first:

This is one AWESOME gadget, worth every hard earned penny, in my opinion!

Just press down on the lever... no carpal tunnel! 😀

The Breville Motorized Citrus Press comes with 2 strainers: a fine strainer if you do not like added pulp or a large strainer if you do like some pulp. AND, (this was the kicker for me because I loathe hand washing), it all comes apart and everything is dishwasher safe, Woo-Hoo! 😀

To make the simple syrup:

Add sugar to a large saucepan,

Add Water,

Stirring occasionally, warm over low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Simple Syrup.

Add Lime Juice to the Simple Syrup.

Stir to combine.

Portion and freeze. I always add the directions to my containers, as I have major 'CRS' syndrome and it saves me more time by not having to look it up! 😉

Since I don't have the cardboard containers that store-bought juice concentrates come in; I place my frozen concentrate in a warm water bath to loosen it up so it slides out easier.

Add concentrate to a pitcher,

Add cold water, stir and enjoy!

Sam LOVES this juicer!  I cannot believe how fast he is growing up, he makes his own juice in the morning and his favorite is Blood Orange juice!

I love Wisteria and they are in full bloom at the Rio Grande Botanic Garden in Albuquerque!

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

So have you heard the news yet?

General Mills will be debuting Gluten-Free Bisquick (and a few other items 😉 ) at the Celiac Disease Foundation’s Annual Education Conference and Food Faire in Los Angeles, on May 15, 2010!

I am still speechless (shocking, eh? Don’t worry, it won’t last for long. 😀 ) that this is actually happening so I will direct you over to Anne Steib’s article on so you can read it in more detail.  Anne is another one of my favorite bloggers, check her out at Gluten-Free Musings, I love her honesty, her spirit and her courage, and I think you will too.

The famous yellow box. I wonder what the gluten-free package will look like??

I grew up on Bisquick.

Bisquick Pancakes, Bisquick Biscuits, Bisquick Strawberry Shortcakes, Bisquick Impossible Pie Casseroles; you name it, my mom made it.  It was one of the products I missed most after my diagnosis 5 years ago (my 5 year diagnosis anniversary is actually this Thursday, April 29, 2010…woo-hoo! 😉 ), as that neon yellow box was an integral part of growing up for me.

Being diagnosed with celiac disease at age 31 meant I would never again eat the foods of my past… mainly, my mom’s “home cooking.”  That actually had a lot to do with my 3 years of “cheating,” before I finally sought help to come to terms with my diagnosis; but I will save that for my “About Me” page I will finally have up next month (it’s been difficult to write because I have evolved so much over the past 10 months that I have been blogging. What I write today, may not be entirely accurate tomorrow!).

I have long since moved beyond the “need” for food nostalgia (note that I didn’t say “want”), but the very idea that the day has come where Bisquick will again be an option (albeit, a GF option), almost moves me to tears.

That being said, I have made many homemade gluten-free versions of Bisquick over the years but the product that I think has come closest, at least in my memory, is Better Batter’s Gluten-Free Pancake and Baking Mix (I hadn’t been to the Better Batter website in a while, since I buy it in bulk (and am well stocked)… have you seen their new site? Very cool Naomi, I love it!!).

I have been using the Better Batter GF Pancake and Baking Mix for a few months now in those old Bisquick recipes from my youth.  One of my all-time favorite Bisquick recipes is the Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake, and the following is the original recipe that my mom always used to make, with my tweaks in red.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Streusel Topping

1/3 cup Original Bisquick Mix (I used the Better Batter GF Pancake and Baking Mix)

1/3 cup packed Brown Sugar

1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

2 Tbs. firm Butter or Margarine (I used 1 Tbs. Earth Balance)

Coffee Cake

2 cups Bisquick Mix (again, I used the Better Batter GF Pancake and Baking Mix)

2/3 cup Milk or Water (I used Skim Milk)

2 Tbs. Sugar

1 Egg

  • Heat oven to 375° F.
  • Grease 9-inch round pan.
  • In a small bowl, stir streusel ingredients until crumbly, set aside.
  • In a medium Bowl, mix coffee cake ingredients until blended.
  • Spread in Pan then sprinkle with streusel topping.
  • Bake 18 – 22 minutes or until golden brown.

I can imagine my mom enjoying this with me, in another life perhaps. 😉

I’ve also decided to launch a new campaign…

My all-time favorite cereal (I am not sure that anyone will even remember this cereal from the 70’s/early 80’s), was actually a cereal made by General Mills, called “Buc-Wheats.”

Now that the 1980’s seemed to have regurgitated all over the department stores and General Mills is a gluten-free super hero… maybe, just maybe, a reincarnated “Buc-Wheats” (that is gluten-free, of course… hey, I am not launching a cereal campaign that I cannot benefit from!).  Just replace the wheat with something else (corn or rice will work fine), replace the malt flavoring with molasses and manufacture in one of their dedicated facilities and we will be good to go! 😀

Oh Lordy Pete…I love those old commercials! 🙂

Two quick things I want mention; if you haven’t heard about the “30 Days to a Food Revolution” being hosted by Diane over at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang, it began today with a great post by Shirley Braden of GFE – Gluten Free Easily. Check it out and get involved for a chance to win some great prizes and learn some healthy new recipes! You can also “Like” The W.H.O.L.E. Gang on Facebook (is it just me or does that not roll as well as “become a fan?” 😀

Also, there is something really cool about to start… The Gluten-Free Challenge. If you have a friend or loved one with Gluten Sensitive Enteropathy (GSE), why not spend a couple of days walking in their shoes?

I did an EE (Eosinophillic Espophagitis) challenge a few years ago in support of one of Sam’s old playmates who had the disease. I ate nothing but chicken, sweet potatoes and grapes for an entire weekend. It was such an enlightening experience for me to better understand what someone else has to go through each and every day for the rest of their lives… 2 days was nothing in comparison. It really changed my life in the sense that it brought me greater awareness of the challenges other people face and instilled a level of compassion I had never known before. I am now thoughtful about making sure all children that come into my home for a birthday party, play date, etc. are made to feel like a regular kid by being able to eat what everyone else is eating. This is how I really became aware that young kids don’t care about the food itself… they really just want to play and eat what their friends are eating, Sam ate raw sweet potatoes sticks (to mimic carrot sticks) for years, just because his little friend did! 🙂

I am working hard at getting Sam to understand that he is different, but you know what? We all are, and that is what makes life interesting and fun. There are times though, when it feels good to sit at the table with our loved ones and be able to fully enjoy a celebratory meal (like the holidays) without having to watch with an eagle eye for a rogue bread crumb that may land on your plate. When I sit down with my parents, sisters and their families for a meal, I am not fully engaged in them because I can’t be while I am watching to make sure my son and I stay safe.

Of the roughly 1,095 meals a year we all consume, would 6 gluten-free meals be that big of a sacrifice? You might just find a few great new recipes that are naturally gluten-free to add to your mealtime! 🙂

I want to leave you with an excerpt from the Gluten-Free Challenge website that I think sums it quite perfectly:

Why have a Gluten-Free Challenge?

Living gluten-free can feel isolating, but it shouldn’t. We believe that if we invite our gluten-consuming friends and family to join us at the table, we can all enjoy a delicious meal together. Our goal is not to change everyone to a gluten-free diet, but to simply show our gluten-consuming friends and family that they can enjoy our food with us. We believe that everyone who to takes this challenge for their gluten-free loved one, will find that eating together is more enjoyable, easier and less stressful.

Gluten-Free Eggless Meatballs

Maybe I should have called them “Eggless Meatball Wonders,” or “Guiltless Meatballs,” because there are several nutritious ingredients cleverly hidden inside, and you cannot even tell! 😉

Ever since I started experimenting with “flax eggs,” I have become increasingly impressed with the results in most of my experiments.  So much so, I have found myself buried in excess eggs that I have delivered in my CSA box each week!  That’s okay though, I have some quiche to get working on for the Gluten-Free Quiche Challenge over at The Gluten Free Homemaker!

Flaxseeds are a good source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Manganese, Dietary Fiber, Magnesium, and Folate (I highly recommend checking out the World’s Healthiest Foods website, there is a lot of great information on it, especially for people like me who do not have a degree in nutrition!).

I was inspired to seek out a recipe for eggless meatballs for a friend who has a child with an egg allergy and I finally settled on a “rough” recipe from another mom’s post on the Spiffy Moms forum.  Tamika’s recipe hooked me because of the oats.  Growing up, my mom always made meatloaf with oats instead of breadcrumbs, which I really like because it is much more moist than the breadcrumb version of meatloaf.  Using Tamika’s ingredients as a guideline, I made my own adaptation which also included shredded carrots and zucchini.  There is a trick to making the shredded veggies work though, which I highly recommend to avoid any “texture” issues!  Once you compile all the ingredients, throw everything in a food processor and pulse until combined.  The oats and veggies get pulverized into microscopic bits and you cannot tell they are in there!  My boys LOVE these!!

Eggless Meatballs

1 lb. Ground Beef or Turkey (I used Ground Bison)

1/2 cup Oats (I used Certified Gluten-Free Oats)

1/3 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (or Dairy-Free Substitute)

1 Flax Egg

2 Tbs. Milk (or Dairy-Free Milk Substitute)

1 tsp. Plain Vivagave Inulin Powder (Adding the fiber supplement is optional. I used Vivagave because it is gluten-free, has zero taste or texture and a full serving size (1 Tbs.) has a whopping 10 grams of fiber!)

Assorted Seasonings (Feel free to experiment but I just used 1 Tbs. dried Italian Seasoning, 2 cloves of fresh minced garlic and a pinch of salt, as I am a low-salt person, so adjust according to your taste preferences. Just keep in mind that whatever sauce you use will have salt and seasonings too).

1/2 cup shredded Carrots

1/2 cup shredded Zucchini

1 – 2 Tbs. Olive Oil for cooking

  • Combine all ingredients (except the olive oil) then put in a food processor and pulse until combined, it will somewhat resemble a paste.
  • Pinch of small pieces and roll to form meatballs.
  • Cook in a large skillet with olive oil over medium heat until cooked through.

I like to make these in large quantities and freeze them.  This way, I can just grab what I need and toss into some pasta sauce as it is cooking for an almost effortless gluten-free meal! 😀

Please forgive my dark photos, we had tinting placed on all our windows last week as the sun is really intense here in the high desert! I am going to have to figure something out, but until then… bare with me 🙂

I start by making the flax egg first:

1 Tbs. Ground Flaxseed.

I added 3 Tbs. Water

You will have a watery mixture at first.

After a minute or two, the watery mixture will congeal and have the texture of an egg white.

i used 1 lb. Ground Bison

Add 1/2 cup Oats

Add 1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

This is optional, but I added 1 tsp. Vivagave Inulin Powder for added fiber.

Add the Flax Egg. You can see the texture better in this photo.

Add your desired seasonings.

Add 1/2 cup shredded Carrot.

Add 1/2 cup shredded Zucchini

Add the combined mixture to a food processor and add 2 Tbs. Milk then pulse.

You will have an interesting looking "paste," but don't worry!

Shape meatballs and cooking in a skillet with added olive oil, over medium heat until cooked through.

Click here for a guide to internal cooking temperatures, beef is 160° F., turkey is 165° F. I cannot recommend getting a good cooking thermometer enough! I recently bought a new one at my local Restaurant Supply Store for around $25, and so far I am very impressed (my OXO didn’t last but a few months).

Once the meatballs are done cooking, I drain them on a paper towel. I then place the meatballs on a cookie sheet, uncovered, and place in my deep freezer for a couple of hours until they are frozen solid. I store them in a Freezer Ziploc bag and usually use them within a month (at most). Mike has been enjoying meatball subs again and Sam and Luke like to stick the cupcake picks in the meatballs and just have them for lunch. They are even coming up to me and asking, “Mom, may we please have “appetizers” for lunch?” LOL!

See? No "detectable veggies!"

Sam wanted me to show his creation… the tree is from the Monster Truck Cake I made a few weeks ago and he stuck it in his meatball. Love it!

Rainbow Chard Sauteed with Mushooms

Some time ago, I made a conscious decision to further transform how I eat and to expose my children to more naturally gluten-free foods, like fresh vegetables. It’s amazing how a naturally gluten-free diet is so much easier on your pocketbook! 😀 Fruits and veggies have always been a part of our diet, but probably not enough or definitely the wrong kinds, like canned green beans! The BPA levels found in many in canned goods have been alarming to me.

The biggest problem I have had moving forward, has been my own personal taste preferences. If you have been reading my blog for long, you may recall the Great Brussels Sprouts Caper, or my reference to what I call the “dirt vegetables,” like beets. I am the product of the foods I grew up on, canned or boiled veggies, processed foods like Kraft Mac and Cheese, Chef Boyardee canned “stuff” (really, that’s what my sisters and I called it growing up, “Mom, can we have some canned stuff for lunch?”), bologna, chips, you name it. My mom did make us eat our vegetables mind you, but it was always a struggle to get us to eat them and I have a sneaking suspicion is was because how they were prepared. Those were the days before the internet or the Food Network though and if you do not know that things can be made better, why would it occur to you to try?

The journey to eating better has been a series of baby steps for us, but at least we are moving forward in the right direction. It started out with remaking popular convenience foods at home to be gluten-free (and by default, eliminating most of the chemicals, etc.). This step was valuable for two reasons, most importantly having foods that were familiar from my gluten-days allowed me to finally come to terms with my celiac diagnosis and quit cheating (remember, I do not have the “classic” symptoms of CD, like gastrointestinal issues, to serve as a physical reminder as to why one should not cheat! I presume that is due to the DH, which I strongly believe came first and I know showed up when I was about 15). Anyway, once I achieved the insurmountable goal of acceptance, and started blogging to share the copycat recipes I had discovered, I made many new blogger friends from all walks of life, who have taught me all sorts of great ways to prepare fresh vegetables and most importantly, they have encouraged me to at least try. So… why not? 🙂

A couple of months ago after watching Food, Inc. (Surprise! That movie has given me some sort of fever, I tell you), I discovered this thing called the CSA program. I genuinely had never heard of it before and my curious side took over… I had to try it. Each week, we get a box of fresh, organic, mostly-local produce delivered to our door. When I signed up for my local chapter, Los Poblanos Organics, I had the option to pick one item that I did not want to receive and the rest is whatever is in season. I also had to pay up front, which proved to be a big incentive for actually trying the vegetables that showed up on my doorstep each week.

An interesting thing started to happen, my kids started to look FORWARD to getting their “fruit and veggie present!” I kid you not, if I had purchased any number of the vegetables that we’ve received at the grocery store and simply prepared them… they would have fought me every step of the way (okay, Luke would have. Sam is much more open minded about trying new things… and he LOVES Brussels sprouts!). There is definitely something (at least with my brood) to seeing real vegetables and where they “should” come from, that has opened their minds to actually eating them!! Mike and I are so thrilled with what we have witnessed, we have taken the plunge into gardening!

Anyway, I have fallen head-over-heels for Swiss Chard, click here for some awesome health benefits of eating chard. I even eat it raw/plain (as in no fattening Ranch Dressing), in salads, and on sandwiches (instead of the usual lettuce). I am not sure if I would have always liked it (had I ever had it before a month or so ago), or if this is a result of my taste buds changing after removing many processed foods from my diet. Holy Moley, even Luke likes it!! Sam does too, but he also likes Brussels sprouts, so his opinion doesn’t count, LOL! 😀 One thing that I do with my kids at meal time, rather than force them to clean their plate (which I think can lead to overeating issues later in life), is to enforce my “one bite for each year of your age” rule. Sam must eat 7 (he’s only 6 1/2 but I “round up”) bites of each thing I put on his plate (Luke must have 3 bites) in order to get down from the table and qualify for dessert (which I have been sneaking veggies into!). This does two things for me, one, there is a lot less fighting to get them to try something (since they know they don’t have to eat it all in order to get dessert) and it ensures that they are consistently exposed to the healthy flavors of real foods, taste buds do evolve! Click here for an article on “How to get kids to love leafy greens

One of the first recipes I tried (which left me wanting more) was a “recipe” (it’s really more of a method) that I found on Effortless Eating, the following is Elizabeth’s method, which I will try to break down into recipe format. I added a small twist to it at the end (fresh squeezed lemon juice).

Rainbow Chard Sauteed with Mushrooms

1 “bundle” of Rainbow Chard, leaves stripped from the stem and roughly chopped. Elizabeth also cut and sauteed the stems, which I didn’t do in the photos below but I do now. (If this is a new veggie for you or your child, I definitely recommend chopping into smaller pieces, about 1-inch, to avoid any “texture” issues)

3 fresh Garlic Cloves, minced (I used 4 because I anticipated needing the strong flavor to “hide” the bitter flavor of green leafy vegetables. Not necessary but garlic also has some great health benefits, so go for it! 😀 I recently saw a great blog post on Simply Sugar and Gluten Free about how to make and freeze your own garlic paste! I am all over that great tip!!)

1 small package Fresh Mushrooms, cleaned and stems trimmed (or however you like to prepare them, click here for more info on cleaning and preparing fresh mushrooms. I left mine whole, but you can also slice them.).

Olive Oil for sauteeing

Salt and Pepper, to taste (Elizabeth also added freshly grated Nutmeg)

Grated Parmesan Cheese, to taste

Fresh Squeeze Lemon Juice (I used the juice of 1/2 Lemon)

  • If you are new to cooking fresh mushrooms, click here for another good guide.
  • Personally, I clean my mushrooms by spritzing them with an organic fruit and veggie wash, then rinse in cold water. Then, I trim the woody ends off of the stems.
  • In a saute pan, set to medium heat, add some olive oil (I used about a tablespoon).
  • If you are using the chard stems, start sauteing these first as they will take longer to soften up. I didn’t use them, so I added the mushrooms first.
  • Once the mushrooms were ready, I added the garlic. I don’t like to add the garlic with the mushrooms in the beginning because the garlic can get bitter if overcooked. This is also where I added a sprinkle of Kosher Salt.
  • Add the leaves of the chard and allow to wilt.
  • Once the chard wilts, add fresh squeezed lemon juice.
  • Top with Parmesan cheese (to taste, I probably add a couple of tablespoons)

So pretty!

After cleaning, I trim the woody ends off of the mushroom stems

Add oil to the pan, Elizabeth even added Macadamia Nut Oil.

Add mushrooms and allow to cook down.

Once the mushrooms were done cooking, I added the garlic. I also now add a splash of liquid, like mushroom broth, to deglaze the pan and add more flavor.

Sprinkle of Kosher Salt. I do not add much because the Parmesan Cheese adds saltiness too.

Add chopped chard leaves and allow to wilt.

This is where I add the lemon juice.

Top with grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Did you know that King Arthur Flour now has a gluten-free line of mixes? Check out Kim’s (a.k.a. my “GF CNN”) review over at Gluten-Free Is Life.

I want to try something new today and share with you some of my favorite gluten-free blogs and the recipes I have on my “list” to try!

Like Pound Cake? Check out Jeanne’s post on the Four Chickens blog,  “Coffee Cake Friday: Honey Vanilla Pound Cake, Gluten-Free.” And while you’re there, look at her Gluten-Free Puff Pastry (including a tutorial!).

One of my favorite blogs is “Tasty Eats at Home.” Check out Alta’s Gluten-Free Fried Ice Cream! Yummy… I must make that! Another recipe of Alta’s that I want to try is for her Gluten-Free Churros, I live in New Mexico and Churros are everywhere. Sam used to love them and those have been one of the things he misses most from his gluten days.

Maggie over at She Let Them Eat Cake, made a recent post that included a recipe for homemade (and super healthy) Spaghetti Sauce. Maggie even offers up a lot of great ideas to try in homemade pasta sauce, like sneaking in added veggies. Right up my alley!

Looking for homemade gluten-free pasta inspiration? Check out this post from Shirley over at Gluten-Free Easily! I made GF pasta for the first time back in October to use in a Bob Evan’s Style Chicken and Noodles Recipe, it was surprisingly easy!

One last thing, tomorrow, April 14th, 2010 HSN will be premiering the Cricut Cake! I have been saving up for this for a few months now because I am not a professional cake decorator by any means and I don’t have a gluten-free bakery in my town to buy my boys birthdays cake from! So, I thought I would share:

Starting at 12 am on April 14th creative people everywhere will be able to get Cricut Cake in the world launch at HSN. And we’ll be online to celebrate. If you’ve not attended one of our all-night launch events you’ll want to get online and join. There are plenty of ways to play with us. The Cricut Community will be a fun place as always. We’ll be spending time in the Cricut Cake forums so look for us there. Join the conversation on Twitter. Just tweet in and follow us, Or, come by our Facebook page and join in the fun

Why can’t I make a short post? 🙂

Glazed Doughnuts

I made these doughnuts a few weeks ago for Sam’s Flag Ceremony at school. His class was in charge of the ceremony and his teacher was going to buy doughnuts for the class to have as a treat afterward. Mind you, this was during the same period of time as the “Magic Wand” Friday Fun Snack and my fall from grace as I found myself squeezing pretzel dough out of a play dough toy. It was a rough week so I set aside a doughnut for me to have with a cup of coffee and a splash of Bailey’s… okay, my Bailey’s with a splash of coffee. Fine, my mug of Bailey’s! 😉

I got the recipe off of the Williams Sonoma website and subbed the flour with Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour.

Glazed Doughnuts

3/4 cup Warm Milk (about 110ºF) (or Non-Dairy Substitute)

1/4 cup Granulated Sugar

1 packet Active Dry Yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp. Bulk Yeast)

2 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour (I used Better Batter GF Flour)

1/4 tsp. Kosher Salt

2 Tbs. Unsalted Butter, at room temperature (I used Smart Balance, Earth Balance would also work)

2 Egg Yolks

Nonstick Cooking Spray

Vegetable Oil for Frying

For the chocolate glaze:

5 Tbs. Unsalted Butter (I used Smart Balance, Earth Balance would also work)

4 oz. Semisweet Chocolate Chips (You could also use Vegan Chocolate Chips, or Carob Chips)

2 cups Confectioners’ Sugar (I used 365 Organic Powdered Sugar, which is corn-free)

1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract (Make sure it is GF)

1/4 cup Hot Water

Vanilla Glaze Variation:

To make a vanilla glaze, follow the instructions for preparing the chocolate glaze, omitting the chocolate chips and decreasing the hot water to 3 Tbs.

  • Pour the warm milk into a small bowl. Stir in the granulated sugar and yeast until dissolved. Let stand until the yeast activates and thick foam appears, about 10 minutes. (I started the yeast process before assembling all my other ingredients. I turned my oven on to 200° F. and allowed the oven to come to temperature, then I turned off the oven. After incorporating the yeast mixture, I opened the oven door and placed the bowl of yeast on the door of the oven to proof. This gave the yeast the necessary warmth to help it activate, without overheating the yeast and consequently “killing” it).
  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and put the butter, egg yolks and yeast mixture in the well. Using a hand mixer fitted with the dough hook, beat the dough on medium speed until it comes together and forms a ball, 3 to 4 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour. (I used my stand mixer, but you could also do it by hand, and build some muscle while you’re at it!…Build some for me too, will ya!)
  • Lightly grease a baking sheet. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll out 3/8 inch thick. Using a doughnut cutter, cut out doughnuts. Transfer the doughnuts and doughnut holes to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them 1 inch apart. Re-roll the dough and cut out more doughnuts. Spray the tops of the doughnuts and holes with nonstick cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until the doughnuts and holes have almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  • In a deep fryer, heat oil to 350ºF according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Line a baking sheet with a wire cooling rack.
  • Working in batches of about 6, fry the doughnuts and doughnut holes until lightly golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to the wire rack-lined baking sheet and let cool for 10 minutes before glazing.
  • To make the chocolate glaze, fill the bottom pan of a double boiler with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In the top pan of the double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate chips. Remove from the heat and whisk in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and hot water until combined. Set the top pan over the simmering water and keep the glaze warm until ready to use.
  • Dip the doughnuts, one at a time, into the warm glaze, covering the top half of each doughnut with glaze. Place the doughnuts, glazed side up, on the wire rack and let the glaze set for 10 minutes. Repeat to glaze the doughnut holes. Serve immediately. Makes about 14 doughnuts and doughnut holes.

Not 110° F., but close enough

Add warm milk to the sugar,

add yeast,

stir to incorporate.

This is what the yeast mixture looks like after setting for 10 minutes in a warm place.

See how “poofy” the yeast mixture is? If your yeast does not look similar, throw it out and start over! It doesn’t “hurt” as much to throw out a few cents worth of yeast and sugar as it dos to throw out a few bucks worth of GF flour!!

A tip with eggs (in case you are like me and when you crack an egg on the side of a bowl, the shell goes right in your mixture!), use a knife and give the egg a good “whack,”

Nice, clean crack.

Is it just me, or does my thumb look like a chicken leg?? 😀

opening the egg is a breeze,

Let the egg white slide off into a bowl, while keeping the yolk in the shell. Did you know that you can freeze eggs?

1/4 tsp. Kosher Salt,

2 1/4 cups GF Flour (Better Batter for me),

add salt to the flour

Whisk to incorporate the GF flour and salt,

I also like to add another step, by sifting the flour /salt mixture. Personally, I think a flour sifter is a waste of money, a fine strainer works just as well plus it is faster and cheaper!

After adding the flour to the strainer, I use the handle of a wooden spoon to “stir” the mixture through.

add the butter,

and the egg yolks,

then mix to mix to combine. I used the dough hook on my stand mixer.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, then set aside in a warm place (I used the oven) to rise for 1 hour.

Risen dough.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface,

With Better Batter, you can pick it up! Sorry, I am still amazed at this! 😀

Using a biscuit cutter or a glass, etc.,

cut out the doughnuts. Don’t forget to cut out the centers too!

Place cut doughnuts on a cookie sheet,

I like to cover mine with a damp towel then place in a slightly warm oven (make sure the oven is turned off!).

“Risen” doughnuts,

Place doughnuts in hot oil (350° F.), and allow to cook for about one minute per side.

After allowing the doughnuts to cool for a short time, dip one side in glaze (chocolate or vanilla). Top with sprinkles if desired.

The boys loved these… fresh. The next morning (when Sam needed to take one for school), the doughnuts were a lead balloon. Keep that in mind before making these! (In case you are wondering, Sam and Luke are helping Mike get our grapes planted).

I think Sam was in shock…

this reminds me of the “Crave Cheesecake Incident”

I mean nothing by this… but only a child with a dietary restriction can understand the look on Sam’s face at this moment!

This look, makes every backbreaking moment…worth it.. 😉

“Tricky” Chocolate Pudding

I blame this recipe for my youngest child’s O.B.S.E.S.S.I.O.N. with chocolate!

Luke was my smallest baby, at 7 lbs. 13 ounces and 21″ long. That may not seem “small” for a newborn, especially one that was born 2 weeks early, but Sam was 9 lbs. and 23-inches long! Sam never lost an ounce after he was born like most newborns tend to, but Luke did lose weight, almost a full pound! Luke stayed on the small side for quite sometime and it was a struggle to get him to gain weight (one of the many “signs” that I thought he had celiac, not Sam).


Anyway, I was on heightened celiac alert after Luke was born and on the advice of his pediatrician (based on the information at the time), we delayed introducing gluten to Luke until he was 1. Lots of commercial baby foods have gluten, so I started making my own baby food. That was the beginning of my “make my own” era! I got Jessica Seinfeld’sDeceptively Delicious” cookbook and got to work. It was during this time that I actually picked up the tip to freeze purees in ice cub trays, and I still use that trick for my GF Condensed Soup components!

One of the recipes that I first tried and was blown away by the results, was the Chocolate Pudding recipe on page 159. This was especially helpful for helping to put weight on Luke because of the healthy fats. Click here for more nutritional info on avocados. I found a very close copy of the recipe on another website, so I will link to that, but I originally got the recipe in Deceptively Delicious. The only thing different is the missing added cornstarch from Jessica Seinfeld’s recipe. I did not use the cornstarch either just to see how it would turn out, and I think that is the reason the pudding was so shiny. Taste-wise though, I think it is better without the added cornstarch.

“Tricky” Chocolate Pudding

1/4 cup Trans-Fat-Free Soft Tub Margarine (I used the Soy-Free Earth Balance, which is also gluten-free and dairy-free. You could also use Palm Shortening).

1 cup Avocado Puree (about 2 large) make sure they are very ripe! (Of the 6 avocados I had, only two were in good enough condition to use, so I had slightly less than a cup of avocado puree. If you use ripe avocados, just smash them up really well with a fork to make the “puree” or you could throw them in a blend or food processor).

1 cup Confectioners Sugar (I used 365 Organic Powdered Sugar which is corn-free).

1/2 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (I used 1/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa Powder and 1/4 cup of Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder)

1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

  • Melt the margarine in a medium pan over low heat.
  • Mix avocado puree and melted margarine in a small food processor or blender until very smooth. (I omitted this step).
  • Return to pan and add sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla. Cook about 3-4 minutes until it thickens.
  • Serve warm. (Luke likes this cold too!).

Melt the butter (or butter substitute),

Mash up 1 cup of ripe avocado (or thereabouts),

add the cocoa powder, powdered sugar and vanilla,

and there you have it!

This is REALLY GOOD pudding! You cannot tell there is avocado in it!! The texture is thicker and creamier than a dairy-based pudding mix. It’s kind of like a fudge brownie batter, if that makes sense. But in case you are not convinced…

Exhibit A:

Does this look like a face that would lie to you? If you are not convinced of that, click here, and check out the last photo.

Now do you believe me? 😀

Gluten-Free Powdered Donuts/Doughnuts

These taste just like the "Powdered Donut Gems" I remember from my gluten days!

Whether you spell it Donut or Doughnut, they both represent the same thing. Whether you are a Dunkin’ Donuts type of donut person or a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts type of doughnut person, it doesn’t matter because if you are gluten-free like me, you cannot have either! 😀

Back in December, I had to figure how to make powdered donuts for one of Sam’s Friday Fun Snacks, they were making snowmen from them. I needed 2 standard looking powdered donuts (with the hole in the middle) and one powdered donut hole. I had never made donuts before so I took a crash course on YouTube! Seriously, YouTube has some great videos of people doing just about any kind of cooking. Most videos are made using gluten ingredients, but you can pick up tips on how to do certain things (I have recently been watching some videos on how to makel egg rolls!) Anyhoo, before I could start cutting the donuts and frying them, I needed a good gluten-free recipe!

I hit the ball out of the park on my first try when I struck gold by finding this recipe on the Four Chickens blog, (although Jeanne, the author, has 5 chicken now!). I love Jeanne’s blog, she has some really great recipes! I know she is working on a raised donut recipe, so I am not even going to try, I will just wait for hers! A little info on Jeanne before the recipe/photo tutorial. The following is an excerpt from the Four Chickens website, in the “about me” section:

I have 1 daughter, 1 husband, 5 chickens, 1 organic garden in a constant state of disrepair, 100 million books, 10 million skeins of yarn, 5 million cookbooks, 2 million projects in progress rolling around the house, and 1 PhD in theatre history/theory.

I am gluten-intolerant. I also have a life-threatening allergy to wheat. My daughter has a life-threatening peanut allergy. This combo platter keeps life interesting, to say the least.

I make fabulous gluten-free baked goods and it’s my goal to help others do the same.

The reason I had to post this is because the first paragraph is SO me (without the PhD), which is probably why I like Jeanne so much! 🙂 I was just reading this post of Jeanne’s, and I thought it was great. The second paragraph is hysterical, because it is so true. I annoy the heck out of people when they go out to eat with me, because I show up with my camera! I am like Jeanne though, I fall into the “others” category too in regards to having beautiful food pictures that are like pieces of fine art (like Karina’s!). I do not even know how to use my camera, the pics from my Better Batter review were a fluke of nature! 😉 In the post, Jeanne links to a great video on a food photography workshop she attended (see the end of the post), and I highly recommend viewing it, if for no other reason than to see what goes on behind the scenes!

One last thing on Jeanne that I want to share, Jeanne has a recipe on the National Museum of American History’s blog, in the “Julia Child Recipe of the Week” section for Chantilly Meringuée or Elegant Ice Cream. I love Julia Child, she was a wonderful teacher who always seemed genuinely humble as evidenced by her willingness to show her many mistakes as well as many successes with her audience. She was real and made me feel as though I could cook that way too. Check out Jeanne’s blog, I am sure you will love it as much as I do!

Anyway, on to the Powdered Donuts. I used a different blend of flour than the one Jeanne has posted on her blog because I already had some made up from the Christmas Eve Fritters I had been experimenting on. I used this flour blend that I found on Recipezaar. I will re-post it here too with the changes I made.

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Gluten! Gluten-Free Cake Flour Mix

3 cups Brown Rice Flour (fine ground) (I used Authentic Foods Superfine White Rice Flour, since I was out of the Superfine Brown Rice Flour. I cannot stress enough how much of a difference the superfine grain makes over the standard rice flour, no grittiness!)

1 cup Potato Starch (not potato flour)

1/2 cup Tapioca Flour (I used Expandex Modified Tapioca Starch. The word “flour” is used interchangeably with the word “Starch” when referring to Tapioca, this is NOT the case with Potato Starch and Potato Flour, they are two VERY different things).

1 1/4 teaspoons Guar Gum or Xanthan Gum (I used Xanthan Gum)

  • Sift ingredients together, combining thoroughly. Use in place of flour in cakes and other baked goods.
  • Store in airtight container or Ziploc bag in refrigerator.

Gluten-Free Powdered Donuts (Gluten-Free Doughnuts recipe reprinted courtesy of Jeanne Sauvage, author of Four Chickens. My changes/suggestions are in red.)

1 Egg, lightly beaten (I have also tried these with Ener-G Egg Replacer and they work fine, just a little more dense)

1/2 cup Milk (or dairy-free substitute)

1/2 cup Sugar

2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/4 tsp. Nutmeg

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 Tbs. Butter (I used Smart Balance, but Earth Balance (dairy-free) would also work fine)

1 3/4 – 2 cups Gluten free Flour Blend (Jeanne uses 1 3/4 cup of her flour blend, I used 2 cups of the flour blend posted above. Start with 1 3/4 cups, then add more if needed. You can always add, but you cannot take away. 😉 )

Oil for frying (I used Sunflower Oil)

For powdered donuts, you will need confectioner’s sugar. Whole Foods’ 365 brand of Organic Powdered Sugar uses Tapioca Starch instead of Cornstarch, if you avoid corn. You can see a photo of it here.

Or, you could roll the donuts in Granulated Sugar or a Cinnamon/Sugar mixture.

  • Mix together egg, milk, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and butter in a medium bowl.
  • Add flour (you may need incorporate it with your hands at end of mixing). Cover and refrigerate for about an hour (to firm up dough).
  • Prepare to roll out the doughnuts. I (Jeanne) used a Silpat mat to roll out the dough. You can also dust your cutting board with flour and cut out there. (I would use tapioca flour for this–it won’t add graininess to the dough). You may need to use a little flour for the biscuit cutters so they don’t stick to the dough. (I used the Tapioca Flour/Starch as Jeanne recommended and I also floured the biscuit cutters).
  • Roll out the dough to 1/2″ thickness (be sure it’s not too thin)
  • Cut out doughnuts with bigger biscuit cutter and doughnut holes with smaller biscuit cutter. Or you can just use the smaller one and cut out a bunch of doughnut holes (because they are fun and easy to eat!).
  • While you are cutting out the doughnuts, have the pan of oil on medium-high heat. I use a small saucepan and I do several batches. This is so I don’t have to use a ton of oil. You need to have the oil deep enough that the doughnuts can cook be completely submerged and have oil all the way around them. Oil should be around 360 degrees.
  • Once doughnuts are cut out, test the oil. Drop a bit of extra dough into the oil to see if it fries. If it starts frying immediately, then the oil is ready.
  • Carefully drop doughnuts and holes into oil. They should drop into the oil and start frying. After a couple of minutes, they will rise to the surface.
  • Turn them in the oil to make sure they are being cooked evenly. Cook until they are golden brown.
  • When they are golden brown, carefully take doughnuts out of oil and drain on a plate covered w/paper towels. The doughnuts won’t have absorbed that much oil.
  • Repeat the frying procedure until all the dough is used.
  • We like them as-is, but you can dust them with powdered sugar or granulated sugar, if you want. You can add a little cinnamon to the granulated sugar if you want cinnamon doughnuts.
  • Visit Jeanne’s post for a printer-friendly version of her recipe. She also has a recipe for Gluten-Free Pumpkin Doughnuts that sound delicious!

The following is my photo tutorial for the Powdered donuts. I decided to add more step by step pictures after one of my best friends from back home in Ohio sent me this photo on my cell phone of her Better Batter GF Bagels:

A closer look (I’m sorry Mary, but this is just too good to pass up!):

I laughed so hard, I cried! I thought Mary’s bagel looked like a pretty flower but my husband kept calling it a “Pattypan Squash from Farmville.” Oh, Lordy Pete, this still reduces me to tears, LOL! Just so you know, I have been there too, believe you me! Just look at my pretzel rods! 😉 So Mary, this photo tutorial is dedicated to you, my dear friend!

1 Tbs. Butter (I used Original Smart Balance in the tub, and this may make my outcome different from a batch made with real butter).

Level it off with a knife.

Heat the butter in the microwave until melted. If you cover it with a paper towel, it wont blow up all over the place. 😉

Melted Smart Balance, set aside to cool for a minute before adding to the egg (so you don’t scramble the egg).

In a separate bowl, whisk 1 egg,

When measuring liquids, use a measuring cup meant for liquids. After pouring in the liquid, set the measuring cup on the counter then read for the correct amount (once it stops moving).

Add milk to beaten egg,

Use this type of measuring cup for dry ingredients. This is 1/2 cup of sugar,

Add the sugar to the egg and milk mixture,

When I measure salt, I also level it with a knife:

Baking (even frying donuts) is a precise science, don’t “eyeball” the ingredients.

Add salt to the egg, milk and sugar mixture.

Do the same with the nutmeg, level it with a knife (too much nutmeg can be overpowering).

Add the nutmeg to the wet mixture,

Add the leveled off baking powder to the egg, milk, sugar, salt and nutmeg mixture,

then add the cooled melted butter/Smart Balance, whisk together until well incorporated.

Not quite done,

Now add the flour!

This is some mix that I had stored in my freezer,

Level off 2 cups of the flour mix,

Add the flour to the wet mixture,

Stir to combine.

This is where you will want to use your hands,

And there you have it!

I cover my dough with a slightly damp towel (to keep the dough from drying out), then put in the fridge for about an hour. In the meantime, heat the oil.

Oops, too hot! Reduce heat and allow the temperature to come down to 360° – 365° F.

Flour your work surface,

Pat out the dough to approximately 1/2″ thickness (this is not a sticky, batter type dough, it is easy to handle).

You can use biscuit cutters,

Or a glass, basically anything that is the desired shape and size you want!

Then you need something with a smaller circle to cut out the hole. This is a large pastry tip,

this is an apple corer with a plunger attachment,

which makes it easy to pop out the dough!

Close enough…

I did a test piece with one of the donut holes,

When you first drop in the dough, it will sink to the bottom. When it is close to done, the donut will “float” to the top. At this point, it is essentially trial and error, I have had many donuts that I thought were done, only to see them split as they were cooling with uncooked batter seeping through. If this happens, just put back in the hot oil to cook some more, they won’t be pretty, but they will still taste good!

Remove donut from hot oil with a skimmer, place on paper towel to drain excess oil.

Finish cooking off your donuts, then allow the donuts to drain and cool completely (if you don’t want the powdered sugar to melt into the donut).

These will keep a few days if stored in an air-tight container.

I definitely think Mary and I hit the “gluten-free ugly jackpot” this week! The icing wasn’t cooperating very well, and you have to be careful not to handle the donut too much or the powdered sugar comes off! The “O” cereal eyes you see are Nature’s Path Whole O’s, which are gluten-free. The chocolate chips are Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Morsels and the hat is a Hershey’s Kiss.

Gluten-Free Chex Mix

I realize this is probably a no-brainer, but it actually just dawned on me not too long ago when Sam needed some Chex Mix for his “Friday Fun Snack,” that I could make my own gluten-free version!  So just in case it has not occurred to someone else, I thought I would post the recipe here and make some replacement suggestions too!

Original recipe is in black, my gluten-free tweaks/thoughts are in red.

Original Chex Mix

3 cups Corn Chex Cereal (I used 4 1/2 cups Corn Chex to make up the difference from removing the Wheat Chex)

3 cups Rice Chex Cereal (I used 4 1/2 cups Rice Chex to make up the difference from removing the Wheat Chex)

3 cups Wheat Chex Cereal (If you are gluten-free, OMIT this entirely!)

1 cup Mixed Nuts (Substitution ideas: Sunflower Seeds, or here is a recipe for making roasted peas, (I would omit their seasoning all together and use the Chex Mix Seasoning instead so you don’t clash flavors!)  You could also omit this entirely and bump up the quantity of the pretzels or something else, by making your own, you can customize!)

1 cup Bite-Size Pretzels (I used Glutino’s Gluten-Free Pretzel Twists)

1 cup Garlic-Flavor Bite-Size Bagel Chips or Regular-Size Bagel Chips, broken into 1-inch pieces (I am going to try and make my own, now that I can make a gluten-free bagel!! Another cool idea might be to make some gluten-free Goldfish Crackers to add-in)

6 Tbs. Butter or Margarine (I used Original Smart Balance in the tub, Earth Balance Buttery Spread is Dairy-Free and works just as well)

2 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce (Lea & Perrins is gluten-free. Just found a recipe on how to make your own Worcestershire Sauce, I will have to try that!)

1 1/2 tsp. Seasoned Salt (here is a recipe to make your own “copycat” Lawry’s Seasoned Salt)

3/4 tsp. Garlic Powder

1/2 tsp. Onion Powder

  • In a large bowl mix cereal, nuts, pretzels, etc., and set aside.
  • In a separate microwave-safe bowl, melt butter, margarine or dairy-free substitute, on high until melted. Stir in seasonings. Pour over cereal mixture and stir until evenly coated.
  • I baked mine in the oven, but you can click here for the microwave method.
  • Heat oven to 250° F.
  • Spread the uncooked Chex Mix evenly on a large ungreased baking sheet.
  • Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  • Spread out on paper towels to cool, about 15 minutes more.
  • Store in an airtight container.

Combine everything except the seasonings in a large bowl.

Add the melted butter and Worcestershire sauce to the dry seasonings, then mix well before adding to cereal mixture.

Spread mix out on a large, ungreased baking sheet then pop in the oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Tastes JUST like the pre-packaged version to me.  Well, except for the nuts… are nuts even in the store-bought Chex Mix??

Nice occasional treat to set out during homework time or have for Family Game Night! 😀