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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Goodies

I know, I promised you a post about Christmas goodies... and I intend to share some with you, but they will probably be more like New Year's goodies.  This year, more than ever I feel like I'm just not ready for Christmas.  It feels like it should be in two weeks, not two days.  I haven't even made lots of Christmas goodies this year.  What have I made?  Some awesome Mini peppermint patties, some almond chocoroons (I shared that recipe last year), caramel popcorn and a really yummy Cranberry Chex Mix.

So look for a post sometime between now and New Year's.  I promise I will post recipes as soon as I come up for air! 
Happy Eating and Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What to do with Turkey Leftovers

I love having leftover turkey, there are so many things to make using it.  The ever popular turkey sandwiches (and yes, we can still have them, just use gluten free bread), turkey soup, turkey divan (still working on making that one gluten and dairy free) and my favorite turkey salad.  Growing up, I cringed when I heard the words turkey salad or chicken salad.  In my house, it meant something similar to tuna salad (the meat was ground up) and not nearly as tasty.
The first time I tasted this version of Turkey salad I was in the hospital waiting to be released a week after major surgery.  Sounds promising, right?  Hospital food.  It wasn't only hospital was AWESOME hospital food (although you didn't get very much).  I told my mom to try some and she politely refused saying it was my lunch, but I told her she had to try it so she did and was as impressed as I was.  Simply divine.  I waited years to find a recipe similar and I finally did five years later in a Taste of Home magazine.  I made it and again was so happy with the flavor.  Unfortunately, I don't always keep track of magazines and haven't seen the recipe since, so I had to make this one up with a few changes to the original taste.  The salad I had in the hospital had slivered almonds and maybe cashews?  It's been a long time, obviously.  I tend to put whatever nut I'm in the mood for in this salad.  Almonds are great, cashews, too.  I don't think I'd like it with peanuts, but I see potential for using macadamia nuts.  Right now, I'm using toasted pecans...yum!
Enjoy your leftovers and next time we'll talk about Christmas goodies.
Happy Eating!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving and Beyond...

I hope you had a very lovely Thanksgiving.  Sorry, I left you hanging about mashed potatoes and cranberry relish.  Hopefully, you managed without me.  Mashed potatoes are, of course, quite simple to make dairy and gluten free.  I use Earth Balance soy free instead of butter and rice milk or coconut milk instead of regular milk (or a combination of the two) and salt and pepper to taste.  Simple!
As for cranberry relish, that is a recipe that my grandma made every year and then my mom made it and now I make it.  The original recipe called for 1 bag of cranberries, 2 apples,cored, 2 oranges, juiced and you run all this through a food grinder.  I am food grinder challenged (no good spot to set one up in my kitchen) so I make all this in my food processor on mince and usually, in batches.  Then, I mix it all together with 1/4- 3/4 c. sugar (it depends on the tartness of the cranberries and the sweetness of the apples and's all to taste).  This year, I only used one orange and two medium orange was huge!
Anyway, just wanted to make sure you had those recipes!  My next post will be talking about using leftover turkey (or chicken) so check back soon.  Then, I will be starting a series for Christmas cooking gluten and dairy free.  Until next time...
Happy Eating!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pumpkin Pie

Oh, how I love pumpkin pie!  This is my "must have" dessert for Thanksgiving.  No other pie will do!  My mom always was the one to bring these for Thanksgiving and they were always a slice of homemade deliciousness. Yum.  We've always used the Libby's Canned pumpkin and the recipe on the side, so when it was time to make my pie last year, I knew what recipe I wanted to use, I just needed to find some substitute for dairy and find a gluten-free pie crust.  The pie crust was simple, I used a bag of Pamela's Products Wheat-Free & Gluten-Free Bread Mix, 19-Ounce Packages (Pack of 6).  The recipe was on the bag, but I know that there are several versions at the Pamela's website, I linked one for you, just click on Pamela's to get there.
This year I'm trying out the Gluten Free Mama Pie Crust Mix, it uses some almond flour, so it definitely isn't for anyone with a nut allergy.  I'm making my pumpkin pie tomorrow night, so I'll try to capture some pictures of it to share.
As promised, my next post will be talking about mashed potatoes, cranberry relish and dinner rolls.  Check back soon as that will be the conclusion of my Thanksgiving series, but I plan to start a Christmas series next and for those cold days ahead, I'll be posting a recipe for a dairy free hot cocoa mix.  Until next time...
Happy Eating!

Green Bean Casserole

Just typing the title brings back memories of so many Thanksgivings with my family.  Green Bean Casserole was always what my aunt Gail brought for Thanksgiving.  My mom always made the pumpkin pies and she never touched the Green Bean Casserole, she didn't like it.  My brother and I, on the other hand, loved this stuff and still do to this day.  It isn't quite Thanksgiving without it, but last year it looked like I might have to forgo this ultimate Thanksgiving side dish.  I was determined not to go down without a fight, so I started searching the internet and found several gluten free blogs that had recipes for GBC (sorry, I just had to abbreviate).  None were exactly what I was looking for, but I adapted them and the casserole turned out fabulous, better than the original.  Try  for yourself and see what you think...Green Bean Casserole with French Fried Onions.
Here's the link for the Cream of Mushroom Soup, I shared it earlier when I made Sausage Green Bean Casserole.
So now you're set for the best Thanksgiving side dish.  Come back soon, I'm going to share my pumpkin pie recipe in my next post and then we'll talk about mashed potatoes, cranberry relish, rolls...etc.  Boy! This post is making me hungry!  Until next time...
Happy Eating!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dressing/ Stuffing...Whatever!

So, onto dressing, which is, of course the same as stuffing but it isn't stuffed and is instead baked in a casserole dish.  At least, that's how I differentiate between the two.  My sweet husband read my last post and wondered if I was going to share my ranch dressing recipe.  I thought he was cute and honestly, if you don't cook (and maybe even if you do) the terminology is sometimes confusing.  So, to be clear, this is a bread dressing (or stuffing, either term works, but I never stuff it in a bird, it gets too mushy and you run the risk of salmonella, which is not what you want to give your guests!)
The recipe I use is out of an old Betty Crocker cookbook, although we did tweak it a little even before we had to change it to make it gluten and dairy free.  Last Thanksgiving I did something to this dressing that I'd never done before due to a lack of time, I made it the night before and put it in the fridge overnight.  I didn't think anything about it until I made some dressing this summer (I know..but in my defense, it was cold this summer) and it didn't taste quite the same.  I thought about it and realized the only thing different was I hadn't let it sit in the fridge overnight.  So, I am definitely making it the night before this year...I want that great flavor again!
So, I have pulled out the 1970's version of Betty Crocker (I do own 3 of "her" books 1950's, 1970's and 1990's) it's the same one my mom has, so I'm rather partial to it.  As I'm looking at the recipe, I see that it's called Bread Stuffing.  Whatever!  My version isn't really in the book anyway, the casserole version, but thankfully, I know that part well.
If you're ready to make the recipe, just click on the name (Thanksgiving Dressing/Stuffing) and it will take you to the document.  I'm nice like that, you know, thinking of you and making it easier for you to print the recipe. Sorry, I don't have a picture, I'll try to take some pictures of all the yummy Thanksgiving food this year!
Look for my next post.  I'm going to share how to make Green Bean Casserole (and yes, it will have gluten free French Fried onions).  Until next time...
Happy Eating!
P.S.  A little side note about what gluten free bread I use:
I use  Pamela's Products Wheat-Free & Gluten-Free Bread Mix, 19-Ounce Packages (Pack of 6) for the bread.  I make it in my bread machine at least a day in advance.  And, um..I tweaked the recipe for the bread just a little bit.  I add : 2 eggs, 1/4 c. olive oil, 3/4 c. warm rice milk, 3/4 c. warm water, bread mix, 1 t. sugar, yeast packet from mix + 1/2 t. yeast.  Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bread machine and stir in any flour that hasn't been mixed when the machine gets to the first rest cycle.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Beyond Survival: Enjoying Your Holiday Gluten and Dairy Free

Well, I'm finally back from that "little cold" I had.  Turns out, it was pneumonia.  Now that I'm on the mend it's time to start thinking about the holidays, starting with Thanksgiving.  This year will be our second Thanksgiving without gluten and dairy.  Last year, it took a lot of research, but I was able to enjoy all my favorite Thanksgiving food (and I do mean all).  I enjoyed turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry relish and pumpkin pie.  Yes, it meant I practically catered Thanksgiving even though we were celebrating with family, but it was so worth it.  In fact, my dressing turned out so wonderful that my MIL commented it was the best she'd tasted and I didn't bring much home in spite of the fact that there were two other gluten versions being served!
So, I thought that a little series sharing my favorite Thanksgiving recipes (with my makeover for them) might be just the ticket, especially if this your first holiday season without gluten or dairy.
First, a little advice about the turkey.  Turkey sounds safe, right?  After all, it's just meat, right?  Well, not exactly.  Read, read, read your label (and if you're buying a frozen one, you might want some gloves so you can read the label).  Make sure there aren't any gluten ingredients listed.  I checked the Butterball website and according to them unless it's a stuffed turkey, it should be gluten free (but read the label).  Also, yes, it will be a problem if someone else is cooking your turkey and wants to stuff it with gluten filled stuffing, there will be cross-contamination and that can cause you some misery.  Natural turkeys seem to be the safest, but they aren't going to be on the great Thanksgiving sales, but it's worth the cost if you don't feel miserable after eating it.
Okay, that's enough advice for today.  My next post will share my dressing recipe ( would you be surprised if I told you it's the same one my family has been using for years?).  Of course, I tweaked it (that's what I do!).  Until next time...
Happy Eating!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Christmas is Coming...Time to think about Photo Cards (and a deal for you!)

I admit it...sometimes when it comes to Christmas cards, I um, have good intentions, but sometimes fail to follow through.  Okay, seriously fail to follow through (as in I didn't send any for 4 years).  I know, it's bad, but in my defense, the Christmas letter seriously bogged me down.  Last year, though I had a revelation, photo cards!  No letter required, people can take one look at it and see how our family is doing.  If I decide to get ambitious, I could try to produce one of those elusive Christmas letters to go with it, but, most likely I'll stick to the photo card.
This year, I'm going to try the cards from 
I already love their photo printing and their photo books are marvelous!   The hard part is deciding which card to choose, although it's a must that it says Merry Christmas...I am so NOT into a wimpy "Happy Holidays" message.  Hopefully, these are able to be completely custom and I can change the message to my preferences.  So far, I like Warmest Wishes, it would go with a family picture from Hawaii, which would save me some photo sessions (although, I do love taking photos).  I also like the Chocolate Lime Snowflakes card and part of the profits from that one go to the American Lung Association.
Decisions, decisions I guess it might take me a little while to make up my mind.  If you want some great Shutterfly Christmas cards for yourself...and I'm sure you do!
Shutterfly is offering 20% off all holiday cards 
Leave me a comment and let me know what card you like and what you do for Christmas cards (or if you send any).
Happy Shopping!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Oh, My Poor Neglected Blog

This poor little blog.  It's been sitting here, lonely, just waiting for me to share the culinary delights in our life.  There have been some delights, but mostly there's been a lot of little colds that my son and I have been passing back and forth between each other.  And soccer and life in general.  Life always interferes with my good intentions!  I must admit that this cold that I have is not really making me want to cook at all.  I'd rather sleep...when I can.  Usually, I'm just coughing and coughing if I try to sleep.  Not fun.
I have been keeping track of some yummy recipes for you, I promise.  I'll list a few that I want to share and I will try to get them posted soon.  I have a great recipe for Turkey salad (which would be perfect to use up some of those turkey leftovers next month).  I made a delicious Hamburger Goulash that my guys gobbled up.  I have a review of a Gluten and dairy free Ranch Dressing recipe and I know there are some other fun things in my notebook.  So check back later this week, hopefully, I will kick this cough and be back in action.
Until then...
Happy Eating!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy Anniversary

This week marks an anniversary for our family.  One year ago we embarked on our journey in living and eating gluten and dairy free.  It wasn't an easy decision, it would effect everyone in our family, but we decided that to help our son and our various minor health issues, it was worth trying.

We learned a lot this past year.  We started our journey relying on soy as our go to substitute for dairy. Then a friend casually mentioned that her son can't have dairy and she won't give him soy because it isn't good for guys (hormones and estrogen), so this set me on the research path.  I realized soy wasn't a great choice and that it can actually be toxic due to the fast processing times in the US.  Plus, it gave me  really bad headaches.  So, soy was out.  Now we were gluten/dairy and soy free, we could deal with this.
Then we realized that yes, we should avoid nitrates and nitrites just like our book had recommended.  It gave me a headache and we were very cranky for a couple of days until it went through our system.
So now we were gluten/dairy/soy and nitrate/nitrite free, I could deal with it.  Then Ian had some candy with food dye (red is especially bad) and we watched him lose focus and become a moody irrational creature.  So we added food dye to the list of food to avoid.
Thankfully, we were able to go off of foods that bothered us gradually.  Gluten and dairy were immediate and quick, but the rest we discovered as our bodies were no longer reacting to gluten and dairy (it became very obvious what foods caused problems).
So here we are a year later.  Has it made any difference?  I would say, YES!  My son can focus better, he's still a 9 yr. old boy, so he has his ups and downs, but for the most part, it's better.  My hubby has lost around 20- 25 lbs. and has fewer tummy troubles.  I have lost a few lbs., but the biggest difference for me is that I am off all my allergy medicine.  I was on allergy shots, zyrtec, claritin, a nasal steroid spray, occasional benedryl and sometimes allergy eye drops and none of it worked!  I still got terrible sinusitis that would last for a month at a time and require antibiotics (not that that really did much as it was most likely a fungal infection).  I am happy to say that I went an entire year without needing to go see the doctor.  That hasn't happened for years!  Oh, and when I did go to the doc, it was for a condition review, not because I was sick.
I have had questions about our new way of living/eating, so in honor of our one year anniversary, I will answer them here.
1.  Does it cost a lot to eat this way?  It does cost us a little bit more since we decided to go more organic and processed foods are pretty much out of the question.  Cost really depends on your choices.  If you are eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and meat, it probably isn't much of a price difference.  If you are buying lots of gluten and dairy free specialty foods (crackers, donuts, bread, etc)  expect to pay a whole lot more.  For the most part, I try to make the treats we want, it's a lot cheaper.  For us, the cost evens out when you look at how many trips to the doctor and prescriptions weren't needed.
2.  Isn't it hard to cook this way?  Not really.  You just have to be creative and have a good cookbook and GF/CF blogs to help you out.  If you can cook from scratch with gluten and dairy, you can cook from scratch without them.
3.  Is it hard to get your son and husband to stay on the eating plan?  Not really.  My son is very good about watching out for foods he can't eat.  He likes how he feels without these foods, so he makes sure that the food he eats doesn't contain anything not on the plan.  My husband is good about staying on the plan, too.  He likes to snack, so we've just found snacks that work for him on this plan.  Thankfully, we don't have any nut allergies, so at work my husband will snack on some peanuts.  It actually helps him not come home starving.
4. Is it worth the effort?  YES!  It is so worth it.  It is a huge change at first, but it becomes easier over time. 

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Banana Bread

I have threatened/promised for months that I was going to make gluten free banana bread. The only problem with that (besides the fact that I hadn't found a recipe) was that my husband isn't picky about bananas, not at all. Me, I prefer my bananas with a touch of green left right after they've turned yellow. I can tolerate a few brown speckles on the banana, but past that I wait for it to get really brown for banana bread. I actually know someone who thinks that bananas are ready for banana bread when they start getting the brown freckles, but I know better than that, they need to be really brown almost black to make really good banana bread. My husband will eat them even when they're about to be black(yuck). Which leaves me with no bananas for banana bread, until today. I finally bought enough bananas that even my sweet, non-picky, banana eating hubby couldn't keep up and I found 4 ripe bananas sitting on the counter calling to me to make them into beautiful, delicious bread. So I did. I went online and googled gluten free banana bread recipes and found one I thought looked good and promptly changed it. I added banana, changed the flour, used a shortening/ earth balance combo instead of butter. Actually, during my search I came across banana bread recipes that used only one ripe banana. What's up with that? I like to KNOW there's banana in my bread, not just have a hint of banana. There's no doubt with this one, it uses 4 bananas.
My son and I just tried the finished results a few minutes ago and it's good. Both of us responded to the first bite with a soul satisfied uuuummmmmmm. That means, it's REALLY good! My son even helped me make this, what could be better? If you like banana bread, this recipe should satisfy your craving! Click on the name to go to the recipe: Gluten Free Banana Bread
Happy Eating!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Fried Chicken

I love fried chicken! It's one of my favorite things to eat. Growing up in Kansas, I had several options for really good fried chicken. My favorite was the Olpe Chicken House. We'd go there for special occasions with my Grandma and the food was always delicious. It was 10 miles away from my hometown, so we didn't go there all the time, but , boy what a treat when we did go!
I even worked as a waitress there for a few months during college. So I KNOW good fried chicken when I see it.
Then I moved out west and fried chicken, at least good fried chicken was nowhere to be found. Nowhere. Only the fast food fried chicken, which isn't the same at all. And grocery store deli fried chicken, sigh, let's not even talk about it. I made my own fried chicken sometimes, but usually, I just didn't bother. Then, we went gluten free and I thought it was over. No fried chicken in my future.
Until, one day I had this huge craving for fried chicken and knew I had to find a solution. So I decided to make a cornflake fried chicken, not baked like you do to most cornflake chicken, no this was fried. I used chicken tenders (I know, completely cheating, but it's so much easier) and used my food processor to make the cornflakes into almost a powder, added some seasonings, coated the chicken, pan fried it and tasted the yummiest fried chicken I'd had in a long time. So good, that my son requested it for his birthday dinner. So good, that I made it for my parents when they were visiting this summer and they loved it, too. Trust me, it's good. Not the same as Olpe Chicken House fried chicken, but still delicious and simple to make at home. It's a winner in my book.
Happy Eating!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Inspiration has been elusive lately and even when I was inspired, I only had time to write things down to save for another post at a later time. I did make some great recipes that I will share soon and I have a HUGE gluten free cookbook that I got for my birthday that I will be reviewing.
Life is so full of ups and downs. Sometimes I am so inspired that I just overflow with ideas to share and other times, I can't seem to find much to be inspired about.
First, it was cold weather in June, then a mini-vacation to the Oregon Coast, then a prayer request to pray for a sick child from church, then the news that she hadn't survived the illness. It sucks inspiration right out of you. Then busyness strikes and parents are visiting and VBS and the inevitable minor illnesses that seem to strike our family after VBS. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe in the midst of the craziness.
So please forgive me for being absent from blogging for a while, life was interrupting, as it should. Hang in there, I'm sure inspiration will strike any time now.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Fishy Business

This is long overdue. I hope you enjoy a little "fishy-ness".
Before we stepped into this new world of gluten and dairy free living, my guys loved fish sticks. They still do, I suppose, we just can't eat them. We're not really big fans of fish, mostly we like the kind that you probably shouldn't like, namely, breaded or batter dipped and fried. Yum! Give me some fried fish and hush puppies with yummy coleslaw at Long John Silver's and I'm a happy camper. In fact, when I moved out west, there wasn't a LJS anywhere near where I lived...I actually had cravings for it! When I visited my parents in the midwest we HAD to go to LJS, just to satisfy my longings. Then one store opened about 2-3 hrs. away from where I lived...I planned it into a trip that way so I could eat my lovely fried fish. Then one day last spring I came out of a restaurant and smelled fried fish. I thought it must be McDonald's making a lot of fish sandwiches because there wasn't any fish place near where I was (or so I thought)and then I saw it, a brand new LJS/KFC had opened just down the street from the local Wal-mart. Birds started singing, life was good, we ate dinner there that night. I think we ate there one more time (it was always crazy busy) and then we found out we needed to switch our diet. Such sadness.
Desperation leads to inspiration in times of intense cravings, so I have come up with some versions of my own favorite coleslaw, fish and hush puppies.
I hope you enjoy them as much as my family did. Just to be clear, the fish is not like Long John's, it's just tasty. Sometime, I'll have to tackle making batter fried fish similar to Long John's. I'll share it with you if I'm successful!
Happy Eating!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Updates coming!

I have some great new recipes to send your way. I know, it's been a while since I posted a new recipe. In my defense, it's May. If you knew what my May is like you'd understand. Somehow, every year, May explodes with activities! Most of them are for my son, baseball, AWANA, swimming lessons, piano lessons,etc. If that doesn't sound too bad, did I mention that only one of those activities is in my town?? The rest are in a town 30 minutes away from home and a town 45 minutes away from home.
I seriously love June when all the madness ends! I will be back to my blog as soon as I can. I have a great coleslaw recipe, a pan fried fish recipe and I played around to make some gluten free hush puppies. So check back soon for some tasty treats!
Happy Eating!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Okay, I realize that this "holiday" is really kind of made up here in America. Yeah, yeah there was some sort of historic event that happened in Mexico a long time ago, but guess what?! They don't celebrate Cinco De them it's just the 5th of May. So who came up with this idea? People who wanted a reason to drink Mexican beer or people who wanted a reason to eat tacos? Whatever the reason, we do celebrate this..uh, We celebrate it rather mildly, but we do celebrate.
In fact, my menu today is based on the fact that it's Cinco De Mayo. We will be having Spanish Rice and salad for dinner. Yes, I've posted this recipe before, but I'm changing it up a bit. To convert it from a side dish into a main dish, I will be adding 1 lb. ground beef, browned and crumbled and I'm also going add 1-2 c. corn.
This should be an easy "Mexican" dinner and since I'm still fighting a head cold, easy is a bonus for me! Plus, this recipe always makes leftovers and they're popular with the fam, so I don't feel guilty sending them off as lunches later in the week.
So that's my Cinco De Mayo plan. Have you thought about yours? Or did you forget about this "holiday"? Either way, why not have a Mexican meal and celebrate? This recipe doesn't take too long to prepare, so you'll have a Mexican treat ready in no time!
Happy Cinco De Mayo!
P.S. If you just really want a taco for Cinco De Mayo, here's a link to the recipe for my taco seasoning mix. Just make sure that your taco shells don't have any added gluten.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What Inspires You?

Lately, I've been watching Jamie's Food Revolution on the internet. I missed it while it was on TV, but have been enjoying watching the transformation of this town that Jamie Oliver has set out to revolutionize by educating the people who live there on how to cook and eat healthier and take better care of themselves.
We tend to try to eat very healthy around here, but sometimes it can be easy to slack off on the veggies. Fruit I don't need to worry about, at least for the guys, they're great about snacking on fruit (sometimes I need to be better about that, but they're great about it). Watching the show, though has inspired me to be a little more creative and purposeful in adding more vegetables to our every day meals. Even if it's just adding more vegetables to our favorite things. Like adding zucchini to our already vegetable full stir fry or tossing carrots and red pepper into my chili in addition to the onion, green pepper and green chilies. In fact, the chili turned out to be the first one I've made that my husband has declared that he liked (not that the others I've made weren't great but, he isn't much of a soup eater and doesn't like much spice, either). Of course, it didn't hurt that the chili also had some bacon and extra meat in it, but the point is, it had extra vegetables and the family loved it. So now I just need to think outside the box and add those veggies, I know we'll all feel better for it.

Happy Healthy Eating!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Product Review: Chicken Italian Sausage

I guess by now it should be obvious that sausage is popular at our house (especially if you look at my last post prior to this one). Maybe we can blame it on my husband's Austrian heritage. His aunt and uncle even own a little restaurant at the Olympia Farmer's Market called the Bavarian Wurst (devoted to selling all kinds of delicious brats and sausage, click the link and you'll even see a picture of my hubby's aunt and her daughter, his cousin). I think this theory might have some weight to it...well, if he did the shopping, but since I do the shopping, I think it's safe to say, we just love sausage!
Now that our diet is different, we also find it necessary to watch out for nitrates and nitrites (they can give us headaches if we aren't careful), so we look for sausages that don't contain those ingredients. Once again, we find Isernio's sausage fits the bill. Their products are also hormone and antibiotic free, which makes me very happy to see!
This time we tried the Chicken Italian sausage. I'd heard about it, but I hadn't seen it in the stores before, but I found it at Fred Meyer's in Lacey and it was at least a dollar cheaper than the other stores where I had purchased the pork Italian sausage before (the pork and chicken sausages were the same price at Freddy's). I made the New York Style Italian sausage stir fry that I blogged about previously, adding chopped zucchini to the mix. Overall, we really liked the sausage. I still prefer the pork, but I like that it's chicken because sometimes pork can make me feel tired or achy. I know we'll be getting product again and again...I told you, sausage is popular around here!
Happy Eating!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chicken Sausage Gravy

I know, chicken sausage sounds like it might be too healthy to taste great, but it tastes wonderful! We tried Isernio Breakfast Chicken Sausage this morning for our breakfast. I didn't think ahead, so it was frozen. I decided to make sausage gravy over toast. I know, the traditional is gravy over biscuits, but I'm not much for biscuits, never really have been. My family is used to this, in fact, when we were on vacation a couple of years ago with my parents, my mom made biscuits and gravy and my son actually complained that he didn't have toast to go under his gravy!
I admit, I expected this sausage to taste, well like chicken and not as good as regular sausage. Boy, was I wrong! If I hadn't told the family that it was chicken sausage, they wouldn't have known. It's seasoned perfectly and really stands up to your typical pork breakfast sausage. It got an A+ from our family.
I'll share my Gluten and Dairy Free Sausage Gravy recipe with you, just keep in mind that it's hard to be exact in measuring when making gravy, so most measurements will be approximate, not exact. Just click on the title and it should open the recipe.
I served it over toast made from Pamela's bread mix.

Happy Breakfast!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A night at the Teriyaki Restaurant

I know, the title of the post sounds like we went to the local Teriyaki restaurant, but that just isn't possible with our new food requirements. I love Asian food!!! Love, love, love it! Growing up, we didn't eat Asian food often and when we did it was chow-mein from Chun-king. Not the real deal AT ALL. I wasn't very fond of it. We did have a couple of nice Chinese restaurants in our town and very rarely, we got to go one of them. I liked the food. A LOT! I think we didn't have Asian food much when I was growing up because at that time, my dad just didn't like it. I think it reminded him too much of Vietnam. Whatever the reason, we didn't have it often and my brother still doesn't like Asian food. My dad has gotten over it and loves it almost as much as I do.
Growing up in a town in Kansas didn't really expose me to much variety in Asian food (and yes, I know that it's really very American, not what true Asians eat). We had the two Chinese restaurants, House of Ma and New China and then Yan-Yan's opened up right next door to Pizza Hut where I worked. Yan-Yan's was revolutionary for me, they delivered. I was introduced to Crab Rangoon, fried rice, hot and sour soup, I loved it. My waistline did not, but my mouth was happy.
Then, I visited my aunt in Kansas City a few times and we tried a Japanese Steakhouse, a Thai restaurant and a little Chinese takeout place. Then came the west coast and I tried Teriyaki. Happy Teriyaki and a little hole in the wall in our new hometown, they were great, one of my favorite things. I even felt a little better about the fact that the food wasn't fried. And then, we had to cut out gluten and dairy from our diets. So long Asian food? Well, no. Mostly it was so long Asian restaurants. The soy sauce has wheat and if the food is breaded and fried, it has wheat. So, it was up to me if we were going to have Asian food. So far on our journey into this I have made egg rolls (I'm still working on perfecting that recipe, so you'll have to wait on it) using rice wrappers. I've made General Tao's chicken (I didn't have to change anything about that recipe except I used gluten free soy sauce). Last night I made Teriyaki Chicken with rice and salad with Asian restaurant salad dressing. It was fabulous! Colin made sure that he got to take the leftovers (a sure sign that dinner was a hit). The Teriyaki Chicken recipe actually came from a Japanese exchange student who was staying with some people we know from church. She shared the recipe with their family and the mom put the recipe on her blog. I took the recipe and tweaked it to make it gluten free and also to add a little bit more depth to the flavor. The Asian Salad Dressing recipe is something I just made up based on the salad dressing I've had from Teriyaki restaurants. Hope you like them.
Happy Eating!
P.S. As a little bonus, here's where to find my favorite fried rice recipe:
Benihana's Fried Rice
It should be simple to convert to gluten and dairy free, just use gluten free soy sauce and dairy free margarine instead of the butter.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Cake

Wow! I didn't realize how long it had been since I blogged a new and exciting recipe. I guess going on vacation started my distraction and life just kept right on moving fast after that. I do have a new dessert recipe to share with you. Since it is extremely late (or early, depending on how you view 2 am), I am going to type this here and later do the link to Google documents for printing.
This recipe is actually one that my mom has had since I was a little kid and she sent it to me. She also sent me the recipe for the flour blend that I used. It can be quite helpful to have a mom who is also eating gluten free! Anyway, I made a few changes and the recipe is simply delicious. you'll have to try it for yourself and see.

Pumpkin Pie Cake
1/4 c. canola oil
1 c. white sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 small can of pureed pumpkin (about 1 c.)
2 t. vanilla
1/4 c. rice milk
2 eggs
1 c. flour mixture (recipe to follow)
3/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. cloves
1/4 t. ground ginger
2 T. flax seed
3/4 c. raisins
1/2 c. sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square pan. Combine all liquid ingredients, mixing thoroughly. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients and then combine with liquid ingredients making sure all ingredients are mixed together well. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes until top springs back when touched lightly in the center.

Flour mixture:
1/2 c. sorghum flour
1/2 c. potato starch
1/3 c. tapioca flour
Mix thoroughly before using.

Happy Eating!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I think this recipe that I'm going to share with you is one of my all-time favorite casserole recipes. I only have a couple that I have had all my life and still keep making. This is one of those. Actually, it's the first copycat recipe I ever had. A restaurant in my hometown made this and my mom copied it. We're both still making it over 30 yrs. later. That is the sign of a good recipe. I've also made this for friends after they've had babies and needed a dinner and then I promptly had to share the recipe. Of course, this was before gluten and dairy were a problem (or at least before we realized they were a problem). It used canned cream soup, a big no-no on the new diet. I wasn't going to make it again, I thought. Then Thanksgiving rolled around and I KNEW I had to have green bean casserole. So I searched and discovered recipes for Cream of Mushroom Soup and tried one. I ended up tweaking it to make it to suit my tastes and when I finished I wondered why I had ever purchased the canned soup. They are a poor comparison to what you can make at home yourself.
Once I made that cream of mushroom soup, I knew that this recipe would be back in the menu rotation. So here it is: Sausage, green bean potato casserole I know, it's a pretty fancy title for a casserole! Well, at least you pretty much know what's in it by the time you finish saying the name. Try it, you'll like it! I even put the Cream of Mushroom Soup recipe with the casserole and by itself, just so you have it for reference.
Happy Eating!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Rainy Season

I'm sitting here at the computer listening to the rain pouring down outside and thinking about one of my favorite winter time meals, potato soup. Nothing brings back memories like comfort food. I remember having potato soup as a little girl (my mom probably made it not only because she liked it, but it was an easy way to get some milk in me. I never liked the stuff, guess now we know why. It doesn't agree with me). I liked potato soup. It was warm and creamy and delicious. The recipe my mom made wasn't one of those loaded with cheese and sour cream, it was just potatoes, onion, celery, milk and salt and pepper. I've had the ones loaded with cheese. I even have a great recipe for one of those, but I can't eat those anymore and after adapting a recipe for potato soup from the AIA Gluten and Dairy Free Cookbook, I don't even want those cheesy potato soups. This new recipe is great. It has a few new elements different from my mom's recipe and one from the loaded baked potato soups (bacon). I shared this recipe with my mom and I think that she might try it with some Jimmy Dean Natural Sausage. I might have to try that next time, but for now, the version with bacon was wonderful! Ian was hunting for the bacon in every bite. He wasn't happy when he thought he'd run out of bacon, but thankfully, he still had a couple of pieces.
So, if you're in need of some warm comfort food, I'd recommend this recipe. It'll put a smile on your face!
Potato Soup
Happy Eating!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Spicy Side of Life

Lately our go to food (meaning quick to make and popular with the whole family) has been tacos. We don't do pizza much any more since we aren't eating dairy and soy gives me a headache, so tacos work quite well. I make my own taco seasoning mix. I found a recipe on Top Secret Recipes website and changed it to make it gluten free and also to suit my tastes. It tastes fabulous...enough to make my husband actually ask for tacos (which, if you knew him, would amaze you. He's not really a Mexican food fan). I love to pair the tacos with some refried beans and Spanish rice. I have a great recipe for Spanish rice. Boy, typing about these makes me want Mexican food. I might just have to make some this weekend!
Happy Eating!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Time To Play Catch Up!

Well, Happy New Year. I am really behind with the recipes I'd like to share with you. I still need to share some of my successes from Thanksgiving and Christmas. I guess I'll go with Christmas for now as it is still fresh in my mind and doesn't require looking up several websites (as Thanksgiving does). So...Christmas, what to say... I did make a couple of Christmas cookies that were gluten and dairy free. One of them was so good, it's on the list to make for Valentine's day as a treat since we can't have some of the more traditional treats. It's called Almond Chocoroons. It's fabulous and I actually found the recipe in Family Circle. Of course, I changed it just a smidge and it's even better. Plus, I can tell you that one of their instructions was not good...using an ungreased cookie sheet...ugh! This cookie is too sticky to get away with that. Just click on the name of the cookie to see the recipe.
I'll share one more of my new recipes for now. It's my Asian Cold Noodle Salad. I'm not bragging, but....yum! I found a recipe that like for a cold noodle salad and then I changed it to suit my needs. Instead of soba noodles, I used pad thai noodles. I also added a couple of ingredients like red pepper and green onion and changed the carrots to julienne carrots (although I'm very tempted to just buy matchstick carrots at the store and save myself a lot of chopping...if making julienne carrot strips it too much work, you can just grate the carrot). By the way, this salad was a big hit at my Bible study dinner (although a bit spicy for some..cut back on the crushed red pepper flakes if you don't like it spicy. I only added one teaspoon the last time I made this and it still had zip without being too spicy). Hope you like it. I'll try to post some of my other recipes from the holidays soon.
Happy Eating!