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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A hiccup in life

Dear Gluten Free blog readers-
I wanted to write to you and explain my absence.  I have been dealing with some health issues and had surgery last week...I'm still waiting on some biopsy results.  It's been difficult to do much cooking, much less come up with inspiring gluten and dairy free recipes...  I do have some recipes that I worked on while I was feeling up to it, so as soon as I am feeling better, I will be thrilled to share these recipes with you!  Unfortunately, I can't tell you how long it will take before I feel better.  Until we "meet" again, keep up the gluten free diet, I'm pretty sure what I'm fighting is in part caused by eating gluten when I didn't know that it was a problem for me.  I've been reading some really great articles about gluten and it's relationship with autoimmune diseases.  If I feel up to it, I'll try to put up some links so you can read up on it, too.
Until next time...Happy Eating from DeAnn

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Gluten Freebie

In case you didn't already know this, I love freebies!  Today I saw that my favorite freebie blog, had posted a free downloadable Back to School booklet and it's a gluten free tip/recipe book!  Hooray!  So in case you like freebies as much as I do, I thought I would share the link with you.  Just click on the title of the book: Back to School with Jules and use the code:  2011BTSebook  It's free to download right away.  There's also a blog connected to this, it's geared toward her flour blend that she sells, but it still looks good.  Enjoy!
Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Some Product Reviews

I thought I would share with you some of my family's favorite gluten-free products, since it's always nice to know what someone else thought of a product that you're thinking about trying.
I'll start with the family's favorite pancake mix.  We use the Gluten Free Mama's Pancake mix.  Of course, I like my pancakes a little different than the recipe on the package, so I add some sugar, vanilla, a drizzle of olive oil and extra rice milk until it becomes a thinner batter.  It's a winner around here, even my son's friends gobbled them up and had thirds (and they don't have to eat gluten free).
Our pasta choices come for two sources:  Trader Joe's Brown Rice pasta (we usually buy the penne, but they have spirals and spaghetti, too) and the brand Tinkyada, which I buy from Azure Standard.  I've only tried the elbow macaroni, but we make good use of it for mac and cheese (with Daiya dairy free cheese), macaroni salad, tuna noodle casserole and goulash.  It's worked great in all those dishes.  The penne I usually buy for spaghetti as my son doesn't like spaghetti noodles, he says they "smack him in the face", so penne it is.
Bread is always a tricky thing when you're eating gluten free.  For a long time we bought Pamela's bread mix, but after a while it became apparent that it wasn't the right consistency and it was too sweet.  So, I either make my own using the Gluten Free Mama's Almond Flour blend or we buy one of two excellent gluten free breads, Udi's or Rudi's Bakery.  Just be careful if buying Rudi's bread, they make regular and gluten free bread and do follow the directions to keep it in the freezer and using only what you need.  I tried keeping in the refrigerator and it dried out rather quickly.  Udi's is all gluten free and they make several different products, bread, pizza crust, muffins, bagels, etc.  I've tried the bread, muffins and pizza crust and have been very impressed with the products.  Udi's can be found at Whole Foods Markets and locally I've found their products in Tumwater at the Fred Meyer and also at Gluten Free Joe's.  The drawback to buying gluten free bread is, it isn't cheap, it's somewhere between $5-$7 a loaf.  Udi's does offer a coupon to print out and when I bought some at Whole Foods, they had coupons placed by the product.  Rudi's can be found at some Costco's and they've been advertised the price is $6.89 for 2 loaves!  I know the Costco in Federal Way has these, it would be nice if all the Costco's started carrying their bread at that great price!
We have lots of "favorite" gluten free products, but if I highlighted them all I'd been writing a book instead of blog post!  These are some of our favorite that are products that were hard to do without or duplicate the right flavor at home (or just added convenience for us).
Hope you find some products that work for your family.  Next time, I'm going to be sharing links to some of my favorite gluten-free blogs and a link to a wonderful dinner roll recipe that's gluten-free!  It's actually soft!
Until next time...
Happy Eating!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Some reviews

I'm sure you're waiting anxiously for new recipes.  They're coming, I promise.  Until they're ready I will be featuring some reviews of products and some books, too.  This might surprise you since the majority of my blogging features the gluten and dairy free recipes we use in my house.  But, the blog is called DeAnn's Delights, so please indulge me as I share about some things that delight me.
Today I received a free trial of a new product from Purex.  I had signed up to be one of their "insiders", which basically means I'm a guinea pig for new products and I get to share my opinion on the product with, well, the world.  The new product is a softener for clothes, but it's crystals, not a liquid.  It comes unscented or scented.  I got to choose which I wanted to try for (not everyone got picked to try the product).  I picked the scented product and crossed my fingers that it would be a scent that I like.  The one they sent me is Fresh Spring Waters.  It smells great in the bottle, so good that I had to do a load of laundry.  We'll see what it smells like after it dries.
Here are the features about the product (the promises from the company) that I like:  you can use on towels and they won't lose absorbency, it won't make those flame-retardant jammies become flammable and it isn't oily.  Plus, if you spill it, you can sweep it up!
You can still sign up to be a Purex Insider, just click on the highlighted words and you can sign up.  I don't know if they'll still be sending the crystals out, but they definitely have future promotions coming!
Well, I just put the laundry in the dryer and it smells wonderful!  I think I may have just found a new delight!
Check back soon, next time I'm going to do a review of a line of gluten free products and a gluten free cookbook that goes with the products.  Until next time...
Happy laundry and happy eating!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mac -N- Cheese Recipe

I know you've been anxiously waiting for this recipe, so I'm sharing it now.  Ladies and Gentlemen, without further ado, I give you Macaroni and Cheese (the gluten, dairy and soy free version).  We all really liked this recipe, although my son Ian told me it was "too creamy".  I'm not really sure there is such a thing as too creamy, but he seems to think there is.  He liked this better the next day as a warmed up leftover because the noodles had soaked up a lot of the sauce. 

This was my first time using Daiya cheese and I was pleasantly surprised.  Since it's dairy free, vegan, soy free etc. I had hopes for it since it had won some awards, but some doubts, too simply because of what it is.  Thankfully, I can say it's good.  Sort of tastes like a cross between Cheddar and American cheese.  The sauce was so yummy, I'm thinking it would be pretty easy to turn it into a Mexican cheese dip if you had the right seasonings!
I hope you like the pictures.  I wanted to make sure that you could see the cheese package (that always helps me when I'm looking for something in the store).  You can also see just how much onion I added.  I really like onion in it, gives it great flavor, but you can always use less or omit the onion depending on personal tastes.  Let me know what you think if you try this recipe.
Happy Eating!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Verdict

Dinner is safely tucked into our happy tummies, so now I can share with you how my macaroni and cheese experiment went.  It was great!  Did it taste exactly like the dairy versions I  made in the past?  Well, no, but I didn't expect it to, I just wanted it to taste delicious and it was.  How did it compare to the boxes and all?  Better, in my opinion.  Definitely better Velveeta Shells and cheese (yuck, never liked that stuff).
The Daiya cheese tasted great and it melted (well, mostly melted...probably 98-99%, there were a few unmelted pieces in the cheese sauce when I added it to the macaroni in the casserole dish, but I did not see any unmelted pieces after it baked).
So, the verdict:  this one is a winner!  We will definitely be buying Daiya cheese again (probably will try the mozzarella with pizza next time).
I took pictures and just need to review the recipe before I post it, so keep your eyes open for that recipe coming soon!
Until then.....
Happy Eating!

Super Bowl and an experiment

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!  I'm not watching, but I hear my guys watching it in the background.  Funny, I just remembered that last year for the Super Bowl we were in Hawaii and Colin missed most of the Super Bowl because he had the stomach flu...which I also came down with a few hours after Colin.  So, this year we feel better, but it's certainly not as sunny as last year!
Since I'm not watching, I thought I would work on an experiment with a new product, Daiya cheese.  I recently spotted this product on another blog (don't ask me which one, because I am a SERIOUS blog surfer...there are too many to keep track of all the sites I visit).  I was intrigued by the promises of this "cheese".  No dairy, no gluten, no casein, no gmo's.  So far, I've seen two flavors available, Cheddar and Mozzarella.  My plan was to purchase Mozzarella to make pizza, but plans don't always work right when you send your husband to the store without you.  He came home with Cheddar.  So, I have decided to make macaroni and cheese.  Wait, that wasn't enough oomph...MACARONI AND CHEESE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  There, that's better.  This is a huge deal in my house.  There has only been one attempt at "macaroni and cheese" since we went gluten and dairy free and it was terrible, nasty stuff (it was from a box that was gluten and dairy free) .  I made it, we tried it, we threw it out and haven't tried anything else that had the word cheeze on it.  So, let the experiment begin....
I'll be back later to let you know if it was...
Happy Eating!

Friday, January 21, 2011

How did the time slip away...

I can't believe it's the middle of January!  Poor little blog sitting here, waiting for some great recipes to share while I've been fighting little colds and some winter blues.  Both, I must tell you are buggers when it comes to cooking's just not there.  I know I promised you some Christmas goodies, but, to be honest, I hardly made any this year.  Just the Almond Chocoroons (gave you that recipe last year) and some Peppermint Patties (okay, those were delicious and I promise I will try to get the recipe up's one I adapted from a allergy cookbook).
Since you've been waiting so patiently for something to appear on here, how 'bout I share my recipe for gluten and dairy free Hot Cocoa?  Sound good?  I thought it might.

 Hot Cocoa (Gluten and Dairy Free...oh, and soy free, too)
1 container Vance's Dari-free (19.5 oz. container)
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/8 t. salt
3/4 c. cocoa powder (not processed)  I use Trader Joe's unsweetened cocoa powder.  Do NOT use a regular Hershey's cocoa powder, it doesn't dissolve well.  Oh, note...I like my cocoa very chocolatey, if you don't like it very choloclatey, use less cocoa, maybe 1/2 c.
In a very large bowl mix all ingredients.  Pour into a seal-able container.  To make hot cocoa: 8oz. of hot water + 1/4 c. of cocoa mix.  Drink and enjoy!
This is a very good alternative for us.  It's already hit the spot after sledding at least twice...yum!  Vance's DariFree isn't cheap (close to $10 a container), but buying a gluten and dairy free cocoa mix (if and when you can find one) isn't cheap either.  In the long run, this one is worth the little bit extra we pay so we can enjoy one of our wintertime favorites.  So, if there's some snow in your forecast, better get busy, looks like it might be time for a cup of cocoa!
Happy Eating (or drinking cocoa in this case)!