So, in the past I've tried gluten free baking with marginal success. I was not a recipe follower in my pre-gluten life but have followed gf baking recipes to the T and still only had marginal success. Pretty sure it was Gluten Free Girl that explained (and my Mom that told me about it ... Thanks Mom!) that to make a gluten free flour of the same consistency, that works in the same way as white wheat flour, you have to use a 60/40 ratio. 60% starches (potato, tapioca, corn etc.) and 40% whole grains (oat flour, almond flour, sorghum flour, etc.). Since using this method I have been able to fly by the seat of my pants on any baking that I want to do. It's WONDERFUL! I just made a batch of GF peanut butter, oatmeal, cinnamon chip cookies! Mmmmm!


Cider slushy and cinnamon sugar donuts

There's a cider mill that is my favorite fall treat. I grew up going to get cider slushies and cinnamon sugar donuts there every fall. The donuts are my favorite of all time! So, I decided to make my own this fall and get my slushy and enjoy my gluten free day at the cider mill.

I used the donut recipe that the gluten free girl posted recently on her blog. It's my first real attempt at making gf donuts. They were delicious. Were they quite as melt in your mouth inside, slightly crunchy outside as the cider mill donuts ... no. But did I feel satisfied and happy that I'd had my fall treat ... YES! And, knowing that I won't have a nasty achy week or psoriasis flare up, made them taste even better than the originals.


Ok, so it hit me ...

and I hit back! I may not have posted for a couple weeks, but I've continued eating GF and am working on making several new things. Currently I have a crusty GF artisan bread rising and I can't wait to see how it turns out. I'm hoping this will be my olive oil dipping, cheese plate, GF spaghetti, go along bread from now on. We'll see!

I made a GF zucchini bread that was the best quick bread I've ever tasted! No kidding.

I have several soups on the menu, such as, crabby corn chowder.

I'm making and taking some dark chocolate dipped coconut macaroons to a women's retreat at my church.

I've decided this is my chance to cook and enjoy the process while sticking to my gluten free eating. Sure, it takes more time, effort and money ... but this is for my health and that's worth it!


In all honesty...

It's hit me. Each time I've gone gf, I have hit a wall. The "I'm tired of trying to eat this way and just want to order a pizza" wall. The first time I went gf it took 2 weeks, the second time, 1 month. The third time, I can't recall how long it was. This time I've been gf for 2 months and I'm tired of it. 

I know, I know... it's relatively easy compared to other dietary restrictions, like being vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, etc. In comparison, gf is easy. In reality after living almost 30 years without a dietary restriction of any variety, it's an inconvenience that easily annoys me.

Really, it's the convenience or lack there of that is most annoying. I dislike being limited to which restaurants I can easily eat out at, almost no fast food options, nothing I can order in. Sorry, just needed to vent. 

The pros far outweigh the cons and I just need to gut it out and learn how to live with these changes. Two months isn't enough time to "learn to live" with anything. I will continue on my gf journey and hope that in time things will become easier and or normal. Hoping and praying that other's out there are finding the strength to stick with what they know is right for their bodies. 


Naturally Gluten Free

I spend most of my time trying to make gluten free items that are similar to things I used to eat. Mac and cheese, bread, cookies, etc. Today was the first cool day I've been in town for and I had the fireplace on, a yummy candle burning (in sweet potato pecan pie scent...I've had sooooo many complements on this candle. It smells like you've been baking amazing pumpkin pie all day). Bunny trail. Moving on.

So, I decided it was the perfect day to roast veggies. I cut up carrots, zucchini, broccoli, yellow squash and red potatoes, coated with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and a little salt and pepper and roasted them in the oven for an hour and a half. Mmmmm! They are so delicious and naturally gluten free. Kinda makes me wonder why I go to all the trouble.



So, America is on the slow boat when it comes to gluten free everything. That's my opinion anyway. In the research I've done thus far it seems that many other countries are much farther ahead in: FDA type labeling of gluten free foods, medical diagnosis and implementation of the gluten free diet, variety of foods available and in restaurants menu options ... just to name a few areas. Now, this doesn't in any way make me want to ditch the US and find another more helpful country ;) and I will say that in just 4 years since I started thinking about trying to be gluten free, things have changed DRAMATICALLY.

All this to say simply that when I saw that Schar was voted Europe's #1 gluten free brand ... I figured it must be good. Since they have more options and have been around the whole scene longer than we have, if they think it's that good, it's gotta be, right? Right! So far I've tried their breadcrumbs (in meatballs), the table crackers (think saltines but unfortunately without the salt ... still, crispy, light and delicious) and one of their pastas. It was a tiny O shaped noodle and I used it in veggie noodle soup (amazing!). I have to say, I'm sold thus far and can't wait to try more of their products. The chocolate O's (Oreo's) look so yummy!

So, head out and try to find some Schar products. Anything... I betcha it'll be good!


Finally feeling better.

I've been sick for the last week or so and pretty out of commission. I'm back however and have a new recipe that I made this week. Chicken Enchilada Casserole. Mmmm! I used to make this before being GF and would use cream of chicken soup and cheese dorritos. So, I tried a new version which happens to be healthier and was incredibly yummy!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole
5-6 chicken tenders sauteed in non-stick pan with seasoning (your choice on the seasoning)
1 can chicken broth (thickened with 2 teaspoons cornstarch)
1-1.5 cups medium salsa
1 small container plain non-fat yogurt
1 can green chilies diced and drained
3/4 can corn (drained)
1 can black beans (drained)
1.5 cups grated cheese
2-3 cups crushed corn tortilla chips

Pre-heat oven to 350. 

Cook chicken in pan with non-stick spray and seasoning until done. Heat chicken broth on stove and thicken with cornstarch. Once thickened, add in salsa, green chilies first to help cool the thickened broth and then add the yogurt, stir. 

Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray. Layer crushed chips, chicken, corn, beans, cheese and sauce into pan in at least two layers. Top with light sprinkling of cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-40. Feel free to top with your choice of toppings, black olives, cilantro, sour cream etc.


I succumbed to the cold.

My husband's cold found me and caught me...or I caught it, whatever. I'm still sick and not being very gracious about it. I'm tired of being sick. On an upside, I made grilled chicken pesto pizza last night on Udi's pizza crusts. Mmmmm! I'm in love! They're thin, crunchy and wonderfully pizza"y". My husband, a.k.a. the cold giver, who loves his gluten declared these very tasty and let me know there was no need for me to buy separate crusts for the family's pizza eating future! Success. Thanks Udi's!


My day of bread, GF bread of course!

(sorry for the blurry picture, I was so happy with my grilled cheese I had to take a picture and all I had was my phone ... not the most high tech visually awesome device to take specialty photographs with) 

I wasn't feeling all that great today. I'm fighting off a cold that my husband has and is trying to give to me. What do I want to eat when I'm not feeling that good? Bread. So, for breakfast I had buttered toast, lunch was peanut butter & jelly and dinner was grilled cheese! Mmmmm! Not a typical GF day but it hit the spot for sure.

So, here's my adapted sandwich bread recipe which in a former life was an english muffin recipe from www.Iamglutenfree.blogspot.com which was adapted from www.glutenfreesoxfan.wordpress.com.

3rd Time's the Charm Sandwich Bread:

1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 scant tbsp quick rise yeast (I used two whole packets)
2 tsp canola oil
1 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp warm water
(2-4 tbsp honey or agave is optional if you like slightly sweet bread)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray loaf pan with nonstick spray.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of mixer.

Add oil and water and mix until just blended, scraping down the sides to make sure you incorporate all of the dough. Then beat on high for another two minutes.

Scoop dough into greased loaf pan. I then spray a little non-stick spray on top of the dough and use a spoon to smooth it into the pan. Cover and let rise in warm place for 30 minutes.

Bake for 30-45 minutes.

IMPORTANT: Let cool before slicing and eating (delicious untoasted or toasted).

And no, 3rd Time's the Charm does not refer to having to make it three times to get it right, it's more about it being adapted at least 3 times!


Still on vacation, still gluten free.

Vacation is going great and gluten free. I have been surprised how easily I have been able to stay gluten free. Sure, there have been a few bunless hamburgers and salads when I would have preferred something else but all in all, it's gone really well. Mostly this can be chalked up to a lot of preparation. The most recent part of our vacation was a three day trip to Glacier National Park.

It was beautiful and lots of fun! We at breakfast and dinner at our cabin with a full kitchen and were able to cook yummy gluten free dinners (spaghetti & meatballs, sloppy joe's and baked chicken with mashed potatoes). For breakfast I had Udi's lemon streusel muffins. Mmmm!!! Lunches we ate out and they were a little more difficult but doable. So, I've learned on this trip to prep ahead and try to find lodging where I can cook. Feeling good and enjoying being gluten free!