I received some pancake mix in the mail today. To be honest, I’ve never heard of this company. The name confused me a little…..Carbon’s Golden Malted Pancake and Waffle Mix. Don’t let the word malted worry you. That is just a name brand. There is no malt flavoring in the mix. This mix is certified gluten free. You can check it out here at

I know this sounds weird, but I was in the mood for savory pancakes, even though there is a touch of vanilla and sugar in the mix. I caramelized some onions and added fresh rosemary and garlic. Oh, Thanksgiving in a pancake! I’ll bet they are equally as good left without the added savory yummies and pour on them syrup. Making them is easy. Add only water, no eggs. They were fluffy and delish!


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Rhythm Chips made from Kale

I have a quick product review to tell you about.  Rhythm chips made from Kale.  They are made by Daily Juice Food in Texas.  I know you are thinking…what?  They are exactly what they sound like….. kale that has been chopped and dried.  They are considered a raw food since the are air dried at a low temperature.  They come several different flavors and are also gluten free, vegan and gmo-free.  I think my favorite was the ranch.  I love kale, so I thought they were really good.  My twenty something kids however, not so much.  They are both kind of picked so I would let that stop you from trying them.   I loved them.  Like I said, I love kale.  I eat it raw in salad and cooked in anything.  They are crispy like a chip so it's really easy to just keep popping them in your mouth, and they are good for you!  I think they would be really yummy in a salad instead of a crouton too.  Check them out here and see what you think! Oh, and great to travel with too.   

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The Ultimate Gluten Free Cookie Book


Right before Christmas, I received another cookbook.  This time, it was a cookie book put out by Roben Ryberg called, "The Ultimate Gluten Free Cookie Book".  I have another one of Roben's book called "You Won't Believe it's Gluten Free".  We have used that book so many times, especially the biscuit recipe, that it automatically opens to the biscuit page!  I was very excited to get this book. 

Roben does not have celiac, nor is she gluten intolerant.  She can eat all the gluten she wants.  That might be part of why she has such fantastic recipes.  She can compare the two together.  The other part is the science behind what she does.  Roben tries to make recipes that only call for one or two flours instead of using multiple flours in one recipe.  Myself, I get so tired of measuring all of them out.  So much so, I have gone mainly to a gluten free blend for most things or a "Roben" recipe.   Roben uses either just brown rice or just sourgum in her recipes which not only makes them healthier, but much simpler as well.  I like that concept because I'm all about simple!  

As I said, I received this book just before Christmas.  I had been making some other recipes and trying to make some Christmas cookies and many of them were a complete failure.  I was so discouraged, that I wasn't going to make any other cookies, but then this book came.  I had to try it out.  

If you get this book, I encourage you to read all of chapter one first before starting.  Roben explains a lot about the science of gluten free baking and why she put the recipe together as she did.  Always follow the directions to the recipe exactly how it is written.  It will alter how your cookies turn out if you don't.  There is just about every conceivable type of cookie recipe in this book.  From the basic chocolate chip to homemade versions of Girl Scout Cookies.   

The book has two recipes for chocolate chip cookies.  The first recipe I tried was chocolate chip #1.  They had a really good flavor and were a soft cookie.  Three days later they were still soft and tasted fresh.  I however, don't like a soft cake like cookie.  I wanted a firmer crisp cookie.  I found that in chocolate chip #2.  This is my favorite chocolate chip cookie.  It has surpassed my own recipe that I've been using for many years.  Roben's recipe is not only better than mine, but waaaay simpler.  When you make the #2 recipe, it will look weird in the bowl.  The recipe calls for oil and the dough will look oily.  It will seem as if the chips don't want to stick inside the dough.  But trust me!  Just mush it together and stick on the cookie sheet.  They turn out fantastic!  I love these cookie!  My families favorite too.  Gluten eaters will not know the difference.  YUM!    

Next, since it was Christmas, I had to have Peanut Blossoms.  This was one of my favorites when I was a child.  I have not made them in a long time.  Her recipe was so easy to make.  I think I made three batches of this cookie over Christmas.  It was our favorite.  It was perfect and tasted just like I remember the original!  This is a new tradition.  

Then of course I had to have a cut out cookie with icing.  I made Rolled Sugar cookies.  If I remember right, I think the book said to oil the surface you are rolling out on, but I didn't have any luck with that, so I used flour and it worked perfectly.  These cookies have a really good buttery flavor.  I loved them and think they will be great for Valentines Day cookies too!

Next up were the Chocolate Crinkles.  These were great too and went together so easy!  I had had trouble with my mexican wedding cake cookie that I had tried to make the week before I got this book.  Roben told me to try making Sand Balls.  They are just like wedding cakes.  My family loved these cookies.  Problem solved!

The last one I tried was the Orange Cream-cheese Tassies.  On my.  These were so rich and yummy.  Basically the tassie has a cookies crust filled with cream cheese and orange marmalade.  Wow.  I have no idea how I made it through Christmas without gaining weight!  

In a nut shell, this is my new favorite cookie book.  I was feeling a little discourage before receiving it.  I was known as the cookie baker growing up.  Christmas cookies were my specialty.  I had an old cookbook my mom had given me probably 30 years ago that I always pulled out at Christmas and used.  No matter what I made from that book, it turned out.  I had tried to take those recipes and convert them and they just weren't turing out.  I was so close to deciding to just not make Christmas cookie anymore and then this book arrived.  I think what I really needed was a gluten free cook book with recipes that had been tested and perfected.  That's what Roben has put together here and I thank her so much!  

I have heard that Roben has a new book coming out next summer that is just bread recipes and I just can't wait.  I am so thankful for people like her.  I have no interest in writing cook books or trying to invent recipes.  It just takes so much time!  I just want to be able to have a simple gluten free life and I am so thank to those like her that put the time in to find things that not only work for us, but are simple.  

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Pie crust and gluten free flour

I have to admit, pie crust has been a problem for me to make.  I've just not had good luck with it.  Last year, I went to whole foods and loaded up on crust.  They are wonderful!  But, you only get a bottom crust. I wanted more.  Whole Foods is not close to me, so if I run out it's not like I can run out and buy a crust easily.    

What led me to even trying to make a crust myself, was an article I read last year in a magazine.  The magazine took several recipes from regular cookbooks, then used a gluten free flour blend as a cup per cup replacement for flour.  They used several blends and gave the results of each recipe used.  I have to tell you, I am so sick of having so many flours and recipes that use so many flours.  I have many recipes I just love, but it seems like as soon as I want to make something, I will be out of just one of the flours I need.  Then there is the issue of storing them all.  My cupboard only has so much space. 

It got me thinking and experimenting on my own.  Right before I was diagnosed, I had purchased, "Martha Stewarts Baking Handbook'.  I  never got to make all the things in that book that I wanted!  My mom had been having good luck with Namaste's Perfect Flour Blend.  So I bought some, and decided to try it in some recipes.  

One of the first one's I tried from Martha's book was the pie crust.  I wanted to make a rustic apple pie.  You know, the kind that's not in a pie pan, but a cookie sheet.  This was just so much easier than I imagined.  I used my food processor and followed directions.  If you roll it out on parchment paper and put plastic wrap over the top as you roll it out, you shouldn't have any problems with it.  Don't forget to flour the parchment.  

Here it is rolled out…


Ready to go in the oven….


Pie heaven….


My apples got a little brown.  I think that could be avoided by putting a little foil right in the middle during baking.  I used butter which I recommend, unless you can't eat dairy.  Also, I used sanding sugar around the edge.  

The crust was Martha's recipe which you can find here.  And the yummy inside was from "The Betty Crocker Cookbook", which you can find here.  Substitute the flour with a gluten free blend.  As I said, I used Namaste Perfect Flour Blend.  If you use another kind, make sure there is xanthan gum added.  If not, make sure you add some.

I have also tried making a Martha Stewart scone recipe with this flour and they turned out wonderful!  I am anxious to try more regular and gluten free recipes with pre-made flour blends.  It just seems like life would be so much simpler only having one bag of flour!   

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Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef

I received a copy of "Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef" by Shauna James Ahern and Daniel Ahern a little over a month ago.  I've been just dying to cook something from it but life has just had me too busy!  Finally, I had a chance to make what I most wanted to make….the pasta.  But more about that in a minute.

Most of you will probably know Shauna from the blog, Gluten Free Girl.  I have been reading her blog for years!  It was because of Shauna and a couple other bloggers that I started blogging.  These were also the people who kept me from feeling sorry for myself when I first went gluten free.   

Shauna and her husband Daniel, the chef, have spent a lot of time putting this book together.  It's a little bit different format from the typical cookbook.  Throughout the book, there are many stories of how Shauna and Daniel met.  And, most recipes have a small story or some kind of introduction to them.  Daniel gives a lot of cooking advice and instruction throughout the book as well.  This is very helpful even if you've been cooking a while.  There is always something new to learn when you cook!  

The only drawback in the book, for me personally, was the recipes are not divided into catagories like salads, meat, dessert etc.  It's random.  So if you want to look at a whole catagory of desserts, you need to go to the index and then you will jump around the book to see all the desserts.  The book is sectioned according to their stories.  It's really not a problem, more of a personal preference.  

There are lot's of interesting recipes.  Some sound challenging and some are simple which is a good mix.  I am looking forward to trying the Asian tart, crackers, chicken braised in red wine and several others.  But the one I wanted to try the most was the pasta.  

I have never made pasta.  Ever.  I always wanted to, but never got around to it.  After going gluten free, I just thought it would be too hard.  But it was so easy!  I should have done it sooner!  

Shauna's recipe mixes up very quickly.  I do not have a pasta attachment for my Kitchen Aid.  The instructions said to make 8 small balls out of the dough and roll it out by hand.  It went pretty quick and my only problem was I probably could have rolled it out thinner.  Fresh pasta cooks really quick and has such a good texture and flavor to it.  This would be really good in chicken noodle soup!  And I"ll definetly be making it again.  I might even have to spring for a pasta maker!  

After rolling out…..


After cooking….





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Free For All Cooking

Today I'm reviewing a new cookbook I just received.  It's called "Free For All Cooking", by Jules E. Dowler Shepard.  I was really excited about getting this cookbook because I've been to Jules website on numerous occasions, and had always wanted to try her cookbook recipes.  You may be familiar with her website  She is a cookbook writer and has a flour blend that many of you might already be using.  

This cookbook contains 150 gluten-free and allergy friendly recipes.  You do not have to have her flour in order to make her recipes.  She provides a recipe so you can make your own blend or you can use any other commercial blend.  I did not have her blend so my own.  

There are so many recipes in this book I want to try!  My short list is…Dark Chocolate Beer Cake, Popcorn Bread, French Baguette, Pumpkin Corn Muffins, and Lemon Poppyseed Muffins.  I love the fact that she has some unusual things in the book.  I mean really, beer cake?  It sounds wonderful to me!  I would have made that right away, but I'm out of gluten free beer.  It's number one on my list.  

This cookbook contains recipes for breakfast food, appetizers and sides, breads and rolls, soups, main events, and desserts.  She's got all the basics covered here.  The book is laid out nicely and all recipes laid out in an orderly, easy to read fashion.  Each recipe also has a short introduction to the recipe explaining what you are about to make.  

The first thing I wanted to make were the flour tortillas.  I had leftover flank steak and that just sounded so good.  Of course I eat corn tortillas all the time, but it's been almost 4 years since I've had a soft flour tortilla.  The recipe was simple and really didn't take that long to make.  You use the food processor to mix the dough, then roll 8 balls and let them sit for a bit.  Then flatten them.  I used a heavy skillet.  Next, you cook them in a hot skillet on each side for just a couple minutes.  Delicious!  They were tender and had a great flavor. I will be making them again!  


The black specks in the picture is from the rice flour browning in the skillet.  As you roll the tortillas out, you need to have some flour down to keep them from sticking.  I used rice flour.  It tends to brown in the skillet but did not cause a bad flavor.  

As I make other recipes from the book I will post the pictures here and let you know what I think about it.  In the mean time, you might want to check this book and her website out!  

Update:  Since this post was written, I have also made the Chocolate beer cake and it was fabulous!  It will be my "go to" chocolate cake recipe from now on.  I made a chocolate glaze for the top instead of icing which worked out really well.  

Also, on super bowl Sunday I was looking for a flat bread of sorts to serve with a pizza dip I was making.  I happened to remember this cookbook had a focaccia recipe and decided to try it.  It was fabulous as well and I will use this recipe over and over!  It worked perfectly for the pizza dip and tasted really good.  

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Triumph Dining Guide

I just received my updated Gluten-free Restaurant Guide by Triumph Dining.  I love this guide and have had several editions of them.  The most current one is the 5th edition.  I like the fact that the book is divided into states and cities.  That way if you are traveling, you can look up where you will be and see a list of the gluten free restaurants in that area.  The back part of the book has the restaurant menus.  This is the good part……what you can order and how to order it!  

This years guide has several new restaurants added which is always nice to see.  It's important to know that menus can change so you want to check from time to time the favorite things you order out.  Triumph also makes a grocery guide and several cell phones apps which are so helpful.  You can see what they have to offer at  Check it out!  

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Gluten Free Thanksgiving

Wow, I can't believe that Thanksgiving is almost here!  Is this your first gluten free Thanksgiving?  Are you a little nervous?  We'll, don't be!  This is an easy holiday to be gluten free!  Below is the menu that I'm making on Thanksgiving.  Also, be sure to check out all the other gluten free blogs.  There are so many creative gluten free cooks out there willing to share with others.  

The most important thing is, don't stress about it.  My first gluten free Thanksgiving I tried to do it all!  I planned too many things to make and thought I had to make everything homemade.  Bad idea.  If you can find pre-made gluten free pie crusts in your area, don't look at the price, just buy them.  Whole Foods makes some great ones.  That might not work if you are dairy free though and you will have to make them.  If you have to make pie crust from scratch, I would make it this week and freeze it in a pan ready to go.  It will cut down on work next week.  

To make stuffing, you really don't need homemade bread for it to be great.  I am using frozen pre-made from Whole Foods.  Their gluten free Oat bread is also dairy free.  Another bread that makes great stuffing is Ener-g brand.   It is a shelf stable bread that you usually see in health food stores.  It makes great stuffing!  Make sure you use enough liquid so your stuffing is moist.  Gluten free bread dries out easily!  

If dairy is a problem and you are making pumpkin pie, try coconut milk.  That's what I'm planning on!    I'm also not attempting rolls.  I gave up on gluten free rolls a long time ago.  I'm making cornbread.  I'm going to add a hand full of dried cranberries to it just because it sounds yummy and will look festive!  

I have a recipe given to me by my sister in law for sweet potatoes.  They are fabulous.  She uses cashews, peaches and ginger in the potatoes!  So be sure to check out that recipe!

Most importantly, enjoy the day.  Enjoy your family.  Be thankful for the food you can eat.  This is a time it's really easy to feel sorry for yourself because there are so many things around that you can't eat.  Don't let that ruin your day! Really try to enjoy and savor what you can eat.   

On another note, I received and email from the folks over at Triumph Dining.  They were letting people know that Butterball Turkeys are gluten free.  Some, even have gluten free gravy packets!  If you buy one, please read your packet before using it.  Some of the stores may still have the packets with the gravy that contains gluten.  If so, just throw the gravy out.  The turkey itself is gluten free!  

Also, Triumph Dining is getting ready to put their grocery guide in an iphone app!  I am so excited about this!  I love Triumph's grocery guide and will love having it on my phone where I can access it whenever I need it!  Thanks Triumph!

Thanksgiving Day Menu

Turkey with mushroom gravy 

Dressing (print recipe)

Mashed Potatoes 

Sweet Potatoes (print recipe)

Green Bean Casserole

Cranberries (print recipe)

Corn bread with cranberries (print recipe)

Jamaican Spiced Pumpkin Pie (this is dairy free!)

Coffee Toffee Pecan Pie 

Apple Pie (I am using this recipe from fine cooking, but using apples instead of pears.  Just use an all purpose gluten free flour as your flour)

Have a happy thankful day!!

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Minestrone Soup

The weather is getting colder and that means it's time for soup!  I think most of you know by now that on Sundays, I scrapbook with my mom and a couple of friends.  Most Sundays, the friends go home at dinner time, but once a month we have a pitch in.  The husbands come and eat with us too!  

Luckily, my mother and my friend Jennifer, is gluten free.  My other friend, Denise,  is very good about bringing something that is gluten free so the meal stays safe to eat.  We really have a lot of fun doing this and it's something I look forward to each month.  Luckily, I have a huge dining room table that can seat at least 10 without the extra leaf and more with it!  I love filling that table with people and feeding them.  

Coming up with a gluten free main dish to feed that many people can be tricky at times, but can be managed.  I love to make soup.  A couple weeks ago when we had this dinner, it was a little chilly out.  Right now the weather in Indianapolis is beautiful.  It's been in the low 70's.  I know winter is just waiting to rear it's ugly head.  So, this soup recipe will be perfect on those cold winter days.  

This recipe makes a ton of soup.  You can easily cut it in half for less people.  And, it gets better each day it's leftover!  


Minestrone Soup (print recipe)

2 pounds ground sirloin

6 carrots, chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

2 onions, chopped

1/2 cabbage, chopped

1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes 

2-15 oz. canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained

2-32 oz box beef stock plus 3 cups

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

2 zucchini, shredded (I use a cheese grater)

2 cups uncooked gluten free elbow pasta

1. In your largest soup pot, brown ground beef and drain off the fat.  

2. Add the carrots, celery, and onions.  Cook until they are tender.  

3. Next, add the cabbage, tomatoes, beans, the two boxes of beef stock and spices.  Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to simmer and cook for about and hour.

4. After and hour, add the zucchini and the pasta.  Cook until the pasta is tender, about 30 minutes.  This is where you might want to add the extra broth.  I like my soup with more broth, you might like yours with less.  It's up to you!  You can also add less pasta if you like it that way.  

This makes a huge pot of soup!  It will serve at least 16 people.  


Jennifer brought corn bread.  She has a secret gluten free cornbread recipe.  But, it's not dairy free.  So, just for me she made some dairy free corn muffins.  They were so yummy!  I can't share the recipe since she's taking it to the State Fair competition this summer.  I think she's going to give them a run for the money!  You can see Denise's veggie tray in the background.  That's a perfect thing to bring for a gluten free dinner!  

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Cashew Cheese

I'm about as excited as a dairy free girl can get!  I've discovered cashew cheese!  I whipped up my first batch last night after receiving a comment from Cinnamon Quill about making cashew cheese.  If you've never been to her blog before, please go check it out.  She has beautiful photography and is always making something yummy!  

The recipe I used was from Choosing Raw.  You have to soak your cashews for an hour of two, then give them a whorl in a food processor with lemon juice, garlic, water and salt.  Her recipe call for miso which I did not have, so I left that out.  I did use sun dried tomatoes and some dried basil in mine.  Oh my is it good.  It has the consistency and flavor of ricotta cheese.  I think it would be a very good in lasagna or on pizza!  Last night,  I liked it mighty fine on crackers and a glass of wine to go with 🙂


For lunch today, after an early morning shopping trip to Sam's club, I was starving.  I had purchased some roast beef and made a sandwich with cashew cheese and roast beef.  Our local Sam's club has really good deli meat and it says gluten free right on the label! 





I also found out that Whole Food Bakehouse does have a dairy free bread.  It's Gluten Free Oatmeal Bread.  They use soy milk powder and of course gluten free oats.  This is a lifesaver because there are weeks I just don't have time to make bread! 


I encourage you to try this "cheese".  It's really easy to make if you have a food processor and really good!

Next time I think I'll make mexican flavor! 



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