Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I have been put on hold with baking because my students always make me tons and tons of cookies, none of which I can eat, so my darling husband always has the job of eating them. Unfortunately, that means he is sugared out by the time I'm ready to do my Christmas baking. This year, I have decided to stray away from the usual Christmas goodies and make a random assortment of things that I'd like to eat. Since hubs is in anti-sugar mode and my parents are both dieting, this year its all about the gluten free pregnant lady...and luckily for me, I come from a big family with lots of kids. We all know kids don't discriminate against dessert, especially not the ones in my family.

Christmas Breakfast
* Fresh squeezed OJ from my in-laws tree (gotta love living in FL)
* Coffee (for hub) and Chocolate Milk (for me)
* Chocolate and Cherry Muffins (I subbed the cranberry, orange, and lemon for dried cherries and chocolate chips)
* Cranberry Orange Muffins
(with added lemon zest)
* Fruit

Christmas Dessert* Betty Crocker's Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Unfortunately, my plate has a dip in the middle and the cake split. Its not the prettiest, but it smells and tastes delicious!* Almond Joy Coconut Macaroons
- 2/3 cup condensed milk
- 1 egg white
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 3 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 24 almonds
-4 ounces chocolate, melted

Combine milk, eggs, vanilla, and shredded coconut in a bowl. Scoop tablespoon sized balls onto a very well greased baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. When you remove cookies from oven, immediately lift off of pan and place on wax paper. Stick an almond into the center of each macaroon. When cookies cool, melt chocolate and dip bottom of cookies in. Allow to cool on wax paper.

Can you tell I live in Florida? Its a very bright, tropical, and citrus filled Christmas, but with the temperatures in the 70s, who can blame me?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Healthy snacks for both big and little kids

A friend of mine gave me some prepackaged Smoothies and baby food from Ella's Kitchen. Unfortunately for me, baby is not due until after the expiration date, so I passed the baby food onto a friend. Her 6 month old baby loves them!! Luckily for me, I was able to try the smoothie, The Big Red, jammed full of bananas, strawberries, apples, raspberries, lemon juice concentrate, and nothing else. These look guys are 100% fruit, organic, and best of all gluten free. They were perfect this morning, since I was running late to the vet appointment for London. I quickly ate a Stonyfield vanilla yogurt (with pecans and raisins) and then grabbed a smoothie to slurp on in the car. A perfect snack to have on hand for your kids or busy pregnant ladies such as myself :) I still have a Yellow One(bananas, apples, mango, apricot) to try later this week. Hopefully, it will be just as yummy. If you're interested in trying them for yourselves, check out their website for locations.

Easy Gluten Free Holiday Snacks/Gifts

A student and a couple of friends, both made me some holiday goods and after years of having allergies, this is the first time someone has made me gluten free goodies. Normally, people seem to forget in the rush of the holidays and my husband ends up eating everything or it sadly goes in the trash if he can't finish it.
These gifts were delicious and easy to make! Two of them were made for other co-workers, but they tweaked the recipe so that I would be able to eat them as well. Isn't thoughtfulness the best thing about the holiday season :)

Chocolate Covered Pretzels by Claire bear
Chocolate pretzels are a favorite of mine and something I haven't had in years. It honestly never occurred to me to make my own. These are just as good as any gluten filled combo I've had before and thanks to one of my students I have been munching on a big tray of these all day. YUMMY...She even taped the Gluten free label on the tray so I would know they were safe to eat.

* Chocolate (milk/white/both), melted
Drizzle melted chocolate over pretzels and allow to cool.

Candied Nuts

* nut mix (season with butter, cinnamon, sugar and bake)
* m&ms
Bake nuts, allow to cool, mix with m&ms, and ENJOY! You could also add cranberries, raisins, or any other trail mix friendly item.

Monkey Munch or Muddy Buddy

* chocolate, melted
* peanut butter
* powdered sugar
* butter
* vanilla

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mrs. McKeeby 1, Starbucks 0

The 4th and 5th grade team decided to have a holiday breakfast to celebrate the last week of school. I searched long and hard for a recipe to please my co-workers and was really determined to make something that would never be guessed as gluten free. I found an old recipe copying Starbuck's Cranberry Bliss Bars. I have never tried the original starbucks bars or this recipe, because my husband doesn't like white chocolate. With this special occassion I figured I'd go nuts and bake a big batch for my team. I've only ever heard good things about them.
BINGO!! This was the winner! The result was beautiful, tasty, wonderfully delicious dessert bars. I put 2 bars aside for myself (left on my desk) and went to the breakfast with my best lieing face(bad teacher). "No, of course, these are not gluten free. I wanted to make something everyone could enjoy." I know this seems silly, but I have a few coworkers who are not the most supportive of my diet (as if I have a choice). In response one even said "Good, I'm glad you didn't bring us cardboard to eat". (See why I lie?)

Well, I proceeded to watch everyone eat and listen to everyone's criticism on all the food. By the end of breakfast, ALL 32 of my bars were gone, with over half of the people going back for 2nd and 3rds. I heard people raving about them and even had 2 people ask for the recipe. By lunch, a teacher came by my room asking if there were anymore left because she had heard through the grapevine how delicious my Cranberry bars were.

I would definitely call that a success!! And, of course, after everyone enjoyed their 1, 2, or 3 bars I let them all in on my little secret that they were in fact, Gluten Free :)
I hope you all enjoy these as much as my co-workers did.

Adapted from Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur

* 2 sticks buter, softened
* 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
* 3 eggs
* 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
* 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
* 1 1/2 cups Pamela's baking mix
* zest of 1 lemon
* 3/4 cup cranberries
* 6 ounces white chocolate, cut into chunks
* 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
* 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
* 4 tsp lemon juice
* 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
* 1/4 cup cranberries, diced
* 1 ounce chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using an electric mixer, blend butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and beat well. Slowly stir in flour and xanthan gum. Mix cranberries and chocolate chunks in by hand. Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 13 pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake 25-30 minutes or until cake is light brown on the edges. Allow to cool.

Make frosting by mixing all frosting ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth. When cake is cool, spread frosting on.

Sprinkle diced cranberries on top. Melt chocolate in microwave, 20-30 seconds at a time. Stir until smooth. Pour into a ziploc bag and cut off the very corner (a tiny hole). Use the ziploc bag to create lines of chocolate across the cake. This step is optional, but it makes the bars look so pretty.

All the recipes I found recommended cutting the pan in half lengthwise and then in 4th width-wise, followed by a diagonal cut to make triangles. Since they were so sweet and I was going to a party of 20+ people, I cut the cake 1st in 4ths lengthwise, then in 5ths widthwise with a final diagonal cut for pretty triangles. I left some larger in their original square shape to save for myself and served the triangles at the party. Depending on number of people you want to serve and how big you want your pieces you could get anywhere between 16 larges pieces to 40 party size pieces.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dressed up BLT wrap

* Food For Life brown rice tortilla
* Boar's head Bacon
* Garlic hummus
* Sliced roma tomato
* Romaine lettuce or spinach leaves
* slices of onion
* sliced avocado

Cook bacon to your liking. Spread hummus on the wrap and layer all your goodies. The combination of the bacon and avocado is a new favorite in the McKeeby household. This meal is so easy and filling. Serve along side of a salad or fresh fruit. Delicious!! Baby doesn't mind green things when they are wrapped up with bacon. Don't worry, we'll trick her into losing the meat and getting more greens once she's born.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Cherrybrook Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bake cookies according to the directions on the box (just add water, butter, and vanilla). I added an additional 3/4 cup of coconut and 1/2 cup of broken pecans.

These cookies weren't better than making them for scratch, but considering that I picked these up at the Discount Grocery Store for $1 I was very pleased with the result. The cookies were soft and had a good amount of flavor. I don't think it would fool a gluten lover, but I've been happily snacking on them for days.

I've also tasted this company's sugar cookie. Now those were definitely just as good as homemade. I am normally a chocolate fan, but would choose the sugar cookie over the chocolate chip from The Cherrybrook Kitchen.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Baby wants muffins

I've been in a breakfast rut lately, enjoying a bowl of cereal (usually Rice Chex), banana or frozen blueberries, and milk in the morning when I get to work.

I've been trying to get out of the rut, because baby does not seem to appreciate anything shy of high protein in the morning. When I try to get away with trying a new cereal (esp with more sugar) my blood sugar goes haywire. This baby GIRL is awfully picky.

I've been way too lazy to make eggs in the morning and have been trying to add some small sides to my breakfast or within an hour of, such as...
* apples and peanut butter
* yogurt
* trail mix

On Wednesday we didn't have school so I made my favorite gluten free muffins (with sour cream hoping to please the dairy craving baby). Does anyone have any quick, high protein breakfast ideas?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hello winter, hello soup

So, this season and pregnancy have brought about many changes in the McKeeby household. 1 being a switch to hearty soups and 2. being lots of meat. I will eventually change the title of my blog, but for my baby's sake, this is no longer a vegetarian blog. Not because it wasn't healthy enough, but because this baby GIRL wants meat, meat, and a side of dairy. VERY different from her mom's usual meals. I keep thinking since she gets to be in control now, maybe I can be in control when she's born.
Below are a few soup ideas. I never follow a recipe for soups, they are ideas that vary every time we eat. Feel free to adjust to your liking.

Ham and Bean Soup
* 1 16 oz bag northern beans
Toss beans in crock pot, cover with water, and cook for 2-3 hours on low.
* water/broth
* leftover ham and hock
* carrots, sliced
* onion, diced
* several cloves of garlic, diced
Drain water and add fresh water, broth, leftover thanksgiving ham, sliced carrots, onions, and garlic. Cook on low until beans are soft and ham is falling apart.

Chicken and Veggie soup (2 days, 2 meals, 1 pot)
This is perfect for my husband who doesn't like the same meal too many times and for me who doesn't like to clean more than 1 pot.
* 1 whole chicken
* tomato sauce
* chicken/veg broth
* potatoes, diced
* veggies, diced (carrots, squash, onions, garlic, peas, spinach, etc)
* seasonings
Toss chicken (don't forget to take out the insides) in crockpot on low, while you are at work with tomato paste and a small amount of water. I usually do this from 7am to 4 or 5pm-ish. Remove chicken skin and bones. Enjoy chicken for dinner with your choice of sides.

When done, toss chicken pieces back into crock pot with broth, veggies, potatoes, and your choice of seasonings (I like rosemary and garlic, or thyme). In the morning, pour into tupperware containers for lunch :)

You could also sub beef chunks for the chicken and toss all the ingredients in the crockpot at once for a delicious Beef and Veggie Soup.

*Freeze any leftovers for when you're feeling sick or lazy.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Fudge

I didn't want to compete with the traditional Thanksgiving desserts by making a gluten free version, but I also didn't want to be left out of all the desserty goodness. I decided to make something original, so no one would question whether or not it was gluten free. This fudge was extremely sweet, but very good in small amounts. I will play with the recipe in the future to try to limit that tooth shocking sweetness. Some said it was too sweet, others loved it. Enjoy at your own risk ;)

* 3 cups sugar (yikes thats a lot)
* 3/4 cup butter, melted
* 2/3 cup evaporated milk
* 1 cup pumpkin puree
* 2 T corn syrup
* 2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
* 6 oz white chocolate, chopped
*1 tsp vanilla
Optional: chopped pecans

Line an 8 x 8 pan with aluminum foil and grease.

Stir the ingredients, sugar through white chocolate together until boiling. Continue stirring almost the entire time. You may need to stop in order to reach desired temperature. It is VERY important that you allow the fudge to reach 234 degrees. If you don't you will have soupy fudge (like I did the first time I made this). When you have reached the desired temperature, pour into a bowl for a few minutes to allow the fudge to cool down. Add 1 tsp of vanilla extract and beat with a mixer for a minute or 2 to help lose the glossy look. Pour into pan and allow to cool. Fudge should begin to firm up quickly. Top with chopped pecans if desired. I think this adds to the pumpkin pie taste.

When fudge is completely cool and hardened. Remove from pan and cut into 36 pieces.
If fudge is soupy when cool, pour back into pan and bring up to a boil (using a thermometer to reach 234 degrees and repeat ending steps).

If you have any ideas on how to make this a little more creamy and a little less sugary, feel free to share. This was my very 1st time making fudge. In the meantime enjoy this pumpkin spice dessert :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Butternut Squash Risotto-30 minute meals :)

I was going out to dinner with a friend, so I needeed something quick to throw together for my dear husband (mmmmm....Chang's Spicy Chicken at PF Changs).

Butternut Squash Risotto
* 1/2 small onion, diced
* 2 cloves of garlic
* 1 cup arborio rice
* 3 cups liquid (I used 2 cups chicken broth, 1 cup water, but you could use all water or chicken/veg broth)
* 1.5 cups pureed butternut squash (I had some left over)
* 1/3- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Saute onions in olive oil on medium heat. When tender, add garlic for 1-2 minutes. Stir continuously. Add in 1 cup rice and stir for 1 minute. Add in 1 cup of liquid at a time, stirring every 3-5 minutes. Allow liquid to be absorbed before adding any more. After 2nd cup of liquid, add cooked squash. Continuing to stir, add 3rd cup, and when most of the liquid is absorbed add the parmesan cheese. Parmesan is very salty, so add according to your taste buds. Continue to stir until desired texture. Takes about 20-25 minutes.

In a hurry to get out the door, I forgot to take pictures. I thought this dish was much better the 1st night then reheated for lunch, but hubs said that he thought it was good both times. He's so nice.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Peanut Butter Blossoms

I'm sure everyone knows how to make these, but sometimes we need a reminder of all the simple gluten free items out there.

Peanut Butter Blossoms (made 15 cookies)
* 1 cup natural peanut butter
* 1 cup sugar (1/2 sugar, 1/2 brown sugar)
* 1 egg
* 1/2-1 tsp baking soda

While cookies are baking, unwrap enough hershey kisses to put one on each cookie and of course, one for you to taste test.

Mix all ingredients until well blended. Roll into balls, place on cookie sheet, bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes. When out of the oven, immediately press a hershey kiss into the center of the cookie. Allow to cool and devour. :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I tricked the meat loving baby!!

17 weeks pregnant and for weeks now I have not been able to stomach any vegetables. All the baby wants is meat, dairy, and more meat and dairy with a side of carbs. However, tonight, I tricked the baby....with Veggie Pizza. Bread and dairy for the baby and I got to enjoy a handful of veggies.

I'd also like to mention that I have recently decided that Whole Foods makes the BEST gluten free pizza crust. Yes, I know...thats a large statement especially for a pizza lover like myself, but I've made my own, I've made mixes, I've tried restaurants and Whole Foods has them beat. Their products are so hit or miss but this one is right on the gluten free taste, crispy crust, thick, holds up well. Mmmmmm....They're expensive, but no more than eating out or buying other premade items and well worth the money. I'm trading in my other pizza mixes for awhile.
Veggie Pizza (serves 2-3)
*Whole Foods Pizza Crust
Thaw and bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 ( I like mine crispy). Take out and top with the following toppings, in order (or use your own)
*2-3 roasted roma tomatoes
*2-3 handfuls of spinach leaves, torn
*1-2 cups shredded mozzarella
*sprinkle with crumbled feta, sliced olives, and crushed red pepper flakes and serve with a side of pasta sauce for dipping

Bake for another 10 minutes and enjoy :)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ugly pictures, Delicious breakfast

On the weekends, I try to make a big breakfast to make the most of my time with hubby. This morning while hubby was out picking lettuce in the garden, baby started acting up and was showing no signs of having patience in waiting for him to finish his morning routine. So, I decided to whip up a smoothie while we waited, but no no...this baby wanted dairy. I'm still adjusting to these strong cravings for meat and dairy, so cooking feels like a new adventure. (and I'm usually so hungry, I get half way through eating before I remember to take a picture. Note: the crappy pictures on today's blog)
Blueberry smoothies (with dairy)
*1 frozen banana
* 1 small handful of blueberries
* 6 oz Stoneyfield Plain yogurt (keeping the sugar down so I could enjoy the maple syrup with my waffles-yum)
* splash of OJ
Toss everything in Blendtec (or other blender) and blend. Made about 12 oz and baby and I were charged for the morning....that is until an hour later when it was waffle time :)

Pamela's Banana and Pecan Waffles
* 1 1/2 cup Pamela's baking mix
* 3/4 cup water
* 2 eggs
* 2 Tbsp oil
* 1 tsp vanillaMix ingredients, pour in waffle maker, top with pecans, banana slices, and pure maple syrup and ENJOY! (I tried mixing the banana into the waffle batter this morning, but it messed up the texture. The waffles weren't crisp on the outside, like they should be. I recommend just tossing the banana slices on top of the waffles)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Betty Crocker Dessert and Snacks


For my birthday, my dad and 12 year old sister lovingly joined forces and made, for the first time ever, a gluten free birthday cake. Luckily for them, Betty Crocker came to the rescue with her simple easy chocolate cake mix. This cake was delicious with its chocolate cream cheese icing and although my brother turned his nose at the idea of a gluten free cake, his plate was clean and there were no complaints. The following days the cake dried out, but luckily for my big family, we devoured all but 2 pieces the 1st day.
I tested out Betty's brownies again last weekend when some friends were in town and I must give mixed reviews. I have made these brownies 2 times and eaten them when they were made by 2 other people. Every single time they taste different. The first time I made them and one other time from a friend, they were moist, rich, and everything you want from a chocolate brownie. The 2nd time I made them and when another friend made them, they were hard and drier that expected. Maybe it was the butter or it cooked faster the 2nd go around. Who knows? For now, I'll stick to my personal brownie recipe, which are always moist, rich, and nothing shy of amazing.

MORE FROM BETTY CROCKER and her magically gluten free ways....
After seeing a favorite childhood snack of mine, Gushers, gone gluten free, I couldn't help but register for the giveaway held by the Gluten Free Gidget. Luckily for me, I WON!! I am generally a very healthy eater with a big appetite for dessert. So, after my excitement wore off from winning, I questioned whether or not I would really want to eat and if I would enjoy the combination of Gushers, Fruit Roll ups, Fruit by the Foot, and Create a bug. I brought the box to school to add to my "I'm pregnant and need frequent snacks" bin and figured what I didn't eat I'd share with my students. I will admit, the gushers are just as yummy as I remember and the create a bug are pretty delightful as well. Because of health reasons they won't go on my daily snacks list, but they are a yummy little treat when you want something sweet to eat. Thank you again Gluten Free Gidget and Betty Crocker!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


A friend of mine recently had a baby, so I decided to celebrate her new bundle of joy with a box of Kinnickinick glazed donuts. Because after giving birth, seriously, what would any woman want more than something delicious to eat. Plus, while still in the hospital the need to get back in shape is still being overshadowed by the joy of the new baby.

While grabbing the box, I realized it would be unfair to my baby if I didn't also get a box for myself and boy, oh boy was that a good decision. These donuts at $5.99 (for 6 donuts) are a tad expensive, but well worth the money. They are heavier than gluten filled donuts, but DELICIOUS! Go ahead and splurge, pick up a box for yourself and a friend :) Available at Whole Foods, Native Sun, and even some small chain health food stores, such as Grassroots.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I recently tried Glutino's GF bagels and they are delicious. They are guilty of having a mild gluten free taste, but its nothing peanut butter or cream cheese can't cover up. The downside is that they must be really well toasted (I toast twice) or the texture is rather undesirable. When extra toasted and topped with cream cheese they are delightful. Nice to have a quick, non sugary breakfast.
I found these at Whole Foods ($6.50 for a bag of 5 frozen bagels).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Great idea for school snacks

The above pdf file, create by provides a letter with helpful suggestions for classroom snacks that your celiac child (or teacher, in this case) can enjoy. I printed it as a reference for myself because sometimes I'm just too tired to look up a certain product. Obviously, products are always changing, but at least its one less list you have to make this year.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Its been awhile

I have seriously been neglecting this poor little blog, but with good reason....
Joel and I are having a baby!!
I've had horrible morning sickness and with a new school year coming up I have been exhausted. Between working, eating, and sleeping I don't have time to blog....seriously you should see my house. I do nothing but work, eat, and sleep. My house is a disaster every single day. Hoping to overcome the nausea and get back in the kitchen to cook, instead of scraping together bits and pieces. Currently all I want to eat is meat, cheese, carbs, and fruit. Veggies gross me out. This turn of events has me feeling clueless in the kitchen.
pregnancy calendar

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I love quesadillas. Really, I love any excuse to eat a lot of cheese.
Step 1: Butter tortilla
Step 2: Fill tortilla
Step 3: Fold tortilla
Step 4: Place in skillet at medium heat, cook until crisp and flip. Allow cheese to melt.
Step 5: ENJOY!

I like to mix up the filling on my quesadillas, depending on what's in the fridge, but I always use Food For Life, Brown Rice Tortillas (available at Whole Foods and Native Sun), so delicious!

Some of my fave options include:

* Black beans/refried beans, onions, bell peppers, cheddar cheese/monterey jack w/ peppers, served with homemade salsa and guacamole
* Sauteed spinach, onions, peppers, goat cheese/feta, kalamata olives
* Sauteed zucchini, onions, peppers, roasted tomatoes, garlic, and mozzarella

Go ahead and get creative! They're so easy to make and a great meal served with a salad or a side of veggies.

Friday, August 7, 2009


I have been allergic to wheat for about 6 years but now I am officially, gluten free. To help my intestines feel better and build back my immune system from my recent gluten attacks my doctor has instructed me to avoid sweets and fruit juices for 3 months.

:) Its been 5 gluten and sugar free days and I feel GREAT! :)
Nothing quite like finding a 'diet' that works.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Chill out, its summer

With the summer heat sneaking into the house at every opportunity, I opted out of using the stove for dinner. Thank you, Kim, for the idea to "CHILL OUT" in the kitchen. Look at her site for other GF, no bake recipes.
Mostly RAW Veggie Wraps
* Food For Life Brown Rice Tortillas
* Zucchini, cut in strips
* Bell Pepper, cut in strips
* Onion, cut in thin strips
* Handful of spinach
* A couple of spoonfuls of garlic hummus
Fill tortilla, wrap, and enjoy! Serve with sliced watermelon (or if you are lazy like me, cut watermelon in half and enjoy with a spoon)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Betty Crocker to the Rescue (and free too)

Betty Crocker came out with a whole line of gluten free products this summer including, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, and vanilla cake. Sadly, I have not seen any of the products in the grocery store, but thankfully for me and everyone else with a computer, Amazon ROCKS! I ordered a case (6 boxes to share with my GF friends) of chocolate chip cookies for $4 a box and free shipping, they arrived in 2 days, and were DELICIOUS!!These GF cookies are so easy to make and taste as delicious as their gluten filled counterpart, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside (although I cook mine the least amount of time because I love them real soft and straight out of the oven...mmmm). If you don't believe me, check out BeFreeForMe's review, where she tasted them side by side with the gluten filled kind.

There are so many great things about this product:
1. Easy to make
2. A few simple ingredients
3. Delicious
4. Cheaper than most GF baking mixes
5. 1 FREE BOX FOR YOU!! Call Betty Crocker and get a coupon for one free gluten free product, call 1-800-446-1898 and ask for a representative. When I called, the person was very friendly and it was a quick process. A couple of basic questions and within a few minutes a coupon for a free box of Betty Crocker goodness is on the way to your house.

Now when I crave a cookie, I can actually eat one that is just as amazing as I imagined! (ignore my ugly picture, it doesn't do them justice)

Options: I added a small amount of shredded coconut to half of the mix and they were incredible.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pasta and veggies

I had some leftover eggplant and peppers from my garden and needed a quick lunch. Less than 20 minutes and Tada...

* Tinkyada pasta
Cook pasta according to directions on the bag

* Olive oil and balsamic vinegar
* Small eggplant, cut into strips (sprinkle with salt)
* 1/2 onion, sliced
* Small bell pepper, sliced
* few olives ( I used green and kalamata)
* crumbled feta
While pasta is cooking, heat up olive oil and saute eggplant, onion, and pepper for about 10-15 minutes. Toss in sliced olives and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve along side of pasta (top with tomato sauce or italian dressing) and sprinkle with feta cheese and fresh basil (or lemon basil, in my case).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Spinach, Sundried Tomato, and Feta Quiche

* 1-2 grated potatoes
* 1/2 bag spinach
* 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
* 2 oz feta, crumbled
* 4 eggs
* 1 cup half and half

Dry grated potatoes with paper towels (be sure they are dry, otherwise they will not crisp up and will stick to the pan). Press potatoes into a greased 9 in cake pan (bottom and sides). Bake potato crust for 10 mins in a 450 degree oven.
Saute spinach in olive oil for a few minutes until wilted. Chop up spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and feta and sprinkle over the potato crust. Beat eggs and mix with half and half and pour milk/egg mixture in the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mixed Greens Salad

* 1 bag mixed greens
* 1 granny smith apple, sliced thin
* 1/2 cup cranberries
* 1/2-1 cup candied pecans (recipe below)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Serve with balsamic vinagarette.

Candied pecans

* 1/2-1 cup pecans
* 1 egg, beaten
* sugar
Place pecans in egg and then sprinkle with sugar (or alternative sweetener). Place on a greased baking pan and bake for 30 minutes at 250, flipping pecans half way through (15 mins).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gluten free on the road

Sometimes I feel silly traveling with a bag of food (especially since the highways are lined with restaurants/gas stations/etc), however at times I get real anxiety about eating out. I hate having to call and ask servers about all the ingredients in a dish, only to wonder for the remainder of the meal whether or not the server knew what they were talking about (I have had plenty experiences where I was assured the food was safe, only to spend the rest of my trip in the bathroom).
I'm heading to Miami tomorrow for a funeral and on Saturday to my husband's high school reunion in Orlando. Needless to say, if I get lost or stranded on an island, I should be alright for a few days with my packed bag of safe foods.

Some easy travel snacks ideas for munching on the road:
* Cereal (pictured above: Peanut Butter Panda Puff, Main Street Bakery Granola, Rice Chex)
* Trail mix (almonds, peanuts, pecans, raisins, cranberries, sunflower seeds, m&ms)
* Leather fruit snacks or dried fruit (like the dried peaches, above)
* Granola bars (LaraBars are always a winner)
* Fruit
* Glutino pretzels
* Mini muffins (Blueberry, Lemon Poppyseed)
* Rice Works Chips

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dottie's Chocolate Cake

My grandmother passed away early on the morning of July 10, 2009. She was always known for being a very active and healthy woman. In the last years of her life, after suffering from multiple strokes, she pushed aside her healthy tendencies and opted for more chocolate cake. The actual cake is made from Pamela's Chocolate Cake Mix, but the rest is dad's favorite cake that my grandma used to make him as a child.

Cake (Pamela's Chocolate Cake Mix)
Prepare as instructed on package to make 2 layers.

Chocolate Cream Filling
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 2 squares baking chocolate (2 oz)
* 4 T coconut flour
* 1 cup half and half
* 2 eggs, separated
* 1 tsp vanilla
Mix sugar, flour, chocolate, half and half in a double boiler over boiling water, stirring until thickened for about 10 minutes. Add in beaten egg yolks and sontinue to stir for about 2minutes. Set in fridge and allow to cool. When cool, spread filling on bottom layer of the cake.

Fluffy Icing
* 2 egg whites
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup white karo syrup
* 2 T water
* 1 tsp cream of tartar

Mix all ingredients in top of double boiler, cook over boiling water, beating constantly with mixer at high speed, approx 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add 1 tsp vanilla and continue beating until stiff peaks form (this took about 10-15 minutes, so I suggest using a kitchenaid mixer, because a handheld mixer may cause your arm to fall off).
Pour over cake and smooth. If this cake is messy, then you know you are successful. Keep cake in the fridge and be prepared for a sugar rush that could put even the biggest dessert-aholic into a sugar coma.

May heaven be a happy place filled with peace of mind and chocolate cake.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Looking for something light for a summer brunch I was hosting, I decided to try Elana's Lemon Poppyseed Muffins with a few minor modifications. Like everything else of hers I have tried, they are DELICIOUS!* 1/4 cup coconut flour
* 1/4 tsp baking soda
* 3 eggs
* 3 T brown sugar (packed)
* 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
* 1 T lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
* 1 T poppy seed

In a medium bowl mix coconut flour and baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, sugar, oil, and lemon zest. Combine dry mix into wet mixture and then fold in poppyseeds.
Place mix into greased mini muffin cups (about 1 T each) and bake at 350 for 8-10 mins.

Makes about 12 muffins

**My muffins came out a touch dry, so I mixed together the juice of half a lemon with a couple of Tbsp of powdered sugar. Poke the muffins with toothpicks and pour glaze on top. Adds moisture and a little extra tart flavor. DELICIOUS!
You may also enjoy the following made with coconut flour :
Bluberry Muffins
Vanilla Bean Cake

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Gluten Free Brunch

To celebrate the completion of our kitchen remodel, Joel wanted to have some friends over for a Sunday brunch. The weather was perfect, the food delicious, and the company wonderful.


The menu (recipes to follow shortly)
* Pumpkin, Chocolate Chip Scones
* Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
* Sour Cream Blueberry Muffins
* Cheese Tray (aged Gouda, Brie, and some Welsh mustard cheese) served with grapes, apple slices, and nut thins
* Sundried Tomato, Spinach, and Feta Quiche
* Mixed greens salad (greens, candied pecans, cranberries, feta, apple slices, balsamic dressing)
* Fruit tray (pineapple, cantaloupe, strawberries, kiwi)
* Mimosas
* Coffee

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fruit Salad

Instead of trying to replicate a safe version of all the things that make us sick, sometimes the best thing about eating gluten free is remembering to enjoy the things in life that are naturally gluten free.

* 1 mango, diced
* 1 kiwi, sliced
* a few raspberries
* a handful of blueberries

Mix together and enjoy, plain or with a side of yogurt.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Anniversary Feast

Last night we celebrated 3 wonderful years and decided, as usual, to keep it simple and enjoy our cozy home and a home cooked meal. I decided to try all new things and it was a delicious success. * Avocado, tomato, mozzarella, basil salad (made just like it sounds-chop up the ingredients, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper and TADA! Simple and delicious)
* Crab cakes (not very vegetarian of this blog, but thats what my husband wanted)
* Roasted Veggies
* Onion Rings (Check out the recipe and picture at Simply Gluten Free, her picture does the onion rings much more justice-yummy)
* Chocolate Mousse with raspberries

Roasted Veggies

* 1 lb asparagus, trim ends

* 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks, about the size of asparagus
* 1 zucchini,
cut into matchsticks, about the size of asparagus
* 1 red bell pepper,
cut into matchsticks, about the size of asparagus
* 1/4 of an onion, sliced thin
* Olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Toss all ingredients on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle
with sea salt and ground pepper. Bake at 425 for about 25 minutes.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Blueberry Crumb Cake

This cake is full of sugar, dairy, and is so unbelievable DELICIOUS! There is little that is healthy about this breakfast treat, but I turn a blind eye and happily devour piece after piece. My parents own a blueberry farm and after years of hard work my dad said no to picking this year, all he wanted was a piece of blueberry crumb cake. So, this ones for you dad...

2 3/4 cup Pamela's baking mix
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking soda
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 pint sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups blueberries

Crumb topping
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 Tbsp Pamela's baking mix
2 Tbsp butter, cold

Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until well blended. Add in the eggs, one at a time. Add the baking mix, baking powder, and baking soda together in a bowl. Once mixed, alternate flour mix and sour cream/vanilla mix into the butter/sugar mixture. Fold in blueberries.
In a seperate bowl, combine crumb topping ingredients, being sure to cut in butter to create a crumbley mix. Then pour half of the cake mixture into a greased bundt cake pan. Top with half of the crumb toppings. Pour remaining cake batter into the pan and top with remaining crumb toppings. The crumble with create a delicious brown sugar crust.
Bake at 350 for 60-65 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes.

I fed this to my family of gluten lovers and no one noticed that it was gluten free.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vegetable Biryani

1 pack Parampara Biryani mix (2.8oz)
1 jalapeno, diced (no seeds or stem)- optional if you desire heat
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup basmati rice
3 cups water or vegetable broth

Saute jalapeno, onion, and bell pepper in olive oil until soft. Add in garlic and mix for 1 minute. Pour in 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Pour in rice and Briyani seasoning mix and stir for 1 minute. Turn heat down to simmer and cook 18-22 until rice is done. Fluff and serve with a side of stemed/sauteed veggies.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Icing and Raspberry Jam

Kelly, of the Spunky Coconut, caught my eye with this delicious and unusual cake. As unusual the ingredients, I've been on a coconut fix lately, so I figured I'd give it a try. Plus, I had everything I needed in my pantry, with a few modifications, so I had no excuse not to eat cake. My little sister was scared of the addition of beans and sniffed the cake from start to finish complaining of its "bean smell". However, when the cake was frosted and ready to go, she couldn't keep her hands off the cake platter. This cake was light and moist, with a mild coconut flavor.Vanilla Cake
1 can cannellini beans, drained
6 eggs
4 packets truvia
1/3 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla extract

Put all ingredients in a food processor and puree well.
Then mix the following ingredients into the wet mix and puree:

1/3 cup coconut flour, sifted
1.5 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp baking powder

Pour into a 8.5" springform pan, lined with parchment paper on the bottom, and greased all around.
Bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Allow cake to cool.
Optional (but highly recommended): Cut cake in half and spread the bottom layer with raspberry jam. Place 2nd layer on top and frost the cake.

3/4-1 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup lite coconut milk
Melt chocolate and milk over a double boiler, or heat in the microwave, mixing until melted. Put in the fridge until frosting consistency and frost the cake.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chocolate, Coconut Ice Cream Sandwich

After reading some rave reviews from Coco.nut Your Average Girl, I decided to check out Coconut Bliss. I stopped by Whole Foods to see if they carried the brand and not only did they have it, but they had it on sale ($2 off), so naturally I had no choice but to splurge. The gluten free, vegan ice cream is absolutely delicious with a rich dark chocolate taste and the hint of coconut. With only half the carton left in my freezer, I came across some coconut chocolate chip cookies (tastes like coconut macaroons, but flat and soft like a chocolate chip cookie) from Sami's Bakery (Tampa, FL), which I purchased at Grassroots Market (Jacksonville, FL). When I got home, drenched in sweat from the Florida Summer sun, I decided that I deserved a treat and the gluten free Chocolate, Coconut Ice Cream Sandwich was born...
* Sami's Bakery Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
* Coconut Bliss Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

* Cut cookie in half
* Scoop ice cream and spread on each half of cookie.
* Smoosh the cookie halves together
* ENJOY or freeze until you're ready to enjoy :)