Tuesday, October 30, 2007

toasted pumpkin seeds

I realize I should have posted this several days ago, as I imagine most other families may not wait so long to carve their pumpkins (we are doing ours tonight, so seed photo to follow).

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Detatch seeds from pumpkin pulp and rinse well. Coat seeds well in vegetable oil and place on cookie sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and bake until golden brown (400 degrees around 20 minutes on the top rack, check often).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Chicken Topped

This is a meal I tried to recreate from one a friend brought our family. Simply layer the following items, bottom to top in a caserole dish:

frozen corn
chicken (seasoned with salt, paprika, pepper)
sliced avocado
sliced tomato
cheddar cheese

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, cover and bake another 30 minutes.
Serve with rice and/or salad.

Baby Shower Food Week!

Fruit Dip

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 (6 oz) container strawberry yogurt
1/2 tub Cool Whip

Beat cream cheese and sugar. Add vanilla. Stir in yogurt, and then add approximately half the container of whipped topping. Chill. Serve with apples, strawberries, pineapples, cantaloupe, grapes, or other yummy fruit.
This is just one of a thousand ways to make fruit dip. This recipe is light, and tastes really good. I've used different yogurts for different flavors, and it always comes out delicious. My sister Beka skewered the fruit, which was an awesome presentation. And we all know it's all about the presentation.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Baby Shower Food Week!

Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

1 package gluten free pretzels

1 (12 oz) package semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup white chocolate chips

In a ceramic or glass bowl, pour chocolate chips. Place over double boiler to melt, or melt in the microwave at 30 second intervals. Dip pretzels and place on wax paper. Place white chocolate chips in a quart-sized freezer Ziploc bag. Melt in microwave in 30 second intervals, squishing to melt. Snip tiny corner of freezer bag and drizzle over the still warm pretzels. Let cool in refrigerator.
These pretzels are the bomb. Seriously. I'm pretty sure I ate more than I served at the shower. Pick a good chocolate for better results. And this brand of pretzels is fantastic. I could not tell the difference, and neither could anyone else. I'm going to have to try making pretzel jello with them. The only down side is that they are not super big, so it took a while to make these. But worth the effort for a chocolate-covered pretzel deprived pregnant girl and her chocolate-covered pretzel deprived sister. BTW, I found these at Sprouts. They were a little pricey, $5 for a bag. So savor them. And for heavens sakes, dip them in chocolate.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Baby Shower Food Week!

Knorr Spinach Vegetable Dip

1 package Knorr Vegetable Soup Mix

2 cups sour cream

1 cup mayonnaise

1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well

Mix all ingredients and let chill for a few hours to blend flavors. Serve with veggies or gluten free bread cubes.

I know I already posted this, but now I have a picture. And I can't get over how easy and good this recipe is. I'm sure probably all of you already make this, but if you don't, try it. It's an awesome shower food. I mean, who doesn't love a good veggie tray? It makes you feel like all the other junk you're eating is balanced out.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Baby Shower Food Week!

So my celiac sister is pregnant, and we just threw a shower for her. It was kind of fun to have an entire party that was gluten free. So to inspire you in your baby shower endeavors, this week we will be posting the different foods we served for our celiac sister to her non celiac friends.

By the way, isn't she lovely?
Here's a sampling of what's to come.

Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp GF vanilla
2 eggs
3 cups white rice flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Cream butter and sugars. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Mix flour, baking soda and salt together, and then add to the butter mixture. Stir well. Roll into balls. Bake in a 375 oven for 8-9 minutes, or until slightly browned on top. Remove cookie sheet from oven and let cookies cool for a couple minutes. Remove and place on wire rack to finish cooling. Frost as desired.
So all I did here was take Liz's White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Cookies and omit the chips and nuts. I tried rolling them out and using cookie cutters, but the cookies turned out very flat. Verrrrrry flat. Rolling them into balls is key, as it cooks them before they have a chance to spread too much. I love the taste of these cookies, in fact many couldn't believe they were gluten free. There is a slight texture issue. They seem to stick to your teeth a bit, but there I go again downplaying the cookies and my sister Beka would be very upset. I used cream cheese frosting, but only because that's what we used on the cupcakes. Cream cheese frosting is not good for cookies that need to be stacked, but it tastes delicious.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

GF Pantry Ginger Spice Cake Mix, and Frosting

Gluten Free Pantry Ginger Spice Cake Mix
Plus Lemon Butter Frosting

I've tried this mix before and have been pretty happy with it. It's especially good warm. When you cool and frost it, it becomes a little dry, but not excessively so. My daughter gave this a thumbs up.
We used lemon butter frosting, which complements the cake very well. It gives the cake a little zest. All you do is add a lemon juice instead of milk to your butter frosting recipe. Soooooo good. I'll give you my recipe, but it's just an approximation. I never measure when I make frosting, I just add a little liquid if it's too stiff and dry, or a little sugar if it's too runny. I continue to alternate the two ingredients until I have my desired amount.

Lemon Butter Frosting

1/4 cup butter
2-4 Tbps lemon juice
2-4 cups confectioners sugar

Beat butter. Add 2 Tbsp lemon juice and 2 cups confectioners sugar. Beat well. Keep adding lemon juice and sugar until you reach your desired consistency.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Kudos, My Guests

Many thanks to our guest chefs:
Lindsey Johnson and
Adriana Velez!

Thanks to these ladies
for letting me feature their delicious skills
here on our kill.the.gluten space.

Hopefully I will be back on track
making regular meals or snacks to publish.
If not, you know where Lindsey and Adriana
are cooking in the event I have light posting
on my scheduled days.

Guest Chef: Adriana Velez on Chicken Curry

Southern Vietnamese Chicken Curry

Recipe, post, and photo by Adriana Velez of What I Made for Dinner.

Maybe you've been eyeing that Vietnamese cookbook on the shelf. Maybe you have some of the ingredients on hand, but not all of them. Maybe you have a craving for broccoli.

I tweaked a curry recipe from Cafe Vietnam, by Annabel Jackson. My "edits" are in italics below.

2 medium-sized potatoes, cut into chunks

Nah, too much starch. Let's do broccoli instead.

vegetable oil for frying

8 shallots, minced

Don't have 'em, so skip 'em.

4 stalks fresh lemon grass, minced

Oops, only have two. Oh well.

Pound and tie instead of mincing -- I like to remove my lemon grass after cooking.

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 fresh hot red chilies, minced

Omit, since we're feeding Jasper [age 4] as well.

2 tablespoons mild Indian curry powder

1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/4 coconut milk

2 1/2 cups chicken stock

fresh Thai basil leaves (optional)

1. Shallow-fry the potato pieces in hot oil until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Hah, don't have to do this step now.

2. Heat a little oil in a pan and saute the shallots with the lemon grass, garlic, and chilies until soft. Awkward with the whole lemon grass, so add that at next stage. I did add some fresh ginger at this stage, though, just for fun. Add the currypowder and stir for 2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until it is opaque.

3. Add the potatoes, salt, coconut milk, and chicken stock. I added broccoli at this point, but I should have waited even longer and added it after 15 minutes or so. I also threw in some chopped red bell pepper the last five minutes. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Garnish with Thai basil leaves, if using.

Ahh, exactly what I wanted.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Meet the newest member of the Gluten Free Team

It's official.

My dearest daughter has celiac disease, like her mother. The blood tests were off the charts, but the endoscopy confirmed it. Here's her tale. Hope you don't mind that it's not a recipe.

My sweet baby was a very sweet baby. Easy, and happy. Except when it came to going #2. She struggled with this from about the time we started her on solids. It was horrible, really. Constipation was a constant companion. She would withhold which would just make matters worse. We are talking about a baby here, and yet she would still hold it until she couldn't any longer. The doctor suggested improving her diet, reducing milk, adding more fiber. We even used stool softeners and, yes, suppositories. (I wonder if she's going to like me telling you this?)

Anyways, when she was 2, I was diagnosed with celiac. I wanted to get my two children tested, but the pediatrician didn't see the need. You see, I have giant children. They literally are amazing growers. And apparently, children with celiac, aren't. Or so he said. So I didn't press for it. But in the back of my mind, I knew.

Every well child checkup after that went pretty much the same. The doc would marvel at her 95th percentile stature and tell me I had no need to worry about celiac disease. Even though she still was having bowel issues such as abdominal pain, gas, constipation, and fatigue. I would nod and say okay but secretly I knew something was wrong, and I knew she was going to end up with a diagnosis some day. I almost started hoping that her growth would stop so I would have a reason for her to be tested, you know, a reason besides that whole motherly instinct thing.

Now I don't blame her doctor. He's amazing, caring, funny, and great with my children. We've had the same one for 4 years now and I couldn't be happier. But I also know that I know a little bit more about celiac disease than the average gluten-eating person, even maybe more than the average pediatrician. So this year I was a little more persistent at her well child. The doc heard my concerns and told me he'd write a lab order, if I wanted him to. I didn't cave in to his expertise, and so I took the order in my clammy little hands and had her blood drawn that same day, before my courage waned.

I was not surprised at all at his Saturday morning phone call. Tests came back. He referred us to a GI. Apparently a normal reading for the celiac panel is 5 or under. Her numbers were greater than 100. Because they stop counting at 100.

We met with the Pediatric GI. He was also great. Her endoscopy was scheduled for a week later. But it was only to confirm. He told me that in his experience, children with those kind of numbers from their labs are positive for celiac 100% of the time. 100%? Well then why do the endoscopy? It seemed a bit redundant. But we went.

The endoscopy was pretty scary, for both of us. She worried about it for the entire week. I was okay up to the point that they put that little mask over her nose and mouth and she fell asleep. Umm, you know how to wake her up, right? She's not dead, right? Because she looks like she's dead. I was ushered out for the rest of the procedure and waited in the children's hospital parents room. Too antsy to do much of anything, I watched the other parents. I wondered what their children were in here for. I thought of all the horrible diseases and maladies that possibly afflicted their small babies, and I was so grateful for celiac disease. So grateful. Here was something I could help her control, something I already knew how to control, and she could live a long, healthy, gluten free life.

Once it was over, the GI took me into a small room to discuss the results. The biopsies wouldn't be done for a few days, but she had the scalloping of her duodenum, indicative of celiac disease. Were any of us surprised?

I went in to her recovery room, where she was still a little high from the anesthesia. She hadn't been able to eat all morning, so they gave her a popsicle. She didn't like feeling drugged, and her throat was sore, and she wanted to go get something to eat. I couldn't wait to take her home.

On the way back to grandma's to pick up her siblings, she wanted to stop and get food. I thought for a minute. Ummm, there aren't really any fast food places that have healthy gluten free food. So what have I been eating? French fries and milkshakes. Yeah, I can't feed that to my child for lunch. For the first time I thought, Wow, this is going to be different. Not only do I need to feed my daughter gluten free, but it needs to be healthy. Maybe this will be good for the both of us.

So now we have a whole new world of gluten free living to enter. What on earth do we pack for her lunch? What about birthday parties and class parties? Do I need to start baking more gluten free foods so she doesn't feel deprived? Do I tell all her sunday school teachers, and piano teacher, and all the other adults that give her treats? Or do I trust her to remember to check labels and ask if things contain flour or wheat?

I'm super lucky in that she's not a picky eater at all. In fact, she loves vegetables and fruits and grown up food of all kinds. I know that this will be hard at first. But most new things usually are, and as she starts to feel better, I know it will be easier and easier.

I'm so grateful for celiac disease. It really could be so much worse.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Guest Chef: Adriana Velez on Pork Chops

Herb-stuffed Pork Chops
Recipe, post, and photo by Adriana Velez of What I Made for Dinner.

I sliced boneless pork loin chops lengthwise in half and filled them with fresh herbs. Then I smeared a mixture of olive oil, toasted sesame seeds, salt and pepper on either side before grilling. I threw the herbs in whole, stems and all, so we discarded the herbs before eating. I loved the taste of the herb-infused pork, but in retrospect it does seem a pity to interrupt a thick, juicy, toothsome chop like that. So I'm not sure I'd do it again without first mincing the herbs and mixing with blue cheese or something fatty like that.

Baby artichoke hearts featured as the side dish in this photo.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Two Layered Cheesecake

Gluten-Free Two Layered Cheesecake

I got this recipe from my sister, her family loves it so much they ask for it as dessert for birthdays! I would say this is probably the best gluten-free dessert I have ever had.

Need for bottom layer:

3/4 cups sugar

2 pkgs. 8 oz. cream cheese (cut into small squares)

3 eggs

Need for top layer:

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp. [GF] vanilla

1/2 cup sugar

Make bottom layer first....mix cream cheese and 3/4 cp sugar until fluffy.Add 1 egg at a time and beat well. Mixture will be thin. Pour into agreased 9" pie pan and bake 50 minutes at 325 degrees.

Make top layer....mix sour cream, vanilla and sugar. (I make it and keep it in fridge while the bottom is baking.)

Take bottom layer out of oven after 50 minutes and let it cool just a bit until the bottom layer forms a shallow hole. (kind of sinks down.. I would say takes about 5-10 minutes for this to occur- [see photo below].) Then place top mixture inhole and bake again for 20 minutes at 325 degrees.

I love it plain, but you could easily add fresh fruit on the side or served on top.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Holiday Snack Mix

I love mixing the flavors in this
Gluten-Free Autumn Snack Mix.




candy corn

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Great website


Check this site out. It's fantastic. Really really great. I learned so much, plus it's easy to navigate. Not only that, but they give out a free care package to newly diagnosed celiacs. How cool is that?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Guest Chef: Adriana Velez on Zucchini

Zucchini and Ginger Cauliflower Stir Fry

Recipe, post and photo by Adriana Velez of What I Made for Dinner.

3 zucchini
one head of cauliflower
2T vegetable oil

I heated about 2T vegetable oil on high, added some minced shallot and ginger, and then added one chopped head of cauliflower and three chopped zucchinis. I cooked it all, tossing, until the zucchini was just barely tender.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Beef Briskit

Beef Brisket
adapted from thepioneerwomancooks.com

4 cups beef broth
1 1/2 cups soy sauce, gluten free of course
2 lemons
5 cloves garlic
1 large brisket, mine was 12 lbs

Juice the lemons, it should be about 1/2 cup. Mince the garlic. Combine broth, soy sauce, lemon juice, and garlic.
In large roaster, place brisket fatty side up. Pour marinade over the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Heat oven to 300. Place pan in the oven and cook for 7-8 hours, or until fork tender.
Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes.
Using a serrated knife, remove fat layer. Slice against the grain. Place slices and extra pieces into a 9x13 pan. Using a turkey baster, suck up the juices from the pan and drizzle over the top of the meat. Serve warm.

Man this was delicious. Of course everything Pioneer Woman makes is. I didn't have the liquid smoke that she called for, but it was good without. I also don't have a fabulous picture because I forgot my camera when I took this over to my mom's house for dinner. But look at Pioneer Woman's picture and imagine a photo that's not nearly as beautiful.
You could serve this with barbecue sauce, or just the au jus. You could chop it all up and put it on rolls. Just be aware that it makes a LOT. Which is good when you visit my mom's.