Monthly Archives: September 2012

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Gluten Free Carrot Cake

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When I first began my gluten free journey I tried to make a gluten free cake from scratch.  It was not good.  I decided that I wouldn’t do that again.  A big waste of time, energy and finances.  So I didn’t.  Fast forward almost three years now…… I still hadn’t made a cake from scratch.  Betty Crocker was my closest cake friend.  My husband just turned 50 and I bought the cake mix and then as I was making it I started to feel a little silly.  I mean come on!  I make everything gluten free, just about the only thing I haven’t tried is croissants.  I guess it had kind of become a mind-game and I was losing.  So I decided to make a carrot cake. 

I went to Bible study years ago with a lady named Heather.  She brought this carrot cake to a fellowship and it was the best carrot cake I had ever eaten!  I asked for the recipe and from that time on I made Heather’s Carrot Cake anytime we had carrot cake.  Well, since GF I haven’t even eaten carrot cake, let alone make one.  Now was the time.  I had my husband dig through my old gluten FULL recipe binder to see if he could find Heather’s recipe and he DID!  I looked it over and converted it.  Fingers crossed I put it in the oven.  I can’t even tell you the joy I felt, I know it may seem silly, but I felt so good and accomplished to have made this delicious, moist cake, fully risen, not sunken.  I DID IT!!!  You can do it too!  When you do, come back here and tell me about it and post a picture on Facebook.  I will rejoice with you.

Melissa Makes Heather’s Carrot Cake

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups oil (I used light olive)
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar OR Sucanat

3 cups grated carrots

1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups Healthy Flour Blend (from cookbook)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350°
Grease pan – Heather used a bundt pan, I have never done this GF.  But, you could use a 9X13 or 2-3, 9 inch rounds (I used a 9X13 pan and  spray oil.)

In a large mixing bowl combine eggs oil and sugar, mix and then add carrots.

In a separate medium bowl combine dry ingredients, whisk together to combine.  Add to wet ingredients.  Beat with electric beaters (I used my Kitchen Aid with paddle) until the batter lightens in color – 2-3 minutes, maybe.

Pour into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven 25-35 minutes.  Time may vary depending on your pan size.  Check it after the lowest time and go from there.  Also, if you use smaller pans start with a lower time, maybe 20 minutes.  You don’t want to over-bake.

Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then let cool completely on a wire racks.

I cut mine in half and made a layer cake.  Frosted with Cream Cheese Icing.

Cream Cheese Icing
This icing is less about the sugar and more about the cream cheese.  (This recipe is different than the one in my cookbook.)

2-8oz packages of cream cheese, softened.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1 cup powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients together until very smooth and creamy.  Ice cooled cake.

 



Cookbook available for purchase!! Click here to purchase!  Get your copy today!

 

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Favorite Find Friday-Cheese Balls

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Who doesn’t love Cheese Puffs or Cheese Balls?  I mean come on!  They are crunchy and oh, so very cheesy, right?  Well, not if you’re living GF.  At least in my opinion.  Sure, I’ve eaten cheese puffs that are GF, but they just weren’t that good.  Well, that has all changed.  My friend, Lindsey, had told me last year that she found some GF cheese balls at Walmart.  I was hugely skeptical, but was overjoyed when I found them.  They were UTZ white cheddar cotton tails.  Imagine my dismay when I went back for more and found out they were a seasonal item…..NO!!!!!  *Heavy sigh of sadness*  Then all the sudden UTZ Cheese Balls appeared on the shelf at Sam’s Club.  Now, I do love a good cheese puff, but those oranges one, well, they are not the healthiest with the dyes etc.  So, I only buy them occasionally, as a special treat.  On a recent trip to Sam’s Club I was delighted to find that the one of the new seasonal items is my Favorite Find  UTZ Snow Balls!

These are a bit healthier without the dyes.  So, if you have a Sam’s Club near you and I’m sure they have them other places, probably Walmart.  You MUST, if you like cheese puffs, have this GF treat!


Cookbook available for purchase!! Click here to purchase!  Get your copy today!

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Ugh! I got glutened.

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Last week I had the worst experience – I got glutened.  I went out to eat at a place I’d never been, recommended for safe GF eating by a friend (whom I do NOT blame) who’d never gotten sick when eating there.  I called ahead and talked with manager, talked with server and manager on arrival.  But, you’re always taking a chance when you eat any food you, yourself, didn’t make. 

I’ve had slight reactions before – some stomach discomfort, etc. and a pretty bad reaction once, but it only lasted several hours.  This time was horrendous.  It started out with an overwhelming sense of exhaustion, followed quickly by a blazing headache and bringing up the rear was bathroom runs. (pun intended)  As the afternoon wore on I felt worse and worse. 

The next morning I felt horrible. It was like the worse hangover you’ve ever had combined with the flu.  I could barely function.  I laid down around 9am to take a rest.  It was surreal.  It was like I couldn’t fall asleep, but then the next thing I know it’s two hours later!  I hadn’t eaten up to this point and around 4pm I decided to eat a bit and started to feel a tiny bit better.  

The foggy brain aka gluten brain and stomach issues are still hanging on.  I never imagined it could be so bad and that the affects would last so very long.

At this point I NEVER want to eat out again.  Unless I can visit a 100% Gluten Free Restaurant.  Which I fully intend to make happen in the near future.  I just found one Posana Cafe – it is about 3 1/2 hours away.    I found this using this link.  If you know of another list please share it!

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Menu Plan Monday – September 24, 2012

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For those of you who have already purchased a cookbook, I hope you are enjoying them and having much success as you cook and bake GF.  That was my hope and desire, to make a hard transition and life-style just a bit easier, more enjoyable and super tasty!

I made a Facebook page to promote the cookbook – head over and “like” my page, if you haven’t already! Search for “101 Gluten Free Recipes Cookbook”. 

Menu for the week:

Monday:
Pasta Carbonara
Salad or Veggie

Tuesday:
Tamale Pie

Wednesday:
Chicken Teriyaki

Thursday
:
Burgers

Friday-My husband’s birthday, Happy Birthday, Babe!:
Chicken Wings
chips & Dip
Brownies
Celery & Carrots
Chicken Dip

Saturday:

Rice Bake

Sunday:
Lentil Soup (I’m finally going to make it, Rachel!)


Cookbook available for purchase!! Click here to purchase!  Get your copy today!


 

More menu ideas at orgjunkie.com

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Favorite Find Friday-Instant Rice Noodles

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Do you remember Ramen Noodles?  Back when I was a kid and even an adult these were a mainstay – super and I mean, super cheap – like at one point they were like 20 cents a bag!  Not a very healthy food by any means, but a bit filling, tasty, easy to take along, if necessary and affordable.  You could also jazz them up with meat and veggies, if desired.  My favorite was the chicken, by the way, in case you were wondering.  You’re probably wondering, by now, if my Favorite Find for this week is Ramen Noodles – the answer is NO!  But, they are a GF equivalent to them.  When I came across this in the store recently:

I was interested, here was a GF fast food, basically, a take along, make almost anywhere food.  A GF Ramen Noodle, a bit more expensive (68 cents at Walmart) and slightly healthier version, that is, this little package has 3 grams of protein and only 2 grams of sugar.  I bought a pack to try.  I was pleasantly surprised.  (This one is also dairy free.)  They were pretty tasty, I would have liked them a bit less al dente.  But, being my first time I just followed the directions which said 3 minutes for cooking.  Anyway, I will definitely get more and keep on hand for quick meal or to take with me.  All you really need is hot water.  Which you can get anywhere they have coffee.  Bring along a dish to “cook” in and you’re all set.  I figure all you would have to do, if you don’t have access to a stove, is pour the hottest water available on the noodles, stir in seasoning and let sit for a longer period of time.   

I found these in a little Gluten Free section they have at my Walmart, but you can probably find them in the Asian section of your grocery.  If not, there’s always Amazon.com.


Cookbook available for purchase!! Click here to purchase!  Get your copy today!

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Pie Crust

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This is a Pear Pie that I made with the pears that my friend The Crafty Petite brought to me.  Who doesn’t love fresh fruit, picked straight from the tree??  I decided that even though all my previous attempts were a complete FAIL, taste-wise and some were extremely difficult to handle and oh, so frustrating…..after seeing this post, I decided to give it ago, once more.  I am (and you will be too) so very glad that I did.

This recipe is not actually for the Pear Pie, I’m sorry, I hope you’re not very disappointed.  I think once you make the pie crust you will forget all about me not sharing the Pear Pie recipe.  The reason I won’t be sharing the pear pie recipe is because…….I didn’t write it down.  My friend, Kelly, gave me a recipe for Creamy Pear Pie and I fully intended to use it, but then at the last minute, I decided to make individual pies, but then I hadn’t made enough crust to make the amount I needed, so I kind of winged it at that point. 

So here is how I made this easy to roll, delicious, holds up to baking pie crust.

1 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Healthy Flour Blend
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons cold butter, diced
2 Tablespoons non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (I use Spectrum)
1/4 -1/2 cup water, iced.  (don’t count the ice in your measurement)

Place dry ingredients in food processor.  Pulse a couple of times.  Add butter and pulse until chunky and well combined.  Butter should be maybe pea-sized, not too small.  While pulsing, slowly start to pour 1/4 cup ice water to the mixture.  Pulse until the dough comes together.  It is fine if it’s kind of wet, mine was.  Handling the dough as little as possible, form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.

Once chilled, place between two sheets of parchment paper.  I highly recommend the parchment, as opposed to wax paper. It won’t stick to the parchment like it will stick to wax paper.  This will make a big difference in the success of your rolling.  Roll out to about 1/8-1/4 inch thick.  You don’t want it to be too thin.  Try to rolling out evenly, it will make a difference.   Roll about 1 inch larger than the dish you’re baking in. 

Once you make the crust and enjoy the best GF pie crust you’ve ever had……come back and tell me all about your experience.


Cookbook available for purchase!! Click here to purchase!  Get your copy today!

 

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Menu Plan Monday – September 17, 2012

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Cookbook available for purchase!! Click here to purchase!  Get your copy today!

Last week was a great week of beautiful Fall temperatures.  Only used the A/C  half of two days.  I did a lot of baking too, since the temps are cooler. I hope you’re enjoying wonderful weather where you are too. 

Menu for the week:

Monday:
Baked Ziti

Tuesday:
Lemon Chicken on the grill
Potatoes
Corn

Wednesday:
Flank Steak
Potatoes
Salad

Thursday:
Cranberry Chicken
Rice
Veggie

Friday:
Crispy Turkey Burgers (If I can find the recipe again!)
Not sure what sides yet

Saturday:
Pizza
Salad

For more menu ideas head over here.

Oh, and please excuse the blog….in the process of updating.

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Favorite Find Friday- Bunny Cookies

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My Favorite Find for this week is so yummy and cute!!

Now, we had tried the GF Cocoa & Vanilla Bunny Cookies and I didn’t care for them.  The left a bad taste in my mouth. The kids only like the chocolate ones….So I wasn’t 100% on trying these, but just the name makes them sound so good and because of this I decided give these a try.  Boy am I glad that I did – they are fabulous, so good!!  I found these at Target, which was surprising as I’ve looked for GF things there before without success, but this was a huge success.  They also had Ginger Snap bunnies, but since I was sure, I was only willing to invest in one of the boxes and I let my son choose, I was willing to try either.  I will definitely be heading back over there to pick up another box of these and to try the Ginger Snap, I feel pretty sure that they will be just as good!

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