Archive for September, 2011

It’s a Spicy Meat-a-balla!

Despite the title of this blog, the recipe I’m sharing today is not spicy! My stomach does not like spicy things, however it does have a nice herb flavor! I was able to give up pasta and bread when I went gluten free… but then I realized I didn’t have to! Walmart carries a wonderful gluten free pasta, its made from corn and rice. The quinoa pasta isn’t bad either. So that’s where I started….I’ve been making some amazing Italian pasta dishes lately. We have a local Italian heritage weekend coming up and as my husbands family is Italian and we go every year, I’ve been getting all geared up for some delicious favorites. So…now that we’ve got the pasta… lets start with the meatballs! Yes….gluten free meatballs, and they only take 30 minutes! Amazing right?!? So here we go….

30-Minute Baked Gluten Free Italian Meatballs (Printable Version)

1 lb extra-lean ground beef (or meat mixture if you prefer)

1 egg

2 2/3 Tbsp milk

2/3 c gluten free bread crumbs (enerG GF bread crumbs)

1/4 of an onion, minced

Dash each of: garlic powder, basil, oregano, parsley, salt & pepper

In a large bowl or kitchen-aid mixer, combine all ingredients. Roll into balls or use a cookie scoop and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.

While the meatballs are baking, cook your pasta according to directions on package, add tomato or Alfredo sauce (or if you can’t have either of those like me!, you can add a little butter and some grated Parmesan cheese) and then add your meatballs and Parmesan cheese and Viola! You’ve got one amazing gluten free dinner! The meatballs freeze well too.

Another Italian favorite of mine is spaghetti pie. Easy to make and absolutely delicious! Leftovers are yummy too! I make this without the tomato products because I can’t have them…..and its just as good. So its up to you which way you want to make it!

Spaghetti Pie (Printable Version)

Ingredients

1 pound extra lean ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained (opt)
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste (optional)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 ounces GF spaghetti, cooked and drained
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup (8 ounces) low-free cottage cheese
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Directions

In a nonstick skillet, cook the beef, onion and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the (tomatoes, and tomato paste,) oregano, salt, garlic powder, sugar and pepper; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the spaghetti, butter, egg whites and Parmesan cheese. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-in. deep-dish pie plate coated with cooking spray. Top with cottage cheese and beef mixture.

Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and filling is heated through. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

** You can omit the tomatoes and tomato paste and its still amazing!

So now you can enjoy some fabulous Italian meals gluten free and no one will even know they are gluten free! There are many other pasta dishes and casseroles that I will be sharing soon! Its that time of year……as its getting colder, I want to heat up the oven and eat a nice “comfort” food dish! Now I can’t wait for dinner tonight! Leftover spaghetti & meatballs! YUM! Enjoy! 🙂

Roast Chicken & Gluten-Free Stuffing

So I finally got around to making my roast chicken, which is the BEST roast chicken ever!  The trick to this unbelievably moist chicken is cooking it breast side down first, and at a very high temperature! The first time I made this I couldn’t believe how good it was….now its the only recipe I use! And since it was feeling very much like fall, and I’m anticipating the upcoming holiday season……I made gluten free stuffing! I’m not really a stuffing kind of person……but it just sounded good! I’m glad that it turned out as tasty as it sounded too! I like the idea of stuffin muffins…….so maybe next time I’ll have to try that. I’ll have to add an egg or 2 to hold it together, ball it up and stick it in a greased muffin pan! YUM. NOW I’m ready for the holidays! Now I’ve got leftovers galore….and wondering what in the world to do with them! Can’t go wrong with turkey and Swiss sandwiches though! I will say that the best gluten-free bread out there is Udi’s. I’ve tried all the other ones, and they are dense or super dry or really spongy. While pricey, its worth it if you can’t live without bread like me! I used this for my stuffing, but you could use any bread since you toast it. Although gluten free bread is much more dry than regular wheat breads, and it isn’t very good just eating it in a sandwich, it IS very good toasted or grilled. So get out your George Forman and add a little garlic butter to your bread…..I tell you its amazingly delicious ~ Panini style! Good luck and happy holidays!

Best Ever Roast Chicken (Printable Version)

1 – (4-lb) roasting chicken, giblets removed
1 Tbsp olive oil & 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.Put the chicken breast side up on a roasting rack in a 9×13-inch glass  baking dish or roasting pan. Tuck the wing tips behind the neck and loosely tie the legs together with a piece of kitchen twine. Spread the oil all over the chicken and rub in the poultry seasoning on both sides. Turn the chicken breast side down.Roast the chicken breast side down for 30 minutes. Turn it over by inserting sturdy tongs into the cavity and flipping it. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 165° to 170°F, an additional 30 to 35 minutes. Let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Adapted from: Fine Cooking

Gluten Free Stuffing (Printable Version)

1 large onion, chopped

6 celery ribs, chopped

1 can mushroom pieces, chopped

1/2 cup butter, cubed

3 garlic cloves, minced
4-1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon rubbed sage
1-1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
Gluten-free bread, cubed & toasted (27 cups)

In a large skillet, saute onions, celery & mushrooms in butter until tender; add garlic, cook 1 minute longer. Transfer to a large bowl; add the broth, parsley, sage, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Gently stir in bread cubes until mixed. Spoon into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish (dish will be full). Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned and heated through.

Adapted from: Taste of Home

Mamma Mia, It’s A Pizza Pie!

Yes its true…..gluten free pizza! And it comes in so many tasty forms, not just your classic flat pizza! I’m going to share a few of the best pizza recipe with you! And these are all easily variable since you can change out the ingredients with your favorite toppings. If you’re like me…..I like to change it up and not have the same thing every-time. The hard thing for me is that I can’t have tomato products….yes that’s right… NO marinara sauce, pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce! And since I can’t have a whole lot of lactose either, Alfredo sauce is out too! Luckily I CAN have natural hard cheeses so I just add extra cheese and viola!

Pizza Crust: Now where to begin…. since pizza is one of America’s all-time favorites foods, and one of mine as well, becoming gluten free posed a slight problem. So I set out to find a pizza crust that, well….actually tasted like pizza crust! I like the thick chewy crust, but the think crispy crust I’m starting to get used to. There are so many different GF pizza crust mixes, and I think I’ve probably tried them all. I even made some from scratch….and THAT was a disaster! LOL! A big, doughy mess. I’ve never been a fan of yeast baking though….probably because I don’t have any patience! If you like thin crispy crust, then get some GF Bisquick. It makes a nice little crust…..and its super quick & easy to mix up. One of the mixes I tried out made a huge (and i mean like 4 inches thick!) and it tasted like dumplings, as in chicken and dumplings! Thinking back, I’m pretty sure it was supposed to make 2 crusts! My bad! But my favorite and standby crust is Hodgson Mill Pizza Crust. It makes 2 crusts that are chewy and delicious! We use one and stick the other in the freezer…..take it out as we need it! Just follow the directions on the box and you’re set!

Gluten Free Pizza Poppers (Printable Version)

3/4 cup gf flour + 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon pizza seasoning
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded mozzarella/cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped pizza toppings
1/2 cup pizza sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. (Depending on how deep your pan is will determine how many you get….I only got about 18 I think) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and pizza seasoning; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan and toppings; let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

Adapted from: Cassie Craves

Cheesy Pizza Bread (Printable Version)

1 cup gluten-free flour + ½ tsp xanthan gum

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese OR 1/2 cup marinara sauce

1+ cup pizza toppings

1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning + Shredded Cheese Mixture

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray 9×5 inch bread pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  Mix together flour, gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper. Stir in eggs, oil, buttermilk, Parmesan, Mozzarella and pizza toppings until just combined.  Pour half of batter into prepared bread pan. Top evenly with cheddar cheese OR marinara sauce then pour remaining batter over sauce.  Top with Italian seasoning and additional shredded cheese.

3. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until toothpick comes clean from center.  Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan.  Slice and serve warm or room temperature.

Variations: Chicken Bacon Ranch Bread~ add chopped cooked chicken, crumbled bacon bits, sliced green onions or chives, and ranch dressing mix & garlic powder.

Adapted from: Picky Palate

Hope you enjoy these yummy pizza recipe as much as i do! Like i said the options and variations are endless! No longer do you have to go without pizza just because you’re gluten free! 🙂

Fall is in the Air!

The last few days have sure felt like fall around here! The leaves are starting to turn…..the temperature has dropped and it has finally rained! I’m ready for the hot dry summer to be over! I love Autumn! The fall air….the colors…the smells…..and most of all the baking! Apples and pumpkin and spices! Nothing beats a lazy fall afternoon with the scent of autumn baking in the air….. a fire crackling, snuggling on the couch in a cozy sweater with the rain beating down outside! I know I’m getting ahead of myself here….but this weekend sure got my hopes up! Minus the fire, I did get to do the rest….. I’m even anticipating the holiday season so much that I bought a chicken to roast, and I’m going to make home-made gluten free stuffing! That will be coming….as I haven’t got to it yet, hopefully dinner tonight! But I DID get to the dessert….the best part first right! This recipe does take some time to make but it is WELL worth the effort! I have many favorite fall recipes, and this one will be joining them! This is just a preview of the Autumn baking soon to come…..but, back to summer for now!

Praline Apple Cake (Printable Version)

8 oz light cream cheese, softened

2 c sugar, divided

4 eggs

1/2 cup oil

1/2 c applesauce

2 c gluten free flour + 1 tsp xanthan gum

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

2 med apples, peeled and chopped (2 c)

3 med carrots, peeled and shredded (1 1/2 c)

1/2 c diced pecans

Praline Icing:

1/2 c brown sugar

1/4 c butter

2 Tbsp milk

1/2 c powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 c diced pecans

Beat the cream cheese, 1/4 c sugar until smooth. Beat in 1 egg. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, beat oil, applesauce with remaining sugar and eggs. Combine dry ingredients and add in. Stir in apples, carrots and pecans.

Transfer half of batter to greased bundt pan; add layer of cream cheese mixture, top with remaining batter.

Bake at 350 for 55-65 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in pan, then remove to cooling rack.

In saucepan, bring brown sugar, butter and milk to a boil, stirring for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Drizzle over cake and top with pecans.

Store in fridge.

Chocoholics, Get Your Fix!

Step 1 is admitting that you have an addiction;  I admit that I am addicted to chocolate! But something tells me I’m not alone here! I’m going to share with you one of my absolute favorite recipes that will cure any chocolate craving with just one bite. (Not that you can control yourself and only eat one bite!) These were gone so fast this time that before I knew it, it was gone and I hadn’t taken a picture! So I’ve borrowed a fairly accurate photo from the web to show you the chocolate ecstasy that is just waiting for you to devour! This started out as a whole pan of dessert, but with just the 2 of us, I don’t really want this just hanging around waiting for me to inhale it!  It doesn’t take long to guiltily demolish the whole pan and show up on your hips! So I’ve turned this into either a 2 or 4 individual serving size dish that is gluten free. It makes (2) 7-oz custard cups or (2) 16-oz souffle cups ~ But I’ll leave that up to you on how guilty you want to feel when you’re done! 😉 I have to say though, that if any of this DOES make it to the fridge as leftovers, I’ve been known to eat it cold straight out of the fridge ~ YES its THAT GOOD!!! I’m going to go ahead and point the finger and blame my mother for this addiction as this was one of the more common desserts we had when I was a kid. Of course it stuck with me, and I’ve been spreading the addiction ever since I started making this simply delectable dessert on my own! This dessert is the best of both worlds too because you get a cakey brownie top with a hot fudge sauce underneath…add a little ice cream and you get an amazing hot fudge sundae! So….now that you’re probably salivating, waiting for the recipe……here it is! If you don’t want it gluten free, just use regular all-purpose flour.

Individual Gluten-Free Hot Fudge Pudding Cakes (Printable Version)

2/3 cup gluten-free flour

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup cocoa

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup water

3 Tbsp melted butter

1 tsp pure vanilla

Mix in order until well blended. Pour into well greased custard/souffle cups.

In a small bowl combine:

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup cocoa

Dash of salt

Sprinkle this evenly over the custard cups. Then add 3 Tbsp to each cup. (If you make the larger 2, then add 6 Tbsp to each). Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (The bottom will be gooey still because that’s the hot fudge part, but you want the cake top to be cooked all the way through!)

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Another option to cut the chocolate craving is just plain, good ole chocolate cake. And not everything has to be made from scratch to be delicious! Again, with gluten free mixes, you have to be careful to get the right one, as they are definitely NOT all made the same! I’ve tried them all…..and they’ve been dry and crumbly to dense and dry, to moist but gritty. FINALLY I found one that is light and fluffy and tastes just like I remember cake is supposed to taste! And the best part is….its a mix. Just follow the directions and viola! Betty Crocker has gluten free frosting’s (its just the regular frosting, but if its gluten free it will say by the ingredients) So you can make a cake pretty quickly without and strange ingredients or procedures and the same great taste and texture. What is this wonderful product you ask?!? Its Bob’s Red Mill chocolate cake mix. (It comes in vanilla too!). And I don’t have a photo of the cake I just made because again, it was devoured before I remembered to take a photo. I usually just freeze one of the cakes it makes and we eat the other one, I don’t like the temptation of it sitting on my counter all week! I served this to a group of people who were all gluten eaters and they had NO idea the cake was gluten free! Yup…..its just that good! Its nice to know that us gluten-free-ers have the option for stuff like this too!

Monster Cookies

This is one of my favorite gluten free cookies recipes. They are monster cookies and they contain absolutely NO flour, yet they still hold together very well! They freeze great, and you can practically put anything in them, which is great so you don’t get tired of eating the exact same cookie every time! I learned the hard way with gluten free cookies, as many of them don’t hold together very well. I will share more gluten-free cookie recipes as I make them, but for now, here is the basic recipe for Monster Cookies.

Monster Cookies (Printable Version)

Ingredients

½ cups Butter, Softened
1 cup Sugar
1-¼ cup Packed Brown Sugar
3 whole Large Eggs
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1-¼ cup Creamy Peanut Butter
4-½ cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
½ cups Sweetened, Flaked Coconut
½ cups Chocolate Chips
1 cup M&Ms, divided

** You can substitute the extras (coconut, chocolate chips, m&ms) for 2 cups of whatever mixture you want. I’ve used butterscotch chips, raisins or other dried fruit, diced nuts, etc. The possibilities and combination’s are endless!

Preparation Instructions

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.

Mix the ingredients together in the order listed.  Using a medium scoop , place 9 cookies onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork dipped in cold water.

Bake for 12 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. These cookies are best slightly under-done, so err on the side of taking them out too soon rather than letting them get overdone!

This recipe does make a TON of cookies, so if you cut it in half, which I’ve done, I use 2 eggs, and it works great. Like I said, you can freeze these in freezer bags and pull out as you need them. Just let thaw in a paper towel for about an hour, they are still nice and chewy and soft! You can also use colored M&M’s in them for different holidays to make them festive for the holidays! Enjoy! 🙂

Adapted from: Tasty Kitchen

The Goodness of Granola!

One of the disappointments of living gluten free is that there really aren’t any good grab and go snacks! OK, well maybe there are……but they are NASTY; all dry and crumbly and not very good tasting! LOL! I miss the easy days of going to the store and having a seemingly endless supply of snacking options! What i miss the most though, are those deliciously crunchy little honey bunches of oats clusters! Yuuummmmmm! Trust me, after searching for gluten free granola…..I decided to just make my own! I know its all personal preference on taste; some people like all the healthy little seeds and grains and interesting things that I’m not so fond of! But I just want BASIC granola goodness! And granola bars ~ the yummy chewy ones that don’t break into a million pieces with the first bite. (If you’re like me its usually in the car running late to something and snacking on a granola bar, which then ends up in every little crevice of the car!) So having finally found and molded these recipes into something wonderful, I’ll share them with you now! I like to freeze the granola bars in individual snack size bags and then take them out of the freezer as i need them. They only take about an hour to thaw. I do this with oatmeal cookies too, I have a couple of REALLY good recipes which I’ll probably make and share soon! 🙂 The granola is great to just snack on or throw on some fruit! Hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do!

Homemade Gluten-free Granola (Printable Version)

3 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup slivered almonds

1 cup gluten-free Rice Krispies

1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut

1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons dark (or light) brown sugar

1 – 2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, etc) optional

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. In a large bowl combine the oats, nuts, rice krispies, coconut, brown sugar and cinnamon.

In a glass measuring cup combine the syrup, oil and salt. Pour onto dry ingredients and mix so its evenly covered. (I just use my hands) Pour into a large roasting pan lined with wax paper and spread out evenly. Cook for 1 1/2 hours stirring lightly every 30 minutes. If you under stir it will stick and brown, over stirring will break up the clusters! Remove from oven and mix in the dried fruit if desired and let cool on pan.

(Printable Version) Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Granola Bars

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

1 egg

2 Tablespoons oil

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup light brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut butter chips

In large bowl or mixer (I use my Kitchen-Aid mixer) beat the peanut butter, honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Add the oats, brown sugar and salt, mix well. Mix in chips. Spread evenly into a Pam-sprayed 13×9 inch baking dish, pressing down with spatula to remove any air pockets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 18 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack. When completely cooled, cut into bars.  Store in air-tight container or freeze. Makes 12 granola bars.

Doughnuts? YES You Can!

One of the first things that people say when they hear I’m gluten free is…. “I couldn’t ever give up ________!” Most people say carbs or fast food. I thought that too…….but you know what?! I still CAN have all that stuff! Well…..not the fast food, but really…….who needs that junk anyways!? Doughnuts are one of the things that I’ve been missing lately because I love doughnuts! Well, kind of! LOL. Don’t get me wrong, but I’ve never been a real fan of that awful greasy tongue coating (you KNOW what I’m talking about!) or that gut wrenching indigestion for days after…….maybe that’s just my gluten intolerance talking here…..but doughnuts were actually one of the big hints/triggers that I was wheat and gluten intolerant! But no matter how bad I wanted to eat those things…..it wasn’t worth feeling like that. So I’ve found a healthier AND gluten free option to fulfill those doughnut cravings! I found a recipe online for baked doughnuts…….which of course you need a doughnut pan for and I didn’t have! So after calling almost all of the stores in this sometimes unbelievably small town, I found one! Of course I paid double what I could have got it online for…….but like I said before….patience is not one of my strong points! I’ve got this doughnut craving, and now that I found I can finally have one…….. I want one and I want it now! This recipe is great because its not only super yummy, its quick (only 10 minutes to bake!) And when they come out of the oven, they are….. Fabulous….. melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Sooo light and fluffy and NOT greasy at all like you get with store-bought fried doughnuts. So these are almost guilt-free! And now that I have a doughnut pan (of course I then had to buy a mini-doughnut pan as well!) I can make all kinds of doughnuts! Needless to say….. there will be more doughnut recipes coming soon!

Here is a link to buy doughnut pans

And here is a basic cinnamon-sugar baked doughnut recipe to get you started!

Gluten Free Baked Doughnuts (Printable Version)

1 cup gluten free flour + ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
Dash of salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
6 oz vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons REAL maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cinnamon and sugar together in a shallow dish and set aside. In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients. In another bowl stir together oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, egg and yogurt.

Make a hole in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the hole. Gently fold everything together until combined. The batter will be thick.

Spray your doughnut pan with Pam spray. Scoop batter into a piping bag or ziploc bag, snip a bottom corner with scissors, and squeeze out the batter evenly into a doughnut pan.

Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and then flip over onto a cooling rack while still warm.

Use a pastry brush, brush the melted butter over your donuts and then dip each doughnut in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat. Serve immediately after coating with cinnamon sugar mixture for best texture.

Yields 6 large doughnuts or 24 mini-doughnuts

Adapted from: Melissa Bakes

Breakfast…..Anytime!

What could be better than breakfast for dinner?! I absolutely love breakfast food and it has been years since I have had waffles. With my mind set and an old family recipe turned gluten free…..I’m ready to go for it!  As usual though, I underestimated the size of bowl I needed, and with flecks of beaten egg whites all over me, I realize that I probably need to invest in an apron or two! LOL! However, the batter is ready, so……dust off the waffle iron and here goes nothing! Just the smell of a hot waffle iron is making my mouth water…..as my stomach rumbles I take the first waffle off the grill. Sure enough……it’s perfectly browned, light and fluffy…… I hope I’m not getting my hopes up, as it had better taste as amazing as it looks! The smell of baking apparently wafts through my house and out into the yard because my husband always seems to walk in the door at the exact moment whatever I’m cooking is ready! So of course…….being the BEST little wife that I am (LOL) I let him have the first one! That first bite shows it all on his face…..or was that just the syrup dripping because he inhaled in! I haven’t seen him wolf something down that fast in awhile! Apparently though, they are delicious……. and patience is not a strong virtue of mine! :{ FINALLY, mine is ready! OMG…….its like heaven in my mouth! I’m not over exaggerating here! I had forgotten how delicious a hot fluffy Belgian waffle could be! And gluten free even! I had one leftover (yes, surprisingly there WERE leftovers!) the next day and it was still wonderful. While you can’t beat butter and maple syrup, I’m a pushover for fruit and whip cream! Equally scrumptious!! I’m sold on waffles for sure! Although my standby for breakfast is pancakes….as that’s what i usually eat for breakfast each morning, I think I’ll be throwing in the waffles just as often now! Like I said though…..breakfast is simply wonderful no matter what time of day you eat it! And I’ve got some really fantastic breakfast recipes for you to try! Here are a couple to get you started…..I’ll be posting more soon though! 🙂

Gluten-Free Belgian Waffles: (Printable Version)

1 3/4 c gluten free flour (see mix recipe on my last post!)

3/4 tsp xanthan gum

1 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3 eggs, separated

1 1/2 c milk

7 Tbsp oil

Beat the egg whites until stiff. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine egg yolks, milk and oil and add to dry ingredients, stirring until just moistened. Fold in egg whites. Add 1 1/3 cups batter to hot greased (sprayed with Pam or Crisco spray) Belgian waffle iron. The light on the waffle iron turns off on mine when its done, or just cook until they are lightly browned. Made 4 (of the ones in the picture).

( Printable Version) Gluten-Free Buttermilk Pancakes

1 c gluten free flour

1 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 c buttermilk

2  Tbsp oil

1 egg, lightly beaten

Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl with wire whisk. Whisk together the wet ingredients in a glass measuring cup and then whisk  into the dry ingredients until  moistened. You don’t want to over-mix though or they will be flat! Heat a nonstick griddle to 325-250 depending on how dark you like your pancakes. No need to spray the pan either. The batter will thicken up as the griddle heats up! I usually do 3 on the griddle at once….this recipe will make 6. Or you can make them smaller or larger, depending on who you’re feeding! LOL! This recipe can easily be doubled. And if you’re wondering where the xanthan gum is… it doesn’t need any! Surprisingly they turn out perfect without it! Nice and light and fluffy! Never again will you want to eat one of those awful “Gut-bombers” as my mom likes to call them from a pancake mix! Yugh! These are yummy leftover too. My husband won’t touch them with a ten-foot pole, as they are soggy, but you drench them in syrup anyways so…. LOL, more for me I guess! I like to do what we did as kids and put jam on them and roll them up like a crepe…..yum! You see now why I eat pancakes everyday! These are WAY better than a boring bowl of cereal!

Both of these recipes are absolutely delectable right off the griddle! But again, they are still pretty tasty reheated! Top with whatever you like…….syrup (which reminds me…..just FYI Golden Griddle Syrup is the only brand other than pure maple syrup that is gluten free, and it is honestly, the best syrup there is anyways!) I like to top mine with berries and whip cream, fruit syrup (i think Smuckers fruit syrups are gluten free…..I’ve been using them anyways so I must have read the label and determined they were at some point!) I also like to throw in blueberries or chocolate chips sometimes! Gotta keep it fresh! No matter how you like them……..these old breakfast standbys are certainly a welcome addition to gluten free breakfasts! Hope you enjoy them as much as i do! 🙂

The Secrets of Gluten-Free Cooking….

One might wonder where in the world to even begin with gluten free cooking. There are so many things that “secretly” contain gluten. Scouring the web, I found site after site telling me conflicting information….making me beyond confused. There are some great sites that tell you what foods contain gluten, what brands make gluten free foods, and what words mean “contains gluten or wheat” when reading nutrition labels. They seem to have gotten better with the labeling though, as many nutrition labels now say contains wheat, soy, milk etc. at the bottom of the ingredients list. Nevertheless, this does not hold true for everything and companies are forever changing their products, so reading food labels is essential in living gluten free! There is a barcode scanner for smartphones that when you scan the barcode it tells you if the product is gluten free and if not what substitutes are! Again, this doesn’t always work! But it sure helps sometimes! Here are a couple of useful websites:

Foods that contain gluten and words to look for when reading nutrition labels that mean contains gluten: http://www.celiac.com/articles/182/1/Unsafe-Gluten-Free-Food-List-Unsafe-Ingredients/Page1.html

List of Brands and products that are gluten free: http://www.glutenfreeinfo.com/Diet/glutenfreeinfo.htm

Yes, there are many gluten free recipes out there. Many of them call for things that you’ve never heard of or can’t find locally at the store. Gluten free brands cost an arm and a leg and honestly don’t always taste so great! So…. the first thing you should know is that there is an easy way to this whole gluten free thing! There are a ton of different flours mixtures, some that you can make yourself and others that are pre-made. Gluten free flour does cost quite a bit more than regular wheat flour, so be prepared for the cost! It gets confusing having 10 different flour mixtures, one for each different kind of baking you’re doing. I’ve found is that you can use just one flour mixture for everything! This is a basic “all-purpose” flour mixture that works for everything and has amazing results! I like to make it in bulk so you don’t have to mix it up every time you want to bake something!

Bette Hagman’s Original formula for gluten free flour mix:

9 cups white rice flour (buy in bulk for a much cheaper price!)

3 cups potato starch (not potato flour)

1 1/2 cups tapioca flour

Just mix this up and you’re ready to go….you can substitute this for any flour in basically any recipe. There is one little catch though……unless you want a crumbly mess, xanthan gum (which I’ve been calling xanthum gum for the last year without realizing it until now!) is going to be your best friend. While spendy….it’s basically the glue that holds your gluten free flour together! The rule of thumb is to add 1/2 teaspoon for each cup of flour you use in your recipes. Some recipes don’t seem to need xanthan gum, but its kind of trial and error! So learn from my mistakes, and by using this handy little bit of info, you’ll be baking amazing things in no time and no one will even realize they ARE gluten free! Well this should help get you started….. now that I’ve covered the basics, I can finally start posting the goods! All of my “secret” recipes…… you know…..the ones you’ve  been bugging me for since you tasted what I made last! LOL! Good luck! 🙂

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