Saturday, November 5, 2011

Risotto Bolognese

Have you discovered Pinterest?   I'm mildly obsessed.  One of the best parts is discovering the millions of gluten free and gluten freeable recipes out there in the interwebs.  The one below is my adaptation of an adaptation did of a recipe from Martha Stewart Everyday.

Hubs LOVED it!  If you are missing pasta but can't get behind the GF stuff, try out this dish!

Serves 4
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice, pureed
4 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons minced basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup porchini mushrooms
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 bunch flat-leaf spinach (2.5 ounces), washed well, tough stems removed, chopped (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  1. In a small saucepan, combine tomatoes (with their juice), garlic, red pepper, and 2 cups water. Bring just to a simmer; keep warm over low heat.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add sausage and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up sausage with a spoon, until sausage is opaque and onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add rice; cook, stirring until well coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring until absorbed, about 1 minute.
  4. Add about 2 cups hot tomato mixture to rice; simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes. Continue adding tomato mixture, 1 cup at a time, waiting for one cup to be absorbed before adding the next, stirring occasionally, until rice is creamy and just tender, about 25 minutes total (you may not have to use all the liquid).
  5. Remove pan from heat. Stir in spinach, basil and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately (risotto will thicken as it cools), and sprinkle with additional Parmesan, if desired.

Monday, October 3, 2011


This last week had me trying to find a gluten free solution to lunch time.  Feeding The Bee gluten-freely is pretty easy.  I mean she could happily eat some combo of applesauce, waffles, grapes, carrot "coins," yogurt, and grilled cheese for every meal.  I'm the problem.  I found out last week that I need to be off gluten as well.  Sadly I'm not as easily impressed.

I need a quick easy lunch, and what fits the bill better than pizza?  I kind of hated the grocery store GF crusts I tried while nursing The Bee and being on the diet.  I decided to take matters into my old hands.

Thin Crust:
It occurred to me that the goldfish recipe could be tweaked to make an easy to roll thin crust.  That was my first attempt.  Basically the role of cheddar was played by parmesan (and I used half as much: 1/2 cup).  I rolled it all out into a big round disc, baked, topped, baked a few minutes more and devoured.  Delish!!!!

Deep Dish:
The next day, I made the brazilian cheese rolls below but with mozzarella and decided to pour the extra dough into a greased raised sided pan and bake.  I then topped the deep dish pie with red sauce, parmesan (since plenty of mozz was already involved), herbs, and pepperoni.  I broiled it until the pepperoni crisped.  Again, amazing!

Quiche Crust:
Finally, I needed to make a quiche for a friend.  Again, I tweaked the goldfish recipe.  Instead of cheese, I used shredded potato (Simply Potato brand).  I rolled it into one circle big enough to fit a 9 inch pie pan.  I pierced the dough and baked it for 10 minutes until it started to brown.  After it cooled, I filled it with quiche lorraine goodness and baked it again.  PERFECT!!!!

Best. Dinner Rolls. Ever.

I'm in love.  We had a friend come to dinner tonight and I felt the need to have bread.  Since it was a last minute thing, I needed a quick and easy recipe.  I found this one from Jeanne Sauvage and am never going back.  They were amazing!!!!  Just don't skimp on the butter.

Gluten-Free Dinner Rolls for Thanksgiving
By Jeanne Sauvage of The Art of Gluten-Free Baking
Makes: about 20 rolls
3 C (420g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
2 tsp xanthan gum (this is in addition to the xanthan gum in the mix) 
4 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp salt
1/4 C (50g) sugar
2 TBL active dry yeast (I use Red Star)
2 C (475ml) warm but not hot milk (or milk substitute, or water)
2 tsp vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
2 large or extra large eggs
1/4 C (60ml) olive oil (or neutral vegetable oil)
melted butter (or butter substitute) for pans and for brushing tops of rolls

Butter muffin tins.

In a small bowl, whisk 1 TBL of the sugar into warm milk.  Add yeast, whisk to dissolve; set aside to proof (start the yeast working)–it will get foamy on the top.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, the remaining sugar, and salt; set aside.
In bowl of mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together eggs, vinegar and oil.  Add yeast mixture, beat to mix.  Add flour mixture, beat on low to combine, then beat on high for about 3 minutes.
Spoon dough into prepared muffin tins–filling about 3/4 of each cup.  With a sharp knife that has been dipped in tapioca flour, cut a deep slash in the top of each roll

Turn on oven to preheat to 375 degrees.

Let rise until doubled in bulk–about 40 mins.  I put muffin tins on top of stove to let dough rise in proximity to warmth of the preheating stove.
Once rolls have risen, brush the top of each with melted butter.  Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes–until the tops are a nice golden brown.  If they start to brown too quickly, loosely tent the rolls with aluminum foil.

Remove from oven.  Release rolls from tins–I often put them into a tea-towel lined basket to keep warm.
These rolls keep well, although you’ll probably eat them all the day you bake them! I have put them on the counter, unwrapped, overnight to see what they would be like the next day–and they were yummy!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Brazilian Cheese Rolls

This recipe came to me from a fabulous blog,  If you've ever had the Against The Grain french bread, these aren't too far off.  Best part, they are insanely easy.  Easier than opening a can of gluten-ful biscuits easy.  They are like little cheesey poofs of bread.

Quick Brazilian Cheese Rolls

1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup tapioca flour (sometimes labeled tapioca starch) no substitutions
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 C grated cheddar cheese* (preferably medium or sharp)
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
*you can play around with the cheese.  I’ve used Monterey Jack, low-moisture mozarella, swiss, and even gruyere in place of the cheddar.  All great!
Optional:  extra cheese to sprinkle on top and any herbs/flavorings you’d like to add.  Try rosemary and or garlic powder, my favorites!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place egg, milk, oil, tapioca flour, and salt in blender and blend until smooth.  Add cheeses and pulse 2 times.  Immediately pour batter into a mini muffin tin (if your muffin tin isn’t non-stick, spray lightly with non-stick spray first), filling each well about 3/4 full, or just slightly less.  If desired (and I recommend), sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese on top and/or a tiny sprinkle of kosher salt.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden.  Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes before removing rolls from pan.  Serve warm. {Que Gostoso!}  These actually don’t re-heat well so I recommend making and eating fresh.

Sea Salt Caramel Crispies

Kellogs has recently come out with Gluten Free Rice Krispies.  Yay!  This discovery lead to the secondary discovery that Post's Cocoa Pebbles were already gluten free.  While I stood in the aisle of the grocery store, the idea for the perfect rice treat came to me...

Sea Salt Caramel Crispies

4 tbsp of Trader Joes sea salt caramel sauce
3 tbsp of butter
3.5 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups cocoa pebbles

You know the drill.  Melt the marshmallows in the butter.  When this is a sauce consistency, stir in the caramel.  Pour over the pebbles.  Stir.  Pour mix into a baking dish to cool.

If you want to really drive the point home, melt some butter and dark chocolate chips in the microwave then pour over the treats.  Sprinkle sea salt on top.

Puddle Cookies

Since my last post, I've finished the hell that is a gluten challenge.  Now with a diagnosis of Gluten Intolerance (with a side of potential "pre" celiac),  I'm diving even more headlong into baking.

First off, puddle cookies.  Deliciousness.  Picture a meringue, a brownie, and a lava cake morphing into a heavenly cookie.  These are amazing.  The best part is they were gluten free from the start...  No gums, special flours, or starch required!

Puddle Cookies:

3 cups pecan pieces
4 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cups (scant) cocoa powder

1/2 tsp (scant) sea salt
4 egg whites at room temp.
1 tbsp GF vanilla

Preheat oven to 325F.  Line two baking sheets with silpats.  

Sift together sugar, cocoa, and salt.  Stir in pecans.  Add egg whites and vanilla.  Stir until well combined.

Spoon the batter onto the sheets in heaping tablespoons with lots of room between for the cookies to grow. 

Bake until the cookies, puff up and crack 12-15 minutes.  Let them cool and eat as many as possible.  They get chewier the second day.  You may want to eat them with vanilla ice cream and caramel.  Hypothetically, of course.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Gluten Free Birthday!

In two short weeks, it will be the Bug's birthday!  Like any good preschool mom, I've been brainstorming what birthday treats to share with her class.

A year ago, I made cupcakes.  This is still an option I guess, but the Bug isn't gluten free yet our house is.  So it seems silly to waste expensive GF flours on twenty cupcakes for kids that could eat the alternative.  Add to that a classmate with an egg allergy, and it gets even more complicated.

Fortunately, a trip to a local theme park gave me an idea...  Marshmallow pops!  Kind of a peep on a stick. Plus, the Bug can help me dip and decorate, which she LOVES.

They are GF, easy, and a big hit with all.

Marshmallow Pops:

GF Marshmallows (we used Campfire)
Wilton Candy Melts (GF per a call to the company)
GF decorating crystals or jimmies

Melt candy melts according to directions.  Dip sticks into the coating and then into the marshmallows.  Coat marshmallow one at a time and sprinkle with sugar (this was the Bug's job).  Set out on parchment paper to dry.  Wrap with cellophane and deliver to happy classmates!

Smore's Variation...  Half dip marshmallow in chocolate melts then dip in honey nut chex pieces or GF graham crumbles.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Recently, at a dinner party, I had a revelation.  The plate of yummy risotto in front of me was naturally gluten free.  Not only that, it was something I could serve without having to highlight the fact that anything our poor unsuspecting dinner guests are served is gluten free!

I've always been intimidated by risotto.  So, I set out to make it for the first time.  I adapted a recipe from Epicurious, and was thrilled with the results.  This simple bacon risotto paired amazingly with seared scallops and wilted spinach.  Best of all, it was an easy twenty minute meal.  Yes, you do have to stir it the whole time, but even this carpal tunnel mama had no issues there.  So, you can do it too!

Bacon Risotto

1 cup Aborio Rice
4 tbsp Butter
1 tsp Minced Garlic
2 1/2 cups Broth (I used chicken)
1/2 cup White Wine
6 slices Crisp Bacon (or really ANYTHING, get creative)
1/3 cup Grated Parmesan (optional)

Melt two tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic.  Add rice and stir until it seems to absorb the butter.  Now, add the first cup of broth.  Stir the risotto frequently allowing it to absorb all the broth.  Add the remaining liquids a cup at a time until the risotto has that fabulous creamy texture we know and love.  When all has been absorbed, pull the risotto off the heat and stir in the remaining butter along with the bacon and parmesan (if using).  Enjoy!!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Even the dog is gluten free...

Poor pitiful pup.  In the last four months, she seemed to be the only one who got to have glutenous foods in the house.  Sadly, those heady days are coming to an end.  Our dog, Chumley, and the Bee have a very sweet relationship.  "PupPup" was her first word and she loves to run up and pet Chums whenever she can.  Chums loves her back and gives Bee more kisses than anyone else.  Between kisses and dog biscuit crumbs, we've discovered that Chums is making the Bee sick.   Whaa whaa whaaaaaaa...

This weekend I whipped up some super easy GF dog treats.  This recipe is adapted from one found on the whole foods website.  Despite the despondent expression above, Chums approves.

Gluten Free Dog Treats

1 Banana
3 Tbsp Peanut Butter
2/3 Cup GF Oats
1 Cup Almond Meal (Trader Joes has big bags for $3.99) 
A few shakes of dried parsley
1 egg

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  When combined, drop by rounded spoonful on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  If desired, flatten cookies with the back of the spoon.  These treats do not spread, so the finished product will come out of the oven looking like they went in.  Bake at 300 degrees for 30-40 minutes.  Store in an air tight container.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Gluten Free Goldfish Crackers

Welcome! This is my first post. I decided to blog some of the recipes I've been tweeking as a way to help other gluten free mommies out there. Also, every time I have a gluten free success, I am super excited; and I know my gluten-full friends are sick of hearing about it. So, hopefully you'll enjoy this blog, and I can save my friends from my new obsession.

On to the crackers... Yes, these taste like crackers. Seriously, OMG, crackers. I don't know about you, but since our house went GF, crackers (and pizza crusts) are the only things we've really missed. As evidenced by all of those lucky enough to see me inhaling wheat thins at the last cocktail party I attended, we are really in need of a cracker that tastes like a cracker.

Before my younger daughter, Bee's, diagnosis, my oldest daughter, Bug, LOVED goldfish. They were basically a food group for her. When we cleared all gluten out of the house, I promised her I'd find a GF substitute. At the time, I thought Whole Foods would be providing one for me, but no such luck. Tonight, I have it. The Bee adored them! And it was crazy easy!

Goldfish Cheddar Crackers

  • 1/2 cup Gluten Free all-purpose flour blend (I used King Arthur, but any should work)
  • 1/2 teaspoon guar or xantham gum
  • 2 tablespoons cold salted butter
  • 4 ounces grated cheddar cheese (around 1 cup). (I actually used a blend of cheddar, american, and mozzarella)
  • pinch garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) fresh-ground pepper (I left this out since my girls aren't huge spice eaters)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2-3 tablespoons water


  1. Pulse the flour, guar gum, garlic powder, baking powder, and pepper together using a food processor.
  2. Add the butter and cheese, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Pulse in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and only enough so that the dough forms a ball and rides the blade. Remove, wrap in plastic, and chill.
  4. Bake the crackers: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Between two sheets of wax paper, roll the dough out to 1/8th-inch thickness. Cut out as many crackers as possible. I used mini heart, star, and moon cutters from your standard bridge mix (Bug is more into being girly than fish-shaped authenticity). Re-roll as needed.
  5. Place them on baking pans lined with silpats or parchment paper. Bake until golden and crisp (7-10 minutes). Cool and store in an airtight container.