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GF Harvest Oats

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I found myself craving oatmeal.  I mean, the cravings were so bad that I started dreaming about it, too!  I had been to afraid to try oats once I was diagnosed with celiac disease.  I didn’t trust that they could really be safe.  So, I did a good deal of research and came across the GF Harvest Company.  Honestly, it sounded too good to be true.  Of course I called them up to legitimize my cravings.  Not only did they kindly sent me samples of Steel Cut Oats, Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats, and Oatmeal Cookie Crisp Granola, but they also provided lots of useful information.  (They also carry gluten-free groats and gluten-free oat flour.)  I was overjoyed to have satisfied my craving, with the knowledge that these were gluten-free right down to the ground.

It turned out that Seaton Smith, the owner of this small, Celiac disease-family run company, was tickled pink to talk and tell me all about their oats while assuaging my fears and anxieties.  And, in 2013 they were even awarded the BBB Torch Awards for Ethics.  I learned so much about the processing of their oats and the scrutiny his oats go through to make sure there is no cross-contamination.  Here are a few things I learned and why I am now GF Harvest’s biggest fan:

To read more, click here . . .

This article can also be found on the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness’s Gluten-Free Hot Products Page

A Special Thanks goes out to my friend, Jessica Schaefer, who used these oats to make me special gf oatmeal cookies!

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Apple Crumble with GF Harvest Oats on top

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Cheezy Crisps & Grammy Crisps

Are you always on the hunt for the perfect gluten-free cracker?  Finding them too bland, tasting like cardboard, or flimsy?  Well, I definitely am!  Every time I go to the grocery store, I’m always scanning the cracker aisle, looking for a suitable gluten-free cracker to replace all those buttery, flaky, gluten ones, and yet, I’ve been hard pressed to find a replacement . . . until today!

So, you can imagine my surprise when I ventured to try Crunchmaster’s certified gluten-free Cheezy Crisps and Grammy Crisps and was wowed to the max!

To read more, click here . . .

This article can also be found on the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness’s Gluten-Free Hot Products Page

A special thanks goes out to Stephanie Gill, Pam Vassilikos, and of course my daughter who were instrumental in the reviewing of the crackers!

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I was fortunately to be invited to my dear friends’ house for Passover dinner while I was in Atlanta.  Rebecca is a fantastic cook, and they always serve the most wonderful food.   The best part about it was that it was all gluten-free (and soy-free), because neither of which you can have on Passover!!  And on top of that, two of their kids have Celiac Disease, which just means I can eat with them and always feel good!

This recipe has been adapted from both my mom’s version (which usually uses Ramen Noodles) and Rebecca’s version with candied nuts.  I had leftover chicken to through in, which just made it even better!  This is a great, fast dish to take to potlucks and parties.

On a side note, my husband who had refused to eat it upon hearing its name, decided it was delicious and really enjoyed the candied nut addition.

Oriental Cabbage Salad with Candied Nuts Recipe

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Oriental Cabbage Salad

Serving Size: If used as a side dish about 12 people

Storage Note:  I store the chicken, nuts, and dressing separate from the other salad ingredients to keep them from getting soggy and gross.

Ingredients for Cabbage Salad:

(feel free to leave off or add any ingredients as you see fit)

  • 1 cabbage, shredded or cut super thin
  • 4-5 carrots, grated
  • a bunch of scallions, chopped (but since I didn’t have any, I used about 1/2 an onion)
  • *Optional: pre-cooked chicken, chopped into small pieces (I used grilled chicken from the previous night)
  • candied nuts (click here for recipe) – (*If vegan, just toast nuts instead*)

Ingredients for Oriental Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup of  safflower oil (or some other non-tasting oil)
  • 1/4 cup of sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of honey (you can substitute this for sugar as well)
  • 1/4 cup of sugar

Directions for Cabbage Salad:

  1. Mix together cabbage, onions, carrots in a large bowl.
  2. When ready to serve, add chicken and candied nuts.
  3. Pour dressing on last, so the salad doesn’t get soggy.

Directions for Salad Dressing:

  1. In a large measuring cup, pour in the vinegar and sugar/honey and whisk it till well combined.
  2. Add in the cider vinegar a little at a time while continuing to whisk.
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Oriental Salad Ready to Eat!

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Candied Nuts

Candied Nuts

So I had eaten at my dear friends’ house over Passover and had the most amazing Oriental Cabbage Salad.  Rebecca’s secret ingredient was candied nuts.  I decided I was going to replicate her dish, but first I had to candy my nuts.  (I’ll post the oriental cabbage later).

There are two ways to candy nuts.  I did mine in the oven, but you can also just put sugar and nuts in a saute pan and saute them.  Once the sugar has melted and is well coated, you then spread the nut mixture on a baking sheet with parchment paper to cool and then break it into pieces.

However, this was the recipe I found years ago and adapted it slightly.  I have no idea where it came from, so I can’t take credit for it.  I love to mix different kinds of nuts together.  I think this recipe can double as the makings of a granola bar.  Let me know what you come up with!  I also like to just eat it as snack.  I have tried it substituting honey for sugar.  It’s just as tasty, but doesn’t quite have the crispness or the crunch I was looking for.  If you try different things, let me know what you enjoyed!

Candied Nuts Recipe

Serving Size: 1 pound

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound nuts, crushed or halved
  • 1 large egg white, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300*F (150*C).
  2. Lay parchment paper over a baking sheet.
  3. *If using whole nuts, crush prior to using.  Place in ziplock bag and smash with mallet.*  I of course didn’t have anything else when I was having a craving, so it’s what I did.

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    Crushing Nuts

  4. In a bowl, mix together sugar, salt and cinnamon;set aside.
  5. Beat egg white and water together just until frothy, not stiff.
  6. Add nuts to egg whites and stir until well coated.

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    Nuts Added to Egg White Mixture

  7. Add sugar mixture, mixing nuts until well coated.
  8. Spread evenly onto a foil-lined cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and separate pecans as they cool.
  10. Store in tightly closed container.
Candied Nuts

Candied Nuts

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Gluten-Free Bagel Chips Recipe

I was inspired the other day when I was given a free sample of Udi’s Bagels.  I find them kind of dry and really not worth eating.  I do however think Sweet Note Bakery makes some of the best bagels I’ve tasted!!

Ok, so back to my story . . . I thought to myself, what better way to use these bagels than to make bagel chips. . .

Serving Size: 1 large bagel makes 6-8 large chips depending on how thinly you slice them.

Ingredients:

  • gluten-free bagels
  • olive oil
  • garlic salt
  • pepper
  • paprika

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250*F.  Since we only used 1 bagel, we chose the toaster oven to bake it in.
  2. Slice the bagel as evenly as possible so that they bake evenly.  I recommend a mandolin, but since I didn’t have one, hand slicing did the trick.
  3. Using a brush, lightly brush olive oil over the bagel slice.

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    Brushing the Olive Oil on

  4. Sprinkle garlic salt, pepper, and a dash of paprika over them.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until crisp.

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    Baking in the Toaster Oven

I apologize for no finished pictures!!  We were so excited to eat them that we forgot to take a picture until it was too late!

Let me know what kinds of delicious variations you have come up with!

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A Slice of the Swiss Chard Artichoke Pie

I was trying to think of something clever to do with my swiss chard, because I’m trying to eat up everything in my refrigerator before heading to visit family for Passover.  So, I came up with this Gluten-Free Swiss Chard and Artichoke Pie using the Chebe dough.

Swiss Chard and Artichoke Pie

adapted from Martha Stewart’s Swiss Chard Pie

Serving Size: 6-8 people, assuming no one is having seconds

Ingredients for the Pie Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced (any kind will do)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 pounds Swiss chard, stems cut into small dice and leaves torn (I just used one bunch)
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • dash of red-pepper flakes (or more to taste.  I was afraid my daughter wouldn’t eat it if it was spicier.)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated hard cheese (I used a blend of parmeasan and romano)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (I just squeezed in half a lemon and since I have a bunch of Meyer lemons, I used one of those.)
  • 1 large separated into yolk and white

Ingredients for Pie Crust using Chebe All-Purpose Bread Mix:

  • 1 box of chebe all-purpose bread mix
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 2 TBSP of olive oil
  • 3 TBSP water (and a little extra if dry)
  • NOTE: I DO NOT use cheese in the crust.

Supplies:

  • Rolling pin
  • pot for boiling
  • pan for sauteing
  • wooden spoon for stirring
  • parchment paper

Directions for Filling:

  1. Preheat over to 375*F.
  2. Over high heat, bring chard leaves and stems to a boil in a pot of water.  When it reaches a boil, simmer for just a few minutes until they’re wilted.
  3. While the chard is boiling, in another pan, saute onions and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat until onions soften.  About 2 minutes or so.  I like to cook mine a little longer so some caramelize.
  4. Remove chard from water and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.  Add to saute pan along with the artichokes and chili pepper flakes.
  5. Saute until everything is warmed through, about 3 minutes or so.
  6. Remove from heat and add to pan cheese, egg yolk, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.  (You could do this separately in another bowl, but I thought, why dirty another dish!!)

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    Chard Mixture with all Ingredients Mixed In

  7. Grease pie plate well.  I just rubbed olive oil on the bottom of it.
  8. With your pie dough, split it in half and roll out 1/2 between 2 pieces of parchment paper.  (See instructions below).  Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and place pie plate upside down over the crust.  Together, flip the pie plate and the crust over.  Then slowly remove the parchment paper.

    photo 1

    Rolled out Dough

  9. Place the chard mixture on top of the pie crust.
  10. Then, roll out the other 1/2 of the pie crust.  Remove the top parchment sheet, and carefully turn it over and place it on top of the pie.
  11. Pinch the top and bottom crust together as best as you can.
  12. Use the egg white mixed with 1 tsp of water.  Brush on top of the pie.  (I forgot to do this, but it’s why mine is not shiny).
  13. Cut at least 4 vent holes in the top of the pie.

    photo 2

    Sides Pinched, Holes Made

  14. Bake for about 30 minutes.  (Confession. . . I wasn’t really paying attention to how long I cooked it.  I just kept checking on it.  So, if you make this, let me know how long you cooked it for.  I just needed the crust to be cooked through.)

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    Cooked Swiss Chard – Artichoke Pie

Directions for Pie Crust:

  1. Mix all wet items in bowl – eggs, oil, and water.  I use a fork for the whole crust until I “knead” my hands 🙂
  2. Add the dry mixture, and continue to use the fork, pushing it down and scraping it across the liquid until it gets clumpy.
  3. At this clumpy point, I stick my hands in and keep kneading it until it is super smooth.  If done right, it should not be sticky at all.  It only gets sticky when too much water is added, so err on the side of caution.  If after about 2-3 minutes of kneading, it is not coming together, add just a tiny bit more water, but do no use as much as a tablespoon.
  4. Split the dough in half, and put one half between 2 pieces of parchment paper.  Roll out until it is a bit wider in diameter than your pie plate, because you want it to come up the sides.
  5. Slowly removed the top parchment paper and put the greased pie plate upside down, over it.  Together, flip them over.
  6. Do the same process in #4 for your 2nd half of the dough.
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Inside of DELICIOUS Chard and Artichoke Pie

It was truly amazing, and my daughter ate the whole thing!!!  You can also try to make this as little appetizers, by making it in individual muffin tins.

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Spring Rolls with homemade duck sauce and sweet and sour sauce

I was having take out dinner with a few friends, where I of course brought my own food.  They had some kind of Asian cuisine, which made me crave spring rolls.  So, I figured out how to make delicious spring rolls.

Gluten-Free Spring Rolls

Serving Size: 12 Spring Rolls

Ingredients for Spring Rolls:

– 1 package of rice wrappers
any vegetables on hands:
– 1 carrot, julienned
– 1 zucchini, julienned
– 1 squash, julienned
– 1 package of  mushrooms, thinly sliced
– 1/2 cabbage, shredded (I used purple)
– 1/2 – 1 onion, thinly sliced
– oil for frying (peanut, canola, safflower, soy)

Supplies for Spring Rolls:

– shallow pan (for wetting wrappers)
– saute pan
– deep pot for frying (so to avoid splatter)
– tongs

Directions:

1. Chop all of the vegetables.
2. Over medium-high heat, saute the onions first for about a minute, then add in the rest of the vegetables and cook until tender, 5-7 minutes.
3. In another shallow pan, fill about an inch full of room temperature water.  One at a time, place the rice wrapper in the water (following directions on package) for about 30 seconds or so, until it softens.
4. After each wrapper is soft, place it on a clean surface (like a cutting board), and fill the center with about 1/4 cup of vegetable mixture.  Be careful, because the wrapper are a bit sticky and can tear.  However, it’s pretty easy to roll over the tear because the wrapper will stick to itself.

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Roller Rice Wrappers before Frying

5. Fold each wrapper by folding over one long side first, then folding in both the shorter sides, then rolling it to wrap the rest of the longer side.
6. With a couple of wrappers left to fill, add about 1/2 in of oil your tall frying pot and heat over medium-high to high heat.  You should see it begins to smoke, which tells you it’s ready.  I chose not to put more oil in for a super deep fry.  I never want to end up with too much!
7. Depending on how wide your pot is, ONLY put 1-2 rolls in at a time.  They will stick to each other and fall apart.  I started with 1 at a time.  I fried it for about 2 minutes, rolling it about every 30 seconds so the other sides could brown.

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Spring Roll Frying

8. Remove from frying pot and place on a baking sheet covered in brown paper bags for oil absorption and cooling.

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Duck Sauce on Left and Sweet and Sour on Right

9. When all are cooked, serve with dipping sauces.  (Recipes below).

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Spring Roll with Dipping Sauces

Recipes for Sauces

These sauces are taken verbatim from cooks.com and will also provide the links below.

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Duck Sauce on Left, Sweet and Sour on Right

Ingredients for Duck Sauce:

Serving Size: about 1.5 pints (it filled up 1 1/2 small jam jars)

acv

Bragg Cider Vinegar

Duck Sauce

1 c. plum preserves (I had made my own from the summer!!)
1/2 c. apricot preserves
2 tbsp. honey (I like to use local honey)
2/3 c. cider vinegar (I used braggs apple cider vinegar)
1 clove garlic, minced

Mix ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Store in sterilized jar in refrigerated.

Ingredients for Sweet and Sour Sauce:

Serving Size: 1/2 pint (it filled 1/2 a small jam jar)

Sweet and Sour Sauce

3 tbsp. vinegar (I used white vinegar)
1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch mixed in 1 tbsp. water

Combine all ingredients in small saucepan. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Turn down and simmer 5 minutes or until thick. Add a dash of red food coloring for color (optional). Cool and serve. May want to double the recipe.

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