Fabulous Franz Shout Out!

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It’s your lucky day!

Because our good friends over at Franz have created a delicious (and I do mean DELICIOUS!) gluten free, dairy free bread!

There are two varieties:

And there is a little rumor going around their store that within the month they will also be offering hamburger and hot dog buns.

I love you, Franz.

The only drawback for some may be the fact that this bread does contain chicken eggs. But if you do not have a chicken egg allergy, or are fortunate enough to be able to eat this bread without a reaction (a curiosity, I can sometimes eat things that contain chicken eggs. Go figure.), you are going to love it.

I mean it. This bread is fabulous. I don’t even have to toast it. It’s just good all by its lonesome.

And if you are fortunate to live by a local Franz Bakery Outlet, you’ll find the bread for around four dollars a loaf.

That’s a real steal for gluten free bread.

Happy Sandwiching! 

Feeling a Little Whiny?

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If you have a gluten allergy but love to cook, you may have cast aside any aspirations of using a cooking wine in your sauces and other creations.

I do not drink wine, or any alcohol, so I prefer to purchase cooking wine. Now, when I say cooking wine, I am not referring to the kind people drink.

You see, cooking wine is not meant for drinking; it is made for cooking. It contains added salt and is formulated expressly for cooking. Also, if it’s added to a dish correctly, at least ninety seven percent of the alcohol will burn off in the cooking process, leaving a flavorful addition to your meals.

But for the gluten allergic/Celiac, cooking wine has long been out of the question.

Until now.

Because the good folks over at Mizkan/Holland House have created an entire line of cooking wines and vinegars which are gluten free!

Holland-House-Wine

I have found the Holland House brand in just about every grocery store in town. And my favorite for spaghetti and pizza sauce is the Marsala. It gives your Italian dishes that authentic taste.

In fact, I’ll share my spaghetti sauce recipe with you, just as a little bonus:

Spaghetti Sauce – No gluten, dairy, soy or other crud

  • In a 4 quart stock pot, brown 1 pound ground beef or turkey (for those avoiding meat, see the note at the end of my recipe)

Halfway through the browning process, add:

  • 1-2 cups raw mushrooms
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • Continue sauteing until meat is cooked thoroughly and mushrooms are tender. Drain.
  • To the mixture, add one 20 oz can EACH plain crushed and pureed tomatoes
  • Next, add one small 6 oz can plain tomato paste

To that, add:

  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 TB dried basil (lemon basil is so delicious here)
  • 1 TB dried oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp crushed rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 TB sugar (I use coconut sugar and it works beautifully)
  • 1/4 cup Holland House Marsala cooking wine
  • Stir ingredients well
  • At this point, I strongly suggest transferring the ingredients to a crock pot to cook on low for 8-10 hours, stirring 3 or 4 times during the process.
  • If a slow cooker is not an option, leave the ingredients in the stock pot and cover. Turn on medium heat until mixture begins to simmer. Turn to low and allow the sauce to simmer for at least 45 minutes, but not more than one hour. Stir often.
  • Before serving, remove the bay leaves

Note: If you are vegan or vegetarian, the ground beef can be substituted with any variety of chopped veggies: zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots – the possibilities are endless!

Happy Cooking!

Chili for Your Chills

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I love using my crockpot during the cold, shivery months of the year.

I also love it during my kids’ basketball season. Turn it on and walk away. Come back ninety billion hours later, and we’re ready to sit down and eat!

I especially love homemade chili. It’s comforting, warm and feeds an army.

So let’s begin:

Your first step is to soak 4 cups dry beans for at least eight hours. Drain the beans and rinse when soaking time is completed.

Your first step is to soak 4 cups dry beans for at least ten hours. Drain the beans and rinse when soaking time is completed.

Next, place the soaked, drained beans in a 5 quart crock pot and add 1 box of Imagine brand creamy tomato soup.

Next, place the soaked, drained beans in a 5 quart crock pot and add 1 box of Imagine brand creamy tomato soup.

Add 2-4 cloves of garlic (depending on your preference).

Add 2-4 cloves of garlic (depending on your preference).

Chop up one green pepper and one medium onion (your choice) or 4 green onions. Add that to the pot.

Chop up one green pepper and one medium onion (your choice) or 4 green onions. Add that to the pot.

Next, brown 2 pounds of ground meat (I used 1 lb ground turkey and 1 lb ground beef). Drain and add to the mixture.

Next, brown 1 1/2 pounds of ground meat (I used 1 lb ground turkey and 1/2 lb ground beef). Be sure to salt the meat. Drain and add to the mixture.

And get yourself one of those handy dandy ground beef tools shown in the photo above. I bought mine from Pampered Chef. I. Love. It!!!!

Next, while the dog is giving you his "I haven't eaten for a month!" face, add 1 TB chili powder. Also, add 1-2 tsp of each:  cumin, turmeric, dried oregano, dried basil, salt and onion powder. If you like a little more kick, add some Tabasco to that pot.

Next, while the dog is giving you his “I haven’t eaten for a month!” face, add 1 TB chili powder. Also, add 1-2 tsp of each: cumin, turmeric, dried oregano, dried basil, salt and onion powder. If you like a little more kick, add some Tabasco to that pot.

Now, while your dog is attempting his 'cute face', give all that deliciousness a stir or two.

Now, while your dog is attempting his ‘cute face’, add enough water to cover the ingredients (about 4 cups) and give all that deliciousness a stir or two.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

You can cook it on high for about 3-5 hours, but it won’t be QUITE as yummy.

Serve with shredded Daiya cheese, if desired.

Crockpot Chili: No gluten, dairy, egg, soy or other nasty critters

  • Soak 4 cups dry beans for at least ten hours. Drain and rinse. Transfer beans to a 5 quart crock pot.
  • Brown 1 1/2 lbs ground meat (I used 1 lb ground turkey and 1/2 lb ground beef). Salt the meat while it is browning and then drain. Add to the beans.
  • Add 1 box Imagine Creamy Tomato Soup to the beans mixture
  • Add 2-4 cloves of garlic (depending on your preference)
  • Chop up one green pepper and one medium onion (red, yellow, sweet: it’s your choice) or 4 green onions. Add that to the pot.
  • Add 1 TB chili powder. Also, add 1-2 tsp of each: cumin, turmeric, dried oregano, dried basil, salt and onion powder. If you like a little more kick, add some Tabasco to that pot.
  • Add enough water to cover the ingredients (about 4 cups) and give all that deliciousness a stir or two.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. 

    You can cook it on high for about 3-5 hours, but it won’t be QUITE as yummy.

  • Serve with shredded Daiya cheese, if desired.
  • If you MUST have tomatoes in your chili (my family would rather not), add a small can of diced tomatoes as well.

 

Happy Chilly Days!

 

Merry Christmas!

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morning

As we celebrate another Christmas Day, I am reminded once again that another year has passed.

And even through the trying times, the tears and the sorrows this world brings:

God has been SO GOOD to me.

I’m so thankful that Jesus Christ, the babe in the manger that everyone finds so cute and impartial, did not stay that babe, but grew to be the Savior of mankind.

John 3:16 & 17

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

I’m thankful He took my sins upon Him that day on the cross.

Everything good in my life is because of Him.

And that is why I celebrate today:

Not that Jesus was born and that it makes a nice story.

But because He, being God, humbled himself to become a human being for thirty three years.

And then He purchased my salvation when His time here on earth was over.

THAT, my friends, is the greatest gift I have ever received.

My prayer is that anyone reading this post today would receive that same gift.

Merry Christmas!

Last Minute Christmas Dinner Preparations

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It can happen just like *that*!

“I need one more dish! Aunt Gertie asked me to bring one more covered dish! Aaaaauuuggghhh!!!”

*wrings hands furiously*

Never fear. Here are a few ideas:

Green Bean Casserole: No gluten, dairy, egg or yeast (recipe created by my daughter, Courtney)

  • 1 box Imagine Foods Creamy Portobello Mushroom (the ingredients on the internet sometimes say this is made with soy milk. However, the boxes I purchase at my local grocer never have any soy. So if you are allergic to soy, go check it out at the store. I think Imagine may be a little behind the times on their ingredients update)
  • 1/4 cup corn or tapioca starch plus enough water to thin starch
  • 1 – 16 oz bag of frozen, french cut green beans, thawed
  • 1/4 cup shredded Daiya mozerella
  • 4 green onions, chopped finely
  • 2 Tbs sunflower (or your favorite) oil
  • Dash salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Grease a medium casserole dish. Set aside. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, blend with whisk the soup and starch until smooth. Add Daiya and green beans.

Transfer soup and green bean mixture to casserole dish. Place in oven and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat oil. Add garlic, salt and chopped onion. Saute until onion begins to caramelize. 

Top casserole with green onions after the 15 minutes are up. Then bake for an additional 10 minutes or until casserole is bubbly.

veganaise

  • And if you simply want to bring a dip along with some veggies, never fear!

Simply click on this link to see my recipe for a quick, easy ranch dressing and dip.

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  • And if you are dying for a cheese and cracker tray, EASY!

Get on down to the natural grocer and buy a package of allergy free lunch meat, such as Hormel Naturals, this Daiya cheese and a box of allergy free crackers, such as Mary’s Gone Crackers. Arrange on a cute little plate and hoard it all to yourself at the family gathering. Unless there are other food challenged people there. Then share, and you’ll be the star of the night.

Happy Christmas Eve!

Snowballs! Minus the Snow.

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Snowballs have long been one of my favorite Christmas cookies.

So I made them allergy free.

And now I will share the recipe with you!

Snowball Cookies

First, cream together 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 cups (yes, I said 2 cups) Earth Balance and 3 tsp vanilla.

First, cream together 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 cups (yes, I said 2 cups) Earth Balance and 3 tsp vanilla.

Next, add 2 cups GF flour and 1/2 tsp salt. Blend well, then add another 2 cups GF flour. Blend.

Next, add 2 cups GF flour and 1/2 tsp salt. Blend well, then add another 2 cups GF flour. Blend.

Your mixture will resemble coarse crumbs. That's exactly how you want it to look.

Your mixture will resemble coarse crumbs. That’s exactly how you want it to look.

Next, add 1/4 cup almond milk (or your choice milk) and blend. Your dough will still resemble coarse crumbs, but you should be able to grab a small handful and press it together, like so.

Next, add 1/4 cup almond milk (or your choice milk) and blend. Your dough will still resemble coarse crumbs, but you should be able to grab a small handful and press it together, like so.

The next step is to form the snowballs. You won't be able to roll them like you would a snickerdoodle: they'll fall apart that way. Instead, simply take a bit of dough and form them much like you would a, well, snowball! Then place them on a cookie sheet.

The next step is to form the snowballs. You won’t be able to roll them between your palms like you would a snickerdoodle: they’ll fall apart that way. Instead, simply take a bit of dough and form them much like you would a, well, snowball! Then place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Put them in a 325 degree oven for 17 minutes. Do not over bake.

When the time is up, remove the cookies from the oven and let the sheet sit on a cooling rack for about two minutes. Using a small spatula, place one or two cookies at a time into a bowl of powdered sugar. Roll with the spoon until sugar coats the cookie, then transfer to a cooling rack.

When the time is up, remove the cookies from the oven and let the sheet sit on a cooling rack for about two minutes. Using a small spatula, place one or two cookies at a time into a bowl of powdered sugar. Roll with the spoon until sugar coats the cookie, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Once cooled, enjoy these little spheres of joy with a cup of coffee or tea!

Once cooled, enjoy these little spheres of joy with a cup of coffee or tea!

Snowball Cookies: No gluten, dairy, eggs, soy

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups Earth Balance
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups GF flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup almond or other milk
  • Additional powdered sugar for coating

Preheat oven to 325.

First, cream together 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 cups (yes, I said 2 cups) Earth Balance and 3 tsp vanilla.

Next, add 2 cups GF flour and 1/2 tsp salt. Blend well, then add another 2 cups GF flour. Blend. Your mixture will resemble coarse crumbs. That’s exactly how you want it to look. Next, add 1/4 cup almond milk (or your choice milk) and blend. Your dough will still resemble coarse crumbs, but you should be able to grab a small handful and press it together.

The next step is to form the snowballs. You won’t be able to roll them between your palms like you would a snickerdoodle: they’ll fall apart that way. Instead, simply take a bit of dough and form them much like you would a, well, snowball! Then place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Put them in a 325 degree oven for 17 minutes. Do not over bake.

When the time is up, remove the cookies from the oven and let the sheet sit on a cooling rack for about two minutes. Using a small spatula, place one or two cookies at a time into a bowl of powdered sugar. Roll with the spoon until sugar coats the cookie, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Then go indulge and impress others with your allergy free baking skills!

Happy Playing in the Snow!

Two Words

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Kidney. Infection.

Holy stinkin’ moley.

Praise the Lord for narcotics and cranberries.

I’ll be back with some yummy posts in a few days.

Aye yi yi.

 

Happy Hydrocodone! 

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