Category Archives: Uncategorized

GFCF story on WCCO

At my June gluten and dairy free cooking class WCCO news came to interview me and record part of my class for a story they are doing on the “Autism Diet,” or the GFCF diet.  One of my students had just started the diet and was letting WCCO follow the progress and effect on their child and the family.  The students that day wanted to know when it was going to be airing.  Well, we have a date of July 24, 2008 on the 10 p.m. WCCO News.  I get to be at the station that night for the “Web Chat.”  That part should be pretty fun.



**I am a bit nervous about the story for a couple of reasons and they are all completely vain and all relating to ME.  Yeah, I know.   Pathetic, huh?  The night of my class was REALY, REALY windy.  And I didn’t have a comb… so, yeah, I don’t really know what my hair will be doing in the interview.  Also, as I had to stand in a certain spot and asked to move my shoulder one inch over, leading me to  suddenly realize I couldn’t move.  Or could I?  Anyone who knows me knows my hands and face are in constant motion during conversation.  I am a bit of an animated critter and I MUST. MOVE. WHEN. TALKING.  So, as I know I am constantly scrunching up my face in various contorted ways (oh, my poor husband), I was trying not to move my face too much either.  (Yeah, I know, kinda dumb, huh?)  I hope I don’t look like I was injected with Botox right before the interview.  And, I can only hope I am on air for 5 seconds or less, which I am sure is the case, so I need to get over it already. Now you know how vain I am.  Sad, isn’t it?  (Did I mention how windy it was??)  As you can see in the above photo, my kids get their sense of style from me….  Yeah….**


Now I lay me down to sleep…

I know this has nothing to do about gluten and dairy free food in the least, but I just had to let others know about this ministry that has so blessed my friend Andrea this past week:  Now I lay me down to sleep.  Please consider donating to this amazing ministry.

Menu Plan Monday

I hope you all had a great 4th of July.  We did.  We had lunch of almost all corn on the cob (we promised my oldest daughter she could eat as much as she wants this summer because she is getting braces on August 11th), then headed over to one of my hubby’s friends for a barbeque and fireworks.  You couldn’t ask for better weather or better company.  Thanks, guys!


This week I get to incorporate things from my garden.  Woo-hoo!  Though, my family may get sick of zucchini eventually.  (Insert evil mom laugh here.)


Head on over to Menu Plan Monday to see whet is on everyone else’s plates this week.  Also, for gluten free menu’s go over to the Gluten Free Menu Swap hosted this week by Gluten Free Goodness.  Have a great week!










Monday:  Youth Bible study/orchestra/pick up mixes for Friday’s training/soccer game

Chicken Stir Fry and rice – I will be cleaning out veggies in the fridge with this…


Tuesday:  little girl soccer/preschool play date/Orchestra and band/grocery store/farmer’s market/Make gluten free bread (3 loaves)/bake gf cupcakes for b-day party on Thursday

Beef and Zucchini Fajitas, Spinach Salad with berries and poppy seed dressing


Wednesday:  Mommy work 6 hours/Orchestra and band/soccer practice

Pan seared fish (some sort of white fish) with a fresh herb olive oil, pea pod sauté


Thursday: Orchestra/Prep for training tomorrow/Bake zucchini bread and muffins (Double batch, freeze half)/B-day party for a little buddy

Mediterranean-style Chicken Breasts (double recipe and freeze half), Salad 


Friday:  Gluten Free staff training at Lakewinds

BLT’s with avocados, blend of garden veggies, and homemade ice cream or gelato


I need to figure out where to work 9 more hours, also…  I would like to NOT do it on the weekend, but I think I may have to.  


This weekend:  I need to get more summer fruit prepped for the freezer to make into jam later.  Make pancake mixes up for cupboard.  Inventory freezer and see what needs to be used up.  Inventory flours and see what I need to use up.  Make menu plan for visitors, so I know what still needs to be made early and what I can fit into my budget for the next couple of weeks to spread the spending out.  Get camping gear out of my back room  and back to the basement storage area and move my piano in there.  (Yeah, I know it sounds like a lot, but I am really behind on my house work and need to catch up, so it’s my own fault…  But I have great kids to help with the shoveling cleaning.)  And of course, weed, harvest greens, replant.  I love not having to buy salad this time of year!






















                                                                                    EARS of corn…get it?  















Food Blessing










Tonight the Girl Scout troop made some meals for one of our troop families.  Wow! We had 6 girls, my son and a Girl Scout’s dad (you should see him wield a spoon) helping out tonight!   The kitchen and table were packed.  Thanks to all who could make it at such short notice.  The girls made 6 dinners and a dessert in about an hour and half.  They did an amazing job.  


This is the second time I have used these recipes to bless another family.  It works out really well and thought others might also know someone who is experiencing and illness or loss that you would like to bless with some meals.  It also makes a nice mini freezer session for your own freezer, also.  What we used to put on the freezer tags are at the end.  If you want to precook everything (like we did tonight) you can just add the label to your meal.  We also cooked rice for the sweet and sour chicken and packaged that in a separate freezer bag with the sweet and sour chicken.


If you choose to just chop and dump in a bag all the uncooked ingredients (which is what I usually do if I am making freezer meals for home) label the meal, “thaw then put in a slow cooker for 6-8 hours on the low setting.”  I will usually package the spinach and parsley for the cassoulet and the broccoli for the sweet and sour chicken in smaller bags (and put with the main ingredient bags) so that they can be added in separately a 1/2 hour before the end of cooking time in the slow cooker.


For the crispy bars, we just followed the regular rice crispy bar recipe on the marshmallow bag (using a gluten free crispy rice cereal, Earth Balance margarine, gluten free marshmallows), topping with gluten and dairy free chocolate chips and sprinkles for fun.


All of these recipes are already on my blog in other entries.


White Bean Chicken Chili -adapted just a tiny bit from

18 servings  (We split this into two 1-gallon sized freezer bags)


3 T olive oil

2 pounds diced chicken meat (or same amount uncooked, chopped)

2 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced (or 6 cloves of ROASTED garlic.  Yum!)

2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth (I dump in a frozen 4 cup container of frozen stock instead)

2 (18.75 ounce) cans tomatillos, drained and chopped

2 (16 ounce) cans diced tomatoes

2 (7 ounce) cans diced green chiles

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

4 (15 ounce) cans white beans (drained)

10 oz. frozen corn

salt to taste

ground black pepper to taste


Heat oil.  Sauté onion until softened. 


Put every thing into 6 quart crockpot.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  If using uncooked chicken, check the chicken is cooked through.  Stir before serving.


Serve with these toppings for people to choose from: limes, cilantro, avocado, and tortilla chips.



Slow Cooker “Cassoulet” (We made two recipes – one recipe per gallon sized freezer bag)


8 oz. kielbasa, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (be sure gluten free)

1/2 to 1 tablespoons olive oil

20 oz pkg boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 1/2 cups baby carrots, or enough carrots to equal, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

1 green or red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 cup chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 (15-oz.) cans Cannellini beans, drained & rinsed

1 can (14.5 oz) Italian style tomatoes

1-1/2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup dry white wine, or apple juice/cider or white grape juice  (we used apple juice)

3/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 t allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper


2 Tablespoons snipped fresh parsley

2 cups fresh packed spinach, chopped


Heat the oil in a large skillet; add the sausage pieces and sauté 1-2 minutes, just to release a little of the fat.

Add the chicken and sauté another 1-2 minutes until lightly colored.  Put chicken and sausage into the slow cooker.


Add the carrots, peppers, onions and garlic to the pan, pour in 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and cook for 2 minutes, scraping the bottom. Remove from the heat and put into slow cooker with chicken and sausage.  Stir in the beans and undrained tomatoes.


In a separate bowl combine the rest of the chicken broth, white wine, thyme and red pepper. Pour into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high 3-1/2 to 4 hours.


Just before serving, stir in fresh parsley and spinach.  Serve with some crusty gluten free garlic bread and a green salad. Serves 6-8.



Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken  (We made 2 recipes – one recipe per gallon sized freezer bag)


1 – 20 oz. package boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in 3/4” chunks

1 large onion, chopped in 3/4” chunks

1 red pepper, chopped in 3/4 “ chunks

1 green pepper, chopped in 3/4” chunks

3/4 cup jullianned carrots

1 – 15 oz can pineapple chunks, drained, reserving juice

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup GF soy sauce

3 T corn starch

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon curry powder

1/4 teaspoon dried ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon pepper


2 cups chopped broccoli


Mix chicken pieces,  onion, peppers, carrots, and pineapple in slow cooker.  Mix the remaining ingredients, except broccoli, and pour over chicken and veggie mixture.  Cook on low 6 to 7 hours or high 3 -3 1/2 hours.  Add broccoli and mix all ingredients completely.  Cook an additional 1/2 hour or until broccoli is crisp-tender.  Serve over rice.



White Bean Chicken Chili


Thaw chili in bag.  Reheat in pan on stovetop.  Serve with tortilla chips.




Thaw cassoulet in bag.  Reheat in pan on stovetop.  Serve with garlic bread and mixed veggies.




Sweet and Sour Chicken


Thaw sweet and sour chicken and rice in bags.  Reheat in separate pans on stovetop.  Serve chicken over rice.


4 Comments $manage-tooltip$  

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 – 11:10 AM
Jen (jakey’s mom)
you never cease to amaze me!  Super Mom!
Hope you are doing well and having a wonderful summer – let’s catch up soon!

Thursday, July 3, 2008 – 03:34 AM
Wonderful girls.  Terrific meals!

Friday, July 4, 2008 – 12:20 AM
You’re incredible!
Maybe we should think about doing this for Andrea toward the end of July.  
What do you think?   

I miss hanging out with you!



Sunday, July 6, 2008 – 10:36 PM
I am missing you, too.  The kiddos are almost done with orchestra and band – just 2 more weeks!     

We do need to get something set for Andrea.  Let’s coordinate our calendars…  I’ll call you this week.




Menu Plan Monday

Last week we had Girl Scout Camp fun, so this week we are just hanging out and relaxing.  I am so excited that the Forth of July is on a Friday this year.  I feel like my kids get to stay up late on a night that isn’t too big of a deal to stay up on.  Woo-hoo!  Less crabbiness for the kids AND Mommy!  (Yeah, I’m a whimp.  I do like my sleep…)


Menu Plan Monday is usually at the Organized Junkie’s blog, but she is “unplugged” for a week (I wonder how that’s going?), so it is being hosted this week by Heavenly Homemakers.  Thanks, Laura!











This week I am starting to get a few extra things in the freezer for our guests (Aunty and the cousins are coming!  Woo!) at the end of the month so I don’t have to do so much cooking and can enjoy everyone more.


Monday:  Mommy works 10 hours/orchestra/band/Boy Scout swim test for camp

Burgers, salad, veggie sticks


Tuesday:  Orchestra/Girl Scouts over for cooking for one of our troop’s families


Easy Ground Turkey Skillet Dinner 

Serve with a green salad and gluten free garlic bread or over gluten free noodles. 


6 servings. 


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 20 oz pkg. ground turkey 

2 medium onion, peeled and chopped 

4 tomatoes, chopped (or one 14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes, drained)

5 tablespoons tomato paste 

1 1/2 teaspoons each dried basil, oregano, and garlic powder 

½ teaspoon salt 

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper 

3 medium zucchini or other summer squash, cut in half the long way then sliced into 1/2″ pieces

3 cups of any quick cooking fresh veggies, i.e. asparagus, pea pods, broccoli, bok choy, spinach…


Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Brown turkey and onion over medium heat until turkey is 

cooked through and onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Lower heat to medium.


Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. 


Add zucchini and other veggies and cook for 5 minutes more until veggies are crisp-tender. Serve while hot. 



Wednesday:  Orchestra/band/soccer practice

(Bake gluten free bread (2 regular-freeze 1- and 1 cinnamon struesel.  Make choc chip cookies- double batch (half freeze for visit- 1/4 make “ice cream sandwiches – 1/4 cookie jar)

            Asian-style glazed pork chops with sauteed bok choy


Thursday:  Orchestra

(Bake gluten free bread (2 regular – freeze one – and 1 cinnamon struesel – freeze)

Make gluten and dairy free strawberry and peach “ice cream popsicles for 4th

Curried Chicken Salad Wraps, apricots and strawberries


Friday:  Forth of July!  Mommy works five hours, also…

I’ll have Daddy and the kiddos pick what we barbeque, Napa cabbage slaw, veggie platter with GFCF ranch dip, fruit salad (yummy, yummy), gluten free angel food cake with blueberries, strawberries and whipped coconut topping, and gluten and dairy free strawberry and peach “ice cream” popsicles


This weekend:  Garlic shrimp with basil, Grilled Garlic Chicken with Gluten free Panzanella salad (done on the grill), corn on the cob if we can find any, pea pod salad with apricots or mango and jicima, roast beef in the crock pot for sandwiches next week… and salad – lots and lots of salad…  Breakfast will be Walnut Waffles with Blueberry sauce (double batch of each – freeze half for Aunty visit)  I also hope to get some peaches, apricots and/or plums put up (in jam, pie filling and nectar form)  That will all depend on the time.  I may just peel, chop and freeze for later.  Also, plant more salad greens, another batch of beets, beans, and bok choy for another crop..  I also have rhubarb in the freezer I need to put up as a jam or as Sunshine Juice Concentrate but that will probably wait for another day.

I’ll be back…

My hubby had a little accident on his bike this past weekend, so I will probably be off the blog for a week or so while things settle around here.   


See you soon!


(I am backdating this to when this SHOULD have been posted so everyone knew where I was.  But I didn’t.  ‘Cause I didn’t think of it.  Well, now you know. -Smile!-)














                                                    His helmet…  Yep, wearing a helmet is a GOOD idea!















                The beautiful trail where he landed…




Gluten Free Sesame Sandwich Bread

In March my lovely friend Cari forwarded me an article from Epicurious.  It was a great article on gluten free cooking.  I just have to try the coconut cake sometime very soon!  Yum!  


In the article was a nice looking sandwich bread that contained a lot of fiber containing “flours” which is missing in so much gluten free food.  We tried it and liked it, but of course I had to tweek it a bit.  Our version is dairy free and I use a “sponge” technique, which means I let part of the ingredients soak and rest with the yeast for a few hours before mixing in the rest of the ingredients.  This produced better flavor and a nice soft sandwich bread texture more reminiscent of gluten filled sandwich bread.  If you have a family member that would prefer to skip the sesame seeds (for less crunchy texture in your bread) leave them out, but still include the oil from the seed step (no need to heat the oil). 


I did not have coconut flour on hand, but did have Let’s Do Organic brand finely shredded organic unsweetened coconut.  I ground the coconut in my coffee grinder I use for herbs and spices until a fine powder and used that for the coconut flour.  It worked very well.  


Be sure to use a 8” x 3 3/4” bread pan as you will get a better rise and a nicer loaf.

Gluten-Free Sesame Sandwich Bread

Adapted by Angela Litzinger from Epicurious March 2008 recipe by Zoe Singer

Makes 1 (8-x 3 3/4 x 2 3/8-inch) loaf

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast, from 1 (1/4-ounce) package

½ cup water, room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon juice or apple cider

1/4 cup gluten/dairy free milk substitute (ie: almond milk), room temperature
1 tablespoon molasses
6 tablespoons chickpea flour
1/4 cup amaranth flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

2 tablespoons potato flour


3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons sesame seeds


2 tablespoons water

1/2 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin, from 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope

1/2 cup tapioca flour 

1/4 cup almond flour

1/4 cup coconut flour 
2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


3 large eggs, room temperature (whisk and remove 2 T, set aside for later mixed with 1 T water)


egg wash (above) and 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

**optional:  2 T sesame seeds and 2 T flax seeds (mix flax seeds at same time as tapioca blend)

Special equipment: 1 (8- by 3 3/4- by 2 3/8-inch) loaf pan



In small saucepan over moderate heat, heat oil until hot but not smoking.  Stir in 3 tablespoons sesame seeds and sauté until seeds are golden brown and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Transfer mixture to small bowl and let cool to room temperature.


In large bowl, pour 1/2 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F) in and sprinkle yeast over and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add milk substitute that has been mixed with the lemon juice, molasses, chickpea flour, amaranth flour, sorghum flour, cornmeal, and potato flour.  Stir to combine.  Cover bowl and allow to sit 2-4 hours.
















                                         Here is my bread sponge working.  Your sponge will get bubbly and rise and fall.



When ready to finish the bread, in small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons cold water.  Stir, then let stand until softened, about 5 minutes.


Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 425°F.  Oil loaf pan.


In large bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, whisk together tapioca flour, almond flour, coconut flour, cornstarch, xantham gum, and salt.  Add bread sponge, eggs and gelatin/water mixture.  Beat at moderate speed until dough is aerated and holds its shape, about 4 minutes. Scrape down bowl, then beat at high speed for 1 minute. Transfer dough to prepared pan and smooth top with rubber spatula. (If necessary, use a wet hand to smooth completely.) Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until dough is just level with top of pan, about 1 hour.















                                                                                                The dough…


In small bowl, whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons of egg and 1 teaspoon water.  When dough has risen, lightly brush egg wash over top, then sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sesame seeds.


Bake bread until firm, about 30 minutes, then carefully turn loaf out of pan and continue baking directly on oven rack until bottom sounds hollow when tapped, about 15 minutes more.  (I baked it in the pan for the entire time.)  Transfer to wire rack and cool at least 1 1/2 hours before slicing. (Store bread, tightly wrapped, 3 days at room temperature, 1 week refrigerated, or 1 month frozen.)
















                                                                            A version without sesame seeds.