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Archive for the ‘Gluten free products/favorites’ Category

I’m going to apologize in advance for this one. I’m sure it has been done before, but for me, a Nutella sandwich with chocolate chip cookies as the “bread” is a natural outgrowth of two favorites: chocolate and nuts. It’s impossible to have just one. Hence, my apologies.

I used the Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix chocolate chip cookie recipe (see below). Shortly after I take them out of the oven, I drop a big, luscious dollop of Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread) on the underside of one cookie and top it with another cookie. Good gracious–watching that velvety chocolate squish out between the cookies is almost enough. Almost. It’s honestly one of the most simply delicious desserts I’ve had. I’m sure a scoop of vanilla ice cream wouldn’t ruin the flavor party. These would also be very cute as mini cookie sandwiches.

Pamela’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter
(I have substituted 1/4 cup of the butter with 3 tablespoons canola oil.)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, large
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix
1-1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (I like to use mini chips.)
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts

Directions

Yield: approximately 20 cookies
Preheat oven to 350°. Soften butter, add sugar, egg and vanilla, then beat together. Add Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix, chocolate chips (and nuts) mix thoroughly. Place tablespoon sized scoops of dough on a lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Flatten. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until edges start to brown. Let cookies cool slightly and use a spatula to remove from cookie sheet.

Load ’em up with Nutella and enjoy!

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At our house, a new school year means meltdowns — “oh, yeah, I have homework again” meltdown, mommy crying in her cereal mini-meltdown, and a new one for us this morning–refusing to go to school meltdown. There was some kicking and screaming.

Though some aspects of school starting are out of my control, this time of year also means another round of gluten-free lunches and snacks for Amelia. I’m always trying to come up with new snack options for her to keep things interesting. I wouldn’t want to eat the same thing every day and despite her insistence that whatever I send is “fine,” I know she likes it when I mix it up.

I haven’t made blueberry muffins since before Amelia was diagnosed with Celiac. She used to like them so much, she chose them for her birthday treat one year. So I decided to whip some up with my Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix. They were a big hit with Amelia, but Owen wasn’t shy about polishing off his share as well. I won’t tell you how many I ate.

Blueberry Muffins
(from Pamela’s Products web site–www.pamelasproducts.com)

1-3/4 cups Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix
1/4 cup melted butter, or oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 to 1 cup fruit- bananas, peaches, berries, etc. (If using raisins or dried fruit, add an additional 1/4 cup water)
Optional: 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

Yield: approximately 6 to 7 muffins.

Mix all ingredients together and spoon 2/3 full into greased muffin pan (or use paper muffin cups). Bake in preheated 350º oven for approximately 25 minutes.

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I love a nice grilled cheese and tomato soup as much as the next person, but it gets a little old when it becomes a staple. I eat it for lunch quite often on my Ener-G Light Tapioca bread alongside some Amy’s Tomato Bisque. the bisque is quite good for a canned soup, but I needed something new to accompany it.

After perusing several recipes, I decided on a rendition using Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix–my tried and true swap out for flour. I came up with something akin to the Cheddar Bay Biscuits from Red Lobster, of all things. I felt a little guilty at first, but guilt never lasts very long for a gf-eater. If it tastes delicious, it’s never wrong.

Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

2 cups Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 small clove garlic, grated
2/3 cup milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°.

In a large mixing bowl pour in Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix and cut in butter with fork or pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Mix in grated cheese and garlic.

Pour milk into flour mixture while stirring with a fork. Drop generous spoonfuls of dough onto a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake 12 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Makes 10-12 biscuits.

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I can’t do rides anymore. About 10 years ago the thrill went out and the pain came in. The jerking back and forth, stomach in your throat, head banging sort of excitement is lost on me. I used to love it…the Tilt-o-whirl, the Ferris Wheel, the big boat that rocks insanely high back and forth, even the Scrambler. Remember the Scrambler? It’s aptly named. All of this free-flying fun first experienced at the Pine County Fair, along with the illicit gambling at BINGO (I didn’t know I was gambling.) were relished each summer.

No longer. Now I go for the food. Mini Tom Thumb donuts, deep-fried cheese curds, corn dogs, elephant ears and all you can drink milk are some of my earliest State Fair memories from the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”–the Minnesota State Fair. Now I dine on Indiana sweet corn dipped in butter and that curly fried potato. I can’t complain. I shouldn’t complain. But I’m going to.

A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook that he’s taking a funnel cake tour of the Midwest. Instead of being envious (I so am.), I determined to make my own gf funnel cake as I anticipate this year’s State Fair. I’m still on vacation, so my rations were limited, but friends, I inspired myself with this little dandy. I’m not sure I’ve ever inspired myself, but when the golden brown, lacey-puffed, haphazard donut cake came out of the hot oil, I sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar (all I had) and bit into the delicate fried dough…BINGO!

I used Alton Brown’s recipe as a guide, substituting where I needed to. I’ll include his recipe here and let you know what I used instead in italics.

Gluten free funnel cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 stick butter (6 tablespoons) 6 tablespoons Land-o-Lakes whipped butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar McCormick cinnamon and sugar mix
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt I omitted because my butter was salted
  • 1 cup flour One cup Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix
  • 1 cup eggs, about 4 large eggs and 2 whites One cup egg beaters
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Powdered sugar, for topping McCormick cinnamon sugar mix

Directions

Boil water, butter, sugar, and salt together in a saucepan. Add flour and work it in until it is all incorporated and dough forms a ball. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer and let cool for 3 to 4 minutes. With mixer on lowest speed, add eggs, 1 at a time, making sure the first egg is completely incorporated before continuing. Once all eggs have been added and mixture is smooth, put dough in a piping bag fitted with a number 12 tip. (I used a large ziplock bag and just cut a little hole in the end for piping.) Heat about 1 1/2 inches of oil in a heavy pan. Pipe dough into oil, making a free-form lattice pattern; cook until browned, flipping once (use a spatula and fork together to avoid splattering oil everywhere). Remove cake from oil, drain on paper towels, and top with powdered sugar. Continue until all of the batter is used.

I noticed that the Minnesota State Fair has a 2011 gluten-free list; this is not a commentary on the Indiana State Fair, but it would be great if all the fairs would do this. I look forward to rooting out other gf things to clog my arteries this year, but until then, my funnel cake will more than suffice. I’m so encouraged that even without all the ingredients I needed, it’s still possible to make something delicious. Never give up on trying to convert recipes to make them gluten-free. You won’t regret it!

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The sun hates me and I hate the sun. We’re on day two of our beach blowout and my skin can tell the story. I pride myself in preventing the sun from ever, ever getting overly tanned or God-forbid–burned. I’m Scandinavian for pete’s sake, people. We’re meant for swimming in ice-cold fjords under overcast skies. One day at the beach in Florida and I need a holster for my Solarcaine.

The perfect solace for a red-tanned hide? Banana pancakes, of course! Perhaps that wasn’t what came to your mind. I know, but we’re at Panama City Beach and the nearest Walmart, though close, is about the busiest, most annoying Walmart I’ve ever experienced. So I made do with what I had–Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix (never leave home without it) and bananas. Oh, how a little stack of pancakes with butter and syrup can warm the heart even on an already sweltering day.

Though rolling over in bed is cringe-worthy these days, my vacation only gets better because of what? Food.

Gluten free banana pancakes

2 cups Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 eggs

2 bananas, diced

Enough water to make it the consistency you like.

butter for the skillet

Cook ’em up to golden brown in a hot skillet, baby!

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We’re on our big beach vacation and just arrived at our condo this afternoon. Yesterday was a nine-hour tour in the car with our two hunyuks. (That’s what my parents always called us; not sure what it means but it seems fitting. It’s probably Norwegian or something. Even better.) The day was dotted with fighting from the backseat and several belly laughs from the front when little Owen, 4, asked, “Did we bring the Internet with us?” Yes, in fact, we did bring the Internet with us. Mommy has to blog.

It turns out that Interstate 65 is lined not only with kudzu, a viney plant that apparently covers over 7 million acres of the Southeastern US, but various eateries–some impressive, some not so much for the gluten free patron. Our stop yesterday fell into the not so much category. I was so excited to try some authentic Southern cuisine and knew that even though I couldn’t have the fried catfish, the sides would surely be to my liking. This particular establishment doesn’t believe in seasoning food. I won’t mention the name. I’m not a food critic, but I can criticize food. This did not taste good. However, we were all charmed by the big Mason jars that held our giant beverages and the server who called us “y’all.”

Today, however, we found ourselves at a familiar place–The Mellow Mushroom (pizza). Out of the kindness of my heart I told my husband we could stop so he could get something tasty and Amelia and I would find something we could eat. To my astonishment and joy, I found that they not only have a gluten-free pizza crust, it is by far the best gf pizza crust I’ve ever had. After some discussion behind the counter, it was revealed that the crust came from Still Riding Pizza (www.stillridingpizza.com). On their web site you can find out if their crust is used in any restaurants in your area or you can order your own crust to make pizza at home. I fully intend to do that. Thanks, Mellow Mushroom in Enterprise, AL for improving my culinary life and that of my young daughter. I noticed that not one restaurant in Indiana was listed…I have a new mission it seems. No one should have to say, “It’s okay,” after eating pizza, and I won’t have to anymore. Hooray!

On that note, I have to go put these crazy hunyuks to bed.

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Mom: How can you be eight already? I feel like you were just born.
Amelia: It’s okay, mom. Eight is still young.

We had Amelia’s birthday party today (though her birthday isn’t for a week) — five cute little friends at a pottery painting place with a cute little gluten-free chocolate cake to match. Thank you, Betty Crocker. The girls loved it and no one said, “Why does this cake taste funny?” And you know it didn’t because 7 and 8 year-old girls always say what’s on their minds.

How can it be 8 years already? How can it be 8 years since the NICU? Eight years since we found out our lives were going to change completely…instantly…miraculously? Happy Birthday, dear one. We love you.

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