Monday, June 28, 2010

Surprise! You've been Glutened!

Even when you are as careful as Shawn & I are, sometimes you can get glutened.  We cook in a dedicated gluten free kitchen, in a dedicated gluten free household, with dedicated gluten free ingredients that are processed in a dedicated gluten free facility..

We rarely eat out.

and still.......

Shawn had an "attack" and has been sick for nearly 4 days now.  We rack our brains thinking of everything eaten in the past 5 days and come up with nothing out of the ordinary.

Going over everything eaten, every detail of our lives over the past few days as detailed as a Detective in a dime store mystery novel.  Still no clue.

I went over grocery lists and things that I had bought, label for label, ingredient for ingredient....

I think I have found the culprit.  The only "questionable" item was a new brand (for us) of pure vanilla extract.
I always buy "pure vanilla extract" from the health food section near all the organic, and gluten free items at HyVee grocery stores.  The last trip there, they were out of my regular brand, which ingredients read simply "pure vanilla extract".  I grabbed the only other bottle in that area of the grocery store.  It was labeled "Natural Organic Pure Vanilla Extract", and I thought nothing of it.


I assumed that the only 2 brands of pure vanilla extract in the health foods section were the same, both gluten free.  I was WRONG.

I write and preach about the importance of reading labels, and here I went and "assumed" the ingredients were the same.  The ingredient list of the "organic" pure vanilla extract are...water, organic alcohol, extractives of organic Uganda vanilla beans.

The concern here is "organic alcohol".  I know that some research says that gluten (the gliadin protein) does not survive the distillation process of making alcohol out of a grain.  I also know that gluten can be added back in after the distillation process.

I am not a scientist, chemist, moonshiner, or doctor.

I am not here to debate gliadin proteins and distillation.

What I do know is that Shawn had an attack, and has been ill for days.

I do know that the only questionable item that he has eaten is foods I made him with this new brand of pure vanilla extract.

The Moral.....

1. - Always, always read the labels.

2. - If you buy "pure vanilla extract", make sure the ingredients are simply "pure vanilla extract".

3. - When in Doubt...Leave it out!!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gluten Free Chicken Stir Fry (Delicious!!!)

This simple chicken stir fry tastes very similar to those sweet teriyaki stir fry glazes you can buy.  I used to use them all the time before Celiac came into our daily routine.

This is super simple, and super tasty.  Add vege's for a change up, the sauce will still be the same.  This recipe serves 2 people.


1 large chicken breast, diced into small pieces.
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 small sweet vidalia onion (diced)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup black strap molasses
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Begin by adding the diced chicken, onions, garlic, garlic salt to the frying pan and cooking until onions are softened.

When the chicken is cooked to a nice white color add pepper, olive oil, paprika, and vinegar.  Stir and heat the ingredients for a few moments.

Add the black strap molasses and simmer over medium heat uncovered and stirring constantly.  Continue cooking while you prepare the rice.  Keep uncovered to reduce the liquid slightly.  The molasses will be bubbly and thick.

Spoon the thick and delicious sauce over a bed of rice and serve.!   Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Three Layer Cake

Shawn's birthday was today and I made this cake for his party.  I wanted to make something extra special and came up with this.  I baked three 8" round cakes with chocolate chips.  Then stacked the three 1 1/2" cakes with a layer of fudge icing between each.  This was very rich. (I would say too rich, but I don't believe in such things.)


1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1/4 cup soy flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco shortening
1/2 bag nestle tollhouse chocolate chips

Begin by mixing all the dry ingredients thoroughly in your stand mixer bowl.  Make a well in the center of the bowl and add in the liquid ingredients.  Blend until thick and well mixed and lastly add in the chocolate chips.

Grease and flour (with some sweet rice flour) 3 8" cake pans. I bought 3 disposable ones in a pack for $1.49 at the grocery store.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Test with a toothpick in the center. (It should come out clean.)  Cool before removing from the cake pans.  The first one i removed too soon and had to do some repair work.

Begin putting a thin layer of frosting as a mortar between the layers.

Finish frosting the top and the sides.  Add candles.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Gluten Free Bean Burritos

Soft shell bean burritos is something that Shawn has been yearning for.  I decided tonight that I would attempt to make them for him.  The results were delicious.  Here is the recipe I used.

Soft Tortilla Ingredients

1 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
3/4 cup millet flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/4 cup water

Sauce Ingredients

1 small sweet vidalia onion (diced)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons water

and of course, 1 can of refried beans

Begin by whisking together the dry ingredients for the tortilla.  Once thoroughly mixed, add the water 1/4 cup at a time and mix thoroughly with dough hooks attached.  The dough should be light and airy and a bit crumbly looking when ready.

Gather the dough and work it with your hands into a solid ball.  Then divide in half, then in half again.  Keep repeating this until you have 12 equal sized balls of dough.
Roll out each ball of dough on a mat as thin as you can (shoot for about 9 inches).  I then picked up the mat and peeled the dough off, letting gravity work to my advantage.  Fry each one on both sides in a large pan or electric skillet.  I used my mother's old electric skillet she gave me around 10 years ago.  I love it.

Once slightly browned (where it blisters) place on a plate in a plastic grocery bag and tie shut so they steam.  Each one needs to be placed in and the bag tied shut to keep the steam in.

For the Sauce, I started with the onions and the olive oil and the garlic salt.  Cook these in a frying pan until softened.

When the onions are softened, add in the chili powder and stir until it comes to a thick paste like texture.

Add the water and stir thoroughly creating the sauce for the burritos.  This sauce makes homemade burritos taste like Taco Bell burritos, and that is what Shawn wanted most of all.

Heat up your favorite can of gluten free refried beans.

Last step is to combine the beans and the sauce on a burrito shell and fold.  Plate and serve.  These were a big hit with Shawn and I know I will be making them again.  Well worth the trouble.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Gluten Free Chocolate Thumb Print Cookies

This delicious gluten free cookie is a variation of my famous gluten free peanut butter cookies.  These will definitely satisfy your cravings.  Cravings for chocolate, cravings for cookies, cravings for sweets.

These are very rich and honestly, I ate only 2 before I was satisfied.

I used Hershey's Kisses, but chocolate stars should work just the same.


1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup Crisco butter flavored shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
3 level tablespoons of Cocoa powder
1 bag of Hershey's Kisses

In a separate bowl whisk together the flours/starches, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt.  Set this aside.

In your stand mixer bowl, cream together the sugars, shortening, egg, and vanilla.  

After thoroughly creamed together begin adding in the peanut butter, then the flour mixture and the cocoa powder.  The cookie dough will be crumbly in appearance when fully mixed.

Gather and squeeze the dough into a single ball (it presses together and sticks like play dough).  Wrap the ball in saran wrap and continue applying pressure to mash the dough together good.  Refrigerate for about an hour.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and using just your hands, roll it into roughly 1 inch balls.  Place on an cookie sheet  about 2 inches apart and flatten slightly with a single upright Hershey's Kiss.  Below is a picture of the cookies pre-oven on my old cookie sheet.

Bake for approximately 12 minutes at 350 degrees.  

Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Turkey Chili (naturally gluten free)

A delicious turkey chili was tonights menu.  You can use ground beef if you like, but lean ground turkey is my choice.  Chili is one of my favorite dishes and I have been cooking it since I was a kid.  Chili cooking always reminds me of Grandma's house during deer season.

Generally I don't take notes when cooking chili, I just taste it, add a little something, taste it, add a little something else.  I had told Shawn's mom once that I loved hot sauces yet none were "too hot" for me.  She set out to prove me wrong and on one of her many trips to Mexico she returned and presented me with a gift. A Hot sauce variety 4 pack.  I chose to first try the weakest or mildest one.

 BAM!!  Burnt for hours!

This is the Hot Sauce I used to make this chili so adjust yours to suit your tastes.  I still haven't dared to try the other 3 bottles in the pack.

Tonight I decided to write down what I used (in actual measurements).  I hope you enjoy this naturally gluten free recipe.  My friend asked what my meal (blog) was going to be tonight, and when I told her she exclaimed "That's not fair, that's already gluten free."  I let her know that my blog was about gluten free cooking, it all doesn't have to be about breads, breading, biscuits, and cookies.  We eat various other gluten free food items.

I hope you enjoy this Gluten Free Turkey Chili!


1 pound lean ground turkey
3 medium sized sweet vidalia onions
2 cans light red kidney beans (16 ounce)
1 can dark red kidney beans (16 ounce)
2 cans pinto beans (16 ounce)
1 can tomato sauce (29 ounce)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 teaspoons garlic salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon hot sauce (tobasco, cholula, etc.)

Begin by browning the ground turkey.  While it's browning add 1 teaspoon of the garlic salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper.

When the turkey is browned, add the chopped onions, the minced garlic and the olive oil.  Stir these together and cook down a little until the onions are softened.

When the onions are softened, add the tomato sauce, the beans (I like a variety of beans), and the remaining ingredients, Stir together and bring to a boil.

Stir often and simmer for about an hour.  Chili is one of those meals that gets better the longer it cooks. (Usually best when reheated the next day.)

This is a delicious chili!  Try with a sprinkling of grated cheddar!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Gluten Free Cream of Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

I couldn't decide between Cream of Broccoli and Broccoli Cheddar soups so I combined them.  This is my Cream of Broccoli and Cheddar Soup!  Yummy! It was simple to prepare and absolutely cheese-a-licious!

If you are watching your weight, this may not be the soup for you.


2 large stalks of broccoli
4 tablespoons of butter
1 small sweet vidalia onion (diced)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 cups water
2 cups half and half cream
8 ounces Velveeta (cut into small cubes)
8 ounces sharp cheddar (grated)
2 tablespoons sweet rice flour
1/2 cup instant potato flakes
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

Begin by dicing the onion and cooking the onion in the butter.

Cut all the florets off the broccoli stalks and then add them to the cooking onions.

Add the garlic, the salt, and the celery salt and sauté until softened.  Add the 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.

Next add the Velveeta (cut into chunks) and stir until dissolved.  Then add the shredded cheddar and stir until dissolved.

Add the cream. Mix together the instant potato flakes and the xanthan gum and the sweet rice flour in a separate bowl, then add it into the soup, stirring constantly until thoroughly mixed in.  Bring to a boil and the Cream of Broccoli and Cheddar Soup is complete!