Monday, December 22, 2008

Cookie Press Sugar Cookies

Merry Christmas!!! It's almost here! I think this will be my last Christmas cookie post. I wanted to get creative and show all of the many things you can do with these cookies, but I have had bronchitis for a week and a half now and it has definitely had a negative affect on my energy level. So, for now, I am posting the pictures of the ones I got done and I will simply mention some other ideas. I have pictured here some Christmas trees with green sugar sprinkles and some wreaths with a simple powdered sugar/water/ food color icing. Peppermint extract in place of the vanilla with crushed candy canes on top would also be very festive. Another of my favorites (if you can have almonds) is to use almond extract instead of vanilla, and to make a flower shape with petals laid on top made of almond slices. I have never tried these with lemon juice and zest, but I think that would be really yummy too. If I ever get around to trying it I will let you know. I also have an oat flour version of this cookie that I plan to post someday. OK, I'm going to go rest now...Happy Happy Holidays!!!

2 c Rice flour
½ t Xanthan gum
½ c Granulated sugar
1 t Baking soda
¼ t Unbuffered vitamin C crystals (can be substituted with 1 t cream of tartar)
½ c Spectrum palm shortening
½ c Water
1 t Vanilla (or any desired flavor) extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt shortening and allow to cool until slightly warm.

Whisk together flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking soda, and vitamin C crystals. In another bowl mix shortening, water, and flavoring. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. (If dough is too wet add more flour, 1 T at a time up to 4 T)

Put the dough into your cookie press and press onto ungreased cookie sheet. If you are going to be sprinkling with colored sugar crystals then do so now. Bake until bottoms of cookies start to turn golden. For most shapes this will be about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove cookies to cooling rack immediately. Once cooled you can dip them in icing or decorate any way you desire.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Crunchy Oatmeal Cookies

Oh this has been a wonderful week (other than my having bronchitis)! My mommy came all the way from California to spend a week with us and since I wasn't feeling like getting out too much we spent the whole week baking. We also got our first snowfall of the year which is very exciting, but now it doesn't seem to want to stop! Anyway...about the cookies. When I was young everyone would rave about my mothers crunchy oatmeal cookies (this was before she knew she had celiac). I never cared much for them because, as I have said before, I am a soft cookie kind of girl. Since my mom is visiting, however, I thought I would make this gluten free and "allergen free" version just for her. As It turned out, she loved them, Emily loved them, and even I loved them...maybe my taste has matured. These cookies have a lovely crunch but are not "hard" in a way that you sometimes get with gluten free baking. To anyone who can't have almonds I am sorry. Of course you could try replacing the almond flour with another flour or ground seeds and replacing the chopped almonds with chopped seeds or even omitting them. I haven't tried any of that but if you are feeling adventurous I would love to hear about your results! One last note... My friend Tracy recently commented that she can taste the tapioca starch in her baking and doesn't care for it, so I was also sort of dedicating this recipe to her because I used arrowroot starch instead of tapioca starch...I didn't think to ask her first if she could have almonds (sigh). Anyway, even though this recipe is not going to be one that Tracy can use, I did find that the arrowroot starch worked just as well as tapioca starch and should be pretty interchangeable in any recipe. Cornstarch is another option, although corn is a pretty common allergen.

½ c Gluten free oat flour (I made my own in my coffee grinder)
½ c Arrowroot starch (tapioca starch or corn starch can be used instead)
¼ c Rice flour
¼ c Almond flour
¼ t Xanthan gum
1 t Baking soda
1 t Cinnamon
1 c Spectrum shortening
1 c Granulated white sugar
½ c Brown sugar
1 Prepared egg replacer
1 t Vanilla
¾ c Chopped raw almonds
1 ½ c Gluten free rolled oats
Shortening and Granulated sugar for dipping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together all flours and starches, xanthan gum, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.
Cream together shortening and sugars. Stir in egg replacer and vanilla. Mix in the sifted flour mixture, crushed almonds, and rolled oats until fully incorporated.

Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and lay 2'' apart on ungreased baking sheet. Now, take a wide bottomed glass or a tin can and grease the bottom of it and dip it in the sugar. Use the sugared end to press evenly on each cookie until flattened to about 1/8''. Keep dipping the glass in sugar as necessary, it shouldn't need to be re-greased very often. Bake for approximately 12 to 14 minutes.
Merry Christmas and Happy Happy Baking!!! :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snicker Doodles

after 4 trials these are the snicker doodles I have decided to post. They come out of the oven gooey and raw in the middle, but if you can leave them alone for a couple of hours they will be perfect. I came up with one that didn't come out of the oven raw, but it had no flavor and by the next day it was very dry. These actually taste like snicker doodles which is amazing to me because I always thought snicker doodles tasted like egg. They are gluten free, egg free, dairy free, and nut free. If you need for them to be soy free just replace the margarine with shortening. So here's the way this recipe works: Cook for 10 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan for at least 5 minutes, move to a cooling rack until completely cool, put them in a sealed container for at least one hour, and now finally you can eat them. OK, don't get me wrong, you can eat them at any point. Fresh out of the oven they will be gooey, after cooling on the rack they will be soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, and after they have been sealed up for an hour they will be soft (but not gooey) all the way through.

¾ c Sorghum flour
¾ c Tapioca starch (tapioca flour is the same thing)
¾ c Potato starch
¾ c Rice flour
1 t Xanthan gum
1 t Baking soda
2 t Cream of tartar
½ t Salt
¼ c Softened dairy free margarine
½ c Spectrum palm shortening
1 ½ c Granulated sugar
¼ c Applesauce
2 Eggs worth of prepared Ener-G Egg Replacer
½ t Vanilla extract
¼ c Granulated sugar
1 T Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sift or whisk together all of the flours, starches, xanthan gum, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together margarine, shortening, and 1 ½ cups of sugar. Add applesauce, egg replacer, and vanilla, and mix until creamy. Stir in the dry ingredients until well combined.

In another bowl mix together ¼ cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Roll dough into 1 ¼ inch balls. Roll each ball in cinnamon sugar until fully coated and place on the parchment paper lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before eating. If you try to eat these warm they will be doughy and seem raw in the middle.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Candy Cane Sugar Cookies

Here is our second Cristmas cookie...YAY! These may not be the easiest cookies to make, but they sure are fun! (Just for the record they weren't easy to photograph either!) Emily and I made them together and we had a great time. She even came up with the very clever idea of making straight candy cane sticks instead of canes so she wouldn't have to deal with the frustration of the cookie dough breaking when we tried to bend it. As for me, when mine broke I just smooshed them back together. Our candy cane cookies are gluten free, egg free, dairy free, soy free, and nut free. The original recipe called for the sprinkling of crushed candy canes, but we decided to leave it off this time around because if you were to make a plate with a variety of cookies including these and wrap it all up together they would all taste like mint in the end. We also thought crushed cherry candy canes would be nice...but I didn't have any. These are similar to my sugar cookie recipe but definitely crunchier. They have a lovely buttery flavor, but without the butter...woohoo!

1 c Spectrum Palm shortening
1 c Granulated sugar
2 Eggs worth of egg replacer
1 t Vanilla extract
1 1/2 c White rice flour
1/2 c Sweet rice flour
1/2 c Potato starch
1/2 c Tapioca starch
2 t Xanthan gum
1 t Salt
2 t Baking powder
½ t Red food color-If you can’t have red dye, dark red berry juice such as pomegranate, raspberry, or cherry works well.
½ c Crushed peppermint candy (optional)
½ c Granulated sugar (optional)

Cream together shortening and 1 cup of sugar. Add egg replacer and vanilla and mix well. In another bowl sift or whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Slowly add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and blend thoroughly (about 1 minute on low speed). Separate dough into 2 halves. Add enough food coloring to one half of the dough (it may take more or less than ½ t depending on what kind you use) to get a nice red color, and mix until color is uniform. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

Take dough out of refrigerator and warm at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350. Take about 1 tablespoon of dough from one color and roll it into a strip about the size of a pencil (maybe a little thicker). Do the same with the other color. Place strips side by side, press lightly together, then twist like a rope. If dough sticks sprinkle it with a little powdered sugar, if it cracks or breaks just press it back together. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, then bend the tops to look like candy canes (or leave straight like Emily).

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, take them out before they start to brown or they will be VERY crunchy. While baking, mix crushed candy canes and the ½ c of sugar if you are going to be using them. Sprinkle this mixture over the cookies as soon as you remove them from the oven. Allow cookies to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Spice Cookies

Here we go, I'm so excited! This is the first cookie I think of when I look back at my childhood holidays. It is my favorite. Three of my mother's best recipes came from Peg Bracken's "The Compleat I hate to Cook Book". The title always makes me laugh because my mother and I both love to cook, but it's a great book because she keeps everything simple. Of course, altering the recipe for food allergies is a little less simple. My mom did everything by hand. She stirred the dough with a wooden spoon and she rolled it into balls by hand. I used my KitchenAid mixer and my spring action ice cream scoop. Our version of this cookie is free of gluten, eggs, dairy, and nuts. It is a very tender cookie, not so good for shipping to a friend, but moist and soft, and it not only keeps well but improves with age...well, you know, I'm talking days not months. It freezes well too.

½ c Softened dairy free margarine
¼ c Applesauce
1 c Dark brown sugar
¼ c Molasses
1 Eggs worth of prepared Ener-G egg replacer
¾ c Sorghum flour
½ c Tapioca starch
½ c Potato starch
½ c Rice flour
1 t Xanthan gum
2 t Baking soda
¼ t Salt
1 t Ground cinnamon
¾ t Ground Cloves
¾ t Ground ginger

Cream together margarine, applesauce, sugar, molasses, and egg replacer. In a separate bowl sift or whisk together all of the remaining ingredients. Pour the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture and stir until well blended, scraping down the sides as needed. Stir for an additional 30 seconds (or about a minute if you are stirring by hand). Refrigerate for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll dough by hand into walnut sized balls or use the 1 ½” spring action ice cream scoop and place on cookie sheet allowing enough room for spreading.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, tops should no longer look wet. Cool on the pan for at least 5 minutes. The cookies will be very soft at first, maybe even raw looking in the middle. By the next day the moisture will have redistributed and they should be moist but not gooey all the way through.

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's Cookie Month

One of my favorite childhood memories is making and delivering Christmas cookies with my mom. Every year she would start baking cookies about 2 weeks before Christmas, then she would wrap them all up and on Christmas Eve we would drive all over town delivering them to our friends, looking at all of the beautifully decorated houses along the way. She put so much work into those cookies! Every night when I went to bed she would still be up baking. There were snow balls, and spice cookies, and oatmeal cookies, and Enlgish toffee bars...I know there were more but I can't remember them all now. In honor of my mother and to indulge my memories of this time of year I have decided to dedicate the month of December to cookies. I am going to try to recreate some of my old favorites and add a few new ones too. I am also welcoming requests. If you have a favorite holiday cookie that you are not able to have anymore let me know and I'll see what I can do. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!

*I want to make a note here that my recipes are all gluten free, but most are using the same total amount of flour as the original recipe called for in wheat flour. I'm not making any guarantees because other ingredients have been changed too, but if you can have wheat you may want to try taking out all the flours, starches, and xanthan gum in my recipes and replacing them with an equal amount of "regular" flour. Best wishes and happy baking!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Winter Veggie Casserole

Here is a great side dish for Thanksgiving. Nikki eats this often as a main course which is why I added the edemame beans for protein. I know I refer to Nikki as a vegetarian and this has chicken stock (not to mention worcestershire sauce which has anchovies), but the only problem she has with eating meat is the texture. If you prefer to make this as an oven casserole just put everything in a casserole dish and bake, covered, at 350 for about an hour or until vegetables can be pierced easily with a fork. It's a little spicy and a little sweet and is a great comfort food on a cold winter day.

8 c Hearty winter vegetables cut into large chunks: red skinned potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, parsnips, rutabagas, pearl onions, and sometimes shelled edemame for added protein (whatever vegetables your family enjoys!)
2 T Margarine or sunflower oil
1 ½ c Chicken stock (you can just use a whole 14 oz can)
1 T Worcestershire sauce (Lea and Perrin’s is gluten free)
1 T Tomato paste
2 T Brown sugar
1 t Whole grain mustard
2 Bay leaves
Salt and Pepper

Heat margarine or oil in a large frying pan. Add all of the vegetables (except for edemame if you are using them) and a few grinds (or a light sprinkle) of salt and pepper. Toss to coat and let cook over medium heat while you prepare the sauce, stirring occasionally.
Whisk together chicken stock, worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar, and mustard.
Add the bay leaves to the pan and pour the sauce over everything.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft and carrots are tender crisp. Stir once or twice during cooking so that all of the veggies get coated with sauce. If you are using edemame add them at the last 5 minutes, if you overcook them they shrivel up and get icky.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Whew! It's Done!

Nikki is playing Sleeping Beauty's mother (the queen) in her first drama club play next month. Nikki is very petite and finding a costume that fit her was we made it. Now mind you I haven't sewn in about 10 years so this was a little daunting. That is why, although completely unrelated to allergies, I decided to post a picture of the dress. I am so proud of it that I'm giddy and I just wanted to share it with the world! Amanda told me the picture is awkward, but I told her that if she's going to make me take my own pictures then she can't complain. Besides, Nikki wouldn't let me show her face. So, there it is...I can get back to cooking now! :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nikki's Birthday!

People keep asking me if I'm ready for Thanksgiving, to which I reply..."Thanksgiving? It's Nikki's birthday, I can only handle one holiday at a time!" I'm posting this because I don't want you all to think I've just been slacking this month. Not only is it Nikki's birthday, but I have also been sewing a queen's dress for Nikki's upcoming school play which I will post photos of soon. So, anyway, I wanted to share with you the cool food stuff we did for the party. Nikki wanted a hedgehog cake. We baked a regular cake mix (she can have "normal" cake) in a large stainless steel bowl, frosted it, and covered it in pretzel sticks. The face is an ice cream cone and the ears are vanilla wafers. Sitting next to the cake you will see Emily's little allergen free hedgehog baby cupcake. I just used what I had for hers...sunflower seeds for the spikes and tortilla chips for the face and ears. Amanda and I have been thinking since summer that we should do an "edible arrangement" for Nikki's birthday since she loves fruit so much...we didn't think about the fact that it is now November and good fruit is hard to come by. We had fun cutting and arranging all of our lovely sour fruit and then Amanda had a brilliant idea, she poured sugar all around the base of the fruit for everyone to dip it in. By the end of the evening every bit of fruit was gone. The party was lots of fun...there was a candy fight (which involved candy necklaces being used as sling shots...not MY idea!) and we watched "the Orphanage". All in all one of the best 13 yr old parties I've been to. HAPPY BIRTHDAY NIKKI!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Chewy Nut Bars

I realize that the name "nut bars" is a little scary for those of us with nut allergies, but if you can have just one nut you can make these! If you can't have any nuts you might even be able to make the whole thing with seeds (pumkin, sunflower, sesame, flax, etc.) Emily can have is the only nut she can that is what I used. The texture of these bars is truely chewy, not soft cookie chewy, more like candy bar chewy (YUM!). My inspiration was the Sweet and Salty nut bars by Nature Valley which are one of my guilty pleasures that I eat while no one else is home, then wash my hands and brush my teeth immediately...that takes some of the pleasure out of it. Now I can eat these any time I want without the fear of harming someone in my family...I can even share them! The frosting on the bottom is delicious and makes them more like the originals, but if you want to simplify this recipe simply leave it off. These bars are sweet and salty and chewy and incredible all on their own! As for my picture this 12 yr old Nikki (13 this weekend) saved up her own money and bought herself a digital camera this summer, this picture is the first of her's that I have posted. Looks like I have 2 talented photographers now, yay!

1 c Coarsely chopped raw almonds (Blue Diamond is peanut free)
1 c Coarsely chopped Honey roasted almonds (Blue Diamond is peanut free)
½ c Gluten free rolled oats ( Lara's )
½ c Crisp rice cereal (we used EnviroKidz )
1 c Frosted flakes (we used EnviroKidz )
¼ c Roasted salted sunflower seeds
1 c Dried cranberries

¼ c Brown sugar
½ c Corn syrup
1 t Vanilla extract
½ c Sunbutter

1 c Dairy free white chocolate chips
¼ c Sunbutter

Prepare 9x13 pan with non-stick spray. In a large mixing bowl, toss all dry ingredients. Substitute whatever nuts, seeds, and dried fruits are safe for your family.

In a saucepan, combine brown sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil and allow to boil one minute.
After boiling, turn off heat and add vanilla and sunbutter. QUICKLY pour this hot mixture over the dry ingredients and toss to combine, I actually ended up kneading it all together with my hands.

Pour warm mixture into prepared pan. Wet your fingers and press the mixture down into the pan to compress the bars so they will slice evenly. Put pan in the refrigerator while preparing the frosting.

In a microwave safe bowl combine white chocolate chips and sunbutter. Microwave on medium power, stirring frequently, until melted and well combined.

Turn bars (they are not actually bars yet, it is still one big piece) out of pan and flip upside down. Spread frosting evenly over the entire bottom. Chill until frosting is hardened. Slice into bars.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Wonderful "New" Magazine!

My mother just sent me a magazine called "Living Without" and I am really enjoying it! I suppose it's not really new since I just looked at their website and it said "celebrating 10 years", but it's new to me. It seems to be mostly gluten free and dairy free, not completely allergen free (as a matter of fact they seem to use an excessive amount of eggs in my opinion), but still full of great stuff! Lots of recipes and great articles. If you want to check them out but aren't ready for a subscription you can find them online at .
P.S. I noticed that after I published this post Google put an ad for Living Without on my site. Just for the record this post was not a paid endorsement.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Pie

I have never been much of a pie baker, so when I found out Emily's class was having pumpkin pie for their fall festival I was a little nervous. I went online looking for a recipe but I couldn't find one that had (or rather DIDN'T have) everything I needed. I did, however, find a fabulous vegan pumpkin pie filling at Vegan Spoonful . Ok, battle half for the crust. This is a conglomeration of 3 different recipes plus my own experiences in gluten free baking. When you look at this recipe your first reaction may be "are all those flours really necessary?". In my opinion...yes. Each and every flour brings something special to the table:

RICE FLOUR adds body but is almost always gritty when used alone.

SORGHUM FLOUR looks and tastes the most like wheat but is very heavy.

POTATO STARCH lightens the blend, adds softness, and helps retain moisture.

SWEET RICE FLOUR adds pliability and is less gritty than normal rice flour, however too much will cause toughness.

TAPIOCA STARCH lightens the blend, binds and adds pliability, and helps baked goods to brown. If too much is used the product will be tough and sometimes doughy in the middle.

There are many more GF flours that I have not covered because they are not in this recipe, but I just wanted to add that high protein flours such as quinoa flour and bean flours help to hold the structure in cakes and such. If you have problems with your baked goods collapsing try adding a high protein flour, but in very small amounts as they have strong flavors.

One last note I also wanted to make is that I did find one recipe online that would have worked for us but it had a buckwheat crust and I don't have any buckwheat flour. It is one of the very few flours that I have never tried. If you are a fan of buckwheat then you may want to check out this pumpkin (there is also an apple) pie recipe at Mom's Food Allergy Diner .

1/3 c plus 1 T Chilled vegetable shortening
1/4 c Rice flour
1/4 c Sorghum flour
1/4 c Potato starch
1/8 c Sweet rice flour
1/8 c Tapioca starch
1 1/2 t Dry Ener-G egg replacer
1/4 t Salt
2 t Sugar
2 to 3 T Ice water

In a large bowl with a wire whisk blend all dry ingredients. Cut in vegetable shortening until particles are the size of small peas (most recipes say to use a pastry cutter or two knives, I actually use my whisk in a potato masher sort of way, alternating between stirring and mashing until the desired consistancy is reached). Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry dough holds together when shaped into a ball with hands (1 to 2 teaspoons additional water can be added if necessary). Shape into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a few hours.

Place disk between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Roll pastry 2 inches larger than an inverted pie plate. Try to control the rolling pin and move from the center out. Don't use the rolling pin to go back and forth. You want the crust as evenly rolled as you can. Peel off top layer of parchment paper and lay pie dish over the dough. Flip over and allow the pie crust to sag into the dish. There may be a lot of patching required at this point, but the good news is that I found this dough to patch very easily. Roll the edges under and do the knuckle crimp around the top edge. If you are a novice like me this crimped edge instructional video may help. I have not had a need to use foil to prevent burning with this pie.

1 15-oz can pureed pumpkin
1 c Vanilla soy milk
3/4 c Sugar
3 T Cornstarch
1 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Ground ginger
1/8 t Ground nutmeg
1/8 t Ground cloves
1/2 t Salt

Combine canned pumpkin, soy milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and spices in a large bowl, and mix very well with an electric mixer, about 1 minute on medium speed (alternatively, you can combine these ingredients in a blender).

Preheat oven to 350. Pour filling into unbaked pastry shell, and bake for about 60 minutes. The pie will still be jiggly when you take it out of the oven, but it will firm up as it cools. Cool completely on a cooling rack, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pumpkin Muffins With Pumpkin Seed Streusel Topping

It's October...what else would I post but a pumpkin recipe! These pumpkin muffins have no gluten, eggs, dairy, or nuts, and can be made free of soy by using safe oil and spectrum shortening instead of margarine. The streusel topping is sooo yummy...sweet, salty, spicy, and "nutty" (because they are not actually "nuts", they are seeds. You get it, right?)... I think I'll have to try this on some other things now... Ooooh it would be so good on top of apple crisp! ( you like all those dots? Yes, that's what it sounds like in my head, just one random thought running into another) Also, thank you to my daughter Amanda for yet another stunning picture. I truly appreciate your talent!

1/2 c Rice flour
1/2 c Sorghum flour
1/8 c Tapioca starch *
1/8 c Potato starch *
2 t Baking powder
1/2 t Baking soda
1/4 t Salt
1/2 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Nutmeg
1 c Canned pumpkin puree
1/2 c Brown sugar
1/4 c Oil
1/8 c Soy milk (or rice milk) *
1/8 c Applesauce *
1/2 t Guar gum (or xanthan gum)
1/2 t Vanilla extract

1/8 c Margarine *
1/4 c Brown sugar
1/4 c Gluten free oats
1/4 c Shelled, roasted, salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
A dash of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg
* If you don’t have an 1/8 cup measure, it is equal to 2 Tablespoons.

Preheat oven to 350. Pulse oats and pumpkin seeds in a blender or coffee/spice grinder, just enough to break them up a bit. Mix with the rest of the topping ingredients until combined and crumbly and set aside.

Sift or whisk together rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In a large mixing bowl stir together pumpkin, brown sugar, oil, soy milk, applesauce, vanilla, and guar gum. (If you are using xanthan gum add it to the dry ingredients, if you are using guar gum add it to the wet ingredients)

Add dry ingredients to wet and continue to stir until completely blended. Mixture will be very thick.

Put paper liners in muffin cups and fill cups 2/3 full with batter (it will be thick, like halfway between batter and cookie dough). Cover each muffin with topping and gently pat down so it will stick after the muffins are cooked.

Bake at 350 for approximately 25 minutes.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Super Simple Turkey Meatloaf

Yes this picture is my handywork. I just couldn't convince my daughter Amanda that she would rather stay home and take pictures of meatloaf than go to her homecoming game tonight. Nikki wasn't much help either. She's a vegetarian and thought the whole situation was disgusting. Emily wanted to help in the beginning. She suggested that we surround the meatloaf with Polly Pockets, but 20 minutes later when the meatloaf was done all she had to say was "would you hurry up and take that picture, I'm hungry!" So here it is, super simple, kid friendly, allergy friendly meatloaf, served in an old Kid's Cuisine container...just for fun. Dry mustard and garlic would also be welcome additions to this recipe and would have been in there if Emily could have them.

1 ¼ lbs Ground turkey
¼ c Seasoned gluten free bread crumbs
¼ c Allergen free instant mashed potato flakes (I used Barbara’s Bakery brand)*
½ t Onion powder
¼ t Salt
¼ t Pepper
1 T Worcestershire sauce (yes, Lea & Perrins is gluten free, it does, however, contain garlic)
½ c Ketchup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put all ingredients except for ketchup into a bowl and mix until well combined. Press the mixture into a loaf pan and spread the ketchup evenly over the top. Bake for 1 hour. That’s it, super simple!

*I couldn't find the link to Barbara's Bakery mashed potato flakes so I wrote a letter to the company and found out that they have been discontinued. Here is the company's response:
Thanks for your email. Unfortunately, we have discontinued our Barbara's Mashed Potatoes product due to a prolonged period of disappointing sales and ongoing production issues. We all loved this product, as did many of our valued consumers, and we are disappointed that we had to finally discontinue it.
Paradise Valley brand all natural mashed potatoes has been recommended by some of our staff members. Another source for all natural potatoes only is Barry Farm Foods (, located in Ohio; this source was recommended by another consumer of our potatoes and does have online purchasing. We hope you find this source useful as an alternative to our discontinued brand.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Zucchini Bread

I have always thought of zuchini bread as a fall food, so I've been holding on to this recipe. My mother told me the other day, however, that zuchini season is almost over. I guess living in central Oregon keeps me a little out of touch with "normal" growing seasons. This is basically the same recipe as my banana bread. It is gluten free, egg free, dairy free, and nut free. As bread goes it is a little sweet (maybe more like a snack cake)...but how else am I going to get these kids of mine to eat zuchini? ;)

½ c Brown rice flour
½ c Sorghum flour
½ c Potato starch
¼ c Tapioca starch
2 t Baking powder
½ t Salt
1 t Cinnamon
1 t Xanthan gum
1/3 c Dairy free margarine, softened (or Spectrum shortening)
3/4 c Brown sugar
1 T EnerG egg replacer mixed with ¼ c warm water (equal to 2 eggs)
1 c Grated zucchini
½ c Mashed pears (baby food works great, so does applesauce if you don’t have pears on hand)
1 t Vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8”x4” loaf pan.
Measure all of the dry ingredients (the first 9 ingredients) into a bowl and blend well with a whisk. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl cream together margarine and brown sugar. Add prepared egg replacer, zucchini, pears, and vanilla. Mix to combine. Slowly stir in dry ingredients, scraping down sides of bowl, until fully incorporated. Beat on medium speed for another minute.

Pour batter into greased loaf pan and smooth the top if needed ( a metal spoon dipped in water will smooth it without sticking to it). Bake for one hour or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with crumbs instead of goop.

Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and continue to cool on a rack.
You will need to cool this bread pretty thoroughly before you slice it, but of course you do have to try a piece slightly warm with melted margarine on it. As for the rest of the loaf (if any makes it to the next day), it is moist and sweet and delicious cold and straight out of the bag the next day and for several days after.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chicken Marsala

I haven't had time to come up with any new recipes lately so I am pulling up an old family favorite that I revamped a while back. I should probably mention also that I took the picture...If Amanda had taken it the color would be more vivid, the set up would be more dramatic, and all in all it would probably look more appetizing. You'll have to take my word for it, the picture doesn't do this dish justice. It is delicious and beautiful too! I have this tagged as soy free and garlic free but I have not heard back from Wolfgang Puck soups yet so I am not absolutely certain how allergen free it is. Please use ingredients that you know to be safe for your family. :)

4 T Margarine or olive oil
4 Chicken breasts (trimmed, boneless, skinless)
1 Minced shallot
1 c Sliced mushrooms
14 oz Marsala wine
14 oz Chicken stock (my new favorite is Wolfgang Puck’s Free Range
Roasted Chicken Stock)
¼ c Sliced green manzanilla olives

Heat 2 tablespoons of margarine or oil in a large frying pan. Brown chicken on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pan.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of margarine or oil in the same pan. Sauté mushrooms until glossy and brown. Add shallot and olives and sauté for another 5 minutes.
Stir in allergen safe chicken stock and wine. Simmer until liquid is partially reduced, about 10 minutes.
Return chicken to the pan and spoon the sauce over the top of it.
Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and tender.
P.S. I got my response from Wolfgang Soup's and YES, believe it or not, their soup broth does NOT contain garlic! WoooHoooo!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Gluten Free Finger Paints

Emily wanted to fingerpaint and I couldn't get to the store............


4 cups water

1 cup cornstarch

food coloring


In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Dissolve cornstarch in a separate bowl with 1 cup of cold water. Remove boiling water from heat and add cornstarch mixture. Return to heat, stirring constantly. Boil until the mixture is clear and thick (about 1 minute). Remove from heat.
As the mixture is cooling, divide into separate bowls. Stir in food coloring. Allow to cool a little, although once the mixture has sat for a few hours it will solidify. Now you can fingerpaint! FOOD COLORING DOES wear old clothes, lay out some newspaper, and be prepared to have colorful hands. :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Amazing "Allergen Free" Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are the most amazing chocolate chip cookies ever, they even stay soft a few days longer than the traditional Toll House cookies I make for my husband! They are gluten free, egg free, dairy free, and nut free. I have never tried this recipe with Spectrum shortening, but if you were to use it they would also be soy free. It is also possible that if you cook them longer you would have a crunchy cookie (for those like my mom who prefer a crunchy cookie), but I have not ever tried that either because personally I like a big soft cookie I can sink my teeth into. :)

½ c. Softened margarine
1 c. Brown sugar
½ c. White sugar
2 Eggs worth of egg replacer (EnerG egg replacer)
½ c. Applesauce
2 t. Vanilla extract
1 c. Sorghum flour
¾ c. Tapioca starch
¾ c. Potato starch
½ c. Rice flour
1 ½ t. Baking soda
1 t. Salt
1 t. Xanthan gum
1 c. Mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Combine sorghum flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, rice flour, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum. Whisk together until well blended.

In a separate bowl cream together margarine and sugars. Add egg replacer, applesauce, and vanilla, and beat until creamy. Gradually mix in dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. (dough will look a little gooey)

Drop by rounded tablespoons (I like to use a small spring action ice cream scoop) onto the parchment lined cookie sheet (if you don't use parchment paper the cookies will spread a little more but they will still be great). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, they should be very light brown on the edges and look slightly under baked in the middle. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

If you bite into a cookie at this point it will be a little tough on the edges and gooey in the middle. Now for the magic...put them in a sealed container for a couple of hours, the moisture will redistribute, and when you take your next bite the cookie will be soft and cooked all the way through! I hope you enjoy these as much as I do, ummm....I mean as much as Emily does. :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Back To School

This is my "Lock and Lock" container (available through my Amazon link at right... although I bought mine at Wal Mart) and I LOVE it!!! I have some "regular" containers that freeze shut every time I put them in the freezer, and I have to thaw them before I can take anything out. My Lock and Lock seals tight to prevent freezer burn and opens easily...and no this is not a paid endorsement. I am writing this because last year we came up with a great way to be prepared for the never ending parade of allergen ridden goodies that seems to come through a kindergarden class. The school allowed me to keep a small box of Emily's treats in the freezer in the teacher's lounge. Every time a parent showed up at the last minute with a box full of cupcakes, Emily would go to the office and they would let her pick out one of her treats. It worked out beautifully and so we are doing it again this year. Here is her box with cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies (which I will be posting the recipe for next week). I think this year I may need to add parties seem to be the standard reward for everything. Anyway, I know this solution won't work for everyone, but I thought I would put the idea out there in case it was helpful to someone. Happy Back To School!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Last Hurrah To Summer...Dairy Free Fudgesicles!

We went to Emily's 1st grade orientation on Wednesday. It was so kind of the PTA to welcome everyone back to school with fudgesicles (that was sarcasm)! If it had been cookies I could have brought some along but popsicles don't travel well, especially on the half hour walk it takes us to get there. I promised Emily that I would try to make fudgsicles for her when we got home. My plan was to use coconut milk like my dear friend Melanie at "A Foodies Fall From Grace"
but when I got home I found that my one can of coconut milk had one knows where it went! At this point the promise of fudgsicles had already been made so we moved on to soy milk. I have to say these turned out amazingly like the real thing. They are a little less sweet (agave or more sugar could be added), but the texture is smooth and creamy. Really good! Amanda decided to go with an abstract photo...a fudgesicle defying gravity...I like it!!!

1 1/2 c. Soy milk
1/2 c. Chocolate syrup (I used Hershey's)
2 t. Powdered sugar
2 t. Guar gum

Mix the soy milk and the chocolate syrup in a container with a pour spout. Sift the powdered sugar and guar gum together to remove all lumps. Slowly sprinkle the sugar/guar gum mixture into the chocolate soy milk while whisking like crazy! This is of course to avoid lumps (which is also the reason for combining the sugar and guar gum). I haven't tried making this in a blender but it might be worth a try and may eliminate the clumping problem. If anyone tries it please let me know if it works. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds. if you don't have popsicle molds there is always the classic ice cube tray covered in tin foil with toothpicks stuck through the top (yes, my mother did that). Freeze until solid and enjoy!!!
Now let's go sit on the porch and eat our fudgesicles in the gentle warm breeze... ahhhhh...
in a month this porch will be covered in snow.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Summer!

I don't know where the summer has gone! My father-in-law informed me the other day that it had been 21 days since my last post (I guess it's been longer than that now). I have just been so busy with dental appts and orthodontic appts and doctors appts... that seems to have been my whole summer. I haven't had time to cook, much less develope new recipes or write about them. On that note, however, I thought that instead of posting a recipe this time I would write a little bit about the goings on around here. My aunt recently told me that she would like to see more about my family in my blog (BTW I finally found Diane's blog and enjoyed reading it so much!). I'm not much of a writer so generally I tend to steer clear of storytelling, but here's a quick update.

Amanda is 15 now. She passed drivers ed at the beginning of the summer and will be driving me around by this time next year (yay)! She's been very busy doing homework lately (summer homework, can you imagine?!), preparing for the honors and AP classes she will be taking this year. The braces are off and we love her beautiful smile. The tragedy of our summer, however, is that Amanda broke her collar bone while longboarding, and of course I HAVE TO post her x-ray!
She is healing, but because they can't put a cast on it and the doctors don't want to do surgery the bone is going to heal overlapped and with a lump. The other tragedy is that amidst the shuffle of trying to get her home after the accident her camera was lost. My regular readers may know that Amanda does most of my photography, so we are going to have to invest in a new one very soon!

Nikki is now 12, she will be 13 in November. It has been a big orthodontic year for her also. Two weeks after Amanda got her braces off, Nikki got hers on. Nikki's summer has been pretty mellow (although she has three friends spending the night tonight). She took a beginning tap class and will be taking another in the fall. We found out that the school boundaries have been changed and, although we have not moved, Nikki will have to attend a different middle school this year than she was at last year. This has been a little traumatic, but she seems to be OK with it now. Nikki saved up her own money to buy herself a camera this summer and it arrived a few weeks ago. She is having a great time with it... it's purple!

Emily...oh Emily! Emily is 6. She is full of imagination and energy. I couldn't really tell you what she's been doing all summer, but I know she's been busy! She doesn't have a lot of friends, partly because of her food allergies (people are too nervous to have her at their houses), and partly because I don't drive and that makes playdates more difficult. Her best friend up the street moved away a few weeks ago and she has been very bored and lonely. Still though, never in one place for very long. She has been putting on shows for me, singing and dancing. She has also been doing lots of arts and crafts. She took a tap and ballet combo class this summer and enjoyed it, but she doesn't like to pay attention so I don't think we'll be doing it again. Emily also had major dental work done this summer (oh, the teeth in this family!). She had three of her front teeth pulled. She will be starting first grade in a few weeks and is very excited.

As far as family stuff goes, Glenn has just been working, working, working...gotta pay for all those dr/dent/ortho appointments!!! I have no idea where my days go, but I know there's never time to sit down. We didn't have a "vacation" this year but we did have a really fun camping trip. We stayed in a tee pee and the girls played in the lake. Emily caught her first fish. (Actually...Emily caught 6, Glenn caught 1) I hope this has given everyone a nice little glimpse into our lives. This is probably the only post of it's kind I will ever do. I wish everyone an absolutely wonderful end of the summer. We love you, friends, and food allergy ridden cyber acquaintances!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Chocolate Oat No-Bake Cookies

This simple yet incredible recipe was first intoduced to me by my oldest daughter Amanda. Amanda is only allergic to peanuts, so when she made this in cooking class she simply omitted the peanut butter originally called for and the result was beautiful. For Emily, of course, we have had to tweak it a bit more than that. Emily LOVES oats...raw and straight out of the box! If this recipe is too "oaty" for your taste you may want to try replacing half of the oats with shredded coconut. Also, I have never tried this with other alternative milks, but the recipe seems to be sturdy enough that rice milk would probably work. If anyone does try it with rice, hemp, oat, almond, or any other milk alternative please let me know how it works for you. As is, this recipe is peanut/tree nut free, gluten free, dairy free, and egg free. Again, I would love to hear about any alterations made and how they turned out, I think this recipe could be a lot of fun to play with!

¼ c Margarine (dairy free)
¾ c Sugar
¼ c Brown sugar
¼ c Soy milk
¼ c Cocoa
1 t Guar gum (xanthan gum would probably work, I haven’t tried it)
Pinch of salt
¼ c Sunbutter
1 t Vanilla extract
1 ½ c Gluten free rolled oats
¼ c Gluten free oat flour (if all you have on hand are oats, grind your own flour in a blender, coffee grinder, or food processor)

Cover a cookie sheet with waxed paper and set aside.

Mix margarine, sugars, soy milk, cocoa, salt, and guar gum in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium low heat and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add sunbutter, vanilla, oats, and oat flour. Stir well. Drop by spoonfuls (I use my trusty 1 ½" spring action scooper) onto prepared cookie sheet. Cool in refrigerator.

Now I'd better go get a picture quick before Emily eats them all!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tag! I'm It!

Yes, I've been tagged. Thank you to the amazingly talented mom/chef/author of for thinking of me. I've always been fascinated by other blogger's tag entries. I love learning about their oh so interesting lives...then there's me. This is probably a much needed push to look inside myself. My mother has been telling me for a while now that I need to "find myself". I am one of those stay-at-home-mom types who completely defines herself by her children and her home, although quite frankly at this point in my life I feel that's the way it should be. It will be a challenge to come up with 6 facts about me that I feel are even remotely interesting, but I am here to give it a try.

Here are the rules:

Link to the person who tagged you.
Post the rules on the blog.
Write six random things about yourself.
Tag six people at the end of your post.
Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

1. Anyone who reads my blog is probably already aware of this but it's a place to start...I am surrounded by people with numerous and severe food allergies (my husband, my mother, and all 3 of my daughters) but I actually have no food allergies myself.

2. I was born and raised in California, but we moved to Oregon 7 years ago and I will never go back (well, except to visit). I love it here!

3. I made my own senior prom dress and I made my own wedding dress. The wedding dress won 3rd place in the California State Fair, an achievement I sill take pride in 20 yrs later! (of course I don't ever have time to sew now) Hmmm...I was going to post a picture of my self with this entry, maybe I'll make it a wedding picture.

4. I have a phobia of driving. I am 38 yrs old and have never had a drivers license. I walk a lot and take the bus when I have to. (geesh, you'd think I'd be in better shape! Don't let the picture fool you, that was 20 yrs and 40 lbs ago.)

5. My favorite city to visit is San Francisco!!! I love the diversity, the art, the food, and the general vibe of the city! I also love that it is one of the few places where a person is better off NOT driving.

6. My mother is my hero! Prepare yourself for a long story, more about my mom than myself, but her life choices have helped shape who I am, so please bear with me...

When I was a teenager my parents split up and I stayed with my mom who was a severe alcoholic at the time. The second I turned 18 I was outta there! After a few more years of misery my mom realized she needed to make some changes. She quit drinking and smoking all at once, cold turkey! She then did some soul searching and decided to leave a well paying job with benefits and move to the country. She moved to an old mining town/tourist attraction and played the autoharp and sang songs on the street for tips. She is currently living in a renovated chicken coop (I am not kidding) and is the happiest she's ever been. Once she stopped drinking she became more aware of how she felt physically and it wasn't so good. She eliminated corn and dairy from her diet and became a vegetarian. She felt better for a few years but then started having stomach trouble. That's when she self diagnosed celiac disease. Today my mom is eating an organic,vegan, gluten free diet, living in nature, and doing odd jobs to pay the bills, and she is incredibly self fulfilled. My biggest lesson learned from her, and one I think most people could benefit from, is to strive for simplicity! I know she will never read this (she doesn't own a computer...or a TV), but I'm going to shout this out anyway...I LOVE YOU MOM!!!

Well, there you have it...That's me :)

Now for the chosen 6....

I tag:

Janeen of "Mom's Food Allergy Diner" at

Bella of "The Hampton Roads Food Allergy Connection" at

Melanie of "A Foodie's Fall From Grace" at
(we'll give Melanie a little extra time, I didn't realize she just injured herself)

Allergy Mom of "The Allergic Kid" at

Queen Telling Of "The Allergy Cafe" at

Tracy of "Winning Against Eosinophilic Esophagitis" at

I tried to choose people who have not been tagged before, if I have mistakenly re tagged anyone please let me know. I am looking forward to learning more about all of you! :)

Speedbump Kitchen (do I know your real name?) thank you again. This was fun.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fruity Rainbow Butterfly Treats

How's that for a name? OK, so I said A while back I would post this as soon as I had all of my ingredients and my photograper handy at the same time...that never happened. I finally ended up making 1/3 of a batch (which only made 3 butterflies) and taking this sorry little picture my self, but here it is. The recipe for these is exactly the same as the crispy rice treats except for of course that you use Post Fruity Pebbles which are "gluten free" instead of Rice Crispies cereal.

I would like to make a note at this point that I did call Kraft (who owns Post cereals) to ask about cross contamination. They say that if there is any chance of cross contamination at their plant it will be listed in the allergy warning, HOWEVER this is only for wheat, not barley. oats etc.! Also, the gentleman told me that the labeling is only for what happens in their plant, if any ingredients were cross contaminated before they entered the plant Kraft foods would have no way of knowing it. So, there's the disclaimer. All in all I don't know that these are really any safer than the orginals if you have celiac. Emily does not have celiac, she only gets a little itchy with gluten, so here we go living on the edge again!

And now the recipe:

3 T Dairy free margarine
6 C Mini marshmallows (make sure they are safe for your allergies)
6 C Post Fruity Pebbles cereal

In a large pot melt the margarine over medium-low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until completely melted and no lumps are left. Pour in the cereal and stir hard until thoroughly mixed. Pour into a greased 9"x11" pan. Coat your hands with margarine and flatten mixture into pan. Cool treats in pan and then turn them out onto a cutting board. Using a butterfly cookie cutter (plastic is best, metal tends to bend out of shape) cut out as many shapes as you can. My daughter Nikki pointed out to me this time that you don't HAVE to eat the scraps, they can be squished back together to get more cuttings just like rerolling cookie dough (of course we only erntertained that idea momentarily...then we ate the scraps!).

Friday, June 27, 2008

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps/Cups

I'll be honest, I have yet to perfect the wrapping of a lettuce leaf. I have tried all different varieties of lettuce and none of them are easy to roll. The one thing I have found to make a difference is putting less filling in...but then I'd have to eat like 8 of them! As you can see my new solution is to use the smaller leaves and make them little bowls instead. I buy the "live" butter lettuce (the kind with the roots still attached) and give the big outer leaves to Emily (she enjoys the challenge), and I use the small inner leaves.

The lettuce looks like this. It is hydroponically grown and comes in a big plastic container with the root ball still attached. Please feel free to use whatever lettuce you like best and, by all means, if anyone finds a lettuce that rolls well let me know!

1 1/4 lbs. Ground lean turkey

4 Green onions

1 Small can of water chestnuts

1 t Garlic powder

1 t Ginger powder

2 T Gluten free soy sauce, I like to use Bragg

Prepared rice

Grated cheddar cheese or cheese substitute

Lettuce for wrapping

Start to brown the turkey in a large frying pan. While turkey is cooking, finely chop the green onions and water chestnuts, then add them to the turkey. Continue to cook and stir for about 10minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Stir well and simmer until turkey is cooked through.

Put the turkey, rice, cheese, and lettuce on the table and serve family style. Basically the assembly is: a scoop of rice, a scoop of turkey, some cheese, and a shot of soy sauce if desired. Then fold and roll like a burrito or make little cups out of the smaller leaves. Truth be told, my husband just throws it all in a bowl and mixes it up. No matter how you prepare these, half of the filling is going to end up on your plate and there will be a lot of giggling when you look at the person sitting across from you and see them trying to shove it in their mouth before it falls apart! Maybe this is all part of the reason my family loves lettuce wraps so much (aside from the fact that they are REALLY yummy), eating them is good wholesome family fun!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

"Allergen Free" Hot Dogs

Yay, it worked! I mentioned before that the original reason that I wanted the Twinkie pan was to make gluten free hot dog buns, they are. They are about an inch shorter than the hot dog but all in all I think they're pretty cute. There's not really a recipe here, but let me tell you what I did. I used Pamela's Amazing Wheat Free Bread Mix and made the egg free version on the side of the bag. Grease the Twinkie pan and put about 1/4 C. of the dough into each one (I made a hamburger bun out of the leftovers). Then, with oiled or wet fingers, spread the dough so it is as smooth as possible on top. Allow to rise in a warm place (I use my oven) for about an hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes or until they sound hollow when you thump the tops. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then turn them out so they don't get soggy.

Now in order to use these as actual hot dog buns you will need to do a little knife work. Remember how Subway Sandwiches used to cut the big V in their bread so that they could load in more toppings? That's what we are going to do here. Lay the
"Twinkie" on it's side and cut out the center length wise in the shape of a V (or a U if you are really talented). Here is a picture of how it should look.
As for the hot dog itself, we used Jenni-O turkey dogs this time although they do contain nitrates which I try to avoid when I can. Emily is also mildly allergic to mustard which you can see in the picture is on there too. We were living dangerously this weekend! A better choice for us is Sheltons (free of beef, dairy, nitrates, and garlic), but they are just so hard to get. Please use whatever hotdogs are safe for your allergies.
OK, throw in some allergy safe chips and a pickle spear and you have a "regular" old all American lunch! :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Cherry Blossom Crispy Rice Treats

Spring is here and all the lovely flowers are in bloom (at least that's what I hear from other parts of the country)! Emily and I have decided to celebrate, despite the fact that it has been cold and rainy here 8 out of the past 9 days, by making our own flowers. Our inspiration was not only spring but also the fact that I have a very fancy bottle of natural cherry flavor in my fridge just wasting away. I plan to post "rainbow butterflies crispy rice treats" as soon as I have the ingredients to make them and take a picture, but at the risk of ruining the surprise, this needs to be said now instead of later... Rice crisp cereals DO CONTAIN a very small amount of gluten due to the "malt flavoring", if you want to make a gluten free version use Post Fruity Pebbles as they are completely gluten free (although I don't know about shared equipment). As for Emily's lovely pink cherry blossoms, they are dairy free, egg free, and nut free.

3 T Dairy free margarine
6 C Mini marshmallows (make sure they are safe for your allergies)
5 Drops of red food color
1/2 t Natural cherry flavor from The Spicery Shoppe (optional)
6 C Crispy rice cereal

In a large pot melt the margarine over medium-low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until completely melted and no lumps are left. Remove from heat and stir in food coloring and flavor. Pour in the crispy rice cereal and stir hard until thoroughly mixed. Pour into a greased 9"x11" pan. Coat your hands with margarine and flatten mixture into pan. Cool treats in pan and then turn them out onto a cutting board. Using a flower cookie cutter (plastic is best, metal tends to bend out of shape) cut out as many shapes as you can, eating the scraps as you go (ok, that part is optional). At this point we took colored mini marshmallows and pushed one into the center of each flower. Skittles, or any candy safe for your allergies, would be cute too. There you have it....spring flowers Oregon style!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Go Dairy Free Givaway

I have just signed up for my first monthly newsletter from and I'm excited! I discovered this site recently when Alisa at Go Dairy Free did a review of my site and my crepes. I have been a faithful reader ever since! She posts daily and opens doors to all kinds of allergen free blogs and events. She also has recipes and a great list of resources and books. If you sign up for the newsletter you are also entered in a monthly drawing. As the name implies this site is mostly about living dairy free, but this month the prizes for the drawing are gift packages from Gluten Free Essentials which are free from milk, eggs, nuts, gluten, and yeast! (crossing my fingers!) For more information please go to
Even if you don't win a prize I think you may find her site to be reward enough :)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Survivors

Not too bad, huh? Time heals all wounds. The cupcakes actually came out very much like "the real thing". (If you are just joining us please see post below)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Help-Exploding Twinkies!

I have wanted this Twinkie kit for about a year now since I started trying to make gluten free hot dog buns for Emily and I thought the pan might be helpful. Well, yesterday was my birthday and I finally decided to treat myself. I was so excited I couldn't wait to get the kids out of the house this morning so I could start experimenting with gluten free vegan "Twinkies"!

Since the pan only bakes 8 at a time I decided to turn half the batter into chocolate cupcakes with cream filling and chocolate ganache on top (you know, Hostess style). I am therefore, at this point, pulling on 4 different recipes at once. My kitchen is an utter disaster, but I'm having fun and all seems to be going well.

Then I tried to fill them (Dun Dun Dun....)! I filled a couple before I broke one open and realized there was not nearly enough cream inside, so I decided to reinsert the nozzle and try squeezing harder...BOOM!!! Cream filling exploded all over the place! It was on all over the baked goods, it was dripping off the counter, it was on the floor, and it was all down the front of me! You really had to be there, these pictures don't tell the whole story. Looking back it is hysterical, at the time I wanted to scream!

It took 3 hours to clean the kitchen but I am done now and ready to write about this exciting experience! In the end I got cream filling into everything (had to pull out another pastry bag) and I decided to go with a simple chocolate frosting instead of ganache on the cupcakes. Emily and her friend came home from school and devoured the worst of the bunch. Now I am just waiting for Amanda to come home and take pretty pictures of the few that survived. Needless to say, I won't be posting the recipe just yet!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Orange Scones

Every once in a while I remember something I used to make for Emily and say "why don't I make that anymore?", then I pull out the recipe and see wheat flour and say "oh yeah, that's why!". That was the case with these lovely scones. I always loved the recipe because it was dairy free and one egg was easily replaceable. When we used to think Emily was only allergic to wheat (not gluten) we made this with spelt flour. Anyway, everything has changed now, and since I really missed this recipe I decided to rework it into a dairy free, egg free, gluten free, soy free, peanut free, corn free...sorry, I got a little carried away there...recipe. Yummy!
*My photographer (my 15 yr old daughter, and BTW thank you Amanda!) was feeling artsy this evening...I don't usually garnish my food with jewelry, but I do love the photograph!

¾ c Sorghum flour
¾ c Rice flour
¾ c Potato starch
¼ c Tapioca starch
1 t Xanthan gum
¼ c Brown sugar
1 t Baking soda
1 t Baking powder
½ t Salt
1 Eggs worth of EnerG egg replacer
1 c Orange juice
2 T Oil
1 T Grated orange rind
2 T Raw sugar (turbinado)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease an 8” round cake pan. (This dough is stiff enough that you could probably make the traditional hand shaped scones out of it and bake them on a cookie sheet but I haven't tried it that way yet...If you do please let me know how it turns out)

Put all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until well blended and no lumps of brown sugar remain. In another bowl prepare the egg replacer and then add to it the rest of the wet ingredients and whisk together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. You may need to give up your whisk for a wooden spoon at this point because the dough is pretty stiff.

Press dough into the cake pan. Sprinkle the raw sugar all over the top. You may want to press the sugar down slightly so that more of it stays on after baking.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool on wire rack until just slightly warm. Turn out onto a cutting board and slice into wedges. These are a little dry (as scones are supposed to be) , so a nice cup of coffee or tea is a welcome accompaniment.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tell Me About Whole Foods Market

Over the past year I have spent A LOT of time online researching allergen free foods. I have had many discussions with various people about our favorite foods and where to buy them. Many times Whole Foods Market was mentioned and every time I would sadly reply "we don't have a Whole Foods here". Well, guess we do! Whole foods just bought out Wild Oats here in Bend (I'm still not sure if that's a good thing or not). The problem is that now I'm wracking my brain trying to remember all of the product recommendations I got in the past that were available at Whole Foods. Now admittedly I have not been in the store yet, and when I do go I am sure I will not have a problem finding plenty of things to buy, but I would still love some input from our wonderful allergen free community. I would love to hear from anyone and everyone! What are your regular purchases, your favorites, or your least favorites (so I know what not to waste my money on)? I thank you in advance for your time and your responses... and, on that note, (I'm feeling very emotional today) I also wanted to let all of my kindred spirits out there know how much I appreciate you! Big allergen free hugs to everyone! :)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Chicken Enchiladas

Yes, there is an enchilada under there, and it is free of gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, and garlic! It is hidden partly because we LOVE our toppings (on a good day it would have had guacamole and fake sour cream too) and partly because when I took it out of the pan it kind of fell apart. I am going to write the "standard" recipe below, but just for the record Emily's enchilada was made with plain tomato sauce, no chili peppers, and no garlic powder...she's not really into spicy food and she's allergic to garlic. Also, for my friends who are allergic to chicken, this is really yummy with beef or pork too. Just use a nice fatty/tender piece of meat like a chuck roast or the darker meat pork chops.

1 1/2 lbs Boneless chicken (or other tender meat)

4 c Water

2 t Bullion (that's one cube of Harvest Sun brand)

1/2 t Chili powder

1/4 t Garlic powder (better yet a fresh crushed clove of garlic)

1/2 t Onion powder (again, about 1/2 of a finely chopped fresh onion would be great)

1/4 t Black pepper

1/4 t Sea salt

1 4 oz can of diced green chilies

1 Can of enchilada sauce

4-6 Corn tortillas (depending on how full you like them stuffed)

1/2 c Grated Vegan Rella Cheddar flavored rice cheese (or other "safe cheese")

TOPPINGS: lettuce, tomatoes, red or green onions, black olives, avocado/guacamole, salsa, and Tofutti Sour Supreme are all good!

Before I start the recipe I would like to remind you to please read the labels on all of your ingredients. The bullion, chili powder, canned chilies, enchilada sauce, tortillas, and cheese substitute (and any others I may have missed) can all potentially contain the top 8 allergens.

Place the chicken in a large saucepan and cover it with the water. Bring to a simmer over med-low heat. If you boil it too hard your meat will be tough. Stir in the bullion, chili powder, onion (powder), garlic (powder), salt, and black pepper. Cover and simmer on low heat until meat is tender enough to shred with 2 forks making a scissor motion. Start checking for tenderness at 30 minutes, depending on your cut of meat it could take up to an hour or even an hour and a half. Most of the water should have evaporated too. For a longer cooking time you may need to add a little more water, or if it seems too wet just take the lid off while simmering for a few minutes. Add the canned chilies and continue to pull and shred the meat until it is in small pieces (about 1") and the chilies are mixed in.

Preheat oven to 350. Set up your assembly line... pour half of the enchilada sauce into a shallow dish, microwave your tortillas for about 30 seconds to make them pliable, grab the meat, and have ready a casserole dish to put them in. Dip a tortilla into the enchilada sauce and then lay it in the casserole dish. Put a large scoop of meat (maybe 1/4 cup?) down the center and roll it up. Continue with each tortilla, laying them side by side, until the filling is gone. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the top of them all. Bake covered for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and sprinkle the grated cheese substitute (this can also be omitted entirely if you don't care for fake cheese) over the top. Place back in the oven and continue to bake, uncovered ,for another 15 minutes.

While the enchiladas are baking get all of you toppings and condiments chopped and ready. Remove from the oven and load on the toppings! Or, if your family is finicky like mine, let them choose their own toppings and add them individually.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Italian Sausage and Peppers

First of all, how cute is that Tinkyada Little Dreams rice pasta?! I couldn't help myself, I had to take a picture. That being said, it also goes great with sausage and peppers. My Italian mother-in-law taught me how to make this. It is a family recipe and was certainly never labled as "allergen free", that's just a bonus. This dish is quick and simple with minimal ingredients, and it is so delicious! (I just hope there's some left when my husband gets home) I like mine served over the top of my pasta, but this picture is of Emily's plate and she is 6...that "don't let my foods touch" stage. I hope that your family will love this as much as mine does. Bon Appetito! :)

1 Package of Jenni-O Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage (or other "safe" sausage)
1 Large red bell pepper sliced into strips
1 Large green bell pepper sliced into strips
1 Medium onion sliced into strips
1 15 oz Can of safe tomato sauce (we used Hunt's 100% natural)

Fry the sausages in a large frying pan over medium heat for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally to brown all sides. Add the peppers and onion and stir fry for another 5 to 10 minutes until the veggies are tender-crisp. Pour in the tomato sauce and stir. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve alone or with your favorite pasta.

Chicken Curry

A while back Tracy asked me about dinner recipes and it got me thinking. I really don't have many dinner "recipes" for Emily (my 6 yr old) because our family (generally speaking) does not share her food, so her dinner is almost always something I can just heat up or throw together quickly. Now I know at this point some of you are shaking your heads at me in dissapproval. I know that a lot of families sit down and eat allergen free food together and I applaude them! In this family, however, it just isn't feasible. I have a husband and daughter who are red meat eaters, one daughter who is allergic to red meat but eats turkey, chicken, and pork, and one daughter who is a, I'll eat anything! Then we add in food allergies and the fact that everyone here has DIFFERENT food allergies...well, I just can't do it! This brings me to my latest recipe. My oldest and youngest daughters pretty much don't touch each others food, their eating habits are the least similar in the family, but this weekend Amanda (my 14 yr old) made an incredible chicken curry that the three of us sat down and ate together and it was so nice! (my husband hates curry and Nikki my 12 yr old had leftovers, but I'm happy with 3 out of 5!) This is is an Americanized chicken curry so it's not too spicy and very child friendly. Before I get into the recipe I also wanted to make a note to Tracy: I think you can do this one if you use cubed pork instead of chicken and veggie broth for the chicken broth.

3 c Cubed cooked chicken
2 T Olive oil
1 Medium onion, chopped
1 T Curry powder (we used The Spice Hunter salt free organic curry seasoning)
1/2 t Salt
1 Granny smith apple, chopped
1/3 c Golden raisins (regular raisins are fine and much cheaper!)
1 c Chicken broth
Prepared rice, shredded coconut (we use sweetened to balance out the spice of the curry), and chopped cilantro

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Add onions and cook over med heat until soft. Stir in curry powder and salt and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken, apples, raisins, and broth, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to med-low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve over warm rice. We put out our cilantro and coconut separately so each person can add to taste. Quick, simple, and so delicious!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Crepes...Yes Crepes! Gluten Free, Egg Free, and Dairy Free

Crepes are basically made from wheat flour, lots of eggs, milk, and butter, so obviously an exact replica is out of the question. Sometimes I have a hard time knowing just how good a recipe is because my only willing taste testers are myself (a little biased seeing as I am the chef) and my 6 yr old who has never had anything standard to compare it to. I made 4 different versions of this recipe before I came up with one I am happy with, but I still am not positive it couldn't be better. If anyone tries this recipe please give me some feedback. Constructive criticism is always welcome and appreciated. I am putting the recipe for the crepes themselves first, then a few filling ideas. Because these don't have any sugar in them they are great for both sweet and savory fillings. If you have never made crepes before the swirling motion may take a little practice. I hope you enjoy them! :)

3 Eggs worth of prepared egg replacer
3/4c Soy milk (or rice milk for soy free)
3/4c Water
3T Melted Margarine (or Spectrum Shortening for soy free)
1/3c Rice flour
1/8c Sweet rice flour
1/8c Potato starch
1/8c Tapioca flour (starch)
1/2t Salt

Preheat an 8” omelet pan to medium-high. Here are the keys to success:
1. Use a heavy duty Teflon coated pan, brand spankin’ new if possible.
2. Keep an oiled paper towel next to you and give the pan a wipe with it after the removal of each crepe, re-oiling the paper towel as needed.
3. Make sure the pan is fully preheated or the first crepe won’t brown… then again there is the old saying “the first crepe is for the dog”, which pretty much means your first crepe is just for practice.

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and blend for 1 more minute.

Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan, then lift the pan off of the heat and swirl it until the bottom is covered and the batter has stopped flowing. Set the pan back on the heat and cook for about 2 minutes, until the edges are all curled up away from the pan and the bottom has browned a bit. Gently flip the crepe over and brown the other side for about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and lay on a piece of plastic wrap. Continue layering crepes with plastic wrap as you remove them, this will make them more pliable and keep them from sticking to each other.

Fruit Filling:
Since I was a little girl it has been a tradition in our family to have fruit filled crepes for breakfast on the morning after a birthday sleepover party. I don't have recipes per say, but these are our 2 favorite fillings.
1. Strawberries: 1 pint of chopped fresh strawberries with a few spoonfulls of sugar and a few spoonfulls of water mixed until sugar is dissolved and a syrup is formed. If you prefer an easier version just buy the frozen presweetened strawberries, my girls actually prefer them.
2. Apples: chop up a few apples and put them in a pot with just enough water to cover. Add a little sugar and a dash of cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the water is gone and apples are tender.

Put a line of filling down the center of each crepe and roll it up. Top with whipped soy cream (Soyatoo) if desired.

Savory Filling:
Here is the recipe for the filling used in the picture above, but really you can fill them with just about ANYTHING you like.
4T Margarine
2T Sweet rice flour
1c Chicken broth
1/2c Chopped cooked chicken
1/2c Chopped cooked broccoli

Melt margarine over medium heat, add sweet rice flour, cook while stirring for 3 minutes (it will look grainy-it's ok). Add a little of the broth at a time, whisking thoroughly with each addition, until all broth is added and the sauce is smooth and creamy. Stir in chicken and broccoli. Cook until heated through. Put a line of filling in the center of each crepe and roll it up. Top with a little of the cream sauce if desired.

Well, there you have it, an extremely long post for Emily's gluten free, egg free, dairy free, *soy free crepes. I hope the length of this post won't scare everyone out of trying them. It's really pretty simple for a special occasion food. Again I ask that if you do try these please let me know what you think of them. Thank you for sharing with me in our family's special tradition. Enjoy! :)

*My versions of this recipes contain soy, but it is all easily replaceable. Soy milk=rice milk/chicken broth, margarine=Spectrum shortening, omit Soyatoo whipped cream, and make sure all of your ingredients (ie chicken broth, or any fillings you are choosing to use) are soy free.