Gluten Free Thanksgiving

TurkeyI’ve updated a post that I sent out last Thanksgiving but it is such great information, I¬†wanted to send it again for anyone who might have missed it.

Thanksgiving is a time of angst for many celiacs. The thought of going to someone’s house and putting your health in someone else’s hands can be very concerning. A typical meal is scary enough but a huge Thanksgiving meal where there are multiple cooks in the kitchen means many more opportunities for glutenous mistakes to be made. Best case scenario, you cook at your house where you know you’ll be safe, but that’s not always possible. If you must go elsewhere for Thanksgiving, you should insist on being a huge part of the planning and cooking.

The first mistake many people make is assuming that all turkeys are gluten free. This is not the case. Many turkeys contain gluten because of the solutions they have been injected with or are contaminated with the gluten containing gravy packet that has been stuffed inside. Below you will find a list of turkeys that are and are not considered gluten free.

Whether you are hosting a gluten free Thanksgiving at your house or heading out to a family member’s house for dinner, using the following gluten free recipes will ensure that everyone enjoys a delicious Thanksgiving dinner this year. In fact, last year we hosted Thanksgiving dinner and I bravely tried a new turkey recipe and was told by my mother-in-law that it was the best turkey she had ever had!

I’ve also included my favorite recipe of all time…Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake. This recipe turns out perfectly every time. My grandpa even loves it and he dislikes anything gluten free, just on principal ūüôā

*I’ve listed some brands in my recipes that are gluten free as I type this blog post.
As always, check ingredients as they can change without warning.

Brown Sugar Brined Turkey

Brine Ingredients
I whole turkey
2 gallons warm water
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
4 tablespoons sliced fresh garlic
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper

Turkey Ingredients
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup melted butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cans (4 cups) chicken broth (Swanson is gluten free)

Pour 2 gallons of warm water in a large bucket. If you have a Firehouse Subs near you, I recommend buying one of their pickle buckets for $2.00, which is food grade, and a few days prior to Thanksgiving spray with vinegar water to remove the pickle smell. This bucket is perfect for holding your brine.

Dissolve brown sugar and kosher salt in the warm water completely.

Add the garlic slices, pepper and Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine.

Let the water cool to room temperature, then add your cleaned (giblets and neck removed), washed turkey to the brine and refrigerate for 24 hours. If your turkey isn’t covered completely by the brine, place it in the brine breast side up for 12 hours then flip for the remaining 12 hours.

After 24 hours, remove turkey from the brine and rinse completely, making sure all brine has been washed away.

Pat turkey dry with paper towels and place breast side down on roasting pan.

*I like to rub the skin of my turkey with a mixture of equal parts olive oil and melted butter, then sprinkle with black pepper and garlic powder.

Add 2 cans of chicken broth to the bottom of the roasting pan and cover the turkey loosely with heavy duty aluminum foil.

Roast turkey according to the chart below. Be sure to baste your turkey every 30 minutes or so. Once your turkey is done, remove from oven, keeping foil over turkey and letting turkey rest for 15 minutes prior to carving.

General Roasting Schedule for Unstuffed Turkey at 325¬įF…

4.5 Р7 lbs  for  2 Р2.5 hours
7 Р9 lbs  for  2.5 Р3 hours
9 Р18 lbs  for  3 Р3.5 hours
18 Р22 lbs  for  3.5 Р4 hours
22 Р24 lbs  for  4 Р4.5 hours
24 Р30 lbs  for  4.5 Р5 hours

 

Sensational Gluten Free Stuffing

6 cups gluten free bread cubes
4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 1/2 cup chicken broth (Swanson is gluten free)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons sage
2 teaspoons thyme
1/4 cup parsley
Vegetable spray

Preheat oven to 300¬įF

Bake bread cubes on baking sheet, stirring occasionally, until dried, approximately 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool.

Increase oven temperature to 325¬įF.

In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat . Add celery, carrot and onion, stirring until soft. Add salt, pepper, sage and thyme and continue to cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of chicken broth and continue to heat until liquid is reduced by half.

Combine in a large bowl, baked bread cubes, vegetable mixture, remaining 3/4 cup chicken broth and parsley. Pour into baking dish that has been coated in vegetable spray and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.

 

Crazy Good Gluten Free Cranberry Sauce

12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup orange juice

In a medium sized saucepan dissolve the sugars in the orange juice over medium heat. Add cinnamon and stir. Add cranberries and cook until the cranberries begin to pop, approximately 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

 

Gluten Free Cheesy Potato Casserole

1 package of frozen diced potatoes (30 oz), thawed
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
16 oz sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup-10 oz (*Health Valley, Pacific Natural, Progresso)
1 cup butter, unsalted
1 small onion, chopped
3 cups crushed corn flakes (*Nature’s Path, Erewhon, Barbara’s)

Preheat oven to 425¬įF

In a large bowl, combine the cheese, sour cream and soup.

In a medium skillet, sauté 1/2 cup butter and onion for 5 minutes.  Add this to the soup mixture and pour over the diced potatoes.

Place the crushed corn flakes on top of the dish.

Melt the remaining 1/2 cup butter and pour over corn flakes.

Bake 1 hour.

*Many of the brands listed, like Progresso, also make NON gluten free soups so be sure to get the gluten free variety.

 

Gluten Free Turkey Gravy

2 tablespoons cornstarch (Argo is gluten free)
2 tablespoons turkey drippings
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups chicken broth (Swanson is gluten free)
1/4 cup milk

In a small saucepan, with no heat, mix cornstarch, salt and pepper. Mix turkey drippings into the chicken broth and whisk into cornstarch mixture. Once dissolved, turn heat on low while continuing to whisk.  Add milk and bring to a boil whisking constantly. Cook and whisk for 2 minutes or until thickened.

* McCormick’s now makes a gluten free turkey gravy mix that is pretty good. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods also have gluten-free gravy mixes.

 

Gluten Free Fried Onions (for green bean casserole)

1 large Vidalia onion, peeled and sliced very thin
12 oz buttermilk
1/2 cup gluten free flour mix
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon sugar
Vegetable oil for frying

Cover the thinly sliced onion with the buttermilk in a medium bowl and allow to soak for 15-20 minutes.

Place the flour blend, salt, pepper and sugar into a large Ziploc bag. Seal and shake to blend.

Heat vegetable oil (at least 2 inches) in a medium pan to 350¬įF.

Drain buttermilk from onions and place the drained onions into the flour mix in the Ziploc bag. Seal the bag and shake the onions to coat fully.

Place 1/4 of the coated onions into the heated oil and fry until golden brown, approximately 3 minutes, keeping a close eye as the onions burn quickly. Drain on paper towels. Repeat until all onions are fried.

Cool and store in airtight container in fridge.

 

Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole

2 bags (24 oz) frozen green beans, thawed
1 can (18 oz) Progresso Vegetable Classis Creamy Mushroom Soup (Gluten Free)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups Gluten Free Fried Onions

Combine mushroom soup, pepper, green beans and 1 cup fried onions in a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.

Bake at 350¬įF for 25 minutes.

Stir the bean mixture and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup fried onions.

Bake an additional 5 minutes or until onions are golden brown.

 

Gluten Free Crescent Rolls

1 cup gluten free flour mix
1 teaspoon xanthan or guar gum
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder (Rumford is GF)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup butter, unsalted, softened
3/4 cup ricotta cheese

Add ricotta cheese and butter to the bowl of a heavy duty mixer. Mix well using the paddle attachment.

In a small bowl, combine flour mix, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and sugar. Add to butter mixture and mix until a dough ball forms.

Wrap the dough ball in Saran Wrap for at least three hours. *This is crucial.

Preheat oven to 350¬įF.

Roll the dough into a 14″ circle. You can do this several ways.¬† You can dust your work area and rolling pin with rice flour, though I find that this can dry your dough out so be careful. You can also roll out between wax paper or silicone rolling mats (which I couldn’t live without!)

Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 8 triangles.

Roll each triangle from the wide end to the pointed end and bend slightly to make crescent shape.

Place the rolled crescents onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350¬įF for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

*On a side note. If you want a delicious breakfast treat, we top our crescent dough with a mixture of butter, honey and cinnamon prior to rolling into crescent shape and bake as instructed above.  Delish!

 

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

We aren’t big pie people in my house so I don’t really tinker with pies too often.¬† I follow the pumpkin pie recipe on the back of Libby’s Pumpkin cans and I use either a pre-made gluten free pie crust or Betty Crocker’s refrigerated pie dough. My homemade pie crusts always turn out rock hard ūüôĀ

 

Phenomenal Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake

2 cups gluten free flour mix
2 tsp xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder (Rumford is GF)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs, beaten, room temperature
1 can (15 oz) Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup oil

Combine eggs, pumpkin, sugar and oil in a medium bowl.

Sift remaining dry ingredients together.

Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture, stirring just enough to combine.

Spread into ungreased 11″ x 17″ pan.

Bake at 350¬įF for 18-20 minutes.

 

Cream Cheese Frosting (for pumpkin cake)

3 oz of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, unsalted, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese and butter until well combined. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.

*This amazing recipe was given to me by a dear friend when my daughter was first diagnosed with celiac disease in 1997. I’ve altered it a few times over the years and now it simply is perfection!

 

Gluten Free Turkeys  Рupdated November 2015
*The following information was taken from the various companies’ websites. Always read ingredient labels prior to purchasing.

Aaron’s Gourmet
Aaron’s has Duck, Hen, Chicken, Turkey, Turducken, and well, about anything… kosher and gluten free.¬† Visit their website at www.aaronsgourmet.com

Butterball
Butterball recently created an “Incredibly easy gluten free turkey guide”. ALL fresh and frozen (UNSTUFFED) turkeys are gluten free and so are the grave packets inside!!

Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle White maintains that ‚ÄĚThe majority of Honeysuckle White¬ģ products do not contain Gluten. However, the following list of products do contain Gluten:¬† Teriyaki Flavor Turkey Breast Tenderloin, Frozen Italian Style Meatballs and Fresh Italian Style Turkey Meatballs”

Jennie-O
Grand Champion Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, All Natural Fresh Whole Turkey, Premium Fresh Young Turkey

Perdue
Harvestland Turkey and Turkey Breasts Roasts

Plainville Farms
States, “Yes, our turkey is gluten and casein free. However, our turkey gravy and our homestyle dressing contain wheat.”

Shady Brooks Farms
States, ” The majority of Shady Brook Farms¬ģ products do not contain Gluten. However, the following list of products do contain Gluten:¬† Fresh Italian Style Appetizer Size Turkey Meatballs, Fresh Italian Style, Turkey Meatballs, Frozen Italian Style Turkey Meatballs, Fresh Italian Style Family Size Turkey Meatballs, Teriyaki Flavor Turkey Breast Tenderloins, Italian Style Beef Meatballs, Sizzling Ginger Sirloin Tri-Tip Beef Roast Rosemary, Garlic & Chardonnay Seasoned Sirloin Tri-Tip Beef Roast.

Wellshire Farms
While Wellshire doesn’t list its gluten free products, they do offer the following statement…”All meat in its natural state is gluten free. Wellshire clearly lists all known allergens on product labels. Any presence of wheat, barley or rye is always disclosed in our ingredients listings.”

*If all of this is simply too overwhelming, just head to your local Boston Market. You can have an entire gluten free turkey meal, with cinnamon apples for dessert, without the hassle of cooking or cleaning! Check out their allergen menu here  http://bostonmarket.com/pdfs/allergens.pdf

Gluten Free Guide to Austin City Limits 2015

ACL

If you are gluten free and heading to ACL this weekend or next, this alphabetical list of gluten free food options might come in handy!

Menu items change. ALWAYS verify when ordering that your food is gluten free.

2015 ACL Eats Restaurants offering gluten free selections

Amy’s Ice Cream
Austin Pizza – Gluten free pizza (personal $11.00)
Burro Cheese Kitchen – Gluten free grilled cheese
Children of the Kettle Corn – Kettle Corn
East Side King – Thai Chicken
Franks – Hot dogs with buns, waffle fries
Goodpop – Popcicles
Main Root – Handcrafted Beverages
Mighty Bird – Tacos, wraps
P-Terry’s – Lettuce wrapped burgers, fries
Skull & Cakebones – whoopie pies, cakewiches
Stubb’s BBQ
Tamale Addiction – Tamales
The Peached Tortilla – tacos
The Salt Lick – BBQ
Tochy’s Tacos
Trudy’s – Gluten free fish tacos

Other Downtown Austin area restaurants offering gluten free selections…

Barley Swine (2024 S Lamar) – Very accommodating
Blenders and Bowls (206 E 4th) – Smoothies and Acai Bowls
Casa De Luz (170001 Toomey Rd) – Vegan, Organic, Gluten Free Restaurant
Cenote (1010 E Cesar Chavez St) – gluten free breads and pastries
Conscious Cravings (5715 Burnet Rd) – Many GF options
Cow Tipping Creamery (26th & Rio Grande) – Soft Serve Ice Cream
East Side King (1618 1/2 E 6th St) – Beet fries
El Naranjo ( 85 Rainey St) – Huge selection of Mexican foods
Frank (407 Colorado) – GF hot dog WITH bun
G’Raj Mahal (73 Rainey St) – Indian Cuisine
Hopododdy (1400 S Congress)- Gluten Free Burgers WITH buns
Hut’s Hamburgers (807 W 6th St) – Gluten Free Burgers WITH buns (avoid the fries)
Juiceland/Sweet Ritual (4500 Duval St) – Gluten free waffle cones
Kerby Lane (3704 Kerby Lane) GF Pancakes, GF french toast, queso…
Kome  (4917 Airport Blvd) GF soy sauce and sushi
Koriente  (621 E 7th) -Edamame, Hummus Roll, Smoked Salmon Tapioca Wrap (ask for wheat-free sauce)
Max’s Wine Dive (207 San Jacinto Blvd) – GF fried chicken
Mr. Natural (1901 E Caesar Chavez & 2414 S Lamar) – GF goodies
Olive & June (3411 Glenview Ave) GF homemade pasta
Rio’s Brazilian Cafe (408 N Pleasant Valley Rd) – Pao de Queijo aka cheese bread
Russian House (307 E 5th St) – Huge gluten free menu
Sagra (1050 E 11th) – GF pizza and Pasta
Snack Bar (1224 S Congress Ave) GF French Toast
Stubb’s BBQ (801 Red River St)
Taco Deli  (1500 Spyglass Drive) Рdedicated prep area
Thai Fresh  (909 W Mary) РGF chicken and waffles on Sunday!
The Flying Carpet (504 W Oltorf St)- All dishes are GF
Thundercloud Subs (various locations downtown) – Gluten free bread for sandwiches
Uchi (801 S Lamar) Most dishes can be made gluten free
Via 313 (1111 E 6th)  РGluten free deep dish pizza that is amazing!
Wildwood Bakehouse (3016 Guadalupe St) – Entirely GF restaurant and bakery

Gluten Free Deep Dish Pizza is Here!

Via313

Yesterday my husband and I stopped at VIA313 in southwest Austin, Oak Hill to be exact. I’d heard that they had gluten free pizza and wanted to give it a try. I was quite surprised when the gluten free pizza was listed on the page with the Detroit style pizza instead of with the thin crust pizza, which is what I’ve become accustomed to. There was, of course, a gluten free disclaimer on the menu saying that they can’t guarantee against cross contamination but every effort is made…yada, yada, yada.

Since our¬†super sensitive celiac daughter wasn’t with us, we decided to give the gluten free pizza a try and I am SOOOO glad we did. The gluten free deep dish pizza was fabulous! The crispy, crunchy, cheesy corners, crispy bottom crust and perfectly textured center made this, hands down, the best gluten free pizza I’ve ever had.

While I’m happy to rave about the deliciousness of VIA313’s gluten free Detroit style pizza, I also want to remind you to be careful. My gluten free pizza was actually cut with the same pizza cutter as the gluten containing pizzas during our visit. I only know this because our super helpful and honest waiter let me know. When I ordered my gluten free pizza, I simply ordered the gluten free pizza. I did NOT mention anything about celiac disease or push the gluten free thing in any way. This is not how I would typically order a gluten free pizza or any gluten free food, especially if my celiac daughter, who is just as accurate as an ELISA test were with me.

I questioned our super helpful waiter, who reiterated that every effort is made to keep their house made gluten free pizza free from gluten, but they can’t “guarantee” against cross contamination. He talked with us at length about how the kitchen goes out of their way to change gloves, utensils, etc. if celiac disease or an allergy is mentioned when the gluten free pizza is ordered, which left us feeling pretty good. So, the next time Kacie is home from college, we will be heading back to VIA313 so she can experience the deliciousness of their gluten free deep dish pizza too.

 

Gluten Free School Lunch

I posted this information at the beginning of the school year last year, but wanted to re-post it for those who School Lunch Clip Artare new to the world of gluten free

After packing a school lunch for twelve years, I found out that  the public school my daughter Kacie attended was legally obligated to provide a well balanced, gluten free lunch for her each day.  It was so nice for her to finally be able to buy lunch at school.

If your school participates in the National School Lunch Program, the law states that the school must provide reasonable accommodations for celiacs.¬† This does not mean that the school has to provide multiple options each day.¬† This does not mean that the gluten free options offered needs to mirror the typical lunch that is being provided each day.¬† This means that the school must provide a gluten free option from each of the food groups each day.¬† Rice is a grain, so it is possible that your school will provide plain, white rice each day, as it is a gluten free grain. Maybe you’ll get lucky and your school will provide gluten free bread as Kacie’s did, but, on top of¬† having celiac disease, Kacie is an EXTREMELY picky eater and she wouldn’t eat the “cardboard tasting” gluten free bread the school provided.¬† Because of this, Kacie’s school allowed her to bring in a few loaves of gluten free bread – Udi’s Gluten Free Whole Grain is her favorite – which they kept in the freezer and thawed quickly in the microwave when she wanted a sandwich.

Some schools are easier to work with than others.¬† For Kacie, we simply had to provide a letter from her doctor stating that due to a medical condition, she had to adhere to a strict gluten free diet.¬† This letter is also what allowed her to keep her own bread into the school kitchen.¬† Some schools require that a 504 plan be put into place before they will make gluten free accommodations for your child. A 504 plan is a “federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the US Department of Education” (www2.ed.gov).

Woah, woah, wait a minute!¬† Are you saying that celiac disease is a disability?!?¬† You want me to say my kid has a disability just because she can’t eat gluten? Well, one of the definitions of “disability” is anything that puts one at a disadvantage.¬† Certainly having (not choosing) to eat gluten free puts us at a disadvantage from time to time.¬† If a 504 plan, stating that celiac disease is a disability helps to make your life much easier, I say why not?

We are fortunate enough to be in the¬†Lake Travis School District. ¬†They have a food allergy form on their nutrition website that walks you through the exact steps you need to follow to receive gluten free lunches at school (http://www.ltisdschools.org/Page/14047). ¬†You can view lunch menus online and select your allergy and it will cross out any foods containing that allergy. ¬†I do have a few issues with this online system… it doesn’t offer any food alternatives online and it also doesn’t give you a “gluten” selection, only wheat.¬† I’m hoping there is a gluten free menu out there somewhere and I just haven’t found it yet.

As your kiddos head back to school this year, do what you can to make life, or at least your mornings, a little easier on yourself by not having to pack your child’s lunch each day.¬† If your school seems completely oblivious to their students who need gluten free lunches, don’t fret.¬† Arm yourself with knowledge about your school’s legal requirements and request an appointment with the head of food services.¬† They just might surprise you!

*I am not a legal professional and am not offering this information as legal advice. If you have legal questions or are facing resistance from your child’s school, contact a legal professional.

Gluten Free Pancakes

Hungry JackWhen I was a little girl, I loved my Pillsbury Doughboy vinyl doll. His bright eyes and cheery smile always made me happy. I grew up in an age where video games weren’t at our disposal and fuzzy screened black and white dial TVs weren’t all that appealing to kids, unless it was Saturday morning cartoons. So as children, we had to be imaginative and create fantasy worlds with our Barbie’s, avoid getting hit with good old fashioned metal lawn jarts by our friends and amuse ourselves with our happy little Pillsbury doughboys.

Thanks to this cute little vinyl toy, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Pillsbury. Recently that soft spot grew into full blown love after discovering Pillsbury Funfetti¬† Gluten Free Cake & Cupcake Mix earlier this year, which makes light, fluffy, tasty cupcakes. If you tweak them a bit by adding some extra vanilla or almond flavoring, they’re even better!

Then, recently I found Pillsbury Hungry Jack Gluten Free Funfetti  Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle mix. This morning my daughter and I decided to give them a try and they were AMAZING. They were light and fluffy, with a little sweetness from the candy Funfetti bits. These would be great for the morning after a sleepover and nobody would even guess they were gluten free.  I typically make pancakes from scratch and sometimes I use Gluten Free Bisquick, which I also like, but these were perfect for a quick morning breakfast. With school starting back up soon, quick breakfasts are a bonus and with this pancake and waffle mix, all you do is add water to the mix and put them on the griddle.

Thank you Pillsbury for taking on the challenging world of gluten free and of course for your cute little mascot, the Pillsbury Doughboy.

 

Gluten Free California Pizza Kitchen

Certified GFI love California Pizza Kitchen’s gluten free pizza. Well, I guess I should say loved, since they pulled their gluten free pizzas from their restaurants a couple of years ago.

Today, as I passed by a California Pizza Kitchen, I was skeptical when I saw a small GF sign in their window. The pessimist in me said, “I’m sure the GF on the window doesn’t mean gluten free; it must stand for good food or gooey fudge or something other than gluten free”. As I walked a little closer, I was elated to see that the sign was indeed indicating gluten free and not just gluten free but “Certified GF Food Service Training & Management”!!

Apparently, California Pizza Kitchen has had gluten free pizzas back in their restaurants for a while now but, since I no longer live down the road from a CPK, the nearest one to me about¬†35-40 minutes away, I’d kind of just given up on the whole CPK gluten free pizza dream.

I was even happier when I got home and did a little research on CPK and saw that they have taken great care in all of their stores to ensure there is no cross contamination, such as:

  • All hand tossed pizzas, including gluten containing pizzas, are dusted with rice flour so the only loose flour floating around the restaurant is rice flour.
  • All gluten free toppings are kept in a separate area in blue containers, a different color than gluten containing ingredients.
  • All gluten free cutting boards, pizza cutting wheels and gloves are blue as well.
  • Gluten free pizzas are baked in aluminum pans with a rim to protect it from bumping into a gluten containing pizza.
  • Managers are automatically notified when a gluten free pizza is ordered and observes the process of making the gluten free pizza.
  • Cooks wash hands, puts on blue gloves, grabs the premade (outsourced) gluten free dough and tops pizza with separated gluten free ingredients.
  • The finished pizza is marked with a bamboo pick so it doesn’t get confused with a non containing pizza.

I love the fact that they mark the pizza with a bamboo pick. I know I’m not the only one who gets nervous when someone carries out my gluten free pasta on a plate that looks exactly¬†like my friend’s non gluten free plate of pasta.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to give CPK’s “new” gluten free pizza a try because I had just visited Jason’s Deli and was stuffed, but I’m sure I’ll be heading back that way soon.

If you’ve given CPK gluten free pizza a try, leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

Bon appétit!

 

Gluten Free Mac & Cheese

Mac & Cheese Mac & Cheese 2I love a good Mac & Cheese.¬†Kraft holds the trophy for #1 Mac & Cheese in my book, but we all know that Kraft is off the table for those of us that are gluten free. Seriously Kraft, do you not see the gold mine you are overlooking¬†by not working on a gluten free version of your Mac & Cheese?!? Nearly 2 million Americans have celiac disease, many more are un-diagnosed celiacs and still more are on a gluten free diet for other health reasons or just because they simply feel better on a gluten free diet. That’s a lot of people Kraft is forgetting about out there!

I know, I know, there are several brands of gluten free Mac & Cheese out there on the market but I just don’t love any of them.

Anyway, I have tried countless recipes for “Homemade Mac & Cheese” and have never really loved any of them. They are too bland, too grainy, too gooey, or simply, just not Kraft. Well, I’ve finally found a winner! Although it is nothing like Kraft, it is a creamy, smooth, flavorful, delicious version of Mac & Cheese that won’t make you feel like you are missing out. And, perhaps the best part is, the leftovers on day two were just as good, if not better than the dish that was fresh out of the oven!

Give the recipe a try and let us know what you think.

Great Gluten Free Mac & Cheese

8 oz Gluten Free Elbow Pasta (Barilla and HEB brand have a great consistency)
4 Tablespoons gluten free flour mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 Tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups good quality cheddar cheese (The better the cheddar, the better the Mac & Cheese)
1/2 cup gluten free breadcrumbs (I typically make my own but in a pinch, Ian’s Gluten Free Panko Breadcrumbs will do the trick)

  • Preheat oven to 400¬ļF.
  • Cook and drain elbow pasta according to package directions; set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
  • Add GF flour mix, mixed with salt and pepper to butter, whisking until well blended.
  • Gradually stir in milk and cream, stirring constantly.
  • Bring to a boil (stirring constantly) and boil for 2 minutes.
  • Reduce heat and cook 10 minutes (stirring constantly).
  • Gradually add shredded cheddar cheese and simmer an additional 5 minutes, or until all cheese is melted.
  • Turn off flame.
  • Add drained elbow noodles to cheese mixture and toss until well combined.
  • Transfer Macaroni to a buttered 9″ baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until top is golden brown

*For a more gourmet Mac & Cheese you can add shredded chicken breast and turkey bacon before baking…amazing!!

Enjoy and don’t forget to leave us a comment telling us what you think!

Patriotic Fruit Pizza – Gluten free

Fruit Pizza

With Independence Day just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what delicious dessert you’ll be taking to the neighborhood picnic. This patriotic fruit pizza will check all the boxes. Portable…check. Gorgeous…check. Delicious…check. And the best part is, it’s easy to make!

Ingredients:
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
2 Tbsp. milk
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 oz. white baking chocolate
12 strawberries, cut in half
4 mandarin oranges, segmented
Handful of blueberries/blackberries
1/4 cup semi-sweet morsels + 1 tsp vegetable oil (optional)

Start with your favorite gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe or use a King Arthur, Berry Crocker or Bob’s Red Mill gluten free chocolate chip cookie mix. Make a GIANT cookie, 12″ is ideal. To do this, you’ll prepare the cookie dough just as you would to make individual cookies. Spread the dough into a parchment lined 12 inch cake pan or pizza pan. The dough will be relatively thin, maybe about 1/4″ thick. Bake the giant cookie at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (*cooking times may vary). If the cookie is browning too quickly but is still raw in the middle, place a piece of aluminum foil over the cookie and continue baking until the middle is cooked through. Cool completely.

Place white chocolate and milk in microwavable bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Microwave an additional 10 seconds if needed. Cool slightly. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar; mix well. Gradually stir in the white chocolate mixture and mix until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over cookie.

Arrange strawberries, mandarin oranges and blueberries over cream cheese mixture. If desired. melt chocolate chips and vegetable oil in small microwavable bowl for 30 seconds and stir until smooth. Drizzle over fruit. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving.

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Blackberry Cobbler

Blackberry Cobbler Recipe

With summer fruits in full bloom, there’s no better time for homemade cobbler! Last week my daughters and I stopped at a roadside stand for some fresh, juicy blackberries. We tinkered around with some cobbler recipes which resulted in the delicious recipe below. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Blackberry Cobbler Recipe

4 cups of fresh blackberries
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 large egg
1 cup sugar
1 cup of your favorite gluten free flour mix
6 Tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375¬į. Place blackberries in a lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish; sprinkle with lemon juice. In a medium bowl, combine egg, sugar, and gluten free flour mix bowl until mixture is in crumbs. Cover fruit with crumb mixture. Drizzle melted butter over crumb topping. Bake at 375¬į for 35 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

*You can sub fresh peaches, cherries or any fruit of your choice for the blackberries.

Gluten Free No Bake Cookies

No Bake Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

Gluten Free No Bake Cookies

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pink salt (I use kosher for a saltier taste)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 cups GLUTEN FREE quick cooking oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill GF)

Combine sugar, cocoa, milk and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for one minute, then remove from heat and stir in vanilla, peanut butter, salt and oats.

Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Allow cookies to cool for at least one hour.

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