Monday, November 29, 2010

Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing

1 c cranberries
1/2 c water
1/4 c sugar
4 c corn bread stuffing or dried corn bread crumbs, gluten free
1/4 c finely chopped celery
1/4 c finely chopped sweet onion
2 T dried parsley
1 t dried thyme
1 t dried marjoram OR rubbed sage
1/4 t salt
Dash of pepper

Combine cranberries, water and sugar.  Boil for 10 minutes.  Add to the other ingredients.  Mixture will be just slightly wet.  Stuff up to a 15 pound turkey.

If you want to bake the stuff separate from the turkey, you will need to add enough chicken broth to make it quite moist.  Otherwise it will be very, very dry.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lemon Ginger Chicken Thighs

From Better Homes and Gardens, September 2010
35 minute cook time

1 lemon
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos
8 chicken thighs, bone in
2 tsp vegetable oil
sliced green onions and lemon wedges (optional)

(1) Finely shred peel from lemon and juice lemon.  In bowl combine the lemon peel, ginger, and salt.  In another bowl combine lemon juice, honey soy sauce, and water.

(2) Rub lemon peel mixture under the skin of the chicken thighs.  In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.  Place chicken, skin down, in the hot oil.  Cook 7 minutes or until well-browned; turn chicken and add lemon juice mixture.  Reduce heat; cover and cook 14 to 18 minutes longer or until no pink remains (180 degrees).

(3) Transfer chicken to plates.  Skim fat from pan juices, if desired.  Drizzle chicken with some of the pan juices.  Top with green onion and serve with lemon wedges.

Serves 4.


(1) I freeze my ginger as I cannot use it fast enough.  When I need fresh ginger, I just take the ginger out of the freezer and grate it with the peel.  A nice rule of thumb is 1 tablespoon = 1 inch of the ginger root.

(2) I used some Bragg's Liquid Aminos.  The main ingredient is non-GMO soy sauce which did not effect my daughter negatively.  Be very careful if you are allergic to soy.  I am not endorsing that you use this.  I am just saying that it worked for us.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Shrimp and Linguini

8 oz gf linguini
1 tablespoon butter or dairy free butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, sliced
1 - 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1 lb medium count shrimp, deveined
1/2 c dry white wine

(1)  Fix linguini according to directions.  Rinse and set aside

(2) Melt butter over medium high heat.  Add olive oil.  Add shallots and cook for 5 minutes.  Add minced garlic.  Cook for 1 minute.

(3) Add sliced mushrooms.  Cook over medium high heat until almost all the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated (about 20 minutes).

(4) Add shrimp.  Cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

(5) Add dry white wine to deglaze pan.

(6) Toss with linguini noodles.

(7) Stir in grated cheese.  Serve in preheated pasta bowls or on preheated plates with a sprig of fresh basil on the side.

I served this with a fresh salad and some freshly made garlic herb bread.

Notes:  Next time I make this will only use 5 - 6 oz of linguini as I had so much leftover.  Not all the linguini would fit into the pan and toss well at least for me.  For the butter I used Earth Balance's Soy Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free "butter".  Pecorino Romano is a sheep's milk cheese which is a great substitute for our family.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

GF Crazy Cake

This is almost identical to the other Crazy Cake recipe that I just posted.  However this recipe is egg free, dairy free, soy free AND wheat/gluten free.

1 c white rice flour
1/3 c potato starch
5 T and 1 tsp tapioca flour

3 T cocoa
1 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp white vinegar
5 T cooking oil
1 c cold water

Sift all dry ingredients into an 8 inch square greased pan. Make three depressions in four mixture and add vinegar in one depression, vanilla in the second and oil in the third. Pour cold water over all and stir thoroughly. DO NOT OVER MIX! Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

Notes: This cake really needs to be mixed by hand. A hand mixer or a stand mixer over mixes the batter and kills the leavening process between the baking powder and vinegar.

Also, the dry ingredients really do need to be sifted. This distributes the baking powder evenly and without lumps. Baking powder lumps DO NOT dissolve during the baking process and taste icky if you bite into one.

Crazy Cake

This is an awesome cake!  This is the first cake that I learned to make.  It is from the Depression Era when money was tight and supplies were limited.   It does well for people who like chocolate but are unable to eat it due to medical or allergy restrictions since cocoa is used not chocolate.

1 1/2 c flour
3 T cocoa
1 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp white vinegar
5 T cooking oil
1 c cold water

Sift first five ingredients into an 8 inch square greased pan.  Make three depressions in four mixture and add vinegar in one depression, vanilla in the second and oil in the third.  Pour cold water over all and stir thoroughly.  DO NOT OVER MIX!  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

Notes:  This cake really needs to be mixed by hand.  A hand mixer or a stand mixer over mixes the batter and kills the leavening process between the baking powder and vinegar. 

Also, the dry ingredients really do need to be sifted.  This distributes the baking powder evenly and without lumps.  Baking powder lumps DO NOT dissolve during the baking process and taste icky if you bite into one.

The next time I make this I am going to scoop the batter into cupcake papers.  Will let you know how it turns out.

Serving suggestions:  Growing up this was served with sliced strawberries and whipped cream or ice cream.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Nun's Puffs

My house smells so incredibly yummy right now with these baking in the oven!  I found these in our Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook Special Edition and had to try them.  I realize that they do NOT fit into an allergy free diet so I had to wait until I could make them and it was well worth it.  These are NOT for the faint of arm strength.  Making Nun's Puffs really works out your arm muscles!

1/2 c butter
1 c milk
3/4 c all purpose flour
4 eggs
1 T sugar
Dash of salt (optional)
Honey (optional)

Generously grease twelve 2 1/2 inch muffin cups, including the edge and around the top of each cup; set aside.

In a medium saucepan melt butter; add milk.  Bring to a boil.  Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon.  Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball that does not separate.

Remove from heat and allow to cool for five minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute with a wooden spoon after each addition or until smooth.

Divide dough evenly among prepared muffin cups, filling cups about 2/3 full.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Add a one grind of salt from a salt grinder per muffin if desired.

Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and puffy.  Remove from pan.  Serve immediately.  If desired, serve with honey.

Serving ideas:  Sprinkle with powdered sugar or a side of Nutella or fresh jam.  Another idea is to fill with a custard of some kind.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tri-Color Couscous Salad

1 c tri-color couscous
1 1/2 c water
1 c grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 c feta cheese, goat or sheep are the best
1/3 c pine nuts
1 T chopped fresh chives
1 T chopped fresh parsley

Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add couscous.  Cover for five minutes.  Remove lid and fluff couscous.  Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for five minutes.  In bowl toss couscous with remaining ingredients.  Chill.

Notes:  I used feta when making the salad this time BUT goat cheese, fresh mozzarella or cubed cheese of your choice would work as well.  Pine nuts are considered seeds not nuts but some folks react to the pine nuts after eating them.  Please exercise caution.

Chicken Saltimbocca

1/4 c fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
2 T fresh chopped chives
2 t olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 t dried oregano
1/2 t dried sage
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 slices gluten free smoked ham, cut in half
1/2 c gluten free chicken broth
1 c pasta sauce

Combine basil, chives, oil, garlic, oregano and sage in small bowl.  Lightly pound chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap with flat side of meat mallet to 1/2 to 3/4 inch thickness. Spread one quarter of herb mixture over each chicken breast.  Place ham slice over herb mixture; roll up to enclose filling.  Secure with toothpicks.

Heat skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 - 2 teaspoons olive oil to pan.  Heat oil for 30 seconds.  Cook chicken breasts, seam side up for two to three minutes or until browned.  Turn chicken and brown all other sides.  Add chicken broth; reduce heat to medium -low.  Cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken to cutting board, leaving liquid in the skillet.  Let chicken rest for five minutes.  Add pasta sauce to skillet; cook over medium-low heat until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Remove toothpicks from chicken and slice crosswise into slices.  Serve chicken with pasta sauce on top.

Notes:  I did not have any dried sage when I made this.  I substituted some summer savory which worked fine.  Another option is to use Italian Seasoning.

I used some lunch meat ham that we bought from the deli counter.  It was not smoked but still very yummy.
To keep this recipe gluten free, serve with a side of spaghetti squash.  We served this with Tri-Color Couscous Salad

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Joan's Broccoli Madness Salad

Sweet Tomatoes is one of our favorite restaurants to visit.  There is something for everyone there.  One of our favorite salads is the Joan's Broccoli Madness Salad.  Sweet Tomatoes actually posts this recipe on their website but to make it easier for everyone I have included it here along with the tweaks that I make for our family.

Serves 6-8.

1 bunch uncooked broccoli*
½ cup crumbled cooked bacon
½ cup cashews
1/3 cup raisins
¼ cup chopped red onions


1 cup veganaise
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Mix the first five ingredients in a large bowl.  In a second bowl, beat dressing ingredients together gently until smooth.  Toss the salad with the dressing approximately 10 minutes before serving to allow flavors to meld. Serve on chilled salad dishes.

*The broccoli is a loose guideline: often people have to make it a few times before they get it just the way they like it.

For our family I actually make two salads. One with regular mayonnaise and the second with Vegenaise which is egg free and dairy free but not soy free.

Pink Lemonade

This is compliments of Dacia Grace.  She found this recipe in her Highlights, June 2009 and requested we make it.  Very easy and so good.  I plan on trying it with some San Pellagrino water instead of plain water one of these days.  Mmmmm!

1 c simple syrup
1 c lemon juice (6 lemons)
1 c cranberry juice
3 c water

Combine ingredients in pitcher and stir.  Chill and serve over ice.

Simple Syrup

1 cup sugar
1 cup water

In saucepan combine sugar and water.  Heat until a boil.  Boil for one minute.  Sugar will dissolve creating a clear syrup.  Remove from heat and bring to room temperature.  Can store in fridge in air tight container for 10 days.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Garlic Chicken Stir Fry with Quinoa

This recipe can be found on the back of the Trader Joe`s Organic Quinoa box.  It is quite delicious and an easy introduction to quinoa if you have never tried it before now.

1 cup organic quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
4 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
20 leaves fresh sweet basil, julienne
Pecarino romano cheese, grated
Salt and pepper

Rinse quinoa in cold water and drain, repeat.  In 2 quart saucepan, add 2 cups chicken broth and 1 cup quinoa.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed.  Quinoa will appear translucent and will be soft.  The germ ring will be visible along the outside edge of the grain.

While quinoa is cooking, cut chicken into 1 inch pieces.  Heat large skillet over high heat and add oil.  Add chicken and saute for 5 minute until golden brown.  Add onions and bell peppers, saute for 1 to 2 minutes until peppers become slightly limp but still bright in color.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat; add basil and quinoa.  Toss until basil wilts.  Sprinkle with Pecarino romano cheese.  Serve hot.  Will serve approximately four.

Note:  I also added some toasted pine nuts to what I served at home.  For those of you unfamiliar with Pecarino romano cheese it is made from sheep's milk (Pecarino) and is a great substitute for romano.  It is somewhat more salty so I typically do not add salt to the recipe.  We are able to use it in place of a cow's romano due to a dairy allergy in the family.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Italian Seasoning

2 Tablespoons basil
2 Tablespoons marjoram
2 Tablespoons oregano
2 Tablespoons rosemary
2 Tablespoons thyme

Mix together BEFORE using as Italian Seasoning in recipes. This will keep indefinitely and is less expensive than buying it at the store.

Pasta e Fagioli

If you like the Pasta e Fagoili soup at Olive Garden, you will like this soup as well.  My recipe is lower in sodium than what you will find in the restaurant.  You can also brown the meat on the stovetop and then add all the remaining ingredients to a slow cooker if you need to do so.

1 - 2 lbs lean ground beef, Italian sausage, lamb, turkey, veal or pork or any combination
1 T olive oil (omit if using Italian sausage)
2 t Italian seasoning
1 large onion, chopped
4 carrots, sliced thin
4 stalks celery, chopped (including leaves if available)
1 28 oz diced tomatoes
2 c red kidney beans, drained (1 can)
2 c white kidney beans, drained (1 can) also called cannellini beans
24 oz gf beef broth
1 T dried oregano
pepper to taste
Tabasco sauce to taste
8 oz shell pasta
1 T fresh parsley chopped

In Dutch oven, saute meat in olive oil with Italian seasoning if needed (see above) just until begins to brown. Add onions, carrots, celery and tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Drain and rinse beans. Add to pot. Add beef broth, pepper, Tabasco sauce and chopped parsley.
Simmer until celery and carrots are tender.

In separate pot, boil shell pasta according to box instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.

When soup is ready, spoon serving size of pasta into dish and ladle soup on top. Serve with freshly grated pecorino romano cheese.


Crock pot version:  Follow all directions above OMITTING pasta.  Cook pasta separately and add to soup immediately prior to serving.

Gluten free version:  Omit pasta altogether.  It is quite tasty without the pasta.

To freeze this soup.  Cook using the crock pot version making sure to omit the pasta until prior to serving.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pineapple Curried Chicken

I created this recipe to use up the leftover Pineapple Curried Dipping Sauce from the Coconut Curried Shrimp that we had the other night.

1 butterflied chicken breast
1/3 to 1/2 cup Pineapple Curried Dipping Sauce

Rinse and pat chicken breast dry so that it will not slip on the cutting board when you cut it. Cut chicken into 1 inch strips. Place on an aluminum foil cookie sheet or the top of the broiler pan which I use. Place a scoop of the Pineapple Curried Dipping Sauce on each piece of chicken. Spread the sauce over the chicken until all is covered.

Bake at 375 until done. About 5-10 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK!

Serve with rice and a vegetable. We had this with the Baked Kale which balances out the tastes.

Baked Kale

We all know or hear that green leafy vegetables are good for us. Most of us however don't really care for overcooked "greens". This is one way of getting your serving of green leafy vegetables that tastes Y-U-M-M-Y! I kid you not!

DG was so excited to have these for dinner last night! There were no fact there were not enough to go around for seconds. :)

Baked Kale

1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
Garlic powder or dried, minced garlic

Wash kale thoroughly. I usually wash it two or three times and then finish off with a rinse in a salad spinner. Remove the thick stalk part of the leaf. Place the dried off kale into a gallon Ziploc bag. Add olive oil and sea salt. Toss until kale is completely covered. Place in a 13 x 9 baking dish with a rack. (Make sure to use a rack to lift the kale off of the bottom of the pan or it will get soggy.) Sprinkle garlic powder on to taste.

Bake at 375 for approximately 15 minutes. Halfway through the baking time, use a pair of tongs and turn the kale over. Bake until kale is crispy. :)

Remove from oven and place on a plate. Season with some freshly coarsely grated sea salt. Be careful not to add too much.

Yummy additions:

2-3 tablespoons of roasted/toasted pine nuts or
2-3 tablespoons of English walnuts


2 -3 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (Since we have dairy allergies in the family, we use Pecarino Romano which is Romano cheese made entirely from sheep's milk.)

The additions are not necessary. The baked kale is good without it but they add the WOW factor when serving company.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pineapple Curried Dipping Sauce

1 cup vegenaise
3 tablespoons pineapple ice cream topping
1 - 2 teaspoons curry powder

Mix thoroughly and chill until ready to serve. This is excellent with the coconut beer battered shrimp.

Coconut Beer Battered Shrimp

Years ago I used to live in the St. Louis, Missouri area.  I would often celebrate my birthday at the Bombay Bicycle Club which is no longer in business.  My favorite item to order was Coconut Beer Battered Shrimp.  I worked hard to come up with this recipe one day when I was particularly hungry for this dish.  This is not low in calories but worth it once in a while.


1 egg *
3/4 cup gluten free flour **
2/3 c gluten free beer or coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 c coconut
1 tsp curry
1 T sugar
1/2 to 3/4 tsp paprika
1 lb colossal shrimp (20 count)
3 c canola or vegetable oil

Clean shrimp and devein. Leave tails intact if possible. Pat dry. Place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and place in fridge until ready to batter.
Place 1/4 c flour in bowl and set aside.
Place coconut in food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped Remove 2 cups of chopped coconut to a bowl

Add egg, 1/2 c flour, beer, baking powder, curry and paprika to food processor and mix for approximately 3 minutes. Remove from food processor and set aside in a bowl

Roll shrimp in flour, shaking off excess. Completely coat with egg/beer batter. Roll in coconut. Return to the wax papered cookie sheet. When all shrimp have been coated, return to fridge for 30 minutes. DO NOT SKIMP on this step!

About 20 minutes later, begin heating oil. Your friend here is a candy thermometer. Place the candy thermometer at the back of the pan but NOT touching the bottom of the pan. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F/175 degrees C. This should take about 10 minutes.

Using metal tongs, place about six to eight shrimp in the oil at one time. Cook between 2 - 3 minutes, turning once. Shrimp should be golden brown. Place on a paper towel lined plate to blot excess oils.

Note 1: Water is NOT your friend when frying. If you have to wash the tongs being used, dry them completely before any contact with the hot oil. Also make sure that your hands are dry so no water drips into the hot oil. Water will make the oil splatter and you have a great potential to burn yourself.

Note 2: The temperature of the oil will drop when cold shrimp are placed in the oil. Increase the heat only slightly to maintain the 350/175 degree temperature.

Serve hot with a dipping sauce.

* We deal with an allergy to chicken eggs so often I use one duck egg with about 1 tablespoon of water or dairy free milk added to thin out the egg.

** To make this gluten free, substitute either brown rice, white rice or coconut flour for the all purpose flour called for in this recipe. If gluten is not an issue, regular all purpose flour will work.