January 31, 2009


Gluten-Free Sausage Stuffed Shells

stuffed shells

Last evening I made gluten-free stuffed shells for the first time. This is one dish my husband has really missed. Probably about six months ago I saw some Tinkyada brand shells at the health food store and quickly picked up two boxes. I was excited to find them, especially since Tinkyada is the brand I always use and enjoy. However, the shells sat in my cabinet for months. I wanted to save them for something special, but what if they didn’t turn out well? Then I couldn’t find my old recipe which my husband loved so much. Finally, I decided yesterday that I needed to do something with them. I usually make pizza from scratch on Friday nights, but I thought shells would be a nice change and a treat for everyone.

My old recipe used ricotta cheese, which I did not have on hand, and ground beef. I still couldn’t find that recipe so I decided to go with something different. This recipe is very simple, and I was surprised how quickly I put this dish together.

Before giving you the recipe, let me add a note about the shells. I cooked both boxes because some of the shells were broken, and I didn’t know how well the cooked shells would hold up. It turns out I could have gotten by with only one box, but if I were fixing this for company, I would probably want to cook some extra. The shells that were not broken held up well. I cooked them for 18 minutes, a little undercooked, since I was going to bake them. The shells seemed thick, which I guess is necessary to keep them from falling apart, and still slightly undercooked after baking. While they were good, I don’t think they are as good as wheat based shells, but I really can’t remember what those were like.

My recipe was a good basic recipe, but I missed the ricotta cheese. Maybe a better filling would make this dish a great one rather than a good one. My husband was surprised and grateful, and enjoyed his dinner very much.

Stuffed Sausage Shells



Cook the pasta shells according to instructions on the package. Brown and drain the sausage, then add the potato flakes, Parmesan and egg. Spread a little of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Stuff the shells with the sausage mixture. (I used 15 shells.) Place the shells in the dish and top each one with some mozzarella cheese. Spoon the remaining spaghetti sauce over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

If you have a stuffed shell recipe you really enjoy, I’d love to get your recipe!

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January 30, 2009


Gluten-Free Medications

It came to my mind today that some of you may not be aware of the great resource glutenfreedrugs.com. The author of the site says,

"This website is authored and maintained by a clinical pharmacist as a public service, receiving no compensation whatsoever for providing this information. Information for this website is obtained from a number of sources, including personal contact with the manufacturers and input from other individuals who contact manufacturers. The information is continually updated as it is obtained."

The site contains lists by category and alphabetically as well as a list that explains some fillers.

If you are concerned about any medications you are taking or that are prescribed in the future, this site will likely be of help.


January 29, 2009


Saving Money at Home – Windows


My husband is a real handyman. Even he will admit that he’s terribly slow, but he does a good job and saves us lots of money. Since last spring he has been working on replacing our windows as well as adding insulation and siding to the house. The windows are done and only of portion of the back of the house still needs siding.

I won’t bore you with the details, but the difference these changes made in heating and cooling our house was obvious. Of course, we did numerous things at once which contributed to better energy efficiency, but I thought I would single out the windows today.

We had old single-pane windows previously. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to now have windows that I can actually open and that tilt out for easy cleaning. However, the best benefits (though less exciting) are the energy efficiency benefits. Several things combine to make new energy star windows better than old ones. Things like double panes with a special gas in between and the low-e invisible films.

If you have inefficient windows and plan on staying in your home for a while, you might want to consider replacing your windows. Sometimes a large initial cost must be paid to reap long term benefits. If you have a handyman around like I do, the cost will be lower. I would like to note that if you have a do-it-yourself wannabe husband, windows might not be the best place to start. If the windows are installed improperly, you could end up losing the benefits you thought you were gaining.

If you can’t afford new windows, there are still things you can do to help make them more efficient. Replace broken glass, use storm windows, install weather stripping and draft-blocking devices, and repair any cracked or broken wood. More ideas can probably be found online.

For more money-saving ideas check out Frugal Fridays.

You might also want to visit my gluten-free giveaway which ends Friday night!



Cheeseburger Casserole

button-whats for dinner3

Last night I created a casserole that was similar to a stove-top recipe I have made before.  The kids liked this better.  As you can tell from the title, this is a kid-friendly recipe.  It’s not one of my favorites, but I liked it.  The kids really liked it.  You can vary the amounts of the ingredients to your taste.  I have one kid who doesn’t like a lot of cheese so I went light on that.  It could have used more.  I served it with fresh steamed broccoli which is also a kid favorite around here.

Cheeseburger Casserole Recipe

cheeseburger casserole



Brown and drain the ground beef.  Sauté the onion.  Combine all ingredients except the tater tots in a bowl.  Spread into a rectangular baking dish (about 9 x 13).  Place a single layer of tater tots on top, covering the whole surface.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

What did you have for a gluten-free dinner this week?  I’d love to hear from you!

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January 27, 2009


Starbucks Considers Gluten-Free Options

According to their Ideas in Action Blog, Starbucks is offering gluten-free food options in a few select stores as a test.  Before moving forward, they are asking for feedback and have some specific questions they would like answered.  You must sign in to leave a comment, but if you frequent Starbucks it might be worth your time to let them know your opinion.  Personally, I rarely visit Starbucks, but some gluten-free food items might lure me in a little more often.  Regardless, I’m glad they’re doing this.  If they offer gluten-free food nationwide, it will be a great benefit to the growing gluten-free community.



My Electric Teapot

One of my favorite small kitchen appliances is my electric teapot (kettle).  I keep it on the counter and use it daily.  It’s not that I’m a big tea drinker.  Sometimes I am, but I go through phases with it.  It’s that the pot is very efficient at heating water for anything. 


It’s great for drinks like tea or hot chocolate.  I especially like the fact that it’s easy for the kids to use. 

It’s great for cooking.  I always use it to heat part of the water for cooking pasta.  I also use it to get other foods started faster, like when steaming vegetables or cooking potatoes.  I often heat some water at the beginning of getting dinner started so I have it ready.

The pot I have is cordless.  The base has  a short cord, but the pot itself simply sits on the base and does not have a cord.  It holds up to 7 cups and heats the water at about 1 minute per cup.  There are different brands and styles of electric kettles to choose from.  If you’re in the market for one, I think the cordless feature is definitely worth getting.

For more great kitchen tips visit Tammy's Recipes.

If you or someone you know is on a gluten-free diet, I have a great gluten-free giveaway going on this week.


January 26, 2009


Carrabba’s Dal Cuore Nights

If you’re like me, you’re wondering what dal cuore means.  Thankfully, Carrabba’s doesn’t leave us hanging.  It means “from the heart,” and their Dal Cuore Nights are February 11th and 12th. 

Before I get to what’s special about those nights, I want to remind you that Carrabba’s has a gluten-free menu with some very good choices.  So instead of going out to dinner with your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day when restaurants will be packed, why not go a couple of nights early?  Carrabba’s is giving you some incentive.

On February 11th and 12th you can get $10 off any bottle of wine, and you’ll get a chance to win a romantic Italian cruise for two.  It sounds good to me.  My husband and I might just be visiting Carrabba’s on one of those nights. 



Giveaway - Gluten-Free Mixes!

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who entered.

I’m excited! Today is the start of a new Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival, and I have a great giveaway for all you gluten-free eaters (and their friends and family).

First, let me introduce you to AllergyGrocer.com. When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease in 2000, this company was a godsend. Their products were a good value, great quality, and I felt confident consuming them because of the clear information they provided. That’s still true today, but today they have far more to offer. Their product line has expanded and includes products from many vendors.

For this week’s giveaway, AllergyGrocer.com has kindly offered three Miss Roben's mixes to one lucky winner. All their mixes work with dairy and soy substitutes and without the yeast packet. All but four of the mixes work with egg substitutes.

To enter the giveaway, simply browse through Miss Roben's mixes and then leave a comment on this post telling me which three mixes you would like to have. Please include a way for me to reach you such as a link to a web site where I can contact you or by including your email address. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents of the 48 contiguous states, and you may only enter once. The giveaway will be open until 11:00 p.m. eastern time on Friday, January 30. I will randomly choose a winner and contact them on Saturday. I will need a response by Monday. If I don’t hear back I will contact a new winner on Tuesday.

While only one person will win this giveaway, I hope that many of you who were not familiar with AllergyGrocer.com will now have a terrific new resource. Their allergen codes will enable you to make informed decisions, and their product search and allergen “free of” search will help you find what you need.

While you’re here, take a look through my recipe index and the other tabs above. If you like what you see, why not subscribe to my RSS feed in a reader or by email. You can do so at the top of my right sidebar.

Finally, don’t forget to check out many more great giveaways at BloggyGiveaways.com.


January 25, 2009


Salmon Cakes & Sweet Potato Fries

salmon cake

I go through phases with some foods. Canned salmon is one of them. I hadn’t used it in a long time, but recently picked some up at the store. Tonight I decided to put it to use and made salmon cakes (recipe below).

I also tried out a new food item for us – Alexia sweet potato julienne fries (frozen). The ingredient list looked safe including modified potato starch and rice flour. My two older kids were not home for dinner so I didn’t get their reaction, but the three of us who ate them thought they were good. In fact, my husband usually does not eat sweet potatoes so I didn’t tell him what they were. He guessed sweet potatoes or carrots by the color and willingly gave them a try. They were a hit, and now I have a way to serve him sweet potatoes!

Gluten-Free Salmon Cakes

Combine all ingredients in a bowl then form into patties (I made five). Fry in hot oil until brown on both sides and hot through.

These were a big hit with the kids. One of boys who was not home for dinner had one for lunch the next day and said, "What was that thing I ate? Do you have more?"

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays.

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January 24, 2009


Are Blue Cheeses Gluten Free?

Not too long ago I wrote a post about eating at Bonefish Grill.  I chose one of the specialty items that evening which was topped with Gorgonzola cheese.  A reader questioned the gluten-free status of Gorgonzola and I had not come up with a sufficient answer until today.

I have subscribed to Gluten-Free Living magazine for many years, and it has been a valuable source of information.  Today I came across my back issues and decided to flip through them.  I’m glad I did because the Jan./Feb. 2001 issue had the cheese answer I was looking for!  In response to a reader’s question about cheeses, Jacqueline Mallorca quoted the Cheese Primer by Steven Jenkins, one of the foremost cheese experts in the country.

“Originally the blueing of Gorgonzola (and other blue cheeses) occurred naturally.  The instigator was a mold that lurked on the walls of the damp, drafty Valsassin caves…These days, the demand for Gorgonzola has propelled its production into the modern age of cheese making.  For the last 40 years, the cheeses have been pierced with copper or stainless steel needles and the resulting fissures allow oxygen to enter and nourish a commercially manufactured mold-producing bacteria called Pennicillium gorgonzola.  In fact, virtually all commercial blue cheeses are made in this way.”

Mallorca then goes on to say that celiacs can eat all blue cheeses except Roquefort which has mold introduced on moldy rye bread.

I hope this information is helpful to some of you.  If you are not familiar with Gluten-Free Living magazine, you will find some useful information at their web site and even more in their magazine.


January 23, 2009


Hy Vee Pulls Some Gluten-Free Products

If you live in the midwest, you might want to read this article at Chicagotribune.com about Hy Vee pulling some corn dogs and chicken bites that were labeled gluten free.



Keeping Warm in the House

We all know that lowering the thermostat in the winter saves money. The problem is staying warm while still being able to function around the house. Here are some ways I have found to keep warm without bulk. I don’t use all of these ideas at once. Since I live in Maryland where winters are not too harsh, one or two of them is often enough.

If you want to save money, try turning back the thermostat a couple of degrees and using some alternative ways to stay warm. What are your stay-warm ideas?

For more money saving ideas check out Frugal Fridays.


January 22, 2009


Coconut Muffins

Sometimes I get so caught up in trying new recipes that I forget about some of my old favorites. That’s the case with this muffin recipe. It is adapted from a recipe by Lisa Lewis. I give individual flour amounts, but you can use any gluten-free flour mix to replace the 2 cups total flour. Remember to omit the xanthan gum if it is included in your flour mix.

coconut muffins

Gluten- Free Coconut Muffin Recipe


In a mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips and coconut. In a smaller bowl combine the wet ingredients. Add to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Spoon into a muffin tin and bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes. Immediately remove the muffins from the tin and cool on a wire rack.

Makes 12 muffins.

View Printable Recipe

For more great recipes check out Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free.

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January 21, 2009


Peanut Butter Recalls

I thought this post at the Whole Foods Market Blog would be helpful to some. It gives a list of the recalled products they sell as well as a link to the FDA searchable database of all recalled peanut butter products.



Having Two Dogs

My oldest son was ten when we got our first dog. He and his seven-year-old brother had to write a paragraph for my husband about how they would take care of the dog and pick up all the poop in the yard. Our first dog was a pretty good fit for our family, but my husband never really liked him.

Several years later we dog sat for some friends of ours. She was a cute little Westhighland terrier. She had a very different personality from our beagle, and she did all kinds of tricks. The kids and I had a great time with her. Then it happened. I can still remember sitting in the living room and overhearing a conversation in the kitchen. A child said, "Daddy, do think we could get a second dog?" I was thinking, "You don't know what you're asking. There is no way." Then dad says, "I would consider it." My jaw dropped. I realized he actually enjoyed the dog we were watching.

To make a long story short, we ended up with two dogs. Our beagle is gone, but we have two wonderful miniature Australian shepherds. Here's what I like about having two dogs:

Is it twice the work? No. I can walk two dogs in the same amount of time I can walk one. Feeding two dogs only takes a little longer than feeding one. You could even schedule their annual exams at the vet at the same time.

Is it more work? Yes and no. It obviously takes a little more time in certain areas. Bathing two dogs does take about twice as long as bathing one. On the other hand, because they play with each other and chase each other around the yard, we don't have to spend as much time exercising them as we would with only one.

I don't think anyone should bring a dog into their family without giving it serious consideration. It is a big responsibility. For us, it's worth it. Our dogs are part of our family. They are not treated the same as people, but they are treated with love and respect. They add a lot to our lives, and we love each of them. We also love having two.

To find out what works for other people visit Rocks in My Dryer's Works for Me Wednesday.


January 19, 2009


Pressure Cooker Pea Soup

pea soupI have never liked peas. The frozen baby peas were tolerable, but that’s it. No big mushy peas for this girl. When I got married, I learned that my husband loved split pea soup. To me, that was the worst possible way to eat them and certainly the worst way to cook them. If you don’t like peas you don’t want to smell them cooking for a couple of hours. Needless to say he didn’t get pea soup very often. Pretty much only when a friend would give him some of their leftovers.

About 15 years into our marriage my husband bought me a Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker. I had asked for it and was thrilled to get it for Christmas. As I was looking through the recipe book, I saw a recipe for split pea soup and it only cooked for 20 minutes under pressure. I decided I could handle that, and my husband was certainly deserving of a treat. To my surprise, I took the lid off the soup when it finished cooking, and it actually smelled and looked good to me. I gave it a taste and couldn’t believe I actually liked it! I’ve been making pea soup regularly ever since. I do have one son who doesn’t care for it, but he tolerates it if he has to or makes himself something else to eat.

So my kitchen tip for today is to use a pressure cooker to make pea soup or buy a pressure cooker if you don’t have one. Before giving my recipe I should say that pea soup should only be cooked under low pressure. If your pressure cooker does not have a high and low setting, then you shouldn’t attempt to make pea soup. Also, your pot should be no more than half full, so adjust the ingredients accordingly if you have a small pot. My cooker is 5 1/4 quarts.

Split Pea Soup Recipe



Sauté the onion in a small skillet until lightly cooked. Combine all ingredients except the pepper in the pressure cooker. Heat and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Close the lid and bring to low pressure using high heat. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let the pressure come down naturally. Remove bay leaf, stir, and add pepper to taste.

Leftover soup will be very thick the next day. You can thin it with more broth, water, or milk if desired.

Split pea soup can very easily be made gluten free. Check your chicken broth ingredients (I make my own or use Pacific brand) and make sure the ham is gluten free.

For more Kitchen Tip Tuesdays visit Tammy's Recipes. For more great recipes visit Blessed with Grace - Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.



Uno's Offers Gluten-Free Pizza Nationwide

SinceI was away last week this news is a bit old, but if you haven't heard, I think it's exciting. Uno's Chicago Grill had such a good response to their gluten-free pizza trial that they are now offering it nationwide. The pizza is available in cheese and pepperoni. I plan on giving it a try soon and will let you know what I think.



Celiac News Article with Dr. Fasano

The Baltimore Examiner ran an article last week, Doctor unraveling mystery of celiac disease, which I thought was worth reading. One topic discussed is the difference between celiac disease, allergy, and intolerance. In comparing celiac disease to wheat allergy Dr. Fasano says,

"Treatment is more than saying, "You have to avoid the food that contains the material that offends you. But if you by any chance are exposed to it, it's not a big deal because you will pay the price on the spot. You will feel bad, and it will go away."

An autoimmune disease will have a cumulative effect over time. You can end up in a very unpleasant situation [with] possible co-morbidities [such as rheumatoid arthritis].

The article includes a nice picture of Dr. Fasano and some personal information in the sidebar.
Take a look and let me know what you think.

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I'm Back!

I thought I would give you an update on my week long blogging break. Our family went to a ski resort in Virginia's Shenandoah mountains. Thanks to some friends we got a great deal on a condo and there were several other families/friends there the same week. We all had a great time.

My two older boys snowboard and the rest of us ski. I had not skied in almost 20 years so I was a bit apprehensive about trying it again. I was thrilled to find that I picked it up without any problems. Skis have changed over the years, and I find the new shorter skis much easier to use. Except for an encounter with the ski lift that I had, no one was hurt, and I only needed a day to rest.

We didn't have Internet access (we weren't willing to pay $10 per day) so it was a real computer break too. I don't think of blogging as work, but it was nice to not think about the things I normally do at home.

Besides skiing, playing games, watching movies, and visiting with friends, we got to see some wildlife. The living room of our condo overlooked a wooded area. We saw deer numerous times including a group of 12 who wandered through the condo parking area grazing. We also saw a fairly large black bear who liked to frequent the dumpsters. He wasn't bothered by us at all and walked past us as we stood on our porch watching him about 20 feet away. We called security and they chased him off, but first he took a bag of garbage out of the dumpster. That was pretty exciting.

I hope you all had a good week. I'll try to get back into the blogging groove and I hope to hear from some of you!

January 16, 2009


Celiac Disease and Gluten-Free Living Resources

I have mentioned this before, but it’s worth mentioning again. The Children's Digestive Health and Nutrition Foundation web site has some useful resources. Here are several.

This 32 page slide presentation is full of pictures, charts, and information about celiac disease. It was used by Dr. Fasano when I heard him speak several months ago, and is well worth the time you take to look through it. It might be a bit overwhelming and technical for someone newly diagnosed, but the rest of you should have a look.

The following two resources are great for newbies:

The Gluten-Free Diet Guide for Families is an eight page PDF color document. It includes information about getting started on a gluten-free diet and living a gluten-free life, a shopping guide, nutritional information, resources, and more.

Celiac Disease is a two page PDF document with basic information about celiac disease.

There is lots of information available to us on the Internet, but I think it’s important that we find accurate, reliable information. I hope these links help you in doing just that.


January 14, 2009


Articles on Grains and Celiac Disease

During my break I thought I would provide you with some reading material. I have not read these articles entirely (at least not recently), so I can’t vouch for whether all the information is current. They were written by a retired research chemist who worked for the Agricultural Research Service, and I believe they are worth at least skimming for information that would interest you.

When I was diagnosed in 2000, information on celiac disease was not abundant as it is now. One of the first articles I found and read on the Internet was by Dr. Donald Kasarda entitled Grains in Relation to Celiac (Coeliac) Disease (1999). It is informative, but a bit technical which some people like. If nothing else, it’s worth taking a look at this Plant Taxonomy in Relation to Coeliac Toxicity chart.

In 2003 Dr. Kasarda wrote an article Celiac Disease and Safe Grains. Its objective is, “to review the relationship of wheat, rye, and barley, the harmful grains in celiac disease, to other grains that might suitably be included in the diet of celiac patients.” Among other topics, it includes information on sprouting and malting, alcohol derived from wheat, and wheat starch.

A third article by Dr. Kasarda is entitled What We Know About Grain Safety (2004). Its objective is, “to review the relationship of the harmful grains in celiac disease to other grains that might suitably be included in the diet of celiac patients and to discuss how the proteins of these grains relate to celiac disease and allergy.” It includes several plant taxonomy charts.

Take a look and let me know what you think.


January 12, 2009


Gluten-Free Grain Nutrition Facts

Periodically I like looking over the nutritional information of various grains. It reminds me that variety is always a good thing, and sometimes it encourages me to try something new. I included wheat (which is not gluten-free) for comparison sake. This is a basic chart which does not include vitamin facts. I’ll provide links below where you can find that information.

Amaranth1823.25 10.2532.254.57
Brown rice1711.253.2535.751.53.75
Wheat (not GF!)1581132.755.757.5

I compiled this table from information at recipetips.com. The amounts given are for 1/4 cup of dry grain.

More comprehensive information can be found from a PDF file, New Horizons for Whole Grains and the Gluten-Free Diet, by Carol Fenster and Shelley Case. At Nutrition Analyser you can click on an individual grain and get a long list of nutritional information.

What are your favorite gluten-free grains?


January 11, 2009


Taking Another Break

I'll be taking a blogging break this week. I have a few celiac/gluten-free posts scheduled to run on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but no recipes. Enjoy your week. I will do the same and tell you about it next week.

January 10, 2009


Biscottea Launches a Line of Gluten-Free Shortbread

Biscottea is launching a new line of gluten-free tea flavored shortbread cookies in three flavors.  The thing that impresses me about this announcement is that each batch of  gluten-free shortbread is tested for gluten by an independent testing agency.  To read more see this press release.


January 9, 2009


Being Frugal - Links to Some Ideas

This week I thought I would provide you with some interesting links on being frugal. In doing so, I do not endorse everything on these web sites or even within the link. I do, however, think there is valuable information there. These are listed in no particular order.
  1. 17 Ways to Get Free Books

  2. Ideas for Saving Money on Eating Out

  3. The Cheapest Fruits and Vegetables Month by Month

  4. 5 Tips for Landscaping on a Budget

  5. 12 Frugal Exercise Ideas

For mor frugal ideas visit Biblical Womanhood's Frugal Fridays.


January 8, 2009


Favorite Chicken Breasts

chicken breast - favorite

This is a very easy gluten-free dinner, and my kids rave about the chicken. I usually have a bag of frozen chicken breasts in my freezer. They are nice to use when I need a simple meal.

Favorite Chicken Breasts

Put a little Italian salad dressing and a little olive oil in the bottom of a rectangular baking dish. Place the frozen chicken breasts in the dish and add a little of the salad dressing and olive oil on top. Sprinkle the chicken pieces liberally with powdered ranch dressing mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 - 1 hour or until done.  If using chicken that is not frozen, your baking time will be much less.

Note:  You can buy powdered Ranch dressing mix in packets. I have a container I get at BJ’s Wholesale which is more economical.  Remember to check the ingredients of your salad dressings to make sure they are gluten-free.

I let the chicken sit for 5 minutes or so, then I cut the breasts in thin strips with my electric knife. The kids, as big as they are, really like having the meat sliced for them. As I said, they just love this chicken. It is moist and flavorful.

For the rest of the dinner, I served steamed asparagus with a little butter and salt, and quinoa cooked in chicken broth with a little garlic and onion.  What special, yummy, or easy dinner did you have this week?

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January 7, 2009


Egg and Pasta Casserole

Here is my casserole creation for the week. I intended to go to the grocery store today, but it has been pouring down rain so I decided to wait until tomorrow. Since I hadn’t gotten any meat out of the freezer, I had to give some thought to my protein options. I decided on eggs and cheese because I had plenty, and we love them. I combined the eggs with pasta and my own sauce. The sauce amounts given are just an estimate; I didn’t measure the ingredients.

egg & pasta casserole 2

Gluten-Free Egg and Pasta Casserole


Sauce egg & pasta casserole


Combine the pasta, eggs, and cheese. In a separate bowl, combine the sauce ingredients. Add to the other ingredients and toss to coat. Spoon into a medium sized casserole dish (2 1/2 – 3 quart). Sprinkle some additional cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

This was very good. As I said, we love eggs, and this casserole was just another great way to eat them!

So what did you have for dinner?

Visit The W.H.O.L.E. Gang for more egg recipes.

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Free Blogging Software

I might be behind the times on this one, but I only recently found Windows Live Writer. I haven’t been using it for long, but so far I have found it to be very useful. It’s a free download that allows you to compose blog posts from your desktop. You can easily insert photos, links, tables, etc. I particularly like the way I can easily move and resize pictures, as well as add various borders to them. You can preview your post which shows you how it will look on your actual web page. I have found that the Blogger preview is not truly accurate, maybe because I have changed my template. You can save posts to your blog as drafts, or publish them directly from the program.

There are also plug-ins which I haven’t taken advantage of yet. They include Flickr upload, Digg This, and Twitter notify. The Twitter notify automatically makes a tinyURL and sends a tweet about your new blog post.

I have only highlighted some of the features. Windows Live Writer works with Blogger, Wordpress, Type Pad, and more, so go check it out. It might make your life a little bit easier!

For more great ideas visit Rocks in My Dryer's Works for Me Wednesday.


January 5, 2009


Create a Gluten-Free Casserole

The winter is a great time for making casseroles. It’s cold enough that you don’t mind heating up the oven, and the food is tasty and comforting. I don’t understand why some people loathe casseroles. Maybe they have only tried ones that aren’t very good. If you are a casserole hater, I’d honestly like to hear from you. What is it you dislike?

Casseroles have several benefits. Besides being good food as I mentioned above, casseroles are very economical. Inexpensive ingredients can be used as well as leftovers. Casseroles are also an easy way to feed a group of people. One casserole that does not have a bad reputation is lasagna. It feeds a lot of people, they love it, and you can prepare it ahead of time. Casseroles are flexible. That’s the focus of this post. You can almost always put together a casserole with food you have on hand, even when you think you absolutely have nothing to eat.

There are six possible parts to a casserole. That seems like a lot, but remember I said possible. Only three parts are necessary. You need a sauce, and you need at least two of these three categories: protein, starch, vegetables. Unless I’m eating something like beef stew or a soup, I don’t like all three in one casserole. The exception would be using vegetables such as onions or peppers as flavoring. In that case they are counted as seasoning/flavoring and not vegetables. I like starch and vegetable casseroles (like rice and broccoli), starch and meat casseroles (such as a sausage noodle casserole), and meat and vegetable casseroles (like chicken and broccoli). I just don’t like all three together. You might be different, however, which is why you should create YOUR OWN casseroles!

Here are the six categories and some ideas to get you started. I will use amounts just to give you an idea of how much, but the amount can be varied according to taste and what you have on hand. These amounts would be used to make a casserole that fills a 2 or 2 1/2 quart baking dish. If using a protein, starch, and vegetable, cut amounts to about 1 1/2 c. each. These ingredients should all be cooked before going into the casserole.




Sauce – While cream soup (cream of chicken soup) is the most commonly used sauce in casseroles, there are many other options. Some of these do not sound appetizing by themselves, but think combinations. Total volume should be about 2 cups, but can be much less if using something like salad dressing.


Topping – Use enough to cover the top of the casserole. Should be added during the last 10 minutes of baking
Ingredients can be layered or mixed together (except the topping) and put into a greased casserole dish. If layering, put the sauce on top of any protein, starch or vegetables. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Now get creative and have some fun, and let me know how it goes. You might not be thrilled about everything you try, but you also might come up with a family favorite. If you’re using ingredients you like, it will be hard to go wrong. It might be fun to pick one night a week when you will try putting together a new casserole. I might try that myself!

For more ideas see Kitchen Tip Tuesdays at Tammy's Recipes and Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays at Blessed with Grace.


January 2, 2009


Pamela’s Bread Mix Name Change

I do almost all my baking from scratch.  The one exception is using Pamela’s Bread Mix.  I make some bread from scratch, but I haven’t made any that is as good as Pamela’s.  The mix makes a beautiful, well rounded, soft and moist loaf of gluten-free bread, and it stays soft for days.  For those of you who also enjoy using Pamela’s Bread Mix, I thought you might be interested in this announcement.

Pamela’s has changed the name of their popular bread mix from Pamela’s Wheat-Free Bread Mix to Pamela’s Gluten-Free Bread Mix.  Nothing has changed about the ingredients.  Wheat-free was originally used because the term gluten-free was not well known.  Now that it is well known, and many more people are on a gluten-free diet, the name change will be helpful.  For more information visit Pamela's Products.  On the left side of the page click on Announcements & PR, then click on Pamela’s Gluten-Free Bread Mix Name Change – 2008.



Hash Brown Casserole

hash brown casserole

Recently I found a recipe at Gluten-Free Simplicity which I decided to try.  I made some changes, mostly I simplified it, but the original recipe is worth viewing.  I decided to omit the vegetables and cook some separately.  I substituted turkey sausage for the ground sirloin and used Ore Ida frozen hash browns that come in a bag and are not patties.  I used a three cheese blend and simply layered the hash browns, sausage, and cheese  and then repeated the layers in a rectangular casserole dish.  I baked it at 350 for about 45 minutes.  (I did not thaw the hash browns.)  We had it for dinner, but my version would make a great breakfast casserole.

Happy New Year to everyone!

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