October 30, 2009


The Gluten-Free Homemaker on Facebook

For some time I’ve had a personal Facebook page, and while a few of my friends from the blogging world are my friends there, most of them are family and friends who I see face to face.  I’ve decided to keep that as a personal page, and I doubt most of my gluten eating family and friends want to hear about my gluten free blog recipes and ramblings.  That’s why I created The Gluten-Free Homemaker Facebook fan page!

I’ll be posting links to any new blog posts as well as other updates.  I’ve decided to remove the “What’s for Dinner” widget from my side bar since I’m having trouble remembering to update it.  However, I hope to post “What’s for dinner?” updates on Facebook and would love for you to comment with what you are having for dinner.  Facebook is also a place where we could get some discussions going, so please use the link below to become a fan.  I really consider you friends, but for this type of page they use the word fan.  What can I do? 

You can go to this page and become a fan or click on the button in my side bar.

October 29, 2009


Easy Apple Strudel (sort of)

I’ve been so fixated on pumpkin this fall that I haven’t done much with apples.  Apples are not my favorite fruit to eat raw, though I do like them with peanut butter.  I enjoy them most when they are cooked, whether they are part of a sweet dessert like this one, or simply sautéed with onions.  I almost left the cinnamon out of this recipe.  It is hard to imagine an apple dessert without cinnamon!  Luckily, I did remember in time.

Once again, I adapted this recipe from Mennonite Country-Style Recipes and kept the word strudel in the title.  However, it is not a real strudel because it is not a pastry.  It is very similar to an apple crisp, but instead of mixing the dry ingredients with butter, they are mixed with an egg.  I cut down on the sugar and increased the flour, gluten free of course.  Although it still contains a total of one cup of sugar, this recipe does not use any fat.  It didn’t taste real sweet and we liked the doughy topping for a change.

Gluten-Free Apple Strudel

apple strudel 4
Peel and thinly slice the apples.  Place them in a sprayed 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Sprinkle 1/2 c. sugar and the cinnamon on top. 
apple strudel 1
 Combine the flour, 1/2 c. sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.  In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg.  Add the egg to the dry ingredients and mix with a fork to make a crumbly mixture.  Evenly distribute this over top of  the apples.
apple strudel 3apple strudel 2

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the apples are tender.

Labels: ,

October 27, 2009


What can I eat that’s gluten free?

What can I eat

Welcome to this weekly blog carnival that’s all about giving you ideas for what you can eat if you are on a gluten free diet.  Click on the links below and/or add your own.  If it’s is your first time linking up, you can read the guidelines here.

This week’s recipe is one I pulled out of my archives.  It’s pretty similar to last week’s chili and cornbread, but with a Mexican twist.  It uses taco seasoning mix.  Many seasoning packets you find in the store contain wheat, so always be sure to read the ingredients.  McCormick brand has been gluten free (double check), and I buy a container of it at BJ’s.

Unfortunately, that container I bought is stronger than the mild flavored packets I was buying.  My youngest son isn’t fond of it, so until last weekend I hadn’t made this recipe in a while.  I was thrilled to find that he liked the casserole, saying that eating the cornbread with it helped cut down on the strength of the spices.  I’ll definitely be making this one more often.

Mexican casserole

Gluten-Free Mexican Casserole

Reminder:  The first Wednesday of each month has a theme.  Themes are only a suggestion, but are fun to do.  Next week the theme is soup.

1. Gina (Tomato Sauce)
2. Iris: Spicy Chicken Tacos (and a giveaway)
3. Kim, The Food Allergy Coach (Flourless Pancakes)
4. The Happy Housewife ~ Beans and Rice
5. Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free (Chicken Spinach Pesto Soup)
6. GingerLemonGirl - Potato & Spinach Enchiladas
7. Clara, Gluten Free Onion Rings
8. Chelsey ~ White Wine Marinara Rosee over GF Pasta
9. Lauren of Celiac Teen (Poached Eggs)
10. Brian (GF Chicken Fried Steak)
11. Chaya - tomato mac and cheese
12. Chaya - Faith's Salad
13. Shirley @ gfe--gluten free easily--Crockpot Jambalaya
14. Gluten Free Gidget ( Halloween-y Pumpkin Bean-y Soup)
15. Suzy Johansen (chocolate mocha smoothie)
Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.



Mexican Casserole

This post is linked to Friday Foodie Fix at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang.  Stop by to see more  recipes with beans.

I’m reposting this recipe from over a year ago.  It’s a great one and many of you may not have seen it yet.
When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease, Mexican casseroles were an easy gluten-free replacement for the casseroles I used to make. They were new to us, though, so it seems that every week I had a new one to try. After a while the kids got confused about which was which (they were trying to rank them), but they pretty much liked them all.

Yesterday I was not in the mood to fix our usual Friday night pizza dinner, and I was wondering what I should fix that wouldn't disappoint the family. While looking through some Frugal Friday posts, I found my answer. Thanks to Ship Full O' Pirates for this great dinner idea. I modified her recipe just a bit and here's what I came up with.

I used a cast iron pot for cooking everything on the stovetop and baking it in the oven. Not only does it make great food, it's easier to have the one item to clean up. If you don't have one, just put everything into a casserole dish.  A square or round dish would be best.  I think a rectangular one would be too big, but if that’s all you have, you can reduce the baking time.

Gluten-Free Mexican Casserole

Mexican casserole

Brown the meat and sauté the onion. Drain.  Add the taco seasoning and 3/4 c. water. Simmer 5 min. Add the beans and stir to combine. If you are using a casserole dish, transfer the meat mixture to the dish.  Sprinkle with cheese. Mix together the cornbread and spread on top. Bake at 375 degrees about 30 minutes or until cornbread is done. Enjoy!

Labels: ,

October 25, 2009


French Bread Rolls Again

It’s funny how the little things can make a big difference in how difficult a recipe is viewed in my mind.  My wonderful French bread isn’t hard to make at all, and doesn’t take much time compared to making a loaf of bread. But I do have to get out the special pan, divide the dough, and shape it.  On the other hand, my French bread rolls can just be scooped up with an ice cream scoop and plopped on a cookie sheet.  Really, there is very little difference in time, but for some reason the rolls seem so quick and easy.  I can have them made in 35 minutes, and I don’t even have to remember to preheat the oven.  They have become a favorite.

I was down with the flu all last week and am still getting over it, but I was determined to put dinner on the table every night.  I had frozen some leftover ground roast beef which I used for spaghetti one night, but there was still quite a bit left.  My husband suggested beef sandwiches so I put together some French bread rolls and served them with the beef in the middle and broth on the side for dipping.  Unfortunately, the beef just wasn’t the best, which led son #2 to say, “Okay mom, you’re not allowed to get sick any more.”  Son #3 thought they were good, though, as did I, and son #1 isn’t picky.  Food is mostly fuel to him.  With good roast beef on these sandwiches they would have been great, and it was a quick meal.

I’m writing about the rolls again because I’m always experimenting with recipes and trying to increase the amount of whole grain.  This time I decreased the potato starch by 1/2 cup and increased the sorghum and millet by 1/4 cup each.  The rolls turned out just as well as they did before, so that’s the recipe I’m sticking with.  If you don’t have both sorghum and millet, try using just one.  My French bread recipe uses only sorghum so I’m sure that would work fine.  Since I increase the amount of whole grain in this recipe, I’m submitting it for this week’s Slightly Indulgent Mondays at Simply Sugar & Gluten Free.

Here is the recipe with the changes.
French bread roll - cut

Gluten-Free French Bread Rolls


3/4 c. sorghum flour French bread rolls - dough 
3/4 c. millet flour
1  c. potato starch
1/2 c. tapioca starch
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tb. sugar
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 1/2 Tb. instant yeast 
1 Tb. olive oil
3 large egg whites
1 tsp. cider vinegar
1 c. warm water (105 – 115 degrees) 

In the bowl of your mixer, combine the dry ingredients. Add the olive oil and egg whites and mix to incorporate. Add the vinegar and most of the water. Beat for 2 minutes, adding the remaining water if needed to make a soft dough. (I held back 2 Tb.)

Using an ice cream scoop or spoon sprayed with non stick cooking spray, scoop the dough onto a large greased cookie sheet.  Spraying the scoop helps, but I had to re-spray every couple of times.

Put the cookie sheet into a cold oven.  Set the temperature at 400 degrees and bake about 25 minutes, depending on the size of the rolls.  The rolls should be light brown on the outside.  Remove from the cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack.

View Printable Recipe


October 22, 2009


Gluten-Free Pumpkin Recipes

Since the theme of this week’s Friday Foodie Fix is pumpkin, I thought I would put together a collection of my gluten-free pumpkin recipes.  There are a lot of other great pumpkin recipes out there these days, and you will find more soon when Heather puts up this month’s collection of “Go ahead honey, it’s gluten free” recipes.  You fill find it at her blog, Life, Gluten Free.

Pumpkin Pudding (sorry, no picture)


Pumpkin Spice Muffins


Pumpkin Pie


Pumpkin Roll

What is your favorite way to eat pumpkin?


October 20, 2009


What can I eat that’s gluten free?

What can I eat

Welcome to this weekly blog carnival that’s all about giving you ideas for what you can eat if you are on a gluten free diet.  Click on the links below and/or add your own.  If it’s is your first time linking up, you can read the guidelines here.

Fall is my favorite time of year, and one reason I like it is because I can start making food that I didn’t make over the hot summer months.  I really prefer cold weather foods like soups, stews, and casseroles.  I like cornbread, rolls, and other things that have to be baked.  I’m definitely enjoying the fall weather and getting back to meals like this:


Our Favorite Chili


Comforting Corn Bread

I look forward to hearing what you all have been cooking up!

Reminder:  November 4 has a soup theme.  This was changed from snack, thanks to Brenna’s great suggestion.

1. Alea @ Premeditated Leftovers (Swiss Steak)
2. Alea @ Premeditated Leftovers (frosted pumpkin cookies)
3. Ari@Food Intolerances Cook (Mini Chicken Meatloaves& How to make ground chicken)
4. The W.H.O.L.E. Gang- Pork and Vegetable Spaghetti Arrabiata Recipe
5. Gluten Free Gidget (Poulet and Potatoes)
6. Kim, The Food Allergy Coach (Kale Chips)
7. Amy @ SS&GF - Pumpkin Dog Biscuits - GF!!
8. Shirley @ gfe (Cheesy Chicken Zucchini Bake--gf or gf/df)
9. Heather @CeliacFamily (Cilantro Lime Shrimp)
10. Alisa (Grain-Free Cauliflower "Risotto")
11. ATXglutenfree pork with POM wonderful sauce
12. Brian (GF Pumpkin Cheesecake)
13. Iris at The Daily Dietribe (Basil Thai Noodles)
14. Lauren of Celiac Teen (Turkey Pot Pie)
15. Gina (Pesto)
16. Naomi
17. Naomi (blueberry pie - use the crust for other pies!)
Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.


October 19, 2009


Our Favorite Chili

We don’t eat beans too often around here, but chili is one way we like to eat them.  We also don’t like real spicy food, so this recipe is not hot.  Saturday was cold and rainy here.  I served this chili along with gluten free cornbread, and it simply hit the spot.

Gluten-Free Chili

Cook the meat and onion in a skillet until the meat is done.  Add the garlic and sauté a couple of minutes.  Combine all the ingredients in a pot and simmer about 30 minutes.  You can leave it uncovered if you want some liquid to evaporate.  You can also cook this in the crock pot on high for 3 hours or low for 6 – 8 hours.

Spoon into serving bowls and top with cheese if desired.

This recipe is linked to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace.

Labels: ,

October 18, 2009


Pumpkin Pie – Totally From Scratch

pumpkin pie sliceI have to admit, I was quite proud of this pie when I made it.  I’ve never been one to make pies.  I can remember learning the basics from my mom, but she didn’t make pies very often.  I did get to eat wonderful pies when I went to my grandma’s house (on my dad’s side), but she died when I was seven, so I never learned her secrets.

This fall I made up my mind to make a pumpkin pie from scratch—including the crust and the pumpkin filling. Of course, making something from scratch doesn’t necessarily make it good, but this pie was GOOD.  The crust was flaky and had a nice flavor, and the pumpkin filling was so much better than when made with canned pumpkin.  I’ve never been a big fan of pumpkin pie, so that wasn’t something I missed when I went on a gluten-free diet.  At Thanksgiving my husband and kids usually have the opportunity to eat store bought pumpkin pie that a family member buys.  My youngest son said he never liked those pies, but that this pie was really good.  I agree.  I can’t explain the difference, it is just much better.

My inspiration for this pie came from Phoebe at Cents to Get Debt Free.  I used her instructions for cooking the pumpkin.  I don’t have a canning size pressure cooker, but mine worked fine by placing half the pumpkin in, then cutting the other half in half to fit around the first piece.  She also gives other methods of cooking the pumpkin.

mashed pumpkin
This picture shows the cooked pumpkin.  I simply scooped it into a bowl and mashed it up with a potato masher.  It was soft enough that by the time it was mixed with the other ingredients and cooked, there were no lumps.

I cooked the pumpkin first, then started on the pie crust.  You can view the gluten-free pie crust recipe here.  You can, of course, use a premade crust and/or canned pumpkin if you like.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie

Ingredientswhole pumpkin pie
Combine all the ingredients using a fork to mix them together.  Pour it into an uncooked pie crust.  Bake at 400 degrees 45-50 minutes.  Let cool (at least mostly) before cutting.

I wish I had timed myself making this.  Aside from the bake time, it didn’t take very long.  As you can see, the actual pie recipe is pretty easy.  I will never again be intimidated by the idea of making pie from scratch (at least not pumpkin pie)!


The October edition of “Go ahead honey, it’s gluten free!” is hosted by Heather at Life, Gluten Free. She has chosen a pumpkin theme.  Stop by at the end of the month to see more great pumpkin recipes.

This recipe is linked to Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Mondays at Simply Sugar & Gluten Free.

Labels: ,

October 17, 2009


Celiac Disease – The Future

This post is fourth in a series.  You can read the first three posts here:

Celiac Disease – A Little History
Celiac Disease – Three Causes
Celiac Disease & Leaky Gut

There are approximately 110,000 people in the U.S. diagnosed with celiac disease.  According the the prevalence study done by the Center for Celiac Research, there are 3 million people who actually have the disease.  The incidence of celiac disease is also increasing over time and seems to double every 17 years (along with other autoimmune diseases).

Screening everyone for celiac is not cost effective, but screening symptomatic people is. As many of you know, going for years without diagnosis is costly both financially and in the price your body pays.  Early detection saves money and is better for everyone.

Point of Care Test – This pregnancy type test for celiac disease is available in Canada.  Dr. Fasano does not see it as being a good alternative for diagnosis for the average person.  He sees its uses as being limited to needing a diagnosis in the middle of nowhere, or for someone already diagnosed  to see if they might be getting cross contamination somewhere.

Diagnostic algorithms – These could be used in the future to avoid biopsy.

Prevention – A study on children (with a first degree relative with celiac) is in the early stages to determine if introducing gluten into a diet later (12 months rather than 6 months of age) allows the immune system to develop more fully and prevent the development of celiac disease. 

Drug treatments – There are a number of clinical trials going on in different parts of the world.  Each addresses the problem at a different stage in the process.  The gluten free diet  address stage zero.  If you don’t let gluten enter the body, the other steps cannot take place.  This is still the best treatment for celiac disease. Other treatments being tested include a vaccine, and enzymes found in bacteria which would break down gluten so it was not seen as a problem.  Gluten is a protein that is not completely digested by anyone.

The drug being tested by Alba Therapeutics here in the U.S. (I took part in the trial in 2006) is aimed at fixing the problem of leaky gut.  They are in phase III of the trials, so the drug has come a long way in the process of being approved, but at this stage, only 2 or 3 out of 20 drugs are actually approved.

If approved, it is a drug that would be taken before eating.  Dr. Fasano sees its uses as being limited to: a) people such as teenagers who will not comply with the diet, b) being used as a safety net when eating in somewhat risky situations c) being used for an occasional piece of birthday cake.  He would not recommend it to be used in place of the gluten free diet.

Dr. Fasano encouraged us more than once to not complain.  In the spectrum of autoimmune diseases, celiac disease is the one to have.  Because the environmental trigger is known, we have an effective, drug-free treatment in the form of the gluten-free diet.  Let’s all take heed and be thankful.

This is the last post in this series.  For more information as well as detailed pictures, read Dr. Fasano’s article in Scientific American entitled “Surprises from Celiac Disease.”


October 16, 2009


Gluten-Free Pie Crust

Before I was on a  gluten free diet, I found pie crusts to be intimidating.  Since then, I have considered them out of the realm of possibility for my skills.  In recent months, though, I’ve been wanting to give it a try.  I did, and I was amazed that my first attempt turned out beautifully.

For my crust, I modified this gluten free recipe.  The first time I made it I used the amount of butter this recipe calls for (1 1/2 sticks).  It worked well, and because of all the butter was a bit like shortbread.  It tasted great of course, but I tried the recipe a second time and cut the amount back to 1 stick.  It still worked great so I’m sticking with that.  I love the buttery taste, but not all the calories!  A few of these pictures are from the first crust, but it looked about the same.

Gluten-Free Pie Crust Recipe

I made this crust by hand in a mixing bowl.  It should also work well in a food processor.   Combine the dry ingredients.  Add the cold butter, cut in chunks.  Use a pastry blender (you can probably get by with a fork) to cut the butter into the flour until you have pea size or smaller lumps.  Add the egg.  Beat it a little with a fork and then mix it in with everything.  Add the ice water and mix it in.  At this point, the dough does not look like it will hold together. Mine looked like this:

pie crust dough 1 Use your hands to press the dough together and it will look like this:
pie crust dough 2If it is still very crumbly and will not hold together, add a little more ice water, about one teaspoon at a time.  Try pressing it together after each addition.

Place the dough on a pastry mat, silicone baking mat, wax paper or parchment paper.  I used a silicone baking mat.  The width of it was just big enough.  Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the dough and use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 10 1/2 to 11 inch circle.  The edges will be ragged.

pie crust rolled out  At this point, it is ready to go into the pie plate, except that it has gotten too warm.  Mine was sticking to the mat.  We want the butter in the dough to stay cold, so I picked up my mat and placed it in the freezer for a few minutes.  You could also put it in the refrigerator while you work on the pie filling.

Once it is chilled, it should come off the mat pretty well.  If it breaks and cracks as you put it into the pie plate, that’s okay, pressing the cracks with your fingers will take care of it.  I flipped the mat over onto the pie plate, and then pressed the crust down into the plate.   pie crust 2
pie crust 3
There should be some overhang around the edges which you can cut or break off.  I rolled out this extra and added some cinnamon and sugar, then rolled it up and baked it with the pie, but not as long.  Finish the edge of the pie how you like.  I didn’t spend much time on it because it is not as easy to work with as a gluten crust.
whole pumpkin pie Now you are ready to add your filling and bake the pie.  I used this crust for a pumpkin pie, so no top was needed.  I’m not sure how well this would would work.  Trying to place strips on top would be tricky because they would break easily.  Adding a whole top might be the easiest if you could just flip it over on top of the pie filling.  Let me know if you give it a try.  I’ll probably be doing an apple pie some time this fall.
The pumpkin pie recipe will be coming up next!

Labels: ,

October 14, 2009


Blog Layout Poll

I recently changed my home page so that it no longer shows full posts, but rather a summary of each post with a link to "continue reading."   I have found that in visiting other blogs, I don't like having to scroll through complete posts to find what they have been writing out recently.  I like having the summaries to scan and choose from.  That is one reason I changed my layout.  The other reason is that is gives me an increased number of page loads (people having to click on another page to read the full post), which increases my earnings from FoodBuzz.

I have come to learn from other bloggers, however, that many readers do not like post summaries because they don't want to click to finish reading.  I would like to know what MY readers think. Please take a minute to participate in this poll.  Thanks!

Do you prefer full posts or post summaries on my home page?

Full posts


It doesn't make much difference to me


pollcode.com free polls



Celiac Disease & Leaky Gut

This post is third in a series.  You can read the first two here:

Celiac Disease – A Little History
Celiac Disease – Three Causes

The average person has 20 feet of intestines.  The intestines are covered by a single layer of cells. The total surface area of the intestines, made up by those cells is 3,000 square feet – about the size of a tennis court.  Yes, all that surface area is crammed inside you.

Medical students used to be taught that the cells were like ceramic tiles, glued together by grout. Through a study that didn’t go as expected, Dr. Fasano helped discover that the cells were not separated by “grout” as they thought, but rather by “gates.”

Zonulin is the name given to the molecule that opens and shuts the gates.  In a healthy individual these gates will open and close quickly allowing certain things to pass through.   When there is too much zonulin, such as in celiac disease, the gates stay open, and large molecules such as gluten, pass through where they should not.

Once through the gates there are two immune responses.  The first is the innate immune response which occurs quickly, such as an allergic reaction to a bee sting.  It is your body’s immediate response to a problem.

The second response is the adaptive immune response.  This is the long term solution to a problem.  In the case of celiac disease, it is the adaptive  response that develops antibodies so the innate response does not have to react every time.

Celiac Disease vs. Gluten Intolerance

Celiac disease engages both the innate and adaptive immune systems.  Antibodies are developed by the adaptive system.  These are the antibodies used for celiac screening.  In a person that is gluten intolerant, they have the leaky gut problem which causes symptoms (many the same as celiac symptoms), but it stops with the innate immune system.  Antibodies are not developed and intestinal damage does not occur.
My final post in this series will be Celiac Disease – The Future.


October 13, 2009


What Can I Eat That’s Gluten Free?

What can I eat
Welcome to this weekly blog carnival that’s all about giving you ideas for what you can eat if you are on a gluten free diet.  Click on the links below and/or add your own.  If it’s is your first time linking up, you can read the guidelines here.

We had some new participants last week and ended up with 15 entries.  If you didn’t see them all, be sure to take a look.  You can find that post here.  Thank you to those who did participate!

I am making a slight change to how I post my idea for “What can I eat that’s gluten free?”  I’ll will now be posting my recipe on Tuesdays and linking to it in this post.  That allows me to link the recipe to other carnivals also.

cornmeal crust pizza

My submission this week is cornmeal crust pizza.

I look forward to reading your ideas and recipes.

1. Lauren of Celiac Teen (Pumpkin Cupcakes)
2. Iris at The Daily Dietribe (Chocolate Cake
3. Brian (GF Meatloaf)
4. Gluten Free Gidget (Fire Roasted Tomato Soup)
5. Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free (Petite Pumpkin Loaves w/Currants)
6. Kim, The Food Allergy Coach (Veggie Fritters)
7. Jen @ Feeling Better Gluten Free (Pumpkin Cookies)
8. Ari-Food Intolerances Cook (My New Favorite Whole Grain GF Bread)
9. Trish @ Gluten Free in SLC (Ranch Pork Chops GF)
Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.



Cornmeal Crust Pizza

Here is yet another recipe adapted from  Mennonite Country-Style Recipes & Kitchen Secrets by Esther Shank.  It is one of my favorite cookbooks.  Of course, I have to modify recipes to be gluten free, and I often modify them to be healthier, but many of the recipes are just the kind of thing my family loves.

My family has come to expect and anticipates having pizza on Friday nights, but sometimes I just don’t have time to prepare it.  A quick crust pizza such as this cornmeal crust is never the same, but it’s better than nothing so they settle for that. 
What we didn’t like about this pizza:
What we did like about this pizza:
Once you adjust your thinking and don’t expect it to be a “real” pizza, it’s quite good.  I’m sure some toppings would make it even better.  This just happened to be one of those evenings when I was satisfied to put something edible on the table.

Cornmeal Crust Pizza

Combine the dry ingredients by whisking them together in a medium bowl.  Add the milk and oil and stir well.  Press the mixture into the bottom of a sprayed jelly roll pan using your hands or a spatula.  Press it up the sides of the pan a little to contain the toppings.
Combine the tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and garlic powder, or use a premade pizza sauce. Spread this over the crust.  Top with some shredded cheese and whatever toppings you choose.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.  Though these are not gluten free carnivals, you might find some naturally gluten free recipes or inspiration for a new gluten free recipe.


October 12, 2009


Celiac Disease – Three Causes

This is the second in a series of posts.  You can read the first one here:
Celiac Disease – A Little History

As an autoimmune disease that targets the gut, celiac disease has three causes.  According to Dr. Fasano, all three need to occur for a person to have the disease.

Three Causes

1. Environment – Celiac disease is the only autoimmune disease for which the environmental factor, gluten, is known.  For this reason, studying celiac disease may bring answers that are helpful in treating other autoimmune diseases.

2.  Genes – Hundreds of genes are involved in developing celiac disease.  If you think of them all as being pieces to a puzzle, one of those pieces has been identified.  In order to develop celiac disease, an individual must have DQ2 and/or DQ8.  Having one or both of those genes does not mean an individual will develop celiac, but they do have one piece of the puzzle so it is possible.  Not having one of those two genes, however, does mean that a person cannot develop celiac, because they are missing a piece of the puzzle.

3.  Mucosal Barrier (or Leaky Gut) – For celiac disease (and other autoimmune diseases) a third cause seems to be that of a leaky gut.  Having the genes and the environmental factor do not by themselves cause celiac. That is because gluten must pass through the intestinal wall in order for the genes to react.

Many traditional doctors do not believe that leaky gut is a real problem, while other non traditional doctors says it is at the heart of every problem.  Dr. Fasano believes the answer is in the middle of those two extremes.  Tomorrow’s post will cover leaky gut in more detail.


October 11, 2009


Orange Coffee Cake

This coffee cake was really delicious.  My oldest son is not a foodie.  He eats to fill his stomach and doesn’t care a whole lot about the food itself.  So I was surprised when he made it a point to tell me, “That cake is good.”  I love the soft texture the sorghum and millet flours give this cake as well as the orange flavor provided by the juice and zest.

I adapted this recipe from Mennonite Country-Style Recipes.  I cut the sugar in half both in the cake and in the topping.  I substituted butter for shortening, and obviously made it gluten free.  I’m submitting this recipe as part of Simply Indulgent Mondays – Fabulous food made a little bit healthier.  Stop by for more great recipes and a chance to win a giveaway.

Gluten-Free Orange Coffee Cake

With your mixer, cream together the sugar and butter.  Add the eggs and beat until fluffy.  Combine the dry ingredients and the zest, and separately combine the wet ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients to the mixture in the mixing bowl. 

Spread into a greased/sprayed 9 x 13 inch baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until tester comes out clean.  While it is baking, combine the topping ingredients.  Spread the topping over the hot cake and broil a couple of minutes until lightly browned.

Labels: ,


Celiac Disease – A Little History

Dr. Alessio Fasano is the director of the Center for Celiac Research in Baltimore.  Lucky for me, I live in Maryland and have heard him speak at support group meetings a number of times over the nine years I’ve had celiac disease.  If you ever have the chance to hear Dr. Fasano speak, take it.  He is humorous, and has an ability to take technical medical information and make it understandable for the average person.  He also uses lots of pictures which I find helpful. 

Dr. Fasano spoke at our support group meeting Friday night and I want to pass some of the information on to you.  I will do it in four parts over the course of this week.

The Banana Babies
One interesting bit of history that I had not heard before took place in the 1930’s.  Here in the U.S., parents of young children who presented with symptoms of celiac disease would take their children to the doctor.  If he was sharp, the doctor recognized it as a particular digestive problem.  The parents were then asked to leave their child at the hospital for six months.  (Yes, 6 months!)  While at the hospital, the children were fed nothing but bananas.  That’s right.  Bananas and only bananas for six months.  Some of them got better, others didn’t make it.  They became known as the banana babies.

How the Gluten-Free Diet Began
It was a Greek scientist who first described this disease of the gut and gave it a name, but it wasn’t until after World War II that the cause of  the problem was found.  A pediatrician in the Netherlands noticed the mortality rate among children affected by celiac disease dropped from more than 35% to almost 0% during the war.  At the time, there was a shortage of wheat so corn flour was used instead.  When the war was over, and wheat was used once again, the doctor observed that the mortality rate rose to its previous height.  It was later discovered that gluten was the offending part of the grain and was also found in rye and barley.

Come back tomorrow for part 2: Celiac Disease – Three Causes.


October 10, 2009


Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to the winners of this week's giveaways.

Christi won the fruit snacks giveaway, and Kate from Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom won the Once a Month Cooking book.

Thanks to everyone who entered.


October 6, 2009


French Toast – What can I eat that’s gluten free?

What can I eat
This week’s edition of “What can I eat that’s gluten free?” has a breakfast theme.  But don’t worry, if you have a different type of post to link up, that’s fine too.  If you’ve never participated before, please read the guidelines here.

A couple of years ago my husband was on a business trip and staying at a hotel.  A couple of their French customers were also there.  One morning he told the lady from France that she should try the French bread because it was really good.  She ended up explaining that in France it is called lost bread because they use bread that is old and bad--lost to all other uses.  When she learned that we use perfectly good bread, she gave it a try and was pleasantly surprised.

As a gluten-free baker I often have lost bread.  Not because it is old, but because it is too dry or too wet and has sunk in the middle.  I don’t let it go to waste, though, and French bread is one of my favorite ways to use it.  Here’s an example of French toast made from one of those sunken loaves.

French toast
I don’t have a recipe.  I just mix some egg, milk, salt, and sometimes cinnamon in a bowl, dip slices of bread in the mixture and fry it on a skillet.

A few of my other breakfast recipes are:

imageBaked oatmeal
imageBelgian waffles

imageBreakfast casserole

Please add your link below and visit the others to see what great things there are to eat that are gluten free!


1. The Happy Housewife ~ Potato Soup Healthy & Delish!
2. Trish @ Gluten Free in SLC (Grilled Glazed Chicken Drummies)
3. The W.H.O.L.E. Gang- Bacon Weave Hash Brown and Egg Stack Recipe
4. Gluten Free Gidget (Kimchi Nori Rolls)
5. Celiacs in the House (Breakfast Bowl)
6. Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free (Chicken Gumbo)
7. Pam (product reviews)
8. Heather @Celiac Family (banana coffee cake)
9. Elizabeth (chocolate chip pancakes)
10. Jessie @ Blog Schmog (mushroom soup)
11. Brenna Kater, the Oceanskater (GFDF Crepes)
12. Iris at The Daily Dietribe (Hearty Apple Cinnamon Waffles)
13. Lauren of Celiac Teen (Quinoa Flake Waffles)
14. Shirley at gfe (Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole and Volcano Pancake)
15. Chaya -Rice Kugel Muffins

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.



What can I eat that’s gluten free? September Review

What can I eat

“What can I eat that’s gluten free?” is a weekly blog carnival hosted here at The Gluten-Free Homemaker.  The goal of this carnival is to provide people with gluten-free meal ideas.  Below is a summary of all the links from September. If you have not participated before, I hope you will join us in October.  You can read the guidelines here.

Thank you to everyone who participated.  I love hearing your ideas each week!

The theme for November 4th is snacks.

September 30 – Italian Chicken

1. The Happy Housewife (Spaghetti Squash)
2. Brian (Firehouse Boneless Pork Ribs)
3. Gluten Free Gidget ( 15 Minutes to Garlic Bread)
4. Amy Green @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free (Homemade Chicken Stock)
5. The W.H.O.L.E. Gang (Chili Shrimp/Chicken w/Avocado Salsa)
6. Jessie (Pizza Please)
7. Kim, The Food Allergy Coach (3 GF recipes from Nicolette Dumke's new book)
8. Janelle (Gluten free noodles)

September 23 - Chicken Parmesan

1. Brian (Braised Chipotle Chicken w/ Herbed Rice)
2. The W.H.O.L.E. Gang (Roasted Balsamic Chicken with Figs & Onions)
3. Wendy (Almond Flour Crackers/Quiche Crust)
4. Kim, The Food Allergy Coach (Stuffed Cabbage Soup)
5. Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free (Spiciy n Sweet Chili & Skillet Cornbread)
6. Jessie at Blog Schmog (Bread)
7. Lauren of Celiac Teen (Mom's Chicken Fingers)

September 16 - Cube Steaks

1. Amy Green @ SS&GF (Ratatouille & Chickpea Pancakes)
2. The WHOLE Gang (Chicken Fricassee Gluten Free and Dairy Free)
3. Kim, The Food Allergy Coach (Spaghetti Squash w/ Peas & Bacon)
4. Rachel (Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken)
5. Cheryl@SomewhatCrunchy (One-Pot Potato Meal-NOT HEALTHY)
6. Ellen at I Am Gluten Free blog (Crockpot Whole Turkey)
7. Janelle (Hungarian Goulash)
8. Mikki (Chili)

September 9 - Chicken & Mushrooms with Lemon Sauce

1. Brian (GF Hamburger Buns)
2. The WHOLE Gang (Boeuf Bourguignon Burger)
3. The Food Allergy Coach (Chicken Fried Steak & Oven Sweet Potato Fries)
4. Gluten Free Gidget ( Spaghetti Minus the Spaghetti)
5. Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free (Tomato Basil Pantry Soup)
6. Jessie (Tomato Soup Too)
7. Gluten Free Taste of Home (Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Thai Peanut Sauce)
8. Mikki (Pork Loin with Apple-raisin sauce)
9. Rachel (Asian Lettuce Wraps)
10. Trish (Quick BBQ Pork Ribs)

September 2 (appetizer theme) - Deviled Eggs

1. Gluten Free Taste of Home (Blackberry-Blueberry Crumb Pie)
2. Jessie (Fast Food)
3. The Food Allergy Coach (Ratatouille)
4. Gluten Free Gidget ( Veggie Sushi Bowl)
5. The WHOLE Gang (Posole New Mexican Stew)
6. Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free (Chunky Banana Flax Muffins)
7. Heather (Avocado Salsa)
8. Brian (Caramelized Onion Dip)
9. Mikki (Caprese)
10. The Daily Dietribe (Ginger Coconut Vegetable Soup)


October 5, 2009


Pumpkin Spice Muffins

After a shortage, I finally found canned pumpkin at the store last week.  I ended up with some leftover from this recipe, and my dogs were thrilled to have it as a treat.  The rest of us greatly enjoyed the muffins.  They rose nicely and had a soft texture.

Because these muffins were to be eaten for breakfast, I purposely did not put much sugar in the recipe.  You can add more if you like, but I didn’t get any complaints. I was out of nuts, but would have enjoyed them in this recipe.   Remember, you can substitute a gluten-free flour mix for the total amount of flour that I use in a recipe.  Regular flour will probably work well also, just omit the xanthan gum.  A milk substitute should work as well.

pumpkin spice muffins

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Dry Ingredients
Wet Ingredients
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients and stir well with a large spoon or spatula.  Make sure all the flour mix is wet.  Soon into 12 sprayed or greased muffin cups and bake at 375 degrees for about 18 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Remove to a wire rack and cool.

View Printable Recipe

This recipe is linked to Slightly Indulgent Mondays at Simply Sugar & Gluten Free, and Cupcake Tuesday at Hoosier Homemade.  Stop by to see more great recipes (not necessarily gluten free, though).

Labels: ,


Once a Month Cooking Giveaway

cookbookcover This giveaway is now closed.

The other week I received the new Once a Month Cooking Family Favorites cookbook.  I first heard about the idea of once a month cooking years ago.  It always interested me, but I was never willing to bite the bullet and do that one big cooking day.  After reading this cookbook, I’m convinced I should give it a try.
Let me explain what once a month cooking actually means.  It’s about having dinner meals planned, prepared (usually partially), and frozen.  Obviously, some cooking has to take place later because we don’t eat frozen food.  Some foods don’t freeze well such as pasta or rice, so those parts of the meal are cooked the day they are to be eaten.  The main dish, however, is cooked and ready to be reheated, or prepared and assembled, ready to be cooked.

This cookbook provides a number of different menu plans including a two-week gluten-free cycle.  For each cycle you are provided with a menu chart  that shows you at a glance what meals you have frozen, how many people each recipe feeds, ingredients that are needed at serving time, the type of meat used and the cooking method.  There is also a column for “serve with” notes.

Next, you are given a pantry list that includes things you probably have on hand, such as herbs and spices, butter and eggs, and freezing supplies.  Any items you don’t have should be added to the shopping list, which is also provided.

Instructions for assembly are given which take you step by step through food preparation (chopping, browning meat, etc.) to preparing and freezing the individual recipes. 

I didn’t have as much time as I had expected to try the recipes, but I did try a few.  Aside from the gluten-free cycle,  I found that many of the recipes can be easily made gluten free by substituting one or two ingredients, and some are naturally gluten free.

I thought the gluten free cycle had too many chicken recipes (7 out of 14), but like I said, there are lots of other options in this book.  The lists and instructions are done by cycles, but with a little extra planning you could create you own cycle, or omit a few recipes that don’t appeal or can’t be made gluten free.  I know I’d be happy with 25 frozen meals.

The recipes I tried turned out very well and everyone liked them.  The first two were not part of the gluten-free cycle, but the roast chicken was.  I did not freeze the dinners, but used the cookbook like any other cookbook.  The recipes were easy to make and delicious.
vegetable & meatball soup
The first one I tried was Vegetable Soup with Meatballs.  I want to mention that I found frozen turkey meatballs at Aldi’s grocery store.  It was the Fit & Active brand they carry.  The meatballs weren’t the best, but they weren’t bad either.  If you can’t find gluten free meatballs, you will have to make them from scratch.

southwestern egg casserole

The second recipe I tried was the Southwestern Egg Casserole.  It is a meatless dish, but contained plenty of dairy.  It had lots of flavor and was very filling.  The next time I make it, though, I will cut the amount of butter in half.

roast chicken

Lastly, I tried the Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme Chicken.  It turned out flavorful and moist.  It’s not unusual for me to roast a chicken with olive oil and herbs, but I particularly liked the addition of Parmesan cheese to this recipe.

I have an extra copy of Once a Month Cooking Family Favorites to give away.  If you would like to enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post telling me if you’ve tried once a month cooking or not.  The giveaway is open to residents of the 48 contiguous United States.  It will end on Friday, October 9 at 11:00 p.m. eastern time.

You can visit the Once a Month Cooking website for tips and a free one-week cooking cycle. If you would like to purchase the book, or take a look inside, you can do so at Amazon.

This giveaway is linked to a Fall Giveaway Carnival at Heavenly Homemakers. Stop by to find more great giveaways.  Celiac Support Network has the same giveaway going on this week.  Stop by for another chance to win.

In the near future I will be giving away a santoku knife from Accent Furniture.  Be sure to check back to enter the giveaway.

small orange rss icon

f you like what you see, please subscribe to my feed

Labels: ,

October 3, 2009


Fruit Flavored Snacks Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed.

If you are a blogger and you haven’t yet joined MyBlogSpark, what are you waiting for?  As a member you will have opportunities to review new products and services and participate in giveaways, surveys and events. It’s free, and you always get to choose whether you will participate in something or not.
Here’s what I received and is being given away this time:
Fruit Snacks Prize Pack These Betty Crocker fruit snacks, Create a Bug, Fruit Roll Ups, Fruit Gushers, and Fruit by the Foot, are all gluten free.  They might be a good gluten free option for Halloween. 
My kids liked them all.  The gushers were the favorite.  As the name implies, they have a liquid fruit flavored filling.  The roll ups and fruit by the foot were good, but left the fingers sticky.  The create a bug idea is cute, and maybe younger kids would actually create a bug with the snacks.  We just ate them.
If you would like to enter this giveaway, just leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite fruit.  Please leave an email address if you don’t have a blog where I can contact you. The giveaway ends Tuesday, October 6 at 11:00 p.m.
Sue at Gluten Free with Pizzazz is having the same giveaway this week.  Visit her blog for another chance to win.
This giveaway is linked to a Fall Giveaway Carnival at Heavenly Homemakers. Stop by to find more great giveaways.

small orange rss icon

f you like what you see, please subscribe to my feed


October 1, 2009


Gluten-Free French Bread Rolls

French bread rolls 2
The other day I wanted to make rolls to go with dinner, and I decided to use my gluten-free French bread recipe.  I made a couple of small changes, but the original recipe should work also. 

I’ve been experimenting with using millet flour, and I really like the results.  If you don’t have millet, just substitute sorghum.  These rolls were wonderful.  They absolutely taste like a “normal” bread, although keep in mind that I have been on a gluten-free diet for almost 9 years.  Everyone enjoyed these, though.  It was difficult to stop eating them.

French bread roll - cut

Gluten-Free French Bread Rolls


  • 1/2 c. sorghum flour French bread rolls - dough

  • 1/2 c. millet flour

  • 1 1/2 c. potato starch

  • 1/2 c. tapioca starch

  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1 Tb. sugar

  • 2 tsp. xanthan gum

  • 1 1/2 Tb. instant yeast

  • 1 Tb. olive oil

  • 3 large egg whites

  • 1 tsp. cider vinegar

  • 1 c. warm water (105 – 115 degrees)  

  • Instructions 

    In the bowl of your mixer, combine the dry ingredients. Add the olive oil and egg whites and mix to incorporate. Add the vinegar and most of the water. Beat for 2 minutes, adding the remaining water if needed to make a soft dough. (I held back 2 Tb.)

    Using an ice cream scoop or spoon sprayed with non stick cooking spray, scoop the dough onto a large greased cookie sheet.  Spraying the scoop helps, but I had to respray every couple of times.

    Put the cookie sheet into a cold oven.  Set the temperature at 400 degrees and bake about 25 minutes, depending on the size of the rolls.  The rolls should be light brown on the outside.  Remove from the cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack.

    View Printable Recipe

    This post is linked to Ultimate Recipe Swap at Life as Mom.


    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

    Subscribe to Posts [Atom]