December 31, 2010


Make a Gluten-Free Biscuit Challenge

Monthly Challenge7 It’s the last day of December and time to think about January’s gluten-free challenge.  Breads are certainly one of the biggest challenges of gluten-free baking.  Biscuits, however, are on the easier end of the bread spectrum.  For this challenge I would like you to make a gluten-free drop biscuit or rolled biscuit.  Biscuits are typically a quick bread that does not use yeast.  For the record, I won’t be highlighting dinner rolls; this challenge is just for biscuits.

Yeast gives breads a nice flavor, but the advantage of using baking powder and/or baking soda is that it’s fast.  If you have a bread lover in your family, biscuits can be a quick way to satisfy that craving.  I like using them as a quick accompaniment to soup or as part of an eggs and sausage type breakfast meal.

I don’t have many biscuit recipes on my site.  Our favorite is this drop biscuit which turns out delightfully soft.  I have tried rolled biscuits numerous times and have never found one I am happy with.  I might continue experimenting this month with the hopes of finding something worth sharing.

Drop Biscuits
drop biscuits
How to Share Your Biscuits:  Any Wednesday in January you can come to this blog and link your biscuit recipe as part of Gluten-Free Wednesdays blog carnival.  Please follow the carnival guidelines.  Each week I highlight entries from the previous week that are related to the monthly challenge.  That means that in January I’ll be highlighting biscuit recipes.

If you are not a blogger, feel free to send me an email and tell about your biscuits.  If you would like to write up your recipe and send it to me along with a photo (use good lighting but no flash), I will consider posting your recipe on my blog.


December 28, 2010


Gluten-Free Wednesdays 12/29/10

Gluten-Free Wednesdays2

I hope everyone had a great week and enjoyed their Christmas.  I sure did.  We spent most of the week with my sister and her family.  I prepared a number of cookie and bread mixes ahead of time so I could do some gluten-free baking while I was there.  Using a hand mixer made it a bit challenging, but everything turned out great. 

Giveaway:  I currently have a gluten-free apricot oatmeal giveaway going on that you don’t want to miss.

Monthly Challenge:  December is coming to a close and I hope to have January’s challenge posted soon (maybe Friday).  December’s challenge is to make a gluten-free cookie.  Cookie entries submitted this week will be highlighted next week. 

Last Week’s Highlights: Here are the cookie recipes that were linked up last week.
Cashew-Goji Bars from Fresh Healthy Cooking
Cinnamon Peanut Butter Cookies from Marine Corps Nomads
Brownie Covered Oreos from Sugar and Spice
Apricot Almond Refrigerator Cookies from Andrea’s Kitchen
Cherry Almond Coconut Kisses from The Mommy Bowl
Lemon Meringue Cookies from Extraordinary Life
Flourless Spiced Chocolate Macaroons from Easy to be Gluten Free
Chocolate Chip Cookies from Losing Creek Farm
Guest Posts:  This week Ellen from gluten free diva shared her chai chocolate nog latte with us. 

My Submission:  I don’t have a new recipe of my own this week, and so I’m submitting an old one.  This festive appetizer is naturally gluten and dairy free and is very popular.  It would make a great New Year’s Eve appetizer.

Cran-Apple Salsa
cran-apple salsa

The Carnival:  If you’re new, please read the guidelines.   Thanks for participating, and please leave a link back. 

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Apricot Oatmeal Review & Giveaway

Simpli apricot oatmeal
I was recently contacted by Simpli to try their new gluten-free apricot oatmeal.  I’m so glad I did try it.  This instant oatmeal is perfect for a cold winter morning.  It’s warm and creamy (even without milk) and has a delightful apricot flavor.

You know my first concern, though, is always to find out what a company does to produce a gluten-free product and avoid cross contamination.  Here is a quote from their gluten-free process page where you can learn more:
At Simpli, we take extra care to make sure our oats are certified gluten free and never contaminated by contact with other grains. Our oats are sustainably grown and harvested in fields dedicated to oats, processed and packaged in facilities used exclusively for oats. This rigorous quality control allows us to deliver the highest quality gluten-free oat products.
The apricot oatmeal contains oats, apricots, sugar, and salt.  It has 4 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. 

I love the simplicity of the ingredients.  While I don’t usually use instant anything, there are times when it is useful.  The oats are ready in a jiffy and the fruit is already in there.  Personally, I would prefer they omitted the sugar.  An unsweetened oatmeal would allow me to add the amount and type of sweetener I desire.  Other than that, I loved the oatmeal.  Each box contains five servings in individual packets.  So far I have only eaten it as oatmeal, but Simpli also suggests using it in granola, pancakes, cookies, and smoothies.

The Giveaway

One winner will receive four boxes of Simpli gluten-free apricot oatmeal.  To enter you must be a U.S. resident, and you must leave a comment on this post.  Leave a separate comment for each entry.  Please make sure I have a way to contact you.  Up to four entries per person:
The giveaway will end on Monday, January 3rd at 11:00 p.m. eastern time.  After the winner is contacted, I  will announce the winner on my Facebook page.

Disclaimer:  I was sent free boxes of oatmeal to sample.  The opinions in this post are my own.

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December 27, 2010


Chai Chocolate Nog Latte

This is a guest post from Ellen Allard of Gluten Free Diva.

Ellen's latte
I love egg nog. But since my tummy doesn’t love dairy these days, alternatives are most welcome. Have you had Silk Pumpkin Nog? Making knock-off foods can be tough, but this one is fabulous. It tastes just like the egg nog you love and remember so well.

If you’re new to the world of allergy-free cooking, please let me encourage you to be brave. There are so many ways you can adapt recipes that might otherwise not be usable for you. Start slowly. Find recipes that only require one tweak to be safe for you to eat. Gradually you will work your way up to being able to make multiple adaptations to recipes so that you can eat them and have a happy tummy.

I made a few changes to the recipe. (You can find it at Ricki’s Diet, Dessert and Dogs blog.) Nothing monumental though. I modified the name from Rich and Creamy Chai Carob Latte to Chai Chocolate Nog Latte. I used chocolate chips instead of carob. I used agave (1 tsp) instead of stevia. And I used Silk Pumpkin Nog instead of the milk called for in the recipe.

Here’s the list of all the ingredients I used. You can follow the directions that Ricki provides in her recipe.
Ricki’s original recipe for Creamy Chai Carob Latte is a hands down winner, and I have to modestly say that my adapted recipe for Chai Chocolate Nog Latte falls into the same category, though I might not have created it without Ricki’s inspiration. The only thing that would elevate it to total red carpet stardom would be to dunk a few cookies into the chocolatey pool.
Ellen Allard profile pic  Ellen Allard ( is a freelance food writer and recipe developer specializing in gluten free recipes. She teaches gluten free baking and cooking classes that help empower people to learn to live a happy and healthy gluten free life. She is also part of a nationally touring musical duo with her husband - they perform concerts for young children and families and present keynotes for Early Childhood teachers on the importance of music for young children.


December 24, 2010


Merry Christmas & Surfing Saturday

I know it’s only Friday, but since tomorrow is Christmas Day, I thought I would post these links a day early.  I hope all my readers who celebrate Christmas have a wonderful day enjoying delicious gluten-free food and time with loved ones.  Merry Christmas!

Gluten-free buckwheat crackers pass test
Disney World Ads Branch of Babycakes

Cooking/Recipes (not necessarily gluten-free but adaptable and/or inspirational)
Garlic Feta Cheese Dip
Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes (only uses 1 tsp. flour)
GF Amaretti Cookies

Homemade Sugar Scrub Recipes
Moveable Magnet Calendar

Your Passwords Aren't as Secure as You Think

Animal/Nature Photos or Videos
Flower Picture
Kissing Squirrels
Baby Animals


December 21, 2010


Gluten-Free Wednesdays 12/22/10

Gluten-Free Wednesdays2

Welcome back to Gluten-Free Wednesdays.  I hope you will join in the fun by visiting the links and adding your own.  If you receive this post by email or in a feed reader, remember to click over to my blog to see the links.  Link submission is open until Thursday night so come back and check for more links.

Monthly Challenge:  December’s challenge is to make a gluten-free cookie.  Entries submitted this week and next week will be highlighted.  You guys are doing a great job so far.

Last Week’s Highlights: There were lots of delicious cookie entries last week.
Coconut Pineapple Macaroons from Gluten Free & Loving It
Almond Cherry Cookies from Fresh Healthy Cooking
Gingerbread Stars from Sugar & Spice
Sugar Cutout Cookies from Sugar & Spice
Almond Macaroons from Sugar & Spice
Cherry Chocolate Macaroons from The Pink Cowgirl
Oatmeal Spice Cookies from Elegantly, Gluten-Free
Ginger Cake Cookies from Glugle Gluten Free
Guest Posts:  Last Friday I had a guest post from Cheryl Harris with some terrific Healthy Gluten-Free Holiday Tips.  This week I have a guest post from Gina with a great looking Gingerbread House.

My Submission:  I have one more cookie entry for this month.

Sugar Cookies
sugar cookies baked

The Carnival:
  If you’re new, please read the guidelines.  All entries must leave a link back.  Failure to do so could mean that your submission gets deleted.  Thanks for participating!
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December 20, 2010


Gluten-Free Gingerbread House

This is a guest post from Gina who blogs at Chronicles of a Canadian Twentysomething.
Gina's Gingerbread House 
As a kid, I was never interested in learning to bake or cook, but 3 years ago I found out that I have to avoid gluten. At first, figuring out how to make things from scratch was purely a survival technique, but it quickly became a passion and sharing it with others is a huge part of the joy.

So this year while I’m home, I’m cooking dinner for my parents and doing the holiday baking. The first project to tackle: a gingerbread house. We’ve never made one as a family (since I was an infant) and never from scratch, so this is completely new to us. worked! I’m very pleased and I hope you will be too! It takes a couple of days and at times it’s a 2-3 person job, but definitely worth the effort. I’ve never laughed so hard in my life.

Did you know Ziploc bags of icing can demonstrate some degree of flatulence? Ma n’ I had tears running down our faces. Sigh.

I used the techniques and base recipe of Hillbilly Housewife, with the purpose of seeing if it would convert to gluten-free, without crumbling.

Gina’s Gluten-Free Gingerbread House

To make the gingerbread dough:
Cream together:
1 cup butter (or 3/4 cup Shortening for dairy-free)
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
(use a mixer, unless you’ve got Hulk-like biceps).

2-3 Tbsp molasses
6 eggs
Mix on low speed until combined.

6-7 cups Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose flour
(You can use your own GF mix but for those who don’t have many different flours, this works too!)
2 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp guar gum
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp ground nutmeg

Mix until combined. The flour will be VERY sticky with 6 cups of flour, so add a little more. Sprinkle a LOT of flour on your counter/cutting board and make sure the dough is coated before kneading. Another person adding flour when needed is helpful. Knead until smooth and fingertips should leave indentations in the dough when pressed. Place in a bowl and cover overnight.

Gina's gingerbread dough
The next day, after cutting pieces of paper to your desired measurements for the house, roll out dough (again, you’ll need more flour), and use the paper to trace and cut pieces of dough (we used a pizza cutter, very easy). We cut out the square end-pieces and roof peaks separately. However, while “gluing” the pieces together, I thought it might be a lot easier to make the ends all one piece (wall + peak). If you try that method, I’d love to hear how it turned out!

Grease and flour (even non-stick) cookie sheets and carefully transfer cut-out pieces. Bake at 325F for 15-20 minutes.

*If you’re making ginger-snaps with leftover dough, turn heat up to 350F and reduce the time. Cool separately on wire racks (overnight or until firm...we couldn’t wait so we glued them after about 8 hrs).

Gina's gingerbread
For the icing: use 3 egg whites, 1 ½ tsp cream of tartar and 4 ½ cups powdered sugar. Beat until stiff.

We had to make 2 batches (1 for gluing house + licking, 1 for decorations + licking).

If you have kids...make extra. ; )

Scoop into a Ziploc bag with a hole snipped in one corner (make sure it’s sealed otherwise!) and pipe icing out onto gingerbread edges. This is another point where you’ll need extra hands. : )

Leave to dry and then decorate!

This recipe worked GREAT with gluten-free flour, and I will definitely feel comfortable using other combinations of flour now that I know how it should look. If you work with a kitchen scale (I hope to have one soon!), this mix is 136 g/cup. So as long as the mix you use works out to that weight per cup, you should be alright! : )

*If you want to use this dough JUST for gingersnaps, you may want to reduce the baking soda (they puffed up too much) and add another Tbsp of cinnamon (and take out the nutmeg if you wish). Roll the dough into 2” x 1.5” loaves and keep refrigerated until firm. Cut into slices with a sharp knife and bake!

Thanks Linda for letting me share my gingerbread adventure with your readers! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! : )
Gina is the author of Chronicles of a Canadian Twentysomething. Aside from singing in a choir and working in a plant science lab, she is currently studying to become a Registered Dietician in Montreal, Quebec. Her dream (aside from dietary counseling), is to someday own and operate a gluten-free/allergen-free bakery. Until then, she enjoys learning new techniques and coming up with recipes in her spare time.


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