POM Wonderful Dinner Party (Recap)

About a month ago I entered a contest to host a POM Wonderful dinner party.  POM would pick 100 people to host a dinner party inspired by, Pomegranates (of course).  I entered at first because Bryan and I love pomegranates, and I really wanted to try to incorporate them into some recipes other than just drinking the juice and eating the seeds.  To my surprise I got an e-mail back saying I was one of the 100 picked and I would be receiving two cases of pomegranates and some goodie bags for my guests.  After getting this e-mail I had about 9 million thoughts running through my head of what to make, how many people to invite and oh I can’t forget the decorations! After sitting back and relaxing for a little bit I decided that simple was the best way to go.

Bryan and I will hopefully be in New Jersey for Thanksgiving this year and my dad, stepmom and stepsister will all be in upstate New York, so I figured we would do a pre-Thanksgiving inspired dinner together yesterday, just the five of us. Keeping with the Thanksgiving theme our menu was as follows:


Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and a Pomegranate Balsamic Dressing


Roasted Chicken with Pomegranate Glaze

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Garlic Green Beans

Pomegranate-Cranberry Sauce



Hard Pomegranate – Apple Cider


Brownie Cupcakes topped Pomegranate Cream Cheese Frosting

Pomegranate Sorbet

Over all our dinner was great- with a few minor setbacks of having a small kitchen, sink and not being happy with my frosting!  It was nice to have my family here for a relaxing afternoon filled with football and a very tasty dinner (If I do say so myself).  Our decorations were simple – some small pumpkins in the center and on each plate was a pomegranate and an instruction card on “how to open a pomegranate”. Most of the recipes used were ones that we make often, simple yet very tasty and all 100% Gluten Free! Below are some of the recipes with photos.  (I must note that I got caught up in feeding everyone that I forgot to take a few photos, such as the roasted chicken when it came out of the oven-sorry!)

Salad with Pomegranate-Balsamic Dressing

(We usually have mixed greens and what ever else we can throw into the salad, it is completely up to you)

One -two large romaine lettuce heads, chopped (Or mixed greens)

1/2 cup sliced carrots

1/2 cucumber sliced

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (optional)

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Pomegranate-Balsamic Dressing

Salt and Pepper

1/2 cup of good olive oil

1/4 cup pomegranate juice

1/8-1/4 cup balsamic dressing

Add all ingredients to a covered jar or salad dressing mixer.  Shake well and enjoy (you can adjust the measurements to your flavor liking)

Roast Chicken with Pomegranate Glaze

1 Whole Chicken (about 9 pounds)

1/4 cup room temp butter

1 1/2 tablespoons of Seasoning of your choice – I use a mixture of rosemary, thyme, oregano and sage.

Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl mix the softened butter and herbs until well combined. Set aside

Make sure the giblets and neck are removed from the chicken cavity.  Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels.  Season with salt and pepper – also season the cavity. Place your chicken in the roasting pan and gently lift the skin using your fingers – be sure not to tear any of it.  Once the skin  has been lifted, take  half of the butter and herb mixture and spread evenly under the skin.  Take the remaining butter and herb mixture and do the same over the top of the chicken.  Place chicken in oven.  About thirty minutes into cooking add about 1 cup of chicken stock to the bottom of the roasting pan and baste the chicken.  Continue to baste the chicken every 30 minutes.  (please be sure to check the size of your chicken to determine how long it should roast for).  For a 9 pound chicken, cook for 2 – 2 1/2 hours.

During the last thirty minutes of the chicken brush it with the pomegranate glaze (see recipe below) every ten minutes, do this again when your chicken has been removed from the oven. This sauce can also be drizzled over the meat on your plate (which I did)

Pomegranate Glaze

(Very concentrated flavor, and very good)

1 cup POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice

In a small sauce pan heat the pomegranate juice over medium heat.  Simmer until juice has reduced about half, about 10-12 minutes.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

(We love mashed sweet potatoes, especially with the cinnamon added.  We tend to eat more sweet potatoes than regular ones)

1 – 1 1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1/2  – 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup soy milk

salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pan add sweet potatoes and cover with water.  Boil for ten minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.  Drain well.  Either by using a potato masher or using a stand mixer add your potatoes to a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), add butter and soy milk and begin mashing (or whisking), until smooth.  Season with cinnamon and mix again until well blended.  Season with salt and pepper.

Garlic Green Beans

(one of our favorite side dishes, quick, easy and very flavorful.  This replaces the green bean casserole on our table)

1-2 pounds of fresh green beans

3 large cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

Lightly steam the green beans until bright green yet still crispy.  Drain well.  In a medium-large pan melt butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and stir in the green beans.  Toss the green beans so they are all coated in the garlic and butter/oil sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.

Pomegranate-Cranberry Sauce

(I usually make this a day in advance)

1 Bag (12 oz) fresh cranberries

1 cup pomegranate juice

1/2 cup sugar – you can use either with sugar or packed brown sugar (I used the brown sugar this time)

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

salt and pepper

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

In a medium saucepan – over medium/high heat add the pomegranate juice and sugar. Bring to a boil.  Add the fresh cranberries, once the berries start to pop open reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally.  Cook until most of the cranberries have burst open and the sauce has thickened a bit, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and add in the pomegranate seeds.  Cool  to room temp before serving (or if you are making this in advance like I do (I think it tastes better the next day) cool completely and transfer to an air tight container.


I used the recipe on the back of the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Bisquick box.

2 cups Gluten Free Bisquick mix

1/3 cup shortening

2/3 cup milk (I use soy)

3 eggs

Heat oven to 400 degrees

Cut shortening into mix, using fork, until particles are size of small peas.  Stir in remaining ingredients until soft dough forms.  Drop by spoonfulls onto un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 13-16 minutes or until golden brown.  Makes 10 biscuits.

Hard Pomegranate-Apple Cider

(We used a local hard apple cider from Newport Vineyards, which is right down the road from us)

Serves four

3 parts hard apple cider

1 part pomegranate juice

In wine glasses (or any fun glasses you might have) add three parts hard apple cider and one part pomegranate juice and stir lightly.  Serve chilled.

Brownie Cupcakes with Pomegranate Cream Cheese Frosting

12 Brownie Cupcakes (I used the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie Mix and made them in a cupcake pan – you can use which ever brand you like).  Make these the night before so they can cool and that is one less thing to bake the day of.

Pomegranate Cream Cheese Frosting

(sadly below isn’t the recipe that I used, I made my own but it didn’t have much pomegranate flavor so I suggest using this one instead)

8 oz cream cheese softened (room temp)

4 oz butter softened

3 oz of pomegranate juice (juice from 3-4 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates,* or 1-1/2 cups POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice)

14 oz Powdered sugar

1 cup arils from 1 large POM Wonderful

Prepare fresh pomegranate juice*, score 1-2 fresh pomegranates and place in a bowl of water, break open the pomegranates under water to free the arils (seed sacs), the arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the top, sieve and put the arils in a separate bowl. Reserve 1 cup of the arils from fruit and set aside, (refrigerate or freeze remaining arils for another use), reduce the pomegranate juice, over low heat, down to 3 fl. oz., Allow to cool, place butter into electric mixer bowl with paddle attachment and cream on medium-high speed for 1 minute, add the cream cheese and continue to mix for 2 more minutes, turn the speed down to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar and the pomegranate juice reduction, mix until the sugar is fully combined, remove icing from the mixer and place into a piping bag with a round or star tip.

Pomegranate Sorbet

(I have never made sorbet before so I asked my stepmom to use her ice cream maker so I could attempt making pomegranate sorbet.  I found the following recipe online at Saveur and it is very flavorful and refreshing!)

1/2 cup sugar

3 cups pomegranate juice

1 Cup water

Place sugar, 1 cup water, and pomegranate juice in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well chilled. Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve garnished with pomegranate seeds. (This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #9)


Our table setting

Our POM Wonderful inspired meal

To make our Hard Apple-Pomegranate Cider we used a local hard cider from Newport Vineyards (It’s the best we’ve had)

A light refreshment – Hard Apple-Pomegranate Cider

“How To Open A Pomegranate”

A simple yet flavor packed and refreshing dessert – Pomegranate Sorbet

Each guest got a POM Swag-Bag which included a POM bracelet, POM recipe cards, POM pamphlet, a free coupon for a bottle of POM wonderful juice and an awesome reusable POM wonderful tote.  They also got to take home a few pomegranates.


M&M Cookies

Last night we had our first frost of the season! Took the dog out this morning and the cars were all covered and the ground was nice and crunchy – today was a baking day for sure.  In my last post I wrote about living the gluten-free life not only creatively but frugally as well.  Seeing as I am running low on all of my gluten free flours and xanthan gum I was trying to think of something to bake that didn’t require much of those ingredients and was simple to make.  I did some searching online because none of the recipes I have would of worked with what I have in the house.

Bob’s Red Mill has some fantastic recipes on their website and I found a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe by Carol Fenster that sounded pretty dang tasty.  Who doesn’t miss coming home after school and your mom having fresh baked cookies for you?! I know I do.  Seeing as Bryan is at school all day and well, I’m home I thought I would make these for him and seeing as we don’t have any chocolate chips in the house, I decided to use some of his plain M&M’s instead (I have peanut ones, and those are just too darn big for cookies).  These cookies remind me of the ones you would get at the food court in the mall at the cookie stand, crunchy and soft at the same time-they went great with a cup of soy milk!!

M&M Cookies (Chocolate Chip Cookies by Carol Fenster) (GF)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large cookie sheet or line with parchment paper; set aside.

Stir together the GF baking flour, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt; set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, beat butter (room temperature, not melted) with granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and egg; scrape sides of bowl frequently. Beat in flour mixture on low speed, mixing thoroughly. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Shape dough into flat disk, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on baking sheet, or roll into balls if dough is hard to work with. Bake 10-12 minutes on center rack of oven or until lightly browned. Cool 2-3 minutes before removing from cookie sheet. Makes 24 cookies.

P.S. – We’ve got some give aways coming up so keep checking back in the next few days!! Trust me you don’t want to miss these🙂

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

It’s not chilly here today, its flat-out cold and windy!  I think waking up this morning it was about 42 degrees, I so didn’t want to get out of bed but I knew the house needed to be cleaned and laundry had to be done.  Lately I’ve been feeling like Cinderella – YUCK!  Since moving across the country, I have yet to find a job, even a part-time job and if you know me at all I am a worker, even on vacation or when I am sick I am doing stuff around the house, cooking baking etc, I don’t know how to relax very well.  On a side note, I’m not a fan of Cinderella or many of the Disney princesses – I am more of a Belle and Mulan kind of girl.  Belle was intelligent, she read books and didn’t fall for the dumb-ass and ummm Mulan, ya she saved her country-seriously, what else could you ask for!! Now those are my kind of Disney princesses.

Back to my post🙂

Seeing as it was so chilly today, I really had the need to bake something to warm the house up a bit.  We are very determined to not turn our heat on as long as possible.  So to keep putting that dreaded day off, I will be baking and we’ll be using the fire-place.  I have really been craving cupcakes lately.  A few weeks ago I FINALLY found a box of the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix in one of the local grocery stores (it is SO hard to find around here!) so I picked up a box and tried so hard to not use it that day.  Bryan LOVES chocolate, way more than I ever will.  I’m more of a chocolate with something kind of girl (peanut butter cups, chocolate with nuts etc.).  So I thought I would make him a triple chocolate cupcake: chocolate cake, with chocolate chips and chocolate cream cheese frosting – it might be chocolate over load now that I think about it.

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

1 Package of Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix

1 Cup of Water

1 Stick of Butter – Softened

3 Eggs

2 tablespoon Espresso or Strong Brewed Coffee

1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips – I used the DF, GF, NF chips that I also used in my pancakes.

In a stand mixer combine all ingredients and mix on low-speed for 30 seconds to combine.  Mix on medium speed for two additional minutes.  Add chocolate chips and stir with spoon until they are combined in the batter. Scoop into cupcake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 18-23 minutes.

Let cool for four minutes in the cupcake pan(s) then remove and cool completely on a cooling rack.  Top with chocolate cream cheese frosting (see recipe below) and serve!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz Butter (1 stick) – softened

6 oz Cream Cheese – softened

1/3 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – Sifted

1 cup Powdered Sugar – Sifted

1 tablespoon Espresso or Strong Brewed Coffee

In the bowl of a stand mixer mix butter and cream cheese until they are well combined.  Turn mixer off and add the remaining ingredients and mix on low-speed until combined.  Turn mixer to medium speed and mix for an additional minute.

These are super chocolaty!!

Pancakes – Gluten Free, Dairy Free

This morning I was really craving some pancakes –  I really wanted something other than eggs for breakfast.  I had a bit of the Betty Crocker Bisquick left in the box, so I thought I would try the recipe on the box for pancakes.  The pancakes turned out great – even Bryan thought so. The recipe is very simple and makes about ten pancakes.

My dad would always make ups pancakes with chocolate chips in them and when I remembered that we had some gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free chocolate chips my sister sent us from Australia I thought I would give them a try with the gluten-free bisquick pancake mix this morning.

Pancakes using Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Bisquick (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free)

1 cup Betty Crocker Gluten Free Bisquick Mix

1 cup soy or rice milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large egg

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined and there are no lumps.  Heat a skillet or griddle to medium heat.  Use just under 1/4 cup of mixture for each pancake.  Cook until edges have hardened and the tops start to bubble (if you are using chocolate chips, add them before the bubble appear).  Flip and cook until golden brown.  Makes about 10 pancakes.


Like I said above, these came out great. They have almost a crunchy crust to them with the insides soft and fluffy.  The GF, DF, NF chocolate chips were fantastic too!  They taste just like regular chocolate chips and melt perfectly.  I think I will have to ask my sister to send us some more of them.  So far all of the products she has sent me from Australia have been awesome.  Although these were really good, I am very sad that we now have used the last of our bisquick!

And a quick apology to Bryan – I am sorry for making you wait to eat every single meal we have until I get pictures of it.  I know you are starving, but you are truly amazing for putting up with my little obsessions, eating all the food I make, even if it isn’t all that great and for being my non-gluten-free food tester-I truly value your opinions!  You are my best friend, and I truly appreciate you and all that you do more than I could ever express with words.

Chicken Tenders (W/ Betty Crocker GF Bisquick)

I’ve heard some mixed reviews over Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Bisquick mix and have been on the look out for it since it hit the stores.  However, I’m not exactly sure if it is the state of Rhode Island or just the part we live in that seems to have extremely limited gluten-free options.  I’m not just talking about restaurants either…our grocery stores are weird.  At the main chain stores (Shaws, Stop & Shop) they see to not carry the Betty Crocker mixes, or if they do it is very hit or miss. Then you go to Ocean State Job Lot (which is kind of a last chance type of store) and they have the largest selection of Bob’s Red Mill products I’ve ever seen in a store – its HUGE!! (I know I just said this place is kind of like a last chance store, but the expiration dates on the packages are for 2011 and so on!!!) and they also carry my favorite gluten-free pasta for cheap (I think I’ll do a give away soon of that pasta – so stay tuned).

In Portsmouth we have four grocery stores, the two I mentioned above; Shaws and Stop & Shop, and we also have a local store called Clements which carries a bit more gluten-free (or as they call it “natural”) foods and then there is The Green Grocer.  The Green Grocer has the largest selection of gluten-free products in the area however they are so expensive I can’t bring myself to shop there…more than Whole Foods!  With having no job and Bryan being in school full-time, it just isn’t realistic.  It drives me crazy how expensive some of these gluten-free products are.  I do my best to make things at home, but right now what I really want is some bread…a nice loaf of bread! The recipe I had used in the past just keeps failing on my and I don’t own a bread machine so I have been searching for a gluten-free bread recipe that doesn’t require a bread machine (If anyone has one please o please pass it along).

A few weeks ago my dad came down for the day to hang out with Bryan and I and we went to Clements to pick up a few things for lunch.  While there I finally found the Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Bisquick mix!  I picked it up and then put it right back down.  Here’s why:  It is right next to the regular Bisquick mixes which are about double in size – this box is all of 16oz and cost more than double the regular mix.  I always do this in grocery stores, I find something GF and get all excited then debate over it for a few minutes and it drives Bryan crazy so he usually just throws in the our basket which is exactly what happened with the Bisquick mix.  I have put off trying this for a few weeks because I was annoyed to spend that much money on something that I feared I would only get one maybe two uses out of (depending on the recipe).  I gave in tonight and used it to make the “Ultimate Chicken Fingers” recipe that is on the box.  Overall the recipe turned out great and I would make it again for sure.  Even Bryan really liked it. I think next time I will try a different recipe, maybe the pizza crust or even the biscuits…hmmmm

Betty Crocker’s Ultimate Chicken Fingers (W/ Gluten-Free Bisquick)

3/4 cup Bisquick Gluten Free mix

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt or garlic salt (I did 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder)

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 lb, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips)

2 eggs, slightly beaten

3 tbsp butter or margarine, melted (I used some olive oil)

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray (I used parchment paper with no spray)

Stir Bisquick mix, cheese, paprika, salt and garlic in shallow baking dish.  Dip chicken strips into eggs then Bisquick mixture; repeat dipping in eggs and Bisquick mixture.  Place chicken on cookie sheet. Drizzle butter over chicken (Or olive oil).

Bake 12-14 minutes turning after 6 minutes, until no longer pink in center

These chicken tenders came out moist and crispy.  We served them with some home-made sweet potato fries and dipped them in honey (kind of like McDonald’s – but WAY better)

Sweet Potato Fries

1-2 lbs of sweet potatoes

1/2 tspn salt (Kosher)

1/2 tspn Hungarian paprika

12 tspn ground cinnamon

1/4 cup olive oil

1/8 tspn black pepper (optional)

Peel sweet potatoes and cut off the pointy ends (the pointy ends burn quicker when they are baking and the burnt parts don’t taste very well).  Slice potatoes in 1/2 inch strips so your pieces are as close to even as possible.

In a zip lock bag combine the salt, paprika, cinnamon, oil and pepper (if you choose to add it), mix at the bottom of the bag then add the potato sticks.  Mix well so each piece is evenly coated with the mixture.

Bake in a single layer (this should take up on complete large baking sheet) on a baking sheet that has been lined with either parchment paper or a silpat. Bake for 30 minutes (or until there is a light crisp to the fries) turning twice (after ten minutes and then again after twenty minutes).

Apple Crisp (Take Two)

Apple Crisp – ready to be baked

Almost two years ago now I posted about my love of the Fall and apple crisp and today I would like to revisit that post.  Fall is almost here and I couldn’t be more excited.  We even bought our first pumpkins of the season the other day…they may be mini pumpkins, but they are still perfect little pumpkins.  I haven’t lived on the East Coast during the Fall in five years – which may not seem like all that long but when this is your favorite time of year and you are living in Central California where there is no fall you miss it more than words can express.

I have already scoped out all the apple orchards near us, along with a corn maze and a pick your own pumpkin patch – seriously you would think I’m five years old with the amount of excitement that I get.  Nope, I’m just 100% dork when it comes to this time of year.  Can’t wait for the sweaters to be pulled out, the crisp air and crunch leaves as they fall down.  Cool walks, hot apple cider and of course some warm out of the oven apple crisp! The colors of Fall are by far my favorite colors of any of the seasons.  The deep reds, oranges, greens and yellows make the most beautiful combination to me.  I can’t wait for all the beautiful orange roses to be on display too.  I keep asking Bryan that when we get married, can it please be in the fall, I can’t imagine being married during any other time of the year.  The fall just makes me happy and extremely excited.

The first thing I make every fall is Apple Crisp.  Beyond simple to make and probably one of my favorite desserts (okay I even eat it for breakfast – its fruits and oats right?!).  However, I have learned that Bryan isn’t a fan, but loves Apple Pie (which I’m not the biggest fan, I love the crunch of the crisp).  So seeing as I already made my first crisp I told him I would make him a gluten containing apple pie.  Seeing as the only flours we have in the house are gluten-free we picked up some pre-made pie crusts for him.  The sad thing is Bryan is allergic to raw apples.  He has Oral Allergy Syndrome:

Oral Allergy Syndrome is an allergy to certain raw fruits, vegetables, seeds, spices and nuts causing allergic reactions in the mouth and throat. These allergic reactions happen mostly in people with hayfever, especially spring hayfever due to birch pollen, and late summer hayfever due to ragweed pollen (Webmaster note: there is no ragweed pollen in British Columbia west of the Rockies).

An allergic reaction happens while eating the raw food, and causes itchy, tingly mouth, lips, throat and palate. There may be swelling of the lips, tongue and throat, and watery itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing. Handling the raw fruit or vegetable e.g., peeling it or touching the juice to the lips, may cause rash, itching or swelling where the juice touches the skin, or sneezing, runny nose and water eyes. Sometimes, more severe symptoms can happen such as vomiting, cramps, diarrhea and, on rare occasions, life threatening reactions with swelling of the throat, wheezing, trouble breathing and anaphylaxis.

These allergic reactions usually occur only when the food is raw. People who are allergic to the raw food can eat it cooked, canned, microwaved, processed or baked. For example, someone allergic to raw apples can eat apple sauce, apple jelly, apple juice, apple pie and dried apples. However, nuts may cause allergic reactions whether raw or cooked. This problem is usually life long. Allergy tests to these foods may sometimes be negative unless a fresh fruit is used for the test (instead of a commercial allergy extract). The allergic reaction to these foods can occur anytime of the year when eating the foods but can be worse during the pollen season and especially if hayfever is very troublesome that year.

The allergic reaction is not due to pesticides, chemicals or wax on the fruit. However, because the more allergic part of the fruit may be in the skin, some people allergic to fruits, e.g., peaches, can eat the flesh without reaction if the skin is peeled away. Similarly for apples, some brands of apples cause more allergic reactions than others. Freshly picked apple, e.g., straight from the tree or an unripe apple, may cause fewer allergic reactions than one which is very ripe or one which has been stored for weeks after picking.

Severe allergic reactions to foods causing Oral Allergy Syndrome are most likely to occur with celery, kiwi, peaches, apricots, apples and nuts, especially hazelnuts.

Management of Oral Allergy Syndrome

  1. These allergies are caused by the raw fruit or vegetable and therefore, once they are cooked or processed, they can usually be eaten.
  2. You do not need to avoid all the foods on the chart in the table above. Avoid only those particular ones which have caused allergic reactions.
  3. Be aware, however, that if you do have Oral Allergy Syndrome to some of the foods, you can develop allergies to other foods on the chart.
  4. If an allergic reaction occurs to one of these foods, stop eating it immediately. Severe reactions may happen if you keep eating that food. Allergic reactions may be treated with antihistamines.
  5. If you have had severe symptoms including trouble breathing, when eating the foods, you may need to carry injectable medication with you to treat these reactions (e.g., EpiPen®).
  6. For mild Oral Allergy Syndrome, try peeling the fruit, or eating unripe or partially ripe fruits, or picking them directly from the tree so that they are quite fresh. If you react, do not keep eating the food.
  7. Microwaving briefly to a temperature of 80°-90° C (176° – 194° deg F) may allow you to eat the food.
  8. Nuts which cause Oral Allergy Syndrome should be totally avoided, whether fresh or cooked, because of the higher risk of severe reactions.
  9. Allergy shots for hayfever may sometimes help associated food allergies.

Substitute Raw Fruits
Berries* (strawberry, blueberry, raspberries, etc.), citrus* (orange, mandarins, etc.), grapes, currants, gooseberries, guava, mango, figs, pineapple, papaya, avocado, persimmon, pomegranates, watermelon*.

Substitute Raw Vegetables
MUSTARD family (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, watercress, radish
GOOSEFOOT family (spinach, swiss chard)
COMPOSITE family (green onions)

Substitute Nuts
Peanut*, cashew, pistachio, brazil, macadamia, pine nut.

*May occasionally cause Oral Allergy Syndrome.

So on top of this allergy he also has an Onion Allergy – so  not only do we cook gluten-free but we also cook onion free in our house.  We also try to cook with minimal amount of dairy because he is also lactose intolerant.  Talk about Creative Cooking!

When people hear that I can’t have anything containing gluten they all pull the “oh I’m so sorry for you, how difficult that must be” or my favorite “I could NEVER live like that”, when in reality it isn’t that bad or hard to do.  But I feel even worse for Bryan than myself, because onion is in so many things – salsa sauces, dressings, etc.  And how sad is it, he can’t ever have a candy or caramel apple??  But we are both really good about our restrictions and have learned to adapt recipes to fit both of our needs.

Now back to the Apple Crisp.  In the original recipe I posted, I used almond flour/meal because I hadn’t discovered gluten-free oats.  Now that I have found gluten-free oats and have them on hand I can go back to my favorite apple crisp recipe from my Betty Crocker Cookbook (This was the first cookbook I ever bought myself). The original recipe calls for flour so  I made this one with Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour and it turned out great.  The only thing was I wanted this so badly that I should have waited until I had at least one more apple to cut up, but I was determined to make it so it wasn’t as full as it could have or should have been.

Apple Crisp – A Gluten Free Version of a Betty Crocker Classic

4 medium, tart cooking apples (I use Macintosh and Granny Smith) sliced or four cups

1/3 – 3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour

1/2 cup gluten-free quick-cooking or gluten-free old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup stick butter, softened

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease bottom and sides of square pan 8 x 8 x 2 inches, with shortening (butter, cooking spray)

2. Arrange apples in pan.  Mix remaining ingredients.  Sprinkle over apples.

3. Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender.  Serve warm and, if desired, with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.

You can also do the following substitutions:

Blueberry Crisp: substitute 4 cups fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) blueberries for the apples

Cherry Crisp: Substitute 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling for the apples and use 2/3 cup brown sugar.

Rhubarb Crisp: Substitute 4 cups cut-up rhubarb for the apples (or even better use half rhubarb and half the apples to make an apple-rhubarb crisp!

*read all labels and check with manufactures regarding if an item is gluten-free or not.

Bacon Cheddar Corn Muffins

Bryan loves cornbread, and so don’t I but he loves it way more than I do.  Over the past year I’ve made him a few batches of the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Corn Bread Mix, which he has grown to like.  It’s a great mix and the closest thing I have come to the real thing.  To him it will never be the same and I get it but thankfully he likes it enough to eat it and even ask me to make it.

Today I thought I would get up early and make him some “breakfast cornbread”.  I opened up a package of the Bob’s Red Mill mix, fried up some bacon, defrosted some frozen corn kernels, grabbed some shredded cheese and brought all the other ingredients to room temperature (per the package instructions) and started mixing away.  I have to say for an experiment they came out pretty darn tasty!

Breakfast Cornbread

1 Package of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free CornBread Mix

6 Strips of Bacon (check package to make sure its Gluten Free)

1/3 Cup of Frozen Corn Kernels – defrosted

1/3 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese

  • Mix according to package instructions.
  • Cook bacon until nice and crispy, but not burnt and then set aside on paper towels to drain off some of the grease.
  • After bacon is drained a bit chop it up into good size pieces (You want to be able to see and taste the bacon in the muffins).
  • Mix in the chopped bacon, corn and cheese into the pre-mixed batter.
  • Scoop cornbread mixture into pre-greased (I use a spray) muffin tins and bake according to package (about 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees) until the tops are a light golden brown.

I made some scrambled eggs to go on the side, but honestly these are pretty filling and are great for breakfast on the go.  They came out nice and tasty and full of flavor!  You can add more cheese if you want, or even adding some chopped green onions would be a nice addition to the flavors already going on.

Gluten-Free Pantry’s White Cake

In this month of transition I haven’t been able to do my normal amount of cooking and baking.  It’s been a bit weird actually.  When I shipped all my boxes back east, I also shipped all of my flours, xantham gum and baking pans, so It’s been a bit rough.  If I have a sweet tooth, I need to go and find a gluten-free box mix and make that.  Saying that sounds so much easier than it really is.  The stores around here are very limited on what they carry for gluten-free options.  Whole Foods is my best bet, but sadly they are just so expensive that I don’t shop there very often.

While walking around Whole Foods the other day I came across a brand that I have seen and heard about many times – Gluten-Free Pantry.  I picked up two of their mixes – the old-fashioned cake and cookie mix and their chocolate chip cookie mix.  Victoria and I decided to make the cake mix first and some chocolate cream cheese frosting to go on top of it.  The cookie mix will be made later this week I’m sure (seeing as I fly out on Friday night).

We followed the directions per the package, it was nice and moist when it came out of the pan, however the next morning when we went to eat it, it seemed a bit dry and crumbly. Not saying that it was bad, just a bit crumbly.  I did however really enjoy that it wasn’t super sweet.  We topped it with some chocolate cream cheese frosting, which was the perfect balance of sweetness. I do prefer my cake to be a bit more moist but over all I really did enjoy this mix and plan on buying this brand again in the future.

I’m looking forward to trying the cookie mix soon.

Gluten Free Bagels (re-post)

I know I have already posted a recipe for these bagels before but they are just so good!  I made them again today and thought I would post a new photo of them.  The recipe is really easy believe it or not.  I have tried a few store bought gluten free bagels and they just don’t stand up to these.  They are thick and have a similar texture to a “real” bagel.  The flavor of these are great too.  I add my own toppings to them, garlic, salt, sesame etc.  My favorites are by far the garlic and salt though, however I want to try and make a jalapeno/cheddar bagel at some point.   Today’s batch consisted of plain, garlic and salt.

If you miss bagels as much as I do, you should give this recipe a try and let me know what you think of it.

(sadly I can’t link to their recipe because I no longer have my membership due to moving – but it was in their Oct/Nov issue from 2009)

Blueberry Muffins

I’ve been searching for some new breakfast ideas.  In the past I’ve made some bagels, muffins, or the old stand by crustless quiche. Lately I’ve just been having some yogurt or eggs for breakfast. Usually my weekends are my baking time but not so much this weekend,  I had to work on Saturday and today was spent watching one of my best friends and her mom cross the line of the Big Sur Marathon, then off to hang out and relax with them for the day.  – Way to go Lisa and Lorraine.  But tonight when I got home I was determined to make some muffins before The Amazing race started.  I picked up a bag of frozen blueberries today and blueberry muffins would be made tonight!  I went to one of my favorite Gluten Free Cookbooks – The Allergy Free Cookbook by Alice Sherwood (if you haven’t tried any recipes from this cookbook you really should).

Blueberry Muffins (page 63) – The Gluten Free Version

1/4 cup butter

2 cups GF all-purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1/4 cup superfine sugar plus extra for dusting (optional)

2/3 cup milk + 1/4 cup – per the gluten free version of this recipe (I use soy)

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg, beaten

1 cup blueberries

1/4 cup chopped pecans*

ground cinnamon for dusting*

* I added the pecans and cinnamon (into the mix) which weren’t called for in the recipe.  The cinnamon was just suggested for dusting.

Line 6 large or 10 small sections of a muffin pan with paper muffin cups or butter the pan well.  (I have cupcake tins so I needed all 12 of mine lined) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Melt the butter in saucepan.  Remove from the heat and let cool.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.  Stir in the sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Make a well in the center, pour in the milk, lemon juice, vanilla extract and egg.  Fold the mixture quickly to combine, but don’t worry if there are a few lumps.  Fold the blueberries and pecans carefully into the mixture.

Spoon (I use an ice cream scoop) the mixture into the prepared pan (they will be almost full).

If desired, sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and sugar.

Bake in the oven until risen, lighlty golden in color and the centers spring back when lightly pressed, about 25 minutes.

Transfer to wire rack, dusk with superfine sugar and let cool.

These muffins are so good!! Same great texture of a real muffin, awesome flavor and I think the addition of the cinnamon and pecans into the recipe was a good idea :)  Eventually I would like to get a muffin tin to make slightly larger ones but for now my cupcake tin works just fine. The great thing about this recipe is you could add pretty much any fruit you like to it…next time I think I’ll add some cranberries, orange zest and a little bit of walnuts, hmmmm.

I love this cookbook and the recipes I have tried out of here.  This is also the cookbook that I get my bread recipe from.

Cupcakes – what’s not to love??

So last week I made two different brands of brownie mix and this week, you guessed it…cupcakes! Technically it’s cake mix that I am comparing this week just made into cupcake form. In my mind cupcakes are way better than cake🙂 Little individual cups of yummy goodness.  Again, its Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake Mix compared to Arrowhead Mill’s Vanilla Cake Mix. I’ve made the Betty Crocker ones before and loved them and I’ll be making the Arrowhead Mill’s ones for the first time.  The Arrowhead Mill’s mix was in the batch of mixes one of my co-workers brought me a few weeks ago.

I love cupcakes, and I seek them out.  Over the Christmas I went to New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts to visit Bryan and our families.  On one of our little adventures to NYC we got the chance to go to BabyCakes!  Now those are some tasty cupcakes!! Wow.  I think I spent almost $40.00 on cupcakes, why?? Not because of the price (well sort of) but because I couldn’t decide which ones to buy.  Sooo Bryan and I picked a few and got two of each so we could both try them, because I don’t share cupcakes very well.  I think we ended up with the Vanilla, Chocolate and Brownie cupcakes.  All of which were AMAZING but I think the brownie ones were our favorite. – I can’t wait to go back there again!

When Bryan came to visit me in February we took a weekend trip up to San Francisco.  We kept seeing this van that says “Kara’s Cupcakes” on the side and I obviously kept trying to figure out where they were located.  On our last night there, we are heading to go pick up the car at our hotel and he saw there store and Bryan, being the amazing boyfriend that he is, went in just to see if they offered gluten free cupcakes.  To both of our surprise they did!  But, sadly they were sold out.  I was a little crushed until he told me that they had another store, and if I knew what flavor I wanted they would call over to see if they could hold two for us.  Thankfully the other store had some left, we got there right before they closed and the best part was, they were two blocks from out hotel! ha ha.  While at the store I started chatting with the girl behind the counter and to my surprise they started with Erin from BabyCakes NYC’s recipe and adapted it to make it their own…no wonder why they were so good and we loved them so much. We were patient enough to not eat them until we got home (about 2.5 hours) before digging into our little gems.  Again, the cupcakes were AMAZING!!

This summer when I move I am hoping to try some cupcakes from Tu-Lu’s Gluten Free Bakery (also in NYC).  If anyone has tried them, I would love to hear your thoughts🙂

So here are the results of this weeks battle of the cupcakes (both sets of cupcakes will have the same frosting-yes its gluten free!!):

Betty Crocker Chocolate Cupcakes with Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy Rainbow Chip Frosting


Arrowhead Mills Vanilla Cupcakes with Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy Rainbow Chip Frosting

Betty Crocker – I followed the directions on the back of the package and cooked it according to the time given.

Moist, tasty, chocolaty.  Taste and texture of a “real” cupcake.  As with the brownie mix from Betty Crocker you can’t tell the difference from the gluten containing cupcakes.

Arrowhead Mills – I followed the directions on the back of the package and cooked it according to the time given.

Moist, tasty vanillay.  The taste was pretty good, however the texture was a bit different.  They were a little grainy, almost like it has a little bit of a crunchy texture, more like cornmeal-ish texture to it.  Over all they were still very good, I really enjoyed them.

Now I have a little more than two dozen cupcakes and I am only one person so as with the majority of things I bake these will be coming to work with me tomorrow.  My co-workers have become my “test kitchen” over the past two years.

And the winner is….

I have to say that the winner of this one has got to be the Betty Crocker mix, but probably only because of the texture of the Arrowhead Mills.  You really can’t tell that these and the frosting are gluten free.  Betty Crocker has done very well with these mixes, I am highly impressed.

Now to wash these down with a nice big glass of soy milk!!

Brownie Battle

Last week a co worker of mine brought me a bunch of gluten free mixes to try.  They were from Arrowhead Mills (Brownies, Yellow Cake, Cupcakes and Chocolate Chip Cookies).  I made the brownies and they were pretty tasty.  I have a hard time just eating straight chocolate, I really like to have something with it such as nuts, peanut butter, coconut etc.  Yesterday I found some of the Betty Crocker mixes (which I haven’t seen much of around me or they are either way to much money to buy and try). I made the Arrowhead Mills Brownie mix last week and the Betty Crocker Brownie mix today and here are my thoughts on them:

Arrowhead Mills

I followed the directions on the back of the package, and added about a 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts.  I baked them in a square pan and these turned out to be very cake like, very thick and chocolaty.  I think the peanut butter and nuts were a great addition to these!  I don’t know if I would of been as much of a fan of them if they were just straight brownies.

Betty Crocker

Again, I followed the directions on the back of the package.  They also listed the baking times for different pan sizes, so this time I decided to bake them in an 11×7 pan.  The brownies were a lot thinner, which I enjoyed sooo much more.  I like the crunchy edges and these tasted just like the real ones.  Even though they came out a bit thin due to the pan size they were very moist. I couldn’t tell the difference at all with these.  I will buy these again for sure.  My other favorite Betty Crocker GF mix is the chocolate cake – Love it!

I would have to say that the Betty Crocker ones are by far my favorite of these two mixes.  I just loved that they still truly tasted like the original Betty Crocker mix.

Here are the final product from the Betty Crocker Brownie mix:

Coconut Macaroons by Elana’s Pantry

I truly love the recipes on Elana’s Pantry. They are tasty and easy to do. Today I made Elana’s Pantry’s Coconut Macaroons and they are awesome. The only alteration I made to the recipe was I topped it with some melted chocolate. I’ll be honest, it’s really hard not to eat these all tonight. I’ve had about three little ones already and could continue to eat them. You should all give these a try.

Gluten Free Coconut Macaroons
6 egg whites
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
½ cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups shredded coconut

  1. In a mixing bowl whisk egg whites and salt until stiff
  2. Fold in agave, vanilla and coconut
  3. Drop batter onto a parchment lined baking sheet, one rounded tablespoonful at a time
  4. Pinch each macaroon at the top (like a kiss)
  5. Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned
  6. Serve

Bacon-Cheddar Scones

Oh yes you read the title correctly! People say bacon makes everything better and I would have to agree (well for the most part).  I try my hardest not to eat too much bacon, but I love it and its really hard to restrain myself when its around.   Being gluten free one of the hardest things for me is breakfast foods.  I can’t eat first thing in the morning so I usually eat at my office.  Lately its been yogurt, but I was craving something else.  Eggs are good but I don’t always want to make them before work and then put them in a container to heat up a little later on. I’m always on the hung for breakfast type recipes.  I need to build my recipe bank with more of these of recipes.

So I did some searching online for some gluten free recipes.  Even though its not gluten free I found a recipe online for these Bacon Cheddar Scones (check out this blog – Buns In My Oven for step by step photos and the non-gluten free version!!!) scones and tried to create them to the gluten free recipe that I had posted on here.  They just came out of the oven and they look, smell and taste fantastic!  You really have to try these!

Gluten Free Bacon-Cheddar Scones- (adapted from Bun in my oven’s Bacon Cheddar Scones)

3 C. gluten-free flour mix (see below)

3 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

3/4 tsp salt

8 slices of bacon (cooked and chopped or crumbled)

1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

4 green onions, sliced thin

6 oz cold butter cut into small cubes

1 C. milk (or gluten-free soy milk) mixed with 4 T. vinegar–I used apple cider vinegar

1 large egg

2 tablespoons water

Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in fridge):
1 1/4 C. brown rice flour
1 1/4 C. white rice flour
1 C. tapioca flour
1 C. sweet rice flour (also known at Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with a Silpat sheet. In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper.  Mix until blended well.  Add butter and keep mixing with your hands until it is crumbly and your butter is in small pea size pieces.  You can also use a pastry cutter or two knives. Add the cheese and mix until well blended.

Slowly pour in the milk mixture–do this carefully, because you might not need it all. I used about 7/8s of the milk. The dough should be just barely wet. Use your hands to carefully mix in the last bits of flour. The dough should be extremely light and fluffy. Handle carefully.

Turn out only a floured board.  I use tapioca flour to lightly flour a large cutting board and lightly press out the ball of dough until it is about 1/2 in thickness (you can also follow the original recipe and use a rolling pin and cut the scones according to Jeanne’s instructions).  Cut in half and depending on how many scones you want to make cut each half in third or quarters.  Place the scones on the baking sheet lined with the Silpat sheet.

In a small bowl beat egg and water together.  Lightly brush the tops of the scones and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.  Cool on a rack and enjoy warm!

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies with Orange Glaze

I adapted the following Bob’s Red Mill recipe – instead of raisins, I added some dried cranberries and topped them with an orange glaze.  This recipe was really quick and makes about four dozen cookies.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies
Contributed by Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods


Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat butter and sugars together until smooth. Add vanilla and eggs; beat well. In a separate bowl, blend flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and Xanthan Gum. Stir flour blend into wet ingredients. Add oats and raisins and mix well. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool one minutes then transfer to wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

*Eggless Option: Mix together 2 Tb. Flaxseed Meal with 6 Tb. of water and let sit for a minute. Add to recipe as you would the eggs.