Canning – It’s A Father-Daughter Thing.

I love my dad.  More than words can truly express.  While I was living in California I only had the opportunity to see my dad once a year, sometimes two. Which to be honest, sucked.  My dad and I have a very interesting father-daughter relationship, he is more like one of my best friends.  I tell him pretty much everything.  We share a lot of the same interests (these are not forced in any way, these are genuine interests we share): fishing, fly fishing, cooking, photography, canning, gardening, fly tying, guns/shooting, knives, and so much more. I love fishing with my dad, especially fly fishing.

Dad with is catch on the fly rod

Me with my first catch on a fly rod

Me and Dad at Point Lobos, Carmel, CA

My dad and I were even featured on a chartered fishing boat’s website and their add in a well-known fishing magazine (I still have a copy of it).  We have even taken different courses together, one of which was a black and white photography course at our local art museum.  One of the best things we have ever done together – so much fun hanging out together.  Another “course” we took together was a fly tying course with the New England Fly Tyers.  Mind you I was the only “young” female there but I had the best time.  Each year they do a good-sized auction/raffle to help raise money and I won the grand prize of a fly tying kit with all the goodies.  I just found the kit in my boxes up out attic so that will be taken down soon so I can start tying some flies.

Another thing that makes my heart very happy is the relationship that Bryan and my dad have.  They also share a lot of interests, so they spend a bit of time together.  Dad has also gotten Bryan into a bit of fly fishing!  (I’m so excited about this) Dad took him fishing a few weekends back and Bryan caught three small fish.

Dad teaching Bry how to cast a fly rod. My two favorite men.

So since moving back dad and I have been catching up on our father-daughter time.  Over the last year we have been talking about trying out hands at some canning.  Even though it took us a year we finally did it!

Last weekend dad came down and we decided to can some refrigerator pickles and dilly beans (dill green beans). It may have been my fist time at this, but I have to say these came out pretty darn good. Now I’m a bit addicted to canning – been thinking of a million and one things I want to can next.  The refrigerator pickle recipe came from Backwoodsman Magazine (July/August 2011) – sadly though the recipe is not on their website but I have listed it below.  The recipe for the dilly green beans came from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving – again, this recipe is not on their website but it is also included below.  FYI if you don’t have this book and are interested in starting to can, I would pick this up and try a few recipes.

We of course had a few changes to the recipes – so below are my adaptations of them.

PLEASE be sure to read the links below to learn how to properly sanitize your jars and lids!!

Canning 101 – Simple Bites

How to Can – Ball/Fresh Preserving

Resources – Canning Across America

Refrigerator Pickles

10-12 Large Cucumbers (Washed)

3 Cups White Vinegar

11 Cups of Water (divided)

1 Cup Coarse Salt

1/2 Cup Sugar

2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic

1/4 Teaspoon Pickle Crisp (per Quart jar)

Several Springs of Fresh Dill (or 2 Teaspoons of dried dill) – this all depends on how dilly you like them

Hot Pepper – Optional

4 Quart Mason Jars

  • Prepare canner, jars and lids (see links above)
  • In a gallon pitcher mix together the 3 cups of vinegar, 8 cups of water, 1 cup of coarse salt, and 1/2 cup of sugar.  Stir until dissolved and set aside.
  • Wash cucumbers and cut either into spears (which we did) or rounds.
  • In the bottom of the jars add 1 Thai Chili Pepper (IF you are using them, cut in half), a few sprigs of fresh dill, and a bit of garlic in each.  (You will repeat all of this once the cucumbers are in the jars and the pickling brine has been added.)
  • Add the cucumbers to the jars – you will be surprised how many spears you can fit into each jar, however don’t over stuff them, you still need to add the brine and rest of the dill, garlic, and peppers.
  • Fill the jars with the brine until you have about a generous 1 inch remaining. Add the remainder of the garlic, dill, and peppers (IF you are using them) to each of the jars.  Top off the jars with the remaining water (you probably won’t use all of it!).  Cover the jars with lids. Screw band down until resistance is met then increase to fingertip-tight.
  • Shake each jar for one minute.  Place in a cool/dark place for 24 hours (NOT the refrigerator) then refrigerate until gone – Enjoy!!

Dilled Beans

6 Tablespoons Pickling or Canning Salt

6 Cups White Vinegar

6 Cups Water

4 1/2 Cups Green Beans, trimmed

18 Whole Black Peppercorns

12 Sprigs of Fresh Dill

12 Cloves of Garlic

12 Thai Chili Peppers – cut in half

6 Quart Mason Jars

  • Prepare canner, jars and lids (see links above)
  • In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine salt, vinegar, and water.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve salt.  Add green beans.  Return to a boil. Remove from heat.
  • Place 3 peppercorns, 2 springs of dill and 2 cloves of garlic, and two Thai chili peppers (that have been cut in half) in each hot jar.  Pack beans into hot jars to within a generous 1/2 inch of top of jar.  Ladle hot pickling liquid into jar to cover beans and peppers, leaving 12 inch head-space.  Remove air bubbles and adjust head-space, if necessary, by adding more hot pickling liquid.  Wipe rim.  Center lid on jar, Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
  • Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water.  Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes.  Remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

We’ve tried both of these creations of ours and they are super delicious.  You should probably adjust these seasons to your flavor likings.  We love garlic, dill and a bit of heat. There are so many more things you can can – vegetables, fruit, stews, and tomatoes.  Check out some of these websites and books for more ideas:

Canning 101 – Simple Bites

How to Can – Ball/Fresh Preserving

Resources – Canning Across America

Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It

The Pioneer Woman

Backwoods Home Magazine

Martha Stewart

Food in Jars

The Joy of Pickling

Punk Domestics

Have I ever mentioned how much I love my father-daughter time??My dad is pretty awesome and I’m so happy to be living near him again.

On my list of things to can is definitely some apple sauce and horseradish. What is on your list? Happy Canning!

California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) Offers GF Menu Items Part 2

On June 29th I posted some potentially good news: California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) Offers GF Menu Items.  There was a bit of mixed reviews regarding this post, which is completely understandable.  You never truly know if your meal will be 100% gluten-free (and free of any cross-contamination) when you are eating out in a non-designated gluten-free restaurant.  Many restaurants take extra precautions when preparing gluten-free menu items and will train their staff regarding the gluten-free diet and cross-contamination.

I will admit at first I was a bit skeptical about trying the new pizza but I asked a few other bloggers and readers who had tried the new pizza and they all said it was delicious and didn’t have any glutened symptoms.  When we went to Boston a few weeks ago with our dear friends Warren and Joyce we found a CPK and decided to give it a go (when you sign up to receive their e-mails you get a $5.00 coupon!).

Out of the four of us I am the only one with celiac disease so I ordered off of their Gluten-Free Menu! (which is actually just the real menu with “gf” notations next to the items that are gluten-free”). I also asked to speak with a manager about the process of the chefs making the pizza and serving it.  She did assure me that they use a “foil boat” to cook the pizza on, use a separate paddle, separate knife, and serve it right away to avoid any confusion.

I decided to go with what they are known best for – The Original BBQ Chicken Pizza (Invented here in 1985. BBQ sauce, smoked Gouda, Mozzarella, BBQ chicken, red onions and cilantro).  This was always one of my favorite pizzas before I went gluten-free and it was as delicious as ever.  The flavor combination may seem a bit odd when you are just reading about it but the sweetness of the BBQ sauce goes so well with the smoked Gouda and red onions.  Best part of all? I didn’t get sick from eating it!! It was so nice to eat pizza out at a restaurant. Sadly though the closest CPK to us is Boston so we won’t be going there very often.

Again, this is obviously a personal judgement call but I can say that I ate there with absolutely no problems and it was delicious, the staff was very friendly, helpful, and well-informed.  A nice change from my last visit to a CPK.  Again, please come back and let me know if you have tried CPK’s new gluten-free options and what you thought about it.

Five Star Marinade (Review & Giveaway)

We love to grill – chicken, steak, burgers, and especially vegetables.  Depending on what we are grilling we use different seasonings, sauces, and marinades – it usually is something spicy.  About a month ago Burt – the creator of Five Star Meat Marinade asked if I would like to try his gluten-free and diabetic friendly marinade, of course I said yes!

Bryan’s dad has diabetes so lately I have been trying to find things that are suitable for him.  When Burt shared the information about the marinade with me saying that it was “All natural, NO MSG, NO Sugar, NO Preservatives, NO Oils or Fats”, I thought this would be a great marinade for him to try.  Sadly we don’t get to see him much but I figured his birthday is coming up so I’m going to put together a little goodie bag for him.  I’m also going to start experimenting with some refined sugar-free baking for him also and hopefully send Bryan down with some diabetic friendly baked goods.

Back to the marinade🙂

Here is a little bit of history from Five Star Marinade’s website:

While growing up,  holidays were special for many reasons. Getting together with family, good food and lots of laughter. Most meals were potluck,  making it easier on those hosting the event. We always had the traditional turkey or ham as a main course, but my Grandmother would provide another meat with her marinade. Everyone loved the flavor so much that often the family dinners would break tradition serving only her meat dish.  Little did Grandma know that her marinade was a healthy substitute for sugar or molasses based barbeque sauce.

Grandma is gone now but I have taken the recipe and bottled this great taste for everyone wishing great flavor without the worry of calories, preservatives or fat. The marinade is easy to use and is excellent for barbeque, broiling or baking making it enjoyable all year no matter the weather.

My marinade is just the thing for those on restricted diets such as those on low sodium, sugar free, gluten free or Diabetics.

Last week I decided to marinade some chicken breast over night (per Burt’s instructions) and grill them up and served them with some spicy broccoli and a  side salad.  Oh man is this marinade delicious!! It has a bit of a peppery kick to it, which I loved and a great flavor.  I made an extra piece of chicken so I could slice it up and have it atop a salad the next day for lunch. I think next weekend I’ll be marinading (only 30 minutes) and grilling up some portabella mushrooms.

The marinade is simple – yet extremely delicious!  Five Star Marinade Ingredients: Vinegar*, Salt, Spices, Paprika, Garlic *Red Wine Vinegar (not distilled white) so this marinade is also corn-free (for those of you who have corn allergies, this is perfect for you)!

Thank you Burt for making such a delicious, gluten-free and diabetic friendly marinade! And thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to sample your delicious creation (your grandmother would be so proud of you!)

Who would like to try a bottle of this delicious, gluten-free, sugar-free all-purpose marinade?  One lucky winner with have a chance to win a bottle – please leave a comment for EACH entry!

1) Like Five Star Marinade on Facebook

2) Follow Five Star Marinade on Twitter (@GFMarinade)

3) Like Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook

4) Follow Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Twitter (@Creatively_GF)

5) Leave a comment below saying what you would like to try this on.

One winner will be chosen using on Tuesday June 26th, 2011.  The lucky winner will have 48 hours to respond after they receive my e-mail.  If a winner does not respond in the allotted time, a new winner will be chosen.  This contest is open to US residents only – the prize will be shipped directly from Five Star Marinade.  Good luck to all who enter!

California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) Offers GF Menu Items

Hello All,

I wanted to share with you a press release that I received today about California Pizza Kitchen:


The wait is over! Today California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) has launched gluten free pizza crust, making 29 of their original pizzas available gluten free.

CPK has taken notice of the increased demand with more than 3 million Americans affected by Celiac Disease and created a specialty menu with various gluten free items. Among the 29 different gluten free pizzas available is America’s favorite, The Original BBQ Chicken pizza, the Pear & Gorgonzola pizza and the Wild Mushroom pizza. CPK also offers other gluten free appetizers, soups, salads, specialties, kids items and desserts to choose from on their current menu.

CPK is thrilled to offer those that require gluten free items a menu with the same delicious offering that they’ve always had, now gluten free.

I also saw this on their website:

“*Not available gluten-free: Thai Chicken and Roasted Artichoke and Spinach”

Here is a PDF version of their new Gluten-Free Menu!!

This is really exciting news because this means that Gluten Free awareness has gone mainstream, however please keep on reading.

UPDATE 6/30/11: A reader just pointed this disclaimer out to me at the bottom of their menu – so to sum this up, it is very exciting that they are offering gluten-free options, however it seems like an “eat at your own risk” type situation as with many restaurants be very careful!!

“Gluten-Free” designations are based on information provided by our ingredient suppliers. Warning: Ingredients or production methods used by our suppliers may change, or there may be product differences among regional suppliers. Additionally, normal kitchen operations involve shared cooking and preparation areas, or we may need to substitute ingredients in menu items. We are therefore unable to guarantee that any menu item is free from gluten or any other allergen, and we assume no responsibility for guests with food allergies or sensitivities.

I was happy to receive the press release at first and sent back an e-mail asking about cross contamination and preparation of the menu items that were gluten-free but have not received a response as of yet. As soon as I hear back from them, I will update this post for all of you.

Coming from one who has Celiac Disease and not gluten intolerance I don’t know if I would eat there, especially if they are using the same pizza ovens.  When I was first diagnosed with CD I tried to eat there and just order a salad.  When I asked the waitress to check on the dressing ingredients for me she said that she would and when she returned said she didn’t read anything about it in the ingredients.  I was very very new at this so I ate my salad as she gave it to me and was extremely sick – I couldn’t even return to work that day.  I called the manager of my local CPK and he said he would retrain his staff on the importance of checking ingredients and preparing salads for those with allergies.  I had gone back a few times for salads and they were good but I was always nervous.

My nervous are from getting severely sick while eating there.  I know that there are plenty of chain and “regular” restaurants that offer gluten-free options and aren’t specifically gluten-free so there is always that risk of cross contamination, so this is again, a personal preference call. We don’t eat out very often, but when we do I always talk with the wait staff, hand them my awesome Triumph Dinning Card and most times even speak with the manager or chef (they come out, I don’t just go ask for them (-:) For the most part I have been fine eating out at “regular” restaurants, with a few exceptions.

I am thankful that there disclaimer is there and honest – I give them credit for that, some places aren’t so straight forward about it.

I know some of my comments are a little back and forth but I have to stress that it is a personal preference call to eat there or any non-gluten-free restaurant. P.F. Chang’s is one of my favorite places to eat because they take extra precautions to avoid cross contamination and I have never been sick there…they even serve gluten-free foods on separate dishes (the ones that say P.F. Chang’s on it…and “regular” meals are served on plain white dishes).  I don’t have one around me to try it out.  Most times when you talk to the servers, manager, chef, etc. they will take extra caution to avoid any cross-contamination and I suggest speaking with them about it.

If you are willing to try it – please come and leave a comment back here letting me know if there was any special precaution that they took in preparing your meal, how did it taste – was the crust decent, and did you get sick from it.  I don’t have one around me and at this point I am still a bit hesitant to try it.

My hope is that they aren’t just jumping on the bandwagon with a gluten-free option but they take this seriously and put together an action plan on how to prevent and eliminate cross contamination.  Fingers crossed this will happen – would be nice to eat pizza out at a restaurant again.

Please share your thoughts, concerns, etc. in the comments section – I would love to hear what you all have to say.

UPDATE 7/1/11 –

Hi Jenny – Thanks for your interest! Yes CPK is taking special precautions to make sure it’s safe. They use a separate ‘foil boat’ in the oven to cook the pizza then immediately transfer it to its own platter, cut with a separate clean pizza cutter then immediately put on a clean plate and then taken straight to the guests table.

Well with that said – I think double checking with the waitstaff that this process takes place and you should probably be okay.  Again, if anyone has tried this please come and leave a message, I know there are many mixed emotions about this news.  I wish there was one close to me so I could at least give it a shot but sadly there isn’t one.

(More photos curiosity of CPK will be posted soon)

Panera Bread – Gluten Free Options

I love Panera Bread and that we have one not too far from us! Even if we forget that it is there half the time, it is nice when we remember it.  Bryan loves their bread and their creamy tomato soup and I truly miss their bread but love their salads and their creamy tomato soup also.  We went to lunch there last week, and like I always do before going somewhere to eat (even if we’ve been there a million times) I went online and checked to see what their gluten-free options were.  However, when I was searching the only updates that I found were from 2008 and 2010 so I decided that I would order something I knew for sure what gluten-free and also e-mailed Panera Bread and asked for an updated list.  Below is the list and e-mail that was sent to me.  The customer service people over at Panera Bread are just awesome – quick in responding, friendly and very informative.

Dear Jenny,

Thank you for contacting Panera Bread. I have included below a list of our menu items that do not contain gluten-containing ingredients. However, because we bake fresh bread daily in our bakery-cafes and bread is core to our menu, we simply cannot ensure that there has been no contact between these items, or any other menu items, and gluten.

Not all of the items listed are currently on our menu and some new menu items have not yet been evaluated for the purposes of inclusion on this list. However, you can find complete ingredients listings for current menu items on our website. (When you choose a menu item in our online Nutrition Calculator, click on the “ingredients” link for ingredients information for that item.)

Please note that nutritional information on our website is updated periodically. New products may be available in our bakery-cafes before a periodic update of this site. In addition, some menu items may be available only on a regional, test or seasonal basis. Nutritional information about these menu items is available at the participating bakery-cafes. Tests of new recipes of existing products may be conducted from time to time in certain markets. These new recipes may contain different/additional ingredients, including allergens, as compared to the original version. For the most update-to-date information, please call or visit your nearest bakery-cafe to speak with a manager.

Thank you again for contacting us. We appreciate your business and value your comments.

Customer Comment Coordinator

List of menu items that do not contain any gluten containing ingredients

**Although we try to meet your special requirements, we cannot ensure that these items have not come into contact with gluten in our bakery-café.

** Gorgonzola and bleu cheeses are commonly made with mold incubated on wheat.  Some may choose to avoid these cheeses for this reason and you may substitute another cheese if you prefer. Items containing these ingredients are indicated below with (G) or (BC).

Salads:    (including the salad dressing)
(source of modified food starch is corn)
Greek Salad Caesar Salad (without croutons)
Grilled Chicken
Caesar Salad (without croutons)
Asian Sesame Chicken Salad (without Won Ton noodles)
Classic Cafe Salad
Fuji Apple Chicken Salad (G)
Chopped Chicken Cobb Salad (G)
Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken Salad
Tomato and Mozzarella Salad (without croutons)
BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad
Fruit Cup – Watermelon
Seasonal Mixed Fruit Cup

Salad Dressings:
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Poppyseed Dressing
Asian Sesame Vinaigrette
White Balsamic Vinaigrette
BBQ Ranch
Light buttermilk ranch

Low Fat Vegetarian Black Bean
Creamy Tomato (without croutons)

Juice, both apple and orange
Soda, fountain and bottled
Tea, regular and Chai Tea

All lattes & Frozen beverages
Low-fat Strawberry Smoothie
Low-Fat Black Cherry Smoothie
Low-Fat Mango Smoothie
Low-fat Wild Berry Smoothie
Frozen Strawberry Lemonade
Frozen Lemonade
Hot Chocolate

Panera Bread Potato Chips

If you have a Panera Bread around you – it is a great place to eat if you are gluten-free.  The staff is always very careful about cross contamination and they also an allergen list at the registers for you to double-check anything – especially new items on the menu.

Hope this updated list helps everyone out as much as it has helped me.

Also don’t forget that my 3 Year Blogiversary Giveaway is going on until June 30th so head on over and enter today for your chance to win a box filled with a bunch of gluten-free and kitchen goodies.

Roast Beef, Peppers and Potatoes

If you have been following my blog you’ll notice my love for Martha Stewart’s magazine, Everyday Food.  It is by far my favorite magazine because the recipes are easy, not overly complicated, if they aren’t naturally gluten-free, they are easily adaptable and there are so many great tips in them.  My mom bought me a subscription when it was first published and over the years I have tried my best to keep up with it.  If you don’t have a subscription you can find all the recipes online, however I suggest getting one of the magazines and checking it out for yourself.

Each time a new one comes in the mail I start flipping through it right away and marking all the recipes I want to try.  I don’t always make them right away but I eventually get around to trying my hand at them.  The recipe I made tonight comes from January/February 2007 Light edition.  The recipe was 100% gluten-free (even if it doesn’t say so in the magazine, just read the ingredients).  The only modification I made on this one was I omitted the onions.  Such a simple meal and all in one pan!  Quick, easy, great tasty and easy clean up! Bryan really liked this meal and said he wouldn’t mind having it again!

Roast Beef, Peppers and Potatoes (Martha Stewart – Everyday Food Magazine, 2007)

Serves 4

  • 3 red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), cut into 1-inch-wide strips – We had red so that is all we used
  • 2 yellow bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), cut into 1-inch-wide strips – We had red so that is all we used
  • 2 medium red onions, halved and cut into 1-inch wedges – We omitted these
  • 3/4 pound white new potatoes, well scrubbed and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled (3 left whole and 2 cut into 12 slivers)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds eye-of-round beef roast
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place peppers, onions, potatoes, and whole garlic cloves on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with half the oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
  2. Using a paring knife, make 12 small slits in top and sides of roast; push in garlic slivers. Move vegetables to sides of sheet. Place beef in center, and coat with remaining oil; rub all over with 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and thyme.
  3. Roast 40 to 50 minutes, tossing vegetables occasionally, until tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of beef registers 130 degrees for medium-rare. Let meat stand 10 minutes, loosely tented with aluminum foil to keep warm. Cut half into very thin slices (reserve remaining half for leftovers). Serve with vegetables.
  4. Cool remaining beef to room temperature; place in an airtight container, or wrap in plastic, and refrigerate.

Read more at Roast Beef with Peppers, Onions, and Potatoes – Martha Stewart Recipes

EvaRuth’s Wheat Free/Gluten Free Bakery

We live on Aquidneck Island in Rhode Island and around us we have limited options for gluten-free items.  There is one specialty grocery store near us, but we can’t afford to shop there very often, but if there is something specific that I need for a recipe, I would go there first.  Over the past six months we have realized that shopping at just one store for groceries isn’t going to cut it, you need to go to at least two…and if you want any form of gluten-free baked good, well you are pretty much out of luck and have to make it yourself.  Which I don’t really mind but somedays I want someone else to bake it for me.

About a month or so ago I was searching for a gluten free bakery or anything of the sort around me, thinking that like all my previous searchings I would come up with nothing, or if I did find something it would be about 45 minutes away.  To my surprise there was a gluten-free bakery, EvaRuth’s not that far from us!! Yesterday Bryan and I had an afternoon date to the movies and an early dinner but before we headed there we stopped over at the bakery to check it out.  It is located on Aquidneck Ave in Middletown, RI, located behind a little shopping center.

EvaRuth’s is owned and operated by Ruth herself.  Ruth is a very kind and inviting woman who also has celiac disease.  Here is a little information from her website about her and EvaRuth’s:

EvaRuth’s Foods, Inc. is owned and operated by Eva Ruth Flynn, CEO. The mission of EvaRuth’s is to create delicious wheat-free and gluten-free desserts that are convenient to eat and capable of satisfying even the choosiest of customers.

In 1995 Ruth was added to the ever-growing population of people diagnosed with celiac sprue disease. She experienced firsthand the difficulty of finding authentic tasting gluten-free desserts. So combining her love for business with her love for cooking, Ruth dedicated herself to creating true-tasting GF cookies, cakes, muffins, and brownies and the company from which they are sold. Prior to owning and operating EvaRuth’s, Ruth worked as the New England cardiovascular sales representative for GE Medical Systems.

EvaRuth’s is what is called an “old fashion bakery” which simply means, if they don’t have any seats, sell drinks and don’t offer you a fork/knife they don’t have to charge sales tax!! How awesome is that?  Well it gets better…They offer a great selection of freshly baked wheat free, gluten-free and many dairy free options: Cupcakes, Muffins, Scones, Cookies, Brownies and yes fresh-baked Bread. They also make cakes and pies that you can order. I was in love. I had the opportunity to taste some of EvaRuth’s Italian Garlic Herb bread, Pumpkin Muffin (dairy free!), Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Scone and I bought a Cranberry Muffin to take home with me.


The Italian Garlic Bread (they also had available yesterday some tomato herb bread and white bread) is very delicious and super moist.  Ruth said that all the breads slice well and are good as is for about 3-4 days or you can pre-slice it and freeze it like that. Next up with the pumpkin muffin – fresh out of the oven and perfectly flavored, not too over powering of pumpkin but just perfect, very moist and you could still taste the cinnamon, so good.  The Chocolate Chip and Cranberry scone was great too, I really enjoyed the combination of the two flavors.

Along with Ruth yesterday were two students from Johnson & Wales.  The bakery was very clean (which is always nice to see!), everything was measured out on scales to make sure that everything would bake evenly.  Also one of the staff was making a fresh batch of scones, measuring all around the dough with a ruler! I was impressed to say the least.

I had my cranberry muffin for breakfast this morning, and I can’t believe I actually waited until today to eat it.  It looked so pretty and smelled yummy yesterday but I restrained myself. This is probably one of the best gluten-free muffins I have had.  Hands down, awesome.  Fresh cranberries, moist and delicious.  I will definitely be back for more gluten-free goodness and some of that delicious bread.

If you are living around Aquidneck Island and are gluten-free, have a family member who is or are looking for a treat to bring to a friend’s house who is this is the place to go.  EvaRuth’s 796 Aquidneck Ave, Unit D, Middletown, RI 02842 (View Larger Map)

Weekly Menu Planning

I’m determined to get back into planning out a weekly menu and base our grocery shopping on that menu.  I hope that this will save us money but also the frustration of what to eat each night.  This week is a very Asian inspired week as you’ll see below.  I really miss my favorite little Chinese restaurant in Monterey, Full Moon.  They were so great to me, I would bring them a bottle of gluten-free soy sauce and they would make my food with that. We have both been craving Chinese food lately and Bryan could go out and get some but I can’t so I figured I would make a few Asian inspired recipes this week that will hopefully hit the spot.

When planning weekly menus I usually look at my cookbooks, blogs etc and search for dishes that are tasty, easy and that the ingredients can be used in more than one dish during the week.  This weeks menu inspiration comes from: Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking, Everyday Food-Fresh Flavor Fast and a few recipes I found online.

November 29-December 5


Grilled Steaks, mashed sweet potatoes and corn (these were our last steaks from Omaha Steaks -a gift from Bry’s parents)


P.F. Chang’s inspired Beef A La Sichuan (Bryan’s favorite dish to order there, even off of the gluten-free menu)


Asian Inspired Noodle Bowl (Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking pg. 30)


Beef Stir Fry (Everyday Food Fresh Flavor Fast pg. 190)


Penne A La Broccoli (Light dish with red pepper flakes from


General Chang’s Chicken (Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking pg. 163) I’ll be making this for my birthday dinner along with some cupcakes, or maybe even a cheesecake…I have yet to decided which one I really want.


Not 100% sure what to make just yet for sunday, maybe some beef stew or pot roast.

If you haven’t picked up a copy of the Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking cookbook by Kelli and Peter Bronski you really should – this cookbook is fantastic.  I’ve made several of their recipes and have enjoyed every one of them.

What are you cooking this week?

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.


Gluten Free Culinary Student-We’ll See

A few of you may have noticed my recent posts about possibly going back to school but not just any school, my dream school from when I was in high school, Johnson and Wales University.  I have been looking at schools for a little while now for a nutrition program but there really isn’t much around us in that field.  One day when searching I noticed that Johnson and Wales has started a Culinary Nutrition program. This program blends my two goals. Below is a little blurb about the program and JWU.

Developed in response to industry and consumer concerns about food allergies, food intolerance and food-intake related diseases, the Culinary Nutrition bachelor’s degree is designed to produce chefs who know how to make nutritious food, and nutritionists who know how to cook. It is the first of its kind to receive accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) of the American Dietetic Association.

As a student in the program, you’ll learn to develop sensory evaluation techniques, nutritional diagnostic skills and innovative food products. Through the completion of an internship in your senior year, you’ll apply your practical knowledge in a professional setting of your choice. Qualified students may have the opportunity to replace their internship with a summer term abroad.

As a graduate, you will be positioned to work in major test kitchens, health care facilities, cruise ships, spas, resorts and the personal chef industry, where an emphasis on nutrition is fundamental.

I called a few weeks ago to see how realistic it would be for me, having Celiac Disease to do a culinary arts program there.  To my delight they said it is extremely possible to do and they have several students with Celiac Disease and a few other food allergies, such as nut and citrus not only complete the culinary arts degree but they have also successfully completed the baking and pastry arts degree. So today Bryan and I went to Providence to check out the campus, facilities and program.  The facilities are incredible! To read more about them, click here.

When we arrived, I checked in at the table to register and was asked if I was a high school senior, no lie – some of you will laugh at this but I am 28 years old and will be turning 29 in a few weeks, and still to this day I will get offered the kids menu and crayons at some restaurants.  It took everything in side of myself and Bryan not to laugh out loud and not look at each other. I really don’t mind people thinking I’m very young, it works in my favor, or at least I hope it will in about twenty years.  When the first information session ended and we are about to go on our tour, I look around and started to realized that I am probably the oldest or one of the oldest people there that is actually looking at the school for myself and no my child!

While on the tour today we (well Bryan) got to test out some tasty foods. We learned out some really fascinating courses that they offer-Skills of Meat-cutting, International Cuisine, How Baking Works (the professor of this course is releasing a Gluten-Free cookbook next year), Mixology and so much more.  I asked as many questions as I could think of and was informed that gluten-free cooking is well received and encouraged.  For example in the “healthy desserts” course I was told that the students are broken up into groups and they decided on a recipe such as, chocolate chip cookies and one group will make a recipe that is for diabetics, one group will make one for those with celiac disease and another group will pick another food intolerance, allergy or medical condition that needs an alternative diet.

At the end of the tour we got to walk through the Culinary Arts Museum which had an exhibit of some of their more famous graduates, which include Sarah Moulton, Thomas Keller, Martin Yan and Emeril Lagasse!

I know that this program is going to be extremely difficult, tiring, exciting, humbling and everything in between. However, I think I could do this if I actually get admitted…seeing as there are no guarantees my fingers are crossed.  My ultimate goal is to get my A.S. in Culinary Arts, my B.S. in Culinary Nutrition, get an internship and then sit for the Registered Dietitian exam.  Once all that is done, have the ability to work in either a hospital and/or work with families that are newly diagnosed and do cooking lessons with them, to show them that just because you have an allergy you don’t have to miss out on healthy and delicious food. Overall it was a great day and a great school.

Below are a few photos that I took with my phone today, so I apologize for the bad quality.

Steak crostini with horseradish cream, roasted red pepper and micro greens

French Onion Soup

Students getting ready for NY Food week

Students preparing cafe diablo

Bananas Foster

One of the two things I could taste today – really good!

Student sugar sculpture projects

Close up of the sugar sculpture

Close up of Hansel and Gretel bread sculpture

Hansel and Gretel student bread sculpture

Yummy smelling bread that I couldn’t eat

Brioche with cream filling – Bryan really enjoyed this.

Our last demo, Culinary Nutrition.  Some fantastic Squash soup was made for us.

Culinary Nutrition food lab

Culinary Nutrition food lab (2) – 8 mixers and 8 ovens

Culinary Arts Museum

Culinary Arts Museum – Sarah Moulton

Culinary Arts Museum – Thomas Keller

Also don’t forget there is a great giveaway going on at Creative Cooking Gluten Free – click HERE to read more about it.

Live Gluten Freely Review & Giveaway!

This giveaway is no closed – thank you to all who entered!

I am very excited about this review and giveaway.  General Mills generously provided me a complementary box of products through My Blog Spark. I have tried and reviewed many of these products, and truly enjoy them.  General Mills has done a great job with providing some fantastic gluten-free products that taste just as great as their gluten containing products. General Mills proudly offers over 300 gluten-free products that you can find at your local grocery store.

Live Gluten Freely has started to offer this amazing box of General Mills gluten-free products.  These boxes are great not only for your self, but as gifts, especially for those who are newly diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  If you haven’t visited and become familiar with Live Gluten Freely, I highly suggest that you head on over to their site and check it out and subscribe to their newsletter.  It is a great resource for gluten-free products, and they even have a pocket guide that you can print out and take along with you to the grocery store or keep in your car.  They also have a product locator, recipes and resources.

In our house we love the new Betty Crocker Bisquick mix.  We’ve been making some great recipes with it and Bryan loves the pancakes!  One day we made Chocolate Chip Pancakes (gluten-free, dairy free and nut free chocolate chips) and the other night I made him pomegranate pancakes. We also made chicken tenders with the bisquick mix, both regular Chicken Tenders and then boneless buffalo chicken tenders.


One lucky winner will win the gluten-free box above from Live Gluten Freely (valued at $24.99)

To be eligible to win please leave a separate comment for each of the following by 11:59pm on Thursday November 18, 2010!

(If you already follow on Twitter, like on Facebook and subscribe, please leave a comment saying so)

Subscribe to Creative Cooking Gluten Free (top left of blog) – 1 Entry

Follow Creative Cooking Gluten Free (@Creatively_GF) on Twitter – 1 Entry

‘Like’ Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook – 1 Entry

Tweet This: Enter to win a #GF box from @BettyCrocker, @Creatively_GFEnds 11/18 (11:59pm) #giveaway#myblogspark -1 Entry and can be done once a day!

Bonus Entries:

Leave a comment below on which product(s) you would like to try and why – 2 Entries (please leave the comment twice)

Leave a comment below with which products you would like to see gluten-free – 2 Entries (please the comment twice)

Gluten Free Pomegranate Pancakes with Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Bisquick:

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.  Add about one tablespoon of pomegranate seeds to each pancake. Cook until edges have hardened and the tops start to bubble .  Flip and cook until golden brown.  Makes about 10 pancakes.

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.

Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting

Not that long ago I received a box of products from Katz Gluten Free to review.  There were so many delicious looking gluten-free goodies in the box that it has taken me a little while to do a review (another one will be coming shortly). At first I was going to review them all in one post, but I think this post will go specifically to their Chocolate Cupcakes.  After reading the ingredients I noticed that they added coffee to the mix – and I personally love adding coffee to chocolate cakes, cupcakes etc.  I just think it helps enhance the flavor a bit. The first thing I thought of after reading the ingredients was “I should make some espresso frosting for these!”.

Gluten free flour (White Rice, Corn, Tapioca,) Sugar, Fresh eggs, Canola oil, Cocoa, Baking Soda, baking powder (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Corn Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate), Coffee, Xanthan Gum, Vanilla (Pure).

These cupcakes were very tasty – almost a brownie like texture to them, which Bryan really liked.  I let them come to room temp before frosting and enjoying them (they suggest that you freeze them and keep them frozen).  Great chocolate flavor too that went well with the espresso frosting.  The combination is very mocha like – who wouldn’t love that?  Katz makes some great gluten-free products – so far everything we have tried, we have really enjoyed them.  I have noticed that some times after freezing them and bringing them to room temp they become a bit dry and crumbly, but I haven’t had that problem with these cupcakes.

Last month I was very generously blessed with an amazing coffee/espresso machine from Small Appliance (for more info click here).  Since receiving my lovely coffee maker I have been trying to think of recipes that incorporate coffee or espresso. Of course my thought was Tiramisu but I have yet to come up with a gluten-free version of this, but it is one of my goals.  Tiramisu is by far one of my favorite desserts and I tried as many pieces as I could while in Italy (pre GF).  This machine is amazing, I truly love it.

So seeing as I haven’t quite figured out a gluten-free Tiramisu I made the espresso frosting first:

Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting

4oz butter softened

4oz cream cheese softened

1-2 cups powder sugar divided (depending on how sweet you like your frosting, I used about 1 1/4 cups)

2 tablespoons espresso (cooled to room temp or very strong coffee)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

~In large bowl beat the butter and cream cheese with electric mixer
~Switch the mixer to low-speed and add the powder sugar 1/2 cup at a time until smooth and creamy
~Beat in the vanilla extract and espresso, and chill for about 20 minutes before frosting (to help thicken it up a bit, but you don’t have to)

If you haven’t had a chance to check out Katz Gluten Free products, you really should.  I have been told that Friedman’s Lunch uses their Challah Rolls for their burgers!  I think I’ll be trying the burgers there next time we go to NYC!.

October – Celiac Awareness Month

Last month we celebrated National Celiac Awareness Day on September 13th and now its October – Celiac Awareness Month (also Brest Cancer Awareness Month!!) I just wanted to take a few seconds to put this post up and share with you some great resources for celiac disease, including some of my favorite blogs.  There are so many great bloggers out there and a fantastic gluten-free community on facebook and twitter.  Please take a few moments to check out the Special Report on Celiac Disease posted by The Chicago Tribune.

Websites and Blogs to check out for great information on Celiac Disease, Resources and Amazing Recipes (many are also dairy free, egg free etc.):

Celiac Central

Celiac Disease Foundation

Celiac Disease – Mayo Clinic

Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom

Art of Gluten Free Baking

Celiac Teen

Elana’s Pantry

Gluten Free Girl and the Chef

Gluten Free Easily

Cook It Allergy Free

Simply Gluten and Sugar Free

Simply Gluten Free

Gluten Free Goddess

The Whole Gang

Triumph Dining

She Let Them Eat Cake

Celiac Scoop

And Love It Too

I Made Toast

Gluten Free Home-Maker

Adopt A Gluten Free Blogger – Heidi from Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom

This is my fist time participating in Adopt A Gluten Free Blogger, which was hosted by Sea of Book Of Yum .  I’ve seen other gluten-free bloggers posting about Adopt A Gluten Free Blogger each month, but never really knew what it was.  However, this month I got really excited about it because I had been adopted!! Shirley from Gluten Free Easily adopted me – I was so excited (I’m a dork I know), but this was my first adoption. Seeing as I was adopted, I decided I needed to adopt someone too so I picked Heidi from Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom. I absolutely adore and admire Heidi and hope to meet her in person someday.  She has been a fantastic help, resource and encouragement to me in my own journey of being Gluten-Free.  Every time I have tried her recipes I have never been disappointed.  I can e-mail her anytime to ask silly questions – like today I had to ask her if I needed to add xanthan gum or not to the recipe and then realized that the all purpose flour mixture I was using already had it in there -duh, Jenny!  Heidi is always willing to help, share ideas and make suggestions.

I think I found Heidi’s blog about a year a go and instantly fell in love with her blog and recipes and I continually go to her blog for ideas.  For my fist time participating I really wanted to look at all of her recipes and try something new.  I was so torn by several of her recipes, especially her new Allergy Free Pasta Dough, but instead I decided on a soup and a dessert.  It is getting a bit chilly here and fall is here in full force.  The leaves are starting to change color, pumpkins and apples are in abundance and it is time to take out the sweaters, scarves and start having fires at night.  I truly love this time of year and I love the food that goes along with it.

Soups have always been big in my family.  My dad is a hunter and carpenter so he was always outside either working or trying to hunt for our dinners.  (I just want to clarify my dad and other family members do not hunt for sport, it was a means of survival). During this time of year he would come home from work or hunting and my mom would have a huge got of soup or stew going. Even my first cooking memory is learning to make chicken soup with my grandmother. So I decided to choose one of Heidi’s soups and the recipe that I kept going back to is her Sausage and Bean Ragout and the only two substitution I made to the recipe was I left out the onions because Bryan is allergic to them and I used a different gluten-free pasta.  And I have to be honest, I was so caught up in football that I read the recipe wrong and instead of adding one cup of the gluten-free pasta I added the whole bag of it! Whoops – so I just added a bit more chicken stock, basil and some garlic powder and it tasted great (it tasted the same as it tasted before my whole mess up).  This soup is fantastic!! Bryan loved it and we now have plenty of left overs – enough to share with our neighbors! I’ll defiantly be making this again.

The very tasty finished product

Ground beef and hot sausage

Ground beef and hot sausage, browned

Next, add the garlic – and lots of it!

Add the broth, tomatoes, beans and basil

Simmer (and sneak a taste or two, it’s so good)

Add the 1 CUP of pasta not 1 BAG of pasta😉

Next up, lots of fresh baby spinach leaves

Wilt the spinach and serve!

The second recipe I decided to make was Heidi’s Old Fashioned Raspberry Bars– Bryan loves raspberries so when I saw this recipe I knew automatically that these had to be made.  This recipe is extremely easy and super yummy.  However I wish I had some home-made raspberry preserves to use, but instead I had store-bought.  It still tasted great…Heidi also suggested using other fruit preserves such as apricot or marmalade.  I think next time I might try maybe strawberry preserve but again, these will be made again.  These bars are super yummy

Half of the crumb mixture pressed into the bottom of the pan

Add the raspberry preserves

Add the second half on top, press lightly and bake

Thanks to Heidi for all sharing all of her wonderful recipes, stories, knowledge and wisdom to all of us – you truly are an inspiration! .  If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, you really should, she is a wonderful lady and as I like to call her Wonder Woman!  Check out some other Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger posts at Book Of Yum.