Stuffed Carnival Squash

I picked up a grapefruit sized carnival squash yesterday while at Trader Joe’s. I’ve never cooked or even had a carnival squash before but, it is a winter squash and similar shape and size to acorn squash so I figured it would be similar in texture and taste as well…and it is. I’m already crazy Thanksgiving food and knew I wanted to bake and stuff this little carnival squash (it was about the size of a very large grapefruit) so I picked up some ground turkey, dried cranberries, and a big bag of kale to go with ingredients I already had back at the Annex.

This is a really simple recipe that can be adapted to whatever your diet restriction might be – dairy free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian, low sodium, etc. It is very customizable, you just have to be creative in your stuffing fillings. My stuffing was pretty simple, but so delicious. There was no added salt to this either (except what small amount is in the spice blend I used). The flavors are that of Thanksgiving and perfect to make with leftovers, or if you are just craving a little bit of Thanksgiving throughout the year.


Stuffed Carnival Squash


  • 2 medium carnival squash – cut in half and seeds removed/discarded (you can roast these as well!)
  • 1/2 cup short grain brown rice
  • 1 cup chicken stock (low sodium, or no sodium added)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup diced baby portabella mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons Spiceologist Greek Freak Seasoning, divided
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped kale
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup shredded Cabot Cheese – Alpine Cheddar

Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Place cut and cleaned squash face down in a baking dish, add about 1/4 inch of water and cover with aluminum foil
  3. Roast squash for 30-45 minutes until fork tender, remove from oven and drain water
  4. In a small pot, bring brown rice and chicken stock to a boil, and cook according to rice specifications
  5. In a saute pan, add 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil, add kale and cover for five minutes until kale is tender.
  6. Drain water, and place kale on a paper towel to drain (you want to remove as much excess water that you can)
  7. In the same saute pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and heat pan to medium heat
  8. Add mushrooms, green onions, and 1 tablespoon of the seasoning mixture, saute until mushrooms are lightly browned and tender
  9. Add mushrooms and green onions to the kale that has been set aside
  10. In the same saute pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat pan to medium heat
  11. Add ground turkey and remaining 1 tablespoon of seasoning mixture
  12. Brown turkey and add in pine nuts to toast during the last few minutes of cooking
  13. Once the turkey is cooked throughout, add in the cooked brown rice, dried cranberries, kale, mushrooms, and green onions, stir to combine
  14. Remove from heat and stuff cooked squash halves (you may have a little extra filling, but you can use that for another meal or snack)
  15. Top stuffed squash halves with shredded cheese and return to the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes
  16. Remove from oven, and enjoy!


Jennifer’s Way {Book Review}

You won’t find many non-cookbook book reviews here on Creative Cooking Gluten free, however when a good book comes along I am more than happy to write about it and share with all of you.

photo 1(this is not the actual cover – it has changed since I received my review copy)

Jennifer’s Way is written by none other than Jennifer Esposito, acclaimed actress (who just so happens to have celiac disease) turned celiac/gluten-free advocate and bakery owner! Jennifer,like many of us, myself included, went years being misdiagnosed, a huge problem for those with celiac disease. With celiac disease having over 300 symptoms it can be difficult for doctors to know to test for this, especially if the individual is showing signs and symptoms that are less well known.Celiac disease is not a pretty disease, especially if you are misdiagnosed for many years.

Jennifer’s Way is a brutally honest summary of her journey to being diagnosed with celiac disease and her path to health and wellness in all areas of her life. Additionally in her book she shares some of her delicious recipes and you can find even more on her website. Once I cracked the cover on this book, I couldn’t put it down. So many parts of this story, I myself could have written. I would take some quick pictures with my cell phone and send them to Bryan of different sections and just say “this was me!!” and he would agree. Like Jennifer, I am also Italian (although not fully, I have more characteristics and qualities of that side of my family), I was always in love with food…it represents so much to me, and amongst other things I was diagnosed later (age 26) with many years and visits to the doctors, only to be told that it was only in my head or my favorite one…”she is just looking for attention”. Let me just say, IF I was looking for attention, going to a doctor’s office would probably be my last choice!

I was constantly sick growing up, I am short in stature (many of my family is as well, but my dad is 6’1″, I’m 4’11!!), my weight was always low,and every time I had blood work, my doctor would say that he sees something (which he called a virus), but couldn’t quite figure it out. Granted when I was younger, celiac disease was not on anyone’s radar like it is today. I actually had to bring it to my doctor’s attention to test me for it because I was so sick of being sick.

I laughed and cried while reading Jennifer’s Way. It was refreshing and heartbreaking to read the words penned by Jennifer, knowing that I and millions of others are not alone in this struggle, because it was a struggle,and some days it sill is. It is also frustrating to constantly have to defend this disease…trust me I did not ask for this, I mean who would want a DISEASE? This is not a fad for those who truly need it. The only treatment (note: not cure!) for celiac disease is a 100% gluten-free diet. There are no cheat days, yes, there is the occasional sadness of “I miss Italian bread” or “I miss tiramisu” but you learn to adapt and be creative when reformulating your favorite recipes.

Jennifer, thank you so very much for writing and sharing your beautifully honest journey with all of us, I can imagine it was not easy to do. I am so appreciative of your determination to get answers, stand up for yourself, and find the health and happiness that you so deserve, and fighting for awareness for others in similar situations. You are amazing, talented, and I can’t wait to move to NYC next month and finally visit your bakery! My mouth waters every time I see a picture you post.

(images of an article in Simply Gluten Free Magazine July/August Issue)

Watch Jennifer’s interview with John Stewart of The Daily Show:

The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen {Review}

If you follow Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook or Twitter you have probably seen my recent posts about receiving a review copy of Laura B. Russell’s cookbook The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen.  When I first received the book in the mail, I don’t think I put it down for about thirty minutes (okay it was probably longer than that). It is simply beautiful.  Bryan’s first response was “the cover looks so good I could eat it”. Thankfully Bryan loves Asian food as much as I do.  The majority of the food we eat is Asian inspired.

I was more than excited to receive this cookbook.  If you read through my recipes or take a look at my “pantry” page you have probably noticed the large selection of Asian inspired dishes and ingredients.  Since I can remember I have had a deep fondness of Asian foods and their cultures.  My mom used to tell me that while she was pregnant with me she craved Chinese food all the time.  That statement there could probably be the root of my love of Asian food, however it grew even more when I had the opportunity to live in China for a little while in 2003 (yes right in the middle of SARS).

While living there I had some pretty interesting foods but also some of the most delicious food I have ever tasted.  People used to make fun of me saying I could live off of Chinese food and eat it for every meal, well I had the opportunity to do so and I have to say I would do it again.  My breakfast usually consisted of the following: fresh made wonton soup or red bean porridge , scallion pancake (cōng yóu bǐng), fresh hot soy milk ( dòunǎi) which has a slightly sweet flavor to it.  Lunch was a number of different options (sadly most of which I can’t remember their name): kung pao chicken (gōng bǎo jī dīng), egg flower soup (dàn huā tāng), the most delicious spicy cucumbers, steamed dumplings (xiǎo ​lóng ​bāo) – either veggie or meat filled, and for the occasional dessert some Mantou (mán ​tou)  which is steamed bun that is served either steamed or deep-fried with condensed milk. For dinner my favorite dish was Peking Duck (Běi​jīng ​kǎo​yā), Hot Pot (shuàn ​guō ​zi) was another favorite of mine, although they tended to order mutton (yáng ​ròu) I opted for the chicken (jī​ ròu​) and Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans with some ground pork.

As I’m looking and every recipe and every picture in The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen I am taken back to my time in China.  All of my wonderful memories came rushing back, not just about food but all the places I had the opportunity to visit, the amazing friends that I made, and the beauty of the country.  As I mentioned above I was there during SARS so I was unable to travel very far. I was fortunate enough to visit, The Great Wall (twice) (Bādálǐng), The Forbidden City (Zǐjin chéng), Tiananmen Square (Tiān’ānmén), The Summer Palace (Yíhé Yuán), Mausoleum of Mao Zedong (Máo Zhǔxí Jìniàntáng), Ming Dynasty Tombs (Míng shísān líng), Temple of Heaven (Tiāntán), Temple of Confucius, and many more. The best part about it was I was there pretty much by myself.  Not many people were out visiting and there were definitely not tourists around. You can view some of my photographs from China on my Flickr Page (this was pre-digital so I have a ton to scan still)

Sorry for being side tracked on memories of China, I just couldn’t help it.  Now back to the book. After I looked (drooled) over the recipes and photos I handed the cookbook to Bryan and asked what he wanted me to make first.  With out much hesitation he asked for the recipe on the cover: Gingery Pork Pot Stickers with the Soy Vinegar Dipping Sauce.  Thankfully I had enough of the flours the recipe called for to make them. You can get the recipe by ordering The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen on my Amazon Store! (This is still available for pre-order, release date is August 23rd! so order now for only $14.50)

Over all the recipe its self is pretty simple with simple ingredients that most of us (especially if you are gluten-free) already have in your pantry.  The only two items I needed to pick up were the pork and the green onions.  We don’t normally cook with any form of onion in our house because of Bryan’s allergy, but we decided to give these a try to see how he felt (he felt fine after eating them, woo hooo). I read the instructions a few times because I didn’t want to screw anything up…I had my heart set on these dumplings and probably would have shed a few tears had they gone wrong.  Due to the heat and humidity I had a bit of a hard time “rolling” out the dough, but I just made it work.  We ended up with a few less dumplings than the recipe yield but we devoured them all regardless.

It is amazing what a huge flavor impact just a few ingredients can have.  I had a little bit of the sausage mixture left over so I added it to a skillet, cooked it up and then tossed it with my spicy green beans as a side dish.  I’m not joking when I say I almost cried when I first tasted them.  Between the dumplings and the green beans/sausage it brought me right back to China.  I was in love with this cookbook when it arrived and after tasting this first recipe I am even more in love with it.  Laura did an amazing job with this recipe and the whole cookbook.  My next recipe to try is her Kung Pao chicken.

We plan to make these again but I have to order some flours first.  However, when I do make them I will be making a triple batch and freeze the majority of them.  That way we have them for a quick dinner and something that Bryan can just make while he is home for lunch and I am at school.

Seeing as this is the recipe Bryan choose I asked him what he thought of it (I usually do this anyway but he still can’t stop talking about them) and his response was “these are fucking delicious – anything more would just take away from its deliciousness”.  Now who said you can’t have gluten-free Asian food and it taste like the real thing?

Laura,  I know we’ve been chatting back and forth and I have said this a million times to you but thank you for creating such a beautiful cookbook with amazing recipes that take me back in time.  The recipe that we tried truly made me feel like I was back in China with my friends at a dumpling restaurant or on campus at the dining hall.  You also made my non-gluten-free boyfriend one happy person.  We are both looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

Please visit Laura’s website at: You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter

Also, Are you in the Portland area? Laura will be doing a  book signing for “The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen” at Crave Bake Shop on Wednesday, September 7th in the evening. Lots of treats involved!

Three Year Blogiversary

(I know the picture above doesn’t have to do with food but daisies are my favorite flowers of all time) 

This month I’ll be celebrating my three-year blogiversary – June 27th to be exact. I have been trying to think about a great way to celebrate it and I think I’ve finally figured it out.  I’m going to do a giveaway!  This is not a giveaway sponsored by anyone or company in particular.  What I am planning to do is get a good-sized box and fill it with all different kinds of goodies: gluten-free treats, coupons, kitchen items etc.  Below you will see a list of what has been included in the box so far.  I’ll continue to add to the box as I find things I think you all might like.  There are going to be plenty of opportunities for all of you to enter so be sure to read them all and post a separate comment for each entry.

I started Creative Cooking Gluten Free as a way to release my frustrations in this new lifestyle.  I knew from the beginning that this wasn’t going to be a very easy transition for me.  I am Italian and French and lets just say we love our bread and pasta in my family.  I couldn’t imagine life with out the two but was determined to find amazing substitutions that were suitable for this new adventure in my life.  Over these past three years I have tried many different gluten-free items, many of which have been sent to me from the companies directly (which I am beyond thankful for and feel very fortunate to work with these companies).  However, in the beginning of this new lifestyle I tried so many different foods that made me want to cry – and not in a good way.  I couldn’t believe that people actually ate some of this food and thought it was good.  The bread was absolutely disgusting – looked and tasted like a brick (I won’t mention brand names).  So instead of giving up and eating what I wanted to eat I did research, read books, but most of all I found some pretty amazing gluten-free bloggers who gave me hope.  With out these lovely ladies I don’t know if the transition would have been as easy as it was.  It was such an amazing feeling and relief to see that there were others out there with Celiac Disease and their food looked amazingly delicious.  Almost too good to be true, but thankfully the look of their food and the taste were spot on.

I have been sick for most of my life.  I was diagnosed when I was younger with IBS and Lactose Intolerance, however I don’t know if I have either – I know for sure I am not Lactose Intolerant because I could eat all the dairy I want and be fine, it was everything I was eating with it that made me sick.  Since going gluten-free I have never felt better.  My Fibromyalgia also has improved greatly.  There used to be days where I couldn’t even get out of bed but I haven’t had one of those days in years – Wooo Hooo! (If you are someone who also has Fibromyalgia, you know how exciting that is). It was so nice to finally have an answer to all of my symptoms, even if it took them almost twenty years to figure it out.  I’m much happier and healthier now.  I don’t really miss gluten much.  Every once in a while I will crave a nice piece of Italian or French Bread but when Bryan buys a sandwich or something containing lots of gluten, I ask to smell it🙂 no, really I do and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  Thankfully he is used to it now and will even offer me a sniff.

The majority of the recipes you will find on this blog are recipes that I enjoyed before going gluten-free and adapted them to be gluten-free.  Some of my favorite recipes to adapt are my grandmother’s and the recipes found in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine.  These recipes are simple, easy to find ingredients, and delicious.  I’m also a huge fan of Asian food so you will see plenty Asian inspired recipes on here with a handful of recipes that I adapted from P.F. Chang’s.

I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect and neither is this blog.  I have no problem talking about my mistakes and failures on here.  As I mentioned, this was first started to release my frustrations and track my progress and in three years it has turned into what it is.  Creative Cooking Gluten Free is a forever changing blog and it will continue to evolve over the coming years especially when I begin my culinary labs.

If you weren’t aware already, in March I enrolled in my dream college to pursue my dream of being a chef.  My goal is to complete my degree in Culinary Nutrition and become a Registered Dietitian – and to do this whole program as gluten-free as I possibly can.  Thankfully the Chefs that Johnson & Wales University are very accommodating.  So please stay tuned to more of my adventures.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes/posts over the last three years:

I would like to thank my inspirations and all of my readers and followers.  Without all of you this blog truly wouldn’t be what it is today.  I can’t thank you enough for all of your support, kind words, encouragement, and wisdom.

To thank YOU I am doing a giveaway! As I said, there are plenty of ways to enter and this list will continue to grow as I find different items to add, but for now here is a list of the items to be included in the box (even if you don’t like/or can’t use everything enclosed in the box you can share with a friend!):

  • 1 Package (22oz) of Bob’s Red Mill All Purposed Baking Flour
  • 1 Package (21oz) Bob’s Red Mill Brownie Mix
  • 1 Bag of Mini Pops (3oz)
  • 1 Cute little cupcake holder
  • 1 Set of 2010 Chef Series Recipes from POM Wonderful
  • 2 POM Wonderful Rubber Bracelets
  • 1 Carton (12oz) Pacific Natural Foods Organic Cream of Mushroom Condensed Soup
  • 1 Carton (12oz) Pacific Natural Foods Organic Cream of Celery Condensed Soup
  • 1 Carton (12oz) Pacific Natural Foods Organic Cream of Chicken Condensed Soup
  • 1 Small Bamboo Cutting Board
  • Coupons: Thai Kitchen (1-free item), Coffee House Breve Creme (1-$.55), Breakstone’s Sour Cream Dip (3 – $1.000), Breakstone’s Sourcream Zesty Blends (3 – $1.00), World Harbors (1 -$1.00), Tribe Hummus (1- $1.00)
  • 1 POM Wonderful Apron
  • 2 Small Flex Cutting Boards
  • 1 Reusable Tote/Grocery Bag from
  • 1 Box (6.3 oz) of Enjoy Life Food’s Crunchy Sugar Crisp Cookies
  • 1 Bottle *16.9 Fl oz) of “Pre-Brus Whitening Mouth Rince” from the Natural Dentist
  • 1 Tube (5 oz) of “Healthy Teeth and Gums, Anticavity Toothpaste” from the Natural Dentist
  • 1 Tube (5 oz) of “Healthy Teeth and Gums, Whitening Toothpaste” from the Natural Dentist
  • 1 Box (10oz) Lundberg Plain Roasted Brown Rice Couscous
  • 1 box (10oz) Lundberg Mediterranean Curry Roasted Brown Rice Couscous
  • 1 Package of “No Pan Required” Cupcake Liners (Brown and Teal)
  • 1 Box (12oz) Kellogg’s Gluten-Free Rice Krispy Cereal

Ways to enter:

**Please be sure to leave a comment for EACH entry – and if you already do one of these please leave a comment below saying so – Thank you!!

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment below saying what you would like to see more of on Creative Cooking Gluten Free

Optional Entries:

Subscribe to Creative Cooking Gluten Free

“Like” Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook

“Follow” Creatively_GF on Twitter

Leave a daily entry saying “Daily Entry” and then the date

Tweet about this giveaway and be sure to include @Creatively_GF and #3Blogiversary

Mention either on your blog or on Facebook (and be sure to link back to this post)

The giveaway will run until Thursday June 30th at 11:59 pm (EST).  The giveaway is open to US Residents (continental) only.  One winner will be chosen and will have 48 hours after they receive an e-mail notification from me to respond with their shipping details.  If the original winner does not respond within the allotted time another winner will be chosen.  I use Random.Org to pick winners of any and all giveaways on this blog.  

Thank you all for an awesome three years- you are all awesome!  It has been a huge learning curve but I wouldn’t really change much about it.  I’m looking forward to many more years to come and plenty more recipes, reviews, restaurants, and more to share with you.

Good Luck!

Garlicy Green Beans – Share Our Holiday Table

I am honored to be one of the many bloggers participating in a virtual dinner by Share Our Strength – Share Our Holiday Table to raise awareness about childhood hunger in the United States.  For a week bloggers around the country will be setting their virtual tables with holiday dish ideas starting with Appetizers (12/6), Drinks (12/7), Salads (12/8), Soups (12/9), Entrées (12/10), Sides (12/13) and finally Desserts (12/14).

This event really hit home for me.  Growing up we didn’t have much money and were brought up to be resourceful not just with money but also with food.  I grew up in a family of hunters (not for sport but for survival), so we grew up eating many different types of meat.  If it wasn’t for my dad hunting we would have gone with out a lot more often.  Our freezer would be stocked with meat from deer, bear, wild boar, turtle and moose amongst others. My mom would make some amazing tasting meals including soups/stews, roasts etc.

Even now we, like many other families struggle to put food on the table some days, but we are making the best of it.  Bryan is a huge support and encouragement when I have my mini breakdowns about being so financially strapped right now.  I made a meal one night that almost brought me to tears, it wasn’t a horrible meal but it reminded me so much of my childhood I could barely eat it.  Do you ever have moments like that? Where a smell or taste brings back such a strong memory?

I am very thankful for programs/organizations such as Food Stamps, The Knights of Columbus and The Elks because they provided many holiday meals and presents for our family. When the holidays came around, our meals were much more traditional with turkey and ham being served instead of the game meats.  We had all of the sides to top it off – mashed potatoes, squash, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and my favorite; green bean casserole! I love green beans.  I will eat them pretty much anyway – fresh, with almonds, steamed, sautéed in a little sesame oil and chili oil and if you’ve been reading my blog you will have seen the following recipe pop up once or twice already.  My garlicy green beans recipe has replaced the green bean casserole on our family table.  It is beyond simple and extremely quick to make.  Bryan loves it just as much as I do and I even made it for Thanksgiving this year with his family – we received no complaints.

Before I get to the recipe I want to share a little about Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry Program (borrowed from their website):

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign is working to ensure that no child in the United States goes hungry again. One dollar can help connect a child with up to ten healthy meals.

No Kid Hungry™, an unprecedented, five-year effort designed to end childhood hunger in America. Our nation has the food and programs in place to end childhood hunger, but consider what we are up against: The stigmas and embarrassment that surround hunger, the challenges presented by access to healthy food, and the struggle to connect children with the resources they need to thrive. For 25 years, Share Our Strength has been confronting hunger head-on to break down these barriers. Together, with your support, we can put an end to childhood hunger. Will you join us in the No Kid Hungry campaign?

Please consider helping out by making a donation at No Kid Hungry Share Our Strength

Garlicy Green Beans

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 (if you get the steam in the bag fresh green beans – found in your produce section, it makes this recipe even easier!!).  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 butter sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.

This side dish is easy, quick, tasty, cost efficient – I really think your family will enjoy it.  You can adjust the garlic to your preference and even add some slivered almonds (I would lightly toast them and then toss them in the pan).

Happy Holidays to you and your families. Below is a list of the other bloggers taking part in todays “sides” post – also if you are looking for posts from the previous categories, click HERE (you dont’ want to miss these – so many great recipes have been shared).


Family Friendly


Gluten Free

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.


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.

Little bit of spice

I used to hate spicy food.  But somewhere along the way I grew to not only like it but love it.  I ate quite a bit while living in China so that may have helped.  I’m not going to go and burn all my taste buds and mouth off for something spice though.  I want to actually enjoy my food and all the other flavors that are incorporated into the dish – whatever it may be.

I really enjoy cooking with red pepper flakes and Thai Chili’s (see my sweet and spicy chicken recipe!). While in Italy I brought home some red pepper flakes from the Campo de’ Fiori in Rome along with a few other herbs to bring home and try.  I didn’t think much of the flakes but, these were super flavorful!!  Probably the best I have ever had or bought anywhere else.  Don’t ask me why these were so much better, but they were…maybe it was just because I bought them in Rome. Those little flakes packed a ton of flavor! That market was amazing, if you are ever in Rome I highly suggest going there and checking it out.  There was a man there hand slicing procuitto!! And the olives…oh they were to die for.

One night when Bryan was here visiting I decided to be a nice girlfriend and make him stuffed peppers (being nice because I don’t eat peppers) and having never made them before I had no clue what I was doing…oh it was a mess!! We used some hot Italian sausage and added some red pepper flakes…a bit too many because neither of us could breath, had to open the window and everything.  Amazingly, he ate them and didn’t complain.  Probably one of the worse meals I ever made!!

With one failed hot Italian sausage recipe down, we figured we would give another one a try.  So a few nights later I used a jar of Trader Joe’s Arrabiate Sauce (has a slight spice to it and is really good), four links of Trader Joe’s hot Italian sausage and a bag of Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Pasta.  This meal came out so much better.  If I had the time would have made my own sauce but it was a weeknight and we wanted dinner to be quick and easy. I made this meal again last night but added chopped zucchini to the mix-yummm.  You can add in any other veggies you may like – onions, mushrooms etc.  The sauce is great because it has a little bit of spice already and plenty of garlic.

Red Sauce with Hot Italian Sausage

1 jar of Trader Joe’s Arrabiate Sauce (or any sauce is fine)

4 links of Trader Joe’s Hot Italian Sausage

2 medium zucchini

1 bag of Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Pasta

Cut the zucchini in small-medium cubes.  Remove casings from sausages and either cut or tear apart the sausage into chunks.  In a medium skillet brown sausage over medium heat until almost cooked through out.  Add zucchini and cook for an additional two minutes.  Add the jar of sauce and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

In a large sauce pan bring water to a boil. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of olive oil.  Add pasta and cook per directions on the bag (usually 9-12 minutes).  Strain pasta, reserving 1/3 cup of pasta water to be added to the sauce.  Return the pasta to the pot, add a few drizzles of olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking together and about a ladle of sauce.  Serve the pasta with sauce and enjoy.

I was on hot sausage kick this week!  Victoria (one of my current roommates) was craving pizza really badly and the only place around here for me to get any form of it is Whole Foods – 4.99 for tiny little pizza from Glutino one hot sausage link and about 15 minutes later (that pizza takes more than than it says of the package!) I had one tasty little meal.  I’ve never had one of their pizzas before and it was good…not my favorite but still good.

New e-Cookbook from The W.H.O.L.E. Gang!

Check out the post below about the new e-cookbook from The W.H.O.L.E. Gang:

“I’m very excited to share a project I’ve been working on for some time now.  My first e-cookbook has been published.  The Gluten-Free Diner is ready for you to get instantly.

Now those of you who were signed up for my newsletter already knew it was out and had received a discount code.  I appreciate all of you that have already purchased the book.  Thank you. If you’re not signed up for the newsletter and want to be among the first to get the latest news, tips and recipes, sign up for it here.

Now that I’m sharing The Gluten-Free Diner with the wider world, I am offering a special introductory discount that will expire in 3 days so don’t wait to get your copy.  Be sure to read to the end of this note for the discount code.

The Gluten-Free Diner Cookbook

The Gluten-Free Diner contains 48 of  your favorite diner-inspired recipes.  I love to eat out and go to diners.  Unfortunately most of them can’t accommodate a gluten and dairy free diet.  So I’ve created these recipes to answer the question, “If I had a diner, what would I be serving?”

This cookbook not only has recipes, but a menu on how to put them all together for tons of great meals.  Click Here to check out what’s on The Gluten-Free Diner Menu!

Also included on almost every page is a little blue box where you can take notes on something you might change to your own taste, what you would serve that recipe with, mark it as your favorite to make again or anything else you want to remember.  Almost every recipe  has a photo of the dish.  I don’t know about you, but I’m a very visual person.  Show me the photo!  As always, I love to get your pictures when you make these recipes.  Please send them along, especially if you make the two recipes that don’t have photos so I can add them in the next edition.

I would love for each person who reads this to purchase The Gluten-Free Diner and then pass this message along to others.  This cookbook makes a great gift for those people in your life that always want to cook for you, but are not really sure what a gluten free meal would be.  Maybe you are looking for a gift to give a teacher, co-worker, friend or neighbor.   How about that Dad that likes to cook or other family members that insist on giving you that dry plain piece of chicken or fish when you visit.

Of course these meals are great for those who do not even follow a special diet, but just love diner meals.  I’ve tested these meals on company, and not one of them ate gluten and dairy free and not one of them even noticed it was missing.”

I’ll be downloading mine soon!  I always love finding new cookbooks, gluten-free or non-gluten-free.  I was excited to see that this one was a digital cookbook that can easily be downloaded and best part…its under $10.00…now that is something you don’t see very often anymore. Check out some of the recipes offered here.

Click here to get The Gluten-Free Diner Cookbook

Cooking with my Grandma Lu

Shauna from Gluten Free Girl posted a tweet last week asking everyone “What was the first thing you learned to cook?” and “How did it make you feel”. She then did a follow up tweet along the lines of….if you have a blog do a post on Monday and we’ll see what everyone comes up with.

I got excited about this because when it comes to cooking and cooking memories I always go straight back to my grandmother…

My Grandma Lu is amazing.  I love this woman, more than words can express.

Lucretia Ferranti is my sweet little Italian Grandmother.  I have always admired my grandmother.  She married my grandfather young, had six children and even raised many of them herself.  She may be little be she is one tough lady.  No matter how hard life could get she always remains positive, saying things like “this will pass”.  Wise way beyond her years she has been a rock in our family through the generations.

I have always looked like a mini me of my grandmother…from the day I was born.  My dad used to joke about my nose saying I looked like I was window shopping all day long because it was pressed down a bit (he was just joking around because I defiantly looked like the Italian side more than the French).  From our height, to curly hair and our very poor eyesight.  I wish I had photos from of us when I was little, but those are in a box some where right now (I’ll post them eventually).  The photo above was taken two Christmases ago.  I was telling her she should get some new, fun glasses and told her to try mine on when I tried hers.  She cracks me up…and I think she looks good with my frames! When I was born my parents even tossed around the idea of calling me Lucretia after her, but we ended up with Jenny instead. There are many days that I regret not taking her up on her offer to help me go to culinary school, maybe someday I’ll do it.  I’m looking forward to being close to her again.

Growing up I remember her most in the kitchen.  Either preparing a huge holiday meal, Sunday dinner or doing one of her many catering jobs.  But my first memory of her in the kitchen is this:

We were living in Rochdale, MA.  I was about seven years old and my older sister was out side playing on a sunny day.  I wasn’t feeling all that great (which was normal when I was younger) and my grandmother was there visiting.  She pulled up a chair next to her at the counter and taught me how to make chicken soup from scratch.  (Granted I don’t fully remember the recipe, but she taught me how to cook).  A very typical thing with my grandmother is she doesn’t normally follow recipes, she has them but she doesn’t use them much.  So her version of chicken soup was pretty much “what is in the refrigerator?” “Oh, well just add a little of this, and a little of that”  I remember peeling and cutting the carrots, celery and many other veggies to be added to her stock.  I wish I had that recipe to share today with you because that is my fist memory of cooking with her (cooking in general).  She taught me how to cut the veggies up and made me watch her make the stock and the remainder of the soup.  Back then, I wasn’t so thrilled to be doing this on a nice day, but one thing is for sure I will never forget that.

Like I wrote above, my grandmother doesn’t use recipes often but she has them.  Actually she kept them in this brown folder that every female in my family has coveted.  We covet this brown folder so much that my Aunt Sue, my sister Sara and I decided that one year for Christmas we would get the folder, take a bunch of the recipes and make a “book” out of them for all the ladies.  We knew this brown folder could not be given to all eight of us so we had to find a way to share them. We covet this for many reasons: there is only one copy of this, we all have memories of my grandmother in the kitchen cooking with each one of us and teaching us her many tricks/secrets and because sadly she has Alzheimer.  We are happy that she had as many recipes written down as she did because sadly at this point we wouldn’t be able to get all of our favorites from her.

One of my other favorite recipes of hers (which is in this brown folder/cookbook) is her Red Sauce (Red Gravy) and Meatballs.  I actually had to e-mail my sister today to get these recipes because my cookbook has been shipped back east already.  After I asked Sara for it today she sent me a message on facebook saying “funny that you asked me for those recipes.  I took out some turkey burger for dinner tonight and now I’m going to make grams sauce (sugar-free) and meatballs”.  My gram would have to count how may meatballs she added to the sauce to cook because she knew we would all try to steal one!  They are just so good that its hard to resist the urge.  My dad told me a story one time about her sauce.  Like I said we all tried to sneak one and one day he attempted it but instead of pulling up a meatball he pulled up a pigs foot! Ha ha ha he never tried to sneak one again.

Grams Sauce

1tbs. oil
1tsp oregano
1 large can crushed tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic
1 onion chopped
1 can tomato paste
water as needed
1 -2 tsp(s) of red pepper flakes (I like my sauce a little spicy)
Add oil to large sauce pan and cook garlic and onion together (if using red pepper flakes add them now). Add crushed tomatoes and 1 can of water blend and add the tomato paste and 1 can of water. Simmer over medium to low heat until the sauce starts bubbling. Lower heat and simmer for 10 to 15 min. longer. If you are cooking meatballs with the sauce simmer until the meatballs are done.

Gram’s Meatballs

(just a little bit of a note: my grandmother has made this recipes for so many years, none of us are quite sure of the exact amounts, but I’m going to include some that I find work best in the gluten-free version)

1 lb of ground beef (or 1/2 hamburg 1/2 ground pork – the method I prefer)
1 eggs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons  fresh parsley chopped
1 cup gluten free bread crumbs – use 2 slices of gluten-free bread and pulse in a food processor until fine.
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper (freshly ground)

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients and mix well, but do not over mix.

Roll meatballs to your desired size.

Stove top: cook the meatballs in tomato sauce on a low to medium heat until the meatballs are cooked.

Bake: you can bake the meatball in the oven to your desired likeness.

I always cook mine directly in the sauce and let it simmer for a few hours, stir occasional so nothing burns or sticks to the bottom.

Serve with your favorite kind of pasta.

Gram if you ever get to read this, I love you and am very thankful that I am your granddaughter.  You are truly an amazing woman who I will cherish all the days of my life.  You have taught me many things in life besides cooking and enjoying food.  You taught me about forgiveness, acceptance and true love.  Thank you for always being the solid rock in our family and always bringing us together.  You are my inspiration!

My dad and I in 1982 – with the doll my grandmother gave me.

Fruity Pebble Crispy Treats

Earlier this week I learned my lesson with rice crispy treats.  Even though the package says “Contains: Milk and Soy” it really goes contain gluten also.  I knew a while back that rice crispy cereal has malt in it (and so doesn’t the rice crispy treats) but silly me just read the “contains” area and completely didn’t even look at the malt.  Dumb on my part I know.  I learned my lesson good…was sick for about 3-4 days.  Not very pleasant.

I posted my frustration on my Creative Cooking : Gluten Free Facebook page and Krisit posted this:

“I don’t eat rice krispies or corn pops for that reason since they have malt and other “gluten” ingredients. But if you want a snack “like” rice krispy treats….I use cocoa or fruity peebles (only the boxes with the Flintstones on it !!) and mix them with marshmellows and butter. They are BETTER than regular rice krispy treats!!!! The cocoa peebles one is my favorite!”

In my frustration I went to Kellogg’s website and found this information:

“Which of your products is gluten- or wheat-free?

At this time, we do not offer products suitable for consumers on a gluten- or wheat-free diet. All of our products are produced in facilities that also manufacture wheat-containing products. We cannot guarantee that any products are 100% gluten- or wheat-free.

Kellogg’s® Eggo™ Syrup and Kellogg’s™ Fruit Flavored Snacks are formulated gluten and wheat-free and may be acceptable for consumers on restricted diets. However, these products are produced in facilities that also manufacture other products that contain wheat. Consumers have varying sensitivities to gluten, and although we follow approved standardized manufacturing practices, some consumers are so sensitive that even wheat dust that may be in the product can result in a reaction. Therefore, we do not have any products that are gluten-free.

Kellogg’s® Corn Pops and Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies might be suitable, depending on gluten sensitivity. Corn Pops have a very small amount of wheat starch added, and Rice Krispies have a small amount of malt flavoring, made from barley. Check with your personal physician to determine if these products are suitable for you.”

I found this to be a bit contradicting: “At this time, we do not offer products suitable for consumers on a gluten- or wheat-free diet.” but further on it says: “Kellogg’s® Corn Pops and Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies might be suitable, depending on gluten sensitivity.” So either you have gluten free products or you don’t.  Needless to say I was a bit frustrated with them over this.

After reading the responses to my post I thought why not give Kristis suggestion a try?  I went and found the simple ingredients:

Fruity Pebble Crispy Treats

1 box of the Fruity Pebbles

1 package of mini marshmallows

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

1/4 cup of butter

~Melt butter over low heat,add marshmallows & stir till completely melted.
~Stir in vanilla, then cereal until well coated.
~Using lightly buttered spatula. press into buttered or tinfoil (buttered) lined 9×13″ pan. Allow mixture to cool. Cut into bars.

Thank you Kristi for a great suggestion and a gluten free alternative to Rice Crispy Treats. They were AWESOME!!!!