Monthly Archives: January 2012

There Might Be Cake In Your Future

There might be cake for breakfast. Or, for snacks. Or, your lunchbox. Whatever. Let them eat cake. All day, everyday if I have anything to say about it. Who doesn’t like cake? Really. Need to make it gluten free? Oh, you can’t have eggs? Me either.  No problem!! really, it’s just not that hard. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t have what you want. You can. I promise.

This gluten free spice cake is DE_LI_CI_OUS.  It looks like cake. It tastes like cake. It must be cake. Eat it.

Let them eat cake! SPICE CAKE

Spice cake cleverly disguised as cupcakes

  • 1/4 C butter, softened
  • 1/4 C palm shortening
  • 1 C hot water
  • 1 C molasses
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp soda
  • 2 eggs (replace with flax meal “eggs” )
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 3/4 C gluten free flour (I used equal parts brown rice flour and potato starch)

Mix. Bake as 24 cupcakes at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Let cool. Serve with Cool Whip dollop on top. I am sure that some sort of cream cheese frosting mixture would be crazy good on this too. Probably mix that up next. mmmm

Secret Ingredient

Do you know why your food tastes good? It’s because there is a secret ingredient in mix.

Love. ❤

How do I know that?  Because I put it there. Yep.

Cooking for a family is not always sunshine and lollipops, nope, and it’s not always fun either. The lists, the shopping, or “the wrangling of who needs to be where and when with what and then when do they eat before they have to be there with what they need to take with them” kinds of management that happens in kitchens all over the world. At least that’s what happens in my kitchen. Sometimes it’s like herding cats. Sometimes it’s easy. I don’t really know what anyone else is doing, but I try to put some fun into the mix.

This is love.

Eat your veggies. I love you.

Chickeny Goodness

We loved the chicken lettuce wraps that we had in Minnesota last month, so much that I have been trying to recreate them at home. For one thing, it’s a fairly long drive (900 miles) back to that particular restaurant – so that’s part of it. But, for another thing – we don’t have anything remotely like this being served at any restaurant near us. Silly  restaurants.

Besides, this was cheaper. And guaranteed to be gluten free, although the restaurant, to be fair, did sell them to us as GF, it’s just fun to actually make them totally GF at home. This is our official tornado watch snack of the month,btw, if you are keeping score at home.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps 

  • 3 chicken breasts- cubed, although if I could have found ground up chicken meat at the store tonight, then I would have used that. Whatevs.
  • 2 T oil

Brown chicken cubes or mashed meat. Add:

  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

Stir until the onion looks sorta cooked through

Mix together:

  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Thai chili paste
  • 1 Tbsp GLUTEN FREE soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 C hoisin sauce. (read the label, get the gf kind)

Pour that into the pan and stir it up with the chicken. Cook another couple of minutes.

Add:

  • handful of bamboo shoots
  • sliced grape tomatoes
  • 2 green onions, sliced

Optional: something crunchy – sliced water chestnuts, or some celery, or chopped peanuts would have been great on this. Don’t get me wrong.. it was delicious, but next time I will add the crunchy angle to the madness.

We served this mixture up on big green lettuce leaves. It was super messy, and oh, so tasty. Napkins, please! This was so delicious. Really. I am sad that I ever thought I had to eat out to find something this tasty. Yum.

The leftovers will be great in a bento! Or rolled up in a rice wrap, or sprinkled over tortilla strips as a nacho kinda thing.

Princess Potatoes

We are hosting a princess party tomorrow, and while there are cupcakes and tiaras involved…. real food will be needed as well.  If there are any leftovers, they are GREAT as leftovers. Reheats nicely as a side dish and is super comfort food. mmmm

These go nicely with the menu for tomorrow. And the way I make them, they are gluten free. Because I can, and because I have to.  So there.

Princess Potatoes 

  • 1 bag of Ore-Ida hashbrowns (thawed)
  • 1 box of Pacific Brand Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 – 8 oz.  carton of sour cream
  • 1/2- 3/4  C coconut milk depends on how soupy you want your sauce to be!
  • 1/2 C red onion -chopped or minced to your liking… or use green onions, or white or yellow.  Go crazy and use all four kinds mixed up together if you want to.
  • 3 cups of shredded cheese (we used monterey jack-colby)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Stir and bake at 350 for an hour.

yum

 

 

Avoid the NY-NY Pizza

Yeah. Well. We tried to go out for dinner, thought it might be fun to try a new place because I had heard that they have gluten free pizza. /not exactly in my neighborhood, but we were over on that side of town anyway.

We don’t get to eat out much because it’s just to hard, but we went.

The experience went from weird, to yucky, to just plain gross.

In the plus column:

  • They serve GF pizza – medium size with choice of topping for $9.99
  • They serve Coke products (thank you)
  • The waiter explained that the GF pizza is cooked seperately and takes longer and that they use separate utensils for everything.
  • The sauce was delicious.

———-

that’s were the good news stops.

  • The waiter then, still tried to sell us on the idea of ordering  some pizza sticks while we waited, and cookies for dessert. Dude. really? You don’t get the GF thing at all then. Red flag.
  • The toppings were in the smallest possible amounts, 4 slices of pepperoni on a pizza? really? Oh, come on!  There are more toppings on the pizzas I get from the frozen section at the supermarket. Skimpy toppings? gee thanks.
  • Why spend the extra effort to cook it separately and then serve on the regular pizza pans? hello.
  • There was a hair in one of the pizzas. Goodbye appetite. Gross.
  • The chicken on the “chicken-mushroom” pizza looked like slices of chicken jerky we give the dog… and the meat smelled old, and was just gross. We picked that off.
  • The crust was less than okay, sort of doughy- tasted kind of chalky. The outside edge was okay, but the middle was still raw. Ew.
  • The menus were g-r-o-s-s / covered in sticky food bits and god only knows. It’s a plastic cover, wipe it down.
  • The floors were gross. Who sweeps up in this place? ew.

Really, super random and as it turns out not gluten free, gluten free meal.

They tried. They failed.

Bottom line is we won’t go back.

 

 

CakeBread

My brother lives in wine country, in California.  Tough life, it’s so amazingly beautiful there.  Anyway, so I tend to dial him up when I am in the wine store, trying to decide what on earth to buy. Good lord, there is a range of wine in those stores. Whatever should I choose? Go with the cheap? Go with the expensive? Go with the local (to my brothers’ house) and hope for the best?

I got some potentially obnoxious news today,  and I prefer to dull the pain of the not knowing with wine. Chardonnay specifically. Sue me. The news of what is, or isn’t, will reveal itself tomorrow, and I shall deal with it then. Until then, I shall enjoy my ridiculously expensive Chardonnay.  (Did I mention that it was e-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e  yet?  egads.  There goes the budget. ooOOooooh well.

I WILL absolutely enjoy myself for one last day, before the level of what I have to do vs. what I want to do is listed out for me by other people. Yes, I will.

For the record, the cheap stuff is generally just as delicious as the really expensive stuff. Need a recommendation? go with what is on sale.

Yeah, it’s like that. I am pretty bossy, but trust me on this, unless it’s an amazing celebration occasion– go with the cheaper stuff. It’s not that different for the price.

HOWEVER. This is a special occasion. One that requires special attention (to ME) and perhaps some level of “good” over “whatever” that I usually employ when making my final choices at the wine store.

Cheers. … and good luck with that.

Make some soup

New Year.. new soup.

It’s raining, it’s pouring, damp, flooding and just plain ugly weather. Why would I expect anything else in January? I don’t know. Anyway, I need some soup.

Chicken Soup with Veggies and noodles

  • 8 chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into small pieces
  • 1 onion
  • 5 carrots, sliced
  • 4 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 potatoes, cubed
  • frozen peas, broccoli and corn, as needed
  • 2 qts chicken stock (Pacific Brand is GF)
  • Montreal Steak seasoning
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • poultry seasoning
  • basil

Brown the chicken bits and onion in a stock pot with a small amount of oil. Add all the veggies. Pour on the chicken stock. Add some seasoning to taste. Simmer more or less for a half an hour, or until the potatoes are cooked through.

Adding precooked noodles at the very end makes it just that much yummier. I broke some gf spaghetti noodles into small sections and cooked them up. Gluten free noodles are tricky. Precook them in a separate pan, – and due to science considerations beyond me, they will continue to absorb liquid in the soup.

Go to DisneyWorld – TWGF

TWGF  ..Traveling While Gluten Free .. not my most favorite thing to do, like not at all. I don’t like to have to plan all the groceries,  haul all the groceries and every snack we might need, and every utensil and every- everything. Can I do it? Yes, and I am good at it, all the planning and sorting and packing and snacking. I just would like to go back to the old days when I didn’t have to. ::: sigh ::: oh well.

So— anyway—- we ended up at Disney World for three days kind of  at the last minute, and kind of with not a lot of planning (and prepacking and whatnot). I could have, should have, and just decided to pack light and force myself to think outside the box when I got there. (not for the faint of heart- but it worked out fine this time)

Things that made the trip work:

  • Whole Foods at exit 74, I-4 towards Orlando
  • Kitchenette in the hotel room- fridge, microwave
  • BABYCAKES- NYC located now in “Downtown Disney” – um, yes please! a dedicated gluten free bakery? hello yes.
  • iPhone app for iBooks, that was a reader for several pdf files containing the list of Disney quick service restaurants that have GF items so that I could refer to them while we were walking around the parks.
  • Disney quick service restaurants that have GF items…. OMG… if you do this.. ask for the manager, tell them you have an allergy (boy, do they take this seriously) to GLUTEN and they bring out this giant notebook that has every ingredient listed in the things that particular restaurant offers (they aren’t all the same) – the manager will order the food by calling the kitchen and they make your meal SEPARATELY ….. and…. then the manager and chef bring you your meal, not the servers. It was amazing. It did take longer to get the meal.. typically 10-15 minutes longer than the standard foods they had.  So, if you do this, try to eat meals in “off hours”, say lunch at 2 instead of noon. The crowds have disappeared and the food arrived much faster.
  • Take snacks in your bag, for when you are sort of snackish, but don’t want a whole meal. I have to say though, that I was really impressed with the amount of fresh fruit offerings on the snack stands throughout the parks. I took some prepackaged snacks, and a bottle of water with me, worked out fine.

EAT AT PIZZA PLANET!!!!! (from the movie TOY STORY!!!)  located at Disney Hollywood Studios- they have the Amy’s rice crust, and will make it plain or with pepperoni, or with veggies on top.

EAT AT COSMIC RAY’S!!!!! – in Tomorrowland – omg, we ate here twice. Super delicious GF buns for the hamburgers. Terrific!

EAT AT THE HARBOR HOUSE!!! – in Liberty Square, tucked away around the corner on the way to Fantasyland.  The chicken tenders were AMAZING and the fries were great!