Category Archives: menu

Noodly-Noodles For Real

 

 

 

gfnoodlesWhen I switched to gluten free noodles, there were lots of trial and error meals with noodles that were all substandard. I bought rice noodles all over town, any store that had anything that was safe to cook, we tried. More often than not, we wondered why we thought we needed noodles back in our diets. We finally settled on the Tinkyada brand for anything “noodle”, and they are okay. They cook up well and hold their shapes and do whatever job a noodle needs to do… and frankly I am happy to have the option. It’s beginning to look a lot like mac and cheese season, and we need noodles!! But, they are still different enough that the gluten eaters in the house (that I still have to cook for) won’t touch the rice noodles. Well, they will eat them, they just aren’t real happy about the experience. Whatever.

Enter the Barilla brand gluten free pasta box into the noodle challenge.

Done. These are great noodles. They cook and look and taste just like “real” pasta. AND!!! The resident gluten eater said that if I hadn’t told him they were GF, that he wouldn’t have been able to tell.

Done. We have a new pasta brand!!! In. The. House. yay

 

 

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Garlic Toast

Not really toast… but look out! Remember that cinnamon roll dough? Yeah, the one that makes cinnamon rolls or pizza rolls? yeah, well …if you substitute the plain butter for GARLIC infused butter.. and sub the brown sugar with parmesan cheese? Oh. my. goodness. Garlic rolls to drool over!!!! Really yummy with spaghetti. Crazy easy and they freeze and reheat really well, too.

Sourdough Garlic rolls 

  • one recipe of sourdough rolls
  • 3 Tblspoons butter, melted
  • 5 cloves of garlic – browned in the butter
  • 2/3 C parmesan cheese
  • 1/c C grated colby-jack cheese

Roll and let rest for 30 minutes, then bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until browned to your liking.

What to do with BBEEAANNSZ

I was recently given some dried beans by an elderly neighbor. She only reheats her prepackaged food these days, and thought I might want a freakishly large package of dried mixed beans for something, …”since you cook”.

I have been in the habit of buying canned beans, but there is no way that I *CAN’T* process my own beans… I just don’t, or more precisely, haven’t lately.

Oh fine. So I cooked the beans. Stop the presses! Alert the media! Cooking your own beans is cheaper, to be sure. And not difficult by any stretch of the imagination. And they are certainly gluten free… so I cooked them.

So…how do you cook beans from scratch? – Answer? Slowly. Yes, it takes hours. And yes, buying them already cooked in a can that I only have to open and dump into a recipe is easier. I hate to admit it, but these tasted better.

  • 4 Cups of dried beans in 16 cups of water (I used filtered water) in a large enameled cast iron dutch oven. Heavy duty.
  • Let them boil for 2 minutes and then take off the heat- cover and let sit one hour.
  • DRAIN THE WATER.
  • Refill the water and simmer the beans for 2 hours, or until tender. Don’t over think this part. They are done when they are done.  This 4 cups of dried beans resulted in 12 Cups of cooked and ready to use beans for my recipes. Awesome. Thifty. Delicious.

After they had cooled off, I packaged them in 2 cup containers with a little bit of the cooking water. Some in the fridge to use right away in a delicious recipe, and some in the freezer to use later.

So far, we have had “COWBOY BEANS” and chili. mmmm …winter food.

COWBOY BEANS

Cook:

  • 1/2 lb of Jimmy Dean sausage, crumbled and cooked
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped and cooked with the sausage

Add:

  • 4 Cups of pre-cooked beans (drained)
  • 1 can of Bush’s baked beans (Do not drain)

Mix togther and pour over the top:

  • 1/4 Cup warm water
  • 2 T dark brown sugar
  • 2 T thai chili sauce
  • 2 T ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp dried mustard powder

Bake at 300 for 1 hour covered, then another 45 minutes to an hour uncovered.

Serve as a main dish, a side dish, or as a nacho topping with corn chips. These were also good as part of enchiladas. And going by the lack of any leftovers… everyone liked it.  Useful dish to be sure.

 

 

Sourdough Biscuits

When we go out to eat, we sometimes choose a restaurant that has long lines,  some antiques to look at, and they serve plates of cornbread or biscuits to munch on while you wait for the meal to arrive. So nice of them to offer, but not so nice if you can’t eat the biscuits and the butter packets aren’t really all that tasty on their own…. so, in my quest for reasons to use my gluten-free sourdough starter, I stumbled across an idea to use the starter in biscuits. Hmmm. Would it work for gluten-free? yes.. yes it did. In fact, these are better than the ones that come on the plate from the star emblazoned apron waitress. Butter? or Jam? hard to choose really. I went with one of each. Now I am off to make some sausage gravy to pour over them for supper… mmmmmmmm biscuits. I am loving this sourdough experiment!!

biscuitsSourdough Biscuits

  • 1 Cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 Cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 Cup sweet rice flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp soda
  • 1/4 Cup butter, slightly softened and cubed
  • 1 cup sourdough batter
  • 4 – 6 Tblspoons of warm water, as needed.

 

Mix the flours and dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir in the butter and then add the starter and only as much water as you need to make the dough stick together.

Pat out the dough onto a square of wax paper and used a cookie cutter to make round biscuits. Let them rise for an hour, and bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes until slightly browned.

Serve warm. With butter. Or jam. Or sausage gravy. Really.

 

Play Practice Chicken

We are currently involved in a play production…and we are busy every night for weeks. Who isn’t busy? So, having dinner cooked for me when I get home tonight will be a real treat. THANK YOU, CROCKPOT!!!! I rarely use this contraption because I would rather cook in other ways, but when it’s useful? oh yeah.

Most of the time I set it on “high”, and get whatever it is cooked and done in 3 or 4 hours.. but today, we are taking the slow “low” temp approach and it will be slowly stewing itself all afternoon and be done when I get home late tonight.

I decided to make “something” in the crockpot for tonight, but really had to use up some things from the fridge… creative economy and “Whatchagot stew”. I found some chicken and carrots and potatoes… mmmmm maybe over noodles? The sauce that it’s cooking in should make a nice gravy if I thicken it just a little bit at the end of the cooking time.

YAY dinner!

Crockpot Chicken For Busy Days

  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders, slightly defrosted and cubed.
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups of baby carrots (leftovers from the back of the  fridge-because no one will eat them otherwise…drat.)
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • one clove of garlic – peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 C chicken broth (more or less what was left in the fridge from something else I cooked last week) ymmv
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 Cup gluten-free tamari sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Worchestershire sauce

Layer it all into a large crockpot. Set it to “low” and go do your thing. Come back in 6-8 hours. Make some noodles and thicken the gravy. Should be delicious.

I  use the Tinkyada brand noodles. Can’t decide if the penne or the spiral noodles will be better for this. hmmmm. Whichever, it’s still easy dinner.

 

 

YumYum Spareribs

Drat. They liked it so much that there are no pictures to post.  But it was beautiful and very tasty. I don’t know if they actually licked the plates clean…(I did run them through the dishwasher before I put them back in the cupboard), but there weren’t any leftovers. Forget about that it was also completely gluten free. What? yes. Healthy, and safe to eat, and tasty. What? yes. Funny how that works out.

When I cook, I typically use a recipe. I have a ton of cookbooks and recipe files and usually just go with whatever it says to do. Tra-la. But now and then, I get a wild idea with ingredients that I find at the store and tonight’s dinner was just toss it in a bowl and see what happens. I purposefully started with no recipe and hoped for the best. Some sort of chef channeling thing probably. I might be watching too much Food Network programming…. what? yes. Here’s a close approximate of what happened.

YumYum Spareribs Stirfry

Mix in a bowl:

  • 4 T brown sugar
  • 2 T worchestershire sauce
  • 1/2 C gluten free tamari sauce
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic toes,  minced
  • 1 small onion, minced

Pour  this mix over the spareribs in a 9 x 13 baking pan. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Uncover and turn the meat over. Spoon sauce over meat and leave uncovered. Return pan to the oven, and bake another 15 minutes.

Slice the meat,  and add to stir-fry pan. Add one entire bag of pre-sliced coleslaw mix – (cabbage and carrots),  and spoon some of the sauce from the baking pan over all of that to season and help steam the veggies, being sure to include the onions and garlic from the baking pan in with the cabbage. Stir until the cabbage is steamed to your liking. Serve over rice. We like Jasmine rice the best… make the kind you like.

Other veggies to mix into all of this would be great, too. The farmer’s market’s are bursting with amazing veggies this week. Throw some in and see what happens!

Tomatoes, squash, broccoli, peas, green beans or some sort of rice noodle will probably be in the mix next time I make this. It was pretty tasty, and it might make a good taco filling too. Next time, I will double the portions and hopefully have some left overs!

 

Mini-Donuts!

The State Fair is less than a month away…. and the usual dread of hearing the refrain of “no donuts for you” is G-O-N-E.  gone gone gone.

Now, I can make my own!!!!

Oh, how I have missed you, Tiny Donuts! Welcome back.

minidonuts

Mini Donuts

Mix together:

  • 2 flax “eggs”
  • 2 cups of coconut milk + 2 tsps vinegar
  • 1/4 C softened/melty butter

Blend together in another bowl:

  • 5 C gluten free flour mixture blend
  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 teaspoons soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons magic pixie dust xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients by hand- and let it rest for 15 minutes. Pat the dough to just less than 1/2 inch thick and cut out circles to make the tiny donuts, just poke your finger through the middle to make the hole. Easy Peasy.  Even easier- just roll small balls of this dough to make donut holes. Munchkins? oh yes.

Fry in hot oil, roll in cinnamon sugar.

Take a bag of your own mini-donuts to the fair!

Freezer Chicken Soup

Sometimes, I go through the freezer and find a package of this and a package of that and it all sounds like it might go together in some sort of fashion. Sometimes it’s about trying to make something tasty, and sometimes it’s about not having to go to the store for dinner. Eating-down the pantry is an art. What good is storing food if you never eat it? Srsly.

This current concoction of soup, an actual vat of chickeny goodness – will last me until Christmas. And it’s pretty tasty.

Here’s news: I hate canned soup. Oh sure, it’s really handy and easy to obtain at the store, also good for emergency situations (hello? Hurricanes?) … but I really hate canned soup. I used to *LOVE* (repeat love)  a can of BeanofBacon soup from Campbell’s … but checking the list of Campbell’s gluten free products here, shows me that there are no BeanofBacon lunches in my immediate future. In fact, there are no soups on that list at all…. READ the labels on each can before you buy anything from Campbell’s. Not worth the disaster of being fed silent gluten because “soup should be safe”. Leave no stone unturned when detecting safe food. It’s worth the extra half of a minute to read lables.

There is a list of other companies and their GF soup lists here in case you do want to look for some hints about what canned soup options that are safe to eat.

Here’s what I cobbled together today from the freezer, it’s real delicious.

Freezer Chicken Soup

  • 1/2 a bag of frozen Broccoli -*the other 1/2 I left in the freezer for later.
  • 1/2 a can of corn -* left the other 1/2 with the broccoli in the freezer for more soup, later
  • 1/2  a bag of frozen peas -*again, left the other 1/2 for later
  • 1/2 C cooked rice (that I found in the freezer)
  • 2 C cooked beans mix: dark red, light red, cranberry beans,  navy, pinto, and lentils (left over from the beans I cooked this week for a pot of chili)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 carrots -peeled and chopped
  • 1 package of chicken tenders, cubed and baked
  • 1 package of spicy chicken sausage- sliced
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • poultry seasoning
  • 6 cups of hot water
  • 2 vegetable soup boullion cubes
  • 1 box of chicken stock
  • handful of fresh cilantro- chopped

It’s real tasty.

 

Eat Local

These peaches are picked locally in the morning and delivered same day. Eat local. It tastes better.

I have been exploring several locally grown vegetable farms and trying them, off and on to see which one suits my schedule. The CSA sounds like a great idea.. but they are usually on a very limited pick up schedule, so just purchasing various weekly available things from the farmer’s market seems to be a better option, for now. There are several options for local food, to purchase in my neighborhood.

  • CSA – several to choose, each with varying delivery/pickup days and locations
  • farmer market- there are three, the big one downtown, the one on Saturday mornings, and the one that is open T-S 9-3 and it’s only 2 miles from my house!
  • farmer roadside: just a pickup or two on the side of the road selling veggies – most days, if you know where to look.
  • Co-op: with a Wednesday afternoon 4-6 delivery site that is kind of close – but you have to order online on Sunday and then remember to go pick it up on Wednesday… not exactly convenient. Delicious.. but not convenient.

So, we have options… delicious options. Here’s to SUMMER!!

Image

Just Peachy

Pie. I need pie.

Usually I make little individual pies in these amazingly cute small quiche pans. I like cute food, and I find small pans really adorable. Adorable food is usually more appetizing too.

But, once in awhile I need “regular” food.

The peaches are arriving at the farmer’s market and they are delicious. Easy to peel and really juicy. Time for pie.

Peach Pie

Filling:
  • 5 C peeled and sliced peaches
  • 2/3 C sugar
  • 1/3 C gluten free flour blend ***see note***
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Crust:
  • 2 1/2 C gluten free flour blend ***see note***
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 stick of butter (or replace with 1/2 C palm shortening)
  • 1/2 + C cold water

Blend the crust mix in a stand mixer until it makes a nice ball. Let it rest for 20 minutes and roll it out. I baked it at 350 for about 45 minutes, it might take longer in your oven to make it golden brown and bubbly. When it’s done, it’s done. Don’t rush. This list of ingredients makes both the top and the bottom crusts for this pie with plenty leftover for “pie crust cookies”-

*Pie Crust Cookies*

My mom’s favorite thing on the planet! – roll out leftover pie crust dough, cut into triangles, prick with a fork and sprinkle cinnamon sugar all over the top. Bake. Delish.

***NOTE*** ==This is the gluten free flour blend that I use for this recipe. I mix up a giant batch of this and just keep it in a big Tupperware bin in my pantry, and use it in place of “regular flour” in some recipes. Easy Peasy. Feel free to use whatever works for you. Buy it off the shelf at the market, or mix it up in your own kitchen. I am a big fan of whatever works. This works.

  • 2 cups Potato Starch
  • 1/2 C Potato FLOUR (not! the same as potato starch)
  • 1/2 C xanthan gum (this seems like a lot, it isn’t)
  • 1/4 C unflavored gelatin (Knox is the brand I use, I just open little packets until it measures what I need)
  • 8 C brown rice flour
  • 2 C tapioca starch