Adventures in Gluten (and Sugar) Freedom from a southern blogger chick!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Two spicy mentions from last week...

Yes, folks, I made Randy another pie. We ate both of them. They were both delicious.

I mentioned this to someone on the Delphi Celiac List, and after I made it the other night, I knew I had to post it here.

Jalapeno Corn Bread

1 cup GF corn meal and 1 cup GF corn flour (or your flour mix)
1/2 t. xanthan gum
1 t. baking powder
3 beaten eggs *or sub equivalent
2 ears corn, stripped (or one can Niblet Kernels
1 small can diced chilis
1/2 cup chopped jalapenos (or salsa)
1 pint of GF light sour cream (or cottage cheese)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded *LF if OK
up tp 1 cup of milk (or soy/rice/almond)

Mix. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Test for doneness with a wooden skewer.

Go Tech beat Georgia Cheese Dip
(supposed to also be go Auburn beat Bama, but it was HAHA Auburn...damn)

1 pound mild or hot sausage, browned and drained
1/2 cup chopped celery
One large jar salsa, as spicy as you like it.
2 8 oz blocks of LF cream cheese
1/2 cup cheddar cheese or choice

Brown and drain sausage, add celery. (You could add onion if your husband wasn't MY RANDY). Add the jar of salsa of choice. Stir til warmed through. Put the cream cheese and cheddar on top, cover, and let sit for about 10 minutes. Stir til melted through.

Serve with the GF chip/cracker of your choice.

Much love, and last week of fall semester...


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The three hour, thirty-five minute pie

You all need a laugh before you tie on the GF Feed Bag...

Tonight I got started with our TDay preps, brining the turkey breast, thawing some homemade dressing, baking some jalapeno corn bread, making ambrosia...

I decided after dinner I would go ahead and bake my Randy's requested pecan pie. I dutifully took it out of the oven at 35 minutes and it was still a little wobbly, so at around 7 p.m. I put it back into the 325 (convection) degree oven. I was talking to my sis Janet on the phone, and I mentioned I'd just put it back in and let the residual heat firm it up a little bit more.

But while I had turned off the time, I had promptly forgotten to turn off the oven. And then we all left for Target.

When we got back at around 9:15, the house smelled wonderful, like pralines. The pie. OMG the pie.

Still in the oven. A toasty brown. Like caramel pecans. The GF crust from Whole Foods had shrunk, but it was beautifully browned.

Not burned though. The filling was almost evaporated, but it was NOT burned.

I'm afraid it might be a little crunchy, and I might end up making another one.

But chalk it up - another adventure in baking, courtesy the GF Paula Deen...

Much Love, and Happy Thanksgiving!

**Pecan Pie
Three eggs
1 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 T. melted butter
1 t. vanilla
1 cup pecans
1/4 t. salt

MIX all ingredients and pour into prepared crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce and bake for 35 minutes (not three hours and five minutes)until the middle is set.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The spirit of Thanksgiving

My friend Kate, over at Gluten Free Gobsmacked, is smack-dab in the middle of the adoption process.

I've written about Kate's journey before, and I have encouraged you, my friends and readers, to help her with her adoption journey. In fact, she knows now that she and her love will be adopting a beautiful baby girl!

But things are getting closer than ever. It won't be long now before the Chan Family is a a little bigger Family!

So here's your chance to help:

Kate is sponsoring some on-line auction items. If you go here you'll see how you can help.

I still haven't sold my cookbooks for Kate's benefit, but I hope to do that before the holiday season ends.

Anyway, I wanted to make sure you all saw Kate's latest endeavor. Help her if you can. What a great way to share the spirit of the season!

Much love, especially to my friend KATE!

P.S. I baked an exciting pumpkin pie yesterday. Now, except for the crust, Pumpkin Pie should be GF. So this was easy with a Whole Foods crust. It was pretty tasty, too. It's actually a Paula Deen recipe.

1 (9-inch) premade pie shell
1 (15-ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin puree
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (I used a can of evaporated milk instead)
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch salt
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Partially bake the pie shell, according to the package directions. (I didn't do this. It worked just fine).

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the pumpkin puree, eggs, brown sugar, melted butter, 1 1/2 cups of the heavy cream, sour cream, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt, dark rum, and vanilla. Pour into the shell. Bake for 10 minutes, and then reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dear Alton Brown

Dear Alton Brown:

It's me, Ging, the "gluten-free Paula Deen," who auditioned for your special that is airing on the Food Network right now. It's called Dear Food Network, and their people sent me an email. I sent in my picture, some questions, showed them my blog. I was so excited because I, lowly GF Ging, might get to meet her idol, Alton Brown. I was ready to cancel class for it!

You didn't pick me. I wasn't so hurt til the show came on tonight. And now I'm really sad.

Alton, you have to know, I've been a fan of yours since your first season on Food Network. I used to post on your old fan site. And I have tried for years to see you in person, since you live near me -- Atlanta and Milledgeville are not far apart.

But Alton, I have to say, I'm really upset right now -- down right GLUM, to tell you the truth. Because I'm looking at this episode, and you've already entertained some of the questions I wanted to ask, that I proposed to Marquita at Dear Food Network. (We're still Facebook friends, I hope.)

I mean Alton, come on. Why am I not watching myself on your show right now? What was it about me that said, "Don't pick that stupid gluten free lady from Milledgeville?"

Seriously. I asked about the difference in fresh and frozen birds. How to brine. How to reduce my carbon footprint, how to make a GF gravy...

Oh wait. Maybe I know what it is. I mentioned the dreaded words.....GLUTEN FREE. That has to be it.

Maybe your people, your handlers, thought my allergy-concerned questions would not be appropriate. I don't know. Or maybe you thought not many people care about GF stuff.

Look around.

But alas, I'm sitting here, all sad and filled with longing. I wanted to be there on YOUR SET watching you roast that freaking brined turkey (which I've been doing, BTW, since that first Romancing the Bird show).

Crap. I feel left out. I mean, you couldn't even let me sit in the audience? I would have been so cute, and I would have smiled a lot...whether you let me ask questions, or not.

Seriously, Alton, I feel so............unloved right now.

I know it was something I said. I just wish I knew what. My chance at six degrees of Alton Brown, dashed and dazed.

Not feeling much love,

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Almost Alphabet Soup (A Sunday Blessing)

I know. I know! I've been too gone for too long. But between the election, a weekend away for our anniversary, and a rip-roaring cold that had me in bed and out of work since last Thursday...

So this is a post about soup. I am a canned soup baby -- my Mama raised me on the lovely red and white Campbell's cans, and my favorites were always tomato and vegetarian vegetable (the "Alphabet" soup).

Now, most of you with GF issues know, there's barely a soup on the Campbell's menu that is considered GF. There's wheat in tomato soup (can't figure out why) and of course pasta in chicken noodle and vegetable soup. Even the cream soups have wheat!

But imagine my shock last week when, on the Delphi Celiac Forum, it was reported that Campbell's has basically removed the GF status from its Prego spaghetti sauces with an all-encompassing statement that basically states, "we can't guarantee the GF status of this food, so you better not risk it." It now seems the sauces contain natural flavors that may be made with barley, rye or oats.

Aw Campbell's, say it ain't so.

From their site-

"Allergen Labeling Code of Commitment"

From nourishing soups, sauces and beverages to wholesome snacks, Campbell is committed to providing extraordinary products that nourish people's lives everywhere, every day.

Since our founding in 1869, we have worked to provide an extensive choice of products that can help consumers meet their daily nutritional and lifestyle needs while consistently delivering on taste and quality. In our continued desire to meet your expectations, we are committed to providing accurate and reliable ingredient statements upon which you can make your purchasing decisions. As ingredients in our products may change, we recommend that you check the label on our products for the most current and accurate ingredient and nutritional information."

Isn't it ironic? This is the company that has a condescending, annoying, blindfolded, soup-slurping woman identifying a piece of carrot to the exact farm location, yet Campbell's can't tell me if a sauce has gluten in it.


I've managed by now to replace all my favorite uum-uum good products with ones that are certified GF, but I am sorry to say I won't take a single chance on ANY Campbell's product ever again. If they won't tell us if there's gluten in it, what else AREN'T they telling us? Oh yeah, and that all natural stuff? Give me a break.

I did manage the other day to make a vegetable soup that very closely resembled my favorite alphabet soup. You should try it.

Almost Alphabet Soup

2 packages frozen soup vegetables (available in several brands, but includes corn, peas, potatoes, carrots, limas, plus seasoning vegetables. I got mine at Kroger.)
1 envelope GF brand onion soup mix
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes plus two cans of water
One can diced tomatoes with juice
1 T. ranch dressing seasoning mix (I use Penzeys brand but Hidden Valley is GF)
2 T. GF worcestershire sauce
1 cup uncooked GF pasta shapes (or regular is you're not GF).

Mix all ingredients until soup veggies are cooked through and soup is simmering. Add pasta until cooked.

I hope everyone has a great week. Almost time for turkey day...more on that later!
Much love, and stay warm in this fall chill.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Veggies for Thanksgiving and beyond

November? What? Where has this year gone, friends?

I have been really craving veggies lately, which probably is a good thing. At least I'm not craving leftover Trick or Treat candy.

With Thanksgiving coming soon, I thought I'd use this space to publish a couple of recipes that would go well with your holiday feasts. In fact, these two recipes would go well any time in the upcoming holiday season. They're simple as can be and have sharp flavors that accentuate either roast turkey or ham.

I don't know about you, but I love Picadilly Cafeteria - ok, used to before I was gluten free. My Mama used to love this recipe, and she searched high and low for a copy of it to make for us. I was so disappointed when I found out it had flour in it, but I find this does very well with a replacement of Pamela's Baking Mix. The extras in the Pamela's mix give it the lift that taking out the gluten needs.

Picadilly's Carrot Souffle

1 3/4 pounds carrots, chopped up and cooked until very soft. You can use fresh or frozen.
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons Pamela's Baking Mix or for you non-GF folks, plain old flour
3 eggs, well-beaten w/electric mixer
1/2 cup butter or margarine (room temperature) Note: you can use light margerine and Egg Beaters instead to make this a low fat and lower calorie dish.

powdered sugar

Microwave for 14 minutes or boil carrots until they're extra soft. Drain well and put into large mixing bowl.

While carrots are still warm, add: sugar, baking powder, and vanilla. Beat with mixer until smooth. *Note. I had to put my carrots in the blender to puree them. You might have to do the same. Either way, it works fine.

Add flour and mix well. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Add butter and mix well.

Pour mixture into baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 1 hour or until top is light golden brown. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar over top before serving.

A few years ago, I discovered that if you put curry powder and olive oil on cauliflower and cook it in the over for about 45 minutes, it develops a richer flavor. Roasted curried cauliflower is one of my favorite preps of this simple winter veggie, and if you like cauliflower, you'll LOVE this.

I depend on my sea of Penzeys spices to make this dish, but you can use what you have. I just got a new taste sensation from Penzeys I truly love -- Mural of Flavor, a sprinkling seasoning that combines every single member of the onion family -- shallots, onions, chives, and garlic -- with some lemon and onion peel thrown in for good measure. I fear it will be too much for my dear Randy, but I absolutely love it and will use it generously. If you don't have any, you can use onion powder and garlic powder, or even shallot salt if you have it (I have some my bro GF Steve sent me. I use it a lot, too.)

Roasted Curried Cauliflower (It's spicy, just like Annelle)

2 bags of frozen cauliflower or one generous head (or two cleaned bags -- I got a deal on those on the produce rack marked down to 99 cents each, much cheaper than a head of cauliflower).
One small chopped red onion (or yellow, if you don't have red)
4-5 chopped garlic cloves
1 t. sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
2 T. margarine or butter (to finish)
Curry Powder (hot, mild, Madras, your choice)
Red Pepper Flakes
Mural of Flavor or garlic and onion powder

Put cauliflower in a roasting pan and mix it with chopped onion and garlic. They will roast, too, and become sweet and caramelized. And yes, frozen cauliflower works here too -- just cook it a little longer.

Season with salt and olive oil and mix. Then, liberally season the top with the other seasoning. Give it a quick toss and place in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and toss with 2 T. margarine/butter. Let stand for a few minutes while butter melts.

It occurs to me this would also be good with butternet squash. I'll have to try that soon.

One last thing:

I don't like to talk about politics, because I truly do believe that we ALL have a right to privacy in an election year. That's why there are curtains on those voting machines. But my family knows where I stand, and they know whom I've already voted for this election year.

Some of you are wit me, and some of you are agin me, and we'll settle this like adults come the wee hours Wednesday morning, I'm sure. (Gluten Free Steve, I am expecting a call from you to celebrate!)

But what IS important to me, and what I will say LOUDLY HERE -- VOTE. VOTE. VOTE. PLEASE if you haven't early voted, Don't forget to VOTE TUESDAY. You might have to take a day off for it, but it is essential you ALL VOTE.

If you don't vote, you don't count, and more importantly, if you don't vote, you give up the right to complain for four or six (Senate race) or eight years if it doesn't go your way.

So MUCH love, and GO VOTE!