Monday, June 29, 2009

Gluten Free Lazy Town Topsy-Turvy Cake

My son’s 3rd birthday party was on Saturday and I always over-do myself on birthdays, especially the cakes. I think it’s because when I remember back to my birthdays my favorite memories were the cakes my mom would make. Knowing she’d let me pick out the one I wanted and would then make it for me was such a nice treat. My son loves Lazy Town, if you don’t have young children and don’t watch Noggin you probably have no idea what I’m talking about so Goggle it, and we decided to go with that for the theme. The Lazy Town themed cake had me stumped for awhile and then I thought of the Swiped Sweets episode. The kids make a cake for Bessie’s birthday and it gets swiped by Robbie Rotten, how perfect if I could make a cake like Bessie’s for my son. It’s not exact of course but its close enough and to add to the fun it’s a topsy-turvy cake. It was actually easier than I expected so you should give it a try some day.

I followed the instructions at Cakes by Rosa for making my two tiered cake adjusting a few things here and there. I first made three 8 inch, two 6 inch, and one 4 inch cake. I made these a few nights before the party and put them in the freezer until I was ready to “build” the cake. I think working with them while they were slightly frozen was helpful and didn’t make it feel flimsy. I used the Chocolate Cake recipe from Jill at Hey, that tastes good! and it turned out fantastic, so delicious and not crumbly at all.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

2 C gluten free flour mix (I used Gluten Free Mama’s Coconut Mix)
1 t xanthan gum
2/3 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ t baking soda
½ t salt
12 T softened butter
2 C brown sugar
4 eggs
4 T vanilla
1 C milk

Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease and flour two 8” round pans or one 9”x13” pan, that’s if you aren’t going for a topsy-turvy cake. Sift together the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Cream the butter and brown sugar until a little fluffy then beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mix and milk alternately starting and ending with the flour. Pour into your pan(s) and bake 40-45 min or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow it to cool before putting it in the freezer or frosting it.

For my three 8” cakes I made 1.5 of this batter and for the two 6” and one 4” I also made 1.5 of this batter, it worked fine for me.

To build the cake take the three small cakes and stack them with the two 6” cakes on the bottom. Take a serrated knife and trim/carve the sides down to give them a tapered look. I placed the stack on wax paper and used that to turn my cake easily while I was carving. Once things are tapered turn the whole stack upside down (or upside backwards as my son likes to say). Take the now top cake, which should be the largest cake in this stack, and carefully slice it diagonally. You will slice from the top of one side diagonally down to the bottom of the other side. Take the sliced top and turn its thicker portion so it is on top of the thicker portion of the bottom piece. Make sense? I sure hope so! Take some delicious butter cream frosting and put it between each layer to help hold them together. Do any additional carving needed to clean it up. For the bottom stack you will repeat what you did with the top stack but use the three 8” cakes.

If you’re going to use fondant you want to look at the directions that Rosa has on her page, I chose not to use fondant so I differed here. You will need to cut out a shelf in the bottom layer for the top layer to sit on. I took the 4” cake pan and put it on top of the bottom layer and used my knife to cut around the pan. I then cut out a wedge of cake so my top layer could sit flat. I put butter cream frosting on the bottom and up the side of the shelf then placed my top layer on the shelf.

Butter Cream Frosting (from Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book)

1/3 C softened butter
4 C powdered sugar
¼ C milk
1 ½ t vanilla

Beat the butter until its fluffy then gradually add 2 cups of the sugar beating well. Slowly beat in the milk and vanilla then add the remaining sugar and beat on high for 3-5 minutes or until its fluffy. If needed you can add more milk to reach a better spreading consistency. This amount will frost the tops and sides of two 8”-9” layers.

Before frosting my cake I took my basting brush and swept the extra bits of loose cake off the cake surface. This helped with frosting so those crumbs don’t get caught up and show through (I hate that). I made the frosting a light blue and covered the entire cake then I made another batch of frosting leaving that white for the edging. I was so happy to finally use my new Pampered Chef Decorator. Dum Dums were used for the lollipop decorations. A few notes because this was not perfect. As I was frosting the cake my top piece decided to start falling. I luckily caught it (and a handful of frosting) and had to put two kabob skewers through the cake from the top down making an X. This held it together really well and no one had any idea, until I told them. My second note of advice is about the Dum Dums. I didn’t realize that as they sit out of their wrapper they will absorb the moisture in the air and start to drip so I had a few drips on my cake. Just be sure to put those on right before you’re ready to show the cake so you don’t have any issues.

The cake was really delicious and everyone seemed to like it a lot, I was very happy with the results.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Bard's Beer in Belgrade

I had to do my weekly grocery shopping last night and we were out of Redbridge gluten free beer. We don’t really care for the taste of Redbridge but it’s the cheapest GF beer out there so we use it for marinating steak and making beer bread. If you’re someone that likes Budweiser type beers then you’ll probably be very happy with Redbridge, we are more of dark beer people so it’s a bit bland for us. I went to Lee & Dad’s IGA and I happily saw sitting next to the Redbridge our most favorite GF beer that so far we have only been able to get in Missoula at The Good Food Store. Yes I’m talking about Bard’s Beer. I was so happy and surprised, I haven’t seen this anywhere else in Bozeman. Bard’s isn’t dark but it has a good flavor even though it’s a tad bit on the hoppy side, not a strong hoppy taste but it’s there. I commented to my checker that I was really happy to see them carrying this beer along with all of the other great GF products they have and she informed me that the woman that orders their beer and organic items is Celiac. I knew there had to be someone with Celiac tied to that store, why else would they have so many great options? To add to it the woman behind me asked me about the beer because she is also on a gluten free diet, it just goes to show there are more of us than we realize. I did also find the Betty Crocker GF mixes, they were about 20 cents more than at Albertsons.

L&D’s also carries two of the Green’s GF beers, I believe it’s Discovery and Quest but I’m not positive. I like the Green’s beers, they have a little bit of a fruity undertone to them. If you look for them at L&D’s you’ll find them next to the deli, they are not in the beer aisle. The Co-op carries all three of the Green’s beers that are available in North America and they also carry Toleration which is another one of our favorites but since it’s imported it’s also the most expensive.
Sorry the picture is cut off, it's the best I could find.

Of course everyone’s taste in beer is different so if you like beer give them a try and see which one suits you the best. If you find one you don’t really care for that’s always a good excuse to make beer bread, marinate a steak, or kill slugs in your garden.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rhubarb Cinnamon Rolls

There is nothing like fresh baked cinnamon rolls especially when they have rhubarb with them. I wanted to make my hubby’s Father’s Day special so I made rhubarb cinnamon rolls and they were delicious. I always think cinnamon rolls are so time consuming and hard but they actually are pretty easy and I now can’t wait to make caramel rolls.

Rhubarb Cinnamon Rolls

Rhubarb Sauce (From Taste of Home magazine)

2 C sliced rhubarb
½ C brown sugar
½ C Agave nectar (you can use light corn syrup)
½ C butter

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 3 minutes then pour into an ungreased baking dish.

Cinnamon Rolls (From Jeanine at the Baking Beauties)

2 T shortening
¼ C white sugar
2/3 C milk, slightly warm (I put mine in the microwave for 20 seconds)
1 T instant yeast
1 egg
¼ C olive oil
1 ½ C Gluten Free Mama Almond Flour (or you can do ½ C potato starch & 1 C cornstarch)
¼ t baking soda
2 ½ t xanthan gum
2 t baking powder
½ t salt
1 t vanilla extract
2 T sugar

Cinnamon Filling

2 T softened butter
½ C packed brown sugar
2 T cinnamon

Mix all three ingredients together. You can add nuts, fruit, etc to the filling if you would like.

Add the yeast to the warm milk with 1 t of sugar and set aside to proof. When bubbles form you know it’s properly proofed, if they don’t form after 5 min be sure to dump that out and try again. Be very careful that you don’t overheat your milk, I’ve found that 20 seconds in my microwave is usually plenty. In your mixer beat the shortening and sugar then add the proofed yeast mixture and mix well. Sift together the flour (or cornstarches), baking soda, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Add the egg to the mixer then add the olive oil and mix well. Add the sifted flour mixture, mixing well, and add the vanilla extract.

Lay out a piece of wax paper measuring longer than 8”x16” and sprinkle the 2 T sugar over it. Place the ball of dough on the wax paper then place another piece of wax paper over the dough. Pat it out to a rectangular shape then roll the dough out, with the wax paper on top of it, into a roughly 8”x16” rectangle. Remove the top wax paper sheet and spread the filling over the dough leaving about ½” of dough along one long end.

Starting with the long end that has filling to its edge roll the dough into a long cylinder. You can easily pull the wax paper away from the dough as you go. Pinch the filling-free edge of the dough to the cylinder to seal it. Cut the cylinder into 1 ½” wide pieces using a sharp serrated edge knife (be careful to not squish your dough) or a piece of string placing it under the roll and pulling it up to cinch through the dough. Place the rolls on the rhubarb sauce and bake in a 375 F oven. I initially baked mine for 20 minutes uncovered then I covered them with foil and baked another 15 minutes. Invert the pan onto a plate and serve.

I made these the night before and put them covered in the refrigerator. I took them out about 1 hour before baking them to let them rise.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Cookie Mix

I made the chocolate chip cookies this weekend and I’m sad to say I wasn’t that impressed. The benefit is that they were quick and easy to make and the flavor was pretty good but unfortunately the downfalls seemed to be in the majority for me. The cookies are really greasy and they dried our mouths out big time. They also were very gritty in texture and that just isn’t appealing. If you want the most delicious gluten free chocolate chip cookie please make Jill's chocolate chip cookies. They are everything a chocolate chip cookie should be and nothing it shouldn’t. I am thankful that Betty Crocker has put these gluten free mixes on grocery store shelves and I’m hoping the brownies and cake mix are better.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Gluten Free Betty Crocker Mixes

They're here! I ran to Albertsons during my lunch break, I get a little excited for new GF treats if you can't tell, and happily found all four mixes. They are located below the candles. I grabbed all but the yellow cake mix, I'm more of a chocolate girl. I plan to use the chocolate cake mix to make my boys birthday cake next weekend, I'll review it at that time. The cost was $4.29 a box.

They only have the Rice and Corn Chex GF, I'm optimistic we'll see the rest of them soon.

GF Chex & Betty Crocker mixes in Billings

I just wanted to share some exciting news for people in Billings. Albertsons has the gluten free Chex cereals and Betty Crocker mixes now available, thanks Stacey for sharing this information! I am going to stop by Albertsons here to see if they are on the shelves yet and I will share my findings.

I have some baking planned for the weekend with some new things I haven't tried yet so I will update next week with my recipes or fails if that's what happens. We have a picnic tomorrow evening so I am going to try a new white bread recipe. My mom made it yesterday and she said it's my dad's favorite so far, that sounds promising. For Father's Day I'm making rhubarb cinnamon rolls and a rhubarb strawberry pie for the hubby. I'll also post our Parmesan Steak recipe, it's delicious.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Double Fail

It’s bad enough when I have a single fail with a recipe but this was a full out double fail. I’ve been craving bread with roasted garlic in it, specifically the garlic Ciabatta bread Costco used to have. I was so excited to come up with a recipe, I was also feeling confident so I should have known things would not work out. I sat down and figured out how to make a general Ciabatta recipe gluten free and I was set. The first night I mixed the dough and then let it sit out for 24 hours. The next night I shaped it into a loaf and popped it in the oven. To give the crust that crunchy texture I put a dish of water on the bottom rack and my bread above it. Things were going great, I was full of excitement, and then I hear crack. What the heck? I open the oven door to find my stoneware cracked down the middle, ugh! This is fail number one and when my bread turned out horrible, mostly because it just didn’t bake right and wasn’t done, that gave me fail number two. Darned all that work!

Lesson learned, don't put a bowl of water below your stoneware.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gluten Free Banana Bread

I have a lot of frozen ripe bananas and figured it was time to make some banana bread again, I think I’ll actually make more this weekend since we’ve already finished these muffins. This recipe is one I’ve tweaked and played with and it is a favorite. My hubby went back for seconds which doesn't usually happen with banana bread and my son wouldn’t stop eating it. The chocolate chips are optional and I like to freeze half of it to grab one here and there for my son’s lunch at day care.
Banana Bread or Muffins

1 ½ c gluten free flour mix (I used the Gluten Free Mama Almond Blend)
½ T xantham gum
1 ½ t baking powder
½ t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/3 c white sugar
1/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c butter at room temperature
1 t vanilla
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas
5 oz chocolate chips

Sift together the flour, xantham gum, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a separate bowl. In your mixer cream together the butter and sugars then add the vanilla. Beat in the eggs until combined and then the bananas until combined. Add the flour mixture in 2-3 parts then add the chocolate chips. Pour into a loaf or muffin pan. For a loaf bake at 350 F for about an hour and for muffins bake for about 40-45 minutes. It will be done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

I find that using frozen bananas is a lot easier to mix, just let them thaw for a bit on the counter top before using, it's fun to squeeze them out of the banana peel.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Gluten Free Goldfish Crackers

If you’re a parent of a gluten free child you’ve probably wished someone made a gluten free goldfish cracker, I know I do! When we first had our boy go gluten free he came home from day care asking me for goldfish crackers, I’m sure all of his buddies had goldfish for a snack and he was stuck with the GF snacks I’d sent with him. I try to make food as normal for him as possible so I purchased some gold fish cookie cutters and hoped his giant (well about 3x as big as normal) goldfish would make up for his loss. This was our first try at gluten free goldfish crackers and they turned out OK but they are not perfected. A little too salty for me, after a couple I'm done. I have some ideas on how to tweak the recipe and once it’s perfected I’ll post the recipe, in the mean time you can enjoy some pictures.

Look at how happy he is.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Meatball Bake & All Things Italian

I was surfing through some local blogs and I happened upon All Things Italian located in Bozeman. I figured it would be fun to check out their selection of goods and who would have thought I’d find some gluten free pastas? I sure didn’t. I rushed over there on a lunch break and picked up the two rice pastas and the one corn pasta they had available. I’ve read such good things about European GF pastas that I just couldn’t resist. I did consider buying their Beretta Gnocchi Di Riso which is made with rice flour but on the package it said it may contain wheat so I opted to avoid it. I wanted to make some sort of meatball lasagna type dish and I came up with this meatball bake, it was really tasty and I will be making it again. I used the Beretta Rice Fusilii for this dish and if you’re new to GF pastas always be sure to bring the water to boiling before adding the pasta, otherwise things just get too sticky. The pasta cooked a lot faster than I expected, maybe I was distracted, so it was a little more done than I had wanted. It was a tad mushy but nothing like my Tinkyada pasta would have been if I had overcooked that pasta. Trust me, I love my Tinkyada pasta and keep it stocked in the pantry I’m just really good at overcooking pasta. Overall this is a nice pasta and I want to try it next in a pasta salad.

Meatball Bake

½ -1 pound ground beef
1 egg beaten
½ c gluten free bread crumbs*
¼ c milk
1/3 c parmesan cheese
1 T oregano

Mix the egg, milk, and bread crumbs in a bowl and let sit for a couple minutes to allow the bread crumbs to absorb some liquid and soften up. Add the beef, parmesan cheese, and oregano mixing well. Roll the mixture into 1 inch balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes at 350F or until the meatballs are no longer pink.

1 T olive oil, I prefer garlic flavored
8 oz gluten free pasta, fusilli, spiral, penne, or elbow will work

While the meatballs are baking boil your water then add the olive oil and pasta. Cook the noodles until they are al dente the strain. If there happen to be any noodles sticking together rinse them under warm water and gently break them up with your fingers, this is more common in GF spaghetti noodles.

1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 c shredded mozzarella cheese

In a 2 quart dish spread some spaghetti sauce on the bottom then cover it with all of the noodles. Spread half of the remaining sauce over the noodles and sprinkle half of the cheese on top. Place the meatballs evenly over the cheese, then top with the remaining sauce and cheese. Cover with tin foil and bake in a 350 F oven for 35 min, remove the tin foil and bake an additional 10 minutes. This can easily be be put together the night before, you may need to adjust the time it bakes.
* I make my own bread crumbs from homemade bread that is starting to dry out and needs to be used up. Preheat your oven to 250 F and cut your bread into your desired bread crumb sizes. I like to use my pizza cutter so I can cut multiple pieces of bread at a time. Arrange the crumbs on a cookie sheet and bake for roughly 45 min, or until they are crispy. I store them sealed in my freezer so they're available anytime I need them. You can season them before using in a recipe, just mix them with with butter or olive oil and the spices you want.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

EnviroKidz Koala Crisp Cereal

Gluten free cereals are not as easy to find as I thought they would be. Really who would have thought Rice Krispies weren’t GF or for that matter that they contain HFCS? For quite awhile we were only eating Rice Chex, which I still love and eat, but I wanted some variety and something fun for my son to eat. I’m sad he doesn’t get to enjoy the yumminess of Lucky Charms and all those other over sweetened cereals, I know that doesn't make sense since he'll be much more healthy without them. EnviroKidz is my answer for having variety and giving my son some sweet (but healthy sweet, no HFCS here) cereals. The Koala Crisp has a great chocolate flavor and will even turn your milk chocolate. I haven’t yet made rice krispie bars from them but I imagine they will be delicious when I finally do. I buy these big bags at Lee & Dad’s but you can get them in the box size at the Co-op and Rosauer’s. So far I haven’t been disappointed with any of the EnviroKidz cereals but my next favorite is the Amazon Frosted Flakes.

I've been keeping my eyes peeled for the new gluten free Chex cereals and so far I have only found the GF Corn Chex at Rosauer's. Since Montana seems to always be a bit behind hopefully we'll see them by the end of the summer. If you spot some let me know!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies

We recently went on our first long road trip as a family of four and since food can be an issue I did a lot of baking so we’d have snacks. One treat I made was oatmeal raisin cookies and it was my first GF oatmeal cookie attempt. They turned out OK but were crunchier than I like and they spread a bit more than I wanted. I decided to give it another attempt with Jill Elise’s (the wonderful cook at Hey That Tastes Good) oatmeal sandwich cookie recipe. I was a bit paranoid on the cookies spreading situation so I didn’t add any butter (because butter makes GF cookies spread) and instead I used 1 C of Spectrum shortening. I also substituted Gluten Free Mama’s Almond Flour for Jill’s brown rice flour mix. My first batch didn’t spread at all, not the first time this has happened to me, so I flattened the dough with my hand to help it out. The flavor is delicious and the texture reminded me of gluten filled oatmeal cookies, they were heavenly. This is THE oatmeal cookie recipe, I promise. The next time I made these I used the full stick of butter and I added 1.5 cups of raisins since I like my cookies raisiny. I also like to make up words. This last batch was beyond perfect and they didn’t last long in my household.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 ½ c Gluten Free Mama Almond flour (or use your favorite)
¾ t xantham gum
½ t salt
½ t baking powder
½ t cinnamon
1 stick of butter softened
½ c shortening
1 ½ c packed brown sugar
½ c white sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
3 c gluten free oatmeal
1 ½ c raisins

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and sift or mix well. In another large bowl beat the butter and shortening until smooth then cream in the sugars and beat for 2-3 minutes to get a fluffy look from the mixture. Add in the eggs and vanilla mixing well. Add flour mixture in three parts mixing well with each addition. Add oatmeal then add raisins until incorporated. Bake on a greased cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes at 350F.

The picture I have, sorry it’s not very good, is of the oatmeal cookie sandwiches so if you’d like to give them a try here’s the delicious filling recipe.

Vanilla Filling
½ stick of butter softened
¼ shortening
1 ½ c powdered sugar
2 t vanilla

Mix everything in your mixer beating on high until smooth and fluffy.

You can find certified gluten free oats at Led & Dad’s IGA, I did a happy dance when I saw them there and I hope no one was watching me. I really must be an interesting person to observe when I'm food shopping with all the talking to myself that I do and of course the dancing. You can also get them at Oak Street Natural Market and Rosauer’s Huckleberry Market. I haven’t seen them at the Food Co-op yet and I believe L&D’s has the best price.

Monday, June 8, 2009

S'Better Chicken Fingers & Honey Mustard

Some nights when I don’t have the desire to cook or just don’t have any time I really miss being able to grab something quick to eat or to call the hubby and ask him to grab something on the way home. I have found something to help me out on these nights and it doesn’t hurt that they are delicious. S’Better makes Chicken Strips you can find at Oak Street Natural Market and they are worth every penny. One box feeds us with a few left over for hubby to take to lunch the next day. The quality of chicken used is great and my fear of finding a chicken tendon in it so far has not happened. I have some weird food issues, it’s just who I am. We all like the taste and texture of these, just like gluten filled chicken strips, and my son happily eats them and will also ask for more.

Because we avoid HFCS I’ve been having a hard time finding condiments and have decided to start making a lot of my own. Honey mustard is one of my favorite dressings/dipping sauces and I found this lovely recipe at submitted by Mary Ann Benzon.

Honey Mustard Dressing

¼ C mayonnaise*
1 T prepared mustard
1 T honey**
½ T lemon juice

In a small bowl whisk together all of the ingredients. Store covered in the refrigerator.

*A lot of mayonnaise has HFCS so be sure to read the label, I use Hain’s Safflower Mayonnaise.
**You can substitute Agave nectar for the honey, it tastes just as great but is more runny.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Gluten Free Pizza in Billings

Yes, that’s right. Gluten free pizza in Billings, how did I not know sooner? We found ourselves in Billings for a wedding reception and I figured this was a great time to try out ZPizza. I was very happy to see on their webpage that the pepperoni and chicken sausage are MSG free and that they are organic, what refreshing options. We stopped by for takeout on a Saturday evening, with two little kids we weren’t up for eating at the restaurant, and ordered the pepperoni and ZBQ. It smelled so great on the drive to our hotel, it was all I could do to wait. I will say I was not disappointed the ZBQ was delicious and I easily polished off 3 pieces. The crust is thin and crispy, almost flaky in a way. You can tell it’s GF because it’s not your typical chewy gluten crust, hubby said that’s a good thing because you know you’re getting the right crust. The next day we met up with family for lunch and we went back to ZPizza and enjoyed their outdoor seating. My sister in law and I were eyeing up the Casablanca and everyone else enjoyed the standard cheese and pepperoni. It was also a delicious pizza though I prefer the ZBQ. We had a great experience and we will definitely be going back again.

A couple notes for when you enjoy some ZPizza. The gluten free crust is only available in the small size and separate plates and silverware are kept for the GF customers. This is especially nice if you’re ordering a salad.

Now for the mouth watering pizza!
The Casablanca


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

No Fuss Gluten Free Breakfast

I like making breakfasts that consist of more than cereal when I have time. Unfortunately I don’t usually have time so it’s a great treat in our house, well at least to me it is. This was a quick and easy breakfast and an excuse to review some gluten free products.

Kinnikinnick Cinnamon Buns were half of my quick breakfast. I let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then heated them in the microwave for 30 seconds, they tasted great and only had a mild GF texture. To accompany our cinnamon buns we had Applegate Farms Breakfast Sausage that I happily found at Rosauer’s. I’m not a big breakfast sausage kind of girl, a horrible experience with bad sausages has ruined me for life, but I’m always willing to try new things. I heated these in a fry pan and due to my sausage disaster I have to get them nice and crispy in order to find them edible, as you can see in the picture. I really liked these sausages and so did my husband and son. They were a hit and now I keep them stocked in the freezer.

Cheeseburger Skillet Dinner

I work full time out of the house and I need as many quick and easy recipes as I can get. I love to cook and bake but some, OK most, days I only have 30 minutes to get dinner on the table and this recipe is one that meets my needs. We all like this meal, my 2 year old will eat an adult sized portion and even my dad who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese loves this recipe. This is most definitely a favorite in our house.

Cheeseburger Skillet Dinner
(Adapted from

1 pkg GF Mac & Cheese*
½ to 1 lb ground beef
½ C chopped onion
2 C frozen corn**
1/3 C ketchup***
¼ C water
½ t Dijon mustard
¼ t garlic powder
1 C shredded cheddar cheese

Prepare the macaroni & cheese as directed on the package.
In a large skillet brown the meat and onion the stir in the corn, ketchup, water, mustard, and garlic powder. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes or until the corn is crisp-tender. Reduce heat to low and stir in the cheddar cheese. Add the macaroni & cheese to the meat and mix well, cook another couple minutes or until it’s heated through.

*I use Annie’s GF rice mac & cheese. You can find it at Rosauer’s but I purchase it through Amazon since it’s cheaper. I do add 2 T of butter to the noodles and then only add about 2T of milk, I find it to be too runny if I at the ¼ C milk like the directions ask for. I have also used the Namaste mac & cheese for this recipe and it gave it a great kick, you can purchase this at Rosauer’s also.

**The original recipe called for frozen mixed vegetables so experiment if you’d like. I like the sweetness of the corn.

***Be sure you use GF ketchup, we also avoid HFCS and we love Annie’s Naturals Organic Ketchup. This is another product I order through Amazon but I know you can get it at Lee & Dad’s, the Coop, and Rosauer’s.

The picture doesn't quite do it justice but trust me this is worth trying.

My son didn't want his plate left out of the picture taking. This is serving one of his three total.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sweet Pea Bakery

I about fell out of my seat when I heard Bozeman has a bakery that offers GF baked goods. Could this really be true? I frantically searched the web, as if the information will suddenly disappear since I’m looking for it, trying to gather some information and this is what I found. Sweet Pea Bakery offers a few GF options. The Flourless Chocolate Torte and the Flourless Chocolate Espresso Torte are two wonderful options. The New York Cheesecake and Key Lime Torte can also be made with an alternate GF crust if you call ahead and order it. Then there’s the all-chocolate version Opera Cake that doesn’t use wheat flour. The options are wonderful! They do state on their webpage that flour is used in their bakery and if you have a severe allergy you should order ahead of time so they know to be extra careful.

I couldn’t wait to sample a treat so I ordered two 4 inch chocolate tortes to help celebrate my mom’s birthday. Not only were they cute but they were delicious, not too sweet and enough chocolate to make this chocolate lover happy. We split the first four ways and it was enough, you don’t need a lot.