Thursday, November 19, 2009

1-2-3 Gluten Free Biscuits Review & Thick Chicken Soup

I don’t shop too often in Smith’s but when I was there searching for GF butterscotch chips I saw this box.

It’s a brand I’ve read about online but I sure didn’t think anyone in this area carried it, was I wrong! Two 1-2-3 Gluten Free boxes were staring at me and even though the price was a bit steep I had to pick them up. My excuse is that I need to review things for this blog, it’s working well so far. I wanted to do a chicken and dumplings type dinner but with biscuits instead of dumplings, luckily it turned out and the recipe is below. I was a bit put off initially by the ingredients they require for the biscuits, heavy whipping cream and half & half. For starter’s I rarely have whipping cream in the fridge and I never have half & half. Luckily I had some whipping cream leftover from the girls night and I substituted 1 T of melted butter with 1 C milk for the half & half (thank you Better Homes & Gardens), it worked out nicely. I liked that the box has recipes for more than just the biscuits. Inside they have recipes for cinnamon buns, veggie pizza, sausage balls, chicken pot pie, wrapped gouda appetizers, pigs-in-a-blanket, and chicken & dumplings. That’s a nice little bonus and now I want to try a few of those recipes too. I must say these biscuits are delicious, they’re a little flaky and not drying at all. I really enjoyed popping them in the microwave for 30 seconds and then spreading with jelly, it was a great breakfast. Hubby isn’t a big biscuit fan but he said they were the best he’s had, gluten filled and gluten free. If you’ve been struggling to find a good biscuit give these a try. One more note, the box states it makes 15 biscuits on the front and 16 biscuits on the back but I only got 10 out of it. I'm sure I just make mine a bit bigger than most and I did have to bake them 5 minutes longer than the box suggested.

Thick Chicken Soup
Adapted from Hey That Tastes Good

2 C leftover chicken, tore into bite sized pieces
Salt & pepper
2 T Olive Oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 ribs celery, chopped
6 garlic cloves, diced
½ C white wine
1 t Thyme
4 C GF chicken broth
¼ C GF flour (I used Gluten Free Mama’s Almond Blend)
GF Biscuits

Pour the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the vegetables. Cook over medium heat stirring frequently until they start to caramelize. Add the wine, thyme, chicken, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 50 minutes. Before serving salt and pepper to taste and add the GF flour to thicken the soup to your desired consistency.

Serve the thick soup over a cut biscuit and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Steak with Parmesan Sauce

This is one of the best recipes I’ve ever made and it’s fast and easy. Hubby states that it is one of the best meals he’s ever had so I like to whip it out every now and then. My kids also love it so it’s time I shared it with you.

Steak w/ Parmesan Sauce
Adapted from Kraft foods

½ C (about) Italian dressing (I use Wild Harvest Organic, no HFCS or gluten, you can get it at Albertsons)
1 lb steak, trimmed and sliced into strips (this is easiest to do when it’s still slightly frozen)
2/3 C fat free sour cream
9 t grated parmesan cheese
½ t black pepper
1 onion, sliced and separated into rings

Marinade the steak for 30 min in about ¼ C of the Italian dressing, use at least enough to cover it. Mix the sour cream, 4 T of dressing, parmesan, and pepper. Set aside until the end.

Heat 2 T of dressing over medium heat in a skillet and add the onions. Cook for about 8 minutes or until they are golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove them from the skillet and set aside.

Add the steak to the skillet and cook on medium heat for 4 min on each side or until they are done. Put the sour cream mixture in the microwave for 1-1.5 min, stir well. Serve the steak topped with the sour cream sauce and onions.

The picture doesn't do it justice and that's partly becaue I forgot to make it pretty for the camera.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Frosted Cake Brownies, Gluten Free

This is my second brownie recipe and because it’s more of a cake brownie, and I’m a fudgy brownie kind of girl, it wasn’t my favorite. Hubby agreed it wasn’t his favorite either. That’s not to say these are bad because they aren’t and I had a girls night in where they were all devoured by gluten eaters. If you like cakey brownies then these are a good one to try. I felt they needed a fudge frosting and it was a good combo.

Gluten-Free Brownies
Adapted from the Gluten Free Homemaker

¾ C butter
½ C cocoa powder
¾ C white sugar
1 C brown sugar
4 eggs
2 t vanilla
1 1/3 C GF flour mix (I used Gluten Free Mama’s Coconut blend)
½ t baking powder
¼ t salt
1 t xanthan gum
1 C GF chocolate chips

In a large saucepan melt the butter over low heat and stir in the cocoa. Remove from heat and add the sugars, use a wooden spoon to mix. Stir in the vanilla the add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum. Add to the saucepan and stir until the flour is moistened. Add the chocolate chips.

Spread into a greased 9x13 pan and bake for 30 min at 350 F.

No-cook fudge frosting
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

2 C powdered sugar
¼ C cocoa powder
¼ C butter, softened
Half a 1/3 C boiling water, or more for consistency change
1 t vanilla

Combine the powdered sugar and cocoa in a bowl. Add the butter, boiling water, and vanilla. Beat until combined and add more water if needed to reach a nice spreading consistency.

Hubby received his blood test results and he is not Celiac so that’s great news. He and his doctor agree that he is sensitive to gluten at the very least but at least we know it won’t slowly kill him. Last week he had an allergy skin patch test done to see if he’s allergic to different chemicals. Turns out he’s allergic to lanolin oil so I spent the weekend removing all the wool from the closet. I’m assuming there’s a lanolin derivative in the tape they used because he, like always, broke out horribly from the tape. I think it’s time we found a tape he can safely use.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sausage & Cheese Chowder

Since Fall has hit and I’m trying to use what we have in our freezers I wanted to make something soupy. My family isn’t the biggest of fans when it comes to soup but I like it and figured I’d try my hand at a new recipe. Ginger Lemon Girl has a delicious looking Cheeseburger Chowder recipe and I did some tweaking to make it more appealing to my family, picky eaters! I also was in the mood to try some new bread recipes and for some reason they just didn’t rise though I’m sure my yeast is still good. I did put them in the bread machine and they weren’t written for that so I think I’m going to play around to see if I can get them to work out in the bread machine. The first recipe was honey sandwich bread and it was delicious just really stumpy. My boy ate a lot of it and the loaf was gone in less than 24 hours so if I can perfect the recipe I will share.

Sausage & Cheese Chowder
Adapted from Ginger Lemon Girl

1 package GF sausage slice into coins (I used Aidell’s from Costco)
½ medium onion
¾ C diced carrots (I forgot this)
¾ C chopped celery
1 t basil
1 t parsley
3 T butter*
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 C GF chicken broth
4 C red potatoes, cubed
2 C frozen corn
2 T cornstarch
2 C shredded cheddar cheese*
2 C milk*
Crumbled bacon

In a large pot melt 1 T of butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, garlic and sausage. Cook until the sausage if browned. Stir in the parsley, basil, chicken broth, carrots, corn, and potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes and carrots are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Melt the remaining 2 T of butter and add to the milk. Whisk in the cornstarch and then gradually pour into the chowder stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer. Stir in the cheese and allow to heat through. Sprinkle the bowls of chowder with the crumbled bacon and serve with GF bread, mmm. This makes about 8 servings.

Waking up to 6 inches of snow this morning really makes this dish even more enticing, too bad we finished our leftovers last night.
*This is deliciously made dairy free. Sub the butter with Earth Balance, the cheese with Daiya, and the milk with rice or your favorite DF milk substitute. I was so impressed with how delicious this was dairy free.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fudgy Gluten Free Brownies

Brownies are one of those things that are really hard to mess up. Of course some are better than others but when you get down to it brownies are a great way for new GF cooks to dive right in. I’ve made several GF brownies and I’ve liked all of them but can’t recall what recipes I’ve used, terrible I know. So I’m on a mission to find my favorite GF brownie recipe and since I love brownies this will be fun but terrible for my thighs. This recipe results in an extremely fudgy brownie with a nice flaky top. It’s so fudgy that you need to let it sit overnight for the best results. Now I first tried a piece when it was still very hot and none of it would hold together so I had to use a fork. The next piece I tried it had cooled more but it almost seemed as if it hadn’t been baked long enough. The next day I had another piece and it was perfect. I’m not always in the mood to wait overnight to enjoy my brownies but these are worth the wait. This is a very easy and quick recipe and it was my first choice because I already had the ingredients on hand.

Clare’s Gluten-Free Brownies
Adapted from Gluten Free Goddess

½ C butter (shortening can also work here)
1 C sugar
5 T cocoa
1 t salt
1 t vanilla extract
2 eggs
¾ C Gluten Free Mama’s Coconut Flour (or your favorite GF flour mix)
½ C chocolate chips

Melt the butter in the microwave then add the sugar, cocoa, salt, and vanilla extract mixing well. Mix in the eggs then add the flour and beat just to combine. Add the chocolate chips and spread in an 8”x8” baking pan. Bake at 350 F for 30 min. Allow them to cool completely, preferably overnight, before cutting in and enjoying!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Great Falls & Bozeman - More Gluten Free Options

Our gluten free options in Montana are expanding, we really are lucky to have all the stores and restaurants that we do here. My first new find came through the day care my kids go to. They've been fantastic keeping the kids GF and even sought out some GF brownies that they could safely have at their Halloween Party. I panicked when I first saw them but then I saw the gluten free sticker and of course I had to try it. It was a really good brownie and it came from The Daily Coffee Bar in Bozeman. They have two locations in Bozeman, one near campus at 11th & College and the other at Nth Rouse and Oak St. I tried to send an e-mail to get more information on their GF products and if they carry them at both locations but the e-mail was returned. Either way I plan to stop in to check out their selection and if nothing else I'll at least get a coffee.

People in Great Falls have reason to celebrate also. There is a restaurant, Pegasus Blu, that is 100% gluten free. How cool is that? It makes me want to take a drive to Great Falls just to try them out. They can also accomodate other food sensitivies like dairy and eggs. They have breakfast offering French toast, pancakes, biscuits, etc. and lunch offering sandwiches, soups, burger buns, and salads. Of course there's dessert options of cookies, cakes, brownies, and muffins. They are located at 525 Central Ave on the 2nd floor in Times Square. They are open 8am-3pm Tuesday through Saturday. You can call them at 406-225-5495 or e-mail them at

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sausage & Potatoes

This is a recipe I don’t make too often but it’s a family favorite, especially for Hubby. It’s great when I don’t have a lot of time or when I’m on cooking burnout, which seems to be happening right now. You can add anything you want for veggies, it’s a versatile dish.

Sausage & Potatoes

1 package sausage*
5 medium potatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion

Slice the sausage into coins and throw in a hot skillet with the garlic and chopped onion. Stir occasionally while you chop up the potatoes into 1” cubes. Add the potatoes and stir as needed to keep the potatoes from sticking to the skillet. If needed add a dash of olive oil. Cook until the potatoes are tender.

*We avoid nitrates and nitrites so it’s sometimes hard to find sausage that we can eat. I have found some Aidell’s sausage at Costco that we can have but be sure to check the ingredients if you’re trying to avoid these cancer causing ingredients. Also double check that your sausage is GF too, some aren’t.

Leftovers are perfect for a breakfast burrito. Scramble some eggs then add the leftover sausage and potatoes and heat through on the stove top. Wrap it in a GF tortilla with cheese, salsa, and sour cream. Yum!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Eyeball Tarts

Every Halloween I try to make a Halloween themed dinner, it’s never anything extensive because I just don’t have time for that but it does make dinner a little extra fun. This year I decided to try eyeball tarts and I found them to be pretty good, I did make a couple changes beyond making them gluten free. These work as appetizers or as a main meal.

Eyeball Tarts
Adapted from

Cream Cheese Tart Shells

½ C butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese, softened
3-4 T milk
1 ½ C Gluten Free flour (I used GFM’s Almond mix)
½ t xanthan gum
1/8 t salt

1/2 t garlic powder

Mix the butter and cream cheese thoroughly and then add the milk. Add the flour, xanthan gum, salt, and garlic powder mixing well. You may need to add a bit more milk if it’s too dry, you want it to come together as dough. Chill for a couple hours and grease a mini-muffin tin. Take about 1 T of dough and press it into a muffin cup using your thumb to smooth it on the edges and push a well into the middle of the cup. Fill all 24 muffin cups with dough. Bake at 425 F for about 10 min. They will not be very browned but that’s OK because they will be cooked more later on.


24 fully cooked gluten free meatballs about 1” in diameter
1/3 C pizza sauce
24 small slices of mozzarella cheese*
24 sliced pitted black olives

Spoon some pizza sauce into the baked tart shells, don’t skimp since the flavor will be really nice (I wish I had put more in mine). Top each shell with a meatball. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. Top each meatball with a slice of cheese and place an olive on top. Put into the oven (turned off) until the cheese has melted around the meatball. Serve with more pizza sauce on the side if you like.

*You can buy a pack of mozzarella slices and then just break each slice into 4 equal pieces, these are the perfect size to cover the meatball.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Scotcheroos Gluten Free

We were at a family function awhile ago and everyone eating the Scotcheroos that I couldn’t have about killed me. It also got Hubby wanting some even though we was able to enjoy them since he’s doing the gluten challenge right now. I decided to give them a gluten free whirl and that’s when I realized some butterscotch chips have barley in them, blast! I went to 5 grocery stores before I found some GF butterscotch chips in this area and I thank Smith’s for carrying them. Hershey’s are GF but Nestle Tollhouse are not, seems that everyone carries Nestle but not Hershey’s. They were worth the hunt and as delicious as their gluten filled relatives.


1 C sugar
1 C light corn syrup (you can use rice syrup or agave)
1 C peanut butter
5-6 C GF crispy rice cereal (Koala Krisp works great)
1 C GF semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C GF butterscotch chips

Combine the sugar and corn syrup in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter. Add the cereal and stir to coat with the mixture. Press into a greased 9x13 baking dish.

Combine the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, stir and microwave for another minute. Stir until combined then spread evenly over the cereal mixture in the pan. Cool and cut into bars.

I ran out of rice syrup when I made these so I then tried to fill the rest of my cup with Agave nectar but I ran out of that also. Thankfully I had honey and even with my trifecta of syrups it turned out delicious.