Friday, December 3, 2010

Gluten Free Gingerbread House Kit

This weekend I'm gearing up to do some baking and I hope it turns out so I can post some dairy free options for my fudge and sugar plum cookies. It's going to be time consuming but I hope worth every minute.

I'm also going to make our gingerbread house so the kids can decorate it on Sunday but I saw on Gluten Free Mom's blog this alternative to baking it all myself. A & J Bakery sells allergen friendly gingerbread house kits you can order online. They are free of peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, gluten, soy, egg, dairy, and sesame. Check them out, it can be the perfect way to save some time during the busy season but also still get in those fun times and happy memories with the kids.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Seminar on Gluten Free Living

I just saw this posted on Vera Fare's Facebook page, sounds like a great opportunity and I hope I can make it.

Seminar about Gluten Free Living on December 7th at 6:00pm. Come in for free food and drink and learn about healthier living through a gluten free diet.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gluten Free News for Bozeman

I was shopping on Wednesday and noticed a few things I wanted to share with people in the Bozeman area.

Costco now has Lara Bars, they're a great GF/DF bar made from fruit and nuts. The variety pack includes apple pie, cherry pie, and peanut butter cookie.

Oak Street Natural market is taking orders for Thanksgiving goodies. Here are their gluten free options.

Italian Artichoke & Parmesan dip
Wil Salmon Cream Cheese Dip
Jalapeno Wild Salmon Cream Cheese Dip
Triple Cranberry Sauce
Orange Maple Glazed Cornish Game Hens
Wild Stuffing
Pumpkin Pie
Pecan Pie

They have order forms available at their cash register and the order needs to be placed by November 22nd.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Gluten Free & Dairy Free Kringla

My husband's family has Norweigan roots and kringla is a treat I never had until my mother in law introduced me to it. It's also a treat that Hubby loves and last year I had every intention to make it for him but never found the time. Well I finally found the time. I took my MIL's recipe and tweaked it to make it gluten and dairy free. The results were fantastic! My kids had their first tast of kringla and it was hard to get them to stop

For anyone that doesn't know what kringla is, it's a Norweigan sweet bread that is baked into a little pretzel cookie. It has a nice sweetness to it and is fantastic when served warm with butter.

Becky's Kringla - Gluten & Dairy Free

1 1/2 C granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 1/2 C dairy free sour cream (I used Tofutti)
4 C gluten free flour (I used Gluten Free Mama Coconut Blend)
1 1/2 t xanthan gum
2 t soda
1/4 t salt

In a mixer combine sugar, egg, and sour cream. In a separate bowl mix the flour, xanthan gum, soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture into the sugar mixture. It will be very sticky but all is well. Chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Divide the dough in half and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Too much flour makes it hard to roll out so don't go too crazy. Roll into a "log" and cut into 1 inch pieces. Take each piece and roll into 7-8 inch pencil-like strips. Form each strip into a pretzel shape, or any other shape you desire, and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, 12 minutes was perfect for me.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Private Gluten Free Cooking Classes

Karen Ore shared some information with me on private cooking classes and I wanted to pass it along. This could be a great Christmas present or just a fun night with some friends.

Enjoy a private cooking class in the comfort of your home. Learn techniques and recipes from menus that are customized for you and your family/friends.

Cuisines to choose from:

Gluten free and allergy friendly (baking and cooking)
Flexitarian (adapting for vegetarians and meat eaters)
Indian (southern India and/or vegetarian)

Classes are scheduled on a first come first served basis. A deposit of $15.00 per person to cover food costs is appreciated one week before the agreed upon class date. Any changes, especially to the number of participants or menu items, must be approved by Karen and may incur an additional charge.

Class price is $30.00 per hour per person taking the class, which includes food costs for the meal that is prepared during class, demonstration and hands-on cooking instruction, background information about the cuisine, resources for locating ingredients, and a printed recipe booklet.

For people not participating in the class (family members for friends) who want to join you for the meal, there is a $25.00 per person charge. Maximum class size is usually 6 people, please discuss your preferred class size with Karen when scheduling. If the class location is more than 10 miles from downtown Bozeman a travel charge will be applied to the total fee.

The meals generally consist of: an appetizer, main dish, side dishes, and a dessert. There will be variations depending on the cuisine and menu chosen.

After the meal is prepared everyone sits down together to enjoy the food. Karen provides all food items and the host or hostess is responsible for providing beverages.

Gift Certificates are available.

To discuss options and to schedule classes please call Karen at 406-586-9186 or e-mail

Friday, October 29, 2010

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Mini Pumpkin Pies

My boy requested a Halloween Party a couple months ago and one of the elements to his request was to have pumpkin pie. I'm not even sure if he's ever had pumpkin pie before but when I saw Bakerella's pumpkin pie bites I knew this was the perfect option.
For the crust I used Gluten Free Mama's pie crust mix and it worked wonders. I was able to make 42 mini pies with the crust. Your favorite pie crust will work here.

Mini Pumpkin Pies - GF/DF
Adapted from Bakerella

Double GF/DF pie crust

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature (I used Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream)
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 C canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling
3 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 t pumpkin pie spice
Pumpkin shaped cookie cutter
1/2 C GF/DF chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 F.
Roll out the pie crust between two pieces of wax paper that have been lightly sprayed with oil. Roll to 1/4" thickness, I preferred a thicker crust to work with but play around and see what works best for you. Using a pumpkin cookie cutter (mine is about 3 inches in diameter) cut out pumpkins in the crust and then press into mini muffin tins. It's OK if things tear since you'll press the crust into the tin. Make sure the pumpkin stem won't overlap with any other stems and fill up the tin. Brush the crusts with egg white then fill with pumpkin pie filling. If you don't have a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter use a round cutter and then form stems for the pumpkins on your own.
For the pumpkin pie filling mix the cream cheese, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice until thoroughly combined. Fill the mini pies with filling then bake for 17 minutes or until the crusts just start to brown a little.
Repeat with the remaining crust and filling.
To decorate the pies melt the chocolate at 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval. Put a resealable bag in small glass, corner down, and pour the chocolate into the bag. Snip a small bit off the corner then pipe faces onto the mini pies. Store in the refrigerator.
I had a decent amount of melted chocolate left and since I didn't want to waste it I threw some Glutino pretzels down and drizzled them with chocolate. Now Hubby can enjoy some DF chocolate covered pretzels.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Salmon Cakes

Buying bulk cans of salmon at Costco has led to one fantastic meal, salmon cakes. This is the only way I can get my kids to eat salmon and it doesn't hurt that I let them call them pancakes. We top the cakes with tartar sauce (make sure it's free of HFCS) or ranch. This is a meal the kids will get second helpings on, can't beat that.

Salmon Cakes
Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

3 cans of wild Alaskan salmon - skinless & boneless
1/4 C onion chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T dried parsley or 1/4 C fresh parsley
1 1/4 C bread crumbs, I use Udi's
3 dashes red pepper flakes
4 T mayo
1 T dijon mustard
1 egg

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and shape into 2 inch patties. Place on a cookie sheet and cover with syran wrap then put in the refrigerator to chill for 20 min. This helps the patties keep their form.

Heat a skillet to medium-medium high heat. I spray my skillet with Pam but you can also use olive oil if you prefer. Cook the patties on each side for about 3-5 minutes or until browned.

Friday, October 15, 2010

New Gluten Free Finds

My fix for dinner, recipe to be posted soon, required a stop at Oak Street Natural Market and I found some new goodies that I've seen online but hadn't seen in our area yet. I felt like it was Christmas morning, but this warm weather pulled me out of that mind frame.

I couldn't wait to try the chocolate and yogurt covered pretzels so that was the kids' snack and I had some, only a few of course. They both are good but I liked the flavor of the yogurt ones best, the salt really popped with those. My boy preferred the chocolate and my girl preferred the yogurt, not quite what I expected.

The cinnamon rolls were breakfast and they were a little on the dry side but very delicious. The kids gobbled them down and really not much for complaints.

We haven't tried the Kinitoos, I'm waiting to open them later when I'm not the main person eating them, I love chocolate too much and can't always contain myself.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I've been trying to limit my carb intake and I hate it but the good from it came this great lettuce wrap recipe. I like it spicy but the kids protest so I keep the red pepper flakes a bit lower than what's listed. It's something I could eat every day, but I don't.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

2 T rice vinegar
2 T brown sugar
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1/2 t ground ginger
2 t seasame oil
4 T gluten free soy sauce

Olive Oil, I use garlic flavored
4 chicken breasts, cut into bit sized pieces
4 garlic cloves, diced
1/2 C diced onions
1/2 C cashews, chopped
Lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried

Mix the vinegar, sugar, red pepper, ginger, seasame oil, and soy sauce then set aside.

Heat olive oil in a skillet and brown the chicken pieces. Add the garlic and onions toward the end to until tender. Add the cashews and sauce and saute for a few minutes until warm.

Wrap in the lettuce leaves.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gluten Free Coupons

There are some great gluten free coupons at Mambo Sprouts. I used the $2 off 2 Udi's items today, that can't be beat!

Candy that should be gluten free

I seem to be surprised every now and then with a candy that I assume would be gluten free, it really should be by all matters, but isn't or can't state it specifically is. Now add dairy free for Hubby to that and my favorite candies (aka chocolate) are off limits. Here are a few of my main annoyances, for now anyways.

Now this is a simple mint candy right? There is no reason for it to have gluten but it does. The second ingredient listed is wheat glucose syrup. Can they not find a better glucose syrup to use? Bah is all I have to say.


This was one of my favorite hard candies and it reminded me of my grandpa. So delicious yet not guaranteed to be gluten free and it's definately not dairy free. The reason they can't guarantee they're GF is "because some of our co-suppliers may have used gluten for another manufacturer and it may be in their lines."

Candy Corn

With Halloween quickly approaching I went shopping for candy corn this past weekend only to be disappointed. Brach's candy corn has always been my go-to candy corn and when I read "is made on shared equipment with wheat" I about had a tantrum in the aisle of Target. Hubby grabbed the gourmet candy corn at Target but it "may contain milk" so I put that back on the shelf. If you're looking for a GF/DF candy corn Jelly Belly brand is your answer though I have never seen it on the shelves and ordering it online isn't the cheapest option in the world. I have to say that didn't stop me since I really want candy corn.
I know we've eaten the Brach's candy corn, as recently as a few weeks ago before I read the bag, and none of us had a reaction. But I'm taking the better safe than sorry stance and will avoid it now. With all the other candies we'll be indulging in through and past Halloween I figure preventing known sources of possible cross contamination will hopefully make up for any unknown sources we may ingest.

Images courtesy of

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Green teeth, a good thing?

This is something I was mortified about initially but I'm going to share it because I think it's a good thing in the long run. How the heck can green teeth be a good thing?

A few weeks ago I was brushing my boy's teeth and I noticed green along the base of his bottom teeth. I panicked and brushed that poor kids teeth like mad, he even asked me if his teeth were alright. We did everything we could for a week to try to get rid of the green to no avail. I had to call the dentist to admit my poor parenting because my son had green teeth. I was so ashamed.

The dentist checked his teeth and gave us the good news that it was only a surface stain and since it's green he believed it was a sign of excess iron. The excess comes out in saliva and can stain the teeth green, the Sonicare toothbrush we bought for him took care of the stain and his teeth look normal again.

I know you're wondering what this has to do with a gluten free blog so I'll back track 3 years. When my boy was 1 they tested his blood to check his iron levels and they were low. We had him on the liquid iron drops for awhile and then moved him to Flintstone's vitamins when he was older because they had iron in them. With the green teeth it's clear he doesn't need the extra iron anymore and I believe this means he is finally fully healed from the damage gluten caused to his body. It only took 18 months of a gluten free diet for him to get there but it's great news to know he's healed.

This then posed a new issue for me to find vitamins he could have. Be warned that Costco brand children's vitamins contain milk and wheat. It's in small print and I almost missed it. The Lil Critter's vitamins are GF and DF so those are a safe option and you can get them at Costco.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Gluten Free Cooking Classes & Sushi

I hope to get back on track with recipes and life as it normally is. Is Fall extra busy for anyone else? I think with the pumpkin patch, hay bale AND corn mazes, a Halloween party my boy requested, and preparing for the Holiday's my calendar gets filled up fast. At least baking is on the schedule and it feels like it's been a long time since I've baked anything.

Bridger Kitchens has two more gluten free cooking classes scheduled, the first is tomorrow so act fast if you're interested.

October 6th, 6:30-8:30 GF Cooking and Baking w/ Karen Ore.

November 18th, 6:30-8:30 GF Holidays w/ Karen Ore.

Both classes will have dairy free and egg free options available.

Dave's Sushi located in downtown Bozeman offers wheat free tamari so if you need a sushi fix, I'm trying to talk Hubby into one, check them out.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Missoula Updates

We have been on the go and that's why I've been neglecting the blog, sorry! I'm also off to a funeral in South Dakota so it's going to continue to be quiet around here.

We were in Missoula last weekend and I have some dairy free information for Biga Pizza. They do not have dairy free cheese available but they welcome people bringing in their own cheese and they will put it on the pizza for you. That or you can go cheeseless like we did and the pizza was still good.

I also saw some new items at The Good Food Store including New Grist and Bard's beer. Nice to see they are carrying Bard's again. They also have packaged wheat free items from their bakery, banana bread, brownies, cookies, etc. I get nervous when I see wheat free and not gluten free but the ingredients list was gluten free so we tried their apple bread and it was pretty good. Not all of the items are dairy free but some were GF/DF so be sure to read the label before you buy.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Vera Fare Seize the Deal

If you live in the Bozeman area and want to try out Vera Fare, Bozeman's very own gluten free cafe, they are todays deal on Seize the Deal. Pay $5 for $10 of dining at Vera Fare.

Seize the Deal works by offering great discounts at local businesses but the catch is a certain number of people have to seize the deal in order for it to go through for everyone. So if the number is met everyone gets a deal if not then the deal goes away and you aren't charged for anything.

For this deal the deal has been seized, 86 bought when I bought mine, wow!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Dates - Naturally Gluten Free

Need a quick appetizer that is a big hit? Bacon wrapped dates are a delicious answer. They don't take much time to whip together and they bring a fanatstic sweet and salty combination to your tongue. I never knew this sweet treat existed until we went to Over The Tapas and after falling in love with them there I had to give it a try. I love that most people have never had these before but once they try them it's hard to stop.

Bacon Wrapped Dates

1 package pitted dates
1.5 packages bacon, thinner is better here
Toothpicks (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut the bacon in thirds and wrap one piece around each date. You can either spear it with a toothpick or just place it seam down on a cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bacon is cooked.

You can find dates in the grocery aisle that has raisins and other dried fruit. This brand was tasty.

This is the bacon I use, it's thin so it's perfect for these. I get this at Lee & Dad's in the frozen section near the other GF and natural products.

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Grist Gluten Free Beer - Found it!

I wanted to do a quick post that I found the New Grist gluten free beer on the shelf at Lee & Dad's IGA. If you're in need of a beer fix for this beautiful Labor Day Weekend swing by to pick up a sixer.

New Grist Beer in Bozeman

My sister in law said she had found New Grist gluten free beer at the Bozeman Co-op so I had to swing by yesterday. I found where it belonged on the shelf but they were out of stock, bummer! If you haven't tried this beer give it a go. It's a bit more hoppy than the other GF beers available and nice to have more selection! I did walk of there with some Ian's products I've been looking for for months so there will be a review soon.

If you want to get some of the Betty Crocker GF mixes with a discount here are two coupon links.

The first is through General Mills directly.
The second coupon is through coupons dot com and on the 8th page.

Thanks Sarah for sharing this with me!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Farmer's Market & More Gluten Free Cooking Classes

I finally made it to the Saturday Farmer's Market this year and it has grown! It was fun running into so many people I know and we had a great time. Plus I got to scope out and try the gluten free baked goods.

The first booth was located outside and we tried the scones and carrot cake. It was also dairy free and egg free and Hubby loved the carrot cake. I'm not a big carrot cake fan but I thought it was really good too. The scones were a little dense but tasted really good. Her kitchen is not 100% GF but she takes measures to prevent cross contamination.

The second booth was located inside and I would have missed it if my SIL hadn't pointed it out to me. Laughing Lily is a gluten-free patisserie with dairy-free optoins. We bought a couple cookies, all of which were soft and delicious, plus some tasty blueberry muffins. Fantastic food. You can contact them at

Olivelle is offering another gluten free cooking class September 24th called Gluten Free Gourmet. Check out the link for details.

Vera Fare - Gluten Free Cafe

You know how it is when you read something and your stomach does a little flip of excitement? That's what happened when I read the description for Vera Fare. "Bozeman's first gluten-free cafe." Sweet music to my ears. I haven't been able to try them yet but it's at the top of my to-do list. If you beat me to it please let me know what you think.

Vera Fare is located at 2251 W Kagy in Bozeman. They are open everyday from 8-3 an dyou can contact them at 922-0888 or

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gluten Free/Dairy Free No-Bake Cookies w/ Quinoa

No-Bake cookies are the cookie of my childhood. I've always loved them and always will. They are a great option when you want something quick and don't want to turn the oven on. I used to help my mom make these cookies all the time but the last few trials have been duds for me. The taste was there but the chocolate would puddle at the bottom of the GF oatmeal mounds and they weren't the prettiest things. That didnt' stop us from eating them but it did get me on a mission to figure out this problem. I'm not sure if it's an elevation issue or if I wasn't boiling the chocolate mixture long enough but whatever the case these were perfection and I added some extra health to it with the quinoa.

No-Bake Cookies
Adapted from a recipe I submitted as a child to our Church's Cook Book

2 C granulated sugar
1/4 C cocoa powder
1/2 C milk - I used rice
1/2 C margarine - Dairy free if needed
1 t vanilla
1 pinch salt
1/2 C peanut butter - crunchy or not, it's your preference
3 C gluten free oats
1 C quinoa flakes

In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine the sugar, cocoa, milk, and margarine. Bring to a rolling boil stirring constantly. Boil at rolling for 2 minutes then remove from heat and add the vanilla, salt, and peanut butter. Stir thoroughly after each addition. Stir in the oatmeal and quinoa flakes then drop onto greased cookie sheets. Allow to cool and enjoy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bridger Kitchens Gluten Free Cooking Classes

I was oblivious to Bridger Kitchens offering gluten free cooking classes until Karen Ore commented on my blog. Karen follows a GF/DF/egg & shrimp free diet so she is very knowledgable about safe cooking for dietary restrictions. I'm so happy to see more options for people to find comfort in their own GF kitchen.

Click on the link to view their class information and schedule. I'm not sure if any spots are open but a GF cooking and baking class is available August 26th from 6:30-8:30. Dairy and egg free options will also be available.

The classes are held at their second location at the Four Corner's area. They are located at 7540 Pioneer Way.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Gluten Free Dairy Free Camping

Hubby and I used to backpack and camp a lot, then we had children. I am of the belief you can still do the things you love it just has to be adjusted a bit when kids enter the picture. Unfortunately this portion of our lives took a little while but I was happy with the results. The kids loved camping and spending hours throwing rocks into the stream. If the flat tire and rain hadn't happened it would have been ideal but this is life after all.

Our menu was simple. Dinner consisted of hotdogs, corn, and cherries. Dessert was of course S'mores. I used the Kinnikinnick graham crackers and found these delicious dairy free chocolate bars, Sweet Chocolate Dream. This is the closest taste to milk chocolate we've encountered and I highly recommend them. The Rice Crunch version is dark chocolate and a nice substitute to the gluten filled Crunch bar. We found everything below at Rosauer's Huckleberry Market and I had to bring the Udi's bagels just in case. By the way they are soft and delicious, best bagels I've ever had, GF or not.

Breakfast I knew we needed GF/DF pancakes to go with our DF hot chocolate but these items took some searching. I wanted a pancake mix that I could just add water to and The Cravings Place Pancake Mix was perfect. You add enough water to get it to the consistency you want (no measuring cups required) and there you go. They were yum! The DF hot chocolate by Ah!laska was really good, not as creamy as dairy filled (of course) but the whole family was happy with it. Hubby said I didn't need to search for a DF option but he sure did enjoy a warm drink Sunday morning. The whole family needs to be happy afterall.

Here's my troopers eating breakfast in the rain, it of course started coming down as soon as breakfast was ready. They had already drank their morning hot chocolate and moved onto juice. My girl stated her hot chocolate was her coffee. I think that's a sign I may drink too much coffee. See me in the background making breakfast and drinking coffee? I think that was my second cup.

Speaking of my coffee addiction the Starbucks Via instant coffee pouches are fantastic. They take up very little space and allow for a "just add water" coffee fix. This was much more compact than bringing along grounds and my French Press. I picked these up at REI and of course you can get them at Starbucks.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Misc Updates

Sorry I haven't posted anything new for awhile. Work has been crazy and my free time has been filled but hopefully things will slow down next week and I can start posting again. In the mean time I do want to post a few new things I've seen around the area.

Town & Country now has Bard's GF beer. I love this store but never make it there. I need to do a more thorough walk through to see what GF options they have because I know they are scattered throughout.

On The Rise Bakery is working on offering gluten free bread and muffins. I'll keep you posted as I hear more on this.

The Farmer's Market in Bozeman on Saturday's has GF goodies. I can't for the life of me remember the name but a woman makes GF oatmeal cookies (certified GF oats), peanut butter, and chocolate chip cookies. The kids loved them but Hubby can't have them because they are not dairy free.

Starky's offers GF options and here the information I received when I e-mailed them. They have a house made GF bread that is available for any sandwich options. It is brown rice and garbanzo flour based. They always carry it and it is available by the loaf with a day's notice. They also carry chocolate macaroons and lemon bars along with a GF dessert every night. For brunch on Sunday's (10-3) they feature a special brunch menu whose French Toast can easily be converted to GF if requested.

They do a lot of standard baking and said there is a risk of cross-contamination however their bakers are well versed in the avoidance of CC and the dangers of gluten allergies. Items are not labelled GF because they want to avoid the unfortunate backlash that sometimes occurs when an individual reads anything healthy as bad tasting, but their staff is fairly well educated on the subject and good enough to ask a manager or baker when they are unsure of an items GF status. They also do not have a separate grill for GF preparation however if you request when ordering they will prepare a meal separate from the other gluten products.

That's it for now, let me know if you try Starky's and how it goes.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Grilled Polenta with Tomato Bruschetta

My mom and I attended the Gluten Free Italian cooking class at Olivelle in June and we loved it. It was a lot of fun learning some new cooking tricks and the food was fantastic. I plan to get all of the recipes on here but I'm starting with the dish I fell in love with. I could live off this dish. It's an easy yet elegant appetizer and I've already made it for two BBQ's.

Grilled Polenta w/ Tomato Bruschetta
From Olivelle

1 log prepared Polenta, 1/4" slices
Garlic Olive Oil, an item from Olivelle I always have on hand
4 tomatoes, diced
3 basil leaved, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 C EVOO
2 T white balsamic vinegar, you can find this at Olivelle
Salt to taste
Ground pepper to taste
Balsamic glaze to finish. Another Olivelle item.

Heat your grill to high. I haven't tried this on the grill but my electric skillet at 350 F has worked well though I don't get the grill marks on the polenta this way.

Drizzle the polenta slices with the garlic olive oil and place oil side down on the grill. Heat for about 10 minutes before drizzling oil on the top side and flipping to cook the other side for 10 minutes.

In a glass bowl combine the tomatoes, basil, garlic, EVOO, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Spoon some tomato mixture on each polenta slice. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze.

I used the balsamic glaze with cherry, yum!

More Gluten Free Play-Dough Alternatives

I have recently seen a couple more options for gluten free play-dough alternatives and wanted to spread the word. I know we can make our own but it's so much easier to buy it. ;)

Soy-Yer Dough is a scented play dough that is free of egg, gluten, peanut & tree nuts, borax, latex, dairy, and kerosene. The original dough does contain soybean but you can choose a soy-free version of the dough during checkout. All of the dough does contain rice. It looks fantastic so I ordered some and it is shipping today. Is it possible I'm more excited than the kids?

Moon Dough is a hypo-allergenic, gluten free/wheat free molding dough. It never dries out and claims to be very easy to clean up. Basically you can use a big piece of the moon dough to dab up any dough on the counters and the carpet. I did order some of this also, my boy was beyond excited when he saw the commercial and I said it was gluten free, so I'll post a report of what I think once we get it.

Creamy White Frosting - Dairy Free

Another birthday party passed through my house this weekend and I can finally relax a little bit. The next cake isn't needed until August 15th. I was originally going to make my favorite chocolate cake and try it dairy free but the cake I was making suggested to use a white cake mix and I figured I better follow the directions to keep the color of the cupcake liners bright. This prompted me to take a gluten recipe and convert it to GF/DF. It tasted really good but it was chewy. I didn't care for the texture though everyone seemed to love it so it wasn't a total fail at least. The two things I was really happy with were my frosting and how cute the cake turned out.

Creamy White Frosting GF/DF
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

1 C shortening, I used Spectrum
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract
4 1/2 C powdered sugar
3-4 T rice milk (regular milk or another DF milk will work also)

Beat the shortening, vanilla, and almond extracts on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add half the sugar and beat well then add 2T milk until incorporated. Add the remaining sugar beating well again then add enough milk to reach your desired spreading consistency. I used all 4 T but start with 3T to ensure you don't over do it.

The cake my girl picked out came from the Hello, Cupcake! book. It's the Big Birthday Cake design. It was easier to put together than I expected and the candies on top made for a nice treat when eating the cupcakes. The bottom layer has 17 cupcakes (I could only get 16 to fit), then 8, 5, 3, and 1 for the remaining layers. I used Skittles and Runts for the candies since I needed to avoid chocolate candies to keep things dairy free. The only thing I omitted was the pirouette cookies the book had for candles. I couldn't find GF pirouette cookies so I made some but I didn't really have room for them once the cake was put together. The layer everyone wanted was the yellow one, if I did this again I think I'd do that layer in the middle so more people could enjoy the banana Runts.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cholesterol Fighting Green Monster Smoothie - Gluten Free & Dairy Free

I know Green Monster smoothies are all over the internet but this has been our breakfast for the past few weeks and I love it, so I decided to share it. This Green Monster specifically fights cholesterol with the spinach, flax seed meal, blueberries, kefir, and avocado. I based it for my Hubby but I can always use help keeping my cholesterol down too. Hubby is not a big vegetable fan but this is an easy and delicious way for him to get the benefits of the veggies without having to eat them in the traditional manner, and you don't taste the spinach. You can add any fruit or leafy vegetables you like and I do mix it up now and then but this is our standard.

Cholesterol Fighting Green Monster Smoothie

2 C spinach leaves
1 T flax seed meal
1 C fresh or frozen blueberries
1 medium banana, sliced
1/4 medium avocado
1 C Vanilla Coconut Milk Kefir (DF milk and regular milk work also)
Ice, I use two handfuls

This is the DF Kefir I get, they also have strawberry and plain. It adds a creaminess to the smoothie.

Put the ingredients in a blender in the order above. Blend well until smooth, drink, and enjoy! This makes two servings and is about 210 calories per serving.

Even my boy loves a Green Monster in the morning.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hiking Snacks - Meat and Cheese Rolls

It has taken forever for summer weather to get here but now that it is we are finding ourselves going on hikes almost every weekend. I love that my boy states "this is great" everytime we go on a hike and what better way is there to spend time with the family?

We always do a small lunch once we get to our destination and this is our favorite food on the menu. It's quick to throw together, doesn't take up much room, and hits the spot perfectly. My girl and I have ours with cheese while my boy doesn't like cheese (it's all in his head) and Hubby can't have it.

Meat & Cheese Rolls

lunch meat slices (I use Hormel Natural Choice since it's free of gluten, MSG, and nitrates & nitrites)
cheese slices or sticks

Spread a small amount of mayo and mustard on each slice of lunch meat. Place a cheese slice on each slice of meat. If you're using cheese sticks cut them in half length wise and place it on one end. Roll the cheese and meat then stick with a toothpick to hold. If you can't have dairy omit the cheese it's still a really good snack.

Some of our other favorite hiking snacks are granola bars, crackers and peanutbutter, and fresh fruit. What is your favorite hiking/picnic treat?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Gluten Free Pizza in Butte

I have some exciting news for Butte residents needing a GF pizza fix. My friend took her girls to Silver Bow Pizza Parlor in Butte and discovered they offer GF pizza crust. I don't know how it tastes or how careful they are with cross contamination so if you stop in be sure to give me a report.

Silver Bow Pizza Parlor also has games and a carousel to keep the kids entertained, sorf of like a Chuckee Cheese. It's located at 3500 Harrison Ave in Butte and you can call them at 406-494-2750.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

4th of July Treats

We celebrated the 4th of July BBQing with friends and one dish I brought was the dessert. I wanted to do something in a patriotic theme but was frustrated with all of the whipped topping based desserts. I'm not quite sure how to pull that off DF so I just avoided it. When I came upon the idea (it's all over the internet) of cutting rice krispies treats into stars and decorating them I knew I had a winner. Who doesn't love rice krispies treats?

Patriotic Krispies

1/4 C Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (or butter if you can have it)
1 bag mini marshmallows
4 C Koala Krisp cereal (or your favorite GF rice krisp cereal)
Red, White, & Blue gel and sprinkles

Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray (make sure it's GF and DF). Melt the "butter" over medium low heat in a saucepan then add the marshmallows and stir until they are melted and blended with the butter. Stir an additional 2 minutes then remove from heat. Add the Koala Krisp and stir until it's evenly mixed with the marshmallow. I like my krispies to be very marshmallowy but if you prefer more cereal then add an additional cup. Spread evenly into the pan, it helps to spray a metal spoon with cooking spray to keep it from sticking to everything.

Allow the krispies to set then use a cookie cutter to cut out star shapes. Sprinkle with colored sugar and decorate with gel.

This would be a great dessert for Valentine's Day, Halloween, St. Patty's Day, etc.

Birthday Cakes

I apologize for being MIA. This time of year is crazy busy for me at work and at home but I'll stick to the fun "busy" stuff at home. We have 3 birthday's that hit within a 2.5 week time frame, that makes for a lot of cake. The first was my birthday at the end of June and Hubby was sweet enough to buy me an Opera Cake from Sweet Pea Bakery. It was beautiful and the frosting just melted in my mouth. The downfall was they couldn't do dairy free so Hubby wasn't able to have any.

The view of the inside of the cake, look at those layers!

My son had his 4th birthday which called for a Transformer's cake. It was easier than the topsy turvy cake I did last year but still took some time. I was happy with it and made The Baking Beauties confetti cake recipe but doubled it and made two 9" cakes to layer. It tasted really good but it wasn't quite as light and fluffy as I'm wanting to find in a white cake. It also didn't rise as much as I expected but it worked out. The frosting I used was store bought because I was feeling lazy and didn't want to make my own. It was GF and DF but the flavor just isn't as good as homemade.

Top view of the cake and the much needed Autobots logo. Sorry the picture isn't horizontal, it wouldn't load properly.

The finished product which my son didn't even eat, he was too busy playing. Obviously that ice cream in the back ground is not DF.

My girl's birthday is a little over a week away so I'll be trying another white cake recipe, not sure which one though. Maybe it will be the perfect one I'm searching for. Do you have a fluffy GF white cake recipe for me to try?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dairy Free Chocolate Pudding

My family loves them some Jello pudding cups, it's a good incentive some nights to get the kids to finish their dinner. I felt bad when the kids were enjoying their pudding and Hubby couldn't have any. I'm such a sucker. This motivated me to search for a dairy free pudding recipe and the hardest part was waiting for it to cool. I couldn't wait to sample it when I got home yesterday and it was divine! So thick and creamy, much better than those Jello cups. There's nothing like homemade.

Coconut Chocolate Pudding
Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

1 can coconut milk, I used the full fat but you can use the light
3 T agave nectar
1 dash salt (4 squeezes from my grinder)
1 small heaping teaspoon cornstarch
3 T cocoa powder
1/2 C DF/GF chocolate chips (Enjoy Life or Tropical Source)
1 t vanilla

Shake the can of coconut milk to mix the milk and cream portions then pour 1 1/4 C in a saucepan. Add the agave and salt then cook over medium heat until it simmers. While this is heating mix the remaining coconut milk, corn starch, and cocoa powder.

Once the milk mixture simmers turn the heat to medium-low and slowly add the cocoa powder mixture while whisking the whole time. Continue whisking until it thickens a bit, I went for 5 min though the original recipe called for about 1 minute. If you go with 1 minute it may not turn out quite as thick if that's what you'd prefer.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk an additional minute to let it cool a bit. Add the chocolate chips and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Pour into serving bowls then chill in the refrigerator.

If you are looking for coconut milk don't wander around like an idiot, like I did, wondering where the heck it's kept. It will be in the Asian section at any grocery store.

My girl couldn't get enough of this and I'm pretty sure she liked it better than the Jello pudding because she finished the whole thing, usually there are a few bites left.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Our Favorite Casserole, Gluten & Dairy Free

When Hubby said he needed to go dairy free there was one recipe I immediately thought about and worried over how I'd still be able to make it. Afterall it is referred to as the favorite casserole in the house and whenever I ask my boy what he wants for dinner this is it. I make sure I only ask that question when I'm planning to make it.

It took me a few tries to get it as close in taste as it's dairy version, the last version was way too tangy and my boy was not happy. With some tweaks I made it again last night and the boy cleaned his plate, I took that as a thumbs up on getting it correct. So here it is, our favorite caserole gluten and dairy free.

Cheeseburger Skillet Dinner

1 pkg GF & DF Mac & "Cheese"*
1/2 to 1 lb ground beef or buffalo
1/2 C chopped onion
2 C frozen corn
2/3 C ketchup
1/4 C water
1/4 t garlic powder
1 C shredded dairy free cheddar cheese**

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

*The best GF/DF mac & cheese (according to my tastes) is Namaste Foods Say Cheez. It has a bit of a tang to it so I've omitted the mustard from this version of the casserole. You can find it at Rosauer's and Oak Street.

**I haven't been too impressed with the dairy free cheese I've found in the area, I hate that it doesn't melt. I used Daiya vegan "cheese" for this recipe and it's fantastic, I'm so thankful to all the bloggers out there that have raved about it. The Daiya cheese melts wonderfully (with quesadilla's, pizza, etc) and I'm glad I ordered it. Yup I had to order it. I can't find it in our area and Daiya's store locater states it's only sold at ZPizza in Billings for the state of Montana. I did order in bulk through Vegan Essentials and it wasn't cheap but it was worth the money. I froze it in 2 C bags and I don't have to use a lot in the recipes to get the cheesiness I want. It reminds both Hubby and I of nacho cheese with the flavor, yum!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Rhubarb Muffins

Rhubarb season is back, I know this because my rhubarb plant is up to my shoulders. I'm short but still it's pretty big! I had one bag of frozen rhubarb left in my freezer and I figured it better get used before my first harvest this year. I looked through a lot of recipes and decided on muffins because after all my family loves muffins and I needed to give them a dairy free try. They turned out great, Hubby said they look professional so that's a plus!

Cinnamon Rhubarb Muffins
Adapted from Fine Cooking

2 C gluten free flour (I used Gluten Free Mama's Almond Blend)
2 t xanthan gum
3/4 C granulated sugar
2 1/2 t baking powder
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 C sour cream (for DF use Tofutti Sour Supreme)*
8 T butter softened (for DF use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Sticks)
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 -2 C diced rhubarb

For the topping

3 T granulated sugar
1/2 t ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl mix the flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl mix the sour cream, butter, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined. It will be very dry at this point but that's OK the rhubarb is next. Add the rhubarb and mix thoroughly.

Split the mixture between 12 muffin tins. Use the back of a spoon dipped in water to smooth the tops.

Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon for the topping and cover the tops with 1t of the mixture. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Yum!

*I didn't have any dairy free sour cream on hand but I did have Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese. I used this instead of the sour cream by adding 2 T of Rice Milk and mixing until smooth. This brought the consistency to a sour cream level and worked great.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

EZ Gluten Test Take 2

Here are the results of the additional tests I've done using the EZ Gluten test kits. I did test gluten filled beer so I could see what a positive result looked like, let me know what you think.

I wanted to test the Tastefully Simple Italian Garlic Blend because the ingredients are GF but it states it is made in a facility that also processes wheat. The reason I wanted to test this is because when I used it I had some intestinal reactions to it that I've had with other GF food that has preservatives in it. I'm pretty sure I'm just reacting to the preservatives but figured this would be a good way to find out.

The test shows that it is GF.

Next up was a gluten filled beer that was in our basement from family being over. I was expecting a high postive immediately but the only line that showed up was the very top control line. I thought maybe I did something wrong so I did the test a second time with the same exact results. It's hard to see in the picture but the only line visible at all is the control line. I felt confident it wasn't invalid but the only way I could believe it had gluten (other than knowing) is that the results were definately not the same as the negative results. Any thoughts?

Gluten Free in Big Timber

My mother in law informed me of deNotre Cuisine located in Big Timber, MT. They are a deli and pastry shop that sell homemade gluten free scones. I never thought I'd hear about this in Big Timber! I haven't tried them but was told they are delicious. They are located at 104 McLeod St. Check out their webpage for contact information.

I can't wait to give them a try, if you beat me to it let me know what you think.

Gluten Free/Dairy Free S'mores Brownies

I found this evil recipe yesterday and had to make it immediately. It is as delicious as it sounds and won't dissapoint any chocolate lover. I adapted it to make it gluten free and dairy free and you'd never know it was either one. Enjoy but don't blame any weight gain on me.

S'mores Brownies
Adapted from Picky Palate

1 box GF brownie mix (you could also make it from scratch if you prefer, I just used what I had on hand)
GF graham crackers (I used 2.5 rows of the S'moreables)
4 Tropical Source GF/DF chocolate bars (Hershey's work if you can have dairy)
20 large marshmallows
Preheat oven to 350 F and line an 8x8 baking pan with tin foil sprayed with cooking spray. Prepare the brownie mix according to the package and pour half the brownie batter into the pan. Put a layer of graham crackers on the batter then a layer of the chocolate bars and marshmallows. Pour the remaining batter over the marshmallows and spread evenly as much as possible. It will not entirely cover all of the marshmallows and that's OK. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean from the center. You have to let it cool completely, it's torture I know! Once it's cooled remove from the pan and cut into squares.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gluten Free Cooking Class & Updates

Olivelle is offering a Gluten Free Italian cooking class in June. If you are interested in attending call 522-9100 and have your credit card available for payment to reserve your seat. Here are the details.

Gluten Free Italian
Monday, June 28th 6-8 PM

Gain confidence in the kitchen with a gluten free lifestyle while not feeling deprived. Even gluten tolerant people are going to be jealous of the dishes we create. Grilled Polenta Bruschetta, Homemade Pasta (gluten free of course) with a Vodka Cream Sauce, Summer Berry Galette. $35 per person.

An update on Udi's bread, can you tell I love this stuff :) Bonanza in Billings has it and they will sell it by the case, 8 loaves per case, for a cheaper price. Lee & Dad's IGA in Belgrade will also sell the bread by the case for a cheaper price, just ask for Sheila if you have any problems. ETA, You will need to order it and can do it at any cashier checkout. They place the orders on Monday and the breads arrive on Wednesday.

At Home EZ Gluten Test

My package of EZ Gluten test strips arrived yesterday and I couldn't wait to give them a try. The directions are very clear and it seems like a lot at first but it's easy and made me feel like I was back in Chemistry class. In fact I enjoyed doing these tests so much that I did three of them and plan to do another tonight.
This is what the packet contains, don't let it intimidate you, it's a lot of fun.
The first thing I wanted to test was the Trix Swirls. The directions state you need to wash your hands and work on a clean surface. If what your testing isn't already finely ground, like a flour, then you need to grind it up. They include a measuring spoon to scoop the food sample.
Place the food sample in the vial with the testing solution, put the lid on and shake that puppy for two minutes. You can see the Trix Rabbit is excited about the results.

The solution needs to sit and settle for five minutes before pipetting the liquid and placing 10 drops in the test tube.

Put the EZ Gluten test strip in the solution and walk away for 10 minutes.

You can see from the test strip for the Trix Swirls they are gluten free, woot!

I didn't know what else to test so Hubby suggested his Extra gum. I was pretty sure it was GF and didn't know if testing gum would work but I gave it a try.

The results show Extra gum is gluten free!

I felt like a pro at this point so I decided to test a Post cereal and grabbed the Fruity Pebbles.

You can see from this picture that the test results came back negative for gluten, another win!

Even though these test strips aren't cheap I'm glad I bought them and was able to put my mind at ease. That alone is worth the cost.