Posts filed under ‘Hey What’s Goin on Here?’

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 21,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 5 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 17 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 169 posts. There were 17 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 16mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was January 25th with 137 views. The most popular post that day was Food for Goofs.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were glutenfreehomemaker.com, networkedblogs.com, fireandsalt.blogspot.com, blogschmogme.wordpress.com, and thewholegang.org.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for gluten free white sauce, gluten free breakfast casserole, slime, rose, and gluten free noodles.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Food for Goofs February 2009
11 comments

2

Xanthan Gum vs. Guar Gum April 2009
24 comments

3

No Noodle Lasagna Recipe January 2009
14 comments

4

Borrowed Breakfast Idea – Gluten Free Breakfast Casserole February 2010
6 comments

5

Green smoothie pants and still smiling. April 2009
16 comments

January 2, 2011 at 12:22 pm Leave a comment

More Christmas Cookies

Big Batch Gluten Free Christmas Sugar Cookies
adapted from Special Diets for Special Kids 2
by Only Sometimes Clever

Here is a family favorite. My kids love all the different variations we can make with this recipe for gluten free sugar cookies. I found this posting at Karen’s blog, Only Sometimes Clever. I have added some of my own preferences to the original recipe from her blog. Karen has a page with over 40 gluten free recipies. Many of those are health conscious and multiple alergen conscious but oh so good!

Flour Mix: I like to mix this ahead of time in a galon ziploc bag

  • 4 Cup brown rice flour
  • 2 Cup sweet rice flour
  • 2 Cup tapioca or potato starch
  • 1 Cup amaranth flour
  • 2 Tablespoons xanthan gum
  • 3 Tablespoons baking powder

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Cups shortening
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 Cup vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon salt

Preheat Oven to 325 degrees F. These cookies do not spread

MIX flours, starches, xanthan gum and baking powder with a whisk OR combine well in a galon ziploc bag.  Set aside.

Using your largest bowl, CREAM sugars, shortening, eggs, vanilla and salt.

ADD flour mixture a little at a time stirring with a wooden spoon. Once the flour mixture is mostly incoporated, KNEAD the dough in the bowl or between sheets of wax paper. The mixture will have the consistency of play-doh, but not too soft. If it is too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time until it will gather into a ball. Resist adding water if at all possible. The dough works best if it is not very moist. Unless a crispy cookie is desired, BAKE at 325 degrees F until the edges are just golden on insulated pans. I bake mine on stones and get a lighter fluffier cookie. It’s all a matter of preference.

I split the dough in four and work from there. This recipe makes FOUR complete batches of cookies. That’s a LOAD of cookies folks. The recipe halves fine too, although I prefer to make the whole thing, wrap in plastic, put in ziploc bags and refrigerate up to 2wks. Karen says it also freezes well though we can never keep it that long. 🙂

Variations:

The cookies at the top are made by mixing cocoa powder into some of the dough and rolling that out into a thin rectangle. Then using a plain dough, roll that into another rectangle, placing it on top of the first chocolate rectangle then making the whole thing into a long log. Refrigerate or freeze until firm and slice for cookies.

Below is another favorite. Roll and use various cookie cutters to create holiday shapes. Frost and add delightful toppings. Check out Karen’s post for more ideas both from her and her readers!

December 16, 2010 at 5:57 am 2 comments

Recipes for a gluten free Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a bore. There are so many delicious and even gourmet options for those of us with celiac and/or food allergies. Here are some of my favorites…

Wild Rice & Cranberry Stuffing: Made with onions, garlic, vegetable broth, wild rice, cranberries, seasonings and nuts if desired. We’ve made variations of this delicious stuffing in past years but here is a link to one that I really like.

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/2394

 Apple Crisp: Use cornstarch in place of the flour. Mix in dark brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, spices, and nuts if desired.

Cheese Buns: These little rolls are light and fluffy, warm and delicious. Link below! (It seems wordpress is having difficulty with links in text. Hopefully this is fixed soon) These cheese buns behave a bit like a popover but they rise, apparently because of the tapioca starch not all the eggs that you need in a popover so in my opinion you get a much better texture more like wheat buns. To get them just right you might want to try them out before Thanksgiving but believe me, if your family is around, even the flops won’t go unnoticed.

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2010/02/20/gluten-free-and-lovin-it-–-cheese-buns-extraordinaire/ 

Mashed Potatoes: Don’t forget lots of garlic and butter!

Gravy: So much easier than you might think. At least it surprised me. 🙂 Using the meat drippings scrape off some of the fat (save the drippings) and put it into a saucepan. Slowly add and whisk an equal amount of flour (corn starch works great, or rice flour, all purpose gluten free flour, bean flours, etc. etc.), on med to med/high heat simmer this mixture until the flour is browned (you should see a bit of color in the bubbles, you don’t want raw flour, it tastes bad, believe me). Once you’ve got the flour cooked (this doesn’t take long) increase the temperature and begin to pour back in the meat drippings and whisk like mad so you don’t get lumps. Continue to whisk. This should thicken into a nice gravy within 5 min or so. It is just making a roux like I wrote about in this post below. https://glutenfree4goofs.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/you-must-learn-to-make-sauce/

Fruit Salad: This should be naturally gluten free. Double check ingredients that are unusual

 

TWO QUESTIONS FOR YOU…

1.What are some of your favorite holiday recipes? Link or if they are naturally gluten free simply name them.

2. What are you thankful for? I am so thankful to my mom for letting me borrow her flour mill indefinitely. I can bake like crazy and cheap! That’s hard to do gluten free but when you buy in bulk and mill it yourself, the flour alternatives are quite reasonable! Thanks MOM

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

November 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm 4 comments

Friend to Friend Advice on Going Gluten Free

I wrote this as an email to a friend who did an elimination diet and discovered that gluten messes with her moods as well as other things. She wants to try going gluten free with her teen kids and see if they feel healthier too. She also had specific questions about Thanksgiving. Hope this helps Gina!

Think substitute or make from scratch instead of cutting things totally out. For example, need carbs? Corn, rice (careful of boxed rice), potatoes. This should help with thanksgiving. Instead of packaged gravy, make it using corn starch! Many, many gluten free foods are BETTER because they don’t rely on processed food. Watch your ham and instead of an injected one or some fancy stuffing that no one eats, get an organic one and make a rice and craisins stuffing.

What else? Need dessert? Ice cream is almost always a go and you can make a mean crockpot applesauce with brown sugar for it to go on. You can get mixes for the things you just can’t live without. Look at the new Betty Crocker gluten free line, (sold at WalMart) she has brownies and cakes and may even have a pie crust. If not I’ve made naked pumpkin pie before in a pinch.

As for now, with you kids, get some special treats to curb the munchies. Things you don’t usually buy but you can say I know it’s tough without… but here have a snickers! LOL

Another great option for a quick pick me up is a protein and/or fruit smoothie. When I’m really lamenting the lack of options my hubby whips up a dessert smoothie with peanut butter, chocolate, protein powder and milk. MMMM!

I keep stocked on protien stuff, yogurt, nuts, cheese and then definitely invest in some good gluten free noodles. You can get a case of Tinkyada noodles (by far the best texture out there IMO) on Amazon. Its spendy but definitely worth it if you really want to go for it. I just buy elbows and use them for almost everything. Sometimes I grab some spaghetti noodles.

Check out my no noodle lasagna “recipe”. We make it in advance and freeze it. Stick to meats and fresh veggies. We do a lot of salmon or chicken on the bbq, and when it comes to taco night we make our own seasoning and use warm corn tortillas. Cumin is the “secret” to the flavor.

Chex has gluten free cereals and if you can develop a taste for grits you can still have hot cereal too. Eggs are a go.

Speaking of eggs, you can boil up a dozen or so at a time and have another quick protein. Hard boiled egg, or egg salad sandwich (on rice cake or gf bread) etc.

Just plan ahead! That’s the best way to stay on top of it. Don’t let yourself get hungry without having an idea of what you will eat. It takes dilligence and probably at first you will be longer at the grocery store but just make sure you always have something that IS ok. That’s one of the hardest parts.

October 14, 2010 at 3:08 pm 5 comments

Quick Hello – cleaning, music, babies, mom crafts and more

I hope you are having a wonderful August! The fair just closed, which to me, always feels like the official close of summer. I know I said no posts this month but I’m avoiding housework. 🙂

The Artistic Mother: A Practical Guide to Fitting Creativity into Your LifeDo you want to join me in working through this beautiful art book for moms Come over to my other blog Blog Schmog and join us?

I’d like to work through the 12 week art course with other moms. Would you like to order the book and blog your progress too? I can tell you in advance, I won’t be accomplishing it in 12 weeks. It will be more of a here and there process. But the “homework” is manageable even if you want to keep to the schedule. Order yours and look it over. I want to start in September sometime.

Here is what I’ve been up to in random order…

  • The hogs are filling out. We just went to the farmer to get another 900lbs of grain that should finish them off by Thanksgiving.

I still have a very sad garden. 😦 The only things I’ve been able to harvest are red potatoes and a few golf ball sized onions. The carrots are ready. It seems only below ground vegetables worked this year. I am holding out hope for some tomatoes, garlic and my squash plants have little baby zucchini, summer squash and pie pumpkins on them so keep growing!

  • Baby is growing. I guess I’m making skin right now! Yesterday I got my first dizzy spell. That’s never happened before, that I can remember. It’s funny how mushy my brain is too. I went to my first appointment at 12wks. I knew all the pertinent dates, even conception but I still had myself all messed up. My midwife did the calculations and she said, “Jess you are 16wks not 12, we need to draw blood today.” I’m a month further along than I originally thought. Must be another girl. 🙂 Too funny!
  • On birthing… I was talking to a friend of ours who is an anesthesiologist and telling him my birth stories, including the one time I got an epidural. I told him that I’ve decided (through personal experience, assisting a mother in her hospital birth and extensive research) that birthing naturally is a matter of education and being confident in what God made our bodies to do. I love this quote on Dayspring’s website, “Childbirth should be viewed as a natural undertaking in life, not a medical crisis…” Here is what my friend, whose career is largely dependant on epidurals said, “If more mothers educated themselves I’d be out of a job.”
  • As we “speak” I’m rocking out with our favorite net radio station www.christianrock.net
  • Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Call it nesting or fall cleaning but I’m on a rampage to get my basement cleared out so we can finish the drywall and floors. I’m hoping to acid wash the concrete and get the majority of the unfinished space usable by the time baby comes. Has anyone ever done the acid wash? NO I’m not doing it but I can coach my hubby on how to do it rather than having to hire it out. Seriously, how hard can it be? As long as you don ‘t melt your shoes right? :-]
  • Requests I’ve had for future blog posts… my testimony, baby bump pictures and my favorite gluten free pizza crust recipe. Any other requests? I’m not guaranteeing anything! 😉

August 30, 2010 at 12:07 pm 7 comments

Gluten free in Denver

I recently had the opportunity to vacation in Denver Colorado. It was my first vacation where I didn’t have access to a kitchen where I could designate a gluten free section and manage my own food. Needless to say that made me nervous.

If you’ve been to Denver recently or live there, you probably know that I had nothing to fear! I ate like a gluten free queen!

The Mercury Cafe had an nearly an entire menu that could be made gluten free. Not to mention dancing! I shouldn’t have eaten Elk Bean and Cheese Enchilada’s before a night of east coast swing but it was worth it! We loved our waitress who was also great entertainment. What a fantastic dancer! She was cute. We tipped her well.

Denver’s gluten free treasures had only begun that night. The next day for lunch, my friend took me to Udi’s, a bakery with a dedicated gluten free facility. Woo HOO! I ate a huge sandwich on bread that was to die for. It was so exciting I took a picture.

The fries are made in a dedicated vat and everything tasted amazing! Going gluten free only cost an addition $1. Not bad especially after you’ve taken a bite. Udi’s is a must if you are in Denver.

For the grand finale we ate chinese at PF Changs who, since my glutening experience, have been forgiven. I talked with the manager and have seen all the precautions they take in assuring their gluten free guests are safe and can confidently say, they are one of the few places I trust implicitly. NOW.

The trick is, look for your food to be served on round plates with the PF Changs label. I got glutened by eating an appetizer on the plain square plate, which the server neglected to recognize. Purely human error.

Now I ask a lot of questions and am never afraid to say, “How do I know this is gluten free?” or “This is something I’ve never seen before, what’s the breading on the chicken?” That “breading”, by the way, is potato starch.

Have you been to any great gluten free digs lately?

July 5, 2010 at 5:45 am 6 comments

Some more sneaky sources of gluten

There are a few things that I occasionally still forget that contain gluten. Mostly its because they are things I don’t usually eat but at a grad party this week I encountered them and thought I’d share.

Imitation Crab – sushi rolls on an hors d’oeuvres tray peaked my interest but thankfully my sister remembered about the crab.

Soy sauce – this one doesn’t usually sneak up on me but you’d be surprised how often, rice that looks like plain white rice is cooked in small amounts of soy sauce.

Crumbs – I just about cut open a watermelon on a counter that someone before me cut bread on. I didn’t realize it at first and was surprised how many crumbs came up  on the dishcloth!

Be safe out there kids… 🙂

May 25, 2010 at 10:01 pm 2 comments

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MATT - Food Creativity Consultant, Joyful Partner in Crime JESSIE - Photographer, Amateur Food Critic, Blog Author CAPTAIN OBVIOUS - formerly Thing 1 Thing 1 SCARFUNKLE - formerly Thing 2 IMG_3466 LOUD KIDDINGTON - formerly THE BUBBA 3 PEE WEE MINI ME BORN March 8, 2011

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Food Fun

Sourdough Update

Many of you have been checking back for results on my sourdough creation. At the moment it is still a science experiment, but a happy, bubbly experiment. Never fear, recipes will be here! I did make a beautiful, moist and delicious loaf of sourdough using yeast and a myriad of other ingredients but I'm still trying to create something more user friendly. Wouldn't it be awesome to have a starter on the counter that you could add 4 things to and have a loaf of bread by dinner? Mmmm! Attempt #1 - rose well but resulted in a dense chewy blob Attempt #2 - rose ok but was thin and lifeless then fell and another dense (not so chewy) blob Attempt #3 - to the dogs! Attempt #4 - A sourdough pancake success see post under what's for breakfast gluten-free goof? Ongoing - I've tried several more times and am going to try a completely different approach on the bread starting this week. (Mar 18). My sourdough is still happy on my counter and it makes great pancakes but it's a lot of work just for pancakes. Keep checking! April Update: She is still kickin and I'm still workin on a yeast free, gluten free sourdough loaf! May Update: My sourdough "pet" has been dried and retired until next baking season. I've traded her in for a hotter model, the BBQ! :)
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