Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The night before gluten-free Christmas is near.

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,Rang the noise of the mixer, the cause of my rouse;
The only creature stirring, it seems, is my spouse.
The recipe notes, jotted down with great care,
The next winning formula - something with flare?
Could it be yet another one of those breads,
An awesome addition to holiday spreads?
Will this new recipe be considered "a wrap",
or may it turn out that something else is on tap.

Baking gluten-free foods, a serious matter,
especially great ones, worthy of some chatter.
Burn through ingredients and piles of cash,
Making recipes for the holiday bash.

The gluten-eaters among us just won't know,
The "fun" it has been creating this new dough.
Through trial and error, what should appear,
pumpernickel bread with spinach dip near.

Although a bit challenging, with the right trick,
This new GF bread is ready for St. Nick.
Anyone else that can not eat wheat grain,
is sure to enjoy this one all the same.

No barley, no gluten, no wheat in our mixin',
This recipe is done - no need for more fixin'!
Once again my wife has heeded the baking call,
When it comes to glutenfree, she's in for the long haul.

More recipes are coming in 2007,
Some bound to make you think you've gone to heaven.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the gluten-free recipes published over on our book site's recipe page. It is time for me to take a break from blogging for a few days, and focus a bit more on some things I need to wrap up before the holidays. (quite literally in some cases.) I'll be back to posting on the blog before I know it, since time flies, especially around this time of year.

I hope everyone has a wonderfully enjoyable Christmas and holiday season!

No Gluten or Dairy Pumpernickel Bread Recipe

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Pumpernickel Bread

Pumpernickel Bread: Full of Flavor and Gluten-Free with this Recipe

The Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Pumpernickel Bread Recipe is now available at our Glutenfree recipe library! I had promised this recipe a few days ago, and it seemed I had a few people getting a bit anxious for it, so there is the link to it. I described this recipe in my previous post where I showed it in use as a gluten-free pumpernickel sandwich bread. It works great for this, since it has a nice hearty crust and a soft spongy center, all infused with plenty of pumpernickel bread flavor.

Complementary Dill / Spinach Dip Recipe

In addition, I posted a recipe for a simple and versatile dill and/or spinach dip recipe. I don't know about you, but spinach-dip served with cubed pumpernickel has been rather popular at parties - both around the holidays and any other time of the year. Many people carve the center out of the loaf of pumpernickel bread, and fill the bread with the dip... using the carved out portion to form the cubes of bread for dipping. This glutenfree pumpernickel will work fine for that, since it is made in a round pyrex 2-liter dish, and achieves a height of about 4 inches when baked. So, plenty of volume for holding dip. Personally, I prefer keeping the dip in a separate bowl so as not to cause the remaining pumpernickle loaf (the part of the loaf you are using for a "bowl") to become soggy. This goes for bread with or without gluten. Why waste any great GF bread to sogginess?

Here's a picture of the dip with some cubed-pumpernickel bread - all glutenfree of course.
GF Pumpernickel Bread with Dill Dip
Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Glutens have arrived! Beware!

Gluten-Monster, or gooey Gluten-Blob, or whatever
I was playing around with this idea of a "Glutens" cartoon of sorts, and I missed my first target of Halloween for an initial prototype of what one of the "Glutens" looks like, but here is the first incarnation just in time for Christmas.

My daughter sketched up the gooey little elastic gluten-ball "monster" that will hereafter serve as the basis for my "Glutens". After I had a bit of fun with the sketch in Photoshop, the Gluten monster lives in full-color. The above picture is what we envision those pesky and evil little glutens looking like as they prepare to do their dirty work on our intestines. Certainly these glutens have evil intent when it comes to our bodies!  This one has even gone as far as to appear incognito with a Santa hat to throw us off his scent.

So, what do you think? Is this what one of those "Glutens" would look like? They are always lurking in the shadows and preparing to mess with us, and I figure this one in particular is going to be out there trying to make Christmas less than optimal by tainting our holiday food if we are not careful. So, watch out for the Glutens that would steal your Christmas — I know they are out there!

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available.

Gluten Free Perfect Pumpernickel Bread

Laura's Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Pumpernickel Bread Recipe : Perfection!

Incredible Gluten-Free Pumpernickel Break Recipe

My wife has worked tirelessly on perfecting a GF pumpernickel bread (dairy-free too!) over the past few weeks, and she has finally achieved her goal! I just had to take a picture of my lunch today, which is a tuna salad sandwich on this new glutenfree pumpernickel bread she just finished baking earlier today. Here's a direct link to this wonderful Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Pumpernickel Bread Recipe.

The bread is wonderful. A nice hearty crust, and a soft spongy center! What more could anyone ask for in a pumpernickel? Oh, yeah... taste... it tastes great too! I think it is very much like a real pumpernickel. In addition to the sandwich, we tried it with a gluten-free dill-dip / spinach-dip (recipe here) that was being made as I type this. Once again it is time to start planning how to burn off these extra calories! But, I much prefer having this "problem" of calorie expenditure over the problem of not being able to find good food to eat as a Celiac person.

With a fair number of breads in our repertoire now, there really isn't too awful much I find "missing" from my daily eating habits when compared to the pre-gluten-free days. I am so glad to have a wife that is quite gifted with baking gluten free recipes, and most food in general. And, if something gives her a rough time, she takes it as a challenge to figure it out and perfect it. This recipe and a couple others now join our online GF recipes collection (see links below).

I noticed Lynn Barry just finished a version of pumpernickel recently too! I guess it is the perfect season for pumpernickel! Can't wait to serve it at a Christmas party or dinner.

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

GlutenFree Sesame Cookie Recipe

Gluten-Free Sesame Cookies : Yum!

Sesame is the star of these Gluten-Free Cookies

This one is definitely a winner - a delicious gluten-free sesame cookie recipe! I think I put on a pound today as I ate about a dozen of them! That's not likely to be a pound of muscle either, though I did make sure to go outside afterwards and walk a mile and jog another mile. Still, I doubt that will offset the calories in these gluten-free temptations of the day, but better than nothing.

I have to give credit to my daughter for this recipe. She just wrapped up another semester at college and is done with her GRE's, so she finally has had a bit of extra time between grad-school applications to get back into the gluten free baking spirit! This recipe took her a couple tries, but she definitely prevailed with a tasty cookie that has a wonderful texture.

This GF cookie has sesame and coconut inside and out, with sesame tahini in there too! So, plenty of flavor, and plenty of calories to boot I'd guess. But, it is a cookie and as such calories just have to take back seat to wonderful taste! Now if this recipe would have come along a few months back, I'd surely have considered putting into our new gluten-free desserts cookbook, but this recipe was just a bit late arriving on the scene.

I have another recipe to post soon, also from my daughter: a gluten free tea-leaf and honey cookie.  That one reminds me of a sugar cookie, but not. It worked well for holiday cut-out cookies for Christmas, and was delightfully crisp and crunchy with accents of honey and tea. Different, and good. It'll be coming soon.

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake Recipe - Bundt

Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake, Bundt Pan style

Gluten-Free Bundt Cake Recipe : Pumpkin and Spices

Here is another gluten-free recipe, a lovely GlutenFree Pumpkin Bundt Cake Recipe which I just uploaded to our free recipes library for anyone that is looking for a holiday pumpkin treat that is a bit different than a traditional pumpkin pie.  Some other pumpkin-theme blogs also recently included a spectacular Gluten-Free Pumpkin-Roll recipe my wife created for the holidays.

This recipe is easy to make, and it has much of that pumpkin-pie type flavor but in the form of a cake. All sorts of flavor comes together in here: clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger - and even a bit of cocoa. This recipe is also dairy-free, in our push to accommodate those of you who can not tolerate milk products very well.

We made this recipe for Thanksgiving dinner, but it should be equally welcome around the Christmas holiday table - whether for dinner or at a party. We have tried it both with and without added Xanthan gums, and it works fine either way (the Xanthan gum does give it a bit better bounce, and makes it less likely to crumble), so take your pick whether to include that in your gluten free recipe or not.

Now, if I can only remain this productive in my blog postings for the rest of the week! I am finally catching up on posting a few of those outstanding recipes. Some of the others recent recipes include a new type of GF and dairy-free/casein-free muffin my wife came up with, 
some cranberry pumpkin muffins, and there is also a chocolate angel-food cake to post eventually.  I did get around to posting a gluten-free chocolate-chip angel-food cake (variation to one in our book), a GF pumpernickel bread, and a few others. I have quite a few other things I want to still get done this week though, so time will tell whether they are posted sooner rather than later on this blog.

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available.

Gluten-Free Panettone Bread Recipe

Gluten-Free Panettone Bread Recipe, baked, and sliced

Holiday Sweet Bread with Citrus: Gluten-Free Panettone

My daughter recently created a rather tasty gluten-free Christmas Holiday bread in the style of traditional panettone bread. It features orange/citrus flavors in a sweeter dough that has dried fruit and nuts in it. Here is a link to the gluten-free panettone bread recipe (as pictured above).

I promised this recipe to my blog readers a while back, and finally the gluten free recipe is online and ready for others to try. Baking a panettone, in the traditional full-cylindrical form would probably be a bit rough for a variety of reasons: the first being the tall cylindrical shape, which I doubt many would have a specialized panetone pan for. I have wondered if it could be baked in a coffee-can or a couple smaller cans, though I do not know if it would come out of the can easy when done, or if it would rise enough to fill the entire height like a gluten-containing one would probably have an easier time of.

Regardless, this version of a panettone is done glutenfree (sorry, not completely dairy-free this times), and is baked in a standard springform pan. The bread has a nice mellow flavor, with a touch of sweetness, and accents of orange. Perfect for the Christmas holiday. If anyone tries it, please let me know your thoughts. And, as always, if you have variations or improvements, feel free to share them.

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available.

Dairy-Free Focaccia Bread & Crouton Recipe

Gluten-Free / Dairy-Free Focaccia Bread Croutons

Gluten-Free Focaccia Bread / Croutons Recipe 

I had time to post the Gluten-Free and Dairy Free Focaccia Bread and Croutons Recipe today that I promised in my last blog. It features plenty of pictures to go with the various steps too, like these:

The Fresh Gluten-Free Bread Dough Rising, with Caramelized Onions on Top

Beautifully Caramelized Onions used on top of the bread dough
The picture above shows those wonderfully tasty caramelized red onions that are both in the dough and on top of the bread. The onions combine with garlic, pepper, rosemary, and more to create a very flavorful bread and crouton. It's a bit of a specialty bread, and I have not had focaccia in a long time (since going GF), so we may still end up tweaking the recipe a bit over time. But, I think it is plenty good enough for public release — readers, you tell me what you think after trying it.

Hope everyone enjoys the recipe!

I have been busy reformatting quite a few other gluten-free recipes from Word into an HTML format for upload to my gluten-free recipes-library, so stay tuned as more GF creations are coming and will be online soon.

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Gluten Free and Dairy-Free Focaccia Bread Croutons

Specialty Gluten-Free / Dairy-Free Croutons by Laura

More GF Recipes from Laura

My wife has once again outdone herself!

Today's undertaking was this GlutenFree and Dairy-Free Focaccia Bread recipe, and subsequently some Croutons (shown above) made from that bread. The results, in my opinion, are remarkable. These are some darn fine croutons! Loaded with flavor to say the least... red onions, and all sorts of herbs. Fantastic!

The Focaccia bread itself was plenty fine too. It has been a LONG time since I had focaccia bread, and that is a bit of a problem for me since my memories of it are a bit faded. I think what she has created is rather like the real deal, and I await feedback from others once they try the recipe. I was mixing up bruchetta and focaccia in my mind at first, which goes to tell you how long it has been.

Needless to say, there have not been any memorable gluten-free focacia breads in my diet since going gluten free — until now. That's one thing about Celiac Disease you have to watch out for... you avoid so much of what you used to eat, you start forgetting what the "real" thing tasted like. That is also why we enlist the help of our friends and neighbors (not gluten-free persons) in taste-testing, just to make sure we have a valid test-group.

This one is a winner in my opinion!

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Almond Paste in Baking GlutenFree Recipes

Solo Foods Gluten-Free Pure Almond Paste
I have had a few people ask me about Almond Paste as an ingredient in various Gluten-Free recipes. We use it in a fair number of recipes, as it adds a nice flavor to certain desserts and breads. To being with, Almond Paste is not to be confused with Almond Butter. Almond Paste is a combination of Almonds, Sugar, and water basically — it is a very thick paste. We use a canned variety of pure Almond Paste from a company called Solo for our GF recipe baking.

Solo Foods offers this nice gluten-free "pure Almond Paste" product (which has been GF for quite some time now, and although their company produces other products that are not GF, they have not had any issues with cross-contamination). I also inquired about the ability to purchase direct from them, which you can since they are one of the few manufacturers that will sell directly to the consumer as a benefit to persons that can not locate the product close to them. Moreover, if you call their customer service number (800-328-7656) you can order a 6-pack of 8-ounce cans on the phone with your Visa, and with shipping included in the price, it is only $22.50! ([Note: 2006 price; call them to get current rates] at $3.75/can, this is much cheaper than we were buying from our local store before - they were over $5/can there), and direct to your door!

I tend to stock a dozen or more cans at a time for friends and family that need a quick source for Almond Paste when they are doing their glutenless recipe baking, especially if they do not want to order 6 cans at a time.  Perhaps you can find a few fellow bakers that want to split an order.  I have to believe this stuff will last "forever" (years?) in the unopened cans. We use a can per month or more, but then again we do a lot of baking.

I plan to put eventually place a link to this article and to the Solo Foods site from our cookbook website. Although I would love to simply allow people to purchase a can of Almond Paste along with my recipe book, shipping makes that impossible, so it is best to get it in the supermarket or direct from Solo Foods. I know we use it in our wonderful Pecan Pie / Tart, and a few other tasty gluten free dessert recipes. It really adds a nice flavor to so many recipes.

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available.

Monday, December 04, 2006

What do 3 TONS of cookbooks look like?

Better yet, what does your body feel like after moving 3 tons of recipe books to your basement? From (very recent) first hand experience, I can tell you: not good! I do not even want to know what I will feel like tomorrow. Thankfully, the work was spread between three of us - me, my wife, and our daughter. We had a decent system for moving the cookbooks from the garage to the basement worked out, and created a rudimentary "slide" to quickly get cartons down the steps. So, one person at the top, another placing them on the slide, and another loading a hand-truck at the bottom to transport to the storage racks. Then, getting them from the hand-truck onto the racks. Oh, what a workout! What have I gotten us into?

The next thing is knowing that we'll have to move some of these same boxes out shortly to take to, or mail to, our retailers, and to everyone on our pre-orders list that is waiting for their gluten-free desserts book to arrive just in time to make some delicious treats for Christmas and the holidays. But, at least the cookbooks are out of the way, and we can get an automobile back in the garage.

After being nearly 2.5 weeks late from the shipping company (arghh!), I feel a huge sense of relief and satisfaction knowing that the cookbooks are now in our hands, and the glutenfree/celiac population that is eagerly awaiting them will soon also feel some gratification when they get their hands on one. I apologize to anyone that has found the waiting as tough as I have -- when/if we reprint another batch, I'll allow more time for delivery issues (and, hire some teenagers to move the books).

So, it seems we have a seriously busy week ahead of us getting these things out to everyone. I think the post-office will love me, though anyone behind me in line at the post-office waiting to send holiday gifts is going to absolutely hate me (as I take a long time in front of them)! :)

For those of you overseas that have asked about ordering online -- give me a couple more days to get the international shipping rates updated and implemented. The only international destination ready to go right now is Australia for quantity-one shipments only (that was my "test case" where a very patient Australian has helped me work through the process). I'll soon be ready for Canada, UK/Great-Britain, Germany and a few others. Just need to figure out how much the rates to each location will be; of course the "flat rate" package the post-office had for international would not quite fit the book!

As I type this gluten free blog entry, I think that tomorrow may well be a good day to do some "desk work"... anything non-physical, as I already feel the exertion really taking hold in my knees, lower back, and elbows. I know what will help, at least for a few minutes: a nice gluten-free dessert/snack; perhaps even going overboard and eating some celebratory Haagen Dasz ice cream!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

What could be better than Almond Milk?

Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Gluten-Free Chocolate Almond Milk : Yum!

Chocolate Almond Milk (whether sweetened or unsweetened variety), of course, what a great idea! I have used Blue Diamond's gluten-free regular or vanilla Almond Milk (Almond Breeze line of products) for some time on cereal in the morning, and I find it just as tasty as Soymilk for this type of thing. In fact, I overwhelmingly prefer Soy or Almond Milk to regular milk when it comes to my cereal. I find the nutty flavor of either one really complements the flavor of whatever grains are in the cereal.

Chocolate Almond Milk Product Review

I just tried this gluten-free Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Chocolate Almond Milk a few hours ago, and, I must say, I really like it! I happened to see it for sale at Trader Joe's right alongside the other flavor I normally get, and I though - sure, why not give it a try. I am glad I did. The chocolate flavor and almond essence really come together for an overall great flavor. I can actually enjoy drinking it just for something different - and, it is another way to get a bit more calcium in the diet (or whatever other excuse I can find to get more chocolate into my diet) :)

I don't plan to start pouring the chocolate variety over my morning cereal, but I will keep it around for something to drink when I just do not want water or juice. And, for anyone allergic to Soy and dairy, this may be exactly what you are looking for in a milk-replacement. As an added bonus, it is gluten free!

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Glutino Sans Gluten Sesame Bagel Review

Glutino brand gluten-free sesame bagels, toasted, with almond butter

Glutino Gluten-Free Sesame Bagel Review

I am celebrating today with a wonderful Glutino Sans Gluten Sesame Bagel, or what they ended up calling Glutino Gluten Free Premium Sesame Bagels (in some year after I originally wrote this review).  I toasted this bagel up, as pictured above, with some Roasted-Almond Butter as a topping. I definitely recommend these bagels. I prefer them toasted (like many GF products), but the textures and such is really pretty decent when toasted. It's not a Panera Bread fresh bagel by any means, but it really isn't that much different than a normal frozen bagel. These glutenfree bagels hold up rather well in the fridge too — in fact, I have had this one in there for at least 4 or 5 weeks, and it was fine toasted.

What am I celebrating with this lovely toasted GF bagel today?

GOOD NEWS: My printed gluten-free recipe cookbooks have arrived at the nearby Cleveland warehouse — they are delivering the books to me on Monday. Funny thing is they are literally a block away from a friend's house that I am going to visit today. I could walk from my friend's house to pick them up, but I have no vehicle capable of handling 3 tons of books. I tried to get the shipping company to allow me to pick up a few boxes today, but as expected, they won't let me take a partial load.

So, the time frame for getting the cookbooks and being able to send them out to customers is now a definite one. From here on I am to deal with local shipping contacts (no more LA contacts), and, I expect that will make life a bit easier! Snow if forecast for Monday, which will make moving the books more fun — and, of course, the entire week last week that the books were supposed to be here the weather was wonderful (sunny and 60's)!

Next, I have been contemplating a book-launch party for sometime in the next couple weeks. We have quite a few friends, family, neighbors, and acquaintances that were involved in our recipe trials and such, that is just seems appropriate to have some kind of celebration and get-together. I have a feeling this is going to be a challenge when competing against all the company Christmas parties and the like. Worst case is I can push it off until January I guess.

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Oats update, recipe variation post, and more.

For anyone that is interested in knowing how the gluten-free oats consumption is going, I thought it was a good time to provide an update. I have been eating the certified gluten-free oats for breakfast every few days now. I started with a quarter-cup uncooked, and worked up to 1/2 cup uncooked at a time now. I have consumed them a total of 4 times now. In general, I did not notice any particular issues. But, today, whether coincidentally or not, I have had these stabbing pains in my upper-stomach area (just below my sternum) on and off all day, and the pain is worse when I take a deep breath or lean backwards and stretch my mid-section.

I have not had problems with the Oats thus far, and I really have no idea if the pains are from my body not taking well to the oats today, or if it is from the post-Thanksgiving over-consumption routine :) So, not quite sure what to make of things. I will still have the oats again over the next few weeks I am certain, and I will see if any pattern emerges. I'd say there is a good chance I ate something else that I should not have recently. Time will tell.

Aside from that, I had a reader who tried our Artisan Style Gluten-Free Multi-Grain Bread send me an email message to tell us how wonderful and "awesome" the bread was! Needless to say, we are thrilled whenever someone thoroughly enjoys our recipes. The reader also sent me information about how she adapted the recipe to a dairy-free (and even egg-free) variation. See the comments under the above link -- I posted her variation description there, and I will (sooner or later) post it on the book-site.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving - gluten-free and wheat-free of course! And, I hope to have more time to get back to writing new blog entries over the coming weeks. I have a few recipes I really want to get out for Christmas season, including a Panettone Bread (my daughter's creation), and some other nice recipes.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free Cornbread Stuffing / Dressing Recipe

Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free Cornbread Stuffing / Dressing Recipe

Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing / Dressing Recipe

This is a timely (though perhaps a bit last-minute) Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free Cornbread Stuffing / Dressing Recipe (with Cranberries) perfect for the Thanksgiving Holiday! Enjoy!

Corn Bread Ingredients:
  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ Cup Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ¾ Cup Cornmeal
  • ¼ Cup Glutinous Rice Flour
  • ½ Cup Sorghum Flour
  • ¼ Cup Flaxseed Meal
  • ½ Cup Water
Additional Stuffing Ingredients:
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2.5 Cups Diced Onion
  • 1 Cup Chopped Celery (approximately 2 stalks)
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
  • ½ Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1 Teaspoon Sage
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, Chopped (can used dried)
  • 1 Tablespoon Chives
  • ¼ Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
  • ½ Teaspoon Pepper
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1½ Cups Vegetable Broth*
  • NOTE: *Vegetable Broth used in recipe: Pacific Natural Foods -- Organic Vegetable Broth (Gluten Free)
Start by creating the cornbread: In mixer, mix egg, sugar and vegetable oil on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Add remaining cornbread ingredients and mix until combined. Pour corn bread into greased Pyrex 11 x 7 x 1.5 inch baking dish and cook in 425° oven for 15 minutes.

While corn bread is cooling, start preparing the additional stuffing ingredients. Place olive oil in large skillet that can be placed in the oven (if not using an oven proof skillet, the stuffing will need to be transferred to an oven safe casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray), cut up the onion and celery and place in the skillet (such as a cast iron skillet), cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly tender. Add minced garlic, cranberries, herbs and salt and pepper, cook for 2 additional minutes. Turn off heat.

Crumble the baked corn bread into the stuffing ingredients and mix gently.

In a bowl, combine vegetable broth and eggs, whisk together. Pour over corn bread/stuffing ingredients and gently mix until combined. Place all the mixed stuffing and additional ingredients into an oven-safe cast-iron frypan/skillet, and bake at 3750 for 45 minutes (again, if not using an oven safe skillet, place corn bread into an oven safe casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray).

Recipes to Enjoy during your Gluten-Free Thanksgiving: Stuffing and Pumpkin Bundt Cake!

These recipe should do the trick! The picture above shows the final product (some stuffing shown in our preferred baking equipment: a cast-iron fry-pan).

Note: I have added this recipe and a bonus holiday recipes to our online GF recipes library, here:

Other Cookbook Happenings...

I was a bit distracted this week when I got word from my Shipper that my recipe books, which were supposed to ship last week out of LA, were still sitting in a warehouse there instead! Oh, I had some choice words about that situation. It seems that, as of just a bit ago, the shipment has been "expedited" and released, but this puts the ETA a week later than expected.

I apologize to anyone waiting anxiously for their books, since I am now not supposed to have the new cookbooks in hand until next week (Nov. 30th). Needless to say, I am disappointed, since we, like every other person with a product to sell, wants to get our product out for the all important holiday season. Now, it seems I will miss the entire first week of that holiday rush, and my distributors/retailers are certainly going to miss out a bit. And here I thought I had ample slack time in our plans for anything like this.

Well, here's a happy Gluten-Free Thanksgiving to all my loyal readers! Best wishes and may your gluten-free feast be joyful and memorable!

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Gluten-Free Garlic, Pepper, and Herb Quinoa Recipe

Quinoa with Garlic, Pepper, and Herbs : Gluten-Free Dish

Quinoa: the wonderful Gluten-Free Grain

Another day, another recipe. I may have mentioned this dish before, since it is a favorite of mine. Simple to make, and should be "Safe" for not just gluten-free/celiac-disease folks, but also for the casein-free, corn-free crowd too.

Here's a link to the Gluten-Free Garlic, Pepper, and Herb Quinoa Recipe (as pictured above).

I like this quinoa dish both as a main course and as a delicious side dish. I have been wondering, in fact, whether or not this quinoa could be prepared as such and then used to stuff a turkey? I have created gluten-free quinoa-stuffed poblano peppers, so why not? I don't see why it would not work. Though, perhaps it is best to just serve this as a side-dish in place of stuffing and not worry about actually placing it inside a turkey - since there is probably little benefit other than perhaps keeping the turkey more moist and having some turkey flavor permeate the quinoa. Oh, just thinking as I type by gluten free entry of the day in my blog again.

For anyone that cares about the "healthfulness" of quinoa, I did a prior blog entry on quinoa
where I discuss the protein and fiber content and such. It really is an awesome gluten-free grain, and I have seen the grain gain more attention and popularity lately - even our latest issue of Cooking Light has a quinoa dish in it, which thrilled me.

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Roll Recipe

Laura's Incredible Gluten-Free Pumpkin Roll Recipe

Gluten Free Pumpkin Roll Recipe : Awesome!

I promised this Gluten Free Pumpkin Roll Recipe a while back, and finally got around to posting it on my cookbook website. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, this may be a recipe a few readers would like to try out. My wife adapted a pre-gluten-free-days version of a pumpkin-roll recipe that her grandmother often made around the holidays.

And, much like the original pumpkin roll recipe, this wheat-free and GF version has plenty of pumpkin and spice flavor throughout, all coupled with a creamy sweet cream cheese filling.

I have a few more Thanksgiving and Holiday gluten-free recipes, both here on this blog and over on the cookbook website. These include things like a Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bundt Cake, a Gluten-Free / Dairy-Free Pumpernickel Bread, and many other goodies.  Laura has been so busy baking and being utterly creative in the kitchen lately, and I must say that I am very much enjoying sampling all these treats.

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Baker's Edge pan review - with pictures

I recently purchased a new specialized baking pan called The Baker's Edge in order to try out a some gluten-free recipes baking in a pan that is basically "crust optimized". Now, why would anyone want a pan that produces much more crust (or edge) surface area than a regular baking pan? For a variety of reasons actually!

First of all, I love the crust on breads, brownies, and so forth - in fact, in must be a genetic predisposition to those chewier and crunchier edges, because, I recall how while growing up there was always a battle between my father and I to see who could first lay claim to the edges and crusts. There is just something special about the consistency of those edges where sugars have so perfectly caramelized to form a crispy, crunchy, and/or chewy surface. The innate appeal of a chewy brownie crust extends far beyond my own family, as I have witnessed quite a few others similarly drawn to that prized corner brownie square at parties.

The good news is that the rare corner brownie, or end-crust piece, is no longer rare when using The Baker's Edge. In fact, that is the whole point of the pan -- to maximize the proportion of edges & crusts throughout a dish. This works great for brownies, cakes, breads, and even dishes like lasagna.

My second attraction to the pan has to do specifically with gluten-free baking. For anyone that has any experience baking without gluten (i.e., without "normal" flour - meaning: no wheat, rye, or barley products allowed), as most anyone with a wheat-intolerance or Celiac Disease would have, there is a challenge to getting some recipes to come out as nice as their gluten-containing/wheat-containing counterparts. Since gluten is the protein that adds elasticity and binding capacity to standard wheat flour, baking without gluten means getting recipes to hold together without that all important intrinsic stickiness that gluten contributes to the chemistry of a recipe.

The typical option gluten-free recipes rely on is added vegetable/plant gums (like Guar, Xanthan, etc) to mimic the elasticity that gluten would otherwise add. If you do not wish to use added gums, one of the best things you can do is maximize the ratio of crust in your dish, since the caramelization of sugars and such that occurs at the edges of your baked goods also adds much-needed binding capacity and outside-edge rigidity to help your foods hold together well.

This is where The Baker's Edge pan can be quite advantageous to glutenfree baking: by maximizing the amount of crust area throughout your entire dish. The pan is shaped a bit like a maze, or a giant "M" shape, with its back and forth trenches. My wife tried the pan out with chocolate brownies and biscuits; each worked quite well in the pan. As you can see here, the brownie has all sorts of edge-area, with each brownie that you cut having at least two edges that are nice and crunchy/chewy.

In addition to having the promised extra edges, the brownie (if left whole) is bound to garner some attention for its rather unusual shape. In this case, I have the luxury of telling everyone the giant "M" stands for "Mike" of course :) I liked the resulting brownies quite a bit, as there was no shortage of that coveted prize: the corner brownie!

Likewise with the biscuits - no shortage of crust here!

Here are my overall observations of The Baker's Edge in general and in regards to glutenfree baking:
  • It is a well built pan. Sturdy construction of heavy gauge aluminum that is coated with a wonderfully effective non-stick surface.
  • Price: it currently costs $37.00 (that includes shipping), which is certainly more than the price of a standard bread pan, but it compares favorably with other high-quality specialty pans.
  • It is simple to clean! Even though it has a maze-like layout, the interior corners are all smoothly rounded and clean easily. Although you can get "maximum crust" by simply baking your recipes in muffin pans or mini-loaf pans, there is no comparison when it comes to cleanup time: The Baker's Edge pan wins easily when compared to cleaning all those individual muffin cups and such. No contest.
  • Bake times have to be adjusted a bit, since all those interior surface areas also decrease the bake time a bit. When we use the pan for a recipe, we will note the new bake times on our recipes for anyone else using a Baker's Edge.
  • The pan's internal volume is optimized for standard cake-pan recipes - so, you don't have to adjust your brownie or cake batter up/down to fit the pan.
  • As mentioned earlier, the final food product sure has a unique look that is bound to get attention at a party or event.
  • Although the pan comes with a cute little serving spatula that fits perfectly within the "maze" sections to remove your foods, if you have a thicker dough/batter to distribute throughout the pan, it is a bit of a challenge getting your product to be evenly dispersed throughout all the channels. This is not a huge bother, but it will help if you have a spatula about the width of the grooves. In all, it still takes less time to distribute your batter/dough throughout the channels than it would to fill a dozen or more mini pans.
  • Gluten-free foods do certainly benefit from the additional surface area and tend to come out with more texture and substance. Yes, you could use a bunch of little pans to accomplish similar results, but this is much simpler.
The bottom line: The Baker's Edge works as promised, holds equal promise for gluten-free baking, and is bound to be a crust-aficionado's delight! I certainly enjoy the results we achieved.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

We finally bought an ice-cream maker.

We have considered purchasing an ice cream maker for nearly 15 years now it seems, and each time we contemplated it, we decide that we would not get enough use out of one to make it worth the bother. Well, yesterday that changed.

We finally gave in and purchased one - a simple $50 Cuisinart model where you freeze the bowl part of the machine for a few hours (6 or so is recommended), and then put the frozen bowl into the electric-powered machine once you have your ingredients ready to pour into the bowl and turn the thing on for 20-25 minutes. Our first experiment was Italian Lemon Ice (pictured above), and oh my god is it so good. Much better than any I have purchased pre-made.

Note: I placed some gluten-free frozen dessert recipes on my website now, including:

Recipe and method to make your own delicious Lemon Ice

The formula is so simple:
You dissolve 2 cups of sugar into 2 cups of water on the stovetop (only heat as much as needed to dissolve sugar easily). While that is cooling, zest and juice a pile of fresh Lemons until you have 1.5 Cups of fresh-squeezed juice, and a couple tablespoons of lemon zest. Mix that into the sugar/water.

Now place that (room temperature) mixture into the machine, and run it for 20-25 minutes. Then, place the (rather soft) lemon ice in the freezer to firm up the rest of the way.

Ahhh... how refreshingly tangy and sweet and satisfying the end result is! Glutenfree, wheat-free, dairy-free... but, not sugar free of course :)

The inspiration for this purchase is twofold. First, we have seen a lot of The Food Channel personalities making ice-cream and/or frozen desserts lately (nearly as many as are pushing alcoholic beverages of recent), and second, I ran across this vegan ice cream blog yesterday that had so many wonderful ice cream (well, vegan - so iced soymilk or such) & flavored ice recipes... that pushed me over the top. Check that site out... nearly everything is GF from what I could tell.

Since the original lemon ice creation, my wife has created a chocolate-blackberry ice-cream in the mixer. Still gluten-free, but not dairy-free needless to say (the recipe called for heavy cream). And, it too is just oh so good! Perhaps not good for you, but who is making icecream for the health benefits anyhow? (though, that vegan ice cream surely should not be TOO bad for you aside from the sugar)

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

GlutenFree Oats for Breakfast (certified gluten free)

Yes, you read correctly! I have eaten gluten-free oats for breakfast today!

It has been so long since I had any oats, and I must say, they tasted darn good! There has been a lot of controversy about whether or not oats are gluten-free, and whether oats are safe in a Celiac diet. This was one of the topics discussed at the Columbus Celiac Conference this prior weekend, and the bottom line from the latest in scientific and medical research is simple: oats themselves are gluten-free by nature; it is only any cross-contamination (with gluten-containing grains) that would render oats anything other than gluten free (GF).

I have been following the back-and-forth arguments about whether oats are "safe" for a long time now - years in fact. And, with this latest information, coupled with the availability of certified gluten-free oats, I finally have given in and tried oats again. At the conference, one of the vendors this year was a certified gluten free oats grower called Gifts of Nature, Inc. They had a supply of oats on hand and were selling 2.75lb (44 ounce) bags for about $10/bag (i.e., $3.63/lb!). A bit steep for oats! But, they are independently certified free of cross-contamination and all. Even at this price, they easily sold out their entire stock before day's end at the conference. I guess I am not the only one that so badly wants the taste (and health benefits) of oats back in my diet.

I did try earlier in the year to order some GF Oats from another place online, but when I did, the vendor was out of stock for a couple months or more (due to super-high demand). What I expect to see happen is this: 1) short-term prices will remain high, or perhaps even spike higher with increased demand; 2) other suppliers will start popping up all over the place as they see how they can turn a piece of fallow land into a serious cash-maker by producing certified gluten-free oats (compared to very low prices for standard oats - which I can get for 40-cents/lb or less at retail in some places yet)... $3.63/lb is nearly 10 times the price for essentially the same commodity; 3) at this gold-rush kicks in over time, the supply will finally exceed demand, lowering prices. This will likely take 10 years or more to play out, but one way or the other, it will happen given enough time.

So, I just consumed my oats about 1/2 hour ago. I took it light -- 1/4 Cup uncooked this time. I want to see how my system takes to these things before I start ramping up. Other conference attendees that had tried the GF oats before all said to start out with small amounts and work up. Most had good experiences and were able to tolerate them if they started small and worked up. So, that is where I am at too. I'll report in on the outcome over time.

Now, one thing I have been waiting a long time to make again are a couple recipes I really love: Oatmeal Cookies (I have a nearly-perfect gluten free oatmeal cookie recipe we left out of our book due to the potential "controversy" about oats) and another thing I called the Triple-Oat-Energy-Bar (I use Rolled-Oats, Oat-Flour, and Steel-Cut Oats) that is sort of a really hearty granola bar. I have not had either one for at least a couple years. When I first went gluten-free, I was tolerating oats yet, but that ability slowly went away until I could not eat them. That was in the days of non-certified-GF oats, so I really hope these certified gluten-free oats make the difference and bring back some of my favorite Oat recipes (oh, and my mother has this rather tasty oat-flour chocolate cake recipe too). If all goes well, I will bring all these recipes back out of the archives and put them online for others.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Snow accumulating in Cleveland

Is it just me, or is it just too darn early for snow to actually be heavy enough to accumulate?! It is November 3rd, and the forecasted low temperature is around 22 degrees F, and lake-effect snow is in the forecast as well. We actually have about an inch on the ground here now, and some areas around us have 4 or more from what we have heard. This is not what I want the beginning of November to look like. Reminds me of last year -- cold November, then warm (very warm) December, though December this year will have to prove itself equally warm for me to consider it a valid reprieve from this (premature) cold spell.

We have a gluten-free / Celiac Disease conference to attend in Columbus tomorrow, and I surely better not be snowed in when I am ready to leave for the event! I doubt I have to worry, but it is just strange to even need to think about the possibility of such a thing this early in the year.

As always, the only good thing about bad weather is how I tend to get much more work on the computer-based activities done. I have made significant strides in getting my online TOC (Table of Contents) for my book up and running. All the recipe preview pictures are there, and I am working on PDFs to go with them (not that the PDFs show much extra). I figured since I made some PDFs for the GoogleBooks effort, I would upload and link to them while at it.

Here's hoping tomorrow is snow-free so I make it to the Gluten-Free event on time! :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Extended life - for mice only?

Have you heard the latest research news on attempts to extend lifespan in mice? Researchers have succeeded in doing so by giving the mice large amounts of a molecule called resveratrol (a compound derived from plants put under stress; and, which occurs in red wines). The findings were remarkable in that not only did mice on the resveratrol supplement live longer, the effects of aging, in nearly all categories, were diminished even when the mice were put on high calorie diets!

Oh, if only they could get this available for humans.

First of all, I, like most people, certainly find the prospects of living 30% longer rather interesting, especially if that extra lifespan is a healthy one. And, that "high calorie" diet thing, with no ill effects... oh, the possibilities! :)

Here is a link to the reveratrol molecule and mice life-extension findings. It is worth a read. Fascinating to say the least! I thought I heard elsewhere that the concentration of resveratrol the scientists were giving mice would be the equivalent of us drinking 100 bottles of red wine a day... so, I guess drinking wine to get such effects is just a bit out of the question.

I know this doesn't have much to do with gluten-free diets or anything, but I thought it interesting enough to share.

Now, back to work. Just finished uploading my book PDF to GoogleBooks for inclusion in their online book-search, and hoping that gets setup properly without any more involvement. I'll probably make the same file(s) available on my website within the next few days. Needless to say, I stripped out the actual recipe/directions text from the book, and included only sample-images, but it should give people a decent feel for what recipes are in the new gluten free desserts book. So much to do, so little time... oh, if only I could get some of that mouse-potion, I could get 30% more time!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween - carve your pumpkins!

We really like making gluten free desserts from Pumpkins, but, to be quite honest, we "cheat" and use the canned pumpkin - it is just so much easier. There are pumpkins that are especially good for pumpkin pie filling, but those pumpkins are not the type you will see most often around Halloween for decorative purposes. When you go to create you Jack-o-Lantern, chances are you have a much larger variety that would probably not be optimal for baking with.

We acquired our pumpkins (pictured above) from farmers an hour South of us, and a couple from local stores once they were marked down the last few days before Halloween - most were only a couple bucks. We had beautiful weather here in Ohio Sunday and Monday this week (versus the rain/snow mix that has plagued most of October), so we carved our pumpkins and lit them up last night.

That is part of what has been keeping us busy, but only a small part. I have taken time to begin the migration of this gluten free blog to the new Blogger Beta so I could use "labels" to better categorize my postings over time, and be able to group things like "Recipes", "News", and so forth. Should make life easier for readers.

On the gluten free recipes side of things, my wife has been busy as always. In fact, she created a perfect fall-holiday dessert we will soon publish the recipe for: gluten-free pumpkin roll! Mmmmmm! Delicious! I have not had a pumpkin roll in ages; in fact, not since I went GF quite some time ago. The problem was always getting the gluten free version of the recipe to handle the rolling up step, since without gluten it does not have the elasticity that a normal pumpkin roll would have. Well, Laura has done it, and with minimal added Xanthan Gum. And, the flavor is quite similar to any good pumpkin roll I can remember.

While she works on recipes, I have been trying to eradicate the fall leaves that have piled up in the yard. That has been a non-stop adventure. No sooner do I have them cleaned up, then a whole new wave of them come down. And, we have well over a hundred trees in the yard, so this is no small pile I am talking about - the resulting pile is the larger than my dining room. I pile them up in the back of the yard to make compost material for the garden/flower-beds. Every year the pile starts out huge, and then reduces to about a foot or two deep as it decomposes. And, yes, the Halloween pumpkins will end up on that same pile in a few weeks. Call it recycling on a grand scale. :)

In addition, I have been working on our website and other aspects of the book-sale preparations. Not much is visible online perhaps, but hopefully that will change in the coming week. Our online recipe collection has been increasing, and plenty more are on the way as we have time to post them. In addition to the pumpkin-roll, we have a nice quinoa dish, plus some roasted peppers and garlic, and our daughter even created an interesting and tasty Panettone style bread (a sweeter bread with dried fruit and nuts in it).

Friday, October 27, 2006

New Recipe - gluten free and dairy free Buckwheat Bread

gluten free and dairy free Buckwheat Bread
gluten free and dairy free Buckwheat Bread

Gluten-Free + Dairy-Free Buckwheat Bread Recipe

Laura has managed to produce another bread recipe worth publishing on the web. This one is a gluten free and dairy free Buckwheat Bread (pictured above). I like it, and my parents like it, and everyone that has tried it likes it thus far. It uses light buckwheat to obtain a rather mild flavor, along with a bit of Flax and some SoyMilk.

I have eaten it plain, toasted, and even with a chocolate-hazelnut spread on top (which all really went well together). There are now a solid four bread recipes in our repertoire, which gives me some nice variety. More on the way too. Next planned one is a Cinnamon-Raisin bread (mmmmmmm! I miss that bread).

My wife and I have been trying out this nifty little specialty pan recently, called the Baker's Edge, which maximizes crust-surface-area through a unique maze-like design. I'm doing a full review on it in the next few days - so stay tuned for results and pictures.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

GF Foods Discount Bounty Day!

Today offered a few wonderful surprises for me. One of them was an unexpected bounty of heavily discounted gluten-free products. I was just up at my local health food store discussing strategies for selling my new book there, when the owner mentioned that another regional health food store was going out of business. And, since he had been in talks with the other owner about taking over their customer-base, he told me how the store was liquidating their merchandise if I got there today.

Talk about good timing! So, I made a trip the Stess-Less Gourmet in Strongsville (the one going out of business) to discover there was still a rather decent inventory of gluten-free products for the picking -- all at HALF OFF! Oh, I was like the proverbial kid in a candy-store! I left with my car's trunk full of gluten free foods and related products that are otherwise just so expensive. Even the famed Larabar (energy-bar style treat) was a half-off item, and since I had never purchased one before due to the $1.79/bar price, I tried one right on the spot and then loaded up on the chocolate/coconut/date variety (it was rather tasty).

I continued this opening/tasting of things I had not ever tried before (due to the potential risk of paying a lot, and not liking it), with the store manager's approval (since I said I'd pay for anything I opened). Oh, what a wonderful day to try things! So, I found a few new products I liked, and a couple I did not. The ones I did like - I bought the entire inventory of. In fact, that picture above doesn't even start to show the pile. I purchased all the Quinoa grain (a favorite of mine), a good amount of the flours and starches (like Amaranth, buckwheat, and more), all of the cereals that I liked (gluten free cereal is so ridiculous otherwise - and now it was the price of "normal" cereal), and anything else I knew I could use. Heck, even the Silk Soymilk was 1/2 off and cheaper than anywhere else I could get it.

Another bit of good news is that my normal store (Vital Choice) is taking on the business from the other store (which was only 6 miles away), and my store is selling my books too. So, a new crowd of regional people will have a retail opportunity to buy my book now. Overall: an excellent day!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Gluten-Free "Wheat Bread" perfected

Gluten-Free Wheat Bread
Gluten-Free Wheat Bread

Gluten-Free Wheat Bread Recipe

"Wheat Bread" you say? Gluten-Free you say? Yep!

Laura has outdone herself again. After the third attempt at perfecting the gluten-free "wheat bread (tastes like)" recipe, I think she has what is a darn convincing product. The first two attempts were pretty good, but had some minor issues to correct. This version corrected those issues and is very, very good. It sure tastes like the real thing to me.

Here is a direct-link to the recipe: Gluten-Free and Wheat-Free "Wheat Bread"

I am looking forward to feedback from others. I have taste tested it on just a small number of people thus far, since it just came out of the oven a couple hours ago. It should be relatively simple to make, and much cheaper than using store-bought pre-mix ingredient versions that are commercially available, and with a much better flavor.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Pancakes Recipe

I have a new recipe to share with anyone that loves the taste of Pumpkin. This is a Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Pancakes Recipe that I came up with the past couple days. I will admit, I have had a tough time getting the outcome to be consistent, and these pancakes are very sensitive to proper moisture content and pan temperature... some batches came out perfect, others were a bit "wet" inside. I have the flavor just where I want it to be.

I had a few objectives with this recipe:
  • Dairy-Free - done: I use water in the recipe vs. Milk
  • Low-Fat - no added fats
  • High-Fiber - Yes! About 8 grams per batch (which, I call a serving) - about four 4-5" pancakes. 5 grams from the Pumpkin, 2 from the Teff, and the rest from Buckwheat, Cinnamon, misc.
  • Nutritious - 300% of the RDA of Vitamin A, some Iron/Calcium, (and all that Fiber).
  • Easy to Make: generally, but needs tuning to meet this objective completely and consistently.


½ Cup Pumpkin (Canned, unflavored)
¼ Cup Brown Sugar
1 Egg
¼ Cup Buckwheat Flour
2 Tablespoons Teff Flour
½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ Teaspoon ground Cloves (or Allspice)
¼ Teaspoon ground Nutmeg (I used fresh ground)
1 Teaspoon ground Cinnamon
Pinch/Dash of Ginger
¼ Cup Water** (this seems to vary a bit based on pumpkin and what day of week it is)

Just mix it all together well (I used electric mixer). Place the resulting "batter" on your fry pan or griddle in amounts that when spread to a thickness of 3/8" or so (using a spatula or spoon) form a 4-5" round pancake. Adjust your frying temperature such that the pancakes cooks about 3/4 of the way through prior to flipping (and, without burning). Continue to fry second side until golden brown. When done, the inside should look like a normal pancake (i.e., cooked through, with some bubbles, and not overly "wet") -- this is what I found hardest to achieve consistently thusfar, as temperature seems critical, and the water content. (oh, I almost forgot to mention, I also love making these a bit less nutritious by adding some chocolate chips to the recipe on occasion - yum!)

I considered separating the egg-whites out, whipping them up, and folding in later for volume, but didn't want the hassle. I could also start be beating the entire egg, but didn't try that yet. I may try adding a bit of rice-flour. Who knows. If anyone wants to improve and donate the "perfect" formula for success, feel free... I always look forward to recipe improvements!

I serve these gluten free pancakes with just a touch of Maple Syrup, and a glass of fresh Apple Cider (which is in season right now). Makes for a great Fall treat, though I could sure eat the pancakes year-round!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Why I prefer Cast-Iron Pans for Baking

Asian-Style Sesame Asparagus
Asian-Style Sesame Asparagus
That picture is of a very simple to make grilled (pan-fried) Asian-Style Sesame Asparagus that uses some Gluten-Free Tamari for a nice little twist on the basic grilled asparagus. I placed the recipe (not that it is difficult enough to create to warrant having a "recipe") on my gluten-free recipes page.

This recipe, like many others, works really well for me when prepared using cast-iron pans. In this case, I used a flat cast-iron griddle to sear/grill my asparagus. Though the final product looks good and tastes great, some recipes like this can take more time to clean up after than they do to create, which is one of the main reasons I love cast-iron pans: I have yet to find anything I can not clean off of them with relative ease.

Why Cast Iron is Awesome for Cooking

So, why else do I love cast-iron for cooking with? Here are a few of my reasons:
  • Cleaning - as mentioned above, a well-seasoned cast-iron pan is darn near impossible to "ruin" with something that will not come off. You can scrub them with steel-wool if needed. You could (if really desperate) probably take a grinding wheel to them. heh. They are amazing!
  • It's not Teflon: there have been a few studies that suggest the non-stick coatings used on various pans are not good for you (to say the least), and that those coatings are getting into our food and water supply. And, one of the worst things you can do to teflon (it is a plastic) is to overheat it and cause fumes to be released as it burns. And, nearly everyone that has used a non-stick pan has at some time or another accidentally done this.
  • OK, cast-iron is not a "non-stick" surface, but how long do your non-stick surface pans last? I have had "good ones" and cheap ones, and regardless of the brand or coating, as soon as any wear or scratches mar the surface, your non-stick pan has just been condemned to a downhill slide towards uselessness as it loses that magical non-stick ability. I just got sick of pitching pans - what a waste! A well-seasoned cast-iron pan is darn near as non-stick as teflon, especially at cleanup time.
  • IRON: Yes, something us gluten-free people are susceptible to is a dietary shortfall (and bodily uptake) of Iron. Cooking in cast iron introduces extra iron into your diet somewhat naturally. The iron in the pan oxidizes a bit as water gets on it and dries (i.e., it rusts), and there is a little transference of Iron into your diet. With small children, you want to make sure not to overexpose them to iron (be it through dietary supplements or any other means), but for adults any added iron should be just fine.
  • These pans are indestructible. They are built like a tank.
  • The only downside: they are heavy. Some of our largest fry-pans are really difficult to pick up with just one hand, especially if full of food. And, you don't want to accidentally drop one on your foot.
  • You can get some absolutely awesome cooking results with things like cast-iron dutch-ovens that would be nearly impossible with regular cookware. Because they are so heavy, you get wonderfully controlled heat conduction.
  • Versatility - We use our pans both for stovetop and in-oven applications (sometimes both for one recipe). We love our cast-iron dutch-oven for exactly this reason - our homemade baked-beans and pulled-chicken recipes are prepared on stovetop and oven. As long as there are no plastic handles and such to worry about, the whole thing just goes right into the oven safely.
I really like the Lodge Brand Cast Iron products, especially the pre-seasoned ones. Even the non-pre-seasoned pans are fine if you do not mind taking time to season them yourself by coating lightly with oil and placing in an oven for a few hours (it may save you a few bucks). I have noticed that even WalMart carries a fair number of their products lately, as well as Old Time Pottery, and quite a few other places. Highly recommended product - and, made right here in the good old USA.

Whew, another long posting. I like writing and getting ideas out of my head, since it seems to clear the way for new (and perpaps even better) ideas in the future - and this gluten free blog is one of my idea outlets. But, my sister recently accused me of being a bit loquacious with my blog entries, so perhaps I'll start writing shorter passages. Or, maybe not. :)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Gluten-Free & Wheat-Free "Wheat Bread"

Yes, it is possible! I am convinced now that my wife has created an astonishingly Wheat-Bread-tasting gluten-free and wheat-free bread! The flavor is the best of any bread I have had in years, though she is still perfecting the texture and rise-rates of the bread-dough and such. It reminds me of a commercial standard whole wheat bread with its flavor - nothing short of amazing.

This is the second attempt at creating a gluten-free "wheat bread". The first attempt had excellent flavor, but the interior of the bread was a bit gooey (The outside was perfect -- I ate the entire crust in one sitting). This second attempt is much closer to the desired texture inside, though it still appears to need a bit more leavening and a bit less liquid. Now, I will eat the entire crust, plus the top inch and a half of the loaf... the lower part is too dense yet in my personal opinion. Regardless of the density issue, I still think it is way ahead of the commercial brown-rice bread I have had (which is as dense as a rock, and with taste and texture to match. heh).

As time permits, my wife will certainly be trying her hand at perfecting this bread. And, once she does, I am rather positive it will garner quite a bit of attention in the celiac disease, gluten-free, and wheat-free diet communities when we release it on our website. Wish Laura luck, as you will all reap the rewards of her efforts!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Link between Celiac Disease and Cognitive Decline

Just reading the title of a new article today -- "Mayo Clinic Discovers Potential Link Between Celiac Disease And Cognitive Decline" -- is enough to give anyone with gluten enteropathy a bit of a pause. That's not exactly the kind of news we all want to hear.

The found there was a link between Celiac Disease and cognitive decline, though it did not go as far as to really isolate the complete cause of the connection -- that is what is to come in the followup study/research. This study has led to some theories about where there is such a correlation, which include:
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Inflammatory cytokines -- chemical messengers of inflammation that could contribute to problems in the brain
  • An immune attack on the brain that may occur in some patients with celiac disease
Some things mentioned that are a cause for hope include:
  • The cognitive impairment seemed to be, relatively uniquely, of a reversible form of decline
  • It appears not all CD patients are at risk; though researchers can't identify which ones will be and will not be
  • Following a strict gluten-free diet will likely prevent most consequences of the disease.
The article is an interesting read.

On a completely different note: it is now snowing in Cleveland! This is just a bit premature for my liking. Perhaps I am suffering cognitive decline already, but I can not recall when it last snowed this early in the season. I know it has snowed on a few Halloweens over the years, but early October? The snow has been coming in waves... sunshine for a bit... some flurries (some rather significant ones)...back to sunshine. Strange, seeing all these fall leaves still on the trees, many of which are still green, and then waves of snow entering the scene. I just couldn't give up wearing shorts for the season yet, so I put on my windbreaker and went out to get the mail -- tolerable in brief bursts, but it is a bit chilly. If these cold temperatures persist for more than a few days, I guess I will have to bust out the jeans for the season a bit earlier than normal.