Monday, March 1, 2010

Blog Move

This blog is going to be moved and redone at a new address:

Check me out there (but give me time to get it up and running!)!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Chunky Chili (naturally gluten-free)

I love the meals I can make exactly the same way as I used to and still be able to eat them now. I call them naturally gluten-free, since they naturally come that way without me making any substitutions or changes. This is one of them! A simple, wholesome chunky chili.
1 lb ground beef (this is one of the few meals that I like to buy a regular old ground beef instead of the extra lean gives it a little more flavor)
1 onion
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 can chili beans
1 can diced tomatoes
2 small cans tomato sauce
1 small can diced green chilis
4 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1/8 tsp paprika

Cut up the veggies. Chop the peppers and cut the onion in half. Chop half of it and dice the other half up small.
Cook the ground beef and the diced small onion in a pot over med-med high heat. Drain.
Stir in beans and tomatoes with their liquids.
Add remaining ingredients.
Salt is really important when cooking. It allows the natural flavors of the foods to release and blend together. It enhances the essences of the foods you are cooking it with. Therefore, I think it's really important to pay a little more and get a good salt (this doesn't matter so much when baking, but it does for cooking). Pictured is a pretty decent basic French sea salt I picked up at Williams Sonoma.

Heat all ingredients to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
You can serve this over macaroni noodles and have chili mac, but I think it's so good just topped with some cheese and onions (yes, more onions...) and a little dollop of Daisy :)

Gluten-Free Chicken and Wine Sauce

One of my (and my family's) favorite dinners is a chicken and white wine sauce over rice. The cream of chicken soup I used in it, however, was not gluten-free. I was given a recipe for a g-f condensed cream of chicken soup mix recipe, though, so I was anxious to try it out. Turns out, it tasted great in my favorite dinner! Not quite the same, but good in its own right. So first here's the recipe for the mix:

2 c nonfat dry milk
3/4 c cornstarch
2 Tbsp dry minced onion (I used onion powder)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 c chicken bouillion
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
Combine all the ingredients in an air tight container. To use, combine 1/3 c of the mix with 1 1/4 c water in a saucepan. Cook and stir until thickened.
To make the dinner:

Combine mix and water in pan and cook until thickened. Add 1/4 c sour cream and mix. Remove from heat. Add pepper to taste. Stir in 1/4 c white wine (I've found pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc taste best, but I've used riesling too.).
In a skillet, melt 4-5 Tbsp butter or margarine. Cook chicken 2-4 minutes on each side. Pour sauce over chicken, cover, and simmer for 20-24 minutes.
Serve over rice. Also tastes great with green beans.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rice! Rice! Rice!

So, being newly gluten-free, rice has become even more of a staple in my diet than it ever was. It's safe for me to eat, versatile, and so good. Imagine my surprise, then, when Bzz Agent sent me two bags of Mahatma rice along with coupons good for almost 40 pounds of rice for free! And let me tell you, it's good rice! The white and the brown rice has a great consistency and a perfect flavor.

Want some coupons? Let me know your address! Oh, and check out Bzz Agent while you're at it, and get some free stuff of your own! I've gotten everything from a pack of gum to a Sonicare toothbrush from them, at no cost to me.

Let the Baking Begin!

Finally! After my long hiatus and adjustment period to a gluten-free lifestyle, I finally find myself back in the kitchen and I couldn't be happier about it. I met a wonderful new friend (who also has Celiac) and she has been a wealth of knowledge for me. She kindly invited me (and my rugrats) to her house, where she baked for us, made lunch, and showed me all her favorite gluten free products. She also runs a really great website with lots of Celiac and gluten-free info, which you can check out here.

One of the products I am most excited about is Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix. I adapted their chocolate chip cookie recipe and made these bar cookies to take to Susy's preschool party tomorrow. I was surprised first by how much the kids and I liked the dough, and then by how great the cookies are! As Susy said, the look like graham crackers, but they are soft and taste like great chocolate chip cookies.
1/2 c butter
1/4 c light brown sugar
1/4 c sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c Pamela's Baking Mix

Cream the butter and sugars in a bowl. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the Pamela's Mix. Place scoops of dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until edges are brown.

These cookies spread out a lot, so leave lots of room in between.

I then cut them into bars and dipped them into melted chocolate candy melts, put them on parchment, and stuck them in the fridge for about 5 minutes until the chocolate was hard.

I found the Pamela's Mix at our Whole Foods, but I think it is available at some grocery stores, specialty food markets, and you can order it online from Amazon.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Changes Are Coming!

Changes are coming to this website!! I recently was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and have therefore had to change to a completely gluten-free diet. I hope to incorporate some gluten free cooking on here, along with regular recipes I'm sure. Keep watching!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

End-Of-The-Year Resolution

So to me, this makes so much more sense than a New Years Resolution. Wouldn't you rather start a brand new year having already completed your resolution goal? That way, it's like starting fresh with a brand new year, instead of starting the new year in the same predicament you were in the prior year. Does that make sense? Like, wouldn't you rather start a new year as a non-smoker, having kicked the habit during the last months of the prior year? That way, it's a fresh start.

Anyway, my point of all that is, although I have never made a New Years Resolution, this year I'm making an End-Of-The-Year Resolution. Today is Thanksgiving. By Christmas, my goal is to lose 13.5 pounds. That'll take me to a nice even number (I'll tell you what that is when I get there). That's like 3.5 pounds a week. Not impossible. Not easy, either, though, so if you talk to me, ask me how it's going!