Sunday, November 27, 2011

Who doesn’t love freshly baked gluten-free biscuits?

My mother baked from scratch, so our daily bread was either biscuits, yeast rolls or corn bread.

I came from a very large family with just one brother.  So you can imagine how he got the brunt of the girl’s jokes and teasing.   He figured out at a very early age that he had apparatus that he could use, if we did not leave him alone…  I remember when he was around 2 years old, when he seized the only option he had to stop us teasing him.  He reached in his pants to get his super soaker and of course we made tracks in the opposite direction. 

It’s funny how you remember the things that happened when growing up. Back then they may not have seemed so funny, but now they are fond memories.

Of course, when I was in college, sharing an apartment with about four other young women, we bought canned biscuits.  They were never like those we baked at home.

All of the girls in my family learned to bake biscuits very early.  We learned to basically cook, because the person cooking, did not have to clean up afterwards!

Usually, I bake about 6 biscuits and warm one when I want one for breakfast.  I had none in the fridge, so I had to decide what kind to bake today.  As I was going thru my cookbook, I saw a recipe for Paula Deen’s Sour cream Butter Biscuits and decided to attempt to make them gluten free.  Well, I discovered that I did not have sour cream, so decided to just use 0% Greek yogurt instead.  The idea of the biscuits is a very good one when you have all the ingredients.  I had to add some liquid because there was no fat (liquid) in the substituted 0% yogurt.   But they came out tasty!

Paula Deen’s original recipe is here:Paula Deen's Sour Cream Butter Biscuits

This is my version made today.   I need to get the sour cream so I can make it just like Paula!  Hopefully Paula doesn’t get upset that I snagged her idea.  That Paula can cook!

Paula Deen's Sour Cream Biscuits B

My version of Paula Deen's Sour Cream Butter Biscuits - gluten free


3/4 cup gluten free whole grain self-rising mix
1/4 cup tapioca flour
3 tbsp butter flavored Spectrum shortening (or butter)
4 tbsp 0% Greek Yogurt 
1/4 cup water


  • Combine all ingredients. A wire whisk works fine for mixing in the shortening.  Use a wooden spoon or your food service gloved hands to work the ingredients entirely.
  • Shape into biscuits on a parchment paper covered baking sheet or place into a greased muffin tin
  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Bake for 20 - 30 minutes

  •  Serve with your favorite spread

Paula Deen's Sour Cream Biscuits -served B

Yield: 4 to 6

Nutrition Facts (per biscuit, based on 5 biscuits)
Nutrition (per serving): 157 calories, 7.4g total fat, 1.9g monounsaturated fat, <1g polyunsaturated fat, <1g linoleic acid, 4.4g saturated fat, 18.5mg cholesterol, 20.1g carbohydrates, 1.5g fiber, 18.6g net carbohydrates, 1.3g sugar, 0mg stigmasterol, <1g starch, <1g fructose, <1g galactose, <1g glucose, <1g sucrose, <1g maltose, 69.6mg sodium, 55.9mg potassium, 2.9g protein, 65.2mg calcium, 237IU vitamin a, <1mg vitamin b6, <1mcg vitamin b12, <1mg vitamin c, <1mg vitamin e, <1mcg vitamin k, <1mg iron, <1g lysine, <1mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, <1mg zinc.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner sans Turkey, Dressing, Pumpkin or Sweet Potato Pie

This year, I decided that I did not want the usual Thanksgiving meal.   No Turkey, no dressing/stuffing, no candied yams, no pumpkin/sweet potato pie….

My dinner came out as a simple meal fit for any day of the week…

Thanksgiving Dinner 11-24-2011 served B

Originally, I planned to cook a pork roast, but never went to the store to buy one.  Finally, I decided to just cook a normal meal.   I had a couple recipes I was developing and didn’t want to spend time thinking about Thanksgiving dinner..

I had two packages of ribs in the freezer, left from when my sister, brother-in-law and brother came to visit about a month ago. They aren’t very large packages, so I took one out to be thawed.
I used the kitchen shears to cut into smaller pieces and sprinkled my usual spicy mix over them.  I love spicy food, so there is definitely some garlic and cayenne in there!

Then, my thought was ‘what should I fix to go with the ribs?’.  Lately, I haven’t been really into cooking like I used to really like doing.  I also had just bought a bag of Klondike Gold Dust potatoes, so that meant potatoes of some kind.  Well, baked potato fries won out.

 Whole Foods Market has unsalted, no additives frozen potatoes that I really like. Since I did not have any, I sliced up some of the potatoes and baked them

Fries B

One thing I did not want was to have lots of left-overs, so I cooked accordingly.  Made a couple of desserts…

Well, the two recipes came out good, will make again for proofing.

Double Chocolate Banana Cupcakes
Double Chocolate Banana Cupcakes - bite me B

Double Chocolate Banana Cupcakes - yumm II smlr B

Tropical Pudding Cake
Tropical Pudding Cake - served B

I had left-over Pork n Beans Style Baked Beans in the freezer, so I thawed and microwaved those.
The day was a very relaxing, no fuss day.   I tried to get some of the year-end tasks done, like going over year-end donations and holiday cards.

I even made Banana pancakes for breakfast!  I made them on Wednesday and they were so good, made them again on Thanksgiving.  Served up with additional bananas and blueberry syrup.

Banana Pancakes - from a  GF mix - served B

I  had a pleasant uneventful day.  Hoping everyone else enjoyed their day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

When Apple met Banana, Hi-maize natural fiber observed the rendezvous

It’s apple season, but I still like bananas!.  This is the first banana bread this year… 

Amazing that I have not made any  banana bread this year at all.  Guess I have been too busy making frozen fruit smoothies using all of my bananas, that I hadn’t noticed I had not made bread.

I have a couple of banana bread recipes that I have made several times: Gluten-Free Banana Bread and Gluten-Free Banana Bread with Spices, so I decided to just modify one a bit and add in some apples.  I was also a bit surprised that I had not done a blog post for banana bread.   I decided to ‘healthify’ the Gluten-Free Banana Bread  recipe by adding more fiber.

So many gluten-free flour mixes do not have much fiber in them, so I mix my own.  I always used whole wheat flour, prior to having to go gluten-free, so I try to add as much fiber without having the result taste like straw!

I purchased Gluten-Free 101 by Carol Fenster as my first gluten-free book of any kind.  This book has great information for anyone just diagnosed with gluten-intolerance and needs to know what to eat or how to bake gluten-free.

I used Carol’s sorghum Flour Blend numerous times.  Now I add millet and brown rice to add in more fiber along with more protein. The sorghum mix is a perfect substitution for any mix needing more fiber.  KAF also has a whole-grain mix, which can  replace the flour mix in this recipe.  I ordered a package with my last order from KAF.

So often you will see a recipe listing ‘parts’, so I came up with my interpretation to make my mix, that I use for almost anything except tender cakes. I literally interpreted ‘part’ to mean ‘cup’ when making 2 cups of mix, so it works for me. This mix can be varied depending on what the final product will be or to your own taste.

This combination results in 2 cups of mix (2 parts).*
 1/2 part brown rice
1/2 part millet or teff
1/4 part sorghum
1/4 part chickpea  or garbanzo
1/4 part potato starch
1/8 part tapioca starch
-- also add -
2 tbsp non-fat milk powder  or buttermilk powder
2 tsp baking powder (non-aluminum)
1/2 tsp ginger powder (if using bean flour)

Sometimes, I add rice bran or flaxseed meal to add fiber.  I had used high maize natural fiber before becoming gluten-free, so was very happy to see King Arthur Flour now sells it, produced in a gluten-free facility. Now that I have tried it in gluten-free baking, I will increase the amount next time.
Delicious, soft and full of flavor!

Banana Apple Bread - on display B

Banana  Apple Bread  - Gluten Free with added fiber
(Le Pain de Pomme de banane - sans gluten avec la fibre supplémentaire)

Dry Ingredients
2 cups Whole Grain flour Mix - Self-Rising (example above*  or any self-rising mix)
2 tbsp hi-maize natural fiber ( or any other fiber or bran)
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 tsp double acting baking powder (non-aluminum low sodium)
1/2 tsp baking soda

Wet ingredients
1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend for Baking ( or 1/2 c sugar)
1/4 cup Honey
1 egg
1/3 cup fat free Greek yogurt (5 tbsp+1 tsp)
1 tsp banana extract (or lemon or almond)
2 tbsp buttery spread (or 60% or more vegetable oil spread), softened

2 tbsp milk, plus more if needed
Add Ins

1 large ripe banana, mashed and whisked (3.5 oz. peeled)
1 small apple, peeled, cored and chopped (about 1/2 cup)

. Gather all of your ingredients together, prepared
  • Whisk the Dry Ingredients together, set aside
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray with oil spray or grease three(3) small (5- inch) loaf pans
Banana Apple Bread - all ingredients ready to be mixed B
Mix the wet ingredients with a mixer until thoroughly blended. Be sure to scrape the bowl while blending
Banana Apple Bread - wet ingredients - ready to mix B
  • Stir in the Add Ins using a wooden spoon.
Banana Apple Bread - mixed - ready for dry ingredients B
  • Add in the Dry Ingredients and milk, stirring with the wooden spoon only until mixed. If additional liquid is needed add more milk by teaspoons at a time.
Banana Apple Bread - mixed - gradually add Dry Ingredients B
  • Divide the the batter among the pans.   Slightly  smooth top of each loaf.
Banana Apple Bread - mixed - ready for oven B
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Place on the 2nd rack from the bottom, spread out so each pan is evenly heated
Banana Apple Bread - just in the oven B
  • These are a little extra browned at 40 minutes, yet, not over cooked. Ok to remove 5 minutes earlier
Banana Apple Bread - just out of the oven B
  • Cool completely on a wire rack, or the bread could get soggy.
Banana Apple Bread - Cooling it B
  • Serve plain or with a little butter or spread
Banana Apple Bread - served B

Servings: approximately 16

Yield: 3  5 1/2 X 3 1/2 inch loaves

Nutrition Facts as prepared
Nutrition (per serving): 109 calories, 2.1g total fat, <1g monounsaturated fat, <1g polyunsaturated fat, <1g linoleic acid, <1g saturated fat, 13.6mg cholesterol, 20.9g carbohydrates, 2.1g fiber, 18.8g net carbohydrates, 7.4g sugar, 0mg stigmasterol, <1g starch, 3.1g fructose, <1g galactose, 2.6g glucose, <1g sucrose, <1g maltose, 119.7mg sodium, 99.7mg potassium, 2.6g protein, <1mg iron, 63mg calcium, 48.2IU vitamin a, <1mg vitamin b6, <1mcg vitamin b12, 1.9IU vitamin d, <1mcg vitamin k, 1.6mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, <1mg zinc.

If you do not use a high fiber blend, you may need to reduce liquids

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cold Weather equals Brown Beans with Cubed Ham AND Corn Muffins -Gluten-Free Option

As soon as it begins to get cold,  I begin thinking about how long before Spring. Actually December and January tend to be the coldest months.  Or maybe by February, it just doesn’t seem so cold

Remember that song intro “I’m a little bit country…”.  Well, I am cooking Country!

It took me a while to create a really good gluten-free corn muffin.  Now, I modify by what extra ingredients I want to add. This version comes out very light and fluffy, almost like a cake muffin. I posted my first version on Better Recipes: Gluten Free Corn Muffins. I have a holiday themed corn muffin: Holiday Corn Muffins GF and a spicy corn muffin: Spicy Salsa Corn Muffins.  The Spicy corn muffins can use red or green salsa.  I have used Cilantro and regular red in the mild to medium range.

Corn muffins and a pot of brown beans go hand in hand for weekend dinner.  It can be hard for  “empty nesters” to cook a small amount of beans, so most often too much gets cooked. 

Canned beans are great in a pinch, but that pot of real cooked beans has the best taste.  I always cook more than can be eaten in a few meals, so some gets frozen for later.  It is nice to then have a meal simply by either microwaving or heating on low about 30 minutes on the stove top.

Beans  and corn muffins provides a complete protein.

GF Corm Muffins B

GF Corm Muffins -cut B

Gluten-Free Corn Muffins II

1/2 cup stone ground yellow corn meal
1/2 cup fine corn flour (or Maseca)
1/3 cup 0% fat Greek Yogurt (used FAGE)
1/4 cup fine non-fat dry milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
2 Tbsp oil
1/3 cup water or more as needed

Mix all ingredients thoroughly with a wire whisk or hand mixer.  If batter is too thick, add water 1 tablespoon at a time.  If too loose, add another tablespoon of Maseca.

Spray a 6 cup muffin pan with an oil spray

Divide batter among the 6 cups

Bake at 350 F oven until browned around the edges and top begins to brown (about 30 minutes).

Servings: 6
Yield: Makes 6 full-sized corn muffins

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 148 calories, 6.1g total fat, 3.8g monounsaturated fat, <1g polyunsaturated fat, 1g saturated fat, 36.3mg cholesterol, 18.4g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 17.7g net carbohydrates, 3.2g sugar, <1g fructose, <1g galactose, <1g glucose, <1g sucrose, <1g maltose, 205.1mg sodium, 158.6mg potassium, 5.7g protein, 138.2mg calcium, 191.6IU vitamin a, <1mg vitamin b6, <1mcg vitamin b12, <1mg vitamin c, 2.9IU vitamin d, <1mg vitamin e, 2.8mcg vitamin k, 1.3mg iron, <1g lysine, 5.6mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, <1mg zinc.

 Pinto beans with ham -ready B
a best guestimate recipe  --- a general listing of ingredients
Large Crockpot (slow cooker)
4 cups brown beans washed picked and soaked for 2 hours.
2 tbsp dehydrated onion
1 tbsp Dehydrated herb & Garlic mix
2 tbsp Turbinado (raw) sugar
1 tbsp ginger - a must for no toot beans
2 tbsp Cajun spice (low-sodium)
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp red pepper sauce (used Trappey’s)

2 cups cooked ham, cubed or cut into bite sized pieces

Place beans and spices in the Crockpot, covered with 4 cups hot water.
Cook beans on high for 1 hour, reduce  to low for 1 hour.  Check for seasoning and doneness.  If beans are tender, add 1 cup ketchup and 1 cup hot water, warmed ham cubes and additional seasonings to taste.. Stir to mix all ingredients.
Keep setting on low for another hour or additional time before ready to eat.

Serve up in bowls with corn muffins.  Serve corn muffin on side or on top of beans

This makes  8 to 10 large servings

Pinto beans with ham - served B

 Pinto beans with ham and GF Corn Muffin B

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pork n Beans Style Baked Beans - Reminiscing the good old days.

This is a recipe I played around with trying to reproduce the taste of the ‘pork and beans’ we had growing up.  The taste is there, only I use cooked bacon and cubed ham instead of ‘fat back’.  

I have made baked beans with canned beans and from scratch.  This time I had some left-over ham that I wanted to use, so I decided to add it in addition to some bacon.

I had forgotten about making baked beans until  Cookie Baker over at CookieBaker's Corner did a post on Mom's Baked Beans.  So thanks for reminding me to make these.  There were none left and my sister  asked for the recipe under the guise that she wanted to make a cookbook to pass all family recipes down to the next generation.  I have finally decided to give her  the recipe.

We actually bought canned Pork and Beans, but had a big pot of Great Northern Beans with lots of Ketchup most of the time.  Of course the pot included ‘fat back’, aka ‘salt pork’.  Most of the time, we had corn bread on the side.  A few times biscuits were served. 

We were considered very poor having beans for dinner, yet we were a lot healthier than most kids our ages today.

This recipe takes time to prepare, but it is worth the effort!

Baked Pork n Beans - just out of the oven II B

Pork n Beans Style Baked Beans
This is a little spicier than the Pork and Beans we all grew up eating. The spice is not overwhelming, just a little more seasoning. The flavor of the bacon is still noticed, although some ham was added.
4 cups dried great northern beans washed, picked, soaked a minimum of 2 hours
1 Tbsp ginger powder
3 Tbsp dehydrated onion
1 tbsp dehydrated garlic
3 Tbsp Chili Powder
2 Tbsp Spanish Smoked Paprika
1 tsp black pepper, coarse grind
1 Tbsp Mrs. Dash Original Mix
1 Tbsp Louisiana Style Cajun Seasoning (contains salt)
4 Tbsp Turbinado Sugar
Baking Sauce
1 can tomato paste
2 Tbsp brown prepared mustard
1 Tbsp hot sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend(or 1/2 cup brown sugar)
2 cups ketchup
2 cups water
1 Tbsp sodium-free Cajun or sodium-free Jamaican Jerk seasoning
Add Ins at the Baking Stage
1 cup bacon, cooked, cut into 1-inch or less sized pieces ( about 8 pieces, baked)
2 cups ham, cooked, cut into inch cubes or thinner
--Cook the Beans--
  1. Place prepared beans, all seasoning in a large crock pot. Pour 8 to 9 cups hot water over beans, Stir, cover and cook on high for 2 hours, then reduce to low. Check after 2 hours as additional hot water may need to be added. HEAT THE WATER, do not add cold water to beans!   Once the beans are tender, taste and adjust seasoning to your taste. Do not add salt,   remember the SAUCE will be adding seasoning too.
--Prepare --Baking Sauce--
  1. Mix all ingredients of the Baking Sauce until blended. Adjust seasoning to taste; DO NOT ADD SALT!  At this point, taste and adjust seasoning to your taste.
  2. Add sauce to the beans stirring to mix.
Baked Pork n Beans - Sauce is mixed in B

--Bake the Beans--
Spray a large baking dish with oil spray. Spread 1/3 of beans into dish.
Place the ham evenly over the dish.

Baked Pork n Beans - Adding the ham B

Add another 1/3 of the beans. Spread the bacon evenly over the dish.

Baked Pork n Beans - Adding the bacon B

Pour the remainder of the beans over the dish, spreading to cover the bacon.

Baked Pork n Beans - Adding the last layer of beans B

Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake at 250 for about 90 minutes to allow the flavors to go thru the beans. Uncover the dish and reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees F for up to an additional hour before serving.

Baked Pork n Beans - ready for oven B

If serving time is longer, re-cover the dish to prevent drying out. This dish is just fine served at room temperature. It does contain meat, so it should not be allowed to sit at room temperatures too long.

Of course, I had to sample some before taking the dish for the get-together.

Baked Pork n Beans - had to sample them B

Servings: 20
Yield: 20 to 24 sides

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 230 calories, 3.5g total fat, 1.3g monounsaturated fat, <1g polyunsaturated fat, <1g linoleic acid, 1.1g saturated fat, 11.2mg cholesterol, 39.3g carbohydrates, 8.8g fiber, 30.5g net carbohydrates, 13.7g sugar, <1g starch, 2.8g fructose, <1g galactose, 3.4g glucose, <1g sucrose, <1g maltose, 812.6mg sodium, 804.6mg potassium, 12.7g protein, 85.1mg calcium, 1054.2IU vitamin a, <1mg vitamin b6, <1mcg vitamin b12, 10.4mg vitamin c, 0IU vitamin d, 1.4mg vitamin e, 5.8mcg vitamin k, 3mg iron, <1g lysine, 10.2mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, 1.4mg zinc.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Un-Classic Mac and Cheese - and - It’s Gluten Free

I really love aged white cheddar and sharp cheddar cheese so much that I tend to buy too much to eat within a week or two.  So I end up with bits and pieces of frozen cheese waiting to be used in different dishes.
Sometimes it’s potato casserole and sometimes it’s been cheese rolls or scones.

Today has been a rainy, cold and depressing day, so I needed to just bake something.
I didn’t need to make more cookies, because I baked my dozen’s allowance on Saturday past.  Also in the past week, I made apple muffins.

I thought of making a buttermilk pie, but had no buttermilk.  Being that it was rainy, I just did not want to get street splash on my recently cleaned vehicle .

There was a can of evaporated milk sitting on the counter that was supposed to be used in a cake I was also contemplating making. 

The light bulb went off that I had not made mac and cheese in a very long time  AND I had enough cheese to make a potluck-sized dish of mac and cheese!

Since I tend to make too large a quantity of food, I had to rethink how much to make.

So, I measured the cheese and returned the remainder to the freezer.  I was thinking about adding a little cayenne pepper when I realized that one of the cheeses was jalapeno.  So, no additional cayenne!  I have always added a little cinnamon and sugar to my mac and cheese, so I included it this time too.

As soon as it came out of the oven, I dished up some.  Oh yes, it is as I remember as I made it.

 It’s not the mac and cheese that I ate so many years ago that my family and friends made, but  I like my version because it is a bit creamier.  Of course after it sits for a while the pasta will soak up the extra creaminess.   Even then, it is not as dry as the old style mac and cheese.

There is a hint of pepper in this version of mac and cheese.   It is not overwhelming, just an interesting touch.

Un-Classic Mac N Cheese - Just from the oven B

Un-Classic Mac N Cheese

1 12 oz. can can evaporated milk
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp cornstarch (or tapioca or potato starch)
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 pinch garlic or onion powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 oz. Aged Cheddar cheese, shredded (any mix, like garlic, jalapeno, etc.)
6 oz. Tinkyada Brown Rice Elbow Pasta
2 ounces Mexican 4-cheese Blend, shredded cheese (or other mix)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a 2 qt baking dish with oil spray.
Cook pasta according to package to al dente and drain.
Whisk together cornstarch and water. Set aside
Put butter and milk in a medium sized pot large enough to hold the milk and cooked pasta.  Turn heat to medium.  Whisk in salt, black pepper, cinnamon, sugar, cornstarch water and cheese until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. 
Stir in the drained cooked pasta

 Un-Classic Mac N Cheese - mixing mac into cheese sauce B

 Pour pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish.

 Un-Classic Mac N Cheese - Ready for topping B

Top with cheese reserved for topping.  

 Un-Classic Mac N Cheese - Topped with a bit more cheese B

Bake for about 35 minutes until bubbly and top is lightly browned.  To quicken the browning, switch the oven to low broil for about 10 minutes.

Un-Classic Mac N Cheese - Just from the oven - sampled B

Serve immediately.

 Un-Classic Mac N Cheese - Served B


Servings: 6
Yield: 6 sides

Nutrition Facts - as prepared
Nutrition (per serving): 270 calories, 14.9g total fat, 4.2g monounsaturated fat, <1g polyunsaturated fat, <1g linoleic acid, 9.2g saturated fat, 49.1mg cholesterol, 20.8g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 20.1g net carbohydrates, 7.2g sugar, 0mg stigmasterol, <1g fructose, 0g galactose, <1g glucose, <1g sucrose, <1g maltose, 262.4mg sodium, 249.2mg potassium, 12.5g protein, 412.3mg calcium, 451.5IU vitamin a, <1mg vitamin b6, <1mcg vitamin b12, 1.2mg vitamin c, 2.3IU vitamin d, <1mg vitamin e, 1.3mcg vitamin k, <1mg iron, <1g lysine, 5.6mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, 1.5mg zinc.