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Hooray! Our third book made it to the publisher! This book is perfect for a “newbie” to the gluten-free lifestyle, but has useful information for those who have been living gluten-free for some time.

We cover the various emotions that can be experienced once you switch to a gluten-free lifestyle – relief, fear, panic, denial, self-pity, anger and acceptance to name a few. These emotions are normal and you may experience them more than once – I know I have during the past 2 years of gluten-free living.

We talk about brain fog and bodily functions. Yes, bodily functions. I have learned, from personal experience, if you have Celiac disease you need to be able to discuss “bodily functions” with others. It can be such a big part of the Celiac lifestyle!

We discuss the challenges faced by different age groups – infants, children, teenagers and adults. Each age level has their own unique set of challenges with the gluten-free lifestyle.

Also covered in this book is the 504 Plan for school-aged children and the steps you need to take to start a 504 Plan with your child’s school.

Our book has a retail price of $18.95, but you can order our book – at a discounted introductory price of $15.00 – at https://www.createspace.com/3700105 with delivery expected between Dec 22 and New Years (sorry, holiday shipping is slower than normal).

We are also offering a bundle package of our new book, along with our two previous books for the low price of $35.00 if ordered through our website. This is a great deal – $51.00 in books for $35.00!

“Don’t Feed Me – Gluten-free, dairy-free Cooking” (regular $16.95)

“I Can’t Eat Your Treats – a kid’s guide to gluten-free, casein-free eating” (regular $14.95)

To order the bundle package, visit our website order page at:

I wanted bread. Freshly baked, soft on the inside, crusty on the outside – bread. I always seem to want baked goods in the evenings. Late enough that I just don’t want to drive all the way to the store for ingredients. (“All the way” is about 4 blocks.) The weather is getting colder here in Minnesota and tonight I just didn’t want to have to put on a coat, warm up the car and drive to the store. So, I decided to see if I had enough ingredients to make gluten-free bread. I knew I had used the last of my rice flour earlier this week, when I made my Very Vanilla Cupcakes.

I normally use a combination of rice flour, tapioca flour and corn starch. I knew I had corn starch. The grocery store had a sale on it about a month ago and I really stocked up! I had picked up more tapioca flour when I made the cupcakes, so I knew I had enough of that. I’ve never made any baked good with just cornstarch and tapioca flour.  (I’ll have to try that sometime, just to see what happens.) Corn starch is light and tapioca flour is very fine and very light. I like to use a third flour that has a little substance to it when I bake bread. I keep all my gluten-free baking items in a separate cupboard, away from anything that could contaminate them. I live in a “mixed household” – one gluten-free eater and one who eats gluten. I also have a separate area in the refrigerator for my gluten-free foods, to avoid cross-contamination.

Back to the cupboard. I had about 3 tablespoons of soy flour left, so that wouldn’t be much help in making a loaf of bread. I’m not too fond of soy flour, anyway. Soy flour is a very heavy flour and gives baked goods a definite SOY flavor and aftertaste. If I use it in something that requires a lot of spices or a lot of chocolate, I can usually mask the soy flavor.   But bread is just . . . well, bread. Aha! In the back of the cupboard I had half a bag of buckwheat flour! The name buckWHEAT sounds like it should contain gluten, but it doesn’t. Buckwheat isn’t a cereal grain. It’s a fruit seed, related to rhubarb. It is high in manganese and magnesium and is a good source of fiber. I’ve used buckwheat in small quantities before, and was happy with the results. But my bread recipe calls for 1 cup of each – rice flour, tapioca flour and corn starch. Buckwheat flour has a distinctive flavor – would my bread have a strong flavor? Buckwheat flour is also a light brown – I knew I wouldn’t end up with white bread. I’m always ready to try something new, so I decided to use it and see what happened.

What happened is a perfect loaf of bread – soft and springy on the inside and and nice crunchy crust! The color is like a light rye bread, without the strong rye flavor. The taste is similar to a very light whole wheat bread. I like it! If you try this recipe, let me know how yours turns out and if you like it.

Light Buckwheat Bread (GF)

1 cup buckwheat flour

1 cup tapioca floour

1 cup corn starch

1 pkg dry yeast (not rapid rise)

1/4 finely ground golden flax seed

1 cup warm water

1 tsp granulated sugar

3 eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp xanthan gum

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil non-stick loaf pan.

In large bowl combine warm water, yeast and sugar. Stir to mix and let sit until top of water is covered with foamy bubbles. Add eggs and oil and beat with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add buckwheat flour and mix on low for 1 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl, add tapioca flour and mix on low for 1 minute. Add cornstarch and flax seed and mix on low until blended. Scrape sides of bowl and mix on medium for 2 minutes. Add xanthan gum and mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes to be sure xanthan gum is well distributed.

Scrape bread batter into loaf pan, smoothing top with rubber spatula. (The batter will not smooth out when it rises. If you have spikes in your batter, you bread will bake with the same spikes. Not a bad thing, just different.) Place in warm, draft-free area and let rise for 1/2 hour. Bread should be about 1″ above top of pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes, until crust is browned and hard and crunchy. Turn oven off, leaving loaf in oven. Let bread cool in oven for 1/2 hour. Remove bread from oven and remove from loaf pan. Cool and wrap in plastic wrap or large zip top bag. (Or cut into it as soon as it comes out of the oven like I did and enjoy!)

My oldest daughter called from California a few weeks ago and told me, “Mom, I just made the BEST coconut cupcakes! You have to try them. I’m sure you can figure out how to convert them to gluten-free.” She emailed the recipe to me and of course, Queen of procrastination that I am, I put off printing it out. I read the recipe and told myself as soon as I have a minute, I’ll print it out. Over the past two weeks, I’ve read the recipe five or six times but, of course, just couldn’t find the time to print it out.

The recipe calls for two 13-oz cans of coconut milk.. I didn’t have any coconut milk on hand, so of course I couldn’t make the cupcakes. There was no point in printing out the recipe if I didn’t have all the ingredients. I’d print it as soon as I bought coconut milk.  This past week I decided that I really needed to make these cupcakes, so I picked the coconut milk up at the local grocery store These cupcakes had been in the back of my mind for over two weeks. My daughter had called twice to ask me how they were and I had to tell her I was still procrastinating. I had the coconut milk, but realized I didn’t have any GF vanilla. I would need to go to the store to buy vanilla – as soon as I had time. Two days ago, I stopped to buy vanilla on my way home from work. Ok, now I had the coconut milk and the vanilla. I needed to bake the cupcakes!

I decided, last night, I had procrastinated long enough. I needed to bake these cupcakes. I printed out the recipe and read the ingredients to determine what I needed to do to convert them to gluten-free. The recipe called for 2 cups all purpose flour. I’ve discovered, through much trial and error, that I can replace 1 cup of all purpose (wheat) flour with 1/2 cup rice flour (white or brown), 1/4 cup tapioca flour and 1/4 cup corn starch. That replaces the flour, but does not replace the gluten that holds it all together. What I’m baking determines the amount of xanthan gum I need to use. If I’m baking cookies, I generally use 1/2 tsp per cup of “flour”. Cakes and cupcakes use a little more and bread uses the most. I generally start with 1/2 tsp and add 1/2 tsp at a time until it just looks like the right consistency. If I measure 1/2 tsp at a time, I know exactly how much to write down on my recipe for the next time.

I was finally at the point where I could mix up the cupcake batter! By the time I had takent them out of the oven and cooled one just long enough to try one . . . . . . .  I was sorry I had procrastinated so long! They were wonderful! Soft, moist, springy – with just a slight coconut flavor. The recipe calls for 2 cans of coconut milk – this is added to the cupcake batter and the frosting, and then they’re topped with shredded coconut. I was sure the coconut would be overpowering! Surprisingly, it’s not. I’m not a huge coconut fan, but these cupcakes are great! You really need to try them!

Divine GF Coconut Cupcakes (makes 18 cupcakes)

Cupcakes:

2  13 – 14 oz cans unsweetened coconut milk

1 cup rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup corn starch

2-1/2  tsp baking powder

3/4 cup margarine (or butter)

1-1/3 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 tsp GF vanilla

1-1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1 cup reduced coconut milk (see below)

Reduced coconut milk:

Pour both cans of coconut milk into deep saucepan. Coconut milk should only fill the pan half way. Heat coconut milk on medium high heat until it boils. (Coconut milk will boil up high in pan, which is why you need a deep saucepan.) Reduce heat to low and gently boil until it is reduced to 1 – 1/2 cups – about 25 – 35 minutes. Stir occassionaly so it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan. Once reduced, the coconut milk with be thick and creamy. Place in refrigerator and cool completely. (You can reduce the coconut milk days ahead and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake.)

Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, combine margarine (or butter) and granulated sugar. Beat on high until smooth and light yellow. Add eggs and beat on high until well blended, about 2 minutes. Turn off mixer, scrape down sides and add rice flour and tapioca flour. Mix on low until well blended. Add 1 cup reduced coconut milk (reserve remaining 1/2 cup for frosting) and vanilla and mix on low until blended. Add cornstarch, baking poweder and baking soda and mix until blended.

Line muffin cups with paper cupcake liners. Fill each until 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 30 minutes until slightly brown. Top should spring back when pressed lightly. Remove from pans and cool completely before frosting. (Warm cupcakes will melt your frosting.)

Frosting:

1 cup margarine (or butter)

2-1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup reduced coconut milk

1/2 tsp GF vanilla

In large mixing bowl, beat margarine until soft and smooth. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Scrape sides of bowl and add 1 additional cup of powdered sugar. Mix until blended. Add reduced coconut milk and vanilla and mix until well blended. Scrape sides of bowl and add remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Mix until blended. Frost cupcakes with 2 tsp frosting for each cupcake. Sprinkle top of cupcake with sweetened flaked coconut. (If frosting is too thin add a little more powdered sugar or refrigerate before using. Frosting will become firmer if cold. If your kitchen is too hot, the frosting won’t set up well.)

Enjoy!

APPLE GRAPEFRUIT MUFFINS – GLUTEN-FREE

I have to admit, summer is finally gone. The air is cool and there’s a crispness in the air. I put away the shorts and sandles, today and started thinking about winter coats and boots. Brrrrr! I’m not ready for the cold and snow, just yet. I’m going to enjoy the beautiful fall days as long as I can. And enjoy not having the air conditioning OR the heat on. The colder weather always puts me in the mood to bake . . . something. I made a nice big pot of homemade chicken vegetable soup last night. It warmed the insides and tasted great!

However, today I wanted something sweet. I need to keep that sweet tooth satisfied, while still trying to eat healthy. I took stock of the ingredients I had on hand – which wasn’t much in the way of variety. I always have my gluten-free flours and xanthan gum on hand, but I needed something new, something different – something I could make with the limited ingredients I had on hand. The refrigerator held a few carrots – nope, I  made carrot muffins last week. In the drawer were a few green apples and 3 grapefruit. There had to be something I could make with those. The cool, fall days remind me of apple picking. Moist, spicey apple muffins sounded good. But what about the grapefruit? A muffin recipe requires some type of liquid, right? Why not substitute grapefruit juice? Well, if I didn’t try I would never know.

I cut the two of the grapefruit in half, put a fork in the center and squeezed the juice out. I move the fork back and forth when I’m squeezing the juice out so I can get the pulp, too. Truthfully, this was kind of a “by the seat of the pants” type of recipe. Trial and error. Since grapefruits are sour, I knew I needed to add a little more sugar to the recipe. Apples go with cinnamon; oil and eggs are a must. Well . . . the recipe was a success!

If you don’t care for grapefruit, you could substitute orange juice – or cranberry juice – or lemonade (ooh, that sounds different!) – or milk, etc. etc. Let your imagination run!. I hope you enjoy your muffins.

Apple Grapefruit Muffins – Gluten-free

1 cup rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp xanthan gum

3 eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup grapefruit juice

2 cup peeled, diced apples (I like mine diced large so I get an actual bite of apple)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan, or place muffin liners in pan.

Beat eggs on medium speed until creamy. Add sugar and beat until light yellow, about 2 minutes. Add oil and grapefruit juice. Mix on low until blended. Add dry ingredients and mix on low, scraping sides of bowl, until well blended. Add xanthan gum and mix on medium until batter thickens, about 2 minutes. Stir in chopped apples. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Muffin cups should be 3/4 full.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until top springs back when pressed lightly. Enjoy!

My grandchildren love food! There are 11 of them ranging in age from 4 to 17. There are certain foods that seem to define childhood – hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, marshmallows and corn dogs to name a few. The youngest, Aivah, has Celiac disease and a casein allergy so I am constantly trying to find ways to create “normal” childhood food for her. My latest challenge has been corn dogs.

She’s a “little bitty” girl, so I decided to make her “little bitty” corn dogs. The hotdogs themselves were easy. I use Ambassador brand mini hot dogs. If you purchase the Ambassador brand, be sure it states “gluten-free” on the package. Their hot dogs and sausages are flavorful and absolutey wonderful! The problem I’ve been having is the corn dog coating. On my first attempt, I tried a rolled out bread dough coating with no leavening, baked in the oven. The dough wouldn’t brown and became so hard that it could have chipped a tooth. So, that went in the garbage. (Actually, the bread wrap went in the garbage – we just peeled it off and ate the hot dogs.)

On my second attempt I tried a combination bread dough/cornbread coating that I deep fried. Since my “Whole Grain” bread was such a success, I started with that recipe. The addition of ground, toasted coconut adds texture &  flavor and helps to keep the bread soft and moist. I substituted some of the rice flour with corn meal. It was better than the first attempt, but still had it’s own drawbacks.  The dough coated the mini hot dogs, but was too thick. It absorbed too much oil and they became greasy. The ground toasted coconut is great at keeping a loaf of bread soft and moist. However, you don’t really want the coating on a corn dog to be soft and moist.  The coating browned in the hot oil, but never got crunchy. Hmmmm . . . a corn dog with a soft, moist, greasy coating – not my favorite. (Peel off the coating, eat the hot dogs again.)
Alright, time for round three. Leave out the coconut, add more corn meal and thin it out a little. I used wooden skewers that are sold for grilling shishkabobs because I knew they would hold up to the hot oil without burning. I broke them in 4 pieces and had about half an inch extending from the end of the mini hot dog. I learned, after a few unsuccesful attempts, to dry off each hot dog before dipping in the batter. (A wet batter doesn’t want to stick to a wet hot dog.) This time, success. The batter doesn’t absorb too much oil, it becomes crunchy on the outside yet soft on the inside. The recipe below makes enough to coat 1 -1/2 packages of mini hot dogs, or 1-1/2 packages of regular sized hot dogs. Since I was the only one home when I made this batch, I couldn’t eat them all myself (although I did go through quite a few of them!) I put the leftover mini corn dogs in zip lock freezer bags and put them in the freezer. I wanted to know if they would survive being frozen and then heated in the oven. Aivah can’t eat an entire batch by herself in one sitting, so I need to be able to freeze them in small batches for her. It worked! You can bake them in a 350 degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes and the coating becomes crunchy and the hot dog inside is just the right temperature!

Gluten-free Mini Corn Dogs

1-1/3 cup warm water

1 package dry yeast

1 tsp granulated sugar

3/4 cup rice flour

1 cup tapioca flour

3/4 cup ground corn meal

1/2 cup corn starch

2 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp salt

3 eggs

1/4 cup oil

6 Tbls water

Oil for deep frying

In large bowl, combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir to combine and set aside until mixture foams on top. In medium bowl combine all dry ingredients. When yeast mixture is foamy on top, turn mixer on to medium and add eggs, water and oil. Turn mixer off and add dry ingredients, mixing on low until combined. Mix on medium, scraping sides, until completely combined – about 1 – 2 minutes. Insert wooden skewers into mini hot dogs, leaving at least 1/2 inch extending from hot dog.

Pour oil into heavy-duty skillet to about 1-1/2 inch deep. (If you have a small deep fryer, this could work too.) Heat oil on medium heat, in heavy duty pan. Oil is ready for frying when a bit of the batter dropped in the oil immediately bubbles and browns. Holding wooden skewer, dip hot dog into batter, making sure entire hot dog is covered. Gently place in hot oil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn over and cook an additional 1 – 2 minutes. Remove from hot oil and place on paper towels to drain.

Cooked mini-corn dogs can be kept warm on an oven-proof plate in a 200 degree oven until all corn dogs have been cooked. Store any remaining corn dogs in zip top freezer bags. Bake frozen mini corn dogs in a 350 degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes until coating is crunchy. Enjoy!

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