Gluten Free Friday

Betsy’s Brownies
My great friend Betsy gave these to us as a “brownies in a jar” Christmas gift one year. This was pre – gluten free. They were so good, that we continued to use the recipe for brownies all of the time. When we changed our diets, we simply switched the flour and they were equally as good, maybe even better! They are loaded with sugar to be sure, so definitely a rare treat!

1 cup GF flour (just rice flour will work fine here)
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted butter
3 eggs
vanilla (optional)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Mix dry ingredients together. Add liquid ingredients and stir until well blended. Add chocolate chips. Spoon into 9 in square baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Noble, yet tiring

As I prepared my “Life Lesson” for the Lady Wisdom Aspect in my 5 Aspects of Woman Course, I came across this quote about Harriet Beecher Stowe: (I was making a poster about her and how she demonstrated the Lady Wisdom Aspect)

“In theory Harriet agreed with Catherine (her sister) that there was no nobler profession than that of housewife or homemaker. She agreed that housework should be regarded as a science that women should master, apply, and be cheerful about. Indeed at a later date she would collaborate with Catherine on her “how to” books. But that was a theory and this was now and she felt rotten. ‘I feel no life,’ she said, ‘no energy, no appetite, or rather a growing distaste for food.’ Actually she was worried about herself. Sometimes it seemed that her brain just gave out. She went blank and and couldn’t think what needed to be done or remember what had been done.”

Oh, how reassured I am that one of my all time heroes knew the value of the calling, yet felt this fatigue and emotional state. It has been a hard couple of weeks……months? And my naturally melancholy personality goes to hopeless in no time at all. And it’s 25 degrees outside.

Why are you downcast , O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him,
my Savior and my God.
Psalm 42:5

Evening and morning and at noon
I will complain and murmur and He will hear my voice;
He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me
Psalm 55:17-18

Menu Monday – A Week of Gluten Free Meals

Do I dare start another weekly blogging commitment about food? My thought is that it will even help me stay on top of the meal planning and shopping which is such a necessity in the gluten free home on a budget, but difficult to maintain. I’m actually posting last week’s menu today, so that I might not feel too much pressure to have it all together by Monday, although that has always been my goal. Making a menu is a discipline that I learned as a young wife from an older wife and mom in my church. Imagine that! Actually knowing what you were going to cook prior to going to the store, and thereby able to purchase all of and only the things you actually need – amazing concept! So glad I had this example. I don’t do it perfectly every week, and inevitably there is a change in plan that requires a shuffling of meals, but here goes…

Monday

Breakfast: GF Pumpkin Muffins and grapefruit
Dinner: Broiled Salmon – Butternut Squash Risotto – Broccoli

Tuesday

Breakfast: Breakfast Tacos on corn tortillas
Dinner: Lentil Soup – Salad

Wednesday

Breakfast: GF Waffles(frozen) and Sausage
Dinner: Chili – Rice – Salad

Thursday

Breakfast: GF Bagels and scrambled eggs
Dinner: Rosemary & Garlic Baked Chicken – Roasted Potatoes – Green Beans

Friday

Breakfast: Fried Egg Sandwiches
Dinner: Leftovers

Saturday

Breakfast: GF pancakes and sausage
Dinner: Corn Chowder (Amy’s canned) – Sandwiches

Sunday

Breakfast: GF Cereal
Dinner: Beef Stew – GF cornbread – cranberry/pear/pecan salad

Our lunches usually consist of turkey cheese sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly, bean and cheese soft tacos, pizza bagels, hummus and crackers, baked potatoes with cheese, nachos, or dinner leftovers.

My Amazing Sister

I am so blessed to have a sister who is a faithful wife, loving mom, authentic friend, and gifted artist. Over the past few years, she has taken some opportunities to develop the artist part- something that was always there, but not always valued or encouraged by others, and then just placed on a back burner while devoting time to her other precious callings of wife, mom, and homemaker.Here she is, in the recording studio, and it is with much excitement and pride that I introduce you to her and her first recording – “Music From Another Room.” Listen and be inspired!

And you can check out her blog here.

Gluten Free Friday

Wow, this is yummy. Got a version of this in our farm newsletter last fall, and just tried it this week served alongside salmon and green beans.

Butternut Squash, Onion, and Saffron Risotto

4 cups chicken broth (veggie broth would work, too!)
1/2 tsp saffron threads, pulverized (I used my garlic press for this)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup red onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
2-3 cups cooked, pureed butternut squash
1 cup Parmesan cheese, optional
salt and pepper to taste

Bake squash until tender, scoop out flesh and reserve. Saute onion in olive oil until tender. Bring broth and saffron to simmer in saucepan. Stir in rice and cook until just done – 15-20 minutes. Stir in squash, onions and, cheese. Mixture should be creamy. Serves 6-8

I left out the cheese because of dairy intolerances, and it was still so good – Enjoy!

Post Valentine’s Day Post

We had a great Valentine’s Day….The kids are showing off their cards from Grammie and Paw-Paw – complete with Visa gift card for a dinner out. Thanks, Mom and Dad Krum.

After waking up to Valentine surprises, we did our schoolwork for the day and headed out to our weekly history group where there were even more surprises – cards and treats from their friends. We brought some friends from history home with us, and the kids enjoyed sledding while my friend Izckra and I had coffee and then made dinner for the whole crew. It was to be a special candlelight dinner featuring roast beef, potato pancakes (see post below), applesauce, and green beans.The grand finale was dessert …. a chocolate fountain! We received this as a Christmas gift, and Valentine’s Day seemed perfect for its first use. The kids were overjoyed as they dipped strawberries, pretzels, marshmallows, and apples in the cascading Hershey Bars!

A few years ago Robert and I decided that instead of trying to find a babysitter and then fight the restaurant crowds, we would just celebrate the day at home by torturing our kids with our engagement photos, wedding album, and very low quality wedding video! This is our engagement announcement as it appeared in a local newspaper. Kory’s comment: “Mom, Dad, your hair looks really bad in this picture!” Funny, that’s the same thing my grandmother said when she saw it 16 years ago! And yes, those are indeed suspenders that Robert has on – such a stud! This year I also found the receipt from our honeymoon week at the Victorian Condo Hotel in Galveston, TX. For five nights our bill was $307.95!

Gluten Free Friday

A little more labor intensive than some recipes, but a delicious addition to our Valentine’s Day dinner!

Potato Pancakes

6-8 medium potatoes
1-2 small onions
3 eggs
1/3 cup GF flour (I used part cornstarch for this)
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
olive oil

Peel and shred potatoes in food processor. Transfer potatoes to large bowl. Grate onions in food processor and add to potatoes. Beat eggs slightly and add to bowl along with flour, salt, and pepper. Mix all ingredients together well.

Heat oil in skillet – on medium high. Place large spoonfuls of potato mixture into hot oil and flatten with spatula. Brown 3 minutes each side and transfer to baking dish or cookie sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Gluten Free Discovery

While in Texas, I noticed this product in the refrigerated section near the butter and eggs at Whole Foods. I didn’t buy it then, but found it this week at our local Whole Foods. It’s called Mochi, and there are a couple of different flavors. This one is cinnamon raisin.

It comes packaged as a hard shingle-like substance. It’s only ingredients are brown rice, cinnamon, and raisins!
You cut it into 1-2 inch squares. (This requires a fairly heavy duty, sharp knife. I used a Chicago Cutlery butcher knife!)
Place the squares on a cookie sheet. (I did spray the cookie sheet with canola oil spray – don’t know if it’s necessary.) And then bake for about 10 minutes at 450 degrees. (Does anyone know if the computer keyboard has a “degrees” symbol????)
They puff up like a popover, but are somewhat chewy on the bottom because of the rice-y/starchy nature. You can then put honey or cream cheese inside, or both – or butter, or apple butter. Different – but yummy, and it’s always fun to have a new breakfast or snack idea.

Gluten Free Friday

Except it’s really Saturday….. still getting back to routine.

Pumpkin Pancakes
(I must really like pumpkin….I just realized that this is about the fourth recipe that includes it!)

3 cups GF flour mix
3Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
4 Tbsp oil (I use canola)
1/2 can pumpkin
1-2 cups milk (rice/soy/almond, OK)

Optional: Add pecans, apples, or chocolate chips to batter.

Mix dry ingredients together in bowl. Whisk together eggs, oil, pumpkin and 1 cup of milk. Add this to dry ingredients and mix well – add more milk as needed for proper consistency.

Pour 1/4 – 1/2 cup portions onto hot, greased griddle. Cook until tops are bubbly and then flip. Makes 12-15 medium sized pancakes.

We love them with melted butter and hot, local Massachusetts maple syrup!