Wednesday, January 23, 2013

(Garlic) Cheddar Biscuits - or buns...

Yes, these, I'm told, are like those garlic cheddar biscuits.  You know the place I'm talking about.....  Of course, I could never eat there anyway, the nasty shellfish allergy and all, but I really don't care.  It's perfectly fine that I don't know how their biscuits taste.  After all, we have THESE!!!  

This recipe is all because of Deb at so I thank her many times over!!!  The original calls for all sour cream.  Loving my 0% fat Greek yogurt as I do, I swapped half the sour cream out and the yogurt in.  No one seems to care!  The odd 'bun' option is something I tried...and since it works, I'll make note of it here.

GARLIC CHEDDAR BISCUITS - makes at least a dozen unless you want buns...then I usually try for 8.  Breakfast sandwiches to hamburgers, YUM!

Mix (whisk) all dry ingredients THOROUGHLY:
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup sweet sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup potato starch
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder - sometimes optional...e.g., to use these for breakfast

Coarsely grate 1/4 pound Sharp Cheddar cheese (~1 1/2 cups) and set aside.

To dry mixture, grate in:
2 T. COLD UNSALTED butter - toss to coat/mix well.

Add the grated cheese along with:
1/2 cup sour cream, natural only please
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
Opt. - 2 T. drained chopped pickled jalapenos, to taste (from Deb)

Stir together til mixture forms a sticky dough.  Preheat oven - 425 degrees F.

Form biscuits or buns: portion out dough onto parchment paper on baking sheet.  Use your hands to finish shaping dough on the sheet.  Handle only as much as is absolutely necessary!

Bake 15-17 minutes.  Watch carefully!!  Try not to eat one straight off the hot really want to let them cool a bit so you can really enjoy them!  I usually move the parchment paper to a rack to let them cool slightly unless I'm trying to keep them warm longer.  They don't seem to over-bake if left on the sheet for a few extra minutes but make sure the sheet is on a rack then!

These are GREAT with bean soup or chili!!  They also freeze nicely.  Make sausage patties ahead and freeze, too...combine for a fast microwavable breakfast.  And only 40 seconds in the microwave gets you a scrambled needs fast food?!?

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Tortilla/Wrap Experiment

This is only the there is so much potential with these babies!  But, you need them now so I'm posting what I have achieved, at this point.  

I need to extend a very grateful thank-you to Lynn (lynnskitchenadventures) for getting me off my lazy backside and getting to work on something that works in MY kitchen!  After five trials, I've never been so comfortable with a tortilla/wrap recipe before now.  Several switch-ups and they still come out great!  

Because different products produce different results, I'm adding the brand of each flour with this...although, short of grinding your own, you may not be able to find whole grain sorghum flour.  And because it's from a local Amish farmer near me, I tried another alternative flour and it still worked just fine.  I'm thinking you could 'fudge' the 2 T. of whatever you're feeling and it will always work!  I want some feedback on what you try, please!  (Edit 1/28:  I used 2 T cornmeal for a batch and it creates a chewier texture with a distinct corn leaning.  Next batch, regular corn flour.  Softer texture, same corn flavor.  Between the two, the preference is regular corn flour.  I'm curious what effect masa harina would have next!  I am officially addicted to these things.....)

Tortillas/Wraps - makes 5-6, depending on how large you want them...  Best to not go too big; I fear the softness will be sacrificed.  I like using my Calphalon Unison non-stick 10" pan for wraps that are roughly 7" in diameter.

Mix all dry ingredients thoroughly:

1/3 cup sweet white sorghum flour (Bob's Red Mill)
1/3 cup finely ground brown rice flour (from
2 T whole sorghum flour OR green pea flour (Bob's Red Mill) OR teff or buckwheat, etc., place it in the 1/3 cup measure and THEN FILL THE REST OF THE WAY WITH tapioca starch or potato starch  (Got that?!?)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
(salt, as you choose; and spices...but try them plain first...)

Add 1/2 cup HOT water and mix well.  I find that there is no 'dry' left in the bowl when you get it completely mixed.  If the dough is too sticky and you don't think you can roll it easily, add a little more flour...but only a little because you'll want some for rolling.  Separate into 5-6 balls and keep them in the bowl under a paper towel.  (I always make 6.)

To roll, I've been using a piece of waxed paper or parchment on the counter with a sheet of Saran over the top (but am now actually preferring a sheet of Saran on the bottom, too; it seems to require less flour to 'roll' as it doesn't allow the wraps to stick as much)...and my awesome pizza/pastry double-roller from Pampered Chef.  Use the flatter wider end.

Shape a ball of dough into a disk and place between bottom sheet of choice and Saran.  Roll from center out, trying to leave the center slightly thicker than the edges.  This will help the bend-without-breaking factor.  Lift the Saran and dust with flour (I use more sorghum) as needed.  Flip the wrap over and dust again, as needed, also.  Roll to rough size of a dessert plate.  Heat the pan, higher than low but not as hot as medium, and add about a tsp of olive oil.  Spread the oil around to equal the size of the tortilla...and place the rolled tortilla into the pan.  When it can move around without sticking, immediately turn it over, move it around, and then let it cook.  (Roll another tortilla while the first side cooks.)  You'll know the first side is done when it bubbles up in spots and, checking the cooked side, you'll see the bottom of those bubbles have begun to brown.  Turn it over and let the second side cook until it looks about the same. 

When your tortillas are cooked but still warm, move them to a plate and bend them over into a "taco" shape.  Or you can do this in the pan and then move them...  As they cool, they will hold their shape, more or less.  (Or, you can leave them flat, piling as you go, and they will usually be able to bend after you rewarm them if they've spent some time in the frig...if you need them to be bent!)

Repeat cooking and rolling until finished.  (But that last one is pretty good if you leave it to cook up a little longer, brush it with a little butter, and sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on it!  Oh, YUM!)  When cool, I put them in a 'zippy' bag and keep them in the frig.

(Update 2/23/13:  I'm very much liking teff flour now.  Using 1/3 cup sorghum flour with 1/3 cup teff flour and then starting off the last third-cup with superfine brown rice flour and finishing with tapioca starch makes my favorite wrap combo yet!  This latest combo plays well when used for a scrambled egg/Spanish smoked paprika breakfast - or anytime.  I add a few slices of g-free deli turkey and some already-cooked lentils I keep in the frig.  Tasty and it really satisfies for hours!)

In a deeper experimentation mode, I took the final ball of one recipe and split it into very small balls...each rolled into the size of round tortilla chips...sprinkled a bit of flaked salt as I finished rolling, and cooked them up until completely done, edges were beginning to crisp up...  Let them cool on a rack and they get fairly crispy all over!  The next step is to attempt some kind of sour cream/onion flavoring with powdered buttermilk and onion powder...maybe shaking the warm "chips" in it before setting them on the rack??  Let me know what you try!!!  I'm thinking we could use any kind of popcorn seasoning, too!!!  This could be bad!!!  REALLY BAD!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sorta Kinda Mexican Meatloaf (ground turkey)

Disclaimer!  Having tried this only once, I hesitate to post this.....but you asked for it so here it is!  It was really good, fresh out of the oven, but it was equally tempting after being in the frig overnight!  I don't know.....I think I'm in trouble with this one!  Really easy to make.....even easier to eat.....

Ground Turkey Mexican Meatloaf - I used a 9x13 glass pan and made two 'loaves' (read: mounds) because I didn't want to clean more than one pan!

Use a large mixing bowl and use it to crush 1 cup of lower sodium tortilla chips first.  I used the measuring cup to actually crush the chips!  Make them pretty fine...

Put everything in your large mixing bowl:
2 pounds 93% lean ground turkey
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 - 8 ounce can tomato sauce
about 8 ounces salsa (I used the sauce can!  'Used medium chunky...)
1 cup finely crushed lower sodium tortilla chips
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano, crushed
scant 1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp Spanish smoked paprika

(Increase or change the spices as you desire.)

Mix it WELL; NO 'chunks' of unmixed ground turkey allowed!  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Make two 'loaves' in the pan leaving a space in between.....and bake for approximately 55 minutes.  I used my instant read thermometer to be sure I didn't pull it out too soon.

For those who would like (can afford...) it, carefully 'sprinkle' another 1/2 cup of Mexican cheese blend over the tops of the loaves.  I didn't want the calories so I didn't...

FYI...  Because I used Jennie-O ground turkey, I had a little left over after taking 2# from 2 I cooked it up with a minced shallot and stuck it in the frig to use on a salad later!  Yummy!! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Brown Rice Lentil Casserole (oven recipe)

Another adapted recipe originally found on  Of course, I like it this way so much better!  This is especially nice served with Roasted Salsa Chicken!  

Brown Rice Lentil Casserole - Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  I use a sprayed 9x13 glass pan.  You need a 3-quart pan and this works well.

Combine the following ingredients:
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup (or more) chopped green pepper (any color, red is sweeter!)
3/4 cup dried brown or green lentils, rinsed
3/4 cup 'raw' brown rice (long grain or Basmati...)
1 tsp ground cumin
a scant tsp oregano, crushed
a loaded tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp salt

1 - 14 1/2 ounce can chicken broth
1 - 14 1/2 (or so) can Mexican tomatoes (I use Red Gold brand with cilantro and lime, with liquid...OR stewed Mexican tomatoes, in a pinch)

Place all in pan, cover tightly with foil, and bake til liquid is absorbed - begin checking at the 75 minute mark.  Lentils and rice should be tender.  I often pull it out at 75 minutes, leave it covered, and allow it to "rest" on the cook-top for 15-20 minutes.  It's been perfect every time!

Italian Sausage Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes

The title is long...too long...but I didn't know what else to call it!  This is my version of #310751 from

Italian Sausage Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes

1-1 1/2 pounds bulk Italian sausage, cooked til almost no longer pink.

Add: 2 cloves of garlic, minced, and finish cooking the sausage.

While sausage cooks, cook 1 pound of brown rice penne pasta to al dente, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water when finished.

Add drained pasta and reserved pasta water to sausage on high to reduce liquid.  Then add:

6-8 ounces baby spinach
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes (I usually use grape and I halve them)

Cook and stir til spinach barely wilts.  Then stir in:

1 T butter

Garnish (heavily!) with freshly grated Parmesan!!!

Best pasta tip ever:  IF you have access to a Trader Joe store, GET THE T.J. brown rice pasta!  I think it holds its shape better than ANY other brown rice pasta out there!  Best price, too!  I stock up when I get near one.  'Can't wait til someone wises up and puts one near me!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Roasted Salsa Chicken Breasts

Not so much a recipe as just something to throw in the oven because you have to do something with that chicken...and in one big hurry, too!  That's how this 'recipe' came to be...don't let the chicken go bad!  Now it's the main reason to buy chicken breasts!  And the things you can do with this afterward...I'll be sure to add a few ideas at the end!

Roasted Salsa Chicken Breasts - Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

For the quantity you want to roast, get a pan that will hold everything without crowding.  That means NO overlapping whatsoever.  A little space in between is nice but not necessary.  You can choose either bone-in or boneless; the only difference will be in the roasting time.

Place chicken breasts in pan.  (I usually use glass for this...)  Pat everything fairly dry.  Sprinkle on the following in whatever quantities you desire:

Ground cumin
Garlic powder
Oregano, crushed

I have a tendency to be a little heavy-handed on these since I often use most of the chicken in other dishes.

Next, grab any salsa you like and spoon it over the entire contents of the pan.  Thoroughly cover each breast. I try not to let too much collect in the bottom of the pan.

For bone-in, I roast for 45-50 minutes.  For boneless, 40-45 minutes.  Thickness of breasts will determine time in the oven.  If in doubt, I use a quick-read thermometer.  

When finished, allow to rest 10-15 minutes.  Serve.  OR.....

Idea #1:  Shred chicken into a microwavable bowl.  Add shredded cheese of your choosing...we're making a Mexican "dip" here so go with a Mexican combo or, at the very least, Cheddar-jack.  I tend to add about 8 ounces per two larger breasts.  Add salsa...again, use your favorite and as much or as little as you like.  Mix it all up and make sure the cheese is melting into the chicken.  Microwave, as needed, to get it to melt!  After it's reheated, add some sour cream (a good 1/4 cup or so) and mix until a tortilla chip can scoop it up!!!

Idea #2:  You can thinly slice the chicken and use it on a grilled cheese sandwich with Provolone cheese, a little thinly sliced red onion, some Western salad dressing, and a little crispy bacon, if that's what moves you!  Make some plain waffles and use it instead of bread, add some sliced tomatoes and crunchy Romaine lettuce, and it's a mad take on a BLT!!!

Idea #3:  Make Mexican chicken salad and roll it up in Romaine lettuce!

And there are more but, hey, you know what you like!  Go for it!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

One-Skillet Turkey Quinoa Chili

I made this for dinner tonight...pulled a few ideas from here and there, dug around in the pantry, and this is what happened.  It isn't "spicy" but warm and flavorful.  Of course, you can make it any way you want it!!

Also.....a quick note to welcome non-family!!  I hear tell that this little blog name is starting to be passed around a bit!  Honestly, the thought makes me a little nervous!  I will always post things that I like...and I will always post the requests I get from my two favorite "girls" ever...but, if anyone else can find a little something to help in the crazy g-free world, then so be it!!

On to dinner!

One-Skillet Turkey Quinoa Chili - You need a 12" non-stick skillet WITH a lid!

Cook together until the turkey is no longer pink:
1 pound 93% ground turkey (OK, so it was 20 ounces!)
a small onion, chopped
at least 1 large red pepper, chopped

Add to skillet and stir to coat:
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp oregano, crushed
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground coriander

Then add remaining ingredients:
15 oz can Mexican tomatoes (mine were stewed w/jalapenos and spices)
15 oz can tomatoes with lime and cilantro (I get Red Gold brand)
14 oz low sodium chicken broth
1 cup quinoa, rinsed, drained (I used red)
2-15 oz cans pinto beans, rinsed, drained

Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.  Cover and lower heat to simmer for about 20 minutes, until quinoa soaks up most of the liquid.  Turn off heat and allow to stand 5-10 minutes.  

Garnish with shredded Mexican cheeses, cilantro, a little avocado, a drizzle of lime juice, etc.!

I think I'll add another pepper and perhaps switch up one can of pintos for black beans next time!  Use whatever tomatoes you can find and play with the spices...I can't imagine anything will mess this "recipe" up!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies!!!

First, remember to check for gluten-free ingredients!  Those chips.....Hershey's are OK!  Nestle hasn't caught on yet.....darn them anyway.  And the oats, of course...but that goes without saying, right?  

The original recipe is from was good "before" and I can honestly say that I can't tell a difference when made this way!  

Now, the men may come along and grab "just one more" if you make these.  A most popular recipe around these parts.....


Cream together:
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup PACKED light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg, room temp 
1-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (some weaker than others so...)

Mix/whisk together well and add to above:
1/2 cup sweet sorghum flour
1/4 cup (packed) brown rice flour
1/4 cup (packed) tapioca starch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon (I use Vietnamese) 

Last, mix in:
2 1/2 cups GF quick oats
1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Letting the dough stand while the oven preheats seems to be enough to "keep it together" so this is one time I don't chill the dough.  

Using a level 2-tsp scoop, space dough balls a few inches apart on parchment and bake 11-13 minutes...mine were taking roughly 12 minutes.  Cool ON the sheets for about 5 minutes before moving to cooling rack.  (Makes ~60)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Must-see G-Free blog info!

You will want to check out this blog: so many reasons, go there with the intention of staying a while!  Grab your mixer and start with the Gluten Free Pull-Aparts!  That pizza version.....I don't know if I can hold out for very long now that I've seen it!  The Garlic-Parmesan version would satisfy the "pizza" urge for me, too!  

She has Whole Grain Sandwich Wraps (Take 3) that need to be made ASAP!  One jelly roll pan later and you have sandwich "bread" at the ready!  NOT that you should eat this stuff every day though, right?!?!?!?  All those carbs are still all those carbs!!!  But, honestly, this looks easy compared to so many other GF bread-type recipes.  How can we NOT try these?!?!?!?  Monkey Bread, Pizza crust, Flat bread.....I'm staring down the Buckwheat Wraps first.....  I have days where I need a tortilla!  

Every time I find a good source, I'll be rushing over here to let you know!!!

UPDATE:  This blog changed to a while back...and she kinda pooped out this summer...July 2013.  A decent recipe source still but I just wanted you to know that the action is non-existent over there right now.....  (10/13/13) 


I've been following now, too.  A slightly different angle on gluten-free but still so much there I find useful!  I'm currently toying with her pan bread recipe.  It's SO quick and you can make it so many ways!  If you need a quick PB&J, now you can have one!!   


I follow glutenfreeonashoestring; finally purchased her bread book.  Tons of great recipes on her website!  I pick and choose and change things up.  The copycat recipes are awesome!!!


I follow  She posts when she can; they're always good!!


There's another blog I check out once in a while; I'm not always thrilled with it but I get some decent ideas and can usually change up a recipe to suit my preferences.  Check out  She's g-free but does other posts also.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

G-Free bits and pieces

There are several gluten-free blogs that I visit regularly and thought it might be handy to list them and a few favorite posts here.  Saves the chase.  

I know I've mentioned the Slow Cooker Beef Stew in conversation a few times so I'm getting it down here so I stop repeating myself!  Go to and use a gluten-free flour blend (as she suggests) on the cubed beef and you're good to go!  (I subbed in 2 T. sorghum flour with 2 T. white rice flour.  No one was the wiser!) She has several other recipes that are worth investigating, too, so take some time and look around. 

Check out, also. Ashley has a lot of new ideas going on there! I especially love her avoidance of the starches! And she uses fun things like quinoa flour! 

If you want to try using a ready-made flour blend, is a great place to start. Nicole has cookbooks out now, too, so that may be helpful if you find it easier to navigate g-free baking that way. I took her 'nilla wafer recipe and used my own flour blend.....let's just say it's one of those good/bad/good/bad things!! I make them thinking I'll save them for a cookie crust but they never last long enough to see it happen! YUM!!! They work nicely in banana pudding, too! (If you can't do the milk aspect of pudding, almond milk works nicely! It's best to use the regular version though.)

If all else fails, try a search for what you want to make. So so many gluten-free sites are popping up and more recipes are posted every day!

As a last resort, I'll share MY last resort! Take a recipe you love and tackle a conversion on your own! My initial successes came with muffins and snack cakes calling for 1 1/2 cups of flour. Using the happy trifecta of 1/2 cup EACH sweet white sorghum flour, superfine (brown or white) rice flour, and tapioca starch along with a little xanthan gum, I don't remember even one failure! Of course, once you find something that works, you can fiddle with it every time you make it again. Just remember to take notes! The last thing you want is to get it "just right" and not remember how you did it! Happy experimenting!

Cheddar Meatloaf Blobs. Yes, blobs!

This is my take on recipe # 59056 from  There are several gluten-free recipes on that site now.....but you won't like all of them.  I struggle with recipes that have very little nutritional value when it's a ton of starches and little or no watch for that if you check them out.

CHEDDAR MEATLOAF BLOBS - this doubles easily!  Use 10x15 pan if doubling.  I always use glass.....

1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup g-free quick oats
1 egg
3/4 cup milk (I often use plain unsweetened almond milk)
4 ounces shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp. (kosher) salt
1/2 tsp. crushed thyme, more or less to taste

Combine onions through thyme and add:
1 pound lean ground beef (ground round works best)

Using a 7x11 pan (or something close) form six mounded rounds of meat; try to keep them from touching, if possible.  Combine the following three ingredients and spoon sauce over the top of each blob til completely covered.

2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 C. (loose, not packed) brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. prepared mustard

Bake, uncovered, about 45 minutes.  Allow to cool 10 minutes or so.

This is the favorite meatloaf here...which means never throwing any away!