Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Cake

Before I went gluten-free, I used to relish in indulging in one of my co-workers desserts. I recently made my first attempt at adapting this recipe with much success. I suspect I will do some more tinkering as I make this more often, but it was definitely a delicious first try!

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients
  • 2 boxes Betty Crocker gluten-free yellow cake mix
  • 1 small box vanilla pudding
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 1 c water, tepid not cold
  • 4 eggs, beaten (1 c egg substitute)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9x13 in. pan.
  2. Whisk together the pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mixes, pudding, and water. Beat in the eggs.
  4. Fold in the pumpkin mixture and vanilla.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 25-40 min. or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the middle of the cake is spongy but not soft.
  6. Allow cake to cool in pan elevated on wire rack. May take several hours.
Frosting

Ingredients
  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 4 3oz packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 c confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Directions
  1. Cream together the softened butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the powdered sugar. Mix until smooth.
  3. Stir in the cinnamon and vanilla.
  4. Spread frosting over cooled cake.

*NOTE: Cake must be refrigerated once frosted.
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Product Review: Nature Valley Roasted Nut Crunch bars

The last time I was cruising my local grocery store, I happened upon yet another General Mills gluten-free product - Nature Valley Roasted Almond Crunch bars. I have been looking for a suitable snack bar substitute since going gluten free and was pleased to see another option to try.

If you're expecting a bar on the softer side, you can pass this one up. It definitely lives up to the "crunch" in its name. I happen to like the crunch myself. As the name implies, this bar is also comprised almost wholly of nuts. Which would make you think that it might be a snack bar that sticks with you for a while. However, I was disappointed to find that the 190-calorie bar leaves you hungry in less than two hours. Definitely more of a snack that a meal bar. Add a small slathering of peanut butter on the top though and you've got a good morning breakfast.

All in all, yet another General Mills product receives two thumbs up from this taste tester. I will definitely be buying more of these and look forward to trying the other flavors in this gluten-free line of snack bars.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mexican Chocolate Brownies

This recipe is from the Betty Crocker Gluten Free website. I chose to try it because I had all of the ingredients in my pantry. It's a definite winner!

Ingredients

  • 3 c Cinnamon Chex cereal
  • 3 T packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 c butter, melted
  • 1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownie Mix
  • 1/4 c butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
NOTE
* I didn't have Cinnamon Chex but I had plain Rice Chex. So I crushed them up, mixed them with some cinnamon and sugar, and the recipe still turned out great.


Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Place cereal in resealable storage bag, seal bag, and crush cereal. Makes about 1 1/2 c of crumbs.
  • In a medium bowl, mix cereal, brown sugar, and baking soda. Stir in 1/4 c melted butter until well mixed.
  • In a well greased 8-in square pan, press cereal mixture into the bottom of the pan, reserving 1/3 c of the cereal mix for the top of the brownies. Bake 5 min. Cool 5 min.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir brownie mix, 1/4 c melted butter, and eggs until well blended. Drop batter by the spoonfuls over the baked cereal. Carefully spread the batter over the crust. Cover with remaining cereal mixture.
  • Bake 30 to 34 min. or until brownies look dry & set. The brownies will be soft - do NOT use the toothpick test.
  • Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hrs. Store tightly covered (or the cereal will get soggy...don't ask me how I know this, I don't want to talk about it).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Product Review: Asian Helper Chicken Fried Rice

After my diagnosis, I naturally subscribed to quite a few blogs that specifically address gluten sensitivities. Thanks to these blogs I'm able to keep up with current market trends and new products introduced into the mainstream grocery stores. That's how I came to discover General Mills' line of gluten free products (entire list here).

I don't know about you, but it's nice to have easy-to-prepare, one-dish meals lying in wait on the pantry shelf for those nights when there's little time for meal prep. So the last time I was in my neighborhood grocery, I scanned the shelves for the latest gluten-free offerings from Hamburger Helper. We tried the Chicken Fried Rice first.

Everything is in the box. Just add chicken, egg, and water. I bought boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders to save even more on prep time. Dice those puppies up and throw them in the pan, and you're ready to go in a jiffy. The directions were simple to follow. One word of advice, though, I used an egg substitute rather than a real egg. I think a real egg might actually be better for this recipe to give you more of an "authentic" fried rice dish. But the egg substitute wasn't bad.

All in all, I'd give the Asian Helper Chicken Fried Rice two thumbs up - it was easy to prepare and very tasty.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hashbrown, Sausage, and Bacon Frittata

This recipe comes compliments of my mom who saw it in her Schwan's recipe mailer. Naturally, the original recipe calls for mostly Schwan products, however, it is simple to adapt to products you regularly find in your neighborhood grocery store. This dish is absolutely delicious and reheats well.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 pkg (24 oz) shredded hashbrowns, thawed
  • 1/2 c butter, melted
  • 8 oz (2 c) hot pepper cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz (2 c) cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 6 fully cooked sausage links, thawed & diced
  • 1 1/2 c fully cooked bacon slices, diced
  • 1 c milk
  • 9 eggs
  • salt & pepper
NOTES
* Simply Hashbrowns are a great product that you find in the refrigerated section of your grocery store, generally near the bacon and sausage. These could easily be used in place of frozen hashbrowns to save the thawing step.
* Egg substitute, like Egg Beaters, also work well in this recipe. As does low-fat milk.


Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Place hashbrowns in lightly greased 9x11 pan and press down evenly to form crust.
  • Drizzle butter evenly over hashbrowns and back 25 min.
  • Place cheese, sausage, and bacon over hashbrown crust.
  • Beat milk and eggs together and pour over cheese and meat.
  • Reduce heat to 350F and bake 30 min.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I'm Baaaaaaaaack

Wow, I'd say it's been a long while since I've ventured over here. But I'm back and I have some great, new recipes to share. For those of you who do not follow me over on The Foxhole, I was diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity several months back. So that means I'm now venturing into the world of gluten-free products and adapting current recipes to be gluten free. And I have oodles of new things to share with you! So come back tomorrow for the beginning of a string of new posts, including product reviews & recipes.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gluten Free Christmas Treats

Ironically, I've neglected to blog about my mom's recent celiac disease diagnosis here. And this is where it could potentially be the most helpful to others.

->>Did you know?
  • Did you know that as many as 1 in 133 Americans are unable to digest gluten, a natural protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley? Simply switching to a gluten free diet, which includes Rice Chex®, allows these people to live normal, healthy lives.
  • Celiac Disease, or gluten intolerance, is a lifelong autoimmune intestinal disorder that interferes with the body’s ability to absorb needed nutrients.
  • Without changing the crunchy, oven-toasted flavor of Rice Chex, General Mills has replaced barley malt with molasses resulting in a Gluten Free Cereal. General Mills has taken the requisite steps to prevent cross contamination and has tested the formula based on the proposed FDA standards. Questions & comments are welcome at 1-800-328-1144.
  • Chex® is a proud sponsor of the Celiac Disease Foundation, a national organization dedicated to promoting awareness and building a supportive community for celiac disease patients, families and health care professionals. CDF is actively involved in advocating for patient concerns and networking with other national and international organizations. For more information, check out celiac.org or call (818) 990-2354.
  • General Mills is a proud CSA Benefactor Member of the Celiac Sprue Association. Celiac Sprue Association with members and chapters nation-wide assist those with celiac disease. Celiac Sprue Association provides lifestyle information to all people on a gluten-free diet. For more information, check out csaceliacs.org or call 1-877-CSA-4-CSA.

{above information excerpted from http://www.chex.com/}

Why am I plugging Chex cereal? Well, as the title of this post suggests, I'm making gluten-free goodies to give away this Christmas. You never know when you may encounter a celiac. And this way, not a single gift recipient will have to worry about whether or not they can eat my goodies! Since very few companies go through the trouble of being certified celiac-friendly, it's important to plug that ones that are. Thanks, Chex!

Want to make gluten-free goodies too? Hop on the Chex website & check out their gluten-free recipes. Be sure you make your goodies using clean, stainless steal or non-porous glass before you make anything else to prevent cross-contamination.