Rise and Shine…

When I was in elementary school, our school cafeteria served the most delicious Honey Yeast Rolls. I was rarely allowed to buy lunch at school. My mom packed my lunch all the way through my senior year of High School! But still, the taste and smell of those soft, pillow-y clouds of sweet yeast-y goodness linger in my memory. I stumbled upon this recipe for Gluten Free Honey and Flax Yeast Rolls at an absolutely inspired blog, Flour Arrangements, and new I had to make them! Naturally, I changed a few things based on what I had on hand. The resulting rolls were everything I could have imagined and more! Get ready for some goodness my friends! This is what I did. Check out the original recipe and have fun exploring all of the wonderful recipes found on Flour Arrangements!
Honey and Flax Yeast Rolls
Ingredients
– 2 1/4 teaspoons Yeast
– 1 1/2 tablespoons Sugar
– 1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (warmed in the micro for 45 seconds)
– 3/4 cup Brown Rice Flour
– 1/2 cup Sorghum Flour
– 2 tablespoons Ground Flax Seed Meal
– 1/4 cup Corn Meal
– 1/4 cup Potato Starch
– 1/4 cup Tapioca Starch
– 2 1/4 teaspoons Xanthum Gum
– 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
– 2 tablespoons Honey
– 2 1/2 tablespoons Coconut Oil, liquified
– 1/4 cup room temp, Unsweetened Almond Milk
– 1 tablespoon Honey, for drizzling
– 2 teaspoons Ground Flax Seed, for sprinkling
– 1 tablespoon Dairy-Free Margarine, melted for brushing on top of rolls
I followed the original recipe instructions and the results were perfection! We enjoyed these for dinner alongside some homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. That along with the thunder storm outside made for a cozy evening!

Do you have any random food memories from you childhood?

When I Was Your Age….

Back in our collegiate, glutenous days, 
(Yes, we are covered in regular, old, gluten-filled flour!)
GF Guy and I loved to go to California Pizza Kitchen. We always ordered the BBQ Chicken Pizza sans onions. These days, we no longer frequent the good ol’ CPK. Instead, we make our own, decidedly healthier, version. This quick, simple meal rarely makes an appearance in our kitchen. Probably because we never think to make it! However, when it does, we savor it! So, go ahead and take a trip back to the care-free college days! You will be glad you did!
BBQ Chicken Pizza

Ingredients:
– 1 organic Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
– Herbamare, Black Pepper, Cumin, Paprika
– 1 French Meadow Bakery GF/DF  Frozen Pizza Crust
– Annie’s Smoky Maple BBQ Sauce
– 1 tablespoon fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
– Vegan Parmesan Cheese
– Rainbow Kale, chopped
– Vegan Gourmet Follow Your Heart Vegan Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Season Chicken on both sides with spices.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Cook Chicken 3 minutes on each side.
Transfer Chicken to a Casserole dish and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
(That is the recipe for picture-perfect, moist chicken every time!) 
Adjust oven temperature to 450 degrees.
Spread frozen pizza crust with Annie’s Smoky Maple BBQ Sauce.
Top with chopped Parsley, Kale, Vegan Parm, chopped cooked Chicken, and Vegan Mozzarella.
Cook in provided pan about 12 minutes, until lightly browned and cheese is melted.

Biscotti Business…..

I had an impossible to ignore urge to bake this morning. For some reason, biscotti has been on my mind of late. Perhaps this is due to my inability, in the past, to gain that crisp texture that pairs so perfectly with coffee or tea. Today, however, I have achieved that elusive crunch! 
Since I have to be witty and entertaining all day at work, I don’t really feel like “talking” much today. So I will let the recipe do the talking! Have fun! 
Mocha Chip Biscotti
Ingredients:
– 3/4 cup Sorghum Four
– 1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour
– 1/4 cup Potato Starch
– 1/4 cup Millet Flour
– 4 tablespoons Raw Almonds ground into a meal
– 1 teaspoon Xanthum Gum
– 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
– 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
– 1/3 cup Carob Powder
– 2 Eggs
– 3/4 cup Sugar
– 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil, liquified
– 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
– 3 tablespoons Unsweetened Almond Milk
– 3 tablespoons Strongly Brewed Coffee
– 1/4 cup Tahini
– 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
– 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Dairy Free Mini Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
In a medium bowl, beat together Eggs and Sugar until pale.
Add Oil through Cinnamon and beat until blended.
Stir in the Chocolate Chips.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. The mixture will be thick.
Line a baking sheet with foil.
Divide dough in half and, using wet hands, form into two 1/2″ thick logs.
Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes.
Remove biscotti from oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees.
Allow biscotti to rest 6 minutes, then slice into 3/4 to 1″ inch wide cookies. Separate cookies by at least 1/4″ and put back in the oven to continue baking 15-20 minutes, until done.
Allow to cool on a wire baking rack.

Progressive Dinner Party….

I was honored when Diane offered to bring me in as a host for her Gluten Free Progressive Easter Dinner Party. I was even more excited when I was able to sign up to offer this years’ Easter entree. 

In case you missed it, here is the menu run down:

*Appetizer: Shirley @ Gluten Free Easily- Mom’s Deviled Eggs
*Salad: Diane @ The W.H.O.L.E. Gang- Roasted Red & Yellow Beet Salad w/ Avocado,     
                                                                         Oranges, Red    Onon, & Toasted Pine Nuts
*Entree: Moi!
*Side Dish: Shirley @ Gluten Free Easily (Thursday)

*Dessert: Shirley @ Gluten Free Easily (Friday)

Easter is a deeply religious time for us in the GF Gidget household. God has blessed us so richly. We have a wonderful, close knit family. We live comfortably. We never have to worry about where our next meal is coming from. We have our health. We have a wonderful puppy…. When you start listing your blessings they quickly become overwhelming. Sure we complain from time to time. I get annoyed when my favorite jeans are dirty. I huff when my tupperware cabinet is disorganized. Sometimes I even get down because eating GF all the time gets annoying. But then, I step back and look at my “blessings list” and think, “God is so good!”  
Growing up we traditionally ate lamb on Easter. My mom always said it was because “Jesus is the Lamb who was slain for our sins.” For me, there was no other meal to serve for this Easter entree. However, I have grown, my palate has expanded, I am ridiculously busy, and I enjoy playing with my food too much to simply serve up my mom’s traditional Easter lamb. So…. here is something a little different, very quick and simple to prepare, but definitely Easter worthy!
Crockpot Leg of Lamb with a Thai Sweet Plum Sauce
(Serves 2)
Ingredients: 
– 1/2 Leg of Lamb (about 2.5 lbs.)
– 1 cup Prune Butter
– 1 tablespoon Ketchup
– peel of 1 Lemon
– juice of 1 Lemon
– 1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
– 1 teaspoon freshly grated Ginger
– 1 teaspoon Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
– 1 cup Water
– 2 teaspoons Cornstarch
– 1/8 cup Water
Score Lamb to allow marinade to absorb during cooking.
Place Lamb in crockpot.
Combine Prune Butter thru Thai Sweet Chili Sauce and pour evenly over meat.
Being careful not to wash away the marinade, pour water around the meat.
Cook on low 6-8 hours. (Ours cooked in 6.5)
Remove Lamb from the pot and allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing.
While meat rests, pour 1 cup of sauce into a small saucepan and turn burner on medium low.
In a small cup, combine 1/8 cup Water and Cornstarch.
Slowly whisk into simmering sauce and allow to thicken slightly.
Remove from heat.
Plate Lamb and drizzle (or drown if you are GF Guy) with Plum Sauce.
We enjoyed our fall of the bone tender Lamb with the accompaniments of Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli, and Vegan Herb Drop Biscuits. 
AMEN!

Duck, Duck, Goose….

Some people are inspired by art.
Some people are inspired by brilliance.
Some people are inspired by a challenge.
I have been inspired! It was not by art, not by brilliance, and not by a challenge.
IT WAS BY FOOD!!!!!!
I walked into the grocery store with my list and was stopped dead in my tracks by the sight of a luscious display of fresh, organic Black Plums. My mind instantly popped out a recipe, and my grocery list was momentarily forgotten. I emerged from the store sheepishly clutching a much larger bag and bill than originally intended, but triumphantly planning our next meal.
Pan-Seared Duck Breast with Black Plum Balsamic Reduction

Ingredients:
– 1 Duck Breast, skin on one side
– 1/4 teaspoon Salt
– 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
– 1/2 medium Red Onion, chopped
– 3 Black Plums, pitted and cut into 8ths
– 1/4 cup Low Sodium Chicken Stock
– 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
– 1 Tablespoon Honey
– 1 Tablespoon Prune Butter (or Plum Preserves)
– 1 teaspoon GF Worcestershire Sauce (Lea and Perrins is safe, but in the US only- sorry to my Canadian readers!)
– pinch of Salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare the duck by patting dry and scoring the meat on the skin side with four 1/4″ deep slices on a 45 degree angle.
Heat a non-stick skillet over high heat.
Cook the duck skin side down 4-5 minutes until skin is brown and crispy and fat has significantly rendered down.
Turn over and continue cooking, skin side up, 2 minutes.
Place duck, skin side up, on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake in 350 degree oven for 6 minutes.
While the duck cooks, saute red onion in the remaining duck fat over medium heat until soft.
Add plums and continue to cook until lightly browned.
Add the remaining ingredients and allow to reduce slightly.
Remove from heat.
Allow to sit about 3 minutes before slicing, on an angle, into 1/4″ thick slices.
Serves 2.
As accompaniments to our main course, I served Steamed Garlic Kale (Locally Grown), Baked Sweet Potatoes (Locally Grown), and Vegan Herb Drop Biscuits.
The last time GF Guy had duck was on our honeymoon. I had never had it. 
Our thoughts:
HOLY YUMMINESS!!!!!!!!!!! This elegant meal had amazing flavor and was surprisingly simple to create! I can not recommend this dish strongly enough. This is one recipe that is sure to impress any dinner guest…. even a Mother-in-Law!!!!!!!

What is the most adventurous meal you have ever created?

"Herb-y" Rides Again….

I used to love the old Herbie the Love Bug movies. 
Who am I kidding… I still love those old movies! Herbie Rides Again was a personal favorite. I would have watched that movie everyday if my mother had allowed it when I was little. Herbie Rides Again and That Darn Cat… now those were Disney classics!
Speaking of herbs and classics… I revised my Vegan Cheddar Biscuit recipe last night and created a Vegan Herb Drop Biscuit that was the perfect accompaniment to our meal last night. (Which will be posted later… just to let you know, it was uber fancy, uber simple, and I am uber excited to share it with you!!!!!)
Vegan Herb Drop Biscuits
Ingredients
– 3/4 cup Sorghum Flour
1/2 cup Tapioca Flour
– 1/4 cup Potato Starch
– 1/4 cup Brown Rice Flour
– 1/4 cup Flax Seed Meal
– 1 teaspoon Xanthum Gum
– 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
– 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
– 1/2 teaspoon Salt
– 1 cup non-dairy Milk mixed with 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice, allow to sit 10 minutes before using
– 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 1 Tablespoon each chopped fresh Chives, Italian Parsley, and Basil
– Black Pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients and herbs.
Combine wet ingredients and add to dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.
Drop by rounded spoonful onto a foil lined baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Bake 11-13 minutes, until done.

There is nothing like the taste of fresh herbs… or classic Herbie movies!
What is your favorite classic, live action Disney movie?

Le Printemps Est Ici….

Spring is here!!!!! 
 
I love spring! New beginnings, warmer weather, fresh produce…. What is there not to love? The day started with something new. GF Guy and I split a locally made GF Belgian Waffle. Let me tell you… it was insanely yummy! The waffle was made of Buckwheat flour and was sweet, fluffy perfection. I also ate the other half of the Grapefruit I picked on Sunday. 
Seriously… the best grapefruit EVER! Then we settled on a plan for the day. To celebrate the first day of Spring, GF Guy, Dickens, and I took a ride in GF Guy’s convertible to the St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Farmer’s Market. 
We stocked up on all sorts of wonderful locally grown, organic produce.

Hydroponic Lettuce, Lacinato Kale, Zucchini, Romanesco, and Nasturtium (only $1.00!!!)
Mini Seedless Watermelon, Roma Tomato, and a Kiwi
Unpictured: Beets
We also stopped for a delightful lunch of salads bursting with fresh, organic veggies and oven-baked sweet potato fries.

Dinner was a thrown together impulse meal with no rhyme or reason. I just used whatever ingredients stood out to me at the moment. Enjoy!

Spring Surprise

Ingredients:
– 1 head Romanesco, cut into florets
– 2 Carrots, chopped
– 1/2 Red Onion, chopped
– 2 cloves Garlic, pressed
– 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
– Herbamare & Black Pepper
– palmful Thyme
– palmful Rosemary
– 1 cup Buckwheat (Kasha)
– 2 cups Water
– 1/4 cup White Wine
– 1/4 cup Apple Cider
– splash Low Sodium Chicken Stock (or Veg. Stock)
– 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 1/3 pound Spinach
– 1 can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
– Vegan Parmesan
– freshly chopped Basil & Parsley
– Nasturtium (garnish)
– Tomato, diced (garnish)

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine Romanesco, Carrots, Onion, Garlic, EVOO, Lemon Juice, and spices. Toss together until evenly coated. Roast on a foil lined baking sheet 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring 2 cups of Water to a boil. Add 1 cup Buckwheat, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until all water is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.
In a large skillet, combine Wine, Cider, Stock, Oil, and Spinach. Cover and allow to cook over low heat until spinach is wilted. Add Chickpeas and continue cooking until heated through.
Plate and garnish with Parm. , fresh herbs, flowers, and tomato.


Have you ever eaten flowers? Would you?
Also, check out this post by Kitchen Princess. She manages to parallel every life lesson you could ever need with the jam making process! It is brilliant!

Peanut Butter and Patty’s Day….

http://www.pbandjenny.com/Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!
This redheaded, Irish gal proudly wore her green today! However, I did NOT eat Corned Beef and Cabbage, Colcannon, or anything remotely “Irish”. I’m sorry, but I’m just not a huge fan of Irish food. Feel free to provide me with any recipes that might change my mind! 
Instead, I made a lovely stew from the inspired food blog Kayotic Kitchen. I chose this stew because I knew GF Guy would love it. (…I just noticed all my meals of late have been created specifically for GF Guy and feature his favorite foods… shrugs… I guess that’s what happens when you love someone…)
The recipe, Chicken Palava, is an African Peanut Stew chock full of spinach and sweet peanut-y goodness. 
I’m going to be honest here. I was NOT expecting to enjoy this meal. Peanut Butter is okay. I like PB2, but I don’t LOVE it like certain bloggers I know and love. However, this recipe surprised me. The peanut flavor is beautifully balanced and serves to enhance the “green” flavor of the spinach. We enjoyed the stew spooned over a bed of Buckwheat. The whole grain flavor of the Buckwheat was another flavor enhancing addition to this already delicious recipe. The only changes I made were to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil in place of Peanut Oil, add an extra cup of Chicken Stock, and 1 (14.5oz.) can of Muir Glen Low Sodium Diced Tomatoes. I made this substitution simply because it was late, and I have never skinned a tomato before. It didn’t seem wise to attempt it for the first time at 8:30 PM while practically starving to death! (That wasn’t over dramatic at all. Now was it?) I highly recommend you follow the above link and make this recipe for yourself and your loved ones.
What is your favorite recipe to make for your loved ones?

I’m One!!!!!…..

I just realized today is my One Year Blog-iversary! 
I almost missed it! I can’t believe it’s only been one year. Gluten Free Gidget has been such a wonderful, fulfilling journey. I have met so many wonderful people and learned so much through blogging. I want to take this time to thank each and every one of you. You mean the world to me! 
Now, business as usual…
GF Guy loves Pasta with Vodka Sauce. I decided to try my hand at it. Unfortunately, I ran out of Vodka and had to improvise. The taste did not suffer, nor did our stomachs! I also used the leftover tofu filling from my Stuffed Chicken recipe instead of the usual heavy cream. Again, delicious! Enjoy!
Drunken Pasta
Ingredients:
– 16oz. Gluten Free Pasta
– 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 1 tablespoon Earth Balance Margarine
– 1/8 of a Yellow Onion, diced
– 2 cloves Garlic, minced
– 1/2 cup Vodka
– 1/2 cup dry White Wine
– 1 cup Low Sodium, Organic Chicken Stock
– 1 can (24 oz.) Tomato Puree
– 1 can (14.5 oz.) Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
– 3 to 4 tablespoons Basil
– Herbamare and Black Pepper, to taste

In a large skillet, saute onion and garlic in oil and margarine 3-5 minutes.
Add vodka and reduce by half.
Add stock and tomatoes, bring to a bubble and reduce heat to a simmer. Season with Basil, Herbamare, and Black Pepper.
While sauce simmers, cook pasta according to package instructions, drain, and set aside.
Stir tofu filling into the sauce. Return sauce to a bubble and remove from heat.
Toss pasta with sauce and a sprinkle of Vegan Parm and serve.
Because GF Guy and I are veggie lovers, we added peas, steamed broccoli, and steamed spinach to our plates.
It is always such a sense of accomplishment when you are able to use leftover ingredients! Isn’t it? Speaking of leftovers, this recipe makes a HUGE amount of pasta and sauce. Either prepare yourself to have lots of leftovers, or plan to feed a small army!

Do you have an ingredient you always seen to have leftovers of? How do you use it?

Protein Power!!!!…..

I spent all day handling gluten. No this was not a nightmare. This was real! We are preparing for a “bake sale” tomorrow at work. I am heading it up and had to wrap and label hundreds of muffins and cookies. I wore gloves, didn’t breathe much, and washed my hands like nobody’s business. I am happy to report no adverse symptoms! However, this was still a bit of a nerve wracking experience. I needed to cook a nice dinner. It’s therapy! Even though I didn’t get home until 7:00 pm, dinner was going to be fancy gosh darn it! I combined a few of my favorite recipes and came up with something lovely, comforting, and perfect with a glass of white wine. It is also a protein power house! Enjoy!
Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Sweet Potato Puffs
Chicken Ingredients:
– 1 block Firm Light Tofu
– 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
– 1 teaspoon Oregano
– 1 teaspoon Basil
– 1 teaspoon Thyme
– 1 teaspoon Rosemary
– Herbamare and Black Pepper, to taste
– 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
– 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 6 rehydrated Sundried Tomatoes, chopped
– 1 large handful Spinach, steamed w/ Apple Cider
– 2 organic Chicken Breasts
– 1 Shallot, diced
– 1/4 cup Dry White Wine
– 1/4 cup Low Sodium Chicken Stock
– dash Apple Cider
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Begin by making the filling. In a food processor, combine the tofu, garlic powder, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, herbamare, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil. Pulse until combined.
In a small bowl, combine half the tofu mixture, chopped sundried tomatoes, and steamed spinach. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Save the rest of the tofu mixture for another recipe.
Cut a pocket into the thickest part of the Chicken breast and stuff with tofu/tomato/spinach mixture. Fold shut.
Season both sides of the chicken with Herbamare and Pepper.
Heat a medium skillet with a dash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil over medium high heat. Cook chicken about 3 minutes on each side.
Transfer chicken to a casserole dish and bake 15 minutes.
Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.
While the chicken is in the oven, add a dash of oil to the skillet and saute shallot until soft, 3-5 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with wine. 
Reduce the heat to low, add the stock and cider, and season with Herbamare and Pepper. 
Allow to simmer until reduced slightly.
Spoon over chicken breast before serving.

Sweet Potato Puff Ingredients:
– 2 medium Sweet Potatoes cut into 1/2″ rounds. (I used one Garnet and one Oriental Sweet Potato)
– 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Herbamare and Black Pepper, to taste
– Thyme and Rosemary, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Toss Potato rounds with oil and spices.
Spread evenly on a foil lined baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 degrees, flip the potato rounds over, and continue to roast about 20 minutes.
 
Delicious! We enjoyed our chicken atop a bed of steamed spinach with a side of steamed broccoli. PS- The sauce makes this dish! 
Now, I think I’m going to have a Kinnikinnick Doughnut and watch Psych on hulu.com.
Cooking is definitely my therapy. What’s yours?