Gluten Free Pho 

I had left over roasted vegetables. Not sure how I wanted to eat them; I decided to make a gluten free vegetable Pho soup. 

The night before,  I had roasted mushrooms, red onion, zucchini, peppers, celery, broccoli and a  clove of garlic in a little olive oil, drizzle of vegetable broth and fresh ground pepper. 

So I dumped the leftovers in a pot, put in a full package of Campbell’s beef broth, a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice, tablespoon of Gluten Free Soy Sauce, tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and let it simmer. 

In another pot, I cooked up al dente rice vermicelli noodles. 

I placed the cooked noodles on the bottom of the bowls. Then poured in the soup! 


It was a hit! 


Enjoy! 

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End of Summer Gluten Free Bean Salad 

Hard to believe the end of summer is here. Back to school, work and Fall. 

As I grapple with behaving and eating healthy, I decided to make a bean salad to take for my lunches this week. 

At a recent Farmer’s Market in Muskoka, I bought a dried bean salad mix from Spill The Beans ( www.spillthebeans.ca ) This seems easy and my bean mix selection is already done for me. 

I have modified the Spill The Bean recipe slightly as I didn’t have all the ingredients she recommended to add to her “Hearty Fearty” bean salad. 

1) Soak the dried beans and then cook as per the Spill The Bean packaging 


2) I diced up a red onion, 1/2 cup of mini carrots and a cup of peas from fresh pods 


3) I whipped up the recommended salad dressing: 2/3 vinegar, 2 table spoons honey, 1/2 cup of oil. I added 1/2 table spoon of freeze dried cilantro. 


4) after the beans cooled, I mixed in my other ingredients, then poured in salad dressing over the top! 

Voila my lunch is made for the week! 

Enjoy! It’s yummy! 

And check out Spill The Beans! Highly recommend! 

www.spillthebeans.ca

Summer Memories Relived at Santa’s Village 

It’s kind of funny how in some aspects of raising children, we get to relive or atleast get flash backs of our childhood from our children. 

Except for me, Santa’s Village was a once a summer experience but nowadays most local families have season passes here and the Village becomes more a familiar frequented meeting place. And you get to know the staff…like for example some gate greeters don’t even need to see our season pass card to let us in – they know we have it as we are regular visitors, as they greet us frequently.  

How can that view not take you back?!

Santa’s Village in Bracebridge, Ontario is a lovely little amusement park for young kids. It’s where Santa lives in the summer! 

And what a lovely place it is! And something for everyone!

You can feed the reindeer:

Ride a Ferris wheel of Christmas Balls:

 

Enjoy a train ride all around the park:


Enjoy a boat ride: 


Enjoy Elves Island with fun activities:


Enjoy Kiddie rollercoasters: 



Enjoy the Splash pad. Or as we like to call it “Santa’s Beach” 


Our almost 3 year old loves Santa’s Village. And it’s a hit with my nieces, nephews and friend’s children. 

It’s a must when visiting Muskoka with children to spend sometime with Santa! 

To plan your trip check out: https://www.santasvillage.ca/

Chicken Stirfry 

I don’t always think to do stirfry in the summer. Maybe because we tend to think BBQ and fresh salads for summer. After a large family gathering, I was left with a variety of fresh veggies from my veggie tray – button mushrooms, carrot slices, peppers, mini tomatoes and broccoli. 

A stir fry seemed like the most logical option to ensure I wouldn’t waste my veggies! 

Throw in some left over chicken and an easy chicken stir fry is created! 

Chicken Stir fry: 

Sliced vegetables – carrots, mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes…it really is endless 

1 can of  Sliced water chestnuts – they bring the crunch 

Pre-cooked chicken cut in strips or chunks

1 small cooking onion – diced 

2 Tablespoons Gluten Free Soy Sauce 

1 Tablespoon of Gluten Free  worstshire sauce

2 Teaspoons white sugar 

1/4 cup + 1/3 cup vegetable broth 

1/4 Teaspoon (heaping) of Chinese Five Spice

2 Tablespoons Corn Starch 

2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil 

Rice Noodles – I like the super thin style. Rice Stick is the style I prefer:


Preparation: 

1) Heat up Wok. Drizzle Sesame oil on wok. Drop in diced onions. Cover. 

2) Mix up onions. Throw in vegetables. Pour in 1/4 cup of vegetable broth. Cover for 5 minutes. Stir. Continue to cover for 5 minute intervals until veggies are cooked to your liking. 

3) Add chicken. 

4) In a large measuring cup mix remaining vegetable broth (1/3 cup), Soy sauce, worstshire sauce, sugar, five spice and corn starch. Mix well and add to the wok. Cover and mix after 5 minutes. 

5) Mix in dry noodles. Cover for 5 minutes. Stir, cover and repeat until noodles are tender.  

Enjoy! 

Chickpea Greek Salad

Summertime is a time for fresh and refreshing meals. I wanted something different for work lunches but not sure what. With a quick look in my pantry I decided to whip together a chick pea salad.  

This salad is high in fibre and protein. It is easily adaptable to add your favourites  

Chickpee Greek Salad

1 can chickpeas 

1 can (no salt added) diced tomatoes 

6 green olives sliced 

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese 

1/3 cup diced onion 

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes 

2 tablespoons Greek Clubhouse seasoning 

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup Greek salad dressing 

1/3 cup balsamic salad dressing 

Directions: 


1) drain chickpees and rinse before dumping into a 1.75quart bowl. 

2) drain canned tomatoes and the mix in with chickpees 

3) add all other ingredients and mix well let sit atleast 12hpirs before serving. 

This is such an easy salad that you could add (if desired) cucumber chunks, pasta, black olives….the tweaks are endless! 

Enjoy! 

It’s a wet salad so I use a serving spoon with the slit in it to take off excess fluid when serving! 

It’s easy to take it in a container at work 


I like to serve it with garlic Naan bread. 

Gluten Free Pineapple Upside down cake 

My dad’s favourite cake is an upside down pineapple. For a recent family gathering I decided to bake one! 

Who wouldn’t enjoy the caramel, almost toffee like coating with pineapples and cherries?!?! 

Pineapple Upside Downcake 

1 Gluten Free Cake mix 

1 cup heaping with Brown sugar 

1 can pineapple slices 

1 container of candied cherries 

1/2 cup Butter 

1) Mix up GF cake mix of your choice per box instructions. Set aside 

2) Drain can of pineapple. Set aside 

3) Prep cake pan by covering bottom and sides with butter then dusting with flour. This greatly stops the cake from sticking to the pan. 

4) Melt butter.  Mix in with brown sugar on bottom of cake pan.  


5) Using fork spread mixture and pat down evenly all over bottom of the pan 


If you like more brown sugar goodness to your cake  just add more brown sugar and butter to your original mixture  – like below:


6) Place pineapple and cherries on top of brown sugar 

You can be creative! 


Or 


7) Pour cake batter on top. Try to spread evenly   


8) Bake as per cake box instructions. I like to use the tooth pick method to ensure my cake is cooked. 

9) Enjoy! 

Hope you enjoy this pineapple Upside down cake as much as we do!  

Fresh cherry Gluten Free Pie 

I couldn’t resist the fresh cherries in the market. First of the season; sweet and refreshing. 

The only downside of any type of fresh fruit is it can spoil quickly. With a large bag of fresh cherries and not wanting to waste even one the only option was to make a fresh cherry pie! 

A cherry pie is simple to make and tastes amazing! How could I resist? 

Fresh Cherry Pie: 

Fresh pitted cherries – atleast 2 heaping cups. You want to have a full pie shell. It can be painstaking to pit each cherry but fresh cherry pie tastes so much better then can. 

1/4 tsp of pure almond extract 

Pinch of salt 

3 heaping tablespoons of gluten free minute tapioca 

2 tablespoons of softened butter 

1) Preheat oven to 385F   

Place pitted cherries in a bowl. Add almond extract, salt and tapioca. Mix well 

2) Prepare pie shell. Refer to my earlier post about my amazing Gluten Free dough! 

3) Place cherry mixture into pie shell. 


4) Place Gluten Free Dough over cherries. I personally like the fence style for pie tops. I place small dips of butter in the wholes of the crust 


5) Place pie on middle rack of oven. Cook for 50-60 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cherries are bubbling. 


Enjoy!! 

Two! 2! Gluten Free Birthday cakes!! 

Last year I made a “1” birthday cake!


 I quickly vowed it would be an annual tradition of making a number Birthday cake! 

This year it’s time to make a “2”. 

It’s actually quite easy! 

1) Bake a round 9″ cake and a square 9″ cake of your choice. 

2) with the round cake I used a toothpick to centre and a glass cup to outline a circle. 


3) then placed a second toothpick to cut a straight line (envision a clock and place the toothpick at the 9) This is the start of the 2! 

4) then cut out the circle. Using the toothpick make a straight line (Envision a clock and place toothpick at the 6) then cut. 


5) remove the outside piece. 


6) then carefully remove the centre. This is where you get the shape of the 2. 


7) then flip the removed quarter piece to make the middle part of the 2! 


8) cut the rectangle cake in half. Place one half as the bottom of the 2! To make the bottom align to the top, I cut one of the other ends of the cake and added. 


9) I icinged the top and levelled out/hid the joining parts of the 2 cake. 


10) I piped icing along the edge. It’s way easier as trying to use a knife or spatula on the edge would catch pieces if the cake. 


It was a hit! 

Then for her actual birthday we used my large cupcake pan to bake the bake. It turns out great but takes quite a while to cook. 

Cupcake pan tips: 

1) Butter and flour the pan well. Cook one side at a time for perfect cake. 

2) Fill almost to the top but leave at least an inch to allow for rising. 


3) Let sit for a minute or two before flipping into a cooling rack. 


4) Decorate as desired! Enjoy! 


Ultimate Caesar salad dressing 

Trust me. You will thank me for sharing my tweaked recipe! 

I like to consider myself a Caesar salad dressing connoisseur. There is nothing better than a traditional Caesar salad made with fresh ingredients! I love restaurants that make it table side and hate those that claim they make in-house dressing only to find it to taste like it came directly out of a store bought bottle! 

I use to think making Caesar salad dressing at home would be too much! I spent so much money on trying to find the best store bought option. I was always disappointed! 

With tweaking recipes I have found I now have my favourite Caesar salad dressing! Hope you enjoy it too! 

Ultimate Caesar Salad Dressing Recipe

3 cloves garlic – chopped finely 

1/3 cup Miracle whip 

1/3 cup Maynaisse (I use Hellmans)

2 teaspoons Lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon Worseshire sauce 

2 1/2 anchovie fillets – finely chopped

1/4 cup Olive oil 

Pinch of salt 

Ground Cracked pepper – to taste 

1) Mince garlic and mix with maynaisse, miracle whip, lemon juice, worseshire sauce, finely chopped anchovies, olive oil, salt and pepper. 

2) refrigerate overnight or atleast let sit for a few hours to let flavours set. You can also mix and instantly use. But I found refrigerating and enjoying the next day made for a tastier salad dressing. 

3) Don’t forget to top the salad off with fresh Parmesan cheese! 

Let me know how you enjoy this Caesar salad dressing!! 

Warm Apple Pie 

Apple pie is always a favourite. It is mostly associated with the Fall season but apple pie anytime is a crowd pleasure! It’s also super simple to whip together and is always tastey! 

Apple Pie 

6-8 Macintosh apples 

1/2 cup brown sugar 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1 tablespoon lemon juice 

1 tablespoon butter 

Maple syrup 

Pie shells – one for the bottom and one for the top 

1) I find the best way to know how many apples is to just start peeling and cutting them into your pie shell 

Preheat oven to 350 

   

2) With the apple slices in a bowl mix in the lemon juice, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Place this in a pie shell. 

3) Cut the butter into tiny bits and place through out the top. Drizzle maple syrup on top 

Place top crust on top. 
 

  
4) cook for about 60 minutes. Pie should be bubbling through out. 

  
Let cool and enjoy!