Perfect Fall Dinner: Hearty Chicken Soup with Gluten Free Buscuits

Once the temperature drops I start craving homemade soup. And what goes wonderful with soup – my Nana’s Buscuits! But for us they are now gluten free – but with a bit of tweaking they are almost as good as Nana’s! 

Gluten free Buscuits adapted from Nana’s recipe 

2 1/4 cups gluten free flour 

4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

3 tablespoons shortening 

1 cup milk 

 Preheat oven to 350. 
  1) mix together dry ingredients 

  
2) cut in shortening using a pastry blender or 2 knives. 

  
3) Add milk. If the dough is a bit dry add a bit more milk. It needs to be a moist dough consistency. 

  
4) Roll up into small balls and flatten to liking (these Buscuits won’t rise)   Place on parchment paper. 

   
Bake for 14minutes then flip them over and cook for another 4 minutes. I find they cook more evenly with flipping them over. 

Hearty chicken soup 

What I love about homemade chicken soup is that you can make it with whatever you have. 

I started with Gluten Free chicken broth and threw in a large frozen chicken breast. Cook on medium-low for 2 hours. I sprinkled in some poultry seasoning, seasoning salt, Mrs. Dash and ground pepper. 

After 2 hours I removed the chicken breast and sliced the meat off the bone. Return the chicken back to the soup! 

 
I chopped a small onion and threw it in. I then added 2 potatoes, 2 large carrots, a cup of frozen pees. Depending on what you have on hand you can add anything. 

  
Enjoy your simple comfort food meal perfect for a fall day!

What’s your go to homemade soup? 

Thanksgiving Traditions: Part 2 – Gluten Free Homemade Pie Crust 

Homemade dough is amazing – no store bought pie crust can touch homemade pie crusts! So when we had to become a gluten free family I wondered how or if we would ever enjoy flaky pie crust again. 

Making gluten free pie dough is frustrating and time consuming. But with practice and experience it is getting better (in the frustration department anyway!) 

If you have never attempted gluten free pie dough before be warned that it isn’t at all like gluten dough – easily falls apart when making the shell and more finicky BUT I promise you once it bakes it will be flaky goodness and no one will realize it’s gluten free or know the pain you had getting it to that point!! 

I follow the TenderFlake pure lard recipe with a couple adjustments – I always found those other GF recipes I could find online too extreme and complex. So my challenge and goal was to use a tried and true family recipe but make it gluten free! 

Gluten free pie dough 

Adapted from the Tender Flake recipe 

1 box (1lb) of Tender Flake Pure Lard

4 1/2 cups of Gluten Free Flour mix (I used 2 cups Bob Red Mill All Purpose, 1 cup Robin Hood GF All Purpose, 1/2 cup coconut flour, 1/2 cup chick pea flour, 1/4 cup brown rice flour & 1/4 cup millet flour) 

2 teaspoon salt 

1 tablespoon Vinegar 

1 lightly beaten egg 

Cold water 

 1) Put the flour in a large bowel and mix in salt 
2) slice up the lard before mixing it in with the flour

   

3) Cut in the lard with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse oatmeal.  

 
4) In a 1 cup measuring cup, combine the vinegar and egg. Add cold water to make 1 cup. Gradually stir liquid into the lard mixture. Mix well. I find the best way to mix it thoroughly is with my hands. If it is still a bit dry, very carefully add a bit more water. The dough should cling together and easily gather into balls. I divide into 6 portions. 

I wrap each one individually with plastic wrap. For the one(s) I will use I put in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. All others I freeze for next time.  

 

After chilling the dough,  I dust wax paper (on my marble pastrie slab) with gluten free flour. Place your dough ball on top and lightly dust the dough with flour. 

 
Then I place a layer of wax paper on top before I start rolling out the dough! Why dusted wax paper? Trust me – this dough is sticky! The dusted wax paper helps it roll out and won’t be all over your rolling pin! 

After a few rolls very carefully and slowly pull up the top layer of wax paper. Re-dust the dough. If you don’t do this and keep rolling, the dough will be very stuck to the wax paper and you have to start over. 

  
The dough after a few rolls is naturally lightly stuck to the paper. If you need to, lightly dust your fingers to carefully  help hold the dough as your pulling off the wax paper. Sometimes putting the dough back into the fridge and letting the dough cool a bit helps the wax paper release.  

 
When happy with the thickness of your dough, remove the top layer of wax paper. Then put the dough back in the fridge to cool before you flip it into the pie shell (you still have the bottom layer of wax paper on the dough)

To get the bottom layer of wax paper off the dough it is best to chill for at least 10 minutes. Remember the dough is well attached to the wax paper. Dust your fingers with flour. Very carefully and patiently remove the wax paper. I have found its easiest to remove after you have flipped the dough into the pie shell. 

If parts of the dough rip don’t fret. Re chill the dough and mould or add a piece. As the dough becomes warm it is more difficult. Keep chilling if need be.   
Once you are happy with your pie shells I keep them cooling in the fridge while I make my filling.   

I hope you enjoy my tastey, flaky crust!! It’s well worth the fuss! 

Let me know if you try making it and how you made out!! 

Thanksgiving Traditions: Part One – gluten free Pumpkin Squash Pie 

Fall is a beautiful time in Muskoka – the vibrant colour change of the leaves, the crispness to the air and our Canadian Thanksgiving. It’s a time in Muskoka to celebrate another summer past, closing up of cottages and saying goodbye to tourists for another year. It’s also a time to get together with family and celebrate Thanksgiving. 

I have wonderful memories of making Thanksgiving pies with my grandma and mom. As my grandmother became older and less mobile her job became the overseeing of our production and the taste tester of the filling. 

This recipe is a hit with family and friends. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! 

Pumpkin Squash Gluten free Pie

2 cups of mashed roasted pumpkin & Hubbard squash combined 

1/2 cup brown sugar 

1 tablespoon Cinnamon spice & pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt 

1 tablespoon melted butter 

35% whipping cream 

3 eggs (broken and slightly whipped)

1) Cut the pumpkin and squash in half. Clean out the seeds. Preheat oven to 375. Roast until cooked tender (can easily pierce with a fork)  
2) let roasted squash and pumpkin cool. Scoop out into measuring cup (this allows you to know how many pies you will be making or want to make). Then put into mixing bowl. Mix the squash and pumpkin in the mixing bowl until it’s nice and smooth. 

 

3) Add the brown sugar and salt followed by the liquid ingredients to the mixing bowel while it’s mixing. Add the eggs last (if your squash is still warm you may cook the eggs by accident  – therefore adding the cold cream first may help to cool the mixture down before the eggs are added). 

Then add spices.  Mix well then taste test. If it’s not spicy enough to your liking add a bit more spice.   

4) using a 1 cup measuring cup fill up the pie shells  (Refer to my GF Pie Crust recipe in Part 2 of this post)  

5) cook at 400 for 10minutes. Lower the temperature to 350.  Cook until a butter knife put in the centre of the pie comes out clean. My pies took 50minutes to cook after lowering the temperature but it’s oven and pie size dependent!  

6) Place the cooked pies on a wire rack to cool. 

Serve with fresh whipped cream.   
Enjoy!! 

Let me know how you enjoy this pie recipe! Hopefully it becomes a family favourite for you too! 

Gluten Free Zucchinni Muffins – The Perfect Fall Muffin

My parents have a very large garden – come the fall we become over run with Zucchinni! There is so much you can do with Zucchinni – bake it, add it to soups, spaghetti sauce, vegetable dishes and add it to baking! One of the favourite things I like to do with zucchinni besides baking it with onions, garlic and tomatoes is to make muffins and bread out of it! I had an easy zucchinni muffin recipe that I loved pre- celiac and thankfully it easily was coverted to a gluten free one! This recipe is moist and flavourful – the right spices to make this a go-to-fall muffin recipe! Pumpkin doesnt have to be the only thing associated with fall cooking and baking!

This recipe is adapted from this Allrecipes.com one: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/222601/zucchini-chocolate-chip-muffins/

Gluten Free Zucchinni Muffins

1 1/2 cups Gluten Free Flour (I mixed together Bob’s Red Mill All purpose (1/2cup), Robin Hood GF All Purpose (1/2cup), and a    1/2 cup mixture of brown rice flour, millet flour, chickpea flour and coconut flour)

2/3 teaspoon xanthan gum

3/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg beaten

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup of packed shredded zucchinni

1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1)Start by preheating oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with liners.

Combine flour, xanthum gum, sugar, baking soda,cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Mix egg, oil, milk, lemon juice and vanilla extract in another bowl. Mix wet ingredients intro dry ingredient bowl. Fold in Zucchinni and chocolate chips.



2) Fill muffin liners 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.  With my silicone muffin cups I start checking the muffins at 25minutes – then slowly add more time as needed. For paper liners these muffins may be done by 20-25minutrs but it’s really oven dependant!


Baked to perfection!! I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Ultimate Gluten Free FrenchToast 

French toast is a weekend staple at our house. Imagine our sadness when we thought that we would never enjoy french toast the way we did before our celiac diagnosis. 

With trial and error with various gluten free store bought breads we have been able to enjoy again. But unfortunately many store bought gluten free breads are either small in size or don’t take the French toast egg mixture well. Udi’s cinnamon raisin bread is not bad, nor is All But Gluten bread      

Thankfully we have an amazing bakery in our area that makes amazing Gluten Free Cinnamin Raisin Bread! The Gravenhurst Bakery is our go to gluten free bakery for amazing bread and treats! They are very careful and totally understand the celiac gluten free requirement and need for no cross contamination as the baker’s daughter has celiac! 

Whatever you choose as your bread this recipe will help take your French toast to the next level. 

French Toast Recipe

Bread of your choice – we prefer cinnamon raison bread for French toast 

Eggs – 1 egg per slice of bread 

Milk – 1/4 cup per slice of bread 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

1 teaspoon of each: ground cinnamon, ground cloves & allspice. 

1) In a measuring cup wisk together eggs and spices. Stir in milk.   
2) Pour mixture over bread. Let bread rest for 5 minutes to soak up the mixture.   

3) Flip bread over. Using a large spoon pour extra of the egg mixture (that’s in the pan) on the bread. Let the bread rest another 5 minutes to soak up the liquid. You can also continue to use the spoon and keep putting more liquid from the pan on the bread.   

4) Place the bread in fry pans that are on medium heat and have melted butter covering them. Pour the excess mixture from the pan over the bread.  
5) Brown on both sides. The bread will puff up a bit once cooked. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the French Toast. Serve with maple syrup. 

 
Enjoy!! My family love the “eggy extra”.  Hopefully you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does. And if you’re ever in Muskoka stop by the Gravenhurst Bakery to try their amazing Gluten Free fresh breads and baking!  

Gluten Free Mississippi Mud Pie

My husband’s favourite pie to me is not a real pie – no fruit, no flaky crust…instead it’s probably a bakers worst nightmare – all  processed…but you know what?! It is pretty delicious! 

It’s simple to whip together and the layers all compliment each other. Plus I have found it to be a hit dessert to take to gatherings! Even my dad who at first turned his nose up at such a dessert is now a believer! He even asks for a second piece! 

Mississippi Mud Pie Recipe 

Ingredients 

2 cups Gluten free graham wafer crumbs 

1/2 -1 cup butter 

1 pack cream cheese softened

1 container cool whip 

1 cup icing sugar 

1 – 4 serving instant vanilla pudding

1 – 4 serving instant chocolate pudding 

3 cups milk 

1) I was only able to find the gluten free graham crackers this time so I had to turn them into cookie crumbs to make the crust. We like a solid layer of crust so I used the whole box of crackers. 

  
2) first layer: combine the graham wafer crumbs with atleast 1/2 cup of melted butter. Press it into a 9×13 pan and chill (sit in the fridge while you prepare the next layer) It should be a nice consistency that easily can be patted down. I pat down the mixture with a fork.  Remember the more butter you add the harder the crust will be once it’s cooled. 

  
3) second layer: whip the softened cream cheese with 2 cups cool whip. Then whip in the icing sugar. Spread this mixture over the crumb crust. chill in the fridge while making the next layer. 

  
I use a spatula to get all of the cream cheese mixture from the bowl 

  
To easily smooth out and get an even coating over the graham crackers I use a butter knife. 

  
See how smooth a butter knife can make it?

  
5) third layer: mix the milk, vanilla pudding and chocolate pudding together. Then spread over the second layer. Chill in the fridge for atleast 10 minutes. 

  

6) I use a spoon to spread out evenly the pudding mixture.  

  
7)  fourth layer: spread out the rest of the cool whip over the third layer. I like to sprinkle semi sweet chocolate shavings on top. I use a small grater. 

  
8) And then put back in the fridge for a few hours to set! Enjoy!! 

  
 Let me know if this becomes a family favourite in your home! 

Summertime Deliciousness ~ BBQ Portabello Mushrooms

Summertime is definitely all about sunshine, warm weather, the great outdoors and bbqing! Nothing like taking your meal to the next level with a delicious but simple portabello mushroom bbq recipe! Its the perfect side for summertime meals! And the best part?! It is simple and quick to make!

BBQ Portabello Mushrooms

Portabello Mushrooms

Balsamic Vinegar

Olive Oil

Grated Parmesan Cheese

1) Wash and clean portabella mushrooms. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the mushrooms. Lightly sprinkle parmesan cheese over the mushrooms.

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2) Place mushrooms directly on heated bbq. Keep bbq on low temp. Cook for 20 minutes then enjoy!

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Now you may be thinking – “what to have with these mushrooms?!?” For this meal I decided to go with the mantra of simple so I threw some fresh asparagus in tin foil (After drizzling it with olive oil, sprinkling with parmesan) It will cook the same time as the mushrooms!

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I also used my ActiFry and did up some french fries! No added oil and the fries will turn out just as good if not better (and healthier) compared to deep frying.

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Pan fry some lightly Gluten Free Floured tilapia.

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Then enjoy a wonderful, super tasty meal!

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Sunday Summer Dinner Pizazzed with Stuffed Mushrooms

It’s been a wonderful summer weekend: warm sunny weather, swimming and visits with family and friends. Now it’s almost supper time on a Sunday as the weekend comes to a close…what to have that’s simple but still delicious and ends the weekend meals on a high note…..how about stuffed mushrooms?!? My family love mushrooms and most dinner meals somehow incorporate some mushrooms in it- whether it be in a salad or side dish. On this particular Sunday I have 6 mushrooms to work with….I’ve already decided on Ribs and brocholli but what else can I make with little fuss?!? Not feeling like a salad I decide to make up some stuffed mushrooms!

Ofcourse I only have a part package of mushrooms! But no worries, any amount of mushrooms can easily be stuffed!

This recipe can easily be adapted to taste, spices and with whatever you have in the house! All you need is the base ingredient: cream cheese!!

Stuffed Mushrooms: 

Cremini mushrooms – these are my favourite to use due to thier flavourful taste

Half a brick of cream cheese softened

one shallot diced

one garlic clove diced

Spices ( I like to mix together ClubHouse Roasted Garlic & Pepper, Clubhouse Greek, Clubhouse Italian, Clubhouse Parmesean & Herbs and Mrs Dash Original) – about 2 table spoons for the mixture (more or less depending on how flavourful you like it.)

Pepper – I like to use freshly ground pepper

Shredded cheese

1) Preheat oven to 400 degree.

Clean out the mushroom tops- snap out the stem and with a butter knife gently scrape out the hymenium (the gills).

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2) If you have time, sauté the shallot and garlic in a bit of butter. *You dont have to saute the shallot and garlic but it is a smoother flavour if you do* This time I didn’t saute as I was trying to save time-but my husband prefers the flavour when I do sauté

3) Mix the shallot, garlic into the cream cheese. I find a fork works great.

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4) Add spices and pepper. Mix

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5) Stuff the mushrooms with the cream cheese mixture using a small spoon

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6) Top with shredded cheese – use what is on hand. This time I used old cheddar.

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7) Cook in oven for 30minutes. Then enjoy!

I used to think making stuffed mushrooms would be hard work and only enjoyed them at restaurants. I am so glad that I started to make them – they are so easy and it doesn’t take much time to whip them up!

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Will the Real Baby Nipple Please Stand Up!!

I never expected this….I am shocked how niave I was about introducing a baby bottle to my child. I never expected how difficult this has been.

When I was pregnant, I read so much about breastfeeding. I anticipated my goal of exclusivley breastfeeding would be met with  challenges and I worked hard to be as prepared as I could possibly be. I read as much as I could. I highly recommend Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding revised edition (http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/product.php?prodID=27 ) and his website (http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca ).

At around 4 months we decided to try introducing a bottle. I had an event coming up where I would be seperated from my baby for a few hours. I didnt think much of it – I would start to pump breast milk a couple of weeks in advance and start gently offering a bottle once or twice a day to get her use to it. I confidently felt that by the date of my event that my child if need be could be offered a bottle while I was out.

Boy was I wrong!

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I first started with Medela Calma. Made sense to me – I have the Medela Breast Pump and everything I read about the Calma nipple system made complete sense. It is promoted as a design exclusivley for breast fed infants – it apparently allows them to suck, swallow and breathe as learned on the breast. (http://www.medela.com/IW/en/breastfeeding/products/breastmilk-feeding/calma-feeding-device.html) The major down side of this product though is price – $22 for a whole 1 nipple with bottle or $20 for just a nipple. We try it – nope not interested in the least….we keep offering it…nope no go…

Then we try Avent as we got a couple sent to us via baby sample kits from the mail. I also know a few moms who like this brand and utilize it with thier babies. Again with offering there was no interest and it seems to stream out of the bottle. Which my daughter doesnt like.

On to Tommee Tippee. My best friend swears by this brand and proudly tells me how her daughter took to this brand instantly after trialling a few of the others. I happily go out and buy a bottle. Looks promising, again the promise from the company is that it encourages intuitive feedings (http://www.tommeetippee.ca/product/feeding-bottle/ ) No go…

My Mother-In-Law recommends Nuk. This was the brand she used for her children way back when. At this point I’ll take any and all suggestions. I buy a two pack. This brand will be it…right? Nope. Doesnt even want to try it!

A laction consultant recommends Como Tomo ( http://comotomo.com/o/baby-bottle/ ). It is soft and squeezable and it is apparently a naturally shaped nipple with a wide mound to be like a real breast. This brand is not in regular stores and I had to call around to specialty baby stores. Finally we find a place that sells it. $30 for 2 bottles. At this point what have we got to lose trying it?! We already have a beautiful sampling of brands to showcase. We try it….no go.

So we change tactics – we are done buying any more brands; we continue to gently offer a bottle atleast once a day to see if her disinterest changes. It really hasn’t after almost 2 months. I do more googling and talking with other moms….not all babies will take to a bottle after exclusively breast feeding for many months.

Many happily cup feed, or sippee cup feed by 6 months. The best thing I think we have done is taken the pressure off of us and our child to bottle feed. She will do what she will do. We let her play with a bottle, gently offer it – with no pressure or force! She will take a small bit of breast milk from a bottle now but is still not keen on the whole idea of it.

She doesn’t mind cup feeding….adores being breast fed….so we will just keep doing what we are doing. It will all come together in the end with or without a bottle! 😉

Fluffy Yummy Gluten Free Pancakes

The first thing I made my husband for breakfast when we were first dating was my mom’s homemade pancakes. No pancake mix in a box can even begin to measure up to homemade ones! Then my husband was diagnosed with Celiac Disease…no more baking or atleast for the first while it felt like that. Figuring out gluten free baking has been a science project or maybe science research. But with trial and error, some connecting with others who bake gluten free and lots of reading on the subject, I can now happilly make my family’s pancake recipe again!

Mixing a bunch of gluten free flours really makes the difference I have found. Adding Xanthum gum is the other secret ingredient to get the fluffiness.

Fluffy Yummy Gluten Free Pancakes

Recipe: (adapted from Five Roses Cookbook)

1 1/3 cups GF Flour (I strongly recommend mixing a selection of GF flours to make up the 1 1/3 cup)

3 tbsp sugar

1tbsp baking powder (I strongly recommend magic baking powder brand)

1/2 tsp xantham gum

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg beaten

1 1/4 cup milk

3 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp vanilla

1) Combine flours – my mixture changes every time – it totally depends on what flavours I have. But the key flours I always include are: Bob Red Mill All Purpose, Chickpea, and Coconut. For todays mixture I used: Bob’s Red Mill, Only Oats Wheat Free, Coconut, Millet, Chickpea and Robin Hood GF flour.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, xantham gum and salt.

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2) In a small bowl combine beaten egg, milk, oil and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour liquid all at once. Mix well. I tend to leave the mixture to set for a few minutes then mix well again.

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3) Using a 1/3 cup dish out your pancake mix into a hot buttered fry pan. Add toppings if desired. In our house one fry pan is for blueberry pancakes and another for chocolate chips! 😉 Our favourite chocolate chips to use are PC Decadent Swirled Milk & White Chocolate chips (they are the best of both milk & white chocolate worlds!)

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4) Serve and enjoy with maple syrup! These do also freeze nicely too (just wrap in wax paper). Side of bacon is optional! 🙂

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I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as our family does! Gluten Free can be delicious!!