Monday, December 6, 2010

Katz, again

I had the Wholesome bread slice and the White bread slice toasted with breakfast this morning. The white bread is like all of the others... pretty boring. The wholesome bread was better. I may, at some point, actually buy a loaf of that.

A couple of days ago I ate the chocolate cupcake, and it was pretty yummy! But then, chocolate can cover a multitude of sins - or flavors, in this case.

Oh, btw, I never made the pecan pie. I decided that I really didn't like the GF pie crust I'd made well enough to bother - and I certainly didn't need yet more pie! We have lots of apples in the fridge, so I think I'll pull out the Paula Reds and make a crisp with oatmeal on top. Much more to my taste - and better for my waistlne!

Friday, December 3, 2010

More about Katz GF and several kinds of Pie!

Today for lunch I made a sandwich of the Katz multigrain bread and the Challah bread slices from the trial pkg. Both were toasted lightly and I nibbled a corner before adding mayo & half a lamb patty left from Wednesday night dinner. I found both to be disappointingly bland. Do we detect a common thread here when it comes to GF breads??? It's called BLAND!

The chocolate cupcake was, on the other hand, delicious! Not grainy! I could not have distinguished between it and a regular chocolate cupcake made with wheat flour.

On another note, I baked a mincemeat pie yeasterdy with crust made from a recipe in this cookbook: I doubled the flaky single piecrust recipe to make a two crust pie. The dough was too dry (my fault; probably should have added few drops more milk) to roll well, and impossible to get thin. I'm not a fan of thick piecrust, so was disappointed. It rolls out rather crumbly so it's difficult to handle, but I succeeded in getting the pie together. The filling was yummy. Of course it came out of a jar, so I already knew it would be. But the crust was thick, and quite grainy from the white rice flour. Oh! And I ended up with enough dough left over to fill another pie tin! So tomorrow I'll either make that up as a pre-baked crust and fill it with pudding, or fill it with apples and a crumb crust of some description. I think I like the apple pie idea best.... Oooooh! Or pecans! Oh yum! I looooove pecan pie!!!! Yup, that's it! Gluten free Pecan pie!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Katz Gluten Free and musings on baked goods and cravings...

Some time back I heard of another mailorder Gluten Free source. Katz: They offer a free sample pack, which, of course, isn't really free since you have to pay for FedX shipping. But there's quite a lot in the sample pack. Several kinds of bread, a couple of muffins, Rugeleh, a dinner roll, a 3 pack of other rolls and a slice of marble cake.

I sampled the marble cake, which was a trifle bland, but ok. I had the dinner roll for dinner ;-), and it was also a trifle bland, but the texture was excellent. Very 'real bread' like, which seems to be quite rare in GF yeast breads. I ate the chocolate chip cookie, which was ok - but tiny, and the cinnamon & chocolate rugeleh samples. They were ok, but still a bit bland and grainy.

So, am I being too picky? I've had all of these years to become a fan of really GOOD bread and bakery. I think the thing I am most disappointed with Gluten free baked goods is a) lack of flavor, b) graininess and c) texture - often too moist. The graininess is from the rice flour I guess, which is not as smooth as wheat flour. The moistness is because GF bakery requires far more liquid and eggs than gluten containing bakery. But what happened to the flavor? So many of the commercially available things seem far too sweet, and often that's the only flavor that really comes through. Whole grain gluten flours taste better after baking, and definitely smell better while baking, but am I really asking too much of the GF baked goods? This is truly frustrating me.

I have all of my life had the problem that if I crave 'something', often not sure what that 'something' is; I will eat quantities of things trying to satisfy that craving. If the craving is not satisfied, I will continue to try different things attempting to find the 'right' thing. This has been one of the greatest contributors to my overweight. I am unfortunately finding myself in that craving mode for really GOOD GF bread and not finding it! Since I know what it is I crave, I have some control, but it still is very frustrating!

Restaurants NOT to bother with!

There's a place on Randall Rd. called The Nest Cafe. According to their website, I expected decent food. They had absolutely nothing Gluten Free. Even the kitchen couldn't tell the waitress what had no flour in it! I had hoped for soup & a salad. She brought me the salad - which was mostly head lettuce (booooooring!) and came back when I was half finished to say that the soups had flour in them. So I ordered an omelet. Sides offered were toast or pancakes... duh! I asked if I could get fruit and was told there was no fruit. So I got the pancakes for Jonathan (good thing he was with me).

If I had ordered an entree' it would have included soup and dessert for $11 and change. My bill for a lousy salad and an omelet with greasy, tasteless hash browns (no dessert) was $11 and change!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Restaurants that I know can accomodate a Gluten Free diet

Biaggi's: menu, and ask your server.
Panera: Ask at the counter, they have a 3 ring binder
Ruby Tuesday: Ask your server
Applebees: Downloadable allergen menu, and each location is supposed to have a copy on hand. Ask.
Pappa's: Ask your server.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 promised, Indian Summer continued

I was truly fortunate to be able to have Indian Summer all the way through the Month of October. The first two weeks of the month were exceptionally warm and beautiful her in Northern Illinois. My oldest son and his family were here from California, and were gifted with perfect weather.

When I left on 10/13 for Civil War events two weekends in a row, I expected to encounter some bad weather along the way, but again, have had nearly perfect weather. My first step, as usual was Ft Wayne, IN - jumping off point for P. Palmer Dry Goods. From there, Kay, Kathy Major and I drove (2 vehicles) east to Middletown, VA. Except for some very windy weather, it was fine. We got to enjoy the beauty of the peak of fall color as we drove through the hills in West Virginia and Western Maryland.

Once we set up in VA, my sister & brother-in-law came down on Friday and joined us for dinner. Judy brough brownies - made from the Betty Crocker Gluten Free mix. VERY good! She also brought us an apple crisp made with NY State apples and an oat topping. Herm brought 2 bottles of NY State wine. Simple meal cooked on a propane stove enjoyed with good company.

On Saturday, Kathy's sister Kimm came up from Annapolis area with some local micro brewed beers. Since I can't drink beer, I had a cider instead. Kim didn't stay for dinner, but it was nice to see her again.

On Sunday, Kay & I packed (make that 'stuffed') the Pacifica with the merchandise and personal stuff we would need for Westville, and sent Kathy and major home with the Ryder truck. We all stayed at a local Days Inn Sunday nite. Kay & I drove to Norcross, GA - just east of Atlanta where we were booked into an Extended Stay America. This is the second time I've used that chain, and I'd recommend it to anyone. You get a kitchenette so it makes life much simpler if you have dietary restrictions. We didn't cook there, but we did have breakfast there. That way I could have my GF Granola and not worry about motel food, or restaurant breakfasts. Although I have found it quite simple to carry my own cereal into a motel and use it instead of the cereals offered there. Much better than hoping the omelet made at the local restaurant has no cross contamination from other things cooked on the same grill. Besides, omelets get pretty boring after awhile.

As mentioed last night, the dinner meals while in Atlanta were at Pappa Deaux. I cannot recommend the chain highly enough. They were very helpful in making sure I knew what on the menu I could and could not eat. They are a Cajun seafood restaurant, so if like the food and the music; plan on stopping there. They have things for every taste - spicy & not.

At Westville, the cooking group we were in catered to Gluten Free and Vegetarian diets. The staples were eggs, cornmeal/grits, cabbage, carrots, onions, garlic, tomatoes, turnips, Romaine, sweet potatos, Cushaw squash, black eyed peas, cheese, ham, bacon, venison, chicken & duck. Highlights of the meals were the fresh tomatoes, cabbage cooked with tomatoes, sweets, onion & garlic, the salad, and the cornmeal cake made as a birthday cake on Saturday night flavored with the orange we donated to the cause. I survived the whole 4 days with no reactios at all!!!!

On Sunday we drove to Marietta where we ate at Pappa Deaux again, and then on about halfway from Marietta to Knoxville. Sunday nite we stayed at a Howard Johnson's. The staff there were among the friendliest hotel staff I think I've ever met. Kay had a Belgian Waffle, prepared for her by the hotel staff person who was in charge of the breakfast area. His helper was a young soldier dressed in camo and od T shirt. Very nice!

As we drove north through the mountains of Norther Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky, we were able to see, again, the most gorgeous fall foliage! We'd been south of the color change for the weekend, and so go to enjoy it all again as we drove home. Fall is one of my favorite times to travel. The scenery we drove through soothes my soul! It reminds me of fall in Upstate NY where I grew up, and seeing the colors in MD, VA, TN & KY over the course of two weeks was like a gift. Truly, with the weather perfect (chilly nights and warm sunny days) and the trees in full fall color, this trip allowed me to remember many things I had not though of in years. Things from my childhood; places I've been, and people who are long departed.
We made it back to Ft Wayne by about 8:00 last night.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Indian Summer ++++

I have been away from home since October 13th. First traveled from home to Ft Wayne, and then the mercantile packed up & went to Cedar Creek, VA. My sister & Brother=in=law cam down on Friday and we had a nice, simple Gluten free dinner. Judy brought us an apple crisp she'd made, and some GF brownies.

From Cedar Creek, Kay & I packed up our necessities and a small amount of Merchandise & headed west and south. First to Atlanta. We stayed at an Extended Stay in Norcross. Looking for a good place to eat, we were sent to a Pappa Deaux close by. They have some outstanding GF entress and were most accommodating in helping me find a wonderful meal. I had a shrimp cocktail (9 big shrimp) for under $6, and a beefsteak tomato salad with lump crabmeat. Yummy and almost more than I could finish! So we went back the following night.

From Atalanta, we went on to Lumpkin, GA to Westvill. Arrived Wednesday late afternoon, and went "live" in period dress & first person Thursday morniung.

Time to go to bed now, but I'll add more tomorrow. Good night all!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yummy place to eat in Atlanta

We went to Pappa Dou's last night for a light meal and some liquid refreshment to make the world stop moving after driving nearly 600 miles. The waiter called over a kitchen manager (whose wife has Celiac), and we had the yummiest food you can imagine! What a relief!

Then today, at the Atlanta History Ctr, we ate at the Swan House and again had a waitress who was so nice - and while not knowledgeable herself, enlisted the aid of her chef who was totally honest about which things on the menu I would not be able to eat. I had a tomato soup and the most wonderful shrimp salad I think I've ever had - with dill and capers. Lovely!!!!

We're going back to Pappa Dou's for dinner tonight.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ricotta Cake

Ricotta Cake

350* 35 minutes

2 lbs Ricotta
2 egg whites
1/2 c sugar
1/8 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp vanilla
1/2 c mini chocolate chips
1/2 c graham cracker crumbs

Beat egg whites & sugar. Add cheese & beat until smooth. Blend in Choc chips, lemom & vanilla. Line spring form pan with crumbs & spoon in filling. Bake at 350* for 35 minutes.
I've a house full of family, so have not posted in a while. I made Judy's bread recipe again, but subbed some flax meal, sorghum flour and fava bean flour for some of the brown rice flour to try a different flavor and to add some fiber (flax). I turned out quite good.

I made it on Monday, took it out of the bread machine and took it with me to my former Sister-in-law's (June) house for dinner. Because my son is in with his family, she had us all over. My ex was there (of course) but we get along fine. His uncle and aunts (in their 80's) were there too and I love seeing them. Such wonderful people that I miss being in my life. My nephew Frank with his wife and 2 little ones. My grandson Jonathan was there with his guardian and his buddy Logan; looking all grown up at 16.

June had made enough food for an army, and included a GF ricotta cheese cake. Nice - not very sweet. The original recipe calls for a graham cracker crust and she subbed rice chex. Admittedly, not the best solution, but I brought the recipe home to try again with a different crust. I'll post the recipe later.

My nephew's Father in Law has Celiac disease, so Frank has been experimenting making Gluten Free beer. He brought me two bottles to try. I was drinking wine there, so decided not to mix. I tried it last night. The initial taste is good, but the after taste was less so. My son Jeff said to try aging it, so I'll keep it in the fridge for a month or more and then try it again. Frank said it's his first attempt, so he's working on improving. Meanwhile, I'll stick with white wine & cider.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I made bread today in my breadmaker from the recipe my sister gave me. It tastes pretty good, but like all of the GF stuff I have baked so far, a bit too sweet for my taste. I may try cutting back on the sugar (1/3c in the recipe) and see if it makes a difference. The loaf is quite small - probably would have baked in a small loaf pan - not even an 8X4.

All of the recipes have lots of eggs and liquid. Much more llike a Casserole or batter bread than a typical yeast dough. Thy also bake way longer!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Greenbush, WI (Wade House)

We're attending this event in a bit more that a week from now, so I have volunteered to be in charge of meal planning (with input) and grocery shopping for the event so I will know what I'm eating for the weekend.

Kathy is bringing a variety of summer squashes and a couple of eggplant. Kay has tomatoes & basil. She'll prep a vinagrette and I'll buy a fresh Mozzerella. I have 2 yellow tomatoes that should be ready by then too.

One dinner meal will be salmon (except for Kathy who will have Cod). We've been invited to join Barb Blair for pot roast on Saturday night, and all I need to think about is the other dinner.

We usually have a quick breakfast of oatmeal when we first get up, then have eggs and bacon later in the morning. I may take my GF pancake mix for one breakfast, and add some cornmeal to give it a little extra oomph. Lunches are usually pretty much pick up. We will have cheeses, salami, and various fruits, crackers etc.

I think I'll make a GF Brownie mix, and Kathy is looking for a GF pie crust so she can make us a pumpkin pie, and I'm getting in the habit of bringing my own bread, crackers & granola bars.

This is kind of a practice session for the two-week long trip to Cedar Creek and Westville in October. For that trip I'll need to make sure I'm covered start to finish. Plus we'll be feeding dinner to my Gluten sensitive sister while at Cedar Creek.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I keep trying to like eggplant! Last night I made eggplant stuffed with rice. The recipe called for a wild rice/white rice blend so I used a Near East pilaf mix without the seasoning packet. My eggplant recipe only used 1 cup of the rice, so I added 2/3 of the seasoning mix to the cooked rice after I'd taken out the cup I needed for my recipe & put it away for another meal. Or I can make a salad of it.

The eggplant dish had me blanch the shells after cutting out the flesh. The flesh then got cubed & sauteed in olive oil with onion, garlic, red bell pepper and oregano. Then stuffed back into the shells & baked covered for 20 minutes. Sprinkled with parmesan & broiled for 3 or 4 minutes. It was ok I guess. I ate one, Vince ate on and I provided a hunk of protien on the side for him.

Poor Vince has been a trooper while I experiment with unusual food.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ok, here are photos of the bread from the Pamela's mix. It is quite moist and makes a heavy loaf. My breakfast of bacon eggs & toast lasted me thru until about 4:00 this afternoon before I began to get hungry, so this stuff has staying power!

Then for dinner I made Portobella Pizza from the 3 gorgeous big bellas I bought at the Farmer's Market on Sunday. Vince and I ate one each and were full, so I have one left for dinner tomorrow.

I cooked a couple of crumbled Italian sausages with onion and added a little basil, spinach & garlic. Brushed the mushrooms with olive oil and spread some pesto on,then piled on the sausage mixture, topped it with a thick slice of tomato and shredded mozzerella. 20 min at 375* Yum! A heck of a lot tastier than the frozen Udi's pizza crust I made up the other night.

Last night I baked a loaf of bread from a mix. I had asked the mgr of Woodmans in Carpentersville which GF mixes were best. His response was that he could only tell me which ones sell fastest, and Pamela's brand sell well. So I chose the GF Bread Mix as a trial. There was one other he indicated in the same line, but it contained Almonds, and this one does not.

The pkg gives recipes for its use with or without a bread machine, for the addition of seeds, herbs, or cinnamon for different flavors. It also gives directions for use as pizza crust, bagels and for pie crust.

I chose to use my stand mixer and oven bake. Simple, simple, simple! It is mixed for 3 minutes, set for 1 hour and baked for 70 minutes. Then left in the pan for 10 minutes. It smelled wonderful baking.

It contains sorghum flour, so if you don't like that flavor, I'd avoid, and the dough is a sort of beige color; but the loaf raises well while baking and it makes an 8X4 loaf.

I had two slices toasted this morning and enjoyed the flavor very much. It's a bit sweet - cane syrup & honey in the mix - but not overpowering. I'll snap a photo of the bread itself and post it later.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Something I consumed over the weekend did not agree with me, and today I am paying the price. I feel as if I've been poisoned! Fuzzy brain, burning itchy eyes, tummy troubles. Bleeccchhhh!
Wine - sulfites
Ham & salami - nitrites
lemonade - artificial color and flaver

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Kinnikinnic bread is very tasty. Toasted with Sun butter... Yum. Today toasted, mayo & chicken - made a great sandwich.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Corn & Quinoa pastas?

Grocery Shopping today. I didn't need anything at Aldi, so I stopped at Meijer, Super Wally, Trader Joe's & Woodmans. At Meijer, there is virtually no Gluten free stuff except the usual suspects (General Mills mixes and a few crackers). They are, however, supposed to carry Udi's bread so I stopped & asked about it. The lady in the bakery dept told me that they used to carry it, but it's been removed from their order list. So may only be available at some stores - but not that one. So I got my produce & kept going

Super Wally seems to have lost their GF section. I walked every single aisle and never did find it. I did find the GF Bisquick next to the regular kind, at $3.98/ a 12oz box - and I bought the Friskies canned food my kitties like (40 cents), and went on my way. Next to TJ's for the brown coffee filters and frozen Ahi Tuna.

Woodmans: More Friskies (45 cents) and several trial things. Pasta made from Quinoa and pasta made from corn. Quinoa flakes (hot cereal - but can be added to baked goods also), rice bran (19gm fiber/1/2 cup to add to baked goods) xanthan gum, guar gum, rice flour & potato starch. Ultimately I will bake most of my own breads, etc. But I want to try some commercially available Mixes & baked items to see what works when I don't have time to make my own. I did find Udi products there, but they were out of the bread. I bought a pkg of Udi pizza rounds (2 in pkg) and a loaf of Kinnikinnik White bread which the mgr said was a good seller. I also bought Sun butter.

I found that the people at the Culver's in Carpentersville were VERY willing to work with me to make sure I had a nice meal with no gluten. They even checked ingredients in the salad dressing to make sure it was ok. I had a Cashew Chicken salad which was very good. They use a nice blend of greens with no iceberg lettuce.

When I got home I pried the end off the frozen bread; toasted it a few minute & spread a little sun butter on it. It tastes fine, and the bread texture seemed good too. Sun butter, like natural peanut and almond butters is not as stiff as the commercial peanut butter; and needs to be refrigerated.

So the adventure continues. Next: Find Soy sauce without wheat and gluten free vanilla. Although I would think that pure vanilla extract should be gluten free. Nothing about what on the label....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Betty Crocker Gluten free Choc Chip Cookies

General Mills has a few GF mixes out, and I made the cookies last night, just to see how they'd come out...and I had a taste for cookies. They aren't bad! A bit too sweet for my taste, but I have an idea that mixes add more sweeteners to cover the difference in taste and texture of the originals. It's the same with artificially sweetened stuff (which I DO NOT eat!) Much too much sweetener. I'll end up finding a recipe and baking my own next time, but for now I have 3 doz cookies to keep me going. I left a few out in a baggie & froze the rest. I can go into the freezer & take out a couple at a time when I want them.

I doubt that I will buy the General Mills mixes again, but at least they were there to get me started until I build up my pantry of flours and starches.

Oh, and I finished my little loaf of bread at breakfast this morning, so I need to make another. This time I'll add a little oil, but I think I'll make the same size. It's a convenient size for one person, if a bit small for a sandwich.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Peanut butter - I miss peanut butter....

Judy said that she has experienced problems with Peanuts and Almonds, so I decided to avoid them as well. I can do without almonds - even though I really like them; but I miss peanut butter! Not that I ate it a lot, but it's one of those things I get a 'taste' for now & then. And if there's nothing else to eat for lunch, there's always PB&J.

I know you can buy Cashew Butter and Sun Butter, but I can't buy it here in town, and I don't plan to go up the road shopping until next Thursday. So, what the heck. I tried making pecan butter.

It all started when I pulled a bag of pecans out of the freezer downstairs and brought them up here figuring I'd toast them so that they taste better than raw. That way I can add a few to Granola, or muffins or whatever. I did that (15 minute in a 325* oven - until they smell good & brown a little). As I was putting the cooled nuts into a Tupperware container for storage, I decided that I ought to be able to make some pecan butter to go with my nice bread. But in what? Well, we have 2 coffee grinders, so I put a small handful of nuts in the grinder & ran it. It started to bog down, so I drizzled in a little honey and some dark sesame oil. Continued running the coffee grinder. I had to add a bit more liquid, but ended up with a rather coarse butter.

It tastes a bit too much like sesame, and it's a bit too sweet to suit me; so if I do this again, I'll probably use olive oil in place of the sesame oil and not as much honey. Maybe add a bit of salt too. But I put it in a little container (there's only about a half cup total) in the refrigerator, and tomorrow I'll try it on my bread. It ought to be good on rice cakes too.

Bread Success!

With heartfelt thanks to the HerbWife (as linked earlier in relation to my Banana flax muffins; I, today, made a loaf of GOOD bread!

I used her basic recipe:
3 eggs mixed with
1/2 c milk
1/2 c flax meal
rounded 1/2 tsp yeast
about 3/4 tsp salt
Whip well and let sit while you grind
1/2 c millet and add it
Whip that all very thoroughly and let sit for a few minutes more until it's slightly thick and slimy.
Add 1 c Bob's Red Mill All purpose Baking Mix, mix well, and set in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes.
Pour into a small loaf pan and let rise about 30 minutes
Bake at about 450* for about 20 - 30 minutes. Watch it so it doesn't get to dark. Mine did get a bit dark.

I only used 1/2 tsp salt and it needed more; but I ate a slice with butter and it was good. The slice with preserves was yummy! It's a rather heavy bread, but the texture is good and the flavor is good. I call it a success!

Added later: I will add some oil next time. Maybe 1/2T or a hair more.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Exploration into finding a GOOD Gluten Free bread - or Bread recipe.

My Exploration into finding a GOOD Gluten Free bread - or Bread recipe.

by Marta Winans Soucek Vincent on Saturday, August 7, 2010 at 9:03am
So I ate a slice of the GF bread yesterday and it was...ok. This morning I toasted a slice to go with my eggs, and it's ...ok, I guess. It's drier, even though it's been in a plastic bag, and it didn't really toast. It just got warm.

I got a recommendation for a good GF bread from Udi's, but that came from CT, so don't know if it's available here anywhere. But my cousin gave me the link, and there is a recipe book I can get fairly inexpensively on called "Gluten Free Every Day" by Robert Landolphi. I think I may try it.

My sister said she made a loaf of GF bread in her son's bread machine from a book he had purchased, and that it came out good, so i asked for the recipe. I have the bread machine.

So, onward and upward...
Well, this morning I threw away the GF bread I'd baked a few days ago. The mix brand is Schar, and the 1st ingredient was Cornstarch. I probably really did know that I should refrigerate it, but I also was not really interested in eating more of it, so this morning it was moldy and I could justify throwing it away. So that's the 2nd loaf of GF bread thrown away because it was basically inedible.

Next week I will go up to Woodmans and buy the other ingredients I need to bake my own. I have a couple of promising sounding recipes to try - just need all of the ingredients. I'll have to break down and buy Xanthan gum...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Just a bit of a note of explanation here. I live in a small town about 55 miles WNW of Chicago, and about 35 miles ESE of Rockford, IL. One would think that things around here would be really convenient. On the contrary, though we have a Certified in town - which is actually pretty nice - the closest Jewel, for instance, is 9 miles (Huntley). The closest Super Walmart (I HATE shopping at Walmart!) is 10 miles (also Huntley). The closest Aldi is 14 miles (Elgin).

So about once a month - six weeks I do a circuit up Randall Rd to Algonquin (about a 60 mile circuit). I can find, in order going north: Dominick's, Aldi. Jewel. Across the road there is a Caputo's & Meijer. Heading back south: Super Target, Super Walmart, Trader Joes's and Woodman's. My faves are Aldi, Meijer, TJ's and Woodmans. Mixed in amongst them are also a JoAnne Etc., a TJ Maxx, and a variety of other places to stop and shop for other things.

Also along the way I can have lunch at Panera and shop at the French Nun's bakery (probably not anymore).

Woodmans has the biggest Gluten Free section I've seen anywhere! They have one whole aisle (and this is a warehouse store with 25- 30' aisles) and there are more in the International/Organic sections. Jewel's section is about 6'X2 shelves. Super Wally has a decent section - maybe 12-15', but only at the one on Randall - not the one in Huntley. T'J's and Aldi don't specialize, but Trader Joe's did hand me a list of items they carry that are GF. I didn't look at Dominick's or Caputos.

...and so I travel on...
When I first heard from my sister that she had a problem with gluten and I decided to find out if it was what was affecting me too, I started looking for a good GF muffin recipe that used only things I had in my pantry. I did an internet search for Gluten Free and came up with a number of blogs of women who are in the same boat I aam; whether for their own diets, or for someone for whom they cook. I like to have good healthy muffins in my freezer. They, and a carton of yogurt, are a pleasant change from cereal, so I tend to keep a supply around.

On my last grocery shopping trip (a half day 60 mile round trip), I'd picked up a Bob's Red Mill GF Baking Mix and a couple of other GF items including a bread mix (which is another story...) a General Mills cake mix, and a few other odds & ends. But I balked at Xanthan Gum at $11+ for 6oz. In my refrigerator I had 1 2 egg container of egg sub, 1 odd egg yolk and 1 whole egg and 3 small, very ripe bananas put there before we left for Franklin, TN for a long weekend.

So, in looking for something I could do without having to go shopping again, stumbled across this page: Aha! I can do this! So, the recipe I came up with is this:

Gluten Free Banana Blueberry Muffins
Baked at 400*

1/2c flaxseed meal
the eggs (see above)
That I let sit for a while to become slimy.
1c 1% milk
The bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla
2/3c brown sugar
1 1/4 c Bob's baking mix
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

It made 12 muffins and 1 small loaf. They don't rise much, so I probably could have gotten all of the batter into the 12 muffin cups, or maybe 14 muffins. test for doneness with a toothpick. When it comes out clean, they are done.

The muffins took 20-25 minutes and the don't brown. The bread I had to leave in longer. If I make them again, I think I'll add a bit of cinnamon.

They are very moist and tasty and have fiber (which so many gluten free things do not) and I have been enjoying them since. I figured that there is approximately 2167 calorie in the batch.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I've decided to change direction slightly. So I won't necessarily be blogging about physical travel - although that may show up here too; but I'll be blogging about another kind of journey. I'v recently found out, though a conversation with my sister Judy, that she is sensitive to something that loosely translate to gluten. While we both test negative for Gluten sensitivity, we both are reacting to things that are made with gluten flours.

For years, we have both known about sensitivites to other things in food. We both react to many of the chemical food additives, artificial colors and flavors. Both of us react to sulfites in alcoholic beverages; nitrates in preserved meat and sausages, etc. In addition, I am very allergic to msg, artificial sweeteners make me nauseous, and Judy is lactose intolerant. I also am mildly allergic to corn and peaches. So now Gluten? And Judy has noticed a reaction to Almonds and Peanuts, so I now am avoiding them too...just to be safe.

So the journey, if you will, is to find good gluten free products that are satisfying, tasty, have good texture, and contain some fiber. Fortunately I really like vegetables and fruits, or otherwise I'd have nothing to eat that has any fiber to speak of!

Commercially available, and inexpensive, cereals like Rice Chex and Corn Chex have virtually no fiber. Oatmeal isn't bad, but I really am not interested in eating hot cereal in the summer. Many of the granolas have Almonds in them, or contain wheat. There are some Gluten free cereals - besides the Chex, but they are quite pricey and seem very high in calories, so I ultimately will probably make my own basic granola, and add things to it according to my taste - like raisins, dry cranberries or blueberries, roasted pecans, etc. That way I can control the sugar content, as well as the grains & other added ingredients.

I've found some good websites just by googling Gluten Free, and Judy and friends have given me some others. I have so far bought one loaf of commerically available GF bread for IIRC $6. It tasted very much like a cross between wallpaper past (dry) and cornstarch (also dry). I tried 2 slices and threw it away. And I've made one loaf of bread from a mix which I will not buy again. The primary ingredient was cornstarch. It did rise, and it smells good, but it is very heavy and not terribly tasty, I'll look up the brand and post it later so no one else buys it either.

I have gotten a recommendation from my cousin at this link: and I logged onto Udi's here:!/udisglutenfree and . I did find that Udi's products are available locally at a big chain - Meijer, and a local chain - Woodmans, so I'll go looking next week. Their bread is supposed to look and taste like actual bread. Of course, it'll be about $6 a loaf.

That's another thing I've noticed in just the last month of GF living... everything GF is EXPENSIVE! General Mills has GF products. Yellow and chocolate cake mixes, brownie mix and Chocolate chip coolie mix. I bought & made a yellow cake. Standard yellow cake mix costs about $1.50 and makes a 13X9" cake. The GF yellow cake makes an 8 or 9" square cake and costs $4.99. It also is sweeter and higher in calories that the standard cake. Each GF cake states it serves 10 and each piece is 220 calories. Do you know how big 1/10 of a 9X9" cake is? General Mills is now supposedly selling a GF Bisquick. I have not found it yet, but I've asked 2 local chains to order it for me - a Jewel and a Super Walmart. We'll see if I get a call.

That's all for today, but stop back in when you have a chance to follow my exciting journey to Gluten Free living...