Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Nice Fall Soup

Hubby and I were thinking a nice hearty soup would be tasty at this time of year. I said we needed to use some of the cabbage left from the garden, but didn't know what to put with it. We started hauling things out of the freezer and the garden and this is what we came up with. The pork roast I used was left from a huge one we had cut up to barbecue and serve for my DIL's 40th birthday. (It was raw when we started the soup process.)

1 1/2 pounds pork roast, any kind, cubed
Salt and Pepper
1/2 tsp celery seed
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound Applegate Farms organic smoked pork sausage, cubed
6 big carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
3 medium potatoes, cubed

Coat pork in salt, pepper and celery seed. Heat a big soup pot with olive oil, add pork and brown. Cook it until the liquid boils off and the meat really starts to brown and coats the bottom of the pan. (This is where you get all the good flavor, since I can't use most of the meat flavor enhancers.) Add 2 quarts of water and a bit more salt to taste. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to a simmer and cook for 3-4 hours, adding more water if necessary.

Add the rest of the ingredients and cook til tender, adding more water if needed. I cooked mine early in the day and put it back on the stove to warm while the biscuits baked. I thickened it with a small amount of instant potatoes-just enough so that the soup wasn't really runny.


Saturday, August 14, 2010


Up until now my wheatless pancakes have been a bit heavy and dry, but when I added sorghum to the equation and took out the Bob's all-purpose flour, they improved immensely. They're very tender, light and fluffy. Lovely Saturday breakfast:

Wheat-free Hotcakes
3/4 Cup sorghum flour
1/4 Cup potato starch
1/4 Cup tapioca flour
3 teaspoons baking powder (I use Hain, it doesn't have cornstarch in it)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg (1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons water can be substituted)
1 Cup milk (soy milk would be fine)
2 tablespoons cooking oil (whatever is safe for you)

Stir dry ingredients together. Beat egg, milk and oil, stir into flour mixture. Cook on a hot lightly greased griddle. When the bubbles on top break, flip pancakes and finish cooking.

I love mine with real maple syrup!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sugar Cookies-Yay!

Baking without wheat, rice or corn is a pain in the neck. You really need the qualities of these flours to have a successful turnout. I can't tell you how many failures I've had. I have a Tupper full of failed chocolate chip cookies on my counter right now waiting for me to make them into crumbs for cheesecake.

I don't ever have enough snacks-if you knew me, you'd think I didn't need any more snacks, but I get REALLY sick of the short list I can eat, and I have low blood sugar so I need to be able to grab something quick. I eat a lot of protein, but sometimes that blood sugar drops anyway.

This morning I decided to try my hand at sugar cookies. Hubs is not fond of chocolate but he is willing to eat my "safe" foods if they taste good. I had to add the coconut flour, after I did my test bake, to keep the cookies from spreading. I think they are delicious!

Wheat and Rice-Free Sugar Cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 Cup butter
1 Cup sugar

1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Beat until smooth.

Stir together:
1 Cup millet flour
1/2 Cup potato starch
1/2 Cup tapioca flour
1/4 Cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp cream of tarter
1/4 tsp salt

Stir into butter mixture. Roll into 1" balls and dip in sugar. Place on cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake at 350 for 9 minutes, turning pan partway through if needed for even browning. Remove from oven and let cool on pan for a couple of minutes before taking off cookie sheet.


You will notice, and I've probably mentioned it, but I use no xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is grown on corn and is not very compatible with my digestion, so I avoid it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Crops Are Coming In!

This is the third strawberry picking, but definitely the largest. Got a gallon today. What I do to preserve them is wash and hull them, lay them out on a cookie sheet and freeze. After they are frozen, I put them in zipper-type bags and back into the freezer. All I have to do is measure out what I need. Love having these to look forward to in the winter!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Before You Dine-McDonald's

I have decided to research every fast food chain and post a link to their ingredients here. That way you can be armed with info before going to the restaurant and can avoid the blank look from the counter person when you ask if there is soy in something or high fructose corn syrup. So today here is the "Golden Arches Supper Club." (I used to work there and that's what we called it.) (BTW it was the most fun job ever-we had a super owner-operator and the days just flew by)

Friday, June 11, 2010


Mr. Claus is an avid mushroom picker. He can find morels where nobody else can. We've had some mighty tasty meals in our married life. He's always wished they grew in our yard like fairy rings do, so every time we clean them we dump the water and trimmings in the grass. I think something finally took:

Here it is in a better perspective, next to my 5 and 6 year old grandsons' hands:

This one will NOT be picked but left in the hope that it has babies.

A Couple of Links

Here are some inks provided by my Facebook friends:

The second post kind of goes along with my beliefs. We have changed how we grow, process and cook our foods. I think our poor overworked bodies are objecting. I did not have the allergies I have now when I was a young adult.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Savory Chicken Thighs

Sometimes, being allergic to so much, I run out of dinner options. Thawed out a bunch of boneless thighs today, and put this together to use them:

Savory Chicken Thighs

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup chopped celery
Salt and pepper
2 tsp butter
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 T potato starch
Cold water
1/4 cup heavy cream

Season chicken with cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Melt butter in skillet and shake a few more seasonings over, add celery. Cook until celery starts to soften, push to one side and brown chicken in same pan. Spread the celery evenly around the chicken, sprinkle cilantro over and pour chicken stock over it. Cover and simmer til tender-20 minutes or so-turning once. Remove chicken from pan. Mix water and potato starch, stir in cream. Bring liquid in pan to a boil and whisk in the starch/cream mixture. If it thickens too quickly, add water, a bit at a time until it has a nice gravy like consistency.

Serve chicken and gravy with starch of your choice. We had potatoes but rice or pasta would be heavenly.

There is enough chicken and sauce left that I think I'll make gluten free tortillas tomorrow for chicken enchiladas. I'll just add a chopped jalapeno pepper.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


For the last 25 or so years we have gardened with black plastic. We went to a farmer and bummed an old "ag bag," the bags they blow the chopped hay into. If they're not reused, they just go to the dump, because they cut them open to feed the cows. The outside is white but the inside is black, so we put it in the garden black side up. It is extremely durable-we've never replaced it. (Much to the dismay of a fussy former neighbor, who thought we should throw it away every year!)

We hold it down on the sides with old belting from the cement plant my husband worked at, along with various rocks, bricks and boards we've collected along the way.

Then we cut holes in the plastic-squares ranging in size from 6" to 18". The smaller holes are for beans, peas, corn, etc., while the larger ones are for lettuce, carrots and radishes.

About every third or fourth year we take the plastic off, spread horse manure over, till and replace the plastic, rotating it at least once so there are new areas of soil to plant in. On the off years we use a garden claw and work a bit of manure in each hole. It's not as much work as it sounds and the bonus comes throughout the summer when the water doesn't evaporate as quickly and weeding is minimal. We don't have nearly as much trouble with pests, either. Watering is easy-we just sprinkle. There are enough holes in the plastic that nothing stands on top, it all drains down to the soil.

Even our strawberries are planted in the plastic.

As the garden grows, I'll post pictures of our bounty.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Quinoa Salad

Holy cow, it's been a whole month since I posted on my cooking blog! I've been doing a bit of traveling and that always puts one behind. Anyway, I made up this recipe driving home the other day, and to my surprise it turned out really tasty.

Quinoa Salad

1 C quinoa, rinsed
2 C water
salt to taste
1 C dried cranberries
1/2 C finely chopped celery
1 C mayonnaise
1 Teaspoon yellow mustard

Be sure to always rinse the quinoa before cooking-it takes that "grassy" taste away. Cook in salted water 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the grain gives off its little white rings. Just before the end of cooking stir in the cranberries.

Let cool, then stir in rest of ingredients. Serve cold. Makes about 8-10 side dish servings.

I'm thinking of having some for breakfast!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Angel Food Cake!

I've been making mug cakes and chocolate melting cakes with potato starch for quite a while now, and I've observed that, because these cakes have a high egg content, their texture is a lot like angel food. So the wheels have been turning and today I experimented. I only made a half recipe so if it didn't turn out I would only have to throw away six eggs instead of twelve. Lo and behold, it was very, very good!

Here is the recipe for the large cake, not the half. It's actually a lot simpler than one would think, other than separating the eggs. You just have to figure out what to do with all those yolks. I'm going to make an omelet heavy on the yolks for breakfast a couple of mornings. Or maybe I'll have to perfect a sponge cake recipe. I'm bringing this cake for Mother's Day dinner-it's my mother-in-law's favorite dessert and I will be able to enjoy right along with everybody else!

Angel Food Cake

1 cup potato starch
3/4 cup sugar

12 egg whites
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup sugar

Mix potato starch and sugar thoroughly with a whisk, or sift together. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar, salt and vanilla until they form soft peaks. Add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar one tablespoon at a time, continuing to beat until meringue holds stiff peaks.

Fold potato starch/sugar mixture into egg whites about 1/4 cup at a time until all the starch is incorporated. Pour into an UNGREASED tube pan and bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or til done. (toothpick test)

Invert pan on the counter and leave upside down until cake is cool. This keeps the cake from falling. My mom used to put the tube over a full pop bottle if the cake was high enough. One time it fell out of the pan as it cooled and when she came into the kitchen it had fallen down right around the pop bottle!

Slice with a serrated knife and enjoy. We especially love it with sweetened strawberries and whipped cream.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Overheard at a local cafe' this morning: One of the waitresses was complaining about having to accommodate peoples' food allergies. "Why don't they just stay home?" was her comment. I didn't know having allergies qualified you as a social outcast. Don't people with allergies have the right to as normal a life as we can get? I had walked to the restaurant for a coffee and was upset by what this gal said. I shed a few tears on my walk home. She's also the one that said mental illness is bogus.

Some day that "goes around" thing will get her. Sounds unchristian, but I hope I'm there to see it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chip Problem

Up until now I have been able to eat Lay's Kettle Cooked plain potato chips because they weren't cooked in corn oil. They have reformulated their product and now "corn oil may be used." I e-mailed the company and this is the reply I got,

"Martha, the corn oil we use to cook our chips has gone through a heated cleaning process that removes the protein residues. When an individual has an allergy, they are allergic to the protein in the offending food. With the protein removed, most corn allergic people can eat snacks made with this oil.

We also make Lay's Natural Thick Cut potato chips cooked in expeller pressed sunflower oil. You'll find this in the natural food section of most grocery stores.

We consider you a valued consumer and hope you will continue to enjoy snacks from Frito-Lay."

The thing is, the jury is still out on the heated cleaning process actually removing all the allergy causing proteins. I KNOW I've had a reaction to corn-oil cooked chips. The key word is "most corn-allergic people."

I'll look for the natural thick cut chips, but in our rural area some products aren't available. In the meantime I'm eating another brand of kettle chips but I don't like them as well as the Lay's.

Not worth my well-being to take them at face value.

Sorry It's Been so Long!

Things are nuts in my life right now, so my blogs are being neglected. Our son, his wife and their 5 year old boy have been living with us for almost three months now, and all my routines have gone out the window!

I have been cooking but nothing original. I did, however, figure out that Jell-o is safe for me to eat, so the other day I picked up a big box of strawberry flavor.

This is what I did with it:

Dissolve in 2 cups boiling water, stir in 8 ounces softened cream cheese. In a food processor, chop 3 cups frozen whole strawberries. (I used what we grew last summer-yum!) Stir into Jell-o mixture and chill.

That's it! It was almost like a dessert, so I ate some with dinner, then had a bit more for dessert just to cover my bases!

Next project-I bought a bag of quinoa flour and I'm going to use it in my cookie recipe to see if I can get better results that what I've been using.

The kids are applying for an apartment this week, so hopefully I'll get my house back and also my routine!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Palomilla Steaks

This is a revised recipe. I had to rearrange a few things to accommodate my allergies. Palomilla steaks are a Cuban dish, with tons of flavor.

Palomilla Steaks

2 T vinegar
4 T olive oil
1 tsp marjoram
2 T finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp cumin

4 steaks, thinly sliced (sirloin is recommended but I used chucks and they were really nice)
Salt and pepper to taste

4 T butter
1/4 C finely chopped parsley
Juice of 2 limes

Marinate steaks 4 hours in the fridge. I like to put the marinade in a gallon zipper bag then rotate and squish at hourly intervals to be sure of coverage.

Heat skillet to medium high and fry steaks until crispy on the outside and a tiny bit firm to the touch-2 to 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steaks.

Remove steaks, turn off heat, then melt butter in hot pan. Add parsley and lime juice and pour over steaks. Black beans and rice are the best companions but I baked a couple of potatoes to eat with the beans. I just heated up the beans and added a bit of chili powder, cumin, and some chopped cilantro.

Very yummy! I have a small piece of my steak left that I'm going to reheat for lunch today. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Food, INC

We here in the Bozeman area have a chance to see this movie. Here are all the details. It's only $3.00 so I'll be sure to go, and probably drag Hubs along.

A Link

Science is actually confirming what we guessed all along-high fructose corn syrup is BAD for you.