Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent THAT WORKS !!!

1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Epsom salt (or Kosher salt)
1/2 cup citric acid (or Lemon Kool-Aid or CountryTime Lemon Aid have worked for me)

Mix in a small container with a lid.  Shake before each use- citric acid causes clumps. Or you can put a little rice in to absorb the moisture.
Put in dispenser.  

At the bottom of the dishwasher put 1/2 cup a vinegar AND 3 drops blue DAWN dishsoap.  This is the key to make this recipe work!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Noodles with Baby Shrimp

Another recipe from Favorite Brand Name Incredibly Easy Gluten-Free Recipes.

Little Miss on her 4th bowl of "more noodles."

This one, especially the noodles, was a huge hit at lunch today.

1 package (3 3/4 oz) cellophane noodles
3 green onions
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 package (16 oz) frozen mixed vegetables (such as cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots)
1 cup vegetable broth (I used seafood broth)
8 oz cooked frozen baby shrimp
1 Tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
2 tsp dark sesame oil
1/4 tsp black pepper

1 Place noodles in large bowl.  Cover with boiling water; let soak 10-15 minutes or just until softened.  Drain noodles.  Cut noodles into 5-6 inch pieces; set aside.  Cut green onion into 1 inch pieces.

2 Heat wok or large skillet over high heat about 1 minute or until hot.  Drizzle vegetable oil into wok; heat 30 seconds.  Add green onions; stir-fry 1 minute.  Add mixed vegetables; stir-fry 2 minutes.  Add broth; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

3 Add shrimp to wok; cook just until thawed.  Stir in noodles, soy sauce, sesame oil and pepper; stir-fry until heated through.

1 cup of broth is A LOT of broth.  It made it sort of like fishing for noodles and veggies.  I would aim for, maybe, 1/2 a cup next time.

Flourless Fried Chicken Tenders

Another recipe from Favorite Brand Name Incredibly Easy Gluten-Free Recipes.

1 1/2 cups chickpea flour
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
3/4 cup water plus 2-4 Tbsp
Oil for frying
1 pound chicken tenders
Curry Mayo Dipping Sauce (optional)

1 Sift chickpea flour into medium bowl.  Stir in Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, and ground red pepper.  Gradually whisk in 3/4 cup water to make smooth batter.  Whisk in additional water by Tbsp if needed until batter in consistency of heavy cream.

2 Meanwhile, add oil to large heavy skillet or Dutch oven to 3/4-inch depth.  Heat over medium-high heat until drop of batter placed in oil sizzles (350 degrees).

3 Pat chicken pieces dry.  Dip chicken into batter with tongs; let excess fall back into bowl.  Ease chicken gently into oil; fry 2-3 minutes per side until slightly browned and chicken is cooked through.  Fry in batches; do not crowd pan.

4 Drain chicken on paper towels.  Serve warm with Curry Mayo Dipping Sauce, if desired.

Dipping Sauce:  Combine 1/2 cup mayo, 1/4 cup sour cream, and 1/2 tsp curry powder.  Stir in 2 Tbsp cilantro.

I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour.  Its main ingredient is garbanzo beans (another name for chickpeas).
I think this recipe could have used more red pepper.  Maybe 1/4 tsp?
I made the dipping sauce but did not add the sour cream just in-case my gluten and dairy intolerant family member wanted to try it.  He did not and I wish I had added the sour cream.  Might add it tomorrow for the leftover strips.
I obviously do not fry food very often.  All three Young Men joined me in the kitchen to see and hear the "bubbles."
They, well, 2 out of 3, enjoyed the strips with BBQ sauce.
The picture of the strips at the top was the first batch.  Later batches were more golden colored.  Probably, should have let the oil heat up another minute or two.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Italian-Style Shepherd's Pie

From Favorite Brand Name Incredibly Easy Gluten-Free Recipes

1 pound poatoes, peeled and quartered
2-3 Tbsp. milk  (I used raw cow's milk.  You could use broth or milk of choice.)
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound ground beef
1 chopped onion (about 1/2 cup)
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp fennel seeds, finely crushed
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cups diced yellow summer squash
1 can (about 14 oz) chunky tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn
1/3 cup tomato paste

1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine potatoes and enough water to cover in medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Boil, uncovered, 20-25 minutes or until tender; drain.  Mash potatoes, adding enough milk to read desired consistency.  Stir in Parmesan cheese.  Set aside.

2 Brown beef and onion in large skillet over medium-high heat 6-8 minutes, stirring to break up meat.  Drain fat.  Stir in Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, and red pepper.  Add squash, tomatoes, corn, and tomato paste; mix well.  Spoon mixture into 2-quart casserole.  Spoon potatoes over top.

3 Bake 20-25 minutes or until meat mixture is bubbly.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Triple-Play Chocolate Cake

My mom, the amazing grandma and mom that she is, got me a cookbook for my birthday called Learning to Bake Allergen-Free A Crash Course For Busy Parents on Baking without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts.  She, also, got me some xanthan gum.
Thankfully, my birthday is 5 days before my youngest's.  So, I got to try out a cake recipe today for his 4th birthday and it was a success!  So, much so that there are only 10 pieces of a 9x13 cake left.

2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend (I used Bob's Red Mill flour blend)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (leave out if your flour blend contains xanthan gum)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 Tbsp shortening
1 cup allergen-free chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (I used homemade)
1 cup flaxseed gel (equal to 4 eggs) (I used 4 eggs)
2 cups chocolate milk (I used raw cow's milk)
2 tsp vanilla extract

1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 9x13 pan with cooking oil.
2 Mix the flour, xanthan gum (if needed), sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.  Set it aside.
3 Melt the shortening and the chocolate chips together in a small bowl.  Stir these two ingredients together thoroughly.
4 Combine the applesauce, flaxseed gel, milk, and vanilla together in a large bowl, with a mixer on medium-low speed, about 1 minute.
5 Add the chocolate and shortening mixture and blend for 1 more minute.
6 Gradually, add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients.  Blend completely.
7 Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
8 Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Greek Style Salmon

This was dinner tonight.  As I mentioned with the previous recipe, we are in the process of going gluten-free.
Another mom I know, who has, "Been there.  Done that."  Lent me a cookbook called Favorite Brand Name Incredibly Easy Gluten-Free Recipes.  This is another recipe from this cookbook.

1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 3/4 cups (1 can) diced tomatoes, drained
6 black olives, coarsely chopped
4 green olives, coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 Tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 pound salmon fillets

1 Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add tomatoes, olives, lemon juice, parsley, capers, garlic, and pepper.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
2 Cook tomato mixture 5 minutes or until reduced by about one third, stirring occasionally.
3 Rinse salmon and pat dry with paper towels.  Push sauce to one side of skillet.  Add salmon to skillet; spoon sauce over salmon.  Cover and cook 15 minutes or until salmon begins to flake when tested with fork.

I would in the future, serve this with couscous or something. 

Quinoa & Shrimp Salad

We have been busy going gluten-free at our house.  Which has reduced me to tears multiple times in the last few weeks and causes tension in my back every time I think about setting foot in my kitchen.  So, sad when a favorite hobby turns into a horrible nightmare.
A friend, who has gluten tolerance issues in her own home, lent me a cookbook called: Favorite Brand Name Incredibly Easy Gluten-Free Recipes.  I, greatly, appreciate all the pictures in this cookbook.  As well as finding a second recipe that uses quinoa that my husband approves of.

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 bag (12 oz) frozen cooked baby shrimp, thawed and well drained
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp capers
2 Tbsp finely chopped green onion
3 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1/8 tsp black pepper

1 Place quinoa in strainer.  Rinse well under cold water.  Bring water and 1/4 tsp salt to boil in medium saucepan over hight heat.  Stir in quinoa.  Cover; resuce heat to low.  Simmer 12 to 14 minutes or until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed.  Cool to room temp.

2 Combine quinoa, shrimp, tomatoes, basil, capers and green onion in large bowl.  Combine oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, pepper and remaining 1/4 tsp salt in small bowl.  Pour over salad.  Toss gently to mix well.

Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes

This recipe was discovered on Nick's website.  However, I don't want to loose it since it is the first quinoa recipe I ever made and it was well received by both myself and my husband.  And, it falls into the category of things that my youngest can eat.

Quinoa Salad

Yield: Serves 6-8.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


2 Cups dried quinoa, rinsed
2 large sweet potatoes, cubed and blanched (or sub 1 medium butternut or acorn squash, halfed, roasted and cubed)
1 Cup dried cranberries (you can use raisins, cherries, mango, whatever)
1 Cup pumpkin seeds (you can use sunflower seeds)
1/2 Cup olive oil
1/4 Cup red wine vinegar
Juice from one lemon
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Teaspoon paprika (optional)
Salt and pepper

Cook quinoa per package instructions.  I purchase it bulk.  So, it is a two parts water to one part quinoa ratio.  All quinoa says to rinse thoroughly.  However, I do not own a strainer with small enough wholes.  I tried using a coffee filter, but that was to fine.  So, rinsing does not occur in my world for quinoa.

First, stick your sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and poke a few holes in them with a fork. Bake them at 350 degrees for about 50-60 minutes until they’re very tender.
By the way this is the same process I used for both the butternut squash and the acorn squash. Just chop them in half, poke some holes in the skin, and bake them for 50-60 minutes.
Let your potatoes cool for a few minutes after they come out of the oven and then peel and slice them into about 1/2 inch strips.  (Nick's instructions.)  Cube the strips.

Then, you mix everything together.
Mix the quinoa, sweet potatoes, cranberries, and seeds.
Mix your dressing up and pour over your quinoa mixture.  Toss to coat.  The dressing should be on the less is more side, not standing in the bottom of the bowl.