Category Archives: Gluten Free

In which I reveal how to pronounce “quinoa”

The Knitting Doctor is celebrating her five-year blogiversary with a contest! Simply leave a comment about your favorite knitting gadget before midnight PDT, April 5, for your chance to win a mysterious prize.

Sign ups for the Mean Girls Yarn Club, put together by KnottyLa and KnittingKnitterton, open April 3.

This was my favorite April Fools Link from yesterday: Fiction World Rocked as Woman Claims No Sexual Attraction to Neil Gaiman.

Yes, reduced to posting recipes again. 😉

These cookies were originally made with oatmeal – I know you can get oatmeal now that’s certified gluten-free, but my body isn’t so happy with the stuff I’ve tried so far. Besides, quinoa (KEEN-wah) has more protein and is more fun to say than oatmeal!

Unbaked Chocolate Quinoa Cookies
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup milk (I haven’t tried it with soymilk yet)
1/2 cup butter
3 1/2 cups quinoa flakes
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

Combine sugar, cocoa, milk, and butter in a saucepan. Melt over medium heat, then boil for 1 minute. (Keep stirring!)

Remove from heat. Add quinoa, vanilla, and peanut butter and mix well.

Drop by spoonfuls on waxed paper and let cool.

“Go away. I’m sulking. You’d think Mayhem was the only one with a cute tummy or something. Hmph.” -Chaos

Soup is good food

This is one of my favorite soups. Sadly, I don’t make it very often anymore because of how much lactose is contains – soymilk just doesn’t taste right to me for this!

White Bean Chowder
1 pound white beans (small whites, navies, or great northern)
1 c chopped onion
1 1/2 c chopped celery
1 – 2 c sliced mushrooms
garlic to taste
1/4 c butter
3 T cornstarch or arrowroot
1/8 t pepper
3+ c milk
16 oz frozen whole-kernel corn
16 oz frozen green beans
14 – 16 oz can chopped tomatoes
1/4+ lb sharp cheddar

Rinse, sort, and soak beans overnight. Drain. In large pot, cook beans in 6 to 8 cups of water until tender (about 2 or 2 1/2 hours). Meanwhile, cook onion, celery, mushrooms, and garlic briefly in butter in a saucepan. Blend in cornstarch/arrowroot and pepper. Stir in milk and heat mixture until hot but not boiling. Put cooked beans in a strainer and rinse briefly in hot water, then put back into large pot. Add milk mixture to large pot, along with remaining ingredients. You might want to add water or additional milk until the soup has an amount of liquid you find appealing. Heat to serving temperature. For extra zip, add a few dashes of bottled hot sauce or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.

May you have a relaxing weekend, filled with soup or books or naps or knitting or whatever your heart desires!

*purrrrrrrr……zzzzzzzzz….* -Chaos

*….zzzzzzzzzzz….* -Mayhem

I have so much nothing to post about that it’s scary

So, I guess I’ll resort to a recipe! (Can the memes be far behind?) If you’re a gluten-eater, keep in mind that most (if not all) gluten-free recipes I post started out containing gluten. For this one, you would switch graham crackers for the rice bran crackers, gluteny flour for the gluten-free flour mix, and skip the xanthan gum.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
1 c Health Valley Rice Bran Cracker crumbs
1/4 c brown sugar
1/3 c melted butter
dash of cinnamon

8 oz Neufchatel or cream cheese
1/2 c granulated sugar
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 scant tbsp gluten-free flour mix
1/8 tsp xanthan gum

2 tbsp softened butter
3 oz Neufchatel or cream cheese
1 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Crust: Combine rice bran cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Stir in 1/3 cup melted butter. Press into ungreased 8x8x2 pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Filling: Beat 8 oz Neufchatel or cream cheese in a small bowl. Add, one at a time, sugar, cocoa, eggs, gluten-free flour mix, xanthan gum, and vanilla. Mix well after each addition. Pour over baked crust. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Topping: Combine 2 tbsp butter and 3 oz Neufchatel or cream cheese in a small bowl. Beat until well blended. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Spread over filling. Refrigerate.

“So Mom sez to me, she sez makz like lol kitteh, MayMay.” -Mayhem

Extremely tasty cornbread stuffing/dressing recipe, plus random linkage

After reading about how many of you were about to head to the grocery story for ingredients yesterday, I’m looking forward to hearing many exciting tales of crafting candy from cryptic recipes! (I think Van would like someone to send him some peanut butter cups…)

If you ever see one of these lamps in someone’s house, you absolutely must take a picture for me! Ye gads. (Also? Probably your host is a vampire and you should run.)

I wonder what size knitting needle it takes to knit a couch?

Oh dear – ‘twould be mortal peril indeed for me to try this.

Did you know that heat is a leading cause of laptop problems? I’m a big fan of laptops stands for keeping your laptop from overheating – and my favorite is not the kind that contains USB-powered fans. Check out Lifehacker’s great list of DIY laptop stands – I love the three-ring binder variant (although I would probably cut vents in the binder to help cool the laptop).

Had I been thinking, I would’ve posted this recipe before Thanksgiving. But as Brigitte pointed out, some people do eat turkey for other holidays.

Cornbread Dressing
The day before you need the stuffing, make enough cornbread for a 9×13 pan. This should be a savory, not sweet, cornbread recipe. This works well for me:

Preheat oven to 425F. Grease a 9×13 cake pan.

Combine the following dry ingredients:
2 cups cornmeal
2 cups GF flour blend (I usually use Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose GF Flour)
6 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Combine the following ingredients in a separate bowl:
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup veggie oil or melted margarine (I use Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)
2 cups buttermilk or plain yogurt
2 beaten eggs

Combine all ingredients quickly. Do not mix until it’s smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges are light brown.


The next day, cube the cornbread (I made 1+” cubes) and toast in the oven at 350F until lightly browned. Meanwhile, saute the following in a little bit of olive oil or butter:

1-2 onions, chopped
4-6 stalks celery, chopped
1 c portabello mushrooms, chopped
1 apple, chopped (do not peel)


1 sweet Italian turkey sausage, cooked and cut into very small cubes
1 4 oz can chopped black olives
1-2 T parsley flakes
1+ T poultry seasoning
1/2 – 1 tsp fennel
32 oz gf chicken or turkey broth

In a large bowl, mix the toasted cornbread, sauteed veggies, turkey sausage, chopped black olives, and seasonings. Add the broth and mix well. You may need to add some water to make the dressing sufficiently moist.

Bake at 325-350F in a 9×13 pan or in a casserole dish for 30-60 minutes, until dressing turns golden on top.

“So tired… who knew how exhausting it was to be a princess?!” -Mayhem

The hand-crafted candy edition

Earlier this week, when Carole posted about making candy, it reminded me of all the homemade candy recipes my family has. These are traditionally made during the holiday season and most of them are inherently gluten-free, although definitely not lactose-free!

Enjoy… and be brave and observant. Those old family recipes are often cryptic and filled with assumptions and odd ingredients. (Chocolate bark?!) My favorites are the peanut butter cups, bon bons, and can’t fail fudge.

1 c chopped nuts
1/2 c butter
3/4 c brown sugar
6 oz chocolate chips

Butter 8″ square pan. Spread nuts on bottom. Mix butter and brown sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil seven minutes on low heat. (You can boil the butter and brown sugar in a microwave instead. However, the recipe directions are a bit cryptic: #7 setting. 4:44. Stir. 3:33.)

Pour over nuts. Place chocolate chips on top and cover the pan for a few minutes to soften the chips. Spread chips with a knife. When the toffee is cool, break into pieces. (Check out Bridget’s toffee recipe, which has action shots!)

Nut Caramels
2 c sugar
2 c sweet cream
1 1/2 c dark corn syrup
1/4 lb butter (1/2 c)
3/4 – 1 1/2 c chopped walnuts
2 tsp vanilla

Butter 13×9 pan. Combine sugar, cream, syrup, and butter in heavy saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring every two minutes. Boil to soft ball stage or 242F. (The boiling business takes a long time.) Add nuts and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan.

For chocolate caramels, add 2 1/2 squares unsweetened chocolate with the nuts and vanilla.

Microwave (no risk of scorching, but again with the cryptic)
Use a covered glass bowl that’s more than twice the volume of the ingredients (2 1/2 quarts works well). Times are approximate. Stir slowly and carefully since mixture bubbles up, almost flaring. Still easier than on top of stove.

First – High: 7:77, 5:00 (stir after each listed time)

Then on #7: 8:88, 8:88, 8:88, 8:88, 8:88 – may need more 8:88 or 5:55. Use candy thermometer the last four times.

Peanut Butter Cups
1 c creamy peanut butter
1/2 c butter or margarine
2 scant c powdered sugar
2-3 pkg chocolate bark (you can use semisweet chocolate chips instead, but I’m mystified about the amount you’d need)

Mix together peanut butter, butter or margarine, and powdered sugar. Form into small, slightly flattened balls. Melt chocolate, place some in small paper cup (small cupcake papers), add peanut butter ball, press a little, and cover with more choc. These can be frozen.

Chocolate Cream Drops (Bon Bons)
Melt 1/2 cup butter. Add 2 lbs powdered sugar, 1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk, 7 oz finely shredded coconut, and 1/2 cup chopped nuts.

Chill until firm, then roll into small balls and chill again.

For the coating, melt 6 oz choc chips, 1/2 block paraffin wax, and 1 sq Baker’s chocolate in double boiler. Dip bon bons in chocolate and set on waxed paper. These can be frozen.

Can’t Fail Fudge
3 c semisweet or double chocolate chocolate chips (1.5  12-oz bags)
1 14-oz can fat-free Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla

Melt chips in microwave. (I do 2 1/2 minutes, stir, then 2 1/2 more minutes.) Stir chips – they should be smooth (i.e., no unmelted chips!). Add vanilla and sweetened condensed milk. Stir until well mixed. Using a rubber spatula, transfer to either individual containers, or to a greased 8″ pan with waxed paper on the bottom (if you want to dump out the fudge and cut it). Pat it smooth with rubber spatula.

Divinity Fudge
2 c sugar
1/2 c light corn syrup
1/2 c water
2 egg whites
1 c chopped nuts
1 tsp vanilla

Boil sugar, syrup, and water until mixture turns brittle when dropped into cold water. Pour slowly over stiffly beaten egg whites. Add nuts and vanilla. Beat until mixture is creamy. Pour in buttered pan.

Maple Cream Fudge
4 c brown sugar
2 tbsp gf flour blend
2 tsp baking powder
1 c unsweetened (evaporated) milk
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Blend dry ingredients together in a saucepan, stir well, and add milk and butter. (Chris: No idea what temperature you should use for this!) Stir constantly as mixture will scorch easily. Cook until soft ball forms in cold water. Add vanilla. Let stand about 5 minutes or until partly cooled. Beat until thick, then spread in buttered pan. (Chris: I’m guessing a 13×9 pan. Guessing!)

“I want candy. Tuna candy. Why didn’t you share that recipe, Mom?” -Mayhem

Well, crap. I guess I’ll have to break out a recipe.

Yes, my project on my other notebook computer continues. I got an official backup (a very unimpressive 22 hours to backup 125 gb – ack!) and am in the process of doing some simple “copy all of the good stuff on to the portable hard drive for redundancy and simplicity.” Theoretically simple, at least. At one point, Vista 64 informed me that it would take 38,000 days to copy 50 gb. *blink blink* Um… Iz hatez Vista. And if there were drivers for virtually any other OS for that notebook, I’d probably be test driving a new OS right now. Anyway. Wish me luck, since I’ll soon (hopefully) be reinstalling Vista 64 to see if that improves things. I’ve seen the BSOD more times in the past month than in my life prior to using Vista 64.

Onward! Here’s one of my gluten-free recipes that I haven’t posted before. Mmmm… snickerdoodles…

1 c butter
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 c sugar
2 tsp cream of tartar
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
2 3/4 c GF flour mix (I used 1/4 c tapioca flour, 1 1/4 c sweet rice flour, and 1 1/4 c rice flour at the time, but Bob’s Red Mill GF Flour Blend would probably work well)

Beat together butter, sugar, and eggs. Stir dry ingredients together and slowly add to butter mixture. Chill dough. Roll into walnut-sized balls, then roll in a mixture of 2 T sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon. Place 2″ apart on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350°F until barely browned but still soft, approximately 10-12 minutes.

Let’s see what I have in my uploaded but not used photo folder. *sound of rummaging* How about some scenery pictures from mid-October?

Ah, a lovely guardian fruit basket, protecting the inhabitants from… scurvy?

I’m fond of this house and its boulder scaping. Personally, I think they should just have eliminated the grass entirely and gone with a boulder field.

Whoops – some Halloween decoration pictures I forgot to post…

Here’s a detail from the house above. Embiggen for full effect!

*more rummaging* Aw, look at Mayhem enjoying the sun back in… September 2007.

“Sunshine on my toes makes me happy! Sunshine in my eyes makes me blink!” -Mayhem

Fumbling into Friday

Guess whether Carole will finish her pre-Rhinebeck projects in time and you could win a little something from Rhinebeck. Leave your guesses by 9 pm EDT, October 19.

Kristi’s giving away a couple of books – leave her a comment by October 21.

Pam’s celebrating her second blogiversary. Leave a comment about the most exciting knitting project you have planned and you could win Koigu and a cowl pattern.

Knowing Chaos, if I did this, he’d have it dismantled by the time I got home… and be sitting on the counter to greet me. Remind me to tell you all the story of Chaos vs. the Automatic Cat Feeder sometime…

Deb has a fun interview with Franklin over at her Knitting Scholar blog.

Trying to find a place to meet a friend? This is a pretty clever idea. No idea how well it works! (For some reason, I just had a flash to the atlas in my car. It’s a Yahoo Maps atlas… but wait, don’t all those mapping sites have disclaimers about not using the maps for actual navigation? So… for what else would you use an atlas? *boggle*)

Doesn’t this comic just sum up the blogging experience?

I just discovered a new (to me) celiac blog that looks quite intriguing.

You might want to think twice before buying that bottle of water

If you read paranormal romance/urban fantasy, you’ve maybe noticed a certain similarity in the covers. SciFiGuy has a great video about the whole thing – make sure you read the comments!

Reading Update
Sharper than a Serpent’s Tooth (Nightside, Book 6) by Simon R. Green. John Taylor rocks. It’s very dark’n’noirish urban fantasy, highly recommended.
First Blood by Susan Sizemore, Erin McCarthy, Chris Marie Green, and Meljean Brook. I picked this up to read McCarthy’s Vegas Vampires-related story. I enjoyed Sizemore’s story (from her Laws of Blood novels), but had no interest in reading the series. Couldn’t get into Green’s Vampire Babylon-related story. I liked the story by Brook enough that I put her Guardians series in my library queue, as you’ll probably notice below.
Blood Noir (Anita Blake, Book 16) by Laurell K. Hamilton. I know, I know, I whine about this series a lot, yet have this sick fascination with trying to follow the storyline. Hey, this book covered something like four or five days instead of only four or five hours – progress?
Hands of Flame (The Negotiator, Book 3) by C. E. Murphy. Whew! Very fast-paced and intense conclusion to the Negotiator Trilogy.
Demon Angel (The Guardians, Book 2), “Paradise” (The Guardians, Book 3, in Wild Thing), Demon Moon (The Guardians, Book 4), Demon Night (The Guardians, Book 5), and (as mentioned above) “Thicker than Blood” (The Guardians, Book 6, in First Blood) by Meljean Brook. The covers before Book 5 are pretty cheesy, but this series totally pulled me in. The series definitely has aspects that remind me of the Dark-Hunters (substitute Michael for Acheron, Guardians for Dark-Hunters, demons for daimons, etc).

Have a great weekend, all! It’s definitely needed here. O_o

“Neener neener neener to all of you! It’s always the weekend for me’n’the big kitty.” -Mayhem

Random for a rainy (and possibly snowy?!) Friday

I’m actually going to get out and do some interesting things this weekend! (Sure, I can wait a minute while you all recover.) Tonight Jeanne and I are going to see the play Stitch, Bitch n’ Die, then tomorrow night Jess and I are going to see Cloud Cult at First Avenue.

This lolcatz gave me the giggles – maybe because the feline face looks almost familiar.

KnitOwl is having a contest – finish the sentence “The night was…” and you could win one of her cute handmade toys if you make her husband laugh. You can submit as many sentences as you like by May 15. (Not limited to knitters! Anyone who has a kid or knows a kid should give this a shot.)

Knitting patterns and copyright seem to generate a lot of brouhaha – if you’ve read enough such to last you a lifetime, you’ll definitely enjoy Fleegle’s humorous take on the subject.

Keep Knitting Infinity Wendy in your thoughts, as she just lost her lovely kitty Samantha to cancer.

The Boston Globe had a nice article about celiac disease plus some gluten-free recipes in Wednesday’s edition. Speaking of gluten-free recipes… 😉

Gluten-Free Lemon Bars
Heat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8 or 9×9 pan with parchment paper.

3/4 c butter, softened
1 c + 1/2 c sweet rice flour or rice flour (or gluten-free flour mixture)
1/4 tsp xanthan or guar gum
3/4 c powdered sugar

Mix butter, 1 c flour, xanthan/guar gum, and powdered sugar. If dough seems too sticky, add the additional 1/2 c flour in small amounts and mix well after each addition. Pat dough into lined pan. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes or until crust is very lightly browned. Remove crust from oven and cool.

2 T lemon juice
zest from one lemon
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t xanthan or guar gum
2 T cornstarch
1 c sugar

Mix filling ingredients and spread on cooled crust. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes. Sprinkle warm bars with powdered sugar. Let bars cool thoroughly before cutting.

“Hey Mom, don’t start counting your gluten-free beers today, ‘k? *belch*” -Mayhem

Some reading, a recipe, and several warnings that you will probably ignore

Careful – if you follow this link, you could get a cute burn… Didn’t I warn you?! 😉

Jeanne posted about our adventures on Saturday, including my picture! Hmm, apparently she felt some pressure to post that picture…

Reading Update
Succubus on Top by Richelle Mead. The sequel to Succubus Blues, this is a well-written and at times rather steamy *fans self* paranormal romance featuring succubus and bookstore assistant manager Georgina Kincaid. Definitely recommended.
Working for the Devil, Dead Man Rising, The Devil’s Right Hand, Saint City Sinners, and To Hell and Back by Lilith Saintcrow. These five books comprise the well-written and very compelling Dante Valentine series. (So compelling that I read the entire series in a week, even though I did spend much of books 3-5 being annoyed at Dante.) This is part futuristic urban fantasy and part paranormal romance.
Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues: A Dixie Hemingway Mystery by Blaize Clement. The latest Dixie Hemingway mystery was a good read – much, much better than so many of the “niche” mysteries.

I’ll continue to randomly post the gluten-free recipes I’ve adapted from “regular” recipes until I run out of them. You’ll be surprised at how quickly that happens! 🙂

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
3/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 c brown sugar
3/4 c white sugar
2 tsp vanilla (or so – I just kinda dump it in there…)
2 eggs
1 c sweet rice flour, 1 c rice flour, & 1/4 c tapioca flour (or you can just use a total of 2 1/4 c of Bob’s Red Mill GF Flour Mix)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 -1 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1 c chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars. Add vanilla and eggs and mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Add chocolate chips. Bake for about 10 min at 350F, or until the edges are just starting to turn golden brown. Do not overbake. Let sit for a few minutes on the cookie sheet so they can set. These cookies don’t warm up well in the microwave – they get a bit crumbly. Also, I tend to bake a pan at a time and keep the rest of the dough in the fridge, as these cookies dry out faster than the traditional kind.

Here’s May with one of her beloved hot pink furry mice (HPFMs). Shhh… don’t make eye contact… she’s a leeeeeetle bit obsessive about playing fetch…

“Hmph. I don’t think being on the other side of the computer screen is a good reason to not play fetch with me. So there.” -Mayhem