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Category Archives: Recipes

Wheat in sugar?

A neighbor stopped by the other day, outraged, because she saw a wheat alert on an organic sugar package.  How great that people without Celiac disease or wheat intolerance are becoming aware of the prevalence of wheat in our food supply on our behalf!

That said, I believe that many companies put the caveat of “May contain wheat” at the end of their lists of ingredients to simply protect themselves from lawsuits.  Personally, if the ingredient list does not specifically contain a gluten ingredient, I do not worry about eating the product, even if the label indicates manufacturing on wheat-shared equipment.  If I did, I would never eat anything, because almost all products now include this disclaimer.  Rarely do I get stung.  However, each of you must make this call for yourselves.

Here is the info from the sugar label that upset my neighbor.

  • Company:    Rapunzel
  • Product:  Organic Whole Cane Sugar  (Unrefined & Unbleached)
  • USDA Organic – Hand to Hand Fair Trade Program
  • Ingredients:  Organic unrefined whole cane sugar.  *May contain wheat.

I do not find this alarming and would use the product without a second thought.

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Easy, Great H’orduevre

When my husband tried my gluten-free adaptation of an h’ordeuvre I had at book club and loved it, I knew I had to post it. Because it is so easy, fast, and elegant I wanted you to have it for that surprise visit by friends or family.  Will be great for that Super Bowl Party!

The original recipe came from Caprial Pence on his show, Cooking with Caprial.  I have no idea what the original recipe is, because I just made up my own from tasting the h’ordeuvre my book club friend served.

GF Sleuth’s version of Caprial’s Marinated Goat Cheese Spread.

  • 1 log of soft goat cheese
  • Trader Joe’s GF balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • thyme, fresh or dried
  • 1/4 to 1/2  cup of GF mixed olives, coarsely chopped.   I like the tang of kalamata  and GF vinegar-processed green olives
  • GF baguette or GF crackers
  • Throw a whole  goat cheese log into a zip lock freezer bag.  Fill the bag with balsamic vinegar, until it covers at least half  or all of the goat cheese.
  • Then remember it needs a bit of olive oil, so pour two to four glugs of olive oil into the bag.
  • Throw in a couple of scoops or handfuls of dried thyme.  I also threw in some fresh thyme sprigs, about 6-8.
  • Squish gently,  so all the goat cheese turns that wine red color of the balsamic vinegar without altering the log shape of the cheese.  Let marinate for 3 or 4 hours or 2 days.
  • Take out and put the cheese log on a beautiful platter or tray.
  • Top with the chopped olives and a few artfully arranged bits of thyme.
  • Put slices of your favorite GF baguette or crackers around the edges of the platter.
  • Serve with a little knife,  allowing guests to grab a baguette slice or cracker and slice off a bit of cheese log to spread on top.

Voila!  The easiest and most elegant tasting h’ordeuvre I’ve made or served in a long time.

(Thank you, Monica and Caprial Pence.)

Gluten free German meat rubs

Last night we got to taste the first batch of Opa Helmut’s Rub recipe for German Bratwurst ever made in the US by his granddaughter, Astrid, a friend of ours.  After eating ourselves silly, I need to tell you those sausages were the best sausages of any kind that I have ever tasted, and we have travelled and eaten Bratwurst in Germany.  Never before have I tasted such freshness and clarity.  With no nitrates and no curing, the sausages did not have that “I’m-going-to–last-forever quality that I don’t like in cured meats. Thus, the fresh, pure taste.  I could actually distinguish the ground pork (with no bits of bone or cartilage) etc., mixed with the spices and herbs.  Outstanding!

Of course, Astrid used her family’s secret Bratwurst spice rub, of the Thuringer style Bratwurst, which you will be able to buy soon, along with her other outstanding spice rub mixes, on the website www.opahelmutsrub.com.  Her meat rubs have been a wild hit here in the South Bay Area.  I highly recommend them, not only because they are Gluten Free and MSG free, but are made without weird, unpronounceable ingredients, simply the pure herbs and spices.  What a gift Astrid is giving the United States by sharing her family’s exclusive meat rubs with us.  The best of the German butcher/craftsman has come to America.  Lucky us!

Again, go to www.opahelmutsrub.com to try these amazing, exclusive Gluten Free and MSG free spice rubs.

Vacation Dietary Cheating

What I know about chronic conditions is that it is every day, every minute…no days off!

One of my dear friends, who is extremely careful and conscientious about following her diet, just went on a four day romantic, bed and breakfast getaway with her husband.  Of course, she wanted a vacation from her daily routines.  That is the fun of vacation.  However, just a tiny bit of deviating from her rigid dietary restrictions in the name of “I can’t take it any more;  I need a couple of days off” landed her in bed for four days after her four day vacation…in misery.

Was it worth it?  No one can judge.  The relentlessness of scrutinizing every single bite that goes into your mouth, can wear a person down emotionally.  Sometimes we all just need to cheat, be a little sinful, or simply relax the rigidity.  Yes, we pay, but sometimes in the name of our emotional health, the cost  may be worth it.

My solution, because I have been sick more days of my life than well, is to try to find foods that feel outside of my regular diet that are still gluten free.  I try to get that vacation feeling without actually cheating.  Because I do not include these foods in my everyday diet, I am going to share a couple of my favorite sinful foods that I indulge in on vacations:

Mixed rum drinks

GF caramels, especially the ones with a little extra salt

Very dark GF chocolate

S’Mores with GF graham crackers

Maragaritas

GF Dessert.

S’More recipe

GF Marshmallows

GF graham crackers

GF milk chocolate

Apples

Roast two GF marshmallows over a campfire gone to coals until golden brown.  Core and slice an apple in 1/8 to ¼ inch slices, horizontally with the core hole in the center.  Put a slice of the apple and a square or three of chocolate on one graham cracker.  Grab the marshmallows off the roasting stick onto the cracker, chocolate, apple combo with another graham cracker.  Squish and eat.  Yum!

A GF Comfort Food Recipe to Celebrate FALL

After an intense September filled with…life, I just wanted to share one of my favorite gluten free comfort food recipes with you, even though there is nothing sleuthish about it.   After a successful backyard Merlot and Cab grape harvest with the juice happily starting to ferment in the barn, some overnight company, and one family medical crisis, I needed something chewy, a bit sweet, and a teensy sinful to help me slide into the unwinding process.  For me, that something is a batch of my GF Rum Scones.

My GF Rum Scones

½ to ¾ package (about ½ cup) of Trader Joe’s dried blueberries (I  particularly like these because they are small like currants, although those would work too, and because they are semi soft.  I have also used cut up dried cherries, about ½ cup.

1/3 cup dark rum

Put the dried fruit in a small bowl and pour the dark rum over them to let them soak up that rum goodness while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

1 package Gluten Free Pantry’s Scone Mix

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp allspice

1 stick of real butter (butter substitute works fine, if dairy intolerant)

Cut the stick of butter into the dry Scone Mix and spice mixture until the bits are a little smaller than baby peas.

1 egg, lightly beaten with a fork

1 tsp sour cream (optional)

1 tsp GF vanilla

Up to 1/3 cup milk (works fine with a milk substitute)

Add all of the above to the dry ingredients, including the rum/fruit mixture, except the milk.  Mix together with a wooden spoon.  If the mixture is too dry after this to form a ball that sticks together, start adding the milk, a little at a time, until you have the pastry ball.

Don’t over mix.   I squish the ball on a parchment-lined cookie sheet until it is about 1 to 1 ¼  inches high.  At this point, you can make an egg wash to brush on top, but I am too lazy for that.  What sits on the sheet is one large, thick circle of potential scone goodness.

Bake in 400* oven for 15-20 minutes.   Cut into pie shaped wedges after cooling for 8-10 minutes (a serrated knife seems the least shape disturbing)

Then, sit back, legs tucked under you with an ultra soft blanket-throw over your lap; put a chunk of savory cheese and this warm wedge of scone on a beautiful breakfast plate; pour a hot cup of tea, mocha coffee, or other delightful beverage, and RELAX!

Aaaah….