Ramblings of a true to form Gemini

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gluten Free Butternut Squash Bread

Tasty goodness. Our CSA delivery brought us a medium size butternut squash and some walnuts, what better to make than spice bread!
Before you start the bread you are going to want to prepare the squash.

Take your medium size squash, cut it in half and clean out the seeds. I cut off the neck first and then cut the pieces in half. Place the pieces in a 9"x13" Pyrex cut side down and fill with 1/4" water. Place in a 450 degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes or until the squash is just a little tender. Then peel and shred the squash. I used a veggie peeler and then I used the vegetable shredder attachment on my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. You will have extra squash, my plan is to make 2 batches of bread to use it all.

1 cup Flour Blend*
1/2 cup and 1 Tablespoon Tapioca Starch
1 1/2 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
2 teaspoons Pie Spice (or 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/4 tsp ginger and 1/4 tsp clove)
1 Egg
1/2 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/2 cup Butternut Squash, shredded
1 cup Walnuts, chopped (optional)
Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Use either one standard loaf pan on 6 mini loaf pans and spray with cooking spray. Mix together the squash, egg, oil, sugar and vanilla, I used a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, 1/2 cup starch, xanthan gum, salt, baking soda, baking powder and spices.
Slowly add the flour mix to the squash mix and blend well.
If you are using walnuts mix them with the 1 tablespoon of tapioca starch, this keeps the nuts from sinking to the bottom of the bread while cooking. Add the nuts to the batter mix.

Now pour the batter into the prepared pans and with a wet finger or spatula smooth the tops of the loafs. Bake in preheated oven for 50-70 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

*Flour Blend- 1 1/2 cup Sorghum Flour, 1 1/2 Potato Starch, 1 cup Tapioca Starch mixed together

Monday, October 25, 2010

Gluten Free Biscuits

Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits

Great for mini sandwiches, breakfast, with chili and so much more. These turned out fluffy and not crumbly. Perfect!!

3/4 cup Flour Blend*
3/4 cup Potato Starch
4 teaspoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/3 cup Butter (shortening, Crisco or real butter)
2/3 cup Buttermilk (quick buttermilk**)
Rice flour for dusting
Milk for brushing
Method: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Blend together the flour, potato starch, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt. I used a stand mixer with the paddle attachment but you can use a food processor or by hand. Blend in the butter until it resembles course cornmeal. Slowly add the buttermilk until the mix is just moist. The mix will be sticky. Dust your surface with rice flour. Drop the dough onto the surface and with a floured hand pat the dough into a 1 inch thick round. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray and dust with rice flour. With circle cutter, cut out your biscuits and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Brush the tops of the biscuits with a little milk. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until light golden crust, turn the pan halfway through baking. Makes 12.

*Flour Blend- 1 1/2 cup Sorhgum Flour, 1 1/2 Potato Starch, 1 cup Tapioca Starch mixed together.
**Quick Buttermilk- 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar and enough milk to equal 2/3 cup of liquid, set aside for 10 minutes so it will thicken a little.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chicken Stock

I hate wasting food. I always feel bad throwing out the chicken carcass after dinner. My dad has made stock out of the chicken carcasses before so I though I would give it a whirl.I really just took whatever I had in the fridge and added it to the stock. I used flavors I like and use often.
One chicken carcass (I made roast chicken for dinner so I used the body from that and the dripping in the pan)
1/2 medium Yellow Onion, cubed
1 medium Gala Apple, cubed
1 small Orange
2 Carrots, in half
2 tsp Black Pepper Kernels
2 tsp Coriander Kernels
1 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Herbes de Provence
Method: Add all the ingredients to a stockpot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Skim off any fat particles. Simmer for another 3 hours or until flavors have developed to your liking. 

Bean Soup

Yummy Goodness

Gluten Free Dairy Free Bean Soup

~I didn't want to start with dried beans so I used canned.

15 oz can Cut Green Beans, drained
15 oz can White Beans
15 oz can Garbanzo Beans, drained
15 oz can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz can Pinto Beans
15 ox can Kidney Beans
4 medium Tomatoes, diced
1/2 medium Yellow Onion, diced
1/2 medium Red Onion, diced
4 Garlic Cloves, diced
1 lb Ground Turkey
8 oz cubed Bacon
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Cumin
2 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional Jalapeno Pepper Slices

Method: Brown the turkey in a skillet. In a stockpot, saute the garlic, onion and bacon cubes. Once the turkey and bacon/onion are fully cooked and the turkey to the stockpot. Add the white, pinto and kidney beans with the liquid in the can included. Add the drained green and garbanzo beans. Add the drained and rinsed black beans. Add the tomato. Give it all a big stir and add the brown sugar, paprika and cumin. All the mix
 to simmer for at least 2 hours, but it could be served as soon as everything is heated through.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Pickled Veggies

The CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) we are a part of delivers awesome veggies. Sometimes we have so much that we don't know what to do with it. I decided it would be nice to make some pickled veggie mix. I like to put it on salads and sandwich wraps. This recipe does not require any canning processing and will keep in the fridge for 1 month or so.
6 cups water
1 1/2 cups white vinager
1 cup apple cider vinager
1/3 cup salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon coriander 
1 Tablespoon black pepper kernel
1 teaspoon celery seed
4 cloves garlic (I used one big elephant garlic clove rough chopped)
2 bay leaves
Whatever veggies you have on hand, I used 3 medium pattypan squash, 2 medium bell peppers, 1 cucumber and 1/2 medium onion, this was enough to fill seven 1/2 quart jars and still had liquid left over to pickle more.
jars and lids
Cut the veggies to 1/4 inch x 1/2 inch slices, and long enough to fit in your jars. I used a mandolin slicer.
In a large pot, bring the water, vinegars, salt, sugar, pepper, coriander, celery seed, bay leave and garlic. Boil for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
Take the cut veggies and pack them into your jars. Ladle the cooled liquid into the jars, enough to cover the veggies. Make sure the veggies are stuffed enough not to float. Screw the lids on the jars. Store in the refrigerator for 24 hours before serving.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Apple Spiced Gluten Free Mini Muffins

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 Tablespoons potato starch
2 Tablespoons water
1/3 cup veggie oil
1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice mix
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup GF flour mix (I used a sorghum blend*)
1/4 cup tapioca flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare the mini muffin tray with a light spray of cooking oil. I am using a hand mixer, but this can be done in a stand mixer if desired. Mix together the sugars and applesauce. In a small bowl, mix together the potato starch and water. This will act as the egg. If you choose you can use 2 eggs instead. Add the potato starch mixture or eggs and the oil to the sugar/applesauce mix. Blend until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder and soda and the pie spice. Add the flour mixture to the applesauce mixture. Drop tablespoon fulls into the prepared mini muffin tray. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

*Sorghum Blend
1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups potato/corn starch
1 cup tapioca flour

Jam Filled Gluten Free Muffins

First off, sorry I haven't posted in a really long time. I had a personal crisis and needed to focus on myself and my husband.
Anyway, I present you with a tasty morning treat.

1 cup GF flour mix (I used Bob's Red Mill All Purpose)
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter (or veggie shortening)
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk (cow, soy or rice)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Your choice of jam (I used my homemade peach jam)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/8 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare 12 standard muffin tins, I used cupcake papers or you could grease the tins. Cream together the sugar and shortening. Add the eggs, milk and vanilla, blend until smooth. In a separate bowl mix together the flours, salt and baking powder. Add the flour mix to the egg/sugar mix. Blend until smooth. Spoon batter into the prepared tins to 2/3 full. Then drop 1 teaspoon of jam into the middle of each cup. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. The tops of the muffins should have some spring to them when they are finished cooking.
For the glaze mix together the orange juice, powdered sugar and vanilla. Once the muffins are completely cool, dip the tops of each muffin in the glaze. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Starting the Garden

It has been just over a year since we moved into the house. The yard is huge and a little overwhelming. The trees are budding with fruit. I am ready this time to harvest it all and get it taken care of before it drops off and rots. Now what to do with the empty garden beds? I don't want to get too far in that I can not take care of it all. So I decided on green beans, english peas and edemame beans, maybe tomatoes. I started the seeds today. I like to start in glass jars, not pete pots, so you can see the progress of the seedlings.
Pretty simple- half pint canning jar and a wet paper towel with the seeds pressed against the glass. Put it in a sunny, warm window and keep the towel moist. Wait till the seedlings are 4-6 inches long and plant in the garden. These should sprout in 10 days and produce edible food and 60-70 days. I hope the soil stays warm and all goes well. I hope to keep this an organic garden.
 I hope I can get some tomato plants from my father-in-law, he has a gift with plants.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gluten Free Chex Mix

Tasty goodness!!

For years and years before the gluten free diet change, I LOVED LOVED LOVED me some Chex Mix! All flavors anytime of the day. Now, I long for Chex Mix to make a gluten free variety. I don't see this happening anytime soon so I set out to make my own.
4 cups Rice Chex (I use the generic store brand)
4 cups Corn Chex (I use the generic store brand)
1 cup Roasted Peanuts (or any nut will do fine)
3 cups Gluten Free Pretzels (I use Ener-G)
1/4 cup Gluten Free Margarine (I use Country Crock)
2 Tbsp Gluten Free Worcestershire Sauce (I use Lea and Perrins)
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp White Pepper, ground
For spicy flavor add 1/4-1/2 tsp Cheyenne and 1/2 tsp Paprika
FYI: I do not have a big enough mixing bowl to do this so I use a stock pot.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together the chex, peanuts and pretzels. In a separate bowl, mix margarine, worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, white pepper and cheyenne and paprika if using. Microwave the margarine/spice mixture until the margarine is melted. Pour 1/4 of the melted mixture over the chex mixture, stir, pour a little more, stir, pour a little more, stir, pour the rest, stir. Microwave mix for 2 minutes on high, I think this helps the sauce get inside the chex and not just sit ontop of the chex. It is ok to microwave in 2 batches, I had to. Pour out microwaved mix onto 2 foil covered baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes, stir and rotate sheets and bake for 20 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets. Store in an airtight container or large ziplock bag.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I Love My Sisters

A few weeks ago, while shopping for bridesmaids dresses for my middle sister's upcoming wedding, I was given a pretty cool gift.

The middle sister (that is getting married in July) works in the design library at Sac State, so she scored these leftovers just for ME! 
These fabric pages have so much potential.

DH helped me rip the bindings off of the books to spare every bit of fabric. A few pages became these.

My sisters are pretty great. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Recipe Review: Gluten Free Sugar Cookies by Carol Fenster

My mom bought me the cookbook 1000 Gluten Free Recipes by Carol Fenster shortly after I switched to a gluten free diet. The same day I made the Pamela's Chocolate Chunk Cookies I also made some thumbprint cookies using the sugar cookie recipe from this cookbook on page 419 and homemade jams.
I followed the recipe for the sorghum flour mix and then made the cookies. Instead for rolling the dough balls in sugar, I just put them on the cookie sheet. After baking for about 10 minutes, I used the back of a spoon to make a bowl shape in the middle of the cookie and filled that bowl with a teaspoon of the jam from the other day. Then returned the cookies back to the oven for 5 more minutes. The cookies taste fantastic! Kind of like a whole wheat flavor, the texture was soft and moist. The jam flavors fit perfectly. A perfect cookie for my morning cup of chai latte.

Product Review: Pamela's Products Gluten Free

I have been dreaming about cookies lately. After the gluten free diet change I have not been able to find a decent  cookie store bought cookie. After a trip to Whole Foods, I came home with a bag of Pamela's Products Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix, hoping that it will be tasty and satisfy my cookie cravings. I followed the directions on the package. Increased the baking time by 5 minutes. They came out super tasty!! Crispy around the edges and soft in the middle. MMMmm! Even my he-man of a husband liked them. I give it 5 stars, something that I will keep in the house all the time.

OOOh, here is a picture of the finished cookies. The do bake to a dark color, that is because there is coco powder in the mix, making it extra chocolaty.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chicken and Green Beans in a White Wine Sauce

One of my favorite dishes to make is chicken breast and green beans in a white wine caper sauce. Green beans are one of the only cooked veggies my honey will eat.

4 Chicken Breasts
6 cups cleaned and snapped Green Beans
3/4 cup and 2 tsp set aside Corn Starch
2 tsp Ground Pepper (I like White Pepper)
1 tsp dried Thyme
1 tsp dried Rosemary
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 medium Onion, diced
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
3 Garlic Cloves, diced
3 Tbsp Butter
1/4 cup Capers, drained
1/4 cup Cold Water
2 1/2-3 cups White Wine NOTE: if it is not good enough to drink it is not good enough to cook with
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large ziplock bag, add the chicken breasts and the herbs. Then add the corn starch to the bag, zip it closed and shake away, coating the chicken in the herbs and corn starch. In a large skillet heat the olive oil. Shake off the extra corn starch and place each chicken piece in the heated skillet. Evenly brown each side of the breast and place in the oven on a cookie sheet covered with foil (for easy clean up) until internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, in the same skillet the chicken was browned in over medium heat, add the white wine, garlic and lemon juice. Use the liquid to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Add the green beans, onions and garlic and cover. Cook till beans are just about done and remove the beans from the pan. Add the capers and butter to the pan. Mix the 2 tsp corn starch and the cold water, once mixed add it to the pan. Bring the sauce to a boil. Once the sauce has thickened enough to your liking, remove from the heat. Assemble the plate as follows: Chicken and beans and ladle the caper white wine sauce over all of it.


So when my husband and I bought our first house in April of 2009, it had quite a few fruit trees already planted. The peaches bloomed and ripened the best of all of them. Having buckets and buckets of peaches and not knowing what to do, I called my mom. She said slice and peel the ripe ones and put them in freezer bags, freeze them until she can visit from to teach me to make jam. 6 freezer bags full of peaches have been sitting in my freezer since then. I convinced my mom and baby sister to come down and stay a few days to make jam. Oh, and baby sister is also getting her graduation pictures taken by Jessica at Sweet Pea Photography

There are lots of ways to make jam and this way is ours. This is the directions to make one batch of jam, we will be making multiple batches of jam. This will make a chunky tasty jam and not a clear jelly.
DISCLAIMER: This process is a HOT one. Be careful! You are making a HOT fruit syrup it can burn you. Even the most experienced jam makers still get burned from time to time.

To begin you will need some specialty items:
A steam canner pot
Canning jars (we are using 6 half pint jars)
canning rings and seals
Jar funnel
A box of SureJell fruit pectin (1.75 oz box)

4 1/2 cups of Peach Pulp and Juice (just so you know, I am lazy and didn't peel all of the peaches, it will just give it texture and will not effect the finished product in a negative way)
3 cups of White Sugar, with 1/4 cup set aside
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Butter (to cut the foam, if foam does form it can be skimmed off or stirred down)
NOTE: Please measure everything before beginning.

Wash the rings and seals, then put them in a pot of water, bring to a boil. Leave covered and take off of the heat. Sterilize the jars in the dishwasher, leave them in the dishwasher until you are ready to fill them DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR! Set up the steam canner by filling the bottom part (the small pan) with water, put the grill on and the lid (the large part) on the stove and bring to a boil.

In a stockpot place the fruit pulp and juice, mix in the box of SureJell, the 1/4 cup of sugar and add the butter. Place pot on the stove and bring to a  rolling boil (a boil that can not be stirred down), stirring often with a wooden spoon.

Add the remaining sugar. Bring back to a roiling boil, stirring often. Once at a roiling boil, cook for 1 minute.

With tongs pull out seals and rings for the jars and replace the lid of the pot, to keep the remaining seals and rings warm. Pull jars out of the dishwasher and close the door, to keep the remaining jars warm.

Ladle hot fruit mixture into jars. Wipe down the jar rim and place the seal and ring, screw down the ring to just tight. Place the jars on the grill of the steam canner (at a boil), starting in the middle and circling outward making sure not to have the jars too close together. If the jars are placed too close they can break.

Replace the lid of the steam canner and once steam starts coming out from under the lid set timer for 10 minutes. When timer is up, turn off heat and wait till steam stops coming out from under the lid. Remove the lid and make sure that all the seals have popped down and wait 1 minute. With a towel, take the jars off the grill one at a time. Wipe off the water that has collected on the jars and tighten the rings. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN! Place jars on a trivet or folded towel to cool, leaving space between each jar. Allow the jars to cool over night before storing in a cool dark place.

I also had some some strawberries to jam. The method is the same, but measurements are different.
6 cups Strawberry pulp and juice
4 cups White Sugar with 1/4 cup set aside
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Butter
NOTE: Strawberry tends to foam even with the butter, so the best thing is to skim off the foam with a metal spoon. The foam is pretty tasty on toast.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Long time, no post!!
So, Ravelympics is a yarn crafty Olympics type thing, hosted by the fabolus site Ravelry.
You pick a team and pick events to enter. You make a project in the same time frame as the real Olympics and post said project to the site. In return you get awesome blog badges. Well here are mine.
I am a....
My Teams
Team Pibble Pride and The Flaming Hooks

Medals(badges) Won

For a kitty cuddle blanket

For some baby photo props commissioned by Sweet Pea Photography



For a lovely shrug with a crossed back

For an awesome latias shawl

For a cute little flower cuff

A simple pair if fingerless mits

For some flower headbands going to Second Sister

For finishing a tunic I have been neglecting for awhile

For taking apart some neglected and unloved projects



I only could not finish one project
A large lace weight shawl. I was just too many more stitches and my wrist was killing me.


Soledad, Ca, United States
I love to smile! I rarely do anything that won't make me, or someone else, smile.