Ramblings of a true to form Gemini

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.


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