Gluten Free Friday – It Is Time…

Yes, oh yes. The time has finally come.  After almost two and a half years of gluten free cooking and baking for the kiddo.  After so many complaints.  After finally getting my own diagnosis.  After 9 months of coming to terms with my diagnosis.  It’s finally time to put on my big girl panties………..and make a gluten free flour mix.

AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Some of you might be a little shocked that I haven’t even attempted this yet, but it’s true.  I’ve been using a lot of packaged mixes, and they are hit or miss.  And expensive.  I’m also finally starting to get sick myself, so the time is near for a full fledged diet change.  This cannot happen if I can’t find me a good flour to use.

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The catalyst for this decision (and the reason I’m posting before I actually do something) came when I actually found some flours on awesome sale.  Usually every time I think I’m going to try this I look up the prices for the million different flours I will need, cry a little inside, then change my mind.  Today must be my lucky day though ’cause after reading this post from Hope’s Kitchen I not only got a decent sounding flour mix recipe and an amazing recipe for apple fritters, it lead me to an online grocer, Netgrocer.com.  There I found a pretty great sale on Bob’s Red Mill products:

Millet Flour — $.08/oz — 23oz bag = $1.93

Sweet White Sorghum Flour — $.10/oz — 22oz bag = $2.25

Tapioca Flour — $.11/oz — 20oz bag = $2.13

Potato Flour — $.13/oz — 24oz – $3.13

(They didn’t have arrowroot. Boo)

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All for a total of $9.34!!  So I got 2 of everything. $18.68!! Bam, what?!

The however, of course, is that because this is an online purchase you’ve got to pay shipping.  There’s a whole chart based on where you live and the total of your bill.  Since my total isn’t very high, the shipping is $9.99, bringing my grand total to $28.67.   Even with shipping, I think that sounds pretty darn reasonable.

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So for now I will search around for that arrowroot I need and wait for my flours to come in.  I will then have to figure out something fun to make using my new flour mix.  Cross your fingers for me!

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So, has anyone got a great GF flour mix?  I’m looking for something all purpose that I can easily use to sub into regular recipes.

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Happy Gluten Free Friday, y’all!!

Lizz

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P.S.  I have no idea how long these sale prices are going to be available, so if you’re interested, I say go for it now!!

Happy National Celiac Disease Awareness Day!!

September 13th is National Celiac Disease Awareness Day!!

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I am so glad that more and more information about Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance is getting out there, because (LISTEN UP PEOPLE!!) this is more common than you think. While it may seem like eating gluten free is a fad (okay, admittedly in some cases it is), there are so many people out there that are in for a lifetime of GF living. If a fad means that more and more companies are opening their eyes and making products that are safe for my family, then I say bring it on!!

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Crazy right? Most people who have Celiac don’t even know they have it. There are hundreds of symptoms, and it’s not always the obvious cause for someone’s issues. That’s why awareness is so important, because one quick little blood test might change someone’s whole quality of life.

So, what is one to do on this day of awareness? Well….

  • You could brush up on your current events. Did you know the FDA just passed a ruling regarding Gluten-Free labeling? I found a webinar happening on the 18th that will go over all the details. Check it out *HERE*
  • If you don’t have Celiac, but know someone who does, maybe today is a good day for a big hug. We Celiacs deal with a lot on a daily basis, but love and kindness is always gluten free. =)
  • You can dole out some information about non-food gluten issues (which I will now do). Many people don’t realize that Celiacs have to be careful about gluten in medications, toothpaste, and even make-up! Thankfully there are places out there trying to take care of us in this area too, like Red Apple Lipstick (my new fav makeup company). I had the privilege of meeting them at the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo, and not only are their products AMAZING, (and they got me to wear lipstick. RED lipstick) they are basically the sweetest people ever. Check out all the really interesting information on their page. Even if you are not GF you will probably never buy regular makeup again after reading what’s in it. You can thank me later.
  • You can share your favorite GF food with people who have never tried it before. I will be bringing in a treat for my staff, who always complain that I talk about the GF foods I make, but never bring anything in. Well, perhaps they will like this…….

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Gluten Free Banana Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting!!!

I found this recipe on Betty Crocker’s website (This could also be a good thing check out today…Betty has a massive list of amazing GF recipes). I’ve made these cupcakes a few times with great response from everyone that eats them, and I found that The only deviation i make from the recipe is that i use a box and a half of the cake mix. I was immediately draw to this, because we love brown butter around here. If you don’t know how to make brown butter, *this recipe* describes how to do it.

So tell me friends…..What are you going to do for National Celiac Awareness Month?

Lizz

Gluten Free Friday – Bacon Cheeseburger Parfait

Oh Gluten Free Friday, how I have missed you…

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I had something totally different planned for today, but then came across this awesome recipe by Hungry Girl (LOVE her!!), and I knew I needed to do this immejietly.  There is nothing I love more than naturally gluten free meals that Skylar and I will both eat, with the bonus element of fun.  After you excuse my unedited photos (my computer was giving me attitude, and I couldn’t wait to share this one), I give you the Bacon Cheeseburger Parfait:

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OH. MY. GOSH. THAT’S. SO. COOL! (as stated by Skylar)

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We don’t currently own parfait glasses, so we scoured the shelves for something else fun.  Skylar chose a perfectly sized martini glass (a girl after my own heart), and I picked a larger sangria glass, because I wanted a bigger portion.

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The absolute best part of this meal is the customizability (new word?).  Just as you would with a normal burger, you can throw whatever toppings you want in here.  We both wanted bacon.  I mean, who wouldn’t, right?!  After checking around, we found that these “Real Bacon Bits” contain no gluten ingredients.  You can find them with the other bacon bits in the non-fridge aisle.  They are a little soft, so we decided to toast them up for crunch.  This is a great alternative to making a big ol’ mess trying to fry up bacon slices just for a little bacon crumble.  Plus they jumped and danced in the pan, which was fun to watch.

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Ingredients (for approx 4 parfaits) (Adapted from Hungry Girl)

  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • salt/pepper/burger seasoning to taste
  • 1 small/medium sweet onion, diced (set some aside if you want raw for toppings)
  • 4 slices of american cheese
  • Instant mashed potatoes (enough for a serving of 4), with all ingredients to make it
  • Burger toppings of your choice: ketchup, mustard, A1, BBQ sauce, pickles, tomato, bacon, avocado, lettuce, raw onion, relish, sautéed mushrooms, ect, ect, ect…

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Directions

  • Gather, chop, peel, saute, and lay out all of the optional toppings.
  • Put beef, seasoning, and diced onion into a pan, and cook until the meat is brown and the onions are cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, cook the instant mashed potatoes as directed on the box.  When you mix everything together at the end, add a little extra flake to make it a nice thick batch.
  • Start to layer in your glass.  First the meat mixture, covered with a few ripped off pieces of American cheese.  Then add your choice of toppings, and a layer of potatoes to fill the glass halfway.  Repeat to fill the top half.
  • Garnish the top layer of potatoes with a few of your ingredients.
  • Enjoy!

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Skylar went simple with hers: Cheese, bacon, and pickles.  I, however, went a little on the fun side with cheese, bacon, sautéed mushrooms, avocado, tomatoes, and A1 sauce.

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Total success.  We will definitely do this again.  This would be a great alternative for someone GF at a BBQ.  You could even take a burger from the grill, chop it up, and throw all of this in a bowl. Yum.  Everyone will be jealous.

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Will I see any of you at the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo this weekend?!  I went to this last year, and it was amazing!  I couldn’t believe not only how many great companies were there sharing their products, but also how many people attended.  They’ve moved it to the Schaumburg Convention Center this year, which is a much larger venue, so I’m sure there’s going to be a ton of great stuff to check out. Woohoo!

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Have a wonderful Friday Everyone!!

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Lizz

Gluten & Allergen Free Expo, Chicago 2013

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Hello again Friends!!

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I am so excited to announce that I have been given the opportunity to be an Official GFAF Expo Blogger!!  The Gluten & Allergen Free Expo will be in the Chicagoland area on April 20th & 21st at the Schaumburg Renaissance Convention Center. I attended this Expo last year, and I have never seen anything like it.  So many amazing vendors, so many amazing products, and so many amazing people sharing in their gluten free-ness.

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As many of you know, my kiddo was diagnosed with Celiac just under 2 years ago, so we are pretty well versed in the gluten free lifestyle.  As luck genetics would have it, I myself have just recently received my own Celiac diagnosis.  So my return to blogging is kick-started a combination of my need/desire to learn how to go GF as an adult and an amazing expo filled with answers.

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I think I am most excited to check out some of the classes being offered this year.  There are some really great topics this year, ranging from eating out safely to cooking for teens to autism and ADHD.  For a full schedule of classes at this year’s Expo, CLICK HERE.

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So….Who’s with me?  GFAF Expo or BUST!!!

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I missed you all, so happy to see you again…

Lizz

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P.S.  Be sure to check back here after the Expo for a special Gluten Free Friday with my review of the weekend.

Gluten Free Friday – Cheeseburger Pie

Happy Friday Everyone!!

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I am so excited to share this recipe, because it is one of the best tasting new GF meals we’ve made in a while. Not that the other meals were bad, it’s just that this one was just particularly good =)  You would never even guess it was Gluten Free.  I’m going to just jump to a photo of this amazing Cheeseburger Pie…

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Right?!  Okay, now comes the confession that this is not an original recipe.  We have recently discovered that Betty Crocker is now offering a Gluten Free Bisquick (Yay!)  To go along with said GF Bisquick (and a whole line of GF cake mixes, ect.), the Betty Crocker website has a ton of GF recipes.  You can *click here*, or go to the Betty Crocker site and search for “gluten free”.  All the GF recipes say Gluten Free right in the title, so they are easy to spot.  There are so many I want to try: Cherries and Cream Devil’s Food Cake, Tirimisu Cupcakes, Fudgy Banana Pudding Pops, HELLO!!! (I obviously want some dessert right now), but I digress….

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Cheeseburger Pie (Adapted from Betty Crocker)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 shallots chopped (onion would be okay too)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup Bisquick® Gluten Free mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 eggs

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Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a 9″ pie pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Brown the ground beef.  Add shallots halfway through and cook until they are no longer opaque and slightly soft.  Drain, and add salt and pepper to taste.

In a bowl, mix the GF Bisquick, milk, and eggs, until well combined.

Grab that pie dish, put the meat in, and spread it to cover the bottom.  Cover the meat with the cheddar cheese.  Pour the Bisquick mixture evenly over the whole dish.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Stick a toothpick into the center and make sure it comes out clean.

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We served our slices with a dollop of ketchup, and it was the perfect final touch.  This would go great with a side of fries, tator tots, or a salad.

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This was so easy to make, and it tasted like a real cheeseburger!  Skylar was in heaven.

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I wish you all a wonderful Gluten Free weekend!

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Lizz

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Gluten Free Friday – Gluten and Allergen Free Expo

Last weekend Skylar and I had the opportunity to attend the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo!  We’ve been waiting a long time for this event to come back to Chicago, and it was definitely worth the wait.

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The first thing I noticed was that this expo was PACKED!!!  I’ve never seen so many people at an event like this.  The picture below was just part of one of the 2 rooms they had filled with vendors.

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(Please excuse my mixture of phone and camera pictures!)

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We had a great time going around to all the booths, trying samples, gathering take-home samples, and collecting information about all of the amazing companies there.  We found so many new great foods that I can’t wait to start looking for in our local stores.  Skylar’s favorite?  We found GF Pierogies and Gnocchi!! (I plan to give more information about individual products when I find them and try them at home) 

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Schar had a great kid’s area set up.  After working our way through the super crowded vendor hall, it was great for Skylar to get to take a break and have some fun.  They gave the kids free t-shirts to color, snacks, coloring pages, and there was a man making balloon animals.

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At one point, we heard an announcement over the loudspeaker that there were free massages being offered.  Skylar shouted really loud: “Mom!  Gluten Free massages!!”.  Everyone in the immediate area got a pretty good laugh out of that.

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This expo was a great way to expose us to GF companies that we had not heard of before.  They also offered cooking classes, which I was unable to attend this year, but I overheard several people saying they had enjoyed them.  These events are currently held in Chicago and Dallas, but they have an area on their website where you can vote for other cities for them to expand to.  They also have a blog!

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I think the best part about attending the expo was that Skylar got to see that she is not alone.  There are lots of people out there that need to eat the same special food she does.  There were several booths there for companies that were geared towards kids.  She ate food all day long without having to ask if it was safe.  She was stuffed and happy (and ready to get out of that crowd!).

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So, the expo was a great success, and we can’t wait for it to come to town again!

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Have a great Gluten Free Friday everyone!!

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Lizz

Gluten Free Friday – Rock Candy

Happy Friday Everyone!!

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Just because you have to eat Gluten Free does not mean you can’t have a sweet treat now and again.  Rock candy certainly fits the bill!  Skylar and I decided to make our own one day, and we had a great time watching our efforts grow into a yummy crystal candy.  This project requires some advanced planning, as the candy will take about a week to grow.  Check it out…

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(Remember, if you children are helping here, make sure they are aware that this is very very hot, and to be careful not to splash when mixing)

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You will need to start by making a sugar solution.  Boil half a pot of water and slowly mix in sugar until it is fully saturated and the sugar will not dissolve.  You will have a clear liquid that is the consistency of thin syrup. (Beware:  This is going to use a lot of sugar {shutter})

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Drop a few drips of food coloring into a glass jar, then pour the sugar solution into it.  Be VERY careful!!  I used a funnel to make sure I didn’t accidentally pour hot sugar all over the place.

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Then, we dipped bamboo skewers (with the sharp tip cut off) into the liquid, and rolled it in granulated sugar.  This is important as it will get the rock candy started.  Gently place the skewer into the liquid.  Be careful not to shake it too much, or the sugar will fall off the stick.   Then we used large clips to keep the stick set up.  Make sure the stick is not near the bottom of the jar (give it about inch or two), or it will eventually become attached when the crystals start growing, and you will not be able to get it out.

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Set the jar aside and wait.  For about a week.

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Day 1

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Day 3

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Day 7

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Finally ready!  Use a knife to help break up the layer of crystal that has formed at the top of the jar.  Be very careful not to hit the stick, or you will break up the rock candy.  If everything goes as planned, you will be able to pull the stick out easily.  About half of mine were stuck to the bottom, and I couldn’t remove them without breaking them.  Glad we made so many!!)

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Set them aside to dry a bit.  Then they can either be eaten right away, or wrapped up for gifts.

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We had a lot of fun making these, and watching them grow.  They were pretty darn tasty too!

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Hope you all have a great weekend!

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Lizz

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Gluten Free Friday – Mushroom Cap Pizza

Happy Friday Everyone!!

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I’m very happy to share this little Gluten Free meal we made a few weeks ago.  This whole thing came about after finding gluten free mini pepperoni by Hormel. Yay!  They are so cute!  Now it’s time to make mini pizzas with a twist….no crust.

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Don’t they look amazing??

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Ingredients:

  • Baby Bella mushrooms
  • Pizza sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Pizza toppings of your choice

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Directions:

  • Remove the stems from the mushrooms.  Feed them to your hungry kid.  Place the caps onto a cookie sheet, with the hole facing up.  I covered my sheet with foil, and gave it a shot with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Put a small dollop of pizza sauce into the mushroom cap.  Skylar asked for hers without sauce, and that worked well too.
  • Top with cheese and your choice of topping.
  • If you are like me and realize at this point that you thought you had Mozz cheese, but didn’t, you can always take string cheese (a staple in my house) and grate it. 

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  • Bake in a 400 degree oven until cheese is slightly browned.  Approx 10 mins.
  • Remove carefully, as the sauce is hot and can be runny.

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We ate ours as a meal, but these would make amazing appetizers too.

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I hope you enjoyed this twisted, gluten free, take on pizza!  I would love to know from all you other GFs out there, how have you gotten your pizza fix?  Do you have a crustless pizza?  Have you found the perfect GF crust recipe?  Please share!!

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Have a great day everyone!!

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Lizz

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Gluten Free Friday – Orange Teriyaki Chicken and Shrimp

Last week for Muffin Tin Monday, I showed you our Deconstructed Stir Fry.  Part of that meal was Orange Teriyaki Chicken and Shrimp.  It was utterly scrumpcious and utterly gluten free.

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Ingredients:

  • 2-3 chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, tails off and thawed
  • 1/3-1/2 cup of gluten free teriyaki sauce
  • 1/2 large orange (or a splash of orange juice)
  • 1-2 tablespoons sesame oil (or cooking oil of your choice)
  • Rice of your choice
  • Vegetables of your choice

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Directions:

Add oil to skillet or wok and warm up over medium/high heat.  Add chicken and brown.  If you are using pre-cooked shrimp, you can wait until chicken is almost completely browned before adding it in.  Then add the teriyaki sauce and the juice of 1/2 an orange.  Simmer covered until chicken is cooked through and the shrimp is warmed.

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You can add vegetables into this dish, or keep them on the side.  Serve over rice and enjoy.

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If you missed our post from yesterday, we did a special event called the Improv Cooking Challenge.  We made gluten free Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes, and they were amazing!!  I wanted to make sure to mention them for Gluten Free Friday, since the original post was required to be on a Thursday.  I hope you have a chance to check them out.  They are a perfect gluten free alternative to Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.  See it *here*

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Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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Lizz

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Gluten Free Friday – Roasted Dill Red Potatoes

Welcome to Gluten Free Friday!

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I’m doing something a little different for GFF today.  I am re-posting something I made a while ago, because I think it deserves to be a part of this segment.  This is one of my favorite side dishes.  It’s really easy to prepare, and it’s always a hit.  Plus it now carries the added bonus of being gluten free.  Let’s get roasting!

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Ingredients:

  • Red Potatoes
  • Butter
  • Dill
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt

 

Directions:

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Start by cleaning and quartering your potatoes, leaving the skins on, and place them in a single layer in a baking dish.

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Melt some butter. When making a smaller batch like I did, 1/3 to 1/2 of a stick will do. If you’re doing this for a large group, use a 9 x 13 dish and a full stick. (hey, nobody said this was going to be healthy!)

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Pour the butter over your potatoes.

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Stir to make sure each potato is coated.  Now, cover with your spices. Since this is a throw together type of recipe, I don’t have exact measurements for you. I just make sure that each piece gets a little sprinkle of everything. Don’t be shy with the dill.

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Roast them in the oven at 400 degrees for approx 50 minutes. Start checking for done-ness around 45 minutes. You should be able to pierce them with a fork easily.

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Voila! I keep mine on the light side; personal preference. If you like yours more well done, just leave them in a little longer until you get the browness you desire.

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I love making these because they take 5 minutes to prepare, and then I can just leave them until they are done. Plus, they make the whole place smell amazing!

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I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!  Have a great weekend everyone!

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Lizz