Sunday, November 30, 2008


Apple, Pumpkin, & Banana Cream Pies

This past month my 4-year old niece was diagnosed with Celiacs. On a recent shopping trip my sister and I went into a kitchen store and found these mini-pie tins. I had bought the disposable kind but was so excited when we found a good pie tin in a mini size. After doing a little research I found that some called them "pie-lets". Either way, they were cute and perfect for Thanksgiving prep.

In the past I have made a GF oil pat-in-the-pan pie crust. It worked okay, but not great. This year I decided to try Bette Hagman's Vinegar Pastry Crust. I did substitute lard & butter for the shortening and loved it. I use a combination of the two in my regular pie crusts and really like the results so I tried it in this one and it worked wonderfully, the altered recipe is below! I 2/3 the recipe to make the bottom of the pumpkin and both the top & bottom of the apple pie. I then used a 1/3 recipe "Cookie" crust to make the banana Cream Pie. I made the crusts first and then made the fillings.

For the PUMPKIN PIE I made the filling for the regular pumpkin pie and poured some into the GF crust before pouring into the regular crust and then baked them together. Amazingly enough it took about the same amount of time for the "pie-let" to cook as the regular pie. I did have to cover the crust to stop it from getting too brown.

For the APPLE PIE I mixed up 1/2 a Granny Smith Apple and 1/2 a Golden delicious Apple, diced, but next time I will just slice since they shrunk horribly. Then I mixed together about 2 tsp sugar, 2 tsp cornstarch, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg & a 1/4 tsp ginger. Then I mixed the sugar mixture with the apple mixture and dumped it into the bottom of a crust then topped it with the top crust. This baked for about 20-30 minutes at 375-degrees until the top was golden brown. It may take longer.

For BANANA CREAM PIE I also just made my regular Banana Cream Pie with a "Cookie" crust (recipe below) and then put the filling into into both crusts. I baked the cookie crust for about 10 minutes. First slice bananas into the bottom of the crust then add the filling. Serve with Whipping Cream. This is the filling I use. It is enough for a 9" pie crust.
1 pkg banana cream pudding
2 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
1/2-3/4 8-oz pkg cool whip
Mix up pudding according to package directions. Beat in cream cheese. Stir in cool whip.

Here is the Pie crust recipes, if you want photos of the steps for Bette Hagman's pie crust you can check out the Ginger-Lemon Girl:

My version of Bette Hagman's Vinegar Pastry (Revised)
from The Gluten-Free Gormet: Revised Edition
Makes 2-9" crusts or a double-crusted pie.
1 C white rice flour
3/4 C tapioca flour
3/4 C cornstarch
1 rounded tsp xanthan gum
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 C butter
1/4 C lard
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp vinegar
2-3 Tbsp ice water

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cornstarch, xanthan gum, salt, and sugar. Cut in the lard & butter (if you want you can blend these two together with a mixer and refrigerate for about 1 hour). Blend together the beaten egg, vinegar, and cold water. Stir into the flour mixture. Holding back some, until the pastry holds together and forms a ball. (Kneading will not toughen this pastry.)
2. Form two balls and place in a bowl; cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove and roll one ball at a time between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper that have been dusted with sweet rice (or regular rice) flour. To place in a pie tin: remove top sheet and, using the other for ease of handling, invert the dough and drop into pan. Another method I saw on Good Eats on The Food Network was to put the dough on the bottom of a matching pie plate then place another plate over in like you were going to stack bowls and it drops right in. For a crust to be used later, bake in a preheated 450-degree oven for 10-12 minutes. For a filled pie, follow directions for that pie.

makes enough for a 9" pie -- This is also a great crust for a non-baked cheese cake
1 C flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 C powdered sugar

1 cube butter

1. Mix flour, X gum, & pwd sugar together. Cut in butter, then mix with fingers until it forms a ball. Press into pie plate.
2. You may want to refrigerate for 10-15 minutes if the crust is extra sticky. Otherwise it will "melt" to the bottom of the pan.
3. Cook for 10 minutes on 400-degrees. Allow to cool completely before putting the filling in.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rocky Mountain Bean Storm

I made this a few nights ago and have been meaning to post it since. I got this recipe from my good friend Valerie. Apparently, it was a recipe from her college roommate days, and when she got married her husband felt "Hot Bean Dish" was a boring name so he renamed it. It is more of a base recipe and you can modify it how you want.


Rocky Mountain Bean Storm (printer friendly)

1/2 lb Bacon
1 lb Ground Beef*
1/2 C Onion*
1/2 C Ketchup
2 Tbsp White Vinegar
3/4 C Brown Sugar
1 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp-1/4 C Dijon Mustard
3 cans of different beans, with juices**
4 C cooked rice (brown is especially good)***

1. Fry bacon until crisp. I like to do this in the oven on 350. Line the pan with tin foil for less mess.
2. Brown hamburger and onion and drain.*
3. Add next 6 ingredients and simmer on stove for 1 hour. Or on high in a crock-pot for 4-6.

*If you don't want/have hamburger, substitute 1-2 cans black beans, drained and saute onions in a little olive oil
**Original recipe calls for baked, kidney, & lima. I usually use black, kidney, & pork and beans. My friend uses pinto a lot. This time when I made it I didn't have pork and beans so I used chili beans and it was equally delicious.
***When we ran out of rice (the kids wanted some plain) I ate it over some leftover baked potatoes and it was yum!

Better Bread Recipe

So I ordered new flour and mixed up some new bread mixes. I did 10 so hopefully, they will last through Christmas. Here they are on my flour filled counter. When I need to make bread I will grab one of these, add yeast and wet ingredients and voile have bread!
Such a sense of accomplishment.

Anyway, a while back I posted my bread recipe that I modified from Carol Fenster's Sandwich Bread recipe. Anyway, it turned out to just be a little heavier that we wanted and I wanted to make it a little lighter so here is the new recipe.

Better Sandwich Bread (printer friendly recipe)
makes 1 1-lb loaf or an 8x4" pan
(I usually double this recipe so it makes 2 loaves not just 1 and it works just fine.)

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 Tbsp Sugar, divided (2 tsp & 1 Tbsp+1tsp)
1 C. Warm Water
1 3/4 C Rice Flour Blend
1/2 C Whole Grain Flour Blend
2 Tbsp Almond Meal
1/3 C. Dry milk powder (dairy or non-dairy)
1/2 Tbsp Flax Seed Meal
2 tsp Zanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Soy lecithin granules
1 tsp Egg Replacer powder
2 Large whole eggs, lightly beaten
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp cider vinegar

1.Grease 8x4-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 2 tsp of the sugar in warm water (110-degree F). Let it stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.

2. Once foamy, add the remaining ingredients (including remaining sugar). Beat ingredients on low with regular beaters (not dough hooks) until just blended, then beat on high for 2 minutes. Add more water if necessary

3. Pour dough into prepared pan. Let dough rise in a warm place until the middle is slightly above the top of the pan.

4. Preheat the oven to 375-degree F. and bake for 45-50 minutes (we life in the mountains and it is usually closer to 40 minutes so keep an eye on it), until the loaf makes a clicking sound when tapped with your fingernail. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes then remove from the
pan and finish cooling on wire rack.

5. This is how I take care of the bread. Before it is completely cool -- slightly warm. I slice it then place the sliced loaf in a "food and bread" bag you buy near the tin foil and place it in the freezer. I always put my regular bread in the freezer slightly warm to retain moisture and I have found it to be true with GF bread as well.

Here is the beautiful Loaf. I mounded it in the middle to try to get a more "loaf" like look.
Doesn't it look beautiful!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Kathryn's Fruit Salad

This is a recipe my sister got from a roommate in college. It is a family favorite!

Kathryn's Fruit Salad

1 can each: pineapple, mandarin oranges & fruit cocktail
1 red (to give it color) apple, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 banana, slice
2 heaping Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 C water
1/2 C sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
whipped cream (opt)

1. Cut up and drain fruit but SAVE THE PINEAPPLE JUICE.
2. Cook water, cornstarch, and pineapple juice together until thick. Add sugar and lemon juice. Pour mixture over fruit (yes, while hot). Cool in fridge. Top with whipped cream, if desired.

Family Meals Nov 10-15

This week is pretty simple. I am starting to get in the swing of Christmas so I am planning to make great use out of my crockpot -- THANK YOU CROCKPOT LADY!!!

- Pasta with Salad & Bread (GF Foccacia & Crusty bread dipped in olive oil & herbs)
T - Crockpot Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole from Crockpot365 with Kathryn's Fruit Salad
W - Soup, probably tomato based, I will have to see what kind of mood I am in. My son will to help choose. Right now he want quesadillas and so I have a couple of days to get him to choose something else. If we have quesadillas each week I might go crazy.
Th - Scalloped Potatoes & some meat. I planned to do this last week and ran out of time so we had baked potatoes instead. My daughter still wants scalloped though so hopefully, I will get them done this time. I am probably going to check and see if the crockpot lady has scalloped potatoes. :)
F - Might be going out of town, if not, Tacos
S - Leftovers

Monday, November 3, 2008

Potato Soup

I love soup! I recently looked on the back of my Bob's Red Mill Potato Flour and they had a recipe for soup. Not a very interesting one, but nonetheless got me thinking about Potato Soup. So tonight I set to making up my own version of Potato Soup. I ended up using some smoked paprika and while I list it as optional, I would HIGHLY recommend it. While I have probably made several versions I think this is my favorite to date. This soup It was perfectly creamy, had a wonderful flavor, and looked yummy. SEE ----

Cream of Potato & Veggie Soup (printer friendly recipe)
7 med potatoes, unpeeled*
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 chicken bouillon cubes
3 slices of bacon, diced
2 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, diced
1 C diced carrots
3 Tbsp potato flour
3 cans evaporated milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can corn
1/4 -1/2 tsp smoked paprika, opt
Cheese, opt.

1. Cut the potatoes lengthwise so the potato is quartered. If a larger potato do 2 slices on one side. Then dice it into bite size pieces. Add the diced potatoes & garlic to a large pot and add enough water to barely cover the potatoes. Add chicken Bouillon cubes. Cover & cook until tender.
2. In a separate pan cook the diced bacon until crisp and remove from the pan, leaving the grease. Add the butter and melt. Saute onion & carrots until tender. Add potato flour and stir and cook for a minute. Add bacon. Pour the cans of evaporated milk into pan and stir with a whisk until it is smooth, not necessarily until it has thickened.
3. When potatoes are tender, mash about 1/2 of the potatoes with a potato masher, or something similar and add corn, stir. Add milk mixture and whisk to combine. Heat until boiling and boil for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
4. Serve with cheese, if desired, I prefer it without.

* I have quit peeling potatoes except in rare circumstances. First I am really lazy. Second, when I found out that most of potatoes nutrients are in the skins I decided that it justified my laziness.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Peanut Butter Shortbread Bars

I just found these on hey, that tastes good! And oh, my they look so divine, I just had to write about them. My daughter is allergic to peanuts, but I might end up making them just for me.

Here is the link! Peanut Butter Shortbread Bars.

Halloween Costumes

Halloween was never a favorite holiday until I had kids and got to help them dress up. This year I was really proud of what we came up with.

For my youngest I used a dress that I made from a Butterick Pattern #3236 over 5 years ago for my oldest daughter when she was my youngest daughter's age. Over the years I have lent it to cousins and friends and was so excited to see another daughter wear it. When I made it my oldest was a little short for the pattern, but I didn't realize it until I had sewn the dress, so I cut it off. The original pattern had an extra row of black lace on the skirt. Little did I know I would have a daughter who would need the extra. For the necklace I used the lace from the dress and hand stiched a Victorian cameo button onto the middle and then safety pined it in the back. For the bow in her hair I cut a piece about 4" x 12-18" (I don't exactly remember it has been too many years) from both the lace and dress fabric. I then folded each in half and layed the lace on top of the fabric with the folds even. I pinned those together and then serged them together. I then used a basting stitch and ran it across the layers next to the serging and gathered them up. Then I rolled them into a flower and hand stiched the edges together. Then I hot glued the flower to a hair clip. When worn next to the bun the edges dissapear and it just looks like a fancy flower. Now just had red lipstick and a beauty mark and you have a flamanco dancer!

A beauty!

My oldest want to be a ballerina, despite many attempts at talking her into something more interesting. It is just too cold here for ballerinas. But she insisted. Since she is tall and super skinny (don't we all want to be like this) I decided to make her leotard. I used McCall's Pattern #MP279. I then got an iron-on from a local craft store to iron on to the top. For the skirt I got 3 yds of some beaded tulle (it looks like glue gun drops) and regular tulle. I then cut to to the length I needed with the folds being on the bottom of the skirt. I then basted the edges together and sewed a seamed up the back leaving about 4" open. I then gathered the top of the skirt and sewed a ribbon to the top. I ended up making 2 seams on the ribbon. One about 5/8" down and then another a little further down to help it lay better. I wish I would have sewn one at the top of the tulle as well to help it lay even better but it worked out pretty well. I then dumped som flower petels into the skirt through the opening in the back and voile add a bun, tights and ballet flats and you have a ballerina. I was so afraid it would turn out boring, but to my suprise I think it turned out rather sophisticated, for a halloween costume.

The "sophisticated" ballerina.

My son and husband are obsessed with rockets and he HAD to be an astronaut. The outfit turned out to be one of the easiest I have done. I found clipart on line by googling "astronaut clipart" and by going to the NASA website. I then printed them out on Black T-Shirt iron-on paper and ironed them onto a gray sweatshirt (he was a Mercury astronaut). For the helmet we found an old football helmet and covered it in tin foil. For the boots, he has both out-grown and out-worn his tennis shoes so I took some silver tissue lame and, using his shoe as a guide, made a boot. I then seamed the back seam and front seam and made a 1/2" casing at the top for 1/4" elastic cut to fit his leg. I threaded the elastic and then hot-glued the bottom of the fabric directly to the shoe above the tread so he could walk safely.

Our "spacey" Space Man


Our family LOVES Quesadillas. We eat them for lunch and dinner and for a simple snack. Often I just pull out everything that can be put in the quesadillas and then everyone gets to pick and choose. Sometimes I just do corn tortillas, but when I do flour I usually do those on a griddle that I don't consider a GF appliance and then I do the corn ones on a pan on the stove. It gets them all done faster and we can enjoy them while they are warm.


If I am in a hurry I just put the cheese & filling between the tortillas and microwave for about 30 seconds. If I have more time (or energy) I will cook them in a pan. For our mixed GF/non-GF family I usually cook the flour tortillas on a griddle and the corn tortillas in a pan on the stove. That way everyone's gets done about the same time.

*Some of our favorite fillings to add to the cheese are:
Pizza (pepperoni and any other pizza toppings)
Mixed veggies
Tomato & basil (fresh is best but canned & dried are good too)
Diced Chicken & basil
Black beans & salsa (sometimes we add corn)

These are our most common, but basically whatever is in the fridge has been made into quesadillas.

Eames Family Menu Nov 3-8

I can't believe it is November! A while back I use to let my 8 & 5 year old choose what we had for dinner once a week each and it made for 2 less days I had to be creative. I quit after a while because I got lazy with planning ahead. However, I have decided to start it back up so the 5-year old has Wednesday and the 8-year old Thursday. I plan to have them help cook it as well. Anyway, here is what we are having for dinner this week.

M - Potato Soup.
T - Pizza -- I want to watch the election and I know I won't want to cook. I will probably make Karissa's on some Gluten-Free Pizza Crusts I got at a local grocery store and order pizza for the rest of us .
W - Quesadillas. We have these a lot for lunch but Andrew wants them for dinner.
Th - Scalloped Potatoes & Meatloaf. The link is to my recipe for scalloped potatoes, I developed it when Karissa couldn't have dairy and liked it so much it is the way I make Scalloped Potatoes. Maybe I will try the milk version, I will have to wait and see.
F - Chili, Salad and Bread
S - Pasta


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