Monday, November 13, 2017

Gluten & Corn Free Holiday: Stuffing

Stuffing! How do you have your turkey without Stuffing! I think it is the hardest around the holidays to be gluten free or have any dietary sensitivities for that matter. Cooking yourself is really the only way to ensure you will not be hurting after a big Thanksgiving feast. Luckily, Trader Joe's has been a huge help in this area. In our family, corn hurts us almost more then gluten. At least right away it does. So, when I found this boxed stuffing from Trader Joe's I was so excited!


For this evening I made the stuffing almost just like the box says. I followed the stove top directions but instead of water, I used turkey stock. Then I baked it at 350 until the tops were golden brown.

Another variation is to cook up some onions, celery and sausage (if you like walnuts, you can add those too) in a frying pan while the turkey stock is heating up. Then mix in the onions, celery and sausage with the stuffing before baking it.

I hope you enjoy your gluten and corn free Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners.

Kristen

Gluten & Corn Free Holiday: Green Bean Casserole

After a few years of being gluten and corn free, we have finally been able to make an entire gluten free Thanksgiving meal. Today I am going to share with you our green bean casserole recipe.



One of the things we struggle with is that when you have store bought gluten free items, often times, they add a corn product in place of the gluten. This makes it very difficult for us to have anything that isn't prepared at home. The bright side of this is that we have found and come up with some wonderful recipes where nobody would even know it was gluten free.

Casserole Ingredients:

2 T Olive Oil
1 sm onion
8 oz white button mushrooms (chopped small)
2 cloves garlic
2 T gluten free flour (I used Pamela's all purpose gluten free flour)
2 T butter
2 c milk
1/4 t salt
1 bag frozen french cut green beans
1/2 cup fresh grated Romano cheese (divided)

Fried Onion Ingredients:

1/4 c gluten free flour mix
1/4 c milk
1 large onion cut into thin strips
1/8 t salt
about 1/2 c grapeseed oil

First make the casserole:

1. In a large sauce pan sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil.


2. Add the mushrooms when the onions are almost translucent, sauté until mushrooms are tender.


3. Remove onions and mushrooms from the pan. Turn the burner to low and make a roux with 2 T butter and gluten free flour. Melt the butter and add the flour. stir till mixed completely, but don't let it burn. Next add the milk SLOWLY. Simmer until thick and bubbly.


4. Add back the onions and mushrooms. Also add the salt.


5. Add the green beans and 1/2 the parmesan and stir.


6. Transfer all of this to a square casserole dish and bake at 350 for 30 mins.

Now make the fried onions.

1. Cut the onions into very thin strips. I used a small onion and it wasn't enough, so use 2 small or 1 large onion. Meanwhile heat the grapeseed oil.


2. Soak the onions in the milk then shake them in a bag with your gluten free flour and salt.

3. Test the oil first to see if it is hot enough with one onion. If it is hot enough the onion will sizzle when dropped in. Use tongs to drop them in the oil covering the bottom of the pan. Take them out when they are crisp and golden brown.


4. When the casserole is done, top with the remaining Romano and the french fried onions and bake for another 10 mins.


I hope you enjoy your Gluten Free Thanksgiving as much as us! Please let us know what you think.

Kristen

Friday, August 18, 2017

Piano Facelift

I love piano's! I have for as long as I can remember, I love everything about them and I have always wanted to take lessons. So when my daughter started asking at around 2 to take lessons, I was all over that. By the time she was 4, we tired lessons and she informed me that she wanted to, "Know how to play the piano, not learn how." Well, that doesn't really happen for most people.

Fast forward quite a few years, L is taking lessons and after 6 months of negotiating with my husband, him seeing how much she enjoys it and me showing him the price of a weighted keyboard, he agreed to let me get a piano that he clearly says we don't have room for. (I let him know we can sell his workout equipment that takes up 1/2 the room and put a pretty piano in it's place.) Anyway, I found this gem for just $50.


My husband isn't usually a fan of me taking on furniture projects. It takes up quite a bit of my time. But he saw this and the first thing he asked when we got it inside the house was, "Are you going to refinish that?" Needless to say, I was happy to say, "YES!"


As you can see it is a bit worn in some places.


I really though long and hard about black. It's classic, it would have been a lot easier, and it would hide some of the imperfections. But, I just don't see black or a dark stain in this room with the dark floors. It looked like a blob. I even took to fb to ask what my friends thought and most said black.

I even gave it a shot with the bench...


The dark was pretty, just not in this room.


I decided to stick with my original plan of white. What's a little more work, it should be fun! However, these keys are one of the reasons I was considering black. It would cost $500 to fix them. Unless I do it my self which is a little more then $52.


L is quite enjoying her real piano.


I paid the piano tuner a ridiculous amount of money for the 10 minutes it took for him to take apart. I put it back together since it was so simple and now I know how to do it if I ever get sick of white.


The project would have been a lot more fun if I wasn't cramming it in between helping my husband with work and soccer practices. Life really gets in the way of a good project.


At least I got it primed before the sun went completely down.


After it was painted I was excited to take the tape off and freshen up all the brass on it. Usually I am not a fan of brass, but I love the look of it with our simple 1950's piano.


I used a little suggestion from my friend Lancine at Timeless Interiors. She told me to use Bartender's Best Friend.


I am very happy with the end result!! Although there are a few things I learned along the way when you polyurethane white like, don't let any amount pool in any cracks or it turns yellow. But over all, most imperfections are gone, I was happy leaving a few and it looks 100% better.


I hope this motivates you to transform your old piano!

Kristen

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Blueberry Pie: dairy and gluten free!

My husband has always loved berry pies and I never have, mostly because of the crust. One day I decided to make him a treat, but I had to change of the crust, partly because I couldn't stand the taste and partly because shortening is terrible for your body and I refused to buy it. That pie turned out pretty good and it was the first berry pie I actually liked.

Fast forward to a couple years ago when we found our our son cannot eat any wheat or gluten, I had come up with a new pie crust which is just as amazing as the first. 


This pie only has one picture, because it never is around long enough for me to snap a shot of it!

For the pie crust:

1 1/2 c gluten free flour (I use Pamela's)
1 T sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 coconut oil (if liquid, refrigerate a bit to firm it up)
4 T water

Directions:
1. Mix the flour, sugar and salt together. Cut in the coconut oil until mixed well. Then add the water and continue cutting the dough until it is completely mixed.

2. Take a little more then 1/2 the dough and evenly press it into an 9 inch pie pan and up the sides.

3. Bake the crust at 475 for 10 minutes until browned

4. Remove from the oven and add pie filling***

5. Press the rest of the dough on a parchment paper into a circle the size of the top of the pie pan. Quickly and carefully flip the dough onto the pie and peel off the parchment paper. Pinch the edges to the pan and cut some slits in the center of the crust to vent.

For the blueberry pie:

5 c frozen organic wild blueberries (Trader Joes)
3/4 cups sugar
3 1/2 T gluten free flour blend (I use Pamela's Bread Mix)
juice of 1 lemon

Directions: 
1. Make the pie crust above, ***add the filling then the top.
2. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes
3. Reduce temp to 325 and bake for 40 more minutes
4. Broil 1-3 minutes until the top is browned
5. Remove from oven and cool a bit and eat warm and enjoy!

Kristen