Friday, July 31, 2009

Shells and Cheese with Breaded Tomatoes - Gluten Free

Since it is tomato season I thought you would enjoy this variation on my Super Easy Mac n' Cheese recipe. The only change you need to make to the original recipe is to top the casserole with ripe sliced tomatoes before sprinkling with the gluten free bread crumb-Parmesan mixture prior to baking. I swapped out shell pasta for elbow macaroni for a fun variation, but any pasta shape will do the trick. I adore tomatoes so this is my all time favorite way to prepare mac n'cheese. Give it a try... it might just become your favorite too!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cinde's Gluten Free Spotlight - Majans Bhuja

Today Cinde's Gluten Free Spotlight is shining on:


I have a thing for East Indian food. I could eat it every single day if given the chance. When I first tasted Majans Bhuja snacks I was thrilled that I actually could have a taste of India each day in the form of a crunchy delicious snack. You may be wondering "What is Bhuja?". Bhuja is an Indian family favorite snack. The recipe for Bhuja mixes and spices goes back many generations. It is said that that each household has it's own Bhuja recipe. Majans is the company in Australia that was first to manufacture Bhuja commercially and make it available nationwide. Majans Bhuja comes in four phenomenally good flavors: Original Mix, Cracker Mix, Fruit Mix, and Nut Mix. I have tried them all and I think they are equally tasty. Majans Bhuja is a very yin and yang (perfectly balanced) snack. It is crunchy from gluten free noodles, crackers, nuts, and dried peas yet soft from dried fruits. It is spicy from a blend of Indian spices such as cumin, coriander, chilies, turmeric and paprika, yet sweet from raisins and other dried fruits. This unbeatable blend of crunchy-soft-sweet-spicy ingredients truly sets it apart from any other snack food I have ever had. Because it is so satisfying you will find yourself eating less of it that other snack foods. If you did eat a lot in one sitting you wouldn't need to worry because Bhuja is gluten free, 100% natural, a good source of protein, cholesterol free, and has a low glycemic index. To find a store near you that carries Majans Bhuja visit .

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Creamy Mustard Thyme Potato Salad - Gluten Free

Potato salad has the amazing ability to transport me back to the simpler days of my childhood. One creamy bite is all it takes to invoke cherished memories of family reunions in the park, summer time pool parties, church potlucks and my Grandmother's busy kitchen. Not just any potato salad has this effect on me, in fact store bought potato salad is at the top of my least favorite foods list. Potato salad must be homemade to be glorious. I love how every home-cook puts their own unique spin on their potato salad recipe. I am known for my Creamy Mustard Thyme Potato Salad in my family, although I do make a more traditional potato salad at times which is also delicious. It's the simplicity of my Creamy Mustard Thyme Potato Salad that allows each of the individual ingredients to shine through. No summer BBQ is complete with out a big bowl of creamy potato salad, so why not give my Creamy Mustard Thyme Potato Salad a try?

Creamy Mustard Thyme Potato Salad - Gluten Free

2 large baking potatoes, baked until fork tender

Red wine vinegar

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons prepared Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves)

2 thyme sprigs for garnish (optional)

Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

When potatoes are still warm but cool enough to handle, peel off skins (discard skins or save for another use). Cut potatoes into large bite size chunks. Gently transfer potato chunks to a medium sized glass mixing bowl (do not use metal, it reacts with vinegar). While potatoes are still warm, lightly drizzle with red wine vinegar. VERY GENTLY fold potatoes over and lightly drizzle newly exposed potatoes with red wine vinegar. Gently fold potatoes once more; set aside. In a small mixing bowl combine mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, minced thyme, and fresh ground pepper. Pour dressing over potatoes. VERY GENTLY fold dressing into potatoes until evenly coated. Transfer potato salad to a serving bowl and top with fresh thyme sprigs to garnish if desired. Serve immediately to enjoy it warm (my favorite way!) or chill if desired. Yield: 4-6 servings

*For more great menu ideas visit The Gluten Free Homemaker and check out the What Can I Eat That's Gluten Free? feature.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cinde's Gluten Free Spotlight - Food Should Taste Good Tortilla Chips & Mock Deep Fried Ice Cream Recipe - Gluten Free

Today Cinde's Gluten Free Spotlight is shining on:

Food Should Taste Good Tortilla Chips

These are not your ordinary tortilla chips friends! Food Should Taste Good Tortilla Chips are made from the highest quality, all-natural ingredients. The ingredients are baked right into the chips (as opposed to coating the outside) which gives them far more flavor. All chip varieties are gluten free, cholesterol and trans fat free, and do not use genetically modified ingredients (GMOs). They are also certified Kosher, lower in sodium, and are a good source of dietary fiber.

Food Should Taste Good Tortilla Chips are available in eleven tempting varieties: Multigrain, Sweet Potato, Olive, Jalapeno, The Works!, Buffalo, Chocolate, Potato & Chive, Cinnamon, Lime and Yellow Corn. Food Should Taste Good is offering a $1 off coupon on their website to anyone that joins up for their fan club(

In my opinion the coolest thing about Food Should Taste Good Tortilla Chips is that they double as deliciously different gluten free crackers, desserts and potato chips. For example, the Potato Chive Tortilla Chips bag says: (it's a potato chip, too!). The Olive, The Works!, and many other varieties say (it's a cracker, too!), and the Chocolate and Cinnamon Tortilla Chips say (it's a dessert, too!). There are suggestions on each bag for creative serving ideas for the different varieties of tortilla chips. The Chocolate Tortilla Chip bag suggests you try pairing them with: peanut butter and banana slices, vanilla ice cream, salsa--really, try it!, or even heating them gently. I have come up with endless ways to enjoy the wide range of flavors on my own as well. I love using the Multi Grain tortilla Chips to scoop up warmed baked beans with shredded mozzarella mixed in for a quick, tasty lunch. I have enjoyed goat cheese spread on nearly every flavor (they really are like a cracker and can hold up to spreading with out breaking). My all time favorite discovery is using the Cinnamon Tortilla Chips to make Mock Deep Fried Ice Cream. If you like the deep fried ice cream served in Mexican restaurants and miss it since going gluten free you are in luck. I PROMISE you that this simple non-fried recipe will taste EXACTLY like deep fried ice cream... flavor, texture, and all!

Mock Deep Fried Ice Cream - Gluten Free

Vanilla Ice Cream

Food Should Taste Good Cinnamon Tortilla Chips, broken into smaller pieces

Chocolate syrup

Whipped Cream

Maraschino Cherries

Scoop as much vanilla ice cream as you want into a bowl. Sprinkle generously with broken Food Should Taste Good Cinnamon Tortilla Chips. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Top with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry if desired.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Double Berry Cream Pie - Gluten Free

I have made this delectable gluten free Double Berry Cream Pie faithfully each summer for the past 7 years. When berries are abundant this is the first dessert I think of. My crisp, buttery, gluten free cookie crust pairs perfectly with the sweet cream filling and white chocolate dipped strawberries. The fresh blueberries and whipped cream top this pie with both beauty and great flavors. There are no shortage of oohs and ahs when I bring this beloved dessert to the table. My family and guests alike say it is one of the best pies they have ever had. I have to agree... I just love it! I am confident that I will be proudly passing this recipe down to my daughters, and that is truly sweet.

*For more delicious menu ideas visit The Gluten Free Homemaker and check out the "What Can I Eat That's Gluten Free?" feature.

Double Berry Cream Pie - Gluten Free

6 squares ( 1 oz. each) white baking chocolate

8 whole fresh strawberries, halved lengthwise

1 baked and cooled 9 inch Gluten Free Cookie Crust (recipe to follow)

3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, cubed

3/4 cup confectioners sugar

3/4 cup cold milk

1 package (3.3 oz.) instant vanilla pudding mix

1 cup fresh blueberries

Whipped cream for decorating pie (I used canned whipped cream)

In a microwave or heavy saucepan, melt white chocolate; stir until smooth. Dip the halved strawberries halfway in chocolate. Place cut side down on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until set. Spread the remaining melted chocolate over the bottom and sides of crust. Arrange sliced strawberries in crust.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners sugar until smooth. Gradually add milk; mix well. Beat in pudding mix on low speed for 2 minutes or until thickened; spread evenly over sliced strawberries. Place blueberries in center of pie. Arrange dipped strawberries around the edge. Squirt whipped cream stars (using canned whipped cream) between the strawberries and blueberries. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 8 servings

Gluten Free Cookie Crust

1-1/2 cups crushed gluten free vanilla cookies (I use EnviroKidz Organic Gluten Free Vanilla Animal Cookies which I buy in bulk from to save money)

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup (one stick) melted butter

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix butter, sugar, and crumbs together and press into a 9 inch pie plate. Bake 8 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Fill with your favorite no bake filling. Yield: One 9 inch pie crust.

*Recipe adapted from Light & Tasty magazine

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sign the Petition to Bring the Gluten Free Valencia Orange Cake Back to Starbucks!

For unknown reasons Starbucks has discontinued selling the yummy new gluten free Valencia Orange Cake. What a shame! There was finally a place on nearly every corner of every town that a gluten free individual could stop and grab a baked treat. We need Starbucks to understand how important having that option is to us. Please click on the link provided below to sign the petition for Starbucks to reconsider it's decision to discontinue the gluten free Valencia Orange Cake. We are hoping to get at least 5000 signatures, so be sure to forward this to as many gluten free people you know. If you have a blog or website please post the petition link on your site.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Eggplant Parmigiano - Gluten Free

I am participating in the July Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger event which is being hosted this month by Heather at Celiac Family. This event helps gluten free bloggers connect with one another by trying each other's recipes. I have so many delicious menu ideas printed from my favorite gluten free blogs that it was nearly impossible to decide who's recipe to make. I finally decided on Gina from The Gluten-Free Gourmand's recipe for Eggplant Parmigiano. This is easily the most flavorful gluten free Italian comfort food recipe that I have ever tasted. The eggplant has a perfectly crisp coating and the oodles of melted fresh mozzarella put this dish over the top. Since making it I have been craving it more often than I would like to admit. ;-) I have already added eggplant to my shopping list so I can make it again next week! Do try Gina's recipe for Eggplant Parmigiano from her Gluten-Free Gourmand website soon. You'll be glad you did!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Nectarine Goat Cheese Salad with Candied Pecans and Pineapple Thyme Dressing - Gluten Free

I love summer for it's fragrant, beautiful fruits. In my opinion nectarines and peaches are at the top of the list. The scent of a ripe nectarine or peach is like no other on earth. Their juices are like nectar from the gods. Because I like these fruits so much, I try to use them in more diverse ways than simply snacking on them whole, or cutting them up to top my morning cereal. My gluten free Nectarine Goat Cheese Salad with Candied Pecan and Pineapple Thyme Dressing is a perfect example of how you can creatively incorporate these special summer fruits into a fantastic light meal. I love this salad for it's natural fruity sweetness and for the unbeatable combination of creamy and crunchy textures. This refreshing gluten free salad contains plenty of protein from the goat cheese and the nuts so I often serve it as a main dish when nectarines are in season. Served in smaller portions it also makes a unique side salad for your favorite entrees. The candied pecans in this recipe are so mind-blowingly good that you may want to make extra to munch on as an indulgent snack the next day (trust me on this one!). Enjoy!

Nectarine Goat Cheese Salad with Candied Pecans and Pineapple Thyme Dressing - Gluten Free

1 bag spring mix salad greens

1 cup pecan halves

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

pinch of salt (or to taste)

4 ripe nectarines

1 log of goat cheese (Plain or flavored goat cheese can be used. I used a flavor called Peppadew which was infused with red piquante peppers; it added a bit of heat to the dish which complimented the sweetness.)

Pineapple Thyme Dressing (recipe to follow)

fresh ground black pepper (to taste)

Toast pecans in a small skillet over medium-low heat stirring constantly until just fragrant but not browned (be careful, once they are fragrant nuts can burn quickly!). Reduce heat to low. Add butter, stirring constantly until melted. Add brown sugar and a pinch of salt, stirring constantly until dissolved and slightly thickened. Immediately remove nuts from skillet and spread on a dinner plate to cool. Meanwhile, prepare the Pineapple Thyme Dressing (recipe to follow) and set aside. Chop the nectarines into bite size pieces. Divide salad greens evenly amongst 4 salad plates. Top with chopped nectarines. Slice the goat cheese into 1/4 inch rounds and distribute evenly on the tops of the salad, slightly overlapping slices. Sprinkle candied pecans over the salads. Drizzle Pineapple Thyme Dressing over each salad. Season salads with fresh ground pepper to taste. Yield: 4 servings

Pineapple Thyme Dressing - Gluten Free

1/4 cup agave nectar

1 1/2 tablespoons crushed pineapple

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/8 teaspoon dried thyme OR 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced

3/4 teaspoon salt

freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Put the agave nectar, pineapple and lemon juice in a blender. Process for 15 seconds or until well blended. With the blender running, SLOWLY pour the olive oil in a THIN stream into the pineapple mixture until dressing emulsifies (it will appear well blended and slightly thickened). Add thyme, salt and pepper. Blend briefly to combine. Yield: approximately 3/4 cup dressing.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Cinde's Gluten Free Spotlight - Snikkidy Snacks

When I find a great gluten free product I just have to share! Be on the look out for upcoming Cinde's Gluten Free Spotlight posts to get the scoop on my gluten free favorites!

Today Cinde's Gluten Free Spotlight is shining on:

Snikkidy Snacks Cheese Puffs

I first discovered Snikiddy Snacks Cheese Puffs when they were introduced on the Rachael Ray show. I was intrigued with the idea of a healthy gluten free cheese puff. My family loves cheese puffs. The leading brand is gluten free, but I don't consider them the best snack choice. The residual fluorescent orange fingers always leave me with the creepy feeling that they simply can't be good for us. I also rejected the leading brand of cheese puff after finding out that they are not vegetarian (the cheese used in them contains animal rennet). I have tried a few cheese puff imitators from the health food stores and Trader Joe's but they didn't have the flavor or texture we were looking for; my kids wouldn't touch them. Snikiddy Snacks Cheese Puffs promised a great tasting gluten free vegetarian cheese puff that was family-friendly and made from wholesome and real ingredients. With tempting flavors like Grilled Cheese, Mac n' Cheese, Pizza, and Nacho Cheese I thought it was worth a try to do a taste test with my super-finicky family. Here are my children's real un-edited comments upon tasting Snikkidy Snacks Cheese Puffs for the first time...

Child #1:
"These are really fluffy and I don't know how they make them." "These are great!" "Can I take these to school as snacks?" "I think we should buy these every day, I want to marry these and eat them for the rest of my life, they are so good."

Child #2:
"These taste exactly like Cheetos." "Ummm, these are good!" "If you put these in a row and let someone who wasn't gluten free taste them they would think they were regular Cheetos."

Child # 3:
"They don't get your fingers all messy like Cheetos but they still taste cheesy." "I love them!" "I think we should always get these, I would rather have these than Cheetos!"

I have to agree with my family (with the exception of wanting to marry the cheese puffs like my youngest child). I thought they were the closest thing to a traditional cheese puff that I have found that is healthy, vegetarian, gluten free, and deliciously munch-able.

Snikiddy Snacks Cheese Puffs are available in family size or individual size multi pack bags. They are currently available at Toys "R" Us stores, natural and conventional grocery stores including Whole Foods Market, and online through and Click here if you would like a printable coupon to use for your next Snikiddy Snacks Cheese Puffs purchase!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tri-Spiced Onion Rings with Horseradish Dipping Sauce - Gluten Free

My fellow foodies, this is the best recipe for gluten free onion rings I have ever tasted! They are crispy, flavorful, perfectly seasoned and have an out of this world dipping sauce to make them even more delicious (if that is possible!). I found this recipe in my new Gluten Free Every Day Cookbook written by Robert Landolphi. Given the success of Mr. Landolphi's onion ring recipe I am eager to try his recipe for gluten free Flaky Pie Crust next. He promises it will taste as good as Grandma's pie crust. My Grandma's pie crust is amazing, so I must put this claim to the test... time to dip into my recent cherry harvest and make a cherry pie! I like the easy, family friendly recipes in the Gluten Free Every Day Cookbook . I wish I had a copy of it when I was newly gluten free, as it has great tips and advice on gluten free cooking that would have cleared up much of the confusion I felt back then. I appreciate this cookbook at this point on my gluten free journey simply because the recipes are so appealing. For my fellow vegetarians: although there are many recipes in the book that contain meat, I found there to be enough meatless recipes in the book to balance it out nicely (several are for baked goods!). Enjoy this recipe for Mr. Landolphi's phenomenal gluten free Tri-Spiced Onion Rings with Horseradish Dipping sauce. Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know how much you like them!

Tri-Spiced Onion Rings with Horseradish Dipping Sauce - Gluten Free

Horseradish Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons ketchup

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish

1/4 teaspoon paprika


1 cup white rice flour

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

2 large egg yolks

3/4 cup gluten free beer (I used Redbridge)

Additional Ingredients

Canola oil for deep frying (I used peanut oil)

2 large white onions, cut into 1/2 inch thick rings and separated

For the horseradish sauce: In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together and set aside.

For the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the white rice flour, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt. Gradually whisk in the egg yolks and beer until a smooth, thick batter forms.

In a large, heavy saute pan or dutch oven (I used my deep fryer), heat 3 inches of canola oil (I used peanut oil) until it registers 360 degrees on a deep frying thermometer (or until your deep fryer is ready if using one). Dip a few onion rings at a time into the batter and then add to the hot oil, cooking until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the cooked onion rings to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining onion rings until all are cooked. Place the onion rings on a platter and serve with the dipping sauce (tip: as I made the rings, I transferred them to a paper towel lined oven proof platter in a 175 degree oven to keep them warm as I worked). Yield: 6 servings


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Cherry Muffins (Two Variations) - Gluten Free

Happy 4th of July my gluten free friends! My cherry tree has blessed me with an abundance of gorgeous, sweet fruit this summer. I decided to use some of my harvest to make these two beautiful cherry muffin recipes for the 4th of July holiday. I am confident that these recipes will also please the cherry lovers in your family, anytime of year!

Cherry Banana Walnut Muffins - Gluten Free

2 1/2 cups Pamela's Wheat Free Baking and Pancake Mix (I buy the 4 lb. bags in bulk from to save money)

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup mashed ripe bananas

1/2 cup fresh or frozen cherries, pitted & chopped

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients (except cherries) together. Carefully fold in cherries until just evenly distributed. Spoon into muffin pan lined with paper baking cups, until nearly full. Bake on center rack of oven for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Yield: 12 muffins.

Cinde :)

Recipe posted by Cinde at:

*Adapted from a recipe by Pamela's Products

Sparkling Cherry Chocolate Chip Muffins - Gluten Free

2 1/2 cups Pamela's Wheat Free Baking and Pancake Mix (I buy the 4 lb. bags in bulk from to save money)

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup fresh or frozen cherries, pitted & chopped

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Coarse decorating sugar, for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients (except cherries, chocolate chips and coarse decorating sugar) together. Carefully fold in cherries and chocolate chips until just evenly distributed. Spoon into muffin pan lined with paper baking cups, until nearly full. Sprinkle with coarse decorating sugar. Bake on center rack of oven for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Yield: 12 muffins.


*Adapted from a recipe by Pamela's Products

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Busy Day Soup - Gluten Free

Admit it. You've all had those days when your head is spinning in three directions like Linda Blair from being over committed. All of a sudden you look at the clock and can't believe that it is dinner time and you haven't even begun to consider the notion of cooking. It isn't likely that you are going to break out your culinary guns at this point; dinner is a tie between sad left-overs and cold cereal. Fear not my friends. I have just the pantry-friendly meal to save you. No, my Busy Day Soup recipe will not win you a ribbon at the county fair, but it will definitely taste as heck of a lot better than your alternatives. Many gluten free households have a box of Annie's Gluten-Free Rice Pasta & Cheddar Mac & Cheese on hand, but few know that it can be transformed into a hearty comforting soup in mere minutes. Keep this recipe on hand for those ultra-busy nights and be proud to serve something that you still put your heart into.

For more great meal ideas visit the Gluten Free Homemaker and check out What's For Dinner? Wednesday.

Busy Day Soup - Gluten Free

1 (14 oz.) can ready to serve vegetable broth (at this writing Swanson's is gluten free)

1 cup water

1 box Annie's Gluten-Free Rice Pasta & Cheddar Mac & Cheese (tip: buy your Annie's Mac & Cheese in bulk from; it will really help your budget!)

1 (14.5 oz.) creamed corn

1 cup chopped vegetables (I used frozen peas; do not chop the peas!)

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice)

1/2 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon mustard powder

sour cream for serving (optional)

In a large saucepan bring broth and water to a boil. Add Annie's Gluten Free Rice Pasta and Cheese Dinner mix and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer covered for 11 minutes or until al dente. Stir in creamed corn, vegetables, milk, salt, paprika, mustard powder and the cheese packet from the Annie's Mac & Cheese mix - heat through, stirring frequently until vegetables are tender. Reduce heat to low. Add shredded cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Serve each bowl with a dollop of sour cream if desired. Yield: 4-6 servings

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