Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

This April weather has sure been crazy!  This afternoon, I was busy baking cookies when I looked out and saw that it was sleeting!  What the?  It's about 46 degrees.  One more day of cold and then temperatures are supposed to be up in the high 70's! 

Now, back to the cookies!  I've been trying to buy less processed items at the store lately.  It's hard.  Especially when you have a daughter and husband who are used to all the yummy snacks you can buy in the cracker and cookie aisle!

I decided to bake some gluten-free oatmeal raisin cookies.  Yes, they still have sugar and butter in them, but at least I can pronounce what's in them!

I used the recipe from the Bob's Red Mill website.  I have used this recipe before and the cookies come out wonderful.  I make a few modifications...

1.  For the GF All Purpose Baking Flour, I use Pamela's Pancake and Baking Mix.
2.  I do not add the Baking Soda or the Xanthan Gum as Pamela's already has them in it.
3.  Instead of the 1 cup butter, I use 1/2 cup Butter plus 1/2 cup Organic Unsweetened Applesauce.  It cuts out some of the fat and makes them even healthier!

I use a cookie scooper that's bigger than a tablespoon, so I only get about 3 dozen cookies.

These cookies are a little crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy and sweet on the inside!  I had one to "test" the batch and ended up scarfing down two more!  My daughter ate three for her after-school snack. 

If you love oatmeal raisin cookies, you must try this recipe!

I'm off to put the cookies away now, before they are all gone!!!

Have a great, gluten-free day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What's in Your Fridge?

I've seen several posts about this lately.  There's whole blogs devoted to it.  Pictures of peoples' refrigerators.  Strange, but true.  You can check one out here.  Or here.  So, not to be left out, I decided it might be fun to take a picture of our fridge.  I've posted pictures of our freezer before, but never our fridge.

Now, keep in mind that this is grocery shopping day, so it's way more stocked and a little more organized than on other days of the week.  Well, maybe it's not THAT organized.  I'm trying to do better...

Since watching "Food, Inc." and reading Michael Pollan's book, "Food Rules", I've been really trying to buy more local and organic produce, whenever possible.  I found a lot of organic produce at the market today however, none of it was local.  I did buy organic tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, broccoli slaw and pears.  Most of this produce is coming from Mexico this time of year, although some was from California.

I have begun my small, veggie container garden in the house and already have some green beans!  I also planted yellow pear tomatoes and pickling cucumbers.  It's a little tough to plant too many things as I have limited space and sun!

I plan on hitting some farmer's markets soon.  I'm also sure that the local produce will be filtering in to the grocery stores soon as well.

I came home from the market to a kitchen full of unwashed dishes.  Our dishwasher has been doing some odd things the last couple of weeks.  At first, I thought it was just our very hard water.  I tried everything to clean the dishwasher out, but the dishes are still coming out like this:

Pretty yucky, huh?  So, needless to say, I've been handwashing.  Ack.  The repairman comes tomorrow, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will be my last day of sore back and pruney hands!

After washing all the dishes, I decided to use some of the produce I purchased and make a pasta salad for dinner.

There are no measurements to this recipe, I just throw stuff in!  I love these kind of recipes!

Ancient Harvest Quinoa Garden Pagodas Gluten-Free Pasta, cooked according to package directions
Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half longways
Cucumbers, cubed
Black Olives (I forgot I bought the Jumbo size...wow...these babies are huge!)
Vermont Cheddar Cheese, cubed
Olive Oil/Vinegar Based Dressing, to taste  (I used Ken's Light Northern Italian w/ Basil and Romano, it's gluten-free!)

You could also throw some gluten-free meat, but I didn't this time. (Like cubed ham, turkey, chicken or Hormel Turkey Pepperoni, for instance)

Mix all ingredients together, chill and voila!

I will probably serve it with hot dogs and grape jello for dessert.  Yes, I know, Michael Pollan wouldn't approve.  Although, the last rule of  "Food Rules" is:

"Break the rules once in a while."

Gotta love a book like that!

P.S.  Have you signed the "Food Revolution Petition" yet?  If not, you should.  You can click on the link above left...

Have a great, gluten-free day!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Gluten-Free Icy Treats

We've had some really nice, warm days so far in April.  Of course, as I'm writing this today, it's cold and rainy, but I prefer not to talk about that!  LOL!

When it's nice weather and my daughter plays outdoors, she loves to have an "ice pop" when she comes in.  It's always nice to have a treat in the freezer for her and her girlfriends.

I've been noticing that more and more items are being marked "gluten-free".  Every time I go into the market, I find something new.  I always get a little excited when I see an item, clearly marked as gluten-free!

This week, I came across two icy-cold treats that I new my daughter would like.

First is Philly Swirls Cups.   We have bought these in the past, but I never noticed the Gluten Free labeling on the box.  They are also Dairy, Peanut/Tree Nut, Egg, Soy and Fat Free.  They also just added CANDY SPOONZ!  You should have seen my daughter's face when she saw those! 

I really like these little frozen cups of ice.  They remind me of the Italian Ices I used to buy from the Ice Cream Truck in the Summer.

They come in different flavors like Rainbow, Sunburst, Tie Dye, Hurricane, Bananaberry and Cotton Candy.

This week I also found Del Monte Fruit Chillers Frozen Fruit Sorbet.  I had totally missed these before.  They are in the aisle with the applesauce and canned fruit!

From the Fruit Chillers Website:

"One serving of Fruit Chillers sorbet contains 3/4 servings of real fruit.  It does not contain high fructose corn syrup. Each serving of Raspberry or Strawberry Fruit Chillers sorbet contains 100% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C. Each serving of Mango and Peach Fruit Chillers sorbet contains 150% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C."

It's hard to see it in my photo, but the box is clearly marked "GLUTEN FREE".

They come in Frosty Peach, Artic Strawberry, Glacial Mango and Polar Raspberry.  Fruit Chillers also come in Strawberry Snow Storm and Grape Berry Blizzard Tubes.  (I need to find those grape ones!)

The peach sorbet is really yummy!  I'm not much of a sorbet gal, I usually head right for the ice cream, but I would definitely buy these again. 

So, if you are looking for a cold treat on a hot day, these will surely hit the spot!

Have a great, gluten-free weekend!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Allergies, Neti Pots and a Review of Gluten-Free Balance Pure Bars

I can't believe it.  I was so busy last week that I didn't get to post anything.  Doctor's appointments, Spring cleaning, yard work, shopping.  So much to do and so little time!  I'm having trouble keeping up.  Now, my daughter has a cough that just won't quit.  I'm hoping it's just allergies and not another bout of walking pneumonia!  Thank goodness for school vacations and cough medicine with codeine!  LOL!

It's definitely the season for the neti pot!  I think that it is possibly the best invention that ever was.  I use it when I start to get that sniffly, headachy, allergy feeling.  I can't take allergy medications because they give me heart palpitations, so this is a godsend for me.  It really, really works.

For those of you who have never used o a neti pot, here is a quick little video on how to use one.  I know, it looks gross, BUT IT WORKS.  I wish I could get my daughter to try it, but being 10 years-old, I don't think it would go very well.

While I was at Price Chopper yesterday, I found two new Balance Pure Bars or at least they were new to me.  Berry Berry Chia and Chocolate Cashew flavored.  Bonus...the Chocolate Cashew flavored bars were on sale for $1 each!  Score!  These new Balance Pure bars are clearly marked Gluten-Free.

Each bar has 170 calories, 6 grams of fat and 4 grams of fiber.  The ingredients are: Evaporated Cane Juice Inverst Syrup, Cashews, Soynuts, Dates, Cocoa, Soy Protein Isolate, Peanut Oil, Salt.  If you have a nut or soy allergy, these are not for you...

Ok.  I have a confession to make.  It is 12:15pm on a Wednesday afternoon.  I am still sitting here in my pajamas, writing my post, eating the Chocolate Cashew Balance Bar.  There.  I feel better now.  And the bar is really good!

I'm going to throw one of these bars in my purse for emegencies and they will definitely be nice to bring along on road trips.

Now, I have a question for all of you.  Does this happen to you?

I am in water bottle washing hell.  I'm being so careful to be environmentally correct, that I find myself endlessly washing everyone's water and coffee bottles.  In the morning they are filled and taken off to work and school, only to return to the sink in the evening, waiting to be washed.  Over and over and over.  Like Groundhog's Day! 

I leave you now, with a picture of my daughter, taken over the weekend at Lake George, NY.  Ahhhhhh....

I hope you all have a wonderful, gluten-free day!