November 24, 2014

Gluten Free Cream of Celery Soup


One of my all time favorite casseroles is called, Vegetable Casserole. It is one that I feel like I MUST have at Thanksgiving. I can not tell you how amazingly delicious it is. The ingredients seem a little strange, but do not let that hinder you from creating one of the tastiest casseroles you have ever had!!! I am hoping to get that recipe posted soon, but for now, the "cream of" soup that you need in Vegetable Casserole is Cream of Celery. 

Cream of Celery Soup

6 Stalks of Celery, Diced (Aprox 2 1/2c.)
1/2c. Yellow Onion, Diced
1/2T Salt
1/2T Garlic
1t. Pepper
1T Olive Oil
-Combine above ingredients into a large stock pot. Sweat out celery and onions until they are soft. 

-Add in:
3T Butter or Olive Oil
1/4c. Gluten Free Flour
-Combine all with a spatula and let cook for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally so that it does not burn. 



-1c. At a time, with a spatula, add in:
6c. Milk (Coconut Milk, Almond Milk, Cows Milk all work)
Before you add anything beyond the first cup of milk, make sure all the lumps of roux are smoothed out and all is combined well. 

Let cook for approximately 30 minutes on medium heat. If you are unhappy with the thickness, add in a mixture of cornstarch and water. Allow soup to set for at least 24 hours so flavors can "marry" and the soup can thicken more. 

Side Note:
The Vegetable Casserole is a combination of green beans, corn, cream of celery soup, diced green bell pepper, and cheddar cheese. I top mine with a crumbled biscuit and slivered almond mixture, drizzled with olive oil or melted butter. Exact measurements coming soon!!! 



Holiday Turkey Compound Butter


If you are looking for an easy way to get flavor and crispiness onto your Holiday Turkey, look no further. This recipe is absolutely delicious! I really have nothing else to say about it. It is SO GOOD!

Holiday Turkey Compound Butter

2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter (Make sure it is unsalted)
1T Salt
1/2t. White Pepper
2t. Garlic Powder
1 1/2t. Thyme
2t. Sage
1T. Parsley
1T. Dried, Minced Onion

Combine all together and put in a covered/sealed container for at least 24 hours. Rinse your turkey and dry it off. Separate the skin from the turkey and apply some of the compound butter up under the skin, between the skin and the meat. Apply liberally. Use the remaining butter to cover the outside of your turkey. Follow the instructions from your turkey's manufacturer to make sure you cook it on the proper temperature and for the correct amount of time, per pound. Make sure to cook your turkey to 165 degrees. Use a meat thermometer and stick it into the thickest part of the turkey breast. Let your turkey "rest" under a tent of aluminum foil, for thirty minutes before "trimming". 



Gluten Free Cream of Mushroom Soup



When I was growing up, Thanksgiving wasn't "Thanksgiving", without my Mom's Green Bean Casserole. I'm sure it is just like your Mom's recipe, cream of mushroom soup, green beans, a boiled egg, and French's fried onions on top. When I was diagnosed with Celiac, I really thought my days of a delicious Thanksgiving meal was over. I discovered the canned cream of mushroom soup at Whole Foods, but honestly, who can really afford that stuff? That is when I was inspired to write my own recipe for cream of mushroom soup. Not only is it dairy free, gluten free, and nut free, but it's healthier than the canned stuff. 

This recipe makes nine cups, yes, NINE! You can always cut it in half, if you need less, or you can make the full recipe, use half of it at Thanksgiving, then freeze and save the other half for Christmas. If you have a gluten free flour, salt, garlic powder, butter or olive oil, and an onion already on hand, then this recipe will cost you less than $10. I've found that an 8-10oz container of Gluten Free Cream of Mushroom soup is approximately $3.00, depending on where you live and where you are shopping. In order to get nine cups of GF cream of mushroom soup, you would have to buy 7-8 containers. That is a total cost of $21-$25 and with the cost of the Thanksgiving meal, I like to save wherever I can! 

Even if you aren't gluten intolerant, this recipe is easily made with normal flours and milk. Just substitute it all out! This recipe is healthier and contains less sodium than the leading can or container of cream of mushroom soup. The sodium and calories alone is a good enough reason to make your own. My cream of mushroom soup, contains 960mg of sodium per cup. A leading brand can of cream of mushroom soup contains 1740mg of sodium per cup. My homemade cream of mushroom soup is also 45 calories per cup, compared to 200 calories per cup of the leading brand. We consume so many empty calories at Thanksgiving, this is a good place to fix that! 

Cream of Mushroom Soup

2, 8oz Containers of Mushrooms, diced
1/2c. Yellow Onion, diced
1/2T. Salt
1/2T. Garlic
1T Olive Oil
-Combine ingredients above in a large stock pot and cook down the mushrooms and onions until soft. 



-Add in:
3T. Butter or Olive Oil (Let butter melt before adding in the flour)
1/4c. Gluten Free Flour
-Combine with a spatula and let cook for about ten minutes. Stir occasionally so that it doesn't burn.



-Begin to add in Milk, using a whisk, one cup at a time. 
Half Gallon of Milk (I used coconut. You can also use Almond or Cow's Milk)

Let the soup cook and thicken on medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so it does not burn. If you have not reached your desired thickness, use cornstarch and water mixture to thicken. 



I like to make this a couple of days ahead of time, that way, the soup has enough time for the flavors to "marry", and it will also thicken as it stands in the refrigerator. 

Use this soup in any of your favorite casseroles that call for "Cream of Mushroom Soup" and you will forget that you were ever diagnosed with Celiac Disease!!!

August 12, 2014

Gooey Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies


Am I the only one who feels like I can make a great chocolate chip cookie and then on day two or three, they are hard as a rock? I've been wanting a good gooey cookie that will stay gooey until they are gone. I'm hoping I've finally figured it out.

I have taken Pamela's Gluten Free Baking Mix's Cookie Recipe and I've added extra flour, extra baking powder, and the more noticeable one, rainbow sprinkles (just for fun).

Pamela's Recipe

7T Room Temperature Butter (I always use 1 stick)
1/4c. Light Brown Sugar
1/4c. White Sugar
1 Egg
1t. Vanilla
1 1/2c. Pamela's Baking Mix
1c. Chocolate Chips

My additions:
2T. Baking Mix
1t. Baking Powder
1/4c. Sprinkles

Cream together butter and both sugars, add in egg and vanilla. Slowly add in baking mix. When all is combined, fold in the sprinkles and chocolate chips.

This time, instead of baking the cookies right away, I let the dough refrigerate for about 15 hours (overnight, plus some) before I baked my cookies. 350 degrees for 9 minutes and then I let them sit on the baking sheet for about 3-4 minutes before I moved them to a cooling rack.

June 29, 2014

Domino Cookie Copy Cat Recipe



Before I was diagnosed with Celiac, I absolutely loved these super chocolaty cookies from The Great American Cookie Company. They are such a rich chocolate and chewy cookie with white chocolate chips. The past few weeks I've been looking for a recipe for these cookies, but everything I've seen didn't look like it would work with gluten free ingredients. I finally pulled few ideas together and decided I would just "wing it".

I wish I could explain how AMAZING these cookies are! I mean, holy cow, I can't get enough of them. I seriously think they taste almost exactly like what I remember The Cookie Company's tasting like. To be completely honest, they don't taste gluten free, at all. If someone else would have made these cookies for me, I would have been very nervous about thirty minutes after my first bite. They are THAT GOOD! Make them and let me know if you agree!

Domino Copy Cat Cookies

-2 Sticks of Softened Butter (1c)
-1 1/2c. Sugar
-2 Eggs
-2t. Vanilla
-2c. Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix
-3/4c. Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder
-1 1/2c. White Chocolate Chips

Combine the flour and cocoa powder in a separate bowl with a whisk, set to the side.

Cream together the butter and sugar. When it's well combined, add the eggs, one at a time and then add the vanilla. Get all of these ingredients well incorporated and then start to add the flour and cocoa powder mixture. After all ingredients are well mixed the dough will be very thick. At this time fold in the white chocolate chips.

Place 2T. size dollops of cookie dough on to parchment paper lined cookie sheets (I used my silk mats) and place in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Let them cool on the cookie sheet for about 2 minutes and then move them to a cooling rack. Enjoy them warm or cooled. Either way, they are incredible!!!

June 26, 2014

All Natural Popsicles



My sweet Hadley absolutely LOVES popsicles. I haven't really found a good all natural popsicle on the island that is low in sugar (besides natural sugars) and isn't packed full of artificial flavors and colors. A few months ago, we decided to try making our own and I can not tell you how much she loves them! The last batch I made, I used all the strawberries and bananas I had on hand, and it didn't make enough "popsicle batter" to fill up our six molds, so I added some of her apple juice to be a filler. This go round, I had plenty of everything so that I didn't have to put anything else in this batch except for fresh fruit.

These popsicles are 100% gluten free, dairy free, nut free, and all natural. Including, no extra sugar added. You really can't beat these popsicles, they will cost a little more to make (versus buying at the grocery store) but they are a guaranteed crowd pleaser and you know that they are 100% safe for your kids!

All Natural Popsicles

3 Bananas
2c. (Aprox. 20) Dieced Strawberries
1 1/2c. Blueberries

Place in a food processor and combine fruit until desired consistency is reached.

Makes 3 1/2c. of  "Popsicle Batter". For the size molds we have, it made six popsicles with about 1/3c. left over for us to eat.


Gluten Free Meatballs

I wish I could tell you that this is a meatball recipe that has been in my family for "years", but it has not. Growing up, we didn't eat a lot of spaghetti. My Mom was (and still is) a wonderful cook, she was very creative and we always had something delicious on the dinner table, but we didn't eat a lot of tomato based sauces because my Dad had a bout with stomach ulcers when I was in the first grade. I remember when my Dad would be out of town at a conference or mission trip, we would ALWAYS have spaghetti one night. Funny how little things like that, stick in your memory, even 20 years later. Being the lucky one that I am, I inherited my Dad's stomach and bouts of painful acid reflux, so I usually have to stay away from heavy tomato based sauces. There are times though, where I keep the acid reflux meds in my pocket and eat it up!

Clint loves spaghetti and meatballs, so every now and then, I pull out all the stops and throw together these meatballs. I use all dried ingredients when I make these because I let them sit overnight after I have rolled them together. In my opinion, letting all those dried herbs sink into the meat overnight, makes a huge difference.

Gluten Free/Bread Free/Flour Free Meatballs

1.25lb Ground Turkey
1/2-1t. Sea Salt
1/2-1t. Freshly Ground Pepper
2t. Dried Minced Onion
2t. Dried Oregano
1/2t. Dried Sage
1/2t. Dried Thyme
1T. Dried Parsley
1/2t. Dried Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
1/2t. Dried Garlic Powder
2T Batch 501 Original Sauce
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 Egg Yolk

LIGHTLY Combine together all ingredients, do not "over mix". Once all ingredients are combined, scoop out a heaping tablespoon of meat. It is basically 2T of meat mixture. Lightly roll into a ball and place in a 9X13 baking dish that you have drizzled with olive oil. Continue until all the mixture is gone.

Makes approximately 15 meatballs, depending on size.

Let meatballs sit in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, bake for 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees. Once the meatballs have reached an internal temperature of 165, place them in your spaghetti sauce and let them sit there until dinner time.

ENJOY!


June 1, 2014

Banana & Blueberry Muffins



It has been almost six years since I've had a blueberry muffin and before Celiac, they used to be one of my favorites!!! I was at Sam's a few days ago, and decided to grab their 2lb. container of fresh blueberries. It's probably the cheapest place on the island to buy ANY fruit, and it still isn't that cheap. Clint and Hadley both love fresh blueberries, and my parents are coming to visit this week, and they do too, so I figured, "why not?".

Clint had to work Saturday, and when I asked Hadley what she wanted for breakfast, she said, "muffins, but not the apple ones". That's when I remembered I had all those blueberries! She got excited when I told her we would make blueberry muffins and that's when I started to think about my Dad. He's recently found out that he is just borderline diabetic (it's a family thing). I wanted to see if I could make these without any refined sugar so that I could make them again this week. I almost did, but then added some brown sugar. When my Dad is here, I will probably use honey instead, and I think they will still be delicious! ENJOY!!!!

Banana & Blueberry Muffins

For this recipe, I used my KitchenAid Stand Mixer. I kept the motor running and added everything in the order as listed below. I think the order is very key in these muffins, so try to make them in this order!!!

1 Banana
1 Egg

**Combine until smooth**

1/4c Brown Sugar or Honey

**Combine until smooth**
1/3c. Coconut Milk or Regular Milk
1t. Vanilla
1t. Cinnamon (optional)

**Combine until smooth**

1 1/2c. Pamela's GF Baking & Pancake Mix
(1/2c. At a time)

**Combine until smooth**

Turn off mixer and remove from base.
Fold in 1c. Fresh Blueberries.

Grease muffin tin and fill 3/4 full with batter. Bake on 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

OPTIONAL (But delicious!!!!)
Brush with melted butter IMMEDIATELY after removing from the oven. Let muffins stand for a few minutes and then remove from muffin pan and ENJOY!!!!!!! These are even delicious the next day! I could taste the cinnamon more on the second day, so if you aren't a cinnamon fan, don't add the cinnamon!




May 28, 2014

Sausage and Cheddar Muffins




Clint had a night flight today so that means, he is home for breakfast! I decided I would make something yum that would hang with him for a while, since days like today are very busy! I've made these muffins a few times but I've never written down the recipe until today!!! I hope y'all love them as much as we do!!!

Sorry there's no picture! My computer has a virus and I can't add a picture right this minute from my phone! ENJOY!!! 

Sausage and Cheddar Muffins

1 1/2c. Pamela's Baking Mix
1/2c. Water
1 Egg
1c. Sausage, cooked and chopped (I use Turkey)
1c. Shredded Sharp Cheddar

Combine all ingredients (in the order above) and place into greased muffin tins. Bake on 350 for 14-16 minutes. Brush with butter immediately after coming out of the oven. Yield: 6-9 depending on size. 

May 1, 2014

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake


Oh what a week it has been at our house. I really am thankful that Friday is finally here. The beginning of this week brought a lot of heartache and devastation to the South and heartache to our house. Clint was born and raised in Arkansas and I spent 16 years of my life in Arkansas, we have deep roots there. I sat and watched as the bad weather moved through Mississippi, where my parents live. My parents "hunkered down" in their storm shelter and randomly came out to check weather updates from me. A couple hours after my parents were free and clear, my cousins, Aunt, Uncle, and younger sister were all in the path of two separate tornadoes, in two separate parts of Birmingham, Alabama. A couple of days later, we watched the news as Pensacola, Florida, flooded and streets vanished. We spent over a year at Naval Air Station Pensacola and still have many friends there. Pensacola is also a very special place in our hearts because that is where Hadley was born, a little over three years ago. I'm thankful all that is behind them, even though it seems the difficult part of the storm has just now started for victims and their families.

Here at our Hawaiian Hideaway, we have had a couple of small battles of our own, to win. Actually, they seem tiny in the scheme of the things now that this week is coming to a close. Clint had a HUGE day at work today, that's the whole reason for the Strawberry Shortcakes. He had his "300 Board" today. It's basically a verbal exam of everything he has been studying for the past year. He is one very large step closer to getting his Aircrew Wings (for those of you who are not 'in the know' military wise, wings are a big deal!!!!!)

I went over and above, like I usually do. I know no boundaries when I get to prepare a meal for someone! In the end, I think it was worth it because those Sailors devoured every last crumb.

The full meal consisted of Crockpot BBQ Pork Butt (which I will link in as soon as I get it posted), Baked Potato Salad, and this Strawberry Shortcake for dessert. Below is the EASY EASY EASY recipe! Enjoy!


Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

1 Gluten Free Betty Crocker Cake Mix
   -Change water to milk and increase to 1c.
   -Increase Vanilla to 1T
1 1/2lb. (or 1 1/2 cartons) Fresh Strawberries
1/3-1/2c Sugar
1 Large Tub of Cool Whip (Or freshly made whipped cream)

Combine the instructions on the box with the changes I stated above with the cake mix. Follow instructions on the box for mixing and combining. Place in a greased 9x13 dish and bake for approximately 18-20 minutes.

While cake cooks, slice the strawberries and place them in a bowl with the sugar. If your strawberries aren't very sweet, use 1/2c. If you strawberries are naturally sweet, use 1/3c. If you choose not to do the strawberry and sugar step, that's fine. The main reason I do this is because the sugar draws out the strawberry's natural juices and creates a bit of a syrup that is delicious.

Once the cake is cooked and cooled, cut off the brown edges (because no one likes crunchy cake edges in their strawberry shortcake) and of course, eat them. :) Then cut the rest of the cake in 1/2" by 1/2" squares.

Get everything set out and get ready to layer it all up. In this order... Cake, Cool Whip, Strawberries. OR- Cake, Strawberries, Cool Whip. However you like!

This will make enough for 8-10 servings.


April 22, 2014

Gluten Free Irish Cream Coffee Cakes

 

 

 
 
 
 I wrote this recipe over a year ago when I volunteered to take a dessert to a dinner party at a friend's house in Jacksonville. They are the kind of people who appreciate a good creative, non traditionally cooked dish. For example, once at their house, we had Raspberry Lavender Sorbet and yes, it was delicious. I knew that when it came to a cake recipe that omitted milk and water, they would be happy to be my guinea pigs! We were always trying out fun and different recipes together. I do have to say, when we left Jacksonville in February of 2013, telling them "good-bye" was one of the hardest things we did.

I call this a coffee cake because like anything with Irish Cream Liqueur baked in, is absolutely perfect with coffee!!! If you don't have an Irish Cream Liqueur and you do not want to go buy one, I would probably suggest substituting with an Irish Cream coffee creamer instead. I'll give you a list of substitutions below the recipe. I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

*Disclaimer: Frangelico and Carolans both state on their websites that their product is gluten free. If you chose another Irish Cream besides Carolans or Brendan's, they are not guaranteed.*


Irish Cream Coffee Cakes

1 Box of Betty Crocker's Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
2t. Cinnamon (if desired, I don't always add)
1 Stick of Butter, melted
3 Eggs
1/2c of Frangelico's Hazelnut Liqueur
1/2c of Carolans Irish Cream

The Hazelnut and Irish Cream Liqueur's replace the 2/3c of Milk/Water, which I personally do not think is enough to begin with. Anytime I make this cake as the box directs, I use 1c Milk instead of 2/3c.

Follow directions on the box for combining and mixing the cake. (I have made this mix into cupcakes, mini bunt cakes, as well as a 9x9 and it turns out delicious in any form.)

Once out of the oven, let cool completely. Drizzle with either melted milk chocolate (as shown in main picture) or create a Lemon Drizzle with powdered sugar and lemon juice. Both options are delicious and I will update soon with my "recipe" for the lemon drizzle.

Substitution Options:

Instead of Hazelnut Liqueur:
-Almond Liqueur
-1/2c. Milk with 2t. Almond extract
-1/2c. Milk with 2t. Vanilla extract
-1/2c. Milk with 2t. Lemon extract
-1/2c. Milk with 2t. Hazelnut extract
-1/2c. Hazelnut Coffee Creamer
-1/2c. Milk**

Instead of Irish Cream Liqueur:
-1/2c. Irish Cream Coffee Creamer
-1/2c. Milk**

**If you substitute both Liqueurs with Milk, add in 1T of an extract of your choice.

 

 

 

April 13, 2014

Ranch Seasoning



I do not know what it is about kids and ranch, but it seems to be the "go to dip" for anyone under the age of ten. I am starting to think that my three year old is the only kid who doesn't like ranch dressing, Or ketchup for that matter. Odd, I know. The only way she will eat any kind of ranch is the ranch seasoning I make. I use it as a dry rub when I grill a pork tenderloin or chicken. I sprinkle it over potatoes when I roast them in the oven and put a few tablespoons in my black beans when I cook them. It's a delicious seasoning and it's not full of sodium and artificial stuff like store bought ranch packets are. I usually double or triple the recipe and it keeps in an air tight container nicely. I don't know how long it lasts because we usually eat ours up in about two weeks. I would imagine that it would stay good as long as any dried spice stays in your cabinet! I hope you enjoy!!!

Ranch Seasoning

2T Dried, Minced Onions
2T Dried Parsley
1/2T Onion Powder
1T Garlic Powder
1T Dried Chives
1/2T Dried Dill
2t Salt
1t Black Pepper

COPY CAT: California Pizza Kitchen's Corn Guacamole



I absolutely love the freshness of CPK's Corn Guacamole but CPK is kind of stingy with it! The "small plate" is exactly how it should be described, small. I feel like once I start eating it, it's never enough! I also feel like it is hit or miss. Sometimes it is mostly corn and just a small amount of avocado as the glue to hold it all together. Other times, there is a little bit more avocado, but it's still not enough for me. You all know I love avocado, so the more, the better!

 I decided to try my hand at the recipe when I found myself with four small avocados that were a tiny bit too ripe, but I wasn't going to let them go to waste. CPK uses a white corn, but all I had on hand was yellow, so that's what I used. When it is in season, I recommend fresh corn off the cobb, but if you can't get that, use a low sodium or sea salt can of corn or frozen. To crisp my corn up a little bit, I sautéed it with about two teaspoons of butter and it turned out delicious! CPK has jicama in their recipe to add a little sweetness and crunch, but I have two things going against me when it comes to needing an ingredient like jicama. Number 1. I shop at the commissary. The produce is hit or miss. One week we have something, and for the next couple of weeks, it's like it was never there. Number 2. I'm in Hawaii. No explanation needed. If you can find jicama easily, add a 3/4c in a small dice.

Everything in this recipe is a small dice, that way you can get all ingredients in one small bite! When I say small dice, try to keep it about the size of a kernel of corn or smaller. Hope you enjoy!!! We ate our entire bowl in less than 24 hours!!!

Corn Guacamole

4 Small Avocados (Small dice or smashed with a fork to make sort of a paste)
2c. Corn
1/2c Black Beans
1/2c. Diced Red Bell Pepper
1/3c. Diced Green Bell Pepper
1/4c. Cilantro (Loosely packed)
2t. Salt
2T Lime
If you want to add a little bit of heat, add one fresh jalapeno diced as small as you can. (Remove the membrane and the seeds first.)

Combine everything except the Avocados. Once everything is mixed, add the avocados and enjoy with tortilla chips!!!

April 10, 2014

Where Are You From?

I don't know about you, but I'm proud of where I'm from! I was born and raised in the South! I feel as if it was an honor to live in such a warm and friendly part of the country! The sun is hotter, people are friendlier, football is better, and depending on where you are, food is tastier! Yes, those are my strong opinions, except the one about football being better!!! ;-)

In the last twenty-four hours, you, my readers, have represented over 40 countries!!! My "audience tracker" does not keep up with everyone, so I want to make sure that I have not missed your country!!! Below is the list of  countries, or places that my readers have represented since noon on April 9, 2014. If your country is not listed, please leave me a comment and let me know where you are proud to be from!!! I love hearing from all of you!!!

Argentina
Australia
Austria
Bahamas
Bahrain
Barbados
Belgium
Brazil
British Virgin Islands
Bosnia
Canada
China
Croatia
Costa Rica
Curaçao
Denmark
Ecuador
Estonia
France
Germany
Guam
Guatemala
Hungary
Hong Kong
Iraq
Ireland
India
Indonesia
Israel
Italy
Lybia
Mexico
Netherlands
Norway
Pakistan
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Russia
Serbia
South Africa
Spain
Sweden
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States of America

April 8, 2014

Review: Amy's GF Pizza



Whenever I purchase a gluten free frozen pizza, I never have high hopes. Honestly, I would rather be surprised than let down. This is one of the only times in my life that I look at the glass "half empty". I am SO glad I wasn't expecting much from this Amy's GF Pizza. It was even a let down for my "half empty" mindset. After taking one bite, I felt like my glass went completely empty.

The crust tasted like cardboard, the sauce didn't have much flavor, and the cheese didn't taste a thing like, well... Cheese. I know that everyone's taste buds are different, and some of you probably love this pizza, but I for one, do not. I want a pizza full of flavor and spice and cheesy goodness. It's not too much to ask for considering how far we have come in the flavor zone of the Gluten Free Market!!!

I know I will have some of you that disagree with this post and my opinion on this company's pizza, but I'm just letting you know that if you haven't tried this one yet, don't waste your $10 on it. Now, Amy's has other flavorful gluten free items so I'm not hating on the company all together, just the pizza!

Still on the quest for the BEST GF Frozen Pizza!!! I can definitely mark Amy's off the list!



April 7, 2014

When Two Pink Lines Disappear



I know I've been gone from Gluten Free Navy Wife for a while. I'm sorry to all my Facebook fans out there who I disappeared from. I've gotten messages and comments saying how you all are glad that I've started posting again and I can't thank you enough.

The last couple of months have been quite the doozy for me. We found out we were pregnant with Baby Horne #2 and we were SO thrilled. Surprised, but thrilled. Four weeks later, the unimaginable happened and I miscarried. Below is an article I wrote just a few days after I lost the baby. My heart was heavy and sad. Over the years, I've learned that the best way for me to cope with things is to write and get it off my chest.

I was raised in a minister's home, in church whenever the doors were open, and was saved at a young age. During these last few months, more than ever, I've been grateful to believe in a God who is merciful, comforting, and loving.

If you've ever experienced a miscarriage, the article will definitely hit home for you. What I experienced in the day leading up to the miscarriage and the days after are emotions and feelings that I will never be able to forget. It truly is one of the most difficult things I could ever mentally and physically go through. My article has been posted on my personal Facebook page since March 20, but after the messages and comments I've gotten, I feel that it needs to be shared with a broader audience.

Thank you for your encouragement and your positive feedback with the recipes that I write. I'm hoping that by posting my article here, it will help you understand "me" a little bit more, and the reason why I've been absent.

-Brittney

**********************************************************************************

This was written the night of March 19, 2014. Sleeping was not an option for me that night. It had been a little over 48 hours since I had miscarried and my emotional pain and physical pain were getting the best of me.

**********************************************************************************

Every woman who has experienced it knows what I'm talking about. There's a special feeling in in your stomach and in your heart when you see those two pink lines. Life changes. In that very moment, it's not about you anymore. All the sudden, it's all about your body and the little baby growing inside of you that you will now share everything with. All the sudden your brain goes into overdrive as butterflies swarm through your stomach. Did I take my multi-vitamin today? Have I been drinking too much coffee? Did I eat too much junk food yesterday? You're in 100% "Mommy Mode", where you are protecting and preparing your whole world for the new bundle of joy, and the new life you will soon bring into it.

I had the absolute perfect first trimester with Hadley. Absolutely unheard of. The second trimester, again... Amazing! No nausea, no vomiting, perfect blood pressure, no gestational diabetes and on top of all that- my clothes still fit!!! The third trimester brought a few challenges when Clint went to boot camp and my heart rate did not want to cooperate, but besides that, still amazing! I knew I was blessed and all of this was NOT normal. Now fast forward and we are two months away from Hadley's third birthday and SURPRISE! Two. Pink. Lines.

Just like my pregnancy with Hadley, I got pregnant in the first month. I felt like Clint and I should "high five", but incase you missed what I just said... "SURPRISE!". I was not shocked or upset at all, I was excited. I knew 100% I wanted more than one child, but with Clint's deployment schedule and my heart problems, the question was never, "How many?", it was, "When?". Any military spouse out there knows exactly what I'm talking about and I do have to say, the timing of this surprise was perfect! My due date was in November and Clint was set to deploy 3-5 months later.

I'm not one to hide my excitement and I'm especially not one to keep things from my family, so a week later, we shared the news with our family and closest friends. A few people referred to this as an "accident" and I quickly shut the accident train down! There are no accidents when it comes to one of the greatest gifts God can ever give you. I don't believe that God is in the "Accident Business" but I do believe he is in the "Surprise Business". I told them that this baby will never hear that it was an accident because this child was a gift, and gifts aren't always known about ahead of time.

I'm a planner, so four weeks in, I already had a plan for my new household set up. We only have a three bedroom and for now, that is all we will have, so we needed some adjusting as all three are currently being used. I didn't want to put a newborn and a toddler in the same room right away, and luckily I was nearing the end of redecorating the guest room so I still had time to make adjustments. Furniture was shifted, pictures were hung, and in the end, I was left with the perfect place for the crib. For now, Hadley would keep her own room and guests would have a crib in the corner of their room when they visited.

I was so proud of myself and everything I had accomplished so far! I loved problem solving all by myself, especially when everything turned out exactly as I had planned. In just a few short weeks, I had figured out how we would manage the baby's room/guest room, I had kicked my espresso addiction without a single headache, I had started juicing again, and my first doctor's appointment was in the books and just a couple of weeks away! All that and I was still feeling great, except for my afternoon need for a Gatorade and before dinner snack. I had even taken pictures and edited them for our big "Facebook Pregnancy Reveal". You know, these days nothing is official until it's, "Facebook Official". I was BEYOND ready, until March 16. I woke up that morning and all my excitement turned to fear. I saw a very tiny bit of blood, which is normal at this point in pregnancy, but in my heart, I knew.

We had company on island from the mainland and it was a gorgeous day! Finally monsoon season was coming to a close! We already had plans to spend the day at the pool, but I was not willing to take any chances. I sent them to the pool and decided I would relax and stay in bed. If my head went too crazy, I'd go to the ER and get checked out. Well, guess what?!? I couldn't stand it. I sent Clint a text and told him I was headed to Castle to get a peace of mind. **Let me say right here. I know Clint, and I know that as soon as he walked out the bedroom door, he wished he had not of left, but our company and our two year old had been promised a day by the pool, in the warm Hawaiian sun, and I wasn't going to let a tiny bit of normal pregnancy spotting keep that from happening.

I got to the ER and two out of the three medical professionals I saw told me that either, "I went through the same thing with my two kids.", or "This is normal.". I kind of felt goofy for being there, but reminded myself that this was not normal for me, and I needed to listen to my body. All I could do in that ER room was cry, pray, and wait, but before I even had the chance to change into my hospital gown, I knew I was going to lose our baby.

All my tests in the ER either looked, "good" or "normal", except for my blood work. My Dr. said that my hormone levels were a little lower than she was happy with, but every woman and every pregnancy is different, so there were no "red flags". My ultra sound even confirmed a "sac" but at six weeks pregnant, on the nose, the baby was too small to detect a heartbeat.

I went home with orders from the Doctor to get in bed until I could see my OB. Taking no chances, I came home and got right in bed. A few hours later, the bleeding had increased just a little bit and the cramping got a little bit more frequent. As I laid in bed, I knew it was only a matter of time before my sweet baby was no longer with me. My head was not ready to believe what my heart knew was coming. I told Clint that I needed him home with me the next day and with the uncertainty, the symptoms, and the bed rest, his Chief was 110% in agreement because just the week before, his niece went through the same thing.

The morning of March 17, I woke up full of a fear I'd never known before. What would this day hold? Am I ready? Could I physically or emotionally handle what I knew was coming? Thankfully, I didn't have enough time to think about it because my precious Hadley came bouncing around the corner. I began to thank God for her and her smile and the joy she brings to my life. Even in the "Terrible Two's", she is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

About an hour later, they had all eaten breakfast and were getting ready to walk down to the beach for a few minutes. Hadley's hair was a crazy mess so "piggies" it was! A typical Dad response came from Clint when I heard, "Um...", so I called her over to me. He put her on the bed with me and went downstairs to refill my water. I slowly sat up and my sweet Hadley climbed in my lap. Just as I was finishing "piggy #1" a sense of heartbreak, fear, and emptiness came over me. I had just lost our baby. I gave Hadley a kiss on the head and rushed into the bathroom, closing the door behind me. All I could do was sit on the edge of the bathtub and cry. I had barely had enough time to sit down, when I heard Clint ask Hadley where I had gone. Through the door, I told him to send her to her room to play and I told him to come in.

He stood there in front of me for what seemed like an hour. In all actuality it was probably barely five seconds. I couldn't get my mouth to say, or get my head to acknowledge what had just happened, and not a single part of me wanted to. We had just lost our baby. OUR baby that God surprised us with. The baby that would grow up by Hadley's side, driving her crazy, stealing her toys, and pulling her hair. The baby that would keep me up every night for the first year. The baby that would bring home lice, the stomach virus, and (hopefully not) lizards. The baby we would raise to say "Woo Pig Sooie" and sing "Jesus Loves Me". This was our little baby. It wasn't an embryo, a fetus, or an accident-this was our little baby that God was growing inside of me, for us to love, spoil, and raise.

In that instant, I felt more empty and alone than I had ever felt in my entire life. You could have put me on a deserted island 5,000 miles out to sea and I wouldn't have felt as alone as I did in that moment, but the feeling didn't last long. I'm not saying the heartbreak was gone, I'm saying I didn't feel alone. A lot of people say that "God won't give you more than you can handle". I have always had a hard time believing that, and now, I know that on March 17, 2014, God gave me more than I could handle. As humans, we want to be independent and self sufficient. We want to figure things out on our own and solve our own problems. I am especially guilty of being independent and very proud of that, but it needs to be limited. You see, if God only gave us what we could handle, when would we ever call on Him for help and trust Him in ALL things? If God only gave me what I could handle, my "Independence Proud Meter" would be through the roof because I would, and could do it on my own. I'm not saying that God took our baby away from us, but what I am saying is that He used this to remind me that He's there, and I don't need to do everything on my own, and I shouldn't. I may feel alone and empty, but I'm not and I never will be. I will never have to face any trial alone. I may be going "Through The Fire" right now, but He's right there beside me, holding my hand, and walking through it with me.

Peanut Butter Frosting


Have you ever had a cupcake from a specialty cupcake shop that has a peanut butter frosting? I have and I seriously think that if there was food served in heaven, that would be one thing on the menu. I seriously love peanut butter frosting on a rich and delicious chocolate cupcake.

The one thing that I do not like from a cupcake shop, is that sometimes there is an absurd amount of frosting on top of a tiny cupcake and not only that, it's insanely rich. I set out to create a fluffy peanut butter frosting that wasn't too rich, was a little bit on the light side when it came to texture and I think I accomplished that. Whip up a batch of this peanut butter frosting and let me know what you think!

Peanut Butter Frosting

1c Creamy Peanut Butter
1c Powdered Sugar
5T Softened Butter
1c Cool Whip

Whip together the peanut butter and butter. Once incorporated, mix in the powdered sugar. When all is combined, fold in the cool whip and enjoy with a cupcake... Or a spoon. :-)

Cilantro Lime Rice


I am a HUGE fan of Cilantro, and lime... Well ok, I'm a huge fan of food in general. I think that's why being diagnosed with Celiac was so hard for me. Ok, back on subject, cilantro and lime.

You really can't go wrong. You want to make something bland suddenly burst with flavor (and Mexican flare)? Add cilantro and lime! The following recipe of Cilantro Lime Rice is the recipe I created to go with my "Taco Chicken and Avocado Salsa". The combination of all the flavors from the salsa, to the chicken, and the rice are absolutely perfect and that whole "bursting with flavor" thing... This recipe definitely has it!!! As soon as I can make my "Taco Seasoning" and write down a recipe with it, I'll get it posted!

Cilantro Lime Rice

2c Cooked Rice
1/2T Olive Oil
1/4c of Cilantro, packed loose
Juice of 1/2 of a Lime
Salt & Pepper to taste

Avocado Salsa



I absolutely love avocados. They are so fresh, delicious, and even good for you! Here on Oahu, avocados are usually hit or miss. We rarely have the perfect avocado sitting in the store waiting to be purchased. They are usually hard as a rock, and take a week or so to become "perfect", or extremely mushy, which we all know is NOT an option when you're making any sort of guacamole or avocado salsa.

This recipe is full of fresh and delicious ingredients. In this recipe, I use Batch 501's "Original" Sauce. Right now, it can be found in select stores around Jacksonville, Florida and Amelia Island, Florida or online. In my house, this sauce is a staple. I wish I was exaggerating when I say that, but I'm not. Since we live in Hawaii now, I get Michael to send me a dozen bottles at a time. This sauce is gluten free, labeled gluten free and is formulated so that it IS gluten free. It can be found and ordered at www.batch501.com if you don't live in the Jacksonville area.
Ok, now on to the avocado salsa recipe! I hope ya'll enjoy this wonderful and fresh salsa!

Avocado Salsa

(In this order)
1 Clove Garlic
Juice of Half a Lime
1/8t Onion Powder
Salt, to taste
1T Batch 501 Original
1/2 package of Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, cut in 4ths
2 Avocados, Large Dice

Combine everything except the Tomatoes and Avocados. Once it is combined well, add the tomatoes and avocados.

Batch 501 can be found at www.batch501.com.

April 6, 2014

Gluten Free Oatmeal Cream Pies



It has taken me over a year to perfect this Oatmeal Cookie Recipe. I tried for days a few months back, to get everything right, and it just didn't happen. Too much sugar, not enough flour, too many oats, not enough sugar. Finding the perfect balance of every single ingredient was difficult.

I use Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix in this recipe (as many of my recipes) because I believe that we (Gluten Free People) deserve a break from the high costs of cookies, cakes, and any other sweet treats. Pamela's Baking Mix gives us a good gluten free flour blend at the best price possible. I will not write a recipe for you that is a mixture of 5 different flours, xanthan gum, and other mess that would end up costing you $100.

***The cream in this "Oatmeal Cream Pie" recipe is not mine. I have no idea who it belongs to but, I have been using it for over a year. It's not the person's exact recipe. I had to make some adjustments to make it to my liking but the base of it, is not mine.


Oatmeal Cookies
Yield: 3 Dozen Cookies

1c. Butter, Softened
1c. White Sugar
1/4c. Light Brown Sugar
1/4c. Dark Brown Sugar
1 Egg
2t. Vanilla
1 2/3c. Pamela's Baking Mix
3/4t. Baking Soda
1/8t. Baking Powder
1/2t. Cornstarch
1t. Cinnamon
1 3/4c. Gluten Free Oats

Pre heat oven to 350.

Cream together the Butter and all three sugars until well incorporated (2-3 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla and cream for at least two more minutes until nice and "fluffy". (Not very fluffy, but you will be able to see a difference).

In a separate container, combine the baking mix, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Combine with a fork.

Slowly add the dry mixture to the "wet" mixture on a low speed. Once all ingredients are combined, fold in the Oats.

Spoon out 1 1/2-2 tablespoon size balls of dough onto a well greased cookie sheet (or a lightly greased silk pad on your cookie sheet). Place in the preheated oven for 11-13 minutes, until edges are beginning to brown and the inside of the cookie still looks gooey. Let the cookies stay on the cookie sheet for 2-4 minutes so that the middle continues to cook without being in the oven. This will ensure that the middle stays gooey.

***The photo at the top shows what the cookies look like before they go in the oven, and right when they come out of the oven.***


Cream

7oz Jar of Marshmallow Cream
2t of Hot Water
1/2c. of Shortening
1/3c. of Powdered Sugar
1/2t. Vanilla

Cream all together and place on cooled cookies. This only makes enough cream for half of the cookies that the recipe makes. If you want all three dozen cookies made into "Cream Pies", double this recipe.