I was prompted to write this post when I made pumpkin bread from a recipe I found on-line.  I bought all of the ingredients, exactly followed the directions and anticipated a great treat for the family.  Sadly the loaf of bread that I pulled out of the oven was awful.  It had the consistency of play doh and ended up in the trash.  Even the chickens would not eat it.  Not only was it a waste of my time, gluten free flours are expensive and it was a waste of money.


I wish I could say that this was the first time I had a bad result from a recipe I found on-line, but it was not.   While you can find many gluten free recipes on-line, not all recipes are created equal.  With the popularity of the gluten free diet, there seems to be an abundance of people posting gluten free recipes for baked goods and they are not all good recipes.  Gluten free baking can be tricky and you can’t always just replace the wheat flour with rice flour and call it a day.


So in preparation for the holidays, I wanted to share some reliable resources for gluten free recipes.  I have baked/cooked recipes from all of these resources and I feel confident in recommending them and saying you can rely on the recipes in these resources. 


Gluten Free Recipes for the Holidays


If your focus is getting through Thanksgiving and Christmas, then I recommend these resources for reliable gluten free recipes:


If you want guaranteed good food and you are looking for ways to make the holidays easier, then gfJules Thanksgiving eBook is the answer.



Jules Shepard updated her very popular eBook with new information including brands selling gluten free turkeys and additional new recipes. The eBook contains THIRTY-ONE (31) gluten and dairy-free recipes for the Thanksgiving holiday including the essential Pumpkin Pie recipe, Green Bean Casserole and Rolls for dinner.  It also contains countdown checklists to prepare for the big day, substitution guides, nutritional information and much more.

The baked goods require you to purchase gfJules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour.   But don't worry, several recipes in the eBook do not require any flour and the eBook is loaded with other useful information.  

The eBook retails for $12.95.  As a special gift to my readers, gfJules is offering this eBook free of charge until November 13.

Add the eBook to your cart and paste this code next to the orange "Apply Coupon" button in the gfJules cart:  gfjules54601c422cdc8  Press "Apply Coupon" and the $12.95 price will be deducted instantly, making the book available for immediate download. No "purchase" is necessary, but this code will work if you decide to buy products, too.   The offer is only good through November 13th!   After that, you have to purchase the eBook for $12.95. 







Written by Karen Robertson, Cooking Gluten Free for the Holidays features gourmet dishes for the holidays.   This is for cooks who are willing to put in the extra effort to have an exceptional Thanksgiving dinner.  It includes reliable recipes for everything from GF Buttermilk Biscuits to Pecan Pumpkin Pie.  The recipes use Karen’s Gluten Free Flour mix, so you will have to “make” the flour before you make the baked goods. The eBook can be instantly downloaded and includes 30 printable recipes. The cost is $10.99. 


  • Gluten Free & More 2014 Holiday Guide


Recipe Magazine


Living Without's Gluten Free & More Holiday Guide is a smorgasbord collection of recipes for the holiday season.  It includes recipes for a full Thanksgiving dinner from the former editor of Bon Appetit magazine.  The magazine will take you all the way through Christmas with recipes for a Christmas Buffet, Holiday Desserts and more.  Again this is a trusted resource for reliable gluten free recipes. 


  • Gluten Free Mom’s Recipes


Of course, you can trust my holiday recipes.  The recipes I post are the meals that my family eats over and over again.  But I have to be honest that Thanksgiving is not my specialty.  We usually spend Thanksgiving in Nicaragua on a mission trip; so I have not put a ton of time into creating gluten free Thanksgiving recipes.  However, I have devoted a ton of time to perfecting a gluten free Cut Out Christmas Cookie!




Beyond the Holidays


Looking to purchase some Gluten Free Cookbooks with reliable recipes.  Here are my favorites.  I regularly cook recipes in these books and recommend them with confidence. 


For Gluten Free Baked Treats:


Gluten-Free Baking: More Than 125 Recipes for Delectable Sweet and Savory Baked Goods, Including Cakes, Pies, Quick Breads, Muffins, Cookies, and Other Delights

by Rebecca Reilly This is my favorite cookbook for gluten free baked goods.  Rebecca uses Almond Flour in a lot of her recipes, so don’t buy this cookbook if you are not a fan of it.  I turn to this cookbook over and over again for baked goods.


Gluten-Free Baking Classics

by Annalise Roberts  Another favorite cookbook that I bake from over and over again.  These are more traditional recipes from the “early days” of gluten free baking so no fancy ingredients; just good, reliable recipes. 


For advanced Bakers:



The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook

by Editors at America's Test Kitchen

If you are serious about being not just a good, but also a great GF cook, and you are willing to learn some new techniques and ingredients, then you should buy this cookbook.   It is beyond basic – it is for the GF cook who wants success and is willing to put in the extra effort and time to get really good results.  It includes quality recipes for everything from bread, cakes, cookies (which can be surprisingly tricky), piecrust, pizza dough, weeknight dinners, and even fried chicken.  The cookbook also includes very detailed directions on the science of gluten and tips to guarantee success in the kitchen.


For Everyday Meals:



Weeknight Gluten Free (Williams-Sonoma): Simple, healthy meals for every night of the week

by Kristine Kidd.  I love this cookbook.  I have cooked a recipe from each section with superior results.  The meals are all fairly easy to make and the end results are healthy, gourmet-like meals.  My kids have loved everything that I have cooked and I feel good about the food I am serving. 




Deliciously G-Free: Food So Flavorful They'll Never Believe It's Gluten-Free

by Elizabeth Hasselbeck. Reliable, easy, family friendly recipes that I turn to over and over again.  Great recipes for everything from baked goods to family dinner night. 

For Kids:


Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Recipes for Easy, Delicious Meals

by Silvana Nardone

Cooking for Isaiah is written by another mom who took to the kitchen after her son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  It has 135 recipes that are relatively easy to make and great tasting.  I say relatively easy, because most GF cooking requires a little extra effort.  Once you get the hang of it, mixing all of the different flours becomes second nature.  I love her recipe for Chocolate Birthday cake! 


Wow!  That ended up being longer of a post than I expected!  Hope it helps you get through the holidays and beyond! 


Happy Cooking! 

Just in time for the holidays, Karen has published Cooking Gluten Free for the Holidays, an instantly downloadable eBook. 




I got a sneak preview and I am already planning on cooking some of the recipes myself for Thanksgiving.  The eBook can be instantly downloaded and includes 30 printable recipes for everything from Buttermilk Biscuits to Pecan Pumpkin Pie.  The cost is $10.99.  This is not a sponsored post and I am not trying to sell you anything.  I really respect Karen and know she puts together good recipes and thought this may be helpful to some of you during the holidays. 


Take a look at some of this delicious food!




To give you a sample of the recipes, Karen is sharing the recipe for Roasted Root Vegetables.  This recipe would be a great side at any dinner party.  The hazelnuts and dried cherries add nice texture and flavor.  Serve it with a bold Washington Chardonnay.


Roasted Root Vegetables with Chèvre Medallions




TIME: 60 minutes

by:  Karen Robertson

Cooking Gluten Free for the Holidays

  • 2 Dungeness or other sweet carrots, peeled
  • 2 parsnips or beets, peeled
  • 1 sweet onion, peeled
  • 4-5 Jerusalem artichokes, peeled
  • 4-5 small potatoes (baby reds, yellow Finn, Yukon gold), scrubbed
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and membranes removed
  • 1/2 cup (67g) hazelnuts, skins removed
  • 1/4 cup (47g) extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Splash of Tabasco
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil and Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup (38g) dried sour cherries
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons sherry wine vinegar

 Chèvre Medallions

  • 6 ounces (118g) creamy goat cheese
  • 4 ounces (120g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup GF fine Italian bread crumbs (see recipe below)
  • Olive Oil

Root Vegetables

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coarsely chop all vegetables into 3/4-inch cubes. Toss vegetables and hazelnuts with 2 tablespoons olive oil, lime juice, Tabasco, salt and pepper.
  2. Spread the mixture in an even layer on two large baking sheets and roast for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the vegetables are caramelized around the edges. (Rotate pans in oven at 10 minutes)
  3. Place roasted vegetables into a large metal bowl and add chopped herbs, sour cherries, maple syrup, sherry vinegar, and remaining olive oil.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep in a warm oven while preparing the cheese medallions.

Chèvre Medallions

  1. Mix goat cheese and cream cheese together. (Note: You may use only goat cheese if you wish.) Form cheese into 8 equal balls and then flatten until each is a 1/2-inch thick disk. Press firmly into the breadcrumbs on both sides. Let rest in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Sear the cheese medallions quickly on each side until golden and hot.
  3. Place 2 medallions on each plate. Scatter the roasted vegetables over and around the medallions. Top with sprigs of fresh herbs or a garnish of thinly sliced red peppers.

Wine Suggestion: a bold Washington Chardonnay

 GF Italian Bread Crumbs

You may substitute dried herbs in this recipe. Remember that 1 Tablespoon of finely chopped fresh herbs equals 1 teaspoon of dried herbs.


  • 2 slices stale gluten-free bread
  • 3/4 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 3/4 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil


Place bread in a small food processor and process into fine crumbs. Transfer crumbs to a bowl. Add herbs and toss until well combined.


Hope this makes the Holidays a little bit easier for you!



Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

October 29, 2014


One of my family’s favorite traditions is pumpkin carving.   In all honesty, this night is almost as special as the night we go Trick or Treating.  And everything about it is naturally gluten free.


Here are three simple steps to incorporate this night into your traditions. 


Carve Some Pumpkins


Start the night by putting on some Halloween music.  This year, we let our creativity flow to the tunes of the Monster Mash playlist on Spotify.  This also usually leads to spontaneous dancing at our house, but how do you hear Thriller and not want to moon walk?






Collect the Seeds and Rinse Them


While the kids are carving the pumpkins, collect the seeds and rinse them.  They don’t have to be perfect – just get the big chunks off.






Add some Seasonings and Bake


Melt some butter, or use some olive oil, and stir in some spices.   We like Chili Powder, a little bit of Garlic Salt and a pinch of Cayenne. 


Toss the seeds with the spices and spread in one layer on a cookie sheet that is oiled.


Sprinkle on some sea salt and bake at 300 degrees for about 40 minutes.  You can find the full recipe here.




While you are waiting for the roasted pumpkin seeds, share your pumpkin creations with your friends. 




This year my girls carved emoticons.  What can I say?  Teenagers!







Celebrate your hard work with some Homemade Hot Chocolate. 


Happy Halloween Everyone






Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes Launch as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I received free samples of McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes from McCormick mentioned in this post. I was compensated for my time.


McCormick has added four gluten free mixes including Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning, Chili Seasoning,  Turkey Gravy Mix and Brown Gravy Mix.  I have been cooking meals for my family with them and love how easy and simple it is to make gluten free family dinners with these new seasonings!  Plus, these delicious mixes are also priced the same as regular varieties.  It’s real gluten-free food you can feel good about without compromising on flavor.


There are certain moments that stick out in my memories of our gluten free journey.  We started eating gluten free long before there was gluten free bread at the grocery store or any other type of gluten free convenience food. Back in the day, I made everything from scratch.  I think it took me three cookbooks and about 1-½ hours the first time I tried to cook a gluten free pizza for dinner.


Because it was so difficult back then, I distinctly remember certain moments when my life became a little easier.   One was when a local chain started serving certified gluten free pizzas.  I ordered a couple of GF pizzas to go on a Friday night. Picking up pizza on the way home from soccer practice was something I had not done in years.  What seems so common to most people was so out of the ordinary for me.   Maybe you had to live through the days when there was almost nothing gluten free to appreciate a moment like this.  But I still remember the smell in my car and the warm pizza box on my lap and the moment when it dawned on me that dinner was ready and I didn’t have to get a single dish dirty. 


We have come a long way over the years and I realize there is a much greater selection of gluten free convenient food now.  But I had a similar moment the first time I used one of the McCormick gluten free mixes.  I was making the Easy Weeknight Chili and I was surprised by how quick and simple it was to make that meal in less than 20 minutes, in one dish.   I didn’t have to search online through various recipes and scour the shelves for multiple gluten free ingredients.  I just added a few naturally gluten free items and the McCormick seasoning pack and dinner was done.  And my family loved it.


The recipe I am sharing this week is a little more involved.  It takes a certain amount of effort to make Gluten Free Chicken Fried Steak.  But the gravy (which is the pinnacle of any good chicken fried steak) using the McCormick Gluten Free Brown Gravy Mix was so easy!  Just pour the mix in, add some milk, and you have it!  And it was so good.




I am sure I will continue to make most things we eat from scratch, but it is so nice to have the added convenience of a few meals that are super easy to throw together.  So thank you McCormick for making the effort to make some gluten free seasonings and for going the extra step and getting them certified gluten free! 


Now here is the recipe.  I am now a Seattle girl through and through, but I grew up in Texas and Iowa and I have to admit that Chicken Fried Steak was my favorite meal as a child.  When I saw the seasoning pack for McCormick Gluten Free Brown Gravy, I knew this was the meal I wanted to make.  Proof that you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl!

Recipe for Chicken Fried Steak with McCormick Brown Gravy Mix



SERVES: 4 - 6

TIME: 50 minutes


Chicken Fried Steak:

  • 2 pounds cube steak (about 4 steaks)
  • Ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup GF white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup GF corn starch
  • 1/3 cup GF tapioca starch
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup high heat canola oil, more as needed



For the Steak:

1. Salt and Pepper both sides of the meat.

2. Whisk together the white rice flour, corn starch, tapioca starch and spices.  Place in a shallow dish (pie plates work well for this).

3. Whisk the eggs and mix with the whole milk.  Place in a separate shallow dish.



4. Working with one piece of meat at a time, place it in the flour mixture and turn to coat.



 5. Next place the meat into the milk/egg mixture, turning to coat.



 6. Place it back in the flour and turn to coat.



 7. Place the breaded meat on the clean plate and repeat with the remaining meat.


8. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Drop a piece of flour into the grease.  If it sizzles it is hot enough.   If it turns brown, it is too hot! 

9. Cook the meat, 2 pieces at a time, until the edges start to look golden brown and the steaks are cooked through, about 3 - 5 minutes each side.

10. Remove the meat to a plate lined with a paper towel and cover with a sheet of foil.  Repeat until all of the meat is cooked, adding more oil as needed.


To Make the Gravy:


  1. After all the meat is fried, pour off the grease, reserving ¼ cup.  Without cleaning the skillet, return it to the stove over medium-low heat.
  2.  Add the reserved grease back to the skillet and allow it to heat up. 
  3.  Sprinkle McCormick Gluten-Free Brown Gravy Mix evenly over the grease. Using a fork, quickly stir the mix into the grease.
  4.  Pour in the milk, stirring constantly until warm.




 Serve the steak and gravy with mashed potatoes.





This recipe shared on Gluten Free Wednesdays on Gluten Free Homemaker.com.

Gluten Free Baked Ziti

October 16, 2014


Our struggles to get my daughter some safe gluten free meals in the University of Washington dining hall continues.  She has been at college for over a month and during this time she has eaten one meal in the University of Washington dining hall, after which she vomited.  At this point, the Disability Office has rather rudely instructed me to deal with the Dining Hall Supervisor.  And the Dining Hall Supervisor has been very nice and trying to figure out a solution but also very honestly admitted that she does not have the capacity at this point in time to prepare a meal that is safe from cross-contamination.  


We have gotten through the last four weeks by making frozen meals that I deliver once a week and Alex cooks them in a microwave.  Not the best solution, but at least she is not getting sick which is the main goal of this year.  (And yes I am really bothered by the $1000 that is sitting in her dining account and which they have not agreed to refund).


We are meeting with them again next week.  I will let you know any progress we make. 


This Baked Ziti is one of the meals that I made and froze individual portions for her.  It is so good and actually, it taste even better after it sits for a day or two. It is basically lasagna but uses penne noodles in lieu of lasagna noodles.  And gluten free penne noodles are a lot easier to find at the grocery store. 


Hope you are all doing well and here is the recipe.


Gluten Free Baked Ziti




TIME: 1 hour

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds gluten free Italian Sausage
  • 1 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes, with the juice
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 12-ounce packages of gluten free penne noodles, cooked until not quite Al Dente (I used bionaturae Organic Penne Rigate.)
  • 15 ounces of whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 pounds Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1 Egg
  1. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat.  Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
  2.  Add the Italian sausage, increase the heat to medium and cook until it is no longer pink (8 to 10 minutes).  Drain off any excess fat.
  3.  Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer uncovered over medium low heat for 20 to 25 minutes.
  4.  Cook the gluten free pasta until almost Al Dente. Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking.
  5.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  6.  In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 2 cups of the grated Mozzarella cheese, ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese and egg.  Stir until just mixed. 
  7.  Ladle 1/3 of the tomato sauce into a 9 x 9 inch baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish.  (I like to use the 9 x 9 inch baking dish to get a deeper casserole.  It is okay to use a 9 x 12 inch dish but your casserole will not stand up as tall). 
  8.  Next add the layers as follows:

Half the pasta (if it is sticking add some olive oil to loosen),
Half the cheese mixture,
One third the sauce,
Rest of the pasta,
Rest of the cheese mixture
Rest of the sauce.

Sprinkle with  Mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbling and the cheese is a golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes to cool before serving.








McCormick has added four gluten free mixes including:McCormick_gluten_free_chili.png



Certified gluten free by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, new gluten-free gravy and recipe mixes are made with the natural goodness of herbs and spices, and no MSG or artificial colors and flavors.


This week I used the McCormick Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning to make Gluten Free Chili




I used ground turkey to make a healthier chili and added some chopped onions and carrots.   My family loved the chili and I loved the fact that the meal was ready in around 20 minutes. 

 Here is the recipe.


Recipe for Gluten Free McCormick Chili




Time: 20 minutes




  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 package McCormick® Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning Mix
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (15 to 16 ounces) kidney or pinto beans, undrained




  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  Add the onions and carrots and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the meat and cook until brown on medium-high heat. Drain fat.
  3. Stir in Seasoning Mix, tomatoes and beans. Bring to boil. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and serve with gluten free Tostitos. 





I have been really impressed with the seasonings and with the recipes on the McCormick's website.  I have made the Taco Casserole (which my family loved) and the Easy Weeknight Chili.  I will make things from scratch when I need to, but it is really nice to be able to grab a package of seasoning that has been certified Gluten Free and make a good family dinner in under 30 minutes!

Enjoy this recipe!  Coming up is a recipe for Gluten Free Chicken Fried Steak with McCormick’s Gluten-Free Brown Gravy Mix.



I was searching for a recipe that tasted good, but also had enough structure you could slice it thin for a sandwich; that had enough moisture that it was a pleasant texture but not so much moisture that it collapsed the minute I pulled it out of my bread machine.  (This last requirement was the hardest to achieve).  And that had some healthy ingredients – I feed this to my family and didn’t want it to be all starch.  But I also didn’t want it to have too many ingredients.

I have tried so many variations of this recipe it is almost comical – with oat flour, without oat flour, with cornstarch, without cornstarch, with psyllium and without psyllium. 

In the end, this is the recipe combination I have settled on, for now.  I can’t promise there won’t be a few more tweaks.  We actually eat all of the food on my blog, so my recipes change over time (hopefully for the better).  And, you should play with the recipe as well to meet your needs. 

A few notes on The Ingredients:

Most of the ingredients are pretty standard.  If you cannot have dairy, like me, use Vance's Dari Free Original Powder. I use it in all of my recipes.

I add the Flaxseed Meal because I like the way it makes the bread look, but it also adds a healthy ingredient.

I am still going back and forth on the psyllium.  I like it because it adds the structure that I want to the bread.  Think of psyllium as the scaffolding that holds everything together – it gives moist bread a sturdier structure so it doesn’t fall in the middle and will hold up thinly sliced as a sandwich.  

But the recipe turned out really well without it as well.  It was softer and collapsed more in the middle but tasted very good with a nice overall texture.   If you opt to leave out the psyllium, reduce the water to 1.5 cups and make sure you cook the bread long enough to avoid a soggy mess! 

You can order Psyllium Whole Husks on Amazon or find it at most health stores.

Water – this recipe calls for a lot of water!  While the psyllium holds everything together, I also found it sucked up the moisture in my bread.  Because the recipe calls for extra water, the bake time is extra long.  If you are using this recipe in a bread machine that does not bake as long as mine, reduce the amount of water or your bread will be too moist. 

Lastly, I developed this recipe using my Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme 2-Pound-Loaf Breadmaker. There are lots of great bread machines on the market but this is the one I own.  I have written a review on it HERE and love it for many reasons.  It is a very quiet machine, which is nice when you bake a lot of bread.  Mostly, I love it because it is programmable.  I developed this recipe using the programmable settings that are set forth in the recipe. If you bake this bread in a different machine or with different settings, you will get different results. 

I tried a lot of variations of this recipe because it is challenging to make a gluten free bread that is somewhat healthy (aka not all starch), that doesn’t fall, that will hold up in a sandwich and that doesn’t have a 1000 different ingredients.  And I almost didn’t post the recipe because I know some of you will try it and it will fail.  There are just so many different factors that enter into a good loaf of bread that it is hard to guarantee success every time. 

So if this is your first ever loaf of GF bread and it doesn’t meet your expectations, please don’t slam the recipe in the comments.  Gluten free bread is different.  We think it is very good, but it is different.

Also, there are a million variations of this bread that you can try on your own.  So please try them and then share what you discover.  We are stronger (and better informed) as a community.  Hopefully your changes will make the bread even better and we will all be thankful for your input. 

So here is the recipe.

Brown Bread for a Bread Machine


Gluten Free Bread

YIELDS:  1 loaf

TIME: 3 hours

  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cup warm water (see note below about water)
  • 3 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup brown rice flour or sweet white rice flour
  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons GF flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder (for dairy free use Vance's Dari Free Original Powder)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 3 Tablespoons Psyllium Whole Husks
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons GF yeast for bread machines

  1. I developed this recipe using my Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme 2-Pound-Loaf Breadmaker.   Set the bread machine on the programmable cycle and set it to Preheat 15 minutes, Knead 20 minutes, turn OFF Rise 1 and Rise 2, Rise 3 for 55 minutes, Bake 70 minutes and Keep Warm for 20 minutes.  Medium crust.  Note that if you bake this bread in a different machine or with different settings, you will get different results.
  2. Add the eggs (lightly beaten), water and canola oil to the pan of the bread maker and stir until combined. NOTE:  Because this recipe calls for extra water, the bake time is extra long.  If you are using this recipe in a bread machine that does not bake as long as mine, then reduce the amount of water. 
  3. In a large bowl whisk all of the dry ingredients except the yeast together.  Make sure you use grains that are labeled gluten free.   Add the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients.
  4. With your finger make a depression in the center of the dry ingredients and add the yeast.
  5. Once it starts mixing, scrape the sides of the bread pan with a rubber spatula.  Make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  6. When the rise cycle is complete, smooth the top of the loaf with a wet spatula for a prettier loaf.
  7. Leave the loaf in the bread machine all the way through the keep warm cycle. 

If you are using a different bread machine, check the temperature of the bread to make sure it is done.  Bread is considered done when it reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees F.  If the temperature is between 180 and 200, leave on the Keep Warm Cycle until done.  If it is below 180, bake some more rechecking the temperature after 10 minutes.  Failure to bake completely will result in a spongy loaf. 

  1. When the bread is done, lay the pan on its side to cool.  This will help the loaf not to fall in the middle.  




  1. Gently remove the bread from the pan after it has cooled a bit, and then cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.







The book was a well-timed gift from my parents.  I read the book, as I lay on the lounge chair so sick with gluten that I was incapable of even talking.  Honestly, this gluten attack was so bad that I was certain I had cancer and my life was ending.  As bad as if felt, I found a lot of comfort in reading Jennifer’s book. 


Jennifer’s book is a memoir of what it is like to have Celiac disease from pre-diagnosis, through the infuriating diagnosis process, and then to live with it everyday. (It also includes some helpful tips on starting the GF diet, but there are other books on this topic that are better). 


What I liked about the book is the painfully honest account of the struggles Jennifer faced.  Jennifer doesn’t have “Yes” tattooed on her hand, but her account of the physical and emotional struggles with this disease is one of the worst I have read. 


While my symptoms never got as bad as hers, I keep finding common struggles that happened in both of our lives.  Did you know that undiagnosed celiac disease could give you symptoms like anxiety?  My doctors did the same thing Jennifer’s did – put me on Lexapro!   I also was really sick for the first week or two after I went gluten free and subsequently found out that my poor body could no longer tolerate dairy as well. 


If you have read my blog for a while, then you know that despite how hard it can be at times, I try really hard to keep things positive.  I have two teenage girls that seem to search for drama in their lives.  Both girls have to eat gluten free.   If I go negative about our diet, it will be so easy for them to go negative as well.  So I try to stay positive.


But after being gluten free for almost nine years now, I felt like Jennifer’s Way gave me permission to finally say - Celiac Disease Sucks!  It is hard to have this condition that permeates every aspect of my life from my first sip of coffee in the morning until my bedtime snack at night. 


Celiac disease is a hard disease to have and a hard disease to live with and it is okay to acknowledge that fact.   


After I finished reading the book, my 18-year-old daughter came out on the deck to check on me.  For one of the first times ever, I said, “Alex, being celiac really sucks.”  And she said, “Yeah Mom it does.”  And while I will still be an advocate of being positive for your kids, it felt great to share in the mutual feeling that yeah it really can stink and we both hate it at times and that is okay!


So if you feel alone or sad or just want to know that someone else has experienced what you are experiencing, then this book is a great read.  So many times I feel like people just don’t get what it is like to live with celiac disease every single day of your life for the rest of your life.  If you feel this way too, then read this book and you won’t feel so alone.


Some of my Other Favorite Books about the Gluten Free Life


Gluten Freedom: The Nation's Leading Expert Offers the Essential Guide to a Healthy, Gluten-Free Lifestyle

by Alessio Fasano

Everything you need to know about the Gluten Free Life and Diet in one book written by the leader in this field.


 Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide- Expanded and Revised Edition

by Shelley Case


The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten-Free: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed

by Jules Shepard


Living Gluten-Free For Dummies

by Danna Korn


The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide

by Elizabeth Hasselbeck


Celiac Disease (Revised and Updated Edition): A Hidden Epidemic

by Peter Green.  I read the first version of this book when we were first diagnosed. Glad to see it has been updated.  It is a very thorough explanation of Celiac Disease. While I was reading it, I keep thinking, "wow, I have that. Wow, I have that too." It ultimately led to me realizing that I am also a Celiac.

Al fresco Chicken Sausage



Al fresco is America’s #1 chicken sausage brand.   They offer over 20 flavorful, gourmet varieties of chicken products, each with 70% less fat than pork sausage and free of nitrates, preservatives and artificial ingredients.

Even better, all of al fresco’s natural products are wheat free and gluten free.

Al Fresco’s Gluten Free Statement:

Al fresco makes every effort to maintain a gluten free environment through a number of processes.  First, none of the products produced on the production line have any gluten in them so the line itself is gluten free.  Next, the traceability system ensures that ingredients do not get into products they are not intended for – they have checks and controls in place at every step of the process that monitor and document that the correct ingredients and only the correct ingredients go into each blend of al fresco sausage.  Additionally, they do a full wash-down of the equipment every day and monitor that with ATP tests that detect trace levels of gluten and if the test fails we re-wash the line.  Although they exceed what the government requires, they have the USDA in the plant every day, monitoring processes, including label accuracy. I hope that is the information you were looking for.

You can order Al Fresco online or find it at your local grocery store.  I found it at Safeway.


Al fresco partnered with Columbia Crest Winery for this exciting opportunity to create a recipe using Al Fresco chicken sausage and a bottle of Columbia Crest Grand Estates Unoaked Chardonnay.



Columbia Crest Winery



Living in Washington State, how could I turn this offer down?  Nestled alongside the Columbia River in eastern Washington, Columbia Crest winery opened its doors in the heart of the acclaimed Horse Heaven Hills in 1983. Year after year, the winery maintains its commitment to quality, heritage and innovation in grape growing and winemaking to craft exceptional wines. 



What could be a better use of these two products than Risotto?  And it is the perfect heading-into-fall recipe.  Plus anyone who is a gluten free cook should be taking advantage of naturally gluten free risotto.  It is a great worry-free carbohydrate that provides a meal in one skillet.

Here is the recipe!  Hope you enjoy it!



Lemon Chicken Sausage Risotto



SERVES: 4 - 6

TIME: 40 minutes



▪   2 Tablespoons butter

▪   1 12-ounce package Gluten Free chicken sausage – I used al fresco roasted garlic chicken sausage.

▪   5 cups gluten free vegetable broth

▪   1/2 onion, finely sliced

▪   2 cloves garlic, minced

▪   2 cups Arborio Rice

▪   1 cup dry white wine – I used Columbia Crest Grand Estates Unoaked Chardonnay.

▪   1/2 teaspoon salt

▪   1 teaspoon black pepper

▪   1 lemon, juiced and zested

▪   3 Tablespoons sour cream

▪   6 basil leaves, chopped

▪   1/4 cup Grated Parmesan cheese




  1. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.   Slice the sausage into bite-sized pieces and add to the skillet.  Cook until brown.  Remove the cooked sausage and set aside for later.
  2. Warm the vegetable stock in a medium saucepan on low heat.   
  3. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add the onion and garlic. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until onion starts to turn translucent. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  4. Add the rice and stir to coat, cooking for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes, allowing the rice to absorb the wine.Lemon_Chicken_Risotto
  6. Add ½ cup of vegetable broth to the rice, ½ teaspoon salt and 1-teaspoon pepper.  Stir and simmer until the broth is absorbed. 
  7. Continue to add the broth, ½ cup at a time, stirring every few minutes.  When the broth is just about evaporated, add more.
  8. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente.  Start checking it after 20 minutes but it usually takes around 30 minutes total.
  9. Remove from the heat.  Add the lemon zest and juice.  Stir in the sour cream and basil. 
  10. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.




Portland Gluten Free

August 25, 2014


I had never been to Portland before but had heard from several people that it is a great and easy place for celiacs to eat.  Hannah and I have known each other for about 14 years and at times she has basically become gluten free while with me, so she was more than willing to explore multiple gluten free restaurants and bakeries with me.  Here are a few of our favorite spots.




Our first stop was lunch at Pizzicato.  We were looking for a place to stop in and grab a quick lunch before exploring the city and Pizzicato was the perfect place.  I ordered a slice of gluten free cheese pizza and told the cashier to be extra careful because I have celiac disease.  He immediately said he was so glad I told him because they are more careful with celiacs versus people following “the fad.” 


For dinner that night we continued our Italian theme and ate at Pastini Pastaria.  All of their pasta dishes could be made gluten free and I had a very filling dinner of Fettuccini Alfredo.  The food was delicious however I am not sure how safe it is for celiacs.  I told the waiter that I have celiac disease and he said they would be careful however I was slightly nauseous afterwards so I cannot highly recommend this restaurant for celiacs.



My Best Friend Hannah



 Our second day in Portland was our bakery day.  We started at one of the best gluten free bakeries I have been to: Petunia’s Pies and Pastries.  This bakery is completely gluten free and vegan and you would never be able to tell.  I ordered corn bread and a cupcake and was stunned by how delicious they were.  Not only is the bakery adorable, it is delicious.  If you are looking for a healthy bakery I would not recommend this place but if you are looking for some sugary treats I would highly suggest it.  I couldn’t help myself from going back the next day to stalk up on treats for the drive home. 





Later on that same day (we’re teenagers all we eat is sugar and carbs), we stopped by Kyra’s Bake Shop.  We came late in the day so the selection was not huge but the cupcakes were to die for.  The bakery is located in a suburb of Portland called Lake Oswego but even if you are staying in the city, Kyra’s cupcakes are a must and definitely worth the short drive. 




For our last dinner in Portland we decided to try Deschutes Brewery in the Pearl District.  We were skeptical because what’s the point of eating at a brewery if you can’t drink beer, but the food was delicious.  They have a gluten free menu and are very honest about what is safe for celiacs and what is not.  One thing I found odd was they claim to have a dedicated gluten free fryer but when it gets busy they cook gluten foods in it.  So always make sure and ask what is safe or not when you are there.


All in all Portland was a success and I will definitely be going back soon!