Accepting the challenges in creating a gluten free household

Archive for March, 2012

Apple Parfaits for breakfast?

I am so going to try this…  Check it out.

April 7, 2012: Must update.  I did make this, and it is supposed to make 4 breakfasts.  Really.

I knew my portion would be enough for two breakfasts, but was interested to hear my husband say the same thing.  I thought it wouldn’t be sweet enough for him.  Seems after 34 or so years together, I still have things to learn about him… By the way… my sugar-loving husband liked this breakfast as much as I did.  I’ll do it again.


Salmon Chowder

I am a soup person. I just realized I have focused on baked goods here, and haven’t added many main dishes or soup recipes. I’ll begin to rectify that right now with one of our favorites: Salmon Chowder.

Salmon Chowder

I seldom follow a recipe as closely as I followed this one. Especially soup. I used the leftover salmon from our dinner the other day – I wanted to grill the salmon in the freezer before it got old enough to taste fishy. It was still good, but ‘the salmon’ I pulled out of the freezer turned out to be two salmon frozen together. I find leftover salmon difficult to use, but thought I’d make chowder this time. This was an awesome recipe, and I will make it again soon, I’m sure. (I actually wrote this blog post last year, but neglected to post it. We have had this chowder many, many times since writing this, and do not get tired of it.)

3 Tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic
2 cups diced potatoes
2 carrots, sliced
2 cups gluten free chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp dill
2 cans gluten free salmon*
1 can evaporated milk
1 can creamed corn
½ lb cheddar cheese, shredded

In a large saucepan, heat the butter, and add the chopped onion, celery and garlic. Saute until the onions are translucent. Add the potatoes, carrots, chicken broth and seasonings. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes. Add the salmon, evaporated milk and creamed corn and continue to cook until heated through. Add the cheese, stir to melt, and serve.

*It was a surprise to me that salmon & tuna might NOT be gluten free. Avoid fish canned in broth.

Flourless Hazelnut Cake

Birthdays are always a challenge.  While my hubby & I don’t mind our gf lifestyle, I always feel I need to make extra-good desserts when I’m cooking or baking for others.   Last year I posted the link for one of our all-time favorite gf desserts – TheBakingBeauties Lemon Layer Cake.  So this year I chose to make one that a friend made recently.


When I saw the cake at our friend’s place, I was sure she must have forgotten that my hubby was Celiac.  But no, this Hazelnut Cake is not only gluten free, it is grain free as well!

She photocopied the recipe for me, originally called Hungarian Flourless Hazelnut Cake, but I can only guess at the origin.  It looks almost exactly like the one at, so I’ll post that link:

So on Thursday night I pulled it out – determined to tackle it.  I had perused it enough the first time, to know that I needed to buy a bag of hazelnuts.  I could not believe how easy this recipe was to make.  Few ingredients, and simple.  I like simple.

Here it is.

12 ounces hazelnuts – or 2 heaping cups before grinding
2 tsp baking powder
6 eggs, separated
5/8 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Whipped cream
Hazelnuts for garnish

Preheat oven to 325.  Grease 2 9” cake pans, or line with parchment paper.


Grind nuts very fine (I used my food processor); add baking powder.

Beat egg whites until stiff; adding the vanilla halfway through the process. Fold in half of the nut mixture


In another bowl, beat egg yolks with the sugar until pale yellow.  Fold in the other half of the nut mixture.  Gently mix all together.

Pour into pans and bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.


Cool and put whipped cream between layers, and on top and sides of cake.  Garnish as you wish.

*Instead of whipped cream between layers, I used coconut milk, whipped, following this pin from pinterest:  I didn’t add cinnamon, but probably could have.  It would also have fit well with the Hazelnut Cake.

We celebrated 3 March birthdays with this cake!

Steel Cut Oats

I received a challenge this week. A friend of mine talked about how much she loved steel-cut oats. I’ve heard that rave before, and even tried the overnight slow cooker steel cut oats myself once. It was mush, and I didn’t much like it. But I agreed to try again. So I pulled out the package from my pantry, and, on impulse, decided to also try millet, which is another ancient grain that is making a comeback. (Or maybe it seems like a comeback since I found out about it recently, after hunting for gluten-free alternatives.)

Steel Cut Oats (gluten free) and Millet

I cooked the millet according to the directions in the cookbook, “Naturally Homemade” by Judy Zemliak. She suggests a ratio of 1 cup millet to 2 cups water. Bring the water to a boil; add millet; cook for 15-20 minutes. Perhaps cooking it a bit longer would have been good, but it was the taste that I wasn’t particularly fond of. It reminded me of the feed we mixed for our calves when I was little, and perhaps we did feed them millet. It is a common grain for bird seed. Not wanting to throw it out, I threw it into the soup in the crockpot instead. Apparently if you cook it longer, it takes on the consistency of mashed potatoes, so hopefully they’ll enhance the soup, and not wreck it!!

Steel-cut oats. Since we’re a gluten-free household, my options are fewer than most.  What I thought was steel cut oats, was steel cut oat pearls.  The difference?  Apparently steel cut oats need to be cooked for 35 minutes, or soaked first.  No wonder mine got mushy in the slow cooker.  These take 10 minutes to cook.

I liked the consistency. The directions on the bag asked for a 1 to 4 ratio. Bring 4 cups of water and 1 cup of oats to a boil; lower heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes. Drain; rinse with hot water, and enjoy. I was surprised (especially after cooking them all night last time) that they were ready so quickly. And surprised that the ratio was set high enough that they needed draining and rinsing. I will have to do some research on why they would suggest preparing it that way. But they were good. I tried a bit with a blueberry honey I had on hand. Then I added maple flakes to the rest of it, along with hemp hearts and cranberries. That was very good. I don’t like my cereal too sweet, so the maple flakes added just the right amount of sweetness.

Yes, my friend, Shanon, I do like steel-cut oats. At least cooked this way.  Maybe if I find the authentic steel cut oats (not pearls) that are gluten free, I will attempt the slow cooker again as well.