Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hurricane Allison

My husband calls me Hurricane Allison after I've made dinner because I make a huge mess.  Lately, I've been making a lot of messes and have been cooking/baking up a storm, so the hurricane has come through often at our house.  :)

I used to hate cooking, I never thought I was any good at it.  I hated timing everything, always burned something and the food I made was horrible for you because I had no idea what I was doing.  Then, in 2004 or so, I joined Weight Watchers and started making their recipes.  I started using spices (because they were no points) and experimenting, and then something happened, I liked cooking.  Now that I'm gluten free, you kind of have to cook or you don't eat since everywhere outside your house may poison you.  So, I guess I was forced to learn to do it well.  (I listed more recipes/dishes from a previous post if you click on that link.  I also posted about gluten free options at restaurants here.)

I that that is why I never liked cooking, because I never really liked eating before now.  Food and I just didn't get along and I thought it was a big waste of time.  Now, I enjoy what I make because it is safe for me to eat and is healthy for us.  I also get to eat a lot more than if I go out because I know that what I made is gluten free, so it's just easier. 

We get really tired of the same old thing while school is in, and even though we eat the same thing every day for lunch, we try to change it up for dinners every week.  This year, we started cooking on Sundays for dinner on Monday - Wednesday and then again on Thursday for that night through Saturday.  Sunday we always eat gluten free spaghetti with Ragu sauce, it's a family tradition (except that my grandma made homemade sauce and we just don't have time!).  It has worked really well and we haven't repeated a week so far, and we are seven weeks in.  I feel like I'm getting better and better and Ian says the food is delicious (and of course I agree) so it's a win-win!

At first, I started making gluten free recipes that I found online.  I saw this one, after making some horrible gluten free (box mix) cookies and wished I had all of the strange ingredients that it required, so I got them on Amazon.  For the next three weekends in a row we made these cookies and they were delicious, just like the real thing!

Then I started wondering - why don't I just substitute gluten free flour for regular flour in all of the recipes, and not worry so much about finding a gluten free recipe for something I want to make?  So, that's what I started to do and made some really delicious stuff:

(Weight Watchers vegetable lasagna and all we did is sub out the noodles with these ones below.)

(Fish and chips made with Glutino Gluten Free Bread Crumbs, cod, olive oil and baked cut up potatoes.)

(GF gumbo made with this.  You will have to add your own spices because it is kind of bland, and it is a VERY complicated recipe taking days and many steps.  Turned out pretty good though.  We also tried a Chicken and Wild Rice soup mix and it was yummy also, you will just have to spice that up too!)

(This is one of my favorite Weight Watchers recipes - Sun-Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken.  You need flour to make it so we just subbed Bob's Red Mill GF All Purpose Flour instead.)

And, I don't know who I thought we were but we started making breakfast on Saturday mornings.  I wanted to use my Norpo Dutch Baby Pan that my dad got me so I tried to make a dutch baby, then apple pancake and then blueberry blintzes.  We stopped this weekly tradition after gaining 5 pounds but here they are for your enjoyment!  (And anyone that knows us well knows that Ian rarely wears a shirt at home!)

(This is a dutch baby and it's made mostly of eggs but has some flour too.  You make it and then put powdered sugar and lemon on top - my favorite.  I first had one here and I was hooked!  And, the gf kind tastes just like the original!) 

(Then, of course, I had to make the other recipe that was the dutch baby box, the Apple Pancake.  Sooooo good with caramel drizzle on top!)

Every year we go to Easter brunch at a place that has blintzes.  Well, since I can't eat them anymore I wanted to try to make them on my own.  This was a super complicated task and I ended up using three different recipes to get the crepe, filling and blueberries right.  They are so hard to make because you are essentially making three things at a time and then baking the finished product - but not before feeding it your your husband with raw eggs and almost poisoning him!  I also had a Magic Bullet mishap during this and should have taken a picture but was too shocked at the GIANT mess I made that I just hurried to clean it up before Ian got home from the store!

And with all the good cooking comes some bad choices once in a while and we definitely made one with these noodles from Wal-Mart.  I thought they were good at first but as I continued to eat them, all I tasted was corn.  So, I'm going to stick with all rice noodles from now on.

We also watched this documentary about tap water and bottled water a couple of weeks ago and decided to get BPA free 5 gallon water bottles.  We previously had water delivered every month from but decided that we'd get our own, better bottles (since they didn't offer a BPA free option) and fill them up ourselves with filtered water from Water and Ice.  A better choice for our health and our environment.

I post these recipes and pictures in hopes that other people who are gf can learn something and use them.  It is new to me and I've appreciated all that I've read, so I hope I can do the same for others.  Bon Appetit!

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