Gluten Free Baking Mixes

In my opinion, it's okay to get help from some store bought products to short-cut your nightly dinner prep. After all, who has the time to make a from-scratch meal every night? I'm just happy to get a good-tasting, healthy, gluten free dinner on the table for my family most nights. Judging from the multitude of "cheat" and "hack" recipes out there, I'm in good company! So here's a quick and easy down-home Southern dinner that you can make in about an hour, with a little help from Aleia's, Bisquick, and Gillian's -- and a recipe found on the Internet that I adapted to be gluten free. Having been a fan of Aleia's gluten free cookies, stuffing, and pre-made breadcrumbs and Panko coating for a long time, I was thrilled to recently find their "extra crispy" Coat & Crunch mix (similar to Shake-n-Bake) to use on meat. So I set out to make a dinner with this healthier version of "fried" chicken, baked in the oven. And what's the perfect companion to crispy chicken? Why, biscuits, of course! I can't say I've tasted a better gluten free biscuit than the ones I've made using the recipe on Bisquick's own gluten... Read more →


I realize Betty Crocker's Gluten-Free Devil's Food Cake Mix has been around for years now, but I still felt it worthy of a Blog post. This continues to be my go-to base for any chocolate cake, cupcakes, or whoopie pies. I'd like to tell you I've found something better, after trying many gluten-free chocolate cake mixes over the years, including some "from scratch" recipes. But I'd be lying. I guess it's hard to compete with Betty Crocker's test kitchens! (Read on for my latest yummy adaptation using the mix...) Although I'm not by any means suggesting this is a "healthy" mix -- or that it incorporates any nutrient-dense flours like amaranth, teff, quinoa, etc. -- I do like the fact that it has fewer ingredients than most store-bought mixes. The ingredients are as follows: sugar, rice flour, potato starch, cocoa processed with alkali, tapioca starch, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, mono calcium phosphate), salt, and guar gum. Again, this isn't anything special, but I like the fact that, unlike most store-bought "regular" cake mixes, there are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. And they've clearly nailed the proper blend of ingredients in the right ratios. From the comments on... Read more →


My older son (not Celiac) loves making chocolate chip cookies. He has tried many different recipes but gravitates back to the traditional Nestle Toll-House recipe, using one of many of our favorite gluten free flour blends as a cup-for-cup substitute for regular flour (so our younger Celiac son can eat them, too!). There are so many wonderful gluten free flour blends these days that it's hard to pick a favorite. Ones we like and use cup-for-cup in both savory as well as baking recipes include Pamela's Gluten Free All-Purpose Artisan blend, Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour, King Arthur Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour, Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, Carol's Amazing All Purpose Gluten Free Flour, Tom Sawyer Gluten Free Flour, and Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour (I've only purchased their Original Blend but am looking forward to trying their new "Wholesome Flour Blend"which incorporates healthy ingredients like ground flaxseeds and rice bran for fiber and healthy fats). Many of these flours are also non-GMO, which as you may know, is increasingly important to me. Last week, my son had the urge to make chocolate chip cookies, and he was planning to follow the Nestle Toll House... Read more →


Wow...I didn't realize it had been a month since I penned my last Blog post. November flew by, and with the Holidays already in full swing, I know things won't slow down anytime soon! Picking up on those particular themes of the Holidays -- and being starved for time -- I wanted to share a few easy seasonal favorites, both new and old. These are tried-and-true things you can serve up without spending hours in the kitchen. Over Thanksgiving, I used two gluten free products I'd tried before....Wegmans own gluten free Honey Cornbread Mix and Aleia's Savory Stuffing Mix. I love these two products -- for both their ease of preparation and for their delicious taste. This time, I cooked the cornbread a bit too long (set the timer, wanted to cook it for just an additional 30 seconds, and then forgot about it in the oven for several more minutes!). Fortunately, it was still decent, just a bit dry and crumbly. But providing you set your timer properly and follow the package directions, it turns out great (as it has for me in the past)...nice and moist. You'd never know it was gluten free. If you're looking for a... Read more →


One of the most frustrating things about our son's Celiac diagnosis over 10 years ago was the trial-and-error "tasting" period that followed…(rest assured, all photos pictured below are some of our perennial favorite products, like this deliciously seasoned coating perfect for when you're craving chicken and onion rings!). Even though there weren't nearly as many gluten free products on store shelves as there are now, separating the good from the awful took some time (not to mention a lot of money wasted on products that crumbled and tasted like cardboard!). And it wasn't always intuitive…sometimes it was the companies whose names we didn't recognize (usually dedicated GF companies) whose products were the best. Over the past 10 years, I think it's safe to say we've tried most of the widely distributed (and many less widely distributed) products on the shelves. Thank goodness, overall quality of gluten free products has improved! It's been an adventure…and we've learned a lot. That's why I posted our family's favorite gluten free products listing within the Resources section of GlutenFreeTravelSite. Whether you or a family member is new to the gluten free diet -- or if you're a long-time Celiac but just skeptical about trying... Read more →


Earlier this summer, our older (non-Celiac) son who doesn't like pizza anyway was off to a camp with friends. It provided a great opportunity for me to have some in-the-kitchen bonding time with our younger son (who has Celiac) making pizza (which he loves!). We've tried all sorts of store-bought gluten free pizzas over the 10 years since our son was first diagnosed with Celiac, and we've also bought "naked" crusts to customize them ourselves. I've even tried various gluten free mixes and flours to make our own "from scratch" pizza when time allows. So I was particularly curious to try Cup 4 Cup's new gluten free Pizza Crust Mix. Surprisingly, this was my first Cup 4 Cup purchase. I know many of you swear by their all-purpose flour. I've been meaning to try it -- despite its high price tag -- but have been really happy with the other GF flour blends I use (King Arthur's all purpose GF flour and GF all purpose baking mix, Bob's Red Mill new gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour, Pamela's GF All-Purpose Flour Artisan Blend, Tom Sawyer gluten free flour, and gfJules Gluten Free Flour). But when I saw this new Pizza Crust... Read more →


Last week, I blogged with much excitement about Wegmans' launch of ready-to-eat gluten free bakery items. Back in early December, they launched two types of gluten-free cookies, gluten-free frosted brownies, and gluten-free cupcakes -- now available at all their locations. They are all made using Wegmans' gluten free boxed mixes, which have been available in their stores for a while now. At the time of the post, I had not personally tried the new ready-to-eat items, but that evening, I happened to be near a Wegmans, so I went in and bought one of everything. Over the next few nights, my husband, two sons, and I taste-tested each of the new items. Here's what we thought: Gluten-Free Cupcakes -- These come four to a pack, with two vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing and two chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing. Unlike the photo Wegmans had sent me, the gluten-free cupcakes in the store near us did not contain colorful "confetti" style sprinkles on top. That was actually GREAT with me, as I prefer not to give my kids things with artificial color or flavor, if I can help it. Perhaps they decided not to include these on the cupcakes after all...it... Read more →


My favorite posts to write are those in which I get the opportunity to share news about my favorite companies, stores, or restaurants introducing new gluten free items. Today, I'm thrilled to be able to share the recent news about the new gluten free bakery items avaialable at all Wegmans locations. Yes, you can now enjoy Wegmans Gluten-Free Frosted Pan Brownies, Gluten-Free Cupcakes, Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Gluten-Free Snickerdoodle Cookies. I discovered this just yesterday, as I was perusing my Wegmans MENU magazine (free when you sign up for a Wegmans shopper loyalty card). There in the back of the magazine, on page 135 (almost missed it!), was a brief mention of their gluten free -- yes, gluten free -- desserts! What? When did this happen, and how did I miss it? I'd heard rumblings about this a long time ago, but each visit to Wegmans turned up nothing gluten-free among the amazing ready-to-eat bakery items (save for the supposedly Chocolate Dome in the bakery case, which is good, but still bears a risk of cross contamination, as it's displayed alongside everything else). Turns out, they just rolled out their gluten free cookies, cupcakes, and brownies in early December... Read more →


Something unique happened at our son Ryan's Blue and Gold Banquet for Cub Scouts this past weekend. For those of you who don't know, the Blue and Gold Banquet celebrates the anniversary of scouting, and most packs celebrate with a dinner and entertainment for the scouts and their families. This year, our son and the other scouts in his den were being honored for earning their "Arrow of Light," the highest honor in Cub Scouts. They will be crossing over into a Boy Scout Troop next month, so this was the last gathering as part of the Cub Scout pack. For the past few years, the pack has had a Cake Contest as part of the festivities at the Blue and Gold dinner. There are various categories (most creative, most patriotic, most chocolate, and many more...sometimes they even include best "allergy free" cake). The idea is to have the boys help in the preparation and decoration of the cakes. In past years we've made a penguin-shaped cake (Ryan loves penguins) and a flag cake (a sheet cake decorated with vanilla buttercream icing and with strawberries and blueberries for the stars and stripes). The flag cake won for Best Allergy-Free Cake,... Read more →


On St. Patrick's Day this year, I made the usual corned beef in a slow cooker -- and resurrected the Irish Soda Bread recipe I'd made a couple years ago. We were having company over (including a boy named Patrick), so I wanted to make sure to include this Irish tradition as part of the meal! The recipe I'd followed a couple years back was from All Recipes (I love that site -- I adapt a lot of recipes from there to make them gltuen free). It's called Irresistible Irish Soad Bread, and it's a fitting name. It is irresistible -- and perfect ANY time of the year! I personally like the recipe, because it's plain -- it doesn't call for caraway seeds or raisins. The result is a slightly sweet bread with a nice texture that's good served with a meal -- or even sliced thin for sandwiches (although it's just a tad bit crumbly). And shame on me for forgetting (yet again) to take a picture! I followed the All Recipes recipe to a "T," but of course substituted gluten free flour, cup for cup, for the regular "all purpose flour." This year, I figured I'd try the... Read more →


If you haven't already over-indulged in Holiday treats -- and if you're looking for a fun gluten free dessert to take to a party or bake with your kids -- I have just the thing: Gluten Free Whoopie Pies. And it couldn't be easier. Basically, what I did was buy Betty Crocker's gluten free chocolate cake mix and follow the directions on the back of the box, as if I were making a cake or cupcakes. But instead of spooning the batter into a cupcake pan, I used a new Whoopie Pie baking pan I recently purchased through a fundraiser at my son's school. I had been so excited seeing this cool gadget in the catalog. I had thought, "How fun! Now I can make my own Whoopie Pies so that my son can FINALLY have one that's safe for him to eat!" Although the Whoopie Pie pan did not come with baking instructions, I merely reduced the baking time from what was detailed on the Betty Crocker box. If you don't have a Whoopie Pie pan (I don't expect many people do!), a simple Internet search turns up plenty of places to buy them. Amazon.com has Wilton nonstick one... Read more →


Wow! Guess what appeared in our family's mailbox this past weekend (no, not email Inbox...actual black metal mailbox at curb)? A flyer advertising Wegmans new line of Gluten Free products -- with FREE COUPONS enclosed, no less! I haven't made it to the nearest Wegmans yet (seems there is now one about 25 minutes in every direction from us!), but from the looks of the flyer -- and their website -- private label "Wegmans" products include four gluten free pastas and four gluten free baking mixes (Sugar Cookie mix, Double Chocolate Brownie mix, Chocolate Cake mix, and Vanilla Cake mix). The FREE COUPONS they sent in the flyer were for a free pasta AND a free baking mix (any variety). It was also reassuring to read that, like many of their other private label products, there is a "G" icon (or, as they call it..."Wellness Key") right on the box, which means they have verified the ingredients do not contain gluten, and there is no risk of cross-contact with gluten. Whew! For gluten free recipes, new product info, and to sign up for their FREE Fresh News email for monthly gluten free updates, visit the gluten free area of Wegmans... Read more →