It had been a while since I'd made scones, and since I had both buttermilk and gluten free cinnamon chips in the house (Hershey's brand is gluten free), I decided I'd whip up a quick batch earlier this week. Of course, you can customize these gluten free scones to your taste, using cinnamon chips (my favorite), chocolate chips (my husband and kids' favorite), or even blueberries or nuts. Ingredients: 1 3/4 cups all-purpose gluten free baking flour (choose your favorite blend -- I've used many different kinds over the years) 1/4 cup sugar 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 2/3 cup buttermilk 1/3 cup butter, melted 3/4 cup chocolate or cinnamon chips, berries, or nuts Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Melt the butter and then, once it cools a bit, stir in the buttermilk. Add the butter/buttermilk mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients until combined. Add the chips, berries, or nuts. Scoop 12 large spoonfuls of the batter onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into a scone comes out... Read more →

Every so often I like to share a recipe that I think will have wide appeal. This recipe, a combination of several different recipes I revised, is sure to be a hit at any summer gathering. I was a little nervous about how these Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Blondies would turn out, since I didn't follow any particular recipe exactly, but I have to say they were delicious -- and very well received by my relatives at a family get-together yesterday. As always, people were shocked they were gluten free. The blondies were made with chocolate chips (I used the new Simply Delicious ones from Nestle, which are made with only 3 ingredients and free of the 8 major allergens), but you can substitute gluten free vanilla chips, butterscotch chips, or even peanut butter chips. Always verify the gluten free status, because not all products are gluten free. Ingredients: 2 cups packed brown sugar 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted 2 large eggs, beaten 3 tsp vanilla extract 2 cups gluten free flour (I used Cup4Cup) 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 1/2 tsp finely ground sea salt 2 cups chocolate chips Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease inside... 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. has Wilton nonstick one... Read more →

Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurant Burton's Grill Shares a Great Holiday Recipe...

Last week I shared a recap of my recent conversation with Denise Baron Herrera, VP of Food and Beverage at Burton's Grill. They've got one of the best Gluten Free Menus around, with more options being added all the time, including gluten free seasonal specials. Hopefully you'll have a chance to visit one of the expanding list of Burton's Grill locations soon. In the meantime, the folks at Burton's shared a great gluten free recipe with me, one that makes a perfect appetizer for a Holiday get-together...or even a Super Bowl Party a month later! Gluten Free Caramelized Onion Dip 8 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature 1 cup Sour Cream 1 cup Mayonnaise 2 tsp kosher salt, diamond crystals 1 tsp black pepper 1 tsp granulated onion 2 cups caramelized onion, chopped Put the first six ingredients in the food processor and mix. Once ingredients are combined, transfer into a bowl and fold in rough chopped onions. If you are making a large batch, you can mix with a hand or standing mixer. Enjoy! Read more →

If you haven't heard of Amie Valpone and you're gluten free, you'll want to get to know her. She's a personal chef, culinary marketing consultant, professional recipe developer, food writer, and blogger at The Healthy Apple. And because she herself is gluten free, developing gluten free recipes that pack a healthy punch is her specialty. Amie has a way of taking ingredients you may not have tried (but you know are good for you!) and turning them into amazingly delicious (and quite simple) creations. She and I are both involved in the new Simply Gluten Free magazine, whose first issue -- dedicated to cooking gluten free for the Holidays -- just hit homes and newsstands last week. I recently asked Amie to share a favorite gluten free recipe with me -- one that was easy, healthy, and kid-friendly. Her Rainbow Swiss Chard and Lemon Stir Fry's colorful hue appeals to kids and adults alike, and it's a great way to sneak some Swiss Chard, that's LOADED with vitamins and minerals, into your diet. Combined with the lemon juice and lemon zest -- and a few scallions and pine nuts - this dish is the perfect one-dish meal! I loved Read more →

We're priviledged to welcome Guest Blogger Judith Sarchielli, an expert on gluten-free Tuscan cooking. Also known as the "Topanga Chef" (based in that area of California), Judith is a chef, food coach, author, researcher, culinary instructor, and speaker. She spent 20 years living in Tuscany and has been able to take the simple and naturally delicious recipes she cooked daily and make them completely gluten-free -- without sacrificing taste or authentic Tuscan quality. Here she shares a favorite memory -- and a favorite recipe that will please any palate (gluten-free or not!) A TUSCAN WINE HARVEST The aroma of crushed grapes reaches me from the distant past, as I daydream in my Topanga Canyon kitchen. I remember the best part of the vendemia, the Tuscan wine harvest--- the delicious polenta casserole. That day in the Chianti vineyards of a Tuscan friend and vintner, I picked clusters of ripe, juicy grapes with small scissors, and tossed them into my hand-woven twig basket. My hands were blistered and sweaty, and muscles screamed from the 8-hour effort under the blazing sun. But the evening meal would be worth it all---a chance to rest and relax under the dark green Tuscan cypress. Back in... Read more →

If you haven't heard of Carol Fenster, then you're likely a VERY newly-diagnosed Celiac...for Carol is legendary in the gluten-free world. She is an internationally recognized expert on gluten-free cooking who now has a total of 10 cookbooks to her credit, including her latest release: 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes. I've used her Gluten-Free Quick & Easy cookbook (not exclusively vegetarian), and one of our family's favorite dishes is the Orange Beef Stir-Fry, which can be served over rice, or even put in corn tortillas and served as "wraps" as we've done. Although no one in our family is a vegetarian, I was anxious to try many of the recipes in Carol's just-released cookbook, 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes. I made the Quinoa Pilaf with PIne Nuts and Dried Fruit this past weekend to take along as a side dish to a picnic. It was a huge hit. At this point, most people have heard of quinoa and are aware of its health benefits (a GREAT vegetarian source of complete protein) but not everyone has tried it. This recipe is hard to beat and a great way to introduce "newbies" into the wonderful world of this ancient grain. The fruit and nuts... Read more →

The Best Gluten Free Bread I've Ever Made or Eaten

OK. let me preface this Blog post with a few disclaimers: First, I don't usually Blog about recipes (there are so many other Blogs that do a wonderful job with that). Second, I confess that I haven't spent years trying and perfecting gluten-free bread recipes. However, last week for St. Patrick's Day, I really felt compelled to try making a traditional Irish Soda Bread -- gluten-free. And here's the third confession -- I'm not even Irish, but my husband (and therefore my sons) are part Irish. So I planned the traditional St. Patty's Day feast of corned beef, potatoes, and Irish Soda Bread. The night before, I'd gone online to search for a good recipe, but I didn't want to search "Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread." I wanted to find a "regular" recipe and just swap out the regular flour for my own personal gluten-free flour substitute made by the Tom Sawyer company. It's a mix of gluten-free flours that can be substituted cup-for-cup for "regular" wheat flour in any recipe. The end result was BY FAR the best g-f bread I’ve had, either purchased or that I’ve made (again, I don't claim to have sampled/made dozens, just enough to... Read more →