My two year gluten free journey


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I cannot believe that I have been writing this blog for two years.  How time flies.  It seems just yesterday that I began this gluten free, dairy free journey.   I have learned a lot about not only living a gluten free lifestyle but also a lot about blogging.  I would like to share my insights with all of you.

ON BLOGGING:

  • Find your own writing style.  You will grow into it as time goes on.  Don’t try to emulate anyone else.  Your true self will shine through in time.
  • It takes time to grow your audience.  Wordpress has a wonderful community of bloggers who will support your efforts.
  • Once you have established your blog, you can grow your audience with Adwords.  I believe it is worth the small investment it takes to reach a wider, worldwide audience.
  • Don’t clog your blog up with ads.  Most people find them annoying.  If I land on a blog that has a lot of flash ads, I tend to leave that site.
  • On that same note, don’t expect to get rich.  Blog because you love it, and want to get your message out there.
  • You can blog about anything you wish.  You can make it public or private.  You don’t need experience, and you can have a free blog.  Don’t let anything stop you from expressing yourself.
  • Take some free WordPress classes.  There are numerous topics, and taking them will help you to learn about how WordPress works, and how you can get more comfortable using it.
  • If you are thinking of moving your blog to wordpress.org, do your homework. Most widgets cost extra.  You might lose subscribers.  You have to do your own website maintenance.  These are just some of the pitfalls.  But you will also maintain complete control of your content and will be able to grow.  It’s an individual decision.
  • I do believe WordPress premium is worth the $99 per year cost, if for no other reason than to be able to chat with experts when you have a problem or question.

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Review of King Arthur gluten free Gingerbread mix


 

 

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I don’t usually like gluten free cake mixes.  I find that most of them are disappointing. Having said that, I am consistently pleased with King Arthur gluten-free flour, so I thought I would try their Gingerbread mix.  You can also make cookies with it.

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Cinnamon streusel sour cream crumb cake


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This is not my first time at the crumb cake rodeo.  I wanted to try this recipe because it uses sour cream in the recipe, which I thought was a bit different.  I had some leftover dairy free sour cream, so I thought, hey, let my try this and see how it turns out.

Before I share the recipe, I have a few observations:

  • the sour cream is redundant because there is so much butter (I used dairy free spread) in this recipe; 11 tablespoons to be exact.
  • there is not enough streusel to cover the top of the cake, much less to put in the middle. (I recommend using the recipe below)
  • The author states to use a loaf pan or 9X9 square pan; this would normally be correct, but there is not enough batter for a 9X9 pan
  • with all this butter, it is more like a pound cake than a crumb cake
  • I was able to cut a 1/4 cup of sugar out of the cake batter without any problems.  See my post on cutting sugar out of baked goods.
  • I left out the maple glaze, but you can certainly add it.

Ok, on with my version of the recipe:

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Making the most of your crockpot


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Tell me what you think!  Share your crockpot tips!

Ah, the humble crock pot.  It turns everyday ingredients into a magic brew of deliciousness.  Why slave over a hot stove when you don’t have to?

I would like to share some tips that I have found useful, especially as they pertain to gluten and dairy free cooking.

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Welcome new followers for April 2017


I want to welcome and thank all of your for subscribing to my blog this month.  You should check them out!

Thanks to those who followed me by email too!

followers april 2

followers april

Surprising gluten free foods


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We all miss our favorite foods since going gluten and dairy free.  But did you know that some of those foods that you thought you might never eat again are available in gluten and dairy free versions?

Since the explosion of the gluten free craze partnered with the internet, you can get just about anything in a gluten and/or dairy-free version.

This list is not going to include the usual products.  Listed below are gluten free foods that really surprised me with their availability.  I have not tried all of these products.  I have tried those with an asterisk.  I also have to admit that I placed an order while writing this post……

Gluten free Pennsylvania dutch pretzels*

If you are missing out on the office pretzel day, you need not miss out any longer.  These were pretty good.  You can microwave them which means you can bring them to work with you.

Gluten free puff pastry

These do contain dairy, but it’s pretty great that you can get these.

Gluten and dairy free ice cream cones

These would be great with dairy free ice cream

Gluten and dairy free frozen apple pie

This would be a great time saver on Thanksgiving.  There is a pumpkin version too.

Whoopie pies

Who would have thought?

Chinese dumplings*

Ordering from the link above there is no minimum.  If you order from feel good foods, there is a 6 box minimum.  Believe me, these are worth every penny.  See my review here.

Gluten free french fried onions*

It took a lot of searching to find these.  They are exactly like Durkee french fried onions.

There you have it.  Have you found surprising gluten free foods?  Please share!

 

Battle of the chocolate cakes, Part 2


Several months ago, I wrote a post about the battle between the chocolate cakes, using King Arthur Measure for Measure flour and Mina’s chocolate cake mix.  Today the battle is between King Arthur and Better Batter.   I have heard people rave about it, so I decided to compare it to my favorite King Arthur gluten free flour.

I contacted Better Batter for a free sample.  They usually don’t send any out unless you meet several criteria, but after a few back and forth emails, they consented to send me a sample of their gluten free Better Batter Cup for Cup flour.

better batter gf

I used my go-to King Arthur chocolate cake recipe.  I don’t normally substitute gluten free flours in specific brand recipes, but in this case I made an exception.  You don’t want to make a recipe that’s already gluten free if you are using measure for measure gluten free flour.  It’s meant to replace wheat flour in recipes.  If you have a gluten-free recipe, use gluten-free flour.   There is a gluten-free version of this cake, but I prefer to make this one, using the replacement flour.

I made the cake exactly as directed in a 9×9 square cake pan.   The recipe is in the above link.

Here is a picture of the King Arthur version of the cake:

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And here is a picture of the Better Batter version:

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As you can see, the King Arthur version baked up much taller.  But the Better Batter had a slight edge in the moistness of the crumb.  I cut the cake before the ganache set, so I could write a post on it.  Oh, who am I kidding-I couldn’t wait to try it!

This is from Better Batter’s website:

better batter ingredients

For a comparison, here are King’ Arthur‘s ingredients:

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They are both based on rice flour, but they have a slight difference in ingredients.  Better Batter has fewer ingredients.  I find King Arthur amazing in that it works in just about any cake recipe as a cup for cup replacement.   Three pounds of the King Arthur cost $9.95. Twenty ounces of Better Batter costs $8.69.  You get much more bang for your buck with the King Arthur flour.  Better Batter is a very close second.  The winner: King Arthur.

On a similar note, I have been asked by several people how to make dairy free ganache.  It couldn’t be any easier.  I use Coconut milk and Enjoy life dairy free chips.  You can see how easy it is in this video:

Watch my YouTube video on how to make easy dairy free chocolate ganache here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXSAjCvzFvE

It’s interesting to try different baking mixes to see if one edges out the others.  Of course, this is all subjective.

In any case, it’s a delicious way to try gluten free flours!  Happy baking!