Lemon cake and a review of Mina’s gluten free baking mix

Update: after eating several pieces of this cake, it has grown on me.  It’s not pretty, but it tastes amazing!

I thought I would take a break from the chocolate/pumpkin thing for awhile and make a lemon cake.

The folks at Mina’s sent me a sample of their gluten free baking mix, along with the chocolate mix I made last week, and a bread mix.  They have lots of recipes on their site using their mixes.

In using the baking mix for this cake, I am not sure it holds up in cake batter.  The texture of the cake was very delicate; almost like an angel food cake, and easily fell apart.  It might be more suited for muffins or biscuits.  After making this cake I rate it a 7 out of 10.  Here is the original recipe.


1 cup Mina’s gluten free baking mix
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 tbs lemon peel
1 tbs lemon juice
2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted (I used grapeseed oil)
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Spray one 9 inch round cake pan and line bottom with parchment paper for easy removal. (I used an 8×8 square pan)
Stir together All Purpose Mix, baking powder and salt and set aside.
In mixer bowl combine sugar, eggs, lemon peel, lemon juice, vanilla and butter.
Add the set aside All Purpose Mix and beat on medium until smooth and fluffy for about 2 minutes.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 35 minutes until is nicely browned and pick comes out clean.
Cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes.
Remove cake to a rack and poke holes over the entire top of cake with a toothpick or wooden skewer.  ( I kept the cake in the pan)

Meanwhile, as the cake is cooling, in a saucepan bring sugar and lemon juice to a boil.
Reduce heat and let simmer for another 2 minutes.
Brush top of cake with all of the glaze until gone.

I did not boil or simmer the glaze, I just made sure it was warm and that the sugar was melted.

The cake is very lemony and sweet;  the lemon peel started to burn, but it did not affect the taste of the cake. Perhaps cutting it back to 1 tablespoon would help.    I had too much glaze; it made the cake a bit soggy so I only used about 3/4 of it.  It does taste really good though.  It’s a nice, refreshing change.

Would I recommend Mina’s all-purpose gluten-free baking mix?  Not for cakes at this point; but stay tuned for more recipes using the mix along with my reviews.


New untested recipes I want to try



Have you ever found a really interesting gluten or dairy free recipe, but haven’t had a chance to try it out yet?  That is the conundrum I find myself in lately.

I am always looking for new recipes to try out to save us from the ho-hums.  I found a few of these and would like to share them with you.  Please be advised, these have not yet been tested.  

I will give some tips here in case you get ahead of me!

Chicken Egg Foo Young

The only substitution here would be Tamari instead of soy sauce.  No other substitutions.

Update:  I made this recipe last night.  Omit the chicken broth from the egg mixture-eggs were much too runny and the cakes fell apart.  Add 1 tbs soy sauce and one tsp. rice wine vinegar to egg mixture.  Not impressed with the recipe.  But it tasted okay. 

Slow cooker broccoli beef

Again here you want to use Tamari.  No other substitutions.

Baked General Tso’s chicken

You want to use gluten free corn flakes.  Kellogs is NOT gluten free. They use barley malt.  You can find gluten free corn flakes online.  I bought Erewhon corn flakes at Jet.com.  You want to use gluten free flour. I cannot find gluten free hoisin sauce.  I would omit it.

Slow cooker Sauerbraten

The only subs here are for butter and flour.   You could use dairy free spread and gluten free flour.  No other substitutions.

Crockpot Applesauce pork chops

No substitutions here.  If you are FODMAP, you might have an issue with the applesauce.

Gluten free fried chicken

This is a very ambitious recipe.  But I would like to see if gluten free fried chicken is even possible.   This recipe is already gluten and dairy free.  The author swears by it.  I have my doubts but I won’t know until I try it.

Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting

You want to sub dairy free spread and gluten free flour.  You also want to sub dairy free cream cheese.  I would also use only one cup of confectioner’s sugar.  Note this recipe and how the frosting is made.

These are just a few.  I have long, long lists of recipes I have never gotten to.  Hopefully, I can add these to my favorites.

If you try these, please share your experience.



Easy gluten and dairy free potato salad



You might think of potato salad as a summer thing.  Since summer is just about over, you might shelve it until next year.   In our house, we eat it year round.  So I thought I would share my easy recipe.

I used to buy Walmart potato salad, but since it has so many additives, I tend to avoid it now.  Making your own means having control over what’s in it.  Potato salad is also like a blank canvas-you can add anything you want to it really and make it your own.  This recipe is pretty simple so you can adjust it to your own taste.


1 pound baby yukon gold or red skin potatoes
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 to 1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash original blend
1/2 to 1 cup mayonnaise


There are two methods of cooking the potatoes.  I find the skin on method easier than trying to peel baby potatoes.   Use whatever method is easier for you.  You can also leave the skins on.  If you are leaving the skins on, follow the skin on method.  Just don’t remove the skins.

Skin on method:
Wash potatoes, add to dutch oven or large saucepan and cover with about an inch of cold water. Prepare a large bowl of ice water and set aside.  Add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once potatoes are boiling, lower heat to medium high. Boil potatoes until skins start to crack and potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.  Add to the bowl filled with ice water. Let potatoes sit in ice water about five minutes or until cool enough to handle. Skins should slip right off ( if you want to remove them). Slice cooked potatoes into cubes or slices and add to a large serving dish or bowl.

Drizzle oil and vinegar over potatoes and mix gently. Let sit for five minutes for oil to and vinegar to absorb. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and dry seasoning. Let potatoes cool completely if not already cool before adding mayonnaise. Toss to coat and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Skin off method:
Wash potatoes, peel. Follow directions above, except do not add to ice water. Let potatoes cool in colander for at least 30 minutes. Proceed as directed.

Possible Add-ins:
Cooked crumbled bacon, chives, paprika, diced onion, parsley, cooked egg, mustard-the possibilities are only limited to your imagination.

You could use any mayonnaise.  We like Miracle Whip but prefer Hellman’s mayonnaise in this recipe.  You can use regular size Yukon Gold or Red skin potatoes but I find the baby potatoes are much more tender.  Do not use Russet potatoes as they are much too mealy. Waxy potatoes make better potato salad.  I use Mrs. Dash original in pretty much everything savory.  It’s an easy way to add flavor.  You can use any herbs or spices you like. You could also use any type of oil and vinegar you like.

This salad goes fast in our house-it’s simple and delicious.  If you are making this for a crowd I suggest you double the recipe!

Awesome sauce! Easy shrimp teriyaki

shrimp teryaki


I previously posted a recipe for shrimp teriyaki, but I wanted to update it since I came across a better sauce recipe.

Let’s face it, Chinese food is all about the sauce.  If you are gluten free, it’s near impossible to actually go to a Chinese restaurant.  PF Chang’s is the only one I know that actually makes gluten free Chinese food, but if you want to replicate Chinese at home, you need a really good sauce.

The original recipe appears here.  I went with the extra added ingredient sauce, just because I wanted a little more oomph in my dish.

Basic Sauce:
¼ cup soy sauce (I like reduced sodium)
½ cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4-5 tablespoons honey (to taste)
More full flavored sauce:
¼ cup soy sauce (I like reduced sodium)
¼ cup water
2-4 tablespoons rice vinegar (to taste)
4 tablespoons crushed pineapple
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4-5 tablespoons honey (to taste)

Here is my version:

1/4 cup gluten free tamari
1/2 cup water
1 tbs corn starch
2 tbs rice wine vineger
4 tbs crushed pineapple
2 tbs pineapple juice
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbs brown sugar


In a small pot whisk soy sauce, water, and cornstarch together until smooth. Add any of the optional additional ingredients you are using (vinegar, garlic, ginger, etc) .
Heat over medium-high heat until warm and then whisk in honey until dissolved.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and whisk constantly until desired thickness is reached. Do not leave unattended it thickens quickly once it gets boiling and will rapidly burn.
Taste and adjust as desired. If too thick, thin with additional water to desired consistency.

You need to watch this as it will burn quickly.  I used this sauce to make my teriyaki shrimp:

1 lb peeled, deveined, jumbo shrimp.  Thaw if frozen
1 tbs cooking oil
1 recipe teriyaki sauce (see above)
1 tsp sesame seeds (optional-toasted if desired)

Drain the shrimp, if frozen. Add cooking oil to a non-stick skillet, heat on medium until just shimmering. Add shrimp, and cook until all shrimp are just turning pink, and are no longer opaque.
Add sauce, and stir, ensuring that all shrimp are coated evenly. Let simmer on low for two to three minutes, taking care not to overcook shrimp. Sprinkle with sesame seeds
Serve over rice or noodles.

Thats it!  A tasty, home cooked Chinese meal.  Easy peasy!

Flat as a pancake-again


Ah, the quest for the perfect, fluffy, gluten free pancake.  A pipe dream?  I’m beginning to think so.

After my success with gfjules pizza dough, I thought I would try her pancake mix.

gf jules pancake mix ingredients

gf jules pancake mix instructions

I followed the instructions for making half the bag-the bag contains 16 oz of mix, and half is 1 2/3 cups.  Wouldn’t it be one cup?  I made the mix exactly as stated and ended up with flat, undercooked pancakes.  I don’t believe there is enough baking powder in the mix to stretch into splitting the mix in half.

I went on Jules site and found this recipe card for making  pancakes:

Fluffy Gluten Free Pancakes or Waffles


1 1/2 cups gfJules™ All Purpose Flour
2 Tbs. dry dairy or or non-dairy milk powder OR almond meal
1 Tbs. granulated cane sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs (or egg substitute)
3 Tbs. canola oil
1 1/2 (+/-) cups milk (dairy or non-dairy)
high heat oil for the pan (if not using non-stick pan)
berries, chocolate chips, chopped nuts, etc., if desired


In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.
In another larger bowl, combine all the liquid ingredients, using only 1 1/4 cups of milk at first. Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the liquid ingredient bowl until well integrated and only a few lumps remain. Add more milk as needed to thin the batter to the point that it is easily spooned onto the skillet, but is not watery at all. You should be able to put a dollop of batter onto the hot oil and spread the batter out with the back of a spoon to form a circle without the batter being too thick or too runny.
Pour enough oil into a large skillet or griddle to have a thin covering over the entire surface (no need to add oil if using a non-stick pan). Heat the skillet or griddle to medium-high.
Spoon batter onto skillet and spread the batter with the back of a large spoon to thin the batter – remember, it’s going to puff up! Leave space between each pancake so that you can use a spatula to flip each one easily. If desired, stir into batter or place berries, chocolate chips, etc. onto the uncooked side of the pancakes. (Or make into fun shapes like Mickey Mouse or a snowman!)

Here, she is using her gluten free all purpose flour.  How does this differ from the pancake mix?

modified tapioca starch
potato starch
corn starch
white rice flour
corn flour
xanthan gum

The only differences here are the baking powder, sugar, sea salt and vanilla powder.  Pretty much the same.  I am wondering if I follow the recipe here using the pancake mix if I will have a better result?  Minus the almond meal and/or milk powder.

Stay tuned to find out!

A Lesson in conversion and a review of No Whey chocolate



If you are a person who uses Facebook and are following any gluten free pages, you will undoubtedly find a lot of gluten free recipes.  But some of those recipes are not gluten free, and you might want to make them anyway.  You might not think it is possible, but it really is.

Let’s take this recipe as an example:

Peanut butter cup cake roll


For the cake:

3 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons brewed coffee (or water)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup all purpose flour
Powdered sugar, to aid in rolling

Conversion here is easy; you just need to substitute gluten free flour.  In the past couple of recipes, I have used King Arthur Measure for Measure with great success, and I would use it here.

For the filling and topping:

2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons + 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
7 regular size Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped (about 1 cup chopped)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In this case, if you are dairy and nut free (as I am) you would substitute dairy free cream cheese (my favorite is tofutti), sun butter (a great sub for peanut butter), coconut milk (the kind you drink) for the whipping cream (I’ll explain why in a minute) and dairy, nut free peanut butter cups.  I would also use Enjoy life chocolate chips.


Make the Cake: preheat oven to 350°F. Line a jelly roll (10×15”) pan with foil and spray with cooking spray (I like to use the spray with flour).
Beat eggs at high speed for 3 minutes, until frothy and dark yellow. Beat in sugar, coffee or water, and vanilla extract. Mix in cocoa, salt, and baking powder, then mix in flour. Stir just until blended.
Spread in prepared pan. Batter will be in a very thin layer and you will need to use a wooden spoon or spatula to spread it to all the corners of the pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes. You’ll know it’s done because if you lightly poke the top with your fingertip it will slightly bounce back.
While the cake is baking, set a clean kitchen towel out on a large work surface. Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar (about 1/4 cup). As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, turn it over on the kitchen towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Remove foil carefully.
Working at the short end, fold the edge of the towel over the cake. Roll tightly, rolling up the cake into the towel. Let cool completely while rolled, at least one hour (or you can wrap it and chill it overnight).
Make the Filling: beat cream cheese and peanut butter with a hand mixer until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar until crumbly, then add vanilla and 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream. Mix until smooth and a spreadable consistency, adding up to 2 additional tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped peanut butter cups.
Assemble Cake: Unroll the cooled cake carefully and then spread the filling on the cake, leaving 1” without filling at either end. Re-roll cake, scooping out any filling that spills out as you roll. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour before frosting.
Make the topping: place chocolate chips and 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream in a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup. Microwave for about 30-60 seconds, then whisk until smooth. Chill for about 20 minutes or freeze for 10, until it thickens to a pourable but not watery consistency.
Place cake roll on a wire rack set over a cookie sheet. Pour the ganache over the cake evenly. Top with remaining chopped peanut butter cups. Chill until set. Slice and serve.
May be stored, wrapped in plastic, in the refrigerator for 24 hours before serving.

About that heavy whipping cream:

Since she is using it in the filling and topping only, and not actually “whipping it” plain coconut milk should work fine.  If she were whipping it, I would use canned coconut milk, which can be whipped.  She is also using it for making the chocolate ganache.  I have used coconut milk with chips before to make ganache, and it works great.

As to her method-I am not sure a rolled cake can be unrolled.  I think this would be difficult.  Let’s find out. According to the Better Homes and Gardens website on how to make a cake roll:  she is spot on.   Looks like she did her homework-bravo!

Now to the review of No Whey mini “peanut butter” cups.  These cups are free of the top allergens-soy, nuts, eggs, milk, peanuts, gluten…..

no whey peanut butter cups

They are extremely expensive-I paid $17 (with shipping) for two small bags. Unfortunately, I am really disappointed with these.  They have no “peanut butter” taste at all.  Just really, really sweet chocolate.  Perhaps they are too small to contain enough “nut butter”?  I was going to use these in this cake roll, but it seems I will have to look at other options.  I can’t eat peanut butter anymore, or chocolate.  Bah!!!   There must be a good substitute out there.  I would welcome suggestions.

Back to the cake roll- I am going to attempt to make this come Thanksgiving.  Since I won’t be moving right before the holiday this year (last year was an exercise in Rube Goldberg proportions) I should be able to pull it off.  It will be an interesting challenge to say the least.

Which brings me to the point of this post-you can make substitutions for your favorite dishes and desserts.  Google is your best friend.  There is usually a way to either make or buy what you need.  Don’t be afraid to experiment.  That is what life-especially the gluten free life-is all about.

Shrimp and corn fritters

shrimp and corn fritters

picture courtesy of thekitchn.com

Nothing, to my mind, is better than summer corn.  Pairing it with another favorite, shrimp, is even better.  Alas, I made these with canned corn as I could not get to the farmers market this week.  But they are versatile; so you could make these all winter long.

These are not so much fritters as patties, depending on what size you make them.  They are easy to make and delicious.  Original recipe courtesy of thekitchn.com.

See my notes at the end of the page.


1 pound uncooked peeled, deveined medium shrimp, thawed if frozen
2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 4 ears) or one can kernel corn, drained
2 scallions, thinly sliced or small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Lemon wedges, for serving


Place 2/3 of the shrimp in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse into a smooth paste.

Transfer the shrimp paste to a large bowl. Coarsely chop the remaining shrimp and add it to the bowl. Add the corn, scallions, parsley, smoked paprika, and salt and stir to combine.

Form the mixture into 8 (2 1/2-inch-wide) patties and place on a large plate. Cover and chill up to overnight.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add 4 of the patties and cook until golden-brown on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the patties and cook until the shrimp is opaque and the fritters are crisp, 1 to 2 minutes more.

Transfer the fritters to a clean plate and repeat with frying the remaining patties. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.


I used frozen, peeled shrimp with tails off.  I thawed in a colander over several hours

I used onion instead of scallion

I did not use smoked paprika-I don’t think you would miss this

I think the ratio of corn to shrimp is too much-I would cut this back to one cup of corn

The mixture must be chilled if the patties are to stay together when cooked-I chilled them for about an hour and half

You could make these smaller if you want fritters

These are great served with tartar sauce.  For two of us there were enough for two meals.  If you have a large crowd I would double the recipe.