Friday, August 16, 2013

Gluten-free baking mix, pie crust and pasta recipes

I realize a lot of people see the gluten-free bandwagon as a fad, but for those of us who have truly been diagnosed with a gluten allergy (celiac disease), there is nothing faddish about  it.  When you HAVE to eat gluten-free, it is a tremendous challenge to find products that are safe.  Reading labels gets old quickly and previously "gluten-free" products were essentially impossible to find (in my area anyway), unless you could find them at a health food store.  Even in purchasing gluten free products, you have to "know your stuff" & still read labels.  Gluten is in other products other than wheat. 

Recently my daughter bought her dad some "gluten-free" muffins, but the label lists barley, which is a no-no. 

OK, enough with the rant.

The purpose of this  post is to share the basic gluten-free flour recipe that I have been using for a long time.  I can't give credit for the source because I don't have it.  

You can use it for many things, but baking cakes and biscuits still isn't on the list.  If I ever find a recipe for an edible biscuit, I'll share it.  I use it for breading meats for frying, thickening sauces, thickening for cream soups, mixing with corn meal to make a corn meal mix that isn't too grainy in texture as with pure corn meal, PASTA and PIE CRUST!!!  Below are the recipes for both.

First, the basic flour recipe.  I buy my flours in bulk at Muddy Pond, a Mennonite community in Monterey, which is just outside of Crossville, TN.

BASIC GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR MIX (Original source unknown)

2 cups oat flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 cups tapioca flour
2 cups rice flour
4 teaspoons Xanthan gum
1 teaspoon Lecithin
1 cup corn starch

Place the 2 cups of oat flour in food processor or blender and add Xanthan gum and Lecithin
powders.  The Lecithin especially is bad to clump together. Mix well.  Add to remaining flours and mix thoroughly.  Store covered in a cool, dry place.

For SELF RISING FLOUR:  4 cups of flour mix, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt.

2 cups flour mix
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (yes, additional to the xanthan in the flour mix)
3-4  eggs

Place eggs and xanthan gum in bowl of food processor, pulse to  mix thoroughly.  Continue to process while adding flour.   Dough will pull away from the bowl.

Either roll out thinly with a rolling pin and cut, or use your pasta machine.

I use mine fresh without drying, but that is personal preference.  I freeze the leftover pasta (cut but uncooked).

PIE CRUST:   I've been married & cooking for 46 years & had never mastered the art of pie crusts until I found this recipe from Simply Gluten-Free. This recipe makes the perfect pie crust - very flaky, light and easy to handle.  Did I mention easy to handle?  I had followed every trick I had heard of - rolling between 2 pieces of waxed paper, placing over your rolling pin, etc., but still ended up with a mess.  This one turns out real purty.

Perfect Gluten-free Pie Crust from Simply Gluten-Free.   Check out the link - good tips for the perfect pie crust & lots of recipes.

Gluten Free Perfect Pie Crust Recipe


½ cup unsalted butter or solid, all vegetable non-dairy shortening
2 to 4 tablespoons cold water
*1¼ cups All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
2 tablespoons sugar


Cut butter into ½ inch pieces and place it the freezer for 15 – 30 minutes.
Add some ice cubes to the water and let it get ice cold while preparing the dry ingredients.
Combine the flour blend, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 5 -6 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 6 -8 times or until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea size pieces of butter.
With processor running, add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture just barely starts to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough together and it holds then you have enough water, if not add more a little at a time. You do not want to add any more water than is absolutely necessary.
Remove the dough from the machine and form into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or for as long as 2 -3 days.  Since the dough is so crumbly and does not hold together at this point, I find it easier (and far less messy) to pour the mixture into a large food storage bag and form it into a disk using the bag to help. Then just close up the bag and put it in the fridge. Remove dough from fridge 5 minutes before rolling.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Leek harvest April 2013

My youngest granddaughter and I harvested leeks on April 8th.  She is very fashion-conscious and her shoes have to match her outfit.  Since her outfit was pink and purple, don't you think she chose the appropriate shoes?  She is 4 and so much fun. 

I started King Sieg leeks from seed and transplanted to my square foot garden in a small trench (the seedlings were small).  After they had grown a good bit I used my hands to mound the dirt up around the leeks & left them over the winter.  I was quite pleased with the results.

Here she is with her new bunny going for a stroll.  That is the tamest rabbit I've ever seen. It loves to cuddle & doesn't bite.  It will get right up under her chin & sleep.

This may be my favorite picture of the year.  In case you can't tell, she is a tomboy to the core.  She chases the chickens (& usually catches them), loves to help in the garden and is NOT AFRAID OF A LITTLE DIRT!    Again, that rabbit is amazing.  It is usually dressed in baby clothes.

Monday, February 4, 2013

New book ordered

I just ordered a new book, VERTICAL VEGETABLES AND FRUITS by Rhonda Massingham Hart from Amazon.  (You can get a direct link in my side bar to the left, it's the top one.)  Amazon shows some preview pages and it looks quite interesting.  I'll keep you posted on what I think about it after I receive it.  

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Free garden planner from Gardener's Supply (

This is an edited post.  Earlier I reported Territorial Seeds has a garden planner with a 30 day free trial, but this one is at GARDENERS.COM just plain ol' free!!

This is a great planner, simple to use and perfect for square foot garden planning.  (Did I mention it was free?)

GARDEN PLANNER     It is simple to use and perfect for square foot garden planning.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Are you ready for Spring?

I am SO looking forward to springtime.  I've been a big fan of Baker Creek for several years, but I discovered Fedco last year.  I have already placed one order with Fedco Seeds, but am working on another.  I love ordering from them - they have free shipping.  Their catalog is no frills, simple black and white, but it is full of information and the comments are so much fun to read and the Fireside Chats from F. D. Roosevelt really apply to this present day and  time.

Some of my favorites from Fedco are their Deluxe Lettuce Mix and Freedom Lettuce Mix,  Both of these lettuce mixes are chock full of wonderful varieties - Romaines, reds, red splotched, light and dark green, deer tongue, butter heads - just an amazing variety.  I planted some late lettuce in the Fall and made a hoop bed cover from light weight PVC pipe and covered it with a piece of heavy plastic drop cloth, leaving the ends partially open so things could breathe and I have harvested some wonderful salads.

Bright Lights Chard is another of my favorites.  For some reason I had never tried Swiss Chard before last year.  I assumed it would be something like turnip greens or kale, which I definitely do not care for.  In a seed exchange I received some Bright Lights and went ahead and planted them.  I am SO glad I did!  The bright colors of yellow, green, red and purple would make it pretty enough to grow alone, but the flavor was amazing.  I love spinach but have no luck growing it, and the flavor of the chard was very similar to spinach.  It is also a cut-and-come-again variety that has been growing all winter uncovered.

So what did I order the first time?
Golden Gopher Muskmelon
Ministro slicing cuke
Saffron sumer squash
Jaune du Doubs carrot - old heirloom with absolutely wonderful flavor
Deluxe lettuce mix
Freedom lettuce mix
Bright lights chard
Galine Eggplant
Boldog Hungarian Pepper
Odessa market sweet pepper
Opalka paste tomato - heirloom, huge sausage shape, very sweet, few seeds
Ventura celery
Red broom corn,
Danish flag poppy.

My tummy is growling already!

Happy gardening.

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