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Ham and Cheddar Scones

Sorry I've been so out of touch lately -- been running around to out-of-state weddings.  Hopefully September will be a little less hectic.  I saw this recipe in Better Homes and Gardens.  The first part reminded me of my biscuit recipe, so I was pretty sure I could adapt it and make it gluten free.  They turned out great!  So here you go:

Ham and Cheddar Scones

2 Cups GF Four Flour Bean Mix or GF basic flour mix made with brown rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 Cup butter
1/2 Cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 Cup small diced cooked ham
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill or 1 tsp dried dillweed
3/4 - 1 Cup sour cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp Dijon-style mustard

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in cheese, ham, and dill.  Combine sour cream, egg, and mustard; add all at once to flour mixture.  Stir until mixture is moistened.  (Start with 3/4 Cup and keep adding until it's evenly moist.  I used Four Flour Bean Mix and needed 1 Cup sour cream to get the right consistency).

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead dough gently until it holds together.  Pat out until it's about 3/4 to 1" thick.  Cut with a floured biscuit cutter.  Dip cutter into flour between cuts.  Reroll scraps as necessary.  Place circles 1 inch apart on sprayed or parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until golden.  Serve warm.  Makes about 12 scones.


Dips for Fruit

Since we're at that time of the summer when fresh fruits are most abundant, I thought it would be fun to supply you with some great dips to go with all that fruit!  I got both of these recipes decades ago, and have used them frequently.  They're very different from each other, but both delicious and easy to make -- just a few ingredients that you're likely to have on hand!  So whip some up and enjoy.  They're perfect any time.

Orange Fruit Dip

1 6-oz can frozen orange juice concentrate
1-1/4 Cups cold milk
1 3-1/2 oz package vanilla instant pudding
1/4 Cup sour cream

Combine undiluted orange juice and milk in small bowl with electric beater.  Beat in pudding mix on low speed for two minutes.  Stir in sour cream and chill two hours before serving.

Raspberry Fruit Dip

1 3-oz package cream cheese
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 Cup Red Raspberry yogurt (or your favorite flavor)

Beat cream cheese and sugar together until softened and smooth.  Add yogurt and blend well.  Chill until ready to serve. 



Shrimp and Sausage Red Rice

I found this recipe in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine and tried it this weekend -- fantastic!  So thought I'd share it with all of you (along with my notes).  It's not fast (takes about an hour to an hour and 15) but worth it!

Shrimp and Sausage Red Rice

3 Tbsp bacon drippings (I didn't have any, so just used olive oil.  Bet it would be even better with the smoky bacon flavor from the drippings, though)
1/2 Cup chopped onion
1/2 Cup chopped green sweet pepper
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped*
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional) (I put it in -- like the spiciness!)
1/2 to 1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
1 14.5-oz can petite diced or crushed tomatoes**
1 rounded Tbsp tomato paste
2 Cups chicken stock or water
1 Tbsp butter
1 Cup long grain rice
8 oz. andouille or cooked, smoked chorizo sausage, sliced in 1/2-inch rounds
1 Cup sliced fresh okra -- use small whole okra pods with the stem end trimmed (we were up in the mountains and the little grocery store up there didn't have okra, so I left it out -- it was great anyway) 
1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp

1.  In a large skillet heat bacon drippings.  Add onion; cook over medium-low heat without stirring for 5 minutes.  Add the sweet pepper, jalapeno, garlic, thyme, and crushed red pepper.  Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  Cook over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until onion and pepper are soft but not browned.
2.  Add tomatoes and tomato paste.  Stir in stock; bring to a simmer.  Cover and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes.  Taste carefully for seasoning (broth should be highly seasoned to flavor the rice).
3.  In a heavy, wide-bottom nonreactive pot or heavy 12-inch skillet heat butter over medium heat until melted.  Add rice; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes until rice becomes translucent.  Carefully stir in the hot tomato mixture.  Cover quickly and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.  Add the sausage and okra, mixing in gently with two forks.  Return cover and cook 10 minutes longer over very low heat, just until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.  (When I went to add the sausage, I discovered that the rice had absorbed all the liquid and was done, so I just dumped in the sausage and shrimp all at once and cooked it until the shrimp was done)
4.  Sprinkle shrimp lightly with salt and pepper.  Stir the shrimp into the rice mixture.  Cover and cook 3 to 5 minutes longer, just until shrimp is opaque.  Remove from heat and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes before serving.  Makes 6 servings.

*Hot chile peppers contain oils that may burn skin and eyes.  Wear plastic or rubber gloves when handling.
(didn't have any gloves at the cabin where I cooked this, so just washed my hands several times after chopping the jalapeno pepper, and then did the dishes after dinner, and that got rid of all the oil!)
**If you don't have petite diced or crushed tomatoes, you can use whole ones.  Working over a bowl, squeeze tomatoes with your hands to break into pieces.  You can also use fresh tomatoes in season -- dice up about 1-1/4 Cups.


Hearty Bread

I've been trying to create a soft, but hearty bread (thanks Geri, for your inspiration), and finally had success today!  This bread has a lovely, light texture, but hearty almost-like-wheat-bread taste.  It does include some rolled oats, so be careful -- if you know you can tolerate them, go ahead, but if not, either get gluten free oats or try using quinoa flakes (for those of you new to this, oats are usually harvested and processed in wheat producing facilities, and thus can't be tolerated by those with celiac.)

Hearty Bread

4 Tbsp butter, melted
3/4 Cup evaporated milk
3/4 Cup warm water
3 eggs
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vinegar
1/4 Cup agave or honey

Whisk together and put into bread machine pan.

2 Cups basic gluten free flour mix made with brown rice flour (see here for flour mix recipe)
1/2 Cup rolled oats (see note above)
1/2 Cup teff flour
1/4 Cup sorghum flour
1 Tbsp xanthan gum

Whisk together and put on top of liquid in bread machine pan.  Make well in flour mixture and fill with:

1 Tbsp yeast

Choose your machine's white bread setting, medium crust color and press go.  That's it.  Hot, fresh bread on the way!



It's been blissfully cool and lightly raining here all day, a blessed relief from the weeks of hot weather we've had, so I got reacquainted with my oven and made pizza!  In case you missed my post on pizza and how to make a good gluten free pizza crust, look here.  In that post I gave suggestions for toppings at the end, but since then have tried some new ones that taste great that you might like too.  Here's the latest:


1 GF pizza crust, about 14"
3-4 oz of pesto
Grated mozzarella cheese -- whatever amount you like
Sliced Canadian bacon or chunked chicken
2-4 chopped green onions
sliced fresh mushrooms
quartered artichoke hearts (you can buy these canned -- I like them better than marinated ones)
Grated sharp cheddar cheese -- whatever amount you like

Prepare the pizza crust per instructions.  Use the pesto as the sauce and layer all the other ingredients in the order given.  Bake at 400 until edge of crust is browned and cheeses are melted and bubbling.  Enjoy!

Recently I found ready made GF pizza crusts at my local health food store.  We tried them and liked them!  They really speed the process along if you're in a hurry.  In my other post I suggested using a white sauce,  and pesto here, but of course you can always go back to your favorite red sauce.  That's the great thing about pizza -- it's design your own!  Have fun with it -- you can even throw a party, use previously made small individual pizza crusts or ready made ones, set out all the toppings and let guests make their favorites!



Blog Worth Checking Out

Thanks to Cindy for finding this blog and letlting me know -- looks like lots of great gluten free recipes!  Let me know how they turn out:


Pasta Chicken Fruit Salad

This is another fantastic salad recipe from my friend Janice, who also supplied the wonderful Strawberry Spinach Salad.  If you like fruit in your pasta salads, you'll love this one.  It makes a bunch -- enough to feed 12-15 people -- so it's a great party salad.  If you don't have gluten intolerance, just use regular pasta.

Pasta Chicken Fruit Salad

2 Cups brown rice shell pasta, uncooked
1/2 tsp grated green onion
4 Cups cooked chicken, chopped
2-20 oz. cans pineapple chunks
2 Cups grapes (I like to cut them in half so you don't have to chase them around your plate :)
2 apples, peeled and diced
1/2 Cup slivered almonds
2 Cups celery, diced
1 Cup mayonnaise
1 Cup coleslaw dressing (you can buy this at the supermarket - I like Hidden Valley brand)

Cook pasta and drain.  Mix all ingredients together.  Refrigerate.  Salt to taste before serving.

I took this to a party tonight and came home with maybe 1-1/2 cups worth -- everybody loved it!


Georgia's Meatloaf

My mom is a great cook, but as a kid I never liked her meatloaf.  Up until I got married and tasted my mother-in-law's meatloaf, I thought all meatloafs were pretty much the same (read: like my mom's).  To my surprise, I liked my mother-in-law's meatloaf, and it's the only one I've made since then. 

Meatloaf is problematic for those who are gluten intolerant, since nearly all recipes call for cracker crumbs or bread crumbs to be mixed into the meat, as does this one.  I've been experimenting and have discovered that rice crackers crushed up, or gluten free bread crumbs (remember those failed loaves of bread you made into crumbs?) both work, but I prefer the texture of the one made with cracker crumbs.  I also discovered when taking a picture for this post that making meatloaf look appetizing in a picture is nearly impossible.  So my apologies to you photo buffs out there, and please don't judge the flavor by the picture :).

 Georgia's Meatloaf

1-1/2 lbs lean ground beef
2/3 Cup evaporated milk
1 egg
1/2 Cup crushed rice crackers (or 1/2 Cup GF bread crumbs)
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 Cup finely chopped onion
1/4 Cup finely diced green pepper

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well blended.  Put into loaf pan and bake for 1 hour at 350.  Serve immediately.  Top with catsup if desired.

Remove from the pan and refrigerate any leftovers -- they make great sandwiches the next day!


Microwave Caramel Corn

My mom was craving some caramel corn recently.  She and my dad used to always get a big bag for her when they were at the mall, so she asked if I would pick some up for her.  I dutifully went to the mall and discovered that unfortunately, the place where they got it no longer existed, so I decided I'd make her some.  I knew I had a recipe for microwave caramel corn from years ago that reminded me of Cracker Jacks (minus the nasty burnt-tasting peanuts), so I looked through my recipe box and discovered that I had seven (7!) different recipes for caramel corn!  Is there a message here?  Anyway, here's the microwave recipe with one variation included.  Maybe I'll post some of the other ones if this one turns out to be popular :).  Enjoy!

Microwave Caramel Corn

22-24 Cups popped corn
1/2 Cup butter
1 Cup packed brown sugar
1/4 Cup light corn syrup (or if you don't want to use corn syrup, use 1/4 Cup gran. sugar and 1 tsp water)
1/2 tsp salt

Put popped corn in a large brown paper grocery bag.  Put all the other ingredients into a deep microwave safe glass bowl.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes or until it boils (it only took 2 minutes to boil in my microwave, so watch carefully!), stirring at end of each minute.  Once it boils, microwave for two more minutes,  stirring at end of each minute.  Remove from microwave. 

1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)

Stir into caramel mixture.  Pour over popcorn in bag.  Shake well.  Fold down top of bag and put in microwave.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.  Remove from microwave and shake again.  Put back in and microwave for another minute.  Take out and shake again.  Spread out on waxed paper to cool.  Break apart with hands into bowl.  Serve.  If there's any left, store in a tightly covered container.