Green Bean & Potato Salad

September 17th, 2014 | Posted by Annette in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Potato & G Bean Salad

Green Bean & Potato Salad

Here’s an easy side dish; something Italians have prepared for years: Green Bean and Potato Salad! It’s so easy, it truly can be made by a child. And of course, given the nature of the ingredients, it’s also very inexpensive.

So, if the family is getting bored with the same old, same old…then try a salad you can make ahead and get back to the busy day you’re stuck in.


1 lb. Fresh Green Beans. Washed and tips removed. Then sliced in half.

Several Red Bliss, or Yukon Gold or even Idaho Potatoes. Peel and slice into cubes about 1 inch in size.

1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar

¼ cup “Light” Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Light blend is great here. Don’t use a heavy olive oil. You can also use a Canola Oil if you don’t have the Light olive oil type.

Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper: to taste

¼ tsp Parsley Flakes


You’ll clean and slice the veggies. In 2 small pots, cook the veggies separately. This is due to the time it takes for each. The green beans should be “al dente”. Not too soft.
The potatoes must be soft. A fork or knife inserted into them while in the boiling water, must go in easily. Not mushy, but cooked.
You’ll have to watch these veggies carefully, not to overcook each.

Drain and put both in a large bowl.

Add the remaining items and coat well, stirring and turning.

Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to eat. If it’s staying the fridge for hours, then you’ll have to remove from the refrigerator and let come to room temp before enjoying. The oil must return to a more liquid-y state and be stirred again. (It stiffens in the fridge.)
Hope it’s enjoyed by all!

Gluten Free Fruit & Cheese Pockets

September 12th, 2014 | Posted by Annette in Desserts - (0 Comments)

Fruit-Cheese Pockets

Gluten Free Fruit & Cheese Pockets

Here’s the story of my Gluten Free Fruit & Cheese Pockets: Last week I prepared a Pie Crust from a Mix! (I have told you, busy people out there, that this is a Semi-Homemade as well as Scratch Blog! And even when in a rush, that always helps.) Anyway, I made the Glutino Pie Crust Mix and as directed, wrapped the prepared dough, in 3 sections, and stuck in the fridge for a few hours. Only, I decided to use 2 that time, & leave a ball of the dough in there for a week. I figured, I’d give it a try, and see if the dough would still be “workable” after a week. Tadah! I’m happy to say it was great.
These are filled with both Blueberry and Ricotta in one, and Peach with Ricotta in the other. I’m sure it will also taste delicious with other fruits, so play around with it if you like.

Ingredients: For 4 Pockets, 2 are Peach & 2 are Blueberry:

1 Prepared G-F Pie Crust Mix. (If you make an entire box, you’ll have extra for another recipe)
Follow their directions & use their ingredients as required.

½ cup washed and dried Fresh Blueberries
2 Peaches, Ripe, peeled and pitted. Sliced into crescents of ½ in. wide
½ cup Light Brown Sugar
Slight Dash of Salt
Dash of Cinnamon or Nutmeg( your choice)
¾ cup Fresh Ricotta Cheese. Place on a thin strainer over a bowl and let excess moisture drain out.
G-Free All-Purpose Flour for dusting board & rolling pin
Pam or Margarine to lightly coat baking sheet
1 Egg Yolk.
¼ cup Water

Naturally, the prepared crust is done according to the box. Mine ( Glutino Pie Crust Mix) called for chilling the dough for a while. So, you may need to do that step earlier and then, in the meanwhile – perhaps do that marketing, or laundry, or, say, even take that much-needed nap!!!)

When the dough is chilled, take out whatever you’ll be using, and allow to sit on counter to soften a bit. It’s easier to roll when not so cold.

In a separate bowl for each fruit you’re using, put the fruit and ½ of the sugar, spice, & salt. In the 2nd bowl, add the remainder of those.

Toss each bowl to combine.

Add half of the strained Ricotta to each bowl. Gently stir in.

On a floured surface, & using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough. I needed 4 separate doughs, one for each pocket. The rolled pieces need not be perfect. You can cut away the jagged edges and leave yourself with a round piece. Each circle will be approx. 7-8 inches in diameter.

Put a lg. spoonful of the cheese/fruit mixture in the center of each rolled piece. Say, ½ cup or perhaps a little less. Don’t get too close to the edges.

With a dab of water on your finger tip, moisten the rim all around. This helps the dough stick to itself. If there’s a crack in the dough, moisten and “stick” to itself. Mine did. See the top of lower one?
Fold over one side, covering the fruit & cheese completely, meeting the opposite side. Try to “pinch” closed. You may find it helpful to tuck under, here & there. Don’t worry, it’s going to work in the end.Raw fruit-cheese pockets

Place on a greased or sprayed cookie sheet. I used a Silpat sheet which is a great thing, but a plain, greased sheet is fine as well.

Take the yolk in a small bowl and add a drop of water. Whisk well and then brush tops and rims with the egg-wash.

Bake at 350 degrees until golden. Can’t specifically say how long, since ovens vary, as does altitude and moisture, but mine took ½ hour. But please keep checking on it. Carefully remove with a spatula. They crack easily.

Pork Tenderloin w. Bacon

Gluten Free Pork Medallions Surrounded by Bacon!

You know how Pork can sometimes be a bit dry? Not as moist and juicy as it’s neighbor, Beef. And yet, so many LOVE the taste of a good Pork Loin, glazed and prepared just right! Aiming at keeping flavor and tenderness in, here’s a recipe for grilling Pork Tenderloin, but it’s sliced and each piece is wrapped in Bacon. Oh My!!


1 Pork Tenderloin. As thick around as you can get, mine was about 1 lb in weight. If there’s a “silver-skin” on it, use a sharp boning knife and gently remove it.

Bacon Slices. You’ll need as many slices as you have “rounds” of Pork

Salt & Pepper to taste


1 tbl Butter ( or substitute, such as Earth Balance or Margarine)
1 Scallion. Sliced thinly, from root end to about ¾ of green end.
1 tbl Fresh Parsley, chopped. Or ½ teas. Dried
1 tbl Light Brown Sugar
½ cup Peach Preserves, or use canned peaches and mash till fine.


After checking for that Silver skin, and removing if necessary, lie the tenderloin on a cutting board, and cut into slices, as wide as a piee of the bacon. Probably about 1 ½ in. Easy to judge by just checking out the bacon!

Wrap 1 or 2 pieces of raw bacon around the outside and secure with a toothpick or two. Salt & Pepper the flat sides and set aside. Here’s a shot of mine, before grilling.

Pork Tend before grill

Now let’s make the glaze.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and saute the scallions for just a minute or two. Add the Peach Preserves and the Sugar, as well as the Parsley.
Warm for a few minutes on a low heat until well combined and thinned. If necessary, you can add a drop of water. Put in a small bowl and prepare to get grillin” !
Spray the grill’s grates with a G-Free Vegetable Spray or using a small towel dipped in a bit of Olive Oil, rub over the grates to moisten them. That helps the meat cook without sticking.

When hot, put the medallions on with the flat side down. Don’t remove for the first 2 minutes. Then flip over and do the other side. Start glazing the flat sides after the first turning. You’ll see the bacon edges are starting to brown. You will have to flip again, as I did, and glaze each time. Use a meat thermometer to achieve a pork that’s cooked correctly. If necessary, ( and this happened to me) stand there and put the medallion on the grill with the bacon side down and rotate . I like my bacon crisp rather than “pink”.

Yummy! Moist and flavorful. Something different then the usual burger or frank, don’t you think?



Zucchini Rounds

Gluten Free & Dairy Free Zucchini “Rounds”

OK, I know, I’ve been obsessed with Zucchini, but ..hey, this is a veggie you can purchase & enjoy all year through. Markets carry them throughout each season, but at this time of year, Summer in the USA, our gardens are over-grown with them. So…this side dish is truly as easy as can be.
All you need is a pkg of plain G-F bread crumbs and some spices you already have, I’m sure.


1 Medium Zucchini. Peeled ( or not, your preference) sliced into rounds of about ¼ in in thickness.

1 Egg
¼ cup Milk or Milk substitute. I used Coconut/Almond Milk

1/2 cup Canola Oil

1 cup Gluten Free Plain Bread Crumbs

Dash of Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1/8 teas. Garlic Powder. NOT Garlic Salt

1/8 teas. Parsley Flakes. I used dried, but freshly chopped in fine chopping is okay.

Pinch of Dried Rosemary Just a pinch. Don’t go nuts with it!! LOL!

Cut up the Zucchini.
Take 2 bowls, or even 2 pasta dishes, and in one, whisk the egg and milk until combined well.

In the second, combine the bread crumbs, spices and stir to mix well.

Place the vegetable rounds, in the egg mixture first, coating each side. Then put in the bread crumb mixture and coat both sides. I like to press down on them to assure the rounds are coated well.
Place aside on a plate when each is down.

In a skillet, heat the oil and when hot enough, just brown each round until golden tinged on edges. Obviously, your skillet can fit many at a time. Keep watching. You can’t walk away from this skillet.

Place each on a paper towel on a platter to absorb any extra oil. Keep going until all are done.

If you really love Italian Cheese, then by all means, sprinkle a little grated Parmigiano or Pecorino Romano on top. A great side for whatever you’ve planned for dinner!!

Zucchini Omelet

August 27th, 2014 | Posted by Annette in Side Dishes - (0 Comments)

Zucchini Omelet

Zucchini Omelet

You know how sometimes there is nothing in the fridge to make for lunch? Yet, there on the counter sit some of the Zucchini that are taking over your garden, or there’s one in the crisper of the fridge that’s been there for 3 days? Well, here’s the easiest and tastiest way to pull that great lunch out of your hat!! A Zucchini Omelet! Of course, it’s Gluten Free. Mother Nature always is!


1 Medium Sized Zucchini. Peeled of outer green skin, or not. Up to you. Washed and then chopped into ½ inch cubes.

3 tbl Canola Oil, (reserve 1 tbl for use later)

1 Shallot, peeled, halved, sliced thinly

4 or 5 Large Eggs. Or X-L if you prefer.

¼ cup Milk or if going Dairy-free, use your substitute of preference

Few sprigs of Rosemary, crushed or chopped. Or ¼ teas. Dried Rosemary.

Salt & Pepper to taste.

Optional: 1 Tbl Minced fresh Red Bell Pepper.


Can’t be easier:
Beat the eggs and milk in a bowl. Add spices and stir in. Set aside.

In skillet, place the shallot in 2 tbl of the oil and saute until translucent. Remove from pan and set aside.
Put the sliced Zucchini in the same pan, and saute until tinged with light brown on edges.
If adding the red pepper, then saute about 1 minute as well.
Put the Zucchini, Shallot, Red Pepper into that bowl with the eggs & milk.
Beat by hand to incorporate.

In that same skillet, add another 1 tbl of canola oil, and when warm, pour in the bowl’s contents and cook on a low heat.

When you see the bottom of the omelet getting “solidified” or puffing up a little, use a spatula to peak at the underside. Just life a tiny corner while in the pan, to see if the bottom is starting to look golden.

When golden on the bottom, take a large dinner plate and place on top of the entire pan.
Remove pan from heat, and over the counter, hold the skillet handle in 1 hand, and placing the other hand on the plate holding it in position, you’re going to flip the omelet.

Just flip over, and when the omelet is in the plate, just slide it back into the skillet with the raw side, now being cooked on the bottom of the pan.
Sounds scary, but it isn’t hard. If you’ve never done it before, Be Confident!!

When the second side has been cooking for a few minutes, repeat the “peaking” again to check on the underneath. When golden as well, you’re done.

Slide onto a plate and get ready to enjoy. If you love grated Italian Cheese, you could add some to the top. Or serve with some Salsa, if you’re in the mood for that bit of spicy. A great addition to a brunch, or lunch, or even a side dish for supper. Healthy, fresh, delish!


Vanilla Cupcake w. Raspberry filling

Raspberry filling


Gluten Free Raspberry Filled, Vanilla Cupcake
And Dairy-Free too.

When my son was a kid, I took every little opportunity as reason to make a celebration! First day of school?…A special dessert or his favorite dinner.
Hit a “Single” or stole a base at Little League?…A Banner went up on the kitchen wall that I made of oak-tag cardboard, saluting his #24! End of the school year?…have the neighborhood kids in the yard for a party!

Well, you get the idea. We always felt there is joy and happiness all around us! Why wait for the holidays, why not celebrate even the littlest things?

So, I decided today to make a dessert for the child who is starting school. Maybe Pre-K, or Kindergarten, or First or even Second grade. And if they are apprehensive, then much more the reason to fuss!

This is a Vanilla Cupcake (A scratch recipe, this time) with a Red Raspberry Filling and a Chocolate Frosting. Oh, & it’s also Dairy-Free. All are pretty easy, even for a novice.

I’m attaching a photo of the cupcake’s interior, before being frosted, so you can see what’s up. It was kinda like that Jelly Donut I used to love before Celiac Disease. Wow, those were so good. So, if your family doesn’t like that, just omit the filling. Anyway, Happy Celebrating!! Whatever your reason.

Gluten Free Raspberry filled, Vanilla Cupcake.
Makes 12 regular sized cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees


1 cup Sorghum Flour
1 cup Potato Starch
1 teas. Xanthan Gum
½ cup Sugar
3 tbl Honey
2 Extra-Lg Eggs, Separated.
1 teas. Baking Soda
1 teas. Baking Powder
1 cup Non-dairy Milk ( I used Coconut-Almond Milk)
½ teas. Sea Salt
¼ cup either Coconut Oil, or Grapeseed Oil, or Canola-Coconut Oil.
2 tbl G-Free Pure Vanilla Extract
1 teas Fresh Lemon Juice

Red Raspberry Preserves, Seedless is best. A small jar is plenty and there will be lots left.


First, separate the eggs and set aside the whites for a minute.

Place all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, and stir well to incorporate them all.

Place all of the wet ingredients into a larger bowl. Beat the whites until very fluffy. You’ll be adding them last in the prep.

Slowly add the dry ingredients, beating after each addition. Once all is added, use a spatula to fold in the beaten whites. This will help give us a “light” cupcake.

When that’s all blended nicely, use a scoop, like an ice cream scoop, and put into lined cupcake pan. ONLY fill about ¼ of the way in each space.
Now using a teaspoon, put a dollop, about 1 teas. Of preserves, into the middle of each.
Then take the batter, and spoon another bit of batter on top of that preserve.

Don’t over-fill them cups, or this will overflow in the baking process. Mine were filled about ¾ of the way when filled and ready for the oven.

Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 18-22 minutes. Since ovens vary, it’s hard to say how long this will take you. Humidity also plays a part, as does altitude. But use this as a guide and keep your eye on them. The toothpick test does work fine here.
Chocolate Frosting , Also Dairy-Free:
3 cups Confectioners’ Sugar
1 stick Margarine ( I like Fleischman’s) Room temp.
5 tbls Cocoa Powder
A few drops of Non-Dairy Milk, as needed. (Again I used Coconut-Almond Milk)

Place the soft margarine in a bowl, and add the Confectioners’ Sugar, slowly, in small additions, as it will “dust” all over if added too fast.
Add the cocoa and beat at medium speed.
This is the “as needed” part. My frosting was too dry, so I added a tablespoon at a time of the milk, until I liked the consistency. Don’t add to much at once. If it does get too “wet”, just add more sugar. No worries!

You don’t need a fancy pastry bag, you can cut a tip off the corner of a baggie, and put the frosting in there to ice. Or just use your butter knife and frost away! The giraffe I decorated mine with was bought at Michael’s Craft stores, but any store of the like has a baking accessory aisle. A.C.Moore, etc. And if you use a 50% off coupon, you’re in!!

Hey, Happy First Day of School, Kids!!!!!
Happy First Day of Autumn!!!
Congrats on that Score!!!!!


Chicken w. Peaches & Apples

G-Free Chicken with Peaches & Apples

Since it’s summer here, we have an abundance of lovely fruits available at their peak flavor. So, when I glanced at those ripening peaches on my counter, I decided to use them in something more than just dessert.
Then I decided to try mixin’ it up a bit, and added a Granny Smith Apple to the party! Well, it was scrumptious! I used 2 large Thighs ( it’s only dinner for 2, and I always have lots of side dishes as well) and but of course, double up or triple the list if you’re preparing for a larger menu. These ingredients sufficed for 2.

I decided to add a photo of how to peel a peach as well. It’s something I do for my desserts too, so perhaps you’d like to use this method too. Oh, by the way, it also works on peeling tomatoes, nectarines, plums, etc.

Peeling a ripe Peach:

Wash the fruit first.

Put a pot of water up on the stove and when it comes to a boil, place the Peach ( or other fruit) into the water and let sit in the water, over the heat, for about 1 minute.

Remove and immediately submerge into a bowl of ICE water. This stops the cooking and will help with the peeling.

Use a sharp knife and make an X with the tip on the bottom.

Using the X as a starting point, simply peel. It will practically slide right off.
Take a look:

peeled peached istruction
Ingredients for Chicken with Peaches & Apples:

As I made it for 2:

2 Large Chicken Thighs (You can use breasts if you prefer)
1 Ripe Peach. Wash, peel, discard pit, slice into crescents.
1 Granny Smith( or any tart apple, but not a Delicious) Washed, peeled, cored, sliced into crescents as well
Salt & Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
Several Basil Leaves
2 tbls Canola Oil
1 Tbls Lemon Juice
Dash of Nutmeg and slight dash of Cinnamon
1 tbls Honey
1 tbls Light Brown Sugar

Wash chicken and set aside.
Prepare the fruit as discussed above and set aside.
Take your pan, add the Oil, Lemon juice, and then scatter the fruit slices all about the chicken pieces.
Sprinkle on the spices and scatter Basil leaves here & there.
Next, drizzle the honey on top of the chicken.
Lastly, sprinkle the brown sugar over the fruit pieces.

Here’s a look at the pan before the oven:

Preppig chicken w apple & peach

Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Set a timer so you’ll remember. I always forget this stuff, so the timer is my best friend!!
After the first 20 min, turn all of the ingredients over so they’re getting equally coated.
Replace in oven and do again: set timer. 20 minutes. Turn everything.
When that last timer goes off, now that 40 minutes has lapsed, turn again but this time, raise temp to 400 degrees for about 10 minutes JUST TO BROWN WELL! Keep an eye on it. This can go very quickly. Tadah! Here’s the finished dish. Can’t wait to eat!!


Cranberries add another delicious touch!

Cranberries add another delicious touch!


Gluten Free Zucchini-Banana Bread

Here’s a reason or two for why you ought to try this Gluten Free Zucchini-Banana Bead: 1) You have a kid who won’t eat veggies or perhaps, anything “green”, and 2) Your garden is overflowing with Zucchini!!

If your reason is the former, the good news is that this will taste like Banana Bread, and they’ll never know there’s a vegetable in there! Ahah! And it’s not full of a cup of sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Just a little honey, and I use local honey that’s good for us in the immune system area. (Ah, such logic to eating a dessert!)

So, let’s get started. Here’s all you need to know for 1 loaf, in an 8 x 4 in pan:


1 medium Zucchini, peeled of the skin, shredded well. Put all shreddings in a clean towel and wring out as much liquid as possible. Must be dry.

1 medium Ripe Banana, mashed.

Handful of Dried Cranberries (Craisins were used here)

¼/ cup Chopped Walnuts (Optional, of course)

¾ cup Coconut Flour
¾ tsp Baking Soda
¼ tsp Salt
½ tsp Nutmeg
½ tsp Cinnamon

3 Eggs

2 Tbsp. Honey

2 Tbsp. Canola Oil

Margarine for greasing pan.

Of course, first thing is getting the Zucchini ready. You can use several paper towels if you prefer, but just be sure to squeeze out lots of moisture from the shredded Z. If you don’t have a food processor, you can always use a box grater. Just get those muscles ready for lots of motion.

Really easy to prepare: I used 2 bowls. In one I placed the dry ingredients and mixed well with a large spoon. In the 2nd, I put the zucchini, banana, honey, eggs and oil. Mix well with a spatula or spoon as well.

Gradually add the dry to the bowl with the wet ingredients, a little at a time, with the beaters going. I didn’t even use my stand mixer. The easy, handy hand mixer was fine for me! Less space on the counter!

Into the greased loaf pan, and then into the preheated oven. Mine took 50 minutes, but keep an eye on this: ovens vary. The trusty old “toothpick” test works fine. If it comes out clean & dry, we’re in business!

Let cool. Serve! So good with a bit of cream cheese spread on top. Yummy!
You can even find a dairy-free cream cheese. Daiya makes cream-cheese style spreads with flavors added. Oh MY!




Roasted Zucchini & Potatoes


Roasted Zucchini and Yukon Gold Potatoes


1 Lg. Zucchini

several Yukon Gold Potatoes

1/4 cup Extra Virgin OLive Oil. (I love “light”)

Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

Dash of Garlic Powder

Few Parsley Flakes ( if you want-not essential)




So, too many Zucchini in the garden? Easy-Peasy!  Just wash them  and some Yukon Golds ( I like smaller ones), then dry with a towel, and slice to about 1/4 in. thick.

In a large dish, put some EVOO, Garlic Powder, not garlic salt, some Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper, a dash of Parsley Flakes (optional) and then using clean hands, of course, toss to coat and combine well.

Take a dark pan (for some reason, the non-stick, dark coated pans give a richer, browned color to the roasted veggies)

Place in the pan. Pop in the oven at 375 degrees and set a timer for 15 minutes. Then remove and turn all of them over so the undersides are now on top.

Re-place in oven for another 10 -15. Watch them, again because all ovens vary. They will become golden tinged and really a great side dish.

Eggplant Relish

Gluten Free Relish with Eggplant & Peppers

It’s Grillin’ Time! And if you’re like me, you’d love something new to kick up the same old meat dishes. Relish with Eggplant & Peppers!  This recipe was in “Food & Wine” magazine and the basic items they used are here, but I have “tweeked” it a bit. If this sounds like a great relish for those steaks, of all types, then why not give it a try? They called for roasting the Eggplant & Red Peppers over a gas flame, but I cut the Eggplant in half, long-wise, placed it with the flat side down on a baking sheet on which I put some EVOO, and then put the whole Red Peppers along side, and put them all in my screeching hot oven at 425 degrees and roasted them. You see, you need to char the outside of the Eggplant and then peel the skin off. It worked fine with my method. Let it cool a bit first, lest you also scorch those finger-tips! Ouch! So, give it a try…the results are a flavorful relish to serve with that steak this weekend.


1 Eggplant. Remove the stem and cut in half, from tip to bottom.
2 Red Bell Peppers. Of course, clean all veggies first. Cut off stem and leaving it whole, scoop out the seeds and most membrane.
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus ¼ cup for later.
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 teas. Shallot, also minced
2 tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped, but try to eliminate stems.
1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, also chopped
Dash of Lime Juice
Salt & Pepper to taste
Optional: A couple of Red Pepper Flakes, to turn up the heat!!!


Wash the 2 Veggies. Cut off the stems and clean Peppers inside as much as possible.
Place the 2 tbsp EVOO on a baking sheet or large pan and place in that hot oven ( 425)
WATCH carefully until the Peppers look like a char is forming. The Eggplant will also be roasting and getting very soft.
Let cool, then peel off the skin from the Eggplant.

Slice into cubes ( both veggies) and place in a Food Processor.
Add remaining ingredients.
Puree until a smooth relish, as in the photo.

Done! Serve along side that grilled steak, or even a juicy, thick Burger…whatever you prefer. Change up that regular old grilled dinner!



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