Monday, December 30, 2013

Gluten free Chili

That just sounds weird to me because I would have assumed that by nature Chili would be gluten free but not all chili's are so I now make all my own chili, taco, and gravy mixes so I don't have to worry about looking at the labels to see if they have added flour to the powders. 
This was my dinner the other night that spurred the writing of all these blog posts.  The hamburger is a patty I buy at Sprouts for Chuck that is hamburger, jalapeno, and cheese and tonight I put mushrooms and pepper jack cheese on it on my home made gluten free bun.  I love crackers with chili but I have yet to find a gluten free cracker that holds a candle to the saltines I grew up with so I usually eat gluten free tortilla chips!

I had decided to make the bread machine gluten free bread and that led to the gluten free hamburger buns and as I was mixing those up Chuck came in the kitchen wanting to know if I would make chili for supper.  It is a routine evening when I ask Chuck if he has any ideas of what he would like for supper and the standard answer usually is something along the lines of..."what ever you want to fix I will eat" so it was a surprise when he approached me with the chili idea! 

I have been making this chili forever and it has not varied much from the first time I made it just after we got married.  If there ever was a recipe I followed I don't remember I just remember throwing stuff in the pot till it was what I wanted.  My kids have asked me a number of times for the recipe but I usually forget so hopefully they will look at the blog and get the recipe...if not I can always point them in this direction.

Vickie's Chili
  • 1 onion chopped coarsely
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Rotel Tomatoes
  • 1 can chopped green chili's
  • 3 cans of chili beans
  • 8 Tbls Chili seasoning (recipe below)
  1. Brown the onion and beef in a large pan.
  2. Add rest of ingredients and heat to just boiling.  
  3. Turn down the heat and let simmer about 30 minutes or put in crock pot for later.
The Chili/taco seasoning recipe I looked up on the Internet when I became gluten intolerant and it has turned out to be just as good as the Williams Chili Seasoning I have used for years.  btw Williams doesn't say on it's package it has gluten in it but I have gotten so used to using this I quit buying Williams.

Homemade Taco Seasoning {large batch}

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons chili powder
2.5 teaspoons garlic powder
2.5 teaspoons onion powder
2.5 teaspoons red pepper flakes
2.5 teaspoons oregano
2.5 teaspoons paprika
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon cumin
¼ cup salt (more to taste)
¼ cup finely ground pepper

1. In small bowl, mix all ingredients and store in airtight container. (Or you can mix it together in
the container you are going to store it in–just give it a shake.)

2. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of this mixture plus 1/2 cup of water to one pound of cooked meat (of
your choice). Simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently until there is very little liquid left in
the pan.

Hamburger buns

As promised here is the post for the hamburger buns I made yesterday.  I bought some special pie pans at WalMart in their Christmas stuff this year that are suppose to be for making individual pies but I decided they were priced right and I could use them to make my hamburger buns.  Doing gluten free bread baking is a challenge because the dough is not really a dough but a very stiff batter and you need to contain the dough in a pan or form of some sort.  The recipe for this bread batter is very similar to the one yesterday but I used a Kitchen Aide mixer to mix up the batter and then scooped it out into the pan forming it into the shape of a ball and pressing it down gently.

Done buns!

These pans have 4 wells just about the size of a hamburger bun and I was happy when I saw them because I haven't been able to find a pans that are specifically for hamburger bun making.  My buns came out a little flat because I tried getting 12 buns out of the recipe instead of just 8...looked like a lot of dough there to me!  Anyway next time I will make just 8!  They are fine crumb, crust is crunchy cause you use an egg wash to keep the sesame seeds on!

Here's the hamburger bun recipe!

Hamburger Buns,
gluten free of course!!

  • 2 large eggs beat well
  • 16 oz. lukewarm water, 90°F
  • 4 tbsp. melted butter or canola oil (do not use margarine)
  • 1 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 3 cups Bob’s Red Mill all purpose baking flour
  • ½ c sweet rice flour
  • ½ c rice flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • cup non-fat dry milk
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • ¼ c honey
  • 1 tbsp. zanthan gum
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. active dry yeast
  • Sesame seeds 
1.     Proof yeast by taking 8 oz water and sugar and put yeast in it and let set 10 minutes.
2.     Take second 8 oz warm water and add eggs, honey, butter, cider vinegar
3.     In the mixer bowl put the flours, milk, baking powder, zanthan gum, and Salt.  Put mixing bowl on mixer stand and using wire whisk attachment (I have a Kitchen Aide Mixer)  mix flours mixture together well. 
4.     Start adding liquids to flour and blend together until well mixed…about 4 minutes.  The mixture will be more of a thick batter then a bread dough. 
5.     I used welled baking pans to form my dough into rolls…actually a Wilton individual 4-pie pan but I understand you can find regular pans that are used to make hamburger rolls but I have never seen them around here.  I used to make them just by forming my bread dough into round balls and smashing them down but this dough is too thin to do that with so I scooped up about 2/3 cup of dough and put it in the well of the pan and patted it down with well oiled hands.
6.     Once the dough is in the pan I let it rise about 20 minutes then I made an egg wash and brushed it on each roll and sprinkled the roll with sesame seeds.  Let rise additional 25 minutes cause the all purpose flour tends to need a little longer then the rice flours to rise.
7.     Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes and test doneness by tapping on top of roll.  It is done if it sounds hollow. 

I adapted this recipe from another bread recipe and I probably will be doing some tweaking to make the rolls a little lighter but they will do…very tasty!

Okay that's it for this post today.  I will publish the chili recipe tomorrow!  


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bread making and other culinary pursuits!!

I decided that I wanted to try my hand using the bread machine to make bread today.  I bought this machine about 6 months ago but haven't done much with it but times they be a changin'.  I went to the store the other day and a loaf of good gluten free bread was $8....errrrr...I don't make enough on my disability to eat that costly of a bread so I decided to try to give it another try. btw if you want good bread go to Jason's Deli and buy their gluten free bread because a loaf twice the size of the $8 loaf only costs you $11 and it is much better tasting.  A loaf lasts me almost a month.

The bread machine is put out by WestBend and when I bought it off of Amazon the description said it has a specific gluten free setting but when it came and I looked at the book it was primarily just a basic bread setting.  The first loaf I made with the machine was such a fiasco I got on the line and chewed on Amazon for awhile and they turned me over to the people who actually sold me that good there either cause if I can't read then it isn't their problem.  Well that's more or less what she said!!!

Anyway here is the bread maker

of course you can't expect the same hi-rise with gluten free bread as you get with gluten bread but I was hoping it would be higher then some of the breads I have made in the past.
 Here is a picture of the uncooked bread.  This machine has two beater blades and it seems to stir the ingredients equally.

I wasn't real happy with the way the bread baked because it seemed to be over baked and when I cut into the loaf it was actually browner on one end then the other and whereas it didn't taste 'burned' it looked over done.  The crust was a little chewy but overall the bread was tasty!
Bread is a little brown and crusty!

The bread when sliced shows a good 'bready' look and crumb.  I still have issues getting over the eggy texture almost all gluten free bread has.  I guess it is a choice between adding the egg or having a heavy dry loaf of bread.  I will eventually get used to the egg!

Here is the recipe!

Gluten-Free Bread, 2 lb. 
Adapted from the WestBend Bread maker recipe
For preparation in a bread maker with traditional shaped, horizontal bread pan.

  • 3 large eggs beat well
  • 16 oz. lukewarm water, 90°F (1 cup + 2 tbsp.)
  • 4 tbsp. melted butter or canola oil (do not use margarine)
  • 1 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 cups white rice flour
  • ½ c sweet rice flour
  • ¾ cup potato starch flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • cup non-fat dry milk
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • ¼ c honey
  • 1 tbsp. zanthan gum
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. active dry yeastProof yeast by taking 8 oz water and sugar and put yeast in it and let set 10 minutes.  
    Update:  a friend just told me that you don't proof yeast in a bread machine you just throw it in and it does the rest...okay next time I will try that and see what the difference is.  Think I will fiddle with some of the settings too!
  1. In mixing bowl thoroughly combine eggs,  8 oz lukewarm water, melted butter or oil and cider vinegar with a wire whisk or fork. Pour mixture into bread pan.
  2. Measure and blend together all dry ingredients, except yeast, with a whisk or fork. Place into bread pan on top of liquid ingredients. Add yeast mixture. on top of dry ingredients. Lock pan into bread maker.
  3. Program for Basic, Basic Rapid, or Basic Specialty bread setting, 1 ½ lb load size and Medium crust color. Press Start/Stop button to turn on. When mixing action begins, use a rubber scraper to assist in mixing for a few minutes. The machine will then mix the thick batter by itself. The mixture will not form into a ball of dough, but will be a thick batter that will take on a swirled appearance on surface after about 10 minutes of mixing. After mixing, the bread will go through the rise cycles and bake.
  4. When the bread is done, remove bread pan using oven mitts. Invert pan to remove loaf and cool completely on rack before slicing. This recipe makes about a 2 lb loaf of bread that will be about 5 inches high.
I also made gluten free hamburger buns and homemade gluten free chili today but I think this is enough for one blog post.  Stay tuned they will be posted soon! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cranberry and Banana Nut bread...

It has been a painful and troubling week for me.  It has been super cold and it snowed last Thursday and Friday so I was cooped up in the house until yesterday.  That is okay though as I do not feel good most of the time and all that cold just aggravated it more. I have been getting depressed because of the increased pain, arthritic pain in hips and hands, coupled with the increased fibro pain makes me unable to accomplish most of what I would like to get done.  I have got the Christmas stuff out of the shed and on to the patio but have yet to find the motivation to bring it in the house and to start decorating.  I wanted to smack myself yesterday when I heard me complain to a friend about being so lazy and not having anything done yet...  Fibro people forget we are special...we have to put up with stuff and issues others don't and if we aren't kind to ourselves who will be?   Okay enough pissing and and moaning...

I started on a gluten free and mostly dairy free diet just over a year ago at the urging of some friends and a doctors visit.  I posted about my reasons for cutting out gluten, sweeteners, dairy, and processed meats here.   I have added back in a little dairy but continue off the rest of the stuff and I seem to have less fibro fog and maybe a little less pain.  I do know though that my gut appreciates the non-gluten diet cause if I eat gluten I end up with horrible stomachaches, gas, gloating, and diarrhea for days.  I tried to eat some biscuits and gravy about 6 months into the change over and as in bed in agony for about 3 days...almost like having a horrible flu or something.  Anyway it taught me a lesson and I have been less likely to slip up and eat gluten and can always tell if I get it foods when I eat out.

I made a really good loaf of Cranberry Nut bread yesterday using a recipe I have used for years from Ocean Spray Cranberries!  Love Cranberry bread and this cooked up so moist and it is a heavy bread due to the fruit and nuts.  Here is a picture of what mine looked like cut...

Gluten Free Cranberry Nut Bread

About This Recipe
"From Ocean Spray 1998. Modified to be gluten free."

1 cup fresh cranberries, cut in half (I used a food processor and lightly chopped them)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 cups all purpose gluten-free flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons shortening or 2 tablespoons butter (I used coconut oil)
3/4 cup juice (one orange and one Meyers lemon and add water to equal 3/4 cup)
1 egg, well beaten

1. preheat oven to 350.
2. Prepare cranberries, nuts and orange peel and set aside.
3. Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
4. Cut in shortening.
5. Add juice, egg and peel and mix until moist.
6. Fold in cranberries and nuts. Loaf Pan: grease and flour. Baker 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out
7.  Loaf Pan: grease and flour. Baker 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out
8. Cupcakes: makes 16. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.
9. I do not wrap due to the gluten free flour, best if kept at room temperature.  (I wrapped mine and today cut it up and put waxed paper between each slice before putting it in a plastic bag in the freezer.  Gluten free doesn't keep well here more then two days)

Cranberry Fruit Nut Bread Recipe -
1 of 2 12/11/13 2:08 PM 

The banana nut bread is awesome also.  I have made it several times and it always comes out moist and "banana-ish"

Gluten Free Banana Nut Muffins of Bread with Crunchy Topping

4 cup gluten free baking mix
1 cup sugar
1 1/2  cup almond milk
4 eggs
4 tsp. vanilla
5 bananas mashed up
1 cup chopped pecans

Crunchy Topping
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c butter (I used coconut oil)
1/4 c pecan bits
  1. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl except those for the crunchy topping.  
  2. Mix the crunchy topping ingredients together in a separate bowl.  You may need to use a little more sugar if it doesn't look like lumpy sand.   
  3. Line baking tins with cupcake liners and spray lightly with nonstick spray.   
  4. Fill each cup about 3/4 full of batter.   Top with about tablespoon of topping.  
  5.  If making a loaf this will make 2 good sized loaves so you may need to to make more topping.
  6. Bake 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of muffin comes out clean. Makes 36 muffins.  
  7. Loaves...bake at 350 for 1 hour or  until a toothpick inserted in the middle of muffin comes out clean.
I plan on doing some more baking today so I will add recipes and pictures as I make stuff...I think I better watch out though I may be getting into the Christmas spirit or the Snowman Day spirit as I like to call the holiday!