Day 2 of Holiday Prep

Gluten Free Corn Bread

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Today I’m working on the cornbread for my Stuffing. ( if your from the South, we call it Dressing) The Stuffing or Dressing recipe I use calls for 2 pans of corn bread, which equals about 12 cups of crumbled corn bread. So I double the recipe below.   I try to make my corn bread early, measure it out and put it into bags and freeze it. That way when it’s time to make my dressing for Thanksgiving, all I have to do is add it to the recipe.

Gluten Free Corn Meal Mix

1–24 oz. bag of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Stone Ground Whole Grain Corn Meal

2- 24 oz. bag of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Corn Flour

Mix well with whisk, in a large mixing bowl, and pour in air tight container. Be sure and label container.

The reason I like to use the mix of corn flour and cornmeal, is because the GF corn meal is coarser than regular cornmeal. So when you add the corn flour it just evens it out. If you like the grit of the corn, then just use the cornmeal. ( I have a thing about texture. I don’t even like regular pears because of the grit!)

If you like the finer grind of the Corn Flour, just use the Corn Flour alone instead of adding the Whole Grain Corn Meal

Gluten Free Corn Bread

2 Cups GF Corn Meal/Corn Flour Mix (2 bags Bobs Red Mill Corn Flour, 1 bag Bobs Red Mill Corn Meal)

½ Teaspoon Salt

2 Teaspoon GF Baking Powder

½ Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Tablespoon Sugar

¾ Stick of softened Salted Butter (6 Tablespoons or 3/8 cup of oil)

1 Cup Water or Milk

2 Eggs Beaten

In large mixing bowl whisk together dry ingredients, then add butter, water and eggs. Mix well and pour into a greased, 9 – 10 inch skillet, or baking dish. Bake at 350* for 25 – 30 minutes, or until set and browned around the edges. Remove from oven and let cool.

Glutnen Free Honey Sweet Rolls

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Honey Sweet Rolls

Gluten Free Flour Mix:  My favorite flour mix, 1 – 1pound box of Betty Crocker GF Rice Flour and 3 Cups of Tom Sawyer GF Flour, whisk together and store in airtight container. Using this mix there is no need to add xanthan gum.

Ingredients for rolls:

3 ½  Cups Gluten Free Tom Sawyer/Betty Crocker GF Flour Mix (see GF flour mix above) (Or Better Batter)

Note: If you use another flour that does not have xanthan gum, then you must add 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum.

½ Teaspoon Salt

½  Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Heaping Tablespoon Gluten Free Baking Powder

1 Cup Pure Egg Whites

½ Cup Gluten Free Canola Oil

1/2 Cup Pure Butter Milk

½ Cup Pure Honey

In large mixing bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Then add egg whites, oil, butter milk, and honey. Gently fold liquids and flour together until all dry ingredients are wet. Don’t over mix! Cover mixing bowl and store in refrigerator at least 2 hours. ( I like to mix this the day before and let it set overnight, also dough is much easier to work with when cool.)

When you are ready to bake rolls, remove from fridge and prepare yeast mixture below.

Yeast Mixture:

¾  Cup White Granulated Sugar

½ Cup Scalded Milk (in microwave about 1 minute)

¼  Cup Cold tap water

2 Heaping Tablespoons Dry Active Yeast

In medium glass mixing bowl, add sugar, scalded milk, & water. Stir to dissolve sugar. Temperature should not be over 110 degrees. (It will kill the yeast) Add yeast and mix with plastic whisk. Set aside and let it foam about 15 minutes. I like to set it near the stove to keep it warm.

Preheat oven to 325* Add a 9×13 inch baking pan filled half way with water, to bottom rack of oven. This will keep rolls moist while baking.

When yeast is ready, add dough and yeast mixture to food processor or mixer. Blend on highest setting until well mixed. Do not over mix, it will make rolls rubbery. I usually blend no more than 30 to 40 seconds or until all lumps are gone and dough is smooth.

Pour dough onto wax paper that has been lightly greased and floured (with GF flour). Lightly sprinkle more flour on top of dough, just enough to roll out. Roll out dough to about 1 inch thickness. Using a 2 ½ in round cookie cutter, cut rolls and place in a lightly greased nonstick pan. Or if you are using a glass baking pan you must lightly grease and flour the pan or the rolls will stick. I can get 18 rolls into a 9×13 inch pan. This will make 24 – 25 rolls depending on how big you make them. I use a smaller pan for the rest of the rolls. Try not to handle the dough any more than you have to. The more it is worked the tougher it makes the rolls. If you would rather make popover style rolls, then just use an ice cream scoop and place 1 scoop of dough into a regular greased nonstick cupcake or muffin pan.

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Melt ½ stick of salted butter and generously brush top of rolls. Let rolls rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes.  Place in top rack of oven, above water,  when rolls have risen and bake for 20 minutes then remove pan of water from oven and let rolls finish baking for another 5 to 10 minutes or until completely brown and done in the center. Insert a wooden toothpick in the center roll, if it comes back clean, then they are done.

Remove from oven and butter again while warm. Lightly cover rolls with foil that you have pierced with a fork, ( so rolls do not sweat) until you are ready to serve. These freeze very well. To thaw and serve, remove from freezer bag and pop them into the microwave for 25-30 seconds per roll, longer for multiple rolls.

Preparing My Sides and Vegetables

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Butternut Agave Bake

1 Large Butternut Squash ( about 8-9 inches long)

2 Tablespoons G F Canola Oil

3 Tablespoons Butter

1 ½ Teaspoons Additive Free Seasoning Salt

½ Cup Pure Organic Agave Nectar ( I use the dark or amber color)

Peel butternut squash, slice open and scoop out seeds. Wash and slice into 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick slices about 2- 3 inches long. Pour oil into large skillet, on high heat. When oil is hot pour squash into skillet, one layer thick. Braise squash just until golden brown on both sides. About 2 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and drain onto paper towels. (Do ahead tip: I will do this a few days ahead of time and just store the squash in the fridge, in a sealed container, until I’m ready to bake and serve it.)

Preheat oven to 375* F.

Grease the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter. Lay squash evenly in baking pan and sprinkle with seasoning salt. Dot with rest of butter, and bake for 15 minutes to let salt and butter bake into squash. Remove from oven and drizzle agave nectar over squash and bake another 10 – 15 minutes or until squash is tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and serve.

You can add 1 or 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar if you prefer.  I don’t because I like the subtle taste of the squash and agave. It is just to your taste, if you or your family like it sweeter, then add the brown sugar.

Variation: To server for an everyday meal, pour enough oil into the skillet to fry squash until crisp, like french fries. Drain to paper towels. Salt and use agave nectar as a dip. You can also do this with sweet potatoes, for sweet potato fries.

More about Food Additives

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Those Sneaky Little Additives

As you are out doing your last minute shopping for the holidays, PLEASE be aware of the sneaky way food companies have of enticing us to buy their products. The pictures look so appealing and appetizing. The chicken, or the steak, looks mouthwatering, but remember those are just pictures. A good food photographer was paid very well to make that picture look like that. It does not in any way mean that it’s real food.

I know it seems like I have said this a lot, but read the labels. Those little words like enhanced, or glazed, especially in meat and sometimes vegetables, just means you are paying for extra water or a flavor enhancer like MSG. Which not only adds to the weight of the meat, but also can be potentially dangerous for those of us that are sensitive to those additives. Those little enhancers, besides making you sick, can throw off a recipe and ruin a meal. Sometimes there is so much sodium or sugar already added, that when you add the amount called for in your recipe, it doubles or even triples the amount needed. And if you aren’t aware it is already in the meat, then by the time it’s cooked it is too late.

I know it is tempting, especially with the crowds and long lines to just grab and go, but it is important READ THE LABELS!!  Ok I’m through, with this. ( for now)

Gluten Free Salad Dressings

IMG_1491This week I’m working on my Gluten Free Salad Dressings. If I get them ready a few days early it helps the flavor. Plus I don’t have to worry about mixing them up on Thanksgiving. The dressings will be ready and no last minute decision to use a bottled dressing that will make us sick. Today Catalina, and tomorrow ,maybe Ranch Dressing.

This recipe only makes a pint, but I will have to double it for the Holidays.

Jan’s GF Catalina Dressing

This dressing just literally bursts with FLAVOR!

½ Cup White Vinegar

3/8 Cup GF Thick Tomato Sauce

1 Cup Canola Oil

½ Cup White Granulated Sugar

2 Teaspoons Salt

1 Teaspoon Additive Free Paprika

½ Teaspoon Original Williams Chili Seasoning

1 Teaspoon Additive Celery Flakes

½ Teaspoon Additive Free Dry Mustard

1 ½ Tablespoons Additive Free Onion Powder

I like to use my smoothie maker or juicer attachment on my blender to make this, it grinds up the spices really fine. Or you can use the blender. Pour all liquid ingredients in first, then add dry ingredients and blend until all dissolved. Pour into pint jar, or air tight container, put lid on, and store in refrigerator. Shake before each use. Enjoy!

Jan’s Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe

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Gluten Free Flour Mix for Pie Crust

I keep this made up, only in a larger amount, & in the freezer, it makes prep. time go so much faster.

2 Cups Gluten Free Tom Sawyer Flour

1 Cup Argo corn starch

1 Cup Gluten Free Betty Crocker rice flour blend

Mix well in large bowl & store in a gallon freezer bag. Be sure & label the bag. If you cook Gluten Free, like I do, labeling is important. Note: if you use Betty Crocker Rice flour alone, then you must add 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum, per 2 cups .

 Gluten Free Pie Crust

1 egg

¼ cup oil

4 0z. Cream cheese ( I use Philadelphia cream cheese)

1 Cup Gluten Free Flour Pie Crust Mix (Tom Sawyer, Betty Crocker & Corn Starch)

Place all ingredients in a food processor on high until blended. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (You can leave this in the fridge overnight if it is sealed). Roll out onto floured (with GF flour) surface to desired thickness and place in pie pan, flute the edges, and fill with pie filling, or for cream pies bake shell at 350* F. for  25-30 min. or until golden brown. ( I like to roll mine out on floured wax paper, using a glass rolling pen filled with ice water.)To place dough in pie pan, move rolling pen to edge of dough and using the waxed paper flip edge of dough over rolling pen, turning the rolling pen so that dough is loosely wrapped around it. Then lift dough to pie plate and gentle place in pan. If dough becomes too warm to work with, return to refrigerator until cool.

This will make 1 pie shell. To make pie with a top crust, you must double the recipe. When working with a top crust, after rolling it out on floured wax paper, it helps a lot to return it back to the fridge, or freezer until it is cold,(not frozen). The dough is so much easier to work with, if it is really cold.

This dough will also freeze well. I just flatten the dough out to about 4 inches around and wrap it in floured wax paper, folding it over on all sides, forming a square package. Then place it in a zip lock freezer bag, and freeze. When ready to use just open the zip lock bag about half way and microwave about 25 – 30 seconds, and roll out. I like to keep the wax paper on it to roll out, you will probably need to add a little more flour before you roll it out.

Gluten Free Croutons

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Gluten Free Croutons

Preheat oven to 400*

Gluten Free bread

1 Teaspoon additive free garlic powder

1 Teaspoon salt

Per 2 ½  Cups cubed bread

I use leftover Gluten Free bread if I can, and I like to save the ends for croutons also. But if you need several cups at a time, one 9×4 inch loaf will make about 4- 5 cups of baked croutons. To cut each slice into small crouton size squares, I usually stack the slices of bread, then cut so it goes faster. And spread the little squares on a cookie sheet, or baking pan one layer thick.  Sprinkle on garlic powder and salt, and bake. About 20 – 25 minutes or until crisp. Make sure to check them at about 15 minutes, they will need to be stirred. When done, let them cool, and store in an air tight container in the freezer until needed.  To use in a salad, take out what you need and microwave about ten seconds. Or save them for stuffing.

My dressing (or stuffing) recipe calls for 4 cups of croutons. My baking pans will hold 2 ½ cups of cubed bread at a time, which equals (after shrinkage) 2 cups of croutons. So after baked and cooled the 2 ½ cups will shrink to about 2 cups.