Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

This is the epitome of comfort food! Pot pie is usually on the fall menu at our house... just the time of year when a dish like this is most appreciated. Maybe we have been out cutting fire wood or raking up leaves or digging the last of the potatoes... then we'll come in to hot pot pie, fresh salad and sourdough bread, it simply tastes wonderful!

There are some other reasons to serve pot pie: First, it is economical - we were not able to raise chickens this year so we are being stingy with our bought chicken. This recipe feeds our family on about 4 cups of chicken.
Secondly, it gives the cook a chance to be creative. In the top crust, I will sometimes carve a scene of a hen with chicks, sometimes a proud cock, sometimes just swirls and curls like in the picture. When I used this recipe for venison, I carved a buck jumping a fence. Maybe it's silly, but I find it fun. Pie dough is a rather interesting medium. :-)


3 large potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
3 large carrots, diced into 1/2" chunks
1/3 cup butter or olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 stalks of celery, sliced
1/2 cup rice flour
3 tbsp chicken soup base (gluten free)
salt and pepper to taste
1 small clove of garlic, minced
4 1/2 cups hot water
1 cup frozen peas
4 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 Tbsp dried parsley

-Put potatoes and carrots together in a pot. Add water and cook untill just tender. Drain and reserve to add later.
-Heat the butter or olive oil in a heavy sauce pan or fry pan. Add the onion and celery and cook until tender.
-Add the flour and stir into the vegetables so that it absorbs the extra fat and moisture. Add the soup base, salt and pepper and garlic to the pan and cook on low heat for 5 min.
-Turn up heat to med-high. Add the hot water (can use water from cooking potatoes and carrots) while stirring the vegetables. Bring to a boil and decrease heat to low and cook until thickened. -Add the cooked potatoes and carrots, along with the frozen peas, chicken and parsley. Heat until bubbly. Pour into casserole or baking dish.
-Top with pie crust, following direction is pie crust recipe. Cut slits for steam to escape - or carve a scene :-). Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes or until lightly browned and gravey is bubbling.

Quick Rice Wraps

Wraps cooling for our lunch.

These wraps are so basic and easy. If I am out of bread, I make these for the family at lunch with a hot or cold filling. I avoid yeast bread myself so I often make up a small batch at breakfast or lunch. One of my favorite fillings is stir fried veggies with a little mayo. We have even used these to wrap a hot dog with. It works pretty nifty.

1 cup rice flour (brown or white - corn flour is also good)
1 cup tapioca starch
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 egg
2 cups water (I start with 1 1/2 and add the last 1/2 cup if I need it - batter will be quite runny)

-Put a heavy, round fry pan on med-high heat.
-Combine ingredients and whisk until smooth.
-When a drop of water "dances" around on the pan, it is hot enough. Pour about1/3 cup of batter onto the pan and immediately turn the pan to spread it out to a 6" round (as you would do for crepes).
-Let cook until the top looks dry and the very edges curl up a little. Flip and cook until slightly brown.
-If your pan is hot enough, these do not stick and cook very fast. Sometimes I grease the pan lightly for the first one, but usually it doesn't need it. For faster cooking, I get two or three pans going at once.
-If you add 1-2 Tbsps of ground flax seed to the batter, it is very tasty and adds extra fiber.

Affordable Rice Pasta

I have been meaning to post this for a while... and then when Becky emailed me and asked about it... I finally got it done. :)
This great rice pasta is available at "Real Canadian Superstore". The top is ripped off the bag, but it is their "Presidents Choice" brand. I believe that it was in the pasta isle, near middle where the pasta ends and the sauces begin... and since every Superstore is set up nearly the same, it should be easy to find. I have been to the stores in Red Deer and Airdrie and found it in the same place.
The stores are reorganizing... so everything has been moved around (ahhhhh!) - but they are making a "health section" where they have gluten free, organic, low sugar, misc. You have to watch as they will have gluten free pasta right beside organic durum pasta... just read labels.

The real bonus with this pasta is that it is a whole lot less expensive than other leading rice pasta brands. We have bought Celi-Mix, Tinkyada and others. They are all pretty good, but they run from $5-$7 per package. This rice pasta is about $2.50 per package.
That is a pretty good deal as one package feeds our family of 9.
It comes in the curly pasta (shown) and spaghetti.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Gluten Free Banana Bread

This was reprinted from my other blog, "At The Rose Cottage" - it was posted last May.
We did some applied math today.... at least Millie did. The result was multiplication.
You see, we were able to get 20lbs of ripe bananas for $1. Thus we were going to bake banana bread to put in the freezer. We started with a recipe for 1 loaf. We multiplied it to make 6 loaves. Then we realized that our mixer bowl would not hold that much batter, so Millie was going to divide the recipe to make two batches of 3 loaves.... we didn't write it out, she was just doing it in her head.
All went well, she mixed the two batches, started putting them in pans.... when she realized that she had put the whole salt amount in both half batches! OOPS!
We tasted the batter and it did taste salty. Solution: add a two loaf batch to each 3 loaf batch (our mixer would JUST hold that much). Bake one batch while we eat supper and the second while we clean up. Fine. All is well that ends well (minus a few tears).
It is an ill wind that blows no good.... three good things came. First, Millie realized she had missed the baking powder in both batches and was able to fix that :)
Secondly, we got LOTS of banana bread in the freezer.
Thirdly, I promised her that I would type out the recipe on the blog and then print it for us. Thus we will have a much neater recipe to work from... so our multiplying will not get out of hand again!


This makes just 1 loaf - multiply with caution :)

1/3 cup cooking oil or butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts or other nut/seed - optional
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips - optional

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Cream the oil or butter and sugar together.
-Add the eggs & mashed bananas and mix well.
-Add all dry ingredients at one time. Mix until smooth.
-Scrape batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. Let sit for about 5 minutes before removing form the pan and place on a cooling rack until cool.
-If I am freezing this, I wait until the next day and then slice the loaf and then wrap for the freezer. Multiply and enjoy!

Baked Rice Paper Spring Rolls

A friend sent me a link to this site and it looks GREAT! (A Gluten Free Day) One recipe of interest is the Baked Rice Paper Spring Rolls . They look wonderfully delicious!
I have bought the rice papers at Canadian Wholesale Club before, but I did not know how to use them. Now I do! :)
Hope you enjoy!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Oreo-Type Cookies

This is a recipe that I do not make very often. Not because it is not good, but because it requires more than one step :) My daughter, Millie is more ambitious than I and made up a batch with mint icing... Grasshopper Cookies.
They were very tasty, and I wondered again why I don't make them more often... oh ya, I don't like icing cookies...
If you store them in a loosely covered container, they stay crunchy. If you cover them tightly, they get moist (my favorite). Try with mint or vanilla icing... I bet these would make good ice cream cookies, too!


3/4 cups butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup rice flour
2/3 cups tapioca starch
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/1 tsp salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 cup milk or milk substitute (I use coconut milk)

-Cream butter or margarine and sugar together. Scrape the bowl and add the egg and vanilla. Mix well.

-Combine all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and lightly mix together. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Mix well - I use the cookie paddle on my upright mixer.

-Chill the dough so is easier to work with.

-Roll out on a tapioca starched board - if dough is still too sticky to work with , kneed in a little tapioca starch. Cut out with a glass or round cookie cutter - Emilie cut out rounds that were almost 2" in diameter. These were plenty big, and you may want to cut smaller ones for daintier cookies.

-Place cookies on baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10minutes. Cool on racks.

-Cool cookies before icing and then sandwich two cookies together with the bottoms sides together with mint or vanilla filling.

Mint Filling:

2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1+ Tbsp milk or milk substitute
green food coloring
1 or 2 drops peppermint extract.

Cream the icing sugar and butter or margarine together. Add milk a little at a time until it is a cream, spreadable consistency. Add the peppermint extract and a few drops of green food coloring to get a mild green color. Spread between cookies.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Perfect Pie Crust (Well... Almost Perfect!)

This recipe was a bit of a challenge, but since my hubby loves pie,
I was highly motivated to come up with something workable.


2 1/2 cups rice flour
1 1/2 cups tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
4 Tbsp sugar1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups lard - cut into cubes
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 cup water

-Combine dry ingredients together.
-Cut in lard until the size of small peas.
-Whisk eggs, vinegar and water together and stir into flour mixture until just blended. Do not over blend. Because rice flour does not absorb liquid the same way as wheat (it does not absorb as much or as fast), the dough may be a little wet looking at first, but in a minute it absorbs the extra.
-Now the handling of the dough... typically gluten free pastry is very hard to handle, however, I find this dough fairly workable. You can simply press the dough into a pie plate or you can roll it out. The following instructions are how I roll out this dough. This is not a tidy process, and it really helps if you hold your tongue in the corner of your mouth while you work. :-)

1. Start with a round piece of dough on a well floured cutting board - I use tapioca starch on the board.

2. Roll out the dough on the board, keeping the general round shape. Of course, if your dish is a different shape than a pie plate, roll out your dough accordingly.

3. Take a pancake flipper and slide it under the dough on the board. Do this all around your piece of dough to loosen it completely from the board.

4. Hold the board over the pie plate and start the dough sliding off the board onto the pie plate. Go slow because if you get it in the wrong place, it will probably fall apart while you attempt to straiten it.

5. Finish letting the dough slide off the board.

6. Straiten the dough - fitting it to the dish. Trim the edges.

7. You now have pie shells ready to fill. Use the same method for the top crust of the pie, wetting the edge of the bottom crust so that they will stick together. Crimp edges and cut slits in the top. The same method works for pot pie or deep dish pie.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rhubarb Pie With a Twist

My birthday was on August 1st. I turned the lovely age of 34!
We also had to go to a wedding that day so birthday stuff kind of got put on hold for a couple of days. That was just fine!
On Monday, my husband kindly ordered Chinese food for supper to give me a break from cooking (from a restaurant in our town that will coat their ginger beef with only corn starch on request :).
In the afternoon, I got to thinking that I would really like a rhubarb pie for desert. I haven't made one yet this year and it is one of my favorites! So, because it was my birthday, I thought I would splurge and make some pies. They were delicious (!!!) served with my daughter's homemade dairy free ice cream (I've got to post that recipe soon while it is still hot out). I vacillated over making a custard pie or a regular one... but I finally decided to try out an idea that I had (using an extra ingredient) with the regular rhubarb pie recipe...


Pastry for a 2 crust pie (either for a mix or using the recipe that I will be posting separately so it is easy to find :)

4-5 cups rhubarb, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups sugar
pinch salt
4 Tbsp corn starch
1/2 small package of jello (I used strawberry, but cherry or raspberry would be good )

-Prepare GF pastry according to directions.
-Put all other ingredients into a mixing bowl and toss to mix and coat the rhubarb.
-Turn fruit mix into the pie shell.
-Roll out top crust according to directions, flute edges and cut slits in the top.
-Sprinkle the top crust with sugar. Bake on bottom shelf at 350 degrees for 45-55 min.
-Serve with whip cream or ice cream - it is heavenly warm!


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