Friday, May 29, 2015

Cheese Straws - Gluten Free

For this Flash Back Friday, I was browsing through some of my first posted recipes and wondered at how quickly the last seven years have flown by.

I recently redid my Cheese Straws recipe using my own flour mix and found that the dough was much easier to handle.

  • 3/4 cup Julie's Flour Mix 
  • 1/4 cup potato starch (not flour) 
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum 
  • 1 tsp dry mustard 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese 
  • 1 tsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce 
  • 3 tbsp water 
  • sweet rice flour for handling dough
  1. Blend together all dry ingredients in mixing bowl 
  2. Cut in butter and cheese until mixture crumbs are uniform 
  3. Stir Worchestershire sauce into the water 
  4. Add liquids to flour mixture and using your hands work into a dough ball (use a little more water if necessary) 
  5. Dust working surface with sweet rice flour and roll dough into a thin sheet (about 1/8 inch thick)   Covering the dough with plastic wrap makes the rolling easy. 
  6. Cut into strips 1/2 inch wide by 6 or 6 inches long (longer is too difficult to twist since gf dough is not stretchy) 
  7. Holding the strip in your left hand twirl it into a tube with your other hand.  You might find it easier to do another way .
  8. Place twists on a parchment covered baking sheet 
  9. Bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Do not over bake. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Matrimony Squares - gluten free

We have neighbors who spend the winter months in Yuma and they brought me a gift when they returned home this spring -  a box of dates bought on the farm where they were grown.
So delicious !
I made matrimony squares with them and of course, made them gluten free.


  • 2 1/2 cups Medjool dates - pitted and choppe 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice 
  • 2 tbsp brown or golden sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda 


  • 1 3/4 gluten free oak flakes 
  • 3/4 cup Julie's Flour Mix or your  all purpose mix 
  • 1/4 cup white rice flour 
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (unless you are using a mix that includes it) 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 3/4 cup butter 
  1. Cook the filling until it is a soft, smooth, spreadable mixture (add more water if needed)
  2. Remove from stove and let cool slightly while you prepare the crumbs.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients together, then cut in butter until you have uniform crumbs. 
  4. Place half of the crumbs into a 9" baking pan -   11 x 7 glass cake pan works fine.
  5. Pat crumbs down and then cover with the date filling 
  6. Cover with remaining crumbs and pat down. 
  7. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned - about 30 minutes. 
  8. Let cool completely before cutting. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Orange Dreamsicle Punch

It doesn't get much simpler than this!  This punch is always a hit...and pretty-as-a-picture as well.  Somehow it stirs up memories of warm summer days and refreshing orange floats of yesteryear...but it is perfect served at showers and parties any season of the year.

  • 2 L Sprite
  • 1 L orange sherbet, slightly softened
  1. Pour sprite into large punch bowl.
  2. Add scoops of sherbet. 
  3. Stir gently to produce foam.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Baked Potato Sticks

These potato sticks were quite delicious dipped in sriracha mayo, this spicy mayo will wake up your taste buds. You can buy this mayo but it's just as good making your own by mixing mayo and sriracha sauce to your liking. Ketchup for dipping is always a good choice too.
  • 2 large white baking potatoes
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  1. Wash and scrub potatoes.
  2. Cut potatoes lengthwise in 1/4" sticks. I used my handy dandy mandoline for this.
  3. Soak potato sticks in cold water for 30 minutes.
  4. Drain and pat potatoes as dry as possible using paper towels or teatowels.
  5. In a large bowl whisk egg whites, salt, pepper, garlic powder and grated parmesan cheese just until combined.
  6. Add potatoes and toss to coat.
  7. Place in single layer in a large baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.
  8. Bake uncovered in 400ยบ oven for 25 minutes or until tender and golden brown in color. Turn potatoes over halfway through baking.
  9. Yield: 4 servings. Great served with burgers, hotdogs, fish or steak.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Pink Grapefruit Vinaigrette

This light refreshing blended grapefruit vinaigrette is one of my favourite summer flavours.  The dressing whips up in seconds in your blender and then can be drizzled over your salad just before serving.  I buy a box of pink grapefruit in cups with juice in the refrigerator section at the big box store. It keeps in the refrigerator for quick treats and for this dressing.

Dressing ingredients
  • 2/3 cup pink grapefruit
  • 1/3 cup pink grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 cup tarragon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  1. Place all ingredients in blender jar and process until smooth.  Transfer dressing to a jar with a lid and refrigerate.
Salad ingredients
  • spinach
  • red or sweet white onion rings
  • sliced cucumber
  • avocado slices
  • pink grapefruit sections
  1. Layer spinach, onion rings, avocado slices and grapefruit sections in that order.  Toss just before serving.
  2.  Give the dressing a good shake and drizzle over salad just before serving.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Bread for the Journey

Why did God make flowers? 

Have you every wondered?  
Other than feeding the birds and the bees, 
- which could have been easily accomplished with one kind and colour of flower -  
what purpose do flowers fill in God's creation?  
The profusion of colour and variety and  blooms beyond every conceivable design 
seems to be exorbitant, doesn't it?  
Oh yes, we can give the theologically correct answer that God created them for His glory ....
 but ... is there maybe another purpose?   

I love spring,
and I love buying and planting flowers in my pots and flower beds.
Even though I do not have a green thumb,
 joy springs up within me 
every time I look at a new flower bud that opens. 
It was recently as I was enjoying a bouquet I picked from my own blooms  
that the insight flashed into my mind that God created flowers to give us joy!  
Do we not give flowers for every joyful occasion and for no reason at all 
with the intent to delight someone? 

Is it not God's will that we live in joy?
It is, after all, on the list of  the fruit of the Spirit. (Gal.5:22)
Even medical science has now verifiable proof that joy restores the strength and health of bones,
and that joyful people recover twice as fast after surgery.
 Joy restores health to our body and our soul and lifts our spirit into heavenly places ! 
 Is there anyone who does not desire to feel 'joy' ? 
When a beautiful flower makes you smile with the joy it sparks in your heart , 
do you stop to think you are pleasing God?
Joy, you may ask,  in a world that is falling apart?   
A world that is full of sorrow and evil and daily disasters and suffering?    
Joy is not happiness. 
 Happiness is directly related to circumstance.  
 Joy is related to hope and faith in what cannot be destroyed. 
As believers we have a fountain of joy springing up from 
our faith in a God who has poured out His  blessings upon us.

 He has given us the sure hope that when this earthly life is over ,
when this earth itself is destroyed,
 He has a new heaven and a new earth awaiting us -  
 one that is filled with perfection and joy - where we will live in His presence
for evermore !!!  

Every flower is a reminder ....  Joy!
  "For you shall go out with joy,
 And be led out with peace; 
The mountains and the hills Shall break forth into singing before you, 
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 
Isaiah 55:12

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Recipe Pie Plates

I'm wondering how many readers happen to be holding on to a recipe pie plate such as this. I have two, which are probably from the 1980's. It dawned on me recently that I have used these plates over and over for many a pie but never tried the recipe printed on the plate. So this was my new challenge.

You want to be sure to copy the recipe before you start. Take a picture or something, because you don't want to undo what you've started if you need to check the recipe. This quiche was pretty good. I think next time I would bake the crust for about 10 minutes before adding the filling. I also had to bake it about 10 minutes longer than specified. It was a nice light tasting filling.

 Here is the recipe - I doubt there is a copyright on it.

My other pie plate has a cherry pie recipe. It was delicious.

 I used frozen, pitted dark, sweet cherries from Costco. 

And . . . the recipe

What recipe do you have on your pie plate?