My Christmas Elf returns this year….

Just after being sick with a cold for over a month, my Christmas Elf returned this year to help me out in the kitchen to prepare Gluten Free Pie crusts for the mini Apple pies I’m making for my son. Due to terrible skin allergies he has had to give up all gluten.. Please enjoy this bit of whimsy for your post Christmas Day…..


And, if you have a few moments to spare, join my beautiful daughter and I in the kitchen to whip up some tasty treats..


Thanking you all kindly for spending some holiday time with my family, Hugs….


Jillee’s Gluten-Free Bread That Doesn’t Suck !

I am so happy that I ran across this wonderful cooks web site. This is the first time I’ve been able to make the gluten free bread in my bread machine/oven and have it turn out, perfectly.

But, I must say that I made a royal pain in the you know where mistake with all of the other times trying to make gluten free bread. You see I’ve been making homemade white bread for decades, and this gluten free bread was kicking me up and down the street big time!

I was beginning to think there was an ingredient missing somehow from the recipes I was trying, so I went back over with a fine tooth comb searching for the reason this was so difficult for me. I kept thinking that this shouldn’t be so hard to accomplish ~ After all it’s just bread without the gluten…Woozers that gluten is an amazing thing when it comes to baking breads.

So, the journey into my own stupidity began… I call a spade a spade (taught to me by my grandfather) and I’m not afraid to admit my blunders and this is a huge one. When I found out what I’ve been doing wrong I had to sit down on a chair and look at the bag of Xanthan Gum, laughing my fool head off.


That’s right I bet you can see my blunder straight away! My eyes (poor as they are) looked at the bold lettering for Xanthan Gum and thought woozers that’s a huge bag (I thought while standing in the baking isle in Wal-Mart) when I’ll only need a tablespoon or two in each recipe.

That thought should have alerted me to my mistake, but oh…. NO… this brand new newbie at baking gluten free products was not alerted in the least.. My first thought was they were making this process very expensive. Silly me…

What I missed all together was the All Purpose Flour blend at the top of the package…I’m still laughing at my mistake after researching many video’s where they are telling me the addition of the xanthan gum is a very important ingredient because it will allow your bread to be bendy like real bread, instead of bricks without it.

So, when attempting to put all of the ingredients together and let me tell you there’s a lot of ingredients…I’d take a tablespoon out of this bag above thinking this was just xanthan gum, thinking to myself, “How on earth can I use all of this up, before it expires?”


There, there now I’ve vented about my stupidity…Deep breath and move on with me….

I found this wonderful web site that offered a wonderful video for making the gluten free bread.

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Here’s the recipe from this site above


4 cups Brown Rice Flour Blend

1 tablespoon xanthan gum

1 tablespoon gluten-free egg re placer

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup powdered milk

3 large eggs at room temperature

1/4 cup butter at room temperature

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1/3 cup honey

1 package (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast (not instant dry yeast)

2 cups warm water


1.  Spray cooking spray into two 8-inch bread pans.

2.  Add the yeast to the 2 cups of warm water and stir until mixed. Set this aside to activate while you mix the rest of the ingredients.

3.  Mix the flour blend, xanthan gum, gluten-free egg re-placer, salt, and powdered milk together in a medium-size bowl and set aside.

4.  Put eggs, butter, vinegar, and honey in a bowl of your mixer. With the paddle attachment, mix together for about 30 seconds. The butter will be chunky, that’s OK.

5. Add half the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in the mixer. Mix just until blended, and then add the remaining dry ingredients and mix for another 30 seconds, until blended.

6.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the warm water and yeast mixture, then turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for 4 minutes.

7.  After the 4 minutes your bread dough should resemble thick cake batter.

8.  Spoon the dough into your greased bread pans. Dip your fingers in water to smooth the top of the dough, if desired. Set aside in a warm place to rise for approximately about 50 to 60 minutes. While dough rises, preheat oven to 375 degrees.

9.  When the dough has risen to about an inch above the top of the pans, place the pans in your preheated oven on the middle rack and bake for 45 t0 55 minutes or until the bread’s internal temperature reaches 200 degrees with an instant-read thermometer.

10.  Remove the bread from the oven and let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then remove loaves from pans and place on a rack to cool.

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So, after returning from the Bins & Bins store where I knew I could purchase the xanthan gum. The different flours have to be refrigerated after you bring them home. I wonder about this since the flour in the store are in those clear plastic bins ~ not in a refrigerated area…Hum…

Perhaps, they throw out the flour on a regular basis in the store? I must ask them about that…

So, before going to the store to buy the xanthan gum I took out of my fridge the flours and measured out what I needed, along with the eggs and butter too.. Before, making this gluten free bread all ingredients must be at room temperature!

I arrived home with a small tub of xanthan gum, ready to make some great bendy bread, instead of the bricks I’ve made in the past…

Insert Stupidity meter number TWO right here below…. 

My beautiful birthday gift ~ Red bread machine… bakes bread sizes, 500g & 750g loaves…

I thought making this bread in the bread machine would be easier than the normal way of baking. So, after adding in all of the liquids first, next came the flour. Upon, adding all of the ingredients to the bread machine pan ~ I noticed it quite full… at this point I should have aired on caution and removed everything and followed the above instructions….

I didn’t!   I set the bread machines setting 3 hours from start to finish…I checked the machine two hours in and all looked as if this was going to work in there. So, I began prepping for dinner during the last hour of the bread machine cooking cycle. Chopping vegetables to go along with the gluten free breaded chicken strips.

I pre-heated my oven for the chicken strips and added them to the hot oven, while steaming the vegetables feeling quite good about myself, until…….

I could smell something burning and thought it was just the oven because something beforehand must have fallen onto the foil liner at the bottom of the oven… I opened up the oven door expecting to see smoke from a few bits burning inside, but nothing….

Closed the oven door and continued with making dinner. The smell of smoke began to become stronger and I wondered if I was having a stroke smelling something burning. I checked the oven once again. nothing….closed the door for the second time…

Again, with the smell of burning I wondered why the smoke detectors were not going off, and really became worried about my own health… Then…..

I turned around to drain the vegetables and noticed big flumes of white smoke rising from the bread machine that was cooking behind me on the counter. Great Balls of Fire! I yelled out…

Running… (well walking briskly) to to patio door with my bread machine in tow I placed it on the deck with the lid open, while the rolling smoke escaped from inside. A few words I’ll not repeat here was heard just as I went back inside.

Quick thinking….I grabbed my oven mitt and went back outside after the smoke had finished laughing at my stupidity. I brought back inside the bread machine pan with the dough dripping along the floor. Alright, then I thought… I will not be made a laughing stock by this gluten free bread today!

I grabbed my bread pans from the cupboard and poured what was left of the bread dough into it and shoved it into the already hot oven and cooked it for 20 to 25 minutes. At which point I used the instant read thermometer and noticed the bread had reached 180 degrees, so back in it went. After 5 or so minutes I tested the temperature again and it was sitting at the prefect 200 degrees as called for in the recipe. Let is rest the ten minutes, and remembered in my rush I didn’t spray the pan before dumping the bread batter inside.

OH Well…. of course it stuck all around the 4 edges… No fault of its own, but rather mine was to blame. A metal spatula used for icing cakes will release the sides I thought.. working all around the edges I released the bread from the pan, now it’s time to see if the bottom stuck, of which it did.. Of course!

The long metal spatula slid underneath quite well, and out popped the amazing to say, “Perfect loaf of gluten free bread, as far as appearance goes. Now, it was time to let it cool completely, before even attempting to slice it…


I’ll tell you if you ever need to make gluten free bread this ingredients list when followed correctly works wonders. Even with my mishap with the too small bread machine and forgetting to spray the bread pan before throwing it into the hot oven  with our cooking gluten free breaded chicken strips ~ Turned out perfectly… After cooling and cutting the loaf, the gluten free bread was indeed bendy, felt like gluten bread, and tasted just like gluten bread. No gritty feel or crumbling… So, check out One Good Thing by Jillee

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Until next time



Gluten – Free Pancakes

The other day I found a box of gluten free Bisquick pancake mix in the grocery store. I was excited to give these a try so our family unit could all eat pancakes together again. My trial with taking my son off of all gluten in his diet for reasons of his eczema worsening since this spring.

I was happy with the mixture when whipping up the batter and the appearance of the pancake cooking on the griddle.

august-29th-2016-009I must tell you he said they tasted really good, but not like the ones with flour that he’s grown up with. But, this gluten free product opens up a door that was closed to him. Over the past two months his eczema has improved quite a bit. During this heat wave we’re experiencing would have been agony for him as the heat tends to make the eczema worsen to the point of driving a person mad.

But, with the gluten taken out of his diet all together ~ This equals success for him and his condition is now manageable. I’ve made the bread in the oven and in my brand new bread machine that my daughter and son bought for my birthday ~ It’s Red.. Love it…

The homemade gluten free bread made in the bread machine is so much easier and the finish product is much like the regular bread. I slice it once it’s cooled off and wrap each slice in wax paper. I then place them into a freezer bag and put into the freezer. This gluten free bread tends to do better if it’s frozen first.

I bring out one package in the morning to thaw inside of the wax paper and it’s ready for the next meal. We’ve also found that the store bought gluten free buns taste better if you also freeze them and thaw one at a time.. The consistency after freezing and thawing is closer to flour bread.

I’ll post my combination of gluten free ingredients for the bread machine version in another post, but until then happy eating to all those out there who are gluten free ….


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Until next time


Gluten – Free ~ Chicken Pizza on Socca flat bread

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Socca ~ Flat bread – Gluten free (makes one 10-inch plus an extra smaller one)

1 cup corn flour

1/2 cup corn meal

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 Tablespoon Olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt ~ I used no-salt

1 Tablespoon each ~ Thyme or Basil, Oregano, Onion powder, Chives

Whisk corn flour, corn meal, water, olive oil and salt. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes to 2 hours. ( I added the spices to the batter and allowed it to rest for 2 hours)

(To cook in the oven)

Set the oven rack 6 inches below the broiler. Warm the pan for 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven, spray with cooking spray and add a teaspoon of the oil to coat the pan.

Whisk the batter and pour in the pan, covering evenly. (You might want to use only half the batter and make two. Mine turned out very thick almost like a pita.

Broil 3 to 5 minutes or until the top of the Socca blisters and browns, then bake at 400 on a lower rack for 6 minutes or until set. It should be flexible in the middle and crisp around the edges.

This recipe originally called for chickpea flour, which I didn’t have. Probably why I had trouble with the results…I’ll try it as the recipe calls for one day, but I did make alterations to mine the other day and instead of baking it like I did the first time, I used my Pizza maker.

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The ingredients listed above is what I used to make the rounds for the pizza base. This made one large round about 10 inches and the second part of the batter make a 5 inch or so…I didn’t divide the batter evenly because I wanted one large one to impress my son…

This process of cooking the batter in the pizza maker proved to be so easy and fast, a mere few minutes compared to the oven method. ~ The first time making this in the oven took much longer than the recipe called for. Probably, because I poured the entire bowl of batter into the pan. I really didn’t have a clue what to expect. But, now I do.. Thank heavens…

To cook in my Betty Crocker Pizza Maker:

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Mix together the corn flour, corn meal, spices, oil, salt and the water. Let rest for 30 minutes or as long as two hours, covered.

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After the batter has rested you can now add 2 teaspoons of Baking Power ~ always checking that your baking powder does NOT CONTAIN wheat…

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Baking powder: This product often contains an ingredient that helps absorb moisture so the baking powder doesn’t clump. Some brands use wheat starch as that ingredient. Glutenfree baking powders include Rumford, Clabber Girl, Featherweight, and Bakewell Cream.

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Being the pack rat that I am…I’ve saved cardboard rounds from long ago store bought frozen pizza’s. Cleaned them well and left out to air dry. I often used these cardboard rounds in between my cast iron fry pans. Since, they need to be kept oiled…

Let’s get cooking…

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Addition of the baking powder.

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I poured 1/2 of the batter into a hot, oiled pizza cooker. Closed the lid and set a timer. 2 1/2 minutes later I flipped with a spatula and cooked for another 5 minutes or so. Just until the center feels done.

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After 2 1/2 minutes…..

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After 7 1/2 minutes total cooking time…..

Place on wire rack to cool completely. You can after it’s cooled place the pizza base on a round of parchment or waxed paper on top of a cardboard round. Wrap this in plastic wrap and put into one of those extra large baggies. Freeze the base, until ready to use.

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Never store in the refrigerator…

This advice is from reading about making gluten free products. The refrigerator ruins the bread. But, your freezer is your friend… as far as this way of cooking bread…I freeze the pizza base until nearing dinner time and put together with homemade pizza sauce, shredded chicken, onions, bell peppers and of course last but not least the cheese.

When you’re ready to prepare the pizza’s place the frozen base into the hot pizza maker and top with your ingredients. Close lid and usually within 5-7 minutes it’s piping hot, cheese nicely melted and ready for the pizza cutter to go into action.

This base holds up nicely to the added toppings and does NOT crumble or fall apart like some of the gluten free bread I’ve been making. I would give this a great big 5 stars as far as making gluten free pizza in your home.

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Until next time


Fall is around the corner ~ Really? Just call me the female version of Mcgyver…

September 22nd marks the first day of Autumn and that’s a mere 40 days away from today. Where did the summer go? I ponder…

The heat warnings have been rampant for two months and my rain barrels have almost been emptied. Thank heavens for a dehumidifier that offers up buckets of water to use on the plants along with my trusty dish rinse water I collect to use as well.

My Fall Swiss Chard is growing beautifully even in these dry hot temperatures with the aid of my homemade shade cloth to protect the tender leaves. I put back into action the small old umbrella over my dill, parsley, and cilantro to protect them as well as allow the soil not to dry out as much…

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My routine is to water very early in the morning and then again around 3 in the afternoon. The soil is bone dry at this time and the plants will suffer if left until the next morning.

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My little watering can I use for the Swiss Chard and the herbs would pour too fast, so I took two Popsicle sticks and shoved those into the pouring spout. Now the water trickles out so as not to get the leaves wet during watering.. Oh boy...Just call me Macgyver…

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MacGyver is a top agent for the Phoenix Foundation, a progressive agency devoted to righting the wrongs of the world. Even more progressive is the genius MacGyver, who never carries a gun and always thwarts the enemy with vast scientific knowledge – sometimes with little more than a paper clip and the duct tape in his pocket.
First episode date: September 29, 1985
Final episode date: May 21, 1992
I also seeded some more radishes for a Fall crop in hopes that the warm temps will carry over into October. Once the seedlings are up they only take about a month ~ if the chipmunks don’t get them… I should have plenty of time since they do enjoy cooler temperatures and might just plant another row in two weeks…
The multiplying onions are growing nicely out in the permaculture bed and as of yesterday I harvested a few for a Gluten Free Chicken pizza for my son. I tweaked the recipe a little bit and will post about it tomorrow ~ I hope with some really good pictures to show you. I also used my pizza cooker to cook the shell base and this worked like a charm..
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I’ll show you that as well tomorrow…Needless to say my son thought he’d have to give up pizza because making the pizza shell base was looking impossible for me.. But, I never say never and put my years of cooking to work to figure this challenge out…
Remember my telling you about trying something I found on the inter-webs… You take one small slice off a store bought tomato and plop in some dirt…
Well I had over 40 or more plants pop up from that one slice..
Here is one I added to my permaculture bed.. I believe the store bought tomato was a determinate variety…
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That means once it sets the flower it will not grow any taller and set more flowers… Last year I planted some cherry tomatoes from store bought package of seeds and that was an indeterminate variety and it grew and grew and set flowers one right after the other. Until, the frost smacked it in the face and took it out for the Fall season…
That’s my progress so far, Happy Farming to ya
Until next time

I need help in the worst way ~ Calling all Gluten-Free Bread Makers

The challenges of trying to master Gluten-free bread…..

My son has had a skin condition for many years. We’ve been to doctors and they have given this and that to try without any change to the skin that’s been covered with eczema…

This is a medical condition in which patches of the skin become rough and inflamed with blisters that cause itching and bleeding, sometimes resulting from a reaction to irritation ~ eczematous dermatitis, but more typically having no obvious external cause.

That’s where we’ve run into a wall many times trying to work out this condition for him and also for me at times ~ mine has never been as bad though…

Even showers can be like pouring gasoline on his body when the skin is bad. I’ve bought special attachments with a filter for the shower head and that seems to help somewhat..This also helps me when I get the hives. The additives the town puts into our water to keep us safe can burn like we are on fire at times…

We’ve cut out certain foods one at a time, but this is a very long process and takes a long time to find any results. At times you feel like giving up and just live with the pain that is skin, and nerves… But, I never say never and keep reminding him that I’m never going to stop looking for something that will cause relief and possibly clear up his condition…

It became worse when WHEAT products hit the store shelves, flooding into just about every product when the wheat craze began.. We found out very quickly our bodies could not tolerate whole wheat.. enriched wheat (we thought) was a solution since this wheat is mainly stripped of its whole wheat.. anything labeled whole wheat we stayed away from all together.

Until, this Spring….Hives attacked me and his eczema changed from bad to life altering. The sudden attacks of pain shot through the skin causing months of sleepless nights due to nothing could touch the skin not even a pillow or sheets…I had to do something fast because this condition was changing my son, harming him and that I would not stand for not even from Wheat!

We have taken wheat completely out of our diets, and here’s where I need help out there from all of you wonderful cooks .. I’ve just begun trying to make gluten free bread and need any tricks of the trade secrets for this way of cooking bread to turn out…

I’ve been baking bread the traditional way since the seventies, without any problems…But, this gluten free baking is mind boggling to me. The first attempt I follow the directions to the letter and the runny batter looking mess overflowed all over the baking sheet underneath the bread pan. The directions called for a special size pan and many different types of flours.. etc..

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The second time was a little bit better, even though it ran over the pan again, just not as much..


The third time I threw caution to the wind and added more of the flour until the mixture resembles drywall spackling  compound ~ as one of the you tubers suggested …That actually worked out better my son said after eating a slice, but it’s just not there yet I said..

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It’s only been a week since I’ve removed all wheat out of our diets, and I can report that his skin ~The dreaded eczema has stopped burning, he’s slept for the past three nights and his hands are beginning to heal. I have him also drinking the Turmeric, Ginger Tea… ~ acts as an anti-inflammatory.

We’ve also cut out processed foods, sugar free drinks…We’re going old school here ~

So, please if you have any helpful hints or tricks to making the Gluten -Free Bread let me hear from you .. Thanking you kindly …


Until next time

~ Laura  & her Son ~