Tag Archives: homemade

Thanksgiving Treats

Yeah, posting about this in May, not only because we always celebrate the day sometime random in Switzerland, but because you only have 5-6 months before you need to start planning Thanksgiving 2016!

Or, if you’re like me, maybe you hanker cinnamon-based desserts year round, because YUM.If there’s anything Kay should miss this summer while he’s in Singapore, it is our ice cream maker, because the ice cream coming out of this machine is mouthwatering. This cinnamon ice cream recipe from Epicurious is pretty epic.I don’t make too many ice creams with eggs yet, but I really should, because they make the most wonderful, creamy texture in ice cream. This really seemed like a proper ice cream, and not some weird gluten free, lactose-free ice cream that I was making the previous summer.I also wanted to make a cranberry apple pie to bring along for dessert, as well as pecan tassies, and a pumpkin ice cream. It was a lot of dessert, even for seven people.Again, I used the The Everything Gluten-Free Baking Cookbook for the pie crust, and then I sort of winged the apple cranberry part with some normal pie recipes online.Overall, I was pretty happy how the pie crust turned out. GF pie crust kind of scares me a bit. I still haven’t made a covered pie, but I will at some point.In between making the ice cream and taking it to my friend’s house for Thanksgiving, I taste tested the cinnamon ice cream with the secret cheesecake I made for Kay. The one that I’m not allowed to share with others. 😉 It was great celebrating our ninth Thanksgiving together with these friends.They are my first friends in Switzerland from my rotary house times, and Kay is already a little sad that he will miss 2016’s Thanksgiving because he’ll be in Singapore.We age like fine wine together. 🙂Good times are always had with this crew.Maybe 2016 will be the year for the covered GF apple pie? Or a new attempt at pumpkin pie without my precious Libby’s pumpkin puree? Only time will tell.

Homemade gluten free freezer meals

Shortly after Kay moved out, I bought myself a granny bag, as I call it, to help bring groceries home on my own. Kay was my “carrying mule” as I fondly referred to him, and without him around, I really need some help with the heavy items like milk and liquids.I buy food in bulk and plan 4-6 meals to make over the weekend. Usually at least two are slow-cooker meals that require little prep or work and two are stove top meals.Above was fondue mac and cheese with cauliflower and carrots and below was slow cooker beef broccoli.This weekend I also used my Le Creuset pan for a big potato and carrot beef pot roast.And below was one pot chili mac.Most of the recipes are for around 8 portions. Sometimes I just wing them and make a bunch of food. These meals, along with chopped veggies like carrots and celery for the week, go into my new IKEA glass tupperware.Each night I cook, I enjoy a new, fresh hot meal, as well as dishing everything into the containers to cool before going into the fridge.It is really a factory line sometimes. Below was a risotto I made on auto mode on my Kenwood and then threw in cut peppers and spinach for some extra veg, as well as cheese, because, well…risotto. 🙂Once the meals have been in the fridge for a few hours and cooled even more, I transfer them to my big freezer that I bought myself last year.When I am heading to France or coming home from a weekend abroad, it’s SO easy to pull out meals for the week and to bring to work.Colleagues are amazed when I’ve been in Barcelona over the weekend and bring a fully homemade Sunday roast to work for lunch. With the freezer, everything is possible!

Are you a fan of homemade freezer meals or freezer cooking?

Gluten Free Pizza

Sometimes I really get a hankering for pizza that the gluten free frozen stuff won’t cut. I need the real deal, so I turn to the Minimalist Baker for an easy gluten free dough recipe.Lately for pizzas, I’ve been plundering the garden for fresh herbs like oregano and basil.After baking for 20 minutes, I pulled that pizza out and started laying on the toppings, starting with the sauce.Depending on the flours you use for the dough, it will have different tastes. I forget now what I used the first time I made this, but it had a nutty flavour that I liked. This time I used the basic Migros Aha brand because it is a nice simple flour, but the crust turned out a little denser than I would like.It was a really pretty pizza though. I piled on our slow cooker BBQ pulled pork leftovers, mozzarella, and Gorgonzola.The final product tasted great and I’m getting hungry again just looking at these photos. Ahhh pizza, one of my great loves, only now so hard to be with because of gluten! Making our own pizza is a must on a gluten free diet. You just cannot stop the pizza urge sometimes and nothing is really better than homemade food anymore.

Do you make your own pizza? Is it better than what you can get in a restaurant?

Winter/Spring GF Eats

We’ve had a fairly cold start to the year with spring taking awhile to get started. Although we enjoyed a little warm weather in the past couple weeks, it went back to the single Cº digits, or around the 40s in Fahrenheit. Boo.

To keep warm, we’ve been eating lots of delicious gluten-free food! Here is a little highlights tour of some of our meals.

I’m slowly trying out GF oatmeal in my diet after over a year quitting oats completely while I flushed gluten out of my system. I need to double check if I have symptoms when I eat it. I did not feel feverish after though and that seems to be a common symptom on gluten for me.

Above was a delicious dinner from cooksmarts with garlic and rosemary cauliflower mash, spicy chard salad and roasted chicken thighs.

I do a lot of fish dinners during the week now because it’s so easy to throw them in the oven with some roasting veggies. Here we had avocado with balsamic cream on the side.

Kay made an Indian Cooksmarts recipe but mixed up “Kümmel” with “Kreuzkümmel” in German and accidentally used caraway (Kümmel) instead of cilantro. It tasted special… not bad, but a little strange. I’m not a big caraway fan. I should probably just chuck it all!

It made good leftovers though!

This Pineapple and Cashew Curried Fried Rice below sadly made me feel awful afterward. It has eggs in it and since this meal, I’ve pretty much been avoiding eggs. It makes me sad, but they are giving me horrible stomach pain.

Easy stir fry beef always goes down well in this house.

And again, filling out the week with an easy herb butter fish tossed in the oven with some veggies. Yum!

I was proud of this one below because I whipped up a random stir fry using random stuff in the fridge, including the sauce, which I normally use a recipe for. It was so tasty!

A friend posted a recipe to a tahini bowl that sounded really tasty, so I made that one day and Kay grilled up some steaks we got on special after Easter. We ate a lot of steak that week and both of us were happy.

Kay also started cooking for me a bit more lately, so he made this lovely garlic quinoa dish that another friend posted. I pinned it ages ago! It was also wonderful. As usual, Kay did the best job plating it. He makes all his recipes look so divine on the plate! 🙂

Right now I am branching back into dishes with lactose to see how I adjust, but we are staying away from eggs and gluten obviously. Sometimes I still get very frustrated how hard it seems to substitute things or know what to cook instead, but we still enjoy a lot of yummy food. I’m just pretty darn compulsive about our meal prepping and cooking. 😉

What’re you cooking lately?

Gluten-free Homemade Muesli

As a typical American, I came to Switzerland eating cereal for breakfast. Kay, on the other hand, ate a very Swiss breakfast of freshly sliced bread slathered in butter and jam. For years it went on this way. He had his bread and I had my cereal.

One could argue about the healthiness of either breakfast, but eventually Kay switched over to the dark side so that he could be a little faster in the morning and sleep a little longer. Slicing bread and doing all that buttering and spreading takes a long time! But he didn’t switch to conventional brand cereal like me… no. He started buying ingredients to mix his own muesli so that it would be healthier and less sugary than whatever I was eating.

I called it “Pferd Futter” or “Horse food” because that’s what it looked like to me.

Anyway, I more or less stopped eating cereal in an effort to incorporate more fresh fruit in my diet and then with the celiac diagnosis and Kay’s absence, I didn’t even want to think about cereal and how depressing it is here. We don’t have Chex in Switzerland. You can buy gluten free cornflakes from Migros and Coop, and from Coop you can also buy chocolate crispy rice for kids. From non-specialty stores, that’s it!

L-R: Bio cornflakes: 2.20CHF for 300g ($2.45 for 10.5OZ) / Schär cornflakes: 2.90 for 250g ($3.23 for 8.8OZ) / Schär Flakes Milly Magic 123: 4.95CHF for 250g ($5.51 for 8.8OZ)

You can’t even buy most normal muesli ingredients in the store without them being laced with gluten. I can buy puffed amaranth from Migros, but all the soy flakes are coated with malt flavoring, making them a no-go.

So why don’t I just let Kay buy his normal muesli ingredients and let it go? Crumbs. CRUMBS. Or shall I say, dust. Every time Kay makes muesli in his tupperware and every time he gets some out in the morning, cereal dust flies into the air and all over the counters.

If that cereal dust happened to be wheat-y, barley, malt or otherwise gluten-y… it would be all over our counters. And because we are in a hurry in the morning, that gluten death trap would be there in the evening too. Cleaning up his muesli mess is not one of Kay’s strong suits, but if he did… I would have to worry about him contaminating the dish towel and then forgetting to change it out with a new dish towel. I know… anal. But with celiac, you have to be.

There’s always a question of how much gluten is bad for you, but in my own home, I would rather not doubt what I am eating. I don’t want to worry about wheat particles flying around while I bake, nor do I want to question what the dish towel was last used to clean. Nope. Gluten-free cereal for all is the way forward.

But since oats are a no-no the first year, I wanted to find a way to make oat-free granola to mix with those boring cornflakes. I’ve been lurking on Against All Grain and found this recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Granola, so I had to try it out!

First I soaked the nuts overnight which is supposed to break down the phytic barrier and give the granola a nicer crunch. Kay just thought I was crazy to be soaking them in water and then dehydrating them.

All chopped up and ready to be baked. We have a convection oven, so I used that instead of going out and buying a dehydrator, but after baking 3-4 hours at 75ºC/170ºF, the muesli still came out pretty moist.

I didn’t feel like baking it longer at this point, but I would definitely bake it longer next time. I feel like buying a plastic dehydrator from the store seems like a waste of money when we have an oven with airflow, but maybe I’m wrong.

I threw all the muesli in Kay’s new GF cereal container with GF cornflakes, buckwheat flakes from the health store, puffed amaranth balls, and millet flakes from the health food store. Then I poured it in a bowl to mix before putting it back in the container.

This muesli is delicious! It smelled heavenly and it had a lovely autumn flavor that had me wanting to start eating cereal again too!

See all that mess up there? Haha… homemade muesli is still quite messy, but I don’t have to worry about it being a gluten mess now! And by watering down the expensive health store gluten-free alternative flakes with homemade muesli and cornflakes, I can feel better about the cost of our gluten-free muesli.

Even if you aren’t gluten free, you should go try this muesli out! It is seriously delicious!