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Category Archives: In the Kitchen

Bitter Cold in PA!

It’s beyond cold outside and all I can think about is being warm.  My mindset is to make and eat anything that is hot.  In the mornings I’m making Bob’s Mighty tasty Gluten-Free Hot Cereal (and it gives a nice fiber punch!) with tea, and you bet I’m eating soup or stews for lunch and dinner.  Last night after a great run I made a hearty split pea soup, which warmed me up nicely after my body started to cool down from the run.

Split Pea Soup - Dinner!

Split Pea Soup – Dinner!

I decided to make this since I had leftover ham steaks that were on sale.  This dish won’t be ready in an instant as the split peas require some cooking time.


  • 1 lb green split peas (rinsed)
  • 2 T oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 onions diced
  • 3 stalks celery diced
  • 3 large carrots diced
  • 2 ham steaks (or a ham bone if you have one)
  • 8 cups water (you may need more depending on the amount of veggies you include)
  • 1 Herb-ox gluten free chicken bouillon cube (optional)
  • Pepper to taste


  1. In large pot heat oil and saute garlic and onions until translucent
  2. Add in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil
  3. Once boiling reduce heat, cover and simmer stirring occasionally
  4. Cook for about 2 hours


Pasta Fagioli

I’ve been known to catch a cold or two during the winter months, and I find myself relying on soup most days.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a strong advocate for chicken noodle soup, but I thought I’d share my take on pasta fagioli. I also made a big batch as it was meant to be shared and still have leftovers!



  • 2 T olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 T dried parsley
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 T crushed red pepper
  • 1 T black pepper
  • 2  14.5 oz cans of gluten-free chicken broth
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 16 oz cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 15 oz cans of cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 lb of gluten-free pasta
  • 2 stalks green scallions


  1. In a big saucepan heat up olive oil and saute garlic
  2. Add in onion, celery, parsley, oregano, bay leaves, crushed red pepper and black pepper
  3. Cook for about 5-10 minutes or until onion is  cooked
  4. Add in chicken broth, tomatoes and tomato sauce and let simmer for 20 -30 minutes.
  5. While soup is cooking, boil water for pasta and cook according to directions*
  6. Add beans to soup, let cook 5 more minutes
  7. Add pasta to soup and serve
  8. Garnish with green scallions – optional

*To prevent pasta from being overcooked, I cooked the gluten-free pasta separately.  Next time I will try cooking with the soup to see how it turns out.

Break Your New Year’s Resolution

That’s right I said it – break the resolution!  Being on a gluten-free diet is enough of a resolution if you ask me, and that is why I’m posting this anti-resolution recipe.  It’s easy and delicious so go ahead and make one last treat for yourself.  Trust me these caramel peanut balls dipped in chocolate are enough of a reason to.

Caramel Peanut Balls dipped in Chocolate

Caramel Peanut Balls dipped in Chocolate

Per Eagle Brand the recipe is simple with only 4 ingredients:



  1. Combine peanuts, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla in a heavy saucepan
  2. Cook and stir over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until mixture forms ball around spoon and pulls away for side of pan.
  3. Cool 10 minutes then shape into 1-in balls
  4. Melt chocolate morsels in a small heavy saucepan over low heat.
  5. With a wooden toothpick, dip each ball into melted chocolate, covering half of ball.
  6. Place on wax paper and let cool until firm

Happy New Year!

Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Are you staying in to relax and watch a movie this weekend?  Probably not for most of us!  I’ll go out on a whim here and say this weekend is going to be the busiest one yet.  Traveling home to see friends and family, last minute gifts to purchase, wrapping those gifts, and don’t forget about all the food prep.  I personally find myself making mental lists throughout the day as I try to multitask too, which is tiring, even though I should write it all down.  I’ve seen the malls crowded beyond belief, and the supermarkets will be no different.

In light of the fun nights spent with loved ones, it can be hard to think of a gift to bring or dish to make.  You can always bring a bottle of wine (if you’re the older crowd), make a batch of cookies, or try my semi-homemade gluten-free pineapple upside-down cake.

Pineapple Upside Down

I actually was just planning on making a gluten-free cake using Betty Crocker’s mix, and I ended up adding a fun twist.  Once the cake was in the oven, I noticed the fresh pineapple sitting on my counter (how I missed it or didn’t think of making an actual pineapple upside-down cake is a mystery to me too), but I wanted to incorporate it somehow.  Here is my easy version:


  • Make according to box directions, and once cooked let cool


  1. Slice fresh pineapple into 1-in chunks
  2. Pan fry using a non stick pan
  3. In a microwave safe dish warm up Hershey’s Caramel Syrup
  4. Mix cooked pineapple into bowl of syrup and drizzle on top
  5. Serve immediately

*Note – the gluten-free cakes usually yield less than the normal cake mixes, so if you have a large crowd consider doubling the recipe

Cheesesteak & Fries!!!

Sautéed vidalia onions perfectly diced, thinly sliced beef mixed in and fried, all bound by melted american cheese.  This is a  gluten-free dinner none other than the Philadelphia classic – a cheesesteak.  No I didn’t have to order it ‘wit’ or ‘wit-out’, but I did enjoy it MORE than you would a Pat’s or Geno’s cheeseteak in South Philly.

Cheesteak & Fries!

Would you like fries with that? You bet…

Though I try to recreate meals that most take for granted, this one fell through the cracks.  Fortunately for me, I can bounce ideas around with another great chef 🙂  Tired of the same old?  This is actually a quick dinner.


– Vidalia onion – diced

Steakk-umm (gluten-free)

– Cheese

– Schar rolls ( I used the gluten-free classic white)


Ore Ida Zesties (gluten-free)

  1. Cook Ore ida fries according to package (roughly 20 minutes or until desired crispiness is reach)
  2. Dice the onion and Sauté (roughly 5 minutes).
  3. Add in your steak-umm and cook thoroughly.
  4. Add cheese and let melt
  5. Bind with your cheese of preference
  6. Toast your bun
  7. Plate and add a nice helping of ketchup

Homemade Gluten Free Pizza

When I want to make something but can’t seem to find the right moment I leave the ingredients on the counter.  It’s my way of constantly reminding myself to make time for something that I actually want.  Well, for about a month I’ve been staring at the box of Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free Pizza Crust mix.  What derailed me for so long was that I wanted to use my bread machine to mix the dough and let it rise, instead of following the box recommendation and mixing it myself.  Rushing home from work to wait roughly 2 hours to eat didn’t sound appealing nor did making the dough the night before.  I wanted to experience what every person out there does when they make a pizza at home or order take out.  Fresh dough, cooked on the spot, and eaten as soon as it’s pulled out of the oven.  So finally, on my day off, I built time in to make my homemade pizza. My way worked pretty good too as you can see….

Straight from the oven 🙂

It tasted as good as it looks.  The dough was a pain to work with, so don’t get frustrated by the extreme stickiness.  No amount of oil could prevent the dough from clinging to my fingers, and it was quite difficult to make it 1/8 of an inch thick.  I went with it, and decided I meant to make a Sicilian style gluten-free pizza.  Topped with pepperoni and fresh basil this pizza was a home run in my world.  Of course I doctored up the pizza mix too by adding a few spices and herbs mentioned below.  Next on the list?  Stromboli perhaps, but if not I think I could suffer through another 1 or 4 slices of pizza.

Look at how thick the crust is!

Pizza Crust

*Yields 2 personal size pizzas with plenty for leftovers

  • 1 box Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free Pizza Crust mix
  • 1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 yeast pack (included)
  • 3 eggs
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Garlic
  1. Mix dough according to box directions
  2. Once mixed, add in my top Italian spices:  garlic, basil, oregano, and parsley
  3. Put forth your best effort to tackle the sticky dough, and shape into two 8 in pizzas (it’s worth it!!!!!)
  4. Cook for about 15 minutes until crust is brown (I recommend brushing extra olive oil on top once cooked for about 10 minutes)
  5. Finish cooking for about another 5 minutes, then add your favorite pizza toppings
  6. Remove from oven when cheese is melted
  7. Enjoy and smile if you burn the roof of your mouth – I did 🙂

Pizza Toppings

  • Pizza Sauce
  • Mixture of mozzarella and provolone cheese
  • Fresh Basil
  • Pepperoni

Gluten-Free Crock Pot Beef Stew

A wise person once told me ‘You can’t mess up a classic’.  So while going through the Italian version and the Asian version of stews, I decided on a slow cooker beef stew from All Recipes, and altered it to be gluten-free.  I love cooking big meals on a lazy Sunday afternoon so that you have leftovers for the week, and they always taste better the next day!

Gluten-Free Crock Pot Beef Stew

*This recipe is for 12 servings


  1. To sear in the flavor I coated each cube of beef with flour (this is in addition to your 1/2 cup flour) and pan fried it for 30 seconds
  2. Once beef has been seared put into crock pot
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, salt and pepper and mix with meat
  4. Next, chop up your onions, potatoes, carrots and celery and add to crock pot
  5. Add in remaining ingredients and stir well
  6. Cover and cook for 4-6 hours on HIGH
  7. Serve with bread (I used Schar Ciabatta rolls)
  8. YUM!!