A Gluten Free Christmas!

This Christmas was definitely my favorite one so far. No, it wasn’t just because of the amazing food (though I am going to get to that in just a second). This year my entire family came to town for their first Mississippi Christmas – which meant I got to spend the week surrounded by the ones I love. And my husband and I didn’t have to worry about splitting time between families. We had both of them with us all week!

Combining families at Christmas can be a challenge though. It involves more than just combining bodies; it means combining traditions as well – and that includes the food. In my family, we always do a big Christmas Eve dinner. And since four of us are gluten free (five if you count my husband), we make the entire meal Celiac-friendly. Though my husband’s family doesn’t share our gluten allergy, this year we wanted them to share our love of some delicious gluten free food so I volunteered to host Christmas Eve dinner at our house.

What was on our gluten free menu?
– Turkey
– Mashed Potatoes
– Homemade GF Gravy (my favorite!)
– Gluten Free Stuffing (thanks to Glutino for this mix!)
– GF Dinner Rolls (courtesy of Chebe Bread Mix)
– Cranberry Sauce (my sister’s favorite)
– Squash (because we thought we should include at least one vegetable)
– Gluten Free Pecan Pie (Pillsbury, your GF crust is a lifesaver!)
and last but most definitely not least
– A ridiculous amount of GF cookies and wine!

No meal is complete without Chebe Bread

No meal is complete without Chebe Bread

GF Stuffing, courtesy of Glutino!

GF Stuffing, courtesy of Glutino!

Though this year’s meal turned out surprisingly perfectly (we barely had any leftovers everyone loved it so much), the dinner itself was not my favorite part. After all, isn’t dessert what everyone looks forward to during the holidays?

My favorite Christmas cookie is the white chocolate covered oreo. I always use Glutino Chocolate Vanilla Creme Cookies white chocolate bark to melt for the coating. They could not be easier to make – and they are so so delicious!

Add some sprinkles to make them festive!

Add some sprinkles to make them festive!

Oreos are great, but it just wouldn’t be Christmas without cut-out cookies! This year, my sister and I decided to try out Chebe Bread’s sugar cookie recipe made with Chebe All-Purpose Mix. Combined with our homemade frosting, these cookies were incredible. And did I mention also incredibly cute?!

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I also love pecan pie, especially during the holidays. Because nothing tastes better for dessert (and breakfast!) than Pecan Pie. This year, we used fresh pecans from my grandmother’s pecan orchard and Pillsbury GF Pie Crust. You can find the recipe here.

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But more than anything else during Christmastime, I love a good Christmas morning breakfast. For my family, Christmas morning would not be complete without homemade cinnamon rolls. And since going gluten free, we’ve always used Chebe Bread Cinnamon Roll Mix to whip a batch up. It makes for a hassle free – and delicious – Christmas day treat!

What you’ll need to make your own:
– Chebe Bread Cinnamon Roll Mix
– Eggs
– Milk
– Butter
– Powdered Sugar
– Vanilla Extract

It’s easy! Just follow the instructions for the Chebe Mix on the box. Then, roll the dough out completely flat. Cover the dough in a layer of melted butter and powdered sugar. Cut into strips and roll into mini-buns. Cook at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

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While your rolls are cooking, whip up some icing. Mix together powdered sugar, butter, milk and a dash of vanilla extract. Yes, I really wish I had exact measurements for the frosting, but unfortunately, we are not an exact measurement type of family. Next time I make some I’ll be sure to measure!

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When the rolls come out of the oven, pour some of your homemade icing over the top of them while they’re still hot. Serve warm with your favorite morning coffee and enjoy!

Hopefully each of you had a holiday week that was just as much fun, and as delicious, as mine was! 🙂

Merry Christmas!

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Chocolate Chip Bread Bombs

I like chocolate and I like bread. (Probably too much, honestly.) So when I saw the recipe for these Chocolate Chip Bread Bombs on Chebe’s website, I knew that I had to try them out! I mean seriously, mini rolls loaded up with chocolate? What could be better?!

Lucky for me, I had all of the ingredients I needed already in the house. To make your own, here is what you will need:

Ingredients
1 package Chebe All-Purpose Bread Mix
2 large eggs
2 tbsp. softened butter
1/2 cup sugar (original recipe calls for 1/4 cup)
4 tbsp milk or milk substitute
Chocolate Chips (to your liking)

Directions for Baking:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix the Chebe mix, eggs, butter and sugar together. Then, add the milk 1 tbsp. at a time. If you’re anything like me, you may find that once the milk has been added, kneading the dough with your hands is easier than using a mixer. It’s okay to get your hands dirty on this one! Once well mixed, add in the chocolate chips.

Separate dough into small balls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until done.

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Enjoy the chocolatey goodness! 🙂

These are a few of my favorite things

When I first went gluten free, like most gf newbies, I had a hard time navigating the gluten free world. I never knew which items to choose at the grocery store. Would those crackers be good or would they taste like cardboard? Honestly, for years I just avoided most gluten free substitutes altogether and gave up things like bread, pasta, bagels and crackers. It wasn’t until I moved in with my husband and started cooking for two of us that I realized he wouldn’t stand for that way of living. And once he was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance in March (aren’t we just made for each other?!), I really stepped up my game.

This is a list of a few of my favorite gluten free products. This list is in no way endorsed by any of these companies. And I am sure there are TONS of products out there that I still have yet to try. I’m sure this list will evolve over time, but for now, here are some of my faves:

Favorite Gluten Free Bread & Bread Mixes

Chebe Bread Mix – Chebe might be the one gluten free product I absolutely could not live without. From all purpose bread mix, to cheese bread to pizza crust and cinnamon rolls – all of their mixes are incredibly delicious and simple to make. Best of all, your non gluten free guests or family members will love everything you make just as much as you do! Just as my husband, who was addicted to my Buffalo Chicken Calzone with Chebe Cheese Bread LONG before he went gluten free himself. Chebe is hard to find in Mississippi, so I always order it online from Amazon or Vitacost.

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Schar Ciabatta Rolls – These are fantastic because you can keep them in your freezer and just pull a couple out at a time whenever you want to add dinner rolls to your meal! It saves you from having to make an entire mix (perfect for a household with only 2 people like ours) and saves prep time on busy evenings. Like Chebe, Schar is hard for me to find in Mississippi, so I always order it online.

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Udi’s Sandwich Bread – What can I say about Udi’s other than it is just delicious. Of all the gluten free breads I have tried, Udi’s is my absolute favorite when it comes to sandwiches. It holds up as you toast it, or add heaps of meat and cheese to it, and it tastes the most like gluten-filled bread (in my opinion). Udi’s has always been easy for me to find at my local grocery store.

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Favorite Gluten Free Flour

Cup4Cup – This flour is the rockstar of gluten free flours, in my opinion. It could not be easier to substitute gluten free flour for regular flour in any recipe whenever you use Cup4Cup. That being said, this awesomeness does come with a price tag. (Usually about $20/bag). I buy mine at Williams Sonoma.

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Bob’s Red Mill – When you’re not feeling the hefty price tag on Cup4Cup, Bob’s Red Mill is an awesome gluten free flour mix as well. And it’s usually pretty easy to find. I buy mine at Fresh Market.

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Favorite Gluten Free Pancake Mix

Ad-Hoc – I am obsessed with this pancake mix, as evident by this post from earlier this year. But, just like Cup4Cup flour, Ad-Hoc gluten free pancake mix comes at a price. So we usually save this mix just for special ocassions. I first discovered this mix at Williams Sonoma.

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Pamela’s Pancake Mix – When I am still craving delicious gluten free pancakes, but not loving the price tag on Ad-Hoc, check out Pamela’s. My husband is the ultimate pancake critic, and while he swears by Ad-Hoc, he really likes Pamela’s as well. Pamela’s is pretty easy to locate – you should be able to find it in your local grocery store or Fresh Market.

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Favorite Gluten Free Cookies

Tate’s Chocolate Chip – I hadn’t tried these cookies until recently, but boy am I glad that I did. These cookies are crunchy, which I normally don’t like in a cookie, but the flavor is INCREDIBLE. I found mine at Fresh Market.

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Glutino Chocolate Creme – This is my favorite gluten free “Oreo” substitute. As soon as a package of these makes it into our house, it is usually gone within a couple of days. They are just so hard to resist! I’ve always had an easy time finding these at the grocery store or Fresh Market.

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Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough – Making gluten free cookies usually takes time. Trust me, it’s usually worth it because they’re so fluffy and delicious when they come out of the oven, but there are times when I am just craving one or two cookies and don’t feel like making a whole batch. With Pillsbury’s new cookie dough, you can have freshly baked cookies anytime you’re craving them – in small or large batches! It makes life so so much easier! And it definitely doesn’t hurt that they taste so good. Plus, you can find it in your local grocery store!

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Try combining the Pillsbury Cookie Dough with the Glutino Chocolate Creme cookies… You end up with a heavenly combination that looks a little bit like this:

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Favorite Gluten Free Breakfast Items

Glutino Bagels – Oh my goodness, these bagels are heavenly. They are so good I could eat them every single day! My one pet peeve about these bagels is that they are not pre-cut. And since I keep mine in the freezer, I usually have to defrost one a little then, try to cut it before I can even toast it. When you’re running out the door on the way to work in the morning, that extra step for cutting can be super frustrating.

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Udi’s Blueberry Muffins – I think my husband is starting a fan club about these muffins. There’s really not much to say other than just try them. You won’t be disappointed. I haven’t tried the chocolate or lemon flavored muffins, but I am sure they are delicious as well! Udi’s products are typically pretty fantastic.

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Favorite Gluten Free Snacks

Goldfish Puffs – I am so grateful to Pepperidge Farm for this incredible gift to the gluten free world! Goldfish Puffs are SO delicious, you wouldn’t even know they were gluten free. In fact, if it weren’t for the tiny GLUTEN FREE label by the nutrition facts on the back of the package, you might not have known anyway. I’ve always been surprised that Goldfish doesn’t market this product better to the gluten free community.

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Snyder’s Gluten Free Pretzels – That’s right, your favorite pretzel brand is now available in a gluten free version! And did I mention it is delicious?! We can’t find these pretzels in stores around here so I order them from Vitacost online.

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Glutino Bagel Chips – These little jokers are sneaky delicious. I mean it, I guarantee you can’t eat just one. Or twenty. It’s crazy how fast a bowl of these will disappear!

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Favorite Gluten Free Beers

Bard’s – I first tried this in Austin and I’ve been wishing I could get my hands on more of it ever since. Unfortunately, there’s no place in MS to get my hands on a bottle of this delicious goodness. But I keep an eye out for it whenever I travel!

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Redbridge – Super easy to find, even in Mississippi, I’ve grown to love Redbridge. I usually purchase it at Fresh Market, but in bigger cities I’m sure you could find it all over the place.

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Omission – To be clear, Omission is a Gluten-Reduced Beer. Not Gluten Free. So if you have Celiac, I don’t recommend this beer for you. But I’ve tried it (and loved it!) and been fortunate enough to not have any reaction to it. Unfortunately, Omission is like Bard’s. Tough to find in Mississippi. But I’ve got my eyes open for it every time I hit the road!

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What do you love? Are any of these gluten free favorites on YOUR list?

Gluten Free Crescent Rolls

Read any of my previous blog posts and you will quickly learn about my love for all things Chebe Bread. Seriously, the stuff is amazing and makes for some killer gluten free recipes! (Including one of my favorites – the Buffalo Chicken Calzone!) But sometimes, you’ve got to stick with the basics. Chebe Bread is fantastic for basic, delicious dinner rolls.

About a week ago, I decided to put a little twist on my Chebe rolls. I was planning a yummy gluten free pasta night for the Hubs and myself – and what would go better with pasta than cresent rolls with cheese and garlic powder? Sounds great, right? Here’s how I did it…

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What you’ll need:
1 box Chebe Bread Mix (I used the Chebe Cheese Bread Mix)
Ingredients for bread (eggs, oil, water)
Melted Butter
Garlic Powder
Cheese

Follow the instructions on the box to prepare the Chebe Bread mix. I never stray from the instructions except to sometimes add just a touch more water if it seems a little too dry.

Once you’re dough is ready, roll it out into a flat circle. Take your melted butter and brush it over the surface of the dough until it is completely covered. Then, sprinkle on some garlic powder (let your taste buds decide how much garlic is too much!)

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After that, cut your circle into triangles, as if you were cutting up a pizza. Sprinkle each triangle with some shredded cheese of your liking.

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Roll up each triangle into a cresent roll and bake at 375 degrees for approximately 15-20 minutes.

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The only thing left to do now is enjoy! 🙂

Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll-Ups

It’s no secret that I love Chebe bread. In fact, I could start a Chebe bread fan club I love it so much. Usually I have to order it online from Amazon.com because I can’t find it in any local stores, but recently a local health food shop downtown started stocking it. Needless to say, our house is fully stocked up now!

So when this weekend rolled around, my brand new box of cinnamon roll mix was calling my name. Nothing like some freshly baked cinnamon rolls, or roll ups as I like to make them, to start the day.

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The thing that I love best about Chebe mix is that it couldn’t be easier. Just preheat your oven to 375 degrees and follow the instructions on the box! All you need is the mix, milk, vegetable oil and 2 eggs!

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Once your dough is ready to go, take a rolling pin and flatten it out. Brush melted butter over the dough.

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Then take some brown sugar and cinnamon or cinnamon sugar and sprinkle it over the top. (I always through in some powdered sugar as well, but I love powdered sugar! Totally up to you!) Cut your delicious dough into strips.

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Now it’s time to roll up those strips! Place them on a cookie sheet with the seam facing down and bake.

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Once they come out of the oven, I always add a little melted butter to the top (just to soften them up a bit!). Today I sprinkled some powder sugar on top. But sometimes I like to mix powdered sugar, butter and milk together to make a “frosting” topping. Or maybe you have a frosting mix of your own that you’d like to try! No matter what, these rolls are delicious!

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Enjoy!

Gluten Free Buffalo Chicken Calzone

I love Frank’s Hot Sauce. And cheese. Period. I shouldn’t even have to elaborate on why those two things are amazing when combined together. They’re just fantastic – and they remind me of home. So when I get a chance to use them in any meal I am cooking, I do.

This recipe is my husband’s absolute favorite meal that I make. In fact, before he ever found out he was gluten-free (that’s right, we are BOTH gluten-free. Aren’t we just two peas in a pod?!), this was still his favorite meal. That’s how incredibly delicious it is. No joke.

What do you need to make it?
Gluten Free Bread Mix (I recommend Chebe Cheese Bread Mix)*
Bleu Cheese
Shredded Chedder
Frank’s Hot Sauce
4-5 Chicken Breasts
Butter

*Plus any ingredients to make your bread mix. Chebe only needs eggs and vegetable oil. Easy and SO delicious! Don’t have Chebe in a store near you? No worries! Neither do we! I order my Chebe bread online – THAT’S how much we love it! Totally worth it!

Step 1
Cut your chicken into bite size pieces and cook it up with some butter until the middle of every piece is no longer pink! I like to use our electric wok, but you can cook it however is easiest for you.

Mmm - look at all that chicken

Mmm – look at all that chicken

Step 2
Make your bread for the crust! Follow the instructions exactly like they say on the box.

Step 3
Add full jar of bleu cheese, shredded cheese and frank’s hot sauce to your chicken mixture. (You decide how much Frank’s is appropriate for you and your family!)

Step 4
Grease your baking pan. I recently purchased an awesome pizza pan from Williams-Sonoma that is the perfect size for this! But any non-stick pan will do. Grease it with some non-stick cooking spray.

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Step 5
Section your ball of dough into 2 halves. Take the first half and use a rolling pin to roll it out flat to make a crust. I made mine into a circle shape since I was using a pizza pan, but feel free to get as creative as you want! I’ve made long, skinny calzones before and used rectangular cookie sheets to bake them on. The nice thing about this recipe is that the bigger the calzone is, the more leftovers you have afterwards! 🙂

That is some good lookin' dough!

That is some good lookin’ dough!

Once your dough has been rolled out, place it onto the pan. After much trial and error, I’ve learned that the easiest way to do it is roll your crust onto wax paper first then flip your wax paper over onto the baking sheet, peeling off the paper and leaving the dough behind.

Step 6
Pour your ingredients on top of the bottom layer of crust! Sprinkle some extra cheese inside, if you’d like!

Step 7
Roll out the second half of your dough for the top crust. Use the same wax paper trick to flip it over on top! Fold the edges of the calzone together so the yummy goodness stays inside while it is baking! Feel free to sprinkle some extra cheese around the edges for decoration!

Getting closer!

Getting closer!

Step 8
Follow the baking instructions for your bread mix/crust. For Chebe bread, it takes 20-25 minutes on 375 degrees. Remove from the oven and ENJOY!!! 🙂

Best. Dinner. Ever.

Best. Dinner. Ever.

Just writing about this makes me anxious for the leftovers! 🙂