Monday, August 30, 2010

Grandmother's Dill Pickles

We went to the farmers market over in Cheyenne on Saturday.  Among the many veggies that I bought was a case of pickling cucumbers and a monstrous bunch of fresh dill.  They called to be canned.  So can we did!  28 quarts of my husbands grandmother's dill pickle recipe.  We also did some refrigerator bread & butter pickles and some refrigerator dill pickles.  I can't wait for the 4 to 6 weeks to pass to give the canned pickles a try!  I am very glad that I did some quick refrigerator pickles to get us through.

Grandmother's Dill Pickles

Sort through your very fresh pickling cucumbers and discard any that are limp or less than fresh.
Place the pickling cucumbers in a large cooler and top with plenty of ice and water.
Allow to "chill" for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
Sterilize your jars and prepare your canning pot and other canning essentials.

In the bottom of each quart jar add the following:
1 tbs sugar
1 fresh dill head or 1 tsp dried dill seed
2 or 3 garlic cloves
1 small fresh hot pepper (if desired)
Next pack the jar full of fresh pickling cucumbers.  Feel free to 1/2 or 1/4 the pickles as necessary to pack the jar tightly.
You may also do slices of pickling cucumbers if desired.
Add 1 tbs of canning salt and a pinch of alum to the top of each jar.
Bring 2 quarts of vinegar and 3 quarts of water to a boil.
Pour the boiling brine into the jars.
Wipe the rim of each jar with a paper towel then top with a warmed canning lid and ring.
Finger tighten the ring.
Water bath process for 10 minutes adjusting as necessary for your altitude.
Cool and check for proper seal.
Allow to sit in a cool, dark, dry spot for at least 4 weeks before sampling.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rice Dream Rice Milk Has GLUTEN

I have been having so problems lately that felt to me like I had been ingesting some gluten.  For the life of me though I could not figure out where or how.  I have not been eating out so I knew that I wasn't poisoning myself.  Then it dawned on me that I was only having these problems after having coffee with Rice Dream Rice Milk in it.  I then began to wonder why my favorite dairy free and I thought gluten free beverage was giving me problems.  Well it turns out that although it is not labeled as such that it does indeed have gluten in it.  The gluten is from the unlabeled barley enzyme they use in the process of manufacturing the rice milk.  The company takes the stance that it is gluten free however.

They say,
"Is RICE DREAM Beverage a gluten free product?
Yes. Although RICE DREAM Beverage is processed using a barley enzyme, the barley enzyme is discarded after use. The final beverage might contain a minute residual amount (less than .002%) of barley protein." 

However, it is enough gluten to make me sick.  I bet that it is also enough gluten to make other people sick too.  I want as many people as possible to know that this is NOT a gluten free food. 

Friday, August 20, 2010


I planted arugula in my garden this year.  I wanted to try it since I have heard so much about it on various blogs and in numerous recipes.

I have been eating it fresh in my salads with various other garden fresh greens and have enjoyed it.  Today I attempted to make arugula pesto.  I am not certain if I like it as pesto or not though.  I am reserving final judgment for dinner tonight where I am serving it with chicken breasts and rice.  Hopefully, I like it better that way than I did when I was tasting it as I made it.

So, the question is do you like arugula?  If so how do you like it prepared best?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Caramelized Leeks

Leeks are delicious in so many recipes.  However, this one showcases the leek.  I love this served over some hot gluten free pasta.  Try it I think that you will love it too!

Caramelized Leeks

4 cups of sliced leeks (approximately 2 medium leeks)
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs blue bonnet light margarine
1/2 tbs brown sugar, packed
salt and pepper to taste

Clean the leeks well being sure to wash between each leaf.
Slice into half moon shapes.
Heat the margarine and olive oil over low heat.
Add the sliced leeks.
Cook for 10 minutes over low heat until the leeks begin to soften.
Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top and allow to melt for a few minutes without stirring.
Continue cooking over low heat until the leeks are tender - about 15 to 30 minutes.
Turn the heat up and caramelize the leeks.  Be careful not to burn them during this step.
If your leeks begin to stick during the cooking process just add a little water.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Time for a Change

I updated the look of the blog.  I would love to hear what you have to say about it!  Please let me know what you like and what you don't.  I also would love to hear your suggestions!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Carrot Ginger Dressing

This yummy dressing is a great way to add even more vegetables to a fresh salad.

Carrot Ginger Dressing

1 cup carrots
1 tbs sweet white miso
2 tbs honey
2 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup light flavored oil (I used canola oil)
1/2 cup water (optional - makes a thinner dressing)

In a food processor begin by adding the carrots and processing until they are very finely minced.
Next add the sweet white miso, honey, ginger, garlic, and the vinegar.
Process until well combined.
Drizzle in the oil and water if desired while processing.
Continue to process until the dressing is as smooth as you desire.
Serve on your choice of salad ingredients.
Also really nice on steamed rice.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Raw Brownie Bars

These raw brownie bars remind me more of a candy bar than a true brownie.  They are delicious no matter what you call them none the less.  I love that they are naturally dairy and gluten free!  They are great in the summer because they require absolutely no baking to heat up the kitchen!  I adapted this recipe from Ginger Lemon Girl's Chocolate Brownie Bites recipe based on what I had available. 

Raw Brownie Bars

1 cup raw pecans
12 pitted dates
4 tbs dark cocoa powder
1/8 tsp sea salt
2 tbs honey
1 tsp vanilla

In the food processor first process the pecans until they are finely chopped.
Add in the pitted dates and continue to process until the mixture begins to form a paste.
Add in the cocoa powder, salt, honey, and vanilla.
Continue to process until the mixture begins trying to form a ball or looks like wet sand.
Press into a shallow glass bread pan about 8"x4".
Cover and refrigerate at least an hour.
Cut into 8 bars.
If desired may be frozen after cut into bars.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pie or Tart Crust - Dairy & Gluten Free

I had some fresh nectarines and plums that needed to be eaten, but none of us wanted to just munch on the fruits.  This is the crust that I came up with after much searching and finding out that I didn't have everything to make any of the recipes that I found!

Pie or Tart Crust - Dairy & Gluten Free
1 1/2 cup white or brown rice flour (super fine if you can find it)
1/2 cup corn starch
3 to 6 tbs sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup or 1 stick of Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup ice cold water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Combine the rice flour, corn starch, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium size bowl.
Using your hands or a pastry cutter combine the vegan buttery stick with the flour mixture.
Combine 1/2 cup of the ice water with the vinegar and add to the flour mixture slowly.
If the dough does not form a ball then add up to 1/4 cup more ice water as needed.
Split the dough in half and pat into 2 greased pie pans.
For a fresh fruit pie bake the crust first - Bake at 425 for 20 to 30 minutes until the dough is slightly crisp.  Then when the crust is cooled add your fruits.
For an open faced baked fruit tart - Spread some fruit jam onto the unbaked dough.  Place the freshly sliced fruit in an even layer on top of the jam and dough.  Sprinkle with a generous amount of sugar.  Bake at 425 for 40 to 60 minutes or until the fruit is tender and the dough is crisp.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Accidental Dairy

We went out to eat last night.  What should have been an enjoyable experience turned out to be anything but that.  We were literally less than 5 minutes from home and I was lucky to make it there.  I was accidentally fed dairy :(  Needless to say the rest of last night and all of today has been anything but fun.  The upside if you can find one is that now my parents who are visiting see just how serious this is for me and just how risky it is for me to eat out.