Random thoughts

One of the things that no one wants to heartily embrace is change. We have a way of doing things. We have a comfort zone. Why rock the boat?

When it comes down to being well, sometimes we have to entertain the notion that the "same ol'-same ol'" may not be the best way.

Food intolerances have been on the uprise over the last number of years. Perhaps this is contibuted to more awareness of such intolerances and the desire of big name people to try to fight them.

About two years ago, I was experiencing some digestion issues. One thing that I don't like to do is to give up is stuff that I usually eat. But it came down to the notion that perhaps I should go GF.

I didn't need a doctor to tell me to do this. I am in control of what goes into my mouth. I chose to eat one way before, and I choose to eat this way now. It has benefited me in several ways so I continue. Do I slip up? Yes, I do. But for the most part, it is not that difficult to eat this way.

If you decide that you want to give up something, you just do it. In order for you to have an accurate blood test, you have to fast, and you do it. If you purpose to be a vegetarian, you strive to achieve that lifestyle. If you are unhappy with something in your life, you do what you need to do to change it. What kind of power is that? A great one, I'd say!

Are you having symptoms that won't go away no matter what you do? Should you go GF? Don't let addictions to food keep it's hold on you. Take control and do it! It may be the answer you're looking for.


An experiment

Summer brings out all sorts of things in us. Fresh pick your own strawberries, bar-b-q's, dining on the deck, trips to the ice cream stand. The must-have side dish is (drum roll......) macaroni salad!

I was goofing around with the idea of making a different kind of macaroni salad. The ideas came to reality in the kitchen the other day. Here's the low down.

I made a batch of GF macaroni noodles, and added a bottle of alfredo-cheese sauce to it.

Side note: Take a look at the different jarred alfredo sauces in the stores. You can probably find something that will not have flour in it. I cannot vouch as to whether or not it is truly GF, but when I don't find flour on the label, I give it a chance. Sometimes I miss a non-GF ingredient, though. You'll have to decide if you want to give it a chance.

Anyways, back to the salad. The noodles were saucy, and I added some cut up turkey into it. (Chicken or tuna would be tasty too.) Some of it was served up for dinner that night. Then, the leftovers went in the fridge.

A couple days later, I was looking at it, and thought, "macaroni salad". After macaroni sits for any length of time, it soaks up the moisture and gets kinda dry, as what was happening to my cold alfredo mixture. A little dollop of mayo got stirred in and the macaroni salad began to become reality. A little grind of pepper, a pinch of salt, and some celery seed... it was good! I think adding peas to it would make it even better.

Let me know if you try this summer favorite recipe.



Sometimes you have to have a night off from cooking. It used to be slim pickings as to where you could find a normal restaurant with GF selections. Not so these days! The food service industry is coming up to bat for people with food sensitivities!

Where can you go and still order GF? It may not be news to some but the good old Outback Steakhouse has my first choice vote. The bread they bring to the table is GF. There is a section in the menu to choose several tasty entrees from. OK, you have to stay away from those blooming onions but the Alice Springs Chicken is my personal favorite!



Fresh Hot Buttery

What do those words bring to mind? The theater . . . concession stand . . . POPCORN!

Believed to be first discovered by Native Americans, this variety of corn explodes into a white, airy puff that is a fun and tasty snack. Loved by kids and adults everywhere, popcorn can be found being sold by Scouts, cooked in kettles at the fair, in 3 flavors in holiday tins. It can be strung up as decorations, handed out at treats to animals, flattened into cakes. It can be popped by air, on the stove, or in the microwave. It has been topped with butter, salt, sugar, cheese, caramel, and my favorite - seasoned salt.

When I was growing up, my dad made popcorn for us on Sunday nights. We got out our biggest lidded skillet, poured in the oil and a couple of kernels and when they would burst, the rest of the corn went in the pan. A few minutes later, we were topping it off with melted butter and salt, grabbing a big glass of OJ and munching it down.

I still make that same snack, usually on Sunday night. It is so delicious and if you pop it and top it yourself, you can know that it is a GF. And an easy snack for anyone to enjoy. I think I'll go make some right now!


Did it again

We had my shrimp poppers again and I didn't learn the lesson to take a picture while I can. They dwindled down to 2 or 3 and are in the fridge for later.

Yup. They are that good.


Sorry there isn't a pic

...but none are left! I made a yummy thing for dinner tonight. I saw a cooking show that had shrimp wrapped in proscuitto and was eventually made into some pasta dish. Well, the brain mulled over that for a while and when I went to the grocery store, I picked up some simple ingredients to make my GF variation of the seafood.

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Poppers

1 pound frozen, cooked shrimp
1 package of bacon (plain, maple, hickory, any flavor will work)
dried parsley

Place a saute pan on a low heat. Place frozen shrimp in water to partially thaw; remove tail shells. Take the bacon and cut the slices in half. Wrap bacon around the shrimp and place in pan. Cook until bacon is browned on each side. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel to remove excess drippings. Serve hot, topped with parsley.

I served them with baked beans. According to my panel of experts, they are "tasty". According to me, they are tasty AND easy!


Mexican - Yes I Can

Mexican food is GF friendly. The refried beans, tortillas, nacho chips, salsa...all good stuff! We were visiting friends a handful of years ago and they made burritos. They were really good and I minimally adapted them to be a satisfying GF regular in our house.


1# ground meat (beef or turkey or a combination of both)
1 package of taco seasoning (although I found 1/2 a package works just fine)

Cook meat throroughly, using spoon to cut into pieces as it cooks. Add taco seasoning according to directions and set aside when done.

Corn tortillas (the soft kind)
1 can of refried beans
1 large jar of salsa (heat to taste - I like hot)
1 package of shredded "mexican" cheese
1 jar of black olives
Sour cream, optional

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Take tortilla and coat center with refried beans. Top with meat. Roll into a log shape. Place in baking dish. Continue until all meat is gone. I usually wind up with 5 logs. Top with jar of salsa and shredded cheese. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Serve one log per person with black olives on the side. Top with sour cream, if desired.

This is so yummy. It is filling and satisfying and GF goodness. Try it for yourself and let me know if you agree!



When we decided to try GF, I started to think that our menu was going to be limited and boring. I thought about how flour is in alot of things! Bread is out. No pancakes, cookies, pies... and forget about Italian food!

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there is tasty pasta made for GF'ers. Fortunately, my sister had already tried many of them and told me and saved me from gagging on the mushy or funny tasting ones. The one she liked best was Tinkyada.

This stuff does not have false advertising on it. It is really good! You can put it in some boiling water and cook it for a minute or two and then cut the heat, cover it and let it sit for 18-20 minutes in the hot water to finish cooking. Can you say, "Energy saver!"?

I have made macaroni salad with tuna, mac-n-cheese, goulash, ziti with meat sauce, lasagne. Does that sound like I am missing out on Italian? Doesn't sound like it to me!


The regular old grocery stores

...are starting to carry more gluten free things. Have you noticed? I think Hannaford was one of the groundbreakers when it came to stocking the shelves with what we want. Price Chopper wasn't far behind them. Thank you, mega marts, for giving people with food sensitivity a place in the store!

About a month ago, I was meandering down the snack isle in Walmart, and glanced over at what I thought was a new place for salsa, and saw rice flour. Then I saw more flours and then saw GF noodles, and then found GF cookies and dessert mixes. At the point of holding back a tear, I immediately found Pamela's Pecan Sandies cookies and Midel Gingersnaps. Joy! I hear that Betty Crocker was going to release some dessert mixes, but I haven't found them yet. Believe me, I won't stop looking!

I suppose it isn't the fact that there are more places to buy "our" groceries that matters most to me. It is the notion that food sensitivity is being taken seriously enough by the stores. I hope this trend continues. We need it!