Category Archives: Gluten Free

Gluten Free Italian Recipes

You Can Eat This Gluten Free Italian RecipesI’m pleased to announce the release of my latest gluten free cookbook — You Can Eat This! Gluten Free Italian Recipes. It’s stuffed with full-color photos and step-by-step instructions for each recipe. If looking at these photos doesn’t make you hungry, I don’t know what will.

I’ve made most of these dishes for years, and the real challenge was writing down the actual measurements (I often eyeball quantities when cooking at home.) The second challenge was the photography, mostly because I had to work fast to get the photos taken before my house gremlins (aka family) swooped in to take bites out of my finely arranged meals.

I don’t have a formal test kitchen for developing recipes. These are true, home-cooked recipes made in a real kitchen with easily acquired tools and utensils. Taste testing is my family’s favorite part of the process, of course, but besides feeding my family, I cook for guests, take food to test kitchenpotlucks, and share beloved recipes with friends who want to cook.

I hope you give my gluten free recipes a try! You Can Eat This! Gluten Free Italian Recipes is available online everywhere, but here are a few links to make it easy for you. From my family to yours — Buon appetito!

Kindle,   iTunes,   Nook,   Kobo, and apparently Amazon has already discounted the paperback, plus it qualifies for free super-saver shipping! Get your copy today!   Paperback

Pizza, Biscotti, Ravioli, Calzone – you can eat it all with these gluten free Italian recipes.

51 recipes with full color photos and step by step instructions.

Appetizers, like Tomatoes Parmesan and Fried Mozzarella Bites. Fresh, homemade pasta, including five different kinds of ravioli. Meat Dishes from Parmesan Crusted Halibut to Chicken Saltimbocca. A wide array of sauces for use on pasta, meat and vegetables. Breads ranging from Self-Rising Pizza Crust to chewy Focaccia Bread. For those with a sweet tooth, try baking Florentines or get more creative with homemade Cannoli or gluten free Tiramisu.

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Grandma’s Cooking

My grandma was my inspiration for cooking and baking. She was always creating new recipes, some for people with allergies, some with new food items she’d discovered, and always with a discerning palette. Several of the recipes in my cookbook originated from recipes she developed.

Grandma no longer cooks. She lives in a single room in a retirement community where her meals are provided. But I was delighted to receive this photo of her reading my cookbook.

Grandma reading You Can Eat ThisThank you, Grandma, for your love, support, and encouragement!

Do you have someone who inspires you to cook?

Botanicaust Update

I’ve been working long hours readying the paperback of Botanicaust for printing, and finally put everything together just the way I like it. Proofs should be in the mail shortly! The rest of this week I’ll be uploading the ePub and Kindle versions to release hopefully this weekend.

I’ve developed some nice graphics for the interior of the book, which were easy to insert in the print version, but are turning out to be difficult to size correctly for the digital versions. But I’m determined to make reading on an eReader as rich an experience as reading the hard copy.

What I’m harvesting:

The garden is yielding green beans, strawberries, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and carrots. The artichokes are developing nicely, and soon the peas will be ready to pick. Time to make jam and pickles.

What I’m cooking:

We celebrated my daughter’s birthday by making Thai fresh rolls and gluten free raspberry rainbow cupcakes.

What I’m reading:

While I harvest, I’ve been listening to an audio book, The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch. I’m enjoying the world building and descriptions a lot.

Until next time!

Party Time! A Gift for You!

I did it! I published my first book. You Can Eat This! 22 Gluten Free Comfort Recipes.

You thought I write fiction? Yes, I do. This cookbook is my way of “getting my feet wet.” Hopefully the mistakes I’ve made on this book won’t be repeated when I publish Botanicaust next month.

Creating this book was so much fun. I not only came up with the recipes (years of baking experience,) but also took the photographs, formatted the book, designed the cover, and published it on Smashwords and Amazon. Not to mention all the baking I did to take the photographs. The family has gained a thousand pounds, I think.

And you, dear readers, may have the book for free! Just use the coupon code UA95Q on Smashwords before August 12th, 2012. If you feel inclined to leave a review either there on on Amazon, I wouldn’t complain.

So where does this put my July #writemotivation goals?

1. Finish edits on Botanicaust and send it for proofreading Still chugging away at this. I’m about 3/4 through the edits.
2. Complete my gluten free cookbook and format for self-publishing. Ta-da! All done! That feels good to cross off.
3. Publish GF cookbook on Amazon. Check! Woo hoo!
4. Finalize cover for Botanicaust This is nearly done – I’m playing around with color saturation. Keep watching!
5. Finalize book trailer for Botanicaust No progress
6. Create Amazon Author Page This really ought to go up next.

I won’t post an update Monday because we are headed down to the Kenai River today to dipnet for our yearly supply of salmon. I’ll post more on that next week (if I remember to take photos.)

Until then, bake something gluten free!

The Versatile Blogger Award

My friend, fellow writer, and Triberr mate, Casey Wyatt, nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award, and I am honored. I don’t know how versatile I am, but I’m happy to think someone out there appreciates my posts.

First off, in order to be versatile, I thought I’d list 7 new things about myself by way of pictures. Here are seven photos of things I’ve been up to lately.

1. I’ve been working on a design for my book cover so I can self-publish later this summer. What do you think so far? I’d love design suggestions.2. Growing tomatoes in the greenhouse.

3. Baby chicks arrived early this week and are settling in.

4. My husband’s gluten free black magik birthday cake. Yes, I made this. And photographed it. I’m kind of proud of myself 🙂

5. Wall-o-Water protects zucchini plants from frost. We’ve been known to have snow the first week of June here at my house.

6. Repairing garden boxes and replacing wood with stone.

7. In case you hadn’t noticed, there have been a lot of garden photos. It is May, after all. So, here is my garden from Google Earth. It is a maze of raised beds.

So, I get to pass on the nomination to 15 other bloggers. If you are on my list, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award. Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  • Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  • Next, nominate 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  • Finally, list 7 new things about yourself.

And my nominations are:

B.A. BinnsLaura BaumbachTerri MolinaLinda LovelyDonna HatchSamMarie AshePaty JagerJudith AshleyMae PenSarah RapleeBronwen EvansTiny Oklahoma GardenK.T. HannaRebecca LoperOh Cake

How to Make Strawberry Liqueur

Here in Alaska, it is still deep winter, with hip-high snow over the strawberry beds and temperatures well below freezing. Every summer, when the harvest gets too hectic to handle, I might get to picking berries, but not processing them. So I throw them in the freezer in a gallon ziplock.

The wonderful thing about this, is that now, when I really need a taste of summer, I can pull out a bag. The frozen berries work great for smoothies, or to create a quick sauce for a cheesecake or pancakes. Or I can whip up a batch of preserves if we have run out.

But today I’m needing something stronger.

So, here’s my recipe for strawberry liqueur. It takes a few months to a year to be ready to drink, but believe me, it is well worth the wait.

Mash 6 cups of strawberries in a glass jar or a crock with an air-tight lid (this will yield about 3 cups of mashed berries.) If using frozen berries, allow them to thaw a little before mashing. Do this by hand, careful not to crush the seeds, or the drink will be bitter.

Pour 3 cups of Everclear (I like liqueur with a kick – you can use vodka if you prefer a less potent liqueur.) over the berries and mix. Seal the lid and store it in a cool DARK place for a minimum of two months. Any light reaching the berries will leach them of color. Check the mixture a few time and shake or stir to make sure all the fruit pulp is covered with alcohol.

After two months, it is time to strain the fruit. Make a sugar syrup by combining 1 1/2 cups of sugar or honey with 1 1/2 cups of water in a small saucepan. Stirring to prevent the sugar from burning on the bottom, boil until the sugar dissolves. Allow it  to cool, then add it to the berries.

Run the liqueur through a jelly bag. DO NOT SQUEEZE the bag. If you do, the liqueur will be cloudy. You MAY however, eat the berries and pulp – it is great over ice cream.

The difference through a second filter

If you want crystal clear liqueur, strain it a second time through a coffee filter set in a mesh colander. You may need to change out filters a few times as they clog with fine particles.

If you want the liqueur sweeter, add more sugar syrup (granular sugar does not dissolve well in alcohol) to taste. Bottle it and age another month or two.

If not exposed to light or air, the liqueur will keep a long time. Don’t ask me how long, because it tends to disappear pretty fast around here.

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© Tam Linsey, 2011. All rights reserved.

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, and I got Glutened

Česky: Pšenice. Deutsch: Weizen. English: Whea...Some of you, dear readers, may know that I am gluten intolerant. Eating out is always a challenge, not only to find something on the menu that is safe to eat, but trusting the chef to prepare it gluten free. It surprises me how unaware people are about what their food is made of. Soy sauce, modified food starch, or maltodextrin I can understand people not knowing might come from wheat. I stopped in a little cafe once and asked if they had anything without wheat in it (I find this is an easier way to address the gluten issue than using the word gluten.)A variety of foods made from wheat.

The woman behind the counter turned around and picked up a bag of hamburger buns. “These don’t have wheat.”

Seriously?

She didn’t know that all-purpose flour is made from wheat. So I gently educated her on the matter, and then left without eating.

While I don’t grow grains, part of my joy in farming is getting to show the neighborhood kids where the food they eat comes from. They ride by on their bikes, infatuated with the pigs my son is walking. Yes, we walk our pigs; it develops muscle (which is meat) keeps them happy and well trained for showing at the Fair. Small children want to help gather eggs, full of questions about why they are brown. They might want to know what I’m digging when I’m harvesting potatoes. Or they beg for the apples from one of my trees. They love to come help pick strawberries or carrots or peas. I reward them with some to take home and share – or devour on the spot, as some are excited to do.

America is losing touch with its agricultural roots. People don’t make their own food from scratch, let alone grow it from the ground up. In a world that seems to show increasing food sensitivities, I encourage you to educate yourselves. Educate others. Maybe try growing a pot of herbs or another vegetable in a pot on the porch.

And most of all, know what you are eating.

How to Make Gluten Free Beer Part 2 – Bottling

With the holidays, life got in the way of beer making and the blog. I hope you all had a wonderful season, full of giving and laughter and people you love. If you missed the article and recipe for gluten free beer, you can find it here.

Once the wort has fermented a couple of weeks, it is time to bottle or keg. I’ve never used kegs – another project for another time – but here are some step by step instructions on bottling:

To begin, sterilize your 5 gallon plastic bucket, siphon hose, and racking cane. Insert the racking cane into the end of the siphon hose. Being careful not to stir up the sediment at the bottom of the carboy, siphon the wort into the 5 gallon bucket. There will be some liquid left on the bottom of the carboy, but if you want clear beer, don’t be too fanatic about “getting it all.” Pour the sediment on your compost pile, if you like.

Put a sterile lid on the bucket and allow it to settle for about 24 hours before bottling. Word to the wise – clean your carboy immediately after draining. Dried on wort is very hard to scrub through the narrow neck of a carboy. We recently bought an attachment for our kitchen faucet that sprays a jet of water inside the carboy to clean it, which is wonderful, but scrubbing is still necessary.

On bottling day, put 1/2 cup of sugar in a small saucepan with 3/4 cup of water. Many beer makers insist on corn sugar, but I have found my palate does not mind regular sugar for this recipe. Boil the sugar until it dissolves, then cover the pan and allow the sugar syrup to cool completely.

While the syrup is cooling, again make sure everything is sterile. I use the sanitation cycle on my dishwasher for the bottles, but still make sure to inspect every one for cleanliness and to allow time for the bottles to cool before filling them. To begin, pour the cooled sugar syrup into the sterile 5 gallon bucket. Siphon the beer for sediment a second time, as previously, so the syrup and wort mix during siphoning.

Insert the sterile racking cane into the siphon hose and attach the bottle filler. I place the bucket on the counter above my dishwasher and use the door of the dishwasher as a platform to fill my bottles. It makes it easy to access my sterile bottles to fill them, and it also makes cleanup of spilled beer easier.

Now fill the bottles to the top – when you remove the cane, the liquid should be about an inch below the mouth. Cap and store the bottles in a dark place at room temperature or a tiny bit cooler (65) for two to three weeks to allow the beer to carbonate.

This beer will have sediment, no matter how hard you try, so when drinking, pour carefully into a glass and leave a fraction of the beer in the bottle along with the sediment.

Even gluten-intolerant beer lovers can join enjoy a malty beverage. Let me know how yours turns out!

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© Tam Linsey, 2011. All rights reserved.

How to Make Gluten-free Beer Part 1

My introduction to making beer was with a five gallon bucket and a copy of The Alaskan Bootleggers Bible. Like any true Alaskan, Mr. Kania has a lot of instructions on how to use what you might have on hand in the kitchen, which works well for me. I tend toward the frugal side, and figure mankind has made beer for thousands of years without things like hydrometers and fancy fermentation locks. I have moved to glass carboys since my primitive beginnings, but the rest has remained the same. The only thing I am adamant about is that if you use plastic, make sure it is FOOD GRADE plastic that has not been used for non-food items. We don’t want any icky toxins infiltrating our good, healthy beer!

Equipment List:

  • Large stainless steel stockpot
  • Large funnel
  • Long spoon
  • Grain bags for the malted grains (3 or 4)
  • Hops bags (2)
  • Candy thermometer
  • 5 or 6 gallon glass carboy
  • Food grade, 5 gallon bucket
  • Blow-off hose to fit into mouth of carboy
  • Another 2 quart container to act as a catch-pot for the open end of the hose.
  • Siphon hose, racking cane, bottle filler, wing-capper, plus bottles and caps for bottling

The first thing I want to emphasize is sanitation. Everything that touches the beer after it is boiled must be sterile. You can buy commercial sanitizing agents for this (I use OneStep because I don’t have to be fanatic about rinsing) or you can use plain old unscented chlorine bleach at a ratio of 1 Tablespoon in a food-grade 5 gallon bucket with water. Immerse all the equipment to be used in the solution and let it sit for a few minutes, then remove and rinse everything well in hot water. Do not leave your clear plastic siphoning hoses in bleach solution for more than a few minutes, or they will turn permanently cloudy.

Gluten-free Beer Ingredients:Beer Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb flaked rice
  • 1/2 lb millet seed (unmalted)
  • 1/2 lb teff (unmalted)
  • 1/2 lb malted buckwheat (instructions on malting here)
  • 7 lbs sorghum malt syrup
  • 1 oz Czeck Saaz pellet hops
  • 1 oz UK Kent Golding pellet hops (feel free to substitute your preferred hops for either variety)
  • 1 package of gluten free beer yeast (I used Windsor brewing yeast)

Why so many grains? To make a beer out of just one of these malted grains would, indeed, produce an alcoholic beverage, however, it would taste nothing like beer. The combination of flavors brings this concoction as close to beer as I could make it. Feel free to play around with different gluten free grains – you can find a large selection in many health food stores. Just be aware that unmalted grains are mostly starch, which the yeast cannot digest. I found buckwheat is by far the easiest grain to acquire and malt at home. Millet takes too long to sprout, and ends up turning sour every time I try to malt it. And teff is too fine. I add grains in small amount for flavor, and the rice flakes give it a nice, creamy quality. The sorghum malt syrup provides the bulk of the sugar for the yeast to digest.

Instructions:

Place the grain in grain bags, tie them loosely, and add to your stockpot along with about one and a half to two gallons of fresh water. (If using teff, place it in a hops bag rather than a grain bag, since it is fine like sand.) Using your candy thermometer, bring the temperature up to 170 to 180 degrees F and keep it there for about half an hour – do not boil.

Remove the grain bags and discard the grain (if you can think of a use for the spent grain, let me know. So far, I have not had luck baking with it. My chickens love it, though!) To the warm grain “tea” slowly add the sorghum malt, stirring constantly while you bring it to a boil. Malt extract is very sticky and burns easily, so try not to make a mess or let it burn to the bottom of the pan. Cleanup is like removing epoxy.

Tie half the pellet hops into a hops bag and add it to the kettle. Watch carefully so the liquid does not boil over. (As soon as you turn away, it will, so make sure you are there to stir it down.) Keep it boiling for about an hour. Put the other half of the hops in a second hops bag and add it to the boiling mixture during the last 5 minutes of boiling. This step allows some of the more fragile flavors in the hops to infuse the beer without being cooked out.

Remove stock pot from heat and take out both hops bags. Put a lid on the pot. Allow it to sit for half an hour to settle and cool. The goal is to chill the wort as quickly as possible to get sediment to settle out before transferring it to the carboy. During winter, I set the covered pot on the back porch to speed cooling.

Using your sterile funnel, pour two gallons of fresh, cold water into your sterile glass carboy or plastic bucket. Dissolve the yeast packet in 1 cup of warm (110) water. Once the wort in the stock pot has fallen to room temperature (85), pour it into the carboy and add the yeast mixture. Add fresh water until the wort level reaches five gallons.

Normally, this mixes the wort with the yeast enough to begin fermentation, but if you feel it needs mixing, use a sterile, long handled spoon to further combine the ingredients.

The carboy must now be stored in a dark, out of the way place for two to three weeks where it won’t be too hard to clean up the mess if it bubbles over during primary fermentation. I used to quarantine one bathtub before I got a pantry. I only had overflow once, but I was glad I had planned for the mess. The area should stay at constant room temperature. I also wrap a thick, dark towel around the carboy to make sure as little light gets to it as possible.

Once the carboy is in its resting place, insert the blow off hose into the neck of the carboy. Put the other end into the catch pot container filled about halfway with clean water. This acts as an airlock to keep foreign yeast and bacteria from getting to that delicious wort and turning it sour.

Fermentation should begin within a couple of hours – certainly within 24 hours. If it does not, add another fresh packet of yeast and with a sterile spoon, stir it in (I keep an extra yeast packet on hand for just this type of emergency.) The first day or two, the wort will bubble furiously. This is when I had my mess, when the wort actually traveled up the blow off hose and drained into my catch pot. If that happens, sterilize another catch pot, fill with water, and quickly swap them out until the fermentation process is over. Do not leave the hose open to air for too long, and don’t worry about cleaning the hose yet.

If you want to get fancy, you can buy an airlock to replace the blow off hose after the initial burst of fermentation is over. I sterilize the stopper and the airlock, then fill the airlock with water, pull the blow hose and insert the stopper into the mouth of the carboy.

Check the wort every three or four days and count time between bubbles. Once the bubbles are 60 to 90 seconds apart (two to three weeks after fermentation began) the beer is ready to bottle. Do not bottle it sooner, or you may end up with grenades instead of beverages. Don’t wait too much past that, or the yeast won’t be strong enough to carbonate the bottled beer.

Next time: bottling your beer!

© Tam Linsey, 2011. All rights reserved.

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Diabetic Flourless Chocolate Cake

English: Disengaged base and wall of springfor...

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I have a bumper sticker from Penzey’s Spices on my refrigerator. “Love People, Feed Them Tasty Food.” Why do people pull together around food? Food is a deep, primitive need that binds us together as humans. What do we do at social gatherings? Eat and drink. Where do people always end up gathering in a home? The kitchen.

Yet I have a lot of friends with special food needs. Diabetics. Vegetarians. Lactose intolerance. Nut and seafood allergies. I myself am gluten intolerant. But that only makes our potlucks that much more fun. “I brought these gluten free pretzels for you.” “I made this with soy milk.” “This is sweetened with agave.”

We make each other happy with food.

Here’s one of my favorite recipes that most of my friends can enjoy. (Warning, this is not for the faint of heart when it comes to chocolate.)

Diabetic flourless chocolate cake

  • 7 oz good quality dark chocolate (I use 2 Lindt 85% bars, but you can go lower percentage)
  • 7 oz butter (or margarine for the lactose intolerant)
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup xylitol, separated (it’s a natural diabetic sweetener – look in the health food section.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Line a 9″ springform pan with parchment paper on the bottom. Preheat oven to 350.

In a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate until smooth. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, mix 4 egg yolks with 1/2 c. xylitol. Fold the two mixtures together.

With an electric mixer, beat 4 egg whites until soft peaks form, then slowly add another 1/2 c. xylitol, beating until stiff peaks form. Add a teaspoon of vanilla. Fold this into chocolate mixture.

Pour into the springform pan and bake for 40 mins. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes, then with a thin blade, run around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake before releasing the springform. Cool completely before serving. May be served with whipped cream (you can also buy soy-based whipped cream.)

Let me know how you like it!

Using agave syrup amendment: 12/28/2011 If you’d like to try making this with agave syrup, replace the 1 cup of xylitol with 3/4 cup of agave, separated.

© Tam Linsey, 2011. All rights reserved.