Monthly Archives: February 2012

Orange Cranberry Muffins…light and flavorful!

These gluten-free muffins are a wonderful addition to your breakfast table. They are fluffy and light, slightly sweet and tart, plus lower in fat than most muffins. My husband enjoyed one right out of the oven after he came home from snowshoeing with our dog. I love to go snowshoeing, as well, but occasionally he goes alone, so he can really move and go further. I like to enjoy the scenery and go at a slower pace. We recently had about 8 inches of fresh snow and the woods are very pretty. We’ve been luckier than most of New England this year, because we have snow on the ground to enjoy our Winter season.

Because I used Pamela’s Gluten-free Baking and Pancake Mix, these muffins were very quick to whip up. The extra sugar on top also gives them a nice little crunch. I think they would freeze well, but ours won’t be around long enough to find out! Enjoy!

Gluten-free Orange-Cranberry Muffins

2¼ cups Pamela’s Gluten-free Baking and Pancake Mix

½ cup sugar

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

1 cup dried cranberries

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large egg

1 cup orange juice

2 teaspoons sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a muffin tin or line with 12 paper liners. In a large bowl, stir together the Pamela’s Mix, sugar, orange zest and cranberries. Add the oil, egg, and juice and mix until blended. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, dividing evenly between the 12 wells. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with the 2 teaspoons sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until light golden brown or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.

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Posted by on February 28, 2012 in Breakfast


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Five Minute Gluten-free Chocolate Mug Cake…long name, short time to a sweet treat!

I know this recipe has been all over the internet for years now, using regular all-purpose flour. I’ve tried that one and it doesn’t taste good at all. The texture just isn’t right – too rubbery. Maybe I didn’t find the right recipe? Anyway, we’re gluten-free now…

So, when I substituted Pamela’s Gluten-Free Baking and Pancake Mix for the regular flour, it came out good enough to fill my husband’s craving for something chocolate and sweet. The texture is not exactly like chocolate cake, more spongy, but we make this often enough that it is something we look forward to enjoying. It has good flavor and we can whip it up anytime we want a sweet treat.

I think it’s really important to use a baking mix that has baking soda, salt and baking powder already in it, or add it on your own. I know there is a Gluten-free Bisquick mix on the market now, and it may work in this recipe, but I have not tried it, so I can’t make any promises.

The other important piece of this recipe is the microwave wattage. If you don’t know the wattage of your microwave, check the manual that came with it. Or, look for the sticker with a serial number and other small printing on it. The sticker may be located on the back of the machine or when you open the door, it might be facing you. Somewhere on that sticker it should say what the wattage output is – microwaves have varying amounts of outputs, usually from 700W to 1400W. (My microwave is 1200W output, so I have to adjust it for this recipe.)

If you want to get the correct cooking time for your microwave for this recipe, click here and it will bring you to a Microwave Conversion chart. Scroll down to the “Convert Microwave Cooking Times” box and enter 1000 in the “From Wattage” box, enter your microwave’s wattage in the “To Wattage” box and enter 3 minutes, 0 seconds. Press “GO” and the chart will give how much time to cook this recipe using your microwave on HIGH. I’m sorry if this sounds a bit confusing, but it will help the recipe come out better, I promise!

Let me know how it comes out when you try it… I’d like to hear your ideas and suggestions! Enjoy!


Five Minute Gluten-Free Chocolate Mug Cake

4 tablespoons Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 egg

3 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons canola oil

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons chocolate chips

In an extra-large coffee mug, add the first three dry ingredients and mix well. Add the egg, milk, oil and vanilla extract and mix very well until completely combined. Add the chocolate chips on top – don’t stir in. Place mug in the microwave oven and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (oven watts may vary, adjust power or time accordingly). The cake will rise near the top of the mug and fall again – this is normal! Allow to cool slightly and tip onto a plate. Cut in half lengthwise and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired. Makes 2 servings.

Before cooking...

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Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Desserts


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Jicama Salad…Light, refreshing and crunchy!

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Living in the northeastern United States, jicama is not a vegetable we are used to eating. It is best grown in climates that don’t get frost and it only shows up rarely in our local grocery store. The first time I had jicama was in Arizona at a Mexican restaurant and it was very tasty. It is slightly sweet and crunchy and tastes delicious raw. I made this salad to go along with a Mexican meal and we both loved it! My husband particularly liked how light and refreshing it was. It has a texture similar to water chestnuts, so it could be used in Oriental cooking as well. The only thing that has to be done to it is peel the outer skin, just like you would for a turnip. Then, it can be chopped, sliced, diced, shredded, etc. It can also be steamed, baked, boiled or fried.

The spices I added can be adjusted to suit your own tastes and the possibilities are endless for add-ins. This recipe was adapted from the website. For something light, crunchy, and refreshing, give jicama a try! It’s naturally gluten-free, low-fat, high in Vitamin C and fiber and very versatile. Just look at the “Related Articles” at the end of this post — I’m going to try each one of them!!


Jicama Salad

1 medium jicama, peeled and sliced julienne-style

6 radishes, chopped

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until blended. Keep refrigerated. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Posted by on February 18, 2012 in Side Dishes


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Shrimp Scampi for two…my Valentine’s Day dinner!

My husband cooked Valentine’s Day dinner for me last night! He likes to cook and he does cook a few times each week, depending on his schedule. Many times I get home before him or I’ve got some new recipe I want to try. Sometimes we cook as a team – like last night. I gave him the idea of Shrimp Scampi and searched for a couple recipe choices, but he prepared the meal. Then, this morning I asked him what he actually put in the skillet. It was a little challenging for him to remember the details – it was 14 hours later you know, and he slept in between! I realize now that I should have him write down the specific quantities as he’s doing it – it will make both our lives easier… (Of course, if you ask him the details of a football game played two years ago, he’ll remember it all.)

Anyway, the meal was very delicious!! It’s definitely one we’ll repeat and he did remember the quantities, with a little help! Although this dish is pretty simple, you could add so many things to it for extra colors and flavors – like chopped tomatoes, spinach, capers, or ??? You decide… Enjoy!


Shrimp Scampi

2 tablespoons butter

¼ cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon dried parsley

2 teaspoons lemon juice

dash of salt/pepper

25 large raw shrimp, tails removed (if frozen, defrosted and drained)

3 cups cooked jasmine rice

Parmesan cheese


In a large skillet on medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil together. Add the garlic, onion, parsley, lemon juice and dash of salt and pepper. Saute’ for about 5 minutes, until the onion and garlic are soft. Add the shrimp and cook through, about 5 more minutes. Spoon on top of cooked rice or use your favorite gluten-free pasta. Sprinkle some parmesan on top and serve. Makes 2-3 servings.

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Posted by on February 15, 2012 in Main Meals


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Avocado Lime Pie…really creamy!

Why would anyone put an avocado in a pie? Well, the first time I saw something similar to this was on the Food Network show “Chopped” a couple years ago. I decided to try it this week and see if I could make something gluten-free and delicious. I think it worked, but the true test is if someone else likes it too (my husband does, but he likes almost everything)! It has the consistency of pudding, with a mild lime flavor and not too sweet. I can’t taste the avocado myself, but I think it adds a wonderful creaminess to the pie. The walnut crust has a nice crunchy texture and I think pecans or almonds would work just as well.

It really has to be chilled well, so it’s firm enough to cut. The flecks you see are from the walnuts leftover in the food processor. I used the food processor for the crust first, then without cleaning it, added the filling ingredients and processed them. This saves me time and makes for less dish duty. Always a bonus in my kitchen!

Serve with fresh whipped cream – yum!

Avocado Lime Pie


2½ cups shelled walnut pieces

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons brown sugar

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon


1 ripe avocado, pitted and skinned

1 container (7 oz.) 2% plain Greek yogurt (or 1 cup sour cream)

3 tablespoons lime juice

1/3 cup sugar

¼ cup Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix

2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 inch pie plate. For the crust, place the walnuts in a food processor and grind until crumbly. Add in the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Process until well blended. Press firmly into the greased pie plate. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges begin to brown slightly. Let cool.

Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Again using the food processor, add the filling ingredients and blend very well. Pour the batter on top of the walnut crust in the pie plate. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the center is set. Let cool, then chill for a minimum of 2 hours. Serve with whipped cream. Makes 8 servings.

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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Desserts


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Upside-down Pizza Casserole – close, but not really!

One of the meals my husband missed most when he had to give up gluten is pizza. It’s very hard to find a pizza place that has a gluten-free crust. We are lucky in our area that one of the pizza restaurants (Yianni’s House of Pizza – does have a gluten-free crust – very thin and crispy. We usually order their barbeque chicken pizza – made with grilled chicken, barbeque sauce and cheese – oh so good!!! I’ve also had the Greek pizza with a gluten-free crust. Even though I’m not gluten-sensitive, if I get the gluten-free crust and we have leftovers, my husband can eat them too – I like to share!! Another restaurant with gluten-free pizza crust in Maine and New Hampshire is Portland Pie Company ( We like their gluten-free pizza crust, too.

Okay, I’ll admit that my recipe for Upside-down Pizza Casserole comes close, but doesn’t really replace a good pizza. Most importantly, it has to be eaten with a fork, not your fingers. You can still add your favorite toppings and sauces (on the bottom!), then the toppings are covered with cheese and the “crust” is poured on last. My sister gave me this recipe a couple years ago and I don’t know where she found it. I had to convert her wheat flour recipe to gluten-free, so naturally I used my wonderful substitute, Pamela’s Gluten-free Baking and Pancake Mix. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Bon appetit!!

Gluten-free Upside-Down Pizza Casserole

2 tablespoons olive oil                                    Batter:

1 lb. ground turkey sausage                           1 cup Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix

1 medium onion, chopped                              1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped                   1/2 cup milk

1 clove garlic, minced                                     2 eggs, beaten

1 jar (25 oz.) spaghetti sauce

1 pkg. (4.5 oz.) turkey pepperoni

1 cup fresh spinach

8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large skillet, brown the ground turkey, onions, mushrooms and garlic in the olive oil. Once cooked, drain the excess liquid. Add the spaghetti sauce to the cooked turkey mixture and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Spoon the mixture into a greased 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Layer the pepperoni on top of the mixture. Layer the fresh spinach on top of the pepperoni. Cover it all with the mozzarella cheese. Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes to melt the cheese. In a small bowl, combine the batter ingredients and mix well. Remove the meat mixture from the oven and pour batter on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

** Variations:  add chopped peppers, sliced black olives, or your favorite topping to the meat/sauce mixture.


Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Main Meals


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Gluten-free Zucchini Bread…a touch of summer in February!

This recipe for Gluten-free Zucchini Bread makes two loaves – enjoy one and freeze the other to use when unexpected guests pop in, or give one to a friend to brighten their day. I realize zucchini may not be as fresh this time of year as it is during the harvest time in the summer, but it will add a little green to your day. It’s also a great way to add extra vegetables to your child’s plate in a sweet way.  I like to leave the skin on the zucchini for extra fiber and color, but I do remove the seeds in the center before I shred it. A food processor will make the shredding process so easy.

USDA summer squash

Image via Wikipedia

Next summer, when your garden may be giving you more zucchini than you can eat, shred it then, measure it out for this recipe and freeze it in a ready-to-use package. When you defrost it, don’t drain the water – it will add moistness to the bread. If you want to try using the yellow variety of summer squash, that will work too.

This is our favorite way to eat zucchini – we aren’t fond of the texture or flavor all by itself. For us, it needs to be dressed up or disguised. The added bonus is having a gluten-free bread to eat as a snack or with tea for breakfast. Enjoy!

Gluten-free Zucchini Bread

3 eggs

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

3¼ cups Pamela’s Gluten-free Baking & Pancake Mix

1½ cups zucchini, seeds removed, shredded (skin left on)

½ cup chopped walnuts

½ cup raisins

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour (using Pamela’s mix) two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat eggs in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add in brown sugar and oil and beat well. Add cinnamon, cloves and Pamela’s mix to egg mixture and beat together to blend completely. Gently stir in shredded zucchini with a spatula. Add nuts, raisins and vanilla and stir until well mixed. Pour evenly into loaf pans. Bake for 60-65 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Makes 2 loaves.

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Posted by on February 1, 2012 in Quick Breads


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