Welcome! I'm Karina- sharing my best gluten-free recipes since 2005. Find delicious banana bread, baked donuts, scones, muffins and pizza crust, pasta dishes and soups, cookies, crumbles and flourless chocolate cake- my homemade seasonal recipes are created with love.
All indications pointed to a mild winter storm with a light mix of snow and sleet. No big deal for those of us planted on the spit of land that juts its elbow into the Northeast Atlantic. Winter business as usual. The towns west of us on the mainland would be hit much harder. The prediction for the mainland? Twelve inches of the white stuff. We'd be lucky to get a dusting before it changed to rain.
I hardly paid attention. The snow began on Friday, big fat flakes tossed by the wind that had scoured us for days, and soon melted into rain. I made up a fresh batch of guacamole and blogged.
An hour or two into the storm I began to feel uneasy. Wind slammed the house with ratcheting vengeance. The oaks and arborvitae groaned and twisted in their vigil, keeping watch despite the cruel battering. It was snowing again - sideways this time - and suddenly the energy of the storm felt more like a hurricane than a mild nor'easter. I ran upstairs and checked the windows and skylights. All were locked. We were snug as bug. The wind roared and cracked like thunder.
As I stood beneath the skylight glass watching the wet thrashing oaks I felt a quick animal chill down my spine. An inaudible scream shot through my hearing: get back to ground level- now!
I ran down the steps and grabbed the kitchen flashlight. I opened the candle drawer. That's when we heard the thud. One of the oldest, tallest red oaks had split. And crashed on the roof. Onto the skylight.
Animal instinct? It's alive and well.
Then the lights went out.
The big question at a time like this- when it's cold and dark and stormy and there's no fireplace to warm you?
You start thinking, What's for dinner?
Unfortunately, Dear Reader, we do not have a wood stove. Or a gas stove. Or even a grill. No power here means no heat- and no cooking (and no coffee?!). We gathered matches and candles and pulled on extra sweaters. We decided to wait it out and played a few games of Scrabble. The snow continued to fall and the house got colder. Supper hour stomachs were growling. We looked at one another, eyes big. Feeling sheepish.
Do we wait or raid the pantry- will the power be on soon?
The truth is- I am more than humbled to say, Darling- I was absolutely ill prepared for this event. I blame only myself. Although I keep a well stocked gluten-free pantry, it's also based on the postmodern assumption I can run out to the local store at any time (open 24/7 and habitually stocked). As early dusk turned to pitch black, it looked like dinner was going to be rice cakes and peanut butter. I rifled through the possibilities.
Fresh guacamole and corn chips (Yay!)
Wine and cheese and rice crackers (Wine works.)
Olives (Hell, yeah.)
Rice cakes and peanut butter with fig jam (Steve calls this a Styrofoam sandwich.)
Almonds (Nuts are always yummy. For five minutes.)
Raisins and dried sour cherries (Meh.)
Bananas and an apple (Yawn.)
V8 juice, canned (Where's the vodka?)
Apple juice boxes (I could play school?)
Then I remembered our fondue pot. I located two fondue-sized containers of Sterno. I raided the pantry with new eyes. At least we could have a hot gluten-free meal - nothing fancy - kinda like camping.
New Menu Possibilities::
Bush's Vegetarian Baked Beans (We were out of wieners, however.)
Pacific Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup (Maybe with crackers and cheese?)
Black Beans with Green Chiles (If so, you're sleeping in the spare room, my friend.)
White Beans with Green Chilies or Diced Tomatoes and Basil (More spare room threats.)
Green Tea (Kinda like sipping stained water, but. It's hot.)
Morning coffee! (Now you're talkin'.)
Feeling a little better about things, we bundled up in extra sweatshirt layers and feasted on guacamole, sipping red wine and playing Scrabble and poker by candlelight. The storm heaved on, but it was mostly wind accented with slashes of frozen rain or wet snow. Trying to find local news on our battery operated radio was fruitless; the stations were only cranking out Christmas music and 80's anthem rock. Where was Neil Finn when you needed him?
When the power was still not on by 9 PM, we layered up again, opened the can of baked beans, and savored every warming spoonful. Heating the beans and two cups of hot water for green tea used up one small container of Sterno. We saved the other Sterno for the morning, just in case, thinking: COFFEE. Priorities.
After a chilly and fitful night of very little sleep (courtesy of one neighbor's hammering gas-powered generator), shut-eye deprived husband ventured out into the world to track down large steaming cups of Dunkin Donuts coffee and more Sterno, but nothing was open. Power was still out. Exhausted crews were busy clearing the obstructed roads and working on electric and cable lines.
Back to Plan B. Steve and I stood in our bright but cold kitchen, thankful for our one last Sterno, and simple Melitta carafe, blessing the hot magical elixer that dripped through the unbleached filter. Breakfast was coffee with cream (kept outdoors in a box to keep it chilled), rice cakes with Jif, and fruit.
Power was restored by noon (we were among the luckiest, without power for only 18 hours - several thousand remained without power for additional 20 hours, and isolated pockets are still without power). The oak tree was successfully removed from the roof, thanks to our neighbors' tree-shimmying chainsaw wielding son, Joe - and his able assistants (Steve, and six-year old neighbor Thomas, among them).
Thankfully, very little damage was sustained (other than a $300 tree removal fee). And our backyard fence bit the dust. But the roof was not damaged. We count ourselves among the incredibly lucky.
My gluten-free lesson? Keep a lot more Sterno and canned goods in the pantry.
And listen to your gut instincts. Our ancestors knew a thing a two, let me tell ya, and they've passed down this perception in our DNA. So pay attention.
Muffin Cake Madness My partner in (culinary) crime- the infamous and ever-up-for-baking husband Steve- informed me our bananas were mucho ripe. In fact, to be completely accurate, he poked his head into my cozy little studio the other day and declared, Our bananas are ripe. I should bake something. I looked up from my iMac and murmured Hmmm, in assent. But what, exactly? Ripe bananas were calling. Begging to be a part of some grander life affirming tastebud tingling scheme. But do readers really need another banana cake recipe? I pondered, slurping cold coffee.
Don't cook. Go RAW. Go FRESH. The older I get the more I crave simple. The sweet, relaxed comfort of home cooking. An impromptu picnic on the patio with family-style classics like horseradish spiked potato salad. Instead of growing worldly and sophisticated and dabbling with truffle oil, each new gray silver hair spins my taste hula hooping into simplicity faster than Lady Gaga can waggle. Well, maybe not that fast. She is pretty nimble. But you get my drift. I'm whipping up ten-minute rice stir-fries, not Coq au Vin. I’m blending up pomegranate smoothies, not roasting Duck a l'Orange.
And lucky me, the summer season is all about simplicity. Who needs complicated and fussy when the farmers’ markets are abundant with glorious, fresh ingredients? Vegetables in every color. Ripe and voluptuous fruits. And every one of them gluten-free. And dairy-free. That’s the beauty of it. No imitation here. No game of let’s pretend. This is nature’s bounty, pure and raw and bea…
Need wheat-free gluten-free baking tips? Here's what works- and what doesn't- in quirky Gluten-Free Baking and Substitution Land. From Karina, Gluten-Free Goddess®. Baking Substitutions for Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free and More Notes on GF Flours:
Gluten-free non-wheat flours generally fall into three basic weights- light starch, all-purpose medium, or heavier whole grain. A blend of medium and heavy flours with some starch mixed in to lighten, tenderize, and help bind the batter or dough works best, and tastes best (too much starch can result in a gummy texture).
Light, starchy GF flours include sweet rice flour, white rice flour, and the ubiquitous gluten-free starches- tapioca starch, cornstarch, potato starch (NOT potato flour, which is whole different animal) and arrowroot starch.
Medium flours are akin to 'all purpose flour'- these include sorghum flour, certified gluten-free oat flour, and superfine brown rice flour. If you cannot find sorghum flour, certif…
Why bake a gluten-free brownie from scratch and not a mix?
Chocolate Brownie Love. While baking mixes are perfectly acceptable in a pinch, and no doubt a boon to busy cooks on a gluten-free diet (well, honestly, who isn't busy these days, I ask you?), your taste buds will tell you why. In a heart beat, Darling.
A dark chocolate brownie made from scratch is deeply delicious and decadent. Impressive, even. Company worthy. Dare I say, date night worthy. I'm not kidding. This brownie recipe is swoon inducing.
You know what they say about chocolate. But here's the best part. Throwing this recipe together takes only a few minutes longer than opening up a box. You can whip up these luscious gooey babies in a mere ten minutes. In less time than it takes you to scan your Pinterest feed. Or catch up on Facebook. Seriously.
So what is more rewarding? Watching kittens on YouTube or stirring together this rich, tender, dark chocolate brownie recipe, one of the most loved recipes here on Glut…
Man shall not live by bread alone, so the famous saying goes. In other words, we need ideas to feed us, too. We need awareness. Conscious action. An expression and celebration of the spirit. And yet (here's the sticky part, folks) almost every spiritual tradition includes the bread we shall not solely live by, whether it be a hand-torn loaf, a paper thin wafer, a piece of matzoh, a curve of naan, or a sprinkle of cornmeal. Breaking bread and sharing grain is a cherished and beloved symbol for community, celebration and tribal nourishment. From Holy Communion to the Super Bowl gatherings around an elevating principle or a family milestone (from birth to marriage to funerals) include the simple but connecting gesture of sharing food. Because cooking makes us human.
Everyone loves a good old fashioned barbecue. The easy conviviality of a family backyard picnic. The smoky summer scent of charred goodies grilling. Lemonade chilling. Badminton birdies sailing. The crack of croquet balls. The last pink of June daylight. Punching lids on firefly jars. It's the stuff of a midsummer night's dream.
But if you need to be on a gluten-free diet- or if you happen to be vegan- or allergic to wheat- barbecues can be a tad less than convivial. Those mysterious grilling sauces and marinades (so often containing wheat-laced soy sauce). Those gluten-rich fluffy hot dog buns. All those meaty manly burgers and boiled egg dotted salads.
How to Make Homemade Gluten-Free Granola (pssst- it's easy!)
You're going to think this is silly. What I have to confess. And it is. Quite silly. It's one of those sticky, pesky truths that clings to you and won't let go, wreaking not anything dramatic, like pure havoc (or worse). No, nothing life threatening, or socially isolating, or disturbing, or even controversial, for that matter. So I'll just say it.
I've been too scared to make my own granola. Well, maybe scared is too strong a word. Color scared with a hint of lazy and you might have a more accurate hue of where my head's at, granola-wise. And making your own granola always seemed a trifle precious. A tad earthy-crunchy (duh). Slightly over the top. And rather unnecessary. It's not like granola isn't widely available- in an array of flavors- since Jesus was in Hebrew school. It's a serious, bonafide hit. A blockbuster cereal. For, like, evah.