Adventures of a gluten-free coupon addict
This past week I was given the opportunity to preview and try a few recipes from Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef’s new book, .
Let me tell you how excited I was about this! When my husband was first diagnosed with a gluten allergy my Mom gave me her first book, Gluten-Free Girl. I read it cover to cover in under 24 hours, and then my fingers just started itching to cook.
For a little perspective, I am not a good cook. Or at least I didn’t think I was. I made things like spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, simple stir fry, etc. I had trouble cooking rice. I didn’t even think I enjoyed cooking! It was just another thing to check off of my long to-do list.
But after reading her book and all of the wonderful descriptions of food, I had a burning desire to cook. I enjoyed myself at the grocery store smelling lemons before picking them out. I crushed garlic cloves under my knife and loved how my hands smelled like good food for hours afterward. Cooking and baking was suddenly exciting and interesting, and I was hooked!
Now, I cook all the time. If I could and had the time, I think I would do nothing but try new recipes all day. My waistline wouldn’t appreciate it much, but I might just be blissfully happy anyway.
So, when I read on their blog that they were looking for readers to try out some of their recipes and post about it, I jumped on the opportunity. It also happened to be my sister-in-law’s birthday so it was a perfect occasion to have friends and family over for a little dinner party.
I can’t publish the recipes here, but I hope you’ll be salivating enough from the description of these recipes to go out and purchase the book, I’m positive you won’t be disappointed.
Also, Shauna and Danny if you are reading this, I apologize for the poor pictures. They really don’t do the food justice. I’m excited to be taking taking a photography class this fall as I have this wonderful fancy camera that I can’t ever get great pictures with!
Here’s how it went:
Appetizer: Seared Shrimp with Garlic Almond Sauce
This got rave reviews. Every single person loved it. It was like shrimp drenched with some decadent new flavor of butter, although there was no butter in the recipe. I’m not sure if I got the sauce quite as smooth as it was meant to be, but it was awesome anyway.
I’ve never been comfortable cooking shrimp but the method in the recipe was really simple and made for amazing shrimp.
Dinner: Fresh Pasta with Anchovies, Lemon, and Olives.
Let’s start with the pasta. FRESH pasta. This was really simple to make and delicious. I hand rolled it all out which was a bit time consuming, but after tasting this pasta I think I will invest in a pasta roller machine. Store-bought pasta is one of the easier gluten-free things to find, but fresh pasta just made the whole meal better, and there’s a nice sense of accomplishment I got from making my own pasta.
As far as the recipe goes, I personally loved it. But I love olives. If you dislike olives, you will not like this recipe. I had a couple of olive haters who didn’t like it at all. But, if you do like olives, you will be head-over-heels in love with this recipe!
I loved how there were so many strong flavors, but they all sort of mellowed out and blended together into a really unique flavor. I wish the people who didn’t like it would have stopped eating it so I could have had more for leftovers!
Dessert: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Brownies.
Um, yum! These. Are. Amazing. Hard to go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter, but if I didn’t know they were GF I would never have guessed. In fact they are the best brownies I have ever had. They were rich and gooey, and the peanut butter made a pretty ribbon and tasted delicious too. My only struggle was it was hard to tell if they were done because the peanut butter stays sticky so I overcooked the first batch a little. I cooked the 2nd batch just right and they were even better.
Overall Impression: I will absolutely be buying this book. These people know how to cook, AND bake! There is a GF pizza crust recipe that looks delicious, I can’t wait to try it. I did go over my budget as some of the ingredients were a bit pricey, but I think deserve an occasional splurge and was happy with the results.
Thank you for allowing me to participate, I can’t wait to try the rest of the recipes!
One of the places my frugal living quest has taken me is making my own yogurt. We don’t eat a lot of yogurt, but it’s good for you and gluten-free so we should. It’s also really cheap to make your own and, once you get the hang of it, easy! I am not a fan of plain yogurt but mixed with some honey it was good!
This particular project took me about 3 weeks of tweaking and trying different methods before I got a result I was happy with.
I tried heating the milk in quart canning jars, heating the milk in a pan, heating, cooling, and incubating it in a crock pot, cooling the milk on the counter, cooling it in an ice bath, cooling it to multiple temperatures between 100 and 115, incubating in a cooler, incubating for 6 hours, incubating for 8 hours, using a couple of different starters, adding powdered milk, omitting the powdered milk, using 2 percent milk, using whole milk, and then I just about gave up.
But then, on my 4th or 5th try, I got great yogurt.
And I was able to reproduce it again the next time.
Here’s what I ultimately found worked for me:
What you need:
- A washcloth
- A pot with a lid
- Quart jars, very clean!
- A Thermometer
- A cooler
- A towel to place in the cooler
- Powdered milk (1/4 cup for every quart of milk)
- Yogurt (2 Tbsp for every quart of milk)
How to do it:
1. Put a washcloth in the bottom of a pot.
2. Fill however many quart jars you are going to make with milk to the rim. I usually do 2 at a time. If you don’t have quart jars I’m sure you could use spaghetti jars or something like that, just make sure they are very clean.
3. Place the jars on top of the wash cloth.
4. Fill the pot with water, between 1/2 and 3/4 of the way up the jars.
5. Heat the water until it boils and then keep it at a slow boil until the milk reaches 185 degrees.
6. Screw the lids on the jars, pull the jars out, and place them either on the counter or in a sink filled with cold water. Word of warning, don’t add ice until after the jars have been in the water for a minute, a cracked jar makes a huge mess!
7. Put the lid on the pot you used to heat the milk and put it in a cooler lined with a towel. Close the cooler lid.
8. While waiting for the milk to cool, take 2 tbsp of yogurt starter out of the fridge so it will be at room temperature when you mix it in. I used nonfat plain Greek yogurt with good results. For the second batch I used the original yogurt as a starter.
9. When the milk reaches around 105-110 degrees, whisk in 1/4 cup nonfat powdered milk.
10. Stir in 2 tbsp of yogurt starter for each quart of milk.
11. Place the jars in the cooler, take the lid off the pot, and wrap the towel around the jars.
12. Close the lid and let sit for 12 hours or so. I found a lot of sites that said 6 hours but I had really runny yogurt this way and I like mine thick. The longer you incubate, the thicker it will get.
13. For extra-thick yogurt, strain through a coffee filter or cheese cloth to make Greek-style yogurt.
Go to check out scenarios to get free cheese and cool whip, I will definitely be taking advantage of this!
I haven’t posted store deals for weeks. The reason?
I’m trying to find some balance. Have you read or watched Eat, Pray, Love? It’s a good example of someone’s journey to find balance. Her circumstances are much different from mine, but I have to envy that calm peace that she is able to find. Me? I’m happy and love my life but at this stage it is sure not peaceful!
A 3-year-old, a 4-month-old, a husband, 2 dogs, a house, a work-from-home job, a commitment to help my husband eat gluten-free, a budget, a coupon addiction, and a blog.
I simply have too much on my plate right now. I feel like I sprint all day long. Even when I go to bed I’m rushing to try to fall asleep because I know Avery will be awake in a few hours.
Posting store deals was making me feel pressured and stressed instead of being fun.
Don’t get me wrong, I love couponing, and I’m still doing it. However, for now, I’ve relaxed a little and I’m only going to 1 store a week usually and have come to terms with the fact that I don’t HAVE to get every single deal. I’m only taking advantage of the ones I really need.
Cereal might be a great deal, but if I already have 20 boxes do I really need it? Nope.
So in an effort to get a small bit of balance back, here’s what I’ve done instead -If you head over to my couponing page (listed along the top), you will find my favorite resources for store deals. These are blogs that I subscribe to via Google Reader and I depend on them to find the deals for me so that I don’t have to.
Unfortunately I haven’t found anyone else who does Cost Cutter deals (sorry Addie!). I’d like to get back to that at some point, but for now I’ve just got to let go of some of the things I don’t have time for in order to take better care of myself.
I’m still going to post if I see an amazing deal I have to share, but mostly I’m going to focus on the other part of being Gluten Free Frugally, which is cooking from scratch!
This part I really enjoy. I love it when I find a recipe that is just as good as a gluten recipe and can check one more thing off the list of things my husband misses. I’ve got some great ones to post coming soon!
Go to get a coupon for 0.75/1 GF desert mix. I haven’t tried these yet, I will let you know how they are if I find them on sale!
Today only, get a pair of Girls’ Circo Jeans from Target for only $4.99 shipped!
Go to snag this deal and use the code TGTDMNKD at checkout.
Great deal for back to school clothes shopping!
You can sign up for their Daily Deals email and get the deal of the day in your inbox every day. The Daily Deal always includes free shipping!
These English muffins are really great! I've made them a few times before but never let them rise enough, and it definitely makes a difference so let them rise as long as it takes for them to double. I actually think they would make great hamburger buns as well, they are better than the other recipes I have been trying.
I found the original recipe over at . She creates really amazing food! Most of her recipes have substitutions for dairy and eggs so she's a great resource if you have a dairy or egg allergy.
- 1 cup Sorghum Flour
- 1 cup Potato Starch
- 1/2 cup Millet Flour
- 2 tsp Xanthan Gum
- 1 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Water
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 1 pinch Sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
- 4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 2 egg
1. Turn your oven on for a minute to warm it, then turn it off.
2. Grease 8 English muffin rings and place them on a lined baking sheet or pizza stone (pizza stone is better if you have one).
3. Whisk together the flours, starch, xanthan gum, and salt.
4. Proof the yeast: mix the milk and water and heat to 115 degrees F. Add a pinch of sugar and the yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes or so until the yeast gets poofy.
5. Add the olive oil, honey, and eggs and mix thoroughly. It should be sticky like thick cake batter.
6. Spoon into the English muffin rings.
7. Using wet fingers, smooth the tops of the dough.
8. Place the baking sheet or pizza stone into the oven and allow to rise. The longer you let it rise, the more fluffy and light they will be. You want the dough to double in size. At my house this takes about 30 minutes.
9. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until firm and slightly browned.
Split with a fork and enjoy! You can freeze leftovers by wrapping them in foil and then in a Ziploc bag.
Unlike the last tranquil photo from our camping trip in HE double-hockey-sticks, this moment was actually as nice and serene as it looks. We spent the weekend out on my parents sailboat up in the Canadian Gulf Islands. My Dad is a teacher and my Mom took a month off of work so they could go sailing for an entire month. That seems like a long time, but next year they’re going to leave for an entire year! I miss them when they’re gone so it was nice to get to spend some time with them even if it was just a quick trip.
Oh and see this picture?
At first glance it looks like just water, but see those little black spots in the middle of the photo? Those are whales! I think I just put a long-range lens for my Cannon on my Christmas list because I just couldn’t get close enough.
We were cruising along and my Dad all of a sudden yelled “oh my gosh!” I had a brief moment of panic thinking we were about to hit something and when I looked there was a huge orca whale literally 20 feet away from the boat. It went right underneath the boat, came out the other side and did a little jump for us.
Of course the cameras were down in the cabin and we didn’t get a chance at any closer shots but for a good 20 minutes we were surrounded in the distance by a huge pod of whales. I’ve lived here pretty much my whole life but I’ve never seen whales like that, it was amazing!
Today we’re back once again to reality, and a whole bunch of red cabbage from my CSA share that I’m not sure what to do with. So, I made schnitzel, potatoes, and cooked red cabbage.
Or tried anyway. Don’t ask me what I was doing with the oven and stove top on on the hottest day of the year so far. Tomorrow we’re having sandwiches.
The schnitzel and the potatoes were delicious, the cabbage was only so-so. We have an amazing restaurant called The Black Forest all the way out in Everson which is a teeny tiny town in Whatcom County about a 40 minute drive from our house, but worth every second it takes to get there. They make the best red cabbage ever. My attempt to duplicate it was edible, but not even close to the kind they make there, so I’m not going to post that recipe.
On the bright side, I made GF schnitzel that tasted just like regular schnitzel! And the potatoes were pretty amazing as well.
Here’s how I did it:
The Ingredients (amount will vary depending on how much pork you use):
- Boneless pork chops or cutlets, sliced thin and pounded to about 1/4 inch thickness or less.
- GF flour – I used sweet rice flour
- GF bread crumbs. For this I used some bread I had in the freezer, defrosted it, stuck it in the blender, then toasted the bread crumbs for 15 minutes or so until crispy but not burned and then ran them through the blender again. I imagine if you left the bread out until it got stale you could skip the toasting part but I didn’t do that so my crumbs were initially very moist and stuck together.
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for frying – I used some canola and olive oil.
1. Put the flour in a shallow dish with some salt and pepper. Put the bread crumbs in another shallow dish, and the beaten eggs in another.
2. Coat the pork well with the flour. I found it easiest to coat them all in flour first so I could move more quickly once I started cooking.
3. Heat the oil in a skillet. You need to have about a 1/8 to 1/4 inch of oil in the bottom of the skillet.
4. Dip the pork in the beaten egg until coated.
5. Roll the pork in the bread crumbs.
6. Put the pork in the skillet. Fry on one side until golden brown, about a minute. Then flip and do the same with the other side. Remove from the skillet and put on a plate in the oven to keep warm while the other pieces are being cooked.
Note – You will probably need to turn the heat down after the first piece is cooked.
Bacon, onion, honey mustard potatoes
The ingredients here are pretty inexact, my husband actually did most of the cooking of the potatoes and he pretty much never measures. But, it’s tough to go wrong with these ingredients!
- Yellow or red skinned potatoes.
- 1 Package of bacon, chopped
- 1/2 a large onion, chopped
- Honey, about 3-4 tablespoons
- Deli mustard – the kind with little mustard seeds in it.
1. Boil the potatoes with skin on until they are almost done.
2. In the meantime, saute the bacon and onion together. Once done, drain off excess fat.
3. Slice the potatoes.
4. Add the potatoes to the bacon and onion mixture and cook until done.
5. Before serving mix the honey and mustard together. Poor over potato mixture and stir to combine. Cook a few more minutes and enjoy!
Go for a great $1.00 off Udi’s products coupon.
My husband tells me this is the best store bought GF bread he has ever tried!
If you hit the back button you should be able to print 2 of them.
With my desire to find substitutes for gluten-filled items that don’t taste like substitutes and my current zucchini overload, I decided to try GF zucchini bread.
It is good!
So good that I thought I would take a picture of some slices of it this morning but it was gone by the time I got up. Luckily it was easy to find a picture that looks like it because, well, it looks like regular zucchini bread!
So good that my husband took a bite and asked “is this really gluten-free?”
So good that after arguing with Cadence about tasting it because it didn’t look like bread to her and it had vegetables in it, once I (playfully) stuffed a piece in her mouth she finished the rest in 60 seconds.
Really, really good. I love it when I find something that gets us that much closer to being totally GF and not feeling deprived!
Here is the recipe. I used Bob’s Red Mill flour mix because I happened to have it but I imagine you could use another mix just fine.
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Gluten Free Vanilla
- 1 1/2 Cups freshly shredded Zucchini
- 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
- 1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Gluten Free Flour mix*
- 1 Teaspoon Xanthan Gum
- 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts or Pecans (Optional – I don’t like them in my baked goods so I left them out)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat eggs, sugar, and oil in a large bowl with electric mixer. Add vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and xanthan gum.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir by hand to mix well. Add zucchinni and chopped nuts and stir to combine.
Pour into a greased 9×5 loaf pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 60 to 70 minutes. Until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.Look at this here