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Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Week of Gluten Free Pasta Making

What if you could eat pasta three or even four times a day, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, for over a week without ever eating the same type of pasta?

That's basically what I was doing when I put together the recipes for my last cookbook, Recipes for Unusual Gluten Free Pasta: Pierogis, Dumplings, Desserts and More!

Since the book has over 60 recipes, it took me a couple of months of intense recipes testing to put the book together, and a whole lot of taste testing! Luckily, the pasta recipes in this book go well beyond fettuccine (there are a couple of fettuccine recipes, though, like the Gluten Free Chocolate Fettuccine shown in the above photo). It's not hard to eat pasta several times a day when you realize that "pasta" includes things like dumplings, won tons, pierogis, orzo, tortellini, and more.

Scroll down to see some pictures of what I was eating while working on the book!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Cheap & Easy All-Natural Microwave Cleaner

I've been meaning to blog about this for some time. Several months ago, I saw a random post on Pinterest about using vinegar and water to essentially steam-clean your microwave. I tried it. And it worked! It's incredibly easy, and super cheap. 

The pics above are old ones from a few months ago, but scroll down and you can see what my microwave looks like after a bowl of beans in tomato sauce explodes all over the roof. Of course, what the pictures can't convey is the stench of reheated fish that permeated the microwave after heating up leftovers yesterday...

But fear not! All it took was a bowl of water and vinegar and about 2 seconds of wiping things down and it was shiny and pretty inside again. And no more fishy stench...

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Gluten Free 1920s Themed Party (Murder Mystery!!)

So my birthday was about a month ago, and I've been meaning to get around to sharing some of my party pics and details with you. This was the first year in about 5 years that I had a birthday party and actually celebrated with my friends (since hubby and I have been busy with school and then living in the US).

Since my birthday is so close to Halloween, I decided to go all out this year and have a 1920s - themed murder mystery party! It was fantastic fun. I decorated our apartment (sort of) in the style of a 1920s Orientalist themed speakeasy club and we had a ton of 1920s themed gluten free cocktails.

Of course, if you've ever looked up 1920s food, you'll know most of it was disgusting (think meat jello and lots of mayonnaise type things). So we gave it a healthy, gluten free update, and there was lots of veggie/vegan stuff since a couple of the girls in attendance were vegetarian or lactose intolerant.

So read on and I'll tell you what we ate, and you can check out some pics of my decorations and me doing my hair and makeup!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Miniature Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

A couple of weeks ago I posted a recipe for my favorite gluten free pumpkin pie. Then I said I would post how I make basic miniature pumpkin pies to take to potlucks, or to serve for little kids. These mini pumpkin pies are great little handheld pies, and they're super easy to make.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

My GF Weekly Meal Plan

I don't have much to report this week, except that I'm working like mad on the formatting of my next cookbook, Cooking and Baking with Gluten Free Beer. I've been putting together the recipes for months, and now it's time to finally put it all together in print and eBook version.

Coming up with recipes and testing them is the fun part of writing cookbooks. The formatting and writing out all the instructions is the not-so-fun part. 

If, however, you're inclined to check out my formatting skills, you can take a look at my last cookbook, Recipes for Unusual Gluten Free Pasta, where I finally managed to format a book without tearing out my hair and having nightmares of misplaced tables and shifting page number alignment... ;)

Now that I've shamelessly plugged my cookbook, let's move on to this week's meal plan...

Saturday, November 1, 2014

My Gluten Free Weekly Meal Plan

This past month was a doozy. First there was Canadian Thanksgiving, then there was my birthday, then there was Halloween. Now that some of the madness from that has passed, I'm ready to settle down a bit and try to get back on the meal planning track...

So this week's meal plan is pretty simple. I'm taking part in National Novel Writing Month - which involves writing 50,000 words towards a novel - and trying to plow through most of the second novel in my Ancient Egyptian Romances series (the first one being the recently released In the Court of Kemet ). Doing NaNoWriMo is intense, so this month's cooking will involve leftovers, and quick and easy meals.

Then again, quick and easy meals is not unusual for me!  So without further ado, here is this week's meal plan...

Friday, October 31, 2014

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with a dairy free / vegan option for #Meatless Monday

Free of gluten, eggs, nuts, soy, corn, with dairy free / vegan options

The season of pumpkin is upon us. I had half a large can of pumpkin puree leftover from making my Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie for Canadian Thanksgiving a couple of weeks ago. So I modified my old recipe for Gluten Free Herb Rolls to use up leftover pumpkin puree, and added some cinnamon spice mix. (I have also made a similar version in the past using sweet potato puree instead of pumpkin, so you could use sweet potato instead if you like)

These rolls are simple, tasty, pretty healthy, and versatile. I've had them for breakfast, served them with dinner to guests, and drizzled them with a bit of icing sugar mixed with milk as cinnamon rolls for dessert. 

They also freeze well, so make up a batch and sock them away for later! 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Pros and Cons of Running a Link Party / Blog Hop, and how to run a blog hop

Last week I posted about how I was putting Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, the link party I've been running for about 1.5 yrs now, on hiatus. I gave a couple of reasons. Audrey over at Gluten Free Vegan Love asked me if I had any other comments on running a blog hop, and since it's been something I've been ruminating over, I thought I would share my thoughts with you all here.

So if you've ever participated in a blog hop / link party, run a blog hop, are thinking about running a blog hop/link party, or are thinking about ending yours, you might be interested in this post. Hopefully some of you more experienced hoppers will chime in as well!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Re: Waste Not Want Not Wednesday

Hi folks, 

I just wanted to give you a heads up on what's happening with WNWNW. Last week I was totally distracted by being home for Canadian Thanksgiving for the first time in 3 years, and blogging totally fell to the wayside. 

This week, on the other hand, I discovered that my InLinkz account (what I use to run the link party), will expire tomorrow

For those of you that don't know, InLinkz costs $20US per year. It's not a lot, but at present my income from the blog is a few pennies above $0 per year. Sadly, that "Poor" in "Poor and Gluten Free" ain't just for kicks ;)

And while I love seeing what people have been up to every week, it is also time consuming to run a link party. Lately, I haven't been visiting everyone who links up, and I feel bad about that. I prefer to have the time to come by, pin your posts, and tell you how awesome your cooking looks. 

Soooo.... I'm currently reassessing whether or not WNWNW is a practical expense - both financially and time-wise. In the meantime, WNWNW will be on hiatus. If I find that my recently added Google ads pick up, or book sales increase, I'll probably reconsider. Blogging is a labour of love, but right now it just doesn't make sense for me to put time and money into something that doesn't translate into a practical return of some sort. 

I will, of course, continue to post recipe and articles and intend to visit you all at your blog homes and social media as much as I can regardless!  

Thanks for your support and understanding :) 


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Best Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie! (reduced sugar)

Happy belated Canadian Thanksgiving! Last weekend was our Thanksgiving celebration, and I made a pumpkin pie just like the one above. Except that instead of one pie dough bat, it had several. Yep. Bats. That's one of the benefits of having Thanksgiving before Halloween, instead of afterwards :) 

This pumpkin pie came about after a series of mucking around with various healthier versions. I tried making a sugar-free molasses pumpkin pie... meh... I tried making a dairy free one... meh... I threw away a few pies that neither my husband or I could bring ourselves to eat.

In the end, I had this mouthwatering pumpkin pie. My husband ate half of it in one sitting.

But I'm going to confess right now. This is only a slightly healthified version of a pumpkin pie. I almost never post things that are on the bad side of healthy, but in the end, some things are best left as they are. It turns out that pumpkin pie is really not better without the sugar and the creamy filling. I just use less sugar, and whipping cream instead of that weird evaporated milk or condensed milk that has extra sugar in it.

If you can take it for what it is and be ok with indulging once or twice a year, and you're looking for a really good gluten-free pumpkin pie that's pretty simple, this is a very good bet.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday

Got a great gluten free recipe, some frugal, eco-friendly tips or  a healthy living article? Well come join the party!

The Waste Not Want Not Wednesday link-up party is inspired by World Food Day (Oct. 16), and recent articles such as this one that show between 40-51% of food in Canada and America ends up in the garbage.  Over-consumption, lack of knowledge, low cost and over purchasing are common causes of food waste in North America.  This unsustainable over-consumption extends to so many aspects of our lives.

So perhaps if we all share our tips for consuming a little less stuff in general, cooking more responsibly and frugally, and living eco-friendly, we can each take a small part in making our world a little more sustainable.

And besides, who couldn't save a little bit of $$$ anyway? 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

My Gluten Free Weekly Meal Plan

Well the weather's cooling down, and that means I'm craving more root veggies and hot, rich meals. That also means that I can make large pots of things and eat leftovers throughout the week instead of cooking every single night :)

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