Grandmas Cherry Torte, Gluten free

Through the years, grandmas cherry torte was a constant at holiday meals. For years we have tried to immolate it and somehow it just doesn’t taste the same. Maybe it’s just the love she put into making them for the enjoyment of the family that made them better. That was a lot of love.

This Christmas we made some adjustments to the recipe to avoid gluten and ended up with a delightful replacement that is allergy friendly. I believe grandmas would have been proud.

Crust:

1 stick of butter
1 package Schar GF graham crackers
1C pecans

Grind them together in food processor or magic bullet and pat into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes (this should make it lightly browned) and set aside to cool completely before adding filling.

Filling:

8oz package Cream cheese (room temperature)
1C Sugar
1box dream whip (large box has two packets-this is what you need)

Mix both packages of dream whip according to directions in large mixer (I used Kitchen Aid). In another bowl, blend cream cheese and sugar. Then add this mix to the dream whip mix in the large mixer. Pour the combined mixture over the cooled crust.

Let mixture chill for one hour and spoon 2 cans of cherry pie filling on top. We used Duncan Hines Wilderness Simply Cherry. It is made with no artificial ingredients, food color or HFCS.

Let chill and it serves about 12 per pan. We usually make at least 2 pans. The longer it refrigerates, the better it tastes. At least let chill overnight before serving.

Enjoy!

 

Allergy friendly snack list

As a serial room mom and having kids with allergies, I am constantly trying to figure out the parameters of the approved snack list at school. After chatting with the school nurse I found that each school does their own thing. So, in an effort to assist all parents with ideas for providing snacks for school parties, I put together this list (which I will update as I find new options).

Some are more affordable than others and some can even be found at Costco or on amazon in bulk. I will note these options where I can to make it easier and more affordable when buying snacks for 20-30 kids.

The options I am listing are gluten, dairy, egg yolk and peanut free. They also happen to be dye free and missing high fructose corn syrup (since those are personal no-no’s for us). Please always double check packaging as manufacturers change ingredients, factories and processes on a regular basis.

Aldi’s has a liveGfree line that includes:
Snickerdoodle soft baked cookies
Double chocolate brownie soft baked cookies
Gluten free pretzel sticks
Chewy bars in: berry, cocoa and caramel apple
Vanilla and chocolate stuffed cookies (look like oreos)

Boxed Raisins
Boxed Craisins
Mini marshmallows
Enjoy life chocolate chips
(Dr.) Lucy’s cookies (all flavors except peanut butter)
Fruit by the Foot (Costco)
Ruby Rockets (non) yogurt blend
Boom chika pop (Costco)
Deep river chips
Cave Man bars (Costco)
Home free cookies (all varieties except peanut butter)
Kirkland organic applesauce (Costco)
Jack Links beef sticks (Costco)
Veggie Sticks
Lovey Candy Co Licorice (Costco)
Trader Joe’s Fruit Bars
Joe Joe’s gluten free chocolate/vanilla cremes (Trader Joe’s)
Joe Joe’s gluten free peppermint cremes (Trader Joe’s) ~ Seasonal
Yum earth organics flavored lollipops
Trader Joe’s Organic Pops Suckers

Fresh fruit
Fresh Vegetables
Tostitos tortilla chips & salsa
Corn chex
Cheerios (original, cinnamon, apple)

This is a list that is sure to grow. These are great lunch box items also.
Enjoy! And allergy on.

Gluten Free Hamburger Hash

Some nights I start with one ingredient and then build a recipe from there. I honestly don’t spend time in the grocery each week building each recipe by ingredient. I simply don’t have time or patience.

This week I started with a bag of hash brown potatoes… fortunately, the rest just seemed to fall into place.

1 bag gf hash brown potatoes
1 large onion diced
2LB ground chuck (we buy local and split a cow)
1 bag frozen corn

Start with aluminum foil squares and spray with non-stick cooking oil. Add potatoes, onion, raw ground beef crumbled, and frozen corn. Then cover with a tablespoon of oil (your choice), a tablespoon of water and sprinkle with rancher steak rub. Place in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes.

When they are taken from the oven, sprinkle with cheese (or daiya, non dairy cheese).

 

Allergy friendly pie? Yes!

Recently, I watched a video that has been stirring about on social media.

No, not the cats. The other one. The one that Cheerios created to share how to use their product in new and exciting ways.

While their recipe won’t work (as is) in my house, I decided to use it as a base and try something new.

2C Cheerios blended (in my magic bullet)
3T Brown Sugar (added to magic bullet)
5T Earth Balance (vegan butter) melted

Spray pie plate with non-stick spray.
Pour dry mix of cheerios and brown sugar evenly on plate.
Pour melted non-butter on top and press together until mixed and firm

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes
This works with flavored cheerios as well for more flair.

Now for the pie…

I made a pumpkin version with:

1 container Daiya Vegan Cream Cheese
2T Earth Balance (vegan butter) melted
1 can organic pumpkin puree
1T cinnamon
1/2T pumpkin pie spice
1/2C brown sugar
1T Vanilla
1 can Coconut Cream

Blend all and fold in Coconut cream.
Another option (I’m going to try next time) is using SO Delicious, Coconut whipped cream instead of coconut cream.

Top with So Delicious, coconut whipped cream and serve!

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Apple Chicken

Crock pot meals are my go-to this time of year. They are ready when you need them and dump-n-run prep. Earlier this week I quickly perused the shelf in my pantry for something that I could add to chicken and settled on the items below. Yes, it was easy. Yes, it was yummy. My kids even asked for seconds!

8 frozen chicken breasts
4T oil (i used sunflower, but that is up to you)
Cover with 2 cans sweet potatoes
Cover with 1 can apple pie filling

Set on low for 5-6 hours in the crock pot.
Protein, veggie and dessert all in one.

GF/DF Quinoa Tabouleh

I love(d) tabouleh. I didn’t find out I had celiac until I was 26 so I was used to eating it. I literally grew up on it. So, when I had the opportunity to recreate it gluten free, I jumped at it. This is a fresh, healthy, natural salad that can serve as a meal too.

The quinoa to “all other ingredients” ratio is really personal taste. If you find there is too much, cut back. If you like more of the protein so it can stand alone as a meal, add more.

2C Quinoa (cooked, cool rinsed and drained)
2 scallions chopped
2 cucumbers peeled and chopped (could also be de-seeded, if you choose)
2C Chopped fresh mushrooms
16oz can sliced black olives
1 pint grape tomatoes halved
1/2bunch parsley (chopped)
1/4C mint leaves (chopped)
1C lemon juice
1/3C oil (olive, avocado, flavored) I like blood orange flavor from the Olive Branch
1/2C lime juice
Salt/pepper to taste

GF/DF Morning Carb Delight

Carbs can be so comforting. Not to mention casseroles. Finding a breakfast casserole for allergies can be challenging however, this one involves one of my favorite comfort foods, tater tots. Try it out and see what you think.

Spray casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray (I use trader joe’s coconut oil)
Dump one bag of tater tots (20oz or larger) into the dish
One package pre-cooked chopped ham pieces (I use Kirkland precooked ham steak)
Add one cup shredded Daiya cheese (or regular if you aren’t dairy free)
Add 10 eggs (works best if you crack them in a bowl and whip first but not required)
Add 1/2 cup egg whites (I use them from a container to avoid waste)
Add 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite milk)
salt, pepper, onion powder and Wild Tree Rancher steak rub to taste (maybe 1/2t each)

Let set over night covered.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes and let cool.

Looks great with a fresh sprinkle of cheese on top, hot out of the oven.
And our family likes a little Cholula sauce on top.

Gluten Free Easy Apple Bake

Easy. Fast. Food. But not fast food. Home made. This is my favorite combo. Check out this one for a treat that your kids will love.

3 apples cored and sliced
(I like pampered chef’s peeler/corer/slicer)
1 packet gf instant brown sugar oatmeal
(there are several great ones, we used Bakery on Main)
1/4 stick earth balance (non dairy) butter cut in slices

Add all ingredients to an oven safe dish and bake for 30 minutes at 350.
Makes enough for 2.

Easy Chicken Salad (GF/DF)

Either in a bowl or on some gluten free bread, this is a satisfying meal. Kids even like it!

1 Rotisserie Chicken cut-up and deboned (or 4 cooked chicken breasts)
1C Pecans chopped
2 Celery Stalks chopped
2C grapes halved
1/2C “Just Mayo” brand mayonnaise
1/4C dill
1t garlic

Mix and let set to chill.

Cinni-Fun Buns (Gluten/Dairy Free)

This morning I decided to make a quick breakfast treat for the kids. I don’t have much time in the morning for extras so I put my coffee on to brew and grabbed a box of Chebe Mix.

Chebe’s Cinnamon Roll Mix claims to yield 12-15 rolls but I get about 9-10 from a box.
Like with most mixes, I use their recipe as a guideline. The one below is my twist for keeping it dairy and egg yolk free as well.

Preheat the oven to 375
Grab a bowl for mix ingredients and grease a cookie sheet for rolling.

MIX:
1box Chebe mix
2t baking powder
3tbsp oil
2 egg whites
1/4 c applesauce
2 T almond milk

Knead dough with hands until all dry ingredients are mixed and place it on the cookie sheet. Roll out flat.

MIX:
1/4C coconut sugar
1/4C sugar in the raw
1/4C coconut flakes
Handfull of pecans
1T Cinnamon
1T melted Earth Balance (dairy free) butter

Take above mix and press it evenly into the rolled out dough and roll from the widest edge. Cut about 1.5″ apart and place on cookie sheet. Cook for 15 minutes and watch closely. If they overcook, the outside edge will get very hard. Pull out of the oven immediately.

If you choose, sprinkle with powdered sugar.