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.


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.


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.




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!

GF/DF/EF/RF Brookies

I often share cool recipes I come up with using Brooke’s Naturals Mixes. This is one of my absolute favorite mixes, since my allergies served as inspiration for her mixes. If you haven’t tried these mixes, check them out at and buy a case. They are amazing!

Once I found out my son had dairy and egg allergies, I had to change the stock recipe on the back of the package to include alternatives. I try something different each time and I think I have found a great texture in this one below.

1 package Brooke’s Naturals Chocolate Chip Cookies
5T Coconut oil (melted)
1T GF Vanilla (I use kirklands)
1/2 C Applesauce
2T Almond Milk

Mix completely and bake at 350 for 12 minutes.
I use the pampered chef mini muffin pan because I don’t like my cookies to ooze to flat. This creates a nice caramelized type cookie-muffin hybrid that holds it’s shape.

Happy Baking!
The mixes are gluten and rice free, the alternatives make it dairy and egg free.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Life is like a box of brownies…

It was like having a little chocolate coated candy angel come from heaven to make yummy treats. Just. For. Me.

It is admirable, not to mention understandable when people start food companies out of necessity for their (or their children’s) allergies. 

What you don’t seem to find is people starting companies to bring phenomenal tasting, quality products to the market when they don’t have a personal need for that product. Shy of the big box companies creating mirror products because they already have millions of users they can tap into for sales, of course.

Let’s be honest, Cheerios did not go gluten free because the board members at General Mills were emoting in the form of food, it was all about market share and returning some of the love to home base. And since my household has consumed about 18 boxes in the last three months… I’m ok with that.

The wow factor is based in companies that have little to no understanding of the need for an allergen free product, who are not looking at the market share, but rather see a group of people that could hugely benefit from their gifts.

When I first sat down with my friend Brooke and began explaining my bizarre eating habits she gave me a crazy look, wrinkled her nose like I’d done something foul and said, “what on earth is gluten”? This lead into a long discussion on what it is, where it comes from, what food it’s hidden in and why some people can’t eat it.

Having the gift of candy making and having started a company of her own, she returned home to do research. Intense research. Amazing research. When we met again, she told me what she had learned, what she was focusing on and what an exciting challenge this was to her.

What? You care? I was so floored. How could someone who can eat anything care so much about what I can’t eat? No one else had.

She began an exhaustive overhaul of what she had been doing and eliminated all gluten containing ingredients from her facility. She revamped some of her recipes to include ingredients that were gluten free. And then… she started mixing. She started creating. A waterfall of tears streamed down my face when she came up with a mix for brownies that was both gluten AND rice free. My allergens.

It was like having a little chocolate coated candy angel come from heaven to make yummy treats. Just. For. Me. (ok, so they weren’t just for me, but it felt like it)

She flew into high gear with her sampling team (her young boys who have no allergies) and before long created a chocolate chip cookie mix, banana bread, carrot cake, white cake, and chocolate cake mix. If it wasn’t good to them, it wasn’t good enough for us. Yes, it was actually important that it tasted good too. Novel thought, and it worked.

Suddenly she was in multiple top retail outlets! Last week she opened a new store front. I’m so excited for Brooke and her family. This venture was truly from the heart and from my heart I say thank you. Brooke’s really does Send the Best.

Visit @brooke.sendthebest pick up one of their mixes (or chocolates! at a local grocer) or go visit them at their new shop in Terre Haute, IN at 10 N. 5th Street.