Monday, November 28, 2011

One Year Anniversary and a Giveaway ...

**The giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Debbie of comment #22, the number picked by!

I'm throwing a party today and you are all invited - would you like a piece of cake? What's the occasion? The Mama Me Gluten Free blog is having its first anniversary today! That's right - one year ago today, I posted for the first time on this blog, not sure how it was all going to turn out. Thanks to all of you, dear readers, it's been a huge blessing for me and my family.

Have some ice cream, too, while I talk with you some more ...

I have learned so much this past year. I have learned how to take better food photos - a non-stop learning process that I hope I continue to get better at. If you go to my early photos, you'll see what I mean - however, some of my photos lately have been very quick ones so may not look much different!

I have learned much from fellow food bloggers. I have learned much from my readers. I have learned more and more in my kitchen, continuing to push myself, to create great gluten-free food. I have learned much about myself. I have learned (over and over again) that I don't possess skills to do everything, and trying to post recipes several times a week while also finding time to create them, cook them, bake them, photograph them, edit the photos and feed my family, just isn't possible.

This blog has become such a fun thing for me, and I intend to keep it that way. I have been encouraged by so many of you - and I thank you. It has blessed me so much when you have told me that I have helped you, or that you have enjoyed one of my recipes. I have enjoyed getting to know so many in the food blogging community. My life has been so much more enriched this past year, and I plan to keep on going.

Have some pie while I tell you how I'm celebrating today ...

Those of you who have read my blog know my baking got better in some recipes when I began to weigh my flour instead of measure by the cup. I was finally able to make my four-egg cake the way it was supposed to be made. After two years of trying and failing with the texture, I finally got it!

Then I was introduced to Michael Ruhlman's Ratio cookbook and the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally, and I was in awe at the endless possibilities that weight and ratio gave me in creativity of recipes.

I want to share that awe and joy with you, whether you bake and cook gluten-free or not. Weight and ratio is for anyone. It's super-easy. And just because you get to liking it doesn't mean you have to stop using cups. Do both if you want.

So, one lucky reader will win a 5 lb. Oxo food scale(in either black or white, my choice) and a copy of Ruhlman's Ratio cookbook.

With these two tools, I have created this delicious lemon cake ...

And this pasta ...

And these key lime cream puffs ...

And I also created these savory scones using a ratio and the scale ...

Those aren't the only things, of course, but you get the idea. I want you to have these tools, too, so here's what you need to do:

**The giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Debbie of comment #22, the number picked by!

Giveaway for one OXO 5 lb. food scale, in black or white (my choice) and one copy of Michael Ruhlman's Ratio cookbook to one reader begins today, Monday, November 28, 2011, and ends Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) CST. The giveaway is only open to U.S. residents, I'm sorry. The winner will be picked through the Random Sequence Generator on

You are eligible for up to six entries in this giveaway. To enter:

Leave a comment on this post telling me what you would like to make with these tools if you win (only one comment per person will be counted this way).

Additional entries may be earned by leaving a comment EACH TIME you do one of the following (you get an entry for each one ONLY if you leave a comment for each):

1. "Like" Mama Me Gluten Free on Facebook (if you already "like" the blog on facebook, that also counts as an entry), then leave a comment here telling me you have done this.

2. Follow @MamaMeGF on Twitter (if you already follow, that counts as an entry), then leave a comment here telling me you've done this.

3. Share this giveaway on Twitter: "I want to win an OXO food scale and Ratio book @MamaMeGF! " and leave a comment here telling me you've done this. 

4. Share this giveaway on Facebook with a link to this post, and leave a comment here telling me you've done this.

5. Subscribe to Mama Me Gluten Free RSS feed, then leave a comment here telling me you've done this. (If you already subscribe, then that counts too - just leave a comment letting me know!)

You must leave a comment on this post for each of things if you want an entry for each one. Only one comment per item per person will be counted. In other words, if you comment more than one time saying you "like" Mama Me on facebook, only one of those comments will be counted, etc. On the other hand, if you only leave one comment saying you did all of these things, you will only get one entry rather than six.
********Be sure to leave a contact email if you are posting anonymously or don't have a way to contact you listed in your profile!

Good luck! (And I apologize in advance for not responding to comments immediately - I don't want to mess up the numbers and blogger doesn't have a reply feature that follows under individual comments.)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey Leftovers ...

I hope you, your family and friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday and were able to find many things to be thankful for. I love counting my blessings this time of year, and no matter how hard things get it does seem to help - just like Bing Crosby sang about in White Christmas. (Do you love that movie? I do! I love pretty much all the old Christmas movies!)

Now I hope you're enjoying plenty of leftovers with the abundance of food yesterday. While you enjoy all that great food, please remember those who don't have much and didn't get a delicious meal yesterday. Please remember them in your prayers and thoughts, and give to that bell ringer at the store and other reputable organizations that help so many in poverty this season.

Speaking of leftovers, I think that leftover turkey sandwiches are one of the best inventions of all time. I love them. But I like to use up my leftover turkey in other ways, as well. I thought today would be a good time to remind you of a couple of delicious recipes I have here that use this turkey. Happy eating!

Turkey casserole with brown rice and broccoli:

Turkey and buffalo andouille gumbo:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Yeast Rolls

Searching for a great-tasting gluten-free yeast roll that also has a great texture? You've stopped at the right place. These "rolls" might look more like muffins because they are baked in a muffin tin (how easy!), but they deliver that great yeast roll taste you're wanting for your Thanksgiving dinner or other occasion. Leftover turkey sandwiches, anyone?

For these rolls, I adapted my yeast bread recipe. Because the bread dough doesn't hold it's own shape very well, these need to be baked in greased muffin tins - which give them a look different from your traditional yeast rolls.

The verdict in my family was that these are really good. To save time on Thanksgiving Day, I'm thinking I may try making the dough the night before and sticking it in the refrigerator immediately instead of letting it rise at a warmer temperature. I think it will turn out okay, but I can't make promises on that until I try it. These are best served fresh and warm, so I'll be placing leftover rolls in an airtight bag and using them up pretty quick. 

Projected prep time: 20 minutes; Rise time: 45 minutes; Bake time: 13-15 minutes
Makes 20 rolls

2 cups (298 g or 10.5 oz.) Pamela's bread mix and flour blend (NOT baking & pancake mix)
2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups (10 oz.) milk
1/2 cup (4 oz.) salted butter, cut in small pieces
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup organic pure cane sugar
1 egg
1 cup (137 g or 4 7/8 oz.) brown rice flour
1/3 (41 g or 1 1/2 oz.) millet flour
Melted butter

Combine Pamela's bread flour with yeast in a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a smaller bowl, combine brown rice flour and millet flour and set aside. (For detailed photos on making the dough, see the yeast bread recipe.)

Pour milk into a saucepan and add butter pieces, sugar and salt. Heat on medium until butter is melted and the temperature is 115 degrees.

Pour warm milk mixture over Pamela's flour and yeast, and beat with a wooden spoon several seconds until blended. Add egg and beat until incorporated. Place dough hook on mixer and beat at high speed for about two minutes. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can do this with a wooden spoon.

With mixer running at low speed, gradually add the remaining flours. Gradually increase speed as the flour combines until you can beat at medium-high without flour going out of the bowl. Beat for a minute and then scrape bowl with wooden spoon, then return to medium-high speed until everything is incorporated, about 30 seconds.

Transfer dough to a ceramic or glass bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Place in warm spot for 45 minutes. (I use my oven for this. I turn it to about 100 degrees and then turn it off before I start making the dough, and it's just right when I'm ready to let the dough rise.)

After 45 minutes, dough should be about double in size.

Grease 20 muffin tins. Stir dough once and then drop spoonfuls into muffin tins, filling about halfway. Wet your fingers and smooth out any bumps on the dough surface. Let it sit on the counter and rise again 15-20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until rolls are baked through. Immediately after pulling it out of the oven, brush tops with melted butter.

Let them cool on a wire rack. 


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thanksgiving Menu ...

Thanksgiving is officially two weeks (that's just 14 days!!) away. Are you ready? Are you getting ready? I feel that by typing this, I'm getting ready. Below is my Thanksgiving menu. These are the foods I make each year because my family and I treasure each one.

Most of these foods are based on tradition we grew up with, but some are my own variation of tradition that have become my own family's tradition. For example, every year growing up, we would eat my grandmother's corn bread dressing recipe. It's delicious and I love it. However, as I began cooking my own Thanksgiving meals, I wanted to try this crockpot version I'd found. Ends up it tastes very similar to my grandmother's recipe (which I still absolutely love!) but it's easier on me.

And we always ate baked sweet potatoes growing up, but I made the sweet potato casserole with pecan topping one year and haven't gone back. If my father, however, is eating Thanksgiving dinner with us, I still bake him a sweet potato.

I love this time of year, and I love Thanksgiving Day. I love my family being gathered around me in a home filled with delicious smells and warmth. I love watching the Macy's parade with my children and husband, just as we did when we were young.

I love these turkeys my mom helped the girls make last year. Each one has "Thanksgiving 2010" written at the top, followed by their names. They loved making them last year, and I think I'll continue it this year. What a great way to have their hand size saved!

I love how we share what we're thankful for before digging in to all that delicious food that will last us several days. I love not having to cook any meals for a few days after that. I love turkey sandwiches ...

Here, I share my menu with you. I hope to have more of the recipes posted separately in the next two weeks, and I will go back and add the links to this menu as I do. Happy food prep, everyone!

-Turkey (roasted)
-Gravy (Just whisk together some of the turkey juice with some butter and sweet rice flour or brown rice flour over heat)
-Crockpot cornbread dressing (stuffing)
-Squash casserole
-Sweet potato casserole
-(Dirty rice, if I have time - another one I grew up with!)
-Broccoli with cheese
-Corn (from my brother-in-law's family farm, sauteed in butter)
-Marinated beets
-Yeast rolls
-Cranberry bread
-Cranberry sauce
-Cranberry jelly
-Fruit salad
-Pecan pie tarts
-Pumpkin pie
-Fresh whipped cream
-(And apple pie if I have time!)

And I love the little cards my daughters made for each place setting last year (sorry, it's blurry!). Again, another new "tradition" I'll keep ...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

If you've been reading very much of my blog, you know that baked oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts to fix - especially on cold mornings. It was one of my first recipes to share with you - and for good reason. I've probably made baked oatmeal more than any other recipe in my life. We have a history, baked oatmeal and I.

So when I saw some people talking about baked pumpkin oatmeal on my twitter feed the other day, you can imagine my excitement. Why hadn't I ever thought of this, what with my love for pumpkin and baked oatmeal and all ... why hadn't I ever combined them? I've put apples and raisins in it on many occasions, but never pumpkin. I must confess I didn't click on any of the links in that feed - a combination of being in a hurry and also wanting to come up with my version based purely from my original baked oatmeal recipe.

I woke up to freezing temperatures this morning and just happened to have some leftover pumpkin in the refrigerator from some pumpkin muffins the other day (which I forgot to photograph for you!), so I threw this and that into the bowl and we had pumpkin baked oatmeal this morning.

And it is good ... and perfect for this time of the year.

By the way, did you realize that Thanksgiving is only 15 days away? I had a mini panic attack when I realized that, but I'm starting on the prep early next week so I should have plenty of time. Tomorrow, I plan on posting my Thanksgiving menu for you. I don't have all of the recipes from my menu on this blog, but I hope to have a few more of them for you before the big day, and will create links within my menu as I get them posted.

For now, go make some of this oatmeal if you can tolerate gluten-free oats.

Projected prep time: 5 minutes; Projected bake time: 35-40 minutes
(Printable Recipe)

2 cups certified gluten-free rolled oats
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
Dash of ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients and pour into an 8x8 baking dish. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until baked all the way through and feels somewhat firm to the touch.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Green Tomato Pie

What better way to use up those not-ready-yet tomatoes in your garden, before they freeze, than in a pie?

One of my best friends texted me photos of her canning last weekend - saving her remaining tomatoes before their snow storm. She had jars and jars of green tomato preserves and green tomato pickles. And a green tomato pie.

Really? Green tomato pie? I'd never heard of one before. I've made cake out of tomatoes before, but not green ones. Intrigued, I decided to give it a go for the Gluten Free Ratio Rally this month. (If you aren't familiar with the rally, check out my rally page where I have links to all my rally posts as well as the first host post that explains what it's all about.)

Logo designed by Anile Prakash
This month's rally is hosted by Lisa over at Gluten Free Canteen. Our rally challenge this month is pie crust - just in time for all those Thanksgiving pies! Be sure to check out Lisa's frangipane apple pie and tart recipe, where she also lists the links for all the other rally participants and their delicious pies. Oh. Yum!

The ratio I used is Michael Ruhlman's 3:2:1 pie dough ratio. 3 parts flour: 2 parts fat: 1 part liquid. The dough was a challenge for me this month - but I must admit to only giving it one try due to everything that's been going on and my exhaustion! I must say that the only real success I've had with gluten-free pie crust in the past has been when I've used a flour blend containing a gum, or have used egg. This crust was no exception to that, though it did roll out nicely for me to place in the pie pan without too much trouble.

Note that if you use butter instead of shortening or lard, as Ruhlman points out, there is water in butter so you won't need a full 4 ounces (the first amount the pie dough ratio is based on) of liquid. You'll see how I cut back on the liquid in the recipe below.

I thought this time around I'd try to avoid any gums and also avoid egg, instead using a flax slurry. My hope was that the slurry would be enough to prevent the dough from crumbling - but it was to no avail. I even did an egg wash over the crust and pre-baked it, but it still came out crumbly. When I try this ratio crust again, I'll be substituting an egg yolk for the flax slurry and some or all of the water. I think (I hope!) that will make the difference and give me a crust I'm happier with, because I'm already happy with the taste of this crust. When I try it, I'll come back and edit this with hopefully successful results.

Also, because I could tell the crust was going to crumble, I decided not to top the filling with more dough or lattice strips. Instead, I took the remaining dough and crumbled it together with several heaping spoonfuls of dark brown sugar and some chopped pecans to make a streusel topping. That was a good decision, as it turned out delicious.

I have an assortment of tomatoes in my garden and used green (unripe) yellow pear, Roma and black zebra tomatoes for this pie. I was running out of light when I took the photos of the baked pie, so it still looks runny in the photos. No worries, though - once it cools, the pie filling thickens nicely.

Did we like the green tomato pie? Beyond a shadow of doubt, YES. Both daughters said it was one of the best pies they'd ever eaten, and my husband and I were equally pleased with the results. We'll be making more of this pie at the end of every growing season! The recipe for this pie was inspired by the Green Tomato Pie III on I changed several things, but that's the recipe that my friend above directed me to when asked for her recipe.

Green Tomato Pie with Ratio Crust
(Printable Recipe)

Projected crust prep time: 15 minutes, then chill before rolling and you may want to pre-bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes
1 oz. (29 g) white rice flour
2 oz. (58 g) tapioca starch
1 oz. (29 g) teff flour
2 oz. (58 g) sweet rice flour
2 oz. (58 g) almond flour
4 oz. (112 g) brown rice flour
8 oz. (2 sticks) salted butter, cut into tiny pieces and very cold or frozen (I find if I used salted butter I don't need to add salt to the dough. If you use unsalted, add about a scant 1/2 tsp. of kosher salt)
*(See notes above for liquid, but I used a flax slurry as part of my liquid: 1 tbsp. or 1/4 oz. milled flax seed mixed in 2 tbsp. or 1 oz. water and let it sit in the freezer 10 minutes to get it cold. I won't be doing this next time. I'll be trying an egg yolk.)
*(Again, see notes above, but I used an additional 2 tbsp. or 1 oz. of ice water)
Egg wash (optional)

Green tomato filling:
Projected prep time: 15-20 minutes; Bake time for pie, not including pre-bake on crust: 50 minutes
4 1/2 cups (1 lb. 2 3/8 oz.) chopped green tomatoes
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz.) organic pure cane sugar
Scant 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg's brand)
1 oz. (29 g or 4 tbsp.) tapioca starch
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Streusel topping:
Remaining pie dough
Several heaping spoonfuls dark brown sugar
Chopped pecans

For pie dough, sift flours together in a large bowl.

Add butter pieces.

Use your fingers, a pastry blender or a food processor in pulses to mix, but I find I get the best results with my fingers. Blend the flour and butter together until it is in large crumbs, with several larger pea-sized pieces.

Add little amounts of ice water (see notes about this above - I'll be using egg yolk next time with ice water, or perhaps no ice water depending on consistency after adding yolk) at a time, tossing water together with flour mixture with a fork until it becomes a dough. Shape dough into two disks of equal size, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until ready to roll out.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out one pie dough disk enough to fill the bottom and sides of a deep dish pie pan (roll between two sheets of parchment paper for ease in transfer).

Carefully transfer dough by turning paper upside down and gently peeling it off the paper into the pan. If any dough remains on the paper, remove it and press it onto the pan. If you desire, use an egg wash over the dough before pre-baking the crust for 10-15 minutes.

In a large bowl, toss chopped green tomatoes with sugar and apple cider vinegar. Add salt, tapioca starch, cinnamon and nutmeg and gently toss with tomato mixture. Pour into pre-baked shell.

In a smaller bowl, mix remaining unused dough scraps from disk with several heaping spoonfuls of dark brown sugar and chopped pecans with your fingers until crumbly. Use your judgment on the amount of sugar and pecans.

Sprinkle over green tomato filling.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. For best results, don't cut into the pie until it's had a chance to cool for a while. You'll be eating green tomato cobbler/crisp if you cut into it sooner.

As noted above, it was pretty runny in these photos because it was  hot out of the oven. It firms up more after cooling.

I hope you enjoy! Be sure to visit Lisa's post at Gluten Free Canteen and see her delicious apple recipe as well as all of the other recipes from this month's participants. Thank you , Lisa, for hosting us this month!

(And please let me know if you find any omissions or glaring errors - I'm falling asleep as I finish this post up!)


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