A Very Nice Surprise

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So…y’all know that I’ve been dreaming of Cream of Wheat for months.  And looking for a gluten – free alternative just as long.  Yesterday I received a delivery from UPS and since I wasn’t expecting anything…I was more than a little concerned that maybe I’d started sleep shopping. 😉

Nope.  Papa Lupiac’s cousin, B sent me these boxes of Cream of Rice. 🙂 It was such a lovely surprise and really really touched me.

Thank you so much, B.  Your thoughtfulness is appreciated more than I can express here. 🙂

(I don’t know if she’d appreciate being named on the blog but everyone in our family will know who I’m talking about.)

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Of course I had to try it out for supper. (I like my hot cereal super thick.)   A little butter.  A little sugar.  A couple pieces of gluten-free toast rounds for dipping.

It was everything I’d hoped it would be…creamy…smooth…no off taste at all…just perfect comfort food. 🙂  I was worried it was going to taste like baby rice cereal…which I admit to trying…but this is nothing close to the vitamin-y taste of the baby food.  It’s just creamy neutral.  Yea…I’m so happy. 🙂

Let’s see.  What else from the last few days…

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Restocked the spinach juice.

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Made some Monster Cookies.  These are still one of the most requested cookies by my family.

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Used the rest of the Buttermilk dough to make this small loaf of cinnamon / raisin bread.  I got a smidge too much brown sugar in there and it made caramel. Yum. 🙂

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Made Mama L a batch of messy looking but delicious chocolate covered (Glutino) pretzels. I’ve got the fam requesting gluten-free stuff.  🙂  

I don’t usually blog on the weekend but I’ll have at least one post up this weekend.  We’re going heavy on the Cajun / Mardi Gras around here for the next few days. 🙂

Hope y’all had a great week and have an even better weekend.  See you soon with some spice and some sweets.  🙂


“Seems like only yesterday I’d get a blank cassette. Record the country count down ’cause I couldn’t buy it yet.”

Oh Miranda, you sing my life. 🙂

Two New Favs

Before I get started with my new favs I want to say Thank You to those of you who nominated me for a kitchn.com blogger award.  I was way down on the list of nominated blogs but it means so much to me that y’all thought enough of the blog to nominate it at all. 🙂 This all happened while I was still pretty sick so I didn’t even realize it for about a week and then noticed I was getting a lot of traffic from there.  Thank you so much to those of you who stopped by because you saw the blog on the list…I hope you’ll stay for a while.  🙂

I think I can finally say I’m well. 🙂  One thing I can say for certain…I made it through this latest health h3ll without so much as a drop of gluten (and believe me…I wanted some Cream of Wheat so bad)  I have to think that if I can make it through that…I can make it through anything. 🙂

Ok now on to the food…

I’ve found a love for two new things.

This dough…recipe at the end of the post.

First I used it to make a ciabatta roll.  I got distracted and it way over proofed but I decided to bake it anyway.

I’m so glad I did.

Next I used it for a pizza and a stromboli.

This was not only the best gluten-free pizza I’ve made so far…it was also the best homemade pizza I’ve made period.  I used my pizza stone.  The dough had the very best chew.  The crust was perfectly crisp.

I didn’t try it but those who ate the stromboli agreed that it was super delicious too.

New love number two…this Heartland gluten-free Lasagna.  The Walmart here in rural route even carries it.  It was $2.88 (very reasonable compared to other brands) and was really good.  I will definitely be trying some of their other shapes of pasta.  Unfortunately the lasagna is all my Walmart carries but I will check out others when I’m in a larger town.  The family loved this too and they don’t even have to eat gluten-free.  Seriously once made into lasagna I don’t think anyone could tell the difference.  I didn’t taste the pasta alone but with everything on it…it tasted exactly like regular lasagna.

I made traditional layers and some rolled.  Both handled the sauce just like a regular noodle.  For the rolled I just soaked the noodles in super hot water (not boiling) until soft enough to roll.

The above ciabatta made into garlic toast sticks.  One of the best meals I’ve had in the last 6 weeks. 🙂



Buttermilk Dough

 This dough is so good.  The buttermilk powder gives it a kind of mellow sourdough vibe without all the work.  I’m thinking the buttermilk is also what gives it it’s amazing chew.  I can’t rave about this dough enough. 🙂  I’m linking to one of Nicole’s posts where she includes the bread flour recipe.  I use her ‘make it simple’ recipe for the flour portion of the bread blend.  The page I’m linking is her recipe for English Muffin bread from the bread book…which is amazing too. 🙂  

So on to my buttermilk dough…

350 g Bread Flour

4 tbsp Buttermilk Powder
1 1/4 cup Water
1 1/2 tsp Yeast
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Sugar

Mix well.    I just use my dough whisk.  No kneading.  Just mix really well.

Cover and put in the icebox at least overnight.  I use mine by day 4.

Take out of icebox and shape.  It definitely holds together on it’s own but it’s wet / sticky.

For the ciabatta…shape let rise and then bake.  I’m going to try a baguette next.

For pizza…roll directly on a piece of parchment and then just move the parchment to your pan or in my case stone to bake.

Try not to use a lot of flour when shaping / rolling.  Use as little as possible to keep it from drying out.

‘Hashbrown’ Casserole

This recipe has been floating around various social media lately so I decided to adapt it gluten-free.  Recipe at the end of post. 🙂

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This was a big hit here and is my new favorite way to make a potato casserole.

The original recipe(s) said to use frozen bag(s) of hashbrown potatoes but I couldn’t find one here in rural route that didn’t have wheat / gluten so I decided to try to make my own.  I was very happy with the results. 🙂

This has been my best week in almost 5 weeks so hopefully I’m on the downside of my latest trek thru health h3ll. 🙂   

Hope y’all have had a good week. 🙂


Hashbrown Casserole

The amounts I used here are for half a recipe.  This can easily be doubled and I will definitely double it myself the next time.

2 Large Potatoes, Pealed and Grated

2 tbsp Oil (I used Macadamia Nut oil)

1 cup Sour Cream

1 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated

Bacon (as little or as much as you like)

3/4 package Ranch Dip Mix


Cook, cool and chop bacon.
Peel and grate potatoes.
Squeeze out as much moisture from the potatoes as possible.
Heat oil on medium high (as always know your stove and adjust as needed).
Add potatoes to hot pan and cook til they’re a light brownish color and are stuck together in several loose ‘hashbrown’ piles.
Flip and brown the other side. Total cooking time should be around 8 – 10 minutes. Four to five-ish per side.
Dump potatoes in a mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients.
Mix well and dump into a greased pan or casserole dish.
Bake at 350* for about 20 minutes.

Happy Valentine’s Day :)

This has been the worst sickness I’ve experienced in years.  It’s been 4 weeks and I’m still dragging.  Oh the joys of a weak immune system. 😦 Plus my taste is still all off.  The eats aren’t all that interesting overall but the occasional blog worthy recipe is starting to make an appearance around here. 🙂  I don’t know when I’ll get back to a steady posting routine so for now I’m just going to ease back in as I start to get back into the cooking groove.  Thanks for hanging with me. 🙂

I had plans to make all sorts of fun Valentine’s themed foods for the blog but that just didn’t happen.  Maybe next year.  I did make these brownies and they were definitely blog worthy.  Yes, Sister Lupiac I’m sending you some. 🙂   As always recipe is at the end of the post.


Melted butter and chocolate.


Eggs / sugar / vanilla / red food coloring.


Pre oven brownie layer topped with cream cheese mixture and swirled.





Yum. 🙂

These are quick / easy / pretty and very good. 🙂

Hope y’all are all well / safe / warm and have a great day. 🙂

Red Velvet Brownies

1/2 cup Butter
2 oz Chocolate
1 cup Sugar
2  Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1 oz Red Food Coloring
3/4 cup Flour (I used Cup4Cup)
1/4 tsp Salt
8 oz softened Cream Cheese
1/3 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 tsp Vanilla


Preheat oven to 350*.
In a small bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir until combined and very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla and red food coloring.
Add cooled chocolate mixture and stir until smooth.
Add flour and salt and stir until just combined.
Pour into pan and spread into an even layer.
For the cheesecake layer beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
Dollop the cheesecake mixture over batter in the pan.
Swirl with a knife or spatula.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean.
Let cool completely in pan on a cooling rack before cutting.
This tastes good at room temp or refrigerated. Refrigerated it takes like red velvet cheese cake.