Gluten-Free Girl Every Day Author Shauna Ahern at Powell’s Books Tomorrow

gluten free girl everyday - shauna james ahern

File this under “ridiculously late notice”, but I only just saw it today, I swear! Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 7th at 7:30PM, author Shauna James Ahern (a.k.a. Gluten Free Girl) will be at Powell’s Books W Burnside signing her book, Gluten-Free Girl Every Day. Here is Powell’s blurb from their events email.

An approachable gluten-free cookbook intended for home cooks making dinner for their families, Shauna Ahern’s Gluten-Free Girl Every Day (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) features food you want to cook every day: fresh, satisfying, and filled with great flavors.

Where: Powell’s City of Books on Burnside
When: 7:30 PM
Address: 1005 W. Burnside, Portland OR
Phone: (800) 878-7323

Guest Post: Making Broth for Allergies

Editor’s note: The following is a guest post by Stephanie Pearson of Daily Nectar. Please check out her bio after the article. Thanks Stephanie!

Making Broth for Allergies

When my son was toddler and we had not yet uncovered all of his food sensitivities, I began working with bone broth soups and stews as a way to clear his symptoms. I found that after a day or two on a very basic eliminative diet of just non-starchy vegetables, nourishing grass-fed meats, and bone broth, my son’s digestive and behavioral symptoms would completely go away. I was then able to reintroduce foods one by one and observe which foods caused the symptoms to reappear. I used this method in combination with herbs and an adapted version of the Coca Pulse Test, which are described in other articles.

Although a lot of us have learned about bone broth from Sally Fallon’s book, Nourishing Traditions, many have not experienced using the broths as a tool for determining food sensitivities. Bone broth provides easily absorbed proteins and minerals, has a healing effect on digestive organs, and stimulates immune function. It is also hypoallergenic, allowing so that we can get a clear view of the which foods are triggering inflammation and/or an immune response. Below, I provide instructions for making nourishing broths and using them to support healing for those with food sensitivities. Include the broths as rich additions to your regular diet or consider using broth to cleanse during an allergy-elimination diet.

Bone Broth Directions

Making bone broth is easy. first, ask your butcher for an organic chicken or knuckles and marrow bones bones from grass fed cows. I prefer to simplify (and keep my hands clean!) by having the chicken and beef bones pre-cut. You may also use lean fish like bass or cod to make a fish broth. A fish based broth makes a delicious base for coconut and other Thai and Asian soups, such as Tom Kha Gai. It all types of broth, the bones are essential, but you can increase nutrition if you also include organs and other parts that we don’t usually consume in our modern diet. Depending on your sense of adventure, you can include none or any of the following: chicken feet, chicken necks and heads, whole fish, including the heads, and organ meats. If this really isn’t really your thing, don’t worry, omitting the less familiar bits will still produce a gourmet, very tasty, nutritious, and healing broth.

It is economical if you can make a habit of keeping all the bones from the meat that you eat during the week. Vegetable scraps and egg shells make great additions to the broth too (make sure that you clean the egg shells well). Keep these spare parts in a labeled jar or freezer bag in the freezer and add them to your pot in within six months time.

To make the broth, place the bones in a large pot and cover with filtered water and a teaspoon or so of apple cider or other vinegar. Within 15 minutes, the acidity of the vinegar will draw minerals such as calcium and potassium from the bones and into your soup. These minerals support the healing of bones and make teeth stronger. Bring the pot to a boil and skim off what collects on the top. At this point you can add vegetables if you’d like. For American soups, I like to use a French mirepoix, a combination of equal parts celery or celeriac root, onions, and carrots. This works fine with Asian soups as well, but it can be nice to also include ginger and other Asian vegetables. Many Latin American stocks are lovely with a bit of cilantro added in the last ten minutes. Next, decrease the temperature to a simmer and cook for between 4 and 24 hours. The longer you simmer the more minerals you’ll extract. During the last 30 minutes, you can add medicinal herbs to your broth. I like to add a few tablespoons of astragalus root to strengthen wei chi, a Chinese medicine concept that describes the protective barrier of our immune system that forms our natural defenses. I recommend that you do not use astragalus if you have an acute infection, least you “lock the thief in the house” (or close the outer barrier with the sickness still inside you), as they say in Chinese medicine). It is also contraindicated in pregnancy. Dandelion and burdock roots can be beneficial to people with eczema or other skin eruptions or to those in need of detoxification. Garlic and ginger are warming and improve circulation which can be especially helpful to those who often feel cold or who have cold hands and feet. Ginger also improves digestion and can double or triple the absorption of nutrients. Fresh nettles make a fabulous addition to broth when added in the last half hour. Nettles can modulate allergic response, are protein-rich, and are highly nutritive (make sure to use tongs to avoid being stung).

When the broth is ready and has cooled, strain it through a colander or fine mesh strainer and into another pot or a large glass container. The marrow within the beef bones will be red to yellow in color and is extraordinarily healing to gut lining. You can boost the healing power of the broth by scooping the marrow out and returning it to the broth. Share the bones with your dog or bury them in the garden. After straining, you can use the broth to make soup, serve it on its own with sea salt, freeze as it is, or reduce it further by boiling it down, letting it cool, and freezing it in ice cubes trays (which should later be transferred into a freezer bag). Add the cubes to meals to improve flavor, contribute to healing, and increase the nutritional value of what you are eating. I add cubes to water when making grains, sauces, and even biscuits.


This recipe makes approximately 64oz of broth depending on how much water you use and how long you leave it to cook.
4 quarts of filtered water
1.5- 2 lbs of beef marrow bones, chickens with necks, etc., or whole fish cut up
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar (organic, unfiltered)
chopped vegetables, such as 2 carrots, 1 onion, and 3 celery ribs
1 tsp. unrefined sea salt (I use Real Salt brand)
1-2 Tbs. of herbs such as garlic, ginger, astragalus, burdock, or dandelion root (optional)

As I found in the case of my son, bone broth, with its easily assimilated minerals and gut-healing gelatin, is perhaps the ideal food for those suffering from allergies. When intestinal lining becomes overly permeable, as is common with conditions such as food and environmental sensitivities, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, we are left with a condition descriptively called Leaky Gut Syndrome. Leaky Gut Syndrome can develop as a result of high levels of stress, chronic maldigestion, undiagnosed food sensitivities, or with the use of birth control pills, antibiotics, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as aspirin and ibuprofen).

The small intestine is highly specialized to absorb certain molecules and keep others, such as toxins, out. Increased permeability leads to increased toxicity, decreased nutrient absorption, and a greater susceptibility to acquired allergies- or proteins tagged as antigens because they have seeped through the gut with other allergens. Gelatin-rich bone broth has a nourishing and curative action that is reparative to permeable lining and can dampen the allergic response. In addition to its benefit to atopic conditions, bone broth has the overall effect of enhancing the natural functioning of our bodies, boosting the immune system, and preserving and strengthening teeth, bones, and joints. All other the world, broth was traditionally served as a first course or along side meals. Take a lesson from tradition and put it on your table.

Stephanie Pearson is a mother of three, nutrition consultant, herbalist, and community educator. She is also a member of Slow Food Portland and holds an appointed position on the Multnomah Food Policy Council. She is up and coming for her work with Daily Nectar in nutritional education and consultation, specializing in herbal and nutritional support for Autism Spectrum Disorders, sub-acute gluten sensitivity, and digestive imbalances. Stephanie is committed to spreading nutritional awareness and works diligently to offer free education and affordable nutritional support to individuals and parents nation-wide.

Daily Nectar is based in Portland, Oregon. Stephanie offers telephone consultations nationwide., 971-678-4280

Coming Events: GIG Gluten-Free Fair, May Class at Bob’s Red Mill and Gluten Free Expo

Portland GIG Gluten-Free Fair

The Portland Metro GIG has announced the date and venue for this years spring Gluten-Free Fair. It will be held Saturday, May 19th, 2012 at Mittleman Jewish Community Center on Capitol Highway near Multnomah Village. More information here on Grain Damaged.

May Class at Bob’s Red Mill

The May schedule of classes at Bob’s Red Mill is out. They only have one gluten-free class this month, but it looks intriguing. Here’s the description:

Gluten Free Baking with Dr. Jean Layton! Have you been frustrated that your gluten-free goodies have been less than stellar? Using a simple way of measuring for perfect results every time join Dr. Jean Layton co-author of Gluten-Free Baking for Dummies for a tantalizing and tempting baked treats. Her recipes include: Crunchy Hazelnut Biscotti – twice baked cookies that are perfect with a cup of tea, Maple Walnut Tea Scones – using no sugar, just pure maple syrup for sweetening, Sweet Potato Biscuits that use the sweet potato puree for tenderness and flavor, allowing the biscuits to be lower in fat and higher in antioxidants, Cranberry Orange Muffins, this vegan muffin is the perfect quick breakfast treat, Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes with a sweet lemon glaze, and Perfect Pancakes. Bring your gluten free baking questions, Dr. Jean loves to share her 6 years of experience with gluten-free thriving.

Supplies to Bring: enjoy the sampling! Class fee $45.00

When: Thursday, May 31, 2012, 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Where: Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Cooking School, 5000 S.E. International Way, Milwaukie, Oregon 97222
Contact: Call Bonnie at (971) 206-2208 to enroll.

Chicago Gluten-Free Expo is This Month

The Living Without Gluten Free Expo is coming in two weeks, in Chicago. A quick look at the class schedule reveals two prominent Portland folks, Kyra Bussanich of Crave Bake Shop, and Laura B. Russell, author of the Gluten Free Asian Kitchen. There’s a spot on the website where you can go and vote for them to come to Portland, here. Do it!

Fine Print: We are not affiliated with the Portland GIG, Bob’s Red Mill, or the Gluten-Free Expo.

April Classes at Bob’s Red Mill

Two new upcoming gluten-free classes at Bob’s Red Mill:

New to Gluten Free with Lori Sobelson! Thursday, April 19, 2012 • 5:00-6:30 p.m. Are you new to the gluten free lifestyle? Do you feel overwhelmed not knowing what is safe to eat, what products to buy, how to bake without using gluten flours? In this class Lori Sobelson, Director of Community Outreach with Bob’s Red Mill will walk you through the basic steps of converting to a gluten free lifestyle. We will discuss what it means to live a gluten free lifestyle, talk about brands you can trust, sample gluten free baked goods made from Bob’s Red Mill gluten free mixes as well as learn tips that will make your new menu planning easier. You’ll leave with a recipe packet and a better understanding of all that’s available to make your new lifestyle easy to adapt to and worth the change!

This class is specifically designed for those who are new to gluten free. It is an informational class only; no cooking demonstration will be given. Class Fee: $25.00


Spectacular Spring Salads with Laura B. Russell! Thursday, April 26, 2012 • 5:00-7:00 p.m. Join food writer and cookbook author Laura Russell as she incorporates grains, beans, and lentils into spectacular spring salads. Many are main-dish worthy, such as Quinoa Salad with Chicken and Grapes, Wild Rice Salad with Smoked Trout and Lemony Dill Vinaigrette, and Cannellini Bean Salad with Tuna and Watercress. The others, Lentils Vinaigrette with Toasted Almonds, Tropical Rice Salad with Mango, Avocado, and Cilantro, and Buckwheat Salad with Roasted Asparagus, can be served as side dishes or light main dishes. We’ll talk about cooking grains and beans, making homemade dressings, and ideas for varying the recipes as well.

All of the salads in this class are gluten free. Class Fee $40.00

Where: Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Cooking School, 5000 S.E. International Way, Milwaukie, Oregon 97222
Contact: Call Bonnie at (971) 206-2208 to enroll.

Coming Gluten Free Events and Classes for January 2012

Portland Metro GIG Meeting

The January GIG meeting is this Saturday. The topic will be “Gluten Free Q & A with Dr. Jan Gagnon” and samples will be given out by Bridge City Baking. More information can be found at the Grain Damaged website. They also note that the location has changed a little:

Our next meeting will be held this Saturday, the 2nd Sat of the month in a new location. Our new regular meeting space is still at Emanuel Hospital, still on the 2nd Sat of every month. It is now on the south side of the hospital at 501 N. Graham, Portland OR 97227. The room is called MOB, which stands for Medical Office Building. It’s a meeting space attached the the Medical Office Building.

The room is in between N. Graham and the sliding glass doors of the atrium. Look for the signs.

When: January 14 – 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Legacy Emanuel Hospital
2801 N Gantenbein Ave.
Portland, OR. 07227-1623
Room MOB

More Info: Call Lisa Shaver 503.577.9339, GIG of Portland branch manager.

Gluten-Free Cooking Classes at Bob’s Red Mill

In February, Bob’s Red Mill will be hosting some gluten free classes.

On February 9, author Laura B. Russell will be teaching a class on international soups. This class isn’t billed as gluten free, but it ends up being that way. Regular readers will be familiar with Russell’s great book The Gluten Free Asian Kitchen (our review here). We attended this class the last time it was available and really enjoyed it.

On February 23, Kyra Bussanich will be teaching a class on making gluten-free holiday desserts. Kyra is the pastry chef at Crave Bake Shop, and recently won Cupcake Wars on the Food Channel.

Call Bonnie at (971) 206-2208 at Bob’s Red Mill to reserve your space, and act fast because the classes fill up quickly. Flier with more info is available here (PDF).

Delicious International Soups with Laura B. Russell
Thursday, Feb 9, 2012, 5:00-7:00 PM

Best-Ever Gluten-Free Holiday Desserts with Kyra Bussanich
Thursday, Feb 23, 2012, 50:00-7:00 PM

Bob’s Red Mill Cooking School
5000 SE International Way
Milwaukie OR 97222

Photos and Notes from the GIG Holiday Food Fair

We attended the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) Holiday Food Fair around noon last Saturday the 22nd. When we walked in, the place was hopping, and everyone we talked to mentioned how busy it was. Besides vendors with booths set up, there were also a number of talks on various subjects available. We didn’t attend any of the talks, and instead went around the room, sampled goodies and talked to some of the people we knew there. We looked around for Lisa Shaver, the Portland Metro GIG Branch Manager, but didn’t see her. (Sorry for the quality on some of these photos. I’m going to have to switch back to using my real camera instead of my phone.)

Here are the Jensens of Jensen’s Bread and Bakeries. They make the buns that are served at a large number of restaurants around Portland, including all 59 Northwst McMenamins, the Corbet and Hawthorne Fish Houses, Dick’s Kitchen, and a quickly-growing list of others.

Some of you may have noticed a gluten-free food cart around town called the “GF Chef.” Here is the chef himself, Jim Adams, and his significant other. He had samples of biscuits and gravy along with information about his cart, which is currently available at NE 20th at Everett in the Green Castle Food Court. They serve various sandwiches, corn dogs, donuts, and other American food.

We don’t have space here to list everyone who had a booth at the show, but the regular big name gluten-free companies had booths. So there was Bragg’s, Ener-G Foods, New Seasons Market, Pura Vida Products, Rudi’s, and even Tupperware. Bakeries were well represented, including many we know like Crave Bake Shop, Cravin Raven, Gluten-Free Gem, New Cascadia Traditional, Piece of Cake, and White Rabbit Bakery, but also some ones we didn’t recognize.

Here is a woefully blurry picture of Ann Miller, the owner of the Gluten-Free Gem Bakery, and one of her bakers, whose name I would have written down if I was more organized (Note to self: be more organized). They had samples of their delicious baked goods, as well as information about their products, which are produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility here in town. They are located at 265 N Hancock St. #105 and have a retail window that is open 9 AM to 3 PM Monday through Friday. Their baked goods are available at Stumptown Coffee locations around town, New Seasons Markets, and a bunch of other places in Portland.

Ann Miller told us about an upcoming Gluten Free Expo taking place at the Salem Convention Center on November 26.

Last but not least, we visited the Crave Bake Shop booth. Laura B. Russell was there signing copies of her book, The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen. Next, from left to right here is Jamie Hogland, the business partner of Crave Bake Shop’s Kyra Bussanich. Then comes Deb Wheaton and her daughter Amy. Deb Wheaton is a celiac consultant, gluten-free blogger (, and writer/producer working with the Celiac Disease Foundation to produce the national public service announcements and a series of educational online videos to raise awareness.

That’s all we have. See you next time, and thanks to the GIG for holding these events!

Laura B. Russell’s Gluten Free Soups Class at Bob’s Red Mill

Delicious International Soups with Laura B. Russell

If you haven’t been to a cooking class at Bob’s Red Mill, the format is less participatory and more like watching someone cook while they give you tips on how to be successful with the dishes. Everyone is given a handout with recipes for the dishes being prepared. At the front of the class there is a large island with burners and cutting boards, where the cook does their work. On either side of the island, hanging from the ceiling, are two monitors which show a view from above the cooking area, so that you can see what’s going on inside the pots while the food is being prepared. As the dishes are finished, samples are handed around to everyone in the class. Also, audience members are encouraged to ask questions, and the crowd this night was very inquisitive.

We recently attended the aforementioned gluten-free soups class at Bob’s Red Mill. The class was taught by Laura B. Russell, the author of The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen, which we are currently working our way through. The other upcoming gluten-free class happening there is a desserts class with Crave Bake Shop’s Kyra Busanich (see here for details). More information about Laura B. Russell is available at her website, She also writes a monthly column for the Oregonian’s Food Day section called “Gluten Freedom” (click here for a list of previous columns), and is also a contributor to Portland’s MIX magazine and to Easy Eats and Living Without magazine.

The dishes included in the handout were: Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup, Creamy Curried Millet and Vegetable Soup, Brazilian Cheese Puffs, Eastern-European Style Mushroom and Buckwheat Soup, Wild Rice Soup with Smoked Sausage, and Peruvian Quinoa Chowder. We got samples of the first four of these dishes, and they were all really delicious. The Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup was my favorite. It’s got an amazing ginger, cumin, and cinnamon spice blend, and features fresh mint added at the end. The recipe for this dish can be found here at Russell’s website. This recipe happens to be vegan. A bunch of the recipes on her site are vegan/vegetarian friendly.

The items that prompted the most questions and discussion were the Brazilian Cheese Puffs. Fortunately, the recipe for this dish is also available at her website, here: Brazilian Cheese Puffs. Russell noted that a person could make larger sized puffs and use them for hamburger buns, or make smaller sized puffs and then stuff them to create hors d’oeuvres. She also noted that the most important ingredients are the tapioca flour, the milk, and the eggs. So a person could change up the cheeses used, and also try different milk substitutes.

During the break we went up and introduced ourselves. We had some questions about a recipe that we had tried out of the Gluten Free Asian Kitchen book. Russell was very friendly and was happy to have a long discussion about cooking dumplings with us. After the class, she was available for more questions and also to sign copies of her book.

We thought that this was a fun and rewarding class and would encourage anyone out there who is interested in food or cooking to check out the classes at Bob’s Red Mill. Upcoming classes can be found listed here. Note that not all of their classes are gluten-free. This one wasn’t really billed as a gluten-free class, but everything in it was gluten-free. If you wanted to attend this class but missed it, we were told that this class and the desserts class taught by Kyra Bussanich will be repeating in February. You can reserve a spot now by calling Bonnie at Bob’s Red Mill 971-206-2208 (Mon-Fri 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM).

Two New Gluten-Free Classes at Bob’s Red Mill

There are two upcoming gluten-free classes at Bob’s Red Mill. These are a fun way to spend an evening (see our review of one we took last year).

Delicious International Soups with Laura B. Russell

Laura B. Russell is the author of The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen, which we are currently working our way through.

When: Thursday, October 20, 2011 5:00 to 7:00 PM

Take a trip around the world with cookbook author and columnist Laura Russell as she incorporates whole grains and beans into hearty, satisfying soups and accompaniments. We’ll start in Africa with a Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup followed by a layover in India for Creamy Curried Millet and Vegetable Soup. Two stops in South America bring us an addictive tapioca-based Brazilian Cheese Bread and Peruvian Quinoa Chowder. Back home in the U.S., we’ll dig into wedges of Cornbread and a chunky Wild Rice Soup with Smoked Sausage. Please join us in welcoming Laura Russell to our cooking school while enjoying some of her wonderful dishes!

Note: In addition to this menu being gluten-free, both breads are vegetarian, one soup is vegan, and one soup has a vegan option.

Supplies to bring: enjoy the sampling! Class Fee: $40.00

Best-Ever Gluten-Free Holiday Desserts– But For Everyone with Kyra Bussanich

Our review of Crave Bake Shop and their amazing cupcakes. Seriously, Kyra Bussanich makes the best gluten-free cupcakes and cinnamon rolls.

When: Thursday, November 10, 2011 5:00 to 7:00 PM

Here’s how you can WOW your holiday guests and family, even those with gluten-free or dairy-free diets with a nationally-acclaimed Pastry Chef Kyra Bussanich from Lake Oswego’s Crave Bake Shop will show you how to create tender, flaky Sweet Potato Biscuits with Maple Butter, a lighter-than-air dairy-free Pumpkin Chiffon Cake, and outrageous Truffle Fudge Brownies. You can also raise a toast with Champagne Cupcakes or give thanks in style with stop-in-their-tracks Pumpkin Cheesecake. Each dessert is gluten-free, but they’re so delicious, your friends and family will NEVER know–they’ll just want more!

Supplies to Bring: enjoy the sampling! Class fee $40.00

Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Store
5000 International Way
Milwaukie, OR 97222

Call Bonnie at Bob’s Red Mill 971-206-2208 (Mon-Fri 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM) to sign up for classes.

Gluten-Free Dinner: Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Chutney

We were recently looking at cookbooks in Powell’s Books on Hawthorne. Specifically, we were checking out The New Best Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen, which also has a book that’s The Best Simple Recipes, which as the title would suggest, has the best recipes but for people who don’t have as much time. I checked out the simple book and felt like it isn’t exactly the kind of food we like to eat. Recently, someone gave us a subscription to Bon Appetit magazine, and there’s a section in the magazine devoted to recipes that are supposed to take 15 minutes or under. We’ve had a lot of success with those recipes, and just on a whim, we decided to see if there was something like it in the quick cooking section at Powell’s. Little did we expect, we found exactly what we were looking for!

I had to take a shot of this book from the side. Look at the size of this book! It’s giant! And it has 1100 recipes in it.

Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh by Barbara Fairchild

The Bon Appetit Cookbook: Fast Easy Fresh (2008) by Barbara Fairchild. Obviously, not all of these recipes are going to be gluten-free. But that’s what substituting is for. Also, the recipes are all supposed to take between 30 to 45 minutes to make. The book is divided up into different sections on soups, salads, sandwiches, different kinds of meat (fish, pork, beef, chicken, turkey, duck, and game), vegetables, breakfasts, sides, desserts, and even cocktails. The vegetable section is broken up by season so that you’ll actually be able to get the veggies for the recipes you want to make. One thing this book doesn’t have a lot of is photos, which is kind of disappointing, but still OK with me.


On to the recipe. It’s a quick cherry chutney over grilled pork tenderloin. This recipe takes advantage of the fact that cherries are available in stores right now, and serves four. Trader Joe’s has whole pork loins for a reasonable price. I added some things to it (marked in italics). These are: garlic & powdered ginger.

3/4 cup cherry preserves
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (or to taste)
2 garlic cloves, pressed

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2/3 cup chopped onion
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I substituted chili powder for more flavor and less burn)

1 pork tenderloin ( 1-1/4 pounds)

Obviously, the first thing you’re going to have to do is pit the cherries. If you don’t have a cherry pitting tool, you can do what I did and cut the cherries in half around the pip and then pop them out with a fingernail. If you cut it in half the right direction, you can get your thumbnail under the ridge that runs around the pit. Depending on how quickly your grill heats up, you may want to start it after you finish the cherries.

Make the Glaze: Mix the vinegar, allspice, ginger, garlic, and preserves in a small bowl. Pour 1/4 cup of this mixture into another container, and set aside for glazing the pork. The rest is going to go into the chutney.

The Chutney: In a pan over high heat, add some oil and let it heat up. Add the onion and saute for a minute. Add the chili powder, cherries, onion, and the reserved mixture from the preserves. Stir often and boil the mixture 8 minutes or until thick.

The Pork: Season the pork with salt and pepper, and then do your normal grilling and glazing routine. For a piece of meat like this, it means browning it in the hottest part of the grill, and then moving it to a cooler area to cook through. You’ll want to turn often and glaze it a lot. Cook until meat thermometer registers 145 F. You can speed up a pork loin by cutting it in half lengthwise. I did this to cut down on my cooking time.

At some point, put some kale in an aluminum foil packet with a little olive oil, a dash of salt, and some water. Put that on the grill 10 minutes before the pork is going to be done.


One Last, Quick Note: This doesn’t have anything to do with gluten-free cooking, but recently Sienna went on a mission to find the best cooking thermometer made. She went to different stores and asked people for advice. She searched the Internet. After a long search, she was successful: the best meat thermometer ever. This is the Cooper Model DPP400W, and the nice thing about it is that it measures the temperature of the meat almost instantly. I kept trying to use other meat thermometers that would take like 5 minutes to read the temperatures and I was overcooking a lot of meat. This thermometer is awesome, and unlike the big meat thermometers that don’t really work unless you’re putting them into a roast or a whole turkey, this thermometer can be used to test the temperature of something as thin as a chicken breast. OK, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Gluten Free Cupcake Mixes Coming Soon from Crave Bake Shop

We’ve talked (more like raved) about Crave Bake Shop here and here in the past. We really love their gluten free cupcakes and were excited when they contacted us about trying out some cupcake mixes that they’re working to develop. They’ve been working on these mixes as a more economical way to get their cupcakes to customers, and we think that’s a great idea. For testing, they sent us two mixes: Chocolate and Chai Spice.

We decided to wait for an event so that we wouldn’t end up eating these all by ourselves. Luckily my friend Noah had a birthday party coming up. So we were able to make cupcakes for the party and also have a larger group of taste testers. Our friend Noah has some other food allergies, so we had to check out the ingredients with Crave. At the time of this testing, the base ingredients for the mixes were: millet flour, tapioca flour, rice flour, potato starch, sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

If you’ve ever made a cake from a mix, then you’ll be familiar with how these work. They come as bagged powders to which you add wet ingredients such as oil, water, eggs, and butter. Follow the directions and apply the mixer as needed, bake, and voila! You have cupcakes ready to frost.

Gluten Free Chai Spice Cupcake Mix

The Chai Spice cupcake mix calls for a half cup of butter, buttermilk, and two eggs. To make these dairy free, it’s recommended to use Spectrum organic veggie shortening in place of the butter, and rice milk in place of the buttermilk. The instructions on the Chai Spice cupcakes were very clear, and included the sort of procedures that your mom always tells you to do when making a cake. For instance, at the end of the Chai Spice mix, you add part of the dry, part of the wet, mix, then repeat until you get through the rest of the dry and wet ingredients.

Chai Spice Gluten Free Cupcakes

Gluten Free Chai Spice Cupcakes, baked

When you’re done mixing, you plop the batter into paper cups and bake them. These were easy as pie. To frost them, I used a basic cream cheese frosting from a Betty Crocker cook book. The mixes make 12 regular-sized cupcakes.

Frosted gluten free cupcakes

Next up, the chocolate gluten-free cupcake mix. This mix calls for one egg, 1/4 vegetable oil, vanilla extract, hot water, and whole milk. To make these dairy-free, they recommend using soy milk or hemp milk, but warn that rice milk is going to be too thin. I thought that the inclusion of hot water was unusual. The instructions for these were much shorter, as well. Basically it’s mix everything but the hot water. Then add the hot water and blend until the batter is the consistency of warm chocolate sauce.

Gluten free chocolate cupcakes

I think that I made a mistake while putting these together. While the instructions said to fill the cups 2/3 full, I had extra batter and filled them all up. This ended up being a tactical error. For one thing, the cakes took a little longer to cook than the instructions called for. Also, the cupcakes ended up having muffin tops.

Chocolate Gluten Free Cupcakes

Despite the muffin tops, these cupcakes were AMAZING. Something about them (maybe it’s the hot water) makes the texture of these cupcakes almost silky smooth, like angel food cake. They need no frosting. I simply dusted them with powdered sugar.

So how did they do at the party? They were a success. These cupcakes are amazing. Everybody at the party loved them. I’ve never made anything like the chocolate cupcakes at home. They’re really unique. We’re rooting for Crave Bake Shop to get these mixes available for the public soon. They’re awesome.