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I’ve Moved!

February 12, 2016

Hello!  I have merged my food blog with my author’s website.  And if you’ve wound up here, it’s because the redirect expired.  You can hop on over to the new site here!  And if you like, leave me a comment here letting me know how you wound up here.

Ground Lamb Stew

February 3, 2015
The recent rash of cold weather (DUDE, what do we know about having temps in the single digits in Mississippi???) has lit a wicked craving for Irish stew.  Now traditional Irish stew has nice, meaty chunks of lamb.  Not something readily available in my small town grocery store.  But I did find ground lamb, so I decided to use that as my base.  One benefit of this version over traditional Irish stew is that it’s FASTER.  You’re browning the lamb to start with, so you don’t have to wait for the meat to cook through.  As additional inspiration, I took the Le Creuset Dutch Oven Crack (the fantabulous Beef Stew With Mushrooms and Bacon that I made when I first got my precious Le Creuset dutch oven) and started tweaking.  I wanted a rich, hearty stew, loaded with root veggies with a lovely savory broth to pair with Irish soda bread.
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 8 slices thick slices bacon
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 5 carrots, peeled and diced* (note, depending on the size of stuff, you should have about the same amount of diced carrots as parsnips when you’re through)
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 1 12 oz. bag frozen pearl onions
  • 6 average russet potatoes, diced (not the ginormous bakers, just an averaged size potato)
  • 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbs kosher salt


  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Brown the lamb, breaking up with a wooden spoon as it cooks.  You want things to get a bit caramelized.  Caramelized means FLAVOR!
  3. Cut the bacon into chunks and cook in a large dutch oven until crispy and remove with a slotted spoon.
  4. Pour the bacon grease into a bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons back to your dutch oven..
  5. Add the carrots and parsnips and saute until just starting to caramelize.
  6. Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.
  7. Deglaze the pan with 1 cup of the stock, scraping up all those lovely brown bits.
  8. Add the lamb back to the pan.
  9. Add the rest of the stock, potatoes, carrots, parsnips and thyme.  Bring the mixture back to a boil.
  10. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
  11. Add another tablespoon of bacon grease to a skillet and heat over medium heat.
  12. Add the pearl onions and mushrooms and saute until softened.
  13. Add the reserved bacon,  onions, and mushrooms, along with the pepper and salt to the dutch oven and cook for another 20 minutes.
Serve with a big warm hunk of crusty Irish soda bread (which, btw, you should start as soon as you set the stew to simmer in the first place–the oven should be preheating while you put the stew together).

Gluten Free Dairy Free Irish Soda Bread

January 27, 2015
I’ve always loved Irish soda bread.  It’s dense, filling, and simple.  You can eat it with butter or dip it in soup (as my husband prefers).  Some people think it’s supposed to be sweet and have raisins in it or carraway seeds.  Real soda bread is just flour, buttermilk, salt, and baking soda.  This recipe is adapted from the cookbook of Irish favorites I toted back from Ireland.

  • 2 cups non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk) soured with 1 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (you can use 2 tsps of either of them, I just find the blend to give the best buttermilk flavor for non-dairy purposes)
  • 4 cups Jeanne’s Gluten Free all purpose Mix
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Add the vinegar and lemon juice to the milk and give it a stir before setting it aside to sour.
  3. Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum together.
  4. Add the soured milk, working quickly to stir together a soft dough.
  5. Form it into a ball about the thickness of your fist and place into a greased dutch oven (I use my Le Creuset enameled cast iron).
  6. Cut a shallow x across the top.
  7. Cover and bake near the top of the oven for 30-45 minutes.
  8. When properly baked, the loaf should sound hollow when thumped from the bottom.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Bacon Corn Chowder

January 20, 2015
I have approximately a zillion different versions of corn chowder.  It’s one of those super simple dishes that’s fast and easy as a pantry meal.  Then you can add in whatever meats you prefer or have on hand to bulk it up a bit.  This one highlights the glory of bacon (and who doesn’t love that?) and has been converted to be dairy free.


  • 8 slices thick cut bacon, diced
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 1 12 oz bag of frozen corn
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 ounces Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese or other dairy free cream cheese substitute
  1. In a heavy dutch oven (I used my Le Crueset), cook the bacon over medium low heat until crispy.
  2. Remove to paper towels to drain with a slotted spoon.
  3. Pour off all but about a tablespoon of the remaining bacon grease.  Be sure to leave all the browned bits at the bottom!  That is flavor, my friend!
  4. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the frozen corn, stir, and cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until the kernels start to get a little caramelized.
  6. Slowly add the chicken stock, stirring with a wooden spoon to get up those browned bits at the bottom.
  7. Add the can of creamed corn and spices and stir well.
  8. Reduce heat to simmer and cover, cooking for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove the top and add in the faux cream cheese, stirring constantly until it’s melted into the soup.
  10. Add the bacon and simmer for 5 more minutes.
  11. Serve with a good crusty bread.  Or you can be like me and make a grilled cheese.  This was my experiment with Go Veggie’s Vegan Cheddar slices.  Which make a passably good grilled cheese, though it seems that once the stuff melts, the bread really absorbs it.

Gluten Free Dairy Free French Toast Bake

January 13, 2015

This batch of decadence was my hubby’s request for Christmas morning breakfast.  It was a recipe somebody shared on Facebook (and I’m sorry, I have no idea WHOSE the original recipe was!) that he asked me to convert to something we could both eat.  Not a small order with the whole gluten AND dairy free restrictions.  But I took it on and the results were, frankly, nothing short of spectacular.  The whole family LOVED this.   I don’t actually like normal French toast, but I really enjoyed this.  We had it with some fresh sausage from the butcher shop and bacon (because that’s how we roll).  This recipe is for a half batch (9×9 pan).  If you’re feeding a crowd, double everything and use a 9×13.

1/4 cup melted Earth Balance
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 loaf of thickly sliced gluten free dairy free bread
2 eggs
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other neutral dairy free milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar for sprinkling
Cinnamon for sprinkling
maple syrup
1. Melt butter in microwave & add brown sugar….stir till mixed.
2. Pour butter/sugar mix into bottom of 9×9 pan….spread around.
3. Beat eggs, milk, & vanilla
4. Lay single slices of bread in pan
5. Spoon 1/2 of egg mixture on bread layer
6. Sprinkle some cinnamon over bread/eggs
7. Add 2nd layer of sliced bread
8. Spoon on remaining egg mixture
9. Cover & chill in fridge overnight
10. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (covered for the first 30 minutes)
11. Sprinkle with powdered sugar & cinnamon
12. Serve with warm maple syrup

Gluten Free Chicken Croquettes

January 6, 2015
This recipe is an adaptation for Alton Brown’s recipe for Tuna Croquettes.  I wound up trying it with canned chicken and it has become, essentially, the grown up chicken nugget of our household.  It’s a great, tasty solution to “what’s for dinner?” when you didn’t have a chance to thaw anything.


  • 1 12 oz. can of shredded chicken, drained
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh scallions (just the green parts) minced
  • 1/2 cup + more for breading GF panko breadcrumbs (The cheat easy version I use for this is to blitz a box of Corn Chex and a box of Rice Chex in the blender…it’s a great, crunchy breading and cheaper than the specialized GF breadcrumbs)
  • neutral oil to fry in (I use sunflower)
  1. Drain and fluff your chicken (just break up the chunks as they come out of the can).
  2. Add your eggs, mustard, lemon juice, salt, scallions, and the 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs.  Stir well to combine.
  3. Set up a tray or plate with a sheet of parchment paper.
  4. Scoop up the mixture and form into patties (approximately 2 inches across) and set aside on the parchment paper to hang out for about fifteen minutes.  The excess moisture will drain off and/or be absorbed by the breadcrumbs mixed in, creating COHESION.
  5. Add more breadcrumbs to a pie plate.
  6. One at a time, coat the croquettes in breadcrumbs.  This makes about 8 croquettes.
  7. Preheat your oil to medium heat.  You don’t need a lot, just enough to cover the bottom of your skillet.
  8. Cook croquettes approximately 4-5 minutes a side, or until golden brown.
  9. Drain on paper towels before serving.

Product Comparison: Daiya Mozzarella Shreds vs. Go Veggie! Vegan Mozzarella Shreds

November 22, 2014

I recently received a box of Go Veggie!’s entire vegan line of alterna-cheese products to test out (thank you Go Veggie!).  This is a brand my local grocery carries, but they only have the Lactose free line (it has been my experience that unlike gluten intolerance, the average person has never heard of casein intolerance and they assume that a dairy allergy is lactose intolerance–not the same thing, peeps), so I was eager to give these a try, as I feel like if Kroger carries one, they might be willing to start carrying the other.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll be trying all of them, but for now, we’re starting with the mozzarella shreds.

Go veggie cheese

We had pizza for dinner tonight, which gives a great opportunity for a head to head comparison of my usual Daiya mozzarella shreds vs. these Go Veggie shreds vs. the real cheese at my hubby’s end of the pizza.  Here you can see what all three look like before going into the oven.  Straight out of the bag, you can see that the Go Veggie! looks a bit more like thick shredded mozzarella than the Daiya.

Go veggie cheese


Now, let’s look at this OUT of the oven.  Right off the bat I was SHOCKED that the Go Veggie! shreds MELTED LIKE REAL CHEESE.  I mean, look at that!  It CONFORMED TO THE PIZZA TOPPINGS (chicken and bacon, in case you were wondering).  It even oozed off the side.  In fact, it melted a little bit more than regular cheese, but I can deal with that.  The Daiya, by contrast, still looks much as it did when it went in the oven.  Now one of the weird things about Daiya is that when it heats, the inside liquefies, so as soon as the surface tension of the outside of the cheese is broken, you get this glorious, creamy texture.  So when you EAT Daiya on pizza, it’s all melty in your mouth.  Just not for your eyes.

Go veggie cheese


Now, finally, let’s talk about taste.  I really enjoyed both of these mozzarella shreds.  Taste wise, I don’t think they were too terribly different.  If blindfolded, I don’t know if I’d know which was which by taste alone–at least not in this dish where there are a lot of other flavors competing.  So, since at least part of eating is a visual experience, for pizza, I’m actually going to call the Go Veggie! Mozzarella shreds the winner.  I could have a pizza with this and looking at it never know I wasn’t eating real cheese.  Anything that makes me feel like less of a freak with this dairy allergy is a real winner for me.