Campside Peach Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream, Two Ways

skillet logo tablecloth (1)Are you so excited about the first week of the Great Gluten-Free Campout! I know I am.

I’m partnering with Better Batter and two other bloggers to present to you a four-week series on gluten-free campout cooking. We’ll be posting camping recipes every Tuesday for the next three weeks, so by the end, you will have 16 gluten-free recipes in your arsenal.

After reading these recipes, camping will be easy. Fun. No one will get sunburned. None of your children will fight or cry in the car. Fire ants and mosquitoes will magically lose their desire to bite.

Okay, those things might not happen, but you will have something to eat. And if you’ve been avoiding camping because you don’t think you’ll be able to eat anything among the sea of convenience foods, hot dogs and s’mores, get ready. Because everything is about to change.

We want you to participate in the Great Gluten-Free Camput too! Create your own recipe and link it in our comments sections. Let’s share as many recipes as we can during the next four weeks and get everyone ready to camp their gluten-free hearts out.

Here’s today’s lineup:

 – Campside Peach Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream, Two Ways –

Accidental Okie Peach Pie Two Ways

It’s summer and in summer when I think about desserts, I think about one thing and one thing only. Well, of course, I always think about chocolate. But what I really want and crave and need in the summer are peaches. Lots of them.

I come by my peach snobbery honestly, as you’ll read in this post.

For the Great Gluten-Free Campout, I made two peach pies – an advanced version and a simplified deconstructed peach pie. Both recipes are in this post and both are just as doable on the campsite or in the kitchen.

– Prep Work For Both Desserts –

An important part of successful campout cooking is prep work you do before you get to the  campsite.

My first order of prep work was to wash all my fruit. That’s much easier in the kitchen than the campsite. Wash and dry the peaches.

Tip: if the peaches have produce stickers, keep those on. Peaches tend to bleed out when their stickers are removed, so I keep them on until I’m getting ready to cut them up.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 1Next, I made a double batch of Better Batter’s pie crust recipe. (If you’re making the pie, make a double batch. If you’re making the deconstructed pie, make a single batch). It was simple and delicious. I did one major variation to the recipe, which was using a food processor instead of mixing by hand. It worked perfectly.

I made each batch separately.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 2Quickly blend the Better Batter flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 3Add cold butter and butter-flavored shortening. I let the shortening camp out in the freezer for thirty minutes before this step.

Whether you use a pastry cutter, a fork or a food processor, the key to a great pie crust is keeping the butter and shortening in pea-sized chunks. This isn’t cookie dough where you want soft butter to completely integrate into the other ingredients. Using the coldest butter and shortening possible is key.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 4It’s hard to resist the urge to overmix the butter, I know, but be stern with yourself and leave the pea-sized butter balls throughout. Your pie will thank you. And then you’ll thank you. And everyone else will thank you. And you’ll remember back to that fateful moment when you didn’t over-mix your butter and shortening.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 5Now slowly incorporate the cold, colorful mix of egg yolk, ice water, ice cubs and vinegar. Acid – be it vinegar or lemon juice – is essential to a successful gluten-free pie crust. It is the ultimate secret ingredient.

Mix until the dough comes together in a big ball. If you have a few stragglers not incorporated, that’s okay. Drop the dough onto the counter and slightly knead it so everything is incorporated. Gluten-free dough doesn’t exactly knead. You just push it around as well as you can and call it kneaded.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 6Now comes my least favorite parts: wrestling with plastic wrap and rolling out the pie crust. If you think that I’m happy and competent in every area of cooking, let me correct you. Rolling out pie crusts stresses me out and makes me feel like a failure. There, I said it.

After several unsuccessful attempts, I made a two-sheet thick top and bottom of cling wrap with the crust in the middle.

Tip from my sister, the true pastry cook in my family: after you place the cling wrap on the dough, get a big pan and press down on the center of the dough ball.  That will get it a little flatter and will make it easier to roll out.  

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 7And pretty soon, it looked like this. I know, miracles do happen.

Now I repeated and got the second batch of dough ready.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 8Still in the cling wrap, I folded both crusts into four, packaged into two layers of grocery sacks and placed in an ice chest with an ice pack. I didn’t have any loose ice in this ice chest. If your ice chest does, be extra careful to seal the bags holding the pie crusts so they don’t become invaded by water.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 9Now it’s time to make cinnamon whipped cream. Start by getting your mixing bowls nice and cold. I choose an ice water bath because my freezer was full. It doesn’t matter how you accomplish this step, just get ‘er done.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 10This whipped cream will not be consumed for hours, so I took some extra steps to help it stay whipped. Instead of granulated sugar, I used powdered sugar. The cornstarch will help the whipped cream keep its structure.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 11As it whips, add a teaspoon or so of cinnamon so the whipped cream is not overpowered by cinnamon, but the cinnamon flavor is still prominent. Cinnamon whipped cream and peach pie go together like peas and carrots.

I overwhipped the cream just a bit to help it hold up a little longer. No matter what, the pre-whipped cream is only going to hold up for a day. If you’re planning on making this dish several days into camping, either whip your cream on the campsite by hand or with an electric mixer, or buy a can of whipped cream.

– Campside Peach Pie –

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 12Now we’re at the campsite. It’s time to make some peach pie. The peaches and crust have been chilling all afternoon. They’re ready to go.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 13We used a deep 10-inch cake pan for this deliciously thick and juicy pie. The crust tore after being folded into fours, but we just pushed it down and smushed the seams together. And everything was right with the world again.

The thickness of this dessert might qualify it as a peach cobbler, not a pie. I’m not sure. All I know is that it’s full of peachy goodness.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 14Next, we cut the peaces into eighths, about six cups worth. Just go by the size of your pan for this step.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 15Add cornstarch. This will help the juices form up into a delightful, thick syrup.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 16I like to keep peaches the star of my peach pies. Just add cinnamon and sugar for flavoring. 

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 17Now it’s time to lattice the top. The first pie crust I made was a touch too dry and crumbly. To help us work with it, we wet our hands. The lattice topping is made up of two-inch strips.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 18Now this is camping.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 19Into the dutch oven it goes.

I  learned so much from Rick, a friend who is a famous campfire cook. We placed the pie into a dutch oven that was placed inside Rick’s portable fire ring – a tool he swears by because it’s safer, portable and evenly distributes the heat. We prelit the charcoal and waited until it was gray. That means it’s to temperature. When cooking with a dutch oven at the campsite, the food actually cooks from the top in a one-to-three ratio. One third of the charcoal is on the bottom and the rest on the top. For this recipe, we put about seven pieces of charcoal under the dutch oven and 18 coals on top. This will give an internal temperature of about 400 degrees.

After 45 minutes, we took the dutch oven out of the pit, removing it from the lower coals. It continued to cook for 15 minutes from the top just by sitting on the ground.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 22The result – a perfectly cooked, perfectly browned, perfectly amazing campside peach pie…or cobbler.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 29Serve with a generous dollup of cinnamon whipped cream.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 30Abandon all hope of pulling it out into a perfect piece. It’s too thick and gooey, and you’re camping. No one cares. Besides, they will all be distracted by each delicious bite.

Campside Peach Pie
This delicious deep-dish peach pie is cooked camp side in a dutch oven. It is thick enough to be a cobbler, so you can call it what you want. No matter what, it is perfect.
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 batches pie crust dough, bought or premade
  2. 6-10 peaches, depending on the size of the peaches and the size of your pan
  3. 1 tbsp corn starch
  4. 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  5. 1 c. granulated sugar
  6. 4 tbsp butter
  7. - Cinnamon Whipped Cream -
  8. 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  9. 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  10. 1 tsp cinnamon
Directions
  1. - Prep Work -
  2. Make pie crusts per your favorite recipe
  3. Make whipped cream by whipping cream, powdered sugar and cinnamon in a chilled bowl with an electric mixer until stuff.
  4. - Pie -
  5. Line a deep-dish 10-inch cake pan with one pie crust. Crimp the edges.
  6. Chop peaches into eighths. Mix with corn starch until the peaches are evenly coated.
  7. Add the sugar and cinnamon and mix again until mixed. Add the peaches to the crust so they come to the top, but not over the lip of the crust.
  8. Cut the second pie crust into strips. Use these strips to create a lattice pattern on the top of the pie. Spring the top with a little extra cinnamon and sugar and top with several pats of butter.
  9. Place in a dutch oven with about seven coals under it and replace the lid. Carefully top the lid of the dutch oven with about 20 more hot coals.
  10. Allow to cook for 30 minutes. Remove the dutch oven from the bottom coals and allow to cook from the top only for another 15 minutes. When it's finished, the crust should be brown and the peaches should be soft and bubbly.
  11. Allow to slightly cool. Serve with cinnamon whipped cream.
The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/

– Easy Campside Deconstructed Peach Pie –

Intimidated by the big pie? That’s okay. I’ve got you covered. Here’s an easy, crowd-pleasing recipe.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 20Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on your rolled-out pie crust and then cut it into strips about two inches wide and five inches long. A thicker pie crust is better.

Because I made the big pie, I just used leftover pieces from the other crust. So when you do this step, I’m sure it will be much prettier. 

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 21On a griddle, pan fry the stripes with a little oil and butter on a medium-low temperature until both sides are browned and the dough is cooked. (The dough will stay a little chewey, and that’s okay). Those dark bits aren’t burned. They’re just specks of butter-coated cinnamon gloriously glistening in the sun.

Set those aside and save for later. These make tasty snacks, so make sure to store these in a safe place until you’re ready to serve dessert. Otherwise they might just walk off.

And let’s talk about how easy you can make this.

You can make these strips before you go camping. You can buy and then slice up a pre-made frozen gluten-free crust. You can make a deconstructed peach crisp by skipping the pie crust and instead browning a crumbly crisp topping out of butter, gluten-free oatmeal, flour and brown sugar. You can use a prepackaged gluten-free cinnamon crisp cookie. You can use a gluten-free shortbread cookie. You can make these as easy as you want.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 23On a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil, cut a peach into eighths with a handful of brown sugar and knob of butter.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 24Wrap the peach into a double layer of heavy duty aluminium foil. Wrap it so that the folds come to a point and the whole package looks sort of like a clove of garlic. This will keep the juices from running out seams on the bottom and burning your hands.

Put directly onto slightly-cooled coals for about 20 minutes. I put these peaches on after our dinner came out of the fire pit. While still incredibly hot, the coals were on their last legs and were perfect for slowly cooking the peaches. If they were super hot coals, I would have checked on them 10 minutes after going on the coals and I would half the amount of charcoal.  

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 25After 20 minutes, check and see if they’ve cooked enough for your liking. They should be soft and the juices should be dark brown and slightly thick. Because do you know what you made in that little pouch? You made caramel.

You made caramel while camping and all you got dirty was a knife. You deserve a pedicure for that. 

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 26After the pouches have cooled, pour each pouch into an individual serving dish. My peaches created so much wonderful liquid that I had to pour a little out.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 27Now it’s time to assemble.

Take out your whipped cream. (I kept my whipped cream in an ice chest covered with ice packs on all sides to keep it cold and whipped. Make sure to do that. Also, remember that the pre-whipped cream is only going to hold up for a day). 

Add a dollop of whipped cream and a piece of pie crust for a delicious dish and stunning presentation.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 28Isn’t that just stunning! This is my favorite kind of camping food – easy, beautiful, tasty and easy to clean up.

Easy Campside Deconstructed Peach Pie
This recipe will wow the crowd, but is quick, easy and tasty.
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. - Pie Crust Cookies -
  2. 1 batch of your favorite pie crust recipe, raw
  3. 1 tbsp butter
  4. 1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  5. cinnamon
  6. sugar
  7. - Whipped Cream -
  8. 1 pint heavy wipping cream
  9. 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  10. 1 tsp cinnamon
  11. - Peaches -
  12. 1 peach per serving
  13. 1 tbsp butter per serving
  14. 2 tbsp packed brown sugar per serving
  15. Heavy duty aluminium foil
Directions
  1. - Prep Work -
  2. Make pie crusts per your favorite recipe, roll out to 1/4 inch thick.
  3. Make whipped cream by whipping cream, powdered sugar and cinnamon in a chilled bowl with an electric mixer until stuff.
  4. - Pie Crust Cookies -
  5. Cut pie crust into strips approximately 5 inches by 2 inches.
  6. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar so the cookies have a nice dusting of each
  7. On a heated dutch oven skillet or the flat side of a griddle, melt the butter and oil. Pan fry the cookies on each side until crispy on the outside and a little chewy on the inside. Add more butter and oil to the pan as needed. Set aside.
  8. - Peaches -
  9. For each serving of dessert, cut a peach into eighths over a double layer of aluminum foil. Add the butter and sugar. Wrap both layers of foil with the edges coming to the top so the package looks like a clove of garlic. Repeat for every serving.
  10. Place directly on charcoal. This works best with charcoal that is not at its peak heat, but has slightly cooled. Allow to cook until soft and tender. The cooking time will vary based on the heat of the coals and the number of foil packets placed on the fire. Check after 20 minutes.
  11. When finished, the peaches should be soft and the liquid dark brown.
  12. In a bowl, carefully pour the contents of the slightly cooled peach packets. Add a dollop of whipped cream and a pie cookie.
  13. Serve.
The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/
Join us in the Great Gluten-Free Campout by posting your own gluten-free camping recipes and linking them on our comments page!

 

Get Your Camp On

I’m so excited about the coming month! I am partnering with Better Batter, one of my favorite brands of gluten-free flour, and several other bloggers for the first-ever Great Gluten-Free Campout.

skillet logo tablecloth (1)

Camping is one of those final frontiers of a gluten-free life. Once diagnosed, we celiacs first shy away from restaurants and flour-centric dishes like cookies and bread. Slowly, we find some restaurants with gluten-free options and a short list of go-to recipes, and life gets a little more normal.

But camping? You’re asking a gluten-free person to be away from their normal products, away from their safe kitchens and often times at the mercy of whoever is cooking for the campout. Frankly, it’s easier to stay home. So that’s what we do.

Not any more!

For the next four weeks, the four of us bloggers will each be creating gluten-free campout meals in four categories: breakfast, snacks or sides, in the fire (main dishes) and dessert. By the end, you’ll have an arsenal of 16 go-to recipes for all your camping needs!

I was an over-achiever and made two extra recipes, so really, you’ll have 18. 

Accidental Okie Camping 5I went out to the lake with my friend and camping cook aficionado Rick Fry. Not only is Rick a famous painter whose works are in the Oklahoma capitol, but he is also an accomplished dutch oven cook. 

Accidental Okie Camping lakeThere’s a lake just 30 minutes from my house. That’s where we set up camp and did some authentic campout cooking.

Here is a preview of what you’ll see from my blog throughout the series.

Accidental Okie Camping 6Tips about dutch-oven cooking, complements of Rick.

Accidental Okie Camping 2Gluten-free lemon blueberry almond pancakes. They were SO. GOOD.

Accidental Okie Camping 4Four-ingredient loaded baked potato salad. Yes, you read that right.

Accidental Okie Camping 1Stuffed jalapeños need no introduction in my neck of the woods. 

Accidental Okie Camping 9Cowboy meatloaf. There’s a secret ingredient.

Okay, I’ll tell you. It’s cilantro. And cheese.

Accidental Okie Camping 8Mojito punch. 

What can I say about mojito punch? It’s sparkly. It’s limey. It’s minty. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. It completes me.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 22Campside peach pie 1. Advanced version.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 27Campside peach pie 2: beginners version.

Can you guess which one Rick did and which one I did? Yeah, you guessed right.

Accidental Okie Camping 3Follow this series for the next month, and this napkin might just become your life motto.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Accidental Okie hummus 16

This recipe needs to start with a public service announcement. Do not make this hummus if you want to continue your love of the store-bought stuff. Once you make this, no hummus will ever measure up. No matter the brand, it will all have a tart aftertaste and the unmistakable twang of prepackaged foods. You may want to continue in your ignorant bliss. But if you want to make amazing hummus in big batches that will provide healthy, abundant and inexpensive snacks, get ready. Life may never be the same.

Homemade hummus is one of the staples I got used to when living in New Zealand. My host mum was a single mum and nutritionist who had an amazing ability to turn pennies into dimes and dimes into dollars when it came to her food budget. She still does it. I learned so much from Paula and I miss her and her family like crazy.

Accidental Okie hummus 1Homemade hummus starts with dried chickpeas aka garbanzo beans.

You can get canned, but canned beans are much saltier and more expensive. But if you do get canned, skip the soaking steps, just give your beans a good rinse and start with half the salt when making the hummus.

Accidental Okie hummus 2Now it’s time to soak. Soak the beans overnight. Change the water a few times throughout the process. 

It’s time for me to be vaguely scientific. See, when the beans soak, something is released. An enzyme, maybe? Whatever it is, this enzyme gives beans their…ahem…most notorious reputation.  Change out that water a few times and you’ll have hummus that won’t make you gassy. So change out the water, seriously.

Now let’s forget we talked about gassiness.

Accidental Okie hummus 3After the beans are finished soaking, they will have just about doubled in size. Change that water one last time and put them on to boil. They’ll boil for two hours or so. Make sure to check on them occasionally and add more water if needed. Two hours is a lot of time to boil.

Accidental Okie hummus 4a

From that little $3 bag of dried chickpeas, I got an entire 9×13 cake pan of chickpeas. That’s probably $10 worth of canned chickpeas.

At this stage, you can choose your own adventure. Take Door A and you can go on to make hummus. Take Door B and, after letting the chickpeas cool, put them in freezer bags and freeze them for later. The amount of chickpeas I boiled is enough for almost three batches of hummus.

Today, we’re taking the plunge to Door A! 

Accidental Okie hummus p1

First, we need to take a break from chickpea business to talk about roasting the bell peppers. Roast the peppers while your chickpeas are finishing up boiling or when you’re ready to make hummus. Red, yellow or orange peppers will work.

You can roast peppers in the broiler, directly on the burners of a gas stove, or on the grill. It gets messy, so I recommend the broiler or the grill.

It’s easy. Just grab some whole red bell peppers (or capsicum, as they’re called in some countries), one and a half or two per batch of hummus. Give them a rinse and put them on to roast. I used the broiler.

The peppers will get completely blackened on one side. That’s a good thing. Turn them occasionally until all the sides are blackened and blistered beyond recognition.

Accidental Okie hummus p2

This is a beautiful sight.

Accidental Okie hummus p3

The skin will easily peel off to reveal perfectly roasted peppers.

Accidental Okie hummus p4

Give the peppers a rinse to make sure all the burned bits are gone. Now you can easily just pull away the flesh from the seeds and stem. Rinse the insides to make sure all the seeds are gone.

Hummus aside, roasting peppers is, in my humble opinion, an essential cooking skill. Now that it’s in your arsenal, you can make roasted pepper dips, sauces, soups and anything else you want. If you ever want to be extra fancy, blend up a roasted pepper with a half stick of room-temp butter and some salt and cumin. Stick it in the fridge to harden back and serve little scoops on steaks. The butter and the peppers seep into the steak. People will give your dinner a standing ovation and then they’ll write a poem about you.

Accidental Okie hummus 6

 Back to the hummus. Get the garlic, lots of it. Sparkling vampires are going to stay away from you for a long time.

Accidental Okie hummus 7

And lemon juice. It’s a lot of lemon juice, so I use the bottled stuff. You’ll also get olive oil and salt.  Don’t use expensive olive oil for this. Blend it all up in a food processer.

Accidental Okie hummus 8

Now you have a bright yellow lemony, olive oily, garlicy base. Keep your eye on the hummus prize and resist the urge to stop here and put this on pasta.

Accidental Okie hummus 9

In goes half the chickpeas. Blend until you have a nice, smooth mix. Add the second half of the chickpeas. Mix again. Now it should look like hummus.

Unless you have an industrial food processor, your hummus will never have the smooth, paste-like quality of store-bought hummus. The good news is that the people making hummus for the past two thousand years didn’t have industrial food processors either. This rustic texture is closer to the real deal.

Accidental Okie hummus 11

Now it’s time for the tahini. Tahini is the sesame seed version of peanut butter. It provides a wonderful texture and flavor to hummus. You can find it in most natural food stores in the aisle with the nut butters.

Accidental Okie hummus 12Add the roasted red pepper and mix up again. This is where you’ll add water if you need it. I’ve never needed to add water when making roasted red pepper hummus because the peppers are so watery. But if your hummus is too thick, add a quarter cup of water to start with.

Accidental Okie hummus 13Finally, it’s time for the spices. Here I have roasted paprika, cumin and parsly (I forgot to buy fresh parsley so I used the dried stuff). Mix it up and taste it. Adjust salt and garlic as needed.

Accidental Okie hummus 15

Serve hummus with veggies, pretzels – these are Glutino Gluten-Free Pretzels – spread on sandwiches, or heck, just eat with a spoon.

Get creative and make your own flavors! Nix the bell peppers and add extra parsley for traditional hummus. Make jalapeño hummus or pesto hummus or kalamata olive hummus or roasted garlic hummus. 

Go forth and hummus your world. 

 

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Recipe
Hummus is the perfect high-protein, low-fat, budget-friendly snack. Make big batches for the freezer and keep this scrumptious Mediterranean spread on hand all the time.
Print
Prep Time
11 hr
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
11 hr
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups cooked chickpeas (about 2 cups of raw chickpeas)
  2. 1/2 cup olive oil
  3. 1/4-1/2 cup lemon juice
  4. 1 tsp kosher salt
  5. 4-6 garlic cloves, whole
  6. 1/4 cup tahini
  7. 1/4-1/2 cup water (if needed)
  8. 1/2 tsp cumin (more to taste)
  9. 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (more to taste)
  10. 4 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  11. 1.5 roasted red, yellow or orange peppers
Chickpea Prep and Cooking
  1. Soak chickpeas overnight, changing the water several times. Once they're soaked, change the water again and boil for 2 - 3 hours, or until soft.
Roasted Bell Peppers
  1. Roast red bell peppers in broiler, grill or on a gas stove burner until each side is blistered and burned. Use at least one-and-a-half bell peppers per batch of roasted red pepper hummus. Once cooled, peel the skin off and remove the seeds and stem. Rinse the peppers.
Hummus
  1. Blend the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic until incorporated. Add one-and-half cups of the cooked chickpeas and blend until smooth. Add the remaining chickpeas and blend again.
  2. Add tahini and red bell peppers and mix again. Add water if the hummus is too thick. Add the spices, blend and taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
  3. Enjoy as a dip or spread! Make several batches at once and freeze in containers for ready-to-go snacks.
Notes
  1. In the refrigerator, hummus will last about a week.
  2. Be inventive with your flavors. Some of my favorites are plain, sun-dried tomato and kalamata olives.
The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/

The Dreaded Elimination Diet

Psst – thanks everyone for voting last week for the recipe to save.  The quiche won.  Look for the recipe soon.

I thought about naming this post Just Kill Me Now or something like that.  But the reality is that the more I’ve thought about our elimination diet and the more research I’ve done, I’m actually really excited and hopeful.

Yes, we’re doing an elimination diet.  It’s 21 days long.  It starts today.  We’re not eating corn, soy, sugar, gluten (The Professor is eliminating gluten – Jackie and I have severe gluten intolerance and eliminated it years ago), dairy, peanuts and eggs.

There are several reasons we’re embarking on this adventure.  Jackie, my sister who is living with us, is also gluten-free and has been still having a lot of symptoms associated with food intolerances.  She went off dairy for a few days and a lot of things cleared up.  Since we both have gluten intolerance, there’s a pretty good chance that if she has other intolerances, I do too.  Also, once you have one food intolerance, you’re likely to have or develop others.  (Thanks Mom and Dad…your genetic lottery aspirations have exceeded your expectations).

One of the big symptoms of a dairy intolerance is bad hay fever allergies.  My allergies are so bad that at least once a spring my eyes swell shut, and I get allergy shots once a week.  I’ve also had a lot of weight gain due to bad reactions to birth control pills, and I’m up for trying this.  The Professor also has been having some health issues, and the doctor recommended an elimination diet.  So, the writing was on the wall.  We all need to do this, and we’re all at the point where we’re ready to commit.

All I have to say is this:  If I am allergic to dairy, I will probably lock myself in my house and cry for a few days.  Fact.

We’re following two books.  The first is the Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin.  I read the book this weekend and was intrigued by her explanation of why she recommends eliminating these seven foods.  They are the seven highest food intolerance foods.  They’re foods that are often times associated with healthy living, and so sometimes people who do have intolerances to these foods end up sabotaging themselves because they’re eating the things worst for them.

She has a quiz that lists common food intolerance symptoms.  You get two points if you have occasional symptoms and four points if you have frequent symptoms.  0 – 5 means you probably don’t have many or any food intolerances, 6 – 14 points means you may have mild food intolerances, 15 plus means you have a high likelihood to have quite a few food intolerances.  I scored  48.

I’m also reading and gaining recipes from The Gluten-Free Good Health Cookbook by Annalise Roberts and Claudia Pillow, two of my gluten-free heroes.  In addition to the Virgin Diet’s focus on food intolerances, both books focus on eliminating foods that cause inflammation within the body.

So here we go.

Step one was researching.  Because Jackie has been spearheading this, I asked her to make a meal plan for the week. As we went through recipes in both books, we caught the vision for great meals that wouldn’t make us feel deprived.  Tonight we had chicken fajitas with a bunch of peppers and onions and fingerling potatoes.  Later this week, we’re having Dal and brown rice and a Greek salad. The more we researched, the more we saw that this could be done.

elimination diet | accidentalokie.comNext, the perishable items went to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law.  Farewell cheese.

elimination diet | accidentalokie.comBecause we will be systematically adding items back into our diet, we put the currently unsafe non-perishable foods into a bin in the pantry so we wouldn’t be tempted.

elimination diet | accidentalokie.comThat’s where the bread and tortillas used to live.

elimination diet | accidentalokie.comThen we went shopping.  It was quite a trip.  I anticipated it being more expensive to set the foundation for a new way of eating, and it was.  But I think our weekly budget will be back on track after this week.

I was thankful to find dairy free and sugar free chicken broth.  Also we found some great pre-seasoned and safe meat at Sam’s.  Putting all the groceries on the table before unloading was a neat visual reminder that although we’re temporarily eliminating so much, we won’t starve.  In fact, we will be eating amazing, yummy food!

elimination diet | accidentalokie.com

Jackie’s going to make us some kale chips.

elimination diet | accidentalokie.comTo set us up for success, I prepared all the veggies.  I peeled and chopped the carrots and stored them in water because Pinterest told me to.  Apparently it keeps them crisp.

elimination diet | accidentalokie.comWhen I saw this carrot, I wished I had a snow man.  It is the perfect snow man nose.

elimination diet | accidentalokie.comCarrots, green onions and lettuce are ready to go!

elimination diet | accidentalokie.comAnd the whole fridge is stocked!

elimination diet | accidentalokie.comThis weekend I also made roasted red pepper hummus, which will provide a great snack throughout the week!

We’ll let you know our progress.  Because this is a true elimination diet for food allergies, there can be no cheating or all the work is void.  If you have food allergies or have done similar diets, give us tips.  We need them.

Rock the Vote

As you probably know, my recipes are step-by-step with lots of photos.  Why?  Because I think step-by-step recipes are super useful and uniquely suited to the blogging medium.  Also, I hope that many gluten-free newbies read my blog and are less intimidated about jumping head first into the world of g.f. cooking.

But sometimes, I mess up.  It’s true.  I know you’re shocked.  Take a moment to sit down if you need to.

You see, sometimes I get everything set up to blog about a recipe.  I buy the ingredients, start the prep and take the pictures.  But somewhere along the way, I forget to continue taking pictures. Usually this happens if I’m making a meal for company, and I get rushed at the end.  Or my blood sugar is low and I’m on the dangerous tight rope between lightheaded and hangry (hunger-induced anger = hangry).  It’s a dangerous place, my friends.  Just ask The Professor.  He’s been caught in those crosshairs before.

This reminds me of a picture I saw on Facebook a few days ago.

hungry

Can I get an Amen?

So, anyways, my point.  I have a few awesome recipes whose photos just sort of unceremoniously ended before the recipe was finished.  They’re amazing recipes, but I wouldn’t normally blog about them because they’re missing some of the step-by-step pictures.

This was making me sad though.  Because, I mean, they’re some of my favorite recipes.  So I’ve decided to feature one of these recipes, and I’m letting you decide!  Right now, they are on the Island of Misfit Blog Posts, and you have the power to set one free!

Vote in the comments section by Friday, February 15th.  Whichever recipe wins will be featured on Accidental Okie!

Recipe 1: Roasted and Caramelized Vegetables with Sesame Seeds and Rosemary

One of my favorite exports from New Zealand.  Filling and economical and oh so good.

roasted veggies

Recipe 2: Quiche

There’s a secret ingredient.  Spoiler alert: it’s in this photo.

quiche

Recipe 3: Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates

The party food of kings…or of all my friends.  One of the two.

datesSo rock the vote.  Save a recipe!

Cast your vote for which one to save by Friday!  If you’re having trouble voting on the blog, vote on Facebook or my Twitter feed.

Budget Binder (And Free Printables)

the reluctant budgeter

My reluctant budgeting continues.

The first time I met with my budget mentor Pat, we talked about the benefits of the cash system.  Money can seem theoretical when it’s electronically zipping out of your debit card.  A few dollars here and a little stop at the store there, and you’ve unknowingly blown your budget.

So we’re working on the cash system.  Not for everything.  We’re not taking dollars and exact change to the mortgage company, but we are using cash for everything except bills, charitable giving and gas for our cars.  It’s divided into five categories:

  • Groceries – food, cat stuff, toiletries, household cleaning supplies
  • Clothes & Makeup – including my more expensive hair-care products
  • Entertainment & Eating Out – this how we feed our Thai food addiction.
  • Play Money – a little pocket money for The Professor and me during the week.
  • Gifts – Because we have a lot of nephews and nieces, we’re putting $40 back each month for gifts and hoping that this will cover birthdays all year and Christmas.

Pat told me that I needed to figure out an organization system.  She said a budgeting system has to have two important elements: it must work for you and you must like it.

Translation: make it pretty.

Yes, you heard right…straight from my mentor’s own lips.  Her reasoning is this: who really wants to spend all that time budgeting?  But if you have to do it, it’s easier when you have created an inviting system that you can tuck into once a week.  Now, I’m sure there are accountants out there who just love spreadsheets and feel at home amongst those white and black lines, but I’m not one of those people.

Being me, I couldn’t find paper and organizers that I liked.  I knew I wanted things to be color coded.  I knew that I needed to keep details to a minimum, and I knew I wanted thick paper.  So, being me, I made my own system.

budget binderIt started with a regular-sized, 1-inch binder with the clear front pocket where you can slide in a cover sheet, some plastic binder pouches to serve as money envelopes and binder dividers.  (In case you long to be just like me, I put the links to the exact things I bought.  You know, since everyone wants to be like me.)  Then I designed my system.  Each of the five categories of the cash budget has a section within the binder that contains three items.

budget binder | www.accidentalokie.comFirst, there’s the cover page.  This is important because this where I defined my categories.  When I told Pat my grocery budget, she said it was a little high, but when I explained that it included things like cat litter, cleaning supplies and toothpaste, she said that it was actually  accurate.  (Score!)  Having all these things lumped together works for me because I buy a lot of them in the same place. Also, I knew I needed my system to be as simple as possible, or I wouldn’t use it.

budget binder ledgerNext is the ledger where once again I kept things simple.  It has three categories: date, details and dollars.  I’ve simplified things further by not recording my purchases by date, but by week.  I section off each month and write how much money we’ve budgeted for the category.  Our grocery budget has seen an increase since my sister has moved in, so we’ve been learning how to adjust for a third eater and a second gluten-free eater.

In the details column, I write down notes.  This is especially helpful if my bill was especially high.  One grocery trip, I had to buy allergy medicine and supplies for a big pizza party.  That will be good to remember when I’m reviewing the month.  I also keep track of cat expenses, so I have a better idea what to budget for Charlie and Pippa.

budget money folderFinally, each category has the cash, stored in the convenient plastic pouch from Office Max.  The goal is for these envelopes to accrue cash – for us to not spend to the limit every month but to build a cushion for a rainy day (or when we want to buy rib eyes or other splurges).

I tried the cash system once before and carried all the cash with me.  This didn’t work for two reasons: First, I was stressed about carrying several hundred dollars with me.  But second (and the real reason), I would be like “Oh look how much money I have!  I should get a coffee,” or “We can totally afford eating out again this week month.”

budget binder percentages

Another thing Pat and I talked about was deciding how much to spend on each category.  She gave me the generally accepted guidelines, which I designed as part of my binder.  My hope is to do quarterly check ups of our spending against this guide.

I’ve been on the system for about a month now.  Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • A cash system does not work if you forget to get cash before you leave the house.
    I’ve had to learn to give The Professor and me our $20 of play money at the beginning of every week so that we don’t use our debit cards for little purchases.  I’ve also had to make sure to get grocery money before every trip.
  • I can afford things.  
    Before I started the cash system, I spent a lot of time being frustrated because I couldn’t afford things.  I’d tell myself it was the plight of a teacher’s wife.  Now that we have entertainment and play money budget categories, I’ve been able to buy little things that I want.  I was at Target last weekend and saw the soundtrack to the Les Mis movie (the only movie I’ve seen twice in the theatre since high school), and rather than feeling sorry for myself, I bought it with my play money.
  • I spend too much.
    I’ve already pinpointed areas of over-spending, which I’m now able to address.  Also, I was spending money on things I didn’t know about.  For instance, I had a Weight Watchers membership.  Who knew?
  • Grace
    Pat told me that it will take about three months of doing this consistently before I’m not overspending every month.  In the interim, I’m remembering to have grace with myself.
  • I feel empowered!
    Maybe this reluctant budgeter is becoming a little less reluctant.

Because I love all my followers and because I hope this is helpful for you, I’ve created printables so you can have a beautiful budget notebook, too!

budget binder printables | www.accidentalokie.com

Below are PDFs so you can create your own budget binder.

binder cover
percentages
cover groceries | groceries sheet
cover clothes | clothes sheet
cover entertainment | entertainment sheet
cover play money  | play money sheet
 cover gifts | gifts sheet 

If you want to make your own modifications to the sheets, I used AlexandriaFLF Font throughout the budgeting sheets. It’s a free font you can download here.

Update: July 2013

Due to popular demand, I’ve released a series of completely customizable budget sheets! You can see them here:

Customizable Budget Binder | Accidental Okie

Dont’ miss Reluctant Budgeter Post 3: Weekly Meal Plan Organizer and Free Printables

Gluten-Free Meatloaf Cupcake Recipe

meatloaf cupcake

Meatloaf, like Brussels sprouts and kale, has enjoyed a culinary renaissance in the past years. Meatloaf cupcakes are one such incarnation.  They’re cute and trendy, and have the perfect amount of sauce coating topped with fancy mashed potatoes.  Serve them at dinner parties where you will wow your guests and eliminate the hassle of cutting individual portions, or make them for your family and store the conveniently sized lunch leftovers.  Either way, they are delicious.

Whether you make meatloaf as cupcakes or in a large loaf, my meatloaf is moist and delicious. The recipe is based on a recipe given to me years ago by my former boss and her sister.

First, get mashed potatoes going.  I’m not going to go into a recipe for this, as I assume you all have a recipe for mashed potatoes, and you all think your recipe is better than any other recipe. No matter your chosen method, it will be best, at least for this recipe, if you first peel your potatoes and you make them as unlumpy as possible.

Now on to the main event.

meatloaf milk and bread

Start by getting the oven going and cubing four pieces of gluten-free bread (or three pieces of regular bread).  I used Udi’s Whole Grain bread here.  Gluten-free bread is significantly smaller, which is why you add more.

Add milk and let the mixture sit together until the bread is mushy.  This liquid-infused binder is the key to the moist meatloaf.

cheese, carrots, onions

While the bread and milk are doing their thing (or thang as we say it in Texas), it’s time to prep. Shred a bunch of cheddar cheese and carrots (or be lazy like me and use matchstick carrots), and thinly slice the white and green parts of some green onions.  Yes people, this meatloaf has flavor.

milk and bread

After just a few minutes, the bread looks like this.  I used a fork to mush up the bigger pieces.
mixtureMix together the bread, two pounds of lean ground beef, two eggs, some salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.  You want to mix this by hand because it can easily become over-mixed in a stand mixer.  That would result in thick, solid, and brick-like (read: sad) meatloaf.  And that’s not what we’re going for here.  So roll up your sleeves, wash your hands, and dig in.

After the base is mixed, add the veggies and cheese and mix just until everything is incorporated. I didn’t photograph this part, as my hands were a bit icky.

gluten-free meatloaf cupcakes | www.accidentalokie.com

Now your hands are clean and beautiful once more.  Lightly oil a regular-sized muffin pan.  I use a spray oil.  (Gluten-free beginners: spray oils can sometimes contain gluten, so make sure to read the label).

meat loaf cupcakesAdd meatloaf to the muffin pan.  Make sure to pack the meat in tight and make a domed top to give the appearance of a cupcake.  Remember, meat does not rise.

This recipes yields 12 cupcakes.

meatloaf sauce

While the meatloaf is cooking, make the topping.  This is an unholy union of brown sugar, ketchup, mustard and Worcestershire sauce.

meat loaf cupcakes out of the ovenAfter about 25 minutes, pull them out.  This is where you might say, “Oh look, my meatloaf cupcakes are gross and ruined.”  Have no fear!  They’re not.  The fat has cooked out of the meatloaf.  I used 93/7 meat, which is quite lean and still the cupcakes looked like this.  They’ve also shrunk.  Don’t worry.

meatloaf

Spoon each cupcake out and put on a cookie sheet.  The cupcakes still have five minutes to cook until they should reach their internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, so do this step quickly – you don’t want the meat to begin cooling down, and carefully – you don’t want to burn yourself.

Liberally spoon the ketchup mixture on the cupcakes.  Imagine a bundt cake with lemon frosting perfectly oozing down the sides of the cake.  That’s the look you’re going for here.  Back in the oven they go for about five minutes.  When you remove them, they should be at temperature.

meat loaf

Now they look like this, which is pretty close to perfection.  But in the words of my infomercial friends…but wait, there’s more!

meat loaf frostingOh yes.  Potato frosting.  Fill a frosting bag or frosting gun with the non-lumpy mashed potatoes and using a large tip, frost the cupcakes.  When they’re all frosted and lovely, put them back in the broiler until the tips of the potato are slightly golden.

meatloaf cupcakeServe with extra potatoes and salad and look like a domestic goddess.  You’re welcome.

Gluten-Free Meatloaf Cupcake Recipe
Yields 12
Print
Meatloaf
  1. 1 cup milk*
  2. 4 slices gluten-free bread (I used Udi's Whole Grain Bread)*
  3. 2/3 c. finely chopped green onions, white and green parts
  4. 2/3 c. shredded (or matchstick) carrots
  5. 1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  6. 2 lbs. lean ground beef
  7. 2 large eggs
  8. 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  9. 2 tsp salt
  10. 1/4 tsp pepper
  11. * If you're not using gluten-free bread: 3 slices of bread and 2/3 c. milk
Topping
  1. 3/4 c. brown sugar
  2. 3/4 c. ketchup
  3. 1 tbsp yellow mustard
  4. 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly oil a regular-sized muffin tin that makes 12 muffins.
  2. Make a batch of mashed potatoes, opting for peeled potatoes. When mashing the potatoes, make them as unlumpy as possible.
  3. Slice bread into approximate inch-by-inch squares, place in a bowl and cover with milk. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, or until the bread is soaked through and mushy.
  4. Shred the carrots and cheese, slice the onions.
  5. Once the bread is soaked through, in a large bowl, mix the meat, bread and milk mixture, eggs, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Just mix with your hands, so as to not over work the meat. Add the vegetables and cheese and mix just until combined.
  6. Fill each cupcake cup with meat so that it is packed in the cup and mounded on top to look like a cupcake.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the center of the meatloaf is nearing 160 degrees. While the meatloaf is baking, make the topping. You can microwave it for a few seconds if the brown sugar is not mixing in well.
  8. Remove cupcakes from the oven and carefully transfer each cupcake to a cookie sheet. Quickly spoon a liberal amount of sauce over each cupcake and return to the oven for about five minutes.
  9. Place mashed potatoes into an icing bag with a large tip. Remove the meatloaf cupcakes from the oven and "ice" with potatoes. Place under broiler until the potatoes are slightly golden on the edges. Serve.
Notes
  1. You can also make this as a loaf. To do that, line a large rimmed baking dish with foil. Put the meatloaf on the pan, forming into a loaf shape. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Top with sauce and bake for 15 minutes more. When making as a loaf, the topping measurements are: 1 c. brown sugar, 1 c. ketchup, 4 tsp. yellow mustard and 3 tsp Worcestershire sauce. No potato topping.
  2. Cooking on a large pan and forming the meat into a loaf (as opposed to a loaf pan) allows the grease to move to the sides of the pan. Remove the loaf and serve on a fresh platter for a beautiful dinner.
The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/

Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Egg Noodles

chicken noodle soup recipe | www.accidentalokie.com

Hello!  Sorry for disappearing last week.  After almost three weeks, The Professor is still recovering from the bug that sent him to the hospital a few days after Christmas.  I’ve been busy taking care of him and snuggling with him every evening.  As much as I love talking to all you nice people, The Professor wins for my time, especially when he’s as pitiful as he’s been.

After a week of him being sick, getting a little better, doing the smallest bit of activity (going out to dinner with friends…strenuous stuff), he had another relapse and was back almost to square one.  I didn’t know what to do.  He had medicine and rest and food-derived vitamins.  Something was missing.  There had to be something else I could do for him to really help him get better.  Then I realized there was one weapon left in my arsenal.  Chicken soup.

I’m not a big fan of broth-based soups like chicken noodle soup and vegetable soup, but deep in the recesses of my mind is a memory of a perfect chicken noodle soup eaten at a little cafe in an Arizona ghost town on a family road trip from California to Texas.  I still remember how flavorful the broth was.  And the noodles – big, thick, fresh egg noodles.  Not spaghetti noodles like the canned chicken noodle soup I’d come to despise.  (This was long before I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance).  It was like nothing I’ve ever eaten before or after.

I wanted to make that soup.  And I succeeded.

First I made really good broth.  Because the store’s whole fryer chickens were small, I used a whole fryer chicken and three chicken quarters – inexpensive cuts of the thigh, leg and part of the back.  Chicken pieces with the most bones make the most nutritious and flavorful broth.

chicken noodle soup recipe | www.accidentalokie.com

Next, get your veggies ready.  These won’t make it to the soup, but will just be boiled with the chicken to add flavor and nutrients to the broth.  There’s no need to cut them fancy.  A quartered onion, two ribs of celery cut into two-inch slices and a few peeled and cut carrots will do the trick.

chicken noodle soup recipe | www.accidentalokie.com

The broth also needs spices.  I added a handful of whole garlic cloves, a teaspoon of spicy chili flakes, and a few tablespoons of rosemary and thyme.  Oh and my mom got me a bunch of spices for Christmas including dried onion, so I added some of that too.

You could also add a bay leaf here.  I didn’t because my bay leaves came from my mother-in-law’s friend in the Caribbean and are incredibly pungent.

chicken noodle soup recipe | www.accidentalokie.comI wanted my broth to be extra brothy, so I added a tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon, my favorite chicken broth mix.  This got my broth super rich and saved me time because I didn’t have to cook it down after I removed the chicken.

Bouillon is salty, so add a little less salt than normal.  I added about two teaspoons.  Grind some pepper too, about a teaspoon.

chicken noodle soup recipe | www.accidentalokie.comThis is very important.  Are you listening?  When boiling chicken, always start with cold water.  I know if you put the chicken in hot water, it would cook faster, but it won’t be as tender or juicy.

Bring to a boil and then simmer until the chicken’s juices run clear.  Mine took about 40 minutes.

chicken noodle soup recipe | www.accidentalokie.comMeanwhile, you can make your egg noodles!  I made the noodle recipe from this post on Celiac.com.  It uses one of my favorite flours, Better Batter.

If you’ve never used Better Batter, I recommend it for recipes like gluten-free noodles and quick breads (like my gluten-free banana bread recipe).  Better Batter has a nice consistency and already contains xanthan gum, so it is great for beginners.

My favorite thing about this company is their financial aid program. They offer gluten-free families on food stamps products at a significantly reduced cost.  Being gluten free is expensive, but could you imagine the financial burden if your family was below the poverty line?

chicken noodle soup recipe | www.accidentalokie.comMeasure out two cups of flour into a large bowl.  Make a well in the middle of the flour, just like the little old Italian ladies do it.  I also recommend singing Italian music.  Or the song from Lady and the Tramp when they’re eating the pasta.  That counts.

chicken noodle soup recipe | www.accidentalokie.comIn a smaller bowl, mix together three eggs, an egg yolk, a little water and a little salt.  If you’re using a flour mix that already contains salt, skip the salt in this step.  It’s very easy to over-salt gluten-free baked goods – or dishes where flour is the main ingredient, so always be on the lookout for salt in flour mixes so you can adjust your dishes accordingly.

chicken noodle soup recipe | www.accidentalokie.comInto the well the egg mixture goes.  Mix it up with a fork or a wooden spoon.  It will be dry and pebbly, and you’ll be sure you did it wrong.

chicken noodle soup recipe | www.accidentalokie.comDon’t worry.  You didn’t.  It’s just the nature of gluten-free flour.  Smush and roll it together so it clumps up to form a ball.  You sort of knead it, although it doesn’t really kneed in the traditional way you would imagine wheat dough kneading.  Basically you want it to be a big cohesive ball.

If you feel like your dough is too stiff and it needs more water, simply wet your hands so the water is incorporated while you knead.  In my experience, this is enough water.  You don’t want to add water, realize you added too much water, add flour, realize you added too much flour.  Just a touch of water will do the trick and keep you off the vicious cycle of over adding.

chicken noodle soup recipe | www.accidentalokie.comIt begins to get more solid as you start rolling it out on a rolling pin.  Make sure to flour your work surface so the dough doesn’t stick.

chicken noodle soup recipe | www.accidentalokie.comSoon it looks like this.  Get the dough nice and thin.  The recipe I based this on said a sixteenth of an inch, but that even may have been a touch too thick.

chicken noodle soup recipe | www.accidentalokie.comMy noodles measured about half-an-inch wide by two-inches long.

I like homemade things to look homemade and imperfect (except sugar cookies.  I want my sugar cookies to look like they came from Neiman Marcus, but they never do and I always feel like a failure with my gingerbread men who look like stick figures).  Moral of the tangent: I wasn’t too worried about making my noodles exact.

Keep rolling out the extra dough and unused edges and cutting out noodles until the dough is gone.  I only had a dime-size piece of dough left, which I consider one of my greatest life achievements.

chicken noodle soup recipe | www.accidentalokie.com

Beautiful, homemade, hearty gluten-free noodles.

chicken noodle soup recipe | www.accidentalokie.com

By now the chicken should be done.  Remove it and let it cool.

chicken noodle soup recipe | www.accidentalokie.com

Drain the broth.  Look at how dark it turned out.  That broth is ready to take on the flu and win.

Taste the broth to make sure the flavors are right.  The broth will cook down even more when the noodles boil in it, so if it’s too salty now, add some water to dilute it.  Put the drained broth back in the stock pot and keep it warm.

Now’s a good time to chop carrots, celery, onions and garlic for the soup.  Keep the garlic separate.  These will be in the final soup, so make them bite sized and pretty.

This is where I took a ten-minute break.  The rest of the recipe comes together rather quickly, and you want to de-bone your chicken when it’s cool enough to handle.  You don’t have to take a break here, but exercise caution to not burn yourself on molten chicken.

chicken noodle soup recipe | www.accidentalokie.com

Okay, I took my break!

Bring the broth to a boil and carefully add the noodles.  Gently stir them to ensure they don’t stick together.  They will cook for about 10 – 15 minutes, or until tender.  Stir every few minutes.

chicken noodle soup recipe | www.accidentalokie.com

In a separate pan, sauté the carrots, celery and onions with butter and olive oil until they’re a little soft and have a bit of caramel color on them, about five minutes.  Four minutes into the sauté time, add the garlic.  It will burn easily, and you wouldn’t want all your hard work to be ruined by the unmistakable taste and smell of tart, burned garlic.

Sautéing the vegetables will bring out the flavors that are lost when sticking them straight into the soup.  This is where you can also add spices like thyme, a bit of salt and pepper.  I added my super pungent bay leaf here.

After the vegetables are slightly sautéed, add them into the broth to boil for ten minutes with the noodles.

chicken noodle soup recipe | www.accidentalokie.comJust a minute or two before the noodles are done, add the chicken to the sauté pan and heat on high to warm up and mop up any yummy flavors left by the sauteed vegetables.

Once the noodles are tender, add the chicken.  Taste the broth again and adjust flavors as needed.

chicken noodle soup recipe | www.accidentalokie.com

Serve to the sick, the weary or the cold, and let the hearty noodles, rich broth and juicy chicken do their magic.  I served my soup with Udi’s dinner rolls.

Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Egg Noodles Recipe
Print
Chicken and Broth
  1. 1 fryer chicken, more chicken if you want
  2. 1 onion, quartered
  3. 2-3 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
  4. 2-3 celery stalks, thickly sliced
  5. 1 tablespoon of Chicken flavored Better Than Bouillon
  6. 1 - 2 tsp kosher salt
  7. 1 tsp (or to taste) pepper
  8. 5 garlic cloves
  9. 1 tsp chili flakes
  10. 1 tbsp dried tyme
  11. 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  12. 1-2 tbsp onion flakes (optional)
  13. 1 bay leaf
  14. 4 quarts cold water (or enough to completely submerge the chicken)
Egg Noodles
  1. 2 cups Better Batter Flour
  2. 3 eggs
  3. 1 egg yolk
  4. 1 tbsp water
  5. 3/4 tsp salt
Soup
  1. 1 tbsp butter
  2. 1 tbsp olive oil
  3. 1 onion, diced
  4. 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  5. 2 celery stalks, diced
  6. 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  7. 1 tsp dried thyme
  8. salt and pepper to taste
  9. de-boned chicken
Instructions
  1. Rinse the chicken and put in a large stock pot with water and the rest of the stalk vegetables and broth spices. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the chicken is cooked. The juices will run clear when the meat is pierced. Remove the chicken and cool. Drain the broth with a fine mesh strainer.
  2. Chop the vegetables for the soup.
  3. To make the noodles, put the flour in a bowl, making a well in the center of the flour. In a smaller bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolk, salt and water. Put the egg mixture in the bowl and mix until well combined and stiff. Put the dough on the counter and knead a few times, adding water to your hands if the dough is too dry. Roll out to just 1/16 of an inch and cut into 1/2-inch by 2-inch strips. Keep re-rolling the excess dough and making strips until the dough is used up.
  4. Bring the broth to a boil and add the noodles, stirring occasionally to ensure the noodles do not stick to each other.
  5. In a sauté pan, melt butter with olive oil, and on medium-high heat sauté the onions, carrots and celery for five minutes, until they are softened and slightly dark, adding the garlic at the four-minute mark. Add the vegetables to the soup where they will finish cooking with the noodles.
  6. De-bone the chicken, shredding the larger pieces of meat.
  7. In the last minutes before the noodles are finished cooking, heat the chicken in the sauté pan and add it to the soup.
  8. Serve!
The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/

Asian Sesame Clementine Salad {Winter Salad Dressing}

finished

Meet our most frequent winter meal.  As soon as winter descends and produce sections brim with clementines, our house is never without the crucial ingredients – ginger, garlic, clementines.   It’s a fresh and flavorful salad that breaks up the monotony of hearty winter meals.  As my sister, who is living with us for the next few months will attest, we eat this meal at least once a week, usually pairing it with a baked potato or gluten-free roll.

This dressing recipe started from Ree Drummond’s Ginger Steak Salad.  It’s been tweaked and modified, and has taken on a life of its own at our house.

And I love it.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladIf you want meat on your salad, start cooking that first.  To be budget friendly and because I knew I’d be serving the meat off the bone anyways, I bought a pack of chicken quarters for $3.50 and cooked them in my cast iron skillet with a little salt and pepper.

Next make the salad dressing.  It’s easy and amazing.  I like to make my salad dressings in a container with a tight-fitting lid.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladStart with a quarter cup of sugar.  Don’t worry, it’s not gross sweet.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladA quarter cup of soy sauce.  I use San-J gluten free soy sauce.  It’s ah-mazing!

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladA quarter cup of olive oil.  Olive oil in an Asian recipe, you say?  Oh yes.  It works.  It’s good.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladOne-eighth a cup of lime or lemon juice.  You can even use the bottled stuff.  Sorry Barefoot Contessa.  I know you frown on bottled juices, but they’re part of my arsenal.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladTwo tablespoons of minced ginger.

Ginger is really fibrous, so it needs to be cut into small pieces.  You can even bruise it a little with the flat edge of your knife.  Also, about half an inch of average-width ginger is a tablespoon.  After making this salad every winter for a few years, I can accurately gauge the ginger about ninety percent of the time.

I know.  You’re equal parts amazed and jealous.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladFour cloves of minced garlic (or four teaspoons of bottled minced garlic).  Vampires beware.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladSesame oil is amazing.  It has a subtle toasted sesame flavor and is best in small doses.  Just a teaspoon or so will add a rich flavor.

You can buy a little bottle for five or so bucks at the fancy grocery store or a bottle this size for about a dollar at the Asian grocery store.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladSriracha sauce is a spicy Thai sauce made from smoked chilies, sugar and vinegar.  And in my world, it’s a kitchen staple.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladStart with half a teaspoon.  Sriracha is spicy!

Seal up your container with a tight lid and give it a good shake.  Taste and add more Sriracha if you want it spicier.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladAfter the meat has cooled, add some to the top of your lettuce.  Use whatever kind of lettuce you want.  I’m preferential to hearts of romaine.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine SaladFinally, top with clementine slices, green onions (not pictured because I forgot them…major bummer), and sesame seeds.  Spoon on the dressing to get an even distribution of the garlic and ginger.  Behold the perfect winter salad.

www.accidentalokie.com | Asian Clementine Salad

 

Asian Sesame Clementine Salad
Serves 4
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Dressing
  1. 1/4 cup sugar
  2. 1/4 cup olive oil
  3. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  4. 1/8 cup lemon or lime juice
  5. 2 tbsp ginger, minced
  6. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  7. 1-2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  8. 1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce, more to taste
Salad
  1. Lettuce
  2. 1 clementine per salad, pealed and wedged
  3. 1 green onion, sliced per salad
  4. 1 tbsp sesame seeds per salad
  5. chicken or beef, grilled or pan fried
Instructions
  1. Make the salad dressing in a shakeable container. Assemble the salad and add the dressing. Enjoy!
  2. Yields 4 small salads or 2 dinner salads.
The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/

 

Cheese Ball Recipe

I made a cheese ball.  It was amazing.

My coworker Rebecca introduced me to this recipe, and it may be the best thing I’ve ever eaten.  I think it’s pretty standard, as far as cheese balls go.  I found similar recipes across the interwebs, but know that this specific recipe is Accidental Okie approved.  And when I say approved, I mean that I might have eaten the leftovers for breakfast.

www.accidentalokie.com | cheeseball

It’s really easy, too.  Two blocks of cream cheese.  I used neufchatel cheese – the low-fat version of cream cheese.

In my head, it’s pronounced new-fan-chang-el.  I have a suspicion that might not be correct.

About three-fourths cup of mayo.

www.accidentalokie.com | cheese ball recipe

The green and white parts of three green onions, thinly sliced..

www.accidentalokie.com | cheese ball recipe

One heaping teaspoon of dried dill.  Mmmmm.

And Bacon.  How did I forget to take a picture of the bacon?  It’s a disaster!!!!

Add about five slices of cooked and chopped bacon, or about a cup of smoked bacon pieces.  But really, add however much you want.  Because when has anyone ever said, “Oh no!  I added too much bacon to that recipe!”  Never – that’s when.

I had a bag of smoked bacon pieces from Costco similar to these in my fridge, so I used them.  They’re not bacon bits – but real smoked bacon.

If you don’t add bacon, add salt to taste.

www.accidentalokie.com | cheese ball recipe

Roughly chop about a cup-and-a-half of pecans.

www.accidentalokie.com | cheese ball recipe

Mound into a half sphere on your serving plate and coat with pecans.

www.accidentalokie.com | cheese ball recipe

And you’re finished.  Make sure to wipe off the rim of the plate of any rogue cheese smears and chill for at least 30 minutes.  You can make it the day before.

Serve with crackers or veggies (if you’re healthy like that).  I served mine with Glutino Snack Crackers.  They are these amazing new gluten-free crackers.  I used both the Sea Salt and Rosemary & Olive Oil flavors.  All the gluten-free people and non gluten-free people thought they were delish.

Cheese Ball Recipe
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese or neufchatel cheese, softened
  2. 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  3. 3 green onions, green and white parts thinly sliced
  4. 5 slices bacon, cooked and chopped - or - about 1 cup chopped bacon
  5. 1 tsp dried dill
  6. 1.5 cups pecans, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Mix the softened cheese and mayo in a stand mixer or hand blender until they're combined. Add the onions, bacon and dill. Mix until combined. Form into a half sphere on a plate and coat with pecans.
  2. Chill for 30 minutes before serving.
The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/