Allergen Free Lemon Tart

Allergen Free Lemon Tart

I made these tarts for a birthday party for me and my sister-in-law, and they turned out great! No gluten, soy, egg, dairy or nuts. Lots of fresh fruit and tart-sweet lemon makes it a great summer treat. I served it with fresh whipped cream, for those who could have it. I made this up entirely from scratch, so it may need a little more or a little less flour…add it a bit at a time until it’s the consistency of cookie dough. The shell is slightly chewy and a cross between a cookie and a pie crust.


1 cup non-soy, non-dairy margarine
2 cups fructose or sugar
1 cup rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tbsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. lemon extract
2 tsp. poppy seeds

Cream sugar and butter. Mix dry ingredients and add a little at a time until your dough is a cookie dough consistency. Add lemon zest, extract, and poppy seeds and blend well. Spread into 2 tart pans, pressing into the pans so that there is a raised rim around the tarts, and cook at 350 for 20 minutes or until set and slightly brown around the edges. Take out of oven, let cool.


1 can lemon filling or one jar lemon curd (check for allergens)
Fresh fruit: I used strawberries, gold kiwi, kiwi, mango, blueberries and kumquats.
Whipped cream (optional)

Put it Together:

Once the tart is cool, spread the lemon curd or topping over each shell. Arrange the fruit in a pattern around each tart. I started about an inch in from the edge of the tarts with mango slices, and then arranged the rest in concentric rows. Thinly sliced kumquats really added to this recipe…they are sweet/sour and complement the lemon flavor.

Place mango slices over lemon curd or filling, about an inch from the edge

Arrange fruit around mango

A finished tart!

This Week’s Gluten Free Menu (Finally!)

Sorry to take so long, here it is finally!

Monday: Big green salad with grilled chicken strips, dark red kidney beans, goat cheese, cucumber, olives, red onion, and carrots with homemade vinaigrette dressing (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, a little ground mustard). I’ll grill extra chicken (with different seasoning) for tomorrow’s dinner and lunches later this week.

Tuesday: Chicken with Bearnaise sauce, new potatoes (from Pop’s and Granny’s garden!), and green beans and onions cooked in olive oil and garlic.

Wednesday: Pulled beef sandwiches, corn on the cob, and coleslaw. Jan made this slaw for us while we were in Idaho, she puts dried cranberries and pine nuts in it…yummy! Serve the sandwiches with gluten free buns (Kinnikinnik).

Thursday: Polenta Pie and a big green salad. This is a really fun recipe…you cook the polenta (corn meal), then add eggs and seasoning. Spread the polenta into a pie plate, and bake until it’s firm (the whole process takes maybe 1/2 hour). Take it out and put a can of gluten free Chili beans on top, then some chopped green onion and goat cheese or shredded cheddar. Crumble some GF corn chips on top. Pop it back in and bake until the beans are warm and the cheese is melted! It’s really yummy.

Friday: Big track meet at a field that will take us forever (and a million dollars in gas) to get to. We’ll pack a picnic with sandwiches (gf hamburger buns instead of bread for Isaiah and I), Stax chips (gluten free and taste better than Pringles!) and some fresh raw fruit and vegetables. I may make some gluten free granola bars as a snack this week, and they’ll be a good dessert.

Saturday: BBQ chicken, Home Fries (slice potatoes with the skin on into fry-sized strips, toss them in a large Tupperware container. Drizzle on some olive oil and sea salt, put the lid on and shake well. Bake at 400 degrees until brown and crispy), fruit salad, and Pops Baked Beans. These beans are not to be missed….I’ll put the recipe on specially later on this week! They’re made in a crock pot with hamburger, onion, several types of beans, BBQ sauce and the like. We had them twice when were were at my parent’s house, but I can’t wait to have them again!

Sunday: Cold pasta salad with tuna fish and vegetables, green beans in vinaigrette.

Gluten Free Chewy Oatmeal Chip Cookies

Gluten Free Chewy Oatmeal Chip Cookies

Oh, yummy….Jan found a recipe for Chewy Red, White and Blue cookies that’s Gluten free and soooo good! She found it at the Southern Living website. Here’s the recipe:

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened (substitute soy and dairy free)
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. gf vanilla extract
1 tsp light corn syrup
4 1/2 cups gluten free oats (Bob’s Red Mill are the most reasonably priced!)
1 cup semi sweet gf chocolate chips
1 cup GF candy coated chocolate pieces (dark chocolate M&M’s…yum!)
2 teaspoons baking soda

beat sugars and butter at low speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and next 3 ingredients, beating until combined. Stir in oats and remaining ingredients.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake, in batches, at 350 for 15 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool

Power Pops

Power Pops

It’s summer! It went from rain, cold and snow to temperatures in the high 90’s and even 100’s in something like a week. I thought I’d share a recipe for Power Pops with you…the kids love them, they are easy to make and they are really healthy! It’s nice to think they are getting a frozen treat and also a lot of good nutrition at the same time.

Oh, and by the way…the green chair in the photo is our new thrift store find. Ten bucks, and I love the funky, antique look it has. It’s not actually old and it’s not actually leather…but for ten bucks, who can resist? It’s cozy.

Power Pops:

I make the kids a smoothie as a treat and then freeze half of it as popsicles for later. Here’s what’s in the smoothie (recipe is doubled so that you can freeze half):

2 cups frozen peach slices
2 cups frozen cherries (or use 4 cups frozen fruit of your choice!)
1 cup yogurt (we use goat yogurt, or use cow’s milk or soy…or substitute with 1/2 cup fruit juice 1/2 cup ice)
1 cup milk, juice or water (we use goat milk or water, you can adjust this to get a thinner or thicker drink)
2 packages Zip Fizz immune formula (we like the Tropical Fruit flavor)
2 tbsp. liquid acidophiles
2 bananas
2 tbs. fructose or sugar (optional…we use it because we use unsweetened yogurt and it’s a little too tangy without it)

Throw everything but the Zip Fizz into the blender and puree until very smooth. Then add the Zip Fizz and blend well again. Serve the smoothie in cups, and then pour the remaining drink into a popsicle mold (using our molds, we got 8 pops out of the remaining smoothie, but it depends which molds you use!). Freeze until solid and enjoy!

Gluten Free OREO Cake (with allowances for dairy free)

Gluten Free OREO Cake (with allowances for dairy free)

As promised…here is the OREO cake recipe! Sorry about the crummy photo, I meant to do this recipe with photo instructions but I ran out of time and was enjoying our company too much to stop and do it right. Next time I make one, I’ll post new photos!

This is super easy and uses a cake mix, for a quick and fun dessert. Do it with Cool Whip for a dairy free version…but Cool Whip does have some Casein in it, so it’s not OK if you’re very sensitive to milk. You could also use a dairy free prepared frosting rather than the whipped topping if you wanted. If you need egg free as well, just use egg replacer instead of eggs when you follow the directions on the mix. Also, check for eggs in the cookies…I can’t remember if they are egg free? No soy free version….I can’t find a soy free whipped topping anywhere!!! Let me know if you know of a dairy and soy free whipped topping.

You Need:

One gluten free chocolate cake mix (Pamela’s or Namaste are good, Namaste is dairy free)
One container prepared frosting (Gluten and Dairy free…we used Pillsbury milk chocolate flavor, which interestingly enough contains no milk!)
One container Cool Whip (or other whipped topping)
10 Gluten Free Sandwich Cookies (we used K toos, best darn OREO substitue ever!)
1/2 bag gluten free chocolate chips (we used Sunspree).

You Do:

Follow the directions on the cake mix, and bake the cake in two 9 inch rounds. Remove from pan and let cool.

While the cake is baking, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. Trace the bottom of a 9 inch cake pan onto a piece of paper. Cover the paper with plastic wrap. This is your template for making the top of the cake (or, you can use the template I made below…it’s not a very good one, but it gives you a good idea of one way to do it) . Using a spatula, put the melted chocolate into a zip lock sandwich bag. Carefully snip a small part off one corner off the bag. Following your template, trace around the circle. Make your lines just inside the circle, because the cake will be a little smaller than the pan. Next, make the oval in the center of the circle…you can follow my template or do your own. You can write OREO in the center, or someone’s name if it’s a birthday cake. Then, fill in swirls and circles between your center oval and the outer circle. You could print out my template as a guide, or just free hand it (which is what I did for the cake in the photo). Place your chocolate design in the freezer to harden while you put the cake together.

Frost the sides and top of the first layer of cake. Crush the cookies in a plastic bag (or pulse in a food processor) until you have coarse crumbs. Mix the cookie crumbs in with the whipped topping, and spread the topping over top of the first cake. Carefully set the second layer on top of the first, and frost the sides and top of that layer. Take your cookie topper out of the freezer, and carefully peel the wrap off the bottom. Quickly lay the topper on top of the cake, and press down gently to secure it in the frosting.

Enjoy!!!! A quick and easy but fancy way to do dessert.

Below: Cake topper template

This Week’s Gluten Free Menu (with links to gluten free dining out )

Here I am again…has it already been a week?!? Amazing how time flies.

Saturday: Mexican Casserole. Layer corn tortillas in the bottom of a baking dish. Add a layer of refried beans (I mix about 1/2 cup salsa into one can of beans to make them taste better and spread easier). Add a layer of cooked ground beef (the beef is mixed with one package of gf taco seasoning (we use Western Family store brand), one can corn, and one can black beans). Add black olives and chopped red onion. Crumble goat feta (or skip this if you can’t have it, or add grated cheddar if you can have that instead) over the olives and onion. Pour 1 1/2 cups homemade enchiladas sauce over everything (to make this: throw a large can of chopped tomatoes with the liquid and a 2 cans of chopped green chilis into the blender with 4 teaspoons chili powder and a teaspoon of salt. Blend until smooth.) Repeat layers, ending with goat cheese (if you’re using it) and sauce. Bake at 350 until everything is hot and bubbly. Serve with a salad and left over homemade sauce.

Sunday: My father in law’s birthday, at my inlaw’s house. I don’t know what we’re eating…this of course makes me very nervous. At an event like this I will often bring a little something for Isaiah and I to eat, I will bring some gluten free cookies because there won’t be cake for us and probably a gluten free sandwich for Isaiah. You have to watch out at other people’s houses…potato salad might be gf except they used mayo that has crumbs in it…burgers might be gf but watch out that they didn’t grill the buns there first. It can be hard to avoid hurting feelings but it’s pretty darn common to go home from dinner at someone else’s house having been ‘glutened‘. Sigh.

Monday: Pizza! I buy Kinnikinnik or Glutano pizza crusts. Add Hormel pepperoni (I like the turkey kind), pizza sauce (1 can tomato sauce, 1 sm. can tomato paste, basil, oregano, 3 cloves fresh garlic…let simmer a few minutes and then put it on the crust!), mushrooms, bell peppers, olives and goat cheese on top. Serve with a tossed salad. Yum!

Tuesday: Grilled chicken and vegetables with rice pilaf, avocado and broccoli. My sister inlaw made this for us and it was wonderful! She’s in the same boat GI wise and knows what’s up. Put frozen chicken in a zip lock bag. In a separate bag, place small sweet peppers, thick slices of zucchini, and halved large mushrooms. Mix olive oil, a dash of white balsamic vinegar, pressed garlic, sea salt and lime juice together (you should have about a cup all together). Pour half of the mixture into each bag, let sit in the fridge overnight. Grill the chicken and vegetables and serve with rice pilaf (brown rice cooked with gf chicken broth…Pacific brand for us… instead of water, and a little garlic, parsley flakes, and saffron). Steamed broccoli and sliced avocado on the side.

Wednesday: A tossed green salad with leftover cold grilled chicken and vegetables, red kidney beans, red onion, olives, cucumber and feta cheese. Dressing: either Ranch (for those who can tolerate milk) or vinaigrette made of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic and brown mustard.

Thursday: Tuna Salad (with roll-ups for the kids). Tuna salad with mayo, pickles, red onion, and a bit of mustard served on a bed of lettuce with crumbled corn chips on top for me and hubby, the same tuna served with lettuce and rolled in a rice tortilla for the kids.

Friday: Eat out. Some options with GF menus: Outback Steakhouse, Wendy’s. I will try to put some eating out options on the blog when we eat out, you can click the names of the restaurants to see and print their gluten free menu. I don’t know if we will actually eat this week at one of the restaurants I list, but I figure it will give everyone a chance to download some menus for future reference! I’ve started to print these out and keep them in my car, so if we need to eat out we’ve got a variety of choices on hand and already have the menu printed out. Keep those updated, though, and ask when you order if what you’re getting is still safe. You never know when they might change something!

Enjoy! Email or leave a comment if you need better details on a recipe. Or hey….if you’ve got a great dinner suggestion I’d love to hear it!

Gluten Free Black Forest Cake

Gluten Free Black Forest Cake

This is my kids’ favorite cake. It tastes even better than it looks! The chocolate layers are accented by the sweet cherries and tangy chocolate cream cheese frosting. It’s not hard to make, either! The one in the photo is not my best, again it was so darn hot that the frosting was a little too soft. I’ll post another photo the next time I make one (Yea, hubby…the swamp cooler is fixed! No more melted frosting….).

The Cake:
1 1/2 cups white rice flour
3/4 cups tapioca flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 cup cocoa
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 cup milk (dairy, soy or rice)

The Frosting and Filling:
2 blocks cream cheese (or substitute)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa
1 can Cherry Pie filling (gluten free)

Make the Cake:
oven 350 F
Mix all dry ingredients except the cocoa in one bowl. Cream the eggs, sugar, mayo and cocoa in another bowl. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, alternating with the milk. Whip with electric mixer for at least 5 minutes or until well blended. Pour into 2 nine inch greased pans, bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, take cakes out of the pans and allow to cool for another 10 minutes.

Make the Frosting:
Whip the cream cheese, sugar and cocoa together until well blended. Add water until the frosting is a thick, spreadable consistency. Fill a frosting gun or bag with about 1/3 of the frosting and set aside (in the fridge might be a good idea if it is hot in your kitchen!).

Assemble the cake:
Set one layer of cake on a plate. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top of the cake, and frost the sides. Using the frosting gun or bag, pipe a rim of frosting around the outer edge of the cake (this is to hold the filling in, so don’t skip this step!). Pipe swirls around the bottom of the cake. Fill the top of the first layer, inside the rim of frosting, with about 1/2 of the can of cherry pie filling. Place the second layer of cake on top. Put a thin layer of frosting on top of the second cake, and frost the sides. You will need to add extra frosting to the area where the two layers meet, to cover the gap and make sure no filling escapes. Next, spread the rest of the cherry filling over the top of the cake, leaving about 3/4 inch around the outer edge bare. Pipe frosting swirls, rosettes, or stars around the outer edge of the top of the cake, to hold in the filling. Pipe a frosting rose in the center of the cake and add a cherry, and you’re good to go! I sometimes add whipped cream and chocolate shavings to the top of the cake for a little added flair.


This Week’s Gluten Free menu

As always, just email or leave a comment if you want more info on a recipe!

Saturday: Grilled chicken with barbecue sauce (Kraft), a green salad, corn on the cob. We’ll grill extra chicken to use on Monday.

Sunday: Grilled burgers (Lipton Onion soup and and Worcestershire sauce in the meat), fruit salad, green salad, home fries (toss cut potatoes, skin on, with olive oil and sea salt. Bake until crispy). Oreo Cake for dessert! (recipe will follow)

Monday: Left over grilled chicken sandwiches. Grilled chicken, barbecue sauce, lettuce and pickle on a bun. Gluten free macaroni salad and fruit salad.

Tuesday: Pasta salad with summer sausage, feta cheese, olives, green and red pepper, red onions, corn, and tomatoes. Steamed artichokes on the side.

Wednesday: Tuna fish salad, lettuce, red onion, and cucumber wrapped in a rice flour tortilla. Watermelon.

Thursday: Chicken Parmesan with marinara sauce over noodles, green salad (roll chicken tenders in mayo, then coat. To make the crumb and cheese mixture: pulse one gf hamburger bun in the food processor, add 1 cup Parmesan cheese, a dash of garlic powder, a dash of oregano and basil and pulse again. Bake chicken strips at 350 until brown and crispy, serve on a bed of noodles with sauce over everything).

Friday: Big salad with lots of greens, grilled chicken, cucumber, dark red kidney beans, olives, red onion, blue cheese, bacon bits, and Ranch dressing. Gluten free corn bread with butter.

Gluten Free Castle Cake

Gluten Free Castle Cake

OK, as promised: The GF Castle Cake recipe! I have some photos to go along. The cake was yummy, but I was a bit disappointed in it because it was so hot out that the cream cheese frosting melted a bit. It did taste good, though, and all the kids were duly impressed. Once again, the cake uses my gf cake basic recipe with some additions. I made links to websites where you can get the specialty items used in this recipe…they’re for your convenience and I don’t have any affiliation with the websites whatsoever (I’m able to get them locally)…just thought it might make it easier for you. Here it is:

1 1/2 cups white rice flour
3/4 cups tapioca flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups white sugar
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 cup milk
3 teaspoons gluten free vanilla extract

2 boxes cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons gluten free vanilla

1/2 bag Mi-del mini chocolate chip cookies (buy them here or at another grocer or online store)
4 gluten free ice cream cup cones (Barkat brand…buy them here)
4 gluten free sugar cones (Barkat brand…buy them here)

Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Grease 1 bunt cake pan and one long loaf pan (or two regular loaf pans). Mix the dry ingredients except for the sugar in one bowl, mix eggs, sugar, vanilla, and mayo in a different bowl until well combined. Add the flour mixture a bit at a time, alternating with the milk.

Pour mixture into pans. Bake for 25 minutes our until a toothpick comes out clean.

Mix 2 boxes softened cream cheese well, add the sugar and vanilla and whip until fluffy.

Remove cakes from pans and let cool. Cut the loaf cake into 4 equal parts (or cut both loaf cakes into 2 equal parts, if you used smaller pans). Cover a large cookie sheet with foil.

Place the bunt cake in the center of the pan, and frost all over with the frosting. Using a sharp knife, trim top and bottom of the 4 rectangular pieces so that they are level. Frost the tops and sides of all 4 cakes, and place them around the center cake.

Assemble the turrets: Using a frosting bag or decorating ‘gun’, pipe frosting around the top of a cup-style ice cream cone. Place a dab of frosting on the bottom of the cone as well. Place a sugar cone on top of the cup cone, and then place the finished turret on top of a rectangular cake. Repeat these steps for the remaining 3 rectangular cakes. Assemble the last cones as described, and place in the center of the bunt cake, over the hole (you may need to place a small drinking glass or other container upside down in the hole to stand the cones on).

Process 1/2 bag of Mi-Del chocolate chip cookies in a food processor or blender until you have fine crumbs. Press these crumbs over the frosting, and along the sides of the castle to resemble sand.

Enjoy your cake!

Sneak Peak:  Gluten Free  Sand Castle Cake!

Sneak Peak: Gluten Free Sand Castle Cake!

We’re getting ready to leave for the zoo, and everyone is ready to go but me…so I just wanted to pop in and give you a sneak peak of the Sand Castle Cake. We’re going to the zoo and then having dinner with the McDowells tonight so I won’t get to post much (unless the mood strikes after midnight tonight LOL) but I wanted to at least post a picture today! Recipe and photo instructions will follow. Have a wonderful Saturday!