At the time of publication, all recipes were free of the allergens listed as being free of in the title (i.e. soy-free, milk-free, etc.), and all other information shared was accurate to the best of my knowledge.
Though I strive to update outdated information quickly and work diligently to make sure you have the most accurate information possible at all times, it is your duty to double check labels EVERY TIME to ensure that the ingredients you use are SAFE FOR YOU.
Your doctor or allergist should also be your first go-to for information on how to handle your medical needs. That being said, if you DO notice an error, please send me an email letting me know (tell me what page or recipe the error is on, what the error is, etc.), and I will correct the error ASAP.
Thank you so much!

Please Be Advised:
I make sure all of my recipes use foods that are free of the allergens they say they are free of. You will need to do the same. For help with this, please see the appropriate "Alternative Names" page for the allergen(s) you need the recipe free of.

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Family Favorites - May 2018: Gluten-Free Fruited Coffee Cake (Wheat, Nut and Fish-Free, Can Be Soy, Egg and Milk-Free)

This year, I decided to list a family favorite recipe from the blog (with any adaptions that we use regularly, if applicable) on the fourth Friday or Saturday of every month.  This recipe will be one that we make quite often and that we all enjoy greatly.  This post is the fifth Family Favorites recipe of 2018.

If you have a recipe on your blog that you consider a family favorite that you'd like to share, please comment below with a link to the recipe, and I'll make sure to pop on over and visit your site to check it out (and leave a comment), and hopefully some of my other readers will, too.

This month's Family Favorite recipe is Gluten-Free Fruited Coffee Cake.  It is essentially my Gluten-Free Mixed Berry Rhubarb Coffee Cake recipe, but you can decide what fruit you use.  We love this coffee cake and we enjoy making it several times a year.  We try to keep the fruit as seasonal as possible.  That means that we normally make an apple version in the fall and winter, and a berry, cherry, rhubarb or combination version in the spring and summer.  I want to try a pear and a peach version, and those are goals for when those are in season.  I even want to do something with cranberries.  The possibilities are endless!  Did I mention that this recipe is wheat, nut and fish-free, and can be soy, egg and milk-free (if all your ingredients are)?   Delicious and allergy-friendly to boot!  What's not to love?

Note: The gluten-free flour and baking mix I recommend do not technically contain soy, but the one contains xanthan gum and the other contains guar gum (see "Soy-Free" under variations for more details) which can cause issues for people with soy sensitivities or allergies, and that is why I will not claim that this recipe is soy-free.

Gluten-Free Fruited Coffee Cake

1 1/4 Cup white sugar
(We always use cane sugar.)
1 teaspoon baking soda 

1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Cups gluten-free flour blend or baking mix 
(We normally use Pamela's Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour or King Arthur Flour's Gluten-Free Baking Mix.)
2 eggs
1 Cup sour cream or gluten-free vanilla yogurt 
(We always use Daisy brand sour cream, but have also used a gluten-free vanilla greek yogurt.)
3 Cups total of any of the following: 
thinly sliced fresh rhubarb (about 1/4 inch sized pieces), fresh raspberries, fresh chopped strawberries (bite-sized pieces), fresh blueberries, fresh sour cherries (pitted and cut in half), peeled and diced, bite-sized pieces of baking apples of choice (Granny Smith, Ida Red, Ginger Gold, etc.), peeled and diced fresh pears (bite-sized pieces), peeled and diced fresh peaches (bite-sized pieces), or any other fresh, diced fruit that you like
(Do NOT use a mushy fruit that bananas, though, as the texture will not turn out right, and yes, the fruit needs to be fresh, though you could use canned pineapple if you drained it VERY well.  You could technically also use frozen fruit, but you'd have to thaw it and drain it well, and you'd most likely have to cook it longer.)

1 Cup brown sugar
(We always use cane sugar.)   

1/4 Cup gluten-free flour blend or baking mix 
(We normally use Pamela's Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour or King Arthur Flour's Gluten-Free Baking Mix)
1/4 Cup gluten-free quick or traditional oats
(We always use quick oats.)   

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
(We always add the salt, and normally I use the 1/4 teaspoon.)
1/2 Cup salted, full-fat butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350oF.
  2. Grease and flour a 9x13 baking dish; set aside.  (Note: I used butter to grease mine, but feel free to use whatever grease that suits your tastes and allergen needs.)
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the 1 1/4 Cup white sugar, baking soda, salt and 2 Cups gluten-free flour blend or baking mix.
  4. Stir the eggs and sour cream or yogurt into the flour mixture until smooth.
  5. Fold the fruit into the batter just until evenly distributed.
  6. Scoop the batter into the prepared dish and spread evenly.
  7. In a smaller bowl, mix the brown sugar, 1/4 Cup gluten-free flour blend or baking mix, oats, cinnamon and salt (if using) until well-blended.
  8. Using 2 knives, cut the butter into the brown sugar mixture until you have a crumbly topping.  (Note: The butter should be no bigger than pea-sized and evenly distributed.)
  9. Sprinkle topping on top of batter.
  10. Bake the cake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Makes one 9x13 pan or anywhere from 12 to 24 servings, depending how big you want them.  It is delicious warm or cold.  I recommend storing any leftovers in the fridge.

Variations (Please keep your individual dietary needs in mind when using substitutions!):

  • Egg-Free: Use any of the egg substitution ideas from the Ingredient Substitution page or an egg replacer for the eggs.  I think the applesauce replacement would be especially good!
  • Milk-Free: Use a dairy-free yogurt or vegan sour cream for the sour cream or yogurt, and lard, coconut oil, or a dairy-free butter for the butter.
  • Soy-Free: Neither Pamela's Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour or King Arthur Flour's Gluten-Free Baking Mix claim to contain soy, but Pamela's contains guar gum and King Arthur Flour's contains xanthan gum, which can cause issues with people who have soy sensitivities and allergies, and hence the reason I won't claim this recipe is soy-free already.  You can use regular flour (if you can have it) or a soy-free, gluten-free flour of your choice.  Keep in mind that if your blend doesn't contain guar gum or xanthan gum, you may need to add up to 1/2 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons of ground flax seed, guar gum or xanthan gum to help with textural issues.  Also, you will need to make sure that all of your ingredients are soy-free.
  • Other Yogurt OptionsIf you decided to use yogurt, but don't want to use vanilla, you can use plain or a flavored one, like strawberry, blueberry, honey, etc.  
  • Less Topping: If you don't want as much topping, you can half the amount of topping.  You could even leave it off, if you want.

  • Sugar Substitutions:  You could use any sugar substitute that is approved for baking for the sugar.  Make sure that you sub it according to the recommendations for that sweetener.  Not all sugar substitutes are subbed with a 1:1 ratio.
  • Topping Variations:  If you can have tree nuts, you can always add up to 1/4 Cup pecans, almonds, walnuts, etc. to the topping.  You can even sub nuts for the oats, though I would not exceed 1/4 Cup of nuts regardless.

This coffee cake is one that is always a hit wherever I take it.  It is so versatile, good warm or cold, good for breakfast or dessert - I mean, is it any wonder it is a family favorite?  I hope you will give it a try and that it becomes a family favorite for you, too!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Recent Reflections - May 2018: The Power of Prayer

This is the fifth Recent Reflections post of 2018.  Recent Reflections goes live the third Friday or Saturday of each month.  Each Recent Reflections post covers something that I'm reflecting on.  If you'd like to share a post with a similar theme, feel free to leave a comment with a link to your post, and I'll hop on over and leave a comment (and maybe some other readers will, too).

This month, I will be reflecting on the power of prayer.

"Prayer is the key that unlocks all the storehouses of God's infinite grace and power." - R.A. Torrey
Have you ever found yourself saying to someone, "I'm praying for you.  I wish there was more I could do"?  I have.  We make prayer sound like it isn't much, like it's such a little thing.  But let's really think about what prayer is: petitioning an almighty, all-knowing, everywhere-present God for His help. 

God is limitless and all-powerful.  He has unlimited resources and knowledge.

Tapping into that kind of help is not the least we can do; it is the BEST we can do.  

It amazes me how often we (read that as I) put Him in a box and act like, "Well, God, I've tried everything else.  I guess I'll let You give it a go," like He's a feeble child instead of the holy Creator of the universe.  We seem to forget that He can do ANYTHING...and we seldom truly believe He is capable.  Ouch.

The next time you're in a situation where you find yourself with prayer being the only way to help, be grateful.  It means you won't louse it up because only God can do it so you have to keep your hands off of it.  He is perfect, and if anyone can do something right, He can.  As it says in 2 Samuel 22:31 (KJV), "As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him."  If you trust a situation with Him, you can know it will turn out for your best.

It is my goal to always make prayer not the last resort, but the first response.

I think a lot more would turn out right, and I know I would definitely have less worry, if I did this!  May I always remember that God is able, and that I need to let Him do His job while I do mine - pray!

I truly hope this post has been a blessing to your heart!  What has God done in your life lately to bless you?  What are you reflecting on?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Beans and Rice (Soy, Wheat, Milk, Fish, Nut and Egg-Free)

I'm so excited!  My new site is up (I hope you like it), everything is imported over (the dates on posts stay the original dates when you import - that's why it looks like this site has been up since 2012, though it is brand new), and (I think) all the links are correct now.  If they are not, let me know, and I'll change them ASAP. :)

(Note: See the side panel for my social media links if you want to follow me on any or all of those.  You can even follow by email, if you wish.)

I am also excited to share this new recipe with you!  It is top 8 free (assuming all your ingredients are) and super simple to make!  It takes half an hour or less to prepare, fills you up, and will feed the whole family well.  It's a Tex-Mex-type dish that can be mildly spicy or extra spicy, depending on your personal preference.  My whole family enjoys it equally, which says a lot since they don't always agree when it comes to Tex-Mex!  If you're a fan of Tex-Mex, this may just be the recipe for you!

(Note: The sausage we normally use does contain "natural flavors", but claims to be free of all the top 8 allergens.  If you are nervous about using it or another type of sausage, please follow one of the variations below that suits your needs better.)

Beans and Rice
1 lb. allergy-friendly ground sausage in the roll package, any heat

16 oz. allergy-friendly dark red kidney beans, drained

16 oz. allergy-friendly light red kidney beans, drained

12- 16 oz. allergy-friendly salsa, any heat

32 oz. allergy-friendly chicken broth

1 - 2 Tablespoons parsley flakes

14 oz. plain instant rice, white or brown or wild
(Yes, it has to be instant rice, but the type of instant is up to you as long as it is just rice with no spices added.)

  1. In a very large skillet, brown the sausage over medium-high heat and drain.  (Note: You will need a lid for step 4, so make sure your skillet has a lid before you start to use it!)
  2. Add the drained beans, salsa, chicken broth and parsley to the skillet and heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.  (Note: The amount of salsa and parsley are based on personal preference.)
  3. Add the rice, stir, and bring the mixture to boiling again (Note: You want a rapid or hard boil.).
  4. Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low, cover and cook for 5 minutes.  DO NOT STIR OR REMOVE THE LID!
  5. After the 5 minutes is up, stir the beans and rice, remove the skillet from off the heat, re-cover the skillet, and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.  (Note: If you find that the rice is not tender enough for you, you may want to let it stand a bit longer or cook it for up to 10 minutes total before letting it rest.  I recommend trying it cooked for 5 minutes and then letting it stand for 5 minutes to see if it is tender enough for you.  If not, let it stand 2 or 3 minutes more.  Again, if it is still not to your liking, you may have to bring it back up to boiling and cook it a bit longer.)
Serves a family of 5 easily, though I can't promise leftovers unless you don't have teenagers. :D

Variations (Please keep your individual allergen needs in mind when you use variations):
  • Different Broth: If you don't like chicken broth, you can use beef or vegetable broth.  You could even use water, but the flavor will be more bland.
  • Vegan/Vegetarian: Leave out the sausage and make sure your beans are vegetarian/vegan for a vegetarian version.  Go a step further and use vegetable broth or water as well to make this recipe vegan.  You could even use mushrooms instead of sausage.
  • Different/Additional Meat: As I mentioned above, you can leave the sausage out or you could even use or add chicken, mushrooms, another type of sausage, or hamburger - whatever you fancy.  As long as you don't overflow your skillet, you are good to go, though I recommend using no more than 2 lbs. worth of meat.

  • More Heat: If you like it really spicy, you could even add jalapeƱos or another spicy pepper or peppers according to taste preference.
  • Other Beans: You can use all the same type of kidney beans, sub black beans, white beans, pinto, red beans, or another favorite type of bean to this dish if you so desire (choose a type of bean that you'd use in chili, though, that doesn't have anything in it other than beans - you don't want baked beans or beans in a flavored sauce).  You could even add up to 2 additional 16 oz. cans of beans if you desire and your skillet is big enough.

Tasty, easy, and allergy-friendly to boot!