Cookbook Reviews...Gluten Free Made Simple

  This cookbook is one I found in our HyVee store. Gluten Free Made Simple cookbook was with the Gluten Free items and after looking at it, I decided I just had to have it. Now, I have other GF cookbooks, but this is by far the best GF cookbook I have found. I really strongly recommend it to everyday cooks. It has sensible recipes, that any one person or family can use. Nothing in the recipes is difficult to find and all of them are available in a standard grocery store. Another large plus in my mind.
  It is “Real Food, for Real People, Real Easy” and lives up to this promise. The recipes are easy to follow, the author gives brand names and if you want recipes that anyone in your family will eat and not know that they are eating a special diet this is the book to use. The credentials of the writer are great and I just think everyone out there who has to cook with this type of diet in mind will be thrilled with this book.  Do hope you will try some of these recipes and look for the cookbook for yourself.

Old Fashioned Meatloaf - Gluten Free

Tomato Aspic 

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes 

Easy Chili - Gluten Free 

Pumpkin Custard

Family Favorites...Fresh Herb Batter Bread

Baked and cooling
  Batter Breads are easy to make, and do not require kneading. However, you do need to beat them till they are forming some gluten strands. One of the tricks to baking batter breads is not to let it rise to much before putting it in the oven. If it looks too high, take it out of the pan, punch down and let rise in pan again. If it is more than double it will most of the time rise in the oven and than fall. The first 10 minutes of oven heat will let it rise to the right height. 
  This recipe for Fresh Herb Batter Bread from the Betty Crocker Old-Fashioned Cookbook is one of the better batter breads I have made. Often it never gets the chance to cool, as it is eaten warm with butter. Nothing makes your house smell better than fresh bread baking, and this is a easy way for the inexperienced baker to have a good loaf of bread that everyone will ooh and ah over. 
Ready for oven, right amount of rise
  If you do not have fresh herbs, (you can omit the parsley) the dried do just fine. Do however, crush the dried rosemary or buy it all ready cracked. I just go over to Sue’s who always has fresh herbs growing. Try toasting this bread and using it for Chicken Salad Sandwiches.
Fresh Herb Batter Bread
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package active dry yeast
1 ¼ cups warm water (120° to 130°F)
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons shortening
1 ½ teaspoons snipped fresh or ½  teaspoon dried rosemary
1 ½ teaspoons snipped fresh or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
Butter for crust when it is baked.
  Mix 2 cups of the flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Add water, parsley. Shortening, rosemary, and thyme. Beat on low speed 1 minute scraping bowl often. Beat on medium speed till the batter starts to pull strands, Add the rest of the flour and stir in; beating till smooth.
  Scrape down sides of bowl, and leaving it in the same bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 35 to 40 minutes or until double. 
  Grease, 9x5x3 loaf pan. Stir down batter by beating about 25 strokes. Smooth and pat batter in loaf pan with floured hands. Cover lightly and let rise for about 30 minutes or until double. (do not allow to over rise.) Heat oven to 375° while bread is rising. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped on bottom. 185° to 200° with an instant read thermometer. Brush top of loaf with soft butter and than remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Rhubarb Pudding Cakes

 I recently found the blog Seasons & Suppers by a Canadian blogger. One of her recipes was for a Rhubarb Pudding Cake. As we are all rhubarb fans I decided to try it.  Everyone enjoyed it and I will certainly make it again. Thanks for publishing it Jennifer. 
 I am going to clarify her directions a little for a beginning cook to follow. Those of us who have been baking for awhile tend to not write directions that spell out steps.
 If you do like rhubarb give this a try.
 Rhubarb Pudding Cakes
 Prep time 10 mins  Cook time 30 mins
Makes 6-8 small, individual puddings, you can also bake as one pudding in an 8-inch baking pan or skillet. (I used 2 -10 oz. And 4 -8 oz. Dishes. They do boil up so do not  over fill)
2 - 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen thawed rhubarb, chopped in 1/4-inch  pieces
For the cake batter:
3 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Pinch salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
For the liquid:
1/2 cup less 2 Tbsp. hot water (you are replacing the 2 Tbsp, with orange juice)
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup white sugar
Pinch salt
Preheat oven to 350 F.
 Grease 3 or 4 ramekins or small baking dishes and place the cut rhubarb on the bottom, dividing evenly between the dishes. Place baking dishes onto a baking sheet. Set aside.
 Using an electric mixer or in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together  the butter and white sugar. 
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and pinch of salt.  Add vanilla to milk. 
 Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk, starting and ending with flour. Mix just until combined and smooth. Spread this batter evenly over the rhubarb, dividing between your baking dishes. NOTE: be sure the batter doesn't go right up to the top of your baking dish, as you will need some room to pour the liquid over the top of the batter.
 In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the hot water, orange juice, cornstarch and sugar. Stir well till sugar dissolves. Pour evenly over the batter, dividing between your baking dishes.
 Place baking dishes into preheated oven (on the baking sheet) and bake for 30-40 minutes (depending on the size of your baking dish) or until top is golden and crusty.

From the Garden...Chicken Rice Salad

This refreshing salad is perfect when cucumbers and peppers are ready in the garden or Farmer’s Market. I use home-canned chicken or turkey, but any diced cooked chicken or purchased canned chicken work, although the purchased canned chicken has much more sodium. I don’t know where I found this recipe, but I have been making it for most of our marriage.
I purchase roasted walnut oil for a delicious bread recipe I have, and am always on the lookout for other ways I can use it to boost the flavor of a recipe that has nuts in it, so I can use the oil before it gets rancid. It adds a nice touch to this salad, but olive oil or salad oil is a good substitute, and not as expensive.  Choose a gluten-free mayonnaise if necessary, like Duke's.
Chicken Rice Salad
2/3 cup Instant Brown Rice or long grain white rice
1 Cup Chicken Broth -- From chicken, add water to make amount
12 ounces Canned Chicken -- drained , or 1 pint home canned
2 tablespoons Cider Vinegar
2 tablespoons Roasted Walnut Oil or olive oil
2/3 cup Celery -- diced
1/4 cup Sweet Red Pepper
1/4 cup Cucumber -- diced
2/3 cup Green Grapes -- halved
4 tablespoons Pecans -- or walnuts (broken)
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
Cook the rice in the chicken broth. While still warm, mix in oil and vinegar and chicken. Chill 2 hours or overnight. Add remaining ingredients and mayonnaise, cover and refrigerate 2 hours or until well-chilled. Serve. Yield: "5 Cups" 5 to 6 main dish servings
2017 Cost: $3.20 or 54¢ per serving if grapes and vegetables must be purchased and home-canned chicken is used; less if you have garden cucumbers and peppers.
Per Serving: 301 Calories; 20g Fat (59.1% calories from fat); 15g Protein; 17g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 38mg Cholesterol; 482mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Busy-Day Pork Chops

  I had some pork chops and was looking for a different, quick way to make them.  Here it is…very simple but tasty.  We were surprised that they were so tender; but the coating keeps in the juices and keeps the chops from being too dry.  My chops were about 5 ounces, so I cooked them 22 minutes all together.  Serve with a vegetable and a salad, with fruit for dessert, and you have a fast, fuss-free meal.                 

Busy-Day Pork Chops  
  4           tablespoons  milk
  4           tablespoons  seasoned bread crumbs
  4           tablespoons  grated Parmesan cheese
     1/4    teaspoon  salt
     1/4    teaspoon  garlic powder
     1/8    teaspoon  pepper
  4           boneless pork loin chops (4 ounces each)
               Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 375°. Place milk in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl (or paper plate), toss crumbs with cheese and seasonings.
Dip pork chops in milk, then coat with crumb mixture. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; lightly spritz chops with cooking spray.

Bake 8-10 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 145°. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 4 servings.
Taste of Home

Use It Up...Fruit in Upside-Down Cakes

Upside-down cakes are a great way to use extra fruit…the variety is almost endless.  As you can see, Myrna prepares these often for her “people”; family and friends who love her baking.
Try some of these old favorites soon.


Sunday in Iowa...

This sundial is in the Central Park in Pella, Iowa
The community is of mostly Dutch heritage, and their gardens remind us of the beautiful planned public flower beds we saw in Germany and France when we lived there.

Cookbook Reviews...Land O Lakes Taste of Summer

You've already guessed I’m a fan of Summer cook books – when you have plenty of garden and farmer’s market choices, you’re always looking for good ideas to use it up.   Land O Lakes Taste of Summer is a recipe collection paperback was published in 1997, and I picked it up at a book sale.  It’s got 5 ingredient grilling recipes, sandwiches, salads and salsas and chutneys.  There were lots of recipes my husband and I liked; it was just a matter of matching up what we had on hand with the recipes in the book.  We think you’ll like them too.