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Drew and I were grocery shopping in Whole Foods one afternoon when I saw a little stack of recipe cards sitting next to the display of onions and shallots. I picked one up, it sounded tasty, so we bought the ingredients and made it for dinner that evening. It was immediately a hit. One of my favorite recipes ever I think. I’ve seriously made this four times in the last month or so. I even more than doubled the recipe to feed to a group of 10 family members in town for my art show last week. They all seemed to love it.

Fun Fact: I hate yellow mustard, but I am absolutely obsessed with cooking with Dijon mustard. I just love the tangy flavor it gives things. I love it roasted on potatoes, meats, and it is my secret (or not-so-secret?) ingredient in my white cheddar mac-and-cheese too!

Classic Braised Chicken with Potatoes and Celery

adapted from original recipe here, to be gluten and dairy free. Serves 4. 

Ingredients:

-4 bone-in, skin-on, chicken thighs
-1/4 cup brown rice flour
-1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
-1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-2 Tbsp butter (or olive oil)
-4-6 celery stalks (about half a bunch), chopped into 2-3 inch pieces
-4 medium red potatoes (about 1 pound), cubed
-1/2 cup white wine
-1 3/4 cups chicken broth
-1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Directions:

1. Melt butter (or olive oil) in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
2. Meanwhile, combine brown rice flour, salt, and pepper in a wide bowl or plate.
3. Coat chicken pieces with flour mixture and add to melted butter in pan.
4. Cook chicken for 5 minutes on each side, until outside is crispy and golden brown.
5. Transfer chicken to a bowl.
6. Lower heat to medium and add chopped celery and potatoes to pan. Cook, stirring frequently until celery softens, about 5 minutes.
7. Stir in wine and cook, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5-10 minutes.
8. Pour in broth and stir in Dijon mustard.
9. Return chicken to the pan, bring to a boil and then lower heat, cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through (165 degrees) and very tender, 20-25 minutes.
10. Once chicken is done, transfer chicken and vegetables with a slotted spoon to a larger serving bowl or platter.
11. Continue to cook the liquid over medium to medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to about 1 1/2 cups.
12. Pour sauce over chicken and vegetables and serve.

Enjoy!

One treat my sisters and I loved when we were little were what we referred to as “pie crust cookies.” Whenever my mom was making pies with a homemade oil pastry crust, we would use the leftover dough to spread with cinnamon and sugar and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes to bake into little cookies. We loved them so much we would often whip up a batch of oil pastry dough just to make into cookies, no pie crusts needed.

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This is a tradition that I’ve continued into my own home. I don’t make pies often, but in the winter I love a good homemade chicken pot pie. I would top the pie with my homemade oil pastry crust dough and bake the leftover bits into pie crust cookies, just like old times. After going gluten-free, I tried substituting different gf flour mixes into my regular pie crust recipe, but each turned out too crumbly or hard to roll out. Lately, I’ve really been craving some fresh strawberries with some homemade shortcrust cookies, so I experimented with different recipes and tweaks until I came up with one I liked. I haven’t tried baking this recipe into an actual pie crust, but I’m sure it would work great for that too.

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Gluten-free Strawberry Shortcrust

Ingredients:

For the shortcrust:
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup white rice flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar
- 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 6 Tbsp cold butter, cubed
- 1 small egg
- 2 Tbsp water

For the topping:
- turbinado sugar
- cinnamon

For serving:
- Fresh strawberries, sliced
- honey

Directions:

1. In food processor, mix dry ingredients (brown rice flour, white rice flour, cornstarch, sugar, xanthan gum, salt).
2. Add cubed butter and pulse until crumbly.
3. Add egg, mix until combined, then add water and mix until combined.
4. Remove dough from food processor, roll into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap.
5. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
6. When ready to bake, roll out chilled dough between two sheets of wax paper.
7. Transfer dough to baking sheet, spread with cinnamon & sugar mixture, and cut into squares.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
9. Serve whole or crumbled with sliced strawberries that have been tossed with honey.

Enjoy!

One of my favorite things to make with over-ripe bananas is banana bread. Back in my gluten-eating days, I had a delicious recipe that I always used. Now that I’m gluten-free (and cutting other things like processed oils and sugar out of my diet), this is my new go-to recipe. It is jam-packed with delicious ingredients and makes for one pretty healthy banana bread. Hope you enjoy!

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Healthy Banana Bread (gluten-free)
recipe adapted from this one

Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cups mashed over-ripe bananas (about 4 bananas)
-1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup)
-3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
-2 eggs
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 1/2 cup oats, ground in food processor (a little more coarse than actual oat flour)
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-3/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
-1/4 cup flaxseeds (whole or slightly ground)
-1/3 cup shredded coconut
-1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
-1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Grease one large 9×5″ loaf pan and preheat the oven to 350º F.
2. In a large bowl, stir together first 5 ingredients (mashed bananas, honey, applesauce, eggs and vanilla).
3. In a separate bowl, combine the ground oats, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, flaxseeds, and coconut. Add to the wet ingredients.
4. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips.
5. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake about one hour and fifteen minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached.
6. Let cool slightly and enjoy!

These white Cheddar crackers are a nice, crisp, crumbly, buttery stack of goodness. An easy, homemade snack great with cheese, dips, or by themselves! I particularly like this recipe because it is easy and uses simple ingredients that I always have on hand in my kitchen (and can easily be tweaked to make various other flavored crackers!). These are so much cheaper to make than your typical $5 box of gluten-free crackers!

One thing to note– the texture of these crackers is a little more buttery and coarse (sort-of like shortbread without the sweetness), so it might be a little different than your gluten-containing cracker of choice. I really happen to love that crumbly texture though!

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White Cheddar Crackers (gluten-free)

makes about 50 bite-sized crackers; original recipe from this cookbook

Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp Italian seasoning
-1/2 tsp salt
-6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) cold butter, cut into small cubes
-3/4 cup finely grated sharp white Cheddar cheese
-1/2 cup cold water

Directions:
1. Combine brown rice flour, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt in a food processor and process until well blended.
2. Add butter and cheese, pulse until coarse crumbs form.
3. Add water; process until dough forms.
4. Divide dough into 2 pieces, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
6. Place each ball of dough between two pieces of parchment paper, roll out to 1/16 inch thickness, and then refrigerate another 5 minutes.
7. Cut dough into squares and place squares onto prepared baking sheets.
8. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden and crisp.

Enjoy!

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I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! I really love Thanksgiving and think it is such a needed holiday. Everyone needs to be reminded of all they have to be thankful for and I’m happy that Thanksgiving gives us a chance to focus on our blessings from God.

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Isn’t that table gorgeous? I love it! My dad just put it into the kitchen of my childhood home and it is over 100 years old! It is the old meeting table of our local Moose lodge that my great-grandpa Wallace was a part of. I love the imperfection and character of it.

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As I get older, it seems our Thanksgiving traditions seem to flux and change with different family needs. I really love tradition though, so I’m happy that it seems I’m still able to cherish traditions while also making way for new ones as well.

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My younger sisters, my husband and I made Thanksgiving for our family. I love cooking and we had a great time getting everything together. We made most of the traditional Thanksgiving foods, but the majority of everything we made was gluten-free. Mashed potatoes, homemade turkey gravy, baked sweet potatoes, roasted asparagus with Parmesan cheese, caramelized broccoli with garlic, GF cornbread, baked ham, deep fried turkey, sweet tea, and my Mamaw’s apple salad. Kelsey and Jill also made crescent rolls, apple dumplings, and pies that weren’t gluten-free. I was traveling there the day before or else I would have made GF pies (I just didn’t eat any, I ate apple salad for dessert instead).

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My younger sisters and I with my grandpa (above) and my dad (below).

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It was also nice to get to visit and chat with one of my best friends, Tonya, and her mom while I was in town.

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I also made a leftover turkey pot-pie complete with a homemade GF pie crust, rolled out with a can of tomatoes. I also got to visit Fergus, my little sister, Jill’s, goat, who has packed on a little winter weight since I saw him this summer.

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That weekend we also had a wedding celebration to help out with and attend for Drew’s brother, Wes, and his wife, Trang.

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Drew made (and hauled all the way from New Orleans) two different home-brewed beers and a homemade Root Beer.

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It was  a lovely and fun evening with friends and family under glowing twinkly lights.

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Since we live in New Orleans, ten hours away from the rest of our families, it is always such cherished time when we are back in our familiar hometown, back in the country where you can see all the stars at night. I’m so thankful for my family and I’m so happy I got to spend much-needed time with them. I only wish it was longer! Christmas will be here soon though!

How was your Thanksgiving?

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