Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Substitute teaching hasn't really picked up yet.  So I have a lot more days off than I'd really like to have.     I'm trying to use my time productively.  This week I've spent two days at my parents helping out with canning.  Mom was recently promoted at her job, so she has even less free time than she'd like to have. I've helped out with canning in bits and pieces in previous years, but this is my first time doing it start to finish (mostly) on my own.  Mom sent me shopping and left me a recipe.  At least I knew I could call her at work if (when) I needed some help.  Mom's tomato plants produced in abundance this year, so I'm sure this won't be the last of the canning.  There are boxes and boxes of tomatoes ripening in the garage.  I made two batches of salsa and three batches of tomato soup and I don't think I even made a dent.  Salsa is a two day recipe.  Part 1 involves soaking the tomatoes, celery and onions in pickling salt overnight.  Part 2 finishes everything off.  We try to use as many garden vegetables as possible, and (if possible) we try to use the garden-ripened tomatoes for salsa first.  They have the best flavor!  This year we grew a few green bell peppers, so those got mixed into salsa as well!

Tomato Soup

Since becoming celiacs it became even more important for my mom and I to make tomato soup each Fall.  The grocery store stuff is always thickened with something we can't eat.  It isn't really a hardship though, homemade stuff tastes better!  I didn't used to think that when I was younger, but clearly I was insane.  I've come to see the light now (especially now that I don't have a choice), and look forward to freshly canned tomato soup each year.  We try to utilize as many garden vegetables as possible for tomato soup.  Fresh tomatoes, onions, carrots, and parsley all go into this delicious garden fresh soup!

Marinated Tomato Salad

Marinated tomato salad is an harvest favorite around here.  All the tomatoes from the garden have been picked before the first frost and are sitting around in boxes ripening.  Nothing beats a garden tomato.  The juice and the flavor that just explodes when you bite into it cannot be matched.  This is also the time when we have to use up those tomatoes as quickly as possible before they over-ripen and start to spoil.  Jars and jars of tomato soup and salsa begin to fill the pantry shelves.  I love Autumn.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mom's Chocolate Zucchini Cake (Gluten Free)

Sometimes how Mom did it really is best.  What is it about your Mother's cooking that just screams "comfort food"?  The original chocolate zucchini muffins recipe I posted was alright.  But it just wasn't as good as Mom's was.  So I'm posting hers too.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Gluten Free Roll Kuchen

My Mennonite roots are coming out here.  Hot summer day + roll kuchen + watermelon = bliss.  Diagnose a few family members with celiac disease and the roll kuchen days were over.  Oh how we mourned that loss.  But for those of you following along, you know that I refuse to be told I can't have something.  If someone else has done it, then I'll find out and try it myself.

The final push to find a recipe (and try it) came when I spent a weekend in Steinbach for a family reunion and (unfortunately) ended up sitting beside the big bowl of roll kuchen (NOT gluten free).  Enough! I said.  I'm having roll kuchen when I get home.

Brazilian Cheese Bread

Josh and his friends ate out at a Brazilian Steak House a while back and he came home raving about these little cheese biscuits they served.  "The waitress said they were made from tapioca starch so they'd be gluten free!"  I love how he's always thinking of me and what I could eat, even when I'm not with him.  Fast forward a few weeks and I stumbled across this recipe in a gluten free exchange group I'm in on Facebook.  Reading through the recipe I realized this is a NATURALLY gluten free recipe.  They haven't switched to tapioca starch to appease the celiacs out there.  While I know I'm capable of making delicious converted GF food, when a recipe is naturally GF I get excited.