Gluten-Free and Easy Croutons


G-F Easy Croutons

Dress-up your salad tonight with g-f croutons that are tasty & take minutes to make!

1. Toast 2 Slices of G-F Bread

2. While still warm spread Olive Oil on one side of each slice

3. Sprinkle dried basil + garlic powder on top of oil

4. Allow to cool then place on cutting board

5. Cut one bread slice at a time into bite sizes

Hint: I create 4 rows across and 4 down to make uniform sized croutons

Toss on salad right before serving and enjoy!


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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Uncategorized


The Perfect Corn

Over the years I have heard many people boast about various methods to making the perfect corn on the cob.  Over the years I have dabbled in these various methods, which have varied from adding butter, cream, oil or sugar to the water the cobs are cooking in.  My conclusion?  If I am buying a delicious ear of corn from my local farmer then that’s what I want to taste – the corn. Not the sugar, not the cream and heaven knows not the oil.  If I want to layer flavors then I add sage butter (recipe below) on my cooked corn, which enhances the sweet butter flavors with the sweet summer flavors of the corn.  Below I share with you my two favorite secrets to the perfect corn on the cob that are so simple you may not believe me, until of course, you try it for yourself.

My Parent’s Perfect Corn on the Cob

Remove the corn’s husks

Boil Water

Once boiling toss in a pinch of salt (optional)

Turn off heat and carefully drop in corn on the cob

Cover tightly and let it sit – do not harass the corn in any way

Remove with tongs in 3-5 minutes


Susanmarie’s Super Lazy but still Perfect Corn

Heat up your grill to medium high

Place the ears of corn in their entire husks directly on the grill

yes, you read that correctly

Turn once when grill marks appear

Allow grill marks on opposite side to appear

don’t be alarned if some of the top husk ‘hairs’ burn, this will happen so be careful

Take corn off heat let cool enough to remove husks and serve



Hint: We serve our corn on the cob with sage butter. To make your own sage butter simply snip some fresh sage and mince then add to cold butter and melt on a medium low heat until smooth. Pour it into a pretty little serving dish and toss in a brush for easy application.  Add a salt shaker and a peppermill on the table for those who like to indulge along with plenty of napkins.  Don’t forget those cute little corn holders in the back of the drawer.

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Posted by on August 4, 2012 in Uncategorized


If You Can’t Stand the Heat…

If you can’t stand the heat…head for the grill.  This summer has already proven to be a hot one, which has resulted in us utilizing our outdoor cooking area as much as possible.  Today I will share with you one of my favorite gluten-free marinades. I have also developed a fun goof-proof way for you to recreate the recipe without using measuring cups or spoons. This marinade is delightful on any vegetable, but especially on mushrooms. We enjoy our grilled portobello mushrooms on a gluten-free bun with melted cheese, caramelized red onions and arugula.  Below is our mixed medley of fresh veggies, which I served with steamed rice, sage-buttered corn, green beans with almond slices and this colorful salad freshly picked from our green house.


Susanmarie’s Marinade

Vegetable Oil (any variety labeled high heat)

G-F Tamari

G-F Balsamic

G-F Dark Maple Syrup

Salt & Pepper

Garlic Powder

Hints: When purchasing your ingredients you want to make absolutely sure your balsamic vinegar reads gluten-free – as many are not gluten-free due to added coloring.  In addition, when choosing maple syrup go for the high quality choice, which comes without any hidden coloring or additives.  Finally, please note that in general soy sauce is not gluten-free but the tamari soy sauce can be. Check the labels and make certain this like the balsamic label actually reads gluten-free.

Step 1: Have all the ingredients above lined up on your counter, along with a bowl and a whisk.

Step 2: Pour a generous circle of oil in your bowl, as seen above. A 3” circle is enough for 3 skewers of veggies.

Step 3: Pour a smaller circle of tamari inside the larger oil circle as seen above.

Step 4: Pour a smaller circle of balsamic inside the tamari.

Step 5: Pour a smaller circle of maple syrup inside the balsamic.

Step 6: Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Whisk it well then use it immediately – brushing it as shown below works best.

Step 7: Place your marinated veggies in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, which allows them to fully soak in the flavors of the marinade before grilling.  

Save the extra marinade to baste your veggies while grilling, this keeps them moist.

Cook on medium-low heat rotating until done.



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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Uncategorized


Summertime is Grill time!

To grill or not to grill – is hardly the question!  Summertime = grill time. The question becomes, “What foods haven’t I grilled?” Thinking creatively about grilling begins with looking at vegetables and fruits that aren’t the standard grill fare.  If you have been following my blog, you also know that while I enjoy sharing recipes, I enjoy it even more when they are tasty & easy. So here it is…Stuffed Butternut Squash, Grill Style!

Simple, hearty and ready in less than 1 hour.

Grilled & Stuffed Butternut Squash

 Half a butternut squash lengthwise. Discard seeds and pulp. Brush squash with a marinade. For my marinade I whisked together: 1 T of honey, 1 T brown sugar, 3 T of balsamic vinegar, 2 T of olive oil, 3 T of vegetable oil, salt & pepper to taste.  Generously brush it on the ‘flesh’ side of the squash, letting it marinade while the barbeque heats on medium high. Once hot, I place my squash flesh side down on the grill, keeping the heat on medium and brushing its skin a few times with my left over marinade. 

HINT: Don’t let the flame take bites out of your squash, cook on medium heat, adjusting it for a nice slow cook. It’s done when you press on the skin and it feels soft and the skin appears to have a little wrinkle. 

While the squash is cooking I close the grill and make my rice. Feeling lazy I cooked up Lundberg’s Organic Butternut Squash Risotto. 

HINT: Many of the Lundberg’s ready risotto mixes are gluten-free and they make great fast dinners. We often tote them with some fresh veggies when backpacking as a nice hearty dinner. 

When the squash is finished, stuff each half with the warm rice. I served this dish with a side of fresh sautéed spinach (from the greenhouse) with caramelized red onions and toasted pine nuts.



Posted by on June 4, 2012 in Uncategorized


Sunset Magazine’s Cashew,Coconut & Pumpkin Recipe

This Cashew, Coconut & Pumpkin Curry recipe caught my eye when my Sunset magazine arrived.  Scanning the recipe I quickly realized it was naturally gluten-free and packed with flavor. 

I also discovered that although pumpkin was my first choice, when it is not readily available any squash will happily stand in as a substitute. In my recipe I used one of my favorites, acorn squash.  This recipe is delightful, and the flavors are brilliant. It is a must try. Here is the link to Sunset magazine’s recipe:

Hint: Depending on your love (and tolerance) of heat in a dish, play with the amount of Serrano chiles.

Basmati rice is the recommended accompaniment to this dish, which I highly recommend.  My favorite secret to adding some complementary aroma to the rice was taught to me by a gifted chef from India. Follow the instructions on the package with one addition – Add 6 to 8 cloves in with the rice as it cooks, removing them when the rice is done. One sniff of this transports me back to my favorite Indian restaurant. A delightful and easy way to enhance basmati rice when serving it with Indian inspired dishes. Enjoy!


Posted by on May 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


The Pancake Files


As I played scientist – stirring, adding and subtracting key ingredients for varied results it appeared as if the conclusion to my g-f pancake quest was finally over. My pancakes had fantastic texture and melt in your mouth flavor. Although, the clean-up was just beginning as gluten-free flour seemed to grace every corner of my kitchen (and somehow even my dog’s nose, hmmmm!?!).

 My conclusion? Bisquick Gluten Free Mix made an ok pancake but by substituting almond and coconut flour for a few tablespoons on their box recipe, then adding vanilla extract, a pinch of brown sugar, cinnamon, fresh fruit (banana and blueberry were our winners) and crushed walnuts I had a winner! I was hard pressed to find anything even remotely close in taste, texture and flavor. I hope my discoveries help you to make your next batch of gluten-free pancakes your best.



Posted by on May 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


I Miss You

Sometimes being gluten-free means longing for foods you cannot have, and missing them more than that favorite pair of jeans you finally had to retire.  Gluten-free friends tell me that above all they really, REALLY miss pizza, pasta and bread.  When I serve gluten-free food the only thing I want my guests to miss is not being able to take home leftovers because we cleaned our plates, twice.


Let’s start with pizza making tips to help you create a tasty g-f version!


1. A great sauce is key. Check out my recipe posted on Birthday Garlic.

2. An excellent quality cheese, that bubbles and melts to perfection is worth looking for. Many of the Italian cheese blends are wonderful combinations that aim to please.

3. Sauté your veggies! By sautéing your vegetables before you add them to your pizza you will enhance their flavors. I also grill, roast and toast some of my ingredients beforehand like garlic, scallions, pine nuts and mushrooms.

4. Crust! Most agree that crust makes or breaks the pizza. Unfortunately g-f crust usually breaks, literally. The trick is in understanding how g-f flour blends work, and experimenting with them until you achieve the right consistency. Don’t have the time or patience for this venture? No need to fret, many others have figured this out for you. I highly recommend Chef Richard J. Coppedge’s book Gluten-Free Baking with the Culinary Institute of America. Chef Coppedge not only guides you when making pizza dough, he has mastered donuts, pasta, breads, bagels and pastries to make your mouth water.

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Posted by on May 14, 2012 in Uncategorized


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