Gluten-Free Cooking For One

Celiac And The Single Girl, Or: How To Make Food That Does Not Suck For One Person {Although I Suppose You Could Feed Other People, Too}

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Quinoa pudding in the rice cooker!

You may sense a trend here.

I’m having a season of stomach problems, and frankly all I want is to eat things that make me happy.ย Rice pudding makes me happy. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย However, when I posted my last rice pudding post, a friend who can’t eat rice asked me if it could be made with quinoa… so last night I tried it. I tried it in the rice cooker, because a couple of the quinoa pudding recipes I sought out used the words “bain marie”, and nothing makes me run faster than those two words. Shudder. I thought to myself, I bet it would work using the rice cooker, and so it did. Life is good, my friends. I BANNED THE BAIN MARIE!

It tastes good, although quinoa doesn’t soak up as much liquid as rice, so it was a little sloppier. However, I wanted to try the recipe with only one substitution, so I was prepared for that, and frankly, I don’t mind a bit. This morning it’s solidified and is properly “puddingy”.

If you’d like to make your own, follow the directions from the last post (linked above in the text) and just substitute 1 cup of well-rinsed quinoa. (In the interests of full disclosure, I did a typically crummy job of rinsing it, frankly: just swished it around in a colander lined with paper towel for a few rinses, then plopped it in the cooker. Just to be honest.) It doesn’t taste exactly the same as rice pudding, because the quinoa will contribute its own nutty taste (I often think of it as green), but it’s a very nice substitute if you’re looking to get more nutritional value out of your desserts or if you can’t eat rice.






Another variant of rice pudding

Because seriously, who ever gets enough rice pudding? Sometimes, you’re just sitting around in the evening, and you think: “screw it. I need some rice pudding. Stat.” But who wants to stand around in front of the stove for 20 minutes? Sometimes, OK, me. But not this evening. So I made the hinkiest, quickest, and yet still yummy version of rice pudding ever. Ready?

  1. I put 1 cup of rice (all I had was Basmati, although I prefer a short or medium grain) in the rice cooker, with 1 cup of coconut milk, 1 cup of water, and two tablespoons of butter. Put that sucker on to cook, and waited for it to be done.
  2. As soon as it was finished (so while still hot), I moved it over into a large bowl.
  3. I added another cup of liquids, this time almond milk/coconut milk mixed. (It’s what I had)
  4. Stirred in about 1/2 cup of brown sugar, added cinnamon and ground cardamom.
  5. Chopped in 3 dates.

BOOM. Rice pudding.



What’s In The Oven: Baked Pears With Cinnamon Honey

I’ve started trying some recipes for the holiday season, and I happened to pick up two beautiful Bartlett pears (seriously. They taste like champagne. It’s kind of a shame to bake them) at the market the other day, so I looked up some pear recipes. I’m also trying to stay away from sugar when I can (without making myself feel denied), so this recipe fit the bill perfectly.

I just peeled, cut up, and cored my pears, then added two small Gala apples I had sitting by just for good measure. Simmered the butter, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon on the stove as requested (for this I used cassia, not ceylon, because I have more of it) and added about a half teaspoon of ginger for good measure. I spooned the sauce over the fruit in a baking pan and put it in a 400 degree oven and it’s in there now. I’ll let you know how it comes out.

Before cooking

UPDATE: Just came out of the oven and oooooommmmmggggg

It’s good

It’s really good

Did I mention it’s good?

Sorry, I can’t type any more because I’m eating now.




(sexy music plays)


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Desserts of my dreams: butter toffee

I have been afraid of candy making forever. Literally, for dang ever. However, I love toffee and caramel, and they’re among the few of my most beloved desserts that I can have unchanged from their original form. So this last weekend, my mom helped me to make a batch of toffee using my great-grandmother’s recipe.

My great-grandfather, you see, was so fond of toffee that she always kept a bowl of it handy so he could crunch whenever he liked. Clearly, my sweet-toothed acorn didn’t fall far from that toffee-crunching tree. ๐Ÿ˜€

Unfortunately, I got home this week and I don’t have Great-Grandma’s recipe; so I had to try it from memory.

This was a dismal failure. I didn’t have enough sugar in the mix, so well before it could get to hard-crack stage (or even hard-ball stage), it just sort of sludged out and sat in the pot, looking at me dismally and in a greasy apathy. I poured it out anyway, and ended up with some clarified butter sitting on top of a hardening mixture that was not entirely unlike toffee. SIGH.

I gave up and looked at toffee recipes online, and I think this one is almost the same. It’s very close, in any case; and hopefully I’ll remember to get the actual family recipe from Mom and compare notes here. In the meantime: TOFFEE!

It’s the 4-Ingredient Toffee from Betty Crocker, and I didn’t make any changes to it, as I’m still more than a little wary of the inexplicable alchemy that is candy making. (If I know a handy Potter-esque phrase for “Become toffee and then get in my mouth”, I would use it now. “Accio” doesn’t quite fit the bill.)

It actually took me much more like 20 minutes (than the 13 in the recipe) to get the mixture to hard-crack stage, which I think means I can turn up the heat a little. :} Next time, I’ll try to get someone to be here to take photos as I patiently and slowly stir.

(Another recipe, for kicks:

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Need to try: White Hot Chocolate and White Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Ohhhhhhhhh yessssssss.

I know it’s getting warmer now and is hardly the time to introduce a new hot drink, but I have been JONESIN’ for some hot cocoa, although the chocolate, she is death to me. Today I suddenly thought, “white hot chocolate”? And had to look it up.

There are several really gorgeous-looking recipes involving cream and half-and-half, but I have everything I need for making this one here:

And then there’s this:

YEP. And I now have the version of “Gimme Some Lovin'” from the Blues Brothers Movie stuck in my head. Added bonus.

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Sing A Song Of Frankencake

Ok, I’m way behind on cooking posts, so here goes: the chanson geste of the Frankencake. And when I say chanson geste, I really mean it… this cake was quite a process. It started as such a simple idea, then became something quite else entirely, didn’t quite work out as planned, and then ended up as an excellent oddity that I fully intend to serve in future and pretend I husbanded the whole thing through GENIUS and common sense. Right.

So here we go.

You know that I’m not one to pretend I know what I’m doing, so I’m going to lay it all out. You may benefit from my process, or may be able to add some piece of information I’m missing. Or even just get a laugh. ๐Ÿ˜€


This was the original recipe, found on Pinterest:

Budget101 Valentines Cherry Pie Bars – delicious and easy

1 cup of butter softened
2 cups of sugar
4 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp almond extract
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cans of cherry pie filling (can use just 1 if you need to)

Preheat Oven to 350F
In a mixing bowl, cream your butter, sugar- add eggs & extract.. beat well to mix. Add flour & Salt, Mixing Well.
Spread half of the batter in a greased 9×13 pan, Spoon the Pie Filling over the batter Randomly drop tablespoons remaining batter over the pie filling
Bake for 35 min or until your toothpick comes out clean

If you wish to add a glaze mix 1 c. Powdered sugar, 1 tsp almond extract, 2 tsp milk and drizzle
bars cool

Recipe from

The photo that went with it looked gorgeous and the recipe is simple enough.

Except that I’m lactose intolerant right now. OK, I thought, I’ll substitute for the butter. Ugh. And then I thought, this is pastry, basically, from the look of it in the photo (I didn’t save the photo to put with this, but you can go find it)… if I substitute the butter, and use gluten-free flours, this is going to be like a brick with cherry pie filling on it. Horrible!!

Hmmm. I did, however, have a box of the good gluten-free muffin mix in the cupboard, and I thought, there are worse things in life than cherry muffins!! So I figured I’d use the muffin mix instead of making up this dough. Sorted!!

I got out the box of King Arthur Gluten Free Muffin Mix and made it up according to the instructions on the back of the box, except that I needed a substitute for the milk and also one for the butter. I happened to have a can of coconut milk on hand, so I used most of that as a milk replacement. To replace the butter, I used coconut oil — it occurred to me somewhat belatedly that the cake might be very coconutty, but hey, I like coconut, and it’s better than being ill from the lactose — and I also used the coconut oil to grease the cake pan.

Once I’d mixed up the batter, I added some vanilla and almond extract just because they were in the original recipe, then poured 3/4 of the mix into a 9×9 glass cake pan (briefly considered the larger 13×9 but then thought there wasn’t enough batter), opened a can of cherry pie filling and spread it over the batter, then ย dobbed the last of the batter in clumps over the cherry pie filling as directed in the original recipe, above.ย IMG_20140207_163705_670

A distant warning bell began to ring in my head at about this point, tolling the words “it’s going to rise, did you think about that? “… I swore a little bit, because I had not, but then ignored it, on the basis of it already being in the pan.

I put it in the oven to bake, but I did put a cookie sheet underneath it, because I was beginning to worry about the fact that muffins rise. lol



Out it came, brown and gooey and gorgeous… and delicious! The muffin mix worked a treat, although it had almost pushed the cherry pie filling right out of the pan, and it tasted good. It was actually a little too sweet for me, which is rare. However, I sucked it up and managed to have a piece with a little glass of tawny port wine. Because I can take one for the team if I have to.


It’s not easy being a non-celebrity food blogger.

So, I thought to myself, how can I improve this next time?

1) make it in the 13×9 cake pan.
2) no cherry pie filling
3) cut the coconut milk with water & the coconut oil with corn oil, to lessen the coconut taste

So I made it again, but this time tried to recreate a favorite childhood recipe: the Heath Bar coffee cake made by my mother when we were kids.

Got the King Arthur muffin mix and made it, again with coconut milk (this time cut with water) for the milk and coconut oil (this time mixed with corn oil) for the melted butter.

The add-ons this time:
* Heath Bar Bits-O-Brickle Toffee in the batter
* Kraft caramels cut in half and put between the layers of muffin mix, like the cherry pie filling last time.
* vanilla extract again, and this time added spices cinnamon (cassia) and cardamom

Looking rather dusty, it's Frankencake V2, with its covering of Brickle Bits and dusting of sugar on top. Mmmmm :D

Looking rather untidy, it’s Frankencake V2, with its covering of Brickle Bits and dusting of sugar on top. Mmmmm ๐Ÿ˜€

Under each lump of batter you see in the photo above is a half a caramel, inserted between layers of dough in hopes they would melt and be delicious gooey centers. They did, but there weren’t nearly enough of them.

IMG_20140212_200528_150You can see where the lumps of extra batter on top have melted down into the cake’s surface, and if you could get right up to the cake, you’d be able to look down through the cracks and see melted caramel. Mmmmmm. ๐Ÿ™‚

Delicious. It needed a bit more caramel, and it could have used more toffee bits — I was a bit frugal with all of it, won’t be next time — but it was delicious. I’ll definitely be making this again, and DEFINITELY in the 13×9 pan.


MmmmmmMMMMMMMMmmmmmmm. ๐Ÿ˜€

So that’s the story of Frankencake, the cake that started out to be one thing and then ended up as something completely different. (Perhaps I should call it Pythoncake instead…)

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123 Gluten Free Pound Cake Mix Muffins

So this isn’t really so much of a thing I cooked as a way to differently package pound cake so you’ll have individual servings. Also, a rave review on this pound cake mix!! YUM!

I made up a batch of 123 Gluten Free pound cake mix using the cheapest soda I could find at the grocery store (3/4 c lemon-lime soda or citrus juice is necessary), and instead of pouring it into my mom’s gluteny Bundt cake or bread pans (I’m staying at my mom’s house which is the House Of Gluten), I poured it into medium-sized muffin cups instead. Muffin cup liners are the condoms of cooking; they can protect you from all sorts of nasty transmitted bugs like gluten. Hooray for muffin cup liners!!

In any case, I poured the mix into the cups, baked at 325F for about a half hour instead of the 45minutes/1 hour recommended by the box, and took them out when the tops were golden brown and “cracking” gently. I let them cool and then tried one… delicious!! ๐Ÿ˜€

So this gives you single serving desserts – you can freeze what you don’t need right away, I froze about 20 muffins and still have 15 left unfrozen – that you can eat at home or take with you. Enjoy!


Pound Cake Muffins! ๐Ÿ˜€