A Gaggle of Girls
I'm a divorced mom of 3 gluten-free daughters. We've outgrown dairy, soy, egg, and corn allergies, but still deal with a berry allergy in my youngest.
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Archive for April, 2009

postheadericon Perfect Mango Poundcake

Moist and Mango-y

Originally inspired by a mango-passionfruit pound cake, this Mango Poundcake is divine. It is amazingly delicious and moist, and has just the right level of sweetness. By adding more mango puree, the mango flavor really permeates the cake, adding another level of deliciousness.

The only complaint we have heard is that it is a smidge high in calories, so you may want to cut and eat small slices, put a few slices in the freezer for later, and give a couple pieces away to your friends!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, and vegetarian recipe.
Additional allergy notes: the cake could easily be made corn-free, but the icing would require finding corn-free powdered sugar; I am working on a mango bar recipe which would be egg-free, as recipes with 3 or more eggs don’t work well egg-free.


Just a little sliver
  • 12 tablespoons dairy-free margarine, softened

  • 1 TBS lemon juice & 1 Cup coconut milk
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (sorghum, millet, or rice work well)
  • 1 cup starch (tapioca, arrowroot, potato, or corn); (or use 3 cups premixed gluten-free flour)
  • 1 TBS xanthan gum or guar gum (if not gluten-free, replace the flour, starch, and xanthan gum with 3 cups all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mango puree (if you have frozen mango chunks, thaw them and then blender-ize them into a pulp)

For the Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup orange mango juice

  • 1 cup sugar

For the Glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar

  • 1/4 cup orange mango juice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 10-cup bundt pan, preferably a silicone bundt pan. If not using silicone, be careful to grease the pan well and dust it with flour.

Cream the butter in a stand mixer, and then add the soured coconut milk. Gradually add the sugar and beat well (about 3 minutes).

Mix in the eggs, 1 by 1. Continue to mix until they are well-combined.

Whisk flour, starch, salt, and xanthan gum/guar gum. Slowly add the flour into the batter, alternate adding flour with adding the mango purée.

Pour batter into the bundt pan and bake for 50 minutes. Check after 50 minutes, the cake should feel springy when you touch it, and a tooth pick inserted into the middle should come out with only a few crumbs of batter. Put the cake back in the oven if necessary and check again in 10 minutes.

When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Wait for the cake to cool completely before removing it from the pan.

While the cake is cooling, make the syrup. Mix orange-mango juice and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let it boil for 1 minute, then take the pan off the heat.

Poke holes in the bottom of the cake with a wooden skewer, while it’s still in the pan. Brush half of the syrup onto the bottom of cake with a pastry brush and let it soak in.

After the cake has completely cooled, flip it out of the pan onto a serving plate. Use a skewer to poke more holes in the top of the cake, and then brush the rest of the syrup onto the top and sides.

Whisk or sift the confectioners sugar into a bowl. Whisk in the orange-mango juice. Drizzle the icing/glaze over the top and sides of the cake.

Store cake well wrapped, or in an airtight container. Cake can be kept at room temperature, but will stay fresh longer in the refrigerator.

postheadericon Confetti, Chicken, and Artichoke faux-risotto

I’ve been missing the creamy taste of Risotto, but haven’t had any arborio rice, nor the desire to stand over a stove stirring for an hour. I’ve added coconut milk to give the dish the creaminess you would usually get from the arborio rice. (Remember that coconut milk doesn’t give a coconut flavor if the dish has salt and is savory – sugar enhances the coconut flavor)

I’ve taken my Chicken and Asparagus Faux-Risotto recipe, and tweaked a few things to create this pretty and yummy dish. The artichoke hearts are a wonderful surprise to the diner, who had focused on the “confetti” of spinach and bell pepper. This is delicious, and I highly recommend trying it and experimenting yourself with different vegetables, and finding flavors that you and your family love.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, and top 8 allergen free recipe. This is also a faux-fast-food recipe that can be cooked in under 45 minutes.


  • 2 TBS olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1 shake cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs boneless/skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 1/2 cup basmati or Jasmine rice
  • 10 oz frozen or canned artichoke hearts, in quarters
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen bell pepper strips. (it looks prettiest with multicolored strips)
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 14oz can coconut milk (light or not light)
  • 1 1/4 cup water

Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and spices, and sauté until they begin to get tender.

Chop the chicken into 1/2″ cubes, then add to the onion/garlic mixture. Cook the chicken over medium heat until browned on all sides, stirring occasionally.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare vegetables – slice artichoke hearts into quarters and slice bell peppers.

Add rice, coconut milk, water, and vegetables.

Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Let cook for about 20 minutes, following the guidelines on your rice package.

Serve to great applause. :) An easy and delicious meal that mixes great flavor with fast cooking, plus it’s all in one pot!

postheadericon Sausage, Beans, and Potatoes

Weilding a mean skillet

My oldest daughter, Mackenzie (almost 11), created this meal one evening when she heard what I was planning to make for dinner and decided she’d rather have something else. It’s yummy, easy, and even nutritious. The only negative is that if you don’t rinse the black beans really well, the entire meal turns a dingy charcoal color. It still tastes great, just doesn’t look good.

This meal is now in steady rotation, with a few variations, and it’s one that Mackenzie can make almost all on her own, which is fabulous! We’re big believers in kids being active participants in cooking, and in fact this is the third recipe by one of my kids to be published in this recipe blog – you can also check out Mackenzie’s Italian Soup and the Fluffernutter cookies by Isabel (now almost 9).

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and top 8 allergen free recipe. This recipe is Faux Fast Food, and can be made in under 45 minutes.


Stirring in a skillet
  • 1 lb sausage (sweet Italian or a mix of sweet Italian and Linguiça)

  • 4-5 medium potatoes (russet and yukon gold have both worked well)
  • 1 14 oz can black beans
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Tony Chacheres Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 lb green beans (When we’re feeling lazy we get 1 bag of green beans that are prewashed with the ends already snapped off)

Snap ends off the green beans if you didn’t buy the shortcut green beans. Dice the onion, mince or press the garlic, and slice the sausage into 1/2 inch rounds. Pour black beans into a colander and rinse very well.

Stab the potatoes a few times with a fork, and then microwave for 5 minutes. Check to see if the potatoes feel right (a bit tender to the touch), if not, microwave for a few more minutes.

Add olive oil to a large skillet, and bring to medium heat. Add garlic, onion, seasoning, and sausage and stir until the sausage is cooked.

Mmmmm... dinner!

Add black beans, potatoes, and green beans. Combine the ingredients together well, cover, and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring a couple times.

Serve, and enjoy! or, as Mackenzie says, “Dig in!”

If you want your green beans more crunchy than they get from being steamed in this dish, use the roasted vegetable technique, and serve the green beans on the side.

postheadericon Quick and Tasty Tea Treat

I was recently at Starbucks, and when you don’t drink coffee or caffeinated tea, AND can’t have milk, there’s not a lot of choices. I was in the mood for something warm, though, and managed to spot the “Vanilla Rooibos Latte”. Since Starbucks has soymilk, I had it made that way. Yum! Sweet and creamy, but with no caffeine to make you jittery in the afternoon!

My 3 daughters had a little sip of the little I had leftover, and loved it. Thankfully I had some Adagio rooibos vanilla in the tea cupboard at home! I brewed a pot of the rooibos vanilla, using the awesome ingenuiTEA teapot I received from the lovely Nanny Ogg, then warmed up some vanilla soy milk, and combined. Big smiles on my girls’ faces, and for a fraction of the cost of the one I bought! Additionally, making it at home means that you are not limited to soy or cow milk, as you are when out. We’ve had this several times now, and I just restocked our tea supply to make sure we’ll have plenty.

Vanilla Rooibos Soy Latte Ingredients
(but it could be a vanilla rooibos hemp latte, almond latte, or rice latte..)


  • 1 pot vanilla rooibos “tea”, I like Adagio rooibos vanilla.

  • 1/3 cup vanilla flavored milk substitute (soy, rice, almond, hemp, etc)


Yummmy herbal teas

Brew one pot of the vanilla rooibos tea (it’s not real tea, it’s a reddish needle-like leaf of a plant found in South Africa)

Warm the milk substitute in a pot or microwave.

Combine the tea and the milk substitute in a mug, with a bit more tea than milk substitute. Enjoy!

(If you’d like to try the Adagio rooibos vanilla, or another flavor, leave a comment with your email address, and I can send you a $5 gift certificate)

postheadericon A GFCF Chocolate Pizza!

I’ve wanted to make one of these recipes for ages, and I finally decided to try it. This was a huge, huge hit! It is basically a sugar-cookie-type crust, with various chocolate toppings. You could make it with jam and fruit on top, but we were in a chocolate mood!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, top 8 allergen free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.


Chocolate Pizza, Finished!
  • For the Crust:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) dairy-free margarine or Spectrum shortening, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (if you can find corn-free powdered sugar, this recipe could be made with no corn)
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 batch chocolate pudding, made using the pie filling variation.
  • For the Toppings:
  • allergy-safe chocolate chips (Enjoy Life chocolate chips are one choice)
  • allergy-safe chocolate non-pariels
  • extra confectioner’s sugar as “cheese”
  • other allergy-safe chocolates as desired (Choclate Emporium has many great gluten-free and dairy-free chocolates!)


Chocolate Pizza Crust

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a pizza pan or cookie sheet with a Silpat Baking Mat, Reynolds non-stick foil, or other nonstick choice.

Mix together the margarine/shortening, powdered sugar, and rice flour. Continue mixing until it is well combined. The mixture will be crumbly, but will hold together when patted together.

Press into a pan, ideally into a circular shape on a pizza pan, but you can also make a circular shape on a cookie sheet.

A slice of Chocolate Pizza!

Bake for 15 minutes, until it begins to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

When the “crust” is cool, spread on pudding, then add your choice of toppings.

Cut with a pizza cutter and enjoy!

postheadericon Chocolate Pudding

yummmm…. We love creamy, chocolately pudding!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.


  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/3 cup corn starch (or arrowroot starch, or tapioca starch)
  • 2 1/2 cups coconut milk, or another milk substitute (soy, rice, hemp, almond…)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Pudding in progress


In a medium sized pot, whisk together cocoa, sugar, and starch.

Set the pot on the stove, and turn on to medium heat. Stir in milk substitute and salt.

Whisk frequently until it comes to a boil. Turn the heat to low and whisk constantly until the pudding begins to thicken.

Remove from heat, and add vanilla. Pour into a bowl or individual ramekins. Pudding will thicken more as it cools.

Variation: To make it even more chocolatey, add about 1 ounce of allergy-safe semi-sweet chocolate when the pudding comes off the heat.

Variation For a pie-filling, either decrease the amount of milk substitute to 2 cups, or increase the starch to 1/2 cup.

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