Change your Conventional Birthday Cakes!

Hello everyone!

This past weekend I celebrated my 22nd birthday with my friends, family, and of course some cake. Now, in the past years I’ve just gone to our local grocery store bakery and ordered a yellow sheet cake with buttercream frosting. Since this year would be a little different I inquired if they made gluten-free cakes and was disappointed to hear that they did not. They offered to bake and decorate any prepackaged gluten-free cake mix you brought in, but let’s face it, anyone can make prepackaged goodies. So, I decided to branch out and change my conventional birthday cake to something a little more fun and a lot more gluten-free.

For my cake I made a gluten-free carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. The recipe I used can be found here, but you can use your favorite carrot cake recipe and replace with any gluten-free flour mix.

You can even decorate it with walnuts and shaved carrots!

You can even decorate it with walnuts and shaved carrots!

And don’t always feel like you have to make a conventional vanilla or chocolate birthday cake! Mix it up! Go for key lime, lemon blueberry, or even cake pops! Everyone will love your new ideas and even if you end up not liking it you can always go back to you local grocery store and grab a gluten-free mix.

Let us know what new birthday cake flavors you come up with!

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A “Neat” Discovery

So, it’s 23 days into my gluten-free diet and I was beginning to run out of dinners that were gluten-free and contained the right amount of protein. It’s expensive to have meat at every meal and there’s only so much beans and rice one can have! So I ventured into a new world.

At our local grocery store there was a packet of this meat replacement called “Neat”. Not only is it gluten-free, but also 100% vegetarian and soy free! The greatest part, the company is also based out of Lancaster County!

Last night for dinner was the first time I used the product and it was absolutely fantastic. I used their Italian Mix to make “neatballs” for a pasta dish, which I used corn noodles in place of regular wheat pasta. The meal was very easy, and tasted exactly like meatballs would. I highly recommend this product even if you aren’t a vegetarian!

To find out if Neat is near you go to their website where they also have more recipes and information about their product!

The BEST Summertime Meal!

It has been so hot these past few days it can be almost unbearable to stand in a kitchen cooking anything, but I’ve discovered the best (and easiest) Summer recipe! The best part is it only takes 20 minutes and there’s no need to even stay in the kitchen while it cooks!

I’m a big fan of salmon, but some people can find it intimidating to cook. For this Salmon and vegetable recipe not only is the food easy to cook, but the cleanup is even better! You only need one baking dish!

You will need: a salmon filet for each person (fresh or frozen will work), 1 pint fresh cherry tomatoes, 1-2 cups of a fresh or frozen green vegetable (I used brussel sprouts, but green beans or broccoli will work as well), 1 lemon, a few sprigs of rosemary, 2 tbsps olive oil, and seasoning including salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and spray nonstick cooking oil in a 9×13 pan.
  2. Place the salmon filets in the center of the pan leaving 2-3 inches of space on either side of the fish. I recommend if you’re cooking for more than 4 people to use another pan and repeat the steps below for each pan.
  3. Top each filet with a slice of lemon and a 1-2 inch sprig of rosemary.
  4. On one side of the fish place your cherry tomatoes and sprinkle with salt.
  5. On the other side of the fish place your green vegetables. Since I used brussel sprouts I sprinkled with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder, but for any other vegetable I would just use salt and pepper.
  6. Drizzle the 2 tbsps of olive oil onto the salmon.
  7. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes or until the fish is flaky.
  8. Enjoy!

Feel free to serve this dish with some corn on the cob or fresh fruit!

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A quick and easy, not to mention pretty, gluten-free Summertime meal!

Make sure to check back for a delicious gluten-free carrot cake recipe I’ll be making for my birthday!

Garden Inspired Recipe

Hello everyone!

It seems to be the perfect time of year when everything in the garden is blossoming and plumping up! One of the biggest fans of this hot and steamy weather are peppers and there’s only so many stir fry dishes one can make. So, to shake things up I decided to create mini stuffed peppers for a side dish! The only thing was, they were so delicious we couldn’t stop and take a picture of them before eating them! So, below is the recipe! Feel free to make them yourself and post your own pictures!

You will need: a selection of peppers, 1 cup white rice, 1 can black beans, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, and various spices.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Select one pepper for each person dining. Smaller peppers can be used for side dishes, while larger ones will work for main dishes.
  3. Cut the top off of each pepper and remove the core and seeds from inside.
  4. Place the peppers in a glass baking dish so that each pepper stands upright with the top opening facing up.
  5. Cook about 1 cup of white rice for each dozen peppers. I used leftover rice which worked fine as well.
  6. With the cooked or leftover rice place a spoonful on the bottom of each pepper. Next, place a spoonful of black beans on top of the layer of rice. Repeat until all of the peppers are full. It is also optional to place a layer of cooked ground beef with taco seasoning in the middle. This might be a good option if the peppers are your main dish.
  7. Sprinkle the top of each pepper with various seasonings. I used onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  8. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  9. After 30 minutes remove the foil and sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top of the peppers and bake uncovered for 10 more minutes.
  10. Enjoy!

Two Favorites and One Fail

Well, it’s been a little over a week since I started living gluten-free and most of the things I’ve tried are great, with one exception. My friends always post beautiful pictures of their breakfast parfait, you know the ones with yummy yogurt topped with fresh fruit and healthy granola? Well, I decided to try that for breakfast one day so I bought the cheapest store brand bulk yogurt at our local grocery store and a bag of Viki’s blueberry almond gluten-free granola. I topped the yogurt with some fresh strawberries, blueberries, and the granola and it looked fantastic!

My first gluten-free fail

Except, the yogurt I bought was fat free and extremely dry. My advice, don’t skimp on the yogurt, go for the name brand and don’t be afraid to get one with a regular fat content. Afterall, a good dose of healthy fat before a busy day at work or going to the gym gives you the boost of energy you need!

Besides the yogurt fail I’ve had two great successes, first eggplant parmesan. The only difference between your favorite eggplant parmesan recipe and this one is with the bread crumbs. Gluten-free bread crumbs can be super expensive and sometimes hard to find. In this case, I just took some rice crackers and pulsed them in a food processor until they were the consistency of bread crumbs. It was super easy and rice crackers are very inexpensive!

Yummy and inexpensive gluten-free eggplant!

Yummy and inexpensive gluten-free eggplant!

My second favorite, so far, was my first experiment with Goldilocks Goodies sandwich bread. You see the bread is just the right thickness to be perfect for french toast. So that’s exactly what I made! With my french toast I like to use pumpkin pie spice since it’s exactly the same as any homemade spices one would mix up for french toast. It was quite possibly the best french toast I’ve ever had. I highly recommend making this heavenly breakfast the next time you buy Goldilocks Goodies sandwich bread.

Goldilocks Goodies gluten-free french toast!

Goldilocks Goodies gluten-free french toast!

Picnic Fare

Hello everyone! I hope your 4th of July weekend was fantastic!

This was my first gluten-free holiday filled with two picnics and many many leftovers. Now, normally I would eat my fair share of burgers, dogs, and cake, but this holiday was a little different. The first big switch I made was a bunless burger with lettuce as my “bun”. It was great! Super fresh and very filling!

Now, the second biggest task to my weekend besides asking nearly everyone at the picnics what was in their dish, was creating my own dish. Something I’m sure a lot of my friends and Facebook followers know is that I love cooking and baking. So, making up my mind as to what to share with my family and friends is a huge decision. I had planned to make something with fresh local vegetables since a new produce stand just opened up in our town (if you’re in Southern Lancaster County, I highly recommend visiting Meck’s produce stand along Beaver Valley Pike outside of Quarryville). That’s when I came up with the plan to put a twist on a picnic favorite–summer tomato salad.

Your normal summer tomato salad comes with cherry or grape tomatoes, corn, and avocado. So to shake things up, I added a creamy chipotle dressing. The homemade chipotle sauce I got from a friends dad (thanks Erik Junggust!) and I added a base of sour cream so there wouldn’t be too much bite to the dish. Below is instructions on how to recreate this creamy chipotle garden salad:

  1. Cook 2 ears of corn however you like. I baked mine, husks and all, in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes. Cool the corn so it’s easy to touch then de-kernel your corn. Set aside.
  2. Cut about a pint of grape or cherry tomatoes in half. Combine cooked corn and cut tomatoes in a medium size bowl.
  3. Dice two avocados and fold into your corn and tomato mix.
  4. To prepare your creamy chipotle sauce you’ll first need a chipotle dressing base (this one will work just fine). I added 3 tbsps of the dressing to about a 1/2 C of sour cream. You can adjust the amount of kick by increasing or decreasing the amount of chipotle dressing you include. Fold in the mixed sauce to your vegetables.
  5. Serve cold. If not immediately serving place a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of the salad so the avocado isn’t exposed to oxygen which will turn it brown.
  6. Optional: Add four chopped leaves of fresh basil for added flavor!
    Tada!

    Tada!

    Keep checking back for more updates on my first experiences going gluten-free and my first time experimenting with Goldilocks Goodies sandwich bread!

New Guest Writer!

Hello Everyone!

My name is Vanessa Robins, Emily’s cousin, and I’ll be the guest writer for the next month or so! I’m a recent graduate from York College of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English Literature and I’m new to the gluten-free world.

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I have had digestive issues my entire life and recently decided to try a gluten-free diet for the entire month of July– yes the month of picnics with hotdogs, hamburgers, and cookies. I will be experimenting (and I’m sure failing a little) with recreations of my favorite recipes, new experiences, and of course new ways to use Goldilocks Goodies products! Hopefully you’ll join me in this fun filled and challenging adventure!