My Favorite Pizza Night

There are other pizza recipes on the blog already, but this is my favorite one and how I make it!

This is my favorite mix, I use the thin crust recipe on the back. It’s quick and easy. You don’t have to wait for it to rise, all you have to do is add oil and water and you’ve got dough. I actually think this tastes better than the thick crust recipe (also on the box). Of course, you can use the pizza crust recipe on the blog instead if you like to cook from scratch, or use another mix.

After mixing ingredients together, I dust it with cornmeal.

I knead in the cornmeal and place the ball of dough on a greased pizza pan.

I spray a sheet of wax paper with cooking spray, lay the wax paper on top of the dough and roll out with a rolling pin.

Bake the crust in a preheat 425 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Then add pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and desired toppings. Bake another 8 to 10 minutes, or until browned. Modify this to make the crust as crispy as you like it. Enjoy!

Cheesy Chicken and Veggie Casserole

Here’s a recipe with Ragu cheese sauce. I’ve never used it before, but it’s gluten-free and it came out really nicely. The rice in this actually cooks in a broth-cheese mixture.

Cheesy Chicken and Veggie Casserole

1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts (I used thawed boneless chicken tenders)
2 to 3 cups frozen mixed vegetables
2 cups uncooked rice
1 jar Ragu Cheese sauce (if you don’t like this, you can use 2 cups of water instead)
seasoning salt and onion powder to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 recipe of cream of mushroom soup (Here’s the quick version: 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, 1 chicken bouillon cube, 1/3 cup rice flour, 4 oz can mushrooms. Heat in a small pot and whisk together until thickened)

In a bowl, mix cream of mushroom soup, can of chicken broth, cheese sauce and rice. Pour in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Top with frozen veggies and chicken. Season with seasoning salt and onion powder to taste. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for an hour and a half. Lift foil and top with cheese. I also added gluten-free bread crumbs (I like to keep some in the freezer for things like this…it’s easy if you use your last piece of gluten-free bread, crumble it and freeze it for later). Bake about 5 more minutes until cheese melts.
(Adapted from a recipe by Valerie Lamb)

New Products: Immaculate Cookie Dough

This was no good. I’ve seen it in more than one store in the cookie dough area of the refrigerator section. It’s by the Pillsbury GF Cookie Dough. If you see them side-by-side: buy the Pillsbury! This was so gross, I threw them away after baking. It’s gluten-free and dairy free. To each her own, but this is not a brand I recommend. There is plenty of incentive for companies to step up their competition while there are brands making cookie dough and mixes that taste like the real stuff!

The Not-so-wonderful World of Wheat

Have you ever had that day where you heard on the news that drought was threatening wheat crops and thought to yourself, “who cares?” As uncharitable as it may be, I really think it would be fine with me if all the wheat crops just died. What would people do? First, they would stop putting wheat in every single thing! Not so bad? How about use some more rice for a change? We live in a world surrounded by gluten. Poison, poison, everywhere! Ah, the Celiac rant of one who has been “glutened”. My mother-in-law literally lives in the middle of a wheat field. I do not recommend that.

Have you ever been “glutened” and not known exactly how? Despite my best efforts, it still happens. It’s a body-draining-weakness that lingers for days, fatigue that lasts at least 3 weeks and stomach issues that last several days. There’s also this feeling that my brain has slowed down and can no longer concentrate. I’m incredibly unproductive at these times. We must always be vigilant when sharing kitchens with wheat-eaters. Try as you might, a product you buy might even be cross-contaminated. Sometimes I just don’t know how it happens. Sometimes it happens after I know there’s been real bread in the house, but I thought I was very careful.

Back to the positive: Just remember to do your best and avoid as much gluten as you possibly can. The more you avoid, the healthier you will be and the better you will feel. Use my gluten-free tips for a shared kitchen (copied below). Gluten-free eating has amazing rewards when you stop feeling the horrible sickness and move on with your life.

1. Get your own toaster (a new one) or a toaster oven with a tray you can wash. In my house, I use the rack for gluten-free bread and my husband uses the tray for wheat products.

2. Keep your counters clean. It’s always a good idea to wipe off your counters before you cook gluten-free.

3. Make sure you change out your kitchen towels regularly. Throw sponges in the dishwasher after you wash a pan that cooked gluten and wash anything you use to wipe off your counters.

4. If you are newly gluten-free, you may want to wash out your silverware drawer and ask the wheat-eaters to prepare food away from that drawer.

5. Never share utensils. Dip a spoon into a pot of wheat pasta and then into gluten-free pasta? NO!!

6. Get squeezable everything you can like mayo. Have separate containers of butter, jam, peanut butter, etc. Label it GF so everyone knows what can be used on wheat bread and you know what is safe for your rice bread. Yes, crumbs will make you sick!