Friday, February 24, 2012

Two more gluten-free recipes

Last week, a friend posted on Facebook that a cold shower (thanks to her children using the hot water at the same time) sapped her SuperMom superpowers. I thought of that yesterday as I took my shower right after the biggest hot-water-hog in the house: the dishwasher. Fortunately, when I finished, I was able to warm back up again, since these delicious Gluten-Free Apple Streusel Muffins were just coming out of the oven.
Gluten-Free Apple Streusel Muffins
1/4 c cornstarch
1/4 c sorghum flour
1/4 c tapioca flour
1/4 c gluten-free oats, pureed to flour in the blender
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp Apple Pie Spice
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and grated
1 egg
1/2 c vanilla yogurt
2 Tbsp oil
1/4 c chopped walnuts
1/4 c water
Combine cornstarch, flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and apple pie spice in large mixing bowl. Mix well. Grate apple into flour mixture and stir to coat. Add egg, yogurt, oil, nuts, and water. Mix until combined. Spoon into muffin cups lined with cupcake liners.

2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp chopped nuts
1 Tbsp sorghum flour
1/4 tsp apple pie spice
1 Tbsp butter
Combine topping ingredients and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over tops of muffins. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 25-27 minutes. Makes 9 muffins.

I've been experimenting for weeks with recipes from the "Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread" cookbook. Most of her recipes start with a four-flour blend that contains garbanzo bean flour, which I prefer not to use in breakfast breads because I think it has an aftertaste. I have been adding unflavored gelatin and egg replacer to my breads to add some more protein. I buy the unflavored gelatin from

So, after several tries, I made a gluten-free bread this week that worked out really well. With some sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and chia seeds tossed in there, along with some whole grain sorghum flour and ground gluten-free oats, it tastes like a whole-grain bread, too. When I made it with dinner the other night, Ron asked for seconds... the mark of approval! It made great French Toast, and great garlic bread... so now, this is my new favorite recipe!

New Favorite Gluten-Free Bread
1/2 c tapioca flour
1/2 c cornstarch
1/2 c sorghum flour
1/2 c gluten-free oats, blended into flour
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp unflavored gelatin (1 envelope)
1 tsp egg replacer
1Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp sunflower seeds
1tsp flaxseed
1 tsp chia seed
2 1/2 tsp yeast
2 eggs
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 c warm water (divided)
Put yeast, brown sugar, lemon juice and honey in cup with 1/2 cup water. Let stand while you mix up the dry ingredients. Combine flours, xanthan gum, salt, gelatin, egg replacer, sunflower seeds, flax seed, chia seed and sesame seeds. Add yeast mixture, eggs, and oil. Mix until combined. Measure out another 1/2 cup water (use it to rinse the last of the yeast out of the cup) and add it to the dough. Mix for three minutes. Dough will be very soft and sticky, like a muffin batter. Spoon into a loaf pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Smooth out the top with a wet spoon or wet fingers. Let rise for an hour. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Book Review & Giveaway: "The Guardian Duke"

When I was offered the chance to review the book "The Guardian Duke" by Jamie Carie, I figured I'd probably like it, even though historical fiction set in the Regency era isn't usually my cup of tea. Sometimes the story line gets lost in descriptions of their apparel or surroundings. This book sounded intriguing, so I decided to give it a try. A young woman's parents have disappeared, and she is notified that The Crown has declared her parents dead, and assigned the Duke of St. Easton as her guardian. Alexandria feels that her parents must still be alive, and need her to rescue them, so rather than submit to the Duke (who, she decides, must be a shriveled-up old man), she heads off on her own to rescue them.

The book actually had much more action and humor than I expected from a Regency romance. Alex travels from town to town, country to country, following clues she hopes will lead her to her parents, while Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton, does his best to follow! The ending left me hanging... and marking July 2012 in my calendar with "Watch for The Forgiven Duke to be released!" This was an enjoyable, light-hearted read, and I look forward to reading more of Jamie Carie's books!

About the Book:
The Guardian Duke is award-winning novelist Jamie Carie’s most exciting story yet, a uniquely arranged Regency-era romantic adventure where hero and heroine know each other through written letters but have yet to meet.
Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton, is ordered by the King to take guardianship over Lady Alexandria Featherstone whose parents are presumed dead after failing to return from a high profile treasure hunt. But Alexandria ignores this royal reassignment, believing her parents are still alive and duly following clues that may lead to their whereabouts. Gabriel, pressured by what are actually the King’s ulterior motives, pursues her across windswept England and the rolling green hills of Ireland but is always one step behind.
When they do meet, the search for earthly treasure will pale in comparison to what God has planned for both of them.
“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free in the hope that I would mention it 
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 The Giveaway! 

I have the chance to give away a copy of  "The Guardian Duke" to one of my readers. 

There are two ways to enter: 

1. By leaving a comment below (leave your e-mail address if it doesn't show up in your Google profile, so I can contact the winner)

2. Or, if you would rather not post your e-mail on a public blog, you can send me an e-mail at - with the subject line "Guardian Duke"

Giveaway ends on Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 11:59 PM. Limited to U.S. residents only, age 13 and up. Limit one entry per person per day.

Book Review: The Corrupible by Mark Mynheir

I got a chance to read Mark Mynheir's "The Corruptible" when I was browsing through the selection of books at Waterbrook Multnomah's Blogging For Books website. It sounded like an interesting book: a book about a Private Investigator, written by a Christian author. I've enjoyed reading whodunits and mystery novels, especially when they're not sprinkled liberally with profanity. Sometimes crime novels have sleazy characters, and the language in the books reflects their sleaziness. It takes some creativity to work around that, and Mark Mynheir does.

At first, I wasn't sure how much I liked the characters in the book. This book starts out "Dying on the toilet was not the way I envisioned leaving this world." That may be the most "interesting" opening line I've ever read in a novel. The protagonist, Ray Quinn, is an ex-cop with a painful past, a bum leg and a fondness for Jim Beam. He grew on me, though, as did his partner Crevis, and their friend Pam, a school teacher who shares her knowledge and faith.

Ray and Crevis are scraping along with their PI agency when they are summoned to the office of Armon Mayer. He tells Ray he will pay him generously to find an employee, an ex-cop, who disappeared with some very valuable information. He's a sleazy character, surrounded by sleazy henchmen. I loved the way Ray Quinn dealt with the germophobic Armon Mayer.

The twists and turns in the plot kept me guessing. Ray's sense of humor kept me smiling (or laughing out loud). Crevis's loyalty to his boss and Pam's faithful presence kept me hoping that Ray would find healing from his past, and hope for his future.

I enjoyed this book so much that I bought the first book in the series, "Night Watchman", plus two other books by Mark Mynheir. You can be sure that as soon as the next book in the series comes out, I'll be getting it. The story of Ray Quinn isn't done yet!

Want to check it out? You can download the first chapter of the book here.

"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."