Monthly Archives: May 2011

Memorial Day BBQ: Gluten-free Style

Yesterday my family and I had a BBQ, and we once again enjoyed a delicious meal. Among the menu was BBQ chicken and ribs. Traditionally we use FunniBonz BBQ sauce for the marinade, however I decided to try out a new recipe from my Cooking for Isaiah Cookbook.

I made Penny’s sticky pineapple-brown sugar BBQ ribs/ pineapple-brown sugar BBQ sauce. After making the ribs, I used some of the BBQ sauce to marinade my chicken, since I don’t eat ribs. (Note:I doubled the recipe, however I did not double hot sauce)

Here is what you will need to make the sauce:
1 (8 oz) can of crushed pineapple in juice
2 cups of ketchup
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. Louisiana-style hot sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot, or to taste
1/4c. Apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 c. water
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
salt and pepper ( I did not add this)

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients; bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Let cool


2 racks pork spareribs (about 4 lbs)
Salt and Pepper
4 cups Pineapple- brown sugar BBQ sauce

Season the ribs all over with salt and pepper. Place ribs and about 3 cups of BBQ sauce in a jumbo resealable plastic bag. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 300*. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil. Place ribs on prepared baking sheet, meaty side up. Roast, basting occasionally with the remaining 1 cup of BBQ sauce, until tender, about 2 hours. Let cool for 5 minutes. Cut into individual ribs.

Everyone enjoyed the ribs. They were tender and the meat fell right off the bone. While they enjoyed ribs I enjoyed some BBQ chicken. I really enjoyed the pineapple- brown sugar BBQ sauce. It was sweet and had a little “kick” to it. Just the way I love my BBQ sauce (I’m not a huge fan of spicy foods)!

The “Unofficial” Start of Summer!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous Memorial day weekend! Friday night was so much fun. We tailgated before the game with our family and friends, and enjoyed many GF dishes. My parents even bought a small grill that we used as a dedicated GF grill. I enjoyed, watermelon, BBQ chicken, GF pasta salad (homemade), and I even made a new GF dessert with my Grandma!

Back in April my Grandma found a new recipe called Puffed-rice bars with peanut butter and chocolate, on the Martha Stewart website. She thought this would be a great recipe to try out when they came to visit. Since they are up visiting from FL, we made these treats for our tailgate party. They were a big hit (as expected, who does not like PB and chocolate?!).In fact, I almost did not get to try one because everyone loved them so much. They were yummy! I like to think of them as a “doctored” up rice crispy bar. My cousin even made them the next day for a BBQ, and she just told me they were a “hit.”

Puffed-rice Bars with Peanut Butter and Chocolate
GF cooking spray
3 Tbsp of Butter (we used Earth Balance)
1 package of marshmallows (American Choice are Labeled GF)
1/3 c. of peanut butter, preferably natural ( We used the Peanut Butter Co. – Smooth Operator)
1/2 tsp of coarse salt
6 cups of GF puffed rice cereal ( We used Rice Chex)
1 package of semisweet chocolate chips ( Ghirardelli is GF)
1/4 cup of chopped, roasted peanuts (optional)

Spray an 8-inch square pan. In a large pot, combine marshmallows, peanut butter, butter, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until melted, about 4 minutes. Add cereal and stir to combine. With a wooden spoon greased with cooking spray or oil, press half the cereal mixture into dish. Spread half the melted chocolate on top. Repeat with remaining cereal mixture and chocolate; sprinkle with peanuts.

Note: We made a few changes from the original recipe. Since I did not know of any mini marshmallows that were GF, we used 1 package of the regular size marshmallows. Also since I am not the biggest fan of peanuts, we just drizzled the top with chocolate.

This weekend has been all about food in the Clifford household, so I have a lot to share with you this week. Stay tuned, and have a great day! I hope everyone enjoys their family and friends. We are having another BBQ, and majority of the items are GF!! Thank you to all the men and woman who have served and who are serving our country.

A Meal Both Kids & Adults will Enjoy!

The other night, I was craving chicken fingers and fries. Luckily I had all the ingredients to make the meal. It is such a simple meal, and I love that it was homemade rather then processed. Though I enjoyed it, I thought my chicken was a little bland. If you want to make chicken fingers with more flavor, I would suggest using my garlic chicken recipe (both kids and adults love it!)

Here’s what you will need to make chicken fingers:
1 chicken breast
1 egg
GF bread crumbs ( I used Gillian’s Gluten Free Bread Crumbs )

For french fries:
1 potato
olive oil or canola oil

Note: Amounts vary depending on how many people you are serving.

Cut chicken into strips. Dip chicken in egg batter, then roll in bread crumbs (Note: If making garlic chicken fingers, follow that recipe as directed). Set aside. To make french fries slice vertically. Place fries in bowl and coat lightly with oil. Place potatoes on greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt if desired. Place in oven and cook until brown, at times turning the fries. Half way through cooking the fries, place chicken in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes.

Patience is a Virtue

One thing I have learned as I continue on my gluten-free journey is you need to have a lot of patience. Not only with yourself, but your family, and the entire gluten-free process.

First have patience with yourself: After my diagnosis, I was so happy we had finally found a cure for my illness, and was ready to take the steps to restore my health. Like so many others in the community, beginning this journey was a bit of a rocky road for me. Their were a lot of ups and downs and mistakes were made, yet deep in my heart I knew things would get easier. One of my biggest struggles was despite knowing that GF foods would not make me sick, I associated food with horrible stomach aches, and was so afraid of getting sick again. I had such a food fear. This is something that I never thought I would have to deal with. Am I where I want to be no, but am I working on it yes! I have come along way in this entire process, and am so happy for that. I know it is easier said then done, but sometimes I find the best thing to do is to literally take two steps back and look at where I was, and where I am today!

Second be patient with your family: When I first went GF my mom was my biggest supporter. She was always on the look out for new GF products, helped me when we went to restaurants, and always made sure I had something to bring when we had a family function. Though she still is a great support, I am now beginning to find my own voice in the community!

On the other hand, it took my dad and brother a little while to understand, and accept the GF process. In the beginning, I did not think that they took the whole notion of cross contamination seriously (like so many others). This frustrated me a lot, but with time they have really began to understand how important this process is for me, and are even more open to trying GF products! I will be the first to admit, at times I did not handle some situations as well as I could of and got mad and frustrated at them. I have realized the best thing to do in these moments is to take a deep breath; this is a change for the entire family, and takes time for everyone to adjust.

Finally have patience with the process: I have come to realize that there are going to be people that question what I am doing, but in the end being GF makes me feel a hundred times better, and that is all that matters! This is a life changing process, give your self time to adjust, and most importantly have patience with the process. There is a lot to learn, but  YOU CAN DO IT!