Foodaplenty’s August Food Blogger Challenge

Foodaplenty's August Food Blogger Challenge
Foodaplenty’s August Food Blogger Challenge

Foodaplenty’s August Food Blogger Challenge

Note:  Affiliate links are included in this post.  Please see my Disclaimers for more information.

Foodaplenty is a website dedicated to helping food bloggers.  I have been a member for awhile and this challenge caught my eye.

Foodaplenty offers a free blogging calendar (for the whole year).  I also enjoy their monthly packet of food days and blogging ideas.  I need to spend more time utilizing these resources to aid me in building and growing my blog.

While participating in the Foodaplenty’s August Food Blog Challenge, a fellow blogger posted a Paleo recipe which caught my attention.

I enjoy trying different recipes.  Surprised?  I am a foodie, food blogger, and cookbook author.  I love food!

Yes, my family and I do eat grains (gluten free, of course!) though I am always looking for new recipes to try.

This particular blog post grabbed my attention with the name, Mick’s Marvellous Meatballs with Oodles of Zoodles from the blog, Eating Paleo.  Eating Paleo is a blog all about eating Paleo in Australia, by blogger Mick (a.k.a. The Caveman).

I am adding this recipe to my “Must Try” list to include in my menu planning.  I do know I will have to change the meat (I do not eat uncured pork, which is a different story).  I think using zucchini ribbons as a substitute for pasta is a great way to use up extra zucchini from the garden if you still have some left.

I hope The Caveman will post a photo of this recipe soon.  I love seeing photos of recipes before I make for the first time.

Once I make this recipe, I will post a photo.

For you bloggers, have you done a blogging challenge?  If yes, what did you learn?  If no, are you considering finding one to join?  Or create your own blogging challenge and invite bloggers to join you.  If you join a challenge or create your own, please let me know.  I would love to check it out.

~Adrienne

Gluten Free Flours using The Country Living Grain Mill

The Country Living Grain Mill with Amaranth - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

Gluten Free Flours using The Country Living Grain Mill

For our family of six, we used to buy a lot of Gluten-Free flour. I mean a lot. I bake often and have gone through phases where I was baking daily.

Purchasing Gluten-Free flours can be expensive.

The cost of purchasing these flours began adding up especially as food prices increased. We decided it was time to look at grinding our own flours.

Not all Grain Mills are alike.  Which one do we purchase?

I researched for months and asked friends who milled their own for mill recommendations. One friend, Jeni, swore by the Country Living Mill she was borrowing. As she and her family live without gluten, she was milling the grains I would be once I had a mill. I had seen their website so went back and read it some more. The detailed explanations of their mill and why they designed it intrigued me.

I had previously shown the mill website to Jonathan. He asked me to keep researching.

The Country Living Grain Mill with milled Amaranth - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
The Country Living Grain Mill with milled Amaranth – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

Flour mill is high on our priority list.

After our fourth baby was born, we were deciding what on our “wish list” would be purchased with our tax refund. A mill was high on the list for me. I wanted to save money on Gluten-Free flours.

The Country Living Grain Mill is our mill of choice.

We finally decided to call the company one day. We spoke with Joel, one of the owners of The Country Living Grain Mill, who answered our questions. He said it would be no problem to test the mill with rice instead of wheat (as this option is mentioned on their website). He asked if we were local to him. We were about two hours south. He said he was happy to ship it to us or we could go pick it up and test the mill ourselves.

We drove up right then and there. We tested our mill with rice. We chatted about Gluten-Free grains and how the mill handles them.

We set it up when we got home. We have not looked back or regretted it.

The Country Living Grain Mill with Amaranth Flour 2 - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
The Country Living Grain Mill with Amaranth Flour 2 – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

Gluten Free Flours using The Country Living Grain Mill at Home

When specific flours gets low in my Tupperware™ Modular Mates, I grind some more. Usually, I add the grain and Jonathan makes sure it gets milled. He is great about turning on the mill first thing in the morning. The mill is as quiet as one would expect from a mill grinding grain. It is now white noise for me most of the time.

You can taste the difference between freshly milled flours and ones which have sat in a bag on a shelf for months.

Oh, one of the best parts of getting my Gluten Free Flours using The Country Living Grain Mill is I have total control over how fine or how coarse of a grind.  I can have coarse cornmeal and then (after cleaning out the mill) can do super fine brown rice flour.  (Super fine does take longer to grind due to the finer grind.)

Now, when gluten-eating people mention “I don’t taste any gritty flour – are you sure you used rice flour?”

I just smile and say, “Yes, I did using my Country Living Grain Mill.”

Amaranth Flour from The Country Living Grain Mill - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Amaranth Flour from The Country Living Grain Mill – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

I would love to hear what grain mill you use to grind your own Gluten-Free flours.  If you do not have a grain mill, have you considered it?

~Adrienne

Photos of Grandma Pease’s Cookies

Photos of Grandma Pease’s Cookies

These photos are part of the Foodaplenty’s August Food Blogger Challenge.

The challenge for today is to take multiple photos of the same food item.  Then post the photos for fellow challenge participants to look at and give suggestions on how to better our photos.

Photo #1:

 

Grandma Pease's Cookies 1 - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

Photo #2:

 

Grandma Pease's Cookies 2 - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Grandma Pease’s Cookies 2 – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

Photo #3:

 

 

Grandma Pease Cookies 3 - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Grandma Pease’s Cookies 3 – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

 

Photo #4:

 

Grandma Pease's Cookies 4 - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Grandma Pease’s Cookies 4 – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

 

Photo #5:

 

Grandma Pease Cookies May 2015 - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Grandma Pease’s Cookies May 2015 – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

Photo #5 is my favorite of all of them.

Which one do you prefer?  Why?

Thanks for helping me look at my food photography.

~Adrienne

5 Tips for Preparing Gluten Free Meals

Steak Dinner photo for 5 Tips for Preparing Gluten Free Meals - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Steak Dinner photo for 5 Tips for Preparing Gluten Free Meals – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

5 Tips for Preparing Gluten Free Meals

Since going Gluten Free in 2001, we (my husband and I, specifically) have discussed the Gluten Free lifestyle with hundreds of people.  One of the most common questions we are asked is, “How do you cook gluten free?”

We are also asked, “How can you possibly eat anything if you don’t eat gluten?”

Preparing Gluten Free meals may take a bit more planning and time when you are new to the Gluten Free lifestyle.  If you are cooking Gluten Free for a family member or friend, these tips are to help you as well.  It will get easier to learn how to cook and bake Gluten Free.

Here are my 5 Tips for Preparing Gluten Free Meals

  1. Know which foods and byproducts contain gluten.
  2. Check the label on each item every time you purchase.
  3. Use non-contaminated cookware, utensils, serving ware, and equipment.
  4. Focus on naturally Gluten Free foods like produce which you can eat.
  5. Keep it simple and work your way up to making more difficult dishes like Beef Wellington.

Cooking and baking Gluten Free does not become second nature overnight.  At least, it did not for me.  It took me a long time to become used to not relying on the gluten-containing foods to make meals taste good.

Gluten Free foods (cooked and baked) can taste just as good – if not better – than their gluten-containing counterparts.  It depends upon ingredients and techniques used as to how well Gluten Free foods turn out in your kitchen.

For more details on how my family and I began living the Gluten Free lifestyle, please read my book, The Gluten-Free Way:  My Way (available in print and digital from Amazon.com and BN.com).

I would love to know about your experiences preparing Gluten Free meals.  Please share below in comments.  I answer each comment (except for the spam ones).

~Adrienne

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Strawberry Freezer Jam Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Strawberry Freezer Jam Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Note:  Post contains affiliate links to Amazon for products I used in making the Strawberry Freezer Jam.  Please see my Disclaimers for more info.

Last summer my family and I made a lot of freezer jam.  Oh did we ever!

One of the local produce markets had full flats of strawberries for $5 each.  Yes, $5 for a full flat of strawberries!

My flats of strawberries

Strawberry Flats - Cop;yright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Strawberry Flats – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

I purchased five full flats of strawberries!  It took me quite some time to get all of these strawberries ready for jam or freezing.

Summer for me is made better with fresh strawberries.  If you grow your own (my favorite!) or purchase locally, making Strawberry Freezer Jam is a great way to use up strawberries.

Getting strawberries ready to make jam or freeze (for pies)

Slicing Strawberries - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Slicing Strawberries – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

Since I bought so many strawberries, I had strawberry juice and ends all over the table!  Since I knew I would need to freeze some for making pies later, I had bowls for the sliced for pies and a bowl for the jam.  After all, who doesn’t love Strawberry Pie, especially in the middle of winter?

How I froze strawberries for later use

Getting ready to freeze strawberries - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Getting ready to freeze strawberries – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

I used Ziploc Quart Freezer Bags for the strawberries.  I wrote date and the contents using a Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker.  I loved seeing the bags in my freezer when I was done.  It reminded me to include a pie on the menu down the road.

Pectin for Strawberry Freezer Jam

Pectin for Freezer Jam - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Pectin for Freezer Jam – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

I found Cornaby’s Jam in a Jiffy – Instant Fresh or Freezer Jam Mix, No Cook, Low Sugar on the shelf at Wal-Mart.  The pectin states “Gluten Free” on the front of the package.  All pectin I have seen is Gluten Free.  To be sure, read each label on every package.

Making Strawberry Freezer Jam

Mixing up Strawberries and Pectin - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Mixing up Strawberries and Pectin – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

Making freezer jam is so easy with this pectin.  Crush the strawberries.  Stir in the pectin.  Place jam into airtight containers then refrigerate or freeze.  It takes longer to prepare the strawberries than it does to make the jam!

Enjoying Strawberry Freezer Jam

My family enjoys Strawberry Freezer Jam on Gluten Free Pancakes or Waffles.  We also love a Peanut Butter & Jam Sandwich using the jam.

What do you use Strawberry Freezer Jam for in your home?  Please share with me and my readers in the comment section.

~Adrienne