Tuesday, June 30, 2015

4th of July Barbecue Ribs and Peekaboo Cake all Gluten Free

The 4th of July is an inspiring time of year.  Summer is in full swing.  The gardens are starting to give up some fruits for the labor you've given them and it's a great time to be with family and friends and celebrate our ability to live in a free country.

At this time of year I greatly appreciate our Armed Forces.  Especially all of my family members who have served over the years.  My step-son and step-daughter both volunteered and are serving in the Army National Guard.  Not something I would've have selected for them to do but I couldn't be prouder of their bravery.  They both spent a year in Iraq and would go back if called to do so.  Their bravery humbles me.  Then I think about all of the other young people who have volunteered to protect us and I am humbled again.

When both the kids came home from Iraq we had a huge Rib dinner at our house for close family members.  So anytime these patriotic holidays roll around I think about cooking Ribs.

Melt like Butta Dry Rub and Black Raspberry Barbecue Sauce are two amazing recipes that will help you celebrate Independence Day like a pro. In this post is a recipe for a Dry Rub which is so good you won't have to use barbecue sauce but I also included a yum yum yummy barbecue sauce recipe.    The ribs cook slow so you can do other things like enjoy your company while they are cooking.  If you cook them slow like I show you then you will have amazing ribs every time.

For dessert try my Black Raspberry Peekaboo Cake.  This cake can be made with your own freshly picked Black Raspberries or for simplicity you can buy pie filling.  Our farm has exploded in black raspberries this year so I'm using them in every recipe I can.  Other fruits that work well are Blackberries, and Cherries.   If you're going to buy pie filling just remember to make sure your pie filling is gluten free.

Have your friends bring the side dishes, light up some sparkles or watch the lightning bugs put on a show and enjoy the day.  Reflect on what you love about living in a free country and count your blessings.

Happy 4th of July!

Black Raspberry Peekaboo Cake - Gluten Free, Dairy Free

This cake is the perfect picnic cake.  It makes a large quantity, with very little mess, and pleases an entire crowd.  Plus it's in one large pan so it's easy to travel with as long as you have some empty floor space in your vehicle. 
     It's called a peekaboo cake because the fruit filling peeks thru the cake batter.  Some call it a coffee cake but I thinks it's way better than a coffee cake. 
     This cake can also be made by using prepared pie filling.  Using pie filling makes it super easy but finding gluten free pie filling can be a challenge.
If you are going to use pie filling you will need two cans of your favorite pie filling
You will need a 10" x 15" jelly roll pan to make this dessert.  I have three of these pans and I use them for everything.

Berry Filling
4 cups of fresh black raspberries (if frozen thaw)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 T vanilla
5 T arrowroot starch

Place the raspberries and sugar in a large pot on a stove top burner.  Heat gently till the sugar starts to melt into the berries and the berries begin releasing their juices.  The sweetened berries should reach a steady simmer then remove from the heat.  Add the vanilla and stir to incorporate.

Pour about 1/2 cup of the berry juice from the pot into a glass 1 cup measure and add the arrowroot starch.  Using a fork, mix the arrowroot starch vigorously into the juice till there are no lumps.  Pour the arrowroot starch juice mixture into the berry pot and stir until well combined. This will make the berries thicken up like a prepared pie filling would be.

Place mixture into a bowl and put in the refrigerator to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Cake Batter
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 cup of butter or ghee softened
4 eggs
1 t almond extract
1 t vanilla
1/2 t baking powder
3 cups of Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour


3 cups of powdered sugar
2 t vanilla
2 T melted butter or ghee
2 T almond milk 

In a mixing bowl add the sugar and butter/ghee and beat until the sugar in completely incorporated into the butter and appears fluffy.  Reduce the speed on the mixer and add one egg at a time, letting each egg completely incorporate into the mixture before adding the next egg.  Increase the mixer speed to help the egg mix into the butter mixture.  Repeat for the next 3 eggs.

After the eggs are incorporated add the almond and vanilla extract while the mixer is on low speed. Add the baking powder and then the  gluten free flour one cup at a time, letting each cup of flour get fully mixed before adding the next.  

Grease a 10" x 15" jelly roll pan and spread 2/3 of the batter onto the pan.  Now spread your black raspberry mix over the entire cake batter.  Then take spoonfuls of the remaining cake batter and drop them randomly over the top of the berries.  It doesn't look like the spoonfuls of batter could ever possibly cover much of the cake but it does and it's a beautiful thing. 
Baked cake with fruit "peeking" thru.

Spoon fulls of batter placed onto the berries.

Bake for 20 minutes then turn the pan in the oven for the remaining 10-15 minutes of baking.  The  cake portion should be lightly brown  and is done when a tooth pick inserted is removed clean.   Remove the cake from the oven and allow to completely cool.  

Combine the ingredients for the glaze listed above in a mixing bowl.  I use a fork for mixing the glaze.  It's sturdier than a whisk and can break up any little lumps of powdered sugar.  Drizzle the glaze on the top of the cake and you are ready to serve. 

This cake is really awesome served up with some of your favorite dairy free ice cream.  Or regular ice cream if you are lucky.  


Melt like Butta Pork Spare Ribs - Dry Rub and Black Raspberry Barbecue Sauce Recipes - Gluten Free


I could eat ribs everyday of the week and pork ribs are my favorite.  I love ribs so much I should name my next beagle "SpareRib".  LOL!  I've been making my own dry rub and barbecue sauce for years but I just recently measured it and wrote it all down.  These ribs will melt like butta in your mouth.  Plus you can use baby back ribs if you prefer or even country style ribs.  The technique is still the same.  

If you haven't tried making your own pork ribs at home you really should try it.  The trick is to cook them low and slow.  Low heat and for a good long time.  You cannot be in a hurry when making ribs.  
Now for you "grill masters" out there you can do this on a grill but my directions are for the oven.  I've personally never mastered getting the heat of my grill low enough to cook them slow enough.  But by all means, try it, and if you have tips for me on how to better regulate my grill heat then leave me a comment.  

Why do you cook Ribs at a low temperature for a long time?  Ribs are made up of fat, collagen and meat tissue.  By cooking the ribs really slow the collagen in the meat breaks down and the fat distributes into the meat providing excellent flavor and that moist juicy texture everyone wants to achieve.  The collagen in the meat is an absolutely wonderful nutrient for your body.  It's especially helpful for those who are suffering from leaky gut as ingesting collagen has been proven to improve your collagen levels in your body and helps repair a damaged gut, and improves your overall skin quality.  

If you try to speed up the process of cooking the meat at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time you will indefinitely end up with very tough meat and will have wasted some delicious ingredients and hard earned money.  Take your time and enjoy what is happening in your kitchen.

To make any dry rub mixture gluten free is to make sure all of your spices are gluten free.  Each and every spice that I use states that it is Gluten Free on the label, if it doesn't carry that little label then I don't buy it.  All most all spices are naturally gluten free, the problem lies in the packaging.  So if you have celiac this is something you must take into consideration.  

SheShe's Dry Rub Mix

5 - 8 pounds of pork spareribs

3/4 cup of Coombs Maple sugar
1 1/2 T chili powder
2 1/2 t cumin
1 t onion powder
1 t Garlic
1 t smoked paprika
1/8 t nutmeg
1/8 t ground cloves
1/16 t ground cayenne pepper
1 t salt
1/2 t ground pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together with a whisk or a fork until all the ingredients are well combined.

Preheat oven 220 degrees
With Dry Rub added to the Spare Ribs

- Line a jelly roll pan (15" x 10") with parchment paper.
- Pat the spareribs dry with a  paper towel. 
- Apply approximately 1/2 the dry rub mixture to one side of the ribs and using your fingers rub the mix into every nook and cranny and on the sides.
- Flip the ribs over.  Apply the rest of the rub mixture to the other side of the ribs following the same procedure as above.  
- Place the ribs into the preheated oven and set a timer for 90 minutes.

After the ribs have cooked for 90 minutes rotate the pan in the oven.  You can also flip the ribs over if desired but it is not necessary. Set a timer for another 90 minutes.

After the ribs coated in the dry rub have cooked for 3 hours at 220 degrees, raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Bake the ribs at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

After cooking for 3 hours at the low temperature

Using a meat thermometer check the internal temperature, the ribs should be a minimum internal temperature of 170 degrees.  Mine cooked to 180 degrees and they were perfect.
While the ribs are still hot from the oven, apply as much Black Raspberry Barbecue Sauce as desired.  
The Dry Rub is so delicious you might not want any barbecue sauce but if you do try the recipe below.

slathered with barbecue sauce

Slice the ribs apart and serve with extra Black Raspberry Barbecue Sauce.

Sliced and ready to eat!

Black Raspberry Barbecue Sauce

1 1/2 cup of ketchup
1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup Jack Daniels whiskey
3/4 t dry mustard
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 cup Coombs Maple Sugar
1/3 cup seedless Black Raspberry Jelly
1/2 t black pepper
1/2 t smoked paprika
3/4 t cumin
2 T prepared mustard

In a large pot add the ketchup and applesauce and bring to a simmer.  Remove the pot from the heat and add the whiskey.  Stir the whiskey into the mixture and then add back to the heat.  Cook these three ingredients for 5-7 minutes, the mixture should thicken slightly. 

Add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine.  Simmer the mixture for 7-10 minutes making sure the jelly has completely melted.  If the mixture is to thin you can continue to simmer the sauce until it reduces to your liking.

Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly.  Serve with Dry Rub Ribs.

**Note - the whiskey can be completely removed from this recipe if desired.  The alcohol will completely cook off but I understand if you'd rather not add it to your sauce.  I would replace it with some apple cider or water.

***Note - Black Raspberry Jelly can be hard to find, you can replace this jelly with another flavor, I would try Blackberry jelly, seedless if you can get it.  The Black Raspberries just kicks this sauce to the next level and will have you licking your fingers like a redneck. ***

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How to make my Dairy Free Tart Cherry Smoothie.

I have a love of real food and a love of convenience, so to satisfy both of these things I tend to make a lot of smoothies during the work week.  Some people argue that smoothies are full of junk and empty calories.  That can be a true statement so each of us has to take this opportunity to keep it real and free from things like refined sugars.  Also, did you know how awesome tart cherries are for you?  They can reduce belly fat, reduce inflammation, increase your quality of sleep and more.  These bright red fruits are powerhouses of goodness and I can definitely attest to the improved sleep quality.  Since incorporating tart cherry juice into my daily routine I go to sleep a lot easier and stay asleep, which was an extreme problem for me. 

Smoothies have been a real blessing for me and my many digestive issues over the years.  I love fresh fruit and veggies but my gut does not.  I do much better with cooked veggies so when I shared this information with my Dr. she suggested that I start making some smoothies and using the NutriBullet because the NurtiBullet breaks down the cell walls of everything added to it and makes the food more available for proper digestion.  I went straight to the store and bought one and that's been over a year ago.  We love this machine and more importantly so does my gut.

1/3 cup of ice
1/2 cup of frozen Tart Cherries - unsweetened
1/3 cup of frozen Red Raspberries - unsweetened
1/2 of a green tipped Banana - green tipped banana's have a reduced sugar content
1/4 of an avocado
1 T hemp seeds (hearts)
1 cup of unsweetened vanilla Almond Milk (add in 1/2 cup increments) Or milk of choice
1 T Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin

Combine all of the ingredients above to your NutriBullet blend cup in the order listed above.  I've learned the hard way if you add your gelatin before the milk it likes to stick to the side instead of getting blended into the mix.  Add 1/2 cup of the milk first, if you like your smoothies supper thick you won't need the whole cup of milk.  Place the 4 blade blender lid onto the cup, invert the cup, place it on the motor base, press down and blend.  

Blend for about 20-30 seconds, if the blender sounds like it is straining remove sooner.  Check the consistency of your smoothie.  If it's really thick and it should be because we only added a half a cup of milk, now is the time to add more milk.  If you like your smoothies supper thick you don't have to add anymore milk unless you need a little more liquid just to make it blend easier.  Blend again for another 20 - 30 seconds or until you reach your desired consistency.
Supper thick smoothie with only 1/2 cup of milk

Now I like my smoothie blended till there are absolutely no chucks or lumps of anything to be found.  If you don't mind chucks of fruit or seeds in your smoothie blend for less time.  

This smoothie can be made in a blender, a BlendTec or a Vitamix.  I love the NutriBullet because all the ingredients fit into the same cup that I drink it from.  Less mess is always a win in my home. 

This smoothie will be a little tart, if you need more sweetness add a little honey to the mixture.  I prefer things more tart than sweet so this beauty suits me to a "T".  



*** All photos and content are property of SheShes Gluten Free. ***

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Father's Day Feast - Gluten Free Fish Fry menu and recipes

Father's Day in our family always means an epic Fish Fry.  There are tons of food, lots of fellowship, and many good memories created.   Frying fish is one of our favorite meals and is always shared with the entire family and many times neighbors and close friends.

In the past I had to make my own fish batter and had to have my fish fried separately from everyone's else, which is never fun to be singled out that way.  So my hubby and I put on our thinking hats and starting mixing up an awesome gluten free fish batter.  (I think my hubby REALLY likes recipe testing, I didn't have to twist his arm at all to help, also he's not gluten intolerant so he could compare it to our family favorite Andy's brand fish breading that we've always used.)

If you aren't an avid fisherman/woman like my husband and I,  we go fishing every time the opportunity presents itself so we have our own fish stashed in the freezer for these events: bass, catfish, crappie, and blue gill.  You can absolutely purchase your fish, if you can get bass, catfish, or crappie for a fish market then awesome, if not Cod and Talapia work amazingly well.  Any mild flavor white fish will work well.

Now to save money on your Father's Day Feast I recommend you do some shopping at Aldi's.  Aldi's is a discount food chain here in the Midwest.  By living in the mid-west we don't have easy access to Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, etc. Aldi's has really stepped up their game by now offering many gluten free products and even organic produce.  I am simply impressed that they are offering these products at some reasonable prices.  Granted, many of these items are still processed foods but when you want corn bread now you can get a gluten free version in their store and not have to take out a loan to be able to afford it.  This post will have two items that I purchased from Aldi's that are working extremely well for me.  The corn bread mix and the gluten free all purpose flour mix.  See the recipes below.

If you are sensitive to corn products I will tell you now that I have no substitutions today to exclude corn from this recipe.

The menu:

Potato Salad  Classic Paleo Potato Salad from Clothes Make the Girl
Coleslaw Coleslaw from The Paleo Cupboard
Corn Bread (Aldi's Brand)
Baked Beans
Strawberry Shortcakes (Aldi's Brand flour)

Fantastic GF Fried Fish Breading

This breading will be enough for approximately 1 pound of fish.

Soak fish pieces in your favorite gluten free beer or hard cider that has a mild taste.  Soak the fish for at least 1 hour in the fridge.

1 # fish (bass, catfish, crappie, blue gill or white fish of choice)
Cut the fish into approximately 1 1/2" by 3 " strips (this aids in quicker frying)

Mix together the following ingredients:

1 cup yellow corn meal
1/2 cup potato starch 
2 t Redmond's Real Salt
1 t ground black pepper
2 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1/4 t chili powder

Lard for frying

Add enough lard to a deep pot or skillet so that the fish will float in the heated oil.  You will need about 3 inches of oil in your skillet to fry the fish properly.
Heat the lard to 275 degrees.

Drain the beer/cider from the fish.  Dry the fish by placing them on some paper towels to absorb any extra moisture.  This will keep your breading from getting clumpy and un-useable.  Place the breading mixture in a container that you can easily lay the fish pieces into to coat the fish well.  Lay a few pieces into the breading mixture and use your fingers to press the mixture into the fish, this will help achieve a nice coating of breading on the fish.  

Make sure your lard has come to temperature at 275 degrees.  Place a few coated fish pieces into the hot lard.  *Note - placing too much fish into the hot lard will reduce the temperature and increase cooking time, this will also cause the fish to absorb more of the lard reducing the overall taste and texture.  Watch your thermometer as you add the coated fish to the oil.  The temperature will reduce some but if it reduces greatly you've added way too much fish to the oil.*

** Frozen Fish - if you are using frozen fish be sure that the fish has thawed completely.  Any additional moisture on the fish will cause extreme oil splatter when the fish is added to the hot oil.  This can be very dangerous.  Take your time in thawing the fish and removing the excess moisture, it will be well worth the time. **

Fry the fish in the hot lard for approximately 3 minutes.  The breading will darken in color slightly and become a medium golden color.  If your fish pieces are larger they will take more time to cook.  Use your best judgement.  After the fish is done frying, place the fried fish on a paper towel lined platter and add a sprinkling of Redmond's Real Salt, this can be omitted if you desire.

When we fry fish we fry several pounds so I put my oven on warm and place the freshly fried fish on a paper towel lined jelly tray in the oven.  This keeps the fish warm while the rest of it is cooked.

Serve your fried fish with lemon wedges and/or your favorite tartar sauce and enjoy!


Per usual I like to give credit to other bloggers for their delicious recipes.  This time I've included an awesome Potato Salad recipe from blogger: "The Clothes Make the Girl" Melissa Joulwan.  Melissa has a beautiful blog and an even better story, don't let the name of the blog fool you, there are a ton of recipes on her site.  Try her delicious potato salad listed here:  Classic Paleo Potato Salad from Clothes Make the Girl


This coleslaw recipe is so darn close to the way my mother makes coleslaw and I just love it.  I was so happy to find one online that mimicked her's because my mom is one of those amazing people who can throw ingredients together without measuring and it comes out amazing.  This coleslaw is a vinegar based recipe but it also has the ability to make it creamy.  Please visit this beautiful site for this recipe:  Coleslaw from The Paleo Cupboard


OMG - once you make corn bread this way you will never look back.  It is always moist and delicious and will be requested many times over.

1 box of Aldi's Live G Free Corn Bread mix
1/2 14 oz can of creamed corn
 3 T melted  butter
1 egg

8x8 baking dish or muffin tin with liners - Yields 10 muffins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the cornbread mix, creamed corn, melted butter, and egg in a mixing bowl.  I stir my mixture with a fork, I think it helps break up any lumps you may encounter with the cornbread mix.  

Once all the ingredients are combined then line your muffin pan with 10 liners or prepare an 8x8 baking dish by lightly greasing the sides and bottom.  

If using a muffin pan then using an ice cream scoop like this one, makes filling the muffin liners super simple and you end up with really consistent sized muffins.  A 2/3 full scoop of the mixture will produce a perfect muffin that just comes to the top of the muffin liner but doesn't overflow.  

Place the filled muffin cups or baking pan in the preheated oven.  Set your timer for 20 minutes.  It will probably take longer to cook them but there is nothing worse than over cooked corn bread.  My muffins took 28 minutes to bake.  To know when the muffins are thoroughly baked, insert a toothpick in the center of a muffin, if the toothpick comes out clean you'll know they are done. 

Serve with butter and devour!


Sorry to be a party pooper but i do not make baked beans from scratch, I buy them already made at the store.  Baked beans just go with fried fish so it's something we have to have at each fish fry.  Find your favorite gluten free brand, heat and serve.  


1 # strawberries (rinsed, stemmed and sliced)
1/2 cup Coombs Maple Sugar

Add the sliced strawberries and sugar to a bowl and stir to cover the strawberries with the maple sugar.  Place the strawberries into the refrigerator to let them macerate (release their juices), a minimum of 30 minutes.  The longer the strawberries sit in the sugar the more juice they will produce.

Makes 6 3" round shortcakes

2 cups Aldi's Live G Free Multi-Purpose flour
1/4 t Redmond's Real Salt
2 t double acting baking soda
1/4 c + 1 T melted Ghee or Butter
3 T Coombs Maple Sugar
1/4 c + 3 T Almond Milk (or milk of choice) (add the milk as needed, read below)

Heat oven to 420 degrees.

Add the flour, salt, and baking soda to a bowl and mix the ingredients together.  Then add the melted ghee or butter and stir to combine, the mixture will be very crumbly, this is perfect.  Next add the maple sugar and part of the milk, stir to combine.  

The mixture will still be crumbly but check to see if when you place a small amount of the mixture into your hand if it will come together and stay together.  You should be able to make a ball of the mixture but it should still feel a bit dry.  This is the perfect ratio.  If the mixture is extremely dry add more milk.  You do not want the mixture to be wet. If you do not use all of the milk that is fine.  It's important that you get the right consistency of the shortcake, it's not important to use all of the milk.  

Continue to combine the ingredients with your hand to bring the mixture together into a loose ball.  

Now you can either pat out the mixture onto your counter top and use a biscuit cutter to cut your cakes or you can scoop out a handful of the mixture with your hand and free form the cake (this is what I do, less mess).  

Place the cakes onto a parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle the tops of each cake with some additional maple sugar.  Place the cakes into the oven for 10- 14 minutes.  Check your cakes at 10 minutes.  When touching the cake after 10 minutes of baking if it stills feels soft and moist continue cooking for 2 more minutes.  Check the cakes again until they feel pretty dry.  I wouldn't cook them over 15 minutes.

Remove the cakes from the oven to cool.

To serve:
Slice the cake into two pieces, place the bottom of the shortcake into a bowl, then add a layer of strawberries and their juices, then add the top of the shortcake, add a few more strawberries and the juice.  Top with whipped coconut cream.  Enjoy!

We want you all to have an amazing Father's Day weekend and pray that these recipes make it more enjoyable for my Gluten Free friends as well.