Flashback Friday – Christmas Treats


Those who have to eat Gluten Free can feel a little left out at Christmas time.  Most of the delicious sweet treats are off limits for us.  I have gathered a few alternatives that use everyday ingredients easily found at the market.  The best part is that most of the recipes just happen to be GF, so everyone will enjoy them.  Make some treats for yourself and always take some with you to holiday parties.

Also, there are now many mixes offered that aren’t so bad.  Yes, I have never been a big fan of them, but they are improving. 

Here is a quick change up to make Christmas Brownies from a mix.

Choose your favorite brand of brownie mix.

Add 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract into the mix.

10 minutes before baking is done sprinkle crushed candy canes over the top (about 1/3 cup or as much as you want).


Take a look at the Christmas recipes and maybe one will become a new family favorite.

Gluten Free Sweets for Christmas (or any time).

Peppermint Bark


PS  If you are newly diagnosed or know someone who is, check out my Gluten Free collection of recipes that are naturally GF using everyday ingredients.


Flashback Friday


It is time to flashback to some Gluten Free cooking.  There is nothing like some Pulled Pork BBQ in the summer time.  Once the Pulled Pork is made, it can be used in a couple more recipes.  If you have had enough, it is easy to freeze the meat.  I put some extra BBQ sauce on top of the pork before popping it into the freezer.

My favorite is the Tostados.  I love the crunchy tortilla and guacamole.

  • If you know someone that has been recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease, please send them to my blog.  I have easy recipes made from everyday ingredients and enough variety to keep them cooking for until they figure out how to eat gluten free.


Easy Pulled Pork BBQ

Pulled Pork Tostados

Pulled Pork Arepas Appetizers

Pulled Pork Pupusas

Flashback Friday


The Flashback this week is Onion Casserole.  It is a naturally Gluten Free recipe that everyone will enjoy.

If you need to eat GF or are newly diagnosed, please check out the recipes on the Gluten Free part of my blog.  All are easy to make with ordinary ingredients that can be found in your local market.  I have included a variety of foods to get you started on the diet.

Flashback Friday

The other part of my blog is Gluten Free recipes.  I knew I would never be able to keep up a GF blog, as I am not as passionate about cooking or photographing food.

The main reason I included this part to the blog was to provide easy GF recipes made of everyday ingredients that can be bought in any grocery store.  When I was first diagnosed, I was hungry and confused. There was not much help out there.

My recipes are for the newly diagnosed and the HUNGRY!  Not to mention, they can be shared with family and friends.

The dish I am highlighting is BBQ Chicken made in a slow cooker.  Yes, not on the grill!  Summertime is for grilling, but believe it or not, with temperatures reaching 100 degrees, it is just too hot to be outside grilling.

This Chicken is great for anytime of the year and will be enjoyed by even those that aren’t Gluten Free.


Easy Chicken BBQ


GF Sweets Made with Everyday Ingredients

Christmas can be difficult for  Gluten Free people who enjoy sweet treats for the holidays.  Below are some recipes using ingredients that can be easily found in local markets.  These are especially good for the newly diagnosed.

Some other suggestions are homemade fudge and cheesecake.  Use a cheesecake recipe that does not include flour.  Use GF cookies for the crust.  I like to use GF ginger cookies that can now be found at most supermarkets.




Pupusas de Queso! (Cheese Pupusas)


This was spotted on the grocery store shelf and is clearly marked Gluten Free.  Instant corn flour is used to make tortillas and pupusas.  Pupusas are a traditional food from El Salvador and can be filled with cheese or pork.  But after researching recipes, there are many different ways to dress them up.  This recipe is going to be simple and just filled with cheese. 


There are many versions of how much flour and water to use.  The making of pupusas is probably handed down through the generations and is made by “feel” or just knowing how much water to add to the flour.  The best advice would be not to add all the water at once.  Some describe the dough as having the texture of playdough but not sticky.

This recipe will make 6 pupusas

3 cups of masa

1 1/2 cups of warm water

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

vegetable oil

1. In a large bowl, mix the masa, water, and salt  Don’t use all the water at once, although more may be needed. It is advised to mix with your hands until it feels just right.

2. Let the dough rest about 15 minutes.

3. Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll each into a ball. Make an indentation in the ball and fill with cheese then close it up.  To make appetizer size, divide into 8 to 10 pieces.

4. Flatten the ball to a  1/4 inch thick, being careful to keep the cheese inside.

5. Heat a skillet or griddle on medium to medium high and lightly coat with vegetable oil.

6. Cook about 4 minutes on each side until golden brown.  Serve immediately.

Full sized Pupusas make a filling lunch.  They can be made smaller to use as appetizers or as a bread substitute for a meal.  Pupusas can even be stuffed with Pulled Pork (a great way to use left-over pork) for a main dish. If these are to your liking, check out the many variations online. 

Lemon-Herb Roasted Chicken in a Clay Pot

Clay pots make tender and moist meats and is a technique that has been used for thousands of years.  If you do not have a clay pot, try using Reynolds Oven Bags to retain moisture or your favorite roasting method. This recipe is naturally gluten free and the simple ingredients can be found at any market.


Soak the clay pot according to product instructions.

1 (5-pound) roasting chicken

2 lemons

2 tablespoons of dried oregano

1 tablespoon of dried basil

2 teaspoons of cracked black pepper

2 teaspoons of salt

1 teaspoon olive oil

6 garlic cloves minced

1.  Peel and section lemons, saving the peels.

2. Combine lemon sections and rest of the ingredients.  Mash them together with a fork.

3. Prepare chicken by discarding giblet and neck.

4.  Loosen skin from around the breast and drumsticks and rub lemon mixture under the skin.

5. Fill the body cavity with the lemon peels and tie legs.

6.  Place in clay pot breast side up and place in clay pot and put into a COLD oven.

7.  Bake at 450 degrees about 85 minutes until the thermometer reads 180 degrees.  Remove skin and carve.

Serve with a wild rice blend and broccoli.  The broth will make great soup later.  Carefully pour it through a sieve into a freezer container and freeze for later.

Pizza Appetizers

These are quick and easy appetizers or a weeknight meal.  I am not giving exact amounts to use in this recipe, as you have to buy full packages of the ingredients anyway.  The left over ingredients can be refrigerated or frozen for use later.  All ingredients are easily found at your market and the recipe is Naturally Gluten Free!

Corn tortillas  Most are marked Gluten Free

Small jar or can of pizza sauce  Check for a GF brand

Package of shredded mozzarella cheese

Mini pepperoni  Hormel is marked GF.  Regular pepperoni can be cut if mini can’t be found


You will need a muffin tin to accommodate the amount of pizzas you want to make.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Cut the tortillas using a biscuit cutter or the top of a clean empty can or glass

Spray the muffin tin with cooking spray and tuck the cut tortillas into the forms

Bake for 5 minutes to start to crisp the tortillas, then remove from oven


Put about a tablespoon of pizza sauce  (or to your taste) in each tortilla

Sprinkle with as much cheese and pepperoni as you would like

Bake 5 more minutes or until cheese begins to melt

Cool slightly and carefully remove pizza appetizer with a fork


These great little pizzas can be enjoyed as appetizers, dinner, game day snacks, movie night bites and kids love them.  It is easy to make 6 or 24.

Pulled Pork Tostadas

The recipe for the Pulled Pork is on the previous post.  Tostadas are a delicious Gluten Free dish and can be made with many variations.  Most corn tortillas are now marked GF.  All ingredients are easily found in local markets. Check all ingredients if you must be GF.


There are many ways to make  Tostadas, so pick the ingredients that appeal to your taste.

Here is how I made mine:

Pulled Pork BBQ  warmed in microwave (more BBQ sauce may need to be added to left-over pork)


corn tortillas  –  ready made tostadas,  OR crisped either by frying in a small amount of oil, OR

sprayed with cooking spray and baked for 10  minutes  or more at 425 degrees until crisp


Start with a tortilla

Layer with:

Heated Pulled Pork BBQ

Add avocado chopped OR make guacamole  Quick guacamole: mash avocado,  juice from 1/2 a lime, sprinkle dried cilantro to taste.

chopped tomatoes

sour cream

shredded sharp cheese

IF that is not enough, rebuild starting with…

shredded lettuce

canned refried beans heated


There are no amounts given for the ingredients as the Pulled Pork Tostadas could be one serving or many.  With left-over Pulled Pork BBQ, this is a quick and easy weeknight meal and can be loaded with veggies.

Easy Pulled Pork BBQ

This is a great naturally Gluten Free recipe that is simple to make with ingredients easily found at your market,  but it does take about 8 hours to complete.  Most of the time is for slow cooking and the end result is worth it.  If you prefer BBQ on a bun, there are plenty of GF choices or make a Tostada, which will be in the next post. As always, if you must be GF, check all ingredients.


You will need a slow cooker.

First make the RUB by combining the following ingredients.  This will make enough for two.  The extra will keep in an airtight jar for up to a month.

1/4 cup of kosher salt

1/4 cup of packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika

2 tablespoons  granulated sugar

2 teaspoons  garlic powder

2 teaspoons  fresh ground pepper

1 teaspoon  dry mustard

1 teaspoon  ground cumin

1 teaspoon  ground ginger


1 (4-5 lb) bone-in Boston butt pork roast or pork shoulder   (trim as needed)

1/2 of the rub

bottled BBQ sauce    (depending on taste, you may want 1 bottle for the cooker and one to add to sandwiches)  Check the bottle for GF.  I found Stubb’s & Dinosaur Bar-B-Que sauce.

To prepare:

Cover the meat with the rub and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Grease the slow cooker with cooking spray and place the pork fat side up.

Cover and cook on Low for 7 hours or until meat falls apart easily with a fork.


Place pork on a cutting surface and discard liquid from cooker.

Shred the pork with 2 forks and return to the slow cooker.  Add BBQ sauce to taste.   I used 1 bottle in slow cooker and added more from a second bottle to the sandwiches.

Cover and cook on High for 30 minutes.


Serve on buns with coleslaw.  Make sure to have left-overs to make the Tostadas recipe on the next post. Or on yet a third post, the Pulled Pork can be used on Arepas as an appetizer.

adapted from Southern Living