Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gluten Free 101 with Wildtree

Gluten Free 101 with Wildtree

For those of you with Celiac Disease or who have been eating gluten free, you know there is a wide range of products out there. And while they are helpful when you want to bake muffins, bread, pizza or scones, they are not always the nutrient dense foods you may wish to eat. Just as I was about to give up, Wildtree came along and launched their Gluten-Free line. They have taken their time in doing so because first and foremost, any food Wildtree produces must have nutritional value. Leslie Montie, the founder and CEO of Wildtree, has always believed that if you are going to eat, there should be something of nutritional value in your food, even if it's chocolate.

If you have been on a gluten free diet for a long time, you know that most gluten free products in the grocery store do not necessarily equal "natural" or "good for you". With Wildtree's Gluten Free line of products, you can be assured that you are getting a gluten-free AND all-natural product.

Other Gluten-Free Products…
• Many gluten-free products on the market can be high in calories, fat and sugar. To improve the taste and texture of gluten-free products, many companies add fat.

• They are usually low in fiber as well since they are made from refined grains and starches.

Wildtree’s NEW Gluten-Free Products...
• Contain Ancient Grains - Wildtree’s new gluten-free products use millet, teff, sorghum, amaranth, and quinoa. These ancient grains are WHOLE grains and provide protein, B Vitamins, Iron, Fiber, and Folate.

Introducing the Ancient Grains
Amaranth- A tiny cream-colored seed indigenous to South America, Central America, and Mexico. Amaranth contains all of the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It is also rich in fiber and iron. Amaranth has a corn-like taste and a slightly glutinous texture. Using a ratio of 3 parts water to 1 part grain, amaranth cooks up into delicious breakfast porridge or savory, polenta-like side dish. Cooks in 25-30 minutes. Available forms: whole seeds, flakes, flour.

Millet- A small, beadlike beige grain that tastes similar to cornmeal. It is the highly nutritious staple food in many parts of Africa and Asia. Millet is a rich source of fiber, thiamine, niacin, and folate. Use a ratio of 1 cup grain to 2 1/4 cups water for fluffy millet. For porridge, increase the liquid to 3 cups. Cooks in about 25 minutes. Available forms: whole, grits, puffed, flour.

Sorghum- Also known as milo, a tannish-white grain that resembles a small berry and is a rich source of fiber and iron. Sorghum is one of the world’s leading food staples including Asia and Africa. It works well as a hot cereal or a side dish and can also be popped like corn. Sorghum cooks in about 25 minutes at a ratio of 1 cup grain to 4 cups of liquid. The grain should be soaked overnight before cooking. Available forms: whole, flour.

Teff- The color of the Teff grains can be ivory, light tan to deep brown or dark reddish brown, depending on the variety. Teff has a mild, nutty, and a slight molasses like sweetness. The white teff has a chestnut-like flavor and the darker varieties are earthier and taste more like hazelnuts. Cooks in 15-20 minutes at a ratio of 1 part teff to 3 parts liquid. Works well in baked products such as breads muffins, pancakes, pie crust, and cookies and is a rich source of fiber, iron, and thiamine. Available forms: whole, flour.

Quinoa- A tiny high protein seed that was the staple of the Inca empire. The seeds are coated with a natural insect repellent called saponin which is bitter and must be removed. Nowadays, most quinoa is thoroughly cleaned before it is packaged. Taste a raw grain: if it seems soapy, swish the quinoa in a bowlful of water before cooking. Beige quinoa is more flavorful than red quinoa. Available forms: whole, flakes, flour

Wildtree's Gluten Free Products
Wildtree's Gluten Free Brownie Mix
Wildtree's Gluten Free Muffin Mix
Wildtree's Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
Wildtree's Gluten Free Bread Mix
Wildtree's Gluten Free Pizza Dough Mix

I am SO excited that we are able to offer this to our Gluten Free Customers!
Please contact me with any questions you may have or place an order anytime at

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin

I feel as if I have perfected muffin baking and that is a huge score for a non-baker! Much thanks must be given to Wildtree for their simple, gluten free mix which is filled with lots of nutrient dense ancient grains. After a little experimenting, I have figured out how to bake them without eggs or dairy and no one can tell the difference! This recipe is easily adapted to Pumpkin Muffins as well but be mindful which mix I reference - the recipe differs.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
(with crispy cinnamon sugar tops)

1 box Wildtree Gluten Free muffin mix
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 or 2 ripe bananas, mashed (if they do not equal 3/4 cup - top off rest of measurement with unsweetened apple sauce)
1/3 cup chocolate chips
3 1/2 TBSP Wildtree Butter GSO
1/2 cup rice milk
cinnamon sugar for muffin tops

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with liners. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, until the batter starts to thicken slightly. Spoon into muffin liners - almost to the top. Sprinkle each muffin top with cinnamon sugar and bake for about 25 minutes until the top is crusty and springs back to the touch and a cake tester comes out clean. I find that baking these muffins without the eggs requires a little extra time. Just be sure the tops are starting to brown and the muffin is springy when touched. Super delicious!

Chocolate Chip Cookies ~ Gluten free & vegan and yes...delicious!

I don't know about you, but there is nothing quite like a warm, gooey, chewy, crispy chocolate chip cookie fresh from the oven! When we discovered that wheat, butter, and eggs had to be eliminated from our diet, I was saddened to think that Oliver wouldn't get to make Papa's famous chocolate chip cookies again. They have so much fun baking them together...and even more fun trying to eat the batter in secret! Luckily, I discovered Babycakes, Elana's Pantry, Gluten Free Goddess and many other amazing resources for gluten free and vegan baking. One day this summer Papa & Oliver tried their hand at a Babycakes' recipe and it was delicious!
Oliver & Papa baking cookies.

Hooray! Hooray! For chocolate chip cookies today!

Goopy, sticky batter turns into... 

crispy, chewy, decadent cookie!

The recipe we used is from Erin McKenna's first cookbook, babycakes and it's super easy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup coconut oil
6 Tablespoons homemade applesauce or store-bought unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 and 1/4 cups evaporated cane juice
2 cups Bob's Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
1/4 cup flax meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Preheat the oven the 325 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mix together the oil, applesauce, salt, vanilla, and evaporated cane juice. In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, flax meal, baking soda and xanthan gum. Using a rubber spatula, carefully add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until a grainy dough is formed. Gently fold in the chocolate chips just until they are evenly distributed through the dough.

Using a melon baller, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the portions 1 inch apart. Gently press each with the heel of your hand to help them spread. Bake the cookies on the center rack for 15 minutes, rotating the sheets 180 degrees after 9 minutes. The finished cookies will be crisp on the edges and soft in the center.

Let the cookies stand on the sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack and cool completely before covering. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Family Favorite...Roast Chicken

This has to be one of my family's all time favorite meals...roast chicken and mashed potatoes. It's a guarantee every time that everyone's tummy and soul will be filled with good food and love ~ the most important ingredient you can use in cooking!

There are no measurements needed for this dish.
Pre-heat an oven to 375 degrees.
Slice an onion into thick rings and create a bed in roasting pan. I like to use a Pampered Chef Rectangular Baker (which are on sale in October) because it browns beautifully. Place a 4 - 5 pound chicken on top of the onions, breast side down. Rub Garlic Grapeseed Oil on it and then sprinkle with Rodeo Rub, CA Garlic Pepper and Hearty Spaghetti Blend. Next, peel and slice some veggies such as carrots, parsnips or rutabagas. Place them around the chicken, drizzle them with Garlic Grapeseed Oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Cook the chicken for 45 minutes and then flip it over, re-season the breast side with oil and herbs just as you did before and place back in the oven for about 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 350 and continue cooking until the chicken is beautifully browned and the meat is done. It takes about 30 minutes per pound to roast a chicken. Let the chicken rest for at least 20 minutes before carving it.

Serve with Onion Chive mashed potatoes, butternut squash roasted with garlic grapeseed oil and sea salt, and Wildtree's Apple Cranberry Jelly.

Additional Recipes

Onion Chive Mashed Potatoes
Peel and quarter a couple pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes. Cook them in salted, boiling water until fork tender. Drain and return to pan. Add butter, milk, Wildtree's Onion & Chive Blend and mash until smooth and creamy. I use rice milk and vegan butter. 

Roasted Butternut Squash
Peel, seed and cut a butternut squash into large bite size pieces. Toss them with Wildtree's Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil and sea salt and spread in a single layer on a roasting pan. I prefer to use Pampered Chef's Large Bar Pan for premium caramelization! Place in the oven with the chicken for about 45 minutes to an hour or until the squash is soft and starting to brown.

Cook's Note
To make life simpler, you can roast the chicken entirely right side up from the beginning and skip the flipping part.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Petite Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes

This October carve in some time for a trick-or-treat tasting with Wildtree! 
Your friends and family will be under your spell once they taste Wildtree's hair-raising recipes.  Let us help your stress vanish!  No make-believe here!  Wildtree's Tastings are so rewarding they will make you scream!

Here are some Spooktacular recipes for Halloween Eve.

Petite Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes
Serves 10

1 package Wildtree Pumpkin Quick Bread
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
Orange, black, white and yellow candies and sugar crystals

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Prepare the Pumpkin Bread according to package directions.  Pour batter into greased and floured mini muffin tins, you will need to bake in batches.  Cool pumpkin cupcakes for a few minutes then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.   Using electric mixer beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl to combine.  Beat in powered sugar.  Chill frosting 2 hours or until firm enough to easily spread.  Frost cupcakes, decorate using candy and sugar crystals as desired.

Alfredo Extraordinaire Scalloped Hash Browns

Spooky Ghost Wildtree Lentil Soup 

Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bread

 Cordon Bleu Mummy

Cheesy Noodle Bake

Alfredo Extraordinaire Scalloped Hash Browns

Alfredo Extraordinaire Scalloped Hash Browns
1 cup Milk
1/3 cup Wildtree Grapeseed Oil
1 cup Wildtree Alfredo Extraordinare powder
3 ounces cream cheese
4 cups frozen hash browns
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk and oil together.  Add the cream cheese and stir until melted.  Add Alfredo Extraordinare.  Mix in hash browns and onions.  Pour into a greased 7 x 11 baking dish.  Bake at 350 F for 1 hour.  Remove from oven, top with Parmesan cheese and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bread

Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bread
Serves 10

1 Package Wildtree
1 (12 ounce) stout beer
1 jalapeno, diced
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Mix together all the ingredients and bake according to package directions.

Spooky Ghost Wildtree Lentil Soup

Spooky Ghost Wildtree Lentil Soup 
Serves 6

1 package Wildtree Hearty and Healthy Lentil Soup
2 russet potatoes, boiled, mashed and placed into piping bags
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Prepare Lentil Soup according to package directions.  Spoon into six small bowls, about two-thirds full.  Pipe tops with mashed potatoes in tall, thin tower to resemble ghosts.  Sprinkle cheese in any remaining space around the ghosts.

To order your Wildtree groceries please go to

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wickedly Decadent Brownies

My Recipe for Gluten, Dairy & Egg Free Brownies
I love brownies! And so does my son...and my husband! We all have sweet tooths, especially for chocolate. Not being able to whip up some brownies as a special treat was difficult when we had to go gluten, dairy and egg free. I tried certain brownie mixes from places like Bob's Red Mill, which were ok, but they had an off-chocolate taste to a chocolate lover like me. Then Wildtree launched their Gluten Free line and my joy for eating brownies has been restored. Not only are they deliciously chocolaty, they are also made using Ancient Grains so they are more healthful than a lot of Gluten Free products out on the market shelves. These brownies are dense, chewy, rich and wickedly decadent!

Wickedly Decadent Brownies
1 package Wildtree Gluten Free Brownies
4 TBSP Wildtree Butter GSO
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp baking powder
2 TBSP rice milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x9 inch baking pan with Butter GSO. Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the edges start to come away.
Cool and serve. 
Serves 16 (or one if you are me!) 

Cook's Note
If you can eat eggs, use 2 of them instead of the applesauce and baking powder. I find I need to add extra baking time when I swap out the eggs for applesauce.  If you use 2 eggs instead, you will only need to cook 30-40 minutes.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Special Holiday Bundles

Spend $50 and get any one of these bundles 50% Off! 
AND… there are no limits… so stock up! When you spend $100, you will get 2 of the bundles at 50% off. Spend $150, get 3 bundles, etc!

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble Bundle
(Regularly $86.25) $43.13
Traditional Turkey Gravy
Cream of Mushroom Soup Base
Carol’s Cranberry Horseradish Blend
Hearty Turkey & Barley Stew
Whole Grain Cranberry Orange Bread
Spiced Carrot Cake with Frosting
Pumpkin Quick Bread
Pumpkin Cheesecake Blend
Onion & Chive Blend
Not Your Everyday Pound Cake

A Man’s Gotta Eat Bundle
(Regularly $55.50) $27.75
Home Fries Seasoning
Leslie’s Chili Mix
Texas Cornbread
Ranchers Steak Rub
Stroganoff Skillet Meal seasoning
Home-style Beef Stew Sauce
Quick & Easy Beer Bread

Holiday Entertaining Bundle
(Regularly $52.50) $26.25
Garlic & Herb Blend
Tuscany Bread Dipping & Herb Blend
Creamy Ranch Dressing & Dip Mix
Robust Tortilla Soup
Whole Wheat Beer Bread
Banana Banana Bread
Outrageous Oatmeal Cookies

Holiday Party on a Budget Bundle
(Regularly $50.50) $25.25
Mulling Spices
Dill Dip Blend
Fiesta Salsa Mix
Pumpkin Quick Bread
O’ So Fudge Brownie Mix
White Cheddar Popcorn Seasoning

Less Stress-Dinner Express!
(Regularly $53.50) $26.75
Hot Chili Pepper & Garlic Blend
Leslie’s Chili Mix
Texas Cornbread
Robust Tortilla Soup
Whole Wheat Beer Bread
Heavenly Chocolate Mousse Mix

Contact me today to order! 

Spine Tingling Specials

Wildtree has created wonderful bundles for you this fall. 

Don't miss out on these 'spooktactular' items!

Spend $50 and get ANY one of these bundles 50% off.
AND… there are no limits… so stock up! When you spend $100, you will get 2 of the bundles at 50% off. Spend $150, get 3 bundles, etc!

Also, Hosts can now use these 50% off bundles for their ½ price host rewards, where applicable. This even counts for virtual Tastings!

Hocus-Pocus! Dinner in 20 Bundle
(Regularly $67.75) $33.88
Classic Caesar Dressing Mix
Alfredo Extraordinaire
Cheddar & Herb Skillet Meal Seasoning
Quick & Easy Beer Bread
Mexican Skillet Meal Seasoning
Perfect Pizza Sauce Seasoning
So Quick & Easy Pizza Dough Mix
Sloppy Joe Blend
Mocha Mousse Cheesecake Blend

Fang-tastic Comfort Foods Bundle
(Regularly $65.00) $32.50
Home-style Beef Stew Sauce
Just Like Mom’s Meatloaf
Hearty Spaghetti Sauce Blend
Cheesy Cheddar soup
Jumpin’ Jambalaya
O’ So Fudge Brownie Mix
Sunday Morning Cinnamon Rolls
Pumpkin Quick Bread

Stews & Brews Bundle
(Regularly $54.25) $27.13
Hearty & Healthy Lentil Soup Mix
Robust Tortilla Soup Mix
Quick & Easy Beer Bread
Cheesy Cheddar Soup Mix
Mama Mia Minestrone Soup Mix
Whole Wheat Beer Bread
Absolutely Onion Blend

 Here are our Host Specials...

Host a $400 Tasting and receive at least $80 in FREE products AND the Pumpkin Quick Bread.

Host a $600 Wildtree Tasting Party and receive at least $120 in FREE products AND the Pumpkin Cheesecake Blend, the Pumpkin Pancakes and the Pumpkin Quick Bread.

Plus you can take advantage of the Bundles listed above!

Cordon Bleu Mummy

The perfect Halloween dish that makes you howl for more!
This is a fun meal to prepare for Halloween night!
And don't miss this post about 'What to do with all that Halloween candy?'

 Cordon Bleu Mummy
Serves 6

1 bag Wildtree Whole Wheat Pizza Dough, prepared and rested
2 tablespoons Wildtree Absolutely Onion Seasoning Blend, prepared
4 ounces cooked deli ham
1 (7 ounce) jar roasted red pepper, drained and dried
6 ounces cooked deli chicken
4 tablespoons reduced-fat shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 egg
1 teaspoon grated parmesan cheese
1 ripe black olive, sliced in half

Method of Preparation
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 9x13 inch cookie sheet or line with parchment paper or use your Pampered Chef Large Bar Pan. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into a 1/8 inch thick rectangle. Transfer to cookie sheet. Spread Absolutely Onion Blend in 3-inch-wide strip lengthwise down center of triangle to within 1/2 inch of each end. From the wide end, mark dough 3 inches down from center on both sides of cheese strip. 

At that point, layer 2/3 of each ham, peppers, chicken and cheese on Absolutely Onion blend to 6-inch end. Starting at corners of wide end, using scissors or sharp knife, make cuts at an angle 1 inch apart down long sides of dough to within 1/2 inch of filling. To form head at wide end, place remaining 1/3 of filling ingredients, ending with bell pepper, in circular pile over cheese spread, leaving 1/2 inch space from body filling. 

Fold and shape 3-inch section of dough over filling to make rounded head, leaving opening for eyes, exposing bell pepper. Starting at mummy’s neck, alternately cross remaining strips over filling; folding bottom 1/2 inch up before crossing last 2 strips. In small bowl, beat egg. Brush over dough. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until deep golden brown. Place olives between "bandages" for mummy's eye. Cut into slices.

 Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October's Freezer Meal Workshop

If your fall has been anything like mine, you need freezer meals to maintain your sanity!

Sign up now for the workshop on Friday October 28th at 11 am or 6 pm. The cost is only $40 ($35 for my Culinary Club Members) and you will create the following menu...

Caesar Chicken
Mushroom Chicken
Apple Cranberry Chicken
Sweet Italian Sausage Rigatoni
Fast & Flavorful Chicken
Wildly Delicious Fajitas
Kids Mac-N-Cheez
Thyme Crusted Pork Tenderloin
Summer BBQ Salmon
Halibut with Strawberry Salsa

Contact me today to reserve your spot, get your grocery list and prepare to feel calm at dinner time!

FYI...November & December's Freezer Meal Workshops will be devoted to the slow cooker!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Freezer Meal to the Rescue!

Life has been turned topsy-turvy! 

For 2 1/2 months this summer we lived an idyllic life on a small island where the only vehicle you drive is a golf cart, where there are no strip malls, billboards, restaurants (except for a pizza joint or brunch at the Fishing Club) or hotels (except for the Fishing Club or the Avalon), where the only traffic are the boats in the channel and the line up at the ice cream shop. 

It's a place where life is simply wonderful and wonderfully simple.

When we return to Los Angeles (three days before school begins), we have a time change, culture shock and an empty kitchen to deal with. Personally, if we didn't have to adjust to a 3 hour time change, I would come back the day before school starts. Needless to say it's not an easy transition for me. Oliver seems to handle it without a hitch, but I long for those beautiful days of summer.

Did I mention the empty kitchen? My husband is wonderful and makes sure we have something to drink and snack on, but there are no fixin's for dinner. I was happily surprised to find a freezer meal from my last workshop in my freezer and it was a sweet sight to behold. I actually managed to pull off a delicious dinner on a night we had just returned. Oliver devoured it and wants me to make it again - I'd say that's a victory for any Mum in the kitchen!

Cactus Pete’s Oven Baked BBQ Chicken

In freezer bag combine:
 4-6 chicken breasts
1 TBSP Rodeo Rub
1 TBSP Rotisserie Chicken Blend
1 TBSP Garlic & Herb Blend
2 TBSP Natural GSO
3/4 cup Cactus Pete's Agave BBQ Sauce
1/2 cup plain yogurt

Store in your freezer until the night before you plan to cook it. Defrost the bag in the fridge overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the chicken in a Deep Baker until thoroughly cooked. Thicker chicken breasts will take longer. Turn chicken over halfway through. Serve with mashed potatoes and steamed broccolini.