Wednesday, June 30, 2010

His Two Front Teeth Wednesday

My youngest son is 7 years old......That wonderful age when there is nothing more pressing to do in the summertime or most anytime than torture your 8 y/o brother, play outside, swim, catch rabbits, go fishing, and infinite other things that young boys do....  My son is also at that age of losing teeth.  At this point his "two front teeth" which have long held on, bravely waiting out the two front teeth on the bottom and nearly another before finally deciding to come out.  They haven't made their "exit" yet.... However, I am positive that has more to do with my sons refusal to wiggle them, touch them, take a bite out of a hamburger, apple, or especially corn on the cob without cutting the offending morsel into small bite size pieces that he can carefully chew and swallow.  He also screams at the top of his lungs and runs like a cheetah with his tail on fire if I dare to reach for his mouth to try and pull them. 
He hasn't lost any teeth on top.  His top front have loosened considerably and scooted together.

I put my foot down and announced "Today Is The Day!"  His loose teeth are hanging at odd angles much like dueling swords and sometimes one will be sticking almost straight out like a woodpeckers bill. 

I am a firm dad as I never put up with any dis-respect, hatefulness, back-talk or other foolishness.  I'm the first one to keep them in line and have tried to teach them since they could talk, "Repect Doesn't Cost Anything".  "Please, Thank you, Yes Maam, Yes Sir", etc only take a moment out of your day but will add untold wealth to your life.    With all that being said, and my tough dad image to uphold, after laying down the law on the loose front teeth, I have decided to make him some chocolate chip cookies as a bonus. 

Yeah, yeah, I know I've got a soft spot 3 miles wide for my kids but I love chocolate chip cookies too and I have the bonus of posting something for the blog. Everybody wins........
The recipe is as follows:

GF Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix (Bob's Red Mill)  We're working on pulling teeth here, no time for scratch...

1/2 cup Butter (room temperature)

1 egg or substitute

2 Tbsp water

Cookie sheet
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease cookie sheet or line with wax paper.  Place 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter in a large mixing bowl.  Cream with an electric mixer until soft.  Add egg and water.  Blend for 30 seconds to thoroughly combine.  Add cookie mix.  Blend on low speed for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.  Dough will look a little dry, but will combine when pressed together.

Shape into1.5" diameter balls.  Place 2 inches apart on sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the edges start to brown.  Let cool and enjoy!

I didn't have any egg to put in the recipe (of course) so I used an elderly banana I had lying around.  Never done it before but research abounds that it will work.

Butter & Banana puree'

Cookie Dough Mixed

Time to go in the oven.

My kitchen is filled with a very strong banana aroma at this point in the baking.  The smells and the sheer height of the cookies at this point in the baking have me questioning my substitutions.  The pics do not do justice here.  They are almost perfect circles.  It reminds me when I used to do construction work at the neighboring baby food factory.........You could always tell the food of the day or hour before you walked in the door, carrots, peas, bananas, apples, etc....


My boys, although they love bananas and cookies, didn't appreciate my GF Chocolate Chip / Banana cookies.  I personally like them.  They do not taste like traditional Chocolate Chip cookies but they are still good.  I'll have to sub a little oil and water next time.  Note: I don't know if my oven was having a bad day or what but the baking time was about 5 - 7 minutes longer than directed.  Maybe the banana or it could have been the first time using this mix? 

I stand corrected on the teeth by the way.....Although one is very close to coming out and wiggles around more than a two year old in a barber chair, it is still attached.  The next door neighbor is not ready either.  Oh well the cookies are made so I can't let them go to waste now can I???

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays! GF Fish Tacos

The weather here in Oklahoma is a brisk 95 + degrees the past several days with a heat index of over 100....  I think it's official....I can put away the coats for a few months.  This weather makes me crave the lakes and rivers near my home, and with that, the delicious fish that swim in them.  There are endless ways to prepare it and I've never turned it down whether baked, fried, sauteed, poached, etc.....Let me correct myself.  I am not a sushi fan, not even a little bit.......Can't help it, it's gotta be cooked.

I usually have fish in some form or another a couple of times a week.  Last night we had a large group at the house and cooked a LOT of halibut for supper.  Throw in some vegetables, a salad, some corn tortillas and you have the perfect GF meal.  A lot of people had their fish baked but I had fish tacos, one of my favorites.  In the rush of cooking I neglected to take the before pics but you all have a vivid imagination so follow along.

The ingredients are as follows:

5 lbs fresh Halibut (bought at our local fish market)

3 large lemons

2 large cucumbers

Cherub tomatos

Salad greens of choice

Corn tortillas

Spanish rice

Fresh Asparagus

Bake halibut at 425 degrees for approx18 - 20 minutes.  Halibut can also be pan fried as you see here with a little olive oil or butter and a medium - high heat to sear the fish on contact.  Cook for appprox 10 -12 minutes, flipping fish halfway through. 

I got this one a little brown!

Warm corn tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds right before serving.

Toss salad with cherub tomatos

Peel and slice cucumbers, place on a plate along with sliced lemon

Cook asparagus in a medium saucepan with some melted whole butter for about 1 - 3 minutes depending on size, stirring often.  I personally prefer mine to be somewhat medium, tender but not soggy.

Add salsa of choice to your fish tacos along with spanish rice.

This fish fed 8 hungry people with leftovers........

In the rush of cooking, I didn't take a "before" pic of the fish as well as a "finished meal" pic as I often have in my posts.  I was busy at first, then after I took the pics you see here, my rechargeable battery on the camera gave up so you have to use a little imagination. 

In my home, fish is a staple food to be eaten as often as possible, with many variations on the prep.  The only substitution needed for a GF meal is the corn tortillas instead of flour.  I have some more GF 5 star recipes to post in the coming weeks with a fish theme as well so get ready.  How many ways do you prepare fish in your home?  Lets hear all about it............Enjoy!!

P.S.  Due to soooo many questions (thank you!) about Dr. Wise Formula II Intestinal Calm for Celiac Disease, I will be posting a FAQ along with a lot of helpful information about the product on Wednesday, July 7th....See you then!!

This post is part of the following blog carnivals...............Go check out these great sites!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Celiac Disease and Depression

Many people are familiar with the trials of Celiacs and their diet.  Celiac has been linked to other health conditions such as Diabetes, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Arthritis and more. 

How many of you have experienced symptoms of depression in relation to your Celiac Disease?  Were you diagnosed before or after you made the connection?  Did you experience a reversal of your depression symptoms when you changed your diet?  Below is an article taken from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness on the possible links between Celiac Disease and depression.  The article talks of a possible link between brain functions and malabsorbtion.  Tell us your stories........

Depression and Celiac Disease

What is Depression?

Depression is a treatable medical illness marked by changes in mood, thought and behavior. It is not a character flaw or a sign of personal weakness. It is more than just feeling "down in the dumps" or "blue" for a few days, as these feelings persist and interfere with everyday life. The difference between "normal" feelings of sadness and the feelings caused by clinical depression are mainly:

How intense the mood is

How long the mood lasts

How much it interferes with daily life

Depression can run in families and a person can have an episode of depression at any age. In addition, depression is estimated to affect more than 21% of women , making it twice as common in women as in men.

Celiac Disease and Depression

According to various studies, there is a possible linkage between brain functions and malabsorption.

One study conducted by Addolorato et al., reported that depression was present in a higher percentage of celiac patients. They found that one year of gluten-free diet failed significantly to affect depressive symptoms. The presence of depression after introduction of the gluten-free diet could be related to the reduction in quality of life in celiac patients. The non-regression of depression after introducing the diet could suggest that these patients need psychological support.

Another study found that celiac disease increased a patient's risk of subsequent depression. Moreover, patients with celiac disease were 1.8 times as likely to develop subsequent depression as those without the gastrointestinal disorder. Also, prior depression increased the risk of celiac disease at odds ratios of 2.3. The investigators suggested, in the Journal of Affective Disorders, that this increased risk might be due to increased screening for the condition among patients with mood disorder compared to healthy individuals.

Ludvigsson and colleagues suggested that the positive association between celiac disease and subsequent depression might be due to "malnutrition or active bowel inflammation in individuals with celiac disease." For example, folate deficiency is implicated in both celiac disease and depression. The team noted that red cell folate levels were significantly lower in people with depression than those with bipolar disorder, potentially explaining why celiac disease is associated with subsequent depression but not bipolar disorder. Tryptophan levels, which were reduced in patients with celiac disease and those with depression, might also explain the association between the conditions.

According to Mayo Clinic psychiatrist Daniel Hall-Flavin, M.D., doctors have long known of the relationship between low levels of vitamin B-12 and depression. Vitamin B-12 and other B vitamins, such as folate, play a role in the production of certain neurotransmitters, which are important in regulating mood and other brain functions. However, it is less clear whether vitamin B-12 deficiency may be the cause or the result of depression. Poor nutrition is one cause of vitamin B-12 deficiency. But poor nutrition may also be a consequence of depression. People who are depressed may lose interest in eating or make less healthy food choices, which may lead to vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Some studies attribute the relationship between celiac disease and depression to the psychological weight of having a chronic disease with a restrictive diet, sudden lifestyle changes or dietary compliance. Moreover, poor absorption of vitamins and minerals can make the celiac disease patient feel sick and depression can be a side effect of not having an adequate balance of nutrients. All these factors can affect mood and emotions. For some patients following a strict gluten-free diet is sufficient, while for others, counseling, psychological support and pharmacological treatment is helpful.

Causes of Depression

A combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors can cause depression. The cells of the brain, also known as neurons, communicate with each other using special chemical compounds called “neurotransmitters.” When someone is depressed, there is a chemical imbalance in the neurotransmitters. Since the brain controls the whole body, people with depression may also have aches and pains that cannot be linked to any other condition. The direct causes of the illness are unclear, however it is known that body chemistry can bring on a depressive disorder, due to experiencing a traumatic event, hormonal changes, altered health habits, the presence of another illness or substance abuse.

Types of Depression

Major depressive disorder: People who have a major depressive disorder have had at least one major depressive episode (five or more symptoms for at least a two-week period). For some people, this disorder is recurrent, which means they may experience episodes once a month, once a year or several times throughout their lives.

Dysthymia: A low-level state of depressed mood that last for more than two years in adults (or one year in children) and a person has not been symptom-free for more than two months at a time. The depressed state of dysthymia is not as severe as with major depression, but can be just as disabling.

Postpartum depression is a type of depression that affects 10-15% of all new mothers.

A particular form of depression called seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is caused by seasonal shifts in daylight hours.

What are the symptoms of depression?

Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying

Significant changes in appetite and sleep patterns

Irritability, anger, worry, agitation, anxiety


Loss of energy, persistent lethargy

Feelings of guilt, worthlessness

Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness

Inability to take pleasure in former interests, social withdrawal

Unexplained aches and pains

Thoughts of death or suicide


When talking to your doctor about depression, keep in mind that it's important for him or her to address any underlying physical conditions — such as vitamin B-12 deficiency, thyroid disease or certain types of anemia — that may be contributing to depression. Treatment of these underlying conditions may improve depression. However, if depression persists after successful treatment of the underlying condition, your doctor may recommend treatment that specifically targets your depression, such as antidepressants or psychotherapy.


Addolorato G, et al. Anxiety and depression in adult untreated celiac subjects and in patients affected by inflammatory bowel disease: a personality "trait" or a reactive illness? Hepatogastroenterology. 1996 Nov-Dec; 43(12):1513-7

Addolorato G. et al. Anxiety but not depression decreases in coeliac patients after one-year gluten-free diet: a longitudinal study. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. 36(5):502-6, 2001 May.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.

Fera T. et al. Affective disorders and quality of life in adult coeliac disease patients on a gluten-free diet. European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2003 Dec; 15(12):1287-92.

MedLine Plus

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays! GF Venison Steak

What a fun packed and HOT weekend it was this last Father's Day.  I hope all the dads had a great one! I know I did.  I am currently camping with my boys on the river in my old hometown and let me tell you it is hotter than I can ever remember for the first official days of summer.  It could have quite a bit to do with the fact that I'm camping in the 3rd week of June and perhaps the fact that I am accustomed to quite a bit more AC than I am getting out here in God's country.  Or it could be the refreshing daytime highs of 98 degrees with humidity of about 99%!!  This relaxing sure is a lot of work...............But I wouldn't miss it....

This week for Tasty Tuesdays! I wanted to make an easy recipe that I grew up on as a kid and eat every chance I get as an adult.  It is one of the leanest and healthiest meats out there and to my knowledge it is rarely mentioned (if ever) in the blogging world and certainly under-appreciated.  I am talking about venison.  When prepared correctly, it is incredibly delicious, unlike any meat you have ever eaten. I get hungry just thinking about it.... 

Enough talking for the moment, lets get to the recipe!  The ingredients are as follows:

2 lbs venison steaks

GF All purpose flour

Olive oil

Mixed vegetables

Whole Advocado

GF Bread of Choice (Try our GF Sourdough Biscuits)

Medium to large skillet

I prepare my own venison steaks from start to finish, so I like to take a little extra time to do it my own way.   When the meat is thawed in preparation for cooking, I will place it in a large bowl of salt water overnight before the meal.  This removes any strong tastes or flavors that can be present in wild game.  I know many people that didn't like a particular meat because it had a "wild" taste.  This eliminates that issue.  

With a cutting board and very sharp knife, carefully trim any small bits of fat or gristle from the meat.  Your steaks will generally be around 4 - 6 oz pieces and many that will be very small but still very much useable.  Even the tiny pieces are delicious and often the most tender.

After your steaks are trimmed, tenderize the meat with a large profile meat tenderizer as pictured.  Tenderize on both sides before moving on to the next step.  Venison is extremely lean and because of this, it must be tenderized before cooking.  This will break the fibers of the steaks and make a wonderful meat that much better.

After this is done, take the steaks and coat them completely in the GF flour.  This will make a crispy exterior and you can also use your favorite seasoning for an added kick. 

Place the steaks in the skillet using liberal amount of olive oil making sure that your skillet is over medium-high heat and the oil is hot.  There should be a nice sizzle when you put them in........

Turn them one or more times as needed to achieve the crispy texture as seen here.  Make sure that your fire is hot enough to keep them crispy (and not soggy) but not so hot as to pop and burn the oil or cook the venison unevenly.

Place on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

Add your fresh advocado, mixed vegetables, and bread of choice.  You can even end this with a GF blueberry cake for dessert.

Again this is one of our favorite meals and it is difficult to imagine my life without it.  I know many people that conjure up visions of Bambi and the like when they hear me talk of venison and they ask "How could you eat such an innocent and beautiful animal!?!?" I often ask them how could they eat pork, beef, or chicken and there is a moment of silence as they search for a reasonable answer. 

To me it is no different than any other meat, fruit or vegetable for that matter, it is to be eaten and enjoyed.  If you haven't tried venison, I urge you to at the earliest opportunity.  You will be most definitely pleased.  You can check out my other GF recipes in the archives to the right.  I will also be posting more Dutch Oven recipes as time allows. 


This post is part of the following blog carnivals.............Go check out these great sites!!!

Mouthwatering Mondays
Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday 
Gluten Free Wednesday 
Real Food Wednesday
Pennywise Platter Thursday
Fight Back Friday

The following two blog carnivals are unique.  Thumbnail pictures instead of just links.  Check them out too!
Tuesday Twister  

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday's News You Can Use

Today's post was one that I borrowed from The Care2 Green Living Blog. These are great tips. Some are oldies, but goodies and some I had never seen before. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

40 fantastic uses for baking soda
By Melissa Breyer
Posted Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:01am PDT
From Care2 Green Living blog .

Most of us know that baking soda can be used for more than just making homemade cookies and other dough rise. It's not uncommon to see an open box of this leavening agent deodorizing refrigerators, for example. But did you know that there are at least 40 different ways to use baking soda?

Baking soda makes a perfect stand-in for many personal care, cleaning, and deodorizing products. The list of benefits is long: It is inexpensive, free of toxic chemicals, versatile, and effective.                                                           
Wondering how baking soda, aka sodium bicarbonate, works its magic? It helps regulate pH — keeping a substance neither too acidic nor too alkaline. When baking soda comes in contact with either an acidic or an alkaline substance, its natural effect is to neutralize that pH. Beyond that, baking soda has the ability to retard further changes in the pH balance, known as buffering.

This dual capability of neutralizing and buffering allows baking soda to do things such as neutralize acidic odors (like in the refrigerator) as well as maintain neutral pH (like in your laundry water, which helps boost your detergent's power). It's a simple reaction, but one that has far-reaching effects for a number of cleaning and deodorizing tasks.

And so without further ado, here are some of the many creative ways you can use baking soda.

Personal Care

1. Make toothpaste

A paste made from baking soda and a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution can be used as an alternative to commercial non-fluoride toothpastes. (Or here’s a formula for a minty version.) You can also just dip your toothbrush with toothpaste into baking soda for an extra boost.

2. Freshen your mouth

Put one teaspoon in half a glass of water, swish, spit, and rinse. Odors are neutralized, not just covered up.

3. Soak oral appliance

Soak oral appliances (like retainers, mouthpieces, and dentures) in a solution of 2 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in a glass or small bowl of warm water. The baking soda loosens food particles and neutralizes odors to keep appliances fresh. You can also brush appliances clean using baking soda.

4. Use as a facial scrub and body exfoliant

Give yourself an invigorating facial and body scrub. Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub in a gentle circular motion to exfoliate the skin. Rinse clean. This is gentle enough for daily use.

5. Skip harsh deodorant

Pat baking soda onto your underarms to neutralize body odor.

6. Use as an antacid

Baking soda is a safe and effective antacid to relieve heartburn, sour stomach, and/or acid indigestion. Refer to baking soda package for instructions.

7. Treat insect bites and itchy skin

For insect bites, make a paste out of baking soda and water, and apply as a salve onto affected skin. To ease the itch, shake some baking soda into your hand and rub it into damp skin after bath or shower.

8. Make a hand cleanser and softener

Skip harsh soaps and gently scrub away ground-in dirt and neutralize odors on hands with a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water or 3 parts baking soda with gentle liquid hand soap. Then rinse clean.

9. Help your hair

Vinegar is amazing for your hair, but baking soda has its place in the shower too. Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda into your palm along with your favorite shampoo. Shampoo as usual and rinse thoroughly — baking soda helps remove the residue that styling products leave behind so your hair is cleaner and more manageable.

10. Clean brushes and combs

For lustrous hair with more shine, keep brushes and combs clean. Remove natural oil build-up and hair product residue by soaking combs and brushes in a solution of 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a small basin of warm water. Rinse and allow to dry.

11. Make a bath soak

Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your bath to neutralize acids on the skin and help wash away oil and perspiration. It also makes your skin feel very soft. Or just focus on soothing your feet. Dissolve 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a tub of warm water and soak feet. Gently scrub.


12. Make a surface soft scrub

For safe, effective cleaning of bathroom tubs, tile, and sinks — even fiberglass and glossy tiles — sprinkle baking soda lightly on a clean damp sponge and scrub as usual. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry. For extra cleaning power, make a paste with baking soda, coarse salt, and liquid dish soap — let it sit then scour off.

13. Hand-wash dishes and pots and pans

Add 2 heaping tablespoons baking soda (along with your regular dish detergent) to the dish water to help cut grease and foods left on dishes, pots, and pans. For cooked-on foods, let them soak in the baking soda and detergent with water first, then use dry baking soda on a clean damp sponge or cloth as a scratch-less scouring powder.

14. Freshen sponges

Soak stale-smelling sponges in a strong baking soda solution to get rid of the mess (4 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of warm water). For more thorough disinfecting, use the microwave.

15. Clean the microwave

Baking soda on a clean damp sponge cleans gently inside and outside the microwave and never leaves a harsh chemical smell. Rinse well with water.

16. Polish silver flatware

Use a baking soda paste made with 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub onto the silver with a clean cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly and dry for shining sterling and silver-plate serving pieces.

17. Clean coffee and tea pots

Remove coffee and tea stains and eliminate bitter off-tastes by washing mugs and coffee makers in a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. For stubborn stains, try soaking overnight in the baking soda solution and detergent or scrubbing with baking soda on a clean damp sponge.

18. Clean the oven

Sprinkle baking soda onto the bottom of the oven. Spray with water to dampen the baking soda. Let sit overnight. In the morning, scrub, scoop the baking soda and grime out with a sponge, or vacuum, and rinse.

19. Clean floors

Remove dirt and grime (without unwanted scratch marks) from no-wax and tile floors using 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water — mop and rinse clean for a sparkling floor. For scuff marks, use baking soda on a clean damp sponge, then rinse.

20. Clean furniture

Clean and remove marks (even crayon) from walls and painted furniture by applying baking soda to a damp sponge and rubbing lightly. Wipe off with a clean, dry cloth.

21. Clean shower curtains

Clean and deodorize your vinyl shower curtain by sprinkling baking soda directly on a clean damp sponge or brush. Scrub the shower curtain and rinse clean. Hang it up to dry.

22. Boost your liquid laundry detergent

Give your laundry a boost by adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to your laundry to make liquid detergent work harder. A better balance of pH in the wash gets clothes cleaner, fresher, and brighter. Or you can add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle for fresher sheets and towels or to neutralize gym clothes and odoriferous clothing.

23. Clean and freshen sports gear

Use a baking soda solution (4 tablespoons baking soda in 1 quart warm water) to clean and deodorize smelly sports equipment. Sprinkle baking soda into golf bags and gym bags to deodorize and clean golf irons (without scratching them!) with a baking soda paste (3 parts baking soda to 1 part water) and a brush. Rinse thoroughly.

24. Remove oil and grease stains

Use baking soda to clean up light-duty oil and grease spills on your garage floor or in your driveway. Sprinkle baking soda on the spot and scrub with a wet brush.

25. Clean batteries

Baking soda can be used to neutralize battery acid corrosion on cars, mowers, etc., because its a mild alkali. Be sure to disconnect the battery terminals before cleaning. Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and apply with a damp cloth to scrub corrosion from the battery terminal. After cleaning and reconnecting the terminals, wipe them with petroleum jelly to prevent future corrosion. Please be careful when working around a battery — they contain a strong acid.

26. Clean cars

Use baking soda to clean your car lights, chrome, windows, tires, vinyl seats, and floor mats without worrying about unwanted scratch marks. Use a baking soda solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. Apply with a sponge or soft cloth to remove road grime, tree sap, bugs, and tar. For stubborn stains use baking soda sprinkled on a damp sponge or soft brush. Eliminate odors by sprinkling baking soda directly on fabric car seats and carpets. Wait 15 minutes (or longer for strong odors) and vacuum up the baking soda.


27. Deodorize your refrigerator

Place an open box in the back of the fridge to neutralize odors.

28. Deodorize trashcans and recyclables

Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your trashcan to keep stinky trash smells at bay. Clean your recyclables container periodically by sprinkling baking soda on a damp sponge. Wipe clean and rinse. Also, sprinkle baking soda on top as you add recyclables to the bin.

29. Deodorize drains and garbage disposals

To deodorize your sink and tub drains and garbage disposal and keep lingering odors from resurfacing, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain while running warm tap water — it will neutralize both acid and basic odors for a fresh drain. (This a good way to dispose of baking soda that is being retired from your refrigerator.)

30. Deodorize and clean dishwashers

Use baking soda to deodorize before you run the dishwasher and then as a gentle cleanser in the wash cycle.

31. Deodorize lunch boxes

Between uses, place a spill-proof box of baking soda in everyone’s lunch box to absorb lingering odors.

32. Remove odor from carpets

Liberally sprinkle baking soda on the carpet. Let set overnight or as long as possible (the longer it sets the better it works). Sweep up the larger amounts of baking soda, and vacuum up the rest. (Note that your vacuum cleaner bag will get full and heavy.) An added bonus: You'll also deodorize your vacuum cleaner.

33. Freshen closets

Place a box on the shelf to keep the closet smelling fresh.

34. Deodorize pet items

Cover the bottom of your cat box with baking soda, then fill as usual with litter. To freshen between changes, sprinkle baking soda on top of the litter after a thorough cleaning. Eliminate odors from your pet's bedding by sprinkling liberally with baking soda, wait 15 minutes (or longer for stronger odors), then vacuum up.

35. Deodorize sneakers

Keep odors from spreading in smelly sneakers by shaking baking soda into them when not in use. Shake out before wearing.

36. Freshen stuffed animals

Keep favorite cuddly toys fresh with a dry shower of baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda on and let it sit for 15 minutes before brushing off.


37. Cure all camping needs

Baking soda is a must-have for your next camping trip. It's a dish-washer, pot-scrubber, hand-cleanser, deodorant, toothpaste, and fire extinguisher, and has many other uses.

38. Extinguish fires

Baking soda can help in the initial handling of minor grease or electrical kitchen fires, because when baking soda is heated, it gives off carbon dioxide, which helps to smother the flames. For small cooking fires (frying pans, broilers, ovens, grills), turn off the gas or electricity if you can safely do so. Stand back and throw handfuls of baking soda at the base of the flame to help put out the fire — and call the fire department just to be safe.

39. Care for the septic system

Regular use of baking soda in your drains can help keep your septic system flowing freely. One cup of baking soda per week will help maintain a favorable pH in your septic tank.

40. Scrub fruits and vegetables

Baking soda is the food safe way to clean dirt and residue off fresh fruit and vegetables. Just sprinkle a little on a clean damp sponge, scrub and rinse. Here’s another way to clean your vegetables as well.

OK, so there are my 40 suggestions (with a little help from the Arm & Hammer baking soda site, thank you). Do you have any tips or tricks that I missed? Please share in the comments.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday GF Dutch Oven Cornbread

Just a couple of days ago on Tasty Tuesdays! GF Dutch Oven Chili, I made a favorite homestyle meal that most everyone loves.  Honestly I didn't think such a simple dish would get that much attention......That's what I get for thinking!  Thank you to all who visited the page and commented.  It is one of our favorite dishes and maybe a new twist on the preparation for many of you.

I personally can't have chili without cornbread (is there such a thing??) so I cooked the cornbread alongside the chili but made you wait to see the end results.   Dutch Oven cornbread is for lack of a better word, indescribable....  It has all the same ingredients but somehow, some way, it tastes completely different.  Since I've made you wait long enough already, I won't spend any more time telling you how it tastes and we'll just get to the good part.  The ingredients are as follows:

1 small bag charcoal (You will need about 20-22 pieces)
1- Dutch Oven 10"
1-GF Cornbread Mix (I will make something from scratch soon...:)
2 - Large eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1.5 cups milk

Place mix in large mixing bowl.

Add vegetable oil and eggs

Add milk and mix with an electric mixer for 2 minutes on low speed scraping sides of the bowl as needed. 

Mix on high speed for 30 seconds.

Mixture will be uniform but slightly stiff.

Grease bottom and sides of your Dutch Oven with nonstick spray or oil.

Put batter in oven and place approx 8 coals on the bottom and 12 coals on top.

Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

Starting to rise.......

Almost ready.......

Adding some heat here to brown the top.....

Oh yes!!

This cornbread was very hearty and good.  As you can see from the pictures it didn't last long.  I barely had to time to snap a few pics before it was all gone.  I am going camping this weekend for 3-4 days and will take a lot of pictures of the campfire cooking and good times in / around the water.  Tasty Tuesdays! will still be posted and my dedicated staff (staff...haha!) will be moderating comments so give us a lot of them.....Enjoy!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What a Rainy Wednesday

I had all these grand plans for a big post today, full of never seen before information, astounding recipes and a comment board full of "That's the coolest thing I've ever seen!"  from the readers.  Well today's awesomeness must be postponed for a day in the near future, but never fear, I'll get it finished.

 I woke up early this morning after going to sleep around 1:30 a.m. (working on other blog stuff) and got several things done.  I replied to several emails, sent off some important documents to a customer and went in the back yard to the shop to get something or do something.  I remembered why at the time but at this point in the day, the details escape me. 

I opened the door and went inside the shop to find a HUGE quantity of water on the floor. It's a large concrete floor and I'm not exagerating to say my feet were instantly wet.   I'm looking around for a broken water pipe or perhaps a fire truck backed up to an open door or window spraying water for all their worth and I can't find either one.  It turns out I have a roof leak......

I find a wet vac and remove the paper filter inside so I can start to clean up the mess.  I get started and before I am finished, I've easily removed 50 - 75 gallons in about an hour or hour and a half.  I put fans all over the place to dry the remaining water.  There is still a good bit left but I figure between the fans and a large dehumidifier I bought last summer, the water doesn't stand a chance.  I have a lot of things in my shop that I don't want to get wet and I sure don't want to have a mold problem.

I get that all done, jump in the shower to get cleaned up and I think about the many other things I have to do today.  I hadn't been out of the shower for 30 minutes and I got to see an award winning recreation of a monsoon outside my window.......Sigh!........Back to the shop I go........It's just been one of those days........

However, I do see some ripe tomatoes that need to be picked and a couple of small peach trees in the back yard that are LOADED down with small, delicious peaches.  One of them had to have the branches propped up so it wouldn't touch the ground and now the other tree is in the same predicament.  I need to call my grandmother to get a recipe for peach jelly.  If anyone out there has a good one please let me know.  Many of the peaches won't be able to be saved for bruising, etc. but as far as I know they will make good jelly....Is this right??

When I was young my dad and I would ride horses all over the country for business and pleasure and pick blackberries, huckleberries, wild peaches and plums or any other fruit we could find by the bucketfull and take them to my grandmothers house.  In a couple of days, she would call and bring over an assortment of home made jellies and jams according to whatever fruit we had brought her.  I may be wrong but it seems to me that the art of canning and preserving veggies and making homemade jellies, etc. is becoming a lost art form.  I'm a guy and no I'm not mushy in the least but the sometimes I think the knowledge of the grandparents generation is being forgotten in the rush of busy lives and the convenience of corner grocery stores.

How many of you have gardens?  If so, what do you grow?  Do you put up your own vegetables and fruits?  Its a lot of work but there is nothing like fresh fruits and veggies from the garden....

Stay tuned tomorrow for GF Dutch Oven Cornbread and the next Tasty Tuesdays! will be a new recipe that I grew up eating but haven't seen anywhere on the foodie blogs.  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays! GF Dutch Oven Chili

I don't know whether it's the fact that I'm getting older or maybe I need to buy a slow watch but it seems the days and weeks just FLY by.  It's already time again for another Tasty Tuesday and this weeks post is GF Dutch Oven Chili.  You can see other Dutch Oven recipes under Gluten Free recipes in the archives and I will be posting more regularly.  It's only a few days away from our annual camping trip and this one falls on Fathers Day weekend.  What a great time to take my boys out on the river fishing, playing and swimming.  A lot of our family is coming as well so it will be a great time.

I love to eat chili in the summer.  A lot of people think of it as a winter time dish but to me it recalls endless cookouts, family gatherings and good times with friends.  Many would think that chili is a naturally gluten free dish and it can be if you are careful about your ingredients.  If you make your chili seasoning from scratch there are no worries.  If you buy it from the grocer, you must be very careful as many of the national brands have wheat or wheat flour as a main ingredient.  Be sure to check the label on the back to protect yourself.  If you have taken Dr. Wise Formula II Intestinal Calm for your Celiac Disease you may eat gluten without worry.

Alright lets get to the recipe.  The ingredients are as follows:

1 Dutch Oven 10-12"

1 - small bag of charcoal (You will need about 20-30 briquettes to cook your chili)

2 lbs ground beef (Many people cook with 1 lb but I made enough for a big group)

1 - packet of GF chili seasoning (I used Rays Original Chili seasoning here.)
1 - 15 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 - 8 oz. can tomato sauce

1 - 15oz. can of Great Northern beans (or other bean of choice)

1 - 15oz. can of Red Kidney beans (or other bean of choice)

1 - 12 oz. bottle or can of your favorite GF beer


Starting in your kitchen, brown and drain your hamburger meat and place in bottom of the Dutch Oven.     (10 - 15 minutes)

Start the charcoal when the meat is 3/4 done so that it will be ready when you have your ingredients together.

Add chili seasoning to the beef.

Add 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes.

Add two 15 oz. cans of beans. (undrained)

Add 8 oz. can of tomato sauce.

Pour over top of the ingredients the 12 oz. can or bottle of GF beer.  (For those that may be concerned any / all alcohol evaporate during the cooking.  Adding the beer gives it a very good flavor that you will enjoy.)

Cover your Dutch Oven and let simmer for 1.5 - 2 hours.

You will want to place all of your charcoal for the chili on the bottom of the pan so you can have maximum heat to simmer the chili.  Unlike cakes, pies, breads, etc. there is no need to brown anything on top.  You will want to keep the dish closed so that the heat can build, stirring often to get all those wonderful flavors mixed right in.  I usually make my chili seasoning from scratch but this one was very good if a little spicy for the kids. 

Make sure to check the ingredients closely if you buy the mix from a store.  I know I must sound crazy telling Celiacs / Gluten intolerants to check labels but it never hurts to be wary.... Be sure to stop by Thursday for GF Dutch Oven cornbread!


This post is part of the following blog carnivals........Go check out these great sites!!
Mouthwatering Mondays
Slightly Indulgent Tuesday
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Two For Tuesdays 
Real Food Wednesday
Gluten-Free Wednesdays
Pennywise Platter Thursday
Gluten Free Recipes on Foodista