Blueberry Pie

Did you know I hadn’t posted this recipe yet?  I had no idea!

Gluten Free Blueberry Pie - my grandma's blueberry filling recipe!

I took the photos ages ago…in fact I can tell from the background we still lived in Florida at the time.  I wanted to share the link on my Facebook page and was surprised to learn I never actually created the blog post with the recipe.  Hello ADHD!  haha.

This is my grandma’s blueberry pie filling recipe (tweaked a teensy bit to make it gluten free) that she made every year for Thanksgiving dinner.  She was an absolutely amazing cook and had a seriously fascinating life including being a cook in the Marine Corps. during WWII.

Gluten Free Blueberry Pie - my grandma's blueberry filling recipe!

Quick note regarding the pie & the photos:  If you’re not all eager beaver like I am and actually wait for the pie to cool I promise the filling actually holds together and doesn’t run all over the place…. 

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Pumpkin Banana Bread

I’m a lemming.  I’m joining in on the pumpkin craze.

Pumpkin Banana Bread with Pumpkin Pie Spice - Dairy Free too!

Squash is just so dang versatile as a food (and a decoration!).  Granted I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin pie and I’ve never had a pumpkin spice latte *gasp*!  <– The only reason though is that I’m worried it’ll be as awesome as everyone makes it out to be and then my $1.85/day tea habit will turn into a $3.85/day latte habit.

Have I told you about my dog?  This is relevant.

The Dog Who Loves Bananas

She’s a rescue.  She is afraid of light (for real), her weird fur broke 2 Dyson Animal vacuums, and she has unbounding love for bananas.

If you have a banana then you are the love of her life.  She practically drags my husband out of bed before 6 a.m. so that he’ll eat his breakfast banana (most of which goes to the dog).  Needless to say we don’t usually have extraneous bananas lying about.

Bizarrely, we had 3 bunches of bananas that all went from green to black at the same time (don’t you hate when they do that?!).  In that same week I bought a can of pumpkin on a whim hoping to come up with some higher purpose for it, which, obviously, I found!

Who needs candles when you can make this bread??!

Seriously, why spend $20 on a pumpkin pie scented candle when you can pop this bread into your oven?  Soooo much better AND you can eat it.  That’s a win-win in my book!

I love this bread because the first day you bake it the pumpkin and spice flavors really shine.  As the days go on it tastes more and more like banana bread.  Plus the bananas and the pumpkin make it super moist. We can rationalize it, go out on a limb, and throw that “healthy” word out there.  Pumpkin = vegetable and fiber, right?  Boom.  Healthy.  (minus the sugar…but we’re trying to rationalize over here so don’t rain on our parade). … 

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Dumplings! Crockpot or Stove Top! Gluten Free!

Gluten free dumplings:  crockpot or stove top!

This time last year I lived in Florida.  After a day at the beach it was hard coming home and brain-storming cold-weather recipes.  Now I live in central Indiana.  Problem solved!

23 degree windchill, 35 mph winds, rain, and snow.  That was my Halloween this year.  It was so miserable it was hilarious.  I couldn’t stop laughing.  And bonus:  the kids received loads of candy because no one else was insane enough to be out in that weather.  We had 3 trick or treaters the entire night and yes I gave that 3rd kid about half a bag of candy.

Needless to say I’ve got warm, comforting food on the brain!  I had one of our favorite stews simmering in the crockpot.  I haven’t had a dumpling in over 15 years and suddenly I needed them.

I’ve always been kind of scared to try GF dumplings.  I mean if it went wrong then I’d just have floury glop on top of my stew.  I’ve shied away every time and made biscuits instead.  But last night biscuits just wouldn’t do.  And I was feeling brazen.  Must have been the crazy weather.

They worked!  (Obviously I guess since I wouldn’t be posting about a gloppy failure!)… 

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Why The Gluten Free Cookie (and Bread!) Crumbles…

I received a question recently regarding my famous GF Apple Fritters and how to store them.  She wanted to make them a day ahead and take them to work the next day to share.  But we all know too well gluten free bread, donuts, cookies, and cake have the tendency to fall apart into a million crumby pieces in 24 hours or less.

Why Gluten Free food crumbles!

Why the heck do they do that??

The scientific answer:

It was Mr. Starch in the Flour with the Amylose!  (Who still loves to play Clue?  me!)

Seriously though.  It’s the starches fault.

There are 2 types of molecules in starch that are linked together, one that looks all branched out called amylopectin and another called amylose that likes to lay in nice straight lines alongside each other.

Something really cool happens when heat is added.  The molecules break apart and the liquid in your batter rushes into the empty spaces and gets all hung up in those straight amylose molecules.  Meanwhile the bulky amylopectin molecules add oomph to your baked good (which is part of the reason GF baked goods use so much starch).

Now we have a wonderful loaf of bread, batch of cupcakes, or plate full of donuts.  Cool.

Actually “cool” is the problem.

Remember how the straight amyloses broke apart, got all disorganized, and grabbed up the water?  They only did that because it was hot.  But they don’t like being all crazy.  Once the heat is gone they try to get organized again and go back the way they like to be:  in nice tight straight lines next to each other which squishes out the water that used to be between them.

Now it’s dry bread and crumbly cookies.  It’s the same reason your leftover Thanksgiving mashed potatoes are dry the next morning when you eat them for breakfast (I can’t be the only one  Btw, you can turn those mashed potatoes into waffles.).

I like chaos & fresh bread, how do I keep them from lining back up?

You can’t.  Bummer.  But there is one sure-fire way to slow the process down and another to speed it up…. 

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