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Monday, January 10, 2022

Poetry for a Change of Pace

I’m not always under the cat or in the kitchen. Sometimes I write poetry or short stories instead of recipes. And sometimes it even gets published. Here’s a link to one of the poems from my book The Fickle Muse, Facebook Expectations, freshly published this morning on Your Daily Poem:

Saturday, January 8, 2022

West Island Anglo Tortiere

This is most definitely NOT traditional, but it’s about to become so in this household. It’s easy and convenient, tasty, and can be made gluten free if desired.


1 medium onion, diced
1 pound lean ground beef
1 tablespoon beef bouillon powder
pinch cloves
3 hash brown patties, thawed and crumbled
black pepper to taste

Fry onion until soft in large frying pan. Put onion aside. In the same frying pan, cook the hamburger until no longer pink. Drain. Stir in bouillon powder and cloves. Add in onions and hash browns and pepper, if desired. Press into a 9- or 10-inch deep-dish pie plate. If you’re not making this for immediate consumption, at this point you can put it, pie plate and all, into a large Ziploc™ bag and freeze it. Just remember to let it thaw before continuing.


2 ¼ cups Bisquick™*
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large measuring cup or a bowl with a pour spout, whisk together Bisquick and milk. Spoon over top of beef filling. Bake for 20-25 minutes until top is golden and a cake tester inserted into it comes out clean.

*for gluten free version, use the gluten free biscuit mix I talked about two posts ago.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Cider Bread

I’d like to give credit where credit is due, but I can’t find out who originated the recipe for beer bread that this is based on. There’s a Bisquick version and a self-rising flour version which are virtually identical, and even a version with regular flour and baking powder.

I was trying to make a gluten free bread so used the homemade gluten free biscuit mix I talked about in my last post. But while the loaf smelled great baking, and didn’t taste bad either, it crumbled when I tried to cut it. So I made a few changes and came up with a loaf that could at least be cut and toasted. It only makes a small loaf, so you can’t make sandwiches out of it, as it doesn’t rise as much as regular yeast bread.

27 ounces (3 cups plus 6 tablespoons) of your flour mix of choice (Bisquick, gluten free biscuit mix, Brodie’s…)
1 egg
12 ounces (1 ½ cups) cider

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease the bottom of a small loaf pan.

Whisk the ingredients together and spoon into the pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until it’s light brown. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Found and Tested: Homemade Gluten Free Biscuit Mix, Gluten Free Molasses Cookies, Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Biscuit Mix

When I was drawing up my menus for the Christmas holidays, I was pleased to discover that gluten free Bisquick™ existed, since I figured I could just plug it into my favorite recipes and voila! Biscuit topping, quick bread, pancakes. Then I discovered my grocery store didn’t carry it. Back to the internet. I apparently could order it from Amazon but found out from the reviews that it could NOT, as I’d assumed, be substituted cup by cup for regular Bisquick™ as it doesn’t contain shortening. However, I found this recipe which claimed that it could substitute cup for cup.

I figured it was worth a try. It was easy to make up and performed well in all four of the recipes I used it in. In fact, it worked so well I’m going to try to make a regular version of it as well, substituting wheat flour for the rice and tapioca and leaving out the xanthan gum.

Christmas Cookies

The Betty Crocker™ website is a great source of recipes, both regular and gluten free. I made both their gluten free molasses cookies and their gluten free sugar cookies. The molasses cookies did have that starchy texture I associate with gluten free flour but came out nice and crisp and had excellent spicy flavour. Plus they were much easier to make than my regular ginger snap recipe so I may try them again. I did substitute margarine for the called-for shortening, which worked just fine.

The sugar cookies were a bit bland, but sugar cookies generally are. I think I might try almond extract rather than vanilla next time. The glaze did perk them up. I had a bit of trouble with cracking the first time I rolled out the dough. However, they rerolled very well. Do let them cool on the cookie sheet before trying to remove them because they are quite fragile while hot. Once cool, they’re fairly sturdy. Here again I substituted margarine for the called for butter, which probably accounted for the bland flavour and the trouble with the first rolling.