7 Easy Steps to Gluten Free Organic Homemade Dried Basil

June 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Recipes Fast Easy


One way to make sure you have no gluten in your herbs (as gluten may make its way into your food from the factory processing or packaging center) is to make it yourself at home.

Homemade herbs are fresher, healthier, safer, smell better, and save you money because your plant keeps growing and delivering herbs to you.


1) Buy an Organic Basil plant for $4.
– Mine is from WholeFoods. I have also seen them at Trader Joe’s.

2) Trim the largest leaves only from underneath other budding leaves.

3) Wash the leaves with water.

4) Lay the leaves out on paper towels, with a paper towel gently resting on top.
– I did 3 layers for this example. No more than 5 layers, or it might get moldy.

5) Place the dish in the hottest no-wind area of your home.
– I happen to have a sun room that worked great. Near a heater, where it safely won’t catch fire is an option. Keep in mind that slamming doors and open windows will cause your leaves to blow away.

6) After a few days, when the leaves are fully dry and turn to powder at the touch, crush the leaves. You can do it with your bare hands directly into a bowl.
– I couldn’t resist buying this cute old fashioned herb crusher that is pictured.

7) Transfer the crushed basil into a seal tight jar.
– I use a recycled tapenade jar.

You may use this process for any leaf herb. Basil is from the mint family. Mint and sage are other easy fresh dried herbs to make at home.

You can also use these herbs fresh (not dried) immediately after trimming them from your plant. Fresh leaves are great in salads. Whereas the dried herbs are great for hot meals and cooking or sauces.

PLANT CARE: My Basil plant is very thirsty and drinks every other day. If your plant wilts and the soil is dry, water it immediately. My plant is extremely prolific, weekly delivering lots of new large leaves.

Making dried basil was a lot of fun for me.

If you do it, come back and let me know how it goes, and what challenges you may have encountered due to a different home environment.

Fast Easy & Fancy Salmon Squash Mushroom Dinner

May 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Recipes Fast Easy



  • Wild Caught Salmon (no artificial coloring)
  • Yellow Squash
  • Mushrooms
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil / Butter (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Use a glass baking dish of 9×9 inches or 9×12, depending on how much food you have.

Put a thin layer of olive oil across the bottom of the dish first.

Rinse your fish and place it in the center side by side.

Thoroughly wash your squash and mushrooms (preferably organic, so they are covered in dirt).

Cut your cleaned squash into bite-sized and then place around the fish.

If you have small weird mushrooms like mine, you don’t have to slice them, just cut off the bottom growth. For larger mushrooms, cut them into bite size. Place the mushrooms on the fish and some on the squash.

Squeeze 1 full fresh lemon all over everything.

Sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic over everything.

Add slices of butter to the fish and vegetables, if dairy is acceptable to you. Or, you can pour a little more olive oil over the top, not more than 2 tablespoons.

Cover the dish with tin foil. Then put in the oven.

If you have fresh thawed fish, bake for 30 minutes. If you have frozen fish, bake for 45 minutes.

Clean the kitchen. (That’s what I do anyway.)

Take out, serve, and enjoy!

~ ~ ~


Please watch this amazing documentary about Salmon Health, dangers of fish farming, Infectious Salmon Anemia, Salmon Alphavirus, Piscine Reovirus (weak heart, can’t swim up stream, can’t escape bigger fish), sea lice, blisters, lesions, dangers of uncooked fish, sushi… Bill to fine or jail anyone who exposes the disease to the public…


Gluten Free Carrot Cake Like You’ve Never Tasted!

November 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Recipes

My master chef of a mother-in-law loves to find and try new recipes. With my gluten-free needs and her flare for cooking, she has treated me to all kinds of delicacies I would not make for myself. Frankly, I am in the kitchen out of necessity to eat healthy tasty food at an affordable price; I’m not in there for fun, like she is.

Eating well is my pleasure.

She made this carrot cake for us that features pine nuts, almond flour, and mascarpone frosting. It is simply heavenly and I must share it with you. It tastes and feels both light and rich at the same time. I can’t think of anything to which to compare it. It is not fluffy like bread, but more soft and juicy.

If you like to experiment in the kitchen and eat amazing desserts, this Gluten Free Venetian Carrot Cake Carrot Cake Recipe is for you.




  • 1/2 Cup regular olive oil, not extra virgin, plus more for oiling pan
  • 3 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 Medium carrots, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 Cup golden sultanas
  • 1/4 Cup rum
  • 3/4 Cup superfine sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 Cups almond meal/flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 lemon, zest finely grated and juiced
  • 1 Cup mascarpone
  • 2 tsp confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tbsp rum
  • 1 springform or other round cake tin (9 inch)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the base of the springform pan with a nonstick silicone liner or baking parchment. Grease the sides with olive oil. Add the pine nuts to a small dry pan and toast them over low heat.
  • Grate the carrots in a food processor or with a coarse grater, and put them on a double layer of kitchen towels. Wrap the towels around the carrots to soak up the excess liquid.
  • Put the sultanas in a small saucepan with the rum, and bring to the boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Whisk the sugar and 1/2 cup of oil in a stand mixer or by hand, until creamily and airily mixed together.
  • Whisk in the vanilla and eggs in a large bowl. Fold in the ground almonds, nutmeg, grated carrots, golden sultanas (and any rum that clings to them) and finally the lemon zest and lemon juice.
  • Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. The batter will be very shallow in the tin.
  • Sprinkle with the pine nuts and bake until the top is risen and golden and a cake tester comes out sticky but otherwise more or less clean, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and let it sit on a rack for 10 minutes before removing the sides. Let cool until ready to serve. Transfer the cake to a serving platter.
  • Combine the mascarpone, confectioners’ sugar and rum in a small bowl. Slice the cake and serve with the mascarpone cream.

Make Ahead Note:

  • The cake can be baked up to 3 days ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in airtight container in a cool place. Will keep for a total of 5 to 6 days.

Freeze Note:

  • The cake can be frozen (still on base of the tin), carefully wrapped in double layer of plastic wrap and 1 layer of foil, for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight at room temperature.

Enjoy! Let me know how it goes.


Below is my cheater, using a box, carrot cupcakes…

Chocolate Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Cupcakes


And WILD GOAT BISTRO in Petaluma has a killer carrot cake!

Eating Gluten Free & Shopping in Historic Petaluma

How to Make a Homemade Ice Tea Float

August 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Recipes

Summer is coming to an end, but it is still hot in some places, and anyway, ice tea is always good.

I love a scoop of vanilla ice cream in my coffee and I also love root beer floats.

If you want something with way less sugar and caffeine, how about an Ice Tea Float? It is a fun treat to spice up your day.

Lacking milk and sugar to sweeten my tea, one day, I used a scoop of Breyer’s Vanilla Ice Cream and now I must highly recommend it to you!

Making ice tea is easy and it is a pleasant drink to have around the house. It has less caffeine than coffee and is less hard on the stomach.

To make a nice big batch of ice tea… choose your favorite tea. Mine currently is Earl Grey with Bergamot.

Boil a pot of water measured to the amount of the recycled glass jar you will be using.

After the water comes to a boil, shut off the fire or heat. Put in 5 tea bags without the strings or tags. Stir.

Without regard to the ice cream part, if you like sweetened ice tea, I put one spoon of sugar per tea bag, so in this case, 5 spoons of sugar. I use organic brown sugar and sometimes organic white sugar.

[If your ice tea is already cold and you want to sweeten per individual glass, Agave is a good liquid sweetener to use, or if you are diabetic, use a tiny bit of Stevia, which is natural (they say) and has no sugar content.]

Covered, let the hot water and tea bags steep for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until water is dark.

Pour tea into the glass jar. Let cool an hour on the counter. Then put into the refrigerator to chill. This may take several hours.

When glass jar is cold to the touch, you may drink it. Or you can add ice cubes if it is still warm and you really want to get at that tea.

I usually add a touch of milk, but it is also really tasty without it.

If you are going for the Ice Tea Float, add a vanilla ice cream scoop, which tastes great with black and green teas, but maybe not so good with fruit teas.



Insalata Caprese The Simple Italian Salad of Tomatoes and Cheese

July 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Recipes Fast Easy

On a really hot summer day, one of the easiest, fastest, lightest gluten free meals to prepare is the delicious Italian tomato and cheese salad: Insalata Caprese.

American restaurants like to make the Caprese Salad very big with a lot of small tomatoes (cherry or Roma), fresh basil, and small scoops or cubes of Mozzarella cheese.

When you order this salad in Italy or France, the only way I have ever seen it prepared (and I have ordered it countless times in many places) is with large tomatoes sliced with equally large slices of mozarrella, olive oil, salt, and sometimes basil. Other ingredients may be balsamic vinegar and pepper. That’s it. Very easy, light, and satisfying.

Rarely do I shop for specific ingredients: I almost always prepare meals based on what I have in my refrigerator and cabinets that needs to be eaten before it goes bad.

Pictured here is my version of the gluten free Insalata Caprese, which is similar in presentation to the Italian style Caprese salad.

Slice large and lay out evenly on a plate these ingredients: Organic tomatoes, Ireland Dubliner cheese (because that is what I happened to have in the fridge, which has a cheddar-parmesean taste), and avocado.

Squeeze fresh organic lemon, add a drizzle of olive oil, and some dashes salt and pepper. I also usually include dried basil from my herbs and spices, but of course fresh basil is better if you have it!


Mozzarella tastes best with this salad, but other white cheeses make a nice substitute. I usually don’t have mozzarella on hand because it goes bad quicker than other cheeses, costs more, and has to be kept wet.

GMO (genetically modified) tomatoes tested to give rats ulcers, still they give them to humans. GMO tomatoes are made to endure beatings and look red longer. I strongly encourage you to seek and eat fresh organic tomatoes with their funny shapes and strange colors; they are much healthier and taste better. You can find organic tomatoes at local farmers markets and natural food stores. Me: I have a tomato plant that came with the house, which is very easy to maintain, you just water it; and I also receive Farm Fresh deliveries that sometimes include organic tomatoes.


Gluten Free Deviled Eggs Eyeballs

July 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Recipes Fast Easy


For a quick energy fix full of protein, get the party started with these Deviled Eggs Eyeballs. They are so easy to make.

What you need:

  • 6 to 12 eggs
  • Water
  • Cooking pot
  • Lemonaise
  • Blueberries (if you want pupils)

Bring a pot of water to boil. Use a spoon to gentle place each egg in the boiling water. Boil about 13 minutes.

Make sure you are at the lowest boiling temperature so that your eggs are not getting thrown by the forceful bubbles.

Pour out the boiling water. Run cold water over them in the sink. Let the eggs sit in cold water until you can handle them.

Peel the eggs and rinse of any shell pieces.

Slice the eggs down the long way.

Put all the yellow yolks into a bowl.

Put a fork of Lemonaise for every 3 yolks you have.

Mash up the yolks and Lemonaise until it is mostly smooth.

Place all your egg whites on a plate. Using a teaspoon, refill the yolk holes with your Lemonaise mash.

Pictured here, I added a blueberry to each Deviled Egg, which made them look like eyeballs, which I thought was funny. Could be good for theme parties, Halloween, or Horror Movie production snacks.

Takes about 20 minutes to make these, only of which 10 require your work. Enjoy!

The Fastest Easiest Gluten Free Pancake Recipe

April 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Breakfast

Here is the best simplest international recipe for the fastest easiest gluten free pancakes.

What you need:
— eggs
— yogurt
— flour


Preheat your nonstick frying pan or grill low to medium heat.

For each person eating, use 1 egg, 1 heaping table spoonful of gluten free all purpose flour (or any gluten free flour you like best or mixture thereof: tapioca, sorghum, rice, corn, corn starch, etc), and  1 heaping table spoonful of plain white yogurt (Fage is best). All three ingredient parts should be of equal size to each other. Stir it up until smooth.

Tip: For this smooth mix, small pancakes work best, so they don’t break when flipping.

That’s it!

You may add fruit, syrup, butter, or other accouterments at your own discretion.

Health Tip: Flour acts like sugar in the body; flour and sugars should ALWAYS be eaten at a minimum for best health and to minimize cancer probability. These pancakes have no sugar added and still taste great. Pictured here, I slightly buttered them and added strawberries to flavor. As much as I love syrup and sugar, I rarely use them anymore; when I do, I use organic natural maple syrup which is sooooo good.

International: What’s great about this easy recipe is that you can make these pancakes anywhere in the world using the local brands of flour and yogurt. Select a flour that is not made from wheat, barley, or rye, and you will have a good chance of evading stomach aches. Make sure to read the language translations for different flours and grains before you travel, so you understand what you are reading and buying. Some flours taste much better in pancakes than others, so that will be trial and error for you. Usually a mix of a few different gluten free flours is best. But for desperate times, one flour will suffice.

The flour used for the pancakes pictured here is Gluten Free Pantry’s All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour.

To see my super delicious deluxe version of pancakes, go to: Gluten-Free Blueberry Chocolate-Chip Banana Pancakes or for boxed pancakes from major grocers, try Bisquick.

Gluten Free Tuna Salad for Junk Food Lovers

March 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Recipes Fast Easy


Greens are so essential to good health and yet most of us Americans rarely eat salad; it’s almost a curse to offer someone salad, even in California, land of the healthy hippies. A good percentage of people I know will refuse salad when I offer it to them, including my dear sweet mother!

Growing up on sweets, processed foods, and carbs, I was a mess by the time I reached my 20s.

If it were not for the fact that I get these Organic Farm Fresh boxes delivered to my house, I probably would eat very little green salad, even though I know it is good for me and I feel immediately better in body and spirits.

Rarely do I buy greens because they go bad so quickly. With my home delivery of fresh farm foods, to respect the money I have spent, and to respect my body, I try to force myself to eat the greens each day until they are gone. I also soak the stems in water bowls so they will last longer.

The salad pictured here is a creation based on my forced (by choice) greens supply.


— The SALAD is butter lettuce (my favorite), green lettuce (of some sort), radicchio (has bitter kick), and sliced red onions. Wash everything and make sure there is no dirt (which causes diarrhea) or wilted slimy rotten parts. Cut it up bite size.

SALAD DRESSING is an easy delicious creation I made:

    • Squirt of Mustard
    • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
    • 1 Tablespoon of fresh squeezed Lemon *
    • 1 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar *
*You can use just one of the Lemon or the Vinegar, tastes great with just one or both.
You can also add a few dashes of salt, pepper, or garlic if you like; tastes good with or without.
Put your chosen salad dressing ingredients into a small recycled glass jar and shake it up until fully blended. Use a spoon to distribute evenly on the salad.

TUNA SALAD SCOOP is made with one drained can of tuna and an enormous heaping forkful of Lemonaise, mixed together until creamy smooth.

Even for people who love eating junk food, I promise you, this salad will please you. It’s really good and may inspire further salad eating.


Chocolate Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Cupcakes

February 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Recipes

I had a terrible craving and set out to make it gluten free, easy, and as healthy as possible. The title alone gives you an idea how naughty this one is: Chocolate Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Frosting Cupcakes.

Last time I had a similar craving, the only options I found for gluten free cream cheese frostings at the grocery store had a frightening amount of preservatives. These prepared frostings were gluten free, so I went ahead and bought one, but all the weird stuff hurt my conscience.

This time, I was determined to make a healthier gluten free frosting myself. Intimidated at first, it was actually very easy. Starting from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, here is my variation on their frosting recipe:


  • 8 oz. of organic cream cheese
  • 5 tablespoons of organic salted butter
  • 1/2 squeezed orange or lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1.25 cups of fine organic sugar

On LOW HEAT, mix all the ingredients together in a metal pot or pan (do not use non-stick), stirring until smooth.

When mixed, pour into a wide glass jar (I used a recycled Salsa jar). Put in the refrigerator for 2 hours to harden.


I used Glutino’s Gluten Free Pantry Chocolate Truffle Brownie Mix, which I purchased at WholeFoods. You are welcome to use any brownie or chocolate cake mix you want, just add 2 grated carrots and follow the directions on your box.

For those of you using the Gluten Free Pantry Brownie Mix Recipe, include these  enriching alterations:

Add 1/4 cup MILK to the mix, 2 grated CARROTS, and use 3 EGGS (not 2 or 4).

Instead of a baking dish or pan, use a 12 cupcake baking tray. Spray the tray with a non-stick, I use organic Olive Oil Spray. Pour in the chocolate carrot mix evenly. Follow cooking time on box. Test if ready with toothpick or knife.

To remove the carrot brownie cupcakes, wait to cool, then use one of those angled pliable spatulas, swooping around the edges. These type of spatula also work best to get the heated frosting out of the pan and into the jar.

You can eat this while it is hot, but it may fall apart and the frosting will be all gooey, though it will taste great. For better appearance, a cooled cupcake and hardened frosting will look nice.

Notes on Gluten Free Cupcake Safe Storage: I like cupcakes over cakes because they are neater, smaller, and the perfect serving size. In the fridge, I keep the cupcakes in a food container with seal-tight lid, layered with wax paper in between. I only put the frosting on when ready to eat. The frosting keeps nicely refrigerated in a jar. Safe for 1 week. By 2 weeks, flavor is not as good. By week 3, you need to throw away anything not eaten.

How To Make A Baked Chicken Feast Easy Affordable

February 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Gluten Free Recipes

For a classic family meal that is easy to prepare of chicken, potatoes, and carrots, here is what you need and the directions for how to make baked chicken.

At Costco you can get big multiple packs of chicken breasts for cheap. Each adult eats 2-3 pieces, children 1. In the Costco packs are 3-4 breasts per pack, in a total of 6 packs. Whatever you don’t use, put in the freezer while still in its sealed pack. To defrost, set in a bowl of water at morning time.

You can either buy normal long carrots, wash, and cut them, or buy packaged small carrots, wash and they are ready to use.

You can use any size or type of potato. Wash and cut to bite size.

You may add any other vegetables you like. Pictured here, I have added cauliflower.


Preheat oven to BAKE 375.

In a long deep baking dish, put a thin layer of olive oil. Place in your chicken, then your vegetables. Squeeze or pour fresh lemon, lime, and/or orange juice all over everything. Dash salt and pepper evenly over everything. Put small squares of butter evenly on each piece of chicken and pack of vegetables. Cover entire dish with tin foil. Put in oven, mid level or top.

Cook 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove tin foil. Move the chicken to top and put vegetables underneath to soak up juices and flavor or into a serving bowl. BROIL 375 top of chicken to make crispy for 10 minutes or golden brown.

Remove from oven and serve. It is easy to make, gluten-free, and healthy for the whole family.

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