Category Archives: Cooking Tips

How to Keep Tortillas from Breaking

Learn how to keep your tortillas from breaking, and turn them into pliable, tasty tortillas.

Yes, unfortunately our tortillas turned out like the ones on the left in the photo above. As you can see, we ended up eating a chicken enchilada casserole for dinner that night. I’ve determined that warming tortillas in the oven and microwave don’t work very well for folding corn and gluten free tortillas.

However, as you can see in the photo on the right, I had far more success using the quick, easy steps included below.

Use these quick, easy options to make flexible, delicious tortillas:

Traditional – Heat a small skillet of oil or enchilada sauce over high-heat. Cook tortillas on both sides for 5-10 seconds. Transfer tortillas to paper towel and dab with paper towel to remove excess oil. Stuff with enchilada mixture, roll-up and place folded side down in pan.

Fast and Easy – Heat a small skillet of oil or enchilada sauce over high-heat. Cook one side of the tortillas for 5-10 seconds. Transfer tortillas to paper towel oil side down; stuff with enchilada mixture, roll-up and place folded side down in pan.

Low Fat – Use a pastry brush to lightly brush both sides of tortillas with extra virgin olive oil or enchilada sauce. Heat up an empty small skillet; cook both sides of tortillas for 5-10 seconds on high-heat. Transfer tortillas to paper towel; stuff with enchilada mixture, roll-up and  place folded side down in pan.

Fat Free – Heat an empty small skillet. Cook both sides of tortillas for 5-10 seconds on high-heat. Transfer tortillas to a plate, stuff with enchilada mixture, roll-up and place folded side down in pan.

I enjoy using these quick, easy options with my favorite Mexican recipes.

Although oil and enchilada sauce are not essential, I do believe they add a meaningful difference to the finished dish. Cooking tortillas in oil before baking also causes the tortillas to absorb less enchilada sauce, and prevents tortillas from getting soggy.

Please note the oil and enchilada sauce add flavor and calories to the tortillas.

Gluten Free Cooking Tips
Learn more helpful quick tips about cooking gluten free.

Gluten Free Chicken Enchilada Bake
This incredible meal includes chicken, corn tortillas and a deluxe cream cheese filling. Not only is it simply divine, it’s also fairly simple to make.

Common Gluten Free Substitutions

We sometimes forget to pick up all the items we need at the store. The last thing anyone wants to do is run back to the store for one more item.

Here are common gluten free substitutions to help get you by:

1 Tbs cornstarch = 2 Tbs gluten free flour
1 tsp baking powder = 1/4 tsp soda & 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup milk = 1/2 cup evaporated milk & 1/2 cup water
1 cup heavy sour cream = 1/3 cup butter & 2/3 cup milk
1 cup thin sour cream = 3 Tbs butter and 3/4 cup milk
honey = molasses = agave nectar = maple syrup = brown sugar
almond milk = soy milk = rice milk = cows milk
1 egg = 2 egg whites
1 egg = 3 Tbs water & 1 Tbs flaxseed meal
butter or oil = applesauce

Betty Crocker
Check out this great list of emergency substitutions for when you’re really in a pickle.

Converting Gluten Free Recipes
Gluten free cooking doesn’t have to involve extreme changes. Learn how to convert recipes to gluten free simply by substituting the right ingredients to your favorite recipes.

Freeze Homemade Gluten Free Pizza Crust

Save time and money by freezing homemade gluten free pizza crust.


Simplify making pizza crust by doubling
your recipe and storing the extra dough in the freezer.

Directions
1. Spread the dough out on wax paper in the shape of crust you desire and place in the freezer.
2. Wait 1-2 hours, or until dough is frozen, and wrap well in plastic wrap.
3. Freeze until you would like a quick and easy meal.

Be sure to thaw the pizza crust completely before baking. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Taco Pizza
This delicious taco and pizza combination is a Midwest favorite.

Gluten Free Taco Seasoning
Check out which taco seasoning brands are gluten free and safe to eat.

Adding Xanthan Gum to Recipes

Xanthan gum is a natural sugar derived from corn, and is used as a food stabilizer in gluten free cooking to bind, thicken and integrate ingredients. Xanthan gum is often used whenever a rich and moist quality is sought.

Use Xanthan gum to recipes such as bread, cookies and muffins to help gluten free recipes rise well and stick together.

Here are a few quick tips for using Xanthan gum:

  • Try adding ¼ tsp Xanthan gum for each cup of flour
  • Add Xanthan gum last to batter or dough
  • Limit stirring of Xanthan gum to 5-6 strokes

Common mistakes people have with Xanthan gum is caused by over mixing the gum. This will cause gluten free cakes, cookies and muffins to become tough and rubbery. Limit mixing the dough or batter to 5-6 stirring strokes, then add batter or dough to pan as directed.

Converting Gluten Free Recipes
Learn easy tips to convert your favorite recipes to gluten free.

Make Your Own Mixes
Learn ways to save time and money by making your own gluten free mixes.

Converting Gluten Free Recipes

Learning to cook gluten free can be a difficult and costly nuisance. Removing gluten from recipes causes cookies and muffins to turn out crumbly and dry. Currently there is no single flour that can completely copy what wheat does so well.

Thankfully, gluten free cooking doesn’t have to involve extreme changes. Transitioning to gluten free can be as simple as substituting the right ingredients into your old favorite recipes.

Here are some useful tips to converting a recipe to gluten free:

Double the baking powder – as the gluten based recipe directs.
Add xanthan gum
– Use ¼ tsp of xanthan gum per cup of flour to recipes such as cake, cookies and muffins to help gluten free recipes rise well and stick together.
Add xanthan gum last
– After all other ingredients are mixed together.
Limit stirring
– of xanthan gum to 5-6 strokes.
Replace baking soda
– with baking powder in recipes without vinegar.
Use gluten free all purpose flour mix
– Replace traditional flour with a gluten free all purpose flour mix. This can be found in the health food section of many grocery stores.

Follow directions – Keep pan preparation, baking temperature and time as recipe directs.

Be sure to use butter, milk and eggs at room temperature – If the butter is too hot, it may cook the eggs. If the milk and eggs are too cold, then the butter may solidify. A quick option is to substitute canola oil for butter.

Converting recipes may take several trial and errors until you get it right. Although the recipes may not be identical to taste, they should be close. Good luck!

Adding Xanthan Gum to Recipes
Learn about Xanthan gum and quick tips for adding it to gluten free recipes.

Make Your Own Mixes
Learn ways to save time and money by making your own gluten free mixes.

Storage 102

Many refrigerators tend to be a few degrees warmer on the top than on the bottom. Use the following guide to know how long fresh picked or purchased fruits and vegetables will last in optimal storage.

Cold & Moist – Bottom shelf of fridge

Broccoli 10-14 days
Cabbage 3-6 weeks
Carrots 4-6 weeks
Cauliflower 2-4 weeks
Corn 4-8 days
Greens 1-3 weeks
Green Beans 7-10 days
Peas 1-3 weeks
Radishes 3-4 weeks
Rhubarb 2-4 weeks
Snap peas 7-10 days

Cool & Moist – Top shelf of fridge

Asparagus 2-3 weeks
Beets 3-5 weeks
Cucumbers 10-14 days
Eggplant 1 week
Herbs 1 week
Potatoes 1-3 weeks
Spring berries 2-7 days
Squash 1-3 weeks
Tomatoes 1-3 weeks

Cool & Dry – On counter

Garlic 6-7 months
Onions 6-7 months

Plastic containers are not recommended for storing produce, because the tight fitting lids cause condensation which promotes spoilage. Plants with high water content such as fresh herbs spoil more quickly than low moisture produce such as onions.

Storage 101
Enhance the life of your produce with this simple guide.

Are Eggs Good For You
Learn about the pros and cons of the ongoing debate on eating eggs.

Storage 101

Keep this post on your fridge for an easy guide to enhance the life of your produce.

Optimize the freshness of your produce with these simple tips:

  • Asparagus: Store upright in container of water in fridge or on counter
  • Beets: Remove tops before storage in fridge
  • Sweet Corn: Maintain sweetness for several days in refrigeration
  • Cucumbers: Keep in upper shelf of refrigerator
  • Garlic: Store in paper bags or boxes on the counter
  • Greens: Store loosely wrapped in slightly damp paper towel in sealed plastic bag
  • Green Beans: Keep in upper shelf of refrigerator
  • Herbs: Store in loosely covered container
  • Potatoes: Store covered in cool, dry, dark place such as a pantry
  • Radishes: Remove tops before storage in refrigeration
  • Tomatoes: Store tomatoes on counter until cut, then refrigerate
  • Spring Fruits: (Strawberries, cherries, berries) Store in shallow containers, wash just before eating
  • Summer Fruits: (Apples, pears, plums, cantaloupes, peaches) Store in separate location from vegetables to prevent early ripening

Storage 102
Check out this guide learn how long fresh picked or purchased fruits and vegetables will last in optimal storage.

Is Vinegar Safe for Celiacs?
Learn the truth about what the FDA and doctors are saying about vinegar.

Common Gluten Free Measuring Tips

Common Abbreviations


Cup———— c
Tablespoon— Tbs
Teaspoon—– tsp
Quart———- qt
Package——- pkg
Ounce——— oz
Degrees——- °
Pound——— lb
Pint———— pt

Measurement Back Ups
3 tsp = 1 Tbs
2 T = 1/8 c
5 T + 1 tsp = 1/3 c
1 oz = 2 Tbs
4 oz = 1/2 c
16 oz = 1 lb
2 c = 1 pint
4 c sifted flour = 1 lb
1 lb butter = 2 c or 4 sticks
2 pints = 1 quart
1 quart = 4 c
4 quarts = 1 gallon
Pinch = less than 1/8 tsp

Measuring HoneyFor an easier way to measure honey, coat the measuring tool with a dash of vegetable oil before measuring the honey. The vegetable oil will allow for the honey to simply glide right off.

Gluten Free Baking Tips
Check out useful gluten free baking tips for making gluten free recipes and converting old family recipes.

Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Check out tasty gluten free dessert recipes the whole family will enjoy.