Tag Archives: pecans

Pineapple Express: Gluten Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Once upon a time I hated pineapple upside-down cake.  It tasted and looked like  Jiffy Mix met a can of sweetened pineapple, went out on a really bad date and fell into a deep dish, head first.

I’d forget after a while and make it again like it was something new and different.   And I still didn’t like it.  Even when I moved  past Jiffy Mix to decent yellow cakes, fresh pineapple and caramelized sugar, it still lacked something. Mostly it reminded me of school lunch fare.  Beige.

Still, I was hopeful that I might try just one more time (hope springs eternal or my brain is wired like Dilbert).  And I’m glad not only that I did, but had the foresight to write it all out as I was making it up. Continue reading


Oat Tales: GF Oat Cookies with Coconut, Pecans and Raisins

Oatmeal is a lot like Uncle Fergus – you either love him or run for your life when he shows up at the door.

I grew up hating all things oatmeal. When I was forced to eat the stuff, it was like chewing the inside of the sofa stuffing (don’t ask how I know that). Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that the same Quaker Oats container sitting on the pantry shelf had celebrated more birthdays than I had.

I met my first commercially made oatmeal cookie when I bought school-lunch the day the new cafeteria opened.   I loved cookies, but this thing was dreadful. Soft, squishy and stale, it was the color of tired beige with tiny dark specks.  Oats and I were finished.

That is, until I grew up and found out that oats were actually tasty. My mother-in-law, the original granola queen, used oats as much as she used lemons or mayonnaise (which in her house is a food group). She taught me the rules of food-cooperatives and how to chase the good stuff – think organic mills before organic was a type of certified product. Continue reading

A Very Gluten Free Holiday: Mexican Wedding Cookies


I met my first rum ball when I was five-years-old.  If the excellently dressed Mrs. Henley had not rapped her white-gloved-manicured-hand upon our front door each holiday season, I might not have known about the existence of bedazzled and festive cookies that were created just for Christmas.  I assumed she wore a couture apron over the Chanel and her stylish kitten heeled boots while creating these very home-made treats.

She began with a dozen rum balls in a tiny box and when she learned that my idiot brothers inhaled them before they ever reached the kitchen –  hoping for a little boozy buzz – she started bringing a larger and more diverse tin of goodies.

There were little tiny treats dressed in white sugary snow, festively decorated sugar cookies and several well dressed ginger people undoubtedly attired in couture icing.  In our house devoid of any Christmas cheer, primarily because we were Jewish, and slightly because my folks were a bit grinchy, the tin was my taste of Christmas-future.

During the holidays I am still  a sucker for anything shiny, glittery and edible.  Yet, until I was diagnosed as gluten intolerant, I pretended that none of those goodies made me sick.  I just went with the fantasy that I’d merely overindulged and carried around a Costco sized supply of stomach ache remedies.

That terrible holiday the year I was diagnosed I did without, but over these past five years I’ve begun to master the art of turning out respectable gluten free goodies and never looked back.  The holiday season is once again filled with shiny, glittery and edible stuff. Continue reading