Sun Flour Mills Pumpkin Muffins on a plate

On the Road Gluten-free!

Sunflower Mills Pumpkin Muffins

Before I went on my trip to Seattle, I baked these pumpkin muffins to take with me. I made them from Sun Flour Mills Pumpkin Cake mix. I wanted to try this mix because it contains sorghum flour and because I LOVE pumpkin cake! I added walnuts to the mix to make them more wholesome. I used a whole can of pureed pumpkin, which may have been a tad too much. The mix made about two dozen regular sized muffins.

Sunflower Mills Pumpkin Cake Mix front of boxSunflower Mills Pumpkin Cake Mix side of box showing ingredient list

The muffins turned out very moist and soft – very light. I decided to take about a dozen on my trip with me and put the rest in the freezer. I thought they would be ok to carry in the car in a plastic food storage bag. Big mistake! I should have used a sturdier container because the muffins fell apart the second day and I had a bag full of mushy crumbles. It’s not easy to eat those while you’re driving . . . kind of sticky.

So, although the muffins were quite yummy, they probably weren’t the best choice to take on the road. I would definitely make these again if I needed something quick to take to a party. Hmmm, maybe a Fourth of July picnic?

Celiac-Friendly Restaurants

On my vacation I visited two restaurants where the staff seemed very knowledgeable about preparing gluten free meals.

Front of Fisherman's Market and Grill in Coure d'Alene, ID

The first one was in Coure d’Alene, Idaho, a very pretty little mountain town on Interstate 90. The restaurant was called Fisherman’s Market and Grill. They make fish and chips with all kinds of fish, which didn’t really sound very safe for me, but I decided to just go in and ask if they made any meals that were grilled and explained why. The woman at the counter knew all about gluten-free and assured me that the fish could be safely grilled and that the French fries were cooked in their own oil. They had eight kinds of homemade tarter sauce and she made sure I knew which one was not gluten free. I had grilled salmon with my chips and it was heavenly!

Basket of fish and chips

Grilled Salmon and chips with homemade tartar sauce


Island Soul logo

My son took me to this Caribbean restaurant called Island Soul, located in the Columbia City section of Seattle. We found it by searching online for gluten-free restaurants in the area. Their gluten-free dishes are marked with an asterisk on the menu and the staff was very friendly and helpful. I tried the Jamaican Rundown with snapper and prawns, and my sides were collard greens and yams (yeah, I’m from the south kinda.) It was an amazing meal, which I couldn’t finish, and the atmosphere was very nice, as well.

Photo of the food I ordered at Island Soul restaurant

Jamaican Rundown has snapper and prawns cooked with vegetables, garlic and coconut milk; sides of yams and collard greens.

I ate out at other restaurants while I was traveling, but these two were outstanding in their assistance with choosing safe, gluten-free meals and were great dining experiences, as well.


Milo graphic

Milo says….

Maizy took me for a walk and I sniffed EVERYTHING! It was the BEST walk ever! Then Maizy gave me a new BONE! Life is good when Maizy is here.

Close up of two cookies on plate - one broken in half.

Gluten-free Oatmeal Walnut Cherry Cookies

I love oatmeal cookies. I especially love oatmeal cookies with nuts and fruit added. When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease in 2002, oats were considered to have gluten in them and I was very sad that I couldn’t eat them. I went about 8 years without eating oats at all until I discovered gluten-free oats. Now I eat gluten-free oats all the time and love to try new recipes with them.

I found this recipe at and decided to give it a try using sorghum flour in place of the two kinds of rice flours. These cookies turned out really yummy – crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

All the ingredients for the cookies set out on the counter before starting.

Ingredients for cookies – Bob’s Red Mill are the main gluten-free ingredients available in my area.


  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups gluten free oats
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with non-stick olive oil spray. In a medium bowl, combine the sorghum flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt. Stir to fully combine.

The dough before adding oats, walnuts and cherries.

The dough before adding oats, walnuts and cherries.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and sugars. Then beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually add the dry ingredients to make a thick dough. Stir in the oats, cherries and nuts just until combined.

Cookie dough after adding the oats, walnuts ad cherries.

Dough after adding the oats, walnuts and cherries.

Drop 1/4 cup full mounds onto the lined pans. I formed the dough into balls and mashed them down a little bit.

Cookies on baking sheets ready to cook.

Cookies on baking sheets ready to cook.

Bake for 10-12 minutes (they will seem a little under done). Let cool on the pan for 5 more minutes (they cook a bit more here). Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.

Finished cookies on baking sheet - cookies have grown together quite a bit.

Finished cookies after baking – they grew more than I thought they would.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies. (I made the cookies a little bit big, so I didn’t quite get 2 dozen.)

Close up of cookie on plate

Ready to eat!

Original recipe from adapted from Gluten Free Everyday by Robert Landolphi


Milo graphic

Milo says….

Those bad cats have been making fighting noises outside ALL night. Maizy wouldn’t let me go out to GET them because it was dark. I had to get up a lot and check out the window to see if they were there. NASTY cats!


Sorghum Carrot Quinoa Bars on plate

Sorghum Carrot Quinoa Bars

I was reading an article the other day about using pureed avocado to replace the fat in gluten-free baked goods. It’s supposed to help the batter retain moisture and stick together better. I decided to give it a try with this recipe. I replaced part of the coconut oil with avocado. You can’t taste it at all and they turned out really moist and not crumbly. I used about 2/3 of a large avocado, but I think I could have used the whole thing.

These bars are great for breakfast! I didn’t put frosting on them, but there is a link below to Karina’s cream cheese icing if you want to frost them. (Karina’s photos are always so lovely!) I also added a handful of coconut because I had some and it sounded good to me.


  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1/2 cup potato starch or tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup pureed avocado
  • 3 free-range organic eggs, beaten or Ener-G Egg Replacer
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (or raisins)

I added about 1/3 cup of coconut with the walnuts and left out the raisins.


Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a 9×12-inch baking pan with parchment. (I never use parchment. I just spray the baking dish with non-stick olive oil spray.) In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flours and dry ingredients. Add in the melted coconut oil, avocado, eggs or egg replacer, maple syrup, vanilla and lemon juice. Beat until the batter is smooth and sticky. Stir in the grated carrots and chopped walnuts. (I added coconut, too.)

Sorghum carrot quinoa batter in a brown bowl with spoon sticking out.

The batter is thick enough to hold up a spoon.

Spread the batter evenly in the baking pan. Bake in the center of the oven for about 22 minutes until firm to the touch.

Sorghum Carrot Quinoa Bars - Fresh Out of Oven in glass baking dish

Fresh out of the oven.

Cool on a wire rack. Frost with vegan cream cheese icing- find Karina’s Maple Cream Cheese Icing recipe here. Chill frosted bars before wrapping, to set the icing. These freeze beautifully. Remove wrap before defrosting to keep the icing from sticking. Makes 24 small bars.

Recipe Source: Karina Allrich,


Milo graphic

Milo says….

The wind blew my Frisbee over the fence, but Maizy went and got it. I would like to BITE the wind and I think Maizy would, too!


Close up of two pumpkin muffins on plate.

Pumpkin Muffins

I had a can of pumpkin in my cabinet so I decided to try making some pumpkin muffins with sorghum flour. I couldn’t find a recipe that I liked, so I took the Banana Bread recipe from Carol Fenster’s “Gluten-Free Quick and Easy” cookbook and used pumpkin instead of bananas. I also added some ginger and nutmeg. They turned out perfect! I’m beginning to really like messing with other people’s recipes. Is that bad?

This recipe uses Carol’s Muffin and Quick Bread Mix, which I couldn’t find on her website (so I had to type it all!) The recipe for it below makes enough for about four recipes, so you can store it away to have on hand for quick muffin making. I’m repeating the recipe for Carol’s Flour Blend below, so you don’t have to go look for it.

Carol’s Flour Blend (double this to make enough for the muffin mix below)

  • 1 ½ cups sorghum flour
  • 1 ½ cups potato starch or cornstarch
  • 1 cup tapioca flour

Carol’s Muffin and Quick Bread Mix

  • 8 cups Carol’s Flour Blend
  • 3 cups cane sugar
  • 8 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 4 teaspoons table salt

Sift everything together several times for best results. Store, tightly covered, up to 3 months on the pantry shelf or up to 6 months in the refrigerator.

Pumpkin Muffins

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 can of pureed pumpkin (about 1 cup-ish)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups Carol’s Muffin and Quick Bread Mix (above)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts or other nuts you desire

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin tin or use paper liners.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the eggs, pumpkin, oil, molasses, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Mix dry ingredients together and add to the wet ingredients. Mix until batter is thoroughly blended and slightly thickened. Stir in walnuts. Fill each muffin cup to about ¾ full with batter.

Pumpkin muffin batter in the bowl.

Pumpkin batter in bowl.


Bake 30 minutes or until tops are firm and starting to brown. Makes about 16 medium-sized muffins. I was going to try freezing some of these, but we ate them all. Maybe next time.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Muffins in pan fresh out of the oven.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Muffins fresh out of the oven.



Milo graphic

Milo says….

My rawhide bone is SO good I chewed it until it was all GONE. Maybe it’s not ALL gone. There might still be SOME in the couch. I’m going to go look right now!


Slice of applesauce crumb cake on plate

Applesauce Crumb Cake

Applesauce Crumb CakeI got this recipe from Gluten Free Goddess and it is really good. The only thing I changed was I added walnuts to the crumb topping. I used regular vanilla extract, but it’s probably a lot better with the bourbon vanilla extract. =)


1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
1/2 cup hazelnut, chestnut or almond flour (I used almond)
1 1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 organic free-range eggs, beaten
1/2 cup expeller pressed canola oil or coconut oil
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract
1 cup organic applesauce

For the topping:

1/3 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons sorghum flour
3 tablespoons organic coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup walnuts chopped up in food processor


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 9-inch deep cake pan or baking dish with a piece of parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk to combine the dry ingredients: sorghum flour, potato starch, hazelnut flour, brown sugar, xanthan gum, sea salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg.

Add in the eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. Beat to combine.

Add in the applesauce and beat by hand to mix the batter.

Scoop the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth it out to the edges.

Cake batter in pan ready to put the crumbs on.

Cake batter ready for the crumb topping.

Make the topping by combining the brown sugar, sorghum flour, coconut oil, and cinnamon. Mix with a fork until sandy textured.

Crumbs for top of cake in a bowl.

Crumbs ready to put on cake.

Spread the crumb topping on the batter. Lightly press down.

Bake in the center of the oven for 40 minutes, then loosely tent a piece of foil over the top to prevent the topping from over-browning. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, until the center of the cake is firm and a wooden pick inserted in the middle emerges clean.

Finished applesauce crumb cake in pan fresh out of the oven.

Fresh out of the oven.

Cool the cake on a wire rack.

Delicious and fragrant with spices served warm. Careful – it will be a bit fragile when warm.

This lovely cinnamon-spiced cake may be baked the night before, cooled, and wrapped for the next morning.

Slice, wrap in foil, and freeze uneaten cake slices in a freezer bag. (We didn’t have any left over – it was too good!)

Yield: 10-12 slices

Recipe Source:

Milo graphic

Milo says….

I put my chin on Maizy’s knee and watch her when she’s eating lunch. It’s a good trick because she always lets me lick her plate or gives me a COOKIE. She must love me a LOT!

Close up of maple walnut squares on plate.

Maple Walnut Squares with Sorghum – Yum!

Last week I found some real maple syrup on sale at my local health food store, so I decided to give these squares a try. I got the recipe from Laurie Sadowski over at Whisking & Writing. I changed her recipe from pecans to walnuts because I had those already. I also used real butter and regular sugar. Everything else I kept the same and they turned out great. I will definitely be saving this recipe for holiday baking!

Makes 25 squares

Bottom Layer
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup unrefined cane sugar (I used regular cane sugar)
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/8 teaspoon fine sea or Himalayan salt
6 tablespoons nondairy buttery spread, such as Earth Balance (or EB Coconut Spread – I used butter)

Top Layer
2 tablespoons nondairy buttery spread
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (recommend: amber or dark)
1/4 cup unrefined cane sugar
1 tablespoon nondairy milk (I used almond milk)
1 cup walnuts, chopped (Her recipe has pecans)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

Position an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Line an 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, letting the ends hang over the edges for easy removal. (I actually just sprayed the pan and didn’t use parchment because I didn’t have any.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the bottom layer, put the sorghum flour, quinoa flour, tapioca flour, sugar, salt, and xanthan gum in a medium bowl. Cut in the nondairy buttery spread using a pastry cutter or two knives, until the mixture sticks together when you squeeze it in your hand. Press the mixture into the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly while preparing the topping.

Bottom layer of squares in pan after baking.

Bottom layer after baking.

To make the topping, put the nondairy buttery spread in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until melted, then add the maple syrup, sugar, and nondairy milk. Once it starts to bubble, let it cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in the pecans, vanilla extract, and salt. Pour the mixture over the crust. Return to the oven and bake for about 18 minutes, until the topping is bubbling and thick. (This smells amazing while it’s cooking!) Let cool completely before removing from the pan. Cut into squares. These freeze very well.

Maple Walnut Squares in pan fresh out of oven and bubbly

Fresh out of the oven and bubbly!

Maple walunt squares sliced up and placed on plate.

Finished and ready to eat!

Milo graphic

Milo says….

I brought this thing in the house today that smelled SOOOO good, but Maizy said “eewww!” and took it away from me with a paper towel. And THEN, she threw it over the back fence so I couldn’t even get it again. NOT FAIR! Maybe she will give me a cookie later when she calms down.

Heart shaped chocolate cookie with pink icing

Gluten Free Chocolate Valentine’s Cookies

I found this recipe at  So Simple Gluten Free with Jen.

I substituted Carol Fenster’s flour blend for the Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour. They turned out so good I made a second batch and added dark chocolate pieces and walnuts.

I made a double batch of Carol’s sorghum flour blend:

Carol’s Sorghum Flour Blend

1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups potato starch (not potato flour) or cornstarch
1 cup tapioca flour/starch

Whisk together thoroughly and store, tightly covered, in a dark, dry, cool place.

Then I made the cookie dough:

Ingredients For Cookies:
1 stick (1/2 cup) shortening (I used butter)
1/3 cup cane sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour (I used Carol’s Flour blend)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients For Frosting:
1 12-ounce can Betty Crocker Cherry Frosting
sprinkles if desired

Preheat oven to 350.

In a stand mixer, combine shortening and sugars until creamy. Add vanilla and eggs and blend for 1 minute.

Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat on medium-low speed until incorporated.

Using a rolling pin, roll to 1/2” thickness. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place on a greased or lined cookie sheet.

Bake cookies for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

To make wafer cookie sandwiches: place frosting between two cookies

Warm frosting in a bowl in the microwave for 10 seconds. Drizzle over cookies.

Cookie dough in bowl

Cookie dough was very sticky.

Cookie dough on floured wax paper

Cookie dough was too sticky to roll with rolling pin.

The instructions say to use a rolling pin to roll out the dough, but this dough was much too sticky to roll out. I dusted it with white rice flour and pressed it down with floured hands onto a floured sheet of wax paper until the dough was about 1/4 inch thick. I was afraid all that extra flour was going to make the cookies too dry, but it didn’t seem to matter.

Cookie dough flattened out with heart shape cut out

Dough with cookie cut out.

I had to carefully cut them out and scoop them up with a floured spatula to put them on the baking pan. They were pretty fragile and got out of shape easily.

Cookies on pan fresh out of oven

First batch just out of oven – the flour still showed on some of them.

After baking I was amazed at how much they had risen! They had risen to about ½ inch thick. These cookies are soft and cake-like. After cooling, I drizzled with icing and they were so cute – and tasty! The second batch with the chocolate pieces and walnuts were just as soft and yummy.

Heart shaped chocolate cookies with pink icing arranged on plate.

Pretty cookies ready to eat!

I took the cookies to work to share and they were gone by the end of the day (which is good because I don’t need to eat this much sugar!).

Close up of chocolate cookies with pink icing. You can see the walnuts and chocolate chips.

Second batch with chocolate chunks and walnuts added.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all my gf friends!

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Milo says….

Maizy’s cookies smelled SO good but she said dogs can’t eat chocolate. How could something that smells so good be bad! NOT wagging!