Tres Leche Cake

Invite your friends over for this sponge cake, soaked in 3 milks, topped with homemade whipped cream and fresh raspberries.

Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix

Make your own gluten free flour mixture at home. It is really simple to make and it's texture is smooth. You can substitute this equally for regular wheat flour.

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

Start your day with this easy and moist quick bread, topped with cinnamon sugar.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Grandma's Double Good Double Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies

As a little girl, our family drove about 10 hours down to Kansas to visit my Grandma.  When we walked in the door of her little white house, it was magical.  She always had homemade chocolate chip cookies in the oven.  The wonderful, warm smell filled her home as she came to the door to greet us, arms open wide for a great big hug, always wearing a dress and cute apron.  Grandma's house was dreamy to a little girl, she was a doll collector and dolls filled her rooms and walls.  She would let me pick one doll to hug. It always felt like such an important decision, deciding which doll it would be.

I had this written this recipe down years ago.  Last night, I pulled out the recipe and discovered the recipe did not call for eggs!  What?  Grandma really?  Could it be?  That's right, an old, regular chocolate chip cookie recipe that did not call for eggs.  I couldn't believe it!  It was like getting a gift from my Grandma.  So today, while I was making the dough for these, I called my Mom to tell her what I found and ask her to double check on her copy of Grandma's recipe.   As I was about to pop these into the oven, Mom told me her copy of the recipe called for 4 eggs.  I must have missed that when I copied it down.  Ooops!!  Well, it was too late to add any egg replacer.  The chocolate chips were already stirred in.  So into the oven they went.  Here is what they looked like when they came out...
Look how fluffy they are!!  Can you tell by looking at them, that they are gluten free and egg free?  These are the best looking cookies I have ever made that are gluten free and egg free!  I'm amazed how well they turned out, when the original recipe called for 4 EGGS!  My mom decided to cross out the eggs on her recipe too (my Mom's not suppose to eat eggs either).  So the only thing I changed from my mistakenly written recipe of Grandma's, was changing the flour to gluten free flour and changing the peanut butter to sunflower seed butter.  And the result...YUM!

Grandma's Double Good Double Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 c white sugar
1 1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 c butter
1/2 c sunflower seed butter
1/4 c honey
1 c shortening
2 t vanilla
1/4 c milk
3 c Gluten Free oats
4 1/2 c Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix
2 t baking soda
2 c chocolate chips or 1 c mini chocolate chips

*Optional additions include raisins, coconut, sunflower seeds or even Trader Joes Chocolate Sunflower Seed Drops (which are like a little M&M, except no artificial food coloring).

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Mix together white sugar, brown sugar, butter until creamy.  Add sunflower seed butter, honey, shortening and vanilla.  Mix together until creamy.
3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together oats, flour and baking soda.  Add a cup of flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir.  Then add a little of the milk and stir.  Add another cup of flour mixture, then a little more milk and so on, ending with flour.  Then gently stir in the chocolate chips.
4.  Drop by spoonful onto a cookie sheet and bake 11-13 minutes.

Here is one with Trader Joes Chocolate Sunflower Seed Drops!  Mmmm...

This was, by far, the best "mistake" I've ever made in the kitchen!

Thanks to Allergy Free Wednesdays, Cybele Pascale, Gluten Free Fridays and Fireflies and Jellybeans for allowing me to share this recipe on your blogs!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Headed up North?

Hey friends!  Since many of you dear readers are Minnesotans, you all understand the mass exodus to head up north during the summer.  One of my sweet friends, who is new to eating gluten free, is up north this weekend and just told me her family's favorite pizza restaurant is now offering a gluten free menu.  It includes pizza, appetizers, dessert and beer.  Plus, she said it was delicious!  She thought she'd only be able to order a salad but was so happy to be able to order a gluten free pizza.  So if you are headed up to the Brainerd Lakes area (Grand Rapids, Nisswa, Cross Lake) you might want to head out and try Rafferty's Pizza.  Let us know if you do and if it is egg free too!  Thanks readers and enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Have you heard the word? Dominos Pizza is making a Gluten Free Pizza!

3 Cheers for Dominos New Gluten Free Pizza!  Hooray!  Hooray!  Hooray!  I just heard about this yesterday as I was making Anna her corn tortilla pizza and ordering the rest of us a Dominos pizza for a quick easy dinner.  I couldn't wait to share the news with Anna, the rest of my family and with you.

They do have a disclaimer, so ask questions at your local store about how they prepare it and about any cross-contamination before you decide if it is safe for your family.  The ingredients are found on

The idea of being able to order a gluten free egg free pizza, delivered to our door may seem like a small thing to most people, but it's a big, fun thing for us.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars

My Mother-in-law shared this wonderful bar recipe with me.  How can you go wrong with oats, chocolate and caramel?   The only thing I changed in her recipe was the flour to Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix.  There still is one more thing that needs to be changed...Next time I need to double the recipe to fit into a 9 x 13 pan.  These disappear too quickly!  Our whole family loves them!

1 c  Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix
1/4 t salt
3/4 c Gluten Free oats
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter

24 Kraft caramels
2 T milk
2 T Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix
1/2 c chocolate chips (or a little more would be yummy too)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix 1 c. flour and next 5 ingredients until like pie crust.  Remove 1 c. of mixture and set aside.  Pat into 8" pan.  Bake 10 minutes.
3.  Melt caramels with milk, then blend in the 2 T of flour.  Pour over crust and sprinkle chocolate chips over caramel.  Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture on top.  Bake for 15 more minutes.

* I bet these would even work well with using oat flour instead of Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix.  If you try it with a different flour, will you please leave a comment so other's can see how they turn out?  Thanks a bunch!

This recipe is featured on Allergy Free Wednesday's at
Thanks Michelle!
If you are have other food allergies and are looking for more allergy friendly recipes, check out this site.  There are a lot of links to other sites.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Which would you rather?

Lately, Noah and Josie have been asking Anna "Which would you rather?"  kinds of questions.  It is as if they are attempting to understand how she feels, having food allergies.  At lunch today this is what I heard.

Josie: "Which would you rather do?  Go to the Waterpark Of America every day or eat wheat stuff and not get sick?"
Anna:  "Eat wheat stuff and not get sick."

 Wow!  I was even a little surprised by Anna's answer.  She LOVES the Waterpark of America!  We can't drive by it without the kids asking when they can go there.  These types of questions reveal so much about how she feels about being allergic to foods.  She seems to handle her allergies so well.  In fact, family and friends often comment about how well she accepts her food allergies.  She doesn't say anything when others have something that she cannot.  Like this morning at breakfast,  Noah and Josie had some donuts and cinnamon rolls (leftover from the boys camping weekend).  Anna just asked if I could make her some oatmeal. 

Josie's question gives us all a little more compassion and understanding for what it is like to live with food allergies.  If I could give her the gift of no food allergies, I would.  She is such a trooper!  Man, oh man, I am so thankful for each of our kids!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Linguine with Herbed Butter

Affectionately known in our house as Noah Noodles.  Our son, Noah, loved these noodles so much we started naming them after him.  This recipe was originally from Weight Watchers.  It was easy to convert to gluten free simply by substituting the pasta.  We use brown rice noodles but you could try other gluten free pastas as well.  This goes great with so many dishes.  I make this often in the summer along side grilled salmon or steak.

6 oz uncooked linguine (rice pasta)
2 T unsalted butter
1 T parsley, minced/dried
1/2 t basil, dried
1/2 t thyme leaves, dried
1/2 t oregano, dried
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 t salt
fresh ground pepper to taste

1.  Cook pasta, drain and put in serving bowl.
2.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small nonstick skillet.  Add parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.  Reduce heat and cook until herbs wilt.  Pour herbed butter over the linguine.  Toss to coat.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Baked Oatmeal with Raisins

Have you ever read the Bert & Ernie book, "Don't Forget The Oatmeal?"  It's a story of how Bert doesn't want to forget to buy oatmeal when he goes to the grocery store, but after numerous distractions, he does just that.  He got home without the one thing he really needed to get.  Have you ever done that?  It makes me laugh, because I feel like I do this too often myself.  Well, thankfully this time, I didn't forget the oatmeal!  I love how many different ways oatmeal can be made and how filling it is.  It is a great way to start your day!  This recipe became a quick favorite, from Cooking Light's October 2003 magazine (adapted using egg replacer and taking out the nuts). 

 2 c uncooked quick-cooking Gluten Free oats
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/3 c raisins  (or you could try other dried fruits or even chocolate chips might be yummy!)
1 t baking powder

1 1/2 c milk
1/2 c applesauce
2 T butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten (we use Ener-G Egg Replacer or 1 T flax meal whisked with 3 T warm water)

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat 8 x 8 pan with cooking spray. 
2.  Combine top ingredients in a medium bowl.  In seperate bowl, combine wet ingredients.  Then add wet to dry ingredients and stir well.  Pour into pan. 
3.  Bake 25 minutes.

Monday, May 14, 2012

No more wheat, rye or barley (aka Gluten)! Now what?

Going gluten free has been a hot topic among several friends lately.  They wonder where they would even start.  So some of you might be wondering the same thing.  Let me share with you what I'm sharing with them...

Learning how to look for gluten in ingredients is a good place to start.  There are many names for gluten. Here is the list I have collected.

All-purpose flour
Bleached flour
Bread crumbs
Cake Flour
Cereal extract couscous
Cracked wheat flour
Durum flour/wheat
Enriched flour
Gelatinized starch
Graham crackers/crumbs
Graham flour
High-protein flour
High-gluten flour
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
Malt/malt syrup
Phosphated flour
Pastry flour
Modified food starch (FOUND IN LOTS OF PRODUCTS)
Modified starch
Unbleached flour
Vegetable gum
Vegetable starch
Vital gluten
Wheat bran
Wheat germ
Wheat gluten
Wheat malt
Wheat starch
Whole wheat flour

Yikes!!!  That is a LONG list, isn't it?  Who knew there could be so many ingredients to be careful of.  I made several copies of this list handwritten onto index cards and laminated them (actually just used some packing tape I had around the house) so they would last.  One copy for my purse, so I had a reference in the grocery store, and one taped to the inside of a cupboard door to refer to when cooking.  Yes, I wrote really tiny to make them all fit ;)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Asiago Spinach Pasta with Cannelinni Beans

Hopes Kitchen has a new look!  Yay!!!  A great big thank you to 2 talented guys that helped me out!  Spend some time looking around.  To make it easier to find a recipe, you can now look through the drop down menu of RECIPES and find something yummy to try.  In the RESTAURANTS menu you can get a list with links to restaurants that share either a gluten free menu or allergen information.  For tips on substituting milk, wheat (gluten), or eggs in your own recipes look under HOW TO SUBSTITUTE.  On the right side bar, you can follow Hopes Kitchen by RSS, email or blogger.  Have fun checking things out and I hope you find something delicious to try.   

Please share Hopes Kitchen with your family and friends via Email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or good ol' word of mouth.  Hopes Kitchen is here to help those that are dealing with food allergies or living gluten free by providing recipes, helpful links, restaurant menu links, tips, support and an occasional reader's favorite recipe makeover.  Our family's story will be coming soon as well. 
Thanks for visiting!  And thanks for sharing! 

Now onto this flavorful versatile recipe.  It could be a side dish, a salad, a main decide.  This one is out of one of my favorite cookbooks, Cooking Light.  It has big flavor punch and is super quick and easy to make.  I often make this in the summer to go along with some grilled meats but the leftovers are even yummy if you want to warm it up which makes it more like an entree.  The warm pasta slightly wilts the spinach leaves and softens the asiago cheese as it gets tossed.

   * 8 cups coarsely chopped spinach leaves
   * 4 cups hot cooked cavatappi -I use Brown Rice Fusili Pasta (about 6 ounces uncooked spiral-shaped pasta) 
   * 2 tablespoons olive oil 
   * 1/4 teaspoon salt 
   * 1/4 teaspoon pepper
   * 1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, drained
   * 2 garlic cloves, minced
   * 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Asiago cheese 
   * Fresh ground black pepper (optional)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and toss well. Sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 cups)

Featured on Allergy Free Wednesdays .  Thanks to Allergy Free Wednesdays for sharing and for featuring lots of great allergy free recipes!  Check them out.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chicken with Feta Cheese Sauce

Sorry but this photo does not do justice to the wonderful, rich and smooth flavor of this Chicken covered with Feta Cheese Sauce.  If you like feta and you like chicken, make this dish soon and your mouth will be happy.

10 chicken tenders (or 6 chicken breasts)
1 T butter
4 t Gluten Free flour mix (Bob's Red Mill or Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix will work)
1 (12 oz) can evaporated fat free milk
3/4 c crumbled feta cheese

1.  Coat large non-stick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat until hot.  Add chicken and cook about 8 minutes on each side or until done; keep warm. 
2.  Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; add flour.  Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Gradually add milk; stir constantly.  Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 3 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally.  Add cheese; stir until cheese starts to melt.  Spoon over chicken. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Tuscan Rigatoni

Tuscan Rigatoni has been one of our favorite dishes for years.  Actually, the first time my husband and I  had it was one fall, up north at a friend's cabin, pre-kids.  My husband loved it!  Each time I prepare this meal I remember those fun weekends together on the lake, playing croquet and staying up late playing cards.  My girlfriend made it with sun-dried tomatoes which was a nice pop of flavor.  The rosemary, white beans, sausage, noodles and parmesan flavors blend well together. 

2 c uncooked rigatoni corn or brown rice pasta (about 6 oz)
1 small onion, chopped
1 package 16 oz smoked turkey sausage, cut thin (Gluten Free)
15 oz cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 c Gluten Free chicken broth
1 T fresh rosemary, chopped ( or 1 t dried)
1/3 c parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1.  Cook and drain pasta.  While pasta cooks, cook onion and sausage in 12" skillet over Med-high heat for 2-3 minutes until tender.
2.  Gently stir in pasta and remaining ingredients except cheese.  Cook 3-5 minutes or until hot.  Sprinkle each serving with cheese.

And just for fun, I found this old picture of one of those memorable weekends at our friends cabin up north.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Blueberry Muffins

3 c Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix
1 c.  sugar
4 t baking powder
3/4 t salt

3/4 c milk (or rice milk)
2/3 c applesauce
1/4 c coconut oil (melt before measuring)
1 c frozen wild blueberries

Topping: 2 T sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease muffin tins.
2.  Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
3.  In a small bowl mix the milk, applesauce and coconut oil then add to dry ingredients.  Stir just until moistened.  Fold in blueberries carefully.  Spoon into the muffin cups, almost to the top.  Sprinkle with sugar.
4.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins.

Thanks to Allergy Free Wednesdays for featuring this post!

Recipe shared on Gluten Free Fridays.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

Pin It

As I browsed through pinterest the other night, I found a picture of Zucchini Brownies.  My family LOVES zucchini bread and this sounded interesting.  When I read over the recipe on I noticed that it did not call for eggs.  Now I don't know about you, but making some yummy brownies that are gluten free, egg free and nut free has not been an easy task.  In fact, the more times I tried and failed, the more determined I was to find or create a good, delicious recipe.  When a recipe is originally egg free, the transition to gluten free is usually successful.  You can find the original recipe on but I've made some changes and added my Mother-in-law's AMAZING chocolate frosting on top.  This frosting is so good!  It is "lick the bowl, lick your fork, lick your plate" good.  You will be looking for reasons to make this frosting.

Enough about the frosting, back to the brownies.  The brownie batter is really dry so don't be surprised,  just pat it into the pan.  It will cook fine.  Don't worry even if there are a few dry spots on top when it comes out of the oven.  Once they are frosted, you won't notice it.   These gooey brownies are even BETTER the next day.

Zucchini Brownies
2/3 c coconut oil (melt before measuring)
1 ½ c white sugar
2 t vanilla extract
2 c Natalie's Gluten Free Flour Mix
½ c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ t baking soda
1 t salt
full 2 c zucchini (finely shredded)

½ cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Chocolate Frosting
 1 stick butter, softened
1/3 c cocoa
3 3/4 c powdered sugar
1/2 c canned evaporated milk
1 t vanilla

To make the brownies:
1.  Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish (My Mom taught me to save the butter wrappers and use those to rub on the pan to grease).
2.  In a large bowl mix together the melted coconut oil, sugar and vanilla extract until well blended. In another bowl combine the flour,  cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the sugar mixture, a little at a time. Fold in the zucchini (and chocolate chips if you are using them).   If your mixture looks dry, try adding 1/4 c hot water.  Spread the mixture into the 9 x 13 pan.
3.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until the brownies spring back when gently touched. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.  Frost the brownies when they have completely cooled.

To make the frosting:
In a mixing bowl, combine all the frosting ingredients and mix until smooth.

Thank you Gluten Free Homemaker for featuring this post.