Sausage Balls – On Fire!

It may be no surprise to people that I got my love of food, or the kind of food in particular, from my family. My father likely had the most influence as I would definitely not be a chilihead if it weren’t for him. I’m working on passing that passion on down to my own son.

And one of those passions beyond the taste factor includes what kinds of food I like. While breakfast may be my all-time favorite meal of the day, I would gnaw down on some apps any day of the week. It was not uncommon in my household to see us eating the insanely good cheese dip. However on truly special occasions, my Mom would pull out the sausage balls.

Her recipe was very similar to this recipe, but I want to say she used Velveeta in that recipe as well. And I had not even thought about the recipe until someone posted a similar recipe elsewhere. Like the dip, this is my version of a classic appetizer that dates back to the 70s. Not everything ancient has to be bad for you or contain Gluten – cause we can make almost anything GF! #GFNotTasteFree!

Sausage Balls – On Fire

1 lb (450 g) raw pork sausage
10 oz (300 g) Jalapeno Jack cheese
2 C Gluten Free Bisquick

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (convection or none) while you cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine your sausage, cheese and Bisquick in a large bowl. Note: I like to use Johsonville Hot Italian Sausage. And as always shred your own cheese to remove the possibility of Gluten contamination from the factory’s shredding process. Add a little milk to the mixture to get it to combine into one big ball. The last time I did this I added close to a quarter cup of milk.
  3. Now comes the fun – you could use a scoop to get the size consistent, but you will need to roll them into balls about the size of a loonie (or Susan B. Anthony!) Put em on your baking sheet with a little bit of space – they won’t spread out that much.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. I liked doing mine for about 25 minutes on convection and it makes them a little crispy.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Pancakes

ReesesPancakesBeing a breakfast junkie, I am always into trying new foods for my favourite meal of the day, which also happens to be my favourite meal to cook. Who doesn’t like breakfast for dinner? Come on! If you don’t, you’re on the wrong site. I’m only partially kidding.

Despite that, I do love a good French Toast more than pancakes. Granted I worked at an IHOP for years and that might have something to do with my general disdain of pancakes, I always found them to be lacking in flavour without the syrup and butter. Come on they’re flour, eggs, milk and maybe some sugar – if you make them from scratch!

Alas with Celiac Disease, my options for non-breakfast burrito options shrank drastically until I could find alternatives. And this alternative kind of hit me out of nowhere.

Simple backstory – I’ve always loved peanuts or peanut butter and chocolate in just about any combination. Peanut Butter cookies happen to be one of my favourite cookies that you can make completely flourless – add in a few chocolate chips and I will finish the batch before my kids can figure out that they were baked.

So when I was trying to figure out a good recipe for a special breakfast of pancakes, I remembered the Reese’s Peanut Butter in my cupboard and that I could do peanut butter pancakes – GF of course. Because as we all know Gluten Free Not Taste Free!

Reese’s Peanut Butter Pancakes

1 cup (240 g) GF flour
2.5 tsp (13 g) baking powder
.5 tsp (7 g) salt
.5 cup (120 g) Reese’s Peanut Butter
2 tbsp (30 g) sugar
2 tbsp (30 ml) vegetable oil
2 large eggs
a bit over 1 cup (270 ml) milk

  1. While your griddle heats to about 300 degrees mix your peanut butter, sugar and oil until smooth, then the egg and milk.
  2. Next mix in the rest of your ingredients. BTW – typically you are supposed to do dry separate, then wet and mix together; too many bowls in my opinion!
  3. Assuming you’re using a non-stick griddle, you shouldn’t need anything to get these flippin’ flapjacks to, er, flip. Just wait til you see a bubble and then flip.
  4. Remember you are only supposed to flip pancakes once, so make sure they are done on the top before you flip them.

As always, I use a store bought mix for GF flour up here in the Great White North. But if you are interested in trying your own, you can visit Gluten Free on a Shoestring. Nicole has some amazing mixes for different flour needs.

Calzone Pie

CalzonePieThere was a time when not only was I enamored by pizza, I was enamored of calzones as well. Of course, that was when I could have a soft, gluten-filled crust making that gooey & delicious shell around all that cheese and those toppings.

Sadly there came a time that I could no longer safely consume pizza, calzones or anything else like it, unless I evolved – just like the pizza into the calzone! And evolving is just what I did with this recipe.

Pizza has been called a pie before and that is where I took my inspiration. Why not make a calzone pie? I haven’t really been able to come up with a crust recipe that has the elasticity of a gluten crust – chemistry and stuff. So why not use the Brazilian cheese crust recipe as a base and then put the toppings in the middle with more cheese and top it with more cheese crust. Bake it together and Bob’s your uncle, er, pizza’s yer pie? Calzone is your pie?

Whatever you call it – I’m calling it Calzone Pie since it’s my recipe – this once again proves that Gluten Free is Not Taste Free! One slice of this and you will wonder who needs gluten!

Calzone Pie

2 recipes Brazilian Pizza Crust
1 package Italian sausage – preferably hot
1 red onion
2 tbsp (30 g) minced garlic
1 tbsp (15 g) each of Oregano & Chili Flakes
Cheese for the filling – Jalapeno Jack or Mozzarella

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees, while you dice your onions and then fry them together with all the spices and the sausage. Make sure to brown and crumble all the sausage.
  2. After that part is cooked, make your two recipes of the crust.
  3. Line the bottom of a greased 9-inch cake pan with half of the crust.
  4. Put all of the drained sausage & onions in the middle – spread it evenly and then add the shredded cheese.
  5. Top with the remaining crust and cook the pie for about 10-15 minutes until it’s golden brown. Warning – you might want to put a cookie sheet under the pan in case it overflows as mine has a number of times.

For other ideas, I have done this recipe without meat and added Mexican spices. You could try a Jerk Chicken filling. Or a Cajun steak. Or how about a seasoned chicken with bacon, green onions, tomatoes and a bit of ranch? The possibilities are awesome and endless!

Jalapeno Lime Cheesecake

JalapenoLimeCheesecake-SpringformA number of years ago, I was the editor of a rural weekly newspaper. As part of that job, I was expected to be the face of the newspaper in the community especially for events such as fundraisers or events where local businesses were participating.

During one of those fundraising events, my talents as a cook were auctioned out to the highest bidder. One of the two times I did this, I pulled off a Habanero Orange Cheesecake. It was good, but a tad bit too spicy for a dessert. So I decided that Jalapeno and Lime was a much better flavour combo.

The fun thing about this recipe is that it only needs a small change to from gluten filled to GF. This is definitely one of those times that GF does not mean Taste Free!

Jalapeno Lime Cheesecake

JalapenoLimeCheesecake-blender1 1/2 cups (350 g) graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup (80 g) melted butter
4 jalapeno peppers
9 oz. (250 g) sugar
3 8-ounce (675 g) packages cream cheese
4 eggs
2 tbsp. (30 ml) heavy cream
3 limes

  1. The first step is to boil water to place in a pan on the bottom rack of your preheated oven at 400 degrees. The next step is to either crush about 20 graham crackers in crumbs or use about 1.5 cups of graham cracker crumbs to mix with the melted butter to form your crust just lining the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Using disposable gloves destem and deseed your jalapenos. Once done with that, place them along with two tablespoons of sugar into a food processor to create a coarse paste. This can also be done with a mortar and pestle if you have one.
  3. Slowly beat the cream cheese together until it is smooth. After blending in the sugar, beat in the eggs one by one until the mixture is smooth. Add in the cream and blend before zesting one lemon.
  4. To zest a citrus fruit, you use a zester or a very coarse grater and basically scrape off the outside of the skin until you hit the white of the fruit. Don’t go below the white as that is usually bitter.
  5. Then blend in the zest from one lime and the juice that lime and another. Blend this well before blending in the jalapeno paste.JalapenoLimeCheesecake
  6. Pour the filling into the springform pan and then gently tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles.
  7. Bake the cheesecake for about an hour or until it starts to separate from the sides; make sure to keep the pan of boiling water underneath the cheesecake. The added moisture from the steam should keep the cheesecake from drying out and cracking.
  8. Let the cheesecake cool outside of the oven for 20 minutes before placing in your refrigerator overnight. Before serving slice the third lemon into thin pieces and place one slice on each piece.

Some interesting variations –

For a deeper flavour mixture, you can roast the jalapenos slowly over an open flame. After putting them in a plastic bag, the skin will loosen and you should be able to peel the blackened skin right off the pepper. This should be done before you puree them with the sugar.

Also if you would like to give this a completely feel, use GF chocolate creme-filled cookies for the crust and sprinkle cocoa powder lightly over the top of the cheesecake after you pull it out of the oven. You could also put thin chocolate shavings on each slice. This version would be stupendous with habanero and orange!

Turkey Con Arroz Y Salsa

With Easter just behind us and Thanksgiving just a few months away (hey a guy can hope!), I was thinking about what to do with leftover turkey. Typically, I would just make a sandwich pre-CD, But as we all know GF bread is a bit small and does not necessarily the best sandwiches make. Otherwise I would normally do something along the lines of a turkey burrito or quesadilla. And since I’ve shown you a few recipes for those already, I decided to try something new.

This recipe happens to be very, very close to a simple Alfredo. And it’s a great fusion of Mexican and that Alfredo hence the name fusion!

Turkey Con Arroz Y Salsa

1 red onion
4 jalapenos
2 tbsp (30 g) butter
1 tbsp (15 g) Cumin
1 tsp (5 g) Cilantro
1 tsp (5 g) Garlic
1 small jar Guy Fieri 7 pepper salsa
227 g Garlic & Herb cream cheese
1 lb. turkey, cooked and diced

  1. Saute the onions and jalapenos together with the butter and spices. While the base is cooking, make a recipe of Quick Mexi Rice.
  2. Once the onions are soft, add in the cream cheese and salsa making the sauce.
  3. After the sauce has started to thicken, you can add the turkey.
  4. Plate some rice and pour some of the sauce over the top – serve immediately!


Quick Mexi Rice

This simple rice is a great side for almost any Tex-Mex dish.

1.5 cups rice
2 tbsp (30 ml) chicken bouillon
1 tbsp (15 g) cilantro
1 tbsp (15 g) red pepper flakes
1 cup (225 g) frozen corn

Combine the ingredients and cook the rice how you would normally.