Gluten-Free Italian Meatball Recipe

Italian meatballs gluten free with brown rice spaghetti
Gluten-free Italian meatballs recipe with pesto rice pasta

Craving meatballs but shun evil gluten? Have I got a meatball recipe for you. And it's so good you won't even have to apologize to your Aunt Carmella. I promise. She won't ever suspect you pulled a switcheroo on the old family recipe and made it gluten-free.

Mum's the word (or is it Mama mia?).

Let's face it. When it comes to making meatballs every family boasts an ultra-special top secret meatball recipe, right? There's a loyalty to meatball mojo as fierce and tooth baring as the die hard belief that Mom's meatloaf can cure all ills, mend bruised hearts, and restore order to chaos theory.

So why am I putting myself on the line here? How do I even dare to post a gluten-free meatball recipe? The wrong ingredient or technique might actually lead to fisticuffs. Or bristling. You might turn away from Gluten-Free Goddess in utter, sheer contempt.

I'm putting my reputation on the line here, and I know it.

So why risk it? Why torture myself with the inevitable backlash? Reason one-  an obvious plea. My meatballs are gluten-free and casein-free, in other words, GFCF. My audience. My people.

These meatballs also happen to be egg-free (yes, I hear the snorts of derision- may you wake tomorrow with a blooming albumen rash and come crawling back to peruse my egg-free recipes).

Reason number two? My spaghetti and meatballs? Killer. I'm serious.

Meatball bliss.

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The Gluten-Free Diet Cheat-Sheet: How to Go G-Free

The Gluten-Free Diet Cheat-Sheet: How to Go G-Free

Gluten-Free ABCs for Going G-free

Gluten is the elastic protein in the grains: wheat, rye, barley, durum, einkorn, graham, semolina, bulgur wheat, spelt, farro, kamut, and triticale. Commercial oats also contain gluten due to cross contamination in processing.

Recipes that use flour (bleached white flour, whole wheat, cracked wheat, barley, semolina, spelt, farro, kamut, triticale) or vital wheat gluten are not gluten-free.

Semolina, spelt and whole wheat pasta, including cous cous, are not gluten-free.

Beer, ale and lager are not gluten-free. Brats, meats and sausage cooked in beer are not gluten-free.

Malt vinegar, malt flavorings and barley malt are not gluten-free.

Recipes calling for breadcrumbs, breaded coatings, flour dredging, bread and flat bread, croutons, bagels, croissants, flour tortillas, pizza crust, graham crackers, granola, cereal, wheat germ, wheat berries, cookie crumbs, pie crust, crackers, pretzels, toast, flour tortillas, wraps and lavash, or pita bread are not gluten-free.

The vegan protein sub called seitan is not gluten-free; and some tempeh is not gluten-free (you must check). Flavored tofu may or may not be gluten-free. Injera bread (traditionally made from teff flour) and Asian rice wraps may be gluten-free, but are not necessarily gluten-free (check labels).

Barley enzymes used in malt, natural flavors, and to process some non-dairy beverages, chocolate chips, coffee and dessert syrups (and even some brown rice syrups) are not gluten-free. Always check.

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Royal Icing 1 0 1 . . . .Works For Me Wednesday

For cookie decorating, I use Royal Icing. I've seen cookies decorated with fondant and just recently heard of rolled buttercream, but Royal Icing works for me.

Royal Icing is an icing that dries hard and opaque, so cookies can be stacked and icing stays pretty when cookies are packaged. It's easy, only takes 3 ingredients: meringue powder, water and sugar (flavoring is optional).
To start, you'll need meringue powder. Ateco and Williams-Sonoma are my favorites...I think I've tried them all. :) Ateco is a little hard to find, so any meringue powder will work. Follow the instructions for Royal Icing that come with your meringue powder. Here's a recipe to try with any meringue powder:

Royal Icing
(this will cover approximately 3 dozen 3.5 inch cookies)

1 pound powdered sugar
5 TBSP meringue powder
scant 1/2 c. water
a few drops of extract (optional)

Combine the meringue powder and water with a whisk attachment using an electric mixer. Beat until peaks begin to form. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. Increase speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form. (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) If using an extract, add it then beat for a few more seconds to incorporate.
Cover with plastic wrap touching the icing or divide and color using gel paste food colorings.

{The most important step: sift the powdered sugar! Believe me, I've tried to shortcut this doesn't work. My favorite powdered sugars are Domino and C & H, but as you can see from the picture, any will do. Imperial is easier to find in the 1 pound boxes.}

This "stiff" icing is perfect for outlining and even for building gingerbread houses and monogramming. To fill in your cookies, add water to your icing a little at a time until it is the consistency of syrup. This technique of filling a cookie with thinned icing is called "flooding." Click here for more details.
Happy cookie decorating!

Be sure to check out all of the Works for Me Wednesday ideas at We are THAT Family.

♥♥♥Don't forget the CHOCOLATE GIVEAWAY going on right now!!! TWO Bake at 350 readers will win!♥♥♥

More WFMW posts:

Chocolates for Mom...a giveaway for TWO!!!

{Update: the winners are: Sarah {SCS: Sairabee} and Dessert Obsessed. Congratulations, ladies!}

Just in time for Mother's Day... See's Candies is offering TWO Bake at 350 readers $25 gift cards!!! Woo-hoo!!!
Why I think chocolate is the perfect Mother's Day gift...
  1. It's never the wrong size,
  2. It's already wrapped,
  3. If you give it in person, mom has to share!
To enter...pop on over to See's Mother's Day Gifts and tell me...what would you pick for mom (or for yourself)? Let me know in a comment and be sure to link to a blog or leave an email.

I'm thinking....Cafe Latte Pops and Travel Mug...

...the Keepsake Collection...

...of course, you can never go wrong with Nuts & Chews!

Drawing will be held Saturday, May 2nd at 5pm central. Good luck! :)

Once Upon a Lime...

I'm a chocolate girl at heart, but sometimes a citrus-y dessert is just the ticket!

Have you tried Lime Oil or Natural Lime Powder? King Arthur Flour carries both of them in their online shop and I am so happy to have tried them.
lime cookies
First up....Luscious Lime cookies! The recipe can be found on the King Arthur website and they are exactly as described. Luscious little bites of lime. They're made with both the lime powder and lime oil. The cookies are tart and sweet and covered in a generous dusting of lime powdered sugar.

Don't wear black while eating them! ;)

Second...Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

This is the creamiest ice cream I've ever made! The lime flavor is kicked up a notch with the addition of a little lime oil. I can't wait to make this was a hit!
key lime
Both of these recipes would be perfect for Cinco de Mayo parties and warm weather cookouts!

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream
(inspired by Bruce Weinstein)

1 & 1/2 c. heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
1 (15 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c. key lime juice (or regular lime juice)
1/4 tsp. lime oil
4 full sheets graham crackers, crumbled
2/3 c. marshmallow creme

Bring the cream to a simmer. Place egg yolks in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk the hot cream into the yolks. Pour the mixture back into the pan and heat over low heat, whisking or stirring constantly. Heat until the custard has thickened slightly. (Don't boil.)

Remove from heat and pour custard through a strainer into a large bowl. Cool slightly and then whisk in the sweetened condensed milk, juice and lime oil. Cover and refrigerate overnight or 8-12 hours.

Stir the custard and add to your ice cream machine. About 2 minutes before the ice cream is finished, add the graham crackers. Spoon into freezer safe containers, adding the marshmallow creme in large dollops throughout. Press plastic wrap onto the ice cream, cover and freeze for a few hours to harden.

Want more?
I scream, you scream. We all scream for ice cream:
....Turtle Ice Cream Pie!....

Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Modernizing Mom's Mediterranean Meal

Do not panic....there is dessert at the end of this post!!!

I am really excited to be part of Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 this month. Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 is an event where 24 food bloggers host 24 meals in 24 hours. The date just happened to fall when my sister was coming for a visit, so I thought I'd try updating a couple of my mom's recipes.

Coming from a family that was extremely proud of our Irish roots, it may seem a little strange that one of my mom's "company dishes" was cabbage rolls and tabbouleh. According to my dad, this stems from a few steakhouses in Tulsa where they (and my grandparents and aunts and uncles) would eat. I remember growing up thinking these restaurants....Eddy's and Jamil's...must be so exotic. The children were never brought along and they served mysterious sounding dishes like tabbouleh, hummus and cabbage rolls.
h and h
My meal adventure started at Hubbell & Hudson. It's a wonderful new-ish market in The Woodlands. If you are anywhere in north Houston, I strongly recommend making a trip. Even their produce section is drool-worthy...and I don't usually drool over veggies!
So, we started our evening with hummus. This is a great recipe from Martha Stewart. I've made it several times and one wonderful thing about it is that you can make it ahead of time. We ate this with veggies and homemade pita bread. This recipe is from King Arthur Flour and is so easy and SO much better than store bought!
pita dough
{We were so busy eating it, I only got a picture of the dough!}

To go with the cabbage rolls, there was tabbouleh. I don't know why I don't make this more, it's so fresh tasting and there's no heating up of the kitchen. Unfortunately, I don't have my mom's recipe for tabbouleh, so the recipe is another goodie from Martha. I use curly parsley in mine because that's the way I remember it. :) My only tip is, make it several hours before serving to let the bulgar soak up the olive oil and lemon juice.
The cabbage rolls...just the smell of them make me think of my mom. Mom's recipe is really good, but it needed a little's why...
Every time I see this recipe card, I crack up: MSG!!! Can you even buy it these days?
cabbage rolls
Here's the tweaked recipe:
Mom's Cabbage Rolls

For the rolls:
12 large cabbage leaves
1 & 1/2 lbs. ground beef (round)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 c. green bell pepper, minced
1/3 c. onion, finely chopped
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. cooked long grain rice
dash cinnamon

For the sauce:
2 and 1/4 c. tomato juice
2 TBSP. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 TBSP. picante sauce
1 tsp. cinnamon

Cook the cabbage leaves in boiling salted water for 5 minutes (add a few more leaves than you need in case of tearing). Drain. Rinse lightly under cold water.

Mix the ground beef, salt/pepper, cinnamon, bell pepper, onion and rice with your hands in a mixing bowl.

Fill each cabbage leaf with the meat mixture. Fold in edges and roll. Secure with a toothpick.

In a large skillet, combine the sauce ingredients. Place the cabbage rolls in the sauce. Cover. Bring to a steaming point on med-high heat. Reduce to low and cook for 45 minutes.
cabbage rolls drop
They were delicious! My dad went back for seconds and my husband had thirds! Even my 10-year-old who was a little hesitant about "cabbage rolls" liked them! I will make these more often!

OK....dessert! Are you still with me? I made this Honeyed Yogurt and Blueberry Tart with Ginger Crust. It was really the perfect ending to the Mediterranean meal! The yogurt was rich and tangy and the ginger crust was amazing! (The only changes I made were using 2% yogurt instead of non-fat and baking the crust for only 15 minutes.)
blueberry tart
The evening was a success! Fun was had by all...lots of food, wine and even a little American Idol video game playing! :)

Thank you, Foodbuzz for letting me be a part of this month's 24, 24, 24! It was a treat! And thanks to my mom, for the great recipes and the inspiration!

Bowl me over

My sister and nephew are coming for a visit tomorrow! :) My nephew is he is...
....go ahead. Awwwww!

His great love....bowling! Santa even brought him a bowling ball for Christmas. So, I made some bowling cookies for him.
bowling side
I used a vintage-y cutter that I found on eBay. It was fun to finally use it, although it is one of those cutters that is closed on the top. You know what I mean? It wouldn't cut all the way through the wasn't deep enough, so I had to go around the shape with a paring knife.
Other than the cookie cutter issue, these are really easy cookies to make. I just outlined and filled the shapes with black/white icing and added the pin stripes using a #4 tip and the finger holes with a #3. Easy Peasy!
bowling side close
I hope he likes them!!!
bowling bowl
More sports cookies:

Frosted Orange Creme Cupcakes - Vegan and Gluten-Free

Gluten free vegan orange cupcakes
Gluten-free vegan orange cupcakes- egg-free and dairy-free, too.

On my To-Do List for nearly forever has been creating a gluten-free vegan recipe for my favorite birthday treat- a fresh and fragrant orange cake with orange creme frosting. Since it isn't my birthday until June (and it's just the two of us living out here in our little casita in the coyote run hills) I decided to experiment with making cupcakes instead of a layer cake. Orange cupcakes just sounded fun for spring. Sunny and sweet. And I needed cheering up. I've been a bit blue since the house sale fell through.

The craving for cupcakes started with my Twitter pal Caroline aka @ChefCaroline (she's started a fun new blog The Wright Recipes this spring). I'll give her the credit. She mentioned she was baking vegan cupcakes this week- Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes, to be exact- and invited me to join her. And who am I to say no to an offer involving cupcakes? So stop by Caroline's and say, Hola.

I had such a good time in the kitchen this week making these sweet little gems. In fact, I'll be working on more recipes for vegan cupcakes in the near future, including basic vanilla cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, carrot, perhaps, and a few other tasty flavor combos.

Now that I know how easy it is to bake delicious gluten-free vegan cupcakes, the sky's the limit.

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Good Morning, Sunshine!

Oh, happy day!
english muffins 1
I love English muffins. I could eat them every morning for breakfast...a little butter, maybe a little strawberry jam. For summer lunches, I love them with veggie cream cheese, big tomato slices and cucumbers.

What I don't love? That English muffins from the store have 25 ingredients! I find myself buying them less and less. Every recipe I've seen for them calls for special equipment...and I'm lazy...and cheap! :) But NOW....I found this wonderful recipe from The Knead for Bread (an amazing, drool-worthy bread blog).

Chuck's recipe calls for cookie cutters! Those, I have!
english muffin rolling pin
Here they are just cut out and getting ready to be covered for a 2nd rise.

english muffin griddle
And...on the griddle....

muffins w butter and jelly
I couldn't decide...butter or butter with jelly. I went for one of each.

english muffin split
Anyone else own an English muffin splitter? This was a gift from my in-laws; it's wonderful. Although, the picture on the left makes me think of Hannibal Lector...yikes!
english muffin sand top
english muffin sammy
You know how store-bought English muffins are terrible unless they are toasted? These are delicious! I made a little turkey sandwich on one for lunch.

english muffins
I kept thinking to myself...I made these!...they made me proud. :) Trust me, you'll want to make them, too! Happy eating!

Hungry for more? Check these posts:

Teddy Bear's Picnic

Don't hate me, but I've never been a huge fan of the teddy bear. I know, I know...I feel bad about it! I loved my Rhett Beartler and Scarlett O'Beara bears that I had in high school, though. Did anyone else have those? I wonder where mine are....
teddy bears
These bears, I like. I modeled the bears' faces from the Build-a-Bear mascot. I just drew them on using an AmeriColor Gourmet Writer in black.
bears and cupcakes
The sprinkles are my favorite part of the cupcakes! They are great for a class party...a lot less messy than real cupcakes! :) The candle doesn't ship all that well, though, so they are not the best for mailing.
cupcakes 3 pink
I'll leave you with a link to my favorite teddy bear...for the life of me, I can't remember his name, but he "sings" Teddy Bear's Picnic with Trout Fishing in America (my favorite!). If you've seen them in concert, you know what I'm talking about. :) If you haven't...check out their calendar and GO...they are so great! {update: I think it hit me...RoBear! Am I right? Anyone? Anyone?}

More birthday ideas:

Asparagus Leek Risotto Recipe

Creamy asparagus risotto  for spring.

May I just take a moment and express my deep appreciation for risotto? And tender-crisp spring asparagus? A week like we've had triggers a need for comfort food- but not the heavy, spice laced comfort food of winter. Something fresh and light and creamy. Asparagus risotto to the rescue. For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you know that it's been a roller coaster week for us. From opening a bottle of Veuve Clicquot to learning that our buyer had run into a snag. He missed the deadline for obtaining a mortgage. We remain hopeful and knee deep in book stacks and boxes, however. He's still trying. Still interested. 

And us? We're practicing our best zen detachment.

With bourbon.

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Organizing cookie cutters...Works For Me Wednesday

I outgrew my cookie cutter basket years ago. Not only was it overflowing, but it was a pain to dig for the right cutter.

In our last house, my husband came up with this plan...a shoe rack. He attached it to the back of one of our doors and I just popped the cookie cutters on in alphabetical order.
cookie cutter door

When we moved, there wasn't a good "cookie cutter door," so I'm using this rack of wire baskets and baggies to organize my cutters. Baggies aren't the prettiest, but they work!
cookie cutter drawers

They, too, are in alphabetical order. Can you guess which letter has the most baggies? The letter S wins with 3 baggies full and 23 cutters!
cookie cutters a

cookie cutter hearts
Hearts get their own bag. :)
cookie cutters top drawer
The top drawer is my favorite. It has ribbon, cookie bags, gift tags, etc. I wish the rest of my life was this organized.

Check all of the amazing ideas over at Works For Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family.

A few of my previous WFMW entries:

Carrot Soup

Lovely and simple vegan carrot soup
A simple and elegant vegan carrot soup.

Here's a fresh and easy vegan carrot soup recipe for spring. Why soup? Because it rains in spring. It snows in spring. It even does so simultaneously, accompanied by thunder, out here in the wilds of sunny New Mexico. We experienced the gamut of meteorological events over the weekend as we were loading boxes of books into the car. Four seasons in one day. Packing and unpacking. Once again weeding out what is no longer necessary, hunched in our cramped little storage unit, out of the stinging sleet, rummaging through boxes, weeding out for the next move. The migration West. To Southern California.

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Cookie decorating with the boys . . .

Last week as I was debating cookie ideas, my son said, "can we make some just to have around the house?" He never asks for cookies (I think he's eaten too many of my mistakes), so I jumped at the chance to make some together.

We decided to try out some mini Easter cutters and just do simple outlines and sparkling sugar. j cutting cookies
I just love seeing that BOY'S ARM and digital watch cutting cookies! And boy, did we have cookies!!!
lots o cookies
Hubby decided to join us for decorating. They actually had fun! (I was a little worried. Never fear, they are getting their "man time" in now watching Star Wars Clone Wars.)boys piping working

Total concentration....notice the arched eyebrows! :)

bunny sitting

I love the face on this little guy!

bunnies pink noses

j's bunnies
How about these? I can't decide which is my favorite....the bunny with the glasses or the "surprised" one.

mini eggs

boys easy

One day left for Easter baking! Need some inspiration?

Today (Saturday) Bake at 350's pantry is being featured at The Perfect Pantry. Go on over and check out Lydia's blog. It's full of great recipes, info and yes, pantries! :) Thanks, Lydia!

And, before I forget again....the winner of the King Arthur Scone giveaway was Lorie. Thanks for entering! :)

Have a Happy Easter!