Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Blueberry Corn Mini Muffins

food 021

If blueberry muffins and cornbread had a baby, that would be the essence of these mini muffins. It sounds like a weird combination but it worked. I made them for breakfast one morning and served them warm out of the oven.  My son, J,  asked for seconds and he never asks for seconds.  So I challenge you to try these and let me know what you think.

Blueberry Corn Muffins

Makes 30 mini muffinsfood 021


2 Tbsp Flaxseed meal

¼ cup + 2 Tbsp Water

1 cup Gluten-Free all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur in this recipe)

¾  cup sugar

¾  cup cornmeal

1 Tbsp baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cups rice milk

¼ cup grapeseed oil

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries


Pre-heat over to 400F.

Grease a mini muffin pan with non-stick spray.

In a small bowl, combine flaxseed meal and water and let it set for 10-15 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder and salt; mix well.

In a medium bowl, combine rice milk, flaxseed mixture, and oil and combine well.

Stir milk mixture into flour mixture just until combined. Fold blueberries gently into the batter.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each until almost full.

Bake muffins until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.

Cool muffins in pan for 2 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and place on a wire rack to cool slightly.

Serve warm.

Tip: To make your morning easier, prepare your ingredients the night before in their medium and large bowls. Cover with clear wrap and store the medium bowl in the fridge. In the morning stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture and continue as directed.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

GF, DF Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m on a quest to make our favorite sweets into more nutritious / healthy treats. After a few attempts at this cookie, I have finally developed a gluten-free, dairy-free version of this fave.  Keep in mind that if you are a celiac, you will want to make sure to use designated GF oat flour and GF quick cooking oats in this recipe.  Since we are not celiacs, I simply took the oats I had on hand and used them.

Those of you who have gone gluten-free know that GF cookies and sweets will never be exactly like the wheat flour versions. But this one comes pretty close. My boys devoured them so they are definitely kid-tested and approved.

If you want to try this recipe but aren’t ready to commit to buying oat flour, here is a neat trick.  Take 1 and 1/2 cups of the oats you have on hand and put them in your food processor. Process them for about 2 minutes and they will turn into a powder.  Then measure out the correct amount of this “oat powder” (in this case 1 and 1/4 cups) and add it to the recipe. Viola`! Home-made oat flour!

As always, I’d love to hear about your experience with this recipe. Please leave a comment and let me know if you’ve tried it.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 Tbsp flaxseed meal

¼ cup + 2 Tbsp of water

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups oat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

1 cup gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts, optional


Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed meal and water. Stir and let it set for 10-15 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together the applesauce and sugar.  Stir in the vanilla and flax mixture. Then add baking soda and salt and stir to combine. Add the oat flour and combine well. Mix in the quick oats, chocolate chips and walnuts (if using).  Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets. For best results, use a cookie scoop. Use the back of a spoon to flatten the dough so it resembles more of a round flat cookie.

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies

Bake for 12-15 minutes in the pre-heated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 30 cookies.

GF, DF Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Top Chef’s Fabio Viviani Cuts the Cheese in my Kitchen!


I had the weirdest dream last night. I dreamt that celebrity chef, Fabio Viviani, was in my kitchen cutting the cheese!  Because I have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy, I giggled at the phrase “cuttin’ the cheese”.  But anyway, in my dream, he was shredding this delicious hunk of parmesan cheese and telling me about the complexities of its flavor.

Now this dream isn’t all that far-fetched given that I live in the town where Fabio opened his first restaurant, Cafe Firenze. Years ago, when he first came to town and took over the existing Italian deli where I was a regular, I would frequent the store weekly to buy salami and other Italian cold cuts and products (like every good Sicilian girl).  I got a kick out of having a couple of “paisanos” in this random nook of Southern California and enjoyed practicing my broken Italian with him and his business partner, Jacopo.

Then came Top Chef celebritydom and Fabio’s presence became more elusive.  But thanks to facebook and twitter, I was able to follow the realization of his American dream.

So given that I haven’t seen the guy in ages and he’s likely to not even remember who I am, it was odd to have him show up in a dream…in my kitchen…cutting the cheese (giggle).

Cut to Scene 2 of my dream and he is making me a ginormous pizza with an amazing crust. I can vividly smell it cooking and can’t wait to sink my teeth into the golden layer of bubbling melted mozzarella. And then I woke up – a little miffed that I hadn’t the chance to take that mouth-watering bite.

Although I was groggy, the revelation wasn’t lost on me.  It’s not hard to decipher that my dream is the result of suppressed depression and longing that stems from gluten and dairy deprivation.  I miss my carbs…and my cheese! I’m Italian for Pete’s sake. It’s abnormal to not eat pasta, bread and cheese at every meal! So why do I submit myself to this culinary abstinence? Because I love my son.  And his Asperger’s symptoms are drastically reduced on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet.

Aspie kids already feel so different from everyone else why add to that feeling by excluding him from eating certain portions of the family meal. I want to support him and show him we’re on his team so I’ve asked my whole family to participate in this diet. I’m not going to lie, it’s been hard, ironically more so for me than for him.  In fact, he’s been so compliant and appreciative of my efforts to develop sweet treats that he can eat.

So as my giant pizza slipped away,  I laid under the covers and had a pity party for 5 minutes. I remembered the days I used to visit my grandmother in Italy and feast on a chunk of parmesan the size of my head and freshly baked bread from the neighborhood baker.  I longed for the sound of the crust as I broke off a warm piece of glutinous heaven. My yearning was so intense, I could practically taste it.  Food porn at it’s finest.

And just when I couldn’t take the guilt for indulging in a little food fantasy, I got out of bed to make the boys a breakfast of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free waffles with sun butter and bananas, sprinkled with nutritional yeast.

And as I prepared gluten-free lunches for school,  I remembered that Fabio has new gluten-free items on his menu.  I thanked God that there is an increasing awareness in the food industry of special dietary needs. I prayed for strength to continue on in this nutritional plan for health.

And then I giggled again about “cuttin’ the cheese”.