pie crust

PIe Crust

If you are like me, you love pies! But pie crust and gluten free do not mix well. I was diagnosed with celiac in the fall of 1998. I have searched far and wide for a “decent” pie crust. Substitution just doesn’t work in this setting. After much travail and trashing many pies, I have found a pie crust that is very good, not just decent. I found this a couple years ago. We saw it on the shelf of the grocery store and my husband had to talk me into buying it. I was always so disappointed and I didn’t want to relive that feeling. So, I bought it. It is a very easy mix. It is flaky and holds together well. It’s not Gramma’s pie crust, but I highly suggest you try it!

Ingredients you should use:
I would substitute the butter for grass fed butter, Kerrygold is a good brand, it has naturally occurring Vitamin K2, check out my article on Vitamin K2 and it’s benefits.

I would also use Palm Shortening for the shortening, it has some pretty good benefits as well and is actually food unlike Crisco. (Check out the book, Death by Food Pyramid to understand the beginnings of Crisco and why we shouldn’t consume it.)

You could also use lard or tallow (grass fed preferably for that naturally occurring Vitamin K2) that does not have BHT or BHA added. Read the labels!!!

For the apple cider vinegar, make sure you get it raw and unfiltered. Bragg is my go-to brand. Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar has pre and probiotics. It has shown helpful in many stomach ailments.

Where to find it:

  • Spokane – I have not found this here yet. I’ll have to check Yoke’s or Huckleberry’s again.
  • Reno – just about everyone carries it, Walmart in the gluten free section, Whole Foods, to name a couple
  • Chico – I’m sure you can find it at S&S and possibly Raley’s or Save Mart.
  • Paradise – Holiday Foods carries a good selection of gluten free items.

I always encourage supporting your local vendors, but if you cannot find it in your area, you can buy it here.

If you find it in your area, please email me and I can list it for others to find.


For those that have received a SCOBY from me, here is the ratio for proper kombucha fermentation:

  • 1 gallon filtered water
  • 1 cup sugar (can be organic or just plain white sugar)
  • 8 black tea bags (oolong and green tea are okay)
  • 2 cups starter or apple cider vinegar

DO list:

  1. Use glass jar to brew
  2. Cover with close weave cloth and rubberband
  3. Keep at room temp in a dark corner
  4. Leave tea to ferment 5-14 days.
  5. Taste with straw to desired flavor

DO NOT list:

  1. Use plastic, ceramic, metal to brew
  2. Use cheesecloth to cover, too loose a weave
  3. Leave in direct sun
  4. Use herbal teas (properties of tea will kill SCOBY)
  5. Use raw honey, stevia, or artificial sweeteners to sweeten tea (raw honey and stevia will kill SCOBY, sugar is what she eats, she cannot eat artificial sweeteners including sucralose)
    Complete list of Do’s and Don’ts

What is Kombucha good for?

  • It is fantastic for healing your gut! Read here.
  • Drink 30 minutes before eating to help fill you up and cause you to eat less.
  • Drink after meal to help with digestion troubles.
  • People report less joint pain. Read here

How much?
Start with 2 to 4 oz of kombucha twice a day and drink with lots of water to flush out the toxins from your body. Work up to 8 oz twice a day, or however much your body wants and as often as you want!

I heard…
There are some rumors and questions surrounding Kombucha. Let me see if I can help you with any of them…

  1. It has alcohol in it.
    Yes, anything fermented has alcohol content. It has approximately the same alcohol as those non-alcoholic beers out there. So, if you drink 12 oz of O’Douls and get drunk, you might want to stay away from kombucha. It is also not recommended for recovering alcoholics. Some tolerate it, some slip back into alcoholism, so not recommended.
  2. You can get really sick from fermented foods.
    Yes, you can. But it is very rare and only a sick SCOBY or uncovered SCOBY will get you sick. There are so many people out there drinking their own brewed batches of kombucha, I personally haven’t heard of anyone landing in the hospital from drinking it. And you know it would be all over the news!!!
  3. Other questions answered

If you have heard any other rumors or have any questions, let me know! I will be happy to help you find the answer! :)

once burnt on food

Burnt on Food

I don’t know about you, but I hate scrubbing burnt pans! Fortunately, they don’t come along very often. I was wondering what to write about for my next post (the only downfall to blogging…) when it hit me. I have to tell you about the easiest way to clean a pan with burnt on food.

A few days ago, I made a pan of rice. I got the pan on the stove, rice, water, cover, heat, done. My husband had an “urgent errand” I had to take him on. I turned the stove way down and told my daughter to listen for it to boil over. Well, needless to say, we ended up with burnt rice. It really wasn’t that bad, most of it was salvageable except for the bottom ¼ inch. And it was burnt, black as black can be. Ugh!

Childhood memories came flooding back of hours and hours spent scrubbing burnt pans ’til my hands and arms hurt! Okay, so I was a kid, it probably wasn’t that bad. Did I mention, I hate scrubbing burnt pans!!!

Here’s how to get around scrubbing for hours and hours. First thing to do, scrape as much yuck off as possible. Next, put enough water in the pan to cover the black. (BTW, this works for any burnt pan, including baking pans). Add some salt, you want approximately 1 Tbsp to 1 cup of water. Now, bring the water to boil. I know it sounds crazy, but it does help. As soon as it boils, pull it off the heat and let it sit for a couple hours. Make a couple swipes with the scrubbie, no elbow grease is necessary. Pour out the water. Now, pour in enzymes to cover burnt on food. (Some will tell you to dilute it, I don’t.) I let mine sit for two days, 12 hours is usually enough, but I really didn’t want to deal with it. So, today, I stuck my finger in it to see how easily the black stuff came up. OMGosh!!! Every single bit of that black stuff came off with the swipe of my finger! I kid you not! A couple of swipes with my finger and all the black stuff was gone. I ran a soapy cloth over it and look at my pan. I took this picture just after this whole procedure. What I want to know, where was this stuff when I was a kid?!?!?!

The last time I used this method, there was a little bit of scrubbing involved but I didn’t let it sit in the enzymes as long.

home made enzymer

Home-made Enzymes

I got turned onto enzymes when I went to a party. The company was a “clean” cleaning products company. They had microfiber cloths, and all kinds of cleansers that had essential oils and their toilet cleaner was enzymes. Well, I didn’t really want to pay as much as they wanted for such a little bottle. I love the internet, you can find anything. I found this recipe for home-made enzymes. And I’m going to pass it along. This recipe can be found at several different sites and I will reference them below.  These are so easy!


  1. About 2 cups Lemons or other citrus scraps, peels mainly, cut into tiny pieces. I’ve even used grapefruit and it worked so well! This is great to make in the winter time when you have lots of scraps from my throat tonic.
  2. 1/2 c brown or white sugar. Most recipes call for brown sugar, but honestly I have used both and haven’t found any advantage with the brown.
  3. 1 tsp yeast. This is totally optional. It takes 3 months without it. But, if you use it, don’t use more than 1 tsp.

Also need:
2 liter bottle (juice bottles work wonderfully) funnel
cheese cloth
apple cider vinegar

  1. Squeeze your tiny pieces into the mouth of the 2 liter bottle.
  2. Use the funnel, if needed, and put your sugar and optional yeast into bottle.
  3. Add 1 liter water.
  4. Shake for 30 seconds.
  5. Unscrew cap slightly so air can escape, otherwise you’ll blow up your bottle. I did mine in a 1/2 gallon jar because I’m all out of juice bottles.
  6. Shake every day for the first couple days to really get the sugar and yeast dissolved.
  7. Sit in dark corner for 2 weeks (3 months if no yeast)
  8. Strain through cheese cloth into glass container.
  9. Add 1 cup apple cider vinegar. (I always forget this step and it seems like my enzymes work better without it.)
  10. Keep in fridge

These enzymes can be used for anything! You can wash your dishes with them, your car, your toilet, burnt on food… You name it, it’ll clean it. It is safe to use on your wood furniture and you can spray it around your pets and kids and not worry about it. Everyone else says to use it diluted 12:1 ratio of water to enzyme. I just pour a tiny bit into a microfiber cloth and go to it. I use this in my toilet, and shower. It is amazing at getting the soap scum off and it leaves behind a nice citrus smell. :)


One Good Thing by Jillie


Happy Homemaker 88

and many others



corndog muffins

Gluten Free Corn Dog Muffins

I don’t know about you, but I miss a good corn dog. We have been working on a recipe but hadn’t got it quite right. Well, leave it to my son, who has never cooked before to get it perfect his first time! Way to go Zach! Maybe he has cooking in his future, hmmm….  These are just the right mix of crunch, corn bread and hot dog. Definitely hit the spot.

Corn Dog Muffins

1 c cornmeal
1 c gf flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c sugar
1 c milk
2 eggs
1/4 c butter, melted
1 pack of 8 hot dogs (I like the Oscar Meyer Selects, the turkey ones)

1. Preheat oven to 450˚ F
2. Cut hot dogs into 3rds. Heat to boiling then let dry on paper towel (very important step!)
3. Mix dry ingredients together.
4. Mix wet ingredients together.5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients all at once. Stir completely.
6. Put paper cups into muffin pan.
7. Put 1 1/2 Tablespoons corn muffin mix into paper cups.
8. Lay one piece of hot dog across cornmeal in each cup (see picture)
9. Bake 15 minutes.

This will make 24 muffins, with about half the cornmeal left over. I froze mine for the next time. Enjoy!



Should you eat it? Not eat it? Which, if any, should you use? And really, just what is all the fuss about anyway? It’s just salt… right?

We are going to break down why you need salt or sodium actually, and the different types of salt out there and what, if any, nutritional value they hold.

So, sodium… what is it and why do we need it? It is one of our electrolytes, so yes, we need it! In high school biology we learn about solutions and cell structure. We learn about isotonic (balanced) solution, hypotonic and hypertonic solutions. This is at the cell level. When the cytoplasm (gel inside the cell) has an equal solution (isotonic) to the outside of the cell membrane, all is well. This is called homoeostasis. Your body is constantly trying to achieve this state. When you have too high a concentration (of sodium or potassium) inside the cell (hypertonic solution) it causes the cell to implode or shrivel up to nothing (not good!) When you have too low a concentration inside the cell (hypotonic solution) the cell blows up or explodes (not good either). So, as you can see the correct level of sodium is essential to you on a cellular level. Sodium is essential for muscle and nerve impulses, proper kidney function, and your fluid levels in your blood (which affects your blood pressure). Livestrong.com has a great article on how sodium affects your body.

How do you know if you are getting enough, or too much? The FDA recommends between 1500-2300 mg of sodium a day. Everyone is different and therefore has a different level of need, but this is a good starting point. If you eat processed, boxed or canned foods, chances are you are getting way more than enough sodium and don’t need to worry which type of salt to use, because that would be zero! If you don’t eat this way, awesome!  All real whole food has some sodium naturally occurring in it. Adding a little extra in the form of salt can be beneficial as long as it’s not extravagant and the right salt is used. So, which salt to use?

Table Salt with or without Iodine – This salt has been chemically processed and bleached and the nutritional content is none! I have even seen it referred to as toxic and detrimental to your health. Yikes! I don’t know about you, but I’m good without this one! (Don’t worry, sea salt has naturally occurring iodine.)

Sea Salt – This salt comes from the sea and is (ususally) not subjected to any chemical treatments or bleaching (Big plus!!!) It contains a number of trace minerals that your body needs and it is lower in sodium than table salt, so you can use a shake or two more. Here is a great article on the health benefits of sea salt. Sea salt is the preferred salt for fermenting as it is pure and has no chemicals to taint or kill the lactobacillus during the fermentation process. Beware! Some brands add anti-caking agents, read the label! This can be found at any local grocery store.

Celtic Salt – Also known as celtic sea salt. This salt is mined off the coast of France and is grey in color. It has all the health benefits as regular sea salt. If you can’t find it locally you can buy it here.

Himalayan Salt – This salt is known for its pink hew, but it also comes in black. This salt is mined deep in the foothills of the Himalayas in Pakistan. It is reported to have 84 different trace minerals essential to your body.  Here is a great article on Himalayan Salt If you can’t find it locally, you can buy it here.

Real Salt – Also known as Real Sea Salt. This is mined in the good ol’ US of A! That’s right people, if you are a fan of buying things made in America this is it! It is mined from an underground ancient sea in Utah. It is not processed and you can see by all the different colors just how diverse the elements in this salt are. There is no processing or additives in this salt. It will cake as there is no anti-caking agent added like with table salt. A friend of ours turned us onto Real Salt (thanks Rich!). In case you can’t tell, this is the one my family uses.

If you are in the Spokane area, Lorien on the South Hill carries the Real Salt packaged and also in bulk. Rosauers in the Natural Food Section also has it in bulk.  Mother’s Cupboard has it in the package. These are the places I have personally found it. If you are not in this area, click here to find it locally. If no one carries it, realsalt.com has an online store or a toll free number to have it delivered to your door.

Here is an interesting Infographic about where salts come from.

If you know of any local places to find these different salts (even if you aren’t in Spokane area), please share. As always, we welcome any comments.

stuffy nose

Sore Throat, Stuffy Head/Nose, Dry Mouth

Sore throat, stuffy head/nose, mouth dry from breathing through it (sleeping or awake); allergy season is upon us in full force. Yuck! There are some great homeopathic allergy and sinus remedies out there. I haven’t found one that doesn’t work. Mother’s Cupboard has a great selection if you are in the Spokane, Spokane Valley, or Liberty Lake area. They even offer Xlear sinus rinse packets and both neti pots or sinus rinse bottles. These are great for overall, long lasting relief, but how to get relief now? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3

  1. Put some water in a pot/saucepan
  2. Bring water to boil
  3. Inhale steam

Steam can burn so please, be careful! Simply place your face over the pot/saucepan into the steam, open your mouth (especially if you’ve been breathing through it) and breathe in. This will get the moisture back into your throat and lungs. The heat from the steam will also open up those nasal passages. This moisture is important because when you breathe through your nose, your nasal membranes are moist and warm and moisturise the air coming into your lungs. The lungs need to stay moist to help protect it against invaders. When you breathe through your mouth it dries out your throat and lungs leaving them very vulnerable to dryness and particulates that your nose filters out.

Once your nasal passages are open, you can gently (I said gently) blow your nose to get some of that gook out. You want to gently blow, your membranes are already inflamed and blowing hard will cause them to swell more causing more stuffiness without the gook. Try to get enough gook out that you have a somewhat clear passage. Now, go get your neti pot or sinus rinse bottle. If you don’t have these a saline mister spray bottle will work (these can be found at any drug store for about 5 bucks). The saline spray can be used several times a day and is not addictive. Saline is an astringent and not only kills any infection on contact, it also helps to lubricate and calm those inflamed membranes. You can also use colloidal silver, or the Xlear spray. Okay, so back to the neti pot or sinus rinse. If you don’t want to spend the money (or can’t) on the packets:

1 cup warm distilled or filtered water (check temp on inside of wrist like a baby bottle) DO NOT microwave. Use the stove to warm it.
¼ to ½ tsp salt
Stir or shake to dissolve

This can be used in the neti pot or the sinus rinse bottle. Be sure to check the temperature; too hot or too cold and it will hurt. Do this twice a day. Just rinsing your nose twice a day can help you to enjoy the outdoors during allergy season without all the gook. (Rinse at least one hour before bed.) Once you start rinsing regularly, your need for the homeopathic remedies will be minimal, not only saving your sanity but your pocket book as well.

If you are not in the Spokane area, Whole Foods carries most of these or you can usually find them at your local health food store (they can usually order them if they don’t stock them).

But if you cannot find them locally, you can buy them here:
Homeopathic allergy sinus relief can be found here (allergy) and here (sinus)
Xlear nasal spray can be found here
Colloidal Silver can be found here
Neti pots can be found here
Sinus rinse bottle or kit can be found here (bottle) or here (kit)
Xlear nasal wash packets (can be used in neti pot or sinus rinse bottle) found here
Saline Nasal Spray can be found here


Spotlight: Vitamin K2

A.K.A- MK-4, MK-7, menaquinone

What is it? Vitamin K2 is a fat soluble vitamin. There are four (4) fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K. That means that you need to eat fat in order for your body to use it. We are such a fat phobic society, we are dangerously deficient in these vital vitamins! Don’t worry, there are plenty of good fats out there to choose from.

We as a society suffer from osteoporosis and heart disease. Why??? Well, while it’s not the total picture, Vitamin K2 is a large part of the puzzle. Why, you ask, let me explain. Most people know that you need Vitamin D to help absorb calcium. This is why they add it to milk. The Vitamin D carries the calcium around in your body through the blood stream. Vitamin K2 comes in and tells the Vitamin D where to put it (your bones). Without the K2 telling the D where to put it, the D just drops it where ever, like your arteries, causing plaque build up and hardening of the arteries. There is a lot more that happens during this process like free radicals, etc. But I’ll save that for later. The lack of Vitamin K2 in our diets is why they are finding that taking calcium supplements can actually contribute to heart disease, but yet our bones are still brittle. Hmmm…. So, how do we make sure we are getting enough Vitamin K2?

Vitamin K2 is difficult to find in nature, but you can find it. The MK-4 version is found in animals and only in grass-fed animals, grain-fed animals do NOT have any K2 whatsoever. It is found in the animal fats, like butter, cream, and the fat of the meats of these animals. It is also found in organic egg yolks, goose pate’ (organic), or brie and gouda cheese from grass-fed cows and goats. MK-7 comes from fermented vegetables most abundantly found in Natto, fermented soy beans, it’s a Japanese dish. Other fermented vegetables have some but not much. The optimum daily intake for most people is around 180-200 mcg (which is a lot!). If you wish to find a supplement, look for the MK-7 it is still the natural form of the vitamin. MK-4 in supplement form is a synthetic version. Don’t even get me started on that! I use Jarrow, it is from a natural source and doesn’t kill your pocket book.

yellow pages

GF/ Allergy Friendly Restaurants in the Spokane Valley Area

Hey! We have been in this area for almost 9 months now. We don’t eat out much, but when we do, we like to go to restaurants that are friendly to our gluten free diet. In case you are new to the area, a gluten free diet or maybe you just go to the same place because you don’t know anywhere else to go, I thought I’d throw out a list of restaurants in this area that I have personally experienced.

Outback Steakhouse – Yes, this is a chain and they offer a gluten free menu at all their locations. The staff is also very knowledgeable about the diet and can make suggestions. You can also download the gluten free menu off their website

PF Changs – This is another chain that offers a gluten free menu at all their locations, and the food is delish! Their website offers a copy of the gluten free menu. They also serve the gluten free meals on special plates (so you know that they were paying attention!) PF Changs has gluten free soy sauce, too.

Red Lobster – This chain goes a step further and offers an allergy list and what allergies, if any, their dishes may have.

Qdoba is another chain that is gf/allergy friendly. I have never really asked the staff about the gluten free items but their website has a drop down menu that you can click on. It says “show me ingredients that are:”  vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, soy free and wheat free, or you can view the whole list of allergies and ingredients. You just need to be careful that there is no cross contamination from any of the other items that are not gluten free.

Red Robin – They have a gluten free menu. Their website also has the option of building your personal allergen menu. They offer Udi’s gluten free buns or lettuce wrap on any of their buns. Most of their toppings are naturally gluten free, but don’t forget to check on the sauces… if I remember correctly, the gluten free menu tells you which sauces are safe.

5 Guys Burgers – These guys don’t have anything listed gluten free in the restaurant itself but you can download their nutrition and allergen information as a PDF. When you look at it, you will notice there are only 3 items on the whole menu that have gluten (even their hot dogs are gluten free!) You can order any item lettuce wrapped and their french fries are fresh cut from potatoes. Their fryers only fry the french fries. So, if you are craving a good burger and fries….  A word of warning to those with peanut allergies though, DO NOT COME ANYWHERE NEAR HERE!!! They have peanuts as you enter and they fry in peanut oil.

Toro Sushi is independently owned and the sushi chefs are pretty knowledgeable about what ingredients have gluten. They also love being creative and substituting to make an item gluten free. They also have gluten free soy sauce. They give you a bowl of Miso soup, but I haven’t checked on that yet. Miso sometimes has gluten sometimes not. So, be careful with that….

These are the restaurants that I personally have tried and can vouch for. If you know of any, please feel free to comment below and let us all know.

chicken 3

Gluten Free Fried Chicken

The one thing almost everyone on a gluten free diet (lifestyle) misses is fried chicken. America has savored this comfort food for a couple of centuries now and you can again. Here is my recipe:


Chicken (whatever parts you like)
All purpose flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
Cornmeal (if you can’t do corn, you can use gf breadcrumbs or crushed up Rice Chex instead)
Palm Shortening, Coconut Oil, or Lard for frying (when buying lard, make sure there is no BHT or BHA in the ingredients or you can make your own.)

1. Prepare chicken – rinse and peel skin if desired. (I don’t peel my skins. Saturated fats have been slandered far too long. Besides being essential to your health, they help to satiate your taste-buds and your hunger, so you eat less!)

2. Pat chicken with paper towels

3. Sprinkle with preferred spices, I like to use salt, onion powder and garlic powder. Less is more!

4. Roll in a mixture of 1:1 gf flour and cornmeal or alternative (helps to make it crispy)

chicken 1

5. Set aside for a couple of minutes to allow coating to set. Meanwhile, heat frying oil to 350˚ F chicken 2
Do NOT EVER fry with olive oil!!! It will burn and burnt oil contains carcinogens and are completely opposite of good health! The 3 oils I listed are the only oils that will not burn and at frying temperatures and still offer healthy benefits. I, personally, do not use peanut oil.  Oh! and NEVER reuse oil that has already been used for frying. (benefits of coconut oil)

6. Fry chicken, turning often to keep from burning. Dark meat should reach 185˚ F, and white meat 165˚ F.

7. Set fried chicken on a cooling rack with paper towels under it to catch the oil. This allows the chicken to not sit in the oil and gives you a crispier, less oily experience.

You can adjust this recipe to make nuggets or buffalo wings.
Nuggets – cut up boneless skinless thighs or breasts into nugget size pieces.

Buffalo Wings – fry wings accordingly. When done, set on cooling rack to drip off oil for about 5-10 minutes. Coat with BBQ sauce. We like Sweet Baby Rays (make sure it says gluten free!) Put on cookie sheet or bar pan and bake in preheated 425˚ F oven for 10 minutes turning once halfway through to set the sauce.