Good Food No Matter What!(TM)

Hello {!name},

A little later than I had planned but here it is, my first newsletter. I'm very excited to be getting this out to you. I started writing it in November and then life threw me a curve ball. Well, actually a few of them all at once. I felt like I was in a batting cage with the pitch machine set on high speed professional and I was a Pee Wee player.

I won't get into all of those curve balls but one involved my 16 year old son getting very sick and the detective work it took to figure it out. Long story short, the culprit was the photo developing chemicals from his photography class and a few different foods now out of his diet.

He's greatly improved and thoroughly enjoying his multitude of snow days off. Another involved an abrupt departure of someone from the business we own and me having to take over the job. Well someone new has been trained and I hope to be heading back to more time spent in the food world.

I love the food world, cooking, sharing, hearing from you and learning together. I loved all the ideas you shared about what you would like to see in these newsletters. Now some of you are going to have to be very patient with the request for gluten free baking information. I'm a cook, not a baker. There are tons of great blogs that share gluten free baking like gluten free easily, Karina's Kitchen, gluten free girl and the chef, Simply Sugar, Gluten Free, and Elana's Pantry just to name a few. I've only just begun to bake and I only follow recipes right now. So far, so good.

This month I'm going to share with you a tip on how to make it easier to eat out, a recipe not shared elsewhere yet, and an announcement that I'm very excited about. So read on and I hope you enjoy. Please keep sharing your ideas with me and your kitchen experiences.

Thank you,
- Diane

In This Issue..

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Latest Blog Posts

Scallop, Chorizo and Purple Sweet Potato Tacos Recipe- Gluten and Dairy Free

Menu Plan Monday – February 8, 2010

Friday Foodie Fix – Super Bowl Party Foods

Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Pizza Recipe

Be A Better Gluten Free Diner

The best way to become a better gluten free diner when eating out is to eat home more. That may sound counter intuitive but let me explain. If you learn more about cooking, different ingredients, and cooking techniques this will translate to a better understanding of menu items. 

You'll also want to get your hands on a copy of The Deluxe Food Lover's Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst.  It has more than 6,700 entries on cooking terms and techniques (key to learning), fruits, vegetables, meat cuts, fish and shellfish, breads and pastas, herbs and spices. You can find it through my Shop on sale for $19.79. It will be the best twenty bucks you spend. You can look up any ingredient or cooking term you find in a recipe.  

Let's say you want to eat out for Valentine's Day and you go online to review their menu. (highly reccomend) The menu item that catches your eye is Steak with Basil and Onion Chiffonade with an Albert Sauce.  You're good until you get to the words Chiffonade and Albert Sauce. But lucky for you just this past week you had made a dish at home which had you chiffonade basil.  You looked it up in your Food Lover's Companion and found out it refers to thin strips or shreds of vegetables or herbs that can be served raw or lightly sauteed. So you need to find out if it's been sauteed in butter.  Next the Albert Sauce you looked up in the 15 pages the book shares of sauces and stocks.  It's a rich horseradish sauce with a base of butter, flour and cream. OK, so no sauce for us but now you know to ask about the basil and onions and if you can get the steak with no sauce or butter.  

Get cooking at home so you can learn about these techniques and then you'll also learn how to substitute out the items you cannot eat. Start with the dishes you love to eat when you go out.  Search out the gluten free, dairy free and whatever else free you need, versions of the foods you like from the blogs and cookbooks that you like.  If there is something you really love to eat but have not had it in some time because you cannot find a recipe that has already converted it to your needs, then ask your favorite bloggers and they may be able to help.  Learning how to convert is key.

Recipe: Best Ever French Onion Dip - Gluten
and Dairy Free

French Onion DipThis is one dip you will want to make sure you have an abundance of items to dip into it. My favorites are potato chips, cassava chips, celery, carrots, peppers, cucumbers and my fingers.


  • 8 oz Cream Cheese (Tofutti gfdf)
  • 4 oz Sour Cream (Tofutti gfdf)
  • 2-3 large onions sliced thin
  • 1 cup organic chicken stock
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1-2 tsp Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1-2 tsp Butter (Earth Balance Buttery Spread Soy Free)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Cut your onions in half and then into thin slices. Heat your pan on medium high. Heat up the oil and butter until it starts to ripple. Add in your onions and toss them around so they all separate and are coated with the oils. I like to use tongs to do this instead of a spoon or spatula. It gives me more control over the onions.

Keep an eye on them and as they start to brown mix them up so every onion has it’s chance to brown on the bottom of your pan. You’ll want them to brown deeply but not burn. Once they start to brown you can turn the heat level down so they continue to brown.

If you are using a non-stick pan instead of stainless it will not work as good, but it can still be done. This whole process can take 15-30 minutes depending on your pan and how many onions you have. Once you are happy with how brown they are, add in the chicken stock and reduce it so it’s almost all gone.

Once this is done remove your onions and let them cool to room temperature.

In your food processor mix the two cheeses and the garlic powder. Scrape this out into a mixing bowl. Once the onions have cooled add them to the processor and chop them. You decide how small you want the onions to be. I don’t like big pieces of onion in my dip but you might.

Once these are processed add them to the cheese mixture and combine well. Give it a taste test and see if you want to add in any salt and pepper. Be warned, that taste testing can be dangerous to your waistline if you taste the whole bowl.

This makes a good size bowl of dip. Once your party is over, what can you do with the leftovers besides just dipping?

It makes an amazing sauce for your Swedish meatballs and noodles, a topping for a grilled chicken breast and a great addition to your brown gravy.

Notes: You can always substitute regular dairy for those who eat it.


The Gluten Free Diner CookbookI love to eat out, especially at diners. That’s not as easy as it used to be now that I live gluten and dairy free. I’m also a fan of the show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. But almost all of the food they share on that show contains gluten and dairy. So what’s a girl to do?

Write my own Diner Cookbook of course. I’m excited to announce I am creating a series of e-cookbooks. The first one answers the question: “If there were a gluten-free diner, what would be on the menu?”

Most of these recipes I have shared with you already but now they’ll all be in one place, one file and easy to find. They will be easy to pull together as meals just by following the menu. I hope these meals inspire you to get into the kitchen and cook for you, your family and friends.

I’m passionate about food, cooking and getting others excited about the food in their lives.

My motto is Good Food No Matter What!™ That means no matter what ingredient you are leaving out: dairy, gluten, nuts, meats, soy, sugar or whatever; your food should taste good and make you feel good. That’s what you’ll find in The Gluten Free Diner Cookbook.

Now if your first question was, what’s an e-cookbook, let me answer that for you. It’s a cookbook that you purchase and don’t have to wait for it to be shipped to you. You download it right to your computer and you can print it out or keep it on your computer or both.

Since you are my most loyal readers, I’m offering anyone who receives my newsletter a discount. Look for that discount code and information coming later.