Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas! (And a Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Recipe!)

"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

From our hearts to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  May your hearts be filled with the joy of Christ and the miracle of His love for us all.

With love,

The Schunks

Country Mama Hippie Chic
aka Brandi Schunk

Today we made Gluten Free Christmas Sugar Cookies for the first time ever!  We were a little nervous as to how this was going to turn out and I am pleased to say the results were excellent!  I can't take credit for the recipe, as I combined the genius of two other people to make these cookies.  Here is what we did in case you want to follow.

We used the "High Protein and Fiber Blend" gluten free flour recipe that I learned from Vanessa Weisbrod of "The Delight Gluten-Free Cookbook" and "Delight Gluten-Free Magazine" at the Dallas Gluten and Allergen Free Expo.  It is as follows:

  • 1 C Sweet White Sorghum Flour
  • 1 C Tapioca Flour
  • 1/3 C Coconut Flour
  • 1 tsp Xanthan Gum
Using this flour as our base, we followed the directions to make this cookie recipe:

Note that since the flour already contains Xanthan Gum, we did not add any extra.  We also did not add the cinnamon.  Otherwise, we followed the recipe to a "T".  The flour mix above makes a little more than the 2 Cups the recipe calls for, so we used the remainder for dusting the counter and the dough.  We also used just plain Tapioca Flour for the dusting and that worked out fine.  Be sure to refrigerate as it says!  Our cookies turned out gorgeous, buttery, perfectly flaky, and unrecognizable as any different from the traditional sugar cookies I have made with my family for years.  It is wonderful to be able to finally continue this tradition with my husband and son!

Tomorrow we'll be decorating them, if we don't eat them all first!

Merry Christmas!

Update: We did manage to save a few cookies to ice and I am SO glad we did!  They were pretty crispy, but after icing them and letting them sit for a day, they are soft and wonderful and delicious and taste just like those iced sugar cookies you buy at the bakery at the grocery store- so good!  And so pretty, too!  We all had a lot of fun decorating, and our friends can't even tell these are Gluten Free Sugar Cookies!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Flavorful Friday: Gluten Free Polynesian Pork Dinner Recipe

Proverbs 13:3 ESV
"Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin."

Holidays are an interesting time.  Filled with joy and hope, yet often also filled with anxiety, anger, frustration.  If you're looking for a little joy and peace in your days, perhaps we could all use the reminder from Proverbs above.  Think wisely before opening our mouths to say what's on our minds, and ask ourselves, are these words useful?  Do they help or hurt?  Are they loving and kind?  Is there a better way to say what I am thinking and feeling that truly honors my commitment and the heart of another?  Let us think on these things, and see where it takes us.

Here's to loving one another well, and showing a little extra patience and kindness this Christmas season.

My recipe today for Flavorful Friday feels a little like a cheat.  I didn't slave in the kitchen for hours, and there is nothing particularly unique here.  In fact, this probably won't even go in my cookbook so consider it a Blog Extra!  I realize sometimes we just want dinner to be easy.  But, we still want it to be healthy, interesting, maybe even festive.  Tonight's dinner felt like that for me when I made it for the first time last night.  I just threw it together and called it done.  And it was good.  And my son liked it.  Total win.

So here ya go, short and simple, easy to do for anyone, and maybe a little different.  Gluten Free Polynesian Pork Dinner Recipe.  Don't let the name fool you, it's not all that fancy.  In fact, I just marinated the pork in San-J's Sweet & Tangy Polynesian Glazing and Dipping Sauce for a couple hours.  Tasted a little like barbeque sauce in my opinion.  I enjoyed having a totally different taste experience, though, and perhaps you will, too.  Read on for the recipe, and let me know what you think!

Happy eating!

Yours truly,

Country Mama Hippie Chic
aka Brandi Schunk
Gluten Free Polynesian Pork Dinner Recipe

Cook rice according to package instructions, using half water and half bone broth for your liquid.  I used short grain brown rice here, which took 45 minutes to cook.

Put boneless pork chops in a plastic zippy bag and add San-J's Sweet & Tangy Polynesian Glazing and Dipping Sauce to cover.  Seal bag and let sit 2-4 hours in refrigerator.  Heat medium skillet on medium-low heat.  Add just pork chops with no extra sauce to well-oiled pan and cover.  Cook for 5 minutes and flip meat over.  Cook for 5 minutes and flip meat over again.  Cut meat in pan into bite size chunks, continue cooking and stirring in 3-5 minute increments until pork is no longer pink in the middle.  Serve with a small bowl of the San-J sauce and sprinkle the meat with toasted sesame seeds.

Heat medium skillet on medium heat.  Add frozen broccoli florets, 1/2 C bone broth, a sprinkle of salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.  Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serving note: I also added some diced pineapple to our plates after I took the picture.  It was a nice compliment to the meal and I highly suggest it!

Bon appetit!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Flavorful Friday- Gluten Free Sausage Potato Cabbage Dish Recipe

Ephesians 6:18 NIV
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people."

When do you pray?  Do you pray when things aren't going your way and want them to change, or when you are scared and want to be saved?  Do you pray when things are good, or only when they are bad?  Do you thank God regularly for all of the gifts He gives, or is that reserved for Thanksgiving Day?  Do you thank God for the difficult circumstances in your life that challenge you and grow you into more of who He wants you to be, or are your thanks reserved for the miracles and answered prayers?  Do you pray for others, or only for yourself?  Do you pray goodness for your enemies, or only for those you love?  Think about these things and consider, what does God want for you in your prayer life?  When could you add a prayer to your day?  What might happen if you did?


For today's edition of Flavorful Friday, I bring you this German-inspired version of a Gluten Free Sausage Potato Cabbage Dish Recipe.  This dish takes a bit of effort, but is well worth it in the end!  You can use one pan, cooking in rounds, or 3 pans cooking all at once.  Alternately, you can cook everything all in one pan at the same time, but the end result doesn't taste quite as good and you lose something in flavor and consistency.  Feel free to use your favorite Gluten Free Sausage, or the flavor listed in the recipe, which we get from the meat market at Sprouts.  It is not labeled "gluten free", but I have read the ingredients and feel comfortable with it for my own gluten-intolerant family.  For true Celiac's or a strong gluten intolerance, please be sure you know your source and understand the ingredients, as sausage is a common place to hide wheat and gluten.

I'd love to hear from you!  What is your favorite Gluten Free Link Sausage and how do you use it?  Email me or comment below with your feedback.

I hope you are able to get out and enjoy some nice weather wherever you are.

Yours Truly,

Country Mama Hippie Chic
aka Brandi Schunk

Gluten Free Sausage/Potato/Cabbage Dish Recipe


For Sausage:
Filtered Water
3-4 Links, about 1 ½ pounds, Gluten Free Chicken Feta Spinach Sausage

For Potato:
1 Large Russet Potato, about 2 C diced
1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
Filtered Water to cover
1 Tbsp Unrefined Coconut Oil
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6-8 Cloves Garlic

For Cabbage:
1 Tbsp Unrefined Coconut Oil
1 Small Green Cabbage, about 8-10 C chopped
1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
¼ tsp Fresh Ground Pepper Medley
½ tsp Garlic Powder
½ tsp Onion Powder
1 Small Yellow Onion

Fresh Ground Pepper Medley, to taste
Celtic Sea Salt, to taste


This is a 3-pan dinner, ideally you’ll have all 3 pans going at once.  Alternately, you could use just one pan and cook one part at a time, keeping the previous parts warm in a toaster oven on “warm” setting.

Add Filtered Water to a medium skillet to about ¼” deep and add Sausage Links to pan.  Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.  Remove lid, flip Links over, cover and cook for another 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and carefully drain water from pan, using the lid or tongs to keep Links in the pan.  Return pan to heat and cook for 3 minutes, uncovered.  Flip Links and cook an additional 3 minutes.  Remove Links to a plastic cutting board, allow to cool for about 5 minutes and then slice about ¼” thick.

Finely dice the Russet Potato.  Put Potatoes in a lidded microwave dish; add 1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt and enough Filtered Water to cover Potatoes.  Cover dish with lid and microwave for 2 minutes on high.  Carefully remove lid from Potatoes and allow steam to dissipate, then drain water off Potatoes.  Pour Potatoes onto a clean dishtowel to dry.  In a medium skillet heat 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil and 2 Tbsp Olive Oil on medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Carefully add Potatoes to hot oil, I use a slotted spoon to keep my hands away from the popping oil.  Cook on medium high heat, stirring regularly to prevent burning.  Peel and finely slice Garlic Cloves.  Add Garlic to oil and Potatoes after about 5-6 minutes of cooking, then cook for another 5-6 minutes.  Remove from heat and move Potatoes and Garlic to paper towels to drain.  Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

Heat Large Skillet over medium heat about 3-5 minutes.  Chop Cabbage to about 1” square pieces.  Add 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil and chopped Cabbage to skillet and stir.  Add Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, and Onion Powder to pan and stir.  Dice Onion, add to pan and stir.  Cook for a total of about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Layer food in a large bowl with Cabbage first, then Potatoes, then Sausage.

Serve piping hot and enjoy!

Serving note:

This dish goes great with Gluten-Free Beer or Cider for a special treat.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Flavorful Friday: Simply Soup Recipe!

Philippians 4:6 ESV
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

Me with my husband and son out
at "The Farm" (Stonefield Organic Farm) 
Ahhh, the many joys of Thanksgiving!  Time off work, relaxing with loved ones, and plenty of good food to eat!  I hope that you enjoyed the day with those dear to you, and maybe even got a few great deals today.  As Thanksgiving leftovers fill your fridge, I thought I would offer a suggestion today of something you can do with all that Turkey other than the traditional Turkey Sandwiches.  Try Turkey Soup!  This Simply Soup Recipe is great as a vegetable soup that can give your body a much needed break after over-indulgence, or add a bit of shredded or diced turkey for a new twist on an old favorite!  Trying to ward off the holiday sickies?  Add some chicken instead for a wonderfully nutritious chicken soup!  Any way you make it, this soup is sure to warm you to the soul.  A few of the ingredients are listed as "Optional", but really, most of these ingredients are optional, so just add what you like and leave off the rest!

I would love to hear from you!  Tell me, what is your favorite, non-traditional soup ingredient?

Here's to a wonderful weekend and a joy and spirit-filled Holiday Season!

Yours Truly,

Country Mama Hippie Chic
aka Brandi Schunk

Simply Soup Recipe (Vegetables with Optional Chicken or Turkey)

Chicken Soup with extra Smoked Paprika added

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Large Yellow Onion, diced
½ Small Cabbage (red or green), chopped into about 1 inch pieces
1 C Carrots, sliced or diced
Potato- 1 Russet or 2-3 small Red, diced
1-2 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Celtic Sea Salt
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
½ tsp Dried Basil (or a few large fresh leaves, minced)
½ tsp Dried Parsley (or a small handful of fresh leaves, minced)
¼ tsp Dried Oregano (or a few fresh leaves, minced)
¼ tsp Ground Pepper Medley
¼ tsp Smoked Paprika
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced (optional)
1 Green Bell Pepper, diced (optional)
1 C Okra, sliced into ½ inch pieces, stems removed (optional)
About 4 C Homemade Bone Broth
1-2 C Green Beans, fresh or frozen, cut into about 1-2” pieces
1 Zucchini, diced
3-4 Large Kale Leaves, torn or cut into about 1 inch pieces, with stems chopped
6-8 Garlic Cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Meat of one cooked Chicken, all except the breast, shredded or diced (optional)
Cooked Turkey meat, about 1-2 C, shredded or diced (optional)
Filtered Water (or more Bone Broth), as needed to cover everything with liquid


Heat a 6 Quart Pot over medium heat while chopping the Onion.  Add Olive Oil to pan and allow it to heat for about 30 seconds.  Add Onions to pot and stir.  Chop Cabbage, add to pot and stir.  Chop Carrots, then add to pot and stir.  Chop Potatoes, then add to pot and stir.  Add Butter and Seasonings to pot and then stir.  If using, dice Optional Bell Peppers, slice Optional Okra, add to pot and stir.  Add Bone Broth to pot and stir.  Remove stems from Green Beans, cut beans and add to pot and stir.  Dice Zucchini, add to pot and stir.  Tear or cut Kale leaves, and chop Kale stems, add to pot and then stir.  Peal Garlic Cloves, slice thinly, add to pot and stir.  Add shredded, pre-cooked Chicken or Turkey if using, then stir well.  Add Filtered Water or Bone Broth until everything is just covered.  Stir well, cover with lid.  Bring to a boil on Medium heat, then reduce to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for about half an hour to keep crispness in vegetables, longer for softer vegetables.  Note: Food will continue to cook long after the heat is removed if it is left in the pot to cool.

For storage, allow soup to cool at room temperature for about half an hour, then ladle soup into food storage jars, leaving about 1” at the top, cover with lid and allow to cool in the refrigerator.  Once cooled thoroughly (overnight is good), slightly loosen lid and transfer to freezer, right side up.  I like to store some in Quart Size jars for the family, and some in Pint Size jars for single servings.

Serving Suggestions:

·      Serve simply As Is
·      Serve with hot sauce
·      Serve over rice
·      Serve over noodles
·      Serve with rolls or bread on the side
·      Serve with a cheese quesadilla on the side

·      Serve with corn chips on top or on the side

Monday, November 24, 2014

FREE GOODIE BAG from the Dallas Gluten & Allergen Free Expo!

Matthew 6:19-21 NASB
 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

You've heard me talking about a FREE GOODIE BAG from the Dallas Gluten & Allergen Free Expo, and here it is!  Many of you wanted to be there but weren't able to make it, so I'm bringing the Expo to you!  See below for a list of the contents of the gift bag, provided for you by vendors at the show, and collected for you by me and my family.  Then read on to find out how YOU can be the winner and take home this bag of goodies for yourself!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

In no particular order…

Boom Chicka Pop- Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn

Crunchmaster- Multi-Grain Crackers- Sea Salt

Crunchmaster- Multi-Seed Crackers- Original

Van’s- Say Cheese- Crispy Whole Grain Baked Crackers

Glutino- Pretzel Twists

Milton’s- Crispy Sea Salt- Baked Crackers

Mediterranean Snacks- Lentil Crackers- Cracked Pepper

Nutrasumma- Pea Protein Powder- Chocolate Flavor

Linwoods- Milled flaxseed, almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts and Q10

Gopicnic- Maple Turkey Sausage, Fruit & Nut mix ready-to-eat breakfast

SOYJOY- baked whole soy & fruit bar in 3 flavors (banana, berry, blueberry)

Breeze Bar- Chocolate Cranberry

Pamela’s- Figgies and Jammies- Raspberry & Fig Cookie

Nogii- Paleo Bar- Nuts About Nuts

A3 Bar- White Lightning Marshmallow

Nature’s Path Organic- Dark Chocolate Chip- Chewy Granola Bar

Enjoy Life- Vanilla Honey Graham Crunchy Cookie

Pamela’s- Simplebites Cookies in 2 flavors (Extreme Chocolate and Ginger Snapz)

Wholesome Sweeteners- Organic Stevia

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

Okay, so how do you win this bag?!?!  Act fast!  The first person to comment below on my blog and tell me what it would mean to you to have this bag full of GLUTEN FREE SAMPLES and COUPONS is the winner!  Sometimes the early bird gets the worm, and today you can be the hungry bird! (Disclaimer: I live in Plano so if you live outside of this area you will need to pay for S&H.)

Thanks for reading and I hope you'll all look into the products above.  I'm still working on sampling all of these and more, and will be sharing my thoughts and reviews soon, so stay tuned!

Yours truly,

Country Mama Hippie Chic
aka Brandi Schunk