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.