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Category Archives: appetizers

Make your own dipping oil


Since I am gluten free, there are some things I miss terribly. For instance. I love love love the oil served at some restaurants before the salad course. Love.

You know. The oil they serve with warm crusty bread? That tastes terrific? I know you know what I am talking about. The stuff that you (I) can make an entire meal out of. Yes. That dipping oil. Well, turns out it is super easy to make, and paired with a good GF bread, you won’t be missing a thing. I love Canyon Bakehouse’s Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia, and that is the bread that is pictured for this recipe. It is a fantastic GF bread!

You can make the oil as simple or as complex as your little heart desires. Have fun with it. This is my basic recipe for it – but feel free to add, subtract, adjust or whatever to suit your particular tastes. I keep meaning to try this with roasted garlic, I think that would be fantastic.

I used freshly minced garlic, fresh basil leaves, ground black pepper, crushed red pepper, a bit of salt, some vinegar, and some olive oil. I use organic when possible. The actual quantities of what I use:

1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 or 5 basil leaves, torn
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil


Add the dry ingredients, mince the garlic into it, add the vinegar, and then stir the oil into the mixture.

These photos are taken immediately after preparation, so I could get this post up on here and share with you. I would hate for anyone to be deprived their own garlic dipping oil this weekend! That said, here is a little hint. This stuff, covered and left out for a few hours, deepens in flavor immensely. So if you want to serve it as an appetizer course before dinner, prepare it around lunchtime for an amazingly flavored oil.

Please let me know what adjustments you make, additions you add in, ideas you have, and otherwise! ❤



Simple Speck & Asparagus 3-ingredient appetizer


I love asparagus. I love La Quercia Speck Americano. I love black pepper. And I adore simple appetizer recipes that take three ingredients, are super easy to make, and make an impressive presentation.

Break off the ends of the asparagus. Steam the asparagus. In my steamer, this takes about 12 minutes.



Wrap the bottom parts of the steamed asparagus with the speck. Dust with ground black pepper. Bake at 450 for 5-10 minutes. Arrange and serve.


Easy baked Gluten-Free mozzarella sticks


I took string cheese sticks, cut each one into three sections, and then breaded them just like I did these pork chops. NOTE: after the butter-dip, I had to kind of press the breading onto the cheese sticks. They bread easily, but I found that by pressing the coating on the cheese, they held up better. I baked them at 350 until they started to spread out a bit and the cheese was all melty – about ten minutes. Delicious! Great experiment:)





Prosciutto-Dill Petite Quiche


I absolutely love these mini quiches I created for a company holiday party. They were such a hit, so I made them for the Christmas meal as well this year. These are really pretty, easy to create, and fun little hors d’ouevre.

It all started with some extraordinary prosciutto from La Quercia. This stuff is amazing. So much so, that I find myself driving hours just to locate some. Conveniently, it can also be ordered directly online here if you’re like me and in the middle of nowhere. Seriously…this brand is what takes this recipe and knocks it out of the park. Trust me on this. It is sliced super super thin, and the taste is out of this world. I’ll never want another brand of prosciutto.

First, cut the prosciutto into quarters. Then, place the portions into a mini muffin pan that has been prepared with non-stick spray.


Mix together a minced garlic clove, 2 tablespoons of grated onion, 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped dill weed, 1 teaspoon of pepper, 1/8 cup of grated Parmigiano-reggiano, 1/4 cup of milk, and ten eggs. Blend together until eggs turn that happy yellow color, like so


Pour egg mixture into prosciutto cups. Do not overfill. You will have just a bit of mixture left over.


Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. The dill egg mixture will puff up.


3 oz package of La Quercia prosciutto, quartered
10 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/8 cup shredded Parmigiano-reggiano cheese (you can substitute cheddar as well)
2 tablespoons grated onion
2 tablespoons chopped dill weed + a few pieces for garnish
1 teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove, minced

Preheat oven to 350. Spray mini muffin pan with nonstick spray. Place a piece of prosciutto in each cup. Mix together all other ingredients, blending until the eggs turn a consistent yellow, and then pour it into each prepared cup. Pop into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove, garnish with remaining dill if desired, and serve.

Makes 24 mini quiches.

Hosting a wedding without a hitch

Well. There actually was a hitch…but it was the happy kind.


I’ve had my hands full lately! One of my husband’s employees was planning a wedding. He and his bride-to-be wanted a small personal ceremony. The date was set, rings and license purchased and all of that. Unfortunately, the wedding location fell through, and so I volunteered the use of our home. The wedding was in three days.

I mean…surely I could get it together over a weekend – what could possibly go wrong?;)

Due to my control freak tendencies, I made a master list of all I needed to have done and I actually got almost all of it finished. I also had fun doing it, I kid you not. I got it done! Including but not limited to, scrubbing the entire place ceiling to baseboards, redecorating, moving furniture, and creating an hors d’ouvres spread to feed 20+ people. There were a few hair-pulling moments (like when the fridge went kaput the morning of the wedding) but overall, it went great. I won’t bore you with the mundane tasks and details now; let’s get right down to the food.

My goal for the menu was to create a variety of foods that were delicious little bites, and quietly gluten-free. I wanted guests to look at the line of foods and see good food, not “gluten free” foods. From the raves and compliments, I am pretty confident that I succeeded.

I made:
•Meatballs with sauce
•Bacon-wrapped jalapeños with cream cheese filing
•Fresh guacamole with chips
•Garlic mashed potato stuffed mushrooms with parmigiano-reggiano cheese
•Pineapple chunks wrapped in bacon
•Petite crisp-rice circles

I also served spiced almonds and hard candies as well.

For the meatballs:
2 pounds hamburger
1 pound pork sausage
1 bunch curled parsley, leaves only, chopped
4 eggs
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Roll into small balls. You should get around 70 of them. Bake for twenty minutes at 375. Then, place meatballs into a slow cooker.


Quick meatball sauce:
2 15oz cans of crushed tomatoes in purée
1 cup grape jelly
Mix and pour over meatballs in the slow cooker.


At this point you can refrigerate them overnight if you want. To finish: turn the slow cooker on and keep them on low for 6-8 hours, throughout the party. The sauce will thicken slightly and soak into the meatballs. These disappeared quickly.

For the stuffed mushrooms:
1 tablespoon roasted garlic
2 tablespoons butter
4 potatoes, baked until skins are almost crispy
5 8oz packages of whole mushrooms, washed and stems removed
1/4 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese, finely shredded


Warm butter and garlic in a saucepan over medium until butter melts. Open the potatoes and scrape the potato from the skins.



Mash completely, adding salt and pepper. Then stir in the parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Pipe the potato mixture into the mushrooms. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes.

See photo at top of post for how they appeared going into the oven.

I apologize for the lack of photos of the other foods – they all looked perfect enough to photograph beautifully, too! Things just got so crazy that I completely forgot to take photos, until it was almost over. By then, most of the food had disappeared (which was a good sign, I think!). Plus, I was asked at the last minute to stand up with the couple, which was an honor I treasured – even though it caused all thoughts of my little food blog to fly out of my head.

The other items on my menu are, I believe, pretty self-explanatory. Except perhaps for the guacamole – but as penance I suppose that I will submit myself once again to the task of making some fresh guac soon (like I need an excuse), and I will take detailed pics of the process like I normally do. Deal?

It was a fantastic evening, and I was thrilled to see everyone enjoying the food I’d made. Which is kind of the point, yes?

All in all, the whole experience was unforgettable; I feel so privileged to have been a part of the beautiful beginnings of this couple’s life together.

Hot Wingettes, glutenvygirl Style

Cooler weather makes me want to heat things up in the kitchen. Whether that’s slow-cooking a garlic roast all day, baking some spicy BBQ ribs, simmering a hot pot of delicious potato soup, whipping up some spicy chile rellenos, or even just simmering some lemon slices with cloves for scent, I crave warmth.

It’s not just the temperature increase I enjoy, it’s also the flavors that I like to kick up. And nothing says kicked-up quite like some spicy hot wings.

To start with, I picked up some “wingettes” at the local grocery store. I could’ve bought wings, removed the tips and separated the joints, but the wingettes were on sale.

The line-up:

I rinsed and dried the wingettes.

Then placed them skin-side up on a foil-covered edged baking sheet, and seasoned them with salt, pepper, and cayenne.

As they were baking, I started on the sauce.


Brought it to a boil, and then reduced the heat to low. Next, I flipped over the wingettes and popped them back in the oven to cook some more.

When they were done (and the kitchen smelled unbelievably delicious), I piled them into a bowl and poured the sauce over them.


I let them rest in the sauce for about five minutes. Then, I placed the wings back onto the pan (on which I’d changed the foil) and poured the sauce over them.

Back into the oven on low these babies go, until ready to serve.

I’m not much of a hot wings girl…or wingettes, even. My son absolutely adores them, however. He can eat a dozen in one sitting. They have a spicy flavor, but they’re pretty mild – you can totally customize the heat level for your tastes.

3 pounds chicken wingettes, rinsed and patted dry
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
2 oz Tabasco sauce (about 1/3 cup)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, divided
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 teaspoons pepper, divided

For the wings:
Preheat oven to 400*.
Rinse chicken wingettes and pat dry. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, and spray with non-stick spray. Place wings on foil, skin side up.
Sprinkle 1 tsp of the salt, pepper, and cayenne over the wingettes. Bake for 30 minutes.
Using tongs, turn wings over and continue baking another 20 minutes.

For the sauce:
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add in all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Then, turn down to low.

When wings are cooked:
Turn oven down to 250*.
Place wings in a bowl and pour sauce over them. Let rest for five minutes or so, to soak in the sauce. Then, place them back onto the baking sheet with new foil, and pour sauce over them.
Place wings into the oven to keep warm until time to serve them.

NOTE: I don’t think these are too spicy- my kids like them. I think they fall firmly into the mild category. That said, we tend to eat spicier foods here, so…adjust the seasoning as you see fit!


pizzeria-style gluten free cheese breadsticks

My first challenge was suggested by my son: to create some GF cheese breadsticks, like they make at a local pizzeria.

I started with King Arthur pizza crust mix, since I had some on hand. I have had good luck with this crust mix. Following the directions on the package, I got the pizza crusts prepared and baked. The mix makes two. Then, I brushed on a lot of butter over each crust with a pastry brush, then topped with garlic powder. Finally, a large amount of mozzarella was added, and the crusts were baked. I sliced them into sticks…they were very good!



King Arthur Pizza Crust Mix

Yeast packet (included in mix)

3 eggs

4 T oil

1 1/2 cups soymilk

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 T garlic powder

4 cups mozzarella


Follow directions on package. After crusts have risen the second time, and then baked, brush both with the melted butter. Sprinkle with garlic powder and top with cheese. Continue baking according to package directions. Slice up into breadsticks; serve with your favorite dips.