"Let love be genuine. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality." Romans 12: 9-13
Teresa Smith is wife to Rob, mom to Nate and Jacob, and loves to cycle with her husband on their Ferrari Red Co-Motion Tandem. Her passion for this blog is to help make life simple living on a gluten free diet with delicious recipes that she has adapted to be gluten free. She and her husband are missionary staff with FamilyLife Ministries in Little Rock, Arkansas.



Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cookie Day with Anna and Katie

Being a senior in high school, Anna Li has been trying to hang on to a little of her childhood before leaving her safe and fabulous family. So she decided she would begin an adventure of 365 days of childhood. Everyday she thinks of ways to reminisce about her days of youth. Some of her fun ideas have been running away from home, finger painting, and making a mess of her bedroom. Today she pretended to not know how to make cookies, so we baked these delicious gluten free sugar cookies with her sister Katie. These girls make washing dishes fun!

Start with mixing all the different gluten free flours together. Then whisk them together.

Cream the butter and sugar together. Then add the egg and vanilla.

After this is creamy and good, add the flour mixture just until combined.

The great thing about this dough unlike most sugar cookies recipes, is that there is no need to refrigerate. That just spells eating cookies sooner to me. It really helps to roll the dough between two sheets of waxed paper or I used parchment paper.

We decided to make Valentine cookies. You can do whatever shape you want!

I wanted you to see just how beautiful these looked while baking.

Anna got creative on us and made a swirly design.

Proud of their efforts and excited to eat them too! I love these Li girls! We really need to do this more often...

Here is the recipe, I hope you will try making these. I am so glad we did. It has been 7 years since I have eaten a sugar cookie. Now that I have eaten too many, I better get to my workout...



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Have on hand 2 ungreased cookie sheets.
  2. In a small bowl, whish together the flour mix, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your mixer, cream sugar and crisco. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients, mixing enough to combine. The dough will be a soft ball. With your hands, knead in enough of the potato starch to make the dough easy to handle and roll out.
  4. Using about half at a time, place a piece of plastic wrap over the ball and roll out to about 1/8 inch thickness.
  5. Cut into desired shapes and place on pan.
  6. Decorate with coloured sugars before baking or use frosting to decorate after baking.
  7. (With this dough, you can use all the scraps.) Just scrape them together and roll out again. They will not get tough.
  8. Bake for 10-13 minutes. Cool very slightly before removing from the pan.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Buffalo, Tandem & Chili

My man and I took a trip back to the Black Hills of South Dakota for a family reunion. We had the pleasure of seeing family we had not seen in many years and meeting new family. Rob being 1/2 Mexican (taco we call it), guaranteed we were sure to experience Mexican food there. I decided I would make my own food to take beings that I have to eat gluten free. So I made chicken enchiladas, rice and beans. I will post my recipe for the enchiladas at a later date.
When we showed up I could not believe how many different kinds of beans there were to choose from and how many little Mexicans running around! These people are serious about their food and their piñata.

After the family reunion we decided to take a scenic tandem ride through Custer State Park, on the "Wilderness Loop". Sounds fun right!? Well, it was very adventurous to be sure! We saw lots of wildlife. Donkeys, antelope, and buffalo. The first herd of buffalo we saw was at a distance and I was comfortable with that and happy that God had granted us the pleasure of seeing these magnificent animals at a distance...

Then as we rode a little further we came upon these little cuties. We found out they really like licorice, or probably anything you had on you!

We then proceeded along our ride for a few more miles to come to a complete stop in the road. There was a sound that I had never heard before. A sort of low erie growl, then we realized that our road was now blocked because the buffalo were crossing! I freaked! I told Rob that I couldn't breath or move. He then got stern with me and told me to calm down. You might detect from the look on his face that he was a little scared too.

You see we had been warned from friends that buffalo don't really like bikes and if they get on the road with you that you are best to dismount your bike and have a car escort you through the park. So we waited for a car to come along before we went any further. As we walked our bike slowly I tried to exercise controlled breathing techniques. Thinking it was safe to mount the bike and get our rears out of there, a pack of them charged us! Yep! C-H-A-R-G-E-D us! I have NEVER peddled so fast in my life! Thank you Jesus we made it out safe and ungorged!

Nice little buffalo.

Since returning home I have been on a quest to find as many ways to cook buffalo as possible. Buffalo nachos, buffalo tacos and now buffalo chili. I found this recipe from the Whole Foods site. Rob said our adventure was so exciting that he can't wait to go again. Don't tell the buffalo about my cooking. I would rather die of natural causes than volunteer my life to the buffalo. This is just my way of getting back at the buffalo for scaring me so. I hope you enjoy this yummy chili! It is "to die for" .

Buffalo Bill Chili

Serves 6 to 8

Using buffalo meat in chili reminds us that this is the quintessential food of the American West. For today's cook, buffalo is leaner than beef and provides a robust flavor that stands up well to the spices and chilies in this rustic chili. For variety, mix and match your favorite beans to enhance the appearance, or add another layer of flavor by substituting dark Mexican beer, such as Negra Modelo, for the beef stock.


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds ground buffalo meat
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Poblano or Anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped (optional; Anaheim is less spicy)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
Sea salt, to taste
Ground pepper, to taste
2 (14.5-ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes

2/3 cup low-sodium beef broth
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (7-ounce) can chipotle sauce or 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo
1 bay leaf
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 bunch green onions, green parts only, sliced in rounds, for garnish
Chopped cilantro, for garnish


In a medium sized pot (about 4 quart capacity) with a lid, heat oil over medium heat and add ground buffalo. Brown meat, breaking large chunks into smaller ones. Cook for about 5 minutes or until all meat is browned. Remove from pot and discard excess fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pot.

Bring back to medium heat, add onions, red bell pepper, green bell pepper and Poblano or Anaheim (if using) pepper and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, scraping bottom from time to time to get all the browned bits of meat folded in with the vegetables. Add jalapeño pepper and cook for another 3 minutes stirring from time to time. Add garlic, cook for another minute and then add cumin, oregano, coriander, salt and pepper. Let spices cook for another minute, stirring.

Return browned meat to the pot. Stir in tomatoes and beef broth, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, adobo sauce and bay leaf, stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, taste sauce and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Lower heat to a slow simmer, cover with a lid and cook for about 30 minutes. Add beans and continue simmering, covered, for another 10 minutes or until beans are warmed through.

Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and green onions.

Recipe Variation
To add a smoky depth of flavor, you can roast the Poblano or Anaheim pepper before adding. Using tongs, hold the pepper over a high heat gas flame, charring all over for about five minutes. You want the pepper skin to have a very dark color on all sides. When done, place in an airtight container and let stand for about five minutes. Using plastic gloves to protect your fingers, rub the skin off and discard. Open the pepper and remove veins and seeds and discard the top or stem. Chop and add to recipe along with the jalapeno pepper. I acutally doubled the tomatos and the beef stock. I added a small can of tomato sauce too because we like tomatoes!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Borracho Beans with Meredith

My friend Meredith is the daughter of our dear friends, Harry & Melanie Li. Their family moved here in 2002 to help pastor the multi-ethnic, Mosaic Church. Our friendship began 17 years ago in Idaho while Rob & I were serving as deacons of hospitality in our church. Our first evening together was food and fellowship as we welcomed the Li's. Meredith has been a BIG fan of my beans over the years, so it was time we got together to create. Now she can have them whenever she wants!

One of my favorite things in the world is to ignite a passion in woman (and girls) to exercise hospitality. Scripture contains plenty of references speaking to the subject of hospitality. It seems to be a lost art today. The early church ate together, going house to house, breaking bread. It's like hospitality has fallen out of favor. We live in such a manic society, over burdened with busy activities. We have little time to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life. We love one another best when we share our home, a safe place around the dinner table. Our most prized possessions include our time, privacy, friendship, fellowship and refreshment. "When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality". (Romans 12:13 NLT)

Meredith was a delight to work with in the kitchen. I hope this recipe will encourage you to exercise some hospitality in your home.

Oh! Did I mention these beans go nicely with tacos, enchiladas, fish tacos, just to name a few. Or you can enjoy them like a bowl of ice cream, like Meredith!

Dry pinto beans just waiting to be yummified!

After you have soaked them overnight, cover them with water, add salt and start to simmer.

Lots of fresh garlic!

This is how they look after they have simmered for 3 to 4 hours until nice and soft.

Fry up some bacon

Meredith and I discussing how best to chop an onion. :)

She did great! Didn't even cry! (or bleed)

Into the bacon grease they go.

Cook until translucent and soft.

Fresh cilantro is key. Be sure to remove the stems before chopping.

Saute it all together.

Add the onion, cilantro, and torn up bacon to the beans.

I had some fresh garden tomatoes from my sweet neighbor Debbie. Thank you Debbie! It was actually supposed to be our garden, but I gave up on it, glad she didn't!

Tomatoes in the pot.

A few pickled or fresh jalapenos for added flavor.

I really think the beans tasted better because Meredith was cooking!

Yep! The connoisseur gave her stamp of approval.

This darling face is after her 2nd bowl full.

I told her if she came to cook she could take home her very own container of beans.
Wonder if she shared them with her family?

Borracho Beans

1 lb. Dry pinto beans

Soak overnight in large pot covered with water

Next day:

Drain water and refill to cover beans.


1 Tbps. Salt

5-6 minced garlic cloves

Bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer for 2-4 hours until beans are tender. Checking on water to make sure they don’t dry out. I usually add water during the cook time. These need to be very brothy.


4 strips bacon, remove and crumble

In bacon grease sauté:

½ large onion, chopped

½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Remove and strain from grease and add to beans.


1 chopped tomato

Jalepenos to taste

Serve and enjoy!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Quinoa with Orange & Mint

This little salad is one I came up with after tasting something similar at Whole Foods. What is really great about Whole Foods is that they list all the ingredients when you purchase something from their deli. Well that only spells creation for me. I love taking the ingredients and finding my own quanities, coming up with my own rendition. I must say that I like this recipe better, simply because I went a little more generous on certain things that I like. I think its much more flavorful. Quinoa is such a good choice for those of us on a gluten free diet. Not only is it yummy it also is a good source of fiber which can be hard to come by. I found this wonderful Red Quinoa at Trader Joe's on my latest trip to Nashville to visit our two sons. I wish we had one here. Feel free to use regular quinoa too. The arrangements are endless when it comes to this grain. Experiment for yourself!

Be sure to rinse the grains well before you cook them. It can be a challenge finding a strainer with small enough holes to accommodate this little grain.

Here is what it looks like after it is cooked. They have cute curls that pop out when cooked. It is called the germ ring!!! I know scary.

I always like to toast any nuts that I use in recipes. It brings out a stronger flavor. Just put the almonds in a dry pan and stir. Keep watch or they will burn!

Fresh mint is so good!

Chop it up fine

Fresh orange sections and zest is the secret to this recipe!

You can use whatever type of pepper you like. Red is pretty. I happened to have an orange one.

Mix the dressing ingredients together.

Everything is chopped and ready for the final touch of dressing.

Quinoa Salad with Orange & Mint

1 cup Quinoa

2 cups water

Cook according to package directions. Let cool.

½ to ¾ cup chopped red, yellow or orange peppers, or a combination

3 green onions sliced

½ cup toasted sliced almonds

2 Tbps. fresh mint chopped

1 orange, zested and sectioned


3 Tbps. Champagne Vinegar

2 Tbps. Honey

3 Tbps. Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fish Tacos with Pineapple Jicama Salsa and Cilantro Lime Rice

Want a quick and super delicious summer meal? This one is worthy of company too! I begin by preparing the salsa first to get things started and let the flavors blend.

This is what a jicama looks like in case you have never seen one. They are like a Mexican potato, a crunchy, lightly sweet taste that takes on the flavors of the other ingredients you add. Peel and chop this little guy up.

The original recipe did not say to grill the pineapple, but I thought it would be a great idea to sweeten up the pineapple. It was a great addition!

There is the salsa all ready to go. Just set it aside and let the flavors meet.

To blacken the tilapia, I just pile a lot of each of the seasonings on a plate and blend together. Dip the fish into the seasonings and your ready to fry!

A little olive oil is all you need to make these come alive!

Now for those of you who know, Rob once set my kitchen on fire cooking chicken and he claims it was because I wanted a new kitchen. We got that wish, so know he is trusted mainly just with knives. He's so cute.

The other wonderful idea that he had was to lightly grill the corn tortillas with a little cheese on them. He saw that on the show Dives, Diners and Drive-Ins. It's his latest claim to fame.

The cilantro lime rice is super easy and sooo good!

Now, just sink your teeth into that would ya! A little fresh corn on the cob never hurts either.

Blackened Fish Tacos and Cilantro Lime Rice

2-4 Tilapia filets

1 ½ tsp. each of cumin, chili powder, oregano

Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

Dredge fish in the seasoning

Saute in Olive Oil until cooked through approx. 4 minutes per side . Then chop. Drizzle fish with lime juice.

Corn or Flour tortillas toasted in butter with Mexican cheese. Grill until toasted and cheese is melted

Top tortilla with fish, coleslaw, avocado slices and Brianna’s Chipolte Cheddar dressing,pico de gallo, or Pineapple Jicama Salsa. drizzle fish with Lime juice.

Cilantro Lime Rice

Make 1 cup of white rice in 2 cups of water. Add olive oil and lime juice to liquids. Salt to taste. Chop Cilantro add to rice either before or after cooking. Salt to bring out the flavors.

Pineapple-Jicama Salsa

2 Tbps. finely chopped red onion

1 Tbps. freshly squeezed lime juice

1 fresh pineapple, cut into spears to grill (optional) or cubed

2 Tbps. fresh pineapple juice, squeezed from the rind

1 cup jicama, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice

3 Tbps. finely chopped cilantro

1-2 tsp. brown sugar

1 jalapeno-stemmed, seeded and finely chopped

1 scallion, thinly sliced

In a bowl, combine the red onion with the lime juice and let stand for 10 minutes. Add the pinneapple, juice, jicama, cilantro, brown sugar, jalapeno and scallion to the bowl and toss. Serve with the fish tacos.