Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
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Where in the World is Carol?

Carol's in the kitchen, cooking up recipes for her next cookbook and

Watch for Carol on "Creative Living with Sheryl Borden," a PBS-TV show airing on your local PBS station during 2017-2018.

Join Carol at the National Western Complex, Expo Hall level 2 in Denver on April 21,10:30 am during the GFAF Expo Conference. See you there!

Welcome to Carol Fenster Cooks!

Welcome to Carol Fenster Cooks!

I have had a love affair with food since I was a small child.  But I didn’t understand that it was the very food I loved that made me ill. When I learned that gluten was the culprit, I left my corporate job to start Savory Palate, Inc. where I specialize in gluten-free, allergen-free, and vegetarian/vegan cooking. I believe that eating food is the most profound thing we do to our bodies each and every day. So my mission is to help everyone eat well and I love my job!

Carol Fenster Inducted Into Colorado Authors’ Hall of Fame—-And A Farewell

The good news.

I am deeply honored to be inducted into the Colorado Authors’ Hall of Fame. I join an illustrious group of Colorado authors including Madeleine Albright, Clive Cussler, Louis L’Amour, Stephen King, and James Michener—to name just a few.

I am being recognized as a pioneer in writing my 14 gluten-free cookbooks, which helped bring greater awareness to the gluten-free lifestyle. In addition to writing cookbooks, I worked with physicians, nurses, dietitians, nutritionists, support group leaders, and patients who successfully advocated for legislation on ingredient labeling and a definition of gluten-free.  Since a gluten-free diet is the only treatment, our work made it easier to eat a safe, healthy gluten-free diet.  

I didn’t intend to become a cookbook author. I spent 12 years in academia and 10 years in the corporate world before my debilitating gluten-intolerance inspired me to self-publish my first gluten-free cookbook in 1995. That cookbook led to others which were ultimately published by several large publishing houses. Other gluten-free cookbook authors joined in and we now have a marvelous choice of cookbooks for any eating style.

I am immensely proud of all we’ve accomplished in the last 25 years and I thoroughly enjoyed working with all of you. I have fond memories of the trade shows, conferences, speaking engagements, and consulting jobs in the U.S. and worldwide. We worked hard, and established enduring friendships that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

And, now the farewell.

Larry, my beloved husband of over 50 years suffered a series of hemorrhagic strokes in August, 2019, was diagnosed with dementia a few weeks later, and ultimately died in February, 2021.

Needless to say, throughout his illness—which was complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic—I had little time to do the necessary recipe testing and writing to publish my monthly blog or engage in social media or write cookbooks.  Being a caregiver to a dementia patient is a full-time job. So, my work languished.  

My lifestyle has also changed. I traded my spacious house of 30 years for an apartment in a retirement community where meals are provided. I don’t have to cook unless I want to.

My last cookbook was Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, published in 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. I don’t plan any future cookbooks because I feel like I’ve said everything I want to say. So, it’s time to “hang up my apron”.….”turn off the oven”…..”unplug the mixer”..…or whatever retiring cookbook authors say.

So, my induction into the Colorado Authors’ Hall of Fame seems like an appropriate way to end my career. This may be my last blog post. It’s time to move on. Goodbye to everyone! Be well and be happy!

Clafoutis: Easy Elegant French Dessert

[donotprint]I have a jar of Bing cherries beckoning to me from my pantry. They are perfect for a dessert called Clafoutis, which is really just fruit baked in a custard sauce. So, that’s what my husband and I will have for dessert tonight since the oven will be hot following our oven-baked meal.

Bing Cherry Clafoutis: Photo by Tom Hirschfeld

Bing Cherry Clafoutis: Photo by Tom Hirschfeld

Of all the desserts in my cookbooks, Clafoutis (pronounced Clah-fute-ee, the “s” is silent) is the recipe I most often recommend to gluten-free newbies.  It’s easy, fool-proof, and very versatile and just sounds so “chic” with its French sound.

With Clafoutis, you can use any flour you like, which allows many people with diverse appetites to enjoy it. So, for example, a person who is new to the gluten-free diet can make a dessert that pleases everyone— including someone who follows a Paleo diet or is dairy-free or avoids grains.

Clafoutis is not only a delicious dessert, but it doesn’t require a blend of flours, just one single flour. As you know, I am always experimenting with new flours. And, I usually turn to Clafoutis as the recipe that allows me to experiment, but always with a successful outcome.  Over the years, I experimented with brown rice flour, sorghum flour, cornstarch, amaranth flour, quinoa flour….and then some really unusual ones such as plaintain flour, coffee flour, banana flour, tigernut flour, and so on.

As you might expect, the flavor and color differs with the flour you use. But that’s part of the fun, I think. However, if you’re not into experimenting then just use one of your tried and true flours such as brown rice flour.

One last thing: I usually assemble the Clafoutis ahead of dinner, and then bake them while we eat dinner. The aroma wafting from the kitchen is so enticing, comforting, and welcoming. It’s one of my favorite tricks when we entertain guests. Somehow, the aroma heightens the anticipation of dessert. [/donotprint]



Adapted with permission from Gluten-Free Cooking for Two by Carol Fenster (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017).

Clafoutis is a French dessert that can use any type of flour, thus making it ideal for gluten-free diets. It is simple, delicious, always turns out right no matter how it looks, and lends itself to many variations. Bing cherries are featured here, but I have used figs, apricots, peaches, pears, and nectarines. It can be served hot or cold, but I prefer it hot—with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream. I like to bake it while we eat dinner, so we can enjoy its enticing aroma during dinner and so it’s nice and hot when I serve it.

1/2         cup Bing cherries, drained

1              large egg, room temperature

2              tablespoons milk of choice (the richer the better), room temperature

1             tablespoon canola oil

1              teaspoon pure vanilla extract or almond extract

2 1/2      tablespoons sugar, plus 2 teaspoons for sprinkling

2              tablespoons of your favorite flour

1/16       teaspoon salt

2              teaspoons sliced almonds, for garnish

1              tablespoon powdered sugar, for dusting

[1] Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Generously grease two 3 ½ x1 ¾ -inch (4-ounce) ramekins.

[2] Arrange cherries in a single layer in each ramekin.

[3] In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, oil, and vanilla until very smooth.  Then gradually whisk in 2 ½ tablespoons of the sugar, flour, and salt until very smooth. Divide the batter between the ramekins, sprinkle with almonds, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar.

[4] Bake until the tops are puffy and the almonds are golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings:

Per serving:   270 calories; 5g protein; 11g total fat; 2g fiber; 39g carbohydrates; 94mg cholesterol; 146mg sodium


Red Quinoa Salad for National Nutrition Month

[donotprint]Everyone knows that I am a devoted believer in eating whole grains because of their high nutritional value. But the main resistance I hear from many people about cooking whole grains is the time it takes, since most whole grains must be cooked from scratch. Fortunately, quinoa is a whole grain that cooks quickly.

Red Quinoa Salad is Gluten-Free

Red Quinoa Salad is perfect for entertaining


Quinoa: The “Mother” Grain That Cooks Quickly

Since March is National Nutrition Month, I want to focus on quinoa today. Technically a seed, quinoa—called the “mother grain” because it is one of the most nutritious of all grains—cooks just like rice, in about 15 to 20 minutes, so it easy to plan its preparation for our gluten-free meals. That 15-to-20 minute prep time makes it one of the quickest-cooking whole grains and a good choice for busy households.

Like many people, I occasionally need a reminder to eat more whole grains, so I am using National Nutrition Month as a reminder to myself. Although I cook quinoa on the cooktop, I prepare other longer-cooking grains such as brown rice or sorghum in the slow cooker. It cooks all day and I come home to whole grains that I can eat for dinner or store in the fridge for meals later in the week.

I’ve been tinkering with this red quinoa salad for some time now and really like this vibrant, nutritious version that is also extremely flavorful.  Red beets, pomegranates, and spinach (or arugula) are powerhouses of nutrition and the Clementines (called Cuties) add color and Vitamin C.  Even beet-haters might like it because the beets are cut in shoe-strings and just blend in with all of the other wonderful parts of this salad. But, recipes like this just beg for tinkering so change out the ingredients as you wish and make it your own.[/donotprint]

Red Quinoa Salad

By Carol Fenster©


Red quinoa is much more colorful than white quinoa and—along with the vibrant colors from the beets and Clementines—is a stunning dish, especially when made with dark green spinach for a lovely color contrast.


1 ¾ cup vegetable broth or low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup red quinoa

¼ teaspoon salt

2 small Clementines or 1 medium orange, some segments reserved for garnish

½ can (14-ounce) shoestring beets, thoroughly drained

Seeds from 1 pomegranate (about ½ to ¾ cup), reserve some for garnish

½ cup raisins or dried cranberries

1 cup baby spinach or arugula, washed and patted dry

½ cup slivered almonds (optional)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish


[1/4] cup freshly-squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 medium garlic clove, minced

[1/4] teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

[1] In large saucepan, bring broth to boil high heat. Add quinoa and salt and cook, covered, until broth is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Transfer quinoa to large bowl; drain any excess broth.

[2] Grate the Clementine (or orange) to yield two teaspoons zest and add to quinoa, then cut Clementine into segments and add to quinoa.  Add the beets, pomegranate seeds, raisins, spinach, almonds, and 2 tablespoons of parsley. Toss to combine thoroughly

[3] Make dressing: In small bowl or glass jar, whisk together orange juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper until blended. Slowly whisk in oil in thin stream until well combined. Add enough dressing to quinoa to coat thoroughly and serve, either in large bowl or large platter, garnished with remaining Clementine segments, pomegranate seeds, and parsley.  Serves 4 as a main dish; 6 as a side dish

Calories:  310; 11g protein; 13g fat, 4g fiber; 42g carbohydrates; 360mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol



Chocolate Banana Bread

[donotprint]There is a famed spa called Rancho La Puerta that sits in Baja on the border between California and Mexico in the town of Tecate.  “The Ranch” as we call it, sits on 3,000 acres, and is magical. 

La Cucina Que Canta Cooking School at The Ranch

La Cucina Que Canta Cooking School at The Ranch

One of the many wonderful events is an early morning hike. But this isn’t just any hike: the roughly two-mile jaunt takes you to The Ranch’s cooking school where breakfast is served.  It is called La Cocina Que Canta (The Kitchen That Sings). And, no visit is complete without a tour of the organic garden with Salvador. 

Organic Garden at The Ranch, with Salvadore

Organic Garden at The Ranch, with Salvadore

I taught gluten-free cooking classes to the guests at The Ranch nearly 9 years ago. And, I also taught the staff about how to prepare and serve gluten-free food. At that time, they were just learning and this breakfast bread was not gluten-free. So, I had to return home and formulate my own gluten-free version. 

Kitchen at La Cucina Que Canta at The Ranch

Kitchen at La Cucina Que Canta at The Ranch

Today, most of the food served at The Ranch is gluten-free and gluten-free dishes dominate the cooking classes as well. It is very easy for gluten-free guests to dine there safely.

And, The Ranch is a very healing place. During my first visit, 10 years ago, I was undergoing radiation treatment for breast cancer. I was exhausted, but found The Ranch relaxing and rejuvenating. It turned out that many people were in “healing” mode (emotionally, socially, and not just physically) so I felt at home.

Chocolate Banana Bread.

Chocolate Banana Bread.

But back to this fabulous bread. When I serve it to brunch guests, I remind them that it is possible to have chocolate for breakfast in a healthy way. They love it!

This bread gets its sweetness from fruit juice, dried fruit, and chocolate chips—there is no added sugar, except the sugar that is present in the chocolate chips. But if you prefer your bread a little sweeter, add the optional tablespoon of sugar. It’s up to you! The recipe makes a small loaf, but it is rich so you only need a small slice to feel satisfied. Enjoy![/donotprint]

Chocolate Banana Bread  

By Carol Fenster


This small, but mighty recipe is very versatile because you can use whatever add-ins you like and vary the fruit juice―both of which are very good for you. There are lots of flavors going on here: chocolate, banana, cinnamon. For a no-sugar-added bread, omit the tablespoon of sugar. Enjoy!!

1 small ripe banana, mashed

1 large egg, at room temperature

1/3 cup prune juice or pomegranate juice

1/4 cup canola oil

½ cup gluten-free flour blend (see below)

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon sugar (optional-try it first without sugar and see how you like it)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/4 teaspoon salt


1/2 cup gluten-free semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup each finely chopped nuts, raisins, coconut, and dried cranberries (make sure total equals 1 cup)


[1] Preheat the oven to 350⁰F. Lightly grease two nonstick 3 ¼ x 5¾-inch mini-loaf pans. 

[2] In a medium bowl, beat together the mashed banana, egg, juice, and oil with an electric mixer on low speed until well blended.

[3] With the mixer still on low speed, beat in the flour blend, cocoa, sugar (if using), cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt until smooth. Stir in the add-ins. With a wet spatula, spread the batter evenly in the pans.

[4] Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (or with only a bit of melted chocolate on it), about 40 to 45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, remove the bread from the pans, and cool completely. Makes about 5 to 6 small slices per loaf.

Gluten-Free Flour Blend

1 ½ cups sorghum flour or brown rice flour

1 ½ cups potato starch (not potato flour)

1 cup tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch)

Whisk the ingredients together and store, tightly covered, in a dark, dry place.


Makes 2 small loaves, cut in 12 slices total

Per slice: calories 145; 10g fat; 2g protein; 2g fiber; 15g carbohydrate; 153 mg sodium; 16mg cholesterol

What’s New in Chocolate: Ruby Chocolate!

After a month of focusing on chocolate desserts for February, my research turned up a new form of chocolate in addition to dark, milk, and white: ruby chocolate or ruby cacao.

Ruby Cacao in bar and chip form.

Ruby Cacao in bar and chip form.

It is called ruby because it is pink when the beans are processed into candy. It was introduced in Asia and Europe, but just recently came to the United States.

What is Ruby Chocolate?

Ruby chocolate is developed from the Ruby cacao bean that is found naturally in Ecuador, Brazil, and Ivory Coast. Experts say it was commercialized by the Callebaut chocolate company, who registered a patent for it in 2009.  Skeptics suggest it is really a different way of processing regular cocoa beans and it is more of a marketing ploy than a truly new chocolate bean. Stay tuned on that….

Where to Buy Ruby Chocolate

I found the ruby cacao bar (3.1 ounces) at Whole Foods, introduced just before Valentine’s Day. To further the Valentine theme, the wrapping is pink with hearts and a place for “To” and “From” if you want to use it as a gift. I found a 5 ounce bag of ruby cacao chips at Trader Joe’s, packaged in pink as well. They look just like chocolate chips. There may be other places to buy ruby cacao, but these are the two places  I found so far.

How does Ruby Chocolate Taste?

Even though it’s called chocolate, tasters say it’s not really “chocolatey” at all. When I bought these Choco-Love brand bars at Whole Foods for Valentine’s Day, the check-out lady said she wasn’t sure she liked ruby chocolate. She said it was more like white chocolate, which isn’t really chocolate. So, I went home thinking I might be truly disappointed even though I love white chocolate.

My husband and I shared the bar for dessert and I was pleasantly surprised. Don’t expect a deep, dark chocolate experience. Instead, it is sort of like white chocolate but with a definite fruity note, perhaps berries? And, I didn’t find it overly sweet… which is good. In fact, there is a pleasant tang…almost like there is some fermentation.

How to Use Ruby Chocolate

My advice is to eat it as a chocolate bar. We just break off a square and savor it with coffee. There are not many recipes online yet, so I didn’t find much help about how to cook with ruby chocolate. But that may change in the future.

If you feel like experimenting (which is what I plan to do), use the chips like you use regular chocolate chips or bars. That means whatever you make will be pinkish, which might look great in some desserts but not in others.  

For example, a mousse with melted ruby chocolate might be a pretty light pink in color. You could chop up the bar and use the chunks just like you would use chocolate chips in cookies, bars, or cupcakes. But if you’re planning to melt ruby chocolate and use it like regular bittersweet chocolate in brownies, you won’ get that dark chocolate look.

Is Ruby Chocolate for You?

If you are curious about new foods, (as I am) then you might want to give ruby chocolate a try. It’s fun, something new to talk about with friends, and might give your dessert repertoire a boost. Bon Appetit!


Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

[donotprint]I know Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but the days are still cold and dreary. I try to instill a little light into these dark winter days with fun, sometimes whimsical desserts.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries from  Carol Fenster

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries from Carol Fenster

Here is a quick, simple dessert that never fails to please: Chocolate-Covered Strawberries. The really large strawberries, with the stems on, have the prettiest effect. But regardless of the strawberry size, this is a stunningly gorgeous dessert.

These little gems might cost $3 or $4 each at a candy store; but you can make yours for a fraction of that price.

For the most dramatic effect, arrange the finished strawberries on a footed/pedestal cake stand. But, they will look scrumptious any way you serve them. A glass of champagne is a nice touch. And, if you’re especially hungry, double the recipe. As I always say, “there’s no such thing as too much chocolate.”[/donotprint]

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Recipe by Carol Fenster, author of  Gluten-Free Cooking for Two (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017)


You can use your favorite chocolate chips, but I prefer dark chocolate―Ghirardelli or Sunspire―for its health benefits and stronger flavor. White chocolate chips work nicely, too.

4 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips

1/2 teaspoon butter or buttery spread

10 large strawberries (preferably with stems on, for the prettiest effect)

[1] Wash strawberries and gently pat dry with paper towels. Lay sheet of waxed paper on baking sheet.

[2] Place half of chocolate chips and all of the butter in microwave safe bowl. Microwave on Medium power until chocolate melts. Remove from microwave and stir until smooth, then stir in remaining chocolate chips until very smooth. If chocolate doesn’t melt, return to Microwave in 5 second intervals until it does.

[3] Holding strawberry by stem, dip strawberry into chocolate, twist slightly, and then lift  out, letting excess chocolate drip back into bowl. Lay strawberry on waxed paper and repeat with remaining strawberries.  Let strawberries stand for 20 to 30 minutes or until chocolate sets up and then serve.

Chocolate Cakes in a Cup for Valentine’s Day

[donotprint]After years of marriage, we’ve fallen into the routine of having dinner at home on Valentine’s Day—unless it’s a busy weekday. Then, we choose a weekend night that’s less rushed. Our main course will be something special that we both like—perhaps steak or salmon on the grill.

Chocolate Cake in a Cup from Gluten-Free Cooking for Two. Photo by Tom Hirschfeld

Chocolate Cake in a Cup from Gluten-Free Cooking for Two. Photo by Tom Hirschfeld

But one thing never varies: dessert will be chocolate. As “chocolate-lovers”, we agree that it isn’t dessert on Valentine’s Day unless it’s chocolate.

Since chocolate is a must for Valentine’s Day, the question is will it be cake, cookies, pie, or just straight-up dark chocolate bars. But when I want something special yet quick, I turn to these cute little cakes in a cup.  They are quick since they “bake” in a microwave in about a minute rather than several minutes in an oven.

This means you can assemble the dry and wet ingredients separately beforehand, and then—maybe an hour or so after dinner—whisk them together and cook them quickly in the microwave. Or, make them right after dinner if you just cant’ wait. Your reward is a warm chocolatey dessert that says “I love you.”[/donotprint]

Chocolate Cake in a Cup

Text excerpted from Gluten-Free Cooking for Two ©2017 by Carol Fenster. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.


These cute little individual cakes microwaved in coffee cups are just perfect for couples, and they are super quick. They can be eaten right out of the cup, once they’ve cooled a bit.

1/3 cup Carol’s Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see below)

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa (not Dutch-processed)

¹/8 teaspoon (dash) baking powder

¹/8 teaspoon (dash) salt

1 large egg, at room temperature

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon water

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Powdered sugar or chocolate syrup, for garnish

[1] Generously grease 2 shallow, microwave-safe 6-ounce (¾-cup) coffee cups. (My coffee cups are 3¼ inches in diameter and 2¼ inches high. The batter may spill over the edge during baking if you use a smaller cup.)

[2] In a small bowl, whisk together the flour blend, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt until well blended, and then whisk in the egg, oil, water, and vanilla until smooth. The batter will be soft. Divide the batter between the two coffee cups and place the cups on saucers or plates to catch any drips.

[3] Microwave on medium-high (70%) power for 50 to 60 seconds. The cakes are done when they look firm and are no longer shiny on top. They will continue to cook after they are out of the microwave. The cooking time may vary depending on the wattage of your microwave oven. Cool slightly before eating right out of the cup, dusted with powdered sugar or drizzled with chocolate syrup — or both!

Makes 2 cakes

Per cake: 335 calories; 5g protein; 17g total fat; 3g fiber; 42g carbohydrates; 94mg cholesterol; 215mg sodium

Carol’s Gluten-Free Flour Blend

1 ½ cups brown rice flour (or sorghum flour)

1 ½ cups potato starch

1 cup tapioca flour

Whisk together until thoroughly blended. Store, tightly covered, in a dark, dry place for up to 3 months.

Raspberry Tarts in Buttery Crusts for Two

 [donotprint]With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, here is a stunningly beautiful Raspberry Tart that is just perfect for a romantic dinner for two. Your significant other will be impressed.

Raspberry Tart for Two

Raspberry Tart for Two

But you don’t have to wait until Valentine’s Day. This is a lovely dessert year-round. Plus, you can vary the fruit. Perhaps pair fresh strawberries with strawberry jam; fresh blueberries with blueberry jam; fresh peaches with peach jam—you get the idea.

Don’t let the idea of pie crust scare you. You just press this dough into the mold, no rolling pins required. So, it is super-easy and fail-proof because the pretty fluted edge just naturally happens, due to the shape of the pan.

Raspberry Tarts in Buttery Crusts for Two

Reprinted with permission from Gluten-Free Cooking for Two: 125 Favorites by Carol Fenster (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April, 2017)


These cute little tarts are so simple, yet so gorgeous. The best part is that you just press the dough into the tart pans—no rolling pin needed! The fluted edge of the tart pans automatically shapes the dough. You will only use half of the dough, so freeze it the other half for a later pair of tarts. I like these tarts with a dollop of whipped cream or plain yogurt, but they are delicious just by themselves.


1/2         cup Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see below)

1/3         cup tapioca flour

1/4         cup sweet rice flour

1             tablespoon granulated sugar

1/4         teaspoon salt or 1/16 teaspoon (pinch) if using buttery spread

1/8         teaspoon (dash) xanthan gum

1/16       teaspoon (pinch) baking soda

6             tablespoons unsalted butter or buttery spread

3              tablespoon milk of choice


1              cup fresh raspberries

2              tablespoons good-quality raspberry jam (I like Bonne Maman, found in grocery stores)

1 to 2     teaspoons water

[1] Place racks in the bottom and middle positions of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 375⁰F.

[2] In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour blend, tapioca flour, sweet rice flour, sugar, salt, xanthan gum, and baking soda until well blended. With an electric mixer on Low speed, beat in the butter and milk on low speed until small clumps form.  If the dough shapes into a cohesive ball with your hands, it is ready. If not, beat in water, (a 1 teaspoon at a time,) until the dough is ready. Knead the dough with your hands until it is very smooth.

[3] Divide the dough in half and freeze one -half, tightly wrapped, for another use. Divide the remaining dough in half and shape each half into a ball. Place one ball in the center of a 3.5 to 4-inch nonstick tart pan that has fluted edges. With your fingers, press the dough evenly on the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Repeat with the remaining dough in the second tart pan.  Place both pans on a rimmed baking sheet. With a fork, prick the bottoms and sides of the dough a few times.

[4] Bake the tarts on the bottom rack of the oven for 5 minutes. Shift the pans to the next middle rack and bake for another 10 minutes or until the edges of the pastry start to brown. Remove the pans from the oven and cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack.

[5] Arrange the raspberries in a single layer in the two crusts. Whisk the water into the jam until the jam is a glazing consistency. Heat the jam in the microwave on Low power just until the jam is melted, about 5 seconds. Pour the jam over the raspberries in each crust and use a pastry brush or fork to nudge the jam into the nooks and crannies between the raspberries and out to the edges of the crust. Let cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

Makes 2 tarts (each 3.5 to 4-inches in diameter)

Per tart: 385calories; 2g protein; 18g total fat; 5g fiber; 55g carbohydrates; 47mg cholesterol; 192mg sodium

Gluten-Free Flour Blend

1 ½ cups brown rice flour (or sorghum flour)

1 ½ cups potato starch

1 cup tapioca starch/flour

Whisk together until thoroughly blended. Store, tightly covered, in a dark, dry place.


Super Bowl Tacos: Easy Eats for Game Day

[donotprint]Regardless of how you feel about the teams in this year’s Super Bowl, most of us will undoubtedly be watching on February 3. For me, it’s more about the ads than the game itself. As you may have guessed, I’m not a huge football fan.  In fact, I once took my knitting to a neighborhood Super Bowl party and was never invited back! I actually found the knitting more fascinating then the game.

Crispy Beef Tacos

Crispy Beef Tacos

But I like the ads, so I will tune in on February 3. I also like listening to the media analysis afterwards about how the ads did/did not do a good job of reflecting current societal issues (such as racism, MeToo movement, politics, etc.) As a sociologist, I find this more interesting than how the teams perform.


But enough about football.  I do get excited about the food for Super Bowl Sunday. What should we eat?

I want something that can remain appetizing despite 3 ½ to 4 hours on the serving table. The food should also be packed with flavor, yet modifiable so that guests who like less spice can be accommodated. It should be easily and quickly assembled so I can fill my plate and get back to the television without missing anything.

And, I want to return to the serving table again (and again) throughout this nearly 4-hour event. And the side dishes and dessert must be tasty, but easily served. So, here’s my menu for Super Bowl Sunday. You can add your favorite dishes as you see fit.

Super Bowl Menu

Tacos (meat served from a slow-cooker to stay warm). All other ingredients in bowls.

Guacamole and chips

Mixed-Green Salad

Dessert: cookies or brownies[/donotprint]


Reprinted with permission from  Gluten-Free Cooking for Two by Carol Fenster (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017)


Anything goes when it comes to tacos. I usually use leftover cooked meat (usually browned ground beef or shredded pork) that I have in the fridge or freezer, but you can use browned ground turkey as well. Instead of crispy tacos, you can also use soft white or yellow corn tortillas and pinto or black beans in place of meat, if you’re vegetarian. Just check the label on the tortillas to make sure they are gluten-free since some corn tortilla brands also include wheat. This recipe makes 6 regular-size tacos; simply double the ingredients to make 12 tacos.

3/4         cup browned ground beef or turkey (or shredded pork)

Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)

1 ½ – 2   teaspoons chili powder, or to taste

1/4         cup diced red onion

1/2         diced tomato 

1/4         cup store-bought Mexican salsa

1/4         cup shredded cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese, or a mixture of cheese

1/2         cup shredded iceberg lettuce (or lettuce of your choice)

1/4         cup chopped fresh cilantro

6            gluten-free crisp corn taco shells

[1] In a small skillet over medium heat, toss the browned ground beef with the salt and pepper (if using) and chili powder and then heat to serving temperature.

[2] For each taco, layer the beef, onion, tomato, salsa, cheese, lettuce, and cilantro in a taco shell. Serve immediately. Makes 6 tacos.

Per taco:  505 calories; 23g protein; 32 g total fat; 6g fiber; 33g carbohydrates; 79mg cholesterol; 466mg sodium

Gingerbread: The Perfect Winter Dessert

[donotprint]Cold, snowy weather means it’s baking time at my house. In fact, it’s snowing hard right now and visibility is low. Good idea to stay indoors!

Gingerbread for Two

Gingerbread for Two

There’s something about this kind of weather that sends me to kitchen to create wonderful aromas and eating pleasure. This means Gingerbread. The spices fill my kitchen with deliciously taunting aromas.

I’m not entertaining any guests this week and I don’t want a lot of leftovers sitting around, so I downsized my traditional recipe to serve just my husband and me. (If you want to bake full-size Gingerbread, use the recipe from my book, Gluten-Free 101, 2013 edition).

And, here’s the recipe below, a cute little loaf that will delight your senses.  Enjoy!!![/donotprint]


Reprinted with permission from Gluten-Free Cooking for Two by Carol Fenster (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017)


Decidedly aromatic, this spicy gingerbread fills your kitchen with delicious smells …making it the perfect dessert for a cold winter day—or anytime the urge strikes. It keeps nicely on the countertop, so you can enjoy it for a couple of days after baking. Topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a twist of lemon, it’s divine.

Makes a 3¼ x5¾-inch loaf, 4 small slices

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Baking time: 20 to 25 minutes


[1/3]      cup Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see below)

3             tablespoons packed brown sugar

[1/4]      teaspoon each ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves

[1/16]    teaspoon grated nutmeg

[1/4]      teaspoon xanthan gum

[1/8]      teaspoon baking powder

[1/8]     teaspoon salt

[1/16]    teaspoon baking soda

2             tablespoons canola oil

2             tablespoons molasses

1             large egg, at room temperature

[1] Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease a 3 ¼ x5 ¾-inch nonstick (gray, not black) loaf pan.

[2] In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour blend, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and baking soda until well blended. With an electric mixer on low speed, beat in the oil, molasses, and egg until well blended, about 30 seconds. Spread the batter evenly in the pan.

[3] Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the gingerbread comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the gingerbread in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, cut into 4 slices, and serve slightly warm.

Per slice: 188 calories; 2g protein; 8g total fat; 1g fiber; 28g carbohydrates; 47mgs cholesterol;  66mgs sodium

Gluten-Free Flour Blend

1 ½ cups brown rice flour

1 ½ cups potato starch

1 cup tapioca flour

Whisk together until thoroughly blended and store, tightly covered, in a dark, dry place.