Gluten Free Oyster Crackers

Oyster Crackers.  Those cute little soda crackers that restaurants give you with chowder and soup.  Some are round and some are hexagon shaped.  Yes, they are off limits on a gluten free diet.  So today I made my own gluten free version, at home, from scratch!

Gluten free dough can be finicky to work with, so I opted for the diamond shape, which is easy to cut.  The dough is sticky and handles like pie dough.  The trick is to keep it cold.  Here’s how to make it…

~8 servings 

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Ingredients:

  • 140g. gluten free all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt (6g.)
  • 1 tsp. sugar (5g.)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder (3g.)
  • 3 tbsp. very cold butter
  • 1/3 cup ice water 

Preparation:

Cut the butter into small pieces and refrigerate it (keep it cold) while you gather the other ingredients.  Cut 2 sheets of parchment paper to size for 2 cookie sheets (half sheet pans).  Pre-heat the oven to 375º.

Whisk together the dry ingredients and place in small food processor or mini chopper with the butter.  Pulse a few times, then add the water to form a coarse dough.

It will look shaggy, like pie dough but should hold together when you give it a squeeze.

Press the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 minutes at room temperature.

Divide the dough ball in half.  If it is too crumbly to handle, mist it with water and knead a few times.  Cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap and roll the dough into a circle 1/8″ thick.  I used a rolling pin, but you can use a pie dough roller or just press it with your fingers.

Gently slide the parchment onto the baking sheets for support.  Put the dough in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.  Don’t skip this step!  The dough needs to be cold throughout the entire process until it goes into the oven.

Use a pizza cutter to cut the chilled dough into 3/4″ diamonds.  Refrigerate it for another 10 minutes.  Again, don’t skip this step!

Just before baking, lift up the dough with a spatula and shake gently to separate the crackers and spread in a single layer.

Be sure they don’t overlap and have space in between.

Bake 17 minutes on the middle rack (not too close to the bottom or they will get singed).  Rotate once during baking.

Cool in the pan, then lift the edges of the parchment paper and slide them into a bowl for serving.

The Oyster Crackers were excellent, they were crisp and held up well in a bowl of chowder!  Store in an airtight container or ball jar at room temperature for 1 week.  They are great for snacking!

Notes ♪♫ I used Better Batter Original All-Purpose Flour Blend in this recipe.  I have also made them with King Arthur All Purpose Gluten Free Flour.  If you try the recipe with another flour blend, let me know how it comes out!

Originally posted 08/27/2018, Updated and rephotographed 6/8/2021, and 07/13/2024

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Gluten Free Apple Zucchini Muffins

Sometimes gluten free muffins turn out dry and crumbly, but not these Apple Zucchini Muffins!  The name says it all, these muffins are loaded with little bites of apple and zucchini that you can see and taste.  They keep the crumb nice and moist too.  And what a great way to sneak fruits and veggies into your breakfast!

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Dry Ingredients:

  • 180 g. gluten free all-purpose flour (I used Better Batter Original blend)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. baking powder

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups apple and zucchini, chopped
  • 1/4 cup ricotta
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. melted butter, for finishing

Preparation:

Mist a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 400º.

Use an electric chopper or a knife to mince the apples and zucchini into 1/4″ pieces.

Whisk the dry ingredients together in one bowl.  In a second bowl whisk together the wet ingredients.

Stir the wet and dry ingredients together until thoroughly moistened, then let the batter rest for 15 minutes.

Fill the prepared muffin cups.  I wanted my muffins to be a little larger, so I made 9.  The recipe will make 12 if you portion the muffin cups 2/3 full.

Smooth out the tops with a spatula dipped in water and bake for 20-23 minutes depending on size.  Test the center with a toothpick.

Brush the muffins with melted butter for a nice shine, then cool in the pan for 20 minutes.  Transfer to a rack.

Look at that beautiful moist crumb!

Muffins can be stored at room temperature for up to one day or frozen.  My prediction is that they will disappear before you have to worry about it!

Notes ♪♫ I adapted this recipe from a quick bread that I used to make pre-Celiac.  It worked beautifully with gluten free flour, and as always, I recommend Better Batter.  I used their Original Blend, perfect for all your favorite muffins and quick breads.

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Gluten Free Meatloaf

Are you missing meatloaf on your gluten free diet?  Meatloaf made with gluten free breadcrumbs can be disappointing, a wet soggy mess that doesn’t hold together.  Today I’ll show you how to make a moist tasty meatloaf that won’t fall apart when you slice it.  By the way, this meatloaf is loaded with healthy veggies, but that can be our little secret!

4 Servings

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Ingredients:

Preparation:

Finely mince the veggies, using a knife or electric chopper.

Season the veggies and garlic with salt and pepper, then sauté in a little olive oil.  I used onion, bell pepper, mushroom and zucchini.  They will almost disappear into the meatloaf (shhhh, don’t tell the kids)!

When the veggies have reduced by half and there is no visible liquid in the pan, set them aside to cool.

Whisk together the egg, ketchup, brown sugar, red pepper flakes and Worcestershire.  Be sure your Worcestershire sauce is gluten free, check labels and don’t hesitate to contact the manufacturer if needed.

Now add the meat and the cooled vegetables, mixing it together with your hands.  I usually use pork sausage, but chicken or turkey sausage will work just as well.

Next add the breadcrumbs, rolled oats and potato flakes, and work together until well combined.

Press the mixture into a standard, 1 lb. loaf pan.  I used a nonstick metal pan, but if you have a glass loaf pan be sure to mist it with cooking spray.

Now squeeze a little ketchup over the top and use a fork to spread it evenly to make a line pattern, like this.

Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350º.  When it’s done, you should see a little browning around the edges, and the meatloaf will begin pulling away from the sides of the pan.  The internal temperature should reach 150-155º, if you’re not sure check with a thermometer.

Ready to serve, this meatloaf is moist and juicy, definitely not falling apart.

Meatloaf is great leftover, and you can even freeze it.  It makes a great lunch sandwich too!

Notes: ♪♫ How are you feeling about oats these days?  A while back there was a very concerning report from Gluten Free Watchdog stating that they could not recommend ANY brand of gluten free oats due to gluten content.  For myself, I have decided to only use gluten free oats processed under a purity protocol, such as Bakery on Main.  As always, consult with your own medical team for advice.  Whether or not you continue to consume oats is a personal choice.  

Originally published 04/09/2018           Updated 07/02/2024

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Gluten Free “Mighty Tasty” Toasting Bread

GLUTEN FREE “MIGHTY TASTY” TOASTING BREAD

Adapted from a recipe by America’s Test Kitchen

Servings: 1 Loaf = about 16 slices

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One of my favorite gluten free toasting breads, this loaf gets a boost of whole grains from Bob’s Red Mill Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal mix.  A hot cereal breakfast staple, it can also be used to add fiber and whole grains to bread and muffin recipes.  I think it gives the loaf a nice flavor and texture reminiscent of corn bread.  Even your family members who are not gluten free will enjoy this hearty breakfast toast.  It’s on my breakfast menu at least one morning per week!

This recipe has been adapted to yield 1 loaf.  Yes, there are a lot of ingredients, and it will take time.  Embrace the magic of baking from scratch!  I would rather enjoy a slice of delicious, homemade bread than a cardboard loaf from the store.

The pan you see in the photos is a 9 x 4 x 4” loaf pan that is perfect for gluten free bread.  The higher sides are perfect for supporting the dense, gluten free dough as it rises.  Gluten free baking is finicky, which is why I recommend that you use a scale and weigh the dry ingredients to achieve the same outcome.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast

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  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 tbsp. honey

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  • sesame and poppy seeds

Preparation:

Line a 9 X 4 X 4” loaf pan with parchment paper.  I always bake with parchment, not only to prevent sticking, but also to make lifting the finished loaf out of the pan easier.

Combine 1 ½ cups warm water and 1 tbsp. yeast together in the bowl of your stand mixer, and let it sit for 15 minutes while you gather the other ingredients.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, white rice flour through salt.  Don’t be tempted to skip any of the ingredients.  Those seemingly tiny amounts of things like gelatin, psyllium husk and xanthan gum are what help to compensate for the body and elasticity normally provided by the gluten in wheat flour.

When the yeast has proofed, add the eggs, canola oil and honey to the bowl and beat with the whisk attachment until frothy.

Switch to the paddle attachment and add the dry ingredients to the bowl.  Beat on low speed for 4 minutes.  Next add the sunflower seeds and up to an additional 4 tbsp. of water, one tbsp. at a time as needed.  Beat for 1 minute longer.  You will have a thick, sticky dough that clings to the paddle like this.

Scrape the dough into the prepared loaf pan and use a spatula dipped in water to smooth the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 325º and place a pizza stone on the middle rack.  Remove the plastic wrap and mist the top of the risen loaf with warm water (this helps the seeds to adhere).  Sprinkle liberally with poppy and sesame seeds.

Bake for 75 minutes, or until the loaf reaches an internal temperature of 210º.  It may take a bit more (or less) time in your oven, so be sure to use a thermometer!  Hint, if it smells done, check it!

Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then grasp the parchment on either side to lift it out.  Remove the parchment and let it cool completely on a rack.  See how nicely the loaf shaped up in this pan?

Resist slicing into the loaf until it has completely cooled, or it may be gummy in the center. You’ll want to give it a few hours to rest and set up properly.  Here’s the crumb shot.  You can see that it’s very dense and speckled with whole grains and seeds. It’s perfect!

Like most gluten free breads, this one is best eaten the day it is baked.  Slice it up and toast for about 5 minutes, it’s divine with just a simple pat of butter or jelly.  You can store it at room temperature for up to 1 day, but it is best to freeze the leftovers asap.  I like to freeze mine in individually wrapped slices, so I can easily pull one out for breakfast.

Notes ♪♫ All of the grains used in the flour mix were from Bob’s Red Mill.  The brand is readily available in stores or online.

Originally published 05/05/2019                   Updated 06/17/2024

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Veal Stew with Caramelized Onions

You won’t believe how a few simple ingredients can produce the most tender, flavorful stew.  With today’s prices, you may think that veal is not in the budget, but stew veal is made with those tough but economical cuts that benefit from slow braising, easy on the pocketbook and perfect for Sunday afternoons!

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The basic stew is quite versatile and pairs well with so many things.  The onions cook down to make a delicious gravy.  You can serve it with risotto, pasta or polenta.  For a New England style dish, you could add potatoes and carrots.  So many possibilities!  And those caramelized onions- oh my!

I used a stainless-steel universal pan to cook this meal, excellent for both caramelizing the onions and browning the meat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. veal stew meat
  • 1 large, sweet onion
  • gluten free Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup white wine

Preparation:

Slice the onion into thin rings.  In a stainless-steel pan with cover, add 1 tbsp. each olive oil and butter.  Begin cooking the onions on low heat.

When the onions are soft and just beginning to brown, remove them from the pan and set aside.  They will finish caramelizing in the oven.

In the same pan, heat the remaining olive oil and butter and begin browning the meat on all sides.  Season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.

Add the onions back to the pan along with 1/2 cup of white wine.

That’s it friends.  Cover the pan and place in a 300º oven for 2 hours.

Look at that!  No knife needed to cut this meat- it is melt-in-your-mouth tender.

This was an easy meal that turned out great.  I love comfort food during the winter months and this one is on repeat!   

Notes ♪♫ Be sure to use real white wine (that you would drink) in this recipe.  Do not use cooking wine, it’s full of salt and who knows what!  I do not drink white wine, but I always keep a 4-pack of single serve bottles in the pantry for cooking.  Opening one small bottle at a time for a recipe means there is less waste.  Once opened, the remainder can go in the refrigerator.  If you enjoy the white wine, then pour a glass for the cook (red 🍷for me, please)!  Cheers!

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Gluten Free Teriyaki Chicken with Grilled Pineapple

Summer has arrived, and I’m welcoming the season with this beautiful platter of Gluten Free Teriyaki Chicken and Pineapple, served with rice and seasonal veggies!  This was the easiest meal to pull together, and SO delicious!  Shop ahead and you can absolutely make it on a weeknight, because I deliberately kept the prep to a minimum.

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I don’t usually take shortcuts with sauces and marinades, but I couldn’t resist trying this Gluten Free Teriyaki Marinade from Primal Kitchen.  It’s made with coconut aminos, which I often substitute for soy sauce in my recipes.  It was really good, the perfect choice for this meal!  Pick up a pack of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced fresh pineapple, and pre-sliced zucchini and summer squash and we are ready to cook.

4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup gluten free teriyaki marinade, divided use
  • olive oil
  • 4 slices of fresh pineapple
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, for garnish (optional)
  • rice and veggies for serving

Preparation:

Combine the chicken and 1/4 cup marinade in a bowl.  Turn the chicken to coat all sides, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Start your rice and veggies first and cook according to package directions.  I made 1 cup of long grain brown rice, along with the zucchini and summer squash.

Add a little olive oil to a grill pan on medium heat.  Add the chicken, cover and cook 4 minutes.

Turn the chicken over and cook 4 minutes longer with the cover off.  Check with a thermometer that the internal temperature has reached 165º, then  remove the chicken to a plate and keep warm.

To the same pan, add the pineapple slices.  Cook 2 minutes per side to warm through and get those nice grill lines.  Warm the remaining 1/4 cup of teriyaki marinade in a small saucepan or use the microwave.

To plate, first spread the rice on a serving platter.  Arrange the veggies along one side.  Layer the chicken over the rice, and top with the pineapple slices.  Drizzle with the warmed teriyaki sauce and garnish with fresh chives.

Thanks for stopping by today friends!  I love hearing from you, so please leave a comment if you enjoyed this recipe!

Notes ♪♫ This meal would be fabulous, cooked outdoors on the grill.  If like me you don’t have a grill though, do what I did.  Cook the chicken and pineapple in a grill pan to get those distinctive lines.

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Marinated Grilled Pork Chops

Don’t you love a good pork chop?  There are so many ways to cook them, but sometimes simple is best.  A delicious marinade followed by a quick sear on the grill or skillet are all it needs to be the star of your summer plate.  This marinade is fabulous with pork chops or chicken.  Perfect for grilling or can be cooked stovetop.  The pork chops will be tender and juicy every time.

Serves 2, but you can double for a large family, or just make one for yourself.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bone-in pork chops
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. gluten free tamari (or sub coconut aminos)
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • few grinds of fresh ground pepper
  • fresh chives for garnish

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Preparation:

Whisk together the marinade ingredients and pour over the pork chops.  Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours, turning halfway through.

Prepare your outdoor grill or skillet by brushing with olive oil over medium heat.  Add the pork chops, cover and cook 4 minutes.  Turn the chops and cook for another 4 minutes uncovered, or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 140º (I like mine cooked to 145º for medium).

While the pork chops are cooking, pour the excess marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Note: when marinating raw meat, you must bring the marinade to a boil before it can be consumed safely.

To serve, spoon marinade over pork chops and garnish with chives.  I served with green beans and mashed potatoes.

Notes ♪♫ I prefer bone in pork chops, because they are less likely to dry out.  Meat is pricey these days, but I always look for sales and buy family packs to stock up.

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Split Pea Soup

Another Easter has come and gone, and I’ll bet you still have some leftover ham in the fridge!  And since the winter weather just won’t give up here in New England, I’m craving soup.

Everyone has their own traditions for using up the holiday ham.  I always ring in the New Year with a pot of Lentil Soup.  After Easter though, I like to make Split Pea, which is essentially made the same way.

The ham bone, of course is what you would use to make a stock.  But what if you didn’t make a ham for Easter?  Or maybe your ham was boneless.  Well fear not, you can still use your leftovers or even pick up a ham steak and use that in the soup.  This year I actually cooked a 2 lb. petite boneless spiral ham for myself after the holiday and that’s what I used.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. split peas
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 48 oz. gluten free chicken stock or stock from ham bone
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. sage
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 packet beef bouillon
  • 2 cups diced ham
  • Schar Table Crackers, for serving

Preparation:

Rinse the split peas thoroughly in a colander and examine them for stray bits of barley or pebbles.  Place them in a stock pot and bring to a boil.  Cover, remove from the heat and let them soak while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

Chop ham leftovers into small dice.  Set aside and refrigerate.

Cut the onion, celery and carrots into even sized small dice.  Add a little olive oil to a 5 qt. stock pot or Dutch oven and begin cooking the carrots, onion and celery over medium low heat.

Season with sage, thyme, salt and pepper.  Add 32 oz. of the chicken stock, bay leaves, and bouillon.  Simmer 30 minutes.

Drain and rinse the peas again.  Add them to the pot, stir well and continue cooking for another 45 minutes to an hour, or until the peas are tender.

As they simmer, the peas will absorb quite a bit of liquid, so add more chicken broth as needed.

When the soup is ready, partially puree it with an immersion blender (don’t forget to remove the bay leaves first).  I like to leave some of the veggies whole, but you can make it as smooth or chunky as you like.  After pureeing, add back the diced ham and heat through.

Serve with Schar Table Crackers (similar to saltines).  Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for at least a week.

Notes: ♪♫ If you have a ham bone and don’t want to make soup right away, don’t throw it away!  You can wrap it in foil then place in a freezer safe bag and store in the freezer for quite a few months.  There have been times that I would find a ham bone in the back of the freezer just in time for fall soup season.

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Bacon Wrapped Sausage

The name says it all, you don’t need a recipe for this do you?  Just put these little bites of happiness on the table for your next brunch or family breakfast and watch them disappear! (and they are great leftover too 😉)

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Ingredients:

Preparation:

The best part of this recipe is that you can get it ready the night before to cook in the morning.  Just wrap each sausage with a half slice of bacon and secure them with 4″ skewers.  Use the amount needed for your family.

Line a sheet pan with foil (keeps the mess down) and arrange the sausages on a rack, cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, preheat the oven to 350º.  Bake the sausage for 15 minutes, then finish them on a hot griddle, turning frequently until the bacon is nice and crispy, and the sausage is cooked to your liking, 15-20 minutes.  Place them back on the rack for a few minutes to drain before serving.

That’s it friends, what could be easier?  So, the next time you are pondering whether to make sausage or bacon for brunch, why not make both!

Notes ♪♫ Most bacon and sausage are gluten free, but I still like to see the gluten free label for extra peace of mind.  I used Johnsonville Vermont Maple Syrup Pork Breakfast Sausage Links and Oscar Mayer Naturally Hardwood Smoked Bacon.

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Gluten Free Chicken Piccata Quick Toss

Do you love Chicken Piccata?  Get all the big restaurant flavor of this classic dish with a few shortcuts that will have dinner on the table in 20 minutes, minus the gluten!

Diced chicken tenders replace cutlets in this express recipe.  Perfect for those busy weeknights when you just want to get dinner on the table, tastes like you’ve been cooking for hours! ❤️

Dinner for two

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. chicken tenders, cut into chunks
  • 6 oz. gluten free pasta
  • 4 tsp. olive oil, divided plus more for finishing
  • 4 tsp. butter, divided
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp. arrowroot flour
  • 1/4 cup white wine (not cooking wine)
  • 1/2 cup gluten free, low sodium chicken broth
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. small capers (more if you like)
  • Italian parsley for garnish
  • grated cheese

Preparation:

Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the package directions, drain and set aside.

Use a large stainless-steel skillet to brown the chicken in 2 tsp. each of butter and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Don’t crowd the pan, if it doesn’t fit then make 2 batches.

Notice the chicken isn’t quite cooked through at this point, it will finish in the sauce at the end.

Transfer the chicken to a bowl and set aside, keep warm.  Add the remaining 2 tsp. each of butter and olive oil.  Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes stirring constantly.

Be ready with the wine, lemon juice and chicken broth.  Sprinkle the flour over the shallots and garlic and whisk continuously.

Drizzle the liquid into the pan as you continue whisking.

Return the chicken and pasta to the pan and toss to heat through. Cook for several minutes, the liquid will thicken as it comes to a simmer.  Stir in the capers and lemon zest at the very end.

To finish, transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with more olive oil, then garnish with Italian parsley and a little grated cheese.

Yum, how good does that look?  I love this kind of meal for busy weeknights.  Open a bottle of your favorite white wine for this recipe, and then pour a glass for the cook!

Notes ♪♫ I love arrowroot flour for thickening.  It makes a lump free roux every time and I use it in some of my flour blends for bread baking as well.  It’s something I always have on hand in my gluten free pantry!

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