This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Wheatless Wednesday, and Simply Hot Recipes.
As most of you know, I love participating in the Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger events! Started by Sea (Book of Yum) a few years back, these events are a wonderful way to connect with other bloggers, share what’s on their blog, and actually make their recipes that you’ve already shared on Facebook, tweeted about, or just plain drooled over.
I adopted Jenny of Creative Cooking Gluten Free. I’m fairly certain that I met Jenny on Twitter. However, I didn’t really start to get to know Jenny until she won the giveaway for my gfe consultation. This was a fairly wide open offering (“let me tell you all about the gfe approach and how to adapt it to your needs!”). Jenny and I exchanged emails and she said she really wanted to learn more about mixing flours and which ones to use for which recipes. My heart sank. Working with many gluten-free flours is neither my gfe approach nor my personal strength. Don’t get me wrong … it’s admirable when skilled when gluten-free bloggers use a lot of amazing gluten-free flours and know exactly which weight flours work well with different recipes; it’s just not my thing. I told Jenny there are folks like Amy (Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free) with her amazing flour tutorial series or Jenn (Jenn Cuisine) with her ongoing Gluten-Free Substitutions series—both of whom excel in this arena. I even offered to see if I could work out something with one of the gluten-free flour experts to work with her instead of me, but Jenny was a good sport and said she’d stick with me. Due to personal commitments on each side and, well, “life,” we haven’t yet had our gfe consultation via Skype, but we will after I return from BlogHer Food.
Of course, when I found out that a gluten-free blogger won my consultation, I immediately checked out her blog. As soon as I did, I told Jenny very honestly that I was happy to help, but flours aside I didn’t think she needed me at all. If you take a look, you’ll see what I mean. Jenny shares so many appealing dishes and she’s already following a gfe-type approach—mostly using real food to make naturally gluten-free recipes, using some mainstream processed foods occasionally, and using a handful of gluten-free specialty products. There’s not a single recipe on her site that I don’t want to try! Many I have, in fact, drooled over. I had great plans to make a few of them, but then illness prevailed this past week. So while the chicken got thawed out for her Sweet and Spicy Chicken dish, sadly, it’s still waiting for its rebirth as Jenny’s takeoff on P.F. Chang’s Spicy Chicken dish. I’m truly hoping that will happen this evening. When I do make this recipe, I will update this post to include that info and photos.
Yes, Jenny likes recreating P.F. Chang’s dishes and I’m all for that as much of their gluten-free menu is fabulous. But I’ve eaten at P.F. Chang’s a total of two times now, because the one closest to me is 90 minutes away. However, a dish that I had not noticed on the menu at P.F. Chang’s is Shanghai Cucumbers. Now I have to try these cucumbers after seeing them on Jenny’s blog . P.F. Chang’s shared two of their recipes with the public for Celiac Awareness Day last month. Somehow I missed them, but thankfully, Jenny did not. She snared the recipes for Mongolian Beef and Shanghai Cucumbers. I have made braised cucumbers before … after seeing Julia and Julia and reading those were a Julia Child favorite. I enjoyed them, but the Shanghai Cucumbers look and sound much tastier—with gluten-free soy sauce, white vinegar, sesame oil, and toasted sesame seeds in the recipe. I plan to make them as a side dish soon.
What else am I eyeing over at Jenny’s blog? Well, there’s here Egg Drop Soup. That’s a soup that I love and I have the perfect little spoon from the Polish Potter in Pike Place Market to savor it with now. Jenny uses snow peas in her recipes, a very nice addition in my opinion.
There are Lemon Squares. Okay, I did attempt to make this recipe yesterday morning, but I found out that coconut oil and date sugar do not work in place of the butter and confectioner’s sugar, respectively. Therefore, I didn’t truly make Jenny’s recipe. I made a “lark” of an adaptation. Sometimes larks work; sometimes they don’t. I’m anxious to try that recipe again with better planning and reasonable substitutions. (Just in case you’re a lemon lover, Iris (The Daily Dietribe) is challenging all to make classic lemon squares—gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free. Read more here.)
There’s Apple Crisp. Who doesn’t love a good apple crisp? Especially this time of year! Jenny has two versions, one made with almond flour and the other made with gluten-free flour and oats. Both look scrumptious to me!
What DID I make? Well, obviously you know from my post title and photos, but first, let me just say that things have a way of working out. I’ve enjoyed sweet potato fries a few times while eating out at healthier restaurants, but I’ve never made my own. I’ve always thought about making them, but Mr. GFE doesn’t like sweet potatoes (unless I use them in a crustless pie—I just substitute mashed sweet potatoes for pumpkin), so usually I get my sweet potato fix with a baked sweet potato for me and a baked russet for him. I would not have chosen to make these fries if I had not been put off schedule by illness a few days earlier. But I needed to make one of Jenny’s recipes and I had several sweet potatoes in the pantry. So I made Jenny’s oven-baked, simple Sweet Potato Fries. That was the right choice! They were very easy to make and absolutely delicious. Tossed with just a little olive oil and seasoning before baking, these Sweet Potato Fries are also very healthy. (I made most of them exactly per Jenny’s directions, but added Old Bay seasoning to some—yum!) These fries made a perfect, colorful side dish for our Tasty Meat Loaf and black-eyed peas last night. (The meat loaf had been planned for a few days earlier with the meat already thawed, so I had to make that even though the Sweet and Spicy chicken was calling.) Well, I should say my side dish. Mr. GFE has never liked sweet potatoes. No worries. I enjoyed the fries he passed on last night as part of my lunch today. Things do indeed work out!
By the way, Jenny participated in the adoption event this month, too. She adopted our own “Glutadoodle,” Heidi of the Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom. Jenny did a terrific job making a few of Heidi’s many amazing recipes and also capturing Heidi’s positive and giving spirit! You can read her post here.
Last, but not least, I have to get in something about Jenny, herself, and her personal story. On Twitter and Facebook, Jenny is a very supportive, enthusiastic friend to all … whether the subject is food or just life. That says a lot to me and I truly appreciate our virtual friendship. Of course, like most of us, Jenny has a personal story. The personal stories are truly what drive us all to be either gluten-free bloggers or readers. Plus, as I’ve stated before, it’s the personal stories that are helping folks “see the light” … realize that they might have celiac or non-celiac gluten issues and seek testing and embark on a gluten-free lifestyle. You can read Jenny’s story on her About page and in her recent My Journey post. While you are there, just click on over to her Recipes page, too! Enjoy!
Kay Guest says
Shirley! Just love the look of these fries! And hey, I just made your meatloaf a few nights ago. And I did make your biscuits and the only thing wrong with them is…my husband says I need to DOUBLE the recipe! HA! Thanks! Kay
A lovely profile–thanks for introducing me to Jenny! And of course you had me at “sweet potato fries”! 😉
Hi Ricki–Jenny is a dear. 🙂 I only wish that I’d gotten to try more of her recipes before my adoption, but I’ll get to them eventually. And, I so get that on the sweet potato fries–they are a very nice way to get one’s sweet and salty fix. 😉
Celiacs in the House says
Now I want to get to know Jenny, too. Off to read her About page and check out some recipes. See you soon.
Hey there, my dear friend!–What fun we had at BlogHer Food! Unnnnnderstatement. Just need to build in more play time to our schedule next time. 😉
I know you and your family love the PF Chang knockoff recipes, so I know you’ll enjoy those and much more at Jenny’s site. 🙂
I really wish I’d eaten breakfast before reading this post – my stomach is growling!
Hi Samantha–So nice to see you again! 🙂 Thse fries would make a wonderful breakast. 😉 I think I ate a very early lunch the day I had them as leftovers! LOL, but true.
Heather Jacobsen says
How was the consistency of the fries? I love sweet potato fries, but whenever I make them, they don’t turn out very crisp. They still taste yummy… but I can’t get them to crisp up.
I tried this again the other night and it has worked rather well – when the fries are about done, pop them under the broiler for a bit but watch them carefully so they don’t burn. The do crisp up a bit better that way.
Hi Heather–Looks like you are new here—welcome to gfe! I left the skins on mine, which helped with the crispness I think (and surprisingly I liked the skin part!), but I also broiled my fries a tad at the end. Some were still somewhat soft in the middle, but very good. And, you can see by the photo that I had some super skinny ones that were pretty much crisp all the way through. 🙂
Love the post! I’ll have to try these. I think your husband and my husband think alike. My husband doesn’t like Sweet Potatoes either. I can’t even get him to try them.
Hi Rhonda–Thanks, dear! I think you just had your MS Bike Ride this past weekend. Hope it went well!
Sweet potato hating hubbies united, huh? 😉 Like I said mine will gladly eat sweet potato pie and I’ve even added some sweet potato to chili per Steph O’Dea’s recipe, and he liked it fine, but otherwise, no deal on sweet potatoes. He swore he tried one, but I don’t know …
Thank you for such a wonderful post. I am looking forward to our skype session when you return from another awesome sounding trip, which I can’t wait to hear all about.
I’m glad you liked the fries. We make them quite often in our house and we try different methods all the time. Like I just commented above, I have found that if you pop them under the broiler for a bit they crisp up a bit more. I’m glad you enjoyed them.
Also witch the sweet and spicy chicken, you can use all honey or all agave (works well both ways). I remove the chicken, then add the sauce to the pan, on high heat and let it reduce down a bit while stirring so creates a nice thickness then add the chicken back in and warm and get nice and coated.
Hi Jenny–I’m so glad you enjoyed my adoption of you! It was my pleasure to adopt you … just wish I’d been able to make more of your recipes in time for it.
I did broil my fries a minute, but forgot to mention that. Will have to update the post with a note. They are totally delish!
Thanks for the added instructions on the sweet and spicy chicken–yummy either way I’m sure. 🙂 Can’t wait to try that and other recipes, and, of course, keep up with you on Twitter and FB!
Wonderful job, Shirley, and thank you for introducing me to Jenny as well! Those sweet potato fries remind me of my fries post, which I will be posting soon, after I’ve put up my own Adopt a GF Blogger post. 😉 And yes, the broiler is the best for getting that extra crunch as I recently discovered.
Hi Zoe–I’m getting slopping in my reading and catching up … almost missed you! (I’m blaming it on jet lag!) I look forward to your fries post. Everyone loves fries. It’s nice to do them healthy. The broiler is a great tool as long as one is vigilant. 😉 The extra heat it puts out is also appreciated on chilly nights. 🙂
Great guest post! I actually had sweet potatoes and meatloaf for lunch today (leftovers)! Not fries though – I’ll have to check out Jenny’s recipe!
Guest post – I meant to say “adopt a blogger” or something like that. Clearly the cold I’m fighting is taking over my brain! Anyway, great job.
Alta–Meatloaf and sweet potatoes make for a great flavor combo, don’t they? I love the fries. Sweetness, saltiness, spiciness, a little crunch … what’s not to love? Plus, finger food is always more fun. 😉 Jenny’s recipe is simple and healthy—love it!
I do enjoy sweet potato fries, and they are definitely gfe!
Hi Linda–Yes, gfe and delish—that’s what we all want!
Loved your latest squash lesson. I wonder how many varieties there actually are. They are just so appealing by looks alone. 🙂
Brittany @ Bee Louises Bites says
I love the “Adopt a Blogger Idea…” so great 🙂
“Things Have a Way of Working Out” -love this. absolutely.
Hi Brittany–Hope you’ll join in on the adoption event next month! It’s so much fun. 🙂
That phrase actually comes from a friend, but I didn’t want to give her a shout out in my post in case it would make her feel uncomfortable. That’s her tweak of the saying, “things happen for a reason.” As we’ve discussed, how can you say horrid and tragic events happen for a reason, but they do tend to work out in the sense that folks move on, often to use their tragedies to help others in phenomenal ways. But, even in small ways, things do tend to work out. That saying gives me comfort and keeps me from getting “spun up” about silly stuff. 😉
Sweet potato fries are a nice alternative to regular fries. I’ve actually had these around the fire station more than I have at home. I think my daughter would like these.
Hey Brian–Great to see you! Need to find my way over to Fire and Salt and see what you’ve been cooking. 😉
I made these again these evening with some homemade traditional (russet) shoestring oven fries for my hubby. Just as delicious as before. 🙂
Kim @ Cook It Allergy Free says
Did I totally miss commenting on this?? i know I read it, but now I am thinking that I am either in spam or that I never commented. What a sweet sweet post of Jenny. You really did do a wonderful job of sharing what Jenny is really about. And Jenny has also so generously contributed recipes to the app as well!
And, of course, we make sweet potato fries all the time here. My kids favorites are the yellow hannah sweet potatoes. They prefer those over regular fries any day!
Hi Kim–Your comment wasn’t in spam, so I’d say you missed commenitng, but no worries. It’s terrific news that Jenny has contributed to your Cook IT Allergy Free iphone/iPad/itouch app, but I’m not surprised at all. She’s very giving and helpful! 🙂
Thanks for the kind words, dear! Now, I’ve never even heard of yellow hannah sweet potatoes. I’ll have to look at the upscale grocery when I’m in town. I’m still hoping to convert Mr. GFE!