March came in like a lion all right … By the name of Hurricane Harvey repairs. Yes, we are still repairing and renovating. We do see a finish line, so all is good. I am aching for a kitchen to call my own and to get my hands on a few new recipes to whip up in my new kitchen.
But right now I’m sitting in our hotel room, getting ready to head downstairs to grab some fruit and head out the door. We have closet people, carpenters, a cabinetmaker, stone masons and our contractor all colliding today at 9 a.m. What I wouldn’t give for a chopping board, a great 7 to 8-inch chef’s knife, some fresh organic veggies, and free-range organic eggs. I would be making a fantastic omelet right about now.
I do have a fun alternative today before heading over to our house; I’m borrowing our daughter’s kitchen and waffle maker and whipping up a few gluten-free pecan and berry waffles. I’m topping them with fresh berries, whipped cream and pure maple syrup. Our 3-year-old great-granddaughter will enjoy making and eating this fun breakfast with us before we all head over to the house to oversee all of the working going on. Yes, we added babysitting a 3-year-old to the chaos today!
I usually don’t use a boxed mix when I bake or cook anything, but I was sent a few box mixes to try out from Simple Mills (simplemills.com). They are organic and certified gluten free. They are made with almond and coconut flour and thickened with arrowroot, a product with basically no flavor that I have been using for several years to thicken my savory and sweet sauces and puddings. I sometimes add it when making cookies. For all of the mixes I tried, I used coconut oil and/or Greek olive oil.
For the vanilla cupcake mix, I added defrosted frozen strawberries to the mix and omitted the water. They turned out fantastic. Our granddaughter, Presley, is our muffin queen; she has one every morning. She usually doesn’t like pumpkin muffins so I added chocolate chips and a bit of cinnamon to alter the flavor. Yep, I thought they were great and I can’t wait to try them out on our muffin expert!
So, if you want to make some delicious gluten-free baked goods for Easter this year, I suggest you try these packaged mixes. They will take some of the time and work away from your meal making and your family and friends won’t even know it is gluten free! “Please Join My Table” as I prepare a few sweet gluten-free treats! 

Pecan and blackberry waffles served with sausage links; a great gluten-free breakfast. Photo by Karen Boughton


P.S. We always have lamb for Easter, with all the Greek foods my daughters and I can churn out. We love our lamb with pita bread of course, and since this is a gluten-free column this week, I am sharing a recipe for a gluten-free pita!

Gluten-Free Pita Bread



INGREDIENTS
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon
instant yeast
1 tablespoon
and 1 teaspoon
Greek honey
1 cup gluten-
free oat flour
1 cup buckwheat
flour
1 cup gluten-free
flour (I love the
Cup 4 Cup brand)
3 teaspoons
arrowroot
1/2 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the water, yeast and honey in a bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to bubble up. In a large bowl, combine the oat flour, buckwheat flour, white flour blend, salt and arrowroot. Mix to combine and create a hole in the center. Pour the yeast mixture into the hole and begin to mix the wet into the dry. Knead the dough to combine all the ingredients until you have a sticky smooth ball. Coat the dough with a little bit of oil and cover with a clean cloth or plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place for about 3 hours. Punch it down and divide the dough into 12 equal balls. You’ll need wet hands to do this so that the dough won’t stick to you. Dip your fingers in a bowl of warm water between each ball. Place them on a floured baking sheet (any of the three used in the recipe will do) and let rise for 10 minutes. Coat your hands with flour and flatten out your balls of dough into 5 to 6-inch circles about 1/4 inch thick. Let them rise for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven and a baking pizza stone to 500 degrees, making sure to preheat your pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake on the bottom rack for 4 minutes or until the dough puffs up. Using a set of tongs and an oven mitt, carefully turn the pitas over and bake for another 2 minutes. Allow to cool. These can also be saved and frozen for later use.

Karen Boughton
Author: Karen BoughtonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I grew up in a big, Greek, cooking family. I married my high school sweetheart and soon had three daughters. My husband and I worked in the family’s Greek restaurant, “Zorba’s,” for several years before moving to Baton Rouge and eventually Corpus Christi. There I taught microwave cooking classes for Amana.in studio and on television for three years before moving to Kingwood in the late '80s. I reached out to learn more about regional and international foods, spending 16 years in management in private athletic/dining/country clubs for ClubCorp, where I embraced health and cooking. In 2008 I joined the Tribune Newspapers as food editor, the same time that I became a nutrition advisor and USANA Health Sciences Associate. These two passions have given me better health and the freedom to live life my way.