The Hot Handle

A blog interspersed with occasional gluten free recipes.

Please note: If you have a family member who requires a gluten free diet, be sure to use a cast iron skillet that has never previously touched gluten....and if it has, scrub it all down completely and re-season, to be on the safe side.

Looking for information on Celiac Disease? There are many good sites, but here is one to get started with:

Sunday, March 25, 2012


I have been bird-watching this weekend!

No, not outside.....from my computer!

Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, has an awesome Red-Tailed Hawk nest webcam.
Click here to see the Red-Tailed Hawk nest.
I'm rather partial to these hawks.
(Hubby would like a few in our yard to take care of our chipmunks!)

The hawk babies are expected to hatch sometime during the week of April 13th.

As I stared at the hawks and read the chat going on, I found out about the Bald Eagle cam.
This one is in Norfolk, VA.
Click here to see the eagle's nest.
There aren't any eggs yet, but I'm sure there will be soon.
There have been some amazing close-up views of the happy couple.

Following that, I learned about the penguin cam.
It's in Sea World in San Diego, California.
Click here to see the penguins.
I laughed out loud as they waddled around.
Futhermore, I wasn't aware that they made so much noise!

My daughter loves penguins, which is why she made the
penguin ring-bearer's pillow for her wedding,
pictured above.

Finally, I found a webcam on a hummingbird nest!
Click here to see the hummingbird nest.
This is in Orange County, California.
Babies are due soon!

All this is very addictive.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

White Sauce, Gravy, and Condensed Soups

I have been doing a little research on making white sauce.

It's not any harder than making gravy!

For gravy on Thanksgiving, I have used the technique set forth by
"GlutenFreeGirl," here. 

I used her proportions of
1/4 cup butter,
1/4 cup sweet rice flour, and
2 cups of turkey stock.

I don't like my gravy too light in color, so I add Gravy Master to this.
(I understand that Gravy Master is GF.)

What do you do when you need
a "can of condensed cream of mushroom soup" for a recipe?
Those certainly are not gluten free, for the most part.

This week I made a dish that called for just that. 

I did it this way:

I melted 2 Tbs of butter in a saucepan.
I stirred in 4 Tbs of rice flour.
I let it cook a while, stirring often,
until it started looking light tan in color.
(It's my understanding that this will
improve the flavor over uncooked flour.)

Then I took a 12-oz can of lowfat (2%) evaporated milk.
I -very slowly- mixed in 8-10 oz of this, stirring constantly.
(I did have a few lumps, but I smooshed them out with a spoon.
Next time I will use a wire whisk!)
I finally added 1/2 tsp of salt.
(You may decide to add more, to taste.)

My recipe called for "cream of mushroom soup."
I could have taken a can or jar of sliced mushrooms
and stirred it into the white sauce concoction, above.
Since it was all getting mixed together, anyway,
I just put it in with the rest of my ingredients. 

If you need a cheese sauce, you can stir 4 oz of shredded cheese into this mix,
along with some paprika and a pinch of dry mustard, if desired. 

If you want a thinner sauce, not the condensed soup version,
just add more liquid.

Not too difficult!
Give it a try!