Saturday, May 4, 2013

Gluten for Punishment

Please join us in welcoming our guest, Nancy J Parra, to Mystery Lovers' Kitchen!

Hi, I’m Nancy J Parra and if you follow me on facebook or my blogs you know that I have gluten sensitivity/Celiac’s. When I was first diagnosed there was very little gluten-free food in grocery stores. So I got on line and learned how to make my own bread, pies, cakes, muffins, brownies, and cookies. It was suggested that I write a gluten-free mystery and put some of my favorite recipes in the back. And so, Gluten For Punishment was born. If you or someone you love is gluten-free, I post gf recipes on my Pintrest Board called Gluten-free yum. Follow me at Pintrest/nancyjparra

If you go to my website ( and sign up for my newsletter you will get at least one new gluten-free recipe a quarter. I’ll also send links to great gluten-free blogs and information. For those who are not gluten free, most of the recipes I create start out as non gluten free- I will include both versions.

I hope you enjoy your time with Toni Holmes and her Grandma Ruth in Oiltop, KS. Because sometimes being gluten-free in the middle of wheat country can be murder. ~ Nancy

Gluten free Beignets
1 cup warm water (110° F)
1/4 cup granulated cane sugar
1 package rapid rise yeast
1 large egg
1/2 cup evaporated milk
3 3/4 cup all-purpose gluten free flour or any gluten-free baking mix of choice.
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. shortening
vegetable oil for frying
confectioner’s sugar to dust beignets

Combine the warm water, sugar and yeast; stir and set aside to activate the yeast. Allow mixture to sit until it becomes frothy, at least 5 minutes. Meanwhile, beat together the egg and milk. Add 1 cup of the flour and the salt. Beat until integrated. Cut the shortening into small chunks and mix in with the 1 cup flour, egg and milk. Slowly beat in remaining flour and the proofed yeast mixture until completely mixed. The dough should not be stiff or sticky at this point.

Turn the dough out onto a clean surface or pastry mat dusted with gluten free flour. Roll gently into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Using a large, sharp knife, cut strips of dough 2 inches wide, on a diagonal (not straight up and down, leaving a diagonal edge to the strips). Cut across these strips in the same way, creating diamond-shaped beignets. Leave any scraps of dough to test the temperature of the oil - do not knead together and cut again. Place cut beignets onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover loosely with a damp towel. Allow to rise in a warming drawer or an oven brought to 200° F, then turned off. The beignets will roughly double in size after rising for 50 - 90 minutes.

After the beignets have risen, pour vegetable oil (high heat, preferably) into a large saucepan to a depth of 2-3 inches. Heat the oil on medium-high to 310° - 360° F. Test the temperature of the oil by using any risen scraps of dough remaining. Gently submerge a piece of dough in oil - if it rises to the top of the oil immediately and begins to bubble, the oil is hot enough; if it does not rise to the top of the oil, it is not hot enough. If the dough turns dark brown within 30 seconds of being submerged, the oil is too hot.

Once the oil is to temperature, gently submerge 2 - 3 beignets in hot oil and cook until lightly browned and puffed on each side - approximately 1- 2 minutes only. Remove with a skimmer or slotted spoon to drain on paper towels, and sprinkle confectioner’s sugar liberally over top of each beignet. Serve warm.

Yield: approximately 15 beignets.  


  1. WOW!! Thanks so much for highlighting something that affects me everyday. I have celiac and have to listen to people telling me everyday that it is not a 'real problem'. Sometimes I wish people could just walk in my shoes for a day and see how hard and tempting it is to be on a gluten-free diet. I can't wait to read this book!


    1. Kimberlee, I totally understand. I have to eat gluten-free, as well, and it's a balance. It takes control and loving yourself so much that you're willing to eat the right way so you don't feel pain. Hang in there!

      Daryl / Avery

  2. @Kimberlee - What a wonderful comment!

    @Nancy - Welcome to the Kitchen and congrats on the launch of your new series. So many people are interested in gluten-free eating--whether for themselves, friends, co-workers or family members. Your series could not be more timely, and I'm looking forward to next week's release of Gluten for Punishment. (I could also dive into that plate of beignets!)

    ~ Cleo

  3. Nancy, as you know, really enjoyed this book. Your fans are going to abound.

    Can't wait to make the beignets for myself. I love sweets!


    Daryl / Avery

  4. Hi @Kimberlee - I fully understand how hard it it. As does Avery aka Daryl. You are far from alone. I've been at it for 5 going on 6 years and still I have days when I think-I just want to taste regular food. don't do it. It hurts. I think of gluten foods as plastic props- pretty to look at but no one wants to eat them. :)
    @Avery - thank you so much. You have been a huge help.
    @Cleo - Thank you!! I am so excited as well.
    It's been awesome to be on the Mystery Lover's Kitchen. Cheers everyone!

  5. I do not have celiac but have just found out within the past 6 months that I am allergic to wheat, eggs, beef, and sensitivity to milk. It is very difficult to find recipes that taste right and food becomes a constant struggle. I appreciate anyone who takes the time to come up recipes and brings this into light.