Affairs of Living

Gluten-free, allergy-friendly, whole foods recipes

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Entries from August 1, 2011 - August 31, 2011


How to Can Tomato-Free Peach Salsa 


This recipe is adapted from the Ball® Complete Book of Home Preservation. I love this book! I have been canning a lot lately - rather obsessively, actually - and it has been a pleasure to work my way through its pages. 

This time of year is always marked by a bevy of stone fruit, and this recipe is a great way to preserve some of it for for another season. I like this recipe a lot because it has all the yumminess of salsa without tomatoes. As a tomato-avoiding person, I was darn excited to see this. I have made the recipe twice, and each time it has turned out great.  The first time I prepared it as written in the book, and the second time I prepared it with a few tweaks of my own and doubled the recipe. I have a lot of peach salsa in my canning cupboard right now, it's kind of ridiculous.

I know it is delicious because one of my jars was a dud and it didn't seal properly, so I had to eat it up. And boy, is it good! Whether you avoid tomatoes or not, I think you'll love it. The salsa is also very good fresh, so feel free to reserve some to eat right away and can the rest. 


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Low-Sugar Gingery Plum-Apple Jam (cane sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan)

Gingery Apple Plum Jam

While reading through the Ball® Complete Book of Home Preservation recently, I came upon a variety of pectin-free jam recipes. Instead of pectin for thickening, these recipes used homemade applesauce made from whole, uncored, unpeeled apples and whole unpeeled lemons. The high amount of natural pectin in these two fruits thickens the jam naturally. Additionally, using the homemade applesauce as a base helps to extend your other fruit - be it plums, cherries, berries, peaches, or the like - much further, allowing you to make more jam with less of this other fruit. I was totally intrigued, and liked the idea of not needing pectin to thicken the jam. Sure, I love my Pamona's Pectin dearly, but wouldn't it be nice to take a break?

The recipes looked easy to adapt to include unrefined sweetener instead of cane sugar, and I had all the ingredients on hand. So, I whipped up a batch of jam with apples, plums and a bit of ginger, sweetened with agave nectar. It turned out marvelously. The jam is soft and spreadable, but still thick enough to mound on the end of a spoon. The color is fantastic, and the flavor is sweet and bright. I knew immediately I had to share it with you!

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Really Good Banana Bread (gluten-free, dairy-free, cane sugar-free, xanthan gum-free)


One evening last week I dropped by my friend B's house. I found my barefoot and pregnant friend the kitchen, whipping up a loaf of banana bread adapted from the Joy of Cooking. She was substituting gluten-free flours and honey for wheat flour and sugar, and success seemed inevitable - the Joy of Cooking is so reliable and B is a fantastic baker. I had high hopes for this loaf and marveled at my excellently timed visit. As it baked, the house filled with the intoxicating smell of honey and banana and my quick bread-loving heart swooned.  

Finally, the timer beeped and B removed the loaf from the oven. Oh my, was it gorgeous! We could hardly wait for it to cool and sunk a knife into its golden, crisp crust. The bread had light and lofty crumb, and our first taste revealed a marvelously sweet and nutty flavor. Even her banana-leery husband devoured it. We polished off half the loaf, and they finished it the next day.  

Since then, I have made the bread a few times and have landed on a reliable and inarguably delicious recipe. After it cools, the bread can be sliced very thin and it holds up well to being spread with butter or nut butter. And the best part? It stays moist for days, even when simply stored on the counter wrapped in parchment. While at a picnic this past weekend, my friend April's daughter ate three thick slices, using two of them to make a strawberry and butter sandwich. That's my kind of kid.

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