Local Love! Weblog for Champaign County Ohio Virtual Farmers’ Market

And, a perfect kick off to the week, our month of LOVE, AND our Local Love series, brought to you by each of our vendors…

Today, we get Mandy, from our new addition of, Ella Bella’s Gluten Free mixes!!

To me local is supporting my neighbor, my friend, my community. It is showing that I care and love them through my purchases. It is showing my family that I love them by giving them the best from our community. It is teaching my children that the money we spend buying eggs goes to people we know; people we can see.

I grew up with my mom composting, growing herbs, and a vegetable garden; having fresh milk and eggs delivered, my mom making bread, cookies, and even making mayonnaise. She did all of this in the suburbs as a single mom to two wild girls. I did not like it as a kid, I had the “different stuff,” nothing was pre-packaged in my lunch like all the other kids. I would rejoice when I got to go to Gramma and Grandpa’s and have Little Debbie cakes and Lucky Charms for breakfast. As I got older I realized that I didn’t feel as good when I ate all that processed food, I felt better when I made food. When I started cooking for myself in college it was simple, but lots of whole foods.

When my kids moved to eating solid foods I made all of it, many of the veggies coming from farmer’s markets. Now all of my kids love their veggies and fruits. They are happy when I go to the local market and pick up fresh sweet corn (“heaven corn” as it is known in our house). They can taste the difference that comes with local.

I started Ella Bella in 2011 after we discovered out 2nd child was gluten intolerant. I did not want to make 2 sets of meals and desserts for my family, so I started experimenting with gluten free flours. By the fall of 2011 I knew I had a good product and I wanted to share it with others. Continuing my love for local to my business I buy all ingredients from local vendors. I love Ella Bella and am honored that I can sell something I have made. I think that you can taste a little bit of the local love when you make the mixes, or use the flour.

Visit the market at http://champaignoh.locallygrown.net/market

Easy Chocolate Cake or Cupcakes


cupcakes made without eggs
cupcakes made without eggs
Sriracha Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 1 8″ cake or 1 dozen cupcakes.  Easily doubles to make 2 8″ cakes or 2 dozen cupcakes.

1 cup (10.25 oz) Ella Bella AP GF Flour
1/2 cup (4.5 oz) Dutch cocoa powder
1 cup (14 oz) (organic) white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup vegetable or nut oil – I prefer sunflower oil
1 large egg (egg can easily be left out to make this a vegan recipe.  The egg helps it be a bit fluffier.)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cupcake pan or grease cake pan(s).

Combine Ella Bella Flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl of a mixer.  Bend with paddle attachment until combined.  Pour in water, oil, egg (if using), and vanilla. Blend on medium-high until well combined, you many need to scrap the sides of the bowl down.

Pour into lined cupcake pan, filling until 3/4 of the way full.  Or fill cake pan, spread batter around with spoon to get it to the edges.  Place in oven and cook for 18 to 20 min.  The top will look slightly dry and should start to “crack”.  When done move to a cooling rack, let sit for 10 min before removing from pan.  Let them cool completely before icing.

adapted from http://www.abbydodge.com/?s=chocolate+cupcakes

Gluten Free “Egg” Noodles

"egg" noodles drying
“egg” noodles drying

1.5 cups of Ella Bella Flour

1 1/2 tsp psyllium husks

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1-1.5 cups of chicken stock

Heat stock in a pan on the stove until boiling. In a bowl (can use mixer or mix by hand) add Ella Bella Flour, salt, and psyllium husk, blend. Add 1 cup of chicken stock to the bowl, blend. Dough should be sticky, if it is dry add more stock. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Cut dough in half, roll out* one piece at a time between 2 pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4 inch thick, or thinner. Cut the dough in desired shape (square, linguini, etc.) Lay on a cookie tray and let air-dry for 1 hours, or overnight. I prefer to let mine completely dry overnight.

*You may be able to run the dough through a pasta machine. I’ve had some good luck with it. I do not recommend it if you are rushed.

Recipe adapted from Shauna James Ahern


Pork chops and mushrooms

4 pork chops seasoned with your favorite spices
3 medium onions sliced
10 baby portobello mushrooms sliced
Salt and pepper
1/4 white wine
2 cloves of garlic minced
Olive oil

Heat olive oil in pan. Add garlic and cook until you just start to smell it. Add onions, salt and pepper to taste.

Turn on griddle, when hot, place seasoned pork chops on. Cook for 4-5 min.

While pork is cooking stir onions. When onions have become transparent or have turned brown add mushrooms

Flip chops. Cook another 4-5 min or until internal temp is 160 degrees.

Stir onions and mushrooms. Use wine to deglaze the pan. Cook until wine is gone.

Serve with rice.



Crockpot lasagna

Kinda combined recipes and then used what I had in the house.
-Homemade Marina (frozen in August with fresh tomatoes) about 20 oz
-1 pound each of pork and beef
-1 small onion diced
-2 cloves garlic minced
-2tbls olive oil
-package of ricotta
-package of queso cheese
-container parm/reginio cheese
-fresh spinach
-gf lasagna noodles (I like tinkyada)

Heat oil in a skillet (I used my cast iron) add garlic, the onion. Sauté until onions are transparent. Add pork and beef. Cook until just brown breaking meat into bits as it is cooking. , I then tilt the pan to drain fat to one side, and move meat to other side.

Mix all cheeses together in a bowl.

Spray crockpot with nonstick spray. I like Trader Joes, as it is only olive oil. Place a bit of marina on bottom, spread around. Layer noodles, meat, cheese, spinach (use lots!). Repeat. Fill as full as you want. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

I made just enough in the crock pot for dinner tonight (2 layers). The filled a casserole dish with remaining ingredients, that went in the freezer for another night.

Adapted from crockpotgirls.com.



Zucchini Noodles with leftovers

I had a chicken breast, cranberries, candied walnuts in scratch-made ranch dressing leftover from dinner out this week.  I usually add such leftovers to GF pasta and call it a good dinner (there were only 2 of us home tonight).  Tonight I decided to try my veggie pasta maker instead of the GF pasta.  I was very happy to use my new toy, and dinner turned out great.


Handful of grape tomatoes chopped in half

leftover chicken cut into bite-sized pieces

Zucchini cut into “noodles” then boiled like pasta. (I boiled mine for 4 min and it was overdone.  will try 2 min next time.) Drained.

Fresh Basil

Combine all in a bowl. Top with parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!

Ella Bella Gluten Free Pasta

9 ounces Ella Bella AP Flour Blend
1 tsp psyllium husk powder
1 tsp salt
1 large egg
3 egg yolks
1-2 tbls oil (your preference)
1-2 tbls water

In the bowl of your mixer combine dry ingredients and mix on low for a few moments until everything is combined. Turn off mixer. Add in the egg, egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of water to the bowl. Turn mixer on its slowest speed. If dough is too wet add a tablespoon of EB Flour Blend. If dough is too dry add oil, then water. Mix until all dough forms a ball.

Take dough out of bowl and wrap in plastic. Let sit for 30 min. at room temperature.

Spread a little flour on your counter, or use parchment paper. Cut the ball of dough into four equal pieces. Working gently, roll out one quarter of your dough until it is as thin as you like it (the thinner the better as it will plump a bit when cooking).

Using a sharp knife cut the pasta into noodles of your desired width. Move noodles onto a plate, cover with a towel as you finish. Layer more cut noodles on top of the towel. Separate each layer of noodles with a towel.

To Cook

Boil water, add salt if desired (we like to). When water is ready gently add noodles. (Don’t overcrowd the pot. You may need to cook in 2 batches.) Cook for 4-5 min, then drain. Toss noodles in your waiting sauce.