Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weekly Menu July 29 2013

Is anyone else shocked that it is the last week of July!?  I have no idea what happened to June let alone July.  Time is flying these days.  Life is busy, busy!  We had a fun weekend with family and friends.  Hope your weekend was enjoyable!

This week is what I call empty the fridge and pantry week.  We are going on vacation next week so my goal is to use as much of the food we already have in the house before we go.  This does two things: 1. it helps us not waste food 2. it saves grocery money this week so we can spend it next week on vacation!

For vacation we are going to Gatlinburg/ Pigeon Forge, TN.  We went two years ago.  Here is my review.  Any suggestions for good GF food in the area? 

Monday -  Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin - slow cooker
Wednesday - Date night with the Hubby!!!
Thursday - Simple Spaghetti with veggies
Friday - Pizza or whatever else we can find in the freezer
Saturday - Leftovers for the family, I'm eating with friends at Bull City Burger

If you are in the NC area check out the GFAF Wellness Event in Raleigh August 17th!  I'll have a table set up so come by and say hi!

Carrie Forbes from Ginger Lemon Girl did an amazing review of my cookbook and is doing a giveaway!  Hurry over to her blog to enter.  

Don't forget to check out my cookbook on Amazon!

Do you need help with your weekly menu?  Check out eMeals
Use Promo code "summer" for 15% off!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Fish Have Arrived

If you haven't heard there are now GLUTEN FREE GOLDFISH!!! Goldfish Puffs are here!  Little B and I couldn't be happier!
Little B snacking on the GF Goldfish Puffs

They make our life sooo much easier!  The twins love them for snack and they are perfect to take to church so Little B can have fish like all the other kids for snack!  I have found them at Target and Wal-Mart.  We even found this big display at Wal-Mart this past week.

We have tried the Mega Cheese, Buffalo Wing, Cheddar Bacon and the Salsa Con Queso.  The Mega Cheese and Cheddar Bacon are our favorites!  Hubby really likes the Buffalo Wing, I find it a touch spicy.  The Salsa Con Queso is good but also a little spicy.

The bag says on the back that they are Gluten Free, but it isn't obvious.  I'm not sure why Pepperidge Farms hasn't gone big with the marketing as these being Gluten Free.   In my opinion this is a big win for our community, especially for GF kids.  It helps them feel like all the other kids.

So if you find a bag go ahead and grab some!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Cinnamon Sugar Cake

My brother-in-law has lots of good qualities.  He is a good husband to my sister, a good dad and a cop.  He is also an amazing chef!  The man can cook!  When he joined the family he brought many tasty recipes but the one I love the most is Cinnamon Sugar Cake.  This creation is a wonderful, buttery goodness that is perfect for dessert, tea parties, coffee cake or just because you want some!

It is a simple yellow cake with a layer of cinnamon and sugar on top instead of icing.  Now this is not a healthy cake by any means, see ingredients below, but it is very good and a crowd pleaser.  Since going Gluten Free I have had to pass by this beautiful, gluten-filled dish at family gatherings for years.  No more!  I have created Gluten Free Cinnamon Sugar Cake!

When it comes to Gluten Free Betty Crocker cake mix its pretty good if you follow the directions on the box.  However if you want to make it awesome follow these directions, I also list them below.
What You Need
1 box of GF Betty Crocker White Cake Mix
1 box of GF vanilla pudding mix
1/3 cup white sugar
4 eggs plus 1 egg white
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup of orange juice
1 tbsp GF vanilla extract

1/2 stick of butter - room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

How To Make It
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In one bowl mix together the cake mix, pudding mix and sugar.  In a second bowl beat together the eggs, oil, juice and vanilla.  Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients bowl and beat together.  Pour into a greased 8x8 or 9x9 casserole dish.  Bake for 45 minutes or until cake is done.  Mix together the sugar and cinnamon for the topping in a small bowl.  Once the cake is out melt the butter on top of the cake while it is still hot.  

Now that the butter is melted into the cake, pour your cinnamon/sugar mixture on top of the cake.  Allow to cool and serve.

You could also make cupcakes with this recipe.  

You will LOVE this moist cake!

This post linked to Gluten Free Homemakers Gluten Free Wednesdays and Vegetarian Mamma's Gluten Free Fridays

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Weekly Menu July 22 2013

Hope your weekend was fun!  I had one amazing Gluten Free meal out and one horrible not Gluten Free meal out (cross contamination).  Twelve hours later and I'm good to go.  How long does it take you to recover from being Glutened?  I'm 12-24 hours depending on how bad it was.  

This is a crazy week for us because hubby is at church camp all week and we have the grandmas coming in to help so I can work and not loose my mind with three kids by myself!  

I also got crafty over the weekend and updated our menu board from a white board on the fridge to this...

Its a cheap frame I got at the flea market.  I printed on a piece of craft paper the words and stuck it in the frame.  Now I just use a dry erase maker to write out our menu.  Looks pretty fancy!

Monday -  Pasta Bake
Tuesday - Chicken and Peas- using eMeals recipe
Wednesday - Beef and Broccoli in the slow cooker
Thursday - One Dish Wonder
Friday - Dinner out - crossing my finger for a GF Food Truck!!
Saturday - Leftovers

If you are in the NC area check out the GFAF Wellness Event in Raleigh August 17th!

Also Jenni did a review of my cookbook this week and did a giveaway.  Did you win?  Check it out here

Don't forget to check out my cookbook on Amazon!

Do you need help with your weekly menu?  Check out eMeals
Use Promo code "summer" for 15% off!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Posana Cafe in Asheville, NC

After three years of hearing about a 100% Gluten Free farm to table restaurant I finally got to go!  The hubby and I ran away for a night last weekend, spend six hours in the car, to eat at Posana Cafe TWICE!  Crazy - yes!  Worth it - yes!  Not only did I get quality time with hubby I also got to enjoy some amazing Gluten Free food!

The fun all started Friday night with dinner.  I made a reservation online to make sure we could get in.  We ended up getting into town early and they were able to fit us in before our reservation.  The restaurant just got an amazing face lift.  The decor is beautiful.  It has a really fun and relaxing vibe.  The staff were all very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful.  If you remember I was honored to meet Chef Peter back in April and he actually came out to our table to say hi!  He went through the menu with us and helped us pick out our meal.  And let me say he did not steer us wrong!

Here is what we ordered:
Drinks: Acai Blueberry Mojito and red wine
Appetizers: Fried Green Tomatoes, Kale Salad and Potato chorizo soup
Main dishes: Braised Hickory Nut Gap Pork Shoulder and Seared Ahi Tuna
Dessert: Triple berry cheesecake

This was one of the top meals of my gluten and Gluten Free life!  The presentation of all the dishes where amazing!  The flavors all worked so well together.  There is no way you would have known any of it, including the in house made fettuccine was Gluten Free!   We almost licked the plates because everything was so phenomenal!

The mojito was very refreshing.  The Fried Green Tomatoes topped with pimento cheese was one of our favorites!  I honestly have never had kale before and we enjoyed the salad so much.  The cheese on it was what made it for me.  The soup was like eating a smooth baked potato with a hint of spice - so good! The pork shoulder over house made pasta was like heaven!  It just melted in your mouth.  The cheesecake was a wonderful ending to our meal.  It was very smooth and the texture was great.

Saturday morning we headed back to Posana.  They have a great selection of food available for brunch.  There were two items on the menu that I wanted to try so I told hubby what to order.

What we ordered:

Southern Style Benedict
Fried Chicken, fries and a biscuit
Sticky bun to go

The star of brunch were the biscuits!  They weren't too dense and had a hint of sweetness.  The eggs benedict was huge so I wasn't able to finish it all but trust me I tried!  Hubby enjoyed the fried chicken and fries.  The sticky bun was good for a late night snack.

Overall we were beyond pleased with our experience at Posana Cafe in Asheville.  The staff was wonderful, the food was over the top and knowing it was all Gluten Free just makes me happy inside!  There are many other items on the menu that I want to try so we will go back.  Chef Peter also updates the menu based on what is in season so it is always changing.

So if you are within a reasonable drive to Asheville, NC I say go for it!

Posana on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 15, 2013

Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event in Raleigh August 17, 2013

Calling all North Carolina Gluten Free and Allergen Free foodies!  One of the best opportunities to eat good, safe food is almost here!  The GFAF Wellness Event in Raleigh is August 17, 2013 from 10am-4pm at the Durham Convention Center in the Marriott Center City.  This event offers a huge list of Gluten Free vendors, fantastic speakers and a raffle with awesome prizes!  The grand prize is a catered BBQ from Bone Suckin' Sauce for 50 people valued at $3,000!!!

The event will have big named brands like Udi's, Glutino, Enjoy Life foods, and Rudi's.  There will also be a ton of smaller GF brands that you will want to try!  Expos and events like this give you the opportunity to try all those products you see in the store and wonder if they are good.  At the event you will be able to try the food and decide which ones you will want to buy!  Many vendors hand out samples to take home as well as coupons!  A huge bonus!

The Main Details:
August 17, 2013
10 AM - 4 PM
301 West Morgan Street 
Durham, NC 27701
$10 per adult
Children under 13 are FREE to enter
College Students get $3 off admission at the door only w/ Student ID

Parking FREE on streets of Durham during weekends

The event also gives you the opportunity to meet lots of people like you!  I have made amazing friends attending these events!  I will also have a table set up to meet you and I will be selling my cookbook and "Gluten Makes Me Sick" t-shirts!!!!  If you come out PLEASE some say "Hi"!

Speakers include:
CPT B. Donald Andrasik author, Gluten Free In Afghanistan
Wendy Perry, Personal Chef
Brandy Wendler, Mrs. Northwest International 2013 (LOVE HER!)
Lisa Stimmer, Natural Gourmet Chef & Healthy Lifestyle Coach
Debbie Jongkind,registered dietitian and professional certified coach
Chef Tracey Bloom, from Bravo’s Top Chef
Ryanna Battiste, Chef & Teacher

Here is my recap of last years GFAF Wellness Event in Raleigh.

Tips for Attending a Gluten Free Event/Expo:
1- Wear good shoes and comfortable clothes
2- Bring a big bag to carry brochures and samples
3- Take sandwich size plastic bags to put samples in to eat later
4 – Walk the whole room before you buy products, you don’t want to have to carry what you buy around for hours
5- Pace yourself.  You do not have to eat everything!  If it doesn’t taste good – don’t eat it.
6- Pick up the coupons.  Many vendors had very good coupons for their products.
7 – If there is a line at one booth skip it and come back later
8 – And most importantly – Go Hungry!  

Many other GF and Foodie bloggers will be at the Event.  Follow us all using #GFAFWellnessEvent.

See you August 17th!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Weekly Menu July 15 2013

Hope you had a fun weekend!  The hubby and I had a great trip up to Asheville to enjoy the wonderful Gluten Free food at Posana Cafe!  I'll do a post later this week with all the details.  Let me just say the food was worth all the hours in the car!

This week isn't too crazy in our house so I'm mixing in some new recipes to see if the family enjoys them!

Monday -  Beef Stroganoff 
Tuesday - Italian Style Chicken - using eMeals recipe
Wednesday - Sesame Chicken - slow cooker
Thursday - Baked Pork Chops with veggies
Friday - Chicken Caprese - using eMeals recipe 
Saturday - Grilling Out 

Don't forget to check out my cookbook on Amazon!

Do you need help with your weekly menu?  Check out eMeals
Use Promo code "summer" for 15% off!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Blueberry Hand Pie

Fruit is so much fun to cook with!  The twins are little "fruit bats" and will eat bowls and bowls of whatever fruit they can get their little hands on!  Their current favorite are blueberries.  We hope to go pick some soon until then we have been buying a pint or two a week from the grocery store.  This week I wanted to make something fun with them and remembered a recipe I had pinned on Pinterest from Carol from Simply Gluten Free.  Her recipe looked easy and used help from a Gluten Free package bread mix.  I happened to have some Gluten Free Pie Dough mix from Moon Rabbit Foods in the pantry that I could use!  So here is how I made Gluten Free Blueberry Hand Pies!

What You Need:
2 cups blueberries
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp corn starch
2 tbsp water

2 cups of Mood Rabbit Foods Pie Dough
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
6 tbsp cold water

1 egg white
Sugar crystals

How To Make It:
Follow the instructions on the pie dough.  Mix together the mix and butter, add in the water and form a ball.  Place on plastic wrap and roll flat.  Put in fridge for 15-20 minutes while you prepare the filling.

In a pot over medium high heat bring the blueberries, lemon juice and sugar to a boil.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Reduce heat and stir in corn starch and water to thicken.  Stir for 3 minutes and allow to mix. Cool the berry mixture in a bowl of ice water.  

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove dough from fridge.  On a clean surface lightly dust some GF flour.  Roll out the dough to your desired thickness.  Cut circle or triangle shapes out of the dough.  Take one piece of pie dough and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Spoon some of the blueberry mixture on the dough.  Using a brush or your finger coat the outer edge of dough with the egg white.  Put a piece of pie dough on top of the pie and seal the edges with a fork.  Brush the top of the pie with egg white and sugar crystals.  Repeat until all your pie dough is used.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Serve with ice cream and any leftover blueberry filling!
This recipe make 6 hand pies. 

These turned out very tasty!  Some of the filling bubbled out of the pies but I think that is to be expected.  The leftovers have even been good heated up days after.  

The Moon Rabbit Foods dough was very good, flaky and easy to use.  It did pretty well with all the handling and rolling.  I have enough left in the mix to make one more pie and I'm thinking apple!  I'll let you know how it turns out.  I have tried a number of their other mixes at Gluten Free expos.  Their cake mixes and brownie mixes are super good!  They use cassava flour which seems to taste good and has a good texture.  You can buy their products online, some grocery stores or at expos.  


Disclaimer: I was given the pie dough to try and review.  The pictures and opinions are my own. 
This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Vegetarian Mammas Gluten Free Fridays

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Weekly Menu July 8 2013

Hope you all had a great July 4th!  We enjoyed fun with family and some good Gluten Free food.  Supportive family makes such a difference when eating Gluten Free!!

Hubby and I are doing something crazy this weekend and running away for a mini-vacation!  We are driving four hours each way just to eat at Posana Cafe in Asheville, NC!  This is motivated by my discusion with Chef Peter earlier this year.  Our plan is to enjoy dinner Friday night and brunch Saturday!  I'm so pumped!!  I'll share all about it!

Monday -  Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Loin 
Tuesday - Shepherd's Pie
Wednesday - Chicken with White Sauce - slow cooker
Thursday - Mexican Chili - slow cooker
Friday - Posana Cafe
Saturday - Posana Cafe

Don't forget to check out my cookbook on Amazon!

Use Promo code "summer" for 15% off!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Chicken Alfredo from Heaven

Think back to your Gluten eating days...  Remember going to an Italian restaurant like Olive Garden and ordering Chicken Alfredo?  Remember how smooth, tender and yummy those flat fettuccine noodles were?  Remember that amazing cream sauce and the juicy chicken pieces?  (It’s ok to be drooling at this point)  Well I have found a Gluten Free version of that memory that tastes the same if not better!  Promise! 

Enter Viviana Gluten Free Pasta.  I first heard about this company through twitter.  For my first try with their pasta I decided to get the plain fettuccine noodles.  When the box arrived I was super excited and knew I had to incorporate them into our weekly menu! 

To really get a taste for this pasta I decided to go classic and make Chicken Alfredo.  I even picked up a jar of Alfredo sauce from the grocery store.  But when it came time to cook the meal I had extra time (kiddos were all napping) and I decided to go big or go home!  I made my own Alfredo sauce from scratch!!  I used this recipe as a guide.  This has a few more steps than most of my recipes but they are so worth it!

What You Need:
2 mushrooms – sliced
½ tomato – diced
2 chicken breasts thinly sliced
Hope Virtuous Living Spice or Italian spice mix

½ stick of butter
4oz cream cheese
1 cup of milk
3 ozs of grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
Pepper to taste
Dash of nutmeg

How To Make It:
Boil water and cook pasta as instructed on package.  While this is going heat a small skillet over medium high heat with EVOO.  Add in veggies and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once done remove veggies from skillet and add raw chicken.  Season the chicken with spices of choice.  Cook for 5 minutes or until no longer pink.  Remove chicken from heat when finished.  In a third pot melt the butter.  Once it is melted add in the cream cheese, using a whisk, stir together.  Once combined slowly add in milk and Parmesan cheese while still whisking.  Add in garlic powder, pepper and nutmeg.  Continue to whisk until you get everything combined, about another 2 minutes.  Remove the sauce from the heat. 

To plate mix the sauce, veggies, chicken, and noodles together.  Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese and fresh oregano.

This dish is from heaven!  I promise you will think you are sitting in an Italian restaurant.  The sauce is very flavorful, creamy and smooth.  The real star of the meal are the decadent GF Viviana noodles.  I was blown away by the flavor and texture of these things.  I started dumping treats in front of the kids just so they would sit quietly so I could enjoy this meal!  It was that good!  The leftovers were just as good the day after.  The noodles were not soggy, mushy or slimy.   

Viviana Pasta also makes linguini, orzo and penne noodles in various flavors like toasted garlic, wild mushroom and tomato basil.  The pasta is Gluten, dairy, soy and nut free.
"From the beginning, Viviana has been passionate about providing the highest quality ingredients from our top quality gluten-free rice flour to our locally sourced vegetables and spices. By taking pride in what goes into our pasta, we know the end result will be a gluten-free product your entire family will love."

The noodles are a touch pricey but most good Gluten Free products aren’t cheap.  I see having a package or two of these in my pantry on stand by for future fancy Italian meals!


Disclaimer: I was given the noodles to try but the photos and opinions are my own.

This post linked to Vegetarian Mamma's Gluten Free Fridays

Monday, July 1, 2013

Gluten Free Key Lime Pie

When you buy a bag of five limes and only use one for a recipe you have to find something to do with the other four limes.  After much recipe searching I settled on making my first ever Gluten Free Key Lime Pie.  Now that it is officially summer a key lime pie sounded fitting for a fun summer dessert.  It was also super helpful that I had all the ingredients on hand.  

I wanted to make the crust out of Gluten Free ginger snaps because they work so well with my Cheesecake recipe.  I actually found this easy recipe that I followed pretty closely.  I did omit the nuts in the crust since we aren't sure how the twins do with nuts yet. 

My mother-in-law was over for dinner and she thought it was wonderful.  This was actually the first time she had ever had homemade key lime pie and it was my first time making it.  Lots of firsts!  Curly, our four year old, liked the "white part and the yellow part", so I ate her crust!

I was pleasantly surprised that this didn't turn out really tangy.  I like a smooth key lime pie that doesn't bite you back and this recipe is a perfect match!
What You Need
1 bag of crushed GF Ginger Snaps (8oz bag)
4 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tbsp sugar

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lime juice - it took 3 limes for me
2 egg yolks
1 egg

How to Make it
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together crushed ginger snaps, butter and sugar.  Press into pie pan.  Bake for 10 minutes, then let cool.
Mix together the milk and lime juice with a hand mixer.  Add in the eggs and mix for 2 minutes.  Pour into crust and bake for 17 minutes.  Let cool in fridge for at least 1 hour.  Decorate with cool whip and lime slices.

This easy recipe is a keeper!  Next time limes are on sale I'm making another one of these babies.  I think it would be fun to make key lime mini-pies with this recipe too for a cookout or party!


This post linked to Gluten-Free Homemakers' Gluten-Free Wednesdays and Vegetarian Mamma's Gluten Free Fridays

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