Monday, January 30, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 30th, 2012



Monday:


Tuesday:


Wednesday:
Buffalo Chicken Wings, Mac and Cheese, Celery


Thursday:


Friday:
Kids eat at BK (ours is safe)
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gardening Journal: Week of January 24th 2012

It is a pretty uneventuful gardening week here at the homestead.  Just playing the waiting game really. We are makeing sure the lights are turned on every day, off every night.  Making sure they are watered.  All I have to share this week is growth progress on our plants.  This spring we are growing: Onions, peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce and cucumbers.Wanna see the babies?  OK here they are.






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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Gluten Free Fettuccine Alfredo with Mushrooms and Broccoli

This dish is traditionally pasta, cheese and butter.  Any mother of young children will know why the Italians started with a dish like this.  Children love spaghetti with butter.  Add a tad of parmesan and they will gobble it up.  History does not say that kids were the original reason but, as  mommy, I am positive kids had SOMETHING to do with it.   As we Americanized this dish over the years a touch of cream was added.  I'd venture a guess at saying it was to make this dish a tad bit more saucy.  Eventually a squeeze of fresh lemon. 

Now I am going to warn you. You are going to wrinkle your forehead and cock your eye at me when you see my "surprise" ingredent in this new twist on a traditional recipe.  This is the reaction my brother had anyway when he annonced that this was the best Fettuccine Alfredo he ever ate.  BUTTERMILK he says?!?!?!  I explained to him that I wanted it to be a tad bit more saucy and replaced the lemon with the tang of buttermilk.  Why not.  It sort of gives you the same tang that cream cheese would.  You have seen this cream cheese version before right?  I think the buttermilk gives it more depth of flavor.

Try it, you will like it! 

14 to 16 ounces Fettucini Noodles
      or Thai Kitchen Flat Noodles or Spaghetti    
6 tablespoons Butter
16 ounces Sliced Mushrooms
4 cloves fresh Garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 Tablespoon Corn Starch
1/4 cup Water
1 pint Heavy Cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, Freshly Grated
1 bunch steamed broccoli (cooked)
  • In a large pot, add water and boil.
  • Add noodles and cook until just done.
  • Remove, rinse with hot water and drain.  Meanwhile...
  • Melt butter over medium heat in skillet.
  • Add mushrooms and garlic. Lightly sauté until cooked through.
  • Pour in pint of Heavy Cream and bring to just about simmer.  Steam will rise from the mixture but it will not boil.
  • Add salt, garlic and onion powder.  Stir in to fully incorporate.
  • In a small cup add water and corn starch and water,  Mix to dissolve corn starch.  Pour into cream.
  • Add buttermilk and stir until sauce just starts to simmer.  
  • Stir in cheese until melted.
  • Steam Broccoli in microwave unti fully cooked and stil into dish with cooked noodles.
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Monday, January 23, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 23, 2012


We never did eat the Ham or the Spaghetti dinners.  I keep putting them on there and we keep skipping them over.  The truth is, we had lots of leftovers so some days had to be for leftovers.  You all know I hate throwing stuff away.  LOL! 

Monday:
Hamburgers served on Fresh Rolls, French Fries
and Fresh Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies


Tuesday:
Fried Ham Steaks, Macaroni and Cheese, Broccoli


Wednesday:
Sauteed Chicken Breasts and Oven Baked Cheesy Broccoli Rice
I am just going to sautee the chicken quick, no real fancy recipe here.
Thursday:
Gluten Free Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni

Friday:
Home Made Pizza and the best home made Pizza Sauce you ever ate
served with a tossed Salad

Saturday:
Served with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Sunday:
Spaghetti, meatballs, Cheese Rolls

Looking for inspiration? I can help in three different ways.
  1. Head on over to Orgjunkie.com and visit Laura's Menu Plan Monday.
  2. Visit Heather at Celiac Family, the Gluten Free Menu Swap headquarters!
  3. You can also view my past menu plans here.
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Garden Journal: Week of January 16, 2012

We just started our vegetable garden this past week (indoors).  Now why in the world would  we do such a thing?  Erect an ugly buffet table in our beautiful sunroom with all the trays, and equipment?  Well for a few reasons.  When the outside soil finally warms up enough to plant the first vegetables we will be planting big established plants.  That translates to a head start to harvest.  It is also cheaper to start your own garden, especially organic, rather than purchase the established plants.  In our tiny neck of the woods you can't even purchase established organic vegetable plants. We re-use the same trays every year and purchase the organic seeds and organic starter soil.  Another good reason to start early is how hot it got last summer in our area.  Lots of tomato growers in our area told stories of how the tomato plans stopped producing in the hight of the heat of this past summer.

My all time favorite thing to grow is onions.  Its the garden gift that keeps on givng.  I use onions in everhting.  Last years crip of sweet onions I diced and froze in cup sized portions.  I have been using them ever since for almost every dinner and pot of soup I have made since last summer.  I only recently just ran out and am so sad!  This year, double the onions!!!!!  I would like to get more tomatoes.  Less horn worms attacking them.  Going to give the squashes a break this year.  Last year those darn squash bugs were too many to battle.  I am going to do so reading and share what I learn here our progress as we muddle out way though beginning organic vegetable gardening.

So are we ready for some pictures???




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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gluten Free Skillet Cornbread

The kind of cornbread we like here at our house is sort of cake like and on the sweet side.  If you prefer the savory southern version, this is not the recipe for you!  Wow! The corn taste really pulls though on this recipe, though.  Take a deep breath in when it comes out of the oven. Can you smell all the corny goodness?  Simply heaven!  Expect your children to say, "that was yummy!" Over. And over. And over again....

How in the world can something that takes such little effort taste so wonderful?  It is one of the great mysteries of life.  The cornmeal I used here is at the height of purity.  I watched the workers mill the corn as a demonstration for the cub scouts at the old plantation we camped at last summer.  The whole point was to show the children how folks used to grind the corn way back when. All this contraption was ever used for was corn. I had to stop the process and ask to buy the resulting meal....LOL! ;-)   They generously gave it to me and I ran right home and put it in the freezer. Boy oh boy can you ever taste the freshness. 


1 cup Cornmeal, Coarse Yellow
1 cup Gluten Free Flour Blend
1/2 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 Tablespoons Honey
2 Eggs
1/4 cup Butter, Margarine or Shortening (Melted)
1 1/4 cup Buttermilk
1/4 cup Sour Cream
2 to 3 Tablespoons Shortening for Cast Iron Skillet


Place Cast Iron Skillet in 400 degree oven and preheat.
  • Add Cornmeal, Flour, Gum, Baking Powder, Soda, Salt and Sugar in large stand mixer bowl. 
  • Mix to combine.
  • Add Honey, Eggs, Fat of choice, Buttermilk, Sour Cream and whip for about 3 minutes.
  • Take Cast Iron Skillet out of the oven and add shortening. 
  • Once melted pour in cornbread batter.
  • Place back into oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Enjoy!
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 16th, 2012


I am starting with Friday because my shopping and cooking has been off lately.  I have been shopping from Thursday to Thrusday.  I find it lazy of myslef not to plan my menu out further but somethines I am allowed to be lazy! LOL.  Those days are over because school is back in session and so is our gardening.  In our part of the world its time to get this garden started......right! ;-)  We puchased Organic seeds this weekend, got out the nursery starter items, and planted the seeds so be on the lookout out for my Gardening Journal.  I share our progress on Wednesdays. 

Friday:
Chicken Wings, Annie's Boxed Macaroni and Cheese, Celery Sticks.
I usually make everything from scratch, but sometimes its nice to have quick serve opitons.

Saturday:
Baking the Cheesy rice recipe makes the rice incredibly creamy.  I just topped it with extra cheese and baked. I'm cooking the chicken half way though and then adding the pan of rice. This way everything is nice and hot at the same time.

Sunday:
Cheese Steaks, French Fries, Corn on the Cob
Udi's Hot Dog Rolls, Walmart Great Value Philly Steak Meat.  As born and rasied Philly pholks, this is our all time favorite dinner. 

Monday:
The chili won't go over big with the children, but the cornbread will.  Maybe you noted that my Cornbread recipe is a tad bit on the sweet side.  Thats becuase its all about the kids at my house! ;-)

Tuesday:
Roast Beef, Baked Potatoes, Broccoli.
Im not using my crock pot this time.  It's a Sirloin Roast and I really prefer how it comes out of the oven. 

Wednesday:
Stating with your all purpose cream sauce and flavoring it to your preference. In this case, freshly grated paremsan. I used to enjoy this dish at a litttle Italian Restaurant in Philly as a young lady.  I don't think anybody in my hosue enjoys it quite like I do. 

Thursday:
Fried Ham Steaks, Stouffers Harvest Apples Copycat Recipe, Cheesy Rice and Broccoli Bake. I doubled the Cheesey Rice and Broccoli recipe and froze half for later.  Anytime I bother to make something I double the batch and save some for later.  This is a great way to stock your freezer!
Friday:
Chicken Legs, Idahoan Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli

Saturday:
My kids love this and can't get enough.  Gotta love a dish the kids wont complain about eating.  Go ahead and pulverize some veggies and sneak them in there! ;-)

Sunday:
Tinkyada Spaghetti, Classico Spicy Tomato and Basil Sauce, Sausage, Cheese Dinner Rolls


Looking for inspiration? I can help in three different ways.

  1. Head on over to Orgjunkie.com and visit Laura's Menu Plan Monday.
  2. Visit Heather at Celiac Family, the Gluten Free Menu Swap headquarters!
  3. You can also view my past menu plans here.
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Crock Pot Navy Bean and Ham Soup

Leftover ham soup bone with hame on it? This is our favorite way to have leftover ham. 



1 16 ounce bag of Navy Beans, dry
8 cups of Water

Soaked Beans
1 bag of Mirepoix soup blend of frozen veggies (onions, carrots, celery)
7 cups of Water
2 Boullion
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Thyme
2 pounds of Ham plus Bone or Ham Hocks

  • Rince and sort though beans to remove any debris.
  • Add beans and water in a large pot with lid.  Allow to sit soak overnight or at least 7 hours.
  • Drain and rince soaked beans bright and early the next morning.
  • Add soaked beans, veggies, water, boullion, salt, thyme and ham into crock pot.
  • Set on high and cook for 10 hours.  Soup should thicken as it cooks. 
  • Fish out soup bones and chop up meat that has fallen off the bone.
  • Add ham back to the pot.
  • Soup is ready when beans are tender and broth is thickened.
  • For a nice tough, remove 1/3 cup of beans and puree until smooth.  Stir back in.
  • Enjoy!
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 9th, 2012




Ahh, started it but never finished it.  My son has been sick.  Belly Aches.  Not Celiac related since he does not get wheat.  Doctor thinks he is constipated.  Suppose that is a Celiac related thing huh?  I have had to come up with new methods of fixing this problem.  Taking care of him and running back and forth to the doctor and hospital for tests is very time consuming.  My plan is mini as well...LOL.  Here is the little plans I do have.

Monday:
Meatloaf, Idahoan Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli

Tuesday:
Rice Pudding for Dessert (using brown rice)

Wednesday:
Pizza day at Church Program
Salad and Cake at home
I am actually going to make mini round pizzas
using my large muffin top pan as a guide.

Thursday:
Pan Fried Ham Steak, Macaroni and Cheese, Broccoli & Pineapple


Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Undecided



Looking for inspiration? I can help in three different ways.
  1. Head on over to Orgjunkie.com and visit Laura's Menu Plan Monday.
  2. Visit Heather at Celiac Family, the Gluten Free Menu Swap headquarters!
  3. You can also view my past menu plans here.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 2, 2012


Happy New Year!  I am not one big on New Year's Resolutions that I have no intentions of keeping up with.  I have a list of things I would like to prusue that is more appropriate for me.  I would like to improve my kindness towards others in the new year.  I would like to practice understand and improve my listening skills in the new Year.  I would like to practice Humility.  I would like to treat others with a calm and gentle attitude (no anger).  Banish the tendency we all have for judging others.  I ask every year for one thing, my continuted good health.

Monday:
Cheeseburgers on Fresh Baked Rolls.  We are on our way to the WWE Raw Supershow. 
It's going to be a long night, no sense taking the trip hungry!

Tuesday:
I was using Soy Flour because of the nutrition aspects of it
but my husband says it has a funny aftertaste, so this time I'll use
a different blend.

Wesnesday:
Beef Stew with Dumplings. 
Everything is better with Dumplings.  My mother used to put them in
our Beef Stew so I am going to copy my mohter's recipe. 
Recipe to follow.


Thursday:
Spaghetti, Dinner Rolls, Salad
Tinyada Pasta, Home Made Rolls

Friday:
Pizza on Home Made Crust and Pizza Sauce

Saturday & Sunday (TBD)



Looking for inspiration? I can help in three different ways.
  1. Head on over to Orgjunkie.com and visit Laura's Menu Plan Monday.
  2. Visit Heather at Celiac Family, the Gluten Free Menu Swap headquarters!
  3. You can also view my past menu plans here.
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Gluten Free Honey and Oat Bread

Brown Bread

I suppose most of my readers know by now that I like to use oats.  I put oats in my meatloaf, I use them to bread my chicken.  My cholesterol runs high so that is something I have just gotten used to since pre Celiac Diagnosis.  Oats are the first thing they tell you to add to your diet for good health. So I guess its no big surprise that I eventually put it in my bread. 

The bread I use most of the time is my Udi's copycat recipe. The copycat recipe looks and has the softness of a Wonder bread type product which my children love.  It is also a wonderful transition bread for those newly diagnosed because it most closely resembles the bread folks knew while eating gluten.  But as timie goes along, some of us may long for that brown bread back.  I used to be a whole wheat bread eater.  Not the dense coarse type, regular bread only brown.  I started with the Udi's copycat recipe I currently use, I toyed with it to create a gluten free Brown Bread.  I started with that recipe in its entirety and then halfed it and chaged the half ingredients up.  I dare not call it Whole Grain....LOL.  It does has some grain and fiber, but it still has plenty of starches.

Want to know a secret?  I used only egg whites in the first place becuase the yolk would make the bread look off color. Upon initial diagnosis with my daughter I was looking for "white" bread not yellow, cream or brownish bread.  That just reminded her that what she was eating was "diffrerent". Now if you ask her, she will gladly tell you...."Mommy makes the best bread ever". (Awh shucks)!  SOoooo........I am using the whole egg in this recipe as well. I switched one of the eggs and replaced it with flax meal.  The very first gluten free mommy I spoke to told me once to add flax to everything, it could not hurt.  At the time I had no idea what she was talking about nor why she would say this.  NOW (of course) I do.  ;-)

The taste and texture is so nice and soft.  The bread has a bit of chewyness but not too much.The honey gives it a lovely sweetness to offset the oats.  This is a very nice and enjoyable bread that gives you a warm comfortable feeling in your belly.  You can put your mind is at ease knowing that there is lots of good stuff in this bread.

Pictured here is a dinner roll ripped in half

1 cup Warm Boiled Water (110 degrees)
1/4 cup Honey
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Yeast
1 Tablespoon Milled Flax Seed
3 Tablespoons Water
1/4 cup Oil
2 Whole Eggs
1 teaspoon Vinegar
2 cups Gluten Free Flour Blend
1 cup Quick Cooking Oats (pureed to a rough flour, see picture)
2 1/2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum
1-1/2 teaspoons Salt
1-1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder

Spray 9 x 5 baking pan with oil
Preheat oven to 170 degrees and turn oven off.
  • Place water on your stove to Boil.
  • Take a 2 cup capacity measuring cup and add One cup of warm tap water (cooled to almost exactly 110 degrees, you will need your thermometor for this).
  • Add  honey and stir to dissolve.  This will help cool the water a bit.
  • Add yeast, stir to dissolve and set aside to allow the foam to develop on top.
  • Meanwhile Add Milled Flax and 3 Tablespoons of water in a small bowl.  Stir to fully combine and set aside. 
  • Add Oil, vinegar and Eggs to mixing bowl with whip attachment and mix until fully combined.
  • Add flax/water, yeast/hone/waterr mixture, flour, oats, gum, salt, baking powder in mixer bowl and whip for 3 to 4 minutes.   
  • Place in an oiled 9 x 5 (standard meatloaf sized) baking pan.
  • Place in oven that was previously preheated to 170 degrees to rise.
  • Alow to rise for 35 to 45 minutes.  Bread when ready to bake will be about 1/2 to 3/4's inch over the top of the of the bread pan.
  • While pan is still in oven, turn oven on to 350 degrees. 
  • Set timer for 1 hour. 
  • After baking, take bread immediately out of the pan and onto a cooling rack to cool.
  • Once bread reaches room temperature, slice and enjoy!
Pureed Oats before adding to bread

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