Monday, June 28, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - Week of June 28th

I know I have not posted it but I do always have some sort of plan.  I scavenge though the stock and make a list and post it in my fridge so I can see in a quick glance what I have available.  I'm never short on food.

Giamotta (Italian Vegetable Stew)
over Pasta
Fresh Baked Bread

Grilled Steak
Fresh Veggies


Grilled Pork Ribs
Baked Beans

Taco Dinner

Grilled Pork Roast
Home Made Rice-a-Roni

Chicken Legs
Leftover Rice a Roni

I should have make ahead plans, but I'll have to wing it this week. Print

CSN Stores Giveaway: $40 Gift Certificate

Alison at Under the Big Oak Tree is giving away a $40 gift certificate to CSN Stores!

And just in case you don't know what CSN Stores sells, take a look at this:

Can you see that I prefer the kitchen items?  They have lots of different departments to choose from and the beauty is that you get to choose.

To enter, go HERE.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gluten Free Asiago Cheese Bagels

My daughter and I going about our morning like usual when we noticed another individual enjoying a bagel.  We both immediately needed one.  I must admit the idea of making bagels intimidated me.  I used to watch my wonderful aunt make them when I was a child and recall thinking how overwhelming the whole process seemed.  But I had read another blogger mommy's post and how she made them.  I thought, I must try.  And so we did.

Back in my Gluten filled days, Asiago Cheese were my favorite kind.  I just so happen to have some of this cheese on hand so I felt it was fate.  The flour I had on hand, Pamela's bread mix of course.  I love this mix and always have it around.  I'll repost Pamela's instructions for keep sake.  My hope is that my daughter will be able to come back to this site and find all the items I have mastered over the years.

This is too much work to do for just 6 bagels so I'm doubling it.  Makes 12 Bagels.  Slice and Freeze what you do not eat immediately.

7 cups Pamela's Bread/Flour Mix
2 yeast packets or 4-1/2 teaspoons (fast acting)
2-2/3 cup Warm Water (110 degrees)
1/2 cup Oil
1 cup cheese in mix and remaining for top

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Using a heavy duty stand mixer with whisk attachment combine flour, yeast, oil, cheese and water.
  • Mix on medium for 3 minutes.
  • Using a greased 1/2 measuring cup scoop out dough for each bagel and place on greased baking sheet.

  • Oil up your hands and smooth out the dough and form round bagel shapes.   

  • Poke hole in the middle with your fingers and allow to rest for one hour.

  • I find its best to not go any wider than the 1/2 measuring cup as gluten free bread items expand out and not up. For that reason I like to use my muffin top pan to try and control the expansion width.

  • Boil about 8 cups of water in a pot.  Boil 2 bagels at at time for 25 seconds each.

  • Remove with slotted spoon and place on greased baking sheet.
  • Top remaining cheese on each bagel.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.  I find two pans need 25 minutes but one pan needs 20.  Your oven may vary.

For Freshly Baked Morning Bagels:
Prepare dough, shape bagels on greased baking sheet.  Poke a hole in center of each bagel.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Bagels will rise while in refrigerator.  In the morning boil for 25 seconds each and bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gluten Free Bread Recipe, Crusty French Bread, Bread Machine

Oh, sweet mystery of life at last I found you......

Ok a bit dramatic.  But man oh man am I excited.  Do you know how hard I've tried to make good gluten free bread?  How many different recipes and exotic flour combinations I've tried?  So many times I followed a recipe with great reviews only to achieve dismal results.  Its been a long and disappointing road.  I have no idea what kept me going.  But this last recipe I hit pay dirt.  I'm just so excited.  Real bread!!!

I'm in love with this recipe.  The bread is soft, not sticky, it has a crispy French Bread sort of crust.  Just exactly as I remember a good loaf of Crusty French Bread to be.  From now on this will be formed into a baguette and be used whenever I desire this type of loaf.

Oh, and this picture here happens to be out of the bread machine so its good for that too!!!

1 cup Brown Rice Flour
1 cup Tapioca Starch
1/2 cup Sorghum Flour
3 teaspoons Xanthan Gum
1 teaspoon Salt

1-1/2 cup Warm Water
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) Fast Acting Yeast
2 Tablespoons Sugar

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Egg Whites (slightly beaten)
1 teaspoon Vinegar

In a medium bowl mix first group of ingredients until well combined.

In a measuring cup, combine second group of ingredients.  Leave sit for a few seconds until it starts to proof.

Combine third group of ingredients and whisk together lightly.

Meanwhile place pan and paddles inside machine.  Set machine for quick cycle.
   or see below.

Add all wet ingredients into bottom of bread machine.

Add dry ingredients to top and start machine.

  1. Combine second set of ingredients and let sit to proof.
  2. Combine third set of ingredients into stand mixer with whip attachment.
  3. Allow to whip for 3 minutes.
  4. Add third set of ingredients and allow to whip and combine for 3 additional minutes.
  5. Pour batter into baking pan and cover with plastic wrap and a towel.
  6. Allow to rise for one hour.  
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 70 minutes.

A few key notes.
  • The first mixing you will need a spatula to scrape down the sides. Second mixing for oven baked bread.
  • Dough will be loose and sticky to the touch but not so soft that the dough does not form around the paddles.  See photo for what it should look like. Applies for both methods.  

  • Too wet a batter will cause rise and then eventual fall of completed loaf.
  • Too dry a batter will cause dense, unrisen and crumbly loaf.
  • Whipped eggs make the dough lighter and fluffier.

Summer Potato Harvest

As I mentioned before, this is our first year of organic gardening.  Pictured above is our very first ever attempt at growing potatoes.  Yukon Gold's to be exact.  We had two bowl's of this size.  Though the week I have been attempting to create several ways to serve these potatoes.  I wanted to do something special and honor all of our hard work.  Something that would send the message to our children that growing your own is better than any other option.

First up, Parsley Potatoes.  No recipe required.  Just boil 2 pounds of the smaller potatoes in the bunch until tender.  2T butter, 2T Oil.  Stir fry and season with parsley and salt. Add whatever seasonings you would like.  I'm Italian so I'd add garlic.  Except I know my kids would not eat it then.

Our second use for potatoes was a one layer Potato Galette.  I simply sliced the bigger potatoes, layered with seasonings, drizzled with oil and butter.  Topped with parmesan cheese.  I baked this dish for an hour until the potatoes were super tender.  The kids went for thirds with this dish.  So a HUGE success.

What I have left is the super small potatoes.  I am thinking something with pasta.  An enhancer to another dish.  Maybe soup?  Maybe you have ideas?

I will be posing this article to:

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Mini Pizza - just right for kids

I was desperate today. My poor daughter was really feeling sorry for herself and wanted what she used to call Baby Pizza's. Translation: Bagel bites. I was reading the menu plan of my favorite Celiac Family and they were having pizza made from a Chebe bread recipe I recall reading about on her blog previously.

So I followed her advice and I headed on over to Gluten Free Gobsmacked's recipe for Chebe bread.  She also suggested it would make a good pizza and suggests experimenting with the seasoning.  And so I did.

The result was beyond anything I could have expected. They LOVED it.  Even my non GF son LOVED it.  I'm so pleased.  It is so super simple to throw together.  It requires only 5 ingredients plus seasonings of your choice.  Only 9 minutes in the oven.

And a noteworthy tidbit of information: I do not pre bake this crust first.

1 1/4 cups Tapioca Flour (same thing as tapioca starch)
2 cups shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
Pizza Sauce topping
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Combine all ingredients and mix well.
  • Roll out onto a floured surface 1/2 inch thick.
  • Cut out 4" circles. 
  • Place circles on baking sheet and top with sauce and cheese.
  • Bake for 9 to 10 minutes.

Similar Gluten Free recipes you may enjoy:
I will be linking this recipe to Gluten Free Homemaker's Gluten Free Wednesday

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Week of June 7th, 2010

I have fallen behind lately.  My sister's little girl was sick and at Saint Jude hospital allot.  Her need to be there is new and it was a whirl wind for all of us.  I have not made ahead my foods, have not planned ahead my meals like I usually do.  Upon shopping for food on Thursdays I'm usually just getting the odds and ends I need to complete the meal plus whatever is on sale for the week after.  I usually have a plan for that week after as well.  Or at least an idea.  Plus now I have lunches to add to the mix.  Thankfully I did make ahead the breakfasts already.  Every day we have planned a free "activity" from our local community.  The Library has several events though the week, all starting at 10 am.  The kids will enhance their Taekwondo, sign language, crafty skills, hear stories.  There will be summer camps to attend (cub scouts, science).  We will visit the local pool and even venture out to Memphis for the larger museums and activities.  This all means we need lunch plans.  My kids love lunchables.  I love making everything myself.  So I'm taking a page from my friend Heidi and saving the tray.  When lunch meats go on sale thats when I know its time to make my own lunchable.  We will add Ham that will be cut into little circles, marble kraft cheese slices, gluten free crackers, cookies, and the final item may be yogurt, apple sauce, jello, pudding.  Least we not forget the fruit.  Thats where my frozen fruit idea below is for.  I learned of this from Home Joys.  Love that blog.  Have you seen it yet?

  1. Frozen Fruit Cups
  2. Gluten Free Rice a Roni Kits
  3. Gluten Free Jiffy Cornbread Mix

We sat around the table the kids and I and came up with a menu plan that they PROMISED to eat.  Here it is:

B: Sausage and Biscuits (have my own lovely GF recipe for quick dinner rolls)
L: Mini Corn Dogs (using my own GF Jiffy mix and frying them)
D: Oatmeal/Parmesan coated Chicken Cutlets, Mashed Potatoes, Veggie

B: Breakfast Burrito
L: Chicken Nuggets
D: Grilled Steak, Baked Potato, Cream Spinach

B: Muffins/Yogurt
L: Lunchables (church)
D: Grilled Pork Loin

B: fruit/Yogurt/Granola Fruit and Yogurt Parfet
L: Pizza
D: Macaroni Dinner (I'll make GF Elbows and add cheese, veggies and chicken)
B: Egg Breakfast
L: Macaroni and Cheese with little Chicken Drummies
D: Taco Dinner

B: Waffles
L: Salad
D: Pizza

B: Pancakes
L: Grilled Hamburgers
D: Lasagna

Next Week ~ Cubs Camp Week, we will be packing every day:

B: Sausage and Biscuits (have my own lovely GF recipe for quick dinner rolls)
L: Mini Corn Dogs (making enough from last week for this week)
D: Chicken and Dumplings

B: Breakfast Burrito
L: Chicken Nuggets
D: Grilled Steak, Risotto, Green Beans

B: Muffins/Yogurt
L: Lunchables (church)
D: Grilled Country Style Ribs, Rice, Carrots

B: Fruit/Yogurt/Granola Fruit and Yogurt Parfet
L: Pizza
D: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli
B: Egg Breakfast
L: Macaroni and Cheese with little Chicken Drummies
D: Macaroni Dinner (I'll make GF Elbows and add cheese, veggies and chicken)

B: Waffles
L: Salad
D: Pizza

B: Pancakes
L: Grilled Hamburgers
D: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Fresh Bread, Salad from the Garden


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Storing Lettuce and Cabbage in a Jar.

This year we started our own organic garden.  I'll share this picture from early on this season.  Here where we live in Arkansas, we get to plant very early compared to our family back home who are just getting started.

We have two raised beds and about 7 30 foot long rows.

We are first time gardeners though.  This means we did not think to spread out the planing of each vegetable to harvest at different weeks.  We had 5 heads of lettuce ready to pick all at once.

Just look at this Bibb Lettuce.  Its just GORGEOUS!  There was no way we could use up all that lettuce right  away.  AND THEN I read about this lady!  I found her totally by accident in fact.  She calls it Salad-in-a-jar.  To me, Salad is more than lettuce. But the idea is wonderful.  She shows you a day by day tutorial of the various storage methods and how each item ages.  Clearly the lettuce keeps for a long time (in pictures).

I too have a food saver.  I have not used my food saver in well over a year but it too had the jar attachments.  First I washed and dried the lettuce real good.  This lady suggested using the metal seal with the rubber underneath and placing the food saver vacuum lid on top.  I held the lid down until the vacuum was able to operate on its own.  The contraption did its thing until I heard a snap on the metal lid.  Its done.  I quickly screwed on the ring to keep it sealed.  Voila.

10 days later I uncapped the first of 3 jars.  Totally fresh.  Every bit as fresh as the day I put it in the jar.

Next up, cabbage in the jar.  After all, its cabbage harvesting time for us. Print

Menu Plan Monday: Week of June 1st, 2010

Grilled Brats
Sauteed Garden Fresh Cabbage
Mashed Garden Fresh Potato and Turnip Puree

Crock Pot Sticky Chicken
Corn on the Cob
Home Made Rice a Roni
Fresh Bread Machine Bread

Going to Church if they are having it.
Its been one disaster after another and way too long.

Hot Dogs
Baked Beans


Saturday Lunch:
Zuppa Tuscana
Fresh Bread
Tossed Salad

Sunday Lunch:
Tomato Salad

Sunday Dinner:
Gnocchi with Meat Sauce
Fresh Bread
Salad Print
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