Monday, March 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Week of March 28th, 2011

We are going camping end of this week with Cub Scouts.  Thursday is also my House Party for Philly Cooking Creme.  Camping with a Celiac Child means extra work.  I just realized how beyond busy I have made myself as a result of poor planning.  LOL.

Last week was Spring Break so the kids were home.  In order to keep them occupied while at the super market, I made them in charge of dinner planning and then taking this list they created they were then challenged to find the necessary items in the store.  I helped with directions of course. I think it was a wonderfully positive experience for them. This plan below is what they have decided on.  Don't you just love the cute and simple way they got the message across to me.  I filled in the names of what the pictures were for your convenience.

Chicken Legs, Rice, Green Beans

Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli

Chicken Cutlets, French Fries, Corn on the Cob

House Party: Santa Fe Nachos, Tomato Basil Pizza, Creamy Chicken Florentine, Cheese Cake Cupcakes
Dinner: Leftovers or Tacos

Hot Dogs, Baked Beans, S'mores

Hobo Packet Dinner, S'mores

Mom is cooking! :-)

Thursday: Print

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Simmered Pork Chops in a Brown Gravy Mushroom Sauce

We love Breaded pork chops at our house but the breading process can be so time consuming. This dish is company worthy and so easy to make. I love how hands free this recipe is.  Once the pork is browned and set to simmer you are free to spend time with your family while this masterpiece dish is created.  When the pork is done the juices it leaves behind makes an awesome quick gravy.

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
4 1-inch thick boneless pork chops
1/2 cup Beef Stock
2 teaspoons Rosemary
1 teaspoon Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 onion, roughly chopped
8 ounces sliced Mushrooms
1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Browning Sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon Rice Flour (Or GF Bisquick)

  • Add olive oil to pan and allow to warm up.
  • Add Pork Chops and brown on each side.
  • Add stock, Rosemary, Salt and Pepper and cover.
  • Set on low heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile add Olive Oil and Onion into a medium sauté pan.
  • Cook on medium low until onions start to caramelize.
  • Add garlic and mushrooms. 
  • Cook until mushrooms start to release their liquid.    Adjust seasonings as needed.  I like to add more rosemary and salt but its not necessary.
  • Once pork chops are fork tender, take out of the pan and add to your serving plate.  
  • Add Flour, Soy, Browning Sauce and Worcestershire Sauce.
  • Whisk over medium heat until thickened.  
  • Add vegetable mixture.
  • Pour over Plated Pork.  
  • Serve and enjoy!

I this sauce is outstanding but would also be great with a Tablespoon of Red Wine and Dijon mustard! Print

Monday, March 21, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Week of March 21st, 2011

First and foremost, it is spring break for us this week. Plans are in the works for a zoo trip.

I did not get around to the freezer cooking I had planned on doing.  I plan to at least purchasing the supplies this week.

The boys worked on constructing our Raised Beds this weekend.  Follow THIS link to get a better explanation of what we are up to.  Each year we plan on putting in a row of three 4'x8' beds until our whole entire gardening section is filled in.  This year we also decided to add Row Covers.  There are many ways to doing this, Rebar or Tubing for example.  We decided to anchor 1 1/4" tubing around the beds and insert 3/4 inch flexible tubing for the arches.  We are adding Row Covers for pest management but there are lots of other great reasons to go with Row Covers.  For one we like to start our own plants from seeds indoors.  It is the least expensive way to go about vegetable gardening. Transferring them outside has always been difficult for us and we end up loosing allot of plants this way.  You can start gardening sooner with the protection of a cover.  Speaking of staring plants from seeds, the indoor nursery is doing outstanding!  The flowers and vegetables are taking off.

Chicken Cutlets and mashed potatoes.  I found a Gluten Free Planko style bread crumb at the whole foods market during my last trip.  They really do keep the cutlets covered in a nice crunch and it is great for baked chicken.  Last time split Chicken breasts were on sale I purchased a few packs and pre-breaded them all up ahead of time.
Herbed Sirloin Tip Roast, Parsley Potatoes.  This savory dish is a beautiful combination of the natural gravy the roast creates, red wine and herbs.  I usually serve it for special dinners but lately I have been serving lots of quick meals and thought it was about time I made my family a nice meal.

Breaded Pork Chops, Wild Rice.  Pork chops are another favorite dish of my family.  Not sure exactly what I will do yet though.

Chicken Croquettes.  If you bother making these at all, make up a few dinners worth.  I really think it would be something fun for the kids to help with.  My mother purchases her croquettes from a wonderful Amish store where she lives.  I'm so jealous! LOL.  I will just have to keep working on my own recipe until I get close to what she is able to purchase.

Pasta Dish.  Im not sure what I'll come up with but during Lent, Friday is Pasta day.

Sherry Chicken.  I am going to saute the chicken along with garlic and onion.  Then I will add sherry and cream to make a nice sauce.

White Chicken Chili Print

Friday, March 18, 2011

Gluten Free Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

The idea for this cookie originated from the Gluten Version over at Betty Crocker.  I wanted to see if a cake mix would do in place of the pre-packaged cookie mix.  It did.  The tint is not really necessary but we tinted these cookies green so they would be festive for Saint Patricks Day!  That and the fact that they look and taste JUST LIKE the ice cream.  Man, were they good.  Only two made it though the night from the whole dozen and a half batch.  Now THAT is a good cookie!  I am thinking next time to add some frosting between two cookies to make a sandwich.  The best part is they taste just like a Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie.  Just close your eyes and bite into the cookie and recall just how good they were!  :-)

1 box (15 ounces) Yellow or White Gluten Free Cake Mix
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Instant Jell-O Puidding
1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter or Margarine, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon Mint Extract
7 drops Green Food Color
1 egg
1 cup Creme De Menthe baking chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Like Baking Sheet with Parchment Paper.
  • In bowl of stand mixer, add mix, butter or margarine, extract, food coloring and egg.  
  • Mix until incorporated.  Batter will still be very crumbly.
  • Take bowl off mixer and continue to kneed batter with your hands until mix just starts to stay together on its own.
  • Add baking chips and mix well, again with your hands.
  • Using a tablespoon, drop dough onto parchment paper lined baking sheet 2 inches apart.
  • Flatten balls of dough slightly.
  • Bake for 11-12 minutes or until set.
  • Cool 3 minutes on baking sheet.  


Monday, March 14, 2011

Today is Pi Day (3.14), so she let them eat Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie!

I am most certainly not a mathematician and the only reason I know its Pi day is because my dearest husband told me so!  Any excise I have to make dessert, though, I grab it!

This recipe is a cross between a Martha Stewart recipe and the one I received in my in box today from Pillsbury.


1 3/4 cups chocolate wafer crumbs (one pack of Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with middles removed)
3 Tablespoons Light Olive Oil

Truffle Filling
1/2 cup Whipping Cream
1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Peanut Butter Filling:
1 cup  plus 2 Tablespoons Whipping Cream
1 package (8 ounce) Cream Cheese
1-1/4 cups Peanut Butter
1 cup Powdered Sugar

Melted Peanut Butter
Melted Chocolate or chocolate sauce

To make the crust: Combine chocolate wafers in a food processor and pulse cookies are crumbled.  Stream in oil until crumbs appear most and old together when pressed between two fingers. Press mixture firmly into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate.

Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup whipping cream over medium heat until hot. Remove from heat; stir in 1 cup chocolate chips and the vanilla until smooth. Spread filling in bottom of crust. Refrigerate while working on remaining topping.

Make the filling: in medium bowl, beat 1 cup whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Next, beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in peanut butter.  Add the extra 2 tablespoons of cream to the mixture if it looks too stiff and crumbly.  Fold the whipped cream gently into the cream cheese/peanut butter mixture. Carefully spread over chocolate filling. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. Print

Menu Plan Monday: Week of March 14th, 2011

Another "mini" holiday is upon us.  It is Saint Patricks day on Thursday and I am gearing up for all things Green!  I am going to "borrow" this lovely idea presented by Christy over at Souther Plate and pack my children an all green lunch on Thursday.  I ran all over town looking for Gluten Free green foods and snacks.  I could not find green cellophane, darn-it, so I'll have to do without that.  I did manage to find few Gluten Free green items like: Jello, green berry juice, a package of green only M&M's, Green foil wrapped mint flavored chocolates and a bag of Lays Sour Cream and onion Chips.  I wish I could have found that green apple sauce!

I feel a Freezer Cooking session coming on as well.  I want to stock one of my freezers with pressed hamburgers, meatballs, meatloaves, and pre cooked ground hamburger.  It has been a while since I did this and its long over due!

Thursday evening we will be celebrating in our usual fashion, Pub Style Ham and Cabbage.  My recipe is definitely NOT a traditional one.  That is OK though, I"m not Irish! LOL.  It is more like a cross between Leek Potato Soup meets Ham and Cabbage.  I will also make some of Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies that Betty Crocker is featuring in their latest email of all things Irish.  Ours of course will be Gluten Free. Betty is usually pretty good at posting a Gluten Free version, this time they did not so I'm going to wing it!

And finally, our indoor nursery plants are starting to bloom.  It is a very exciting time for the children.

My husband and I actually have a banquet to go to tonight.  Yay!  My brother will watch the kids. As soon as the children come home from school I'm headed out to Burger King for the children so they can partake in the discount children's meal night ($1.99).  Our BK actually has a dedicated French Fry vat that they are extremely strict with (no bonus onion rings). They also make up my daughter a "crabby patty" especially for her being careful not to cross contaminate (don't you love tiny towns?). It all comes packaged nicely in a plastic container with a lid and they place it nicely inside the "kids meal" bag along with her toy.  She is in kiddy meal heaven!

My intention is to use up that extra taco meat I cooked up last week at Taco Night.  This time I'm using Philly Cooking Cream Santa Fe blend and adding some corn, Peppers and Onions to create a Taco Pasta Dish.  I will serve it with a salad and maybe some fresh baked rolls.  I will also be converting this Baked Lemon Pudding Recipe to be Gluten Free.

I have no idea what is going on at Church this week food wise, Maybe I'll make and take a pizza with us just in case.

Pub Style Ham and Cabbage

Spaghetti and Salad.


TBD Print

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Gluten Free King Cake

We had a celebration last Wednesday at Church in honor of the upcoming Fat Tuesday (today).  In an attempt to copy what was being served for my daughters sake, I came up with my own version of King Cake.  I noticed that the "cake" portion of the wheat filled King Cake was thin and very cake like and was rolled up like a cinnamon bun. I would not say an actual King Cake was exactly like a cinnamon bun though since the cinnamon bun batter ends to be more dense. Considering how sticky Gluten free cake mix is, I don't think there was any way I was going to make it cake-like.  This is what I finally came up with.  It is a nice compromise between the two.  The recipe is not too bread-like, not too cake-like and has lots of cinnamon goodness!
Fresh out of the Oven!
1 cup Warm Water
2 1/4 teaspoons Yeast
3 Egg Whites
2 Tablespoons Oil
2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 cups Flour Blend*
2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoon Vinegar

1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 T Cinnamon

  • Add Warm Water into measuring cup and add yeast.  Allow to sit and fluff up.
  • Meanwhile add eggs to stand mixer with whip attachment.  Whip lightly.
  • Add the Yeast/Water mixture, Oil, Sugar, Flour, Gum, Salt and Vinegar. 
  • Whip on low until fully incorporated, scraping down sides as necessary
  • Spread out a sheet of parchment paper on the counter top (about 14 x 18 piece) and spray with oil.
  • Spread batter out as thinly as possible to form a rectangle.  
  • Evenly distribute Brown Sugar and Cinnamon.
  • If you are adding an additional jelly filling as traditionally found in king cakes add it in a straight "thin" line along long side of roll.  
  • Using parchment roll up jelly roll style starting at jelly lined edge.
  • seal as well as you can and make sure seam side is down.
  • Connect ends together to form a circle.
  • Place on Parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
  • Fully cool and frost with vanilla frosting. 
  • Sprinkle with green/ yellow / purple sugar sprinkles.

My preferred Flour Blend:
4 parts Tapioca Starch
2 parts Brown Rice Flour
1 part Potato Starch

I will be sharing this with:
Slightly Indulgent Tuesday
Gluten Free Wednesdays Print

Monday, March 7, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Week of March 7th, 2011

We have decided that we will continue to grow our own organic vegetables again this year.  We worked on planting the seeds this week.  The four of us started up the indoor nursery that included setting up the indoor table and lighting/heating structure and planting the seeds.  The kids had a blast and I loved getting them outside for a while!

Claire and Mommy were in charge of planting the Flower Bed Seeds.

Franklin and Daddy are planting the Vegetable Garden Seeds.

We also went outside and loosened up the soil in the raised beds and planted the cold hearty seeds out there.  The beds are now covered in a nice layer of organic compost, covered in plastic and wrapped in barb wire.  My husband instructed me to feed the birds now so they do not eat our seeds!  Plans are in the works to make row covers.  Growing the vegetables in the raised beds was such a success that I do not think we will plant in the ground again this year though we are not entirely sure yet.  I personally would just like to keep adding more raised beds.

I cooked a new dish last week, Chicken Tetrazzini.  I am not entirely sure what makes this any different than Chicken Spaghetti ~ lol.  One has Rotel in and the other not?  Anyway, it turned out well and I did not use canned soup so I guess I will be posting that recipe this week.  I also made an attempt at a new biscuit, Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit copycat.  EXTREMELY good, tho ugly looking.  LOL!  Another hit I will get around to posting this week.

And finally...Wednesday starts Lent.  What will you be giving up?  I will be giving up Meat and animal products for breakfast and lunch and entirely on Fridays.

Taco Dinner

Hotdogs, Baked Beans and Corn Bread.

Lenten Stew (vegetarian)

Hamburgers served on Fresh Baked Buns, French Fries, Mixed Veggies

Pizza and Salad

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Chicken Stir Fry and Vegetarian Fried Rice.
I thought I posed this recipe, I guess I did not.  I had better put that on the list. Print

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Gluten Free Muffuletta Sandwich and Gluten Free Muffuletta Bread Recipe

First off, how do you spell this?  Muffuletta or Muffaletta?  What exactly is a Muffuletta anyway? I had to ask myself this question because I never heard of it before.  I needed to figure it out soon because I need a Gluten Free one in under a weeks time.  So I started the way I start out anything....Google Search. In this search I discovered that Muffuletta is the signature sandwich of New Orleans. Wikipedia says that the Muffuletta originated in New Orleans, Louisiana and is a type of round Sicilian type sesame bread that could be compared to a submarine type sandwich.  The bread is made into a large round and somewhat flattened loaf with a sturdy texture and about 10 inches in diameter.  It is described as being somewhat similar to focaccia.  It needed to be sturdy because of the juicy olive spread that is served on it as a sandwich.

OK, that is a good place to start.  I think I can muster up a loaf of this type. My mother is Sicilian after all and I do have one particular recipe that she says is similar to Sicilian bread.

The Muffuletta bread is split and filled with sliced Provolone cheese, Genoa salami and Cappicola ham, topped with Olive Salad that includes olives, oregano, parsley, olive oil, red-wine vinegar, salt and pepper.  Sounds like an Italian hoagie to me.  Either that or a Antipasti served on a roll!  LOL.

OK, so are you ready?  Lets get started.

1/2 teaspoon Vinegar
2 Eggs
3/4 cup Warm Water (110 to 115 degrees)
2 Tablespoons Oil
2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons Yeast
1 cup Tapioca Starch
1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour
1/2 cup Corn Starch
2 Tablespoons Almond Meal
2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum
1 teaspoon Salt
1 Egg (for egg wash)
2 Tablespoons Water (for egg wash)
2-3 Tablespoons of Sesame Seeds
I jar or recipe of Olive Spread Salad
8 ounces thinly sliced Genoa salami
8 ounces thinly sliced cooked ham
8 ounces sliced mortadella
8 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
8 ounces sliced provolone cheese

Preheat oven to 170 degrees and turn off.
Line Pizza pan with Parchment Paper sprayed with oil.

  • Combine Warm Water, Oil, Sugar and Yeast and allow to sit and become fluffy.
  • Meanwhile add eggs and vinegar to your stand mixer with whip attached and beat eggs until light and foamy.
  • Gradually add Flour, Almond Meal, Gum and Salt to mixer bowl until all is incorporated.
  • Next add the fluffy yeast/liquid mixture.  Scrape sides down as needed.
  • Allow to mix on low for a few minutes until the texture of the batter starts to look like whipped cream cheese.
  • Line a flat pizza pan with parchment and generously spray with oil and turn dough out onto pan.
  • With your oiled hands, shape dough into a flat round disk about 9 inches across (it will rise and expand to be about 10").
  • Sprinkle the top of your loaf with 2-3 tablespoons of sesame seeds and lightly press them into the dough.  I Omit this part, my kids would not eat it with sesame's on top.
  • Place shaped loaf into warmed oven to rise for 45 to 60 minutes, until doubled in size.
  • Take dough out of oven from rising and coat with egg wash (egg and water mixed throughly).
  • Place baking stone inside oven and turn Oven on to 350 degrees.
  • Once oven and stone are preheated, gently slide the loaf and parchment over on top of your peel. 
  • Place loaf directly onto hot stone inside oven (you will want the dough/parchment to be directly on the stone).
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes.

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