Sunday, December 28, 2014

This week's Menu

It's supposed to be a cold, rainy week and my work schedule is all weird to cover shifts of coworkers who took vacation days. That means: crock pot!

Monday- Vegetable soup
Tuesday- Pork loin and wine with herb gravy. In the crock pot.
Wednesday- Beef stew. In the crock pot. Before heading out to drink champagne with my sister and hope we stay up until Midnight.
Thursday- New Year's Day! Egg rolls with cabbage. This was a tradition for a few years when I was a child. Bringing it back. Going to try them with these GF wrappers.
Friday- Whatever leftovers I feel like eating b/c it will just be me for dinner.

We went to the store today and got a ton of food. Restocking the pantry, lots of veggies, etc. So there will be a vegetable with every meal, I just don't know what will go where.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

This week's menu

It's Christmas week! In an effort to not go to the grocery store today, here's the menu for the week/ next 2 days:

Monday- Christmas light looking hayrides- Grilled ribs and sausage with steamed mixed veggies
Tuesday- Previously frozen chicken pot pies with a biscuit crust
Wednesday- Christmas Eve at my family's
Thursday- Christmas Day at his family's
Friday- Visiting his family out of town- planning to fry a turkey!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

This week's menu

Here's what we got on the menu this week:

Monday- Grilled chicken with beans and carrots
Tuesday- Spinach artichoke pizza (made the GF crust today)
Wednesday- Shrimp scampi with peas
Thursday- Turkey meatballs (smashed chex instead of bread crumbs) with mashed potatoes
Friday- Broccoli cheese soup

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Gingerbread houses

Decorating gingerbread houses has become somewhat of a yearly tradition between a few of my friends.

That's all fine and dandy, until you realize that they do not make gluten free gingerbread house kits. (To my knowledge...). Which means the options include not participating, sucking it up and building a gluteny house, getting creative with rice krispie treats, or making your own from scratch.

Guess which one I did this year? You betcha. From scratch. I've done it before and it's not hard, it just takes a bit extra time.

Here is the template I came up with:

[To print, Right-click and Save the image. It should print in normal dimensions once you open it up]

Here is the recipe I used. It's really good because the cookies don't puff up or spread, plus they still taste good.

Gingerbread Cookie House
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. lightly packed brown sugar
3 T. molasses (that's all that was left in the jar!)
1 egg
2 1/4 cups GF Flour Blend
1/2 T. ginger and cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. nutmeg and cloves

Preheat the oven to 350.
Beat the butter & sugar until it looks incorporated. Beat in the egg and molasses.
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix in slowly. Once it's all mixed up, get in there with your hands and form it into a ball. Place the bowl in the freezer while you clean up and prepare the space for rolling out the dough.

I prefer to tape waxed paper to the countertop, and dust with flour. A flour sifter provides a perfect thin distribution of flour for rolling stuff out.

Roll the dough out to desired thickness. Place the template on the dough and cut out 2 of each shape. If desired, cut a door and windows.

Place on a greased (taking no chances here) cookie sheet and bake until they are sturdy. This depends on thickness, but they will be browned on the edges. You don't want a soft cookie, but check them to make sure they don't burn! (That can happen when you're singing along to Anne Murray's Christmas album and not paying attention) Carefully remove them from the sheet to a cooling rack.

This recipe makes enough for 2 smallish houses.

Assemble with royal icing (I like Alton Brown's. Instead of 3oz I use 3 egg whites)
Decorate to your heart's content with GF candies:

Sunday, December 7, 2014

This week's Menu

I don't even care that you can't read the menu. I love that it's so festive. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, bit by bit!

I'm trying a few new recipes this week, converting them to GF. We'll see how that goes.
Obviously we still have some sweet potatoes left to eat.
Will probably wind up grilling the fish instead of baking it.

Monday- Chicken nuggets with sweet potato fries and green beans
Tuesday- Parmesan fish and broccoli
Wednesday- Pot pie cupcakes- Convert to GF!
Thursday- Vegetable soup and grilled cheese
Friday- Spinach artichoke pizza- Convert to GF!

It's supposed to be a beautiful week, and we've got a gingerbread house party to go to on Saturday, so I'll probably be making gingerbread!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

This week's Menu

Since last week we pretty much ate whatever needed to be eaten to clean out the fridge in preparation for Thanksgiving, it wasn't much of a menu.

After three days of turkey leftovers, we're back into the swing of things. It was really hard to get inspiration so I just added in some standbys.

Monday- Mushroom chicken with rice and broccoli. (Literally just chicken breasts + a can of Progresso GF mushroom soup in a crock pot. Lazy but effective.)
Tuesday- Beef stew + cornbread (I can't believe I've never posted beef stew. That'll be fixed)
Wednesday- Sweet potato and black bean enchiladas
Thursday- Chicken nuggets + french fries + green beans
Friday- Baked parmesan fish + sauteed sweet potato

Can you tell we have a whole bag sweet potatoes left over? Hey, they were on sale!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Pumpkin swirl cheesecake

Happy Thanksgiving!

I've got dinner to cook so let's just jump right into this:

Make cheesecake. Swirl in some pumpkin. Simple but looks like you worked really hard.

1/2 c. GF flour
1/4 c. butter, melted

Mix together, and press into pie pan.


8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. greek yogurt
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
dash of salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1 1/4 t. [Pumpkin pie spice:]
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. ginger
  • 1/8 t. nutmeg
  • 1/8 t. cloves

With a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and yogurt until well-incorporated. Beat in sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the eggs one at a time until they're just mixed in. (Apparently over-mixing eggs can lead to cracking.)

Pour half of the mixture into the pan. Mix the pumpkin and spices into the other half.
Drop the pumpkin mixture into the pan at random. Globs are okay.

Swirl with a knife and bake at 325 for around 1 hr, until the middle looks set. Chill in the fridge before serving.

-Or, make Pumpkin Pie!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Clever leftovers: Pork Stir Fry

Here's the thing about leftovers. 99% of the time they become the next day's lunch. Which is great because I always have a great lunch. When it comes time to eat them again for dinner the next night, though, I'm pretty over it.

I try to make sure things get eaten quickly because although I follow the rule "When in doubt, throw it out," I hate to throw food away. It's a delicate balance.

Reasons why I'm always trying to re-invent leftovers...

This time it's leftover pork loin. The easiest way for me to change it up is to make a stir fry.


leftover pork
assorted veggies: Peas, carrot, broccoli (whatever you've got that needs to be used up!)
sesame oil
GF soy sauce
ground or fresh ginger
sesame seeds

Heat the oil in a skillet and add the veggies. Sautee those until they're warmed. Add in the pork, and season with soy sauce and ginger. I do this by taste, depending on the seasonings that are already on the pork. The soy sauce flavor usually dominates, and the sesame oil gives it a little more authenticity as opposed to "I tried to make leftovers into a stir fry."

When everything is all nice and heated, serve over rice and top with a few sesame seeds.

This was one of those meals that when we sat down, hubs complimented me on my ability to make what he calls, "Scrap Meals."


Sunday, November 16, 2014

This week's menu

Monday- Roasted pork loin, peas, sauteed sweet potato
Tuesday- Grilled sausage and roasted veggies
Wednesday- it's our 2-year wedding anniversary and I'm not cooking!
Thursday- Chicken with rice and veggies
Friday- Tuna melts with chips and salsa

Sunday, November 9, 2014

This week's menu

For your inspiration! Another brand new menu- My appetite has definitely made a comeback and I'm cooking more.

Mon- BBQ ribs, green beans, and mac n cheese
Tues- Crock pot beef, mashed potatoes, carrots
Wed- Vegetable soup, cornbread
Thurs- Roasted pork loin, peas, sauteed sweet potato
Fri- Baked parmesan fish, mixed veggies, mac n cheese [P.S. if you cook the fish, grease the pan really well!]

We're supposed to get a massive cold front on Wednesday. I'm hoping this is a good week. I got a bunch of new clothes and a new dog this weekend, so it's primed!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

yummy recipe

Just so you know, Sage & Browned Butter Ravioli was really good. Like, restaurant good. The flavors really were delicious. I mean, how can you go wrong with butter and sage and parmesan??

So simple. [well... if you've already made your ravioli or picked some up at the store]

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Clever leftovers: Chicken Tortilla Soup

We've got some more leftover roast chicken. I already made Chicken Pot Pie. You know what that means! Time to get creative!

This edition of Clever Leftovers involves chicken tortilla soup. Not just any chicken tortilla soup-- really quick chicken tortilla soup. Like, came home from work late and it's cold and rainy and everyone is hungry quick.

Put a big pot on the stove. Throw in the pot approximately:

2 cups leftover chicken
1 c. frozen corn
1/2 jar salsa (1 c)
2 c. chicken broth
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. garlic powder
crushed tortilla chips

These are all approximate amounts, as almost all leftover-type recipes are. Throw in whatever you've got that you think will taste good.

Let it warm up, then serve with a dollop of sour cream and more tortilla chips.

Makes appx 4 servings.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

This week's Menu

For the first time [I think] ever...
We made and ate everything on last week's menu. So this week = brand new menu!

Here's what we got:

Mon- Grilled steaks, baked potato (Hubs request)
Tues- Spaghetti with ground turkey, garlic bread
Wed- Chicken and corn chili
Thurs- Broccoli and mushroom mac and cheese (Just make mac and cheese and add in whatever you like!)
Fri- Sage and browned butter ravioli - Link to recipe here

  • I bought a bunch of vegetables yesterday- they'll be added to meals- just not sure which will go where. 
  • Also. I accidentally planned two meatless days. Sweet. 
  • I might not make these meals in this exact order, since it's 2 meatless days back-to-back.
  • Not to mention that's 3 pasta days... Might make the mac and cheese a "cheesy brown rice" type of dish instead.

On that note, I'll be making a big batch of the ravioli today and freezing it because there's no way I'm making it after work.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Pumpkin Waffles

I had the BEST breakfast this morning.

October may be over, but thankfully the pumpkin season is still in full swing. We've got at least another full month of shameless pumpkin-eating over here.

My husband made fun of me for how much I loved these waffles. --Then he asked for another one. They taste like pumpkin pie, but in a warmer way. Perfect for this wonderfully chilly morning.

Pumpkin Waffles

Mix in a bowl:
1 c. flour mix
1/2 T. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2 T. sugar
[Pumpkin pie spice:]
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
1/8 t. nutmeg
1/8 t. cloves

Measure 3/4 c. milk in a glass measuring cup. Add in:
1/3 c. pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 T. oil
Mix with a whisk.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to make the batter.

Pour ~1/2 c. of batter into a greased, preheated waffle iron and cook for a few minutes- I check to see if they're done when the steaming has calmed down.

Top with syrup and a dollup of whipped cream.

Makes 5-6 waffles.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cheese ball

I tried making a cheese ball the other day for a gathering. (It's on the left-hand side in the photo; no time to worry about cheese ball pictures during a gathering!)

Turns out, cheese balls are really easy. All you need is cream cheese for a base, then mix in whatever cheese, spices, etc. you want. I thought about adding dried cranberries and walnuts, but figured the first attempt should be basic. And I didn't have cranberries and I didn't want to dig the walnuts out of the freezer. Anyway, the possibilities are endless.

Basic Cheese Ball
8 oz softened cream cheese
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar
1 c. shredded mozarella
1/8 t. garlic salt
1/4 c. parsley leaves, finely chopped

Sprinkled with: paprika, nutmeg

Mix all of the ingredients together using a hand mixer. When it's all good and incorporated, shape it into a ball. Place it on a plate. Sprinkle with paprika and nutmeg to give the outside some color. Serve with GF crackers. Done.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

This Week's Menu

...for your inspiration.

We had dinner with friends a couple of times last week, so several meals got rolled over to this week. Makes for an easy menu this week, especially since Chris requested red beans and rice, and Ashley offered to cook on Thursday.

Mon- Red beans and rice with sausage
Tues- Rotisserie chicken and glazed carrots
Wed- Veggie pizzas
Thurs- Dinner at Ashley's! (it's just a bunch of hocus pocus)
Fri- Chicken pot pie... and candy.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

This Week's Menu

We had very little variation in the menu for a few weeks because I wasn't feeling that great and nothing got made. Chris lived on sandwiches for a while and when I made tuna melts he pointed out that it was still, in fact, a sandwich. The horror!

However, the appetite is coming back and we have food again!
PS. Since I am a woman of childbearing age, any change in appetite is immediately met with an eyebrow raise and a question about the state of my uterus. I have digestive issues, folks. This is a blog born straight out of that particular necessity. Not pregnant, for the record. Also good news, I can drink again, yay!

Anyway, food!

Mon- Crock Pot Pork and mashed potatoes
Tues- Cajun shrimp and rice with roasted veggies
Wed- Rotisserie Chicken (In the crock pot!) with glazed carrots
Thurs- Veggie pizzas
Fri- Chicken Pot Pie

P.S. This Balsamic Mushroom Chicken recipe was on last week's menu and it was fantastic.

Monday, October 6, 2014

This week's menu

Mon- Crock Pot Pork Loin + Mashed Potatoes + Mixed Veggies
(remember the soy sauce should be GF and I'll use wine in place of the chicken broth)
Tues- Burgers + jalapeno poppers + pasta salad. Except I just remembered it's National Night Out so we will prob eat over at a neighbor's.
Wed- Basalmic chicken and mushrooms with carrots
Thurs- Tuna Melts
Fri- Cajun shrimp kabobs + roasted veggies

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

I made these because Hubs got cinnamon rolls this morning and I didn't want to feel left out, but I didn't feel like going through the process of making actual cinnamon rolls. Or Waffles.

All it takes is a small variation of a basic muffin recipe to get that same taste.

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

1 c. GF flour mix
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. ground cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. milk
2 T. light olive oil (or melted butter)
1/2 t. vanilla

1/3 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon.
In another bowl, mix the eggs, milk, and oil.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Pour the batter into muffin pans- with muffin liners or without; if not make sure you grease.
Sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugar topping.

Bake 20-25 minutes.
Let them cool.
If you're feeling the sugary need, top with cream cheese frosting. (I used store-bought this time but there's a recipe on the Waffles link.)

Makes 6 muffins. Or cupcakes?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weekly Menu

For your inspiration!

Monday- Salami and cream cheese sandwiches (GF Wrap for me) + carrot and cucumber sticks
Tuesday- Turkey meatballs (smashed GF crackers instead of bread crumbs) + baked tomatoes
Wednesday- Pot roast + sauteed sweet potato
Thursday- Spinach artichoke pasta + broccoli
Friday- Cajun shrimp kabobs + roasted veggies (I forgot we're going camping, so most likely hot dogs and marshmallows...)

Couple pics of GF baking/cooking around here...

 Sunday breakfast. Biscuits did NOT turn out like these, but were tasty anyway.

Peanut butter cookie bonanza. 3 dozen was enough... Maybe.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Gluten free medications, changes in society

Just a quick note/rant about medications... It is incredibly frustrating when you inquire about the gluten status of a particular drug, and all the pharmacist can say is that the manufacturer doesn't provide any information about that. So then a little internet digging pulls up the inactive ingredients list, and that's all we've got. Do your research but take the chance.

Since 'gluten free' has become a trend (Much to my initial annoyance- this is not a trend for me. This is my life), there has been both an increase in awareness, and, unfortunately, misconceptions. One positive result of this trend is an increase of gluten free menus in restaurants, and many new gluten free products. These manufacturers love to jump on that bandwagon, to our benefit-- most of the time.
There are definitely a few downsides to this trend. The worst part of a "gluten free" restaurant menu is that all they have to do is slap a disclaimer on it and suddenly you're not so sure anymore. Or the menu is developed for gluten-sensitive individuals and is not recommended for those with Celiac disease. I'm talking to you, Dominos and a ton of other establishments. At least now food labeling is standardized and regulated. I have to assume that similar standards for other food products are not far behind.

So now what about medications? Many over the counter medications are clearly marked, but how can the manufacturer not provide any information about it?
Honestly though, that used to be the norm when inquiring about many products. I can't tell you how many times I've called the manufacturer only to have the representative tell me they're just not sure. It's frustrating but I could respect that.
Nowadays, with the gluten free frenzy, most companies either know, or have a statement ready to tell you that gluten is possible and it's at my risk.

So yes, the celiac community has seen some progress in society lately that have made our lives a little easier, but we've still got a longgg way to go.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

This week's menu

Whatcha got cookin?

This week:

Mon- Beef + noodle casserole
Tues- Crock pot chicken taquitos
Wed- Shrimp + quinoa and roasted vegetables
Thurs-Spinach artichoke pasta -(meatless)
Fri- Bbq chicken legs

Monday, September 1, 2014

This week's menu

As usual, for your inspiration: This week's menu.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiik6yttttttttttttttttttttt      ...Cat just sat on the keyboard.

Moving on...

Mon- Grilled chicken + corn
Tues- Vegetable soup w/ beans
Wed- Chicken Taquitos
Thurs- Beef Noodle casserole
Fri- Crock pot pork chops w/ rice + broccoli

Been relying heavily on Pinterest lately for inspiration. It's working.
We've also been trying to eat one meatless meal a week, and it's going okay. So far we've tried Black bean tacos, big salads, pizza with veggies, and Vegetable soup.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

This weeks' menu

for your inspiration.

Last week:
This was supposed to go up last Sunday but I started randomly painting my laundry room. 

Mon- Roast Chicken + Cheesy Zucchini Rice
Tues- Turkey Meatloaf + Glazed carrots
Wed- Creamy Italian Chicken Pasta + Brocolli
Thurs- Salads
Fri- Grilled Salmon + Quinoa

We ended up eating at my sister's one day (Dude, Jambalaya...), and out to eat another (Ruggles omg you need to try their gf carrot cake...), but somehow we managed to cook everything on the menu. Except Friday.

This week:

Mon- Chicken Salad
Tues- Pizza + Salads
Wed- Vegetable Soup + Cornbread
Thurs- Crock Pot Pork + Rice and Brocolli
Fri- Grilled Salmon + Rice and Peas

A few notes:
Cheesy Zucchini Rice is really, really good. Literally just mix rice, grated zucchini, and cheese.
We just can't get around to actually making Grilled Salmon. It's been on the menu for like a month.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Clever leftovers: Greek Yogurt

I've got half a container of greek yogurt sitting in my fridge.

I don't know about you, but I go through yogurt phases. Either I eat it every day, or it disgusts me. It serves me right for buying yogurt when I was in no mood for it. Fortunately, I've got a few recipes that will use it up in no time, and it's not even noticeable that greek yogurt is an ingredient.

First up, a couple of tried and true savory options:
Beef Stroganoff.
Baked Ziti

Other ideas:
Use it to thicken/ creamy up a sauce (good in cheese sauce)
Add to mashed potatoes
Add to muffins/ cake
Substitute for "cream of" condensed soups
Throw some in a smoothie
Sub for mayo in (pasta, potato, tuna, chicken, egg) salads


We're done here.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Chocolate Cupcakes (S'more version!)

This morning, during that half-sleep right before I woke up, I started thinking about the extra marshmallows in the pantry, and the graham crackers in the freezer. Leftovers from camping.

Several ideas drifted through my mind, from cheesecake to rice krispie treats, but ultimately, this idea won: S'more Cupcakes.

gluten free s'more chocolate cupcakes

The graham crackers get incorporated into the batter, but still hold their shape and give it that graham cracker flavor. The chocolate cupcake is perfect. Not too intense to overpower the other flavors, but still genuinely there. The marshmallow on top? Well, that steals the show.

S'more Cupcakes

2/3 c. GF Flour Blend
1/3 c. corn starch
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 c. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. cocoa
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. milk

GF graham crackers

Heat the butter and milk in the microwave or on the stovetop. The goal is to get it hot but avoid boiling. If it boils for a second, it's okay. Just don't let it get to a full rolling boil. When it's hot, stir in the cocoa.
Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir in the coca mixture, eggs, and vanilla.

[At this point, don't get any genius ideas and stir mini marshmallows into the batter. Remember, marshmallows expand as they get hot. Your cupcakes will ooze all over the sides of the pan. I learned that the hard way.]

In greased muffin pans, sprinkle about 2 T. graham cracker crumbs/chunks into the bottom of each well. Top with the cupcake batter. Don't stir.

Bake at 350 for about 12-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Place marshmallows on top of each cupcake, and broil until they get melty & browned on the top. WATCH THIS CLOSELY or you will set a marshmallow on fire in your oven. Also learned this the hard way...

The end result? Delicious s'more flavor in a really cute cupcake. Even without the s'more factor, this recipe makes a dynamite chocolate cupcake.

Makes 6.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Blueberry muffins, revisited

Blueberries are on sale in the grocery store. That can only mean one thing: There are blueberries in my fridge that are about to start growing mold.

Enter: Blueberry waffles for breakfast, and Blueberry muffins this afternoon.

gluten free blueberry muffins
gluten free blueberry muffins

I've made blueberry muffins before, using this recipe, but I made them recently and they didn't turn out quite right. Not sweet enough, and too crumbly. This is possibly due to the flour blend I'm using now versus way back then. The curse of the gluten free flours has struck again.
Never fear! I fixed it!

Here's the new version that worked for me, using my preferred flour blend:

Blueberry Muffins

1 c. GF flour mix
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. milk
2 T. light olive oil (or melted butter)
1/2 t. vanilla
1 c. fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried (or more)

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
In another bowl, mix the eggs, milk, and oil.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir in the blueberries.
Pour the batter into muffin pans- with muffin liners or without; if not make sure you grease.
Bake 20-25 minutes. Let them cool (or you'll burn your mouth- speaking from experience here), then enjoy!

Makes 6 muffins.

This Week's Menu

As always, for your inspiration.

Monday- Pork chops + Cheesy zucchini rice
Tuesday- Turkey Wraps
Wednesday- "Man Catching" chicken- going to try it in the crock pot
Thursday- Sausage pasta
Friday- Grilled salmon + glazed carrots

Saturday, August 2, 2014

This Week's Menu

For your inspiration... 2 weeks!

Week 1:

Last Sunday I spent with my sisters and nephew, so there was no time to document the week's menu. Thankfully, I took a picture before my sister wrote inappropriate things all over it, ha.

Monday- Honey Sesame Chicken + mixed vegetables
Tuesday- BBQ ribs + roasted potatoes
Wednesday- Big salads
Thursday- Pork chops + glazed carrots
Friday- Grilled fish
[We had enough leftovers from M-W that we did not get around to making RF's meals]

Week 2:

I have a potato and a zucchini that are looking a little sad, so they must be eaten this week. Plus, leftover toppings in the freezer from pizza night several weeks ago, and sloppy joes just sound good.

Monday- Dinner @ baseball game- Either nachos or a baked potato...
Tuesday- Pizza + salad, or possibly dinner with a friend
Wednesday- Pork chops + cheesy zucchini rice
Thursday- Sloppy joes + potato rounds
Friday- Grilled salmon + glazed carrots
Weekend- Black bean tacos, Turkey wraps

Sunday, July 20, 2014

This Week's Menu

...For your inspiration.

Last week: We never went to the grocery store, and I had a nasty canker sore all week plus last-minute bunco on Thursday, so we just scrounged up some freezer food, heated up soup, etc.

We did make Monday's meal, though, and it was great: Mini Turkey Meatloaf (muffin pan, 375 for 20 minutes) + mashed potatoes.

This week:

Mon- Out to eat with family
Tues- Cheesy Sausage Pasta + mixed veg
Wed- Spaghetti + garlic bread + broccoli
Thurs- Honey Sesame chicken + carrots
Fri- Grilled Fish + brown rice pilaf

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Weekly Menu

For your inspiration!

Speaking of, I've been lacking inspiration lately. I've been cooking the same old versions of the same old things, mostly because the same things have been on sale.

So I've turned to Pinterest and found a few blogs that post weekly menus, just to pull some new stuff into the repertoire. Even though I've never really followed recipes, I have actually printed a few out to try while I'm in my rut.

Last week:

  • Monday- Freezer food. If I ever have those random leftovers that are still good but we're tired of eating, they go into the freezer for those times when an insta-meal is needed. Putting an exclamation point after it obviously makes it more exciting.
  • Tuesday- Roast chicken (In the crock pot), mashed red potatoes and green beans
  • Wednesday- used the chicken leftovers for Chicken Salad Sandwiches
  • Thursday- We ate more chicken. The chili will be moved.
  • Friday- Holiday weekend. That means we go to parties and someone else cooks ;o)
Several of these meals were on the menu a few weeks back, but never got made. They finally got their moment in the sun!

This week:

  • Monday- Baked fish and Ratatouille-ish. Because we have a ton of squash and all of the other ingredients.
  • Tuesday- having friends over for BBQ ribs & Shrimp, with corn on the cob and beans.
  • Wednesday- a friend made this Cheesy Smoked Sausage and posted a picture on facebook, so now it's on my list. I'll convert it to GF, of course.
  • Thursday- Honey Balsamic Chicken. This was straight from a pin. I might try to convert it to a crock pot recipe...
  • Friday- I'm sure we'll have plenty of leftovers.
So there are the eats we'll be eating around here.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Vanilla Pudding "Firework" Cookies

It's the 4th of July. My entire internet is exploding with red, white, and blue.

And so are these cookies!

I was originally inspired by this pin for cookies made with vanilla pudding mix. Interesting concept!
So I tried it, converted it to be gluten free + a couple of other tweaks, and added a ton of red & blue sprinkles to the batter-- plus I sprinkled some on top. 

It makes a very soft, sticky batter. I initially tried to roll these out and bake them in star cutouts, but that was not happening; even after sitting in the freezer. These cookies are just meant to be cookie-shaped.

They taste like a vanilla sugar cookie- thanks to the extra vanilla and pudding mix. I also caught this recipe that uses just peanut butter, an egg, and vanilla pudding mix. Let's try ALL the pudding mix cookie recipes!

But we'll start with this one:

Vanilla Pudding Firework Cookies

1 1/2 cup GF flour mix
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 small pkg instant vanilla pudding (confirm that it's GF!)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy; beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, and vanilla pudding mix in a separate bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet. Stir in sprinkles! 
Place on a cookie sheet in rounded balls; will spread a little. Sprinkle with more... sprinkles.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
Bring as many as you can to a party because otherwise you'll eat them all.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cream Cheese Snickerdoodles

These cookies were born out of necessity. Because I wanted cookies and I ran out of butter.

RAN OUT OF BUTTER?? Yes, I ran out of butter. But I still wanted cookies. Now, the fatty in me would normally just reach for the Crisco and move on with making the cookies. But the other fatty in me happened to catch the cream cheese sitting on the fridge shelf, just next to the empty butter space.

Ding! A light went off. My mom makes a pastry crust that calls for a mixture of cream cheese and butter. What if I substituted cream cheese for the butter? The other fatty in me agreed; it just might work!

So I looked up my sugar cookie recipe and straight up substituted the cream cheese for the butter. Flour went flying, cream cheese got... creamed. Little creamy dumplings were coated in cinnamon sugar. It was beautiful.

They come out of the oven with a crackly cinnamon/sugar coating, but the insides are soft and rich and, well, a little bit creamy. Not like any other cookie I've had before.

Hubs had a couple before asking what I did different. It's a subtle difference from a normal snickerdoodle, but it's there. Dare I say they're a little more elegant-- as elegant as a humble snickerdoodle can be. These would be great for a baby/bridal shower. Or, a random Saturday when the fatties inside of you clamor for cookies.

Gluten Free Cream Cheese Snickerdoodles

2 c. GF flour mix
3/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla

For the outside:
2 T. sugar
1/2 T. cinnamon.

Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Cream the cream cheese & sugar with a hand mixer until it is well-mixed and starts to get a little fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients until you get a cookie dough.

Scoop out little balls of dough and roll them around in a small bowl with the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat the outside.

Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 5-8 minutes. They won't spread much, so flatten to the desired thickness before baking.

Makes close to 2 dozen small cookies.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Clever leftovers: Burger Edition

It's easy to go overboard when grilling. It's like spaghetti; you always end up making enough to end world hunger.

At least, that was the case at our house this weekend. Even after taking burgers to work for lunch the next day, there were STILL burgers in the fridge.

Burger, you were delicious, but I'm tired of eating you.

So today, I made leftover burgers into chili. For CHILI FRITO PIE. Because I had a random craving.

Burgers turned Chili:

-4 Leftover burgers, chopped or crumbled. Cheeseburgers work verrryy well, too.
-1 can of beans
-1 can of tomato sauce
-chili seasonings:
     (This kit is GF, or make your own...)
2 T. chili powder
1 1/2 t. dried oregano
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. ground coriander
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. garlic powder
1 1/2 t. salt

Mix it all up in a pot until it's hot, and serve over Fritos. Yeah!

P.S. Other ideas for leftover burgers:

Spaghetti Sauce

Baked Ziti

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Crock Pot Chicken with Pineapple and Sweet Peppers

I cannot even tell you how much I love crock pots. They are just friggen wonderful.

Here we have chicken legs cooked in the crock pot with some pineapple and sweet peppers. All amounts are relative, and crock pot recipes like this are pretty forgiving. Go nuts.

Pineapple & Sweet Pepper Chicken Legs:

chopped sweet peppers
wine- red or white, 1/4 cup or so, just to keep the chicken moist.
salt & pepper
chicken legs- stand them up with the bony side pointing up.

Set it to low when you leave for work in the morning (or leave a note for hubs), and when you get home you'll have dinner!

Thicken with a bit of corn starch before serving- 1/4 c. water mixed with 1 T. corn starch, then mix that into the crock pot. Oh and please, pick out the bones before you chow down. The meat should just fall right off.

Serve over brown rice with slivered almonds on top and a bit of fresh parsley.