Archive for May, 2010

May
31

Menu Plan May 31

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Hope everyone is enjoying this Memorial Day weekend. We’ve been busy working on projects at home. It feels good to get some things done. Fortunately, we also found a little time to relax and enjoy the warm weather.

This week, Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness is hosting the Gluten Free Menu Swap. Kale is the chosen ingredient for the week. Now I have to admit that I don’t cook with kale. So, I’m no help. I have, however, been tempted by the many recipes I’ve seen posted recently for making kale chips. Maybe I’ll give them a try this week. Visit Gluten Free Goodness to see what she’s cooking with kale this week.

Want to join the Gluten-Free Menu Swap? Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness manages the headquarters of Gluten-Free Menu Swap. There you will find the rules, the current and upcoming schedule, and links to past roundups.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Monday – Baby Back Ribs
My husband is making Alton Brown’s recipe for Baby Back Ribs. We’ll serve them with corn on the cob and Diane’s Spicy Slaw.

Tuesday – Garlic-Thyme Chicken in the Crockpot
Gina posted this recipe last week, and I just had to put it on the menu this week. I love slow-cooker recipes for busy nights. I’ll make some brown rice to serve with it.

Wednesday – Cheeseburgers
Grilling burgers and serving with French fries and a tossed green salad.

Thursday – No-cook Night
We’ll clear out the refrigerator for everyone to choose their own meal.

Friday – Pork Chops
Grilling boneless pork chops and serving with my new favorite summer salad, Tropical Black Bean Salad.

Saturday – Tilapia Parmesan
White fish broiled with a Parmesan sauce. Serving with quinoa with broccoli and mushrooms.

Sunday – Chicken Vindaloo
Serving this spicy dish over leftover rice.

Need more menu ideas?

  • Laura at OrgJunkie.com hosts Menu Plan Monday every week. You’ll find links to hundreds of meal plans (not necessarily gluten-free) there.
  • Or, check out some of my past menu plans.
Categories : Menu Plan
Comments (4)

Earlier this year, while visiting family in Omaha, we celebrated three different birthdays. Both my mom and sister bought gluten-free cakes at the Cupcake Island so we could enjoy their birthday cakes with them. The gluten-free cakes and cupcakes were delicious and decorated perfectly for the occasions. I hadn’t really investigated getting gluten-free cakes from local bakeries in Virginia. But when I came home, I thought I’d see if a local bakery could make a gluten-free cake for my daughter’s birthday. Surprise! Cakes by Happy Eatery in northern Virginia makes gluten-free cakes. Unfortunately, my daughter was having a lot of friends at her party, and the cake large enough to accommodate was going to cost $85-100. I just didn’t think that would fit into my budget. So, I made the cake myself.

I enjoy decorating cakes, but I was short on time this year. Rather than make the cake from scratch, I took the short cuts: Betty Crocker gluten-free cake mixes and frosting. I used four cake mixes. For the bottom layer, I combined two yellow cake mixes and baked them for about 50 minutes in a 9″x 13″ pan. For the top layer I did the same thing with two chocolate cake mixes. I used chocolate frosting between the layers, and vanilla frosting tinted green to cover the top and sides.

Now to decorate. My daughter wanted a Princess and the Frog birthday cake because Tiana is her new favorite princess. I bought the little Princess Tiana dress-up doll set that came with the frogs and firefly to help decorate the cake. That way I could quickly create a swamp and lily pads for the frogs. My daughter was pleased, and I got it done without too much time and drama.

Some of the tools I used to decorate the cake:

Want to purchase a gluten-free cake or cupcakes, instead?
Give these bakeries in the DC/MD/NOVA area a try:

More Notable Links:

  • Don’t forget to visit The Gluten-Free Homemaker this week for the Cake Challenge. Lots of great gluten-free cake recipes are linked up.
  • Celebrate It! is hosting this week’s All Things Family blog carnival with a roundup of summer party and craft ideas.
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May
23

Menu Plan May 24

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This week’s Gluten-Free Menu Swap is being hosted by Wendy at Celiacs in the House. The theme she chose is book-inspired foods. Lately, most of the books I read are the ones I read with my children at bedtime. Hmmm… I seem to recall that Heidi at Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom made a Green Eggs and Ham Quiche earlier this month. Perfect! It’s made with a hash brown crust, and filled with eggs, ham, spinach and cheese. Sounds good to me. Now I just have to convince my kids to try this Dr. Seuss-inspired meal.

Want to join the Gluten-Free Menu Swap? Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness manages the headquarters of Gluten-Free Menu Swap. There you will find the rules, the current and upcoming schedule, and links to past roundups.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Monday – Lemon Basil Shrimp
I’ll use my recipe for Cilantro Lime Shrimp, but substitute lemon and basil for flavor. Serving over rice noodles with steamed asparagus.

Tuesday – Parmesan Chicken Nuggets
Breading chicken with gluten-free bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, and baking in the oven. Serving with French fries and steamed broccoli.

Wednesday – Enchiladas Salsa Verde
Using leftover shredded chicken to make a small pan of enchiladas. Serving with Cilantro Rice.

Thursday – Green Eggs and Ham Quiche
Can’t wait to give this a try.

Friday – Pizza
Using the cheese bread recipe to make a pizza crust. Topping with marinara, mozzarella and basil. Serving with a tossed green salad.

Saturday – Steaks
Grilling steaks and serving with red potato and green bean salad.

Sunday – Leftover Buffet
Clearing out the refrigerator for everyone to choose their own meal.

Need more menu ideas?

  • Laura at OrgJunkie.com hosts Menu Plan Monday every week. You’ll find links to hundreds of meal plans (not necessarily gluten-free) there.
  • Or, check out some of my past menu plans.
Categories : Menu Plan
Comments (4)
May
22

Brownie Pops Flower Bouquet

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My birthday this week didn’t turn out quite like I expected. I was hoping to spend the morning shopping, but instead had a sick child, and ended up keeping both of my kids home from school. But, although cleaning up vomit is not my idea of fun, it ended up being a pretty good day after all. We slept in late and spent the day in our pajamas watching movies, playing lots of games, creating mosaic art projects, and making brownie pops. Since we had the time, I decided to make the brownies into a fun flower bouquet.  I thought they turned out so cute, I might just use the idea for a teacher gift at the end of the year.

Brownie Pops Flower Bouquet

What You’ll Need:

One GF brownie recipe (Try Gluten-Free Girl’s recipe or a mix from the Gluten-Free Pantry or Betty Crocker.)

Wilton Round Brownie Pop Mold

Brownie Pop Sticks

Cupcake Paper Liners or construction paper for the petals

Directions:

  1. Mix the brownie batter according to the package or recipe instructions.
  2. Lightly spray the pan with oil. Then, fill the pan cavities 3/4 full and bake at the recipe/package recommended temperature.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until done.
  4. While the brownies are baking, prepare a vase for the brownie pops. I filled a ceramic vase with floral foam to hold the pops in place. You can cover the foam with tissue paper or wrapping paper to make it look prettier.
  5. Cut the cupcake papers to make flower petals. Fold the paper liner in half twice, and cut the bottom out. You can also do this with construction paper, but the cupcake liners are quick and easy.
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  7. When the brownies are done, gently remove them from the pan and let them cool on a rack.
  8. When the brownies have cooled slightly, slide a pop stick into each of the brownies.
  9. If desired, dip the brownies into melted chocolate or candy and let dry completely before putting on the paper petal ring.
  10. If you’re not dipping the brownies into melted candy, simply slide the paper petal ring over the brownie pop and slide a pop stick into one side of the brownies. The stick will help keep the petals in place.
  11. I made 16 brownie pops with one brownie recipe.

Additional Notes:

You can really use your imagination to come up with more ideas on this one.

  • I cut the edges of the paper liners on some of these to make more-defined flower petals. You could also cut petals out of construction paper or wrapping paper for brighter colors.
  • You can dip the brownie pops into a variety of colored candy melts, for a more vibrantly colored flower. Add sprinkles or sugar while the candy is still wet so it sticks.
  • Insert the pop sticks into the brownies at various angles, to give the bouquet some variety.
  • If you don’t have the pop sticks, try Craft Sticks or chop sticks.
  • You can also make these without the sticks. Scallop the edges of the cupcake papers to look like a flower, but don’t cut out the bottom. Then, just place the brownie bites, flat side down, into the cupcake papers. A plate of these brownie flowers would be a great way to offer a treat at a party. And thanks to the papers, no plates or napkins would be needed.
  • These would make a great gift for teacher appreciation, mother’s day, or a flower theme party.

Notable Links:

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May
17

Menu Plan May 17 – Picnic Foods

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menu-swap-009This week’s theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap is Picnic Foods. Perhaps I chose the theme a little too quickly. When I sat down to write about it, I realized that “picnic foods” could mean a lot of different things: a lunch taken to the park, a company barbecue gathering, a potluck at a friend’s backyard, or maybe just some wine, cheese and fruit taken to the concert in the park. So, I guess this week’s theme is open to your own interpretation.

A friend of mine recently started on a gluten-free diet and asked me what I take to barbecues and parties at other people’s houses. So, I guess I’ll address picnic foods as a potluck barbecue.

I almost always bring a dessert item, so my kids won’t be tempted to eat the gluten-filled ones offered. I often make a tray of gluten-free brownies to share, but have to reserve a couple of them so I’m sure we get some. They are usually one of the first desserts to disappear from the table! When I’m in a pinch for time, I’ll use Betty Crocker’s Brownie Mix or The Gluten-Free Pantry’s Chocolate Truffle Brownie Mix. We think both of them are very good.

Salads are a great item to take to a potluck. They are naturally gluten-free, so they’ll be cheaper to make and better accepted by guests who eat gluten. For a large gathering, I might take Potato Salad for a CrowdSeven Layer Salad and Fruit Salad are also great dishes to take. They’re easy to make and usually appreciated by guests. If time is pressing, you can always pick up fruit and vegetable trays at the grocery store. And don’t forget about watermelon! Slices of watermelon are always a popular item at a picnic. I’ve got even more salads in our menu this week.

Celiac Family’s menu this week:

MondayTilapia Parmesan
Tilapia broiled with a Parmesan sauce and served with brown rice and asparagus.

Tuesday – Grilled Chicken Breasts
Chicken breasts lightly seasoned and grilled. Serving with Red Potato and Green Bean Salad.

Wednesday – Chicken Sausages
We really enjoyed the Al Fresco chicken sausages last week. So, we’re having them again this week and serving them with Corn and Black Bean Salad.

Thursday – Baked Salmon
Baking salmon with a balsamic glaze. Serving it with leftover brown rice and Fuit Kabobs.

Friday – No-cook Night
No cooking for me tonight, just leftovers.

Saturday – P.F. Chang’s
I’m hoping to try some of PF Chang’s new gluten-free menu items.

Sunday – Pork Chops
Grilling pork chops and serving with Spicy Slaw.

Here’s what some other gluten-free friends are planning this week:

Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness is headed to the mountains. So, her menu this week has food items that are portable and don’t easily spoil. Sounds perfect for picnic foods.  And check out all the food she made for a cookout a couple years ago.

Renee from Beyond Rice and Tofu is joining us this week with menu items that would work out great at a picnic. The Spicy Ginger Noodles sounds like a salad I need to try. And a taco salad is always welcome at our house, though it’s usually how we use up our leftovers.

At Celiacs in the House, Wendy has a wonderful menu planned this week that starts with Fish Tacos and a Cilantro and Lime Coleslaw. That coleslaw sounds perfect for a picnic. She also has a Southwest Quinoa/Brown Rice Couscous Salad that got my attention. Wendy is hosting the Menu Swap next week with the theme of Book-Inspired Foods. I’ll have to think about that this week and see what I can come up with.

Angela at Angela’s Kitchen got a late start with her menu plan this week. But she had a good reason: a last-minute request for her to teach a gluten-free class. She made gluten-free/dairy-free brownie ice cream sandwiches? Yum! Angela has quite a few ideas for portable foods suitable for a picnic, including Hummus and Quinoa Tabouli, Stromboli, and Cucumber cups. Check out her full menu for even more great menu ideas.

Need more menu ideas?

  • Laura at OrgJunkie.com hosts Menu Plan Monday every week. You’ll find links to hundreds of meal plans (not necessarily gluten-free) there.
  • Or, check out some of my past menu plans.

Want to join Gluten-Free Menu Swap?

Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness manages the headquarters of Gluten-Free Menu Swap. There you will find the rules, the current and upcoming schedule, and links to past roundups. For this week, email the link of your gluten-free menu to me at celiacfamily[at]gmail[dot]com.

Categories : Menu Plan
Comments (6)