Archive for September, 2010


Menu Plan September 27

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Last week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap was derailed by a sick family. Hope they’re all feeling better soon. Since we didn’t actually have a roundup last week, I thought I’d list the ideas shared for yummy apple recipes: Wendy made Curried Apple Chutney, Cheryl was planning to make Apple Squares, Michelle posted a recipe for an Apple Spice Cake, and Scrumptious shared a recipe for a vegan Apple Upside-Down Cake.

So that’s last week’s yummy apple theme, but this week the theme ingredient is Pears! My kids like apples, but they loooove pears. I suspect that they like them so much because I don’t buy them as often. I don’t like to buy them when they’re green, so I often wait until they’re in season. Of course, when they are in season, I don’t think about cooking them. I just want to eat them with all their sweet juicy goodness. So this week, they will be sliced and in my kids’ lunches and/or snacks. But I’m also hoping to bake them for a change. I saw this recipe for Baked Pears with Gingersnap Crumbs at Eating Well that looks interesting. I actually have some Mi-Del Gluten-Free Ginger Snaps in my pantry, so this seems like a great opportunity to use them up. For more ideas of using pears in your gluten-free meals, visit Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness this week for the roundup.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

MondayEasy Garlic Shrimp Pasta
I love this quick and easy recipe. Shrimp is quickly cooked over the stove with butter, olive oil and garlic, then served over rice noodles. I’ll serve it with steamed asparagus.

TuesdayPork Chops
I’ll grill some boneless pork chops simply seasoned with salt and pepper. Serving with baked pears and a tossed green salad.

Wednesday – Cheeseburgers
Grilling burgers and serving with tater tots and steamed broccoli.

ThursdayLeftover buffet

Friday – Fish Fry
I’ll cut up some pieces of tilapia and salmon, coat them with a cornmeal mix, and fry them until golden. I’ll serve it with some coleslaw and corn on the cob.

Saturday – Flank Steak
This is a frequent request from my kids. The meat always comes out so tender, and the kids love the flavor of the marinade. I’m hoping to get my husband to make his famous mashed potatoes to serve with it.

Sunday – Egg and Hashbrown Casserole
I love having these leftovers to eat for breakfast the following week.

Need more menu ideas?

  • Laura at 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.
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Menu Plan September 20

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The busy activities continue at our house. I’m keeping some quick meals on the menu again this week, but hope to find time later in the week to try some new recipes.

Join us at the Gluten-Free Menu Swap. This week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap is being hosted at Chickiepea’s Blog with Apples as the theme ingredient.

It certainly is the season for buying crisp, juicy apples. And with apples being so plentiful right now, I’m a little surprised that I don’t have apples on my menu. I guess we’ve been eating so many raw with lunch and snacks, that I don’t have any left for using in other ways. I may need to revisit my menu and think about adding in baked apples, or some other apple treat. Find other gluten-free menus and apple food ideas this week at Chickiepea’s Blog: Eating for Autoimmune Health.

The rules, the current and upcoming schedule for the Gluten Free Menu Swap, and links to past roundups can be found at the Gluten-Free Menu Swap Headquarters managed by Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Monday – Chicken Taquitos
Using slow-cooked shredded Mexican chicken to roll up in corn tortillas to make taquitos. Serving with Cilantro Rice.

I’m pulling out Glutino’s frozen cheese pizzas. We’ll add our own favorite toppings: pepperoni, mushrooms, sliced black olives, etc. Serving with a tossed green salad.

Wednesday – Beef Kabobs
Grilling cubes of marinated sirloin, with mushrooms, onions, and peppers. Serving with quinoa.

ThursdayChicken Tenderloins
Another quick frozen meal. My kids love Bell & Evans gluten-free Chicken Tenders. I keep it in the freezer for nights when I have babysitters (or busy nights). Serving with corn and green beans.

Friday – Baked Salmon with Dill
A simple, yet flavorful, meal of salmon with fresh dill and lemon juice. Serving with leftover quinoa and asparagus.

Saturday – Leftovers
A buffet of everything left in the refrigerator. If I have any energy left from our busy week, I’ll bake Lauren’s Maple Date Squares posted at Celiac Teen.

Sunday – Sweet and Sour Pork
Hoping to have the time to try this recipe for Sweet and Sour Pork at Simply…Gluten Free.

Need more menu ideas?

  • Laura at 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.
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Hot Wheels Birthday Cake

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It was such a busy summer that I never got around to sharing this birthday cake idea with you. My son loves Hot Wheels! His love of cars started at a very early age, and by the time he was three years old could tell me which cars were Hot Wheels as opposed to any other brand of toy car. I created a Hot Wheels monster truck cake for him when he turned 5, so I wasn’t expecting to make another Hot Wheels cake for him this year. But, two days before his birthday, he insisted on a Hot Wheels cake. And not just a Hot Wheels cake, but a Hot Wheels race track cake. Huh? Has he been watching Ace of Cakes when I wasn’t around? I loved the creative challenge, but with only two days to figure it out, I figured he’d have to accept whatever I could come up with.

I started going through his Hot Wheels tracks for ideas. I found a fun little track that I thought would be fun to incorporate with it. But, I couldn’t remove all the track pieces from the base and support structure. As I discussed the idea with my husband, he suggested that we just use the regular flexible Hot Wheels track pieces to make our own race track. Well, they seemed a little big for it, but he convinced me he could make a support structure for it. OK. But to be a Hot Wheels track it has to have a loop, right? And wouldn’t it be fun if it went through a tunnel in the cake? So, that’s how the thoughts flowed to come up with this idea. Crazy, I know. But the kids loved it!

I didn’t get pictures of the building process. I was too busy trying to figure out what to do to stop and take a picture. And, I’m really sorry I never got a video of it working. We had to enlarge the tunnel a little, and find the right, low-profile car to make it through the tunnel. The kids at the party all enjoyed giving it a try before we cut the cake. It worked most of the time, though the car got stuck in the frosting a couple times.

More specifics:

I baked two round 9″ cakes. I used Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cake Mixes and followed the baking directions.

I made Wilton’s recipe for Chocolate Buttercream Icing, and used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa to make it almost black (and deliciously chocolate :P).

For the bottom layer cake, I cut a path for the tunnel 3/4 of the way through the middle. (At this point, it looks almost like the letter U.) Then, I frosted the top and inside the tunnel.

For the top layer cake, I cut out another path for the tunnel. Then, I placed the cake on top of the bottom layer. I had to make some adjustments for the tunnel, by cutting a little more here and there so that the cake becomes like a ramp down the middle. After testing it with the track, I frosted the top, sides and inside the tunnel.

For the side of the cake, I tried to keep the decoration simple. I used a plastic chop stick to make indentions along the side of the frosted cake to resemble tire tread.

For the flames: I used simple icing made with powdered sugar and water. (I start with 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp water and adjust as necessary.) Then I separated it into three small bowls and used food dye to create red, orange and yellow frosting. I used Wilton’s small round #3 decorating tip to outline the flames. Then, filled in with the different colors as shown in the picture. I used a small knife to spread the frosting to fill in the flames.

For the support of the track, my husband used a yard stick and a dowel rod secured with a nail. The track and clamp are all Hot Wheels pieces I drug out of the toy bin at home. The track had to be high enough to make the loop successfully. It also needed a little support in the middle of the track, so we used a straw taped to the underside of the track and top of the yard stick.

More Great Birthday Cake Ideas:

I’m also linking this post to Gluten-Free Wednesdays at The Gluten-Free Homemaker, where you’ll find lots of wonderful gluten-free recipes, reviews and ideas.


Menu Plan September 13 – Beans

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menu-swap-009We made it through our first week of school without too much trouble, but we were tired from all the excitement of the new bus schedule, classrooms, activities, and friends. Now this week, we start all the after-school activities. I guess that means we’ll be even more pressed for time and energy.

I think beans seem like a perfect food to combat the weariness. They’re quick and easy to prepare, and the additional protein it adds to our meals will help us charge through our week. (I hope!) I’m hosting the Gluten Free Menu Swap this week, so make sure to check below for what other gluten-free bloggers are preparing this week with beans.

Celiac Family’s menu this week:

MondaySouthwest Chicken Salad
A green salad of lettuce, spinach, and cilantro will be topped with Slow-cooked Mexican Chicken, Corn and Black Bean Salad, black olives, shredded cheese, and salsa.

Tuesday – Chili
Making a traditional tomato-based chili with ground beef and kidney beans. Serving with gluten-free cornbread.

Wednesday – Red Beans and Rice
Kidney beans, andouille sausage, onion, etc. served over rice.

Thursday – Leftover Buffet
Everyone gets to choose their own meal from the leftovers in the frig.

Friday – Tilapia Parmesan
Tilapia broiled in the oven with a Parmesan sauce. Serving with asparagus.

Saturday – Pork Chops with Black Beans
Boneless pork chops pan-fried with black beans and salsa. Topped with a little cilantro and served with quinoa.

Sunday – Cheeseburgers
Grilling burgers and serving with French fries and peas.


Here is what other gluten-free friends are planning this week:

It sounds like a busy week (month?) at Gluten Free Goodness, too! Cheryl shares several wonderful bean recipes this week, including links to her Chickpea Crackers and a Chocolate Fudgy Frosting. You’ll also want to check out her Nightshade Skillet meal, Red Lentil Dal, and more on her menu this week.

Lisa at Extraordinary Life has a busy Monday (’tis the season, I guess), and is serving tacos with refried beans for a quick and easy meal. She also has Pork Chop Suey, Mac & Cheese, and Pizza on the menu. Stop by her site to check out the full menu and wish her a Happy Birthday!

This week’s menu at In My Box has lots of yummy meals to choose from: Sloppy-style sushi, Pear Salad with candied walnuts, and Tommy’s Tofu Tikka Masala. For beans, Scrumptious eats refried beans with breakfast quesadillas, and enjoys Tangy Red Lentils. You’ll also want to review the previous roundup of bean recipes at In My Box, where different types of beans are explored.

Renee shares her recipes for Italian White Beans and Polenta, Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers and Three Bean Tacos at Beyond Rice and Tofu. But for this week’s menu, Renee is planning on Spicy Tofu and Vegetables with Spicy Cucumber Salad, homemade Tamales, and Mattar Paneer. She’s also planning a road trip soon, so let her know if you have any good ideas for gluten-free food to take on a road trip.

Need more menu ideas?

  • Laura at 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.

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Menu Plan September 6

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It’s Back to School for us this week. As such, I prepared a packet of information to give to the kids’ teachers to help them understand what a gluten-free diet means, and how my kids can stay gluten free at school.  In the packet, I included the following:

We certainly have a lot of new things to manage this year: A new schedule, new teachers, new after-school activities, new volunteer activities, etc. So, I’m trying to keep the meals easy and familiar this week to ease into our transition.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

MondayParmesan Chicken Nuggets
Starting the week with the kids’ favorite. Bite-size chicken pieces coated with Parmesan and GF bread crumbs, then baked until crispy. I’ll serve it with French fries and steamed broccoli.

TuesdayBaked Salmon with Dill
A quick and easy recipe for preparing a tasty salmon meal. Serving with roasted asparagus and brown rice.

Wednesday – Grilled Chicken
Lightly seasoned chicken breasts grilled and topped with a slice of cheese and a slice of avocado. Serving with fruit kabobs and rice.

Making pizza using the
cheese bread recipe for the crust. Then, keeping it simple with pepperoni and mozzarella. I’ll make a tossed green salad to serve with it.

Friday – Pigs in a Blanket
Wrapping hot dogs in a GF bread dough, then baking until golden brown. I’ll serve it with Corn and Black Bean Salad.

Saturday – Leftover Buffet
Cleaning out the refrigerator to let everyone choose their own meal.

Sunday – Eating Out

Need more menu ideas?

  • Join us at the Gluten-Free Menu Swap. Michelle at Gluten Free: A Reason 2 Smile is hosting this week, with peaches as the theme. I don’t have peaches in the menu this week, but I expect the yummy fresh fruit will find its way into our school snacks and lunches this week. I also like to add canned peaches to my Quinoa Indian Chicken dish.
    To find more ideas for using peaches in your gluten-free menus this week, visit Gluten Free: A Reason 2 Smile. The rules, the current and upcoming schedule, and links to past roundups can be found at the Gluten-Free Menu Swap Headquarters at Gluten Free Goodness. I’ll be hosting next week with beans as the theme ingredient.
  • .

  • Laura at 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.
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