Archive for December, 2010


Menu Plan December 20

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This week, the theme for the GF Menu Swap is Cookies! As I looked through my online recipe index, I was surprised to find only a few cookie recipes listed. I love cookies and probably bake more than I should, but for some reason haven’t shared them on here. I baked some sugar cookies for my kids this weekend.

I used a new cookie cutter press tool I picked up last week. The Wilton Push N Print Cookie Cutter Set cuts circle shapes, and then presses one of three designs into the cookie. The directions say to use shortbread cookies, but we thought they worked fine for our sugar cookies. The kids helped me cut and press the designs into the cookies. Then, instead of frosting the cookies like it suggests, we added sugar to the designs before baking. I thought they turned out pretty good. Nothing too fancy, but something my 5- and 7-year-old could help decorate. My daughter decided she like them best plain, so we made some without sugar, too.

A couple more cookie ideas for the holidays:

Meringue Cookies: Besides being yummy, the best reason to make meringue cookies is that they are naturally gluten free. They are also very versatile. You can add mini chocolate chips for a light and crispy, chocolaty, chewy treat. For a holiday twist, try adding crushed peppermint candy. Or, load the meringue into a decorator’s bag and try piping it into holiday shapes before baking. Wouldn’t meringue snowmen be fun? If you’re wanting something a little more elegant, try my Raspberry Divinity Tarts.

Candy-filled Cookies: I like to make these fun cookies for Easter, but they are great for any event. I use a chocolate chip cookie dough for the base and bake them in a mini-muffin or mini-tart baking pan. After baking, but still warm, I press the candy into the cookie. Instead of the chocolate eggs, use mini peanut butter cups, chocolate kisses, or any favorite chocolate candy.

Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness is hosting the GF Menu Swap this week, so check her menu plan this week for the roundup of more gluten-free cookies and menu ideas.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

MondayPulled Pork Sandwiches
It’s going to be another week of quick meals until we get to Christmas. I’ve got some pulled pork in the freezer I can heat up for a quick dinner. I’ll serve it with roasted potatoes and green beans.

TuesdayEgg and Hash brown Casserole
I’ve got some sausage that I need to use up, so I’ll use it instead of bacon in this egg casserole.

Wednesday – Quick and Easy Garlic Shrimp
Quickly sauteed with butter and garlic, the shrimp is then spooned over rice noodles. I’ll  serve it with steamed broccoli.

Thursday – Out
Another night to eat out. This time we’ll go for Chik-fil-a‘s grilled chicken fillets, fruit cups, waffle fries, and salads.

Friday – Grilled Steaks
Grilling steaks and serving with baked potatoes and spinach salad.

Saturday – Christmas Dinner
Not finalized yet, but I think it will include a Honey Baked Ham, smoked turkey breast, mashed potatoes, broccoli casserole, and a flourless chocolate cake. Can’t wait to see the family!

Sunday – Leftovers!

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.

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.
Categories : Menu Plan
Comments (3)

We have a winner! Hannah Gray (Comment #11) was randomly chosen as the GF Holiday Giveaway Galore winner at Celiac Family.

Ten winners were chosen for the giveaway, one at each of the hosting websites. Hannah and the other winners will each receive the wonderful new book “Mommy, What is Celiac Disease?” and the fabulous box of gluten-free goodies. If you didn’t win, you can still purchase a copy of the book today and get it in time for Christmas. 

What Helped You the Most When You Started the Gluten-Free Diet?

Thank you to all the readers who participated in the giveaway. In order to enter the giveaway, I asked readers to tell me about what helped them the most when they first started on the gluten-free diet. Hannah said for her, it was Trader Joe’s gluten free brownies. “With my first bite I said ok I think I can do this. Just knowing I could have that simple treat made it all worth it!”

There were so many good answers that deserved repeating and linking. So, here’s what CeliacFamily readers said helped them the most when getting started on the gluten-free diet. Maybe you’ll find them helpful for you too.

Food Products

Gluten-Free Flours and Baking Mixes

Gluten-Free Frozen Foods

  • Amy’s gluten-free, vegetarian meals
  • Cedar Lane meals

Grocery Stores

Online Resources

People Support

  • Doctors
  • Friends and Family
  • Local support groups

Books: The G-Free Diet

Categories : Giveaway, Newsworthy
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Menu Plan December 13 – Onions

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I’ve chosen onions as the theme ingredient for the Gluten Free Menu Swap this week. Like garlic, I use onions in a lot of my recipes. I love the aroma of them cooking in the kitchen, and of course the taste of them in my recipes. This week, I’ll use onions in my tacos, roasted potatoes wedges, and my Chicken Enchilada Soup.

And more Celiac Family recipes with onions:

I am hosting the GF Menu Swap this week, so check back later for the roundup of more gluten-free menu plans. I’ll get menu links and onion ideas from other gluten free bloggers posted below as I get them.

As for my menu this week, I’m still trying to get holiday activities done (shopping, wrapping gifts, sending cards, etc.), so I’m trying to keep the meals quick and easy. I’ve even added a trip to Boston Market for a no-cook night. I think I’ll plan on using paper products, too, so even the clean up will be quick and easy.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Monday – Cheeseburgers
Once again, my daughter is asking when we can have cheeseburgers again. So, here it is. I have no spare time for baking buns, so instead I’ll use the Kinnikinnick’s hamburger buns I have in the freezer.

TuesdayBoston Market
Boston Market has some good gluten-free food options that we all like in my family. But, it isn’t all gluten-free, so if you give it a try be sure you check the allergen information on the menu so you know what items to avoid.

Wednesday – Chicken Tacos
I’ll use our favorite slow-cooked Mexican chicken for tacos in corn tortillas. We’ll add some refried beans, chopped lettuce, chopped green onions, shredded cheddar, sliced black olives, and chopped avocado.

Thursday – Fried Haddock
I’ll use a Louisiana Fish Fry mix to coat pieces of Haddock and fry until golden brown. I’ll serve it with green beans and onion-roasted potato wedges.

Friday – Chicken Enchilada Soup
I’ll use leftover chicken from Tuesday to make this yummy soup. I may make some quick, cheese quesadillas to serve with it.

Saturday – Leftover Buffet

Sunday – Spaghetti
Using a gluten-free pasta, I’ll make spaghetti with a traditional tomato sauce.

Gluten Free Menu Swap Roundup

Like me, Wendy at Celiacs in the House seems to use onions in many dishes. Although, she does have to make some adjustments for her daughter who doesn’t tolerate them very well. This week, the Shepherd’s Pie on her menu got my attention. She also has Fish Cakes, Spicy Pumpkin Soup, and Butternut Squash Thai Curry Crepes on her menu.

This week, Angela of Angela’s Kitchen is sharing her ideas for growing your own green onions and celery on the window sill. For dinner this week, she’s making Taco Chili, Blender Corn Bread, and Turkey Wild Rice Soup that sounds great for this chilly weather. Sounds like she’s busy making cookies this week, too! Check it all out on her menu this week.

Michelle at Gluten-Free Smiles is another fan of onions, and says she adds them to most meals. Her menu this week includes Sushi, Chicken Soup, and Stir Fry. She’s also making Carol Fenster‘s recipe for Fish and Chips – another recipe I need to try.

At Beyond Rice and Tofu this week, Renee is preparing for the holiday festivities by using up and clearing out the leftovers and produce. Sounds like a good idea to me. She has Tofu Tikka Masala, Vegetable Soup, Taco Salad, and Spaghetti on the menu this week. Oh, and she bought a nice block of Brie for her leftover night. Now that’s some good leftovers. 🙂

Kristen at Adventures in Mommyhood says she isn’t a big fan of onions, but still uses them in smaller quantities in recipes. She has a wonderful menu this week including Chicken Tacos, Stephanie’s Chicken and Dumplings, Rachael Ray’s Sloppy Joes, and Kim’s Meatloaf Muffins.

I know everyone is busy with holiday activities this week. Thanks to all my gluten-free friends above for taking the time to share their gluten-free meal ideas with us.

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.

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.
Categories : Menu Plan
Comments (10)

sweetpotatoesThis is a fairly simple, traditional recipe that I put together for our Thanksgiving family gathering this year. I always enjoy sweet potato casserole for the holidays. I usually prefer a crunchy pecan and brown sugar topping, but I know some people always look forward to the toasted marshmallows on top. So, this year, I did both. This is now my favorite way to eat them.

I like to think of this as a vegetable side dish, but really it’s sweet enough to call it dessert. In fact, since I’ve been reducing my sugar consumption, I’ve found it to be too sweet. Now, I don’t add the 3/4 Brown Sugar to the main ingredients. Instead, I just enjoy the flavor of the sweet potatoes and the sweetness added by the toppings.

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe


Main Ingredients:
4 large Sweet Potatoes or Yams, peeled, cooked and mashed (about 4 lbs or 8 cups)
3 Eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar (optional)
1/2 Cup Butter, softened (I use Earth Balance Vegan.)
1 TBSP Maple Syrup
3/4 Cup Almond Milk (I used vanilla flavored.)

Topping Ingredients:
1 Cup Chopped Pecans
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Brown Rice Flour
1/3 Cup Butter, melted (Again, Earth Balance Vegan Sticks)
1 Cup Small Marshmallows


  1. Cook and peel the sweet potatoes, or yams. I like to score the skin on the yams both around the middle and lengthwise. Then I put them into boiling water and simmer until they are fork tender (about 20-30 min.).
  2. While the yams are cooking, combine the first four topping ingredients with a fork and set aside.
  3. When the yams are done, remove them from the heat and drain the water. Cover with cold water to cool down. If the skin hasn’t come off already, gently pull the skin off.
  4. Mash the yams and add the rest of the main ingredients. Combine thoroughly. You may want to beat the ingredients together for a smoother, fluffier texture.
  5. Spread the yams/sweet potato mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish. (You can cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator at this point, if you are saving for the next day.)
  6. Then top the yams with the mini marshmallows and pecan mixture in alternating diagonal stripes.
  7. Bake at 350° F for 30-40 minutes, or until the yams are bubbly hot and the marshmallows are lightly browned.

Additional Notes:

  • To make ahead: I made this the day before Thanksgiving, skipping step 2 and ending at step 5 the first day. On the morning of Thanksgiving, I took the dish out of the refrigerator and let set on the counter while I worked on step 2 of the directions and preheated the oven. I then finished the baking with steps 6 and 7.
  • If the marshmallows don’t brown after 40 minutes, put it under the broiler for a few minutes. But watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn.

Notable Links:


Menu Plan December 6

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So how is everyone doing so far this holiday season? I am feeling the pressure to get it all done early this year. We’ve got some of the decorations up: tree (not fully decorated, but close), some outdoor lights, and the stockings hung on the mantle. I’ve started the gift shopping: been to at least a dozen stores just this weekend, ordered some gifts online, and even got some shipped! We also took the kids to see Santa this past weekend.

Next on my list to do is ordering Christmas cards and photos. How do you know if someone is a food blogger? When looking through the past year’s photos, there are more pictures of food than their own kids! Not sure if that’s true for me or not, but it’s close. (I was too afraid to actually count.) But since I spend more time volunteering at their school than updating, I’ll try not to feel too guilty. 🙂

Mushrooms is the theme ingredient for the Gluten Free Menu Swap this week. I like to make pork chops with a mushroom sauce, but this week I’m making a Broccoli Mushroom dish that always used to be a standard at our family holiday dinners. Since I didn’t make it for Thanksgiving this year, I’m going to make it this week. For more ideas for cooking gluten-free with mushrooms, visit Wendy at Celiacs in the House. She’s hosting this week’s roundup.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Monday – Baked Ham
I didn’t get to bake a ham this weekend, so I’ll have it tonight with my favorite Broccoli Mushroom Bake.

Tuesday – McDonald’s
Yes, we do go to McDonald’s on occasion. We all usually order a burger without the bun. I know it’s not the best we can eat, but the kids always enjoy it. And since they have to eat their meal before getting the Happy Meal toy, there is very little struggle to get them to finish.

Wednesday – Red Beans & Rice
It’s been so long since I’ve made this, I thought it was time. The kids won’t eat it, so I usually make it spicy. The kids will probably eat leftover ham from Monday.

Thursday – Salmon
Just a simple broiled salmon with a lemon dill flavor. To make it fast and easy, I’ll use a Lemon Dill finishing butter from Wegmans. I’ll serve it with some quinoa and green beans.

Friday – Chicken Vindaloo
Another spicy dish on the menu this week. I’ll serve it over rice or leftover quinoa from Thursday.

Saturday – Pizza
We’ll see how my week goes. If I have energy left, I’ll make a pizza. If not, we’ll find another way: zPizza or Glutino.

Sunday – Chicken Burritos
Slow-cooking chicken with Southwestern spices for yummy shredded chicken burritos. I’ve got some brown rice tortilla wraps that I’ll fill with the chicken, black beans, shredded cheese, sliced olives, etc.

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.

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.
Categories : Menu Plan
Comments (3)