Archive for September, 2011


Chocolate Chip Banana Mini Muffins

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I made a batch of these mini muffins a few weeks ago for two reasons. One, I was getting bored with our breakfast routine. And two, I thought I would freeze some for school mornings when I needed to serve a quick breakfast. Well, I never got around to freezing them because they disappeared so quickly. So, the next week I made another batch, and still couldn’t get them into the freezer fast enough. The kids gobbled them up for breakfast and after-school snacks. In two days they were gone. So, I guess I’m going to have to bake more, and double the recipe next time.

Chocolate Chip Banana Mini Muffins


1 Cup mashed, ripe Bananas (about 2 bananas)
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Coconut Nectar (or other sweetener)
1/4 Cup Grapeseed Oil (or other cooking oil)
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 Cups (9 oz./250 g) Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup mini Chocolate Chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Prepare a Mini Muffin Pan by spraying with oil, or using paper liners.
  2. Mash bananas in a mixing bowl. Add eggs, coconut nectar, oil, and vanilla. Beat until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add Pamela’s Baking Mix and salt, and continue to beat.
  4. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop scoops of about 1-1/2 Tbsp of batter into the prepared muffin pan, or until each cup is about 2/3 full.
  6. Bake at 375° F for 10 minutes.
  7. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then finish cooling directly on a wire rack.

Additional Notes:

  •  Makes about 3 dozen mini-muffins, depending on how full you fill the cups.
  • For simplicity, I used Pamela’s Baking Mix for the flour. Pamela’s mix already contains baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum. So, if you’re going to attempt this recipe with other flours, I would suggest adding a little bit of each of those.
  • I have now made this recipe several times using different sweeteners – honey, coconut nectar, and agave. I’m happy to say that they all turned out delicious. I’m sure that sugar would work, too, but I didn’t even feel the need to try it.
  • If your family doesn’t eat them as quickly as mine, put them in a sealed container or bag in the freezer. Because they’re small, they thaw quickly on the counter. Or, just pop them into the microwave for a warm treat.


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Menu Plan September 26

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Well, now I KNOW the fall season is here. My daughter has started off this week reminding us that it’s cold and flu season, too. Her sinus congestion has escalated into vomiting. Uggh. I do have a menu plan, but I’m not sure how well we’ll be following it. If my son and I are next to succumb to the cold season, it will be a week of bland, boring food for all of us.

Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness is hosting this week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap. And, again, true to the season, pumpkin is the theme. I’m planning on pumpkin waffles for dinner this week, as well as my kids’ favorite chocolate pumpkin muffins.

And there’s more news for the GF Menu Swap! After three years of managing it, Cheryl is ready to devote her time to other endeavors. Big thanks to Cheryl for her efforts to keep the menu swap going. I know that many people new to the gluten-free diet find the variety of menus helpful to starting and maintaining a gluten-free diet. I have always enjoyed participating in the menu swap, and I’m excited to tell you that I have offered to manage it here at Celiac Family. I’ll get the details worked out soon, and let you know where to find the upcoming schedule. So, be watching for more information to come.

On Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Fruit Kabobs

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

Potato & Green Bean Salad

Monday – Baked Chicken served with Cheryl’s Roasted Cauliflower and green peas

Tuesday – Maureen’s Pumpkin Waffles and Fruit Kabobs

Wednesday – Spaghetti and Meatballs served with a simple green salad

Thursday – Pulled Pork served with waffle fries and leftover cauliflower

Friday – Fried Haddock served with Red Potato and Green Bean Salad

Saturday – Grilled Chicken, corn, and Chcolate Pumpkin Muffins

Sunday – leftovers

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
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Menu Plan September 19

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Fall officially begins this week, and I am already feeling the effects of cooler nights, shorter days, and ragweed season. And yet the desire to slow down and relax is met with the excitement of fall activities and a schedule that is quickly filling up. School schedules, after-school schedules, and homework are already keeping us busy. And, I have to admit that I am already thinking about the holiday activities that aren’t too far off!

With Sweet potatoes as the theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap this week, I’m reminded of our holiday meals that usually include a sweet potato casserole. Amanda at Gluten Free Detroit Metro is hosting the swap this week, so head over there for the roundup of sweet potato meal ideas. We’ll be eating sweet potato fries this week. My kids haven’t become big fans of sweet potatoes yet, but they aren’t big fans of white potatoes unless they’re French fries. So, maybe this week, I’ll try frying the sweet potato fries until they’re crispy. Baking them hasn’t gotten a very good response.

On Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Cilantro Rice

Baked Salmon

Hamburger Buns

Monday – Taquitos with shredded Mexican Chicken served with Cilantro Lime Rice and Guacamole

Tuesday – Baked Salmon served with steamed asparagus and leftover rice.

Wednesday – Hamburgers served with sweet potato fries and green peas.

Thursday – Chili and cornbread

Friday – Pizza with a tossed green salad

SaturdayEating Out

Sunday – leftovers

Want to join Gluten-Free Menu Swap?
You’ll find the rules, as well as the current and upcoming schedules, at Gluten Free Goodness. Thanks to Cheryl for her continued efforts at keeping our menu swap going.

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
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Menu Plan September 12

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Well, Mother Nature was not done making herself noticed in our part of the country. Last week we got almost 8 inches of rain for our first week of school. The rain saturated the ground, flooded, and even caused school to be canceled. I certainly wasn’t expecting that! With our extra play day, we made a fresh batch of play dough, which kept the kids busy for hours.

Claire at My Gluten Free Home is hosting the Gluten Free Menu Swap this week. She’s chosen apples as the theme. It is definitely getting to be that time of year, isn’t it? She’s already making apple pie and apple muffins. Ooooh, that sounds soooo good. I just may have to make some myself. I was planning to use the apples I have to slice them up for the kids’ lunches and snacks, but I may have to reconsider. Maybe some baked apples or apple crisp this week. Hmmm..I think I need to make another trip to the market.

On Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Marinated Flank Steak

White Chicken Chili

Broiled Tilapia

Monday – Mexican Chicken Tacos with Avocado Salsa

Tuesday – Chicken Nuggets with Baby Potatoes and Steamed Broccoli

Wednesday – Flank Steak with Corn on the Cob and Baked Apples

Thursday – Using leftover chicken from Monday to make White Chicken Chili. Serving with corn tortillas.

Friday – Parmesan Tilapia with Jasmine Rice and Steamed Asparagus

Saturday – Spaghetti and Meatballs with a tossed green salad

Sunday – leftovers

Want to join Gluten-Free Menu Swap?
You’ll find the rules, as well as the current and upcoming schedules, at Gluten Free Goodness. Thanks to Cheryl for her continued efforts at keeping our menu swap going.

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
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Gluten-free Play Dough

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Update September 9, 2011

When I was speaking with my daughter’s teacher last week, she told me that she likes to use play dough in the classroom. I told her that it would be a problem for my daughter, but that I’d be happy to make some gluten-free play dough for the class. For some classes in the past, I’ve purchased pre-made play dough, and my kids have just used their own personal supply of gluten-free play dough. But, I’ve also made play dough for the whole class to use. I’ve done well with the Kool Aid recipe below without problems, but I didn’t have the Kool Aid needed. And, I often had to add a lot of cornstarch to it after it cooked.

I decided to adjust the recipe to make it easier and faster to make. After one completely disastrous attempt, I came up with a recipe that was absolutely the easiest and fastest I’ve ever made. I kept Cream of Tartar in the recipe, but found that Xanthan Gum wasn’t needed. Five minutes of measuring and mixing, three minutes of cooking, and another five minutes of kneading in the color resulted in hours of fun! And, the texture was perfect – just like you would expect homemade play dough to be.

Easiest Gluten-Free Play Dough Recipe


1 Cup White Rice Flour
1/2 Cup Cornstarch
1/2 Cup Salt
1 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
1-1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1 Cup Water, hot but not boiling
Food Coloring, as desired


  1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a medium pot.
  2. Add the vegetable oil, then the water, and continue to mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Heat the pot on the stove over low heat for about 3 minutes. I like to stir frequently with a silicone spatula.
  4. When the dough starts to pull away from the sides easily, turn out the dough onto parchment paper. Let it cool briefly until you can work it with your hands.
  5. Knead food coloring into the dough until you get the color you desire.

Additional Notes:

  • Don’t overcook the dough. It shouldn’t need more than five minutes.
  • To add food coloring, I use the method I’ve used since I was a kid: Using your thumbs, make a well in the middle of the ball of dough and drop the food coloring into the well. Close up the well with the outside dough, keeping the food coloring in the middle of the ball. Then, carefully begin kneading it until the color is evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  • You don’t have to use the parchment paper. The dough shouldn’t be sticky. I use the parchment paper to simply keep residue and food coloring off my counter top. Wax paper or a plate would work just as well.
  • If needed, adjust the texture with small amounts of water (for dry, crumbly dough) or cornstarch (for sticky dough).
  • Makes about 2 cups of play dough, or about 2 baseball-size balls of dough.
  • Store in tightly sealed plastic bags or containers.

Notable Links:


Original Post January 28, 2009

We’re on our second snow day at home and the kids were happy to pull out the play dough for something to do. I was amazed that it was still good. It’s been a couple months since we’ve played with it, and about 9 months since we first made it! We’ve tried several recipes for play dough, but this one is our favorite. The Kool-Aid gives it a nice scent and additional color. You can use the additional cornstarch to adjust the consistency as needed. We store different colors in zip-type plastic bags and put them all together in a plastic bucket with a lid.

Gluten-Free Play Dough Recipe


2/3 Cup rice flour
1/3 Cup potato starch or cornstarch
1/3 Cup salt
2 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
1 pkg unsweetened Kool-Aid
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Cup warm water

Additional food coloring optional
Extra potato starch or cornstarch for kneading dough – We use a lot to get a preferred consistency.


  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the rice flour, potato starch or cornstarch, salt, xanthan gum, Cream of Tartar and Kool-Aid powder.
  2. Add the oil and the warm water to the flour mixture and mix well. (If you want to add food coloring, mix it first with the warm water.)
  3. Heat the mixture on medium heat for about one minute or until the mixture thickens and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a cornstarch-floured surface or parchment paper.
  5. Knead in enough potato starch until the dough is no longer sticky.
  6. Store in an airtight container or bag when not in use.

Notable Links:

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