Archive for Special Occasion

Salad2016For the Gluten-Free Menu Swap this month, we are sharing meals, menus, and recipe links for salads.

This week, we’ll be recognizing Pi Day (3.14) and St. Patrick’s Day (Mar. 17) at our house for fun. I’m also trying out some new potato salad recipes. I love all the variety of flavors I found with these gluten-free Potato Salad recipes. They all look so good!

Gluten-Free Potato Salads:


Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Chicken Taquitos

Cilantro Lime Rice

Irish Potato Farls

Irish Potato Farls

Potato Salad

Potato Salad

Monday/Pi Day – Pizza Pie with Spinach Salad

Tuesday – Chicken Taquitos, Cilantro Lime Rice, Guacamole

Wednesday – Jalfrezi Chicken, Jasmine Rice, Green Beans

St. Patrick’s Day – Corned Beef, Irish Potato Farls, Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Friday – leftovers

Saturday –Sloppy Joe’s, Herbed Red Potato Salad -no mayo

Sunday – Fried Chicken, Potato Salad, Kale

Gluten Free Menu Swap Roundup

Come back later to check this week’s post and see who else may be sharing their gluten-free menus, recipe links, and ideas for winter produce.

Want to join Gluten-Free Menu Swap?

  • For this week’s roundup, email your menu link to celiacfamily[AT]gmail[DOT]com. Or, simply put your menu link in the comments below.
  • Join us next week for sharing more gluten-free menus, recipe links, and ideas for gluten-free winter squash and other winter produce.
  • The Gluten-Free Menu Swap Page has the current schedule of themes and hosts. If you’d like to host a future week, please send me an email (celiacfamily[AT]gmail[DOT]com) with your preferred date and theme. We welcome suggested themes, too!

Need more menu ideas?

  • smallbuttonLaura at hosts Menu Plan Monday every week. You’ll find links to hundreds of meal plans (not necessarily gluten-free) there. This week, she talks about how eating a Paleo diet has changed her life for the better. Check out what she and others are doing to live a healthier and happier life on her post this week.
  • Or, check out some of my past menu plans.
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AppleCranPieSliceI love all the traditional foods made for Thanksgiving — turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and pies. But sometimes, I like to change things up a little…like adding chocolate to pumpkin pie or pecan pie. This year, I’m not adding chocolate to anything.

Instead, I’m adding cranberries to my apple pie. I absolutely love it! I love the burst of red color it adds to the pie, but I mostly love the burst of flavor it adds to each bite. The sweet apples and crumb topping are nicely complemented by the tart cranberries.

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Apple Cranberry Pie Recipe


Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Pie Crust — uncooked, thawed if previously frozen

5-7 Fresh Apples — peeled, cored, sliced (I used 4 large Golden Delicious apples and 1 Granny Smith.)
1 Cup Fresh Cranberries
1/2 Cup Sugar
1-1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Crumb Topping Ingredients:
1/2 Cup gluten-free Flour (Fine Brown Rice Flour, or a mix of GF Flours)
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks (or Butter, Margarine)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Prepare your gluten-free pie crust.
  3. Mix together the crumb topping ingredients and set aside.
  4. Mix together the 1/2 Cup sugar and 1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, and set aside.AppleCranPie
  5. Prepare the apples by peeling the skin, removing the core, and cutting into thick slices.
  6. Place and arrange half the apples in the prepared pie crust. Pour 1/2 the cranberries on top. Then, add the remaining apples, and cranberries on top. I like to pile them high because I know it will cook down.
  7. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top of the apples and cranberries. Be sure to spread it out evenly over the entire pie.
  8. AppleCranPieCrumbNow add the crumb topping to the pie, carefully spreading it to the edges of the pie crust and covering as much of the fruit as you can.
  9. Cover the pie crust edges with a Pie Crust Shield or strips of aluminum foil to avoid burning the edges. Bake in the oven at 400° for 40 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and place on a baking rack to cool before serving. It slices best if you let it cool to room temperature — about an hour. Enjoy!

Additional Notes:

  • AppleCranPieBakedYou can use whatever apples you like best for baking. I usually use a mix of apples with 1 or 2 Granny Smith apples. Gala and Golden Delicious apples have worked well for me — good texture and flavor, but not too juicy that it runs all over the plate.
  • Need a recipe for a gluten-free pie crust? Check the list of recipes at this Thanksgiving Dessert Roundup.
  • I have also used 1 tub of Pillsbury’s Gluten-Free Pie Crust Dough to make both the crust and the crumb topping, as I did with my Peach Crumb Pie recipe.
  • To make a traditional Apple Pie, I use the same recipe above but without the cranberries. You may need an extra apple instead.

This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays, where you’ll find more ideas for eating gluten-free!

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pumpkinmuffinplateI don’t know why I wait for the fall season to make these. They’re always gobbled up quickly! I made these using Namaste Foods Muffin Mix. They always turn out perfectly moist and tasty. Best of all, Namaste mixes never contain wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, peanuts, tree nuts, corn, soy, or potato. They are fabulous for family and friends gatherings or classroom parties with multiple allergies!

We prefer the small mini-muffins at my house, and I now have two Mini Muffin Pans to bake them all quickly. Only 10 minutes of prep, 10 minutes to bake, and they’re done. Great for a quick and filling breakfast!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini-Muffins (Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free)


pumpkinmuffinbite2 large eggs
1/4 Cup oil (I use extra light olive oil.)
1/4 to 1/2 Cup water (adjust amount depending on pumpkin puree)
1 tsp vanilla
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree (I used canned.)**
Namaste Foods Muffin Mix
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 mini chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life brand.)



  1. Start by preheating your oven to 375º, and preparing Mini Muffin Pan with an oil spray.
  2. Using a hand mixer, combine the eggs, oil, vanilla, pumpkin, and 1/4 cup water.
  3. Add the Muffin Mix along with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, and mix well. Adjust the batter by adding more water if needed. The batter will be thick, but it shouldn’t look dry.
  4. Add in the chocolate chips and blend so the chip are evenly dispersed.
  5. Scoop the batter into the muffin pan, about 3/4 full. I like to use a spring-loaded cookie scoop for ease.
  6. Bake at 375º for 10-12 min. I pull the muffins out when the edges just start to brown.

Additional Notes:

  • You may be wondering about what is in Namaste’s Muffin Mix. Ingredients: sweet brown rice, evaporated cane juice, brown rice flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, rice milk powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt and ground vanilla bean.
  • Recipe makes about 40-48 mini-muffins.
  • You can, of course, make these a larger/normal muffin size. To make the larger size, just increase the baking time to 12-15 min. You may want to use a larger chocolate chip size, like Enjoy Life’s Morsels size.
  • You can use 2 tsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice instead of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

  • For convenience, I prefer to use canned pumpkin instead of fresh. I find that the water content of fresh pumpkin puree can vary greatly. So, if you’re using a pumpkin puree that is very wet, you may not need to add water to the recipe at all.
  • I have also used Namaste Foods Sugar Free Muffin Mix to make these. I simply add 1/2 cup of Coconut Nectar, Honey, or Agave. I’m sure 1/2 Cup sugar would work, too, but I haven’t actually tried it.
  • **I have also made this recipe using a full can (15 oz.) of pumpkin puree. I simply adjust the recipe by reducing the amount of water to no more than 1/4 cup.

*I was not contacted by the company or compensated in any way for this article. I simply wanted to share with you a good gluten-free and dairy-free product that we enjoy at my house.

This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays, where you’ll find more ideas for eating gluten-free!

Ghost Meringue CookiesThese Meringue Cookies have become a favorite with family and friends at Halloween parties. I love that they are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free! If you aren’t familiar with meringue cookies: They are light and airy, crispy on the outside, yet a little chewy on the inside.

It has come to my attention that my recipe and directions for making Meringue Cookie Ghosts were not so easy to find. So, here are the recipe and directions for making these cuties. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free Halloween Ghost Meringue Cookies


2 large egg whites (at room temperature)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional, but adds a nice flavor)
1/2 Cup superfine sugar
handful of mini chocolate chips (I buy Enjoy Life’s Dairy-Free, Nut-Free Chocolate Chips.)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200° F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium glass or metal bowl, beat the egg whites until they become foamy little bubbles. Add the cream of tartar and almond extract. Continue beating at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add in the sugar while beating until smooth and glossy, stiff peaks form.
  3. To make the ghosts, I used a piping bag with round tip. (I used Wilton disposable decorating bag and round tip #12.) If you don’t have these, you can simply use a zip-style plastic bag and cut the tip off a corner to squeeze out the meringue. Fill the bag with the meringue and create the ghost in one continuous motion by gently squeezing the meringue out of the bag. Make it quickly to avoid getting the meringue too warm in your hand. There’s no right or wrong way to make a ghost, but I made these by starting with a round mound of meringue for the head. Then, I moved the bag to the left and then the right, forming the arms (if you can call them that). I then finished it off by dragging the bag down and to the right to finish the ghost shape.
  4. Next add the chocolate chips for eyes.
  5. Place the tray of ghosts in the oven and bake for 2 hours.
  6. Let them cool on the cookie sheets.
  7. Place them on a plate to serve, or store in an airtight container.

Additional Notes:

  • This recipe will make 18-24 ghosts, depending on the size you make them.
  • If you have trouble removing the ghosts from the parchment paper, carefully slide a thin, flat knife under them to lift from the paper.

More favorite Holiday Meringue Cookies at Celiac Family:

Snowman Meringues

Snowman Meringues

Christmas Tree Meringues

Christmas Tree Meringues

Meringue Duckies

Meringue Duckies

Linked to:


Rainbow Cake, gluten-free

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Part of my busy schedule last month included my daughter’s birthday. She didn’t seem intent on any particular theme for her party, so I suggested rainbows. Seems like an easy cake to make, right? Right. I made it a little more interesting by adding some dimension to the rainbow.

For the base of the cake, I used three Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mixes. I mixed them all together using the directions on the boxes. Then, I poured the batter into two Pyrex 9×13 Baking Dishes and baked both at 350° F for about 45 minutes. Each layer of the cake was made of 1.5 cake mixes. I used Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Frosting for the filling between the layers.

For the rainbow on the cake, I baked one 9-Inch Round Cake using Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix. I cut the cake in half, at a horizontal angle and then trimmed out the middle of the rainbow. I added a smaller wedge of the cake to put under the large side of the cake so the rainbow itself ended up being like a two-layer cake. Does that make sense? I know I should take pictures while I’m building and decorating cakes, but I forget. And when I do remember, I’ve got cake and frosting on my fingers.

For the frosting, I made a Buttercream Icing. Rather than using a dye to mix into the frosting, I sprayed the frosted cake with blue Spray Color. I thought the uneven coloring would look more like sky and clouds. Plus, it was faster and left fewer bowls to clean up. I used the same buttercream icing for the trim, clouds, and rainbow on the cake. Then, I sprayed the back of the rainbow cake with red coloring.

For the front of the rainbow I simply used different Colored Sugars that I carefully sprinkled on with my fingers. It’s best to do this right after you’ve frosted it, so that the frosting is still damp and sticky to keep the sugar in place. You can buy the sugars already colored, or make it yourself using granulated sugar mixed with some food coloring. I had some of each.

So there it is. Another cake decorating idea that you can do yourself, but still wow the kids.

Supplies I used:

More Rainbow Cake Ideas I found Online:

  • This six-layer Super Epic Rainbow Cake at Whisk Kid is a rainbow on the inside!
  • These rainbow Colorburst Cupcakes at Our Best Bites are just as colorful.
  • The Super-Duper Rainbow Cakes – in a Jar at off the (meat) hook would make beautiful table decorations, party favors, or gifts to give!
  • A variety of decorating ideas for rainbow-theme cakes can be found at Coolest Birthday
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