Gluten-Free Holiday Desserts — Menu Plan Nov. 10

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GFHolidayDessertThis week’s theme for the Gluten-Free Menu Swap is Holiday Desserts. Whether it’s the cooler weather or that the holidays are nearing, I am craving sweets and comfort foods. I’ve been looking through lots of gluten-free recipes for desserts this season.

Check out past Holiday Roundups:

Check out the Pinterest boards I’ve compiled:

I can’t wait to see what everyone else is planning to make this season. Don’t forget to check below our menu for more gluten-free menus, meals, and ideas for gluten-free Holiday Desserts.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Wild Rice Salad

Wild Rice Salad

Easy Garlic Shrimp

Easy Garlic Shrimp

MondaySlow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans

Tuesday – Grilled Chicken, Wild Rice Salad with Parmesan Dressing

Wednesday – Traditional Chili, Cornbread Muffins (new gluten-free mix from Krusteaz)

Thursday – leftovers

Friday – Easy Garlic Shrimp Pasta

Saturday – Chicken Wings, Potato Skins

Sunday – Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Broccoli

Gluten Free Menu Swap Roundup

Gluten Free Always Blog: Gluten-Free
Melissa has put together a Thanksgiving eBook to help prepare and plan for Thanksgiving. She is also sharing a link to her dessert recipes that includes cakes, cookies, bars, etc. For dinner this week, she’s planning Crispy Orange Beef, Santa Fe Chicken, Burgers, Pot Roast, Bacon Wrapped Chicken, Beef Pot Pie, and Beef Stew.

The Gluten Free Week: Gluten-Free
Lori is sharing her experience with gluten-free desserts this week. She says she only bakes for birthdays and special occasions — desserts like Fruit Tarts and Coconut Ice Cream Sundaes. Dinners for Lori this week will be Roast Chicken, Chicken and Mango Salad, Lentil Soup, Steak and Pear Salad, Ham and Potato Casserole, and Tacos. Stop by her blog for all the recipe links.

Check back later to see who will be sharing their gluten-free menus, recipe links, and ideas for gluten-free Holiday Desserts this week.

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 gluten-free menus and gluten-free Thanksgiving Favorites.
  • 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.

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.
  • Or, check out some of my past menu plans.
Categories : Menu Plan
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Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

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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 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!


Gluten-Free Breads, Dressings, and Stuffings — Menu Plan Nov. 3

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GFHolidaysBreadHalloween is past, and we have now started the countdown to the holidays. (Yikes!) This month at the Gluten-Free Menu Swap, we’ll be sharing ideas about gluten-free foods for the holidays. This week’s theme is Breads, Dressings, and Stuffings. 

For some, this is the most difficult thing to manage at family and friends holiday gatherings. I’m curious to find out how everyone deals with it. Our family is fine with just avoiding it all together. The extra effort it takes to make the gluten-free bread just adds more preparation time needed for a big family dinner. I’d rather spend the extra time on turkey and desserts. However, if I’m sharing the cooking responsibilities with other family members, then I may take the time for rolls or stuffing.

If you’re organized, you can always make the bread in advance and freeze it. There are some great recipes and cookbooks to help you with tried and tested gluten-free recipes.

Gluten-Free Bread Recipes:

Shirley at Gluten Free Easily has done the work for us on this! You won’t believe all the gluten-free bread recipes she found!
FrenchBreadTop 20 Recipes for Gluten-Free Bread Loaves (includes sandwich, French, Paleo, and Challah breads)
Top 40 Recipes for Gluten-Free Basic Rolls and Biscuits (includes popovers, paleo, and breadsticks)
Top 20 Recipes for Gluten-Free Bread Recipes for a Bread Machine (+tips on bread machines)
Top 30+ Recipes for Gluten-Free Tortillas and Wraps
Top 30+ Recipes for Gluten-Free Hamburger and Hot Dog Rolls
Top 50+ Recipes for Gluten-Free Flatbread, Focaccia, Naan, and Pita Bread

Gluten-Free Bread Cookbooks:
Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread: (Biscuits, Bagels, Buns, and More)
 by Nicole Hunn
The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen
Wheat Belly Bread: Gluten Free Bread Recipes for Your Wheat Belly Life by Celia Cook
125 Best Gluten-Free Bread Machine Recipes by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt
Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine by Annalise Roberts
The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread by Bette Hagman and Peter H. R. Green
Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë Françios
There are even cookbooks for making Paleo Bread, though I’m not familiar with the books or the authors.
*If you are hesitant to buy a cookbook before seeing it, check out what your local library has.

Gluten-free breads are also now available in many grocery stores. That has become my preferred choice for holiday meals and quick meals at home, too. The picture above is of Udi’s Dinner Rolls. Just 10 minutes in the oven at 400º, and they are perfectly light and crispy. You’ll find them in the freezer section of your grocery store. I also enjoy Schar Baquettes and Ciabatta Rolls. Schar Sub Sandwich Rolls are great for making sandwiches with leftover turkey, too!

Gluten-free dressings and stuffing mixes are also available at the grocery stores. It’s pretty simple to make your own by cutting gluten-free bread into cubes, and lightly toasting in the oven. But, how convenient to purchase it, so it’s one less thing to make for your dinner.
Glutino Cornbread Stuffing
Three Bakers Herb Seasoned Stuffing
Aleia’s Gluten-Free Stuffing Mix
Gillian’s Gluten-Free Home-Style Stuffing

Use your own family Stuffing/Dressing recipe, or try one of these yummy ones.
Cranberry Apple Stuffing recipe at Elana’s Pantry
Crispy, Sweet, and Savory Cornbread Dressing recipe at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free
Gluten-Free Pan Dressing (using biscuits and cornbread) recipe at Gluten Free Gigi
Gluten-Free Stuffing recipe at GlutenDude
Gluten-Free Stuffing recipe with Chicken Sausage at Trader Joe’s
Udi’s Gluten-Free Stuffing recipe at Udi’s Gluten Free
Classic Gluten-Free Stuffing recipe at Whole Foods Market

Don’t forget to check below our menu for more gluten-free menus, meals, and ideas for gluten-free breads, dressings, and stuffing.

Celiac Family’s Menu This Week:

Broccoli Mushroom Quinoa

Broccoli Mushroom Quinoa

GF Sandwich Bread

GF Sandwich Bread

GF Cheese Bread Buns

GF Cheese Bread Buns

Monday – Rotisserie Chicken, Quinoa with Broccoli and Mushrooms

Tuesday – Beef Stew, Corn Bread

Wednesday – BLT Sandwiches, Potato Chips, Carrot sticks

Thursday – Turkey Breast, Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Beans

Friday – Loaded Baked Potato Soup, Garlic Bread made with Schar Gluten-Free Baquettes

Saturday – Pizza, Spinach Salad

Sunday – Hamburgers, Sweet Potato Fries, Roasted Broccoli

Gluten Free Menu Swap Roundup

Mom’s Plans: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Corn-Free
Melissa is using up a bunch of zucchini this week by making Zucchini Bread. She also has some wonderfully warming soups on her menu this week: Summer Squash Soup, One Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup, Rustic Pumpkin Soup with Bacon, and Beef and Cabbage Soup. Taco Salad will round out her dinner meals for the week. For lunch ideas and links to recipes, check out her full menu.

The Gluten Free Week: Gluten-Free
Lori shares her favorite bread recipes this week: Finally Really Good Sandwich Bread from the Gluten-Free Cooking School, Drop Biscuits, and Corn Muffins. The cool weather has gotten Lori to make warming meals, too. She’s making Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Spaghetti, Mediterranean Crock Pot Chicken, Almond-Crusted Salmon, Chef Salad, and Gluten-Free Pizza. For more recipe links, check out her menu plan post.

Check back later to see who else may be sharing their gluten-free menus, recipe links, and ideas for gluten-free breads, dressings, and stuffings this week.

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 gluten-free menus and gluten-free Desserts.
  • 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.

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.
  • Or, check out some of my past menu plans.
Categories : Menu Plan
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Gluten-Free Pizza Crusts Now Available at Papa Murphy’s

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PMCookedHave you made your Halloween dinner plans, yet? How about picking up a gluten-free pizza? If you haven’t heard, yet, Papa Murphy’s take ‘n bake pizza locations are now offering Gluten-Free Pizza. The company has teamed up with Udi’s to provide gluten-free crusts to their customers.

I was contacted and requested to try Papa Murphy’s new gluten-free pizza and report on our experience. My first response was, “Gluten-Free Pizza? Yes!” My second response was, “Wait, what about cross-contamination?” So, armed with a gift card for pizza and questions about cross-contamination, I searched out a Papa Murphy’s location to give it a try.

If you aren’t familiar with Papa Murphy’s, they are a take-and-bake business. In other words, you tell them the crust, sauce and toppings you want on a pizza. They assemble the pizza ingredients on site, where you can see them working, and wrap it up for you. You take the pizza home, unwrap the pizza, and bake it in your own oven so it’s hot and fresh.

I went to Papa Murphy’s on a typical weeknight to see how they would handle the gluten-free pizzas. It was a busy evening with several customers ordering regular gluten-containing pizzas. When we placed our order, we were first told that there is only one size — medium. Not a problem. Then I asked the hard question, “What about cross-contamination?” The young man behind the register said that they are trained to do their best to limit the risk of cross-contamination, but that they can not guarantee that it would be 100% gluten-free due to being prepared in a shared facility. He continued to tell me that the pizza crusts are kept in a separate area, and that the pizza would be prepared with freshly changed, clean gloves. So, we continued with the order.

PapaUncookedI was disappointed, but not surprised to find out that they don’t carry a dairy-free cheese. I ordered one gluten-free pizza with lots of fresh ingredients, and one gluten-free pizza with sauce and pepperoni on the side. (I added the pepperoni they provided  me and my own Daiya cheese at home before baking.) Because of the way Papa Murphy’s is set up, I was able to watch all the preparation of the pizzas. Every pizza crust, gluten-free or not, is on a tray. So, the pizza crust comes out on a tray, and goes down the assembly line. One person, with fresh gloves prepares the pizza with fresh ingredients. The pizza is then wrapped in plastic wrap and given to me to take home and bake.

The biggest risk of cross-contamination I saw was that the ingredients for all pizzas came out of the same toppings containers. It is possible that someone preparing a gluten-containing crust touched the crust and then transferred gluten into the toppings containers. The risk of that is somewhat limited by the fact that the crusts are all on disposable baking trays, and the actual touching of the crusts is limited to possibly touching the edge of a pizza. I would be more concerned about dairy cross-contaimination than that of gluten or wheat. My family felt that the risk on that night was somewhat minimal, or at least no more than eating out at a restaurant that isn’t 100% gluten-free.

PMPizzaWe took the pizzas home, baked them, and enjoyed them. They are Udi’s pizza crusts, which are thin crusts. The size is larger than the Udi’s crusts you can buy in the freezer section of your grocery store. Baking instructions called for 15 minutes at 500º. The pizzas both turned out very good. My plain pepperoni and Daiya cheese pizza was not as exciting as the one loaded up with Papa Murphy’s fresh toppings. But, it was still good. And, the good news is that no one got sick from gluten (or dairy).

Would we buy a gluten-free pizza at a Papa Murphy’s location again? Yes, but probably only occasionally. The time it took me to pick up the pizza, take it home and add my own toppings, and then bake it, was no less than it would take me to prepare my own pizzas with Udi’s frozen crusts at home. More convenient perhaps, but not a real time saver for me. The benefit of going to Papa Murphy’s is the wide selection of toppings. (Be sure to check their Allergen Guide before choosing your toppings.) Papa Murphy’s would also be a good option when traveling and visiting with friends and family.

My recommendation if you want to try Papa Murphy’s gluten-free pizza. For the first time, I would suggest going early in the day when it isn’t quite so busy. The toppings containers will be freshly filled, and less likely to have gluten from cross-contamination. There will also be fewer gluten-containing pizzas being prepared at the same time. Besides limiting the cross-conatimination, it also gives the staff an opportunity to take their time and be more cautious. Be sure to talk to the staff, preferably the person preparing your pizza, and tell them about your sensitivity to gluten. Make sure they change their gloves, and watch them as they prepare your pizza. We felt good about the process. However, if you feel uncomfortable with the looks of the preparation area, you may want to ask the staff if they have fresh toppings in the back that are less likely to have been contaminated. If you still aren’t satisfied, leave without the pizza. It’s always better to be safe than sick. If you were satisfied with the preparation, then you should feel good about the fact that it’s being baked in your own oven, and not one that is being shared with other gluten-containing pizzas. :)

UdiPapa**CeliacFamily was sent a pizza set and a gift card for Papa Murphy’s pizza as an invitation to try the gluten-free pizza and share our experience with our readers. Feel free to add your own thoughts and opinions on it in the comment section below.

Categories : Dining Out, Food
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Trading Candy for Gluten-Free Cookies?? — Celiac Family Reviews Cookies to Buy

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GF Halloween CandyIt’s almost Halloween, and there will be a lot of candy at our house soon! We will meticulously sort through the candy, check my Gluten-Free Candy List, and weed out the pieces with gluten. We usually give the gluten candy to family, friends, and/or co-workers who can tolerate it. My kids are used to the drill since we’ve been doing it ever since they started trick-or-treating. They don’t seem too bothered by the ritual of diminishing their stock of candy. (And I like the idea of excess sugar going out the door!)

However, I know of some families that do other things to make their kids feel better about losing out on some of their sugar rush. Some families buy back the candy from their kids — giving the kids a few dollars — so the kids feel like they are getting something for all their trick-or-treating efforts.  Other families trade the candy for toys or trinkets, or other special treats. They may even keep a supply of their kids’ favorite gluten-free candy to trade with on Halloween night.

Here’s another idea: How about trading the unacceptable candy with some gluten-free cookies? You can, of course, make your own. But there are also lots of options at the grocery stores these days. These are some of the cookies we’ve tried recently.




These cookies were sent to me to sample. And although they look and smell very good, I had to have my family taste them for me. Yep, they are made with real butter, and since I can’t have dairy, I had to let my family enjoy them without me. (GinnyBakes does make a “Dreamy Vegan Delight” vanilla cookies, which are dairy-free.)

In addition to being made in a dedicated gluten-free facility, GinnyBakes takes pride in the fact that their cookies are made with organic ingredients and no GMOs.

My family tells me that they were very good. Some in the family preferred the Chocolate Chip, while others preferred the Coconut Oatmeal. The Chocolate Chip cookies are crispy and buttery, but didn’t fall apart in the packaging. The Coconut Oatmeal Bliss Cookies are bite-size “ginny minis”. They have that traditional oatmeal cookie taste with chewy little raisins and a touch of cinnamon. I’m told that they did not have a coconut flavor. My husband enjoyed the small packages that he could take to work for a snack. Each bag contained six little cookie bites. You can also purchase to-go packs of the larger cookies, with two cookies per pack.

Where to Buy? Find these yummy cookies at your local retailers, at GinnyBakes online, or at Amazon.


Nostalgic Cookies

NostaligicCookiesAll the cookies made at Yossi’s Nostalgic Bakery are gluten-free, dairy-free, Vegan and Kosher. In addition, they do not contain GMO’s, preservatives, corn, or oats.  My kids had to fight me to try these. These are old-fashioned style cookies, as you can see from the picture. The kids enjoyed them, but not as much as I did. I loved the unique flavors and the small size of the cookies. The cookies were not crisp and crumbly, as you might think. Instead, they had a soft, almost chewy, crumb.

The cookies all came packaged individually, which would be perfect for trading with the kids on Halloween! It would also be great for adding to lunch boxes, or keeping in your purse for a quick snack. I can even see keeping a bowl of these sitting on a desk or kitchen counter to share with friends and co-workers. My kids were a little less adventurous about the flavors. They preferred the chocolate sandwich cookies. I enjoyed the variety of the flavors. I didn’t get to try them, but the Pumpkin Spiced Linzers would be great to share with friends and family this season!

Where to Buy? Find these cookies at retailers in select locations, at Nostalgic Cookies online store, or at Amazon.


Enjoy Life Cookies

EnjoyLifeCookiesEnjoy Life is a brand I can really appreciate. It’s hard to find chocolate that is dairy-free, but I can always count on Enjoy Life for allergen-friendly chocolate chips (minis, mega chunks, and now regular size morsels, too). Enjoy Life’s products are also free of the top 8 allergens — so no gluten, dairy, or nuts — which makes it great for school parties where there are always a variety of allergies to manage.

I only have a picture of the Soft-Baked Cookies here, but we’ve also enjoyed the crispy, crunchy variety they make. In fact, I think I like the crunchy cookies better. The soft-baked cookies are cake-like in texture. Almost like a brownie, but not as rich and fudgy as you would expect a brownie to be. They are small — only one or two small bites and it’s gone!

Where to Buy? Find these at your local retailers (Enjoy Life convenient store locator). Or purchase online at Amazon or other online retailers.


*GinnyBakes Cookies and Nostalgic Cookies were sent to Celiac Family free of charge to sample and provide an honest opinion to Celiac Family readers. If you have tried any of the cookies mentioned above, I invite you to leave your own opinions in the comments below.

Other Cookie Reviews by CeliacFamily

Animal Cookies

Animal Cookies

Mi-Del Cookies

Mi-Del Cookies

Pillsbury Cookie Dough

Pillsbury Cookie Dough

Categories : Food, Product Advisory
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