Monday, October 25, 2010

Menu plan Monday!

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a bit - we've all been fighting off colds.

My daughter had her first sleepover since becoming Gluten Free and I think it went exceptionally well (at least as far as the food!). She brought her own pizza, cookies, and cereal. She said she didn't feel uncomfortable at all eating her special foods. I was so proud of her! Again, preparation is key.

This is our menu plan for this week. You can probably tell I wasn't feeling so hot when I made this plan, hence the many easy meals. I'm thinking a few will change once I get more energy. I'm only posting dinner. Everything else is "fly by night" until we are well. :)

Dinner menu
Sunday - black beans and yellow rice with cornbread
Monday - hot dogs and baked beans
Tuesday - shrimp fritters
Wednesday - beef stew
Thursday - cornbread sandwiches and soup
Friday - steak and potatoes
Saturday - Church fall festival, eating there!

I've checked out a couple of more cookbooks from the library and I haven't been as excited about them as with my first one. I'll let you know if I find anything wonderful. The thing that bothers me about all these GF cookbooks is that their recipes depend on the book's specific flour recipe, which costs additional money to make when I already have mine. I would like them to be more generic so I could use my own mix.

Hope everyone has a blessed week!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Some days

There are days when I am so blessed to know I did all the right things to keep my precious girls healthy. Other days I forget to check a label and don't realize it until a stomach ache appears and we pinpoint a specific item. Then there are days like yesterday when my oldest has a belly ache and headache and we can't figure out anything she's eaten to cause it. Those are the times that frustrate me. The only possible culprit we can figure is that she had touched a cracker before eating her own snack - is her belly really that sensitive? Evidently, yes. She skipped her Wednesday night AWANA because she was feeling so bad. It just breaks my heart on days like that.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Still progressing

The menu planning has been an enormous blessing. My daughter doesn't get anxious at meal times anymore trying to figure out something safe to eat. I have it hanging in our kitchen and there are no surprises! We had a last minute dinner party this past weekend and the GF kids managed to avoid glutens - hallelujah! It is possible!

I made my first GF flour mix from a recipe in the new cookbook. I am completely blown away at how much better it tastes than the ready made brand. It was outrageously expensive to buy all the ingredients for it, but I'm thinking it will eventually be much more cost effective. I think it ended up being $24 for everything, but I should be able to make many more batches. It was definitely more moist than the store bought. I've made a bunch of ziploc baggies of it and have it stored in the freezer - evidently it has to kept that way or it will go bad very quickly.

I haven't attempted any more bread. I'm rather afraid of wasting such expensive flour on another catastrophe.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Menu Plan 10/17-23

I have been posting my menu plans at the beginning of the week, but since I am trying to use coupons I am going to be doing my menu plans and shopping at the end of the week (today or Saturday), so this is when I'm going to post it. My menus are based on the sales at our local Publix - my favorite store. I may even try to keep a record of my grocery bill here - perhaps it will keep me accountable. Also, you will notice I'll not typically post breakfast and lunches on weekends. My husband is home those days and our schedule is so crazy that I can't plan anything - so it's fly by night on those days.

Breakfast menu
Sunday -
Monday - pumpkin muffins
Tuesday - cereal
Wednesday - berry corn muffins
Thursday - cereal
Friday - toast
Saturday -

Lunch menu
Sunday -
Monday - GF macaroni and cheese
Tuesday - pancakes
Wednesday - Bob's red mill biscuits & eggs
Thursday - rice cake sandwiches (normally peanut butter & honey)
Friday - pizza
Saturday -

Dinner menu
Sunday - black bean pork chops (slow cooker)
Monday - tostadas
Tuesday - chicken waffles (never made them last week)
Wednesday - potato bacon egg pie (never made it either!)
Thursday - pasta
Friday - slow cooker bbq
Saturday - chicken tenders with fritos for crust

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Another day

I took the kids to a park yesterday for a playdate with a couple of other families. I had to run in the store to get drinks and a snack for everyone. I glanced over the labels and grabbed 2 bags of chips that I thought were great choices. You know where this is going, right? We were thoroughly enjoying them until I say in BOLD print that they contained wheat ingredients. How on earth did I miss that? Thankfully, only myself and the little munchkin had eaten them. Un-thankfully, her attitude reflected that for the rest of the day. Sigh.

I made rice and bean corn enchiladas last night and all the kids devoured them and asked for more. I love when that happens! I'm looking forward to lunch when I get to eat the leftovers! The older kids had AWANA, so I made a box of Betty Crocker Gluten Free chocolate chip cookies while they were gone. They are delicious! A bit crumbly, but still good enough for me to eat 4... It was very nice to just crack open a box and cook for a quick snack. It made 2 dozen, so it was more than enough for our entire family.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


My three year old, Kyndall, doesn't have any idea what she is supposed to eat. If someone hands her a snack, she eats it - without question. Today at co-op (we homeschool), I brought her a snack of gummies, but due to a mis-communication she was given cheerio-s. Complete accident, but it made me aware of what to do for our next class. She has been so sweet since switching her to the gluten free diet. It's been 3 full days and I've seen a dramatic change. Within a couple of hours of eating gluten she gets very cranky. We went to the ball park tonight to watch hubby play softball and someone gave her a bag of crackers, which she devoured before I could stop her. She crashed about 15 minutes later with a tummy ache. I think we are definitely on the right path - for her attitude and health, but we shall see.

We did great again today - the baked ziti was a hit (it was actually penne pasta, but close enough). I have to make 2 pans since there isn't as much pasta in the GF box. I make one gluten full, and one free for the 3 of us. I make it first so there isn't any "contamination", and I use my beautiful new red strainer just for GF foods. I have stuck exactly to our menu plan, and yesterday was food heaven around here. The hash brown waffles were unbelievable - I ate so many I lost count. Seriously. That. Good. On to dinner - the shrimp fritters will become a staple in our house, as well as the cornbread salad sandwiches. The sandwiches probably don't sound appealing, but my carnivorous husband requested them as a meal in themselves. Oh, and the berry muffins for breakfast - so good. I was in the kitchen most of the day, and it was really nice. I enjoyed every minute of it. To top it all off, Shayla told me that eating gluten free isn't bad at all. How's that for a compliment from an 11 year old picky eater? Yup, I was a rock star yesterday - all by the grace of God! I prayed every time I tried to cook worried that the $8 bag of flour was going to flop in a recipe. It's too expensive to experiment with, but what choice do I have?

Monday, October 11, 2010

GF Menu Plan Monday 10/11-10/17

I haven't posted in a while. I've had nothing worthy to say since every day was full of gluten joy. We were home only one night, the rest of the week Shayla chose to have all kinds of foods that are absolute no-no's. We also had a yard sale 2 of those days and I have no idea what she consumed while I was busy. She was paying for it dearly by this weekend - lethargic, moody, continual belly ache. She felt so good for the first couple of weeks being gluten free that she forgot how bad she felt before. It seems to get progressively worse the more she eats, so that first donut might have been worth the pain, but by Friday night when she chose pizza after her salad she was almost unable to stand the sickness. So, back to square one. I compiled a wonderful menu based on the cookbook I purchased and we will be enjoying it's amazing recipes starting tonight. I am not listing the recipes today, but if you would like one please email me, I'd love to share! Our menu plan always changes throughout the week based on my level of exhaustion, but this gives me an idea of what I have on hand so I can cook without calling my neighbor and asking for yet another missing ingredient.

Kyndall (our 3 year old), and I are also strictly on the GF diet. I've been very good with making wise choices on her foods, but at church yesterday she walked out holding a cup of cheerios. Once again, it comes down to being prepared. Next time I will be bringing a bag of snacks for her that she will like enough to eat instead of throwing a fit for the helpful, innocent volunteers.

Ok, here are the menus.

Dinner menu
Monday - Shrimp fritters with cornbread greens stack (basically a cornbread sandwich with salad as the filling
Tuesday - Baked ziti, salad
Wednesday - Black bean and rice enchiladas, shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa
Thursday - pizza made with Bobs Red Mill dough, salad or green veggie
Friday - ham and tomato cornbread sandwiches with jalapeno mayo and fries
Saturday - Steak on the grill, mashed potatoes, salad
Sunday - chicken and waffles with maple bacon gravy

Breakfast menu
Monday - Berry corn muffins
Tuesday - cereal
Wednesday - eggs
Thursday - banana crepes
Friday - cereal
Saturday - ham & chive crepes
Sunday - cereal

Lunch menu
Monday - hash brown waffles with eggs
Tuesday - rice cake sandwiches (normally peanut butter & honey)
Wednesday - frozen pizza (we found a great gf one)
Thursday - toasted ham sandwiches
Friday - rice cake sandwiches
Saturday - sloppy joe filled potatoes
Sunday - potato bacon egg pie

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Looking back

I am looking over my recent posts and it looks as if I am doing pretty bad with this "diet". I suppose that would be correct since the last 5 days we've had at least one mess up each day, mostly intentional because of our lack of willpower. I can't get down about it, I'm called to "consider it pure joy when I face trials of many kinds", and this is definitely a trial. I am joyful, because I know that I can try again and do better - for myself and my children. This is not going to be an easy road, nor will it be without many more trials. But, I am confident in this - that we will make it and find many joys in each success and learn from each mistake.


I had a meal planned for tonight - beef stew, but as I was putting the ingredients in the crockpot I was told about another recipe for beef stroganoff (one of my favorites). I already had the meat in the crock, so I added my cream of potato soup and the rest of the ingredients, so excited about dinner. I suddenly realized I hadn't checked the label on the cream of potato - there it was "wheat flour". Sigh. I feel terrible. My daughter said she is going to eat it anyway because it smells so good, but I am just sick that I made a meal without being more thorough. It's my responsibility to feed her and keep her healthy and I failed. On top of that, tonight is AWANA so she'll go to church with a belly ache. I suppose she's done it for months, what's another night? Lesson learned - go with the original, well thought out plan. If I'm going to improvise I will have to actually put thought into it (and I'm not so good at that!).

Monday, October 4, 2010

Caved again...

We had an unexpected visit with a sweet relative from out of town last night and she treated us to dinner at CiCi's pizza. Shayla and I discussed it and came to a joint decision to enjoy the meal and make it our last splurge. Preparation is the key, and I did not go there prepared. We went hungry and tired, and it was lovely to spend a meal not thinking of what we were eating. We filled our plates to overflowing with greasy, poisonous (ie gluten filled) pizza heaven and finished it off with cinnamon rolls. Shayla paid for it with a terrible tummy ache the entire way home and went straight to bed. I think it was a good way to end our gluten life.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Baking GF Bread for beginners

A few things to keep in mind when first attempting to bake gluten free bread. (This is my try at Bob's Red Mill GF bread mix).

1. Baking gluten free bread is NOTHING like baking regular bread.
2.It is like using that paste from elementary school (you know, the stuff that smelled so sweet and yummy?), and trying to form it into a loaf of bread.
3.It is NOT meant to mixed by hand and tried to mold into that aforementioned loaf. It shouldn't even be touched by human hands -only a spatula or beaters.
4.It smells terrible.
5.It will stick all over you, your kitchen, and anything else you dare to touch.
6.If you try to use your beautiful new stand mixer it will creep straight up the beaters to the top and stick in places you'll never get out.
7.Your beautiful new stand mixer will not be beautiful anymore.
8. It will look fairly close to normal bread when finished.
9. The first time you toast it in your brand new GF toaster your 3 year old will say someone went "stinky". It smells that bad.
10. It tastes about that bad, too.

Next? I am going to make my own flour mix and try that. The bean flavor as the first ingredient in this mix is too strong to make it edible for regular toast and sandwiches. It needs a lot of something to camouflage the taste.

Flop, Menu Plan 10/3-10/9

Yesterday I caved. My husband and I were blessed with a couple of hours to ourselves and we went to a local restaurant. I made my kids some delicious GF spaghetti, but I gorged myself on crispy onion rings and boneless buffalo wings. Yup, I chose badly. I was unprepared and glutton for fried food. Today Shayla flopped - she had a doughnut at church. She came up to me with her sweet little friends and asked if she could have a stomach ache, how could I say no to that? Tomorrow is another day... Yes, that is one of my favorite movies of ALL time.

I am doing a week of getting by with what's in our pantry for now, but next week I'll be trying a ton of new recipes and hope to start sharing those with you. I am heading in the kitchen now to try to make a loaf of bread, I'll let you know how that turns out.

This is my menu plan for dinners:

Sunday - black bean veggie burgers with corn and rice
Monday - pork tenderloin with mashed potatoes and green beans
Tuesday - Crockpot Beef Stew
Wednesday - Baked Ziti
Thursday - Breakfast dinner (eggs, biscuits, pancakes)
Friday - Chicken and yellow rice with peas
Saturday - tacos (with lentils for the "meat")

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Starting from scratch

I was blessed with a gorgeous almost new stand mixer yesterday. I am already imagining the wonderful creations I can now make. Life is good. I plan to make a loaf of bread today. I'll let you know how that turns out. I have a bread machine, but it is covered in crumbs, so the mixer will be doing that duty today.

Today we woke up dreaming of funnel cakes. The local fair is only 4 1/2 months away and that's part of the reason we go. I suppose I'll have to come up with some other delicacy to celebrate that event. The only problem is that I'm not one of those people that can just come up with a recipe. I need clear concise directions to follow. I've only recently gotten to the point of being able to substitute ingredients. Take chicken pot pie for example. The recipe I have calls for Veg-All, so that's what I use. I finally came to the point that I could use just carrots. Yes, I'm that bad of a cook. But, I love cooking. It is one of those rare times I can focus solely on one thing and it rewards me immediately by tasting good - most times. It's a very relaxing time for me. I consider it a hobby and I've forgotten how much I enjoy it lately in the rush of life. I used to dream of owning my own bakery. That's the blessing of celiac for me - I am going to have to return to cooking from scratch. No more processed foods for our family.

Friday, October 1, 2010

I am on my second day of gluten free. No immediate results like Shayla had, but I am committed. I made pancakes this morning and they were awful. Seriously awful. They tasted like beans. At least the kids ate them. I've read that the mixes are all trial and error, some people love the bean flours, others are not fans - I obviously fall into the latter category as far as pancakes go. We had a wonderful pizza last night and the bean flour was fine with it.

I received 2 cookbooks yesterday and we are heading to the store to stock up on delicious ingredients so we can actually eat 3 normal meals a day. The hardest thing is that when we are hungry there isn't anything we can just grab that is moderately healthy. After this weekend, that should be resolved!