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Happy New Year 2016

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bitmoji-20151230201152We are heading into a brand new year!  This past year has been a hard one for me…. lots of changes, loss, struggle.  I’m hoping that this new year will be an easier year for me and for you!

One thing that always makes it easier is menu planning and I love the freezer to crockpot meals.  It is so nice to just grab a bag in the morning and throw it in the crockpot and your dinner is  ready.

You can check out the Freezer to Crockpot meals. The choices are Hearty Western Casserole. Pasta Fagiola. Coconut Curry Chicken.  Autumn Harvest Chicken (or Pork)

My favorite is the Cilantro Lime Chicken with Corn and Beans.

 

 

 

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Gluten Free, Dairy Free Corn Cakes

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Corn cakes on the griddle
Corn cakes on the griddle

Oh, my goodness!! These were amazing.  I haven’t had corn cakes in ages.  When I make pot roast I love to have with it, but during the summer I hate to heat up the kitchen.  So last week when I made pot roast I got the brilliant idea to try and make GF, DF corn cakes and they were a HUGE success.

 

1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 Tablespoons sugar (optional)
3/4 cup corn meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened so delicious coconut)
1/4 cup oil
1 egg

 

Combine dry ingredients, whisk to combine. Set aside.

In a larger bowl combine milk, oil and egg and beat well.  Add dry ingredients and mix until it mostly lump free.

Cook on greased, hot griddle.

This made approximately 20-2inch corn cakes.

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Dairy Free Cream Cheese Icing

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Since pulling dairy from my son’s diet things have been a lot more challenging. He wanted carrot cake for his birthday and let’s face it, what’s carrot cake without cream cheese icing??  I considered doing two separate icings/cakes, but for me, part of the joy of birthdays is sharing everything together.  So I decided to make the DF cream cheese icing and see how it tasted.  I had everyone taste it and it received five thumbs up so I used it to ice the whole cake.  Everyone who had some said it was fabulous.

Cream Cheese Icing

4 oz DF butter, softened
8 oz DF cream cheese, softened (I used this one but would get this one if possible)
Zest of one lemon
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar

Cream the softened butter and cream cheese, add zest of lemon, salt, vanilla, mix well.  Add powdered sugar two cups at a time mixing well between additions.  Mix till smooth and creamy.  If you want it thicker add more powdered sugar, if you want it thinner add a bit of water or DF milk.

I iced a two layer, 9 inch layer cake and had some left over.

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Favorite Find Friday – Coconut Flour

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Favorite Find Friday2I don’t know if you use coconut flour much or not in your GF baking.  I don’t use it a ton.  It has a different texture, a bit more dense and heavy.  But, one of my favorite recipes to make with coconut flour is muffins.  Coconut flour is a bit more expensive but the great thing is that a little bit goes a long way.  If it was in the budget I would definitely get the coconut flour at Tropical Traditions, but this has been a good alternative for grain free baking.  Another bonus is that when you cook with coconut flour you don’t have to use any gums.

 

Coconut Flour

I purchased this at Sam’s Club for less than $10/5#.  It was an incredibly good price, especially since it is organic.

Here are a few recipes you can use your coconut flour with:

Gluten Free No-Bake Coconut Chocolate Thumbprints (DF, EF, GF)
Gluten Free Maple Pumpkin Muffins
Dutch Baby

Happy baking!!

 

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I’m still alive

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In case you were wondering, I am still alive.  This year has been a rough one for me and my family in numerous ways.  I haven’t been able to keep up with everything so the blog has really fallen off my radar, unfortunately.  I have so many recipes and favorite finds that I want to share along with the regular weekly menus.  I’m hoping that Summer is going to bring some quieter days and schedule and that I will have time and energy to devote to many things that have fallen to the wayside, one being the blog.

I know I promised that I’d post the homemade chocolates recipe and here’s a sneak peek.

Homemade Chocolates Filled
These are filled with toasted coconut butter

I also have a budding cook in the kitchen with me.

Tic Tac Toast prep
Tic Tac Toast prep

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made dairy free, refined sugar free “caramel”.

Dairy Free "Caramel"
Dairy Free “Caramel”

Experimented with natural food coloring.Natural Food Coloring Royal Icing

 

And tried my hand at fried rice.

 

Shrimp Fried Rice
Shrimp Fried Rice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see I’ve been busy still.

 

 

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Weekly Menu Plan #7 – 2015

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Gluten Free Always Weekly Menu Plan

 

Hello, March!  I was hoping for a little more Spring-like weather, but not so far.  I think this week it will have a few warm days.  I really want to get back to walking every morning.  Since this cold weather I haven’t been able willing to walk like I was.  I have been trying to walk with a friend twice a week. I’m thankful for that, but really want to get back to more of it.

I have been on a quest for gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free chocolates.  I am making great progress. For fillings  I have made DF Caramel (with refined sugar), I also found a DF, refined sugar free “caramel” sauce that is really good.  I also made a toasted coconut butter filling and I have two other filling recipes to try… mint and vanilla.  I will try to take pictures and get recipes up on the blog soon.  For now here’s the menu for the week:

 

Monday:
Pizza Pasta CasseroleSalad

Tuesday:
Pot Roast
Potatoes
Carrots
Cornbread…maybe

Wednesday:
Polish Sausage
Roasted Veggies

Thursday:
Sweet n Sour Chicken
Coconut Rice
Carrots

Friday:
Burgers

Saturday:
Chicken Tacos

Sunday:
Red Chicken Chili

 

You find great menu ideas here and here.
Also, this menu been shared at Gluten Free Menu Swap

Get my cookbook here.

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Weekly Menu Plan #6 – 2015

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Gluten Free Always Weekly Menu PlanI hope  you enjoyed the doughnut recipe I shared.  Tell me did you make some?  I have another great recipe coming up.  It is for dairy free, refined sugar free “caramel” sauce.  You can use it as a yummy fruit dip, eat it with a spoon, add it to some muffins or brownies.  I did both of the last two!  I think you could even pipe it onto cupcakes as an icing.

I don’t know what the weather is looking like for you this week, but if you need to warm up you might want to make some soup!  You can check out a few recipes here.  I might have to switch up my menu too!  We are in for a cold front this week.  We had a beautiful day on Saturday, I got out and worked in the yard a bit and potted some herbs and a few other plants.  It was amazing.

Right now I’ve got this menu ready to go:

Monday:
Smoky Chipotle Chili Cheese Mac (with a DF version for the youngest)
Salad

Tuesday:
Beef & Cornbread Skillet
Veggie

Wednesday:
Lemon Garlic Thyme Chicken
Potaotes
Veggie

Thursday:
Sloppy Joe
Sides

Friday:
Chicken Enchilada Bake

Saturday:
Teriyaki Beef (I never made it last week)
Rice
Carrots

Sunday:
Red Chicken Chili

 

You find great menu ideas here and here.
Also, this menu been shared at Gluten Free Menu Swap

Get my cookbook here.

 

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Happy New Year’s Eve!

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Wow, was that the fastest, busiest year of your life?  Or was that just me?  I’ve been very sporadic with my posts, I just haven’t had the time to invest as I would like, I’m hoping this year will be different, but I can’t make any promises. 🙂  I have tons of recipes that I’ve made but just haven’t gotten up on the blog, including some dairy free recipes.  My youngest is having some issues and I’m trying to eliminate dairy, heavy emphasis on the trying.  I’m doing pretty well on the stand alone dairy, but not the mixed in/hidden dairy.  It seems like what I’m doing has helped, so on we go.  Thankfully, he’s pretty easy going concerning the changes.

I hope you have a very Happy New Year today and the rest of the year!

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Weekly Menu Plan #29 – 2014

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Gluten Free Always Weekly Menu PlanWe are really enjoying the weather here.  We spent a lot of time outside this week, including a lot of much needed yard work. With as fast as this year is going  I’m starting to think about Thanksgiving already.  I’m stoked to have the Thanksgiving Gluten Free eBook with the shopping list this year.  I’m going to start shopping for non-perishable items to get a jump on it.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.

Menu for the week:

Monday:
Smoky Chipotle Chili Cheese Mac

Smoky Chipotle Chili Cheese Mac
Salad

Tuesday:
Mongolian Beef
Rice (make double for tomorrow)
Carrots

Wednesday:
Rice Bake

Thursday:
Bean & Cheese Enchilada

Friday:
Salmon Patties
Roasted Veggies

Saturday:
Honey Lime Chicken Tacos

Sunday:
Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

 

Four of the recipe this week are in my cookbook.

More great menu ideas here and here

Shared on Gluten Free Menu Swap

 

 

 

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Weekly Menu Plan #24 – 2014

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Here we go….this week really kicks up our schedule by several notches.  I have all these ideas in my mind to make things easier and run smoother.  Sadly I’m not doing the best at implementing  them and the ones I’ve tried have not been successful.  I’ll be hanging in there and will hopefully get a good groove going in a week or so.  Obviously meal planning is a big thing for me especially when my schedule is super busy.  I also have a few things in the freezer that I can pull out at the last minute if my planned menu doesn’t work out for whatever reason.  I also plan to start doubling some of my meals and freezing half, for the ones that this will work well for.

What are some of your best management tricks, tools, helps?

This week’s menu:

 

Monday:
Pasta – maybe baked ziti I may do spaghetti and meatballs  my girl has been asking for that.  If I pull this off I will double the meatballs and freeze half.

Tuesday:
Today is my mom’s (and my) birthday
Not sure what we’ll do for dinner yet.  But I will be making a Vintage Cake and look forward to sharing the recipe with you.

Wednesday:
Salmon Patties
Roasted Veggies

Thursday:
Hot Dogs or Cows in Ponchos
Chips

Friday:
Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken
Sides – not sure

Saturday:
Pizza
Salad

Sunday:
Chicken Tortilla Soup

check out here and here for more great menu plans

 

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