Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Getting my Gluten-Free Recipes Organized

Before I was a mom of 3, and running my kids yoga business, and volunteering, and dedicating enormous amounts of time to gluten-free research and blogging, I was actually organized.  Not so much anymore.  So, I decided to start the new year off by getting my life organized, including my gluten-free recipes.  I purchased a 3 inch ring binder with a cool graphic and which also has attached pockets on the inside cover.  I also purchased a package of clear sheet protectors and a pack of tab dividers.  I already have a label making machine, from my uber organized days.  
Now that I had all of my supplies gathered and 20 minutes to spare, I simply gathered my recipes, created piles of categories such as desserts(my favorite), appetizers, entrees, etc.  and created a label for each tab divider.
I managed to complete this task a few weeks ago and it has truly made my life simpler.  I no longer waste precious moments sifting through piles of recipes torn from magazines, recipes I have typed, recipes my mom has passed along....  I simply grab my cool, retro print binder and in mere seconds I have the recipe I'm looking for:)

Whether it's a binder or a recipe box - get organized - you'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Udi's GF Margherita Pizza

According to my hubby, it's the best store bought, frozen gluten-free pizza he's ever had!  The Udi's pizza was the perfect size for him to enjoy for lunch.  With a small salad, it's just big enough for two to share.  I prefer to make pizza from scratch, but frozen pizza is great to have stocked in the freezer when you don't have the time required to slice, dice, chop, mix & bake a homemade pie.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Blogging from Bed

Well, I awoke at 4:30 am on Saturday with a screaming headache and a 102 degree fever :(  Despite continuous medications the fever did not subside for more than 48 hours.  Monday morning I awoke at 4:30 am with an intense sinus headache, was completely congested and had a 102 degree temp despite a regimen of ibuprofen every 6 hours and acetaminophen every 4 hours since the wee hours of Saturday morning.  My hubby and I decided it was necessary to visit the ER to get my vitals checked, get a flu test and get some iv fluids.  What does any of this have to do with Celiac Disease and my blog?  Absolutely nothing, other than the fact that it is now Tuesday evening and I remain bedridden, but am finally able to sit up, think clearly and write a new post.  Luckily I had some posts previously written that I was able to post live, but haven't been able write anything new.  Part of the problem is that I can't get in my kitchen to cook anything.  For the 1st two days of this viral infection I was unable to get out of bed.  I'm now feeling up to venturing out of bed for about 15 minutes at a time, but I'm choosing to confine myself to my bedroom in an effort to prevent my kids from getting sick.  It's too late for my hubby as he has been my primary care giver.  This morning I had to venture out to help my kids get ready for school(the little ones are 10 & 7).  I emerged from my bedroom wearing a face mask provided to me at the hospital, well, the one they forced me to wear and latex gloves.  My little guy looked at me wide eyed with fear, confusion and concern.  I assured him that I was ok, that I was just protecting him and his sister.  I'm not sure he was convinced, but I got them on the bus and crawled back into bed.  I miss my kitchen, miss teaching yoga, miss visiting the library and I miss shopping for gluten-free goodies but most of all, I miss my kids.
By the way, that flu test came back negative, but it's only 60% accurate.  Hmm...

photo courtesy bloomberg.com

Gluten Free Sun Cups

Neither of my Celiac guys have a sweet tooth or the need for a daily dose of chocolate, but I sure do.  So, when I came across gluten-free Sun Cups while doing my weekly market shopping, I decided I would test them on their behalf.  Sun Cups are a bit pricey at $2 for a package of 2, but I felt the "research" on behalf of my blog and my CD guys would make it worth while.  I was not disappointed as the Milk Chocolate Caramel Cups melted in my mouth with mouthwatering deliciousness.  I was in chocolate heaven.  The chocolate had a strong rich taste and the caramel was smooth, light and creamy.  
The original Sun Cup made with sunflower butter is simply divine.  
The Mint Cups have a light, refreshing, authentic minty taste.  The mint is not heavy, overwhelming or powerful.  
All of the Sun Cups have a rich, full flavor without being heavy, dense or oily.
Absolutely sunsational!  Try some!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Kabobs for Kids

What a fun way to create in the kitchen with your kids!  Kids and kabobs seem to go hand in hand.  Kabobs for Kids by Janna DeVore is written with instructions for both adults and kids, with simple step-by-step directions and great photos.  Most kabob ideas included in this book are naturally gluten free and those that are not can be easily modified.  Chapters include Breakfast Kabobs, Lunch on a Stick, Stick Dinners, Skewered Sweets and ends with a section on Mini Kabobs.  The mini kabobs are great for lunch boxes, after school snacks, or even appetizers.
Recipes range from Waffle Stompers (which I think are great for breakfast after a slumber party) to Caribbean Kabobs.  Another fun idea is Birthday Cake Kabobs - a great way to celebrate a birthday at school.  For gluten-free birthday cake kabobs, I recommend using a dense, most gf cake to reduce the crumble potential.  Caramel Apple Kabobs are a great alternative to traditional fall caramel apples and a lot easier to make and eat!

Somehow, food is tastier when served on a stick.  Kabobs are a fun, creative way to get your kids involved in the kitchen and excited about being creative with their food!  I look forward to finding an interesting variety of skewers and toothpicks so my kids and I can get kabobbing!  I hope to post some creative kabob picks soon!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Against the Grain

Made in Vermont, by a Celiac family run company, in a dedicated gluten-free facility, Against the Grain products include frozen gluten-free baguettes, bagels, rolls, pizza crust and pizzas.  Against the Grain uses natural, organic, non-GMO, locally sourced ingredients.  The Against the Grain website is user friendly and provides clear, detailed nutritional information and all ingredients used in each product.  They also have a store locator app so you can locate a market near you that carries their products.

I bought an Against the Grain Fresh Rosemary Baguette to try with our gf pasta dinner.  I thawed the baguette on the counter.  Then sliced it lengthwise, spread organic garlic butter on both sides, wrapped it in aluminum foil and heated it at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
I sliced and served it hot with our pasta dinner.  The consensus at the dinner table was overwhelmingly positive!  Yay!  The crust is just that - crusty.  The texture of the inside was doughy, chewy and delectable.

I highly recommend the Against the Grain baguette and I look forward to trying their rolls next!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Naturally Gluten-Free Slush Buddies

These are the cutest individual slushy makers!  My two youngest kids are crazy over these Slush Buddies!  Santa brought these to our house, but aside from the north pole, you can also order these online ;-)  The Aussie Ice Slush Buddy Slushy Maker is manufactured from food grade silicone, is BPA free and holds 10 oz of liquid.  You can use these with almost any type of liquid with no need for sugary syrups or food dyes.  We've been using lots of organic fruit juices.  The kids are so excited to make slushies every day and it keeps them busy for quite awhile.  The Slush Buddy has to be squeezed 60-80 times to create the slush - so it keeps their hands occupied and builds up their fine motor muscles - which is great for improving my little guys dexterity and pencil grip for handwriting.

Who knew juice could be so fun?!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Gluten-Free Party Pretzel Treats

There is no real "recipe" here.  Simply use gluten-free ingredients and have fun!  We used about 2 dozen marshmallows, a bag of Glutino Pretzel Sticks, about 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips, and sprinkles.  I scored the bottom of each marshmallow to make inserting the pretzel stick a bit easier, so the marshmallow wouldn't get squished.  Then I set up an assembly line work station and my 10 year old took over.  She had so much fun dipping the marshmallows in the melted chocolate and then in the sprinkles.  
She loved making this treat and bringing it to a New Year's Eve party.  Just use seasonal sprinkles and these treats will work well for any occasion!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Candy Cane Hot Cocoa

Candy Cane Cocoa

We just had our first snowfall of the season.  Although, not a lot of snow, my two little ones were ready to head out and play.  While they were busy making snow angels and trying to slide down the small hill in our backyard, I got ready to warm them up with made-from-scratch hot cocoa.  Here is one of my favorite recipes.

Candy Cane Cocoa

4 oz organic 1% milk
4 oz Vanilla Soy Milk
1 1/2  TBSP Dutch Processed Cocoa
3 TBSP Sugar in the Raw
1/2 t ground cinnamon

2 gluten free candy canes
small handful of gluten-free Kraft Jet-Puffed Peppermint Mallows

Combine the milk and heat on the stove in a small saucepan.
Stir in the dry ingredients.
Heat to a low simmer.
Pour, add peppermint embellishments.
Serve and enjoy!

Many instant hot cocoa mixes contain gluten ingredients or are processed on shared equipment!  Read labels carefully and enjoy the more robust flavor of pure cocoa!