Saturday, February 28, 2009

Survival tip for those who work outside the home

Or, even for stay-at-home moms who are busy! :)

On the weekends, I make a lot of food. For example, this weekend I'm making Crockpot Chili with rice, banana-blueberry muffins (we had some extremely over-ripe bananas), coconut flour cheese muffins, Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings, 2 loaves of gluten free bread (freeze one for later), a breakfast quiche....well, you get the picture. We'll have lots of leftovers to use for breakfasts and lunches during the week. I also made blueberry pancakes this morning and made sure there were extras for future breakfasts for the kids. They're on a chili and rice kick right now, but I can't complain...the chili I make has TONS of veggies in it, so it's good for them.

Before we went gluten free, we could just run out and get burgers, or Chinese take-out or whatever....this is no longer an option. So I am forced to plan in advance and make sure that there's always plenty of healthy gluten free food around because I work. DH is a stay-at-home daddy, and he does very well with the kids, but he doesn't like to cook, and would probably feed Matthew nachos for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I didn't have large containers full of chili or other leftovers in the fridge.

P.S. DH insists that, although it is true that he avoids cooking like the plague, he would never dream of feeding Matthew nachos for all three meals. Instead he would alternate between meals like yogurt, cereal, cottage cheese and nachos along with fruit (all among Matthew's favorites). So I have to be fair here.... :)

P.P.S. If you have one of those evenings where you're just too tired to cook, it's a lifesaver to have lots of leftovers! I've been freezing some of ours for just such occasions.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Off-topic: Emma has her Rifton walker!!

I just wanted to write a quick "PTL" happy post about my adopted daughter, Emma (my biological granddaughter), who has a number of serious medical problems, including cerebral palsy. She's 2 1/2 but can't sit up for more than a few minutes, and she can't stand or walk without support. Her physical therapist at CCS helped us get a Rifton walker for her on loan:

As you can see, she LOVES it! She was so angry the other night when we put her in it for the last time before bed and then took her out after only 15 minutes. She yelled "I wanna go in the walker!!" over and over until we reminded her that she was going to wake up her brother Matthew if she didn't stop it.

I'm so glad that she finally has a walker that fits her, not just her old baby walker which is way too small!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Now life get busier....

I start teaching again tomorrow (I work a full-time job and also a part-time job: I teach one math class every semester at one of the local community colleges). This will make my life VERY interesting; the class starts at 7:00 AM MWF, and I have to go to the full-time job after class gets out at 8:45 AM. So I will have to make sure I bring both gluten free breakfasts and lunches with me on those days. I should pack my breakfast and lunch tonight, probably.

And I should stop blogging and print out my syllabus now! :)

Gluten Free Menu Plan For This Week

Well, here we are again....and yes, I do have a plan:

Monday: Sandra's Pork Chops Supreme, white rice, steamed broccoli and cauliflower

Tuesday: Gluten-free pasta with Artichoke-Lemon Pesto and Grilled Scallops, green salad

Wednesday: Chicken Apple-Chardonnay Sausage, Parmesan Cottage Potatoes, green beans

Thursday: Cassoulet, green salad, gluten free rolls

Friday: Parmesan Crusted Chicken, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings, green salad

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blog envy

Yes, I have the green-eyed monster hiding under my bed....jealousy. I've been blog-hopping a bit too much lately, which is a pleasant way to lose hours of time better spent organizing paperwork or cleaning closets, no doubt.

As I jump from blog to blog, I run across sites with GORGEOUS photography, such as Muddy Boot Dreams, by the talented Jen, or the achingly beautiful images of Diane Varner on Daily Walks. And other blogs, like What's Cooking? (Kayotic Kitchen) by the "Dutch Girl", Kay, or the wonderful, homey sites maintained by Sandra (Full Bellies, Happy Kids and Diary of a Stay-At-Home Mom), or the Year of CrockPotting by Stephanie, combine professional-grade photography with wonderful recipes and make me feel that my own efforts in that direction are seriously lacking in every way imaginable.

And still others: Erica, of These Three Remain, along with the lady who is the Unknown Contributor and Sara with her Much Ado about Something, and all those others whose writings and photos, infused with humor, pathos, intelligence, sensitivity, and faith in God, provide us with glimpses into their souls....I am humbled by them.

Does anyone else out there know what I'm talking about?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Gluten Free Menu Plan For This Week

It's that time again.... :)

Click on a link to get the recipe....the links should take you to my new Recipe Archive.

Monday: Gluten Free Tuna Casserole, green salad

Tuesday: Boeuf Bourguignon in the Crockpot, Gluten Free Cheese Muffins

Wednesday: Baked Tilapia, rice pilaf with garlic and mushrooms, green beans

Thursday: Chicken Enchilada Casserole, green salad

Friday: Broiled Steak, twice-baked potatoes, steamed broccoli

Saturday: leftovers

Sunday: Chicken and Black Bean Burritos, green salad

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Recent culinary successes

Well, I mostly stuck to my menu plan this week. The kids had leftovers last night, while DH and I had broiled lamb chops, mashed baby red potatoes topped with caramelized onions, and peas cooked with garlic and mushrooms...with wine. For Valentine's Day. :)

I've been a little less busy at work this week, which gave me a little more time to cook and blog!

I made 2 loaves of bread the other day, using Julie's wonderful gluten free recipe; it was as good as I remembered. The commercial gluten free breads I've tried are disgusting, but this bread is so much like "real" bread it's amazing. It's not only delicious, but it's soft and pliable and slices well and stays fresh on the counter for days. I've posted the bread recipe on my other blog, so if you're interested click on the link and go check it out.

I never reported on how the Crockpot Mole recipe from the other week turned out; I did take a picture but didn't get a chance to upload it until today.

It was INCREDIBLE. I had originally planned to use chicken but found some beef in the freezer that really needed to be used right away, so we had Beef Mole. The sauce is just as rich as it looks, and you can taste more than a hint of chocolate. I originally got the recipe from Stephanie's Crockpot blog, but have now posted it on my recipe blog. If you want the recipe, click here. We had a lot left and froze it so that I could have a night off from cooking sometime in the near future.

Time to get organized

I've decided to create a new blog JUST for archiving recipes, that I can link to from here. The new blog will just be a convenient place to stash my favorite gluten free recipes, so I don't lose them or forget about them.

I think this will help readers to find recipes more quickly as well. I've already put a few recipes over there....feel free to take a look!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Gluten Free Menu Plan For This Week

Wow, time is just flying by! It seems like I was just posting the weekly menu plan yesterday!

Anyway, I'm trying to use up what we have in the pantry and freezer this week, so that was the main driver for this week's plan (just click on the links to find the recipes):

Monday: Mexican lasagna (variation on a Rachel Ray recipe), green salad.

For Mexican Lasagna, layer beans, ground turkey (browned with onions and seasoned with cumin, salt, pepper, chili powder), corn tortillas OR gluten-free flour tortillas (torn in strips), salsa, and cheese in a casserole dish just like building the layers when making lasagna. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, until bubbly around the edges.

Tuesday: Gluten free spaghetti and meatballs, steamed broccoli

Wednesday: Fish tacos, carrots and celery sticks

Thursday: Chile, rice, green salad

Friday: Breakfast quiche, gluten free muffins, fruit

Saturday: leftovers

Sunday: Gluten free low-carb pizza, green salad

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Feeling better....definitely

I have to say, more than 2 months into the gluten free diet thing, that I'm actually feeling better. I feel better now than I did last week, and last week I felt better than the previous week!

I still use the wheelchair, but I'm able to stand up longer (a little bit longer anyway) and I can walk a tiny bit further now. I still have the occasional headache, but before I started the diet I had the headaches every day! My hands don't shake anymore, at least, very rarely now. There are just so many areas of improvement....I'm really starting to hope that someday I'll feel totally normal again!

I know I was feeling disappointed because I wasn't feeling great IMMEDIATELY, but obviously you have to give the diet time to work!

Any improvement is definitely worth any amount of hassle that the gluten free lifestyle causes!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Prayer request for Baby Matthew

There is a beautiful baby boy named Matthew who is only a few weeks old. He was diagnosed soon after birth with a very serious medical condition called hydranencephaly. This condition is terminal and the doctors at first gave his guardians the prognosis that he would likely only live a few months.

But there has recently been some indication that Matthew may be treatable, and that in the best case scenario, he might even be able to have a normal life after surgery. This momentary ray of hope has now faded a bit, because the results of a cat scan were inconclusive. You can see Matthew and read more at his blogsite, Gift of God.

Please pray for the Lord to work in Matthew's life, and touch him with His healing power. Pray for God's will in his life. Pray that the Lord will anoint his doctors with wisdom. Pray for the precious Christian family who is caring for him as if he were their very own.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gluten Free Menu Plan For This Week

Well, this week is slightly easier to plan because I didn't actually make a couple of the dinners from last I'll make 'em this week!

Monday: Salmon sauteed with mushrooms and white wine, rice pilaf, broccoli

Tuesday: Chicken and Rice Casserole, peas with garlic and mushrooms

Wednesday: Baked Beans with Franks, green salad

Thursday: Crockpot Chicken Mole, served with rice and corn tortillas

Friday: Black bean and ground turkey burritos, green salad

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Grilled gluten free kielbasa, baked potatoes, green beans