Monday

This is what comes from not following the directions.

Gluten free pasta is not as forgiving as wheat pasta.  If you decide to add a little more water in (because you didn't measure the water the first time, as you should have --- shame on you!), it will go all goopy and weird and have to be thrown out.   Fortunately I had some more.  Gluten free pasta is easier to find now at the grocery stores than it was 5 years ago when I first went gluten free and it is less expensive now than it used to be.  For a time, I used the Thai rice noodles for spaghetti, but most of the time now, I buy some of the various gluten free specially made pastas because they are cheaper.

The moral of this story is to follow the directions on the pasta exactly.  :-)

Sunday

Cherry cheese pie.

All 4 of the people living here had a simultaneous craving for this stuff.  One late Saturday night trip to the grocery store and here it is.  It is really good with the gluten free crust.

Saturday

Entertaining!

I was asked a question yesterday about how to entertain people who have gluten (and other) sensitivities.  It's funny because this is something that my friends have been dealing with for the past 5 years, very nicely and sweetly, but not something that I have had to deal with.  However, if I do have someone over who is gluten sensitive, I will worry that they are more gluten sensitive than me and my 2 kids and maybe I will make them sick.  What a horrible thought.  We do share our kitchen with the 2 gluten eaters in the household and though I am planning to divide it more and start using separate dishes and utensils, we haven't done it yet.

So what would I do?  That is a good question.

If I were baking using my baking pans that have been used for gluten-full items in the past, I'd use baking parchment.   I might make baked chicken or a roast with potatoes and carrots.  I might buy disposable or new baking pans and make things like

scalloped potatoes.

8 potatoes sliced thin - you don't have to peel them.
1 can Progresso creamy mushroom soup - which is gluten free.
1  1/2 onion
a few sprinkles (very light) of garlic salt.  Check the label on this, it may contain wheat.
10 slices american cheese or 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. 

Layer in 13 x 9 pan.
Cover with foil. 
Bake at 375°F for approximately 1 hour or until potatoes reach desired texture.
For a crispy top layer, uncover during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking time.  

or hash brown casserole
Here's the hash brown recipe:
Servings: 8
Prep Time: 15 Min.
Cook Time: 1 Hr.
What you need:
* 32 oz. package frozen shredded hash browns
* 1 c. cold 2 % milk
* 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
* 1 tsp. chicken bouillon
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1/2 c. chopped onion
* 1 c. sour cream
* 2 c. grated cheddar cheese (or bread crumbs from gluten-free bread tossed with melted butter)
What to do:
1. Spread hash browns in the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan.
2. In a small saucepan mix cold milk and cornstarch with a wire whisk. Add bouillon, salt, and onion.
Heat to a boil, stirring constantly.
3. Remove sauce from heat and stir in sour cream. Pour over hash browns.
4. Top with grated cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 F for 1 hr.
 If I were feeling very insecure about my ablity to cook gluten free, I might just buy a rotisserie chicken from either Kroger or Walmart, add some Country Crock mashed potatoes and Bush's Baked Beans (again, cooked in the disposable or new pans.)  

A great resource for gluten free crock pot meals is A Year of Slow Cooking.  There are over 300 recipes there and every one that my family has tried has been good.

Another good solution for a meal is taco salads/tacos.  This is a hit with most people and easy-peasy.  All of the Old El Paso mixes are gluten free and you can make some hamburger and/or chicken flavored with them and then get all the fixings, taco shells and chips, sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, avacados or guacamole, peppers, taco sauces and have a wonderful time with everyone building their own tacos or taco salads.

For dessert, have ice cream or if dairy free, fruit sorbets.  



Go ahead, be brave, be careful and invite them!  


Saturday

Chicken salad sandwich.

Chicken salad.

On Rudi bread (steamed in the waffle iron to soften).

For breakfast.
(this morning glory is symbolic of, well, morning, so breakfast time.) :-)

Yum.

#glutenfreeyum


Friday

Batch cooking.

I'm not sure what the word is, batch, bulk?  I don't do the marathon cook a month at a time thing (yet) but I do cook quite a bit on the days I don't have anything else scheduled.  I kind of have an odd rhythm to my life right now because I go see my mom every third day and I am gone a minimum of 4 hours.  So I work in the mornings, Tuesday through Saturday and do my visiting schedule so that means that often I am not here at dinner time, so on the afternoons when I am here I do extra cooking.  This seems to make the gluten free lifestyle a bit easier for me.  There are gluten free things in the fridge that just need to be warmed up, nearly all of the time.  Right now, I'm home so I have boneless chicken in a slow cooker for chicken salad to make later, I'm making taco soup and vegetable soup and later on, probably cornbread.   I use a 2 pound hamburger package for both of the soups, since each require one pound.  It will simplify my weekend, having this done.
Maybe I'll get some of the other housework done?  It could happen.  :-) 

#glutenfreeyum

Wednesday

A great trip to the salvage store.

There's a salvage store about 30 minutes from here.  They sell bent and dent kind of groceries and things that are past their expiration date.  I won't buy things that are way, way out of date, but if it was last month, sure.  I get a lot of bargains on gluten free foods in this way and this is a great way to try things that I wouldn't ordinarily take a chance on because of the expense.

Here's an excerpt from the Time Magazine article I linked above.

  • “Use by” and “Best by”: These dates are intended for consumer use, but are typically the date the manufacturer deems the product reaches peak freshness. It’s not a date to indicate spoilage, nor does it necessarily signal that the food is no longer safe to eat.
  • “Sell by”: This date is only intended to help manufacturers and retailers, not consumers. It’s a stocking and marketing tool provided by food makers to ensure proper turnover of the products in the store so they still have a long shelf life after consumers buy them. Consumers, however, are misinterpreting it as a date to guide their buying decisions. The report authors say that “sell by” dates should be made invisible to the consumer.
I got some Glutino crackers and cookies, some pasta, some cornbread mix, 4 of the big Snickers for a dollar, the ones that are at least a dollar each.  (Those are hidden in the pantry for a post-Easter-candy-chocolate emergency),  a Brownie mix and some to them were priced as low as 50 cents.  It's pretty amazing.  Do a Google maps search of your area for Salvage Grocery stores and see if you can find one near you.  


Sunday

Easter Dessert.

Its ready, in the fridge.  My daugher made it last night, a black forest trifle with chocolate cake (gluten free of course), cherry pie filling and ready to eat cheesecake.  Doesn't it look wonderful?  #glutenfreeyum

Saturday

Jarred salad.




Sometimes we gluten free peeps get tired of salads but sometimes we just get a hankering for them.  I made 12 small salads for the three of us who eat them and the other person here in the house made her own kind of salad. 

So then I got up this morning and was pondering a snack and what did I choose?  
Don't worry, they're Glutinos. 
#glutenfreeyum