January 30, 2012

Meal Plan 2/1---2/7 The Mighty Potato

5 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 12:38 AM
I am famous for making a plan.
Plans are so easy to make.  
The follow through is were I get lost. 

I have learned not to buy fresh veggies until the day I am actually going to use them because I have thrown out tooo many spoiled bags of lettuce.

So if you are following my blog and looking at my meal plans on Monday or Tuesday, you really should come back again later in the week.  I go in and make changes to what we actually ate, notes if it was a new recipe, or add recipes if I am cooking one of our family favorites.

Also, you should know, I do my shopping on Wednesdays.  My meal plans are from Wednesday to Wednesday.  I post a link to Monday and Tuesday's meals with the new week's meal plan.

Meal Plan: February 1st through 7th

Monday: Puffy Tacos  *Will post pics soon

Tuesday: Baked Potato Casserole & Meat Loaf

Wednesday:  Sloppy Joe and Tator Tots

Thursday: My Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Copy) *My Recipe ADDED

Friday: Chicken Enchiladas  *Recipe to come

Saturday: Colby Jack Chicken  *Recipe ADDED

Sunday: Brinner--Hashbrown Cups  *Recipe to come

Monday: Tuna Roll-Ups

Tuesday: Grilled Chicken, Cheesy Cauliflower, and Salad

This is my super fancy treat.  I eat it either for breakfast or when I am craving ice-cream.

If I am making it for an ice-cream treat, I will usually also make one for Avery's Lunch the next day.  I leave out the cereal so that it is crunchy for her the next day. 

Snacks to make this week:

Frozen Banana Pops

Menu Inspiration--  

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January 29, 2012

Spinach, Ricotta, and Pasta

2 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 8:02 PM
Our Most Favorite Meal!
Quick and simple.  Inexpensive too..

Here is what you need
Not Pictured:
    Minced Garlic
I only use about 1/2 the package of frozen spinach.  You can also add Italian Sausage and Broccoli to the dish.

Start with a spoon of minced garlic in a sauce pan on Medium Heat.  I use the jars of minced garlic in olive oil that you can find in the produce section.  Toss in 1/2 the spinach, pinch of Garlic Salt or Salt and Pepper, and any other veggie or the cooked sausage you'll be using.  Let that all cook together.

Once that has cooked through, pour in the Alfredo sauce.  I pour about a cup of milk into the jar and shake it all up and then add that into the pot as well.  I also add 1/2 a container of the ricotta cheese at this time.  Stir well.  Let cook for about 15 minutes, continuing to stir every few minutes.

Serve over pasta....Garnish with Italian Cheese of your choice.

Soooo yummy you will want 2nds!!
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January 27, 2012

I'm not eating that...and neither should you!

0 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 9:27 AM
My husband, who I love with all my heart, is one of those really special people who can eat cookies, cakes, and ice cream every night without ever gaining an ounce.  Yeah, he's one of those people!  Pisses me off!!  Just touching the wrapper and I've gained 10 pounds...

But I digress...

Last night my son and husband were cuddled up on the couch watching some crazy 'Welcome to the depths of Death Valley where you must drink your own pee' show on Netflix....I never pay much attention to their choices, I always get grossed out!

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January 25, 2012

Flour Tortillas

0 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 10:31 PM
I woke up today wanting a flour tortilla.  

I wanted one so bad I could almost smell it.

Today was a real lesson on  Instant Gratification.  I can no longer just hop in my mom-mobile and run to the corner taco place for a breakfast taquito.  Or open my cabinet and pull out my store bought pack of Mission Home Style Tortillas.   

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January 23, 2012

Monday Monday

0 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 8:04 PM
I had a crappy morning.... 

Reason One

(6am) The Hubs:  "Babe! Babe! Wake Up! Time to get up!"
(6:15) The Hubs:  "Babe! You Up? I'm leaving. Get Up."
                      Me:  "xbqhjgqqugnnnnn......mxbiwu...I'm up"

(6:59)Phone singing the Jetson's Theme
(7:00)Alarm blaring talk show hosts voices
(7:01)Phone singing the Jetson's Theme
          Me: "helllo"
          Hubbs: "I knew you weren't up"

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Meal Plan 1/25--1/31--Gonna have a Party

6 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 10:49 AM

Do you remember the Friends episode where Rachael (Jennifer Aniston) was going to help with the Thanksgiving meal and make a layered fruit salad.  The magazine pages got stuck together so she ended up making 1/2 a fruit dish and 1/2 a meat dish.  She thought something was off but didn't know any better so she just kept going.

That is often how I feel.  I don't know 100% if I am doing something right or wrong, but I just keep going.  One Breakfast, One Lunch, One Dinner, and a snack a day.  This blog is helping me to keep track of the failures (chug milk) and the successes(not another baked potato).  When I have 25 different thoughts in my head and not sure where to start, I come here and write (type..lol) them all down, it is a great way for me to keep track of all my lists.  For every post that is published, there are probably 5 that are in draft form.

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January 21, 2012

Messing with Tradition

0 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 8:19 PM


  1. The transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.
  2. A long-established custom or belief that has been passed on in this way.
Going to the Butter Churn has been a tradition in our family for various reasons.  It is a buffet, so it has something for everyone.  My mother and sister have worked there since Avery was in diapers.  We live in a small town and honestly there aren't a lot of choices.

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January 19, 2012

Chug Milk?

3 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 9:54 AM
Last night I took Avery to Wal-Mart to help shop for lunches and snacks.  I taught her how to read the labels, reinforced that we could no longer have anything that contained wheat.  She really liked finding packaging that had Gluten Free written on the front of the packages and I'm sure that is why I now have 3 bags of Quaker Rice Cakes.

Giving Avery that control over being able to pick which cereal we have (chocolate chex and pebbles) and letting her read the back of the Cheerios box to see that it "really does contain wheat", completely changed her outlook.  She seemed lighter, almost excited (wants to learn how to bake English Muffins).

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January 17, 2012

Just a minor Panic Attack

0 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 1:33 PM
My *local* health food store.  I say local, but really the only thing I have local is Wal-Mart and HEB.  I live in a tiny coastal town in South Texas.  I have to drive for 50 minutes to get to this particular store.

I think this is the exact reason I am so worried, anxious, terrified, petrified, panicked, paralyzed, down right stressed when it comes to Gluten Free Baking.  Regular Baking has always been somewhat of a science experiment for me.  Technically that is what is happening.   You are following a hypothesis, mixing different elements together, predicting that the result will be a fluffy sweet morsel of yumminess, timing and reaction to temperature, humidity, and hopefully your end result is exactly what you predicted it would be.

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January 16, 2012

Meal Plan 1/18--1/24 Family Favorites w/ a GF tweak!

4 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 11:30 PM

I am a mid week planner.

It works better for our pay cycle and because we live in a tourist city, the grocery store is always insanely crazy on the weekends, full of landlocked visitors trying to stock up for their day at the beach....Needless to say NOT fun to grocery shop in, as if grocery shopping could ever be classified as fun.

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Not another Baked Potato

0 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 9:30 PM
Avery's Day

Breakfast: Cereal Cup
Lunch: Beefy Taco Cheese Dip w/ Chips -- Veggie w/ Ranch
Dinner: Sliced Tater Casserole
Snack: Apple Crisps

My Day
I am addicted to Pinterest.  I love it.  If I had an unlimited unending supply of cash and time, I would do every craft on there, cook every mouth watering dish, and remodel my house a million times.

I am happy to report that today I actually cooked two of my pins.  

Cinnamon Apple Crisps

The kids LOVED them.  The husband--not so much.  I really liked the super crunchy ones, but the chewy ones were not that great.

For Dinner I got creative with what I had on hand.  I hate those last few days before you go grocery shopping.  Those days when you open the fridge and find a few drops of milk, 1 slice of lunch meat and an empty jar of Mayo.  That is where I am at in terms of feeding Avery.  I have LOTS of potatoes, cheese, bacon bits, and chicken breast.  We had chicken last night, so it was potatoes....again!  I have eaten a lot of baked potatoes lately...so, I got creative...


With my handy dandy mandolin, I sliced several Idaho potatoes.  To make clean-up easy, I covered the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish in foil and then smeared that in EVOO.  In a bowl I drizzled more EVOO and Montreal Streak Seasoning all over the sliced tators.  Then I placed a single layer of the slices in the bottom of the pan, I sprinkled that with cheese and bacon bits,  I repeated the layers till all of the potatoes were gone.  I covered the dish and baked for 20 minutes at 350.  Then I removed the foil and topped with more cheese, and baked uncovered for 10 more minutes.  I was going to take a picture, but we were all so hungry that I could hardly get the food on the plates.  My husband was standing at the counter picking slices of potato off the top.  My house was completely silent for at least 10 minutes....that means it was good.

While I was cleaning the kitchen, my husband said "You can definitely make that one again!"  I say 'okay thanks' with a sly smile...I am soooooo gonna make this dish often...
  • Super Cheap
  • Virtually No Clean Up
  • Very Very Good
  • GF of course

Although, next time it needs to be served with a salad or veggies.

Do you recommend any of recipes that meet my 4 Star Standard?  Please Share them with me...

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January 15, 2012

I WANT a piece of bread!

0 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 11:10 PM

Avery's Day:
Breakfast: Chex Cereal and Activia (every time I read Activia, I sing it like they do in the commercials...silly I know)
Snack: Trash Mix---Fresh Popped Popcorn, Crasins, Rasins, Hand full of Chex, very bottom of old Trail Mix from Wal-Mart, very bottom of old can of mixed nuts.  Hey, don't judge...workin with what I have on hand...
Lunch: Tuna Plate---Romaine Tuna wraps, Celery Tuna Boats, Tomato Tuna Bowls, Cucumber Slices and Rice Crackers...gave her LOTS of options...it was a bad day (read further)
Dinner: Crockpot Chicken, Brown Rice, Steamed Veggies

Today was one of those days.  I am sure that we will have several of them.  We are going to have to get use to them.  Life is different now.  We have to accept that and do the best we can.  I know these things.  And, Yes, while I am removed from the stressful situation I can tell myself these little tidbits of wisdom.  However, while surrounded by 16 bouncing Girl Scouts all screaming to buy and eat cookies...it is a bit hard to stay focused. 

I do not know any Mother who enjoys having to tell her children NO.  I, unfortunately, have had to say that word more times than I would ever like to for financial reasons.  No, we can't go see that movie right now.  No, we don't need to buy that toy right now.  No, getting ice cream isn't in the budget this week.  No, No, No, No, No, No, No, NOOOOOOO.....

Now, I am also saying...No, you can't eat this, No, you can't eat that....

I lost it today.  I just couldn't take it.  I know she is 9.  I know she is just a kid and wants to eat her dang Tuna on a piece of bread, so she can make her fold over.  I know eating GF is just as new to her as it is to me.  But, can't she see that I am trying my best?  Can't she see that I too want a piece of bread to eat my tuna fold over on?

It all started this morning at our Cookie Booth sale.  All the girls were munching on yummy Cheetos, Lunchables, pretty much EVERY type of food Avery can't have.  They were all being so very sweet and sharing all of their snacks that they brought.  Each one would say "Hey, Avery, do you want some?" and in return Avery would ask me, which turned into a chorus of "No, you can't have that, but you can have your trail mix." Well, stale peanuts and popcorn is NO WHERE near as good as chemically coated cheese curds.

Theeeen they opened a box of cookies and all the girls were eating cookies.  Now, here is where I myself was also salivating.  I want a freaking cookie too ya know!!  They are girl scout cookies after all.  But I was strong and steadfast with my "NO".

Then, we get in the car to go home and I start talking about making lunch.  I list off what is available, not a whole heck of a lot.  Avery returns with nos to all of it.  I say I am not running a buffet and she is gonna have to work with what I have.  We settle on tuna.

I am just about done mixing it all up, I have every vegetable I can thank of that will work as a base for tuna and the Rice crackers that I found at our local grocery store.  She walks into the kitchen and says "wheres my bread?" 

I lost it...Do you blame me?

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January 14, 2012

Just Journaling

0 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 11:08 PM
Friday 1/13/12

Avery's Day
Breakfast--Cup of Honey Nut Chex
Lunch--Peperoni & Cheese Stick Kabobs on a tooth pick + Carrots & Grape Tomatoes 
Dinner--Loaded Baked Potato
Snack--Fresh Pineapple, Blueberries, Strawberries and a Peanut Butter Cookie

Tummy felt much better but still has lots of gas.  Didn't eat the veggies because she wanted to go outside and play.  Loved the 'kabob' idea and questioned me the cereal in a cup... 

My Day
We woke up late.  Not really very late.  On a normal day we wake up at 6:45, today we woke up at 7:10...we ended up being 15 minutes late for school.  There has to be a 30 space between Avery taking her meds and then eating breakfast.  I really need to find out if that is mandatory or if on days like this it can be cut short.

In addition to the gluten free changes, I'm also really trying to watch our serving sizes.  Serving sizes can be the number 1 factor in weight gain and loss.  I have recently been diagnosed with diabetes so, I am really trying to keep a close eye on this.  Currently our cereal/soup bowls hold 3 cups of liquid.  That is outrageous!!  No One needs to eat 3 cups of anything specially not cereal!  So I measured the kids fun character plastic ware cups I pick up for them at the store for about .75 cents.  Those cups hold just about 1 3/4 liquid...we now have super fun Star Wars and Princess cereal cups.

I spent the majority of my day doing GF activities.  I had to fill out a special allergy form at Avery's school for her to have a special emergency treat.  I went to a local restaurant to ask about purchasing a sleeve of sauce cups for Avery's lunches and then I can home and surfed the blogs...ohhhh how I love blogs.

I have been reading  A Year of Slow Cooking by Stephanie O'Dea blog and I am completely in love with her.  I love that even when she fails miserably with a recipe she still puts it on the blog.

I discovered the COOLEST salad trick in the world over a Salad in a Jar.  I now need to invest in a Vacuum Sealer.

And then I watched a youtube video on making your own almond or rice flour.  I now need to invest in a Vitamixer.

So now that I have just added at least $700 to my wishlist, I really gotta think about going back to work....

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January 12, 2012

Tummy feels like a 6

0 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 10:20 PM
Avery's Day
Breakfast: Chocolate Silk(she didn't like this brand/flavor-tastes like water)--Activia--- Pebbles w/ Marshmallows =YUMMY :}
Lunch: Leftover Tots w/ Chile and Cheese-- Fresh Strawberries, Blueberries, and Pineapple--Milk
Snack: Rice Cake w/ Apple Jelly and Turkey Jerky---2 Peanut Butter Cookies
Dinner: Chalupas from our favorite Mexican Restaurant

Woke up happy and sweet.....Picked up from school looking like she'd been through a maze all day, glassy eyes and whiny voice complaining of tummy pains and leg cramps.

Girl Scouts meeting was a challenge.  It was cookie kick off and they were sampling cookies.  Avery said she felt left out and didn't like that she could hear everyone saying 'mmmm' and all the chewing noises....note to self: be better prepared for the unknown

Avery was prescribed an acid reducer type of medication to take every morning in addition to the activia everyday.  I think the two have started to work to clear out the gluten taking up residence in her gut because she has had pain all day and OMG the smells coming from that child are lethal.  

My Day
I spent the entire day doing NOTHING at all!!  It was lovely!!  I played around with making cookies.  I spent an ungodly amount of time on Pinterest.  I read through a few more blogs that caught my eye.  I started a Kitchen Binder.  I facebooked and chatted. I did do one productive house-wifely duty...filled the dishwasher and ran it (the dishes are still in it).  

I am still trying to organize my ideas on what I want my Kitchen Binder (Family Organizational Bible).  When I first thought to do this, it was just gonna have the ordinary go-to household info...but now I think I am going to tweak it just a bit. 

My husband isn't the best when it comes to change.  I moved our can opener 5 yrs ago and yet he still puts it in the now towel drawer...sooo this is a HUGE thing for him.  Unlike a few husbands out there, mine actually does cook and is sometimes handy in the kitchen.  Poor guy has to be.  I have had HORRIBLE migraines most of my life, so unless they all wanted to starve, he had to figure out a few meals.  He is also the BEST husband in the world because he takes the kids to our hunting cabin every few weekends for some outdoors, no rules, fun in the mud and sun (bugs+mud+snakes=mom stays home).

Section Ideas: 

  1. Price Comparison List of our most common grocery supplies.  Shopping choices: HEB, Wal-Mart, Sam's, Sprouts( a whole foods type of store)
  2. 30 minute meals with simple ingredients that Bob can make at home or at the hunting cabin.
  3. List of Lunch and Snack Ideas
  4. Zipped Pocket for Coupons
  5. Go To Recipes for Breads and such
  6. Notes/ Shopping list
  7. Meal Plans

Okay...my binder is only 1.5 inches think...I don't want to get a different one.  This one is really cool because you can flip the cover all the way back.  Soooo, I really do not think all of these ideas of mine will fit into one binder or I need to cut some ideas.

Off to input more items into my price sheet...good night 
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Peanut Butter Cookies...Maybe?

18 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 4:43 PM

After 48 hours of reading Gluten Free recipes...I took the leap and decided to experiment with what I had on hand.

I found some of the best sites for advice and recipes.
Adventures of a Gluten Free Momhttp://www.adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com/

The recipe that I based this experiment off of was from gfe and you can find it here.

I wanted to aim for making a less sweet breakfasty type of cookie that Avery could eat with Nutella (which is sweet enough).  I also wanted them to look as much like my traditional peanut butter cookies as possible.

So I dug through my cabinets and found the $7.00 tiny little box of GF Bisquick that I bought and never used this summer, 3 jars of peanut butter, brown sugar, and the very last drops of vanilla left from tons of Christmas cookies.  I was set...I had everything needed...

Peanut Butter Cookies...Maybe?
1 cup Peanut Butter
1/8 cup GF Bisquick
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp vanilla

I preheated the oven to 350, mixed all the ingredients together with the hand mixer, and then rolled then into 1 inch balls. The dough is very wet and sticky. It tasted pretty good raw:}

After baking for 8 minutes I followed gfe's directions and left them on my pan, which was a very good thing because they were still somewhat gooey...but a few of the smaller ones cooked fully and were nice and crunchy.

After the rest of them firmed up a had to do a few taste tests.  There was a slight difference in taste, but really not that much.  Every time I take a test bite I wanna say it needs some butter smeared all over it...

Avery was excited to have a cookie waiting for her after school.  She rated it a 6.5...that is not too bad, but there is definitely room for improvement.

Cole who LOVES everything with at least an ounce of sugar rated the cookies an 8.5...hmmm...that is a big gap...I think he is buttering me up for something! (Birthday at the end of the month)
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January 11, 2012

Day One...well, technically Day Two...

2 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 10:57 PM
Avery's Day of GF

Breakfast: 1 Fried Egg at home and then Milk and a sausage patty at school.  Kids bugged her about not having the biscuit, so I'm not sure breakfast will happen often...
Lunch: Baked Potato with Butter, Cheese, and Bacon Bits brought from home.  Milk from school.
Dinner: Ann's Organic G-Free Chili over Tater Tots sprinkled with Cheese.
Tummy started at a 5 and now down to about a 2...

My Day of Learning all about GF....mind melting to say the least...

Soooo many of the symptoms that I have read about are things that Avery has had.  But I never tied them all together.  I would ask doctors and they all treated me like I was a crazy mom and give me silly lotions and creams to rub all over her rashes and hives.  Every time she complained of her stomach hurting I thought it was because she wanted to get out of school or whatever chore I wanted done at the time.  I seriously feel like mother of the year here...

Tuesday morning Avery was complaining yet again about her stomach hurting.  I said in my most threatening mother voice " Fine you can stay home, but I'm taking you to my doctor today." Thinking surely this would change her tune and cause her to jump up and get ready for school.  It didn't.  So, there she was following me into her first grown up doctor's appointment.  As the doctor pressed on her bloated belly and tears came to Avery's eyes, I knew then that 1) I was officially the worst Mom on the planet. 2) I was going to do everything in my power to FIX this and 3) I would never doubt her again.

Back tracking just a bit...last Easter a relative was singing the praises of being on a gluten free diet.  I read a few articles, thought..."hmmm, wonder if that would help Avery and her tummy, I'll give it a try this summer."  I bought a bunch of Uncle Ben's Rice Mixes, got rid of all of our noodles, didn't cook anything with obvious gluten for several weeks and yet Avery still complained often of her stomach hurting, so I scraped the gluten free diet...it was a pain in the ass anyway.

Okay back to yesterday at the doctor...After a very tense round of poking and prodding and embarrassing questions about poop (Avery is a modest girl) the doctor started asking me a bunch of questions about her.  Yes she had reflux as an infant.  Yes she often has rashes.  Yes I cant seem to tie this to any one food.  No none of the over the counter meds have ever worked to ease the discomfort. Yes she has complained of headaches.  The doctor was quite for a few minutes looking over all the notes and then she said, "Well, I'm not going to say Celiac Disease  just yet, but definitely Gluten Intolerant and you must avoid 100% of wheat gluten."

"Go Gluten Free" I ask.  "Yes" she say, "completely gluten free.  There are great resources on the internet about what she will be able to eat from this point on.  When in doubt just stick to the most natural state of the food...i.e grilled rather than breaded and fried."  "Ohhhhh.... Okay.... we can do this." I say, thinking back to such a failure I was at it this summer.  Then the doctor says in a very stren voice..." This is forever.  She MUST do this 100% forever."

"Oooooohhh forever" I say.

Forever.  Forever is a really long time.  A reallllly reaaaalllllyyyyy really llllllooooonnnnngggggg time.  So I pack my sweet daughter in the car and take her for her last meal.  She feasted on chicken tenders and white country gravy like it was prepared by Paula Deen herself.

Once home, I dove right into every gluten free blog I could find and brought myself to tears numerous times.  All the signs were there, I just never knew what I was looking at...included Avery in a game plan on what she wanted to do about lunches and eating at school.   Really thought she was handling things like a champ and accepting the changes in stride. 

Boy, was I wrong....

Today, I made lists of fun lunch ideas and easy dinner dishes that I already cook.  Made a grocery list and took Avery with me to HEB.  She did great in the produce section.  Pointed out all the gluten free peanut butter at the end of the bread isle. She was disappointed that there weren't any gluten free Little Debbie Snack Cakes.  Didn't understand the point of buying lunch meat if she can't eat it in a sandwich.  And completely broke down in tears in front of the mac-n-cheese.  We stood in that isle for a good 20 minutes.  I let her cry.  I didn't shush her or make apologies to people passing by.  After about 15 minutes of solid tears, I started talking to her about how things were different now, but not terrible.  The foods that she can eat are special because they are better for her and they will keep her healthy and strong.  She kept crying and wasn't going for any of that.  Then I said, "the only thing that going gluten free really means is that now I have to learn to cook!"  She started laughing.  She liked that.  So everything that she saw that she wanted but couldn't have we would say "ohhh, gonna have to learn to cook that"...RITZ Crackers is one of her first requests!

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January 2, 2012

Places I like to Party

0 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Anonymous at 9:39 AM
{ Sunday }
I Heart Nap Time

Sleepy Sunday Blog Hop@ Randee's Organized Chaos

{ Monday }

Just Something I Whipped Up @ The Girl Creative

Show Me What You Got @ Our Delightful Home

{ Tuesday }

Show Me What You Got @ Not JUST a Housewife

Tip Me Tuesday @ Tip Junkie

{ Wednesday } 

{ Friday } 

Friday Flair Linky Party @ Whipper Berry 
 Fun Finds Friday @ Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons

Featured Friday Linky Party @ Blissful and Domestic

{ Saturday }

Get Schooled Saturday @ Too Much Time on My Hands

Strut Your Stuff Saturday @ Six Sisters Stuff


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Grocery List

0 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 4:33 AM

This is the Grocery list that I use on a weekly basis.  I keep a blank one on my fridge during the week to jot down anything we may run out of.  Then on the morning that I'm going shopping, I fill it out completely with what I will need for that week's meals.   

If you would like a copy of this grocery list, please send me an email.  

Grocery List
Produce Bread Deli/Cheese Meat Snack/Chip

Dairy Frozen Dry/Canned

Home/Personal Needs Meal Plan








I also keep this list of my most common purchases, so that I can see which store has the best prices. 
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January 1, 2012

TexMex Skillet

0 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 11:43 PM
I am soooo NOT Martha!

This is a one skillet meal to please a tight budget and limited cooking time/experience.

* You could make it super fancy and add chopped bell peppers, garlic, fresh tomatoes and chiles

  • 1 lb browned meat (ground beef, turkey, or chicken)
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 bag frozen corn (any variety)
  • 12oz can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers (save liquid)
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • water to equal need amount for rice
This meal can be made in a slow cooker, but I am already dirtying my skillet to brown my beef, so I just make the whole thing in there.  (You must use a deep chicken fryer type of skillet)

Brown the meat.  I rinse the fat and drain about 3/4 way through cooking, then add onions, seasoning, and corn.

Drain the tomatoes into a large measuring device (will need 4 cups of liquid).

Dump Tomatoes and Rice into the skillet. 

Now in the tomato juice measuring bowl add the water to equal 4 cups.  A tiny bit extra doesn't hurt, but not enough is bad...unless you like crunchy rice.

Add liquid ----- stir all together-----cover---set on a medium heat---set timer for 30 minutes and walk away.

I always check mine at 30 minutes.  It most always needs a little more water and a stir, then I set the timer for 5-10 minutes later.  Usually takes about 45 minutes up to 1 hour to cook.  I have never had the best luck in cooking rice perfectly, so I am a little paranoid when cooking rice dishes...

Avery ate up all of my leftovers in her lunch the next day.  She said it was even better, although a little more spicy...good thing she likes food with a bit of kick to them.

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Potatoes and Sausage

2 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 11:07 PM

It doesn't look very pretty, but boy is it YUMMY...

My mom made this all the time.  It was a weekly dish at our house because it is super easy, a great way to use up vegetables, and could be inexpensive.

Feeds a family of 4
4 chopped potatoes ( I use red or Idaho)
1/2 Yellow Onion chopped in large chunks
1 link sausage (I use an all beef Texas Brand)
drizzle of evoo to coat pan
Montreal Steak Seasoning

Bell Peppers
Italian Dressing
any other veggie your family enjoys

Lightly coat pan with EVOO, and set to a medium heat.

Season the chopped potatoes with Montreal Seasoning and place in pan to cook.  I usually place the lid on the pan and leave alone for several minutes, but you should give a good stir every 10 minutes or so, so that all sides of the potatoes cook evenly.

Once the potatoes are just shy of being done, add the onions and sausage.  You can add a tad bit more seasoning at this point if you'd like.  This would also be the time to add any other quick cooking item (mushrooms, peppers).

While all this is cooking, in a separate pan I cook 1-2 pieces of chopped bacon( can use bacon bits).  When that is crispy I thrown in a bag of frozen green beans, tiny bit of water, and salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer till ready. 

Once Sausage is heated through-out and has a nice color to it the meal is done!

*The green beans could be cooked with the sausage and when my son isn't home, that is the way that I cook it, but he is a picky eater.

I am not a chef nor a photographer....just a mom

Happy Eating
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Flour Blends

0 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 11:01 PM

Excellent Resource!!


Gluten-Free Flour Substitutions

To make a flour blend, thoroughly combine all ingredients. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator until used. You can double or triple these recipes to make as much flour mix as you need.

Note: If you purchase a commercial flour blend, read the ingredient list carefully. Some blends contain salt and xanthan or guar gum. If so, there is no need to add more.
All-Purpose Flour Blend
Use this blend for all your gluten-free
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
1/4 cup cornstarch or potato starch
Each cup contains 436 calories, 1g total fat,
0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol,
99g carbohydrate, 3mg sodium, 2g fiber, 5g protein

High-Fiber Flour Blend
This high-fiber blend works for breads,
pancakes, snack bars and cookies that
contain chocolate, warm spices, raisins or
other fruits. It is not suited to delicately
flavored recipes, such as sugar cookies,
crepes, cream puffs, birthday cakes or
1 cup brown rice flour or sorghum
1/2 cup teff flour (preferably light)
1/2 cup millet flour or Montina® flour
2/3 cup tapioca starch/flour
1/3 cup cornstarch or potato starch
Each cup contains 428 calories, 2g total fat, 0g
saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 92g
carbohydrate, 19mg sodium, 5g fiber, 8g protein.

High-Protein Flour Blend
This nutritious blend works best in baked
goods that require elasticity, such as wraps
and pie crusts.
1 1/4 cups bean flour (your choice),
chickpea flour or soy flour
1 cup arrowroot starch, cornstarch
or potato starch
1 cup tapioca starch/flour
1 cup white or brown rice flour
Each cup contains 588 calories, 3g total fat, 0g
saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 128g
carbohydrate, 24mg sodium, 6g fiber, 11g protein.

Self-Rising Flour Blend
Use this blend for muffins, scones, cakes,
cupcakes or any recipe that uses baking
powder for leavening.
1 1/4 cups white sorghum flour
1 1/4 cups white rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch/flour
2 teaspoons xanthan or guar gum
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Each cup contains 514 calories, 3g total fat, 0g
saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 113g
carbohydrate, 1163mg sodium, 8g fiber, 10g protein.

Nutritional analyses of recipes are based on data supplied by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and certain food companies. Nutrient amounts are approximate due to variances in product brands, manufacturing and actual preparation

General Guidelines for Using Xanthan or Guar Gum
Gum (xanthan or guar) is the key to successful gluten-free baking. It provides the binding needed to give the baked product proper elasticity, keeping it from crumbling.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan or guar gum per cup of flour blend to make cakes, cookies, bars, muffins and other quick breads.
  • Add 1 teaspoon per cup of flour blend to make yeast bread, pizza dough or other baked items that call for yeast.
If you purchase a commercial flour blend, read the ingredient list carefully. Some blends contain salt and xanthan or guar gum. If so, there is no need to add more.

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About my Recipes

We are a gluten free family. All of our main meals are Gluten Free. When posting a recipe, I do not think it is necessary for me to write out Gluten Free for each ingredient. It should be assumed.

I double check ALL labels and packaging before I purchase anything. If you are going to safely provide a GF environment for yourself or your family, double even triple checking each product must become a standard for you as well.

Also, when I am cooking a meal that I have 'created' or cook often, I do not measure. If you have any questions about exact amounts, please leave a comment and I will try my best to answer.

If I am posting a recipe that has gluten in it I will then explain that...I do still purchase a few gluten items for my son and husband's lunches and snacks. However, gluten recipes will be very very rare.

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