Thursday, November 29, 2007

GFCF Beef Stew

I love beef stew this time of year - and it is a great way to stretch your meat. You can change the amounts of each ingredient to suit your own tastes - I like lots of veggies in mine!

GFCF Beef Stew

1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon canola oil
8 medium carrots, peeled and cut into bite size slices
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
1 medium onion, diced
5 tablespoons Minute Tapioca
4 tablespoons wheat free soy sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 bay leaves
5 cups of water

In a large frying pan, brown the meat in hot oil - make sure to stir and sear all sides of the beef. You could skip this step, but it seals in the juices and gives it a better flavor.

Place the veggies in the slow cooker. Add the meat. Sprinkle with the tapioca, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Add bay leaves. Pour water over it all.

Stir, cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

Remove bay leaves before serving.

This is really good with corn bread!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mock Goldfish Cracker Mix

Miss Robens used to offer a Mock Goldfish Cracker Mix. It was really good - very close to tasting like the real thing. I made it a few times but it was too much work for me (I was still working full-time at the time) and my child wasn't one of those really attatched to Goldfish crackers. I've had a lot of people asking if I knew of a gfcf goldfish cracker and I was amazed that it appeared to be gone from their website.

But, I have it on very good authority, that you can special order it from them. Because it is special order - you have to order by the case (12 mixes which are shelf stable for 1 year). A case costs $70.80 plus a special order fee. The order number is 1190, but it is not available through their website. You must call them to order. Their phone number is (800) 891-0083 or 240-329-2717 if outside the USA.

I hope that helps someone who has a child that must have his goldfish crackers.

Free Soy Milk

For those of you who use soy - here is a link to a coupon for $2.25 off a quart of silk soy milk:

You should be able to print two. It tracks your IP address, but if you have more than one computer - each should have it's own IP address and you could print two from each computer.

Not all grocery stores will take internet coupons, but my Super Target does and they carry Silk.
Hope that helps someone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Countdown to Thanksgiving cont.

Today is the day before Thanksgiving. I accomplished all that I wanted to yesterday.

Today I plan on:

Making an apple pie and baking a pie shell for a lemon meringe pie. I don't like to make lemon meringe ahead of time as it doesn't hold as well.

Peeling and cutting up potatoes and storing them in the fridge in water until I cook them tomorrow.

Cut up bread cubes for the stuffing (the recipe I use is in the archives - just click on thanksgiving and then choose the one that says and all the fixins).

Make cranberry relish - and maybe cranberry bread or muffins.

Spend time with my family since Dan is off work today and Andy doesn't have school.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Countdown To Thanksgiving

Planning ahead takes the stress out of a GFCF Thanksgiving.

I usually start pre-cooking for Thanksgiving several days in advance so I can relax and enjoy the day stress free. Since we are not having any guests, I haven't done as much in advance as I would if we were having guests - but I still want the day to be perfect and stress free.

Here is what I have already done -

Sunday -

I went to the health food store to pick up items that I will not be able to get at my regular grocery store. The closer it gets to Thanksgiving, the more crowded the grocery stores get so it is good to plan ahead and not be there on Wednesday. Also - if they are out of something and you have to go somewhere else to find it, you have time to do that.

I baked pumpkin cookies and froze half of them so there will be some on Thursday!

Monday -

I didn't do a lot on Monday because I had to work and then had a conference at Andy's school in the evening. I did take the turkey out of the freezer and put it in the fridge to thaw. If you haven't already started your turkey thawing - do it now! The larger the bird the longer it takes to thaw - I usually start thawing on Sunday but we are having a smaller bird this year.

Today is Tuesday and the last day I have free time - Andy is off school tomorrow.

Today I plan to:
Bake bread so I have plenty for making stuffing.
Go to Super Target and do my regular grocery shopping.
Cut up onions and celery and store in the fridge for making stuffing on Thursday.
Make pie crust dough - so the dough is super chilled when I want to roll it out and make the pie tomorrow.
If I have time I may also peel potatoes and store in the fridge covered in water to be ready to rinse and boil on Thursday.

I hope hearing about my preparations ahead of time help some of you plan your time and alleviate some stress for you.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

GFCF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

GFCF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

2 cups all-purpose gf flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF Blend)
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, softened
1/2 cup raw sugar (you could substitute granulated sugar)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (12-ounce package) GFCF chocolate chips
2/3 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional – I did not use)


PREHEAT oven to 350° F.
Grease baking sheets.

COMBINE flour, cinnamon, cloves and baking soda in small bowl. Beat margarine and both sugars in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until blended.

Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chips and nuts.

DROP by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets; flatten slightly with back of spoon or greased bottom of glass dipped in granulated sugar.

BAKE for 11 to 14 minutes or until centers are set. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Tips for a Successful GFCF Holiday Season

Tips for a successful GFCF Holiday Season

The holidays are upon us – it’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just a few days away. Chanukah, Christmas and New Years are not far behind. If this is your first holiday season GFCF or if previous holiday seasons were a disaster you might be looking for some tips to make this year better. Here are some of my best tips. Feel free to leave comments with your own tips – together we will all survive this stressful time of year.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. Set priorities and keep in mind what is truly important – and that may not be the same for all of us. My number one goal is to keep Andy GFCF – while eating organic, and totally eliminating high fructose corn syrup along with artificial flavors and colors is something I try and do every day – sometimes something has to give. If treats are brought into school that are GFCF but have HFCS in them or have red 40 in them, I will go ahead and let Andy have them. Sometimes it is equally important to allow Andy to have normal social experiences.

Give yourself permission to change traditions. My home used to be the place to be on Thanksgiving – everyone knew there would be lots of wonderful homemade food. I never asked anyone to bring anything because I love to cook and this was my chance to show off – but if they showed up with something we put it on the table. Our first year GFCF was a disaster – I asked everyone to please not bring anything as I did not want any food in the house that Andy couldn’t eat. Some people just don’t like to show up empty handed – and I felt bad turning away their food so I let them bring food in – and when my back was turned – Andy was fed a piece of regular pumpkin pie. The next two years we went away on Thanksgiving. I just didn’t want to deal with it and keeping Andy safe was more important that hurting other’s feelings. So we rented a luxury condo at a water park and went and had fun. I still made a turkey since we had a full kitchen – but while it was cooking I kicked back in the hot tub in front of the fireplace on the four seasons porch with a glass of champagne while Dan took Andy down to the water park. It was heaven! Last year we stayed home and just didn’t invite anyone – since we took a couple of years off and everyone found somewhere else to go we were now off the hook for entertaining. So do what you have to do – to keep your family safe.

Ask for help using reverse psychology. If there is a gathering that you just must host or attend, pick out the person that you are most worried about not respecting your boundaries and ask them to help you. If it’s your mother in law that thinks that a little bit won’t hurt – ask her to help you. People can’t resist helping. Pull her aside and tell her how you are so glad she is going to be here because you really need help. Explain to her that not everyone is as conscientious as she is and you are really worried about your child getting into something not on their diet and getting sick. Can she imagine how terrible it would be if you ended up having to run Johnny to the ER in the middle of the party? Can she help you watch out for him? She will be so busy watching others and trying to catch them that she won’t have time to try and feed him something herself.

Try and keep routines as normal as possible. If you usually eat lunch at 11:30 and dinner at 5:30 – try and keep to that schedule. If you really can’t because it is at Grandma’s house and she always does Thanksgiving at 1:30 and she’s not budging – then bring food along and feed your kids on their normal schedule. They can eat again at 1:30, but just give them small portions and don’t expect them to finish. If your children are young and still napping – make sure they get their naps. There is nothing worse than a toddler that needs a nap at a family gathering. Make sure you take care of yourself and get adequate rest yourself so you can keep up.

Plan ahead. Regardless of if you are cooking or traveling – try to anticipate what you will need and don’t catch yourself short. If you don’t know what is on the menu that is GFCF and you don’t know what will be available to buy locally, bring some of your child’s favorite foods with you. If you are cooking, do as much prep work ahead of time as you can. I cut up onions and celery and things like that all during the week prior to Thanksgiving so on Thanksgiving morning I can get that turkey stuffed and in the oven early. Check and make sure you have all ingredients ahead of time – you don’t want to find yourself without a key ingredient when it’s a holiday and the stores are all closed.

Don’t experiment on important days. Thanksgiving Day is not the day to experiment and see if digestive enzymes will work in place of the diet. If you want to see if your child can cheat occasionally ad use enzymes in place of the diet – experiment ahead of time. Trust me – I’ve been there and done that – not on Thanksgiving – but it was disastrous just the same. We were traveling to visit family and I thought it would be easiest to use enzymes. Andy, being celiac, needs to be gluten free – the enzymes did nothing for him. A very short time after arriving he got terrible diarrhea and I was left scrambling to find GFCF foods in an unfamiliar town – and poor Andy spent 3 days in the bathroom and covered with terrible rashes. The time to experiment is at home in a familiar environment.

Keep in mind that the holidays are stressful no matter what. Most everyone experiences some stress during the holiday season. Sometimes just realizing that helps. Do everything you can to keep yourself stress free and just try and relax and enjoy this busy time of year.

I do have lots of great recipes posted here from last Thanksgiving – be sure and search my blog for recipes that will work for you. I am always glad to help if I can.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Florida's Natural Brand Au'some Fruit Stiks

I just love it when products are labeled gluten free - it means that I only have to search the ingredients for dairy. I also love it that my son has learned how to read "gluten free". I took him shopping with me this past week, which I rarely do, and as we were passing the fruit snack section he pointed these out to me - saying "Look, Mom! Gluten Free" - well since my kid is so far behind in reading I just had to reward that and buy them. And they contain no artificial colors or flavors and none of that evil high fructose corn syrup that I try so hard to avoid.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Kick Ass Chicken Wings

I made these for dinner tonight and they were so good there are no left overs. Sorry - I forgot to take a picture, but trust me they were great.

Here is how I made them:

Kick Ass Chicken Wings

5 lbs Chicken Wings
½ cup Wheat Free Soy Sauce
¼ cup Lemon Juice
¼ cup Water
½ cup Rapadura (you could substitute brown sugar or honey for this)
2 cloves Garlic, finely minced
1 Tablespoon Ginger Root, finely minced

Cut Wings into 3 parts and discard the tips. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Place chicken wings in baking pan and pour the sauce over them. Stir until well coated. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes to coat evenly with sauce.
I was going to sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving, but I forgot.