Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Call me an idealist, but I love the beginning of a new year. It feels as though the slate is wiped clean in a way, and anything is possible. I know that most resolutions fail within the first few weeks, but I still think the optimism that accompanies those resolutions is encouraging.

This year my resolution is simple: Be kinder to myself and others.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Gluten Free Weekly Menu Plan

This is the last menu plan of the year. It's hard to believe that I've been posting weekly menu plans every week since January 2011. Three years of meal ideas for easy gluten free dinners. When I started posting them it was more for my own reference, to ensure that I wasn't feeding my son the same three or four dishes over and over. Now it's to provide meal ideas for others who are where I was. I'm looking forward to keeping up the tradition in the New Year.

Monday: Lemon & Artichoke Chicken served on a bed of Rice and with a side of Steamed Broccoli
(Cook chicken with 1 jar artichoke hearts, chopped, juice of half a lemon, pat of butter or some olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Thicken with some cornstarch or GF flour mixed in a bit of water. Cover and simmer until done.)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ice Storm Madness

If you live anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area, out to Eastern Canada and through many parts of the United States, the past week has been a mess of ice storms, power outages, and that special celebration some of us call Christmas. A busy time no matter what, but add in a crazy storm that turned the world into something out of a fairy tale while simultaneously knocking out power for hundreds of thousands of people, and things get crazy.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I want to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas! I'm blessed to be able to share my story with all of you, and I can't explain how much a part of my life you all are. For those who don't celebrate Christmas, I wish you a happy holiday season filled with love and laughter!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Gluten Free Weekly Menu Plan

Hello! I feel as though it's been an eternity since I last posted, although it's only been a few days. A massive ice storm hit the city where I live, causing severe damage to trees and hydro lines and shutting down power to hundreds of thousands of customers, including me. We spent one night in the cold at home, then moved to my parents' house, finally ending up in a hotel when they lost power too. I'm lucky that my power is back on, because there are people expected to be without power until the weekend. no cooking got done this weekend, but I know what I'll be making, so here it is!

Monday: Gluten Free Gnocchi with Tomato Meat Sauce

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Organic Works Bakery in London, Ontario

A few weeks ago I received a HUGE box of samples from Organic Works Bakery in London, Ontario. My son gets excited when I receive products for the blog because he thinks everything is for him since it's all gluten free. He was not disappointed with this delivery. The box contained Chocolate Chip Cookies, Double Chocolate Cookies, Ginger Cookies, Lemon Cranberry Cookies, No Nut Peanut Butter Cookies, Zucchini Bread, Banana Bread, Focaccia Bread, Brown Rice Bread, Rye-Style Bread, and more.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Appetizer #4 Mini Meatballs & Dip

Meatballs are always a hit, and by making them mini, you don't need to use a lot of meat to get a lot of meatballs. I use lean ground beef for mine and keep the flavour pretty basic so that they can be paired with any sauce I happen to feel like using. This time I paired them with a bottled Sweet Chili Thai Sauce, but they would be excellent with a BBQ Sauce, a Cranberry or other fruit sauce, or even with an Asian-inspired Soy-Ginger Sauce. I made 48 of these meatballs on Friday, and my husband and sons have almost finished them already.
Holiday Appetizer #4: Mini-Meatballs & Dip

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Weekly Gluten Free Menu Plan

Everyone around here is still sick, and yesterday we were hit with a snowstorm. I miss the summer. On the plus side, it does look really pretty outside. This week's meal plan in full of simple, warming foods that are perfect for the type of weather we're having here. Enjoy!

Monday: White Bean, Spinach & Chicken Meatball Soup (RECIPE)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Product Review: Google Nexus 7 Tablet

A few weeks ago I was given the incredible opportunity to try out the new Google Nexus 7 tablet to help me in both my work and personal life, courtesy of Staples. I have been looking for a good tablet for a while, but hadn't yet committed to one I wanted to spend money on. I had a long wish list of what my tablet would include, and a teeny-tiny budget to work with. The Nexus 7 fits everything I was looking for.

Photo Source

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December's Cookbook of the Month: You Won't Believe It's Gluten-Free!

You Won't Believe It's Gluten-Free!: 500 Delicious, Foolproof Recipes for Healthy Living
A pioneer in gluten-free cooking, Roben Ryberg has worked with gluten-free flours for over 15 years. Now, in You Won’t Believe It’s Gluten-Free!, she vastly simplifies the challenges of this special diet-while perfecting the flavor of everyone’s favorite foods. Completely comprehensive, You Won’t Believe It’s Gluten-Free! offers 500 recipes for all kinds of breads and baked goods, plus easy appetizers, soups, entrees, and salads to win over any crowd. It also features desserts for special occasions-even wedding cakes! Unlike the standard use of three or more flour blends, these recipes often call for just one flour, and many recipes include corn, potato, rice, and oat flour variations. This is an essential cooking bible for anyone with celiac disease, wheat allergy, IBS, or other gluten sensitivities.
I decided to end the year off with a review of a cookbook from a few years ago. This book was originally published in 2008, and covers recipes for just about every occasion. I've already gone through my copy and highlighted the recipes I'm looking forward to trying. This book looks as though it has some great recipes!  This seems like the perfect way to end a great year of cookbook reviews.

Guess what? Like always, I'm giving away a copy. Contest is open to entrants in Canada (excluding Quebec) and the United States. Terms & Conditions can be found in the widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Appetizer #3: Quesadilla Bites

Everyone loves appetizers that are cheesy, crispy, and can be dipped. These quesadilla bites are perfect for little fingers as well as adult tastes, and the flavours can be adapted and changed to suit the audience. These take no time to put together, and are inexpensive to make. Definite crowd pleasers!

Holiday Appetizer #3 Quesadilla Bites

Monday, December 9, 2013

Cookbook Review: Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread

Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread
by Nicole Hunn

Forget everything you’ve heard about baking gluten-free bread. The revolutionary Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread gives you 100 recipes to satiate your crispy, crunchy, and doughy cravings, gluten-freely and on a shoestring budget.

Ours is a bread-obsessed culture. Whether we’re eating it at every meal or refusing to eat it altogether, bread defines almost every diet, especially the gluten-free community that must avoid it completely. But now, thanks to Nicole Hunn, there will be no more settling for the frozen bread in natural food stores or, worse, pretending that a lettuce leaf is an acceptable alternative when making a sandwich. Readers will rejoice to finally enjoy the rolls, muffins, tortillas, naan, pita chips, scones, and breadsticks they’ve been missing—made even sweeter by the price tag.

Nicole Hunn is the author of the Gluten-Free on a Shoestring series and blog, which has been featured in the New York Times and MSN Money. She has appeared in Living Without and Easy Eats, and on Sirius/XM Radio and ABC News, among others. She lives in Westchester County, New York.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Gluten Free Weekly Menu Plan

This week's menu plan is full of soups and healthier dishes since both of my boys are sick. I'm trying hard not to catch whichever virus is floating around the family!

Monday: Baked Ham w/Greek Yogurt Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Potatoes: Bake in a 375F oven until insides are soft. Fluff with a fork and add a spoonful or two of Feta Greek Yogurt)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Holiday Appetizer #2: Mascarpone Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Prosciutto

Dates are often thought of as a dessert item due to their natural sweetness, but paired with mascarpone and prosciutto, they make an incredible appetizer. I had a hunch that these would be good, but I was actually surprised at just how addictive they turned out. The sweetness of the dates is tempered by the creaminess of the mascarpone and the prosciutto adds a touch of saltiness to balance everything out. These are impossible to get wrong. Use pitted dates for even quicker assembly.

Mascarpone cheese is a mild, spreadable Italian cheese that is often flavoured with sweet or savoury flavours to match the dish. It's the cheese used to make tiramisu, the popular Italian dessert. Prosciutto is a type of dried ham, served in thin slices.

Appetizer #2 Mascarpone Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Prosciutto


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Appetizer #1 Cream Cheese & Cucumber Roll-ups

Last year I posted 12 holiday dessert recipes, so this year I decided to do something a little bit different. Appetizers are a huge part of most holiday entertaining, and sometimes I spend more time figuring out what to serve as appetizers than I do on the actual meal.

The goal here is to provide some simple appetizer ideas that are easy to cook or even just assemble. There's enough to do over the holidays. Food should be simple to prepare and delicious to eat. Oh yeah, and gluten free! No complicated appetizers here. Just quick ideas that will get your party started in no time.
Appetizer #1 Cream Cheese & Cucumber Roll-Ups

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Celiac Baby Turns Three!

Today is a very exciting day around here. First, today is my mom's 60th birthday! It's a big milestone, and I'm excited to celebrate with her soon.

Second, Celiac Baby! turns 3 today. Not quite as impressive as 60, but still pretty amazing. The few months before I started this blog, when my son was extremely sick all the time and we didn't know how to help him, were awful.

When he was still sick all the time

Monday, December 2, 2013

Product Review: Goldbaum's Gluten Free Products

A few weeks ago I received a box of samples from Goldbaums, a company that produces and sells gluten free products. I didn't know much about the company, but once I started reading up on them, I was impressed. Goldbaums products are gluten free, and are produced in a facility that is free from gluten, soy, dairy, and nuts, which is an important consideration for people with allergies or other food restrictions. I also noticed that the products I was sent were kosher and GMO free.

I received pasta, flatbread crackers, chips, chow mein noodles, soup mandel (or soup croutons), ice cream bowls, and more. I have to say, everything was high quality and could rival a gluten-filled counterpart. My son was most excited about the dessert cups. They are ice cream cones, but in a bowl shape, perfect for a banana split! I've never seen anything like them before, and they would make great sundaes for two.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

12 Days of Holiday Treats All in One Place!

The twelve days of Christmas, in dessert form! Look no further for incredibly good desserts that are easy to make and unbelievably gluten free! Click the photo to be taken to the recipe page.

Gluten Free Weekly Menu Plan

Today we're off to the CIBC Children's Christmas Party. Last year my oldest son wouldn't go near Santa. Let's see how it goes this year! 

This week's menu plan is full of quick and simple meals that are filling and family friendly. Click where you see RECIPE to be taken to the specific recipe. Enjoy.

Monday: Eggplant Cannelloni  (RECIPE)