Saturday, October 27, 2012


I have been SO happy with Annie's GF products. We have tried their Mac and Cheese, instant Mac and Cheese and I just found little bunny cookies!!! With flavors like gingersnap and snicker doodle they are a huge hit with Ela and I may have chowed a box or two myself...

GF mac and cheese

We also love the fruit snacks because they have less ingredients then regular fruit snacks but Ela still feels like she's getting a treat. My biggest complaint is they are very sticky!! But it doesnt bother Ela one bit. 

Annie's products are sold in Kroger and Target. I havent shopped Publix in a while so I am not sure about their supply. I found Target is the only one who carries the cookies in the GF version. They also list a coconut vanilla version I am dying to find in a store! 


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Peach Dump Cake

Peach Dump Cake 

I found this recipe in a Kroger organic coupon cook. I was craving peach cobbler but that is so much work and I just wanted something easy. The cake turned out so much better then I was even expecting and was so easy. I am going to try again for a family dinner and use apples and some cinnamon. This is not a healthy dessert by any means but splurging every once in a while is so worth it. I promise, if you like cobbler, this is worth the splurge.
Peach Dump Cake
6 Ripe Peaces, peeled and sliced
1/2 Cup of organic sugar
1/4 cup of orange juice
1 box of gluten free vanilla cake mix
1/2 cup of organic butter, melted

Spread peach slices over 9 x 13 pan and cover with sugar and orange juice. (I used raspberry lemonaid because I was out of OJ and it turned out really good)
Let sit for five minutes
Cover mixture with GF cake mix
Spread melted butter evenly over cake mix
Side note: Any cake mix that doesnt have butter on it or very close to it doesnt cook and just stays dry I found. It doesnt matter for leftovers but try to get the butter really even for best results.

Cook on 325 for 50 minutes or until bubbly and crispy around edges.

Going into the oven - 
Peach Dump Cake with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream 

Fancy Pants Dinner

Fancy Pants Dinner
Every once in a while it's really fun to make a fancy fun dinner. I usually love to use our Vera Wang wedding china and crystal but I didnt go that fancy this time. Hand washing all those dishes just didnt sound appealing! 
As fancy as this dinner seemed, it was really easy. My crock pot and rice cooker did all the work for me. After a mug of coffee I got up the gumption to attack the whole raw chicken that has been sitting in my fridge intimidating me. It turned out to be so EASY I was almost disappointed. All the "insides" were neatly packaged in a little bag. I just had to throw it away and wash the chicken. I patted it dry and stuck it in the crock pot. That evening I put the quinoa in the rice cooker and just put frozen lima beans in a pan. I had made the bread a few days ago and just cut and toasted it with fresh garlic. So good! For dessert I made a "dump cake" that was gluten free. It turned out to be amazing. 

Crock Pot White Wine and Garlic Chicken 

1 Whole 3 lbs chicken, washed and patted dry 
4 Heads of garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
Bunch of fresh thyme 
Bottle of white wine 
Put chicken in crock pot, add thyme, garlic and wine. I bought an inexpensive bottle of white and used the entire bottle. 
Cook on low for 8 hours or until chicken is tender and falls apart. 

In the crock pot ready to cook all day long 

The finished product 
It fell apart coming out of the crock pot it was so tender 

White Wine & Garlic Crock Pot 

My favorite gluten free bead mix- The Gluten Free Pantry French Bread Mix 

The quinoa was really easy and delicious. After it was cooked in chicken broth, I added a lot of parm cheese, garlic and salt. I mixed it all together and it was done. Ela is addicted to lima beans, she eat THREE helpings. I cooked them in chicken broth and they were so yummy. 

I lit some candles, put on some frank and poured Jered a little glass of scotch. It was a nice way to welcome him home after a long day at work and I enjoyed being a June Cleaver for the night. I may just have to do that more often. 


Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Famous Cake in a Mug

One of my sisters found this recipe on a wonderful blog, Chocolate Covered Katie called One Minute Chocolate Cake. We fondly dubbed it "Cake in a Mug" after enjoying it countless afternoons and evenings while on vacation. We figured it probably has about 230 cals because we add some extra sweetness. It makes for  an easy and delicious dessert. You can also make it a mocha cake as well by adding decaf coffee grinds. Here is the recipe link with nutrition facts as well. One Minute Choc Cake . We add a small amount of semi sweet chocolate chips to the batter. It makes it extra molteness and chocolatly. Mmmm! This makes my "me" time so much sweeter.

One Minute Chocolate Cake

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons spelt flour (or white, or even peanut flour)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar (pr evaporated cane juice)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 stevia packet (or 1 tablespoon more sugar)
  • 2-3 tsp coconut oil or vegetable oil (Edit: many commenters have said it still tastes good if you sub applesauce or mashed banana. But I can’t personally vouch for the results if you make that substitution.)
  • 3 tablespoons milk of choice (I used almond milk)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Combine dry ingredients and mix very, very well. Add liquid, stir, then transfer to a little dish, ramekin, or even a coffee mug. Microwave 30-40 seconds. If you don’t want to eat it straight out of the dish, be sure to spray your dish first (and then wait for it to cool before trying to remove it).

Getting starting! 

All the ingredients 

Premixed batter 

All mixed up and going in the microwave 

His and Hers 

A little bit of vanilla ice creams makes everything even more yummy 

Enjoy guilt free!! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

GF Lasagna

After being with my Mom for five weeks and eating her delicious cooking, I have been inspired to try some new recipes and venture away from my norm.

I made a really yummy GF lasagna tonight for dinner. I forgot to take pictures but here is the recipe. I just substituted the wheat noodles for GF noodles. I love Tinkyada GF pasta. It's not sticky and really has the best texture. It is more expensive but I think it is worth it. I found these at Publix. Whole Foods also carries them. I believe most of the higher end grocery stores do.
Tinkyada Brown Rice Lasagne with Rice Bran, 10-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12) 

Here is the link to the Recipe


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
  • 1 (28 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 (16 ounce) package cottage cheese
  • 1 pint part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large skillet, cook and stir ground beef until brown. Add mushrooms and onions; saute until onions are transparent. Stir in pasta sauce, and heat through.
  3. In a medium size bowl, combine cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, and eggs.
  4. Spread a thin layer of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 13x9 inch pan. Layer with uncooked lasagna noodles, cheese mixture, mozzarella cheese, and meat sauce. Continue layering until all ingredients are used, reserving 1/2 cup mozzarella. Cover pan with aluminum foil.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Uncover, and top with remaining half cup of mozzarella cheese. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The busy life

As you can tell from my blog we've been busy! I am making it a priority to try to blog at least weekly.

Tonight for dinner I am making a super easy dinner that is totally GF. Rotisserie chicken cut up into GF corn spaghetti noddles with Alfredo sauce, some sauteed onions and garlic. I put it in an oven safe dish and cover in parm cheese. Cook on 350 until brown and bubbly! It is so good and so easy. I am all about easy these days. Jered has been finishing his residency (known as PEAK) and has been working some long hours. Ela and I have been enjoying dinner alone most days so the easier the better!

I have been craving fresh fruit. I cannot get enough. I've been really eating healthy this pregnancy to avoid gaining the massive amount of weight I did when I was pregnant with Ela. Peaches and strawberries are in season now. I just made a giant bowl of watermelon, peaches, cherries, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries! YUM! I've been eating a big bowl of GF rice krispies with blueberries and strawberries. It has been hitting the spot. Ela loves strawberries too but really wont eat any of the other ones. She's such a texture sensitive little lady. I have to find sneaky ways to get all her nutrients in.

Last night, Jered bought grass fed steaks from Harrys. We marinated in soy sauce, garlic and a little beer. It was so good! I made a spinach salad and baked sweet potatoes. It was a great finish to a fun weekend.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Baby Cakes

My Mom stayed with me for a month before and after I had Ela. It was a long complicated labor that started out all natural with a fabulous dulah and ended in surgery having an almost emergency  C-Section. The good thing is my mom stayed with me through the entire process and afterwards helping me with everything. And by everything, I mean everything. It was so important for me to get out and walk to help heal faster. We went to Harry's (Whole Foods) and she helped me pick out all the essentials needed to cook using Babycakes. So thanks to her, I got the courage to start trying some of the recipes. You do have to pick up some specialty ingredients but it will be worth it. The ingredients can be a little pricey but the good news is, you use tiny amounts of most it so it lasts forever. I go through GF All Purpose Flour (Bob's Red Mill) the fastest. Everything I literally keep on hand for months. The other thing I adore about Baby Cakes is everything is healthy! My favorite is the chocolate chocolate chip cookies. And they flax seed in them. I dont feel guilty eating them because I know they are all organic and good for me. Of course, dont eat the entire batch. Moderation. But let me tell you, it will be hard! 

I just about peed my sweat pants thought because when I went to Baby Cakes website they just came out with a new cookbook!!!! And it had doughnuts on the cover. Yes please! I think I ordered my Babycakes from Amazon but you can get it directly from the Baby Cakes website too. 

Baby Cakes  is one of my favorite GF cookbooks ever.

White Chicken Chili

I would like to introduce you to the easier dinner you will ever make. And it will get rave reviews too. It just sits in the crock pot all day and does the work for you. Best part, throw the chicken in frozen if you like!

White Chicken Chili
1 can organic corn
1 can organic black beans
1 can organic white beans
1 cup organic salsa
5 thin chicken breasts or 4 thicker ones
1 package 8 oz organic cream cheese

Throw the everything into the crock but the cream cheese. Cook it on low for 8 hours or high for four hours. I like it better the longer it cooks personally


The chicken will fall apart when it is ready. 30 or so minutes before eating add the cream cheese.

I will admit, it is not the prettiest dish but it is SO good. I also like to use my rice cooker and add rice to it when served. Top with some shredded cheese and cilantro.


This is one of Ela's favorite dishes! It is great warmed up leftover too. I use it for lunch for us the next day.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Shrimp & Grits

For Mom's birthday Dad and I made shrimp and grits. Since the grit cakes have flour in them, here is the GF version we made, from here.

Grit Cakes:
For the Grits:
1 tablespoon salted butter
1/4 cup milk
1 cup grated white cheddar cheese
4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 cup grits
1 cup all-purpose flour Here use GF all-purpose flour 
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Grease a jelly roll pan with the butter. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk until smooth. Add the cheese and set aside.

In a large pot, over high heat, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the garlic. Slowly add the grits, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the grits are tender and become creamy, about 10 minutes. Slowly add the egg and cheese mixture, stirring to avoid scrambling the eggs. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Pour the grits mixture into the jelly roll pan and bake in the oven until the grits set, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool and then refrigerate until chilled.

TO SERVE: Cut the grit cakes into the desired shape--squares, circles (cut out with a cookie cutter), or diamonds. In a large nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat, heat the 3 tablespoons of oil. Lightly dredge the cakes in the flour and sauté the cakes, 2 minutes per side, or until golden. Place two cakes in the center of a plate and pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of the sauce over the cakes. Serve hot.

Claire saute'd the cakes which needed more oil than the recipe said. She did a great job and they turned out yummy. 
Dad made a beurre blanc sauce, which was amazing! 

The beurre blanc sauce was from a Food Network recipe :


  • 1 to 2 shallots, chopped fine
  • 8 ounces white wine
  • 2 ounces lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste


Combine the shallots, white wine, and lemon juice in a non-reactive saucepan over high heat and reduce to 2 tablespoons.
Add the cream to the reduction. Once the liquid bubbles, reduce the heat to low. Add the butter, one cube at a time, whisking first on the heat and then off the heat. Continue whisking butter into the reduction until the mixture is fully emulsified and has reached a rich sauce consistency. Season with salt and white pepper. Store beurre blanc in a thermos until ready to serve. 

It was the BEST shrimp and grits I have ever eaten. We garnished it with green onions and cherry tomatoes. My blackberry took a horrible blurry picture which I'll post as soon as I figure out how to disable the awful photo software I downloaded. And by ME figure it out I mean as soon as Jered gets home and fixes it for me. 


Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Picake!

My sister Claire made the most amazing Picake in the entire world. What in the world in a Picake? The most delish thing ever to enter your mouth. I am a cake and pie lover and if you can combine the two, ahhh. Heaven. For my Mom's birthday Claire made one with vanilla cake and coconut cream pie. Check out her blog for all the details. Best dessert I've ever eaten. In fact, as we speak I have dumped the leftovers up side down and am eating the cake and pie.


This does not do it any justice at all so please please click on her blog and look at how pretty it was before we ate it!

Ela's favorite

We are a huge fan of Van's Natural Foods. They make the best GF waffles and french toast sticks ever!

Ela eats them for breakfast. It's so easy and quick. Just pop in the toaster or oven. I love the apple cinnamon or blueberry waffles.


If you like Van's Natural Foods Facebook page you get a $1.00 off coupon.

I buy mine at Kroger, Harry's and even Harris Teeter has them. They are in the freezer section. At Kroger they are in the organic freezer section.


GF Black Bean Burgers

I found this recipe a while ago but didnt make the burgers until we were in NC last week. They were SO good! Honestly, I thought they beat out a regular hamburger. I found the recipe on .  You first mash up two cans of black beans, onions, celery, one egg (there is a vegan version as well) and some almond flour. I did not have any almond flour so I just used Bob's Red Mill GF All Purpose Flour. It worked just as well and is way less expensive. 

IMG-20120222-00908.jpg The mixture 

Then you form them into burgers and place on a very hot pan with olive oil. It's important to to get the pan really well greased or they'll stick. 

IMG-20120222-00909.jpg The blackened mixture is amazing. I just sprinkled it on the burgers before I flipped them. You cook them three minutes on each side. You'll be able to tell when their ready to flip. 

IMG-20120222-00910.jpg The finished product! With some cheddar cheese. 

I made them again last night and my meat loving husband declared them better than beef! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A gluten free lifestyle

I have not always been gluten free (GF). After the birth of my daughter I was tired of feeling bad. My mom had been GF for a while and suggested I try it. I would get really bad migraines, stomach cramping, so bad I would become bloated and it hurt to stand up straight. I am a huge carb person and I really did eat a lot of wheat. I didnt really understand what gluten is and that is really is in SO much! Wikipedia defines gluten as : "Wheat gluten, also called wheat meat, mock duck, gluten meat, or simply gluten, is a food made from gluten, the main protein of wheat. It is made by washing wheatflour dough with water until all the starch dissolves, leaving insoluble gluten as an elastic mass which is then cooked before being eaten." You can delivep an allergy to gluten as well, it is not always something you are born with. Gluten is very overused in America with all of the processed food we eat. To be very honest, Jered and I were not extremely healthy eaters. We didnt eat much fast food at all but we did love going out to eat to nicer places. After I had Ela and we started researching what we wanted to feed her as an infant it really opened my eyes to what is really in our food and we decided to be completely GF and eat mostly organic. A very common misconception is eating GF and organic is extremely expensive.  It is more expensive then eating McD's or a processed frozen dinner. We are not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. I keep my grocery bill to $70.00 a week for the three of us.  

I do the majority of my shopping at Kroger because they have the best prices. Since we travel so much we can also save money on gas. The one near my house has a very nice organic section that offers GF options. Kroger has digital coupons you can load to your plus card that helps save some money without the hassle of paper coupons. Kroger just started carrying Udi's which offers GF hamburger bungs, cinnamon rolls etc. I have found I prefer to make things due to the texture and differences in GF premade food. Plus, it is SO expensive! I found Bob's Red Mill ( makes great pizza dough mix, bread mix and flours. I use their products a lot. For produce, I only buy organic unless it is in a hard shell like an avocado etc. Kroger does not have a good selection of organic produce so I  typically make a trip to Harry's Farmers market (Whole Foods). I really dont find their produce prices overly expensive. I only buy what is in season and that keeps prices down. Harry's also has a HUGE selection of GF products. And  they have the cheapest free range organic eggs I have ever found! 

Ever since going GF I have felt like a new person. My migraines are few and far between and I feel normal. Even my acid reflux has gone down. I will also tell you, after Ela was born, I was nursing her. I found out she couldnt handle the dairy I was eating so I had to go dairy free as well. Trust me, if a carb loving, sweet addict who eats a lot of ice cream can do it- so can you! Right now is a great time to try it because there is a huge awareness of the issue and it is really easy to find products. Many  restaurants offer a GF menu to make it easy. Mellow Mushroom has a GF pizza  that is YUMMY. When I go out to eat, I inform the waiter that I am allergic to gluten before we order. Eating gluten for me wont kill me, so I would say I am more gluten sensitive than allergic but it also takes 6-weeks to cleanse your system of all gluten so to insure I dont get any I always tell them I am allergic. I think the idea that I may keel over and break out in hives scares them into doing the research! It is crazy what has gluten in it as well. We wanted to order spinach artichoke dip at Cheesecake Factory and it was full of gluten. So is my favorite dish at Marlow's Tavern, Shirmp and Grits and their Black Bean Burger too. When I find a dish I cant eat anymore I will find a recipe similar and modify it to be GF. I'll post pictures and recipes of the dishes we've done. 

I will also focus on keeping kids, especially toddlers, GF as well. It can be hard! I will really try to give you all the tips I've learned over this past year. A lot of it I have learned from my mom who also has a blog I'll give you the link for. Enjoy eating the good stuff and stay away from all the processed foods. If I can do it, you most certainly can!