Friday, November 25, 2011

If Only...

I "like" so many pages on Facebook dealing with Celiac disease and Gluten-free everything. One of those pages is Schar, a brand of gluten-free products. They had a giveaway for a free sample of their Ciabatta rolls. When they came in, I made some simple turkey sandwiches. They were amazing -- just turkey, bread, mayo, and tomato. This was the first gluten-free bread product that I found I can tolerate, and they weren't just tolerable, they were great! My problem is that nobody sells them here. So as of now, the only way for me to get them is to order straight from the Schar website. I refuse to pay $5 for 4 little rolls and then $10 in shipping. I'm busting my butt trying to get them stocked at my local grocery stores. Here's hoping that works, because I miss eating bread!!

If only....

Peanut Butter M&M Cookie Goodness

I found a recipe online for some extremely simple peanut butter cookies. 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, and 1 egg. Like I said, extremely simple but oh so yummy. I decided to add in some m&m's to make them a little more exciting and added a dash of vanilla as well for some extra flavor. They turned out amazing.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Absent-minded Chef

On Monday, three people close to my heart lost their mother. I have known these three siblings and their mother since I was 15 years old. The funeral was this morning, and naturally I attended to be there for my friends during this horrible time. After the funeral, I came home to get my Loaded Baked Potato Soup into the crock pot. I spent about 30 minutes peeling and cubing potatoes and dicing onions. I got all the ingredients into the crock pot and turned it on. About an hour later, I wanted to go check on it and noticed I didn't plug the crock pot in. FAIL!!!! I plugged it in and decided to go out to dinner. The soup wasn't going to be ready until 9 pm and that's too late to be sitting down to dinner, especially with a toddler in the house. The soup will have to wait until tomorrow. Nevertheless, the soup looks great!

Absent-mindedness can get the best of anyone

A Setback

For the past two months, I have spent countless hours looking at various websites for gluten-free recipes. Most of these websites have been designed with nothing but gluten-free recipes. So, when I was looking at the Crock Pot Girls website, I completely forgot that I was looking at a normal website and needed to pay attention to ingredients. I found several recipes, one being Enchiladas. Anyone who knows me, knows how obsessed I am with Mexican food. Naturally, this was the first recipe I decided to try -- and it was amazing!

About an hour after I finished eating, my stomach started to hurt. After that, came the horrible headache. After two trips to the bathroom, I suddenly remembered what I had done with the recipe websites. I immediately looked at the ingredients and found that two of them are not gluten-free. Well, great. No wonder I was not feeling well. I packed up the leftovers and took them next door to my very eager and grateful next door neighbors. I won't make that mistake again! I must find another recipe for enchiladas that is completely gluten-free

Oh how I will miss you, enchiladas!

The night wasn't all bad. I cleaned out my crock pot and decided to try the White Hot Chocolate recipe I got from the same site. After triple checking the ingredients, I was happy to see that it was completely gluten-free. This was another very simple recipe that only called for 4 ingredients. 

White Bliss

Chebe Dogs

For those not familiar with gluten-free products, you probably have no idea what Chebe is. Chebe is a brand of bread mix. Thankfully it's not too expensive -- just $2.99 a box. I decided to try the cheese bread mix for this one as suggested by a page I follow on Facebook. Again, this was a very simple thing to make and well worth it!

You just make the mix as the box states, obviously omitting the cooking part until you have the hot dogs wrapped. Then wrap the hot dogs in sort of a swirl like a snake wrapped around it's prey. Then bake for about 20 minutes until the bread is starting to brown.

These were so good! And perfect for a pre-trick or treat dinner. Bella, my friend Sara, and I each had two! Some other friends of mine joined us trick or treating and tried one of the remaining Chebe dogs. They weren't fans of the breading. They're also not in the need of a gluten free diet. I do realize that gluten-free bread has a very different taste to it. It took me about a month to get used to it, and I'm still having to work towards some of the bread options out there. So, ok, these aren't so great for the non-gluten-free eaters out there. But if you're gluten-free, I definitely suggest you try these!


A Very Gabba Halloween

Forgive me in advance as there will be several posts this evening. I have tried many new things this past week and just haven't had a chance to blog about them.

For Halloween, I decided to finally try the Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake mix. I decided to go ahead and do cupcakes and decorate them with the colors from Yo Gabba Gabba. The cupcakes themselves contained red, pink, yellow, blue, and red, and I iced them with vanilla frosting that I dyed orange.

I opened the box and started mixing ingredients before I realized that I needed two teaspoons of vanilla extract, which naturally I didn't have. Thankfully my next door neighbor was home and had some vanilla she let me use. Thanks Shelly!!!!

The mix was very self explanatory and easy. The cupcakes were amazing! I definitely found the mix I will be using for Bella's birthday next month. Although, I think  I'm going to go with chocolate frosting or something other than vanilla. Vanilla on vanilla was just too much.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Wow. I haven't posted in a week. I haven't tried anything exciting this past week, so I guess that's why I haven't posted much. I've cooked some pretty normal meals, and we've gone out to eat a bunch. I did try a new pizza place as suggested by a friend. The gluten free pizza was okay....the one I made with the Wholesome Foods Bakery crust was better, and cheaper.

I'm starting to get more and more frustrated with the added cost of eating gluten free. I used to be able to spend very little at the grocery store. So, to save money, I'm trying to avoid buying the special foods as much as possible. There is still a lot that Bells and I can eat that costs normal prices. Obviously things like bread, pasta, pretzels, and pizza I will have to buy gluten free...but as I said, I'm trying to avoid eating those things as much as possible.

I did try the other brand of gluten free cake mix. It was decent. Today, I bought Betty Crocker's gluten free Vanilla Cake Mix. I will cook that this week, so stay tuned for that post.

Tomorrow before taking Bells on her first trick or treating adventure, I'm making Chebe dogs. I saw this idea on a gluten free Facebook page I follow. You take Chebe gluten free cheese bread mix, and wrap it around a hot dog. Bake and eat! So I'll be posting that soon too. I'm so excited to try these. It's like a new take on corn dogs. If they're good, I will most likely serve these at Bella's birthday party in December.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Easy Cooking

I spent the day cleaning and doing laundry, so I wanted to fix something easy for dinner. I decided to try the gluten free spaghetti I bought. I browned some hamburger meat and added in the pasta sauce. It was really good! I'm loving how this new gluten free diet is making me feel satisfied after eating. I'm no longer indulging in more food than I need. I'm no longer snacking late at night. This was the first time I've had just one bowl of pasta and felt satisfied. And I just had to try out the new flavor of my new favorite beverage -- La Croix sparkling water. It gives me the effect that I'm drinking soda without all the bad stuff that comes along with soda.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Eating Like a Hippie Never Tasted so Good

This morning we headed out to Company Cafe on Lower Greenville. I found them while searching for gluten free bakeries in the Dallas area. They are a restaurant that offers healthy organic foods as well as several gluten free options. Their prices are also on the affordable side so that offered a nice perk as well.

Parking was very minimal but we managed to find a spot fairly quickly. I guess we must have gotten lucky. As we walked into the restaurant, we saw servers wearing t-shirts with the slogan "Eating like a hippie never tasted so good". So, obviously you can see where my inspiration came from for tonight's blog title.

I ordered the gluten free waffles and a half of a gluten free bagel to split with Bells. Naturally, I just had to add in the chocolate chips and whipped cream. It took a while to get our food, but it was pretty busy so we expected it. Our server was very friendly, but very busy so our encounters were on the short side.

When the food finally arrived, it was well worth the wait. It was one of the best waffles I had ever had at a restaurant. I actually questioned to myself whether it was actually gluten free -- but gluten free waffles were the only types of waffles they offered so they obviously just knew what they were doing in the kitchen. The bagel was also very tasty.

I want to go back and try their lunch and dinner menus, but the prices on those meals aren't as good as the breakfast options. I'm sure we'll make it back there. I suggest this place to anyone in the Dallas area -- regardless if you eat gluten free.

Gluten free heaven on a plate

Friday, October 21, 2011

Testing 1, 2, 3

Sprouts was having a sale on gluten free products, so I went a few days ago to stock up on a few things. I picked up two different cake mix brands to do some testing. I'm hoping to make Bella's birthday cake myself and save some money, but I wanted to test them out to see which one is best. Tonight, I tested Pamela's Vanilla Cake Mix with Cherrybrook Vanilla Frosting. Since I'm doing the theme of the party based on the Nick Jr. show :"Fresh Beat Band", I'm planning on making the inside of the cake various colors to represent the characters on the show. So, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and try out both in one swoop.

The cake was fairly easy to make -- exactly the same as a regular cake mix. To do the rainbow colors, I just had to divide the batter into 4 separate bowls and use food coloring to color the batter. Then, I just put in one color at a time and baked the cake. The frosting was so thick and difficult to spread. It felt like I was spreading honey across the cake. It was not an easy task. I'll have to try to remedy the situation for Bella's birthday. It was also a very translucent color...almost clear. So, there was really no point in dying the frosting like I had done.

The cake tasted really good and looked pretty cool with the colors. I deem this a success. I'm still going to try the other brand of cake mix next week to see which I like better. When I do that, I'll try out another frosting idea to see if I can get better results another way.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I'm Going to Pay for that Later

Food delivery options are very slim for those with an intolerance to gluten. Pizza is out completely, there is not a single pizza delivery place that offers gluten free pizza. That has mostly to do with cross contamination since there's no way for them to guarantee your pizza will come out completely gluten free. Chinese food is a pain because you have to analyze every single ingredient they put in and tell them to look at their jar of soy sauce to find out if it has gluten in it. Sandwich places, an obvious no...unless you want to pay a bunch of money for them to deliver turkey and cheese in a bag.

I'm still getting used to this diet and I forgot to defrost something to cook for dinner. I'm in desperate need of a trip to the grocery store, so I had nothing easy to fix either. For Bells, I made her a gluten free pizza with the crust I hate -- she loves it. After spending 30 minutes staring at nearly empty pantry and refrigerator shelves, I cracked. I caved. The hunger pains grew stronger and stronger.

I went ahead and ordered myself a sandwich from Jimmy Johns -- with the bread. Oh, sweet normal bread. It tasted so good. I know I'll pay for it later. My stomach is already hurting from the gluten intake. I have done so great at this new diet, but tonight I caved in to temptation.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Take Two

I decided to head over to Wholesome Foods Bakery this morning. I picked up a 13 inch pizza crust, a loaf of bread, and some more snack mix that Bells and I love so much. So, naturally, I tried the pizza again. I'm a competitive and determined person. I was determined to find a way to eat pizza. Bells loves pizza. She runs around the house like an ad for Little Caesar's yelling "pizza pizza" whenever she senses it's coming. Sprouts was having a 25% off sale, so I called my fellow Celiac friend, and we met there. I invited her over to try the second round of pizza.

We preheated the oven and got the pizza ready with our favorite goodies -- onions and tomatoes over the whole pie, and then pepperoni over half of it for myself and Bells. Once the oven was preheated, it went inside and we waited the 15 minutes for it to finish cooking.

To my surprise, it was incredible!!! Gluten free pizza has won me over. I wasn't happy with the cost of the crust, but it was definitely worth it. I would be willing to bet if I had a regular person try it, they wouldn't know the difference. It tasted just like a regular thin crust pizza.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Pizza Fail

Tonight, I decided to try making some gluten free pizza at home. I used some frozen pizza crusts I acquired at Whole Foods yesterday. On the package, it just said to preheat the oven, add your favorite toppings, and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. So, I did exactly that. The pizza came out and at first, the crust hadn't been cooked enough. I guess I was supposed to defrost it first?? I'll try that next time, if I can force myself to try again. I put it back in for a few more minutes. Bells loved the pizza. I couldn't stomach it and just ate the toppings and cheese off the top of it before grabbing some applesauce and gluten free pretzels.

I'll have to head to the gluten free bakery tomorrow and get some of their crust. Their foods taste amazing, they're just really expensive.

Baking -- Disaster or Success?

One of my very best friends also has Celiacs Disease. I invited her over to help me tackle the art of gluten free baking. I found this wonderful recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing on Gluten Free Goddess. Anyone who knows me is aware of my major pumpkin obsession. So, I decided these cupcakes were the best option for my first gluten free baking session.

Our first task was to locate the mountain of ingredients required to bake the cupcakes. First, we headed to Whole Foods.  It was so overwhelming. I couldn't locate a few of the ingredients and began to panic when I had no idea where else I could find them. My friend and I ran into a woman at the store who also had Celiacs. We talked to her for a while and she was extremely helpful. She suggested using Pamela's baking mix for the various flours, tapioca starch, and xantham gum. I wish I had gotten this woman's name. Not only did she save me a ridiculous amount of money, she also saved me time searching for ingredients I had never even heard of.

When we were done gathering supplies, we headed back to my house. Thankfully, Bells fell asleep in the car so it was a lot easier to cook without her getting angry she wasn't getting attention. The recipe for the cupcakes was very simple and easy to follow. We got those in the oven and then went on to make the icing. I got ahead of myself and didn't read the directions and just threw all the ingredients in together. Big mistake! Thankfully I had more of each ingredient so I could start over without too much fuss.

All in all, the process seemed fairly simple. I don't know how much gluten free baking I'll be doing -- everything is so insanely expensive. It seems easier to head to the gluten free bakery and just buy pre-made goodies. It was a fun experience, however, and the cupcakes turned out amazingly! If I didn't know before that they were gluten free, I never would have known the difference. Bells sure did love them!!!

They didn't look too pretty, but none of us seemed to mind.