Thursday, December 10, 2015

Holiday Parties....Keeping it Gluten Free

So the time of year is upon parties are coming up! This is certainly a tough time for us with Celiac Disease! I've thought of a few tips that might help make it a little easier this Christmas...

Eat something before you go...
Don't go to the party hungry....Eat a yummy gluten free meal before you go. While you may still crave the glutenous treats at the party, it's easier on a full tummy!

Make your own gluten free dish to take to the party...
Make one or two of your favorite treats to take to the party. That way you know there will be something you can eat safely. :) I even make sure to go ahead and get my serving first, so there's no chance of cross contamination.  :)

Make a bee line for the fresh fruits and veggies...
Anytime I go to party, I head straight for the fresh fruits and veggies! You may have to avoid the dips that accompany them, but the simple fresh produce is your best gluten free option :)

Never be afraid to sneak a peek at labels...
If an item like chips or dip is store bought and you think there's a chance it might be gluten free...don't be afraid to take a look at the label to see if it is! Or ask the host if you can look at the container :)

"When in doubt, go without"...
Now I have heard this quote ever since going gluten free...and it's a great one! Though it may be tempting, don't take a chance on a food you're not sure of....It may be tasty now, but you'll be paying the price later...and it's sooo not worth it!

Host your own party...
One way to make sure you'll have lots to enjoy at your holiday party is to host one yourself! This one's a lot of work, but you'll be sure to have goodies you know are safe, even if other folks bring some dishes of their own :)

Hopefully these tips will help you navigate through this holiday season, taking your focus a little off the food,  so you can focus more on sharing this special season with family and friends  :)

God bless you this Christmas!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Peppermint Bark

This is the easiest dessert recipe ever, but it's soooo amazing!! Here's how you make Peppermint Bark....

Ingredients (There are only 2!!)

1 box Bakers White Chocolate
Candy Canes


Unwrap the candy canes (about 3) and place in a zip bag. Close it up and with the back of a heavy spoon ( I use my ice cream scoop) smash the candy canes to bits! This is kind of fun :)  Set aside.

In a microwaveable bowl, break apart white chocolate and microwave according to package directions till melted.

Stir the candy cane bits into the chocolate while its hot.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Pour the chocolate mixture onto the wax paper and spread out in an even layer with a spatula.

Place in refrigerator for a few hours to harden.

Once hard, take bark off of wax paper and break into medium size pieces.

You can make a small batch or large batch...I usually have to make more than one recipe, it doesn't last very long at our house!


Monday, December 7, 2015

Crock Pot Lasagna

Here is an incredibly simple recipe I found on Facebook for Crockpot Lasagna! With just a few changes it can be done gluten free...and it doesn't take long at all to cook, so it's great for a quick weeknight meal!

1 pound ground beef
Mueller's Gluten Free Lasagna Noodles
2 jars gluten free pasta sauce (I use Classico Tomato Basil)
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp (or more) grated parmesan cheese

Brown ground beef and drain. 
Spoon 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce in bottom of 4 quart crock pot. 
Mix remaining sauce with beef.
Add just a little salt and pepper. 
Place 2 uncooked lasagna noodles on sauce in crock pot.  
Spread 1/3 meat mixture on top of noodles. Spread 3/4 cup cottage cheese over meat. 
Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese over cottage cheese. 
Add another layer of uncooked noodles (I break the noodles apart and place evenly over cheese layer)  1/3 meat mixture, the remaining cottage cheese and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. 
Place another layer of uncooked noodles, meat mixture, and mozzarella cheese. 
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top. 
Cook on low for 3 hours and check for doneness (I stick a fork in lasagna to see if noodles are soft) If needed cook an additional 30 minutes.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Gluten Free Mexican Chicken Casserole

I found this wonderful recipe for Mexican Chicken Casserole on Facebook. Here's the original recipe With just a few changes, it was easy to make this dish gluten free! It turned out yummy!
 Here's what I used...
  • 4 cups of cooked, chopped chicken 
  • 2 cups of instant GF brown rice (I use Uncle Ben's)
  • 1 can GF cream of chicken soup (I use Pacific Naturals GF condensed)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 can Ro*Tel tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1½ cups GF chicken broth
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese grated and divided in half
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Put all ingredients and half of cheddar cheese in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Pour into a greased casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.
  3. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then bake an additional 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Linked to Gluten Free Fridays @

Friday, September 4, 2015

Granny Smith Cinnamon Muffins

Gluten free baking can sometimes feel like a guessing game!  Sometimes I try substituting gluten free ingredients into a regular recipe and it just doesn't work. But sometimes it does!   

David Venable from QVC shared a great muffin recipe, and it was so easy to make it gluten free just by substituting in gluten free flour! And the muffins turned out so yummy!! 

Here's the recipe:
  • 3 cups all-purpose gluten free flour (I use Betty Crocker GF Rice Flour Blend)
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cups milk
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and grated

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a muffin pan. 

  • Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir with spoon till combined.

  •  Add the oil, eggs, and milk. With a hand mixer beat till combined, but don't over mix. 

  • Pour in the apples and stir them in gently with a spoon.  

  • Spoon the batter into muffin pan.

     Sprinkle just a little more cinnamon on each muffin before cooking.

     Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cupcakes are set.

    This recipe makes a LOT of muffins :) I made 12 and had batter left over!

    Remove from oven and allow to cool a little.


Monday, August 31, 2015

Chili Nacho Dip

Here's a simple nacho dip with only 3 ingredients!...Perfect with tortilla chips! So simple and always a hit!

1 8 oz block of cream cheese softened
1 can Hormel Chili with Beans (The Hormel chili without beans isn't gluten free)
1-2 cups of shredded Cheddar or Pepper Jack cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread the softened cream cheese evenly in the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish.

Spread the Hormel Chili with Beans evenly over the cream cheese layer.

Sprinkle shredded cheese evenly on top the chili layer.
(I have also used the thin sliced cheese squares for this layer and they work great too!)

Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.

Serve warm with  gluten free tortilla chips.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Gluten Free Cheesy Tomato Pasta

Here is a great recipe from Southern Living that I've made for years.  Just substitute gluten free pasta and you've got an awesome meal!  It's so creamy and delicious...and so simple,  it's perfect for a quick weeknight meal!

1 8 oz box GF pasta
1/4 cup butter
1 cup whipping cream (I used Organic Valley Heavy Whipping  Cream)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cans diced tomatoes Hunt's Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic and Oregano

Melt butter in skillet over low heat. Add cream and stir till warm. Add cheese and stir constantly until cheese is melted and mixture blended.
Meanwhile, cook GF pasta according to package directions.
Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
Increase heat to med-low and add tomatoes, stir well to blend.
Add GF pasta and stir to combine.
Simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly reduced and heated through.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Top with grated parmesan if desired.

Serve and enjoy!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Crustless Sausage Spinach Cheddar Quiche

This crustless sausage spinach cheddar quiche is just so incredibly yummy! Simple ingredients, simple steps, but amazing flavor! 

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 lb gluten free Italian bulk sausage (I use Ingles Markets brand)
  • 1 container fresh organic baby spinach
  • 1-2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated 
  • 1/2 or 3/4 tbsp onion powder (I use McCormick brand)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Brown and break up the sausage until it is cooked and no longer pink.
Drain and set aside
Cook spinach. This doesn't take long at all...just melt some butter in pot or deep pan, add spinach. Cover and cook over medium heat for just a few minutes till done.
Drain liquid from spinach and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In large bowl combine sausage, spinach, eggs, milk, cheddar cheese, onion powder and salt and pepper.
Stir till combined.

Pour the quiche mixture into a greased pie plate. Place in oven and cook for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and center is set.

Enjoy...and try not to eat the whole thing at once :)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Lunch Ideas for Kids with Nut Allergies

All three of my kiddos have nut allergies. They are allergic to both peanuts and tree nuts, so we avoid anything with any mention of nuts ("contains nuts", "may contain nuts",  "manufactured in a plant with nuts", etc.)

This can make packing lunch a challenge. Unlike me though, they CAN eat gluten.  
So here are some simple school lunch ideas that I use for my nut allergy kids....
(These items are NOT all gluten free)

Ham or turkey sandwich (we love Boars Head!) 
Jelly biscuit
Blueberry muffins 
(Here's a simple healthy recipe or you can grab the Udi's Blueberry Muffins, which are quick and yummy too!)

Carrot slices
Sliced grapes
Cheese sticks
Celery sticks
Applesauce (my kids LOVE strawberry applesauce!)
Original Cheerios
Snack Pack Chocolate Pudding or Vanilla Pudding 
Honey Maid graham snacks
Goldfish brand crackers
Betty Crocker gummy snacks
Smartfoods White Cheddar Popcorn
Gogurt yogurt

(Always remember to double check labels too, as ingredients can change)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Lasagna Soup

A while back I went to a friend's house for dinner.  She made lasagna soup. Now I had never heard of this dish, but by the end of the meal....make that the end of our first bite, everyone at the table was asking for the recipe! It's one she actually found on Pinterest, so she was more than happy to share :)

 You actually assemble the soup as you serve it, and she was SO sweet to make GF pasta for me so that I could eat it!  I know from the picture it looks like just your average bowl of pasta with meat sauce...but it is soooo much more!  SO fabulous!

You'll see in the recipe there is this unbelievable cheese goodness that goes in, but I didn't add this last night, as Im trying to cut back on dairy.  Even without it great! Hubby, who hardly ever asks for seconds ate three bowls. :)

Here's the link to this oh so yummy recipe! Just make sure all brands are GF and to use GF Italian sausage (I use Ingles Market GF bulk sausage) and GF pasta :)

I do as she suggests, and cook the pasta separately from the sauce then assemble before serving.  I also cheated a bit and use onion powder instead of chopped onion and dried minced garlic instead of fresh...still delicious!

Here's the link to this yummy soup....

Linked to Full Plate Thursday at

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Back to School with Nut Allergies

Back to School this year was even tougher than usual for me.  My baby girl started Kindergarten! I knew she was ready...she's been begging to go with her brothers for years! :) My biggest concern was and is her nut allergy.  Now, since all my kiddos have nut allergies, we've been through this before with both boys. So we explain to all teachers about their allergies and how to keep them safe.  But she has the most severe allergy. And, as I've shared before, we've already had to use the EpiPen due to a this was my main concern for her.  I prayed that God would give her a teacher who would take care of her and be mindful of her allergy.  And those prayers have definitely been answered! We explained to the teacher about the allergy, and together have taken steps to keep my daughter safe :) The teacher has been great about accommodating the requests I've made.  Baby Girl is in her second week of school and is doing great!

Here is a letter I sent to all my kids' teachers about nut free foods.  It's helpful for them to have on hand to refer to through the year... You can find nut free lists online.  I made mine from a list I found and mainly included snacks my kids like. So these are definitely not the only nut free snacks available :) You just have to check labels  :)

(This list is NOT gluten free, only nut free :) )

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Easy Gluten Free Bistro Chicken

Before going gluten free, I made Easy Bistro Chicken from a lot. Chicken, tomatoes and Italian dressing all together in one big skillet...very tasty! It's very simple to make this dish gluten free! You can find the original recipe here

Here's my GF version...Delicious! I left out the cheese and bacon from the original recipe, and we thought it tasted even better without it...and it's healthier too!

Here's what I used...

2 tsp olive oil

1 onion chopped

salt and pepper

1 15 oz can stewed tomatoes, undrained

1/4 cup GF Italian dressing

3 tbsp. tomato paste

2 boneless chicken breasts cooked and shredded

HEAT oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add onions; cook 5 min., stirring occasionally. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Stir in tomatoes, dressing and tomato paste.

ADD chicken; cover. Simmer on medium-low heat 12 min.

I served this over brown rice.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Simply Scrumptious Gluten Free Baked Beans

This baked bean recipe is one of our favorites! I have made them for years and they are just scrumptious! I mean, with maple syrup, brown sugar, and bacon thrown in, how could they not be delicious? The original recipe comes from Paula Deen.

1 large onion, diced
2 (16 oz) cans Bush's Best Original Baked Beans
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup light brown sugar
4 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 pound bacon strips, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a deep baking dish, mix beans, onion, mustard, maple syrup, brown sugar, ketchup and lemon juice. Stir till combined.

Top with bacon pieces.

Bake covered for 45 minutes. Remove foil, stir, and bake another 15 minutes uncovered.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Zucchini & Rice

For lunch today I made zucchini and rice. YUM! Easy to make, it was a perfect lunch for this hungry girl!

What you need:

2 organic zucchini

Olive oil

salt and pepper

San-J Tamari gluten free soy sauce

GF Brown Rice (I use Uncle Ben's Fast and Natural)

Cut the zucchini into small pieces.

Heat olive oil in large skillet over med heat

Add zucchini

Sprinkle with salt and pepper

Saute zucchini, stirring occasionally

When zucchini has softened a little add some of the tamari (I love soy sauce, so I added quite a few dashes)

Continue to cook zucchini until tender

Cook rice according to package directions.

Transfer rice to a plate and pour the zucchini and remaining soy sauce from skillet over rice.


Monday, May 4, 2015

The Best Gluten Free Spaghetti Sauce

Years ago, someone gave my a Southern Living cookbook called Everyday Menus.  In it, I found a pasta recipe called Beef Lombardi.  It's a layered dish with pasta, meat sauce, cheese, sour cream and green onions...and it was delicious.  But what really stood out was the incredible sauce!  This simple meat sauce was so wonderful, my hubby remarked once that he'd just like it served alone over spaghetti noodles...So that's what I did, and ever since, it's been my go-to sauce for spaghetti! As I was cooking it for dinner last night, I realized I had never shared it here.

So here it is...the oh so simple, oh so fabulous Best Sauce....


1 pound ground beef
1 14oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 10 oz can diced tomatoes w/ green chiles, undrained
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 bay leaf


Cook ground beef over medium heat until crumbled and browned.
Drain and return to pot.

Stir in both cans tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste and bay leaf.  Simmer on medium low heat 30 minutes, stirring occasionally .

Remove from heat. Remove bay leaf.

Serve over gluten free pasta.

That's it!  Short and simple...and delicious!  Enjoy!

Friday, March 20, 2015

My Favorite Cabbage Recipe

I had never eaten cabbage in my life, until we went over to a friend's house for dinner one night many years back.  She had cooked cabbage as a side dish.  Not wanting to be rude I tried it...fully expecting to HATE it...but oh my goodness, it was amazing!  So ever since then I have loved it.

A while back I thought I'd give it a try.  So I took to the internet to find the perfect cabbage recipe....and I found it!  This comes from Divas Can Cook and it's just awesome! And they even provide video instructions! I couldn't mess this up!

Now I do add more seasoned salt and pepper than the recipe says, I find it gives it even more yummy flavor!

Here's the fabulous recipe from the Divas!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Conquering Cross Contamination in my Shared Kitchen

I am the only one in my family with Celiac Disease, so I have to share my kitchen with gluten everyday! I'm always careful to wipe down counters and never share utensils between gluten free and non gluten free dishes...For the most part all the family meals I cook are completely gluten free, even though hubby and kiddos don't have to be.  I've tried lately to be even more aware of gluten cross contamination.  Here are a few more tips to conquer it...

Straighten and reorganize pantry...  I keep gluten free items separate from gluten items.  We have one large pantry, so I put the gluten free items at the top and the gluten items down near the bottom. I also wipe the shelves down with a damp cloth every so often, to catch any crumbs that might be floating around. With 3 kids, it's a little tricky keeping it straight, but it can be done :)

Keep some gluten free utensils separate...Even though the utensils in the drawer are clean, with little hands reaching in to grab forks and spoons, gluten crumbs seem to find their way into the utensil drawer.  So I keep some utensils separate just for me :) I also keep some utensils for GF cooking separate too.

Use dedicated gluten free pans and spatulas...  Have a separate baking sheet for gluten free foods. If your pans are like mine they get darker and worn, and even though you wash them, they can harbor gluten.  Plastic spatulas are also something I've noticed that tend to wear down and become great places for gluten to hide! I also like to have some dedicated cookware that's just for gluten free foods.

What steps do you take to conquer gluten cross contamination in your shared kitchen?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Sausage Cheese Dip

I have to admit...I'm a QVC junkie!  LOVE it! I watch it sometimes just for fun, even if I'm not buying anything!  :) Anyway, one of my favorite lines they carry is the Temptations bakeware!  Such beautiful patterns and great to bake in! One set I ordered a while back came with a pack of recipes too. This has been my favorite one in the bunch! A super simple sausage dip!

1 pound ground GF sausage (I use Ingles Markets Gluten Free Bulk Pork Sausage)
1 can (10 oz) Rotel tomatoes
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
GF tortilla chips for dipping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees,

In a large skillet brown the sausage over med high heat.
Drain sausage and set aside.

Combine tomatoes and cream cheese in skillet. Cook and stir until cream cheese is melted.

Add sausage back in the skillet. Stir and cook another 5 minutes.

Pour mixture into medium baking dish. Sprinkle grated cheddar on top.  Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Serve with chips.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Balsamic Chicken Over Rice

A while back I tried a Balsamic Glazed Pork recipe from Pam at The Balsamic sauce for this recipe was so out of this world good, I decided to try it with chicken!  It made for a wonderful meal! Here's what I did...

1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
5 chicken breasts (I use frozen)
GF Brown Rice (I use Uncle Ben's Instant Brown Rice)

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons GF soy sauce (I use San J Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce)

Preheat oven to 375
In a small bowl, combine the sage, salt and pepper. Rub this mixture onto both sides of the chicken pieces.
Place chicken breasts in large baking dish. Pour just a little water or gluten free chicken broth in the bottom of baking dish, to help chicken stay moist while baking. Cover with foil.
Bake for 1 hour. (This is the cooking time suggested for the frozen chicken, adjust times and temps as needed and bake till chicken is done.)

Remove cooked chicken and chop into medium sized chunks.
In separate bowl combine brown sugar, cornstarch, vinegar, water and gluten free soy sauce.
Whisk well.
Pour sauce mixture into large skillet and add chicken.  Cook over medium heat till chicken is covered well with sauce and sauce thickens a little and starts to bubble. (About 10 minutes)

Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions.

Serve chicken over rice.


Linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays at

Linked to Full Plate Thursday at

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tips for Eating Out Gluten Free...

Eating out with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance can be tricky business!  Here are a few tips I've learned that will help to make your dining experience a happier one....

1. Call ahead to the restaurant to make sure they can accommodate a gluten free customer.  If the staff seems unsure or can't tell you for certain...choose another restaurant.

2. Many restaurants have a separate gluten free menu.  Ask for it.  Even if you've been to the restaurant before, menu items could change, so it's important to check.

3.  Make sure to tell the staff that you have Celiac Disease, or even better that you are allergic to gluten, so they will know to be extra careful! If the server is unsure of what's safe for you, request a manager.  Sometimes they are more knowledgeable and can help you have a good experience.

4. If ordering something that will be cooked on a shared grill, request that it be cooked on foil so it won't touch the grill.  Even if they clean the grill for special orders, for me this is an added protection against cross contamination!

5. Find out if the dish you are ordering comes with bread on the side. If it does, request that it be left off.  And if by chance they bring the dish out with the bread, don't be afraid to send the plate back for a new order!

6. Double check salad dressings. Many salad dressings contain gluten.  And the Ranch dressing at one restaurant might be safe, while at another it's not, so be sure to check the GF menu or ask the server.

7. Never be afraid to ask questions, to take your time ordering, or to send things back! This is your health we're talking about. :) Speak up for yourself, you are your best advocate!!  Just be kind to the restaurant staff when you do. :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

Pam from shared a delicious recipe for Sour Cream Blueberry Muffins. The recipe is simple and sounded great.  We are trying to cut down on sugar, so I wondered what would happen if substituted honey for the sugar called for in the recipe.  So I studied up on how to do this, gave it a try...and the muffins turned out so great!!  Here's the recipe...

1 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour (I use Betty Crocker GF all purpose rice blend)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp GF baking powder (I use Clabber Girl)
1/3 cup natural applesauce
1 tsp GF vanilla extract
1 egg
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In large bowl, combine all ingredients except blueberries.  Now when you dump all this in the bowl, it will look like a hot mess, but trust me, it will turn out just fine!

Using a hand mixer, mix ingredients till well combined.  See, now it looks like muffin batter :)

Once batter is mixed, pour in the blueberries.  Gently stir them into batter with a spoon, just till combined.

Grease a muffin pan (I use Temptations ceramic ovenware, which works great) and fill muffin cups till almost full.  

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Stick a knife in one of the muffins to make sure they are done :)

Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.

If you like, cut open the muffins and add a little butter...makes them even better!


Linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays at
& Gluten Free Fridays at

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Stocking up for Snow & Ice

Here in South Carolina, we don't get very much Winter weather, so when we do, everyone gets pretty excited!  They are calling for ice and possibly snow this week, so I went to the grocery store and stocked up!  Here's what's on the menu for this Wintery week... :)

Blueberry Muffins

Spaghetti with this fabulous sauce...

Chili Beans

Potato Soup

Cheese Burgers and Baked Beans

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Gluten Free Greek Hamburger Steak and Potatoes

There's a great local Greek restaurant here that serves an amazing Greek Hamburger Steak.  This is a hamburger steak topped with tomato sauce and feta and served with greek potatoes.  WOW! I thought this dish would be easy to do at home, and it's so yummy!!


2 lbs ground beef
gluten free worchestershire sauce
chili powder

gluten free pasta sauce (I use Classico Tomato Basil)
Feta cheese

2-3 russet potatoes
olive oil
GF Greek dressing

Directions for Greek Hamburger Steak
In large bowl, combine ground beef, a few dashes salt and pepper, a few dashes Worcestershire sauce, and a couple dashes chili powder.  Mix with hands till well combined.  Form meat into patties.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Cook patties on one side 6 minutes, then flip and cook for 6-7 minutes more, till done.

Move hamburger patties to individual plates and top each with heated tomato sauce and feta.

Directions for Greek potatoes:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash potatoes and cut them into small-medium pieces. Place potatoes in large bowl.  Coat with a little olive oil, a few dashes salt and pepper and oregano. Stir till potatoes are coated well.

Place potatoes in single layer in baking pan, or dish (cooks best in a stoneware baking piece).
If you're not using stone bakeware, be sure to line pan with foil.

Cook potatoes in oven for 8-10 minutes, then turn potatoes and cook for about 8 minutes more, or until softened. Watch carefully, as they can burn quickly.

When done, move potatoes to a bowl, coat with a little Greek dressing and toss.

Serve with hamburger steak.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Gluten Free Broccoli Casserole

I have made Paula Deen's broccoli casserole for years.  It's so delicious!  With a few adjustments it can be made gluten free! Here's the simple recipe...

2 10 oz packages of frozen broccoli florets cooked and drained
1 cup Hellman's mayonnaise
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 carton Pacific Foods GF Organic condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups crushed gluten free crackers (I use Glutino original)
2 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Chop cooked broccoli into small pieces
In large bowl, combine broccoli, mayo , cheese, soup and eggs.  Mix well with spoon.
Spray 9 X13 baking dish with cooking spray.
Place the mixture in baking dish.
Top with crushed GF crackers and pour the melted butter over crackers.
Bake for 35 minutes or until done.


Linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays at

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Loaded Cauliflower

I saw this fabulous recipe on Facebook and MUST try it soon!  I've never been a fan of cauliflower, but I've never seen it made this way before! And it can be done gluten free!!

This recipe is from Courtney Luper via Facebook.

Loaded Cauliflower

1 large head of Cauliflower cut into bite size pieces (approx 6 cups)
6-8 strips of bacon cooked and crumbled (Cooked in oven at 400° for 20 mins)
6 Tbs chopped Chives
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Sour Cream
2 cups Colby Jack Cheese ( may use cheddar)
8 oz container sliced mushrooms (I don't use mushrooms in mine)(optional)

Preheat oven to 425°
In a large pot boil water and cook Cauliflower for 8 - 10 minutes, drain and let cool.
In a large bowl combine sour cream, mayo, 1/2 of crumbled bacon, 3 tbs chives, 1 cups of cheese,mushrooms and cauliflower and mix well... place in baking dish and cover with remaining 1 cup of cheese and rest of bacon crumbles. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted. top with remaining 3 T chives and serve.

...and here's her fabulous picture of the dish....doesn't it look amazing!?!?!?

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday Favorites...Weekly Recipe Finds

I thought it would be a great idea, and help me organize all the great recipes I see online, if I picked my favorite recipes each week. So here are my favorite recipe picks from Pinterest and Twitter for this week! I'll be trying them soon!!

Since I've been obsessed with soup the past few days, let's start there....

Favorite Soup Recipe
Chicken Corn Chowder

Favorite Breakfast Recipe
Easy GF Sour Cream Blueberry Muffins

Favorite Main Dish Recipe
Beef and Mushroom Stew

Favorite Side Dish Recipe
GF Stovetop Mac and Cheese

Favorite Dessert Recipe
The Best Sour Cream Cheesecake

I also visited AllerMates new website this week!  You'll find great resources and products there for parents of kids with allergies, asthma, etc.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Broccoli Salad

I LOVE broccoli! Steamed, in a warm casserole, doesn't matter!  But this broccoli salad is one of my favorites!! My mom has made this fabulous dish for as long as I can remember.  It's always a crowd favorite!  Here's the recipe!


5-6 broccoli crowns

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 small purple onion

2 jars real bacon bits (I use Hormel)

1 1/2 cups Hellman's mayonnaise

3 tsp red wine vinegar

3/4 cup sugar


Chop broccoli into very small pieces

Finely chop the onion

Combine broccoli and onion with cheese and bacon.

In a separate bowl combine the mayo, vinegar and sugar.  Mix well.

Pour sauce mixture over other ingredients and mix well till combined.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.


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Monday, February 2, 2015

Slow Cooker Gluten Free BBQ Meatballs

I have always wanted to try a slow cooker meatball recipe.  When I found this one on Pinterest,  I just had to try it!

The original recipe comes from  With only 3 ingredients that can easily be found gluten free, it's a winner!! Perfect for an appetizer or anytime!

1 18 oz GF BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray BBQ Sauce)
1 18 oz GF grape jelly (I used our local Ingles Market Brand, it had GF on the label)
2 packages Cooked Perfect GF Frozen Meatballs (about 50)

Combine BBQ sauce and grape jelly in slow cooker. Stir till well mixed.

Pour in frozen meatballs

Stir to coat meatballs in sauce

Cover and cook in slow cooker on high for 3 hrs.


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Saturday, January 31, 2015

My Favorite Gluten Free Hash Brown Casserole

This Hash brown Casserole is an easy recipe that's great for a quick side!  I also sometimes make it to eat for a warm lunch through the week!


1 32 oz bag of Ore-Ida Tater Tots
1 carton Pacific organic GF condensed cream of chicken soup
1 carton Pacific organic GF condensed cream of mushroom soup
3 cups grated cheddar cheese
8 oz sour cream
1/2 cup onion (I sometimes substitute onion powder)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Defrost tater tots in microwave and mash with fork till broken apart.
Combine tater tots with remaining ingredients.
Stir till well mixed.
Pour mixture into 9x13 baking dish.
Bake for 45 minutes.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015


The Gluten Dude shared a touching letter he received from a 12 year old with Celiac Disease.  You can read it here...

The letter made me think about our family, and I wanted to share this...

I love this quote from Shauna James Ahern's book Gluten Free Girl...

   "I have a confession to make.  I used to suspect that people who claimed they had food allergies were making it up--or, at the very least exaggerating. 
   How could anyone get so sick from a little wheat?  Or some milk? A handful of walnuts?  It seemed to me that people who ate wheat-free bread were just looking for attention.  Granola heads. Pale people with no real vitality.  
   Watch out for what you doubt.  It might just become you."

 Before my oldest son was diagnosed with a nut allergy 6 years ago, I might have said the same thing.

 But food allergies are real.

Our younger son was diagnosed with the same allergy 4 years ago, and our daughter was diagnosed 2 years ago.  Then I was diagnosed over three years ago with Celiac Disease.

For our family, food allergies are real.

My husband and I have said many times, unless you have a food allergy or a child with a food allergy, you just aren't going to think very much about ingredients and labels. We meticulously check labels on everything,  and for us it's just become a part of life. And thankfully there are lots of safe foods my kids can enjoy.

Last year, my son brought home a treat bag from his Valentine's Day party, and before I could check the candy inside, my daughter had eaten one of the chocolates from the bag.  She became very ill; I had to administer an EpiPen and we spent the rest of the day at the hospital.  That day, food allergies were very real.

It sometimes makes me sad that my kids have to take their own snacks to friends' birthday parties or miss out on things because of their allergy.  And, yes, their nut allergy scares me... Earlier this year, on a school field trip, we were all eating lunch when one of the kids pulled out and started eating a bag of nuts.  My 7 year old son commented that he couldn't eat nuts.  The child started asking me about my son's allergy; what would happen if he ate nuts or touched nuts...I explained that it could make him very sick.  The child then got up, ran over and rubbed his hands all over my son's shirt. I was horrified!  It broke my heart that someone could do something like this to my child!

Now, with Celiac Disease, it's different.  No, for me it's not immediately life threatening, as the peanut allergy could be for my kids.  But still, it's something I have to watch extremely carefully in order to stay healthy now and to avoid more serious health problems in the future.

Yes, food allergies are real...and sometimes even overwhelming. I suppose until you or someone you love has an allergy, you don't fully understand how serious it can be.  But food allergies are no joke.  They are a part of everyday life for our family and for so many others too.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Gluten Free Country Style Steak with Gravy

Here's one of my family's favorite recipes! Super simple and yummy! Great with mashed potatoes or rice! 

GF Country Steak with Gravy

2 pounds. beef cubed steak
GF Flour, enough to dredge steak (I use Betty Crocker all purpose GF rice flour)
Olive oil, enough to use for browning steak
Salt and pepper
1 carton Pacific Naturals Organic GF condensed cream of chicken soup
1 pkg GF brown gravy mix (I use Simply Organic Brown Gravy Mix)
Water (1 soup carton full)
Salt and pepper to taste

Dredge the cubed steak in flour and brown in vegetable oil just until brown on both sides.

Salt and pepper the steak just a little while browning. 
Place browned steak in a greased 9x13 dish.
In separate bowl, mix together the GF cream of chicken soup, gravy mix and water. Whisk thoroughly until blended.
Pour over steak. 

Cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

EpiPen Co-Pay Offer

As a mom of three kids with nut allergies, I am never without EpiPens! I wanted to share this info, just in case you don't know about it... On the EpiPen website there is a discount voucher you can download just by answering a few simple questions.  In some cases I have paid $0 co-pay when presenting this at the pharmacy!  Sometimes I have had to pay a few dollars, but it's still a drastic discount from the full price of the EpiPens.  Here's the link.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cranberry Congealed Salad

This recipe is super simple and always a family favorite!!


1 small box cherry jello
1 10oz can crushed pineapple
1 can Ocean Spray whole berry cranberry sauce

Combine 1 cup boiled water with the Jell-O in medium baking dish and stir until dissolved

Pour in cranberry sauce and stir till combined

Pour in crushed pineapple

Stir till mixed well

Cover and refrigerate for about eight hours or overnight.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Gluten Free Buffalo Chicken Dip

At every holiday gathering this year, someone brought a buffalo chicken dip, and I am so happy to finally have the recipe!!  It has become my new favorite thing!  And I'm thrilled to be able to make it gluten free :)  Here's how I do it...

8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup Hidden Valley Ranch dressing (can add more if you like)
1/2 cup Franks Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce (can add more if you like)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
2 12.5 oz cans Hormel Premium Chicken Breast (can use just one if that's all you have :))

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Place cream cheese in medium baking dish and spread till smooth

Mix in salad dressing, wing sauce, and cheese. Stir in chicken.

Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through. Stir.

Serve with tortilla chips :)

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