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.