Meal Plan Monday – December 3, 2012

Its December and really starting to feel like Christmas around here!  My family went out and cut down our Christmas tree on Saturday.  We had a great time together!  Now the tree is decorated and all the festive Christmas treasures are displayed through the house (actually, I only really decorate two rooms, but still, its warm and cozy feeling!).  Then we (read “my husband”) made a turkey and mashed potatoes dinner which we shared with friends on Sunday afternoon.  Now I finally get to enjoy turkey leftovers!  So here’s our gluten, dairy and egg-free meal plan for this week . . .

MONDAY – Homemade Turkey Noodle Soup and Biscuits – Not only did my husband make turkey this weekend, but he also made his wonderful broth with the turkey carcass so we get to enjoy nourishing and delicious soup tonight.  I’ll be using our favorite gluten-free noodles.

TUESDAY – Gina Chicken with Broccoli over Rice 

WEDNESDAY – Shrimp Scampi

THURSDAY – Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

FRIDAY – The kids will have Skillet Fiesta which is already prepared in the freezer.  The babysitter will just have to heat and serve.  Me and Hubby will be going out Christmas shopping!

SATURDAY – Sausages with Peppers, Onions, Mushrooms and Rice

SUNDAY – Turkey Gone-Gone – This is just turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy mixed together but my daughter loves it so much she named it Turkey Gone-Gone because it’s always eaten until its all gone.

What’s on your plan?

For more ideas, check out Menu Plan MondayGluten Free Menu SwapMenu Monday

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Dairy-Free Holiday Chocolates

Sometimes its the little things that make a kid (or grown-up) with food allergies feel normal.  Its always nice to be able to enjoy the same treats that everyone else is having.  Take those little Santa-shaped chocolates, for instance.  You know the ones wrapped in foil that often end up in stockings or as treats at Christmas parties.  Of course they are off limits for those sensitive to dairy, but there is an easy – and just as tasty – alternative.  Are you ready to make the easiest treat in the world?  Good.

All you’ll need is some dairy-free chocolate (I use Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips, but there are other good choices including Enjoy Life and Chocolate Dream chips) and some Christmas-themed chocolate molds.  The chocolate molds will only run you about $5 and can sometimes be found at craft stores and on amazon.com.

Here’s what you do.  Are you ready? – this is a really complicated recipe (not!).

Melt about 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips.  You can do this in the microwave or in a double boiler on the stove.  I use the microwave, putting the chips in for about 30 seconds; remove and stir, then another 30 seconds and stir, repeating until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Using a regular teaspoon or other convenient utensil, scoop out a little chocolate and drizzle it into the molds, making sure to completely fill the shape (and try not to lick your fingers!).  Once you’ve filled all the shapes, tap the mold on the counter a bit to make sure you don’t have any air bubbles trapped in the chocolate.  Then let the tray sit on the counter (or in the fridge for those of us with less patience) until the chocolate hardens.  Gently pop out the chocolates and voila! – you now have pretty little Christmas-shaped chocolates that are safe for those with dairy allergies to enjoy.

One cup of chocolate chips yielded 17 little snowmen, candy canes, trees, etc. using the mold I have.  And by the way, if you get interrupted while making these, or if you end up with more melted chocolate in your bowl than can fit in your mold, you can re-heat your melted chocolate and continue with no problem.

This recipe is being shared at Gluten Free MondayBetter Mom MondayMelt In Your Mouth MondayInspire Me MondayMusings of a HousewifeSlightly Indulgent TuesdayHealthy 2day WednesdayAllergy Free WednesdayGluten Free WednesdayCast Party WednesdayWheat Free WednesdayWednesday ExtravaganzaFull Plate ThursdayFrugal Food ThursdayUltimate Recipe SwapGluten Free FridaysFoodtastic FridayFoodie FridayFood on FridayPotluck PartyAllergy Friendly Friday

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Meal Plan Monday – January 14, 2013

Happy Monday!  Time for a fresh new outlook on the week ahead with plenty of good foods on the menu.  We had two great things to celebrate this weekend –  my husband’s birthday and the filling of our freezer!  My husband’s brother raises a couple of cows a year and we were able to buy half of one this year.  And let me tell you, last night’s dinner was THE BEST SIRLOIN I have ever eaten!  Wow – fresh and natural makes all the difference.  We were also able to get some soup bones, so if anyone has advice on making bone broth, please share!

So here’s our plan for this week:

MONDAY – Spaghetti and Meatballs 

TUESDAY – Oven Baked Chicken Cacciatore

WEDNESDAY – Leftover Ham with Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes and Green Beans

THURSDAY – Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

FRIDAY – BBQ Shredded Chicken and Rice

SATURDAY – Seasoned Ground Beef and Rice

SUNDAY – Salad Dressing Chicken and Rice

This post is being shared at Gluten-Free Menu SwapOrganizing Junkie’s Menu Plan MondayMenu Monday and Musings of a Housewife

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Best Ever Beef Stew {gluten, dairy, egg-free}

Its seems that forever I have been searching for a good bowl of beef stew, but have continued to be disappointed.  I figured I must not actually like beef stew so much since I can’t seem to find a recipe I  like.  Until now!  My good friend Gina Shatney (of Gina Chicken) served me a bowl of her Beef and Barley soup – just one bite and I sighed a contented sigh, knowing I had found what I was looking for.  So of course I got her recipe, made a few minor adjustments (namely, taking out the barley) and cooked up an amazing pot of gluten-free beef stew for my family.   It was a hit from the youngest to the oldest at our table, so I figured I’d better share it with you.

As if a successful beef stew recipe wasn’t enough, another surprising thing happened.  I needed to make a soup to bring to church for the fellowship meal.  I hadn’t planned for this, but I found I had on hand the ingredients  to make this soup – except for the beef.  So I decided to make it anyway, but substitute ground beef for the stew meat.  And guess what?  It turned out great!  I do prefer the original version using beef from a roast, but the ground beef version is almost as good.  So if you’re pinching pennies, or just don’t have any stew meat on hand, try it with ground beef.  You’ll be warmed and satisfied either way.

*Now because this is a beef stew, let’s take a minute and talk about your beef options.  This recipe calls for about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of beef, and there are several options that will produce a great stew.  My favorite is to use leftovers from a brisket or from my new favorite crockpot roast.  I cook up a 3-pound roast and serve half for dinner, then shred the other half for this stew.  The shredded meat is perfect!  But if you didn’t happen to have a roast earlier in the week, you could always go with cubed stew meat or a london broil cut into bite-sized pieces and browned in a skillet.  The third option, which I mentioned already, is ground beef.  Simply brown your ground beef in a skillet while you work on the rest of the stew, then add it to the stew after the ground beef is cooked through.

Now on to the recipe . . .

Beef Stew gluten, dairy, and egg-free

Note: As with most soups, the amounts given are approximate.  The measurements are listed to give you an idea of how much, but please, add or subtract as suits your taste and pantry supplies.

1 – 1 1/2 lbs beef, see note* above and choose from:
     leftover beef roast, shredded
     cubed stew meat, browned in a skillet
     ground beef, browned in a skillet
2-3 TBSP olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1-2 carrots, cut into small pieces
1-2 stalks of celery, cut into small pieces
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 TBSP dried oregano
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
2-4 TBSP red wine (red cooking wine if fine)
6 cups beef broth (if using store-bought broth, make sure its gluten-free and MSG-free)
15 oz. can tomato sauce

In a stockpot, saute onion, carrots, and celery in olive oil over medium heat until crisp-tender.  Add garlic and oregano and saute a few minutes more.  Add liquids (red wine, broth and tomato sauce) and bring to a boil.  Simmer for a little while to get the flavors into the broth.  Add potatoes and pre-cooked meat.  Simmer until potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes).  Serve on its own, or pair with some fluffy gluten-free biscuits.

This recipe is being shared at Inspire Me MondayMelt In Your Mouth MondayMotivation MondayMake Your Own MondayBetter Mom MondayGluten Free RoundupFat TuesdaySlightly Indulgent TuesdayWhat’s Cooking WednesdayGluten Free WednesdayHealthy 2day WednesdayAllergy Free WednesdayCast Party WednesdayReal Food WednesdayWednesday Fresh FoodsWheat Free WednesdayWednesday ExtravaganzaFull Plate ThursdayDelightfully Inspired ThursdayFrugal Food ThursdayPennywise PlatterTasty TraditionsGluten Free FridayFoodie FridayFresh Bites FridayFoodtastic FridayFood on Friday

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cornflake Bars {gluten, dairy, egg-free}

Recently I  stumbled onto this recipe for Gooey Cornflake Bars at The Better Mom and was impatiently waiting for a chance to try it.  When I finally did have an occasion to make it, a bag of Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips caught my eye and I just haaad to add them in.  I figured, you probably can’t go wrong mixing peanut butter and chocolate together, right?  So I never did actually make the recipe I meant to, and I still hope to, but in the process this chocolate version emerged.  So next time you need to put together a simple sweet treat, give this one a try (or if you’d rather, try the original non-chocolate version.)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cornflake Bars gluten, dairy, egg-free

6 cup gluten-free cornflakes
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

In the microwave, melt peanut butter, honey and chocolate chips for 1 minute.  Remove and stir; then continue heating in 30-second increments until completely melted and combined.  (If you prefer, you can do this in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.)  Measure cornflakes into a large bowl and pour in peanut butter-chocolate mixture.  Stir to coat.  Grease a 7 x 11 inch pan.  Transfer coated cornflakes to pan.  Spread evenly into pan, pressing down firmly with the back of a pancake turner, packing mixture tightly.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Cut into squares and serve.

This recipe is being shared at Inspire Me MondayMake Your Own MondayMelt In Your Mouth MondayBetter Mom MondayMotivation MondayGluten Free WeeklySlightly Indulgent TuesdayAllergy Free WednesdayGluten Free WednesdayWhat’s Cooking WednesdayCast Party WednesdayWheat Free WednesdayWednesday ExtravaganzaThriving on ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayDelightfully Inspiring ThursdayFrugal Food ThursdayGluten Free FridayFoodie FridayFoodtastic FridayFood on Friday

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Spread Some Valentine’s Love

Valentine’s Day is almost here and maybe it’s got you wondering what  you can do for that special someone who can’t eat the usual Valentine’s treats.  After all, we can’t let a little thing like a gluten, dairy or egg allergy get in the way of celebrating love.

Baking and decorating heart-shaped sugar cookies is a great family activity to do with kids.  Heart cookies are also fun to bring in to share with classmates or co-workers.  And never overlook a plateful of hearts as a sweet gift for your heart throb.  Just grab some cutsie heart-shaped cookie cutters and pop on over to my recipe for Holiday Cut-Out Sugar Cookies.  My husband and I just made these with our kids last night and had a great family fun evening.

Another very easy idea is to make your own dairy-free heart chocolates.  You’ll need a set of  heart-shaped chocolate molds, a bag of dairy-free chocolate chips and this tutorial.

If you’d like to skip the kitchen in favor of the store, you can make up a little Valentine’s treat bag.  Always read labels for yourself, but here’s a short list of candies that are gluten, dairy and egg-free.
Necco Conversation Hearts, Valentine’s Peeps, Skittles, Dum-Dum lollipops, Starburst and whatever else you might be able to turn up at the store.  Just read those labels carefully and have fun assembling your treat bag!

Happy celebrating LOVE with your LOVE-lys!

This post is being shared at Better Mom MondayMelt In Your Mouth MondayInspire Me MondayGluten Free WeeklyMotivation MondaySlightly Indulgent TuesdayAllergy Free WednesdayHealthy 2day WednesdayGluten Free WednesdayWhat’s Cooking WednesdayCast Party WednesdayWheat Free WednesdayWednesday ExtravaganzaThriving on ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayDelightfully Inspiring ThursdayFrugal Food ThursdayGluten Free FridayFoodie FridayFoodtastic FridayFood on FridayPotluck PartyShow and Tell Saturday

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Crockpot Salsa Bean Chicken {gluten, dairy, egg-free}

Are you ready for the easiest dinner ever?  My good friend invented this one and it’s become a regular in my rotation because its healthy, easy and everybody likes it!  Sound like a winner to me!  Let me introduce to you . . . Salsa Bean Chicken!

Crockpot Salsa Bean Chicken

2 – 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups of home-cooked black beans (or one 15 oz can of black beans)
2 cups homemade salsa (or one 16 oz jar of salsa)

Place chicken into crockpot (its okay if it’s frozen).  Top with salsa and beans.  Cover and cook in your crockpot on low for 8 hours.  Serve with brown rice.

Told you it was easy!

This recipe is being shared at Better Mom MondayMelt In Your Mouth MondayInspire Me MondayMake Your Own MondayGluten Free WeeklyMotivation MondaySlightly Indulgent TuesdayFat TuesdayTraditional TuesdaysAllergy Free WednesdayHealthy 2day WednesdayGluten Free WednesdayWhat’s Cooking WednesdayCast Party WednesdayReal Food WednesdayWednesday Fresh FoodsWheat Free WednesdayWednesday ExtravaganzaThriving on ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayFrugal Food ThursdayTasty TraditionsGluten Free FridaysFoodie FridayFresh Bites FridayFoodtastic FridayFood on Friday

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easy things to cook for dinner: 6 3-Ingredient Dinners & Sides

Get the recipes: https://tasty.co/compilation/4-easy-3-ingredient-dinners https://tasty.co/compilation/4-easy-3-ingredient-vegetable-side-dishes Buy the Tasty Cookbook Today: http://bit.ly/2zVLRyd  Check us out on Facebook! – facebook.com/buzzfeedtasty Credits: https://www.buzzfeed.com/bfmp/videos/40248 MUSIC Licensed via Audio Network […]

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