Menu Plan ~ December 1, 2008

Here we are in December already. Where did the year go? Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the Holiday season and most of the stuff that comes with it, but geez, it seems like it was just New Year’s Day and I was trying to figure out how to get rid of my gluten-free beer hangover! LOL! We had a wonderful time with our family over the past few days and Jon had a successful trip to Pittsburgh with his hockey team, eating gluten-free even! I was all worried about him getting glutened and guess who got glutened, and not just once, but twice, 2 days in a row! The second time I really should have known better, it was the same restaurant I was glutened at the day before, but I was giving them the benefit of the doubt b/c I had eaten out numerous times that first day and it really could have come from anywhere. Anywhere, that is, until I was glutened the 2nd day at the same restaurant. GRR! I can say that I won’t be going back. Our server on day 2 is someone I know and who works at another place that I frequent and I know he tried his best to keep me safe. I realize that eating out is risky and in order to lower those risks, I have to avoid that place from here on out.

Now, on with the first week of December. Another busy week here. Getting back into the swing of things is always tough. I am the kind of person who craves normalcy and routine, but yet find myself kind of enjoying not having to adhere to a schedule for a day or 2. We have at least 1, if not 2 hockey practices this week, ice skating practice, at least 1 hockey game, a surprise party on Saturday night (I can’t say who, b/c if they are reading, it will spoil the fun!), and dinner with my Dad on Friday night. Phew. I am worn out and Monday isn’t even here yet. I am proud to say that here I am, Sunday night, and I have very few leftovers from Turkey day. I feel that I planned much better this year than I have in years past. I don’t even think I have enough turkey, after having some for dinner tonight, to make another meal! YAY! Our potatoes & stuffing are down to 1 or 2 servings too, and that would make a nice breakfast.

Wow…this is much longer than I intended it to be. Onto the plan:

Sunday ~ Leftovers. I made turkey fettucine alfredo with peas, grape tomatoes & fresh grated parmesan & a spinach salad

Monday ~ Burgers, sweet potato fries, steamed broccoli & salad

Tuesday ~ Baked or Grilled Salmon, brown rice, okra medley & salad

Wednesday ~ Cheeseburger in Paradise

Thursday ~ Turkey Tacos, refried beans & salad

Friday ~ Dinner at Dad’s…I believe we are doing pizza. He is ordering from a local place, Donato’s and they do “No Dough” pizzas that are GF. I don’t eat them b/c they are on soy crusts and still make me feel weird. I will take my frozen Glutino Spinach & Feta pizza to bake over there.

Saturday ~Surprise Par-tay

Baked Goods

Banana bread
Chocolate Crinkles
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cranberry Cornbread (to freeze and have at Christmas)

I am also going to start making my Christmas cookies & freezing them so I am not crazy busy in a few weeks. I don’t know who I think I am kidding, I am always busy! LOL!

Thanks to Sarah at Heart of Cooking for hosting the Gluten-Free menu swap this week. Also, make sure to check out OrgJunkie for lots more planning ideas.

Banana Nut Bread Heaven

I know that I say a lot of recipes I try are like heaven or amazing, but seriously, I am a foodaholic! I happen to love quick breads, desserts and pumpkin, to name a few. I don’t like to toot my own horn, but, OH.MY.GOD. This banana bread that I made today was amazing! I used an old recipe that my Mom used to use, from the very, very old Betty Crocker cookbook and modified it a bit. Obviously, I made it GF. Then, I subbed buttermilk for the milk b/c I had some that I had to use up and I love it in quick breads. The result was the moistest, most flavorful banana bread I have had since going GF.

Banana Nut Bread ~ Gluten-Free
**Original recipe from Betty Crocker Cookbook, modified slightly by me

2 1/2 cups flour (I used Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix; if you use a flour mix without xanthan gum or guar gum, make sure to add at least 2 tsps. to this recipe)
1 cup sugar
3 1/2 tsps. Baking Powder
1 tsp. salt
3 TBSP. canola oil
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 egg
1 cup finely chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
2-3 medium very ripe bananas (about 1 cup)

Heat over to 350*. Spray your bread pan (1 pan that is 9 x 5 x 3 inches or 2 that are 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5) with PAM. Measure all ingredients into large mixer bowl; beat on medium speed for 1/2 minutes, scraping sides constantly.

Pour into pan(s). Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. **I only needed to bake for 55 minutes. Remove from pan immediately; cool thoroughly before slicing.

Perfect for breakfast, snack, dessert or with a cup of coffee. You could spread cream cheese or butter on your slice or for a nice dessert, mix up a glaze of powdered sugar & milk and pour thinly over the top.

Baby Steps 2

Last week I posted about Jon going on a trip out of state, on his own with his hockey team. I had been concerned about how he was going to navigate his way through traveling and eating with his diet needs. I prepared him and the chaperones involved as best as I could (lists, information, shelf-stable food). Jon has been gone now since Friday AM and I am very proud to update that he is doing very well with his diet. He has navigated his way through 2 days of meals and has been very creative in how he is making sure his food is safe. Yesterday morning is the prime example. I was on my way back from the gym when I see that he is calling me and I had just spoken with him. He was at IHOP, a Celiac’s nightmare, and wanted to know what he could eat. I started to tell him and he stopped me. He wanted me to speak with the waitress. I then spoke with the waitress, verifying that they do indeed put pancake batter in the eggs & omelettes. She suggested using their fresh eggs, in shells. I asked her if they could scramble a couple in a clean frying pan and then maybe get him a glass of milk. She said yes. I was very impressed. Jon called me back later to tell me that he didn’t get sick! YAY! I am so glad that he took the initiative to have me to speak to the server on the cell phone! Last night they ate at BW3’s again and he did fine. I am so much more relaxed about this now. My baby is growing up!

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