Menu Plan ~ May 31, 2009

Yes, we are on vacation, but I still menu plan.  It is in my blood!  I do it a little differently though, at least I am this week.  I am only planning out 2-3 days at a time, then going to the store for the items a few times during the week.  I do this mainly so that I don’t end up having a bunch of leftovers to cart home with me or go to waste.   Next week, the 2nd week we will be here, I have already planned out the whole week because our families will be joining us and we needed to see who wanted to participate in what meals so that we can be prepared with groceries. 

Sunday ~ Shrimp Scampi (Aaron’s recipe), steamed green beans & salad.

Monday ~ Chicken Bouldy (again, Aaron’s amazing recipe), brown rice, steamed broccoli & salad

Tuesday ~ Turkey burgers, baked sweet potatoes, snow peas & salad

I know that we will do some fresh seafood a couple more times this week.  I love salmon, so that is a definite.  I also love sea scallops, lobster tail, grouper, flounder, etc.  I would like to try mahi mahi, as I have never had it, but have no idea how to prepare it.  May be time to give it a try!

No baking here this week.  I did enough last week preparing for the trip!!

Be sure to check back Tuesday or Wednesday for my mid-week menu plan!

I also wanted to share that the kids & I walked for our ice cream last night and I had the coconut.  It was amazing!!  There were pieces of toasted coconut in the ice cream!  YUM!!  I think peach yogurt is next on my agenda to sample. 

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Beach Bumming

We are currently on vacation at the beach for 2 weeks! This is one of my favorite times of the year. Getting here is a little stressful, preparing all the stuff we bring along and food that I make sure that Jon & I have with us so that we don’t go without. I bake extra bread, buy extra goodies and pack toasters & coffee makers.

The stores in the area are usually well stocked, but I hate to be unprepared. It is not in my nature. I am a planner at heart. We don’t eat out for the most part, maybe one or 2 meals, tops. It is much less expensive to cook at home and you don’t have to try to get a group of 10+ people sat down at one time in a busy restaurant. Not to mention trying to get a safe, gluten-free meal after that. I will update on the local stores once I hit them tomorrow. We just arrived today, so we just have the necessities right now. I am on the hunt for Chocolate Chex & the Betty Crocker GF Mixes. I won’t stop until I find them!

Tonight we will go for a nice walk along the beach and then stop for ice cream on the way home. I love this place…you can walk everywhere and that means that you work off your dessert or at least feel better about indulging. 😉 The great thing about this ice cream place is that since we have been coming here for so many years, the women that work there know that Jon & I have to eat GF and know to grab clean ice cream scoops as they see us walk in the door, even if it is the first time of the year! Love that!!!

As I sign off tonight, I am sitting on our porch looking out over the ocean with a nice glass of cabernet. Ahhhhh!!

Nut Butter Freak

That would be me. A freak. I can’t get enough of my nut butters. I really haven’t met one that I haven’t liked…yet. My favorite is Barney Butter, as I have said before. But, then you have peanut butters & the flavored peanut butters. My favorite plain peanut butter is Skippy Natural….creamy & super spreadable. My favorite flavored peanut butter is PB & Co’s Dark Chocolate Dreams, though the Smooth Operator is a great “normal” creamy PB. I have also tried the While Chocolate Wonderful (YUM) & Mighty Maple (another YUM). I think what sparked me to write this post was the fact that I actually deviated from my nut butter filled breakfast! GASP! What was I thinking? I was thinking that I have this yogurt & open cereal that I need to finish before we leave for 2 weeks. So, breakfast was a yogurt mess bowl made up of vanillia Oikos, Mesa Sunrise & Barbara’s Honey Puffins. Yummy, no doubt, but not nut butter. Guess what I will be needing for lunch or afternoon snack? LOL!

Speaking of peanut butter, Gliding Calm is holding her first ever giveaway and it involves peanut butter! WOOHOOO!! You can get the info needed to enter here. So, if you are a PB fan, like me, head on over & sign up! 🙂

Memorial Day ~ Thank you

Thank you to every man and woman who has ever served this country, in peace time and in war.  Also, thank you to your families for the sacrifice. 

A picture of a “Field of Flags” that I saw the other day in Westerville, Ohio. 



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Review: Cinnamon Chex

I am now officially only 1 Chex cereal away from trying all of the gluten-free ones out there now.  🙂  I have a great friend, Lisa, to thank for the Cinnamon Chex.  She & I did an exchange.  We were both having issues finding certain flavors, so I sent her a box of Strawberry Chex and she, in turn, sent me a box of Cinnamon Chex.  The Cinnamon Chex are amazing.  I think that they are in first place right now, as far as flavor goes, with Strawberry in second place.  Now, I have yet to track down the super-elusive Chocolate Chex yet, so that could bump Cinnamon right out of first place, because we all know how I feel about my chocolate.  When I do find the Chocolate Chex, I plan on making the following Chex Mix recipe that I found on the Chex site:

Snickerdoodle Chex® Mix

Start to Finish: 15 Minutes

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups Cinnamon Chex® cereal

2 cups Chocolate Chex® cereal

4 cups popped popcorn

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1. In small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon; set aside. In large microwavable bowl, mix cereals and popcorn.

2. In 1-cup microwavable measuring cup, microwave butter uncovered on High about 40 seconds or until melted. Pour over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly coated.

3. Microwave uncovered on High 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture evenly over cereal mixture; stir. Sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture; stir. Microwave 1 minute longer. Spread on waxed paper or paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container.

16 servings (1/2 cup each)

1 Serving: Calories 100 (Calories from Fat 35); Total Fat 3.5g (Saturated Fat 2g); Cholesterol 10mg; Sodium 80mg; Potassium 20mg; Total Carbohydrate 15g (Dietary Fiber 0g); Protein 1g

% Daily Value: Vitamin A 6%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 4%; Iron 15%; Vitamin D 0%; Folic Acid 15%

Exchanges: 1/2 Starch, 1/2 Other Carbohydrate, 1/2 Fat

Carbohydrate Choices: 1

I don’t think that you could go wrong with this Chex Mix.  Maybe, just maybe, when we are on vacation I will happen upon the long lost Chocolate Chex.  Wish me luck! 😉

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Menu Plan ~ May 24, 2009

Summer has arrived!  WOOHOO!!!  The heat is on…the heat is onnnnnnnnn!  Okay, no more of that.  I broke down & bought a death slide Slip & Slide yesterday for Hannah.  Darn Wal-Mart & their $5 deals.  I am sure that says something about how long this “toy” will last.  I was a little reassured that they have improved the “safety” of crashing your body into the hard ground by adding a blow-up “boogie board” to the set.  What a deal!  Hannah was thrilled & picked out the pink one, only to be disappointed when we opened the box & the boogie board was green.  That didn’t keep her down for long, though.  She is chomping at the bit to get out there again, however, grocery shopping & consignment store shopping is going to have to bump her Slip & Slide session to later this afternoon.

If the menu last week was designed to use up my freezer & fridge stash, this week’s is much more so.  We are leaving at the butt crack of dawn on Saturday for our 2-week beach vacation, so we need to use up what we have. 

Sunday ~ Kim ( piece in the freezer & baked sweet potato); Jon’s friends over pizza? plus salad

Monday ~ grilled chicken, baked potato/sweet potato, steamed green beans & salad

Tuesday ~ Mexican Pizza/tacos, refried or black beans, corn & salad

Wednesday ~ Homemade mac & cheese, baked beans & salad

Thursday~ Spaghetti & Meat Sauce, veggies & salad

Friday~ Finish off fridge stuff or homemade pizza…take leftovers!

Saturday~ Beach!!

Baked Goods

3 loaves of Pamela’s bread to freeze & take with us

Brownies (to take on the road)

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Product Review: Dagoba Seeds Bar

I had the pleasure of winning a free chocolate bar from Dagoba a week or so ago.  They send me the Dagoba Seeds Bar.  I was very excited to try & savor this bar.  The list of ingredients:

Ingredients – Organic dark chocolate* (OG cacao beans, OG evaporated cane juice, OG cacao butter, OG soy lecithin), OG pumpkin seeds*, OG Manitoba Harvest™ hemp seeds*, OG sunflower seeds, Big Tree Farms Balinese sea salt.



I broke into this bar the other night after dinner and wow…….A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!  The perfect combo of sweet & salty.  The nuts were prominent enough, but didn’t take over the bar.  Went wonderfully with a great glass of cabernet. 

Along with my bar, Dagoba kindly sent me a $1.00 off coupon for another chocolate bar.  I was at Whole Foods last night and looked for another Seeds Bar, but didn’t find any.  😦  I settled (haha….any bar from Dagoba is not settling) on a New Moon Bar, which as it stands, is tied in first for my fav from Dagoba.  I am on a quest to try them all (hint, hint).  😉 

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Product Review: Enjoy Life Granola

I received 3 different varieties of Enjoy Life Granola to sample & review a week or so ago.  The flavors are Cinnamon Crunch, Cranapple Crunch & Very Berry Crunch.  I had tried these granolas a while back and they were good, however, they are now “new & improved”! 


I have only had the chance to sample the Cranapple Crunch so far, but was in love.  YUM!!  I poured some over my Oikos yogurt the other day for a delicious afternoon snack!


There were big chunks of cranberries and this was very close to the granola I remember eating before having to go gluten-free.  Here is the ingredient list:


Brown Rice Flakes; Brown Rice Syrup; Evaporated Cane Juice; Water; Rice Bran; Dried Cranberries (Cranberries, Sugar, Sunflower Oil)*; Dried Apples*; Rice Crisps ( Rice Flour, Rice Bran, Raisin Juice Concentrate, Honey, Salt); Expeller-Pressed Vegetable Oil (Safflower Oil and/or Sunflower Oil); Natural Apple Flavor; Malic Acid; Ground Flaxseed; Rosemary Extract


vitamins and minerals:

Magnesium; Iron; Niacin (Vitamin B3); Zinc; Thiamin (Vitamin B1); Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5); Folate; Vitamin B6

Very impressive!  I can’t wait to break into the other 2!  I will make sure to review those flavors as well. 

Product Review: Smartfood Popcorn Clusters

I happened upon a sale on these Popcorn Clusters the other day and picked some up.  There are 3 different flavors, however, only the Cranberry Almond is gluten-free.  The label states that each serving (or pack) contains 5 grams of fiber & 20% of the RDA of calcium!  This is a bonus when you can’t do a lot of dairy products (there is dairy in this product, so beware if you have a milk allergy).  I have lactose intolerance, but am able to do small amounts of dairy with a Lactaid pill. 


I don’t know what I was expecting when I opened up this snack pack, but I was very impressed!  What a great flavor!  Reminds me of Cracker Jacks, but healthier!  I ate these as a mid-morning snack & they kept me full until lunch time.  Great snack to keep in your purse or car (if it isn’t too hot) for emergencies!  5 star review for this one!

Menu Plan ~ May 17, 2009

Can’t believe that it is almost June!  That means that school is almost over & I will soon have an 8th grader & a 2nd grader!  Where does the time go?  We are getting ready to go on our beach vacation for 2 weeks in June, so I need to use up what we have in our freezer before we leave.  So, you will see a lot of things on my menu that are incorporating what I have “on hand”.  We have over 3 pounds of ground beef frozen, so that will be used in the tacos & spaghetti sauce.  I also have a lot of frozen chicken breast & some filet mignon, too.  I only plan on buying fresh fruits & veggies, milk, eggs & bread (for those that eat it) until after we get back.


Sunday ~ Burgers (sweet potato/black bean burger for me), veggies & salad

Monday ~ Filet, baked potato/sweet potato, steamed green beans & salad

Tuesday ~ Mexican Pizza/tacos, refried or black beans, corn & salad

Wednesday ~ Bourbon Chicken, steamed brown rice, broccoli & salad

Thursday~ Spaghetti & Meat Sauce, veggies & salad

Friday~ Dinner out w/friends

Saturday~ Dinner out with Mary & Mack

Baked Goods


Brownies (didn’t get to them last week)

Don’t forget to check out the Gluten-Free Menu Swap at Book of Yum.  Thanks to Sea for hosting.  Also, there are many more menu plans at Orgjunkie, too. 

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