Saturday, July 26, 2008


We're officially camping now. I'll be back in town Sunday, 8/3, so if you don't see any new posts between now and then, don't panic! I will be back and blogging again.

I may find time (and, if I'm lucky, a computer with internet) at camp, so I might put up a post or two, but don't count on it.

Have a great week!

Friday, July 25, 2008


I've been such a delinquent blogger this week. Sorry!

Here's what's going on in my life that made for such a busy week: we going camping! But not only that, my mom's getting married today, too.

So, I'm working a half day today and then driving three hours to get to the wedding. My mom asked me to bring a chocolate chip cheese cake for the reception, so I had to make that in between summer band concerts and packing. Also, I'm going to play a little piano at the reception, so I had to find time to practice. And at work, today is the "end of the month" for me since I'll be gone next week, so I was *crazy* busy (read - going in early, staying late)!

So, between work, packing, practicing, summer band, and baking, I've not had much free time.

We're going to be tenting at a family Bible camp next week for a quasi-family reunion on my mom's side. We'll have some meals provided by the camp, and we'll cook some meals on our little camping stove. I called the camp to register and I mentioned that I couldn't eat any gluten. They said that wouldn't be a problem at all. I said something about bringing my own loaf of bread, and they said that the cook had some gluten free bread on hand! How exciting is that?!

My sister will be eating dinners with us and our little camping stove, so meal planning was difficult with her being a vegetarian and me a gluten free. Here's what we finally landed on:
  • Monday - Vegetarian taco salad
  • Tuesday - Soup and sandwich; Sister Rae will bring butternut squash soup and I'll bring split pea chowder
  • Wednesday - Rice and lentil hotdish

I'm really looking forward to this next week, but I'm also really looking forward to being done with preparations for next week.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Muffin Maniac!

I was a muffin making machine yesterday! I made 71 muffins.

We are going camping (tenting, literally) next week, so I'm in the gluten free snack-making mode this week. I made some blueberry muffins adapted from a recipe in The Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread, some chocolate chocolate chip muffins that still need to be tweaked before I share the recipe, and some of my Mom's banana muffins.

It got quite hot in my kitchen with my A/C being out and the oven being on for about 4 hours! But it was worth it. I know I'm going to appriciate having a muffin for breakfast or for a snack at camp next week.

Banana Muffins

2 cups white rice, brown rice or quinoa flour, or any combination of the three.
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup (or a little less) sugar

1 1/2 cups ripe banana, about two large
3 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup canola oil (I substitute about half applesauce)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line or grease two muffin tins.

Mix together the dry ingredients. Mix together the wet ingredients.

Blend together the wet and dry ingredients, but don't overmix. At this point you could add 1/2 cup of walnuts or fold in about 6 ounces of chocolate chips (I always do this!).

Fill the muffin tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cook on a wire rack.

Thanks for this great recipe Mom!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bean Burritos

I'm not sure if anyone was curious, but here's what my bean burrito looked like before I rolled it up:

That's refried beans, scrambled eggs, sour cream (of course!), salsa, jalapenos, lettuce, and cheese on a corn tortilla. I only had two as they were quite filling! I liked having the egg to provide a little extra protein in addition to the beans.

This was one good naturally gluten free meal!

Hey, this could even be breakfast!

What do you like to put in your burritos?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Nice Little Compliment

We're having a pot luck at work this Friday. I like not having to pack a full lunch, although I do usually still bring a little something since who knows what I'll be able to eat!

When I was looking at the sign up list, a coworker approached me and asked what I was bringing. I told her that I was bringing a Cherry Cobbler. I've been craving it ever since I made it for the Fourth o' July.

My coworker said something about how I always bring good stuff to the pot lucks, and that compliment just made my day. How funny is it that I always bring something that's gluten free, and everyone still loves it?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Walgreen's Trip

I don't shop at Walgreen's all that often, but they do have some good deals from time to time. This week they had enough deals that I thought I'd better stop by. Here's what I got:

Here's the breakdown:

Vive Pro Shampoo - 4.99, free from BOGO store sale
Vive Pro Conditioner - 4.99, free from BOGO man. coupon
2 Cutter Advanced bug spray - 2/3.00, used 2 $1 off store coupons
3 Mini Highlights - .19 each with store coupon
10 pack Paper-Mate pencils - .39 with store coupon
Powerade - .89 with store coupon, used $1 off man. coupon

Total = 2.54

I couldn't have gotten all of this stuff for that price even at the dollar store!

About the BOGO deal, it took me awhile to wrap my head around using a BOGO coupon on a BOGO sale. Normally, I would have marched up to the register and paid 4.99 for both shampoo and conditioner because of the BOGO store sale, right? So when I use a BOGO coupon, Walgreen's is getting reimbursed for 4.99, so they aren't loosing anything. And Loreal is getting exposure for their hair care products. I wouldn't normally buy Loreal Vive Pro without a good deal, but now that I'm going to try it, I could really love it and buy it in the future.

Needless to say, I was pretty happy with the way this deal went down.

Monday, July 14, 2008


We're home from our visit to our families and friends. And we're pretty much out of most everything. We did have a little bit of money left over in our grocery budget from last week, so that little bit extra will help with the out-of-the-ordinary items we need to get.
  • Monday - Spaghetti
  • Tuesday - Eat out with Pastor and wife
  • Wednesday - Refried Bean Burritos
  • Thursday - Pizza
  • Friday - Chicken Alfredo
  • Saturday Lunch - Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese
  • Saturday Dinner - Crepes
  • Sunday Lunch - Stirfry
  • Sunday Dinner - Meatloaf
  • Monday - Oven Fried Chicken at our friends' house
  • Tuesday - Stroganoff

Wow, that's a lot of food. I'll have to work hard to not use my whole two week budget of $100 in one week!

Check out some more menus here (thanks Org Junkie).

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Thrifty Bridal Gifty Idea

Since I'm all out of food pictures (apparently I just don't like using my stove or oven when my house is 85 degrees!), I thought I'd post about a frugal gift idea I had. After all, this blog is about saving money while living gluten free.

I attended a bridal shower for my cousin and came up with a cool gift idea. I enjoy being crafty, and I especially like to decoupage. My cousin sent out these beautiful blue wedding invitations, so I decided to make mine into a magnet.

That white-flowery-plant-thing was also from her invitation.

I made another magnet with certain words that I cut out from the invitation, like the names, date and time, locations of the ceremony and reception. Hopefully these magnets will adorn her fridge for many years to come!

Friday, July 11, 2008


Tim and I painted our living room last weekend. It was a larger task than we had originally thought, but we pushed through. The toughest part was being without our central air (it pooped out on us).

Here's the before picture. Pretty bland, right?

Here's the after picture. That's Chateau Stone on the right and Potato Skin on the left, in case you couldn't tell ;)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cherry Cobbler

I was so excited when I finally broke down and bought Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats. Really, for the price (I think it was $6.99), they're going to last me a long time.

For the Fourth of July I made Cherry Cobbler! I really love cobbler, so I was super excited about trying this tasty dessert gluten free. Thanks to Gluten Free Kay for the great recipe.

I modified mine slightly from Kay's recipe. To start with, I am not even close to being as wonderful of a gardener as she is, so I don't have my own cherry trees. I just bought a can of *horror of horrors* premade cherry pie filling. Also, I don't have a 7x7 baking dish like Kay used. So I made it in my 9x9 cake pan and increased the ingredients by 50%. It did need to bake a little longer because of the bigger size.

Cherry Cobbler turned out to be a cheap and super easy dessert. I'm for sure making this again (soon, hopefully).

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Weekly Menu - Eat from the Cupboard

I've declared it "Eat from the Cupboard" week. Tim and I are going up to stay with his parents on Friday, so we only have three more dinners at home. It just doesn't make sense to do a whole shopping trip for just three meals. Here's what we're doing instead:
  • Tuesday: Dinner at our friends' house. Since our central air died on us two weeks ago, and since today is supposed to be super humid (again), our friends graciously invited us over to their home for dinner. That way we get to be in A/C, and we don't have to use our stove.
  • Wednesday - Chicken Soup
  • Thursday - Veggie Quiche

Head over to Org Junkie to check out other menus for the week!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fourth o' July and Spinach Frittata

One would imagine that I should have more time to do blogging on the weekend. While this might normally be true, this past weekend, even though it was longer than average, buzzed by in a flash!

On the Fourth we had some friends over and grilled hamburgers and hotdogs. We had cherry cobbler a la mode for dessert. We played croquet and our friends' 4-year-old son "won." Honestly, he really did do a good job. Then we made s'mores around our fire pit. I just used some chocolate chip cookies instead of graham crackers. They were yummy!

With the kids' bedtime rapidly approaching, our friends went home (they live a minute and a half away). Tim and I followed them over a few minutes later and once the kids were sleeping, we played Hand and Foot (card game) until midnight! It was a very nice day.

On Saturday, Tim and I tackled a project that's been on the back burner for a few weeks: painting the living room. That literally took up the whole day. And most of Sunday besides church time.

So here's Monday morning rolling around again and I have all these great ideas for posts! Let's start with our dinner from last Wednesday: Spinach Frittata.

I sauted some onions and celery, and I thawed the frozen spinach (it was on sale at Hy-Vee!). Once the onions and celery were tender, I added black olives and the spinach. I then poured some beaten eggs over it all, covered it, and cooked it.

Tim and I both enjoyed it!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Macaroni and Cheese, Take 2

I tried making baked macaroni and cheese again. It turned out better than the first time, but still not really great.

Since I baked it, I added an egg to bind it together, but that just isn't working out for me. So, next time: no egg. Sister Rae helped me make a really tasty cheese sauce, so next time I just going to work from that.

I suppose that by the time we have kids (I'm not sure when that will be), I'll make the best macaroni and cheese in town!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Weekly Menu, a little late

Even though it's a little late for my menu, I thought I'd share it anyway since there's a few things I'm excited to try!

First off, a big "Thanks" to Carrie for posting the latest "Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten Free" round up. While I was struggling to find meals for this week, I headed over there and found some great inspiration!
  • Tuesday - Macaroni and Cheese (again, kind of a flop; I'll tell you more later)
  • Wednesday - Spinach Frittata
  • Thursday - Spaghetti (rice noodles and tomato sauce)
  • Friday - Cookout with Friends. We're having burgers, corn on the cob, fruit salad, etc.
  • Saturday lunch - Grilled Sandwiches
  • Saturday Dinner - Taco Salad
  • Sunday - Shepherd's Pie a la Gluten Free Kay
  • Monday - Spinach Risotto thanks to Rachel

Thanks to Laura for hosting Menu Plan Monday.

(This menu is links-filled!)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Upsidedown Cupcakes

Since it is the time for picnics and barbecues and cookouts, I love Kate's idea to host a virtual gluten free BBQ party with an alphabet theme! Visit Gluten Free Gobsmacked for Kate's other creative inspirations.

As a late signer-upper, I picked the letter "U," and I have no regrets. It forced me to think outside the box; although Upsidedown Cupcakes are not a new inverntion by any means, I did tweak them just a little.

Here's what I ended up with:

Pineapple Upsidedown Cream-Filled Cupcakes

Your favorite yellow cupcake batter, (I used the Lemon Sheet Cake recipe from Bette Hagman's Revised Gluten Free Gourmet)

3 T. butter
1/3 c. brown sugar
pineapple slices
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter and brown sugar over medium low heat, stirring constantly. Once melted, divide between the 12 cups in a regular muffin tin (no need to line).

Cut the pineapple slices into fourths and arrange two pieces in each muffin cup, pressing them down into the brown sugar butter mixture.

Pour the batter into the muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Flip out upsidedown onto a cooling rack.

Pineapple Cream

1 block cream cheese or neufchatel, softened
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 c. sugar
4 oz. cool whip

With an electric mixer, mix together the cream cheese and pineapple. Add the sugar and continue to mix. Add the cool whip and mix for just a few seconds.

Cut the cool cupcakes in half horizontally, spread with the cream cheese mixture, and replace the top. Serve immediately. Store leftovers in the fridge.