Good news and bad news!

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Aren’t these adorable? Too bad the frosting had gluten. 😦 BOO!

So let’s start with the bad news: I made GF cupcakes (Aldi GF cake mix) for my son’s 7th birthday last week and had NO idea that the store-bought frosting had wheat! UGH! Normally I make buttercream frosting from scratch, but he wanted chocolate frosting, so I cheat a bit by buying chocolate frosting in a can and then adding some Crisco, meringue powder and powdered sugar to increase the volume. Tastes great and chocolaty. … but I learned my lesson: ALWAYS CHECK THE LABEL! 😦

GOOD NEWS! Cherrios is GLUTEN-FREE!!!!!!!! And not just the regular flavor — the Apples & Cinnamon, the Frosted, the Honey-Nut and the Multi-grain — are ALL gluten-free!!!  Let’s give a shout-out to General Mills for improving their products for the health of everyone and especially those of us who are gluten-sensitive/intolerant or Celiac!

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YEAH for CHERRIOS! They are now GLUTEN-FREE!!!

 

Cheesy Sloppy Joes with Fries

So … earlier this week, ground beef was on sale, and sloppy joes with baked French fries sounded really good. …

If you’re gluten-free, you can still enjoy sloppy joes, just a little differently. Of course, you can purchase GF sandwich rolls/buns, but if you don’t have those, you can top a baked potato, tortilla chips, or french fries with your sloppy joe mixture along with some shredded cheese.

Manwich® brand sloppy joe sauce is gluten-free (as far as I read the label), and it makes for a quick & easy midweek meal served along with salad and/or fresh fruit.

Here’s an easy version of Cheesy Sloppy Joes with Fries using Manwich® and ground beef topped with shredded cheese, and it’s pretty tasty too!

First, bake GF frozen French fries in oven according to direction.

Then top fries with sloppy joe mixture and shredded cheese.

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If you have the time and want to make your own Sloppy Joe sauce, here is an easy GF version:  combine ¾-1 cup ketchup, ¼ cup brown sugar, salt & pepper to taste, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon vinegar in a mixing bowl; brown meat with 1 small chopped onion, then add sauce.  Stir well and heat through.

Ham & Cheese Breakfast Cups!

So, I tried something new last night, and it turned out AMAZING!P1030831

We had had a full, late lunch after church, so I wanted to make something quick and light for dinner. I saw this idea somewhere online, so here’s my version of it: Ham & Cheese Breakfast Cups! It was a huge hit at the Houts home — delicious and fun!

What you need:

Slices of GF deli ham

8-10 eggs

2 TBS milk (or milk substitute)

shredded cheese

salt & pepper to taste

First, spray muffin cups with cooking spray. Then place 1 slice of ham in each cup (I like Hormel Natural Choice GF Smoked Deli Ham).

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Next, with fork scramble eggs, milk, salt & pepper in small mixing bowl.

(I used 8 eggs for 10 muffin cups.)

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Then carefully pour egg mixture into muffin cups.

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Sprinkle cheese on top.

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Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until eggs are set

(not jiggly when you move pan).

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Serve with GF toast and fresh fruit — ENJOY!

Crock Pot Beef Stew

P1030586There’s nothing better than a warm, tasty stew on a chilly February evening. This is a simple, gluten-free stew that is sure to warm you and yours to the core! And this sure beats beef stew from a can — ENJOY!

Crock Pot Beef Stew*

(serves 6-8 people)

Prep Time:  15 min.   Cook Time:  4-6 hours

2-3 pounds beef, cubed

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons corn starch, divided (or rice flour or all-purpose GF flour)

1 teaspoon salt + ½ teaspoon pepper + 1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons oil (coconut or olive)

¼ cup diced onions OR 2 tablespoons minced onion

2  15-ounce cans GF beef broth

2 cups hot water

4-5 medium potatoes, diced

1 16-ounce bag frozen, mixed vegetables, cooked

Salt & pepper to taste (2 teaspoons salt + ½ teaspoon pepper)

Put cubed beef, salt/pepper/garlic powder mixture and ¼ cup corn starch (or flour) into sealed plastic bag; toss until beef is evenly covered.

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Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat; add beef and onions. Brown beef, stirring often; don’t overcook or beef will be tough – cook only until beef is lightly browned and still slightly pink in the middle.

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Pour into crock pot, then add beef broth, water, vegetables, potatoes, salt & pepper.  Cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.

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About 15 minutes before serving, mix 2 tablespoons corn starch with cold water in a small cup.  Pour into crock pot and stir for about 1-2 minutes until liquid thickens & gets cloudy.

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OPTIONAL:  Serve with GF and/or regular crackers, salad, Chi-Chi’s® Sweet Corn Cake.

* This recipe can also be made in a large Dutch oven on the stovetop.  Just brown the meat in the large Dutch oven and then add the rest of the ingredients; bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 1 hour or until potatoes are soft.

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Hamburg Vegetable Soup

It’s FRIGID here at my house … and it probably is where you are too. A hot bowl of Hamburg Vegetable Soup sure hits the spot on days like this. It’s super easy, and usually I have on hand what I need to make it. Leftovers make a great lunch the next day. So heat things up at your house with this great gluten-free soup! (Thanks to my friend Ellen Davis from St. Johns, Michigan, for this simple recipe!)

Hamburg Vegetable Soup (serves 6-8 people)

Prep Time: 10-15 min. Cook Time: 1 hour
1 ½ – 2 pounds ground beef/venison/turkey
½-1 cup chopped onion (or  2 tablespoons minced onion)
3 15oz cans tomato sauce
3 CANS of water
1 cup diced potatoes
1 cup sliced carrots (optional, especially if your frozen veggie blend has carrots)
Celery (optional)
1 16oz bag frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, green beans, etc.), heated through in microwave
Salt & pepper to taste

Brown meat and onion in large Dutch oven. Drain off grease.

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Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer covered for about 1 hour or until potatoes are soft.

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Serve with salad and/or grilled cheese sandwiches. Glutino even has “saltine-type” gluten-free crackers for soup!

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Baked Cheesy Enchilada Chicken

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Baked Cheesy Enchilada Chicken

So I LOVE to use coupons! And I LOVE Progresso brand soups because they have a few that are gluten-free. Whenever I find a coupon for Progresso soup, I am sure to clip & save it. With the weather getting cooler, stores are beginning to have sales on soups. The other week Progresso soups were just $.88 each at my local HyVee store — and BONUS — I had a “buy 4, get $1 off”coupon!!! OH YEAH! I stock up on these soups and use for baking or soups of my own.

I regularly stock up on Progresso’s Cream of Mushroom and Chicken Corn Chowder, but I was delighted to find a NEW gluten-free flavored soup on the shelf: Chicken Cheese Enchilada! YUM! So I tried one recipe with it, and it turned out OK (which is why you never saw it here on my blog!).

P1030291I tried another recipe with it last night, and it was a hit! The kids said they really liked it, and I’m always looking for NEW ways to make the “same old chicken.” ENJOY!

BAKED CHEESY ENCHILADA CHICKEN!

1  2.5-3-pound bag frozen chicken breast/tenders

1 can Progresso Enchilada Cheese Chicken soup

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray large baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange frozen chicken in single layer.

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Then evenly dump soup over chicken.

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Bake for 45-60 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in middle.

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Serve with steamed veggies, salad, and brown rice. Use extra sauce over meat/rice.

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Back to school gluten-free lunches!

Here is a great blog post about how to prepare healthy school lunches for your gluten-free child.

http://glutenfreemom.com/blog/back-school-gluten-free/#.U–q0vldWid

And here are some ideas from my book, Gluten-free Cooking for Busy People, that I am still attempting to publish:

Sometimes you just need a quick, easy lunch. Leftovers are a great option, of course. I have found packing lunch for my sons each day a bit challenging at times, but here are a few ideas for quick lunches.

> Tuna mixed with mayo or Miracle Whip®, scooped up with tortilla chips (try stirring some shredded cheese into the tuna, or even chopped up apples, celery or seedless grapes); serve with a veggie & fruit (pudding cup for dessert!)
> Salad with canned tuna/chicken (drained) on top, drizzled with GF salad dressing
> Peanut butter & jelly sandwich (on GF bread); serve with GF chips, veggie, fruit, string cheese
> GF lunchmeat & cheese sandwich (on GF bread); my son likes this toasted, then I wrap in aluminum foil. (This can be heated in the microwave at school.) Serve with GF chips, veggie & fruit.
> GF macaroni & cheese (buy this boxed; there are lots of options available, or check out my recipe in the Quick Recipes chapter).
> Hard boiled eggs are a great “side dish” in the lunch box.
> Homemade “lunchables:” GF crackers (ie. rice crackers), GF lunchmeat (I like Hormel® Natural Choice) cut into squares/circles, GF cheese slices cut into squares/circles.

> Meat-roll-ups: take a slice of cheese and a few slices of GF lunchmeat; break cheese slice into 3-4 long strips & wrap a slice of lunchmeat around it. Serve with sliced cucumbers & fruit.

> Hummus with tortilla or GF crackers, fruit & veggie.

What do YOU like to pack for a healthy GF lunch?