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The Cost of GF Living April 1, 2008

Posted by glutenfreedance in Celiac Disease, Food, Gluten Free, Shopping.
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People always comment when I mention where we usually shop for GF stuff that it must be really expensive to have to live GF.  I know there must be cheaper ways to cook GF, and next summer I plan to explore them.  But in the meantime, I’ve come up with an analogy to explain to people exactly how expensive GF food generally is…

Imagine if Girl Scouts were the only people selling groceries. 😉

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Review: Ian’s Soy Cheesy French Bread Pizza March 27, 2008

Posted by glutenfreedance in Food, Gluten Free, Reviews, Shopping.
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Last month when I made my trip to Whole Foods (hey, I know how to live it up on Valentine’s Day, eh?) I picked up a box of Ian’s Soy Cheesy French Bread Pizza to try.  To be honest, I did not think I would be the one trying it.  I thought I’d force it on one of the kids when I thought they were hungry enough to eat at least one piece.  My experience with store-bought, gluten-free pizza, has been unpleasant to say the least. 

Today, however, I was hungry enough (and out of anything interesting for lunch) so I popped the two small pieces into the oven and figured that if I didn’t eat it my dh was sure to–he’ll eat anything, he always fell for those “starving children in China” lines his parents gave him. 😉

Well, I’ll be picking up a few more boxes of this on my next trip.  It was, by far, the best GF pizza I’ve ever had.  The bread was nice and crispy and, to be honest, it tasted fairly close to it’s glutenous counterpart.   The two small pieces were just enough for a lunch, if that’s all you’re eating.  You could split with one other person if you have a salad or something else with it.  I would recommend the full cook-time of 20 minutes else it will be still a bit chilly in the middle.

Menu Monday March 10, 2008

Posted by glutenfreedance in Blogroll, Celiac Disease, Doctors, Eating Out, Food, Gluten Free, Other People's Blogs, Recipes, Shopping.
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Airplane A week and a half ago I was called away suddenly and, as I was packing, I realized I hadn’t stayed home for a full week for nearly the whole month of February.  Fortunately, the rest of March looks clear.  Travelling doesn’t favor my digestive system and travelling to the middle of nowhere (Central AL) doesn’t favor a gluten-free diet.  Boy I sure feel for folks outside the city now.  I’m truly spoiled.  Fortunately, I did not have to take my Celiac on the trip.  Next time I will, but we’ll have time then to get to the Whole Foods near Birmingham so the kid won’t starve.  

 Chef Another way I’m spoiled is all the gluten-free blogs I have found.  I joke that I don’t need to buy any more cookbooks, I can just use the recipes I find online.  I tend to get overwhelmed easily, however, by all the recipes available and trying to figure out when to use which one.  I’ve decided the remedy for this is to just go down my GF Blog list and try a recipe from each blog.  To this end A Gluten Free Guide (and her new blogsite) will be my first.  I was tempted by her French Apple Pie recipe but I thought my dh might balk at buying a $150 pan just to make a pie.  (Is there a gift giving holiday coming up? lol)  Instead I thought I’d try her Seared Pork Tenderloin with Cocoa Spice Rub.  I’ve always wanted an excuse to buy one of those fancy sea salts I see at Henry’s and Sprouts, and since sea salt seems to be less expensive than cooking pans…

 Take Out I’m also going to finally make Chop Suey.  I fell in love with this dish shortly before I discovered that the sodium intake of the restaurant food was causing me to poof up like the Goodyear blimp.  Seriously, I lost 20lbs just from water retention after we stopped eating out.  Scary, eh?  (I discovered as well, that, not unusually, the docs were wrong, I wasn’t carrying my weight in my gut and therefore predisposed to a heart attack, instead, I’m actually equally fat all over. :-D)

 Computing Well, enough chitter-chatter, the kids need the computer for school.  And I should really go and do something exciting like clean the kitchen.  Don’t forget to check out all the other GF Menu ideas this week at Gluten Free Mommy.

 Pasta Monday–Spaghetti, Salad, Garlic Bread

 Cow Tuesday–Beef Stroganoff, Salad, Fruit

 Taco Wednesday–Tacos, Corn, Fruit

 Ni Hao Thursday–Chop Suey, Rice

 Chicken Friday–Crock-pot Chicken, Rice, Stir-Fry Veggies

 Pig 2 Saturday–Seared Pork Tenderloin, French Green Beans, Bread

 Church Sunday–Leftovers

Menu Monday February 5, 2008

Posted by glutenfreedance in Celiac Disease, Eating Out, Food, Gluten Free, Other People's Blogs, Recipes, Shopping.
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Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday

Had the best shopping experience in my gluten-free life.  Went to Sprout’s on Friday and discovered that they have started carrying a whole lot more GF food.  Best of all, they are stocking K-Toos (both choco & van).  These are our Celiac’s fave.  He just loves being able to eat “Oreos” like everyone else.  I hope this trend continues.  If so, we may never have to make another trip to Whole Foods. 🙂

Alright, on with the menu…

Unless otherwise linked to, all special recipes this week come from The GF Gourmet Cooks Fast & Healthy by Bette Hagman.  Say, did you know she died last year?  I just found out.  It’s sad.  I hate it when people die. 😦

Monday–Tacos & rice

Tuesday–Stir-Fry Beef with Orange Sauce & rice & snow peas (and those bitty-corn things if I can find them)

Wednesday–I&O (our oldest has reached the age, finally, where his taste buds kick in and he hates McD’s so we have to trade off this week and eat at the only other close GF friendly place, In & Out)

Thursday–Spicy Pineapple Cashew Stir-Fry (although, with me making it, spicy is a relative term)

Friday–Salmon Baked with Sweet Ginger Sauce & rice & corn

Saturday–Rice and Vegetable Casserole

Sunday–Leftovers

Don’t forget to check out all the other great menu ideas at Aprovechar this week.

Review: Baby Mum-Mum–Original Flavor January 28, 2008

Posted by glutenfreedance in Celiac Disease, Food, Gluten Free, Online Shopping, Reviews, Shopping.
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Since we have decided to keep our newest baby completely GF we are not able to give him biter biscuits. All my prior children practically lived on biters when they were teething. Unfortunately, it is apparently not cost effective to make GF biter biscuits. I searched for a while then finally found some information on the posting board at Gluten Free Forum about Baby Mum-Mum.   While, this product is very tasty it’s not a direct substitute for the typical biter biscuit.  The plus (and minus) is that they pretty much melt in the baby’s mouth.  Great for choking problems, not so great for helping out when teething.  However, it really seems the perfect first “finger food” when you are trying to keep your baby GF.  Our baby really likes them and would seem to prefer to make a meal out of them than his normal food.

Review: Glutino GF Baguettes January 9, 2008

Posted by glutenfreedance in Food, Gluten Free, Recipes, Reviews, Shopping.
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Good, really, really, really good.  It was so nice to have baguette again after two years of none.  It’s not as crunchy, of course, as the real thing but it’s nice and tasty.  I suppose if I cook it longer next time it could get slightly crunchy?  Either way, I’m gonna stock up at our next WF trip in February.  All the kids ate it.  Our picky, but carbaholic, eater had half a loaf, I think.

I prepared it by slicing it lengthwise and covering each side thickly with garlic butter made from one part Lawry’s Garlic Spread & two parts margarine.  I cooked it in the toaster oven, which it fits into perfectly, for about 10 minutes at 350.

There are two loaves in a bag so I think the price was pretty good for what you get, which in a family of 6 is one loaf/meal.

Review: Cherrybrook Kitchen Vanilla Frosting Mix January 6, 2008

Posted by glutenfreedance in Celiac Disease, Food, Gluten Free, Reviews, Shopping.
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Our Celiac’s birthday is on Christmas Eve.  I really didn’t feel like going to Henry’s for his cake mix AND make another trip to the “real” store just for icing so I thought we’d give this mix a go.  It would have been better to stand in a two hour line at the real store than to have ever made this.  “Crap” is just too good a word for how this stuff tastes.  You couldn’t get better results from mixing half a pound of butter and another half pound of powdered sugar.  That’s exactly what it tastes like, butter and powdered sugar.  (Which is pretty much all that is in it.)  On top of that, as with all “organic” food, this box of mix costs a whole heck of a lot.  Then they require 2.5 sticks of butter to make it.  The total cost to make this icing comes in at well over $5 (between $6 or 7 if you use Alta-Dena butter like we do) and it only covers one small cake.  But nothing makes a kid happier than really gross icing, so the kids loved it.  Of course, we are talking about people, after all, who think McDonald’s food is as gourmet as it gets.

Vomit 

Review: Whole Foods GF Bake House Pie Crust December 7, 2007

Posted by glutenfreedance in Celiac Disease, Food, Gluten Free, Reviews, Shopping.
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As you can see in my shopping links, we do make a trip to Whole Foods now and then.  It’s about an hour away from our house but near my OB, so when I’m pregnant we go monthly, when I’m not we probably go quarterly.  Now, Whole Foods has it’s own line of GF products that is pretty tasty, not to mention awfully pricey.  If you are ever in a Whole Foods and walk by the freezer section and hear someone muttering a curse about the prices, that’s probably me.  I suppose that’s why I kept rechecking the price for the pie crusts.  Two in a package was, when I bought them, a mere $5.99.  Yeah, yeah, I know that’s pricey too but that’s the way GF food is.  At any rate, I decided it was time for our dear little Celiac to finally get a taste of Pumpkin Pie so I purchased the pack.  I made the pie this past Monday and it was gone by Wednesday morning.  Slow for Pumpkin Pie in our house but, not surprisingly, the kids didn’t like it.  There just wasn’t enough sugar in the pumpkin part, I suppose.  I used organic pumpkin and you could taste more pumpkin than sweet.  My oldest son (the only child in the family who can tell the difference between filling and crust) said he didn’t like the crust at all but both my husband and I were quite pleased with it.  I felt the consistency was at least as good as, or better than, the pie crusts used in commercial pies.  I, myself, haven’t made a pie crust since our son was diagnosed so I have not a huge recollection of what homemade crust should be like, but neither do my children.  If you are new to the GF diet, you may not care for it much, most GF food is definitely an acquired taste.  (Is that correct grammar?)

On the whole (no pun intended) I would give it at least 4.5 stars out of 5.  Being cautious, just in case I come across a better product at some point. ;0)

Shopping Gluten Free December 5, 2007

Posted by glutenfreedance in Celiac Disease, Food, Gluten Free, Online Shopping, Shopping.
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I have added a links section for places I shop for GF food.  There are other places I’ve tried but if they don’t pass muster I’m not going to recomment them, obviously.  If you happen by and know of a good place to shop for GF food that I can try let me know.