Friday, December 16, 2011

Soft Caramel Popcorn

This year I decided to try making a soft caramel corn and this recipe turned out great.  I found this recipe at  You can see a direct link to her blog post HERE.  She uses microwave popcorn, but I used my air popper to pop about 3 batches of popcorn. 

3 batches air-popped popcorn
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (I like to use salted butter since the rest of the popcorn is so sweet)
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Pop popcorn and make sure you get rid of any unpopped kernels. This seems like a lot of popcorn but trust me it will get eaten! Place popcorn in a large bowl...larger than you think you will need.

In a large saucepan melt together the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Bring mixture to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce to medium heat and add the can of sweetened condensed milk. With the rubber spatula, stir constantly for 5 minutes scraping the sides and especially the bottom of the pan to prevent any burning. The longer you cook it the firmer the caramel will be. I don't want it to be too soggy so I stir for at least 5 minutes.

Pour caramel over popcorn and stir until coated. This will take a lot of stirring to get it all incorporated. It's great warm or at room temperature. Feel free to add in M&Ms, nuts, or drizzle it with chocolate. I like it plain and classic. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Charleston Chew

I was just sitting here enjoying a Charleston Chew and realized that they are in fact gluten-free.  I don't think it has ever been a chosen favorite of my daughter's, but still good information to know.  I googled it real quick and found a link to Tootsie Roll's site here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I found this little gem of a recipe on Pinterest and gave it a try.  I left it cooking in the crockpot with instructions for my husband to shred it and serve it on buns to the kids for dinner.  I actually forgot to check the label on Sweet Baby Ray's sauce and had a huge moment of panic once I got to work, but after checking online, I found that it was indeed gluten free.  I happened to have a can of coke zero so I had to substitute that and then I actually used Mortons Season-All Salt instead of the Lawry's.  Must put Lawry's on my shopping list. 

2 1/2 lbs pork butt

1 can Diet Pepsi

1/2 bottle Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce

Lawry's Seasoning Salt

Generally coat pork butt with Lawry's seasoning salt, don't be afraid to cover it all! Place in crock pot and pour in soda and barbecue sauce. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. If you have a larger piece of meat, it will probably take longer. After 4 hours or so, take two forks and shred the meat into bite size chunks. Let it sit in the juice to soak up all that flavor. It can stay on warm in crock pot while serving, and can easily be reheated the next day. Serve on a roll. 

It must've been meant for me to cook this meal on this day, because as I breezed through the grocery store to collect the ingredients, I came across Udi's new hamburger buns.  Brittany was thrilled to try something new.  We are already Udi fan's and she said the bun was great! 

And for the record, the whole family LOVED this meal. We added a bag of Salt and Vinegar chips with some fruit and they are asking to have it again next week. Score for mom because it was so simple and yummy!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


1 pound ground beef
1 ounce onion, chopped, about 2 tablespoons
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon granular Splenda
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
3 green peppers, halved lengthwise

Brown the ground beef, onion, celery and garlic; drain the fat. Stir in all of the remaining ingredients except the cheese and green peppers. Simmer 10 minutes. Meanwhile, parboil the peppers in a little boiling water 3 minutes; drain. Place the peppers in a baking dish. Stir half of the cheese into the hamburger mixture; fill the peppers with the meat. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350º 15-20 minutes until hot and bubbly and the peppers are tender.

Makes 6 servings

Can be frozen

Per Serving: 306 Calories; 21g Fat; 23g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 4g Net Carbs

I originally found this recipe on Pinterest but credit goes to Linda's Low Carb Meals

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dirt Dessert

What You Need:

1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
2 cups cold milk
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed
1 package gluten free oreos, crushed (I used K-toos)
10 worm-shaped chewy fruit snacks

Make It

BEAT pudding mix and milk in large bowl with whisk 2 min. Let stand 5 min. Stir in COOL WHIP and 1/2 cup cookie crumbs.
SPOON into 10 (6- to 7-oz.) paper or plastic cups; top with remaining cookie crumbs.
REFRIGERATE 1 hour. Top with fruit snacks just before serving.

Thank goodness for K-toos!

My son requested this treat for his birthday party.  His little sisters had to be convinced that it really wasn't dirt.  It was a big hit!

Grilled Potatoes

I saw this post over at and knew it would be perfect for summer bbq's.

5-6 potatoes
1/3 cup butter
garlic salt

Scrub and cut potatoes into 1/2 inch disks.  Leave the skin on for more flavor.  Boil them for approximately 10-12 minutes until fork tender, but not falling apart.  Drain water and put discs on a hot grill.  Brush them with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper.  Grill for 6-7 minutes on each side.  Serve hot from the grill.   

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beef Manicotti

I have a recipe for Manicotti that we haven't made in years.  I just haven't been able to find gluten free manicotti anywhere.  As much as I love Manicotti I prefer to make only one meal for the whole family so I tucked this recipes away. Until now.  I saw this done on another blog and wish I could remember where, to give them the credit for the genious idea.  I used gluten free lasagne noodles and rolled the filling up inside of them.  They were a bit too long so I cut them in half and they turned out perfectly.

This recipe is courtesy of Giadia De Laurentiis 


4 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 pound ground beef
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
14 (8-ounce package) manicotti (I used a box of GF lasagne noodles instead)
1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta
3 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups marinara sauce
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces


Heat a heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, onion and ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until the meat browns and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and cool.

Brush 1 teaspoon of oil over a large baking sheet. Cook the manicotti in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly softened, but still very firm to the bite, about 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the manicotti from the pot to the oiled baking sheet and cool.

Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, 1 1/2 to 2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and parsley. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper to taste, and mix. Stir the cooled meat mixture into the cheese mixture.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Brush the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Fill the manicotti with the cheese-meat mixture. Arrange the stuffed pasta in a single layer in the prepared dish and spoon the remaining sauce over.

Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese, then the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan over the stuffed pasta. Dot entire dish with the butter pieces. Bake the manicotti uncovered until heated through and the sauce bubbles on the sides of the dish, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let the manicotti stand 5 minutes and serve.

I also served this dish with cheese rolls from Cheese Bread Mania sprinkled with Salad Supreme before baking.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Wendy's has become by far our most common stop for gluten free fast food.  So many places are jumping on the gluten free train, but this has always felt safe and reasonably healthy.  For a list of gluten free menu items CLICK HERE.

Our favorite gluten free menu choices are:
Baked Potato
Burger w/o bun

Monday, July 25, 2011

Luna Protein Bars

This is great news......
All flavors of Luna Protein bars are gluten free!!

I recently discovered these bars at my Target store and bought them for Brittany to try.  She has loved all of the flavors, especially Mint.  I am always thrilled to find a 'healthy' snack that she can pack in her purse to eat on the go.  They are just under 6 dollars for a box of six.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Gluten Free Rice Krispies

We made our first batch of these yummy treats tonight!
I have found boxes this new cereal at Walmart and Smith's.
Gluten-Free Treats
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
6 cups Kellogg's® Rice Krispies® Gluten Free cereal

1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
2. Add KELLOGG’S RICE KRISPIES Gluten Free cereal. Stir until well coated.
3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.

MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS: In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Follow steps 2 and 3 above. Microwave cooking times may vary.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Taco Salad

Oh, how I love to eat a big bowl of this for dinner. 
Some of my family doesn't think it is enough to fill them up so I serve it with nachos or cheese quesadillas, but it is quite filling on its own.

2 pounds ground beef w/taco seasoning
2 heads of iceburg lettuce
2 chopped tomatoes
1 bunch green onions
1 chopped red onion
1 cans dark red kidney beans
1 can olives
2 cups cheese
crushed tortilla chips

Start by browning the ground beef in a skillet, then add taco seasoning.  Chop up lettuce, tomatoes, green onion and red onion and put in a VERY large bowl.  Drain kidney beans and olives and add to the large bowl.  Add cheese and crushed tortilla chips. 

I like a combination of both ranch dressing and salsa on top of my taco salad.  Mmmm!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The New Food Plate

This just makes so much more sense to see it on a plate. 
It resembles how most of the dinner plates at our house look (minus the spam-looking meat...hehe!)

Glad to see they got rid of the last chopped up pyramid.  That was a bit of a joke to understand.  But hey, we all know that all things in moderation plus exercise is what keeps our bodies healthy.  I didn't need Michelle Obama to tell me that.
Oh, and while we are on the subject of the first lady and her campaign on childrens health, I will take this chance to offer perhaps another way to help the kids in this country to make a better food choice.  One of my biggest gripes since Brittany's diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes has been, (besides the midnight blood sugar checks), the lack of beverage options for her when we eat out.  I consider eating out a treat for my family, there are six of us and it can be expensive so it doesn't happen often.  I am not bothered by my kids enjoyed a soda with their meal, but why can't restaurants or the movie theater or the zoo offer a diet option other than diet coke.  What about sprite zero or diet root beer?  These are options we enjoy at home and don't miss the added sugar.  It always bugs me that Brittany's choice is water or a caffeinated diet drink.  Her diet is already limited so I hate to see us go out to eat and her get to sip on water while people around us are digging into bread baskets and refilling their strawberry lemonade.  But that's the life of a Diabetic Celiac.  Phew!  That felt good to vent!  

Is it just too much to ask that places offer a diet non-caffeinated beverage?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Creamy Beef Alfredo

This is a one-pot-wonder meal
It took less than 30 minutes to put together and it only dirtied one pan. beat the boxed version of the sodium filled hamburger helper hands down. 
(Giggles because they use that little glove man as their mascot. 
Oh, I crack myself up!)

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
15 oz Classico Creamy Alfredo Sauce
1 cup water
2 tablespoons ketchup
8 oz uncooked gluten free pasta
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet brown meat and onion.  Drain fat.  Add Alfredo sauce, water and ketchup and bring to a boil.  Stir in pasta.  Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat.  Simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.  Sprinkle with cheese. 

All of the Classico® red and white sauces are gluten-free

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gluten-free Green Bean Casserole

Yep, it can be done!  We used Funyuns instead of the traditional french fried onions.  And of course, gluten free cream of chicken soup.  We followed the same recipe and cooking times and it was yummy!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

1 cup margarine (I used only 1/2 cup butter)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups gluten free oats
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter

Grease a 9 inch baking pan.  Melt margarine in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add sugar, mix well.  Stir in oats.  Cook over low heat 2-3 minutes.  Press half of the mixture in the prepared pan. 

Melt chocolate chips in the microwave.  Stir in peanut butter and pour the mixture over the oats in the pan.  Spread evenly.  Crumble remaining oat mixture over the chocolate layer.  Cover and refrigerate 2 hrs over overnight to harden.

recipe courtesy of

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gluten free Lasagne

1 1b ground beef
1/2 cup diced onion
2 gloves minced garlic
3 cups or 30 oz gluten free spaghetti sauce
1pkg 16oz gluten free lasagne noodles
4 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

In a large skillet, brown meat and onion.  Add garlic to the pan then pour in the spaghetti sauce.  let simmer.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl stir together ricotta, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, parmesan cheese, eggs, parsley, salt and pepper.  Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non stick spray.  Spread 1/3 cup of the meat sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Arrange a layer of pasta over the sauce, then spread 1/2 the cheese mixture on top, then meat sauce.  Repeat, then top with a layer of noodles, cover in sauce and top with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and additional parmesan.  Cover with foil and bake 45 or until hot and bubbly.  Remove foil and bake for 10 additional minutes or until lightly browned.  Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Peanut and Chocolate Chex Bars

4 cups Chocolate Chex cereal  (I couldn't find any chocolate chex, so I used Rice Chex)
1/2 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup M&M's

Butter bottom and sides of a 9inch square pan.  (I love using this pan to divide it up evenly).  In large bowl, mix cereal and peanuts.

In 1 quart saucepan, heat corn syrup and sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly, just to boiling.  Remove from heat: stir in peanut butter until smooth.

Pour over cereal mixture in bowl, stirring until evenly coated.  Stir in candies.  Press firmly in pan.  Cool 1 hour. Store loosely covered. 

I found this tasty recipe at 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Taco Soup

2lbs ground beef
1 yellow onion chopped
3 cans chopped tomatoes
1 can diced green chilis
1 packet taco seasoning (make sure its gluten free)
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch mix
1 can corn
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans

In a large pan brown beef and onion, then add taco seasoning.  Put all ingredients including canned items undrained into a crockpot on low for several hours.  Or bring to a simmer for 30 minutes on the stove top.  Top with tortilla chips, cheese and sour cream. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Oberto Beef Pepporoni Sticks

Ever since we went on our trip to Disney I have been on the lookout for those pepperoni stix we took and haven't been able to find them anywhere.  So I was happy to find these at Costco.

It makes for a quick snack on the go.  And I love that they are labeled gluten free right on the package.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Minute Rice

It's a bummer that although rice is naturally gluten free, so many of the box mixes contain gluten.  Hopefully they will eventually come around and remove it so we can enjoy the Rice-a-roni I knew and loved as a kid.  In the meantime, I've been wanting to try out this rice.  I wasn't completely impressed, but again, Brittany seemed to like it fine.  It certainly was convenient to just pop it in the microwave for a minute.

I am always thrilled to find a Gluten Free label on the packaging!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hogson Mill

I found this cookie mix on the grocery store shelf (Smith's), and was suprised to see the price below 3 dollars.  The box showed different options for making chocolate chip or peanut butter.  My gluten-eating kids didn't enjoy them, but Brittany sure did. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

McCormick Creamy Garlic Alfredo

This is one of my favorite quick fix dinners.  I use 2 packets for my family of 6 and a box of gluten free noodles.  I like to add chicken (bbq leftovers work great in this), and broccoli.  The Carbonara recipe on the back includes crumbled bacon.  I will try that version next time.  Anyway, it is a quick fix meal idea that you can toss together in one pot at the end. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hormel Pepperoni Stix

We just came back from a fun trip to Disneyland.  To save a buck or two we packed lunches and snacks in a backpack so we didn't have to buy food at the park.  Although, we know from previous trips to the "Happiest Place on Earth", that they are very gluten free friendly.  They even offer gluten free buns for hamburgers and hot dogs and those delicious turkey legs are gluten free.  (Tip: Stop by city hall the morning of your visit for a current gluten free list of food available in each land.) 

But this time, we brought most of our food and snacks in.  So I was pleased to find these pepperoni stix that are individually wrapped (like a cheese stick).  They have 5 grams of protein, 140 calories and 0 carbs.  And the package says gluten free right on the label.  It's a diabetic/celiac's dream snack.  And it is delicious too!

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Bakers Dream

It's a little known fact
 that Pamela's makes the best gluten free brownie mix!

But this brownie pan is a dream come true for a diabetic-celiac.  Let me tell you why.  First of all, gluten free recipes can often be crumbly and hard to cut evenly.  This makes it hard to accurately divide brownies into perfectly cut portions to calculate the carbohydrates to ensure a correct insulin dosage.  This pan solved both problems!  I found the 9 X 9 size pan at Bed Bath and Beyond.  It cost 20 bucks minus the 20% off coupon. 

I simply poured the batter into the pan, then placed the divider on top.  The brownies came out perfectly proportioned and slid right off the pan.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

We all scream for...icecream!

We got a Cuisinart Ice cream maker for Christmas this year.  
There are several recipes for slushies, yogurts and icecream.  We chose to make mint chocolate chip icecream.  The recipe called for super simple ingredients:
1 cup whole milk (I used skim because that's what we drink)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tsp pure peppermint extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (added the last 5 min)
several drops green food coloring

The kids loved watching the liquid turn into icecream in about 30 minutes.  It melted fast in their cups when we dished it up, but we just couldn't wait to let it set up in the freezer for any longer.  It tasted fantastic and so fresh.  This was a fun treat to make and enjoy together!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cheese Bread Mania

I saw a story in the paper about this company and had to try it for myself.  They make Brazilian Cheese Bread dough that is gluten free.  I found this at my local Harmon's grocery store.  HERE is a link to their site if you are interested in ordering or finding it at a store near you.  They were a little pricey at 10 dollars for a box of 24.  I would love to try the other flavors they offer. 

PAO DE QUEIJO (Brazilian Cheese Bread)...
Delightfully crispy on the outside, moist and chewy on the inside, kind of like a cheesy cross between a popover and a dinner roll, pão de queijo can be found daily in almost any bakery, bar, café, or luncheonette in Brazil. It is gluten-free, and offers a bit of a playground for experimentation with different kinds of flavors. Great for breakfast, delicious for mini-sandwiches and fantastic for munching with drinks.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Coconutty Sweet Chex Mix

This was my favorite new treat of the past holiday season.  I seriously couldn't get enough of it!  Doubling the recipe is a must for me!


1 c butter
1 c white Karo (light corn syrup)
1 c sugar
3 c rice chex
3 c corn chex
1/2 c coconut
slivered almonds

In large bowl combine cereals, coconut and almonds In saucepan combine butter, sugar and Karo Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes Pour over cereal mixture Spread on wax paper till slightly dry to touch Separate into bite-sized clusters

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pacific Cream of Chicken soup

I make quite a few recipes that call for cream of chicken soup and have always used the Health Valley brand as my staple, but I tried this one and enjoyed it just as much.  The consistency was much thicker and made for some yummy enchilada's!  I found it at my local Smith's/Kroger store.  Still a bit pricey, but equal to the cost of Health Valley's soup. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A New Treat!

I was thrilled to spot these boxes on the grocery store shelf.  I found them on the aisle with the granola bars and fruit snacks.  Brittany was happy to have something new and different in her lunches.  The box says gluten free right on the front and they are only 90 calories.  My Smiths (Kroger) store had them for 2.99 a box, but Walmart's price was only 2 bucks.  And there was a coupon for 1 dollar off 2 boxes in the paper recently.  I'm stocking up on this happy find!