Sunday, November 11, 2012

Marshmallow Caramel Popcorn

This is a quick and easy way to make a fun and tasty treat. Using the microwave to cook the topping made for easy clean up.
(photo and recipe found HERE)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
9-10 marshmallows (I used half a bag of miniature)
12 c. popcorn (I did 1 batch of air popped)

Microwave brown sugar and butter for 2 minutes.  Stir in marshmallows.   Microwave until melted and a bit bubbly, 2 minutes or more.  Pour over popcorn.  I definitely recommend doubling the recipe as it will disappear quick!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Eleanors Bake Shop

We are lucky to live close to this bakery that offers only gluten free items.  My girls really like their bread and I find that it is a reasonable price for a decent size loaf.  And the slices are big enough to make a great sandwich.  They offer a daily menu including pizza and a variety of baked goods..  The first time I took my girls into the bake shop they were sweet to give them each a free cake pop.  HERE is a link to their blog.
Eleanor's Bake Shop
9495 South 560 West Building D
Sandy, UT 84070

Phone: 801-563-7466

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Crockpot Cinnamon Almonds

(Picture by Detrimental Beauty)

Found this yummy recipe on pinterest and gave it a try today.  I must say it smells amazing in my house, but I cannot stress the importance of stirring every 20 minutes.  My crockpot was very hot even on the low setting and the bottom started to burn.  I will have to turn it to the "keep warm" setting much sooner.   I also added probably twice the amount of almonds because I knew my family would scarf them down in no time.  The family is loving the fun fall treat!
1 1/2 C. Sugar
1 1/2 C. Brown Sugar
3 Tbsp. Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Salt
1 Egg White
2 tsp. vanilla
3 Cups Almonds
1/4 C. Water

In a medium sized bowl, mix together sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In another medium sized bowl, whisk the egg white and vanilla until it’s a little frothy. Add almonds. Make sure the almonds are thoroughly coated in the egg white mixture. Add cinnamon mixture to the almonds and toss until coated.

Thoroughly spray with Pam, or whatever, the stoneware of your large crock pot (mine is a 4 quart). Add the divine mixture of almonds and sugars to the crock pot and turn it to low.
Cook ( with the lid on) 3-4 hours stirring every 20 minutes (I only did 3 hours). In the last hour, add the 1/4 C. of water and stir well. This ensures a crunchy yummy coating. (*make sure after you’ve added the water that you continue to cook the nuts for another 45min to an hour.)
You have to stir really well, especially as it gets later in the cooking process.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and spread the almonds flat to cool (if you can wait that long!). The almonds will be sticky at this point, so make sure you separate them a little and have no large mounds.

A special thanks to for this great recipe!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chicken Ranch Tacos

This recipe is amazing!  My whole family LOVES it and we have made it weekly since I found it on Pinterest.  It is easy to put in the crockpot early in the day which makes for a quick fix dinner.

4 chicken breasts
1 pkt. taco seasoning
1 pkt. ranch seasoning
1 cup water or chicken broth
Taco shells
Ranch dressing

Spray crockpot with Pam for easy cleanup.  Add chicken breasts, water or broth, taco and ranch seasoning.  Turn crockpot onto low for 6-8hrs or high for 4-6 hrs.  In the last 1/2 hr of cooktime shred chicken with a fork and add about 1/4 cup ranch dressing and stir.

Serve in taco shells.  I like to put the meat on first, then cheese so it will get melty then a squirt of ranch and salsa topped with shredded lettuce and diced tomato.

The link for the original recipe is found HERE.  I've adapted it slightly to my own liking:)

Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Chex

General Mills has released another gluten free flavor.  My girls are thrilled to have yet another choice when it comes to breakfast cereal.  They really like the flavor of the Apple Cinnamon Chex.  I have only found them at Winco so far but I am sure they will be in other stores soon too.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tummy Aches

My sweet Amelia has been complaining about having awful tummy aches.  She's been spending a lot of time in the bathroom lately and crying herself to sleep.  Any guesses as to what might be going on with her? 
Ya ya.  I know. 

I called the doctor to get the blood work done to screen for Celiac.  I was hoping to get a quick result so I had her pediatrician run the bloodwork and planned on making an appointment with our GI doctor if necessary afterward.  Funny thing is, that although I have loved my pediatrician, I was not impressed with how things happened.  I called to follow up with them a week later and got a bit of a run around then a nurse got on the phone and said that it was Celiac and that was it.  I thought that was odd that they would just assume it from the blood work only and not refer to have a stomach biopsy done like we did with Brittany when she was diagnosed.  I also found it odd that the doctor wasn't the one giving me this life changing information.  I have to assume they are perhaps not aware of just how life changing it will be to put a 6yr old on a gluten free diet.  Lucky for them it wasn't my first time at the rodeo. 

Moving on, I called our GI doctor and explained that her blood work results were 3 times above the normal level.  Of course he brought us in for a office visit and scheduled the stomach biopsy.  He did say that if a patient is symptomatic and blood work is positive that a biopsy isn't always necessary.  I felt the need to be 100 percent certain before sentencing another one of my children to a life of eating gluten free.  And perhaps I have other concerns stemming from the fact that my son has had positive blood work for Celiac, however his biopsy was negative.  So I wanted to be sure about this. 

I had Amelia eat extra bread and gluten filled items every day leading up to the day of the biopsy.  One night she went to a birthday party and ate pizza, bread sticks and cupcakes then cried herself to sleep because of the pain in her stomach.  It was evident that we were headed for positive biopsy.  She was so miserable that it didn't seem to phase her that she was about to be giving up so many of the foods she loves.  The only thing she mentioned that she would be sad about not having was donuts.  Her bff brought her one last donut the night before her biopsy.  Turned out to be the last donut she would enjoy. 

Right after the doctor performed her biopsy he spoke with me and my husband and said that her stomach looked "very angry".  He recommended that she start on a gluten free diet immediately after seeing the damage to the inside of her stomach.  He even offered to give her the pain medicine that they give kids with Chron's because it was so severe.  We left the hospital and stopped at Chikfila for lunch.  Thank goodness for their new gluten free nuggets! 

And so begins Amelia's gluten free journey.  In a weird way, even Brittany acknowledged that she no longer felt alone in this battle.  At least they have each other to lean on for support.  But the first week brought on many melt downs as Amelia realized for herself that she could no longer have certain foods.  These are the moments that rip a mother's heart out because there is nothing I can do.  There is no cure for Celiac. The only treatment is to eat gluten free.  I hoped that as her stomach healed, she would understand this better. 

She still had tummy aches for the first week or so with many trips to the bathroom with the big 'D'.  But all of that has gotten better.  We prepared a snack bucket of gluten free treats for school since her 1st grade class has snack time each day.  I spoke with her school teacher and gave her information about Celiac as well as a list of acceptable gluten free foods.  (I find that people are always happy to know what they CAN give my child, rather than just what not to give them). 

We are lucky to be able to have a gluten free hot lunch made for her and met with the lunch staff to set things up.  She has to plan which days she will take hot lunch a month in advance so they can shop and have her food prepared.  The staff has been trained on cross contamination, and by coincidence the lunchroom manager is currently being tested for Celiac.  That isn't good news for her, but it made me feel reassured that perhaps they would be even more aware of the need to keep her food separate and change their gloves. 

I am sad for Amelia, but also grateful to have the knowledge that we do about how to eat gluten free.  At least we know what is wrong and how to deal with it.  So now I have two adorable reasons why I blog gluten free.  It's our life and we are learning to deal with it just fine!

Local News - Utah Man Lawsuit Against Sen. Hatch Over Gluten-Free

This story aired on the evening news tonight.  This man is pushing for better labeling laws concerning gluten free foods.  His family started a gluten free bakery here in Salt Lake City.  Great information given in this short news clip about Celiac Disease. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 Stalk of celery chopped
1 bag of mini carrots chopped
1 onion chopped
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried Thyme
1 bay leaf
32 oz chicken stock (or more)
salt and pepper
Rotisserie chicken pulled apart
1 12-oz bag of Gluten free noodles (Found these at Walmart for cheap)

Turn crockpot onto low and add all ingredients except the noodles.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  In the last 1/2 hour of cook time, add the noodles and turn the heat up to high. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Gluten Free Cheesy Chicken Mac-n-cheese

This is not the best picture but trust me when I say that this is sooo yummy! I have never bought a tube of prepared cheese before making this dish.  I don't vouch for it being low fat by any means, but it was huge on flavor and definitely being put into the dinner rotation at our house.

12oz box gluten free pasta
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 10-oz can Ro-tel (diced tomatoes and green chiles)
1 8-oz package Velveeta prepared cheese
3 cups cooked, chopped chicken
1 12-oz box Pacific Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare pasta according to package directions.  In a large skillet melt butter and saute onion for 5 minutes until tender.  Then add a can of Ro-tel and the Velveeta cheese, stirring constantly until cheese is melted.  Stir in chicken, cream of chicken soup, sour cream and spices.  Then add pasta and mix until it is all blended.  Pour mixture into a casserole dish and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Udi's bread at Sam's Club

Update 6-1-12........
And it's now gone. That was short lived. Sam's is no longer carrying Udi's bread. So bummed! We have asked repeatedly for them to bring it back, but for now it is gone.


This is amazing news!  Sam's Club here in Utah have started carrying large loaves of Udi's bread.  This is such timely news for us as another member of our family is being diagnosed with Celiac.  We are faithful user's of Udi's products as we love the quality and taste far more than any other gluten free bread we have tried. 

I remember being so excited to find Udi's bread in my nearby Smith's grocery store.  It has been so convenient to pick up hamburger buns, loaves of bread and pizza shells any day of the week at a store I already shop at.  But this news of Sam's Club carrying a bigger loaf has me grinning ear to ear!  I usually pay $5.99 for the small loaf of Udi's at Smith's so you can imagine the value of getting this larger loaf for $9.99.  It is more than twice the size, so it is by far a better value.  And who wouldn't want a bigger slice of bread.  These loaves are so much bigger.  You can see in this side by side picture.  Sam's Club seems to only carry the Whole grain flavor at the time.  (Is it crazy that I am hoping Costco will pick up their classic white bread so we can have that at a better deal too?) 

Anyone who pays the arm-and-a-leg for this bread will get a giggle out of this.  When my husband went to pay for the bread the cashier wanted to do a price check.  She couldn't believe a loaf a bread would cost $9.99.  He he.  And yet we are still talking about what a great deal it was:)

And just in case you had never noticed, Sam's Club also labels their Rotisserie Chicken Gluten free as well!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Perfectly Simple by Zone Perfect

I am a huge fan of Zone Perfect Bars, but they are NOT certified gluten free, even though several flavors do not contain gluten ingredients.  You can decide for yourself on those products.  I did read on their website that several of the flavors with non-gluten containing ingredients are run on the same machines as gluten containing products.  They do emphasize that their machines are cleaned and that they are aware of allergen issues.  So you can make the call as to whether or not you will try those products for yourself.  They list the products HERE on their faq page. 

However, the new Perfectly Simple Zone Bars are certified gluten free.  WAHOO!!!  I saw a coupon pop up on Targets website last month and spotted the product in the store for the first time today.  It is clearly labeled gluten free on the box.  It is available in three different flavors;  Toasted Coconut, Peanut Crunch, and Cranberry Almond.  Each bar contains 10 grams of protein.  The boxes were on sale for $4.49.  I had printed the target coupon found HERE (look under healthcare) for $1.00 off 2 boxes, plus you can stack a manufacturers coupon for another $1.00 off 2 boxes.  (There was a coupon on the box of Zone Perfect bars I had in my pantry).  So I paid $3.49 a box.  I love finding a new gluten free product and getting a great deal.  

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

I used the recipe on the back of the Betty Crocker Gluten free Cookie Mix with the following changes:
Substitute 1 tsp mint extract for the vanilla and add 8 drops of green food coloring.  I added both of these ingredients to the egg and whisked them together.  Then add cookie mix and butter.  Next, add 1 cup Andes Creme de Mentes.  Mmmm!  Cook according to the directions on the box.  I used the high altitude option and decreased the temp to 325 and baked large cookies for 13 minutes. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Egg Muffins

I've seen several recipes for this kind of egg muffin that varies in the ingredients you add to it.  This is how I made them for the first time and they were quite good.  I froze most of them to save for a quick and easy hot breakfast in the morning without all the work. 

8 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 Tbsp canola oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 lb browned sausage (or ham)
1 cup cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare a muffin pan by spraying with nonstick cooking spray.  Brown sausage in a skillet.  Drain and put even amounts into each muffin tin.  In a mixing bowl whisk eggs, milk, baking powder, oil and salt and pepper.  Pour egg mixture on top of sausage, filling each cup.  Sprinkle with green onion and cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

I am loving all the new recipes I find on Pinterest.  This one really is AMAZING!  My family loved it and I will definitely be making it again soon.  The ingredients were all things that I had in my pantry already.  You've got to try this one.  It's a winner!  I always thought this chicken was breaded, but it is actually just coated in cornstarch and egg.  You won't believe how good it is.  We ate it with ham fried rice and steamed broccoli.

The chicken coating:
3-4 boneless chicken breasts
salt + pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

The sweet and sour sauce:
3/4 cup sugar
4 tbs ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt

Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees. Rinse your chicken breasts in water and then cut into cubes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dip chicken into the cornstarch to coat then dip into the eggs. Heat your 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet and cook your chicken until browned but not cooked through. Place the chicken in a 9x13 greased baking dish. Mix all of your sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and then pour evenly over the chicken. Bake for one hour and during the baking process you will need to turn the chicken every 15 minutes.

The original recipe was posted on

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Celiac Awareness

I was reading a post over at about all the hype in the media about eating gluten free. Both good and bad.  You can read her blog post by clicking  HERE.   
I have a firm belief in getting the appropriate diagnosis from a doctor before venturing into a lifetime commitment of gluten free eating.  It's not easy,  or cheap and it can cause a lot of frustration in social situations. 

So many articles pose the question, "Who should eat gluten free?" 
Well, we eat gluten free because of an autoimmune disease called Celiac.  My daughters intestines literally attacked themselves because of her inability to tolerate gluten.  She was constantly running to the bathroom and spent too much time curled up in a ball with tummy aches.  Especially right after she ate. 

In hindsight I truly believe that she was suffering from the Celiac long before her diagnosis with type 1 diabetes.  They are both autoimmune diseases and one could have triggered the other.  The what-if's play through my mind often.  What-if we had figured out the Celiac and started a gluten free diet sooner?  Would that have prevented her body from triggering the diabetes?  I will never know.  So we just deal with it one day at a time. 

I am ever so grateful for all the awareness for Celiac Disease and the variety of products we are now able to find in our local grocery store.  However, it pleases me most when I hear the correct information given about Celiac Disease. 

I am amazed by my daughter every day by her ability to refuse the yummy cookies, donuts and bread that she used to enjoy.  It is not an easy commitment, but she does it out of necessity.  Not choice. 

This is a video with a song written by a newly diagnosed Celiac himself.  The song made me smile:)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mexican Lasagna

1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can refried beans
2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 carton 24oz cottage cheese
Shredded cheddar cheese
8 corn tortillas
1 can sliced olives

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brown ground beef with onion and garlic.  Drain. Add beans, taco seasoning and 1 cup salsa to meat mixture and heat through. 

Line 13x9 baking dish with 4 corn tortillas (tear one in half).  Spread half of meat/bean mixture over tortillas.  Evenly distribute half of cottage cheese over meat.  Than add cheddar cheese.  Repeat, but before adding last layer of cheese, sprinkle 1/2 cup remaining salsa on cottage cheese then top with cheddar cheese.

Bake for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted. 

Credit for this recipe goes to 
Except for the olives.  Because I thought, why not put olives on top:)

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oh WOW!!! 
This recipe is Winner!!! 
The cookies baked perfectly and taste delicious. 
The best part...
No flour needed for these cookies. 

1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup peanut butter
3 cups rolled oats (be sure to use certified GF oats)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine butter, sugar and brown sugar and mix until creamy.  Add eggs, vanilla, and baking soda.  Mix well.  Add peanut butter and oats and mix.  Then add chocolate chips and nuts.  Scoop dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake 10-12 minutes.

(credit for the original recipe goes to

Peeling Garlic

This how-to video is so cool it deserved a blog post. 
Have you ever need to peel a bunch of garlic at one time. 
It could be done faster and more efficient than you think. 
Just watch...

Friday, February 10, 2012


I wish I had known sooner, that Zatarain's has so many gluten free options.  I have noticed that most of my previous go-to boxed rice mixes contained gluten so perhaps I just gave up looking at ingredient lists, but I have been determined to find a yummy Spanish style rice to go with our mexican dinners.  Last night we had Zatarain's Spanish Rice with our Mexican Lasagna and it was fantastic!!  I give this product two thumbs up all the way around.  Great flavor, (I did choose to add a can of Ro-tel instead of plain crushed tomatoes), the texture was perfect and the convenience factor was exactly what I needed for my busy night.  It did take a full 25 minutes to simmer, so don't put off making the rice until your main dish is ready like I usually do.  HERE is a link to Zatarain's gluten free products.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


So I am surprised that I haven't blogged about Chick-fil-A before now, because we have always had such a good gluten free experience with them. I have always enjoyed being able to order my daughter a kids meal substituting the nuggets for grilled strips.  But on our last visit, we learned that they now offer grilled nuggets.  I appreciate that they know the process for guaranteeing the strips are not contaminated.  Our local store's manager happens to have Celiac in his family, so he is double aware.  And a big shout out for their waffle fries which are also gluten free!  Even the ice cream is on their list of gluten free items.  Click HERE to see the complete list.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Herb Grilled Skirt Steak

In 15 years of marriage, I have never cooked a flank steak.  I am kicking myself because the meat was so tender and my family loved this recipe.  This will definitely be added to our dinner rotation.  My slab of meat must have been bigger than what the recipe calls for because it took longer for it to grill than 5 minutes each side.  Also, I am currently without a food processor so I chopped up the ingredients and whisked them together old fashioned style.  I will have to put in the request for a new food processor for Mother's day this year.  I served this with twice baked potatoes and a salad.  It was delicious!

7 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
3 pounds skirt steak (flank)

In a food processor, pulse the garlic until minced.  Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, and pepper.  With the motor running, add lemon juice and olive oil in a steady stream.  Pour over skirt steak and marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour. 

Remove steak from marinate 10 minutes prior to grilling.  Grill for 5 minutes per side or to desired degree of doneness.  Allow steak to rest 5 minutes before slicing against the grain.

Credit for this yummy recipe goes to

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Doritos Cheesy Chicken Casserole

I came across this recipe on Pinterest and drooled just thinking about it.  Chips in a casserole?  Oh, yeah!  Had to modify the cream of mushroom and cream of chicken by using gluten free products so I decided to add 1 tablespoon of corn starch.  Mostly out of panic that it would be too runny if I didn't.  I unfortunately tried another recipe this week and did a straight exchange with a runny result.  So, live and learn and add a little corn starch to thicken when using the gluten free cream-of products.

3 cups cooked shredded chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
8 oz sour cream
1 can gf cream of mushroom (I like Pacific brand that comes in a box)
1 can gf cream of chicken
1 1/2 cups salsa or 1 can Rotel
1 can of corn, drained
2 cups shredded mexican cheese
1 bag Taco flavored Doritos

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.  Crush entire bag of doritos and cover the bottom of the dish.  I reserved a small bowl to sprinkle over the top after baking.  Also reserve 1 cup of cheese.  Mix together remaining ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour chicken mixture over the Doritos.  Bake for 20-30 min.  Top casserole with remaining cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes or until melted.

Original credit goes to for this yummy recipe.  I just modified it to be gluten free.

Not all Doritos flavors are gluten free so HERE is a link to Fritolay's website with a list of gf products. 

Easy Baked Chicken Fingers

I meant to take a picture of these beauties, but we devoured them too quickly.  They were seriously that good and healthy might I add, since they are not fried in oil.  I love the crunch from the almonds in every bite.  We will definitely be adding these to our dinner rotation more often.  It was a much simpler process than the usual pan fried nuggets we do with an easy clean up.  I will have to consider doubling the recipe for my family of six.

1 pound chicken tenders
Cooking spray
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 rice flour
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 475 degrees

Line baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.  In a food processor mix almonds, flour, paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt and pepper.  Process until almonds are finely chopped.  Then drizzle in oil and blend until combined.  Transfer mixture to a shallow dish.

Whisk eggs in a second shallow dish.  Add chicken tenders and turn to coat.  Transfer each tender to the almond mixture and turn to coat evenly.  Place chicken on baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. 

Bake the chicken fingers until golden brown, crispy and no longer pink inside.  About 20 to 25 minutes. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hormel Italian Sausage Crumbles

I planned on ordering pizza for the family tonight, so I had to stop by the store to get ingredients to make a gluten free pizza for Brittany.  Until now she has been a pepperoni fan, but I found another quick and easy option that labeled itself gluten free right on the package.  We even used it to make a quick omlet the next day.  It was locatd next to the pepperoni's at my store.  It sure made for a convenient way to change things up a bit.