Monday, October 28, 2013

Meal Plan Monday

I still haven't gotten back into the groove of posting so much - as always, I cook every night, but my creativity in coming up with new food is just not there lately!  I've also been letting life get in the way - we're moving into the fall season in Florida, and the weather is so stunningly beautiful that I am spending as much time as I can outdoors when I'm not in the office.  I do have plans to work on tweaking a recipe for Peach Oatmeal muffins this week, so should have that to share next week...  

Monday
Tuesday
  • Pork Chops
  • Broccoli
  • Baked Sweet Potatoes
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
  • Perdue Chicken Tenders
  • Green Salad
  • Ore Ida French Fries
Saturday
  • Dinner Out
Sunday
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Broccoli
  • Yellow Rice

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Meal Plan Monday

Once again, I am a day behind!  I went for a run at a new trail near my house yesterday after work and completely spaced on doing my post until I went to bed - and I was definitely not firing up my PC at 10 PM...

A few of my favorite recipes on the menu this week - and a new one from last night courtesy of Hubs that was oh-so-delicious and filling.


Monday
  • Baked Barramundi with a Pistachio Walnut Crust - thanks to the post delay, I have a picture to share!
  • Green Beans
  • Yellow Rice
Tuesday
Wednesday
  • Pork Chops
  • Broccoli
  • Mashed Potatoes
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
  • Dinner Out
Sunday
  • Grilled Flank Steak
  • Broccoli
  • Roasted Red Potatoes

Friday, October 18, 2013

Gluten-Free Friday: CVS Gold Emblem Crackers

It's a good sign that gluten-free is becoming more universally available when CVS gets on board with their own brand of gluten-free crackers!  Introducing the Gold Emblem Baked Rice Crisps, available in sea salt and BBQ flavors.



Recently I was contacted with an offer to try them, and I was immediately interested.  I am a big fan of the rice crackers I've found, and with a suggested price point of $2.49 and the opportunity to find it in my plentiful local CVS stores, I knew I'd be a regular customer if I liked them.

I think that these are a great new addition to the market - they are light and crispy, so more chip-like than cracker-like in my opinion.  The sea salt flavor honestly could have used more salt when eaten plain, but were perfect when I dipped them in hummus.  The BBQ flavor also was very subtle, with just a hint of sweet, smoky flavor.  I like BBQ flavored chips, but often they can get very overwhelming, so this was a nice change.  I think these make a nice light snack, and would satisfy any crunchy/crispy cravings without tons of fat or salt (I'm looking at you, kettle chips!).  

The crackers are a high-quality product, and they have taken the extra step of certification to prove that it is a snack safe for celiacs.  Here's the lowdown on all the good stuff:

·      Certified gluten-free
·      Baked not fried
·      Low sodium
·      0g Trans fats
·      No cholesterol
·      MSG Free
·      Non-GMO Certification pending

Sounds pretty good, huh?  Not to mention that they are more affordable at their full price than every specialty gluten-free cracker I have found.  I'm certainly hoping to see more flavors in the future.  These two are currently available in all CVS locations, so be sure to keep a look out next time you're shopping there and pick up a bag!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Meal Plan Monday

Little late on my Meal Plan Monday - Hubs is trying to revive my excruciatingly bogged down PC with a new hard drive and rebuilt blank canvas so I can start fresh.  

Had a great week with my parents visiting - lots of good food and good times!  But after the party and visit back to back I'm taking this week very easy and doing only meals I know so well I can do them on autopilot.

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
  • NY Strip Steak
  • Broccoli
  • Mashed Potatoes
Sunday
  • Baked Chicken Breasts
  • Broccoli
  • Baked Sweet Potatoes

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Throwing a Gluten-Free BBQ Party

I love going to parties, but it can be really hard to eat, and I hate quizzing the host about what's in everything and generally play it safe by eating at home before we go.  Therefore one of my favorite things about throwing parties at our house is that I can control the food!  We tend to go above and beyond when it comes to entertaining and food too, since both Hubs and I are into cooking.  And as our very first party in our new South Florida locale, we were eager to feed people well so they would come back :)

I planned well in advance for this one, scouring my Evernote for recipes and putting together a menu and shopping list.  Every single thing we served was gluten free aside from the burger buns - there was no way that I was going to drop that kind of money on GF buns, and they are also not nearly as convincing as other GF foods in terms of taste and texture.  So Hubs specially set aside my BBQ before putting out the big bowl of pork for everyone else.  Otherwise, it was all safe.

The Menu:

Everything went over really well!  The BBQ was obviously the star of the evening, and Hubs outdid himself - he started up the smoker at 6 AM and got the two pork butts going shortly after, and they spent all day getting delicious.

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We also went the extra mile and made our own BBQ  sauce - a Sweet Onion & Peach Bourbon sauce (recipe here).  It was actually really simple to put together, I was pleasantly surprised.  I used frozen sliced peaches, so no prep needed there, and it came together very quickly.  We did a half recipe and ended up with 3 pints of sauce.

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Between the delicious pork, homemade sauce, and my go-to coleslaw recipe from Paula Deen, it was easily one of the best pork sandwiches ever!

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So this is pretty much where the pictures stop - which I can mostly blame on the delicious sangria!  We used this recipe from Bobby Flay and made a double batch using an inexpensive boxed wine and good brandy - with all that liquor the quality of the wine doesn't matter all that much.  We served it in a beverage dispenser and I put bowls of sliced fruit - apples, strawberries, oranges and starfruit - out in front for people to add to their glasses.  The starfruit was definitely the most popular, I got a lot of compliments on that addition.  

The Bacon Brown Sugar Smokies also turned out to be very popular, I would highly recommend them as a gluten-free appetizer at any party since they were very easy and don't involve using spoons or anything that could easily be contaminated, and they don't use special GF ingredients.  All you have to do is take Beef Lit'l Smokies, wrap each in 1/3 slice of bacon, and secure it with a toothpick.  Then right before baking sprinkle some brown sugar on top.  I also used a maple bacon, and the flavor worked really well.  One of the girls said they'd be good for breakfast, and I agree - I tossed the leftover ones on the pancake griddle the next day and they were great!

I was happy to see everyone enjoying the food and having a good time, and it was a great opportunity to bring together the various friends we've made here in Florida and get to know all of them better.  Plus, it was fun to finally show off all the hard work we've put into the house!  It was a great evening, and I'm really looking forward to doing it again!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Meal Plan Monday

Meal PlanSo our BBQ housewarming party this past weekend was quite a success, although I did not take all the pictures I planned to - was having too much fun to remember my camera!  But I did snap a few at least and will share a post this week about the biggest hits on our menu.  Also this week - my birthday, and a visit from my parents!  So much excitement going on lately, and so many reasons for good food.

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • Grilled Fish (going to hit the seafood market and get whatever's freshest)
  • Brown Rice with Kale
  • Green Beans

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

  • BBQ Chicken & Ribs
  • Zucchini Casserole
  • Roasted Butternut Squash
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