Archive for the ‘Gluten Free Across America’ Category

December 1, 2011—A Very Fun Gluten-Free Day!!

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Yesterday, we left beautiful Ashdown, Arkansas, which is near Texarkana. We stayed at Millwood Landing RV Resort and Golf Course .  (I’ll explain in a later blog how we afford all these resorts.) There weren’t many of us campers which made for a very peaceful 10 days which included Thanksgiving. We loved the whole area but were especially taken with Millwood Lake State Park. We didn’t see any alligators (Barry and Mikayla may have seen one from the car) but we enjoyed many varieties of birds and fauna. The lake itself is very interesting because of the trees that grow in the middle of it.

The minute we crossed into Texas, things changed. We definitely were in the prairie lands. We drove through miles and miles of cattle ranches until we reached Dallas. We spent the evening shopping and catching up on laundry!

We looked into several things to do in the Dallas area but they were all expensive. When an attraction is over $10/person and there are five in the family, plus parking and gas, it really adds up fast. We decided to get some shopping done and investigate downtown Dallas.

Barry got some binoculars for his birthday last month. They were from Cabelas. Somehow, they ended up getting lost in the mail. We finally got them Wednesday morning before we left Arkansas but they were the wrong kind. He called Cabelas who suggested that we exchange them at their store in Fort Worth. It was quite a drive from where we are staying but it was an interesting trip. Texas expressways are really something with the stars and outlines of the state. Everything really is bigger in Texas! We loved the diverse buildings in Dallas and the beautiful homes. Cabelas in and of itself is always fun. The girls enjoyed the laser shooting range. We made a couple of stops on our way back to Dallas before hitting the American Girl Store.

We’ve been to the American Girl Store in Chicago a couple of times. Once when Eva was very little and another time at Christmas when it was so busy that we walked through and left. This was Eva’s day! She, along with her two dolls, enjoyed the store immensely. We looked through each exhibit at least twice before going to the Doll Boutique where one of her dolls got a new do! The doll hair stylists were amazing and made the experience so fun. The hair salon is right next to the Bistro. I saw Eva eyeing it but she didn’t say anything. I really didn’t think they would have anything that was gluten-free but I decided to ask anyway. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they actually have quite a bit that is gluten free! We decided to have dessert.

If you’ve ever eaten at an American Girl Doll restaurant, you know that they go all out for the girl and her dolls. The dolls get special seats that clip onto the table. They also get a little cup and saucer. The décor and presentation of the desserts were definitely all girl.

Eva was so excited. She is very used to not having the same food as everyone else. I try my best to make things special but a lot of times it’s just not the same. Her eyes were shining as she got her dessert. She told me that she had peeked into the restaurant but thought, “There’s no way it’s g-free so I won’t even let myself think about it.” I write a lot of letters trying to educate stores (and the government) about the necessity of safe gluten-free foods. American Girl Place in Dallas will be getting a letter from not only thanking them from the bottom of my heart for offering gluten-free menu choices but also for making the day so magical for my little girl!


Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

Friday, November 25th, 2011

Not only was this our first Thanksgiving on the road but it’s also our first gluten-free Thanksgiving. On November 24 of last year we found out that our daughter had to be completely gluten-free (prior to this we were told she just had to avoid it as much as possible). In one year’s time we’ve gone from being completely overwhelmed to having a fabulous g-free Thanksgiving. Our 13 year old daughter made all but the gravy and g-free stuffing. We’d like to share a few of the recipes. I didn’t label every ingredient below as g-free below but it all was. (As a side note: We don’t eat like this every day. We keep it simple because it’s safer for Eva and easier while living in an RV.)

 

Mashed Potatoes

4 pounds of potatoes, peeled and diced
6 ounces g-free cream cheese, softened
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature
8 slices of g-free bacon, fried and crumbled.

Boil potatoes until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and mash.

Add cream cheese, butter, and cream to the potatoes. Beat until desired consistency. Add bacon.

 

Gluten-Free Stuffing

4 cups gluten-free 1-inch bread cubes, dried (I used one loaf of Udis Whole Grain Bread Loaf)
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 ribs celery, diced
1 small onion, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon each fine-chopped fresh rosemary, sage, thyme, and garlic
1 cup hot stock (turkey or chicken)
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup dehydrated cranberries 
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you need to dry your own bread cubes, just places the cubes onto a cookie sheet. (Place them in the oven at 350 until they are dry.)

Cook the stock over high heat until it boils. Set aside but keep warm. You don’t want it to cool but you don’t want it hot.

Saute the celery and onion in the oil and butter until they are soft. Add the herbs. Cook for about a minute.

Toss the bread cubes, celery, onions, herbs, and cranberries in a bowl. Place into a 3-quart casserole.

Combine a small amount of the warm stock and egg. When this is completely combined, add slow to the remaining stock. Pour over the bread cubes. Stir and then press mixture down into the pan.

Cook covered for 20 minutes at 350. Remove cover and cook for about 10 minutes more. Watch that the stuffing doesn’t get dry.

Cover with gravy if desired.

 

Cranberry Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups of crushed g-free rice krispies and g-free pretzels. (I use a mixture of a little more krispies than pretzels)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange peel, divided
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup orange juice
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

Crust: Combine crushed krispies and pretzels, sugar, 1 tsp orange peel and butter. Press into the bottom of a 10 inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool completely.

Filling: In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over orange juice and let stand for 1 minute. Cook over low heat, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved; cool slightly.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and 1 tsp orange peel until blended. Beat in cranberry sauce until smooth. Beat in cooled gelatin mixture; mix well.

In a bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into cream cheese mixture. Pour over crust. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours before serving.

 

Crustless, Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie

2 eggs
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin or 2 cups fresh
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 Tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup evaporated milk
2/3 cups sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup gluten free flour (I use Jules)

Preheat oven to 425. Grease pie plate very lightly with butter.

In a large bowl, beat eggs; mix in remaining ingredients. Pour into pie plate. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon. Bake 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake until knife comes out clean; about 45 minutes. Allow to cool.

I don’t like pumpkin pie but my husband, who is very picky about gluten-free foods, really likes this.

 

Fancy Berry Beverage Recipe

8 cups cranberry juice, chilled
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
1 can frozen grape juice
1 cups sugar
1 teaspoon g-free vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped until soft peaks form
4 cups ginger ale. chilled

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients; stir until smooth and the sugar is dissolved. Fold in whipped cream. Slowly add ginger ale; stir gently to mix. Pour into glasses.


Guidos and WOW—Okemos, Michigan

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Two of our children have to eat gluten free. As we travel we often find it very difficult to find restaurants with a g-free menu. We love Guidos in Okemos, MI. Steve, the owner, has worked very hard to come up with really yummy g-free food. He also takes every precaution to make sure his food is not cross-contaminated with any glutenous ingredients. Recently, he has opened up a deli next door to Guidos called WOW (with out wheat). His restaurants are very clean and well run. Steve also has a big heart for those who have to live g-free. He often surprises our girls by letting them taste test his new creations. Everything they’ve tried has received an A+. Tonight he surprised them with homemade onion rings. Mmmmmm! They were so good. It was a very special treat for our youngest, who has been craving onion rings.

 

To find out more about Guidos of Okemos and WOW go to http://www.guidospizza.com/okemos.aspx and http://www.wowglutenfreefood.com/.