June 2, 2013

This Week’s Menu – Guess who got a Lodge pan

Filed under: Cooking Light, menu planning, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 10:08

large cast iron skillet

Cooking in a very hot kitchen!

Can you tell that we wrote this week’s menu on day three of 90o temps?   Everything can either be cooked quickly on the stovetop or out on the grill, which is really appealing when you live in a house without central air conditioning.  Even better, it gives me a chance to test my brand new cast iron skillet!

Yes, I did it.  I finally bought a Lodge pan.  After Mr. GF’s last attempt to “help” with dinner, my favorite non-stick skillet is no longer non-stick and possibly permanently fused with charcoaled bits of burnt chicken.  (He only cooks on high heat.)  I’ll keep trying to clean it up and re-season it, but it’s not looking good.  In fact, it’s bad enough that I was able justify replacing it.

Mr. GF was dubious about my choice of cast iron over modern ceramic or teflon, but how can you not love a pan that is Made in USA, can be used (with care) on my ceramic cooktop, in the oven or on the grill, is virtually indestructible and only costs about $20?   I’ll admit that it’s really heavy, it’s kind of inconvenient that it can’t be soaked in water, but it’s worth it.   At least I hope it is.   Worst case scenario is that I hate it and it is relegated to grill duty.

Keep cool!  Tomorrow we are testing a recipe for Blackberry Sorbet.  (lactose free of course)

Menu 6/2/13 – 6/8/13

Sunday:  Grilled Cheddar Sausage Patties

Monday: Olive-Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2005, p. 204) – The olive part is a tapenade and is quite good!

Tuesday: Chicken and Blue Cheese Slaw (Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2005, p. 212)

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Corn and Two Bean Burgers with Chipotle Ketchup (Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2005, p. 324)

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: leftovers

Misc.: GF Blueberry Muffins for coffee/tea, Blackberry-Buttermilk Sherbet (Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2008, p. 159) and Oil & Vinegar Potato Salad


February 26, 2013

This Week’s Menu – Glowing Birthday Cake

Filed under: menu planning, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 01:55

empty fridge with bright pink birthday cake

It’s my birthday and yes, that is an unnaturally pink cake in the fridge…

This week’s menu is a return to life before gluten sensitivity.  Back in the day my birthday dinner meant seafood.  Mr. GF doesn’t really like fish and it tends to make the house smell bad so it was the one day a year that I could get it.   Nowadays, it’s the normalcy of a giant roll filled with meat, a.k.a. a Hoagie that I crave.  Okay, crave might be a little strong, but we both miss the convenience of picking up a sub on a Friday night so that is what I wanted for my birthday dinner.

It’s possible I used a little too much food coloring on the frosting.  This is what I saw when I opened the fridge this morning.   The frosting is actually brighter in person, it may even be glowing.

Menu 2/24/13 – 3/2/13

Sunday (Birthday): GF Italian Hoagies

Monday: leftovers

Tuesday: Chicken and Biscuits

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Veggie Wraps Bean Burritos

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: Dinner out

Misc.: GF Chocolate Chip Muffins for coffee/tea, GF Lemon Pudding Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Note: If my mother-in-law is reading this, don’t worry, the fridge isn’t really this empty.  Call it artistic license, but I had to put a few things on the counter to get a better picture.  If you look closely you can still see plenty of fresh veg in the drawer,  lactose free milk,  juice and raisins on the shelves.  If you have really sharp eyes you might even notice the primer brush I keep in the fridge.  It’s murder on the brush, but a lot easier than cleaning it every time I use it.

February 18, 2013

This Week’s Menu – Time to Raid the Freezer

Filed under: menu planning, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 15:27

basement freezer

Someone blew this month’s food budget…

After spending almost $100 at the supermarket last week, I realized that I was out of money and hadn’t bought any food.

Raisins, carrots, bananas, tangerines, potatoes, two pounds of chicken, a $3 steak and a ham steak, that’s about it.  That part of the bill only accounted for about $15.

So where did the rest go?

Most of the budget went to replenishing the pantry and other miscellaneous supplies, think soap, paper towels, tissues and other essentials.  Needless to say, it’s time to take a peek in the freezer.

Menu 2/17/13 – 2/23/13

Sunday: leftovers

Monday: Mexican Rubbed Pork Roast with Potatoes, Carrots and Onions

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: Kale and Butternut Squash Soup

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: Pot Roast

Saturday: leftovers

Misc.: GF Blueberry Muffins for coffee/tea, Makeover Oatmeal Cake

January 29, 2013

Chunky Split Pea Soup (It ain’t pretty but it sure is good!)

Filed under: dairy free, dinner, gluten-free, soup/stew — Tags: , , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 13:26

chunky split pea soup

Close your eyes and the gently bubbling soup with its wafting smokey aroma will lure you down the hall towards the stove top but whatever you do, DO NOT OPEN THE LID!!!

Don’t worry, lifting the lid will not affect the soup, but the muddy looking green mush will likely turn your stomach, or at the very least make you wrinkle your nose and say “Ewwww.”

There is no getting around it.  Split Pea Soup falls into the same category as oatmeal and a few other mushy, unattractive foods.  It smells great, tastes great, is extremely good for you, but boy is it ugly.

If you can get past its appearance, this recipe has a wonderful thickness that belies its lack of meat and a hint of smokiness that is just the right touch to warm your winter blues.   Setting aside the unseemly color,  it’s an easy recipe that packs a lot of flavor and is well worth trying.  And yes, the picture is accurate.  The color of the soup is exactly how it looked when we ate it last night.

The recipe below is shown as it was originally written. The items highlighted in yellow are the ingredients that I changed.

Split Pea Soup (What’s For Dinner? 365 Lean & Natural Dinners, p. 28)


Makes 6 servings

  • 1lb dried green or yellow split peas
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soft margarine
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery with leaves, chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 small potato, unpeeled and diced
  • 1 cup diced cook chicken (optional)
  • grated Parmesan cheese


2 tablespoons soft margarine: I didn’t see the point of the margarine so I skipped it.

1 stalk celery with leaves, chopped: The leaves on the celery I had left in the fridge were looking a little limp so I just went with the stalk.

1 cup diced cooked chicken: It was optional and I didn’t have time to thaw frozen chicken and cook it so I opted out.

grated Parmesan cheese: Dairy, need I say more?

spices:  I also added 1/2 teaspoon of dried mustard and cinnamon to the pot.

Other Changes:

I used boxed chicken broth and didn’t want to leave 1/2 a box open in the fridge so I increased the broth from six to eight cups and to make up for the extra liquid I also doubled the celery, carrots and potatoes.


  1. Wash and sort the peas.  Put in a 6-quart soup pot with the remaining ingredients except the chicken.  Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, cover pot and simmer for 2 – 3 hours, stirring occasionally.    All the vegetables should be very soft and begin to fall apart.  The thicker part of the soup will tend to sink to the bottom of the pan and should be stirred in before serving.
  3. Stir in the chicken or turkey about 5 minutes before serving.  Garnish with the cheese.

That was pretty much it.  Another of those not so pretty, but oh so tasty meals.  I’m not a big pea fan, but this was an easy meal on a cold and snowy day and made a nice change from my usual lentils or black beans  You could take an immersion blender and puree the whole thing, but the idea of a muddy green puddle in my soup bowl wasn’t too appetizing so I left it chunky.  (It’s much easier to overlook the color when you can make out the potatoes and carrots.)

Also, the stirring really needed some more emphasis in the original recipe.  I got side tracked with work and found that the peas sank to the bottom and stuck to the pot.  I managed to incorporate them back into the soup with some aggressive scraping/stirring, but it was a gunky, clumpy mess.

Note: This is something that could be put in a slow cooker on low for 6 hours.  It could also be made vegetarian by swapping the chicken broth for vegetable broth.  If you can get past the appearance it’s an inexpensive hearty meal with a surprising amount of flavor and I strongly recommend that you give it a try.

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