Wednesday, August 28, 2013

G-Free Foodie Box Club

So sorry for disappearing for so long.  Life completely got away from me this summer, and got hit with a huge exhaustion spell!  

Recently, I discovered G-Free Foodie Box Club, and decided to give it a try.  My package arrived yesterday, and I was quite pleased...especially since all is a full size, and not a sample.  In the Pittsburgh area, we don't have too many options of the little businesses that have homemade GF goodies or products -so, this is a great option to try new things.  

One of the goodies in the box was Somoma Infused Syrup.  Call me crazy but I have yet to ever have a Martini -so, this gives me the perfect reason to make one!!  

Another goodie was Gluten Free Mama Pie Crust Mix; which gives me a great excuse to make a pie!  One of the many reasons I'm thankful for being a Celiac is that I'm bolder in the kitchen than I ever thought I'd be!  Having Celiac has helped me become a baker, and a much better cook.  If I weren't a Celiac, I'd always just take the easy way out, and get take out, order pizza or bakery.  So, for the sake of feeling great, and healthy eating, I'm glad to be a Celiac!  

There were 5 more goodies in the box:
1) Dark Chocolate Nut & Sea Salt KIND Bar
2) Gluten Free Please Graham Crackers
3) Mariposa Baking Company Crostini
4) Popsicle Spatula
5) California Dried Mission Figs 

Included in the Foodie Box is a newsletter with great recipes, and product descriptions!  I'm looking forward to trying to all, and enjoying so many new things!  It's looking like we will be making s'mores for the first time ever since being Gluten Free this weekend, and I'll be doing to baking...and raising my cup with a Martini!!  Cheers!!

I'm trying my best to get back on track, and post more often.  If you have any request, don't hesitate to ask!  

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tonight's Dinner

Today, was a lucky day! I got to come home early and make a meal for dinner instead of counting in the crockpot!

Tonight, I made a recipe from Pinterest...of course! We had orzo with shrimp, asparagus, and feta. Even before my celiac diagnosis, I never had orzo -so, I can't really compare it to the non GF version.

We all really enjoyed this recipe, and will certainly make it again:

Note: I substituted orzo with Delallo gluten free version.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Banana Pancakes with only 3 ingredients

Recently discovered a super easy, yummy pancake recipe...on Pinterest of course!   At first, I was hesitant -but, now my daughter keeps requesting them.  Needless to say, they were a big hit!!  They are even easy to make on a morning of rushing around, and being short on time.  All you need is 3 simple ingredients, and no measuring:  1 egg, 1 banana, and blueberries...or chocolate chips!  This Banana Pancake Recipe will be used time, and time again at our house!  Hope you like it as much as we do!  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Conscious Box

Thanks to a dear blogger friend of mine, Annsley of Gluten Freedoms, I discovered Conscious Box; which is a great Mother's Day gift idea!  To find out how it works, check out this link:  The best part is there is a Gluten Free, you get great, safe products delivered to your door (or send as a gift) for $19.95 (includes shipping)!  How great is that?!?!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Disney Research

Sorry I disappeared for a while!  My husband owns a seasonal business, and I run the store for him, so I've been adjusting to my crazy summer life!  The huge perk is that I get to take our little girl to work with us, and we have a blast!

Most are planning their summer vacations -but, we obviously can't take summer vacations due to the business -so, I'm planning our winter vacation!  We are huge Disney fans and highly recommend the DVC (Disney Vacation Club).  We are considering spending Thanksgiving in Disney, and am researching options for Thanksgiving dinner.  Thought I'd share all my finds for you to have information, too!  I'm sure you think we may be crazy to want to go on vacation for a holiday -but, for holidays, I tend to want to run away!  I'm sure you all know what I mean.  I have been a Celiac for almost 10 years now -but, the holidays still get tough for me.  I'd never cheat -but, just being around the unsafe food and all the anxiety of contamination drives me crazy!

There is a great Disney Q&A called Disney Mom Panel.  Every time I have asked a question, I received a response in a few days...very helpful.  Also, emailed WDW Special Diet and received a very helpful response which included this pdf:  WDW Resorts Gluten Free Dietary Guide.  Another unofficial helpful site recommended was Allergy Free Mouse.

In the past 10 years of going to Disney, we have not had one single bad experience...especially with food.  They have been amazing with my, and my daughter.  After eating all the delicious food, and having such magical experiences, it makes it very tough to come home!

If you have any Disney questions what so ever, please don't hesitate to ask.  Hope you all have a great rest of the day, and an amazing Gluten Free weekend!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Meal Plan through April 6th

Finally, I put together my meal plan for today, and to get me through next week; which is already April! Hoping the snow stops falling by the time April starts!

Of course my favorite recipe source is Pinterest!! As I've mentioned before, I don't search for GF recipes, I just adjust as needed -so, please be sure to always check labels/ingredients.

Wednesday: Appley Kielbasi
Even though is notes appetizer, it sounds delicious, and will serve over rice with Asparagus.

Thursday: Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken
Please be sure to use GF soy sauce.

Friday: Pizza night

Slow Cooker Black Bean and Corn Salsa Chicken
2 (14 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 (14 oz) cans corn, drained
1 (1 oz) package taco seasoning
1 lb chicken breasts
1 cup salsa
3/4 cup water

Place all ingredients in resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Mix together in bag and zip closed.
When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 7-8 hours.
When finished cooking, shred chicken and serve over rice, with tortilla chips, over a salad, in tortilla shells, or wrapped in a soft tortilla (this meat is so versatile). Garnish with cheese, sour cream, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and hot sauce.
(Six Sisters Stuff)

Sunday: Happy Easter! We will be eating over my parents, and I'll be taking a dessert. More than likely I'll be making a BabyCakes NYC recipe!

Monday: Loaded Baked Potato & Chicken Casserole
I'll be skipping the hot sauce since my little one doesn't like spicy!

Tuesday: Oven Tacos

Wednesday: Honey-Glazed Grilled Chicken with Trader Joe's fries, and green beans

Thursday: Chicken and Black Bean Casserole Recipe'+Stuff)&m=1

Friday: "Naked" Burgers & Potatoes and corn

Saturday: Ranch Cheddar Chicken with Tator Tots and Salad
instead of Panko, I'll use GF bread crumbs such as Gillian's.

Hope you all enjoy yummy GF food this week, and especially on Easter!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Work in Progress: Mac & Cheesy

While looking on Pinterest for dinner ideas, a light bulb went off! My daughter requested Mac & Cheese for dinner but wanted to make a version with "real" cheese instead of Velveeta. So, I thought why not made a version of the cheesy sauce I used last night for the Philly steak sloppy Joe's I made last night (posted on FB page).

So, I gathered milk, cornstarch, pasta, cheese, butter, and gave it a shot! It didn't turn our horrible but it wasn't the best. The next time I try, I think I'll add less cornstarch and more sharp cheddar, and spices.

Recipe for the first attempt:
1 cup of cold milk
2 TBSP cornstarch
2 cups of pasta
1 TBSP butter
1 cup if shredded cheese

- Make pasta as instructed on bag
- In a separate pot, whisk cold milk and cornstarch until blended. Then, add butter. Continue to whisk until thickens. Remove from heat, and stir in cheese until melted.
- Drain and add pasta to cheese mixture

We topped our mac & cheese with real bacon bits, and a little more sharp cheddar.

I still haven't forgetting about this weeks meal plan...I'm sort of flying my the seat of my pants this week! I start back to work next week, and my head is all over the place! Hoping to put together the rest of this week, and next weeks plan tonight!

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Gluten Free Bar...mmmm

Recently, we tried the Gluten Free Bar (GFB) and am completely impressed. All were delicious -but, my 3 year old daughter and myself really enjoyed the Oatmeal Raisin, and our second favorite was the Peanut Butter Chocolate. The other 2 we tried were Peanut Butter and Cranberry Almond; which were very good too. The oatmeal raisin made me think back to my childhood days when all I'd eat for breakfast was oatmeal! Really liked the texture; which wasn't gritty at all, and had great flavor...and filling. So, of you ever see the GFB, be sure to try them, and absolutely check out their website for more information.

Trader Joe's GF Goodies

It's already Monday, and I don't have a clue what we are eating this week! Yesterday, I had a flare up with my Crohn's so I was down for the count for a bit of the day. Hoping by tonight to have my meal plan done for the week, and post it!

In the mean time, we made a quick trip to Trader Joe's to re-stock our fruit & veggie supply. Thought I'd share some of our favorite GF Trader Joe finds.

My house is always stocked with Trader Joe's pasta. It's so much cheaper that the rest, and rather tasty! They have a corn based pasta and a brown rice based pasta. Lately, we have been using the brown rice -but, like them both!

For breakfast, we love their GF Granola with some fruit and yogurt. On our latest trip, we discovered their Brown Rice Marshmallow treats.

This trip, I noticed a frozen GF pizza that I've never noticed before, and can't wait to try! Also, decided to try the GF waffles. I usually make my own with Pamela's mix -but, it's always nice to have something quick on hand too!

My daughter loves the strawberry Popsicles (currently out of stock), and I love them because they are made with real fruit! She also loves the Mango & Cream Bars...and Gone Bananas. And...can't forget about the Crushers; which are squeeze apple sauces.

Love Trader Joe's for many reasons:
1. service is great!! Today while checking out, the cashier noticed my celery bag was open, and she rang the bell for someone to get me a new one.

2. Prices are GREAT! Where else can you get GF pasta for $1.99 a bag?!?!

3. Fantastic GF yummy food options!

Just a word of caution. Always read they labels. Sometimes it may have the "g" for gluten free but may be processed on shared equipment.

Here are pictures of our favorite products, and some that I didn't mention that are also our favorites!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

1st Attempt...cake batter blondies

Today on FaceBook, I saw a recipe for Golden Oreo Cake Batter Blondies by Sally's Baking Addition and thought...I can make that GF! So tonight I gathered a GF cake mix, KinniTOOS vanilla sandwich creme cookies, canola oil, milk and sprinkles just like the Non-GF recipe. I added all the same amounts but the mix was crumbly -so, I added and extra egg, and another 1/4 cup of milk, crossed my fingers and put it in the oven! It sure smelled delicious baking but had a feeling it was going to be crumbly.

It did turn out a bit crumbly but all stuck together...surprisingly!! More than likely if I would have used a Pamela's Yellow Cake Mix or Betty Crocker Yellow Cake mix, all would have been fine. However; the mix that I used called for 6 eggs and lots more stuff!! But, that all I had on hand for yellow mix at the time.

Here is the Non-GF link for the recipe:

I'll certainly be attempting to make this recipe again until perfected!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Weekly Meal Plan...w/o March 18

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Hoping this is the last week of cold weather for us, and we can start grilling soon!  Warm sunny days are right around the corner!  

This is what is on the menu for my family this week:

Monday - Coke BBQ Chicken with Asparagus, and Trader Joe's Fries 
Place four chicken breasts in the crock pot with a whole container of BBQ sauce, a half can of cherry coke, and a 1/2 cup on brown sugar. Place it in the crock pot on low for about 5 hours. An hour before serving, take the chicken out and shred it with a fork and put it back in the crock pot until ready to serve.
More than likely, I'll use Udi's buns to make a sandwich or a corn tortilla.

Tuesday - Taco Pizza
*Instead of the Pillsbury dough, I'll use an Udi's pizza crust.  

Wednesday - Crockpot Bacon Ranch Pasta with Green Beans
*You will need to make your own Cream of Chicken Soup...and of course GF pasta.  

Here is a recipe for Cream of Chicken Soup...I use the cornstarch, and all works perfectly.

Thursday -  Chicken Salad in a lettuce Wrap
*We love Sam's Club Rotisserie Chicken 

Friday - California Shrimp Pizza with a Salad 

Saturday - Left Overs or possibly out to dinner

My apologizes for the links needing to be copies and pasted into your browser.  For some reason, my macbook won't let me past the link to be "live".  I'm sure its a user error -but, I'll figure it out eventually.

Hope you all have a great week...and stay tuned!!  

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Birthday Party Prep

Today we have our nephew's 3rd Birthday Party! Since my 3 year old daughter is Gluten Intolerant, I make her a meal close to what all others are having, and a special sweet snack. A pizza favorite of ours is a corn tortilla, with sauce, and cheese baked at 375 for 15-20 minutes. It s delicious, and taste like a thin crust pizza.

For our special sweet treat, we decided on sugar cookie. I just so happened to have a box of Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake mix, and used their sugar cookie recipe:

Hope you all have a great Saturday!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Happy Monday All!!

It was a very busy weekend for us, and lots of fun! Yesterday, we celebrated my hubby's birthday...and had lots of great food! I made all his favorites for him: grilled chicken (marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and pepper), a big salad bar, and crockpot potato soup. For dessert, we had cupcakes, chocolate chip cookie sandwiches (BabyCakes NYC recipes) and ice cream. Can't forget about the pickle dip, too!

I'm trying to get back on track and organized with meal planning. When I search for recipes, I don't just search for gluten free. I just search what I'm looking for, and alter it as needed to make gluten free..'s what's for dinner this week:

Sunday - grilled chicken salad, and potato soup.

Monday - slow cooker Italian chili
*using GF noodles

Tuesday - shredded chicken Mexican pie

Wednesday - classic Mac and cheese's+Culinary+Adventures)&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher&m=1
*using GF noodles.

Thursday - sweet and sour meatballs
NOTE: will probably make my own meatballs.

Friday - it's a pizza night...with chebe bread sticks!

Saturday - left overs

Hope you all have a great week, and enjoy lots of gluten free food!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

More BabyCakes NYC

Tomorrow night, I am going to do some baking for my husband's birthday! We all LOVE anything BabyCakes NYC, as I have mentioned. So far, I've mastered the frosting, chocolate chip cookies, and to master the vanilla cupcakes!

I'm posting a picture of the cupcakes from their recipe book if you'd like to try them, too!

Hope you all have a great weekend. Starting next week, I plan to post weekly meal plans! Stay tuned!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Input needed, please!

Hello, All!  Happy March!  Honestly, I can't believe it's March already...and the sun is shining so beautifully today!  Lately, I've been brainstorming on how to make this blog grow...and would greatly appreciate your input.  Would you like food reviews, restaurant reviews, recipes, or all the above?  Or even would you like something that I didn't mention.  This summer, I started this blog to help any and all Celiac and those who are gluten intolerant as I could.  But, now I need your help to do more of that for you.  

Also, be sure to like my Happy Go Lucky & Gluten Free Facebook page, too!  Often I post things there - such as, what I'm making for dinner or articles that I've discovered.

Looking forward to hear any input that you may have.  Please feel free to comment below or message me on Facebook.

Thanks so much...and enjoy the rest of the sunny day!  

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Recent Travels

My apologies for being MIA lately!  Lately, I've had no energy and certainly no motivation...and can't believe it's already February!  After my recent visit to the gastro, discovered this may be due to having basically no vitamin D!  So, the fix for now is a prescribed supplement 2x a week.  So, we shall see!

What a perfect way to boost vitamin D than a trip to Jamaica, right?!?!  To be honest, I was very nervous and anxious about this trip.  Our typical trip is to Disney where I have no worries, and my true comfort zone.  This summer before committing to the trip, I contacted the resort (Hilton Rose Hall) and the head chef got right back to me assuring there would be no problems.  Even with the assurance, I was still very anxious.

There ended up being no need to be anxious!  The trip was perfect!  The restaurant staff at Rose Hall made us feel like celebrities...especially our 3 year old daughter.  They all quickly knew us as the Gluten Free girls, and helped in any way they could.  As they say, Jamaicans aren't happen until your happy...and they made us more than happy!  YEAH MON!!

We stuck with the buffet option for each meal.  They had the buffet set up allergy friendly...fruit section was all separate from everything else to elevate the risk of contamination.  For breakfast, we either did scrambled eggs, bacon, yogurt, and fresh fruit.  For lunch, I did the salad bar, and my daughter got hooked on a lettuce wrap with cheese, and pickle...and of course fresh fruit!  For dinner, we always re-ordered a type of fish, potato, and veggies.  My daughter loves shrimp -so, that was usually her request!  If you can't tell we are both huge creatures of habit by once we find something we like, we stick with it! And...I can't forget about the self-serve ice cream machine!!  

The highlight of our trip was my daughters true joy of getting to enjoy the water from a fresh coconut, and we then ate the meat.  She spotted the coconuts in the tree as soon as we arrived, and the kind landscaper gladly brightened her day!

Now, we are back to reality...with snow and being freezing cold!  I'm trying my best to stay back on track, and hope to be posting a lot more!  Thanks for bearing with me...and stay tuned!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Holidays & Some Travel

Happy Monday & Happy New Year All!  Sorry for not posting for a while...the holidays & sickness got the best of our household!  Did you all survive the holidays?  Did they go as quickly for you as they did for me?  Hopefully you all were able to enjoy a lot of amazing Gluten Free food, and there was no contamination.  We had a food overload here on Christmas Day at our house...and it was all delicious.  

This year, I participated in a Gluten Free Secret Santa through another blog, and loved the idea!  It was nice to get a special GF package in the mail, and see what other really like.  Maybe next year we will have a HGL&GF (Happy Go Lucky & Gluten Free) Secret Santa.  Feel free to share your thoughts with me!  

We are getting ready to ditch this cold weather, and head to sunny, warm Jamaica!  Has anyone had any GF experiences in Jamaica?  I'm starting to get anxious since we will be out of my comfort of Disney World where I don't have a single worry about being Gluten Free.  I'll certainly be packing lots of snacks, and possibly taking a cooler too.  Even when we travel to Disney, I typically take a little cooler with our favorite yogurts, fruits & veggies to have on hand; which saves on some of our cost too!  My little girl is an almond milk drinker -so, I try to take a few of the single serve containers of that as well.  I'm considering baking some of our favorite cookies but worry about customs giving us a hard time since they aren't pre-packaged.  

Please feel free to drop a line or a comment if you have had any travel experience you'd like to share...would love to hear from you!  

Hope you all have a great Monday, and talk to you soon!