SnickerDuddles (plus an update, and this week’s menu)

I didn’t post a weekly menu last week…things were pretty crazy with the sick cat and I had so much photography work to do that I really didn’t do a good job with our meal planning. This week, I’ve got a plan…and I certainly hope that things are much less stressful than they were last week. The cat, by the way, is a eating and drinking again, although she now has another problem with her eye and isn’t doing as well as she was over the weekend, so I guess we’ll see what happens….right now she is a bit of a mystery. Hubby is taking another big test for work on Saturday, so we could use some prayer about that. All spare time has been spent studying, and it’s been a long haul.

You’re probably wondering what the disgusting photo is all about….well, just in case you might have had the misconception that everything is always easy for me in the kitchen, I wanted to set things straight. Cooking gluten free isn’t easy, and although I have gotten used to it and can now generally assume that what goes into the oven will come out edible…well, sometimes things just flop! Like these “SnickerDuddles“….which started out as a great tasting dough, rolled into neat little balls and then dropped into Cinnamon sugar. I was so excited because it’s been years since Isaiah and I have had a Snickerdoodle! But, alas, what came out of the oven was not only very ugly, but also took a good deal of time and a lot of soaking, scraping, and scrubbing to get off the pans. As far as the taste…well, Isaiah summed it up like this: “Mom, they taste like fireworks smell”. I guess that’s a recipe to be, um, fine-tuned before it appears again on the blog!

Sometimes life is like that, I guess. You’re looking forward to a nice Snickerdoodle and instead you get to spend the afternoon up to your elbows in soapy water, scraping pans.

So, without further ado…here’s this week’s gluten free dinner menu!

Monday: Breakfast for dinner! Hash browns (Ore-Ida are gluten free), chicken breakfast sausage with country gravy, eggs and biscuits. I’m excited about this one…it’s been so long since I had this sort of breakfast! I’ll cook the sausage in a big skillet (Jimmy Dean is gluten free, but we buy chicken sausage that’s made in the meat department at our local grocery). Then, add to the sausage and drippings 1/2 cup rice flour and 1/4 cup tapioca flour and some black pepper. Whisk and cook until brown and bubbly. Then, slowly add 4 cups of milk, one cup at a time. Whisk and cook until thick. You may need to add a little extra flour to make it thicker….I will post a note here if the recipe needs tweaking. For the biscuits, I’ll be using this recipe from the Gluten Free Cooking School blog. I may try throwing everything in a food processor rather than grating the butter, because I’ve had good luck with doing pie crusts that way before. So…gluten free biscuits, sausage country gravy and fried eggs with hash browns…and an extra hour of working out to make up for the calories!

Tuesday: Winter Vegetable Chowder, left over biscuits. This is my favorite soup! It’s from the cookbook “Saving Dinner” (a great book…not gluten free, but most of the recipes are easily converted). You cook 3 sliced leeks in 1 tbs. of olive oil, add 4 slices turkey bacon cut into 1 inch pieces and cook until leeks are cooked and bacon is browned. Then add 2 large russet potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes and 1 medium butternut squash, also cubed. Cook 3 minutes. Add 2 cans chicken broth (I use a box of Pacific chicken stock, which is gluten free). Add 1/2 tsp. thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, covered, until veggies are soft (20-30 minutes). Remove half the vegetables and mash with a potato masher. Add 1 cup of half and half and return the mashed mixture to the soup, heat but do not boil. Serve with warm gluten free biscuits!

Wednesday: Tostadas. Mix two cans of refried beans (make sure they are gluten free or make your own…sometimes flour is added to make the beans thick!) with 1/2 cup of salsa. On several cookie sheets, arrange corn tortillas (we use Mission brand). Spread bean mixture over each tortilla, then sprinkle with sliced green onions, diced tomatoes, and diced green pepper. You could also add cooked ground beef or chicken if you like. Sprinkle with cheese or soy cheese (or leave the cheese off entirely) and place a second tortilla on top of each tostada. Bake at 350 until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are crisp…about 15 minutes.

Thursday: Beef Roast with mushrooms, peas and carrots over garlic mashed potatoes. Put a beef roast on top of a sliced onion in the crock pot and cook all day on low. An hour before dinner, add 3 cups of beef broth, some garlic salt and thyme over the roast. Add a package of sliced mushrooms, 2 cups of frozen peas and carrots, and cook until just before dinner. Mix 2 tbs. corn starch with 1/4 cup warm water. Remove the roast and pour the broth mixture into a large pan, add the corn starch mixture and simmer until thick. Pull the roast apart and mix it in with the gravy mixture. Serve over garlic mashed potatoes, with a salad on the side.

Friday: Shepherd’s Pie. Prepare a gluten free pie crust: In a food processor, pulse 1 cup rice flour and 1/3 cup tapioca flour with 1 stick sliced cold butter until just mixed. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, a dash of basil and a dash of oregano. Mix together 1/4 cup ice-cold water and 2 tbs dairy or non dairy sour cream, pour into processor as you pulse the mixture until course crumbs form. Don’t over-process. Pack the mixture into a ball, put it on plastic wrap and smash flat, wrap completely and chill for one hour. Roll dough to a pie shape, and place in a deep pie or baking dish. Over the crust, pour left over beef and mushroom mixture from last night’s dinner. Pipe left over mashed potatoes over the beef, and sprinkle with chives. Bake until crust is browned and potatoes are crisp and brown on top. Serve with salad or steamed broccoli.

Saturday: We got some coupons for free food at Chick-Fil-A, which has a gluten free menu here. Hubby will be finished taking his test, and we will be setting up photography gear at church that afternoon…eating out will be nice.

Sunday: Gluten free spaghetti with meat sauce. I usually make my own sauce…just cook a pound of ground beef or chicken with a chopped onion, add a large can of crushed or pureed tomatoes, some garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer for as long as you can…the longer it simmers, the better it tastes! You can also add some grated carrot or squash to the beef and get in a few extra vegetables. Serve with a green salad.



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