Menu Plan Monday, July 10th!

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Last week went well! We ended skipping a couple of meals because we just had so many leftovers in the fridge, then we got sick and didn’t feel like eating or cooking. So there will be some repeats going on this week! I did manage to eat up all the fruit and veggies–isn’t summer wonderful? I’m seriously excited about the fruit! I’ve got peaches, cherries, and strawberries in the fridge (some of them might end up in the freezer!) and I want to take advantage of a sale before it is over tomorrow to get some more!

 

 

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Creamy Shrimp with noodles and mushrooms

 

Breakfasts:

I am not bored of the eggs/smoothie routine yet. I want to make some of the  Vegan Gluten-Free Blackberry/Blueberry Cobbler for breakfast–I didn’t get to it last week before getting sick. Maybe a version with peaches too! I got bruised peaches because they were cheaper, but that means they need to be gone soon!

Lunches:

For me–Quinoa Black Bean Salad

For my daughter: We made some tortilla/ham/egg/cheese wraps for her. She had one for breakfast and said it was delightful.

Dinners:

Best Damn Pork Chops, rice pilaf

Eggs Benedict Strata from Celebrations (Against All Grain) cookbook with strawberry spinach salad

BLT’s

Tuna Salad/Sandwiches

Pizza

Fish tacos and sautéed veggies

Leftovers

Brownies from a box–I don’t indulge often, but the Aldi’s brand of brownie mix is pretty amazing tasting.

If you need more menu ideas check out Organizational Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for specific gluten-free ideas check out Celiac Family and their July 10th menu plan!

New School Year, New Routines

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Yes, I said new school year–we’re starting back up in a month, can you believe it? One thing that makes the new school year go smoothly for me and usually for the Princess is having a simple routine in place with clear expectations. That usually means revisiting the chore charts/checklists and redoing them for new year! I just love new lists!

I love the amount of free printables available on pintrest–I really do. However, they don’t always match up with exactly what I had in mind. So I was thrilled to find this tutorial for a daily routine checklist using canva.com. This made it easy to customize colors, items on the list, make extra lists and so on. I mean isn’t this beautiful?

Morning routine

While I was creating I made a few chore checklists too. It was time and its nice to have in black and color the very minimal expectations I have for cleaning certain rooms in the house. (Everything off the floor is a big one!)

other rooms checklist

I used this downloadable printable for inspiration of what to put on the chore lists. I honestly needed some help–my house may be mostly clutter free (probably because I keep THROWING STUFF OUT!) but it certainly isn’t clean as evidenced by the chunks of dust I picked up from my new craft station I created over the weekend!

So hopefully, over the next month we’ll work out the kinks in these new routines and I will get these laminated for easy checking off! I’m also planning on punching holes and putting them on a ring to hang somewhere when not in use. My previous lists I put in picture frames so there was no need for laminating, but for some reason the picture frames always walked off and could never be found when wanted!

So how about you? When do you reevaluate what’s working and what’s not working in your routines? Do you use the beginning of the school year too? Or is it more of a beginning of the year thing for you?

 

 

 

 

Staying Safe With Allergies While Eating Out

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Eating out can usually be an anxious experience when you are dealing with food allergies! I mentioned in my last post that we ate out a lot last week–and I actually think we did it safely because we weren’t sick when we got home! Here are some tips for staying safe while traveling!

  1. If you are visiting family, don’t feel awkward about bringing your own food. It’s what you need to stay safe and healthy–usually they understand and are relieved that they don’t have to worry about it!

2. Make sure you inform your waitress. A surprisingly large amount of restaurants have gluten-free menus available now and if you ask while you are being seated they are happy to provide.

3. Don’t be afraid to play the blond card–sometimes I act ditzy and say–I can’t remember if I already said this, but I am gluten-free and dairy free. Repeating it makes an impression on your waitress in case she is having a bad day or whatever and gives you extra peace of mind that you did mention it. (Sometimes I am so focused on ordering gluten-free for my daughter that I forget to mention my allergies, so mentioning it twice helps me too!)

So here are the places that we ate last week that were really nice. First breakfast out was Bob Evans. I was a little nervous eating there because I just haven’t, but breakfast is usually easy and they were super nice! They even had decent kids gluten-free menu choices! Our food took longer to cook, but that was fine–I knew they had to cook it separately and it taking longer confirmed they were doing what they said they would.

 

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Rainforest Café: Ahi Tuna Tacos with sautéed veggies!

Our next meal was the Rainforest Cafe in Disney Springs. I have always heard that Disney goes out of their way for food allergies and even though Rainforest Cafe isn’t owned by Disney they truly didn’t disappoint. I made a reservation through the Disney App (which I totally recommend–those restaurants can get crazy with lines!) and it had a place to put in my food allergies even in the reservation. Our waiter was kind and they even sent the chef out to talk to us about our menu choices and make sure they could make them for us. My daughter was beyond thrilled that she could get a bun with her cheeseburger. Everything took awhile again, but I was again reassured that they were going the extra mile to keep us safe. It was a delicious meal and the several thunderstorms that we had happen while we were there were amusing.

 

No visit to Disney Springs is complete (at least for us) without a visit to Erin McKenna’s bakery. A completely gluten-free, diary-free bakery that is now offering dairy free soft serve ice cream! All allergy people and parents will understand the thrill it is to go into a place where you don’t have to say no to anything your child wants! We got some donuts for breakfasts and of course some ice cream to eat on the way to the car!

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Some of our donuts: Mine had cookie crumbs on top and Princess had chocolate frosting

 

The rest of the week was mac and cheeze from a box, some Canadian bacon, eggs, leftover hamburger buns, and veggies as we could squeeze them in. We also ate at a food court in the mall on the way home.

As always, accidents can happen so I brought my usual kit of “Oops, I got glutened” with me just in case. This consists of charcoal (helps with tummy aches!), peppermint tea, and usually a hot water bottle. This has got to be the first time I didn’t need to use it though!

What about you–what do you do to make sure you stay safe with food allergies on vacation?

Menu Plan Monday, July 3rd!

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Um–where did half the year go?

I didn’t really menu plan last week because we were on vacation and we ate out a ton more than I think we ever have on vacation. We were moving around a lot and weren’t gone long, so cooking everything and keeping it cold in the insane heat was not a headache I wanted to deal with. But when we got back we had to go to the store because we did a great job of cleaning out the fridge before leaving…and on the way I totally made a menu plan for the rest of the week on the back of the shopping list. I just couldn’t help it!

 

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My egg breakfast from this morning!!

 

Breakfasts:

More eggs probably–I have a source for local fresh eggs and they are just amazing. I also want to make some Chia seed pudding–it seems perfect for a cool, filling breakfast on a hot morning! And of course I have some smoothies–maybe some more of the strawberry/banana/spinach variety.

 

Lunches:

For me–baked chicken thighs with veggies: beets, peppers, green beans, maybe tomato, onion

For my daughter: she picked out a crustless Quiche that she wants to try. It will have regular cheese, so I won’t be able to try it, but it sounds delightful.

Dinners:

Stew in the crockpot

Burgers, grass-fed hot dogs, beans, corn on the cob, salad

Shrimp with noodles, veggie

Best Damn Pork Chops, rice pilaf

Pizza

Fish tacos and sautéed veggies

Shepherd pie (family recipe–I don’t think I actually use a recipe when making this!)

Shrimp Fried rice

Leftovers

I would like to make this again–it turned out amazing and I even used frozen berries! I haven’t had a good cobbler in years and since no one else likes it around here I had to eat it up myself. It would be good as a breakfast too! Vegan Gluten-Free Blackberry/Blueberry Cobbler

If you need more menu ideas check out Organizational Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for specific gluten-free ideas check out Celiac Family and their July 3rd menu plan!

Honey Mustard Sauce

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One of my first jobs was fast food. I had never been around fast food much before then, but it was a type of amusement park and they had a kitchen (serving the same stuff that we served the public) where employees could buy food pretty cheap–I did not pack a lunch very often that summer and sometimes didn’t eat breakfast before going to work either! One of the things that I loved was the honey mustard sauce there. It was perfect for everything–dipping chicken nuggets in, dipping French fries in, putting on your sandwich–you get the idea. That was before I was aware of the ingredients, but I can guarantee that there was nothing good for you in that sauce!

This is a bit of a spicy sauce that the Princess heartily enjoys, which surprised me. So I find myself making it usually at least once a week and she always shows up to lick the spoon! I hope you enjoy it as much as she does!

Honey Mustard Sauce  IMG_0453

2 Tablespoons mayo

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1-2 Tablespoons honey

Balsamic vinegar (optional, to taste)

Add the ingredients into a bowl. We like it with or without the vinegar–if I am trying to make more of a salad dressing instead of just a dipping sauce I will add the vinegar. Mix until combined.

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Taste–this is an important step! Add additional ingredients as needed. If my daughter is helping she prefers it sweeter, so we always need a little more honey .

Use as desired. Is excellent as a salad dressing, for dipping any kind of meat or veggie, eating with a spoon (not my favorite, but there’s no accounting for some tastes!), or using to dress up your sandwich! Enjoy!

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A different use for face polish…

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IMG_0781So my daughter has always been difficult about baths…from the time she was an infant she would scream and carry on like you have never heard before. I always thought that things would get better as she got older, but alas its been years and it has not been the case.

However, we discovered that there are a few things that make things go a bit smoothly. Sometimes bath salts, sometimes bubble bath (I always am looking for natural bubble bath because she reacts to the cheap stuff you get at the dollar store!), but ALWAYS loves to paint the bathroom with shaving cream dyed with food coloring.

A couple of weeks ago my husband was helping prepare the shaving cream and we had just purchased some new food coloring. He had a really hard time getting it open and apparently the blue got all over–all over his hands, all over his face. It looked like he had a bad encounter with a snow cone and the snow cone won!

He tried and tried to get it off his face, but he said nothing would work! I took pity on him at this point and offered him a solution from my stash of Lemongrass Spa products. I thought to offer him some body polish (a sugar scrub that is amazing at exfoliation), but I remembered from my training that body polish is best from the neck down. From the neck up your skin is more delicate and you could small holes in it by using body polish. So I grabbed my charcoal face polish and gave him a little bit to try!

It worked miracles! The jojoba beads gently exfoliated his skin and removed the blue food coloring! Lemongrass Spa to the rescue!

 

Lemon Chicken

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This is a family favorite recipe–My mom has made ever since I can remember and quite often. When we were in Portugal and chicken breasts weren’t a thing she would use turkey cutlets instead. This is also my sister’s favorite meal so she often requested it for her birthday. I always remembered it being a big deal to make, but found it surprisingly easy to throw together on a weeknight.

Ingredients

3 chicken breasts

2 eggs

2 T milk (I used almond)

1/4 cup flour (I used a gluten free blend)

1/2 cup butter, divided (I used earth balance)

1-2 lemons. I used 2 because I like the lemon taste, but you could get away with one especially if it was particularly juicy!

Cut the chicken breasts in half. (This helps them cook more evenly!) Pound them as flat as you can with a mallet. This is also a good step to scare the people in the house away from messing with you! (If you have need of such a thing!)

Beat the eggs and milk together. Put the flour and any seasonings (salt and pepper are your friends!) in a different bowl and mix well. Put 1/4 cup butter in a frying pan and melt it.

Dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture (both sides) and then dip it in the flour mixture. Your hands will get dirty! Then place in the frying pan. Brown the chicken on both sides. This is the part where it was important to get the chicken evenly flat–you might have some issues with it cooking evenly if you didn’t follow the previous directions. (Don’t ask how I know this…) Remove the chicken to a platter or plate.

Squeeze the lemon juice and add water to make a 1/2 cup. IMG_0774

Pour into the fry pan and stir a bit to get the browned bits up. Add the remaining butter and melt and stir to mix. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve–best served with mashed potatoes!

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