Category Archives: Beverages

Menu Plan Monday – November 1, 2010

Hope you all had a fun weekend.  I am finding it harder to get back into the groove of blogging than I thought I would, but let’s give it another shot, shall we?

To start off, there is a contest over at Bob’s Red Mill that you have to check out!  They are giving away Carol Fenster’s book 100 Best Gluten Free Recipes and a gift pack of gluten free flours.  Now, I hardly want to tell you all about it because I would LOVE to win this, but I just had to share the love.  Hurry over- the contest ends at midnight TONIGHT.

This week coming up is Continue reading

Menu Plan Monday – May 25, 2009

I’m walking 60 miles in the Breast Cancer 3-day!  Will you help me reach my goal?


Happy Memorial Day, everybody!  We are going to a barbeque latter today with the families from my mom’s Bible study.  I am so excited!  If you have kids, you may like these Memorial Day printables.



For TONS of menu inspiration, see the queen of menu planning, Laura, at Menu Plan Monday.  This week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap is being hosted by me!  I have picked avocados as the theme ingredient.  Besides quacamole, we like avocados on sandwiches (especially BLT’s in the summer), simply scooping out with a spoon, in smoothies (really) and it was one of the first foods all my kids ate as babies.  Checking around the web you can find information on how to grow an avocado tree, how to cut an avocado, and even recipes for avocado ice cream.  To use in a smoothie we blend 1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple, 1 cup orange juice (or or orange-mango juice), 1 ripe avocado (peeled and pitted), 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk, 1 tablespoon honey or agave, 2 teaspoons lime juice and 1/2 cup ice cubes.


Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday


Come of back through out the day and see who is contributing to the Gluten Free Menu Swap.  I can’t wait!   Be sure to check each week with Gluten Free Goodness for the temporary swap headquarters for Gluten Free Mommy.    


Ester of The Lilac Kitchen is leaving her menu simple yet tasty as her kids are home this week from school.  She has been baking up some delicious sounding muffins (check out how yummy they look), savory and sweet, is wondering what makes a makes a muffin a muffin and when does it become a cupcake?


Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness loves avocados and even has one for the logo of her nutrition practice!  She has linked a Southwester Quinoa and Bean Salad and a Chocolate Banana Pudding both using avocados.  I am really intrigued by the pudding and am going to have to try that one!  Don’t forget Cheryl is hosting a yum-e-baby-shower for Sea, so please join in with recipes and good wishes for Sea and her little one.


Sea of the Book of Yum has an delicious menu of Avocado-cream cheese sushi rolls, vegan eggplant lentil soup and a Caribbean Pineapple Black Bean Bake that I just have to try.  She found a vegan fudge using avocado in the recipe that sounds interesting, but usually she uses avocado on sandwiches, pizza, tofu breakfast scramble and sushi and onigiri.  Onigiri is a favorite here as my kids fell in love with them when they were little, so I am going to have to try an avocado version.  Thanks, Sea!


You guys are such great inspiration to me every week!  Thank you so much for sharing your menus and your passion! 

Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday

Sunday:  My hubby ran the Stillwater Marathon.  Great job, honey!




Monday:  Memorial Day/Barbeque with friends

    Bring hot dogs, veggie and chicken kabobs for grilling, and bring Napa Cabbage Slaw and a dessert to share.  I am leaning toward gluten and dairy free whoopie pies and vanilla cupcake with red, white and blue sprinkles… 


Tuesday:  orthodontist/piano practice (last one until fall)/baseball game/first soccer game of the season

    Leftover night, salad and veggie sticks


Wednesday:  mommy volunteer in school library/track meet

    Stir fry and rice


Thursday:  middle school transition meeting/mom help in kindergarten/track practice/Girl Scout Bridging and Bronze Ceremony/baseball game (hmm… something will have to loosen up here…)

    Slow Cooker Turkey Meatloaf, salad


Friday:  So far NOTHING!  I can’t believe it!  Woo!  

    Dinner nachos with cashew “cheese”, quac, shredded zucchini, tomatoes, and black olives and salad


Also this week:  Make cupcakes for up coming piano recital, kindergarten Sunday School party, and Girl Scout Bridging and freeze, start walk training back up after taking off the past 3+ weeks due to yuckiness, make mini pizzas for upcoming pizza parties and freeze, harvest more rhubarb, etc…


Countdown to the 3-day Walk: 13 Weeks

Your Training Schedule for This Week:

Monday Rest  
Tuesday 3 miles Easy walking
Wednesday       30 minutes Moderate cross-training
Thursday 5 miles Moderate walking
Friday 45 minutes      Easy cross-training
Saturday 11 miles Easy walking
Sunday 5 miles Easy walking


I am hoping my week goes smoother than last week…  This past week blew up on me a bit as the kidney infection decided that I am such awesome company that it wanted to hang out with me for awhile.  I know, I know, I’m a slacker who doesn’t like going to doctors and it’s no wonder that it has lasted so long.  I like to think I’m a really healthy person who totally thinks that things get better by themselves if you just wait and drink lots of water.  I know this is a particularly dumb theory for someone who obviously had something really wrong with them a couple of weeks ago.  The irony isn’t lost on me…  


On the plus side, I am feeling so much better now.  Better enough that my urge to experiment with food is back which has floundered of late.  Who knew feeling yucky sucks the creativity right out of you?  Luckily, menu planning and having food in the freezer has kept our family fed while mommy was a sicky.   If you haven’t tried menu planning before, I suggest you try it.  It really has saved me time, money, and has been so helpful during busy times.  I love not having to figure out what we are having for dinner, just check the list.

Gluten Free-zer Friday – Freezing Rhubarb & Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie

I have been knocked for a loop with a kidney infection this week.  Yuck.  I am hoping to slowly get back into the swing of things without having to need a nap every few hours…  Yeah, I’ve been pretty pitiful…  It’s been so bad I am afraid of being accused of having a man cold!  “Poor little bunny…”


I said a couple of weeks ago that my husband hates rhubarb with the burning passion of a thousand suns, however, the rest of us love it!  So, I like to freeze some to prolong the torture harvest.  I then can make jam with other fruits when they are in season (or when I have time and energy), make rhubarb strussel muffins, smoothies, rhubarb leather (I use the recipe with some tweeks in Mary Bell’s Complete Dehydrator Cookbook), my grandma’s strawberry rhubarb custard pie…  Mmmm…   My rhubarb is now up enough to start harvesting this weekend.  As I am still feeling a bit worn out, I am getting help to freeze some for later when I am more perky.  I may have to make a pie, however.  I have gluten free pie crusts made in the freezer that have to be used up, after all!  


Head over to MJ’s  for Freezer Food Friday and see what’s in her freezer.   She has chicken stock this week.  A great tip for us all.  It very close to how I make mine, except I usually use my big roaster after I have cooked 3-4 chickens (freezing the chicken meat to use on salads, etc.) then toss in whatever I need to from my crisper in the fridge, basically using the roaster like a giant slow cooker.


Freezing Rhubarb


Gently twist the outside rhubarb stalks to harvest them and remove leaves (leaves are toxic – DO NOT SAVE!)  I try to harvest them when they are the thickness of my thumb or thinner.  Stalks that are too thick may be tough or have lost flavor.  Wash rhubarb.  cut off any bad spots and slice your rhubarb into the thickness you prefer.  I slice mine about 1/2 inch thick.  


Line a rimmed baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel.  Fill the baking sheet with rhubarb, smoothing the rhubarb out until it is in a single layer.  Place the baking pan into the coldest part of the freezer.  When the rhubarb is frozen, place in bags in amounts you will use.  I like to freeze 2 cup or 4 cup bags as that is what most of my recipes call for.  I also like to use my vacuum sealer to seal the frozen rhubarb to guard against freezer burn, however a heavy duty zip-close freezer bag also works well.  Label bags with contents and date.  


This freezing technique is called loose-pack freezing.  You can open the bag, remove what you need and reseal.  I use it for all berries and fruit, veggies, and meatballs.  I like being able to remove what I need for a recipe without wasting the extra.


To use:  You do not need to thaw rhubarb before using.  If making muffins, etc., I simply stir the amount of frozen rhubarb needed into the batter and bake (as you would with frozen blue berries).


One way to use up that yummy frozen rhubarb:

Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie

makes 2 servings


1 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 cup frozen rhubarb

1/2 cup frozen banana pieces (I freeze banana in 1 chunk pieces)

1 cup dairy free yogurt (I use coconut yogurt)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

4 tablespoons maple syrup or brown sugar, or to taste 


place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until very smooth.

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

Slow cooker hot chocolate.  Mmmmm….  Made with real chocolate, just what we need to start the year of right!!   


Head over to Sandra’s for Slow Cooking Thursday and see what is in everyone else’s crock!

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

serves 8 (unless you are married to my husband!!  He loves his chocolate!)


6 – 9 oz. good quality GFCF dark or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (depends on how rich you like your hot chocolate)

6 cups almond milk

1 (14.5 ounce) can coconut milk

4 tablespoons sugar or cane juice crystals

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


Stir together all ingredients in slow cooker.  Put on cover and turn on to low .  Cook until chocolate is melted and almond milk is hot, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Whisk until  well combined, then serve.

Horchata de Almendra


Totally tasty!  For other yummy Spanish recipes check this page, which is where we found this recipe.  We made this with raw almonds, soaking them overnight before starting the recipe.  Oh, and we used MUCH less sugar.  We just used enough for our taste.  Agave also has worked well because it dissolves in cold liquid (again, to taste).  Mmmmm… creamy.  



Horchata de Almendra (Almond Horchata)
Recipe submitted by Dean Derhak

Real Horchata from Valencia is made with Chufa (Tiger Nut). Unfortuantely, Chufa is not available (that I know of) in America.

A suitable substitute for the Chufas are Almonds, which give the Horchata the same texture and similiar taste. Horchata is not a dairy product and contains little fat, so it is often refered to as “the drink of the gods” for it’s rich but lowfat flavor.


1/2 kilo (1 pound) Almonds
1/2 kilo (1 pound) Sugar
1 Lemon
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Pinch of Salt
2.5 liters Water (warm)

  • The first step is to remove the skins from the almonds. The best way to do this is to simply buy them already skinless. If none are available, you will have to boil the skins off. Put the almonds in a pot of boiling water and let sit until the skins become very soft. With time, the skins will dissolve or slide off easily when stirred. Boiling the almonds is a pain. It is much easier to just buy them without skins.
  • Crush or otherwise pulverise the almonds into a coarse powder. If you boiled your almonds to get the skins off, then smash them (or put them in a strong blender while adding some water) into a mush.
  • In a large bowl/container add the 2.5 liters of water with a pinch of salt. Slice and add the lemon.
  • Now mix in the almond powder (or mush). Cover the container and let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
  • When the two hours are up, add the sugar and cinnamon stick. Stir until sugar is completely dissovled.
  • Strain the liquid with a fine cloth. This removes all of the larger particles of almond. Strain until texture is smooth (twice should do it).
  • Enjoy!

Keep the drink in your fridge and it will stay good for at least five days.

For a truly divine experience, put some in your freezer until it is an icey slush!

I’ve tried this recipe myself, with delicious results!

Menu Plan Monday

This week I am going super easy on the meals as I have some sort of middle ear issue that is making my balance all wonky.  Yeah, that’s a medical term.  So, any way, easy-peasy for me or for whoever I rope into cooking!  


Head over to Menu Plan Monday to see what is on everyone else’s plate.  For the Gluten Free Menu Swap, see Gluten Free Mommy, who is hosting this week.  The theme ingredient is mint.  See my mint recipe after the menu plan.  













Monday:  for the big girl:  dental x-rays and orthodontist apt/For the boy:  youth group Bible study

         Shrimp Spring Roll Salad (I will post tomorrow if it works out…)


Tuesday: Mini girl’s last soccer (parent/child game)/preschool play date/National Night Out Picnic

Gluten free hot dogs for us, fruit salad to share


Wednesday: ENT appointment for my wonky ear/ mini girl goes to a b-day party

            Broccoli and Rice with CrockPot Ginger Beef with Onions and Garlic from Crock Pot 365 (Check her out.  She totally ROCKS my crock pot world!).  It sounds yummy and I am hoping the garlic helps cure me.  It’s gotta help.  Right?  Right??!!???


Thursday:   Big boy’s yearly doctor check up (time for back to school)/Girl Scouts marching in parade

            Veggie Tomato Sauce in the Slow Cooker (to freeze or pressure can) with GF noodles (to be posted Thursday for Slow Cooking Thursday)


Friday – Weekend:  may go to a cabin, but we will see how my ear goes…

            Menu still up in the air as I haven’t heard what it is yet.  I will be sending emails out today…


I have two big old patches of mint by my entry way.  One is chocolate mint and the other peppermint.  Both yummy.  This is one way I use it in the summer.  Those fruit and green tea drinks at the store are yummy, but usually corn syrup laden and spendy.  So, this is what you can do instead.  I put it in the fridge in my glass gallon-sized container with a spout on the front (one of those sun tea containers).  Yummy!  


Ginger Pear Mint Iced Tea

I use about these amounts to make other combos too:  peach-cardamon, apple-mint, apple-cinnamon, berry-basil.  Gotta stay hydrated, baby!


12 bags of green tea

2 to 3 inch piece of ginger, cut into matchsticks
1 pear, cut into matchsticks
8 sprigs mint
8 cups boiling hot water

6 cups ice in gallon container 


2 cups pear or white grape juice
Honey, to taste, optional


Combine tea bags, ginger, pear and mint in a large non-reactive container. Fill with  the boiling hot water and steep for 5 minutes. Pour and strain into ice-filled container. Add pear juice and honey as desired. 


Yield – one gallon

Snack article from the Mom’s Spiritual Spa newsletter

Hi!  I have moved.  You can find this post at  🙂

coconut water kefir

Hi!  I have moved.  You can find this post at  🙂

Chai Tea…it’s absolutely FABULOUS, darling!

Hi!  I have moved.  You can find this post at  🙂