After we were finished visiting the Hunley, we spent the rest of the evening at the beach house. The kids were wanting to play on the beach and get into the water so they had time to do that.
This recipe is from my early marriage. It’s quick and easy to whip up and requires ingredients from your pantry.
It’s a very forgiving recipe so you can use whatever ingredients in your pantry.
Today I’m going to share some of my favorite foods that I’ve been liking lately.
Fresh Thyme Grocery Store
Fresh Thyme brand creamy ranch dressing – It’s a little more expensive than Hidden Valley Ranch but so worth it. I can dip chips in the dip because it is that thick.
While we were in Geneva, New York, the volunteer/ worker at the tourist information suggested Seneca Falls. It was about 20 minutes east of where we were at that moment. Molly had never been there before so we decided to take her advice.
She actually gave us two pieces of great advice. Seneca Falls and Char Burrito Bar.
Yes, you read that right. Honeynut squash is a butternut squash’s little brother/ sister. It’s delicious and depending on how you top it, it can be also eaten if you are following the Paleo or Whole 30 diet.
So where did I find this beauty? When I was at Trader Joe’s, they had the honeynut squash for 99 cents so Mom and I decided to each buy some because we were intrigued.
This is the second part of my series about tips for non park Disney trip. I’m not planning to write anymore unless, it is highly requested for other ideas.
When you get to the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC), you have 3 options. Take a monorail to EPCOT, take a monorail to the Magic Kingdom and monorail resorts, or take a ferry to the Magic Kingdom.
If you decide to take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom and monorail resorts, make sure you are getting on the right monorail. There will be plenty of signs.
The first stop on the monorail after the TTC is the Polynesian. Here are my tips about the Polynesian.
- Go down to the check in area. Ask for a lei. They will give you a lei.
- Head to Captain Cook’s, the quick service restaurant on the first floor of the Polynesian. If it breakfast time, Hubby’s suggestion is that you get Tonga Toast. My suggestion for lunch / dinner time is the Hawaiian flatbread. Yum!
After you order, they’ll give you a pager type thing. One of the quick service hostesses will bring your food to you so head outside to eat your treat.
- Head to the Pineapple Lanai for Dole Whip. The Dole Whip float is delicious!
- Check out the decor of the resort.
- Take a walk on the beach. Swing on the swings on the beach.
- The Grand Floridian
There are 3 ways to get to the Grand Floridian from the Polynesian.
- Walk on the beach – There is a pathway. I highly suggest this way because you will walk past the Wedding Pavilion.
- Take a ferry.
- Ride on the monorail.
- Enjoy the decor. There is so much to see while you are in the Grand Floridian.
- Head over to the Disney Vacation Club building to see the Mary Poppins fountain. Ask a cast member to direct you to the DVC building. It’s a must see.
- Listen to the Big Band. There music is fantastic.
- If it is Christmas time, the gingerbread house is a must see.
- Go outside the front doors. If Richard the door greeter is there, take a photo with him. He is a legend at the Grand Floridian.
- The Magic Kingdom Entrance area
There are 3 ways to get to the Magic Kingdom Entrance area.
- Follow the path – We did not do that.
- Take a ferry.
- Ride on the monorail.
- You cannot get past security, etc. . . unless you have a ticket so there is not much to do there. You can try to get a photo of the entrance area. If it decorated for Christmas, take photos of the tree.
- The Contemporary
You can either walk to the Contemporary or ride the monorail to the Contemporary. My suggestion is walk because you will get to see Space Mountain as you are walking to the Contemporary. It’s totally different walking up to the Contemporary instead of riding the monorail.
- Once you get there, there is a coffee stand on the first floor. The smoothies they sell there are delicious!
- Head to the fourth floor. Chef Mickey’s is there and other shopping. Head to the balcony. You will be under the monorail. It is cool to stand there while the monorail is going over your head.
- While you are at the balcony, cross the bridge to Bay Tower. You will get a wonderful view of Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon. So totally worth it.
- Go up to the highest non Disney Vacation Club floor. Look down onto the fourth floor and the fifth floor where the monorail station is. So neat.
- Head back to the first floor. Go outside to find the Mickey Statue. It is a perfect photo opportunity.
- Ticket and Transportation Center
Ride back to the Ticket and Transportation Center on the monorail.
Here are my blog posts from the monorail resorts:
Entrance to the Magic Kingdom and the Contemporary, Polynesian, Wedding Chapel and the Grand Floridian
Have a magical day,
We are still dredging through my archives to find recipes that are gluten free. These lists help me when I’m menu planning plus remind me of what recipes I have on my blog. When you have 900 plus blog posts on your blog, it’s a lot to remember what you have on the blog.
Maybe I should go back and label those blog posts as gluten free.
- Skinner Shamrock Shake – There is a secret ingredient in this recipe that makes it skinnier. What is it? I’m not telling. You just need to check out the recipe to find out.
- Homemade “Shamrock” Shake – When March comes around, this is the most requested treat.
- St. Patty’s Smoothie – Obviously these first 3 recipes are from March time. This is not only Gluten Free, it also dairy free.
- Ham and Black Bean Soup – It’s beginning to look like soup season so this would be a great recipe to warm up to on a cold winter day. It’s also dairy free.
- Key Lime Smoothie – This recipe can be easily adapted to be gluten free if you leave off the graham crackers or use gluten free graham crackers instead. It’s also dairy free and nut free.
- Root Beer Barbecue Sauce – This tangy barbecue sauce is both gluten free and dairy free.
- Apple Jack Smoothie – This recipe is not only gluten free, it is also dairy free and Paleo.
- Sausage and Sauerkraut – This is a slow cooker recipe. Not only is it gluten free, it is also dairy free.
- BBQ Chicken Sandwiches – Use a gluten free bun or bread for the sandwiches. This recipe is gluten free and dairy free.
- Beenie Weenies – Here is another slow cooker recipe. This is a gluten free and dairy free recipe.
My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law are heading to Disney soon to watch my niece and nephew march in EPCOT. They are spending one day visiting resorts/ Disney Springs so I offered to give them some tips.
Disney Springs Hints:
My favorite part of Disney Springs is the Marketplace because it’s the original area that was there when I did my College Program in 1995. I spent a lot of time there during my limited free time. It helped that I was just down the road from the Marketplace.
So a lot of these hints involve the Marketplace area.
Before I begin, here are links to my blog posts about our visit to Disney Springs.
- Take a ferry to Port Orleans. You pick up the ferry in the Marketplace area of Disney Springs. As you are traveling to Port Orleans, you will feel as though you are in a Bayou. We only visited the French Quarter which is the first stop.
- While you are there, be in awe of the decor. They really themed this resort as though you are in New Orleans.
- Visit the food court. Get some beignets. Sit outside on the patio and enjoy these delicious pastries.
- See if the door greeter is there. If so, get a photo with him. I did that with the Wee One.
- Go to Goofy’s Candy Kitchen. If they have the free sample of the slushie, enjoy it. (They still did that last November.) The design your own Mickey Rice Krispie treat is worth the 5 or so dollars. Dipped in chocolate, covered with M & M’s, and then drizzled with white chocolate is how the Imaginative One loves it.
The sour cherry candies are the bomb.
- Head over to the Ghirardelli store. They might be still giving out free samples of chocolate. If not, enjoy the smells of chocolate. Yum!
- Basin is another favorite place. Wash your hands with the free samples. You’ll walk out with softer hands.
- Eat lunch/ dinner at Earl of Sandwich. Order the All American Sandwich. It’s like a Thanksgiving Dinner on a bun. Yum!
None of their sandwiches are gluten free but the salads they do offer look like the bomb!
- The Christmas Tree Shoppe has always been a favorite of mine. It’s a must see if you love Christmas.
- The World of Disney is the largest Disney store. You can find a little bit of everything in that store. Watch out the Stitch might spit at you.
Oh and there is a Starbucks close by the World of Disney. Get your caffeine on.
- I love the Lego Store. The characters they have created out of Legos offer great photo opportunities. I especially love the dragon in the lagoon.
- Behind the Lego Store is the Poutine booth. If you love fries, cheese curds, and gravy, this is a must try.
- Another great place for photo opportunities is just outside the T-Rex restaurant. We enjoyed doing that.
- We have never eaten at the Boathouse. However there is sometimes concerts there and the amphicars are cool. What are those? They are cars that drive on water. The Wee One thought they were neat.
- Sprinkles – There is a cupcake ATM there. So cool. It’s another must try. Get a cupcake to share because they are not cheap.
- Blaze Pizza – I’ve heard good things about Blaze Pizza. We’ve not eaten there though.
- We enjoyed the character balloon. It’s still there but the characters have been taken off the balloon. It was worth seeing the views of Disney. There is another Starbucks close by.
Join me Monday for tips about visiting the resorts on the monorail.
Have a magical day,
We are back after my 31 Days of Eating Gluten Free.
On Friday of my trip, Molly and I were going to visit a few of the finger lakes before going to get her allergy shot. Our plans were changed once we visited Seneca Lake. Next week, you’ll find out where we went after visiting Geneva, NY. It was somewhere she had never visited.
I hope you enjoyed the 31 days of eating gluten free. I made it to the finish line but our time is not over. I’ll continue to share gluten free recipes, favorites, and issues in future posts.
However it is now time to return to my regular blog. (Insert pouty face.)
Tomorrow I will be continuing with my photos from my trip to Rochester, New York. On Saturday, I may or may not be continuing with my photos from my trip to Charleston, South Carolina. I had a hiccup in the road with the collages I created for those blog posts.
Before I go, let me tell you about the struggles I have encountered with eating gluten free this weekend.
Hubby and I went to the zoo this weekend. There was nothing on the menu that was gluten free. The fries were going to be contaminated with breading from the chicken tenders. However I decided to get the salad with chicken on it. Whatever was on the chicken had gluten in it, so I ended up with a slight headache afterwards. Yuck!
Then on Sunday, I went to Red Robin so I could have a hamburger on a gluten free bun. The Southern Charm is so delicious. It took us almost 40 minutes for me to get the burger and allergen free fries. I understand they were busy but that was ridiculous.
Yesterday I ate some seasoned fries. Headache again. This time it was my fault. I should have avoided them but I just couldn’t. Lesson learned.
So I am not perfect eating gluten free. I’m trying to be but it’s not always easy.
Until next time. . .
Have a magical day,
Since tomorrow is Halloween, it’s time to start thinking about our Thanksgiving dinner menu. This year is going to be a little bit different because I eat gluten free.
Here is what is on the menu for our Thanksgiving dinner. Okay this is maybe what is on our menu for Thanksgiving. I’m having difficulty finding the gluten free fried onions at Aldi. I’ve seen them else where so I may pick them up at a different grocery store.
- Turkey breast – Aldi has already marinaded turkey breasts for a reasonable price. We taste tested one of them last night. It was delicious! Easy peasy is the name of the game.
- Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Mashed Potatoes and Gluten Free Gravy
- Gluten Free Cheddar Bay Biscuits (Aldi Brand)
- Young’s Dairy Pumpkin Muffins
- Gluten Free Cornbread Stuffing or Aldi’s gluten free turkey stuffing
- Salad with cranberry dressing
- Cranberry Relish
- Grandma’s White Salad
- Pumpkin Sheet Cake – Gluten Free
- Relish/ Vegetable Tray
Here is another Thanksgiving menu from two years ago.
Can you believe we have 2 more posts after this one? On Tuesday I will have successfully completed this Write 31.
I have over 900 posts on this blog so I have been slowing going through the posts to find recipes that are gluten free. I have so many more to share with you so I think I’m going to continue to share gluten free recipes on my blog on Sunday until I have shared all of them.
Here is today’s installment of gluten free recipes on my blog.
#1 Apple Crisp Granola – YUM!
These are made with black beans instead of flour. I made them for a relative of ours that is vegan. It was my Christmas present to them that year.
Such a simple side dish
One of the only ways that Hubby will eat this vegetable. He likes the fact that there is a lot of garlic in the dish.
Enjoy this one with some gluten free crackers or inside mini bell peppers.
#7 Breaded Pork Chops – Use gluten free flour instead of all purpose flour.
One of the boys favorite side dishes. They get so excited when they see me pull them out of the oven.
Join me next Sunday when I’ll share 10 more gluten free recipes on my blog.
When I was growing up, I used to love a place called Landes Meats. It’s a butcher/ bakery/ deli that has been a staple of my hometown since 1946.
They have such wonderful salads that I enjoy. One of which is the Italian Pasta Salad. I decided to create a Gluten Free version of the recipe. I changed up the cheese to Feta because I enjoy the saltiness of Feta.
– 1 package of gluten free rotini pasta – 3 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved – ½ c. crumbled Feta cheese – ½ lb. pepperoni, halved – 1 bell pepper, diced – 1 can of black olives, drained and halved – 1 (8 oz.) bottle of Italian dressing
Gluten Free Italian Pasta Salad
– 1 package of gluten free rotini pasta
– 3 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
– ½ c. crumbled Feta cheese
– ½ lb. pepperoni, halved
– 1 bell pepper, diced
– 1 can of black olives, drained and halved
– 1 (8 oz.) bottle of Italian dressing
Last week, I mentioned that I have xanthan gum in my gluten free pantry. I use the xanthan gum to make this bread.
It is soft and delicious.
– 1 & ½ c. water or milk – 3 to 4 Tbsp. honey or sugar (I use honey.) – 2 ½ tsp. Dry active yeast – 3 c. gluten free flour mix – 1 & ½ tsp. Xanthan gum – 4 tsp. Baking powder – 1 tsp. Salt – optional: Mix in your desired sweet or savory flavors (cinnamon or garlic powder) – 2 tsp. Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice – ¼ c. olive oil – 2 lrg eggs
Soft Gluten Free Bread
– 1 & ½ c. water or milk
– 3 to 4 Tbsp. honey or sugar (I use honey.)
– 2 ½ tsp. Dry active yeast
– 3 c. gluten free flour mix
– 1 & ½ tsp. Xanthan gum
– 4 tsp. Baking powder
– 1 tsp. Salt
– optional: Mix in your desired sweet or savory flavors (cinnamon or garlic powder)
– 2 tsp. Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
– ¼ c. olive oil
– 2 lrg eggs
Here are five more tips for going gluten free.
6. Read labels
This is an important one. I am not so diligent on this tip. You need to read the label because there is often hidden gluten in recipes. It’s more than just looking for wheat.
Here is a link for hidden gluten sources.
7. Find a buddy who has gone gluten free
This is not always an easy one. I was lucky that I knew someone at my work who was eating gluten free. I was able to talk to her during the early days of going gluten free. She gave me some tips and brands of foods to try. There are times when we talk about different brands or foods that we have found that are delicious. It helps to have someone to talk or complain to while you are making the transition.
I have another person who was told by her doctor that she needs to go gluten free. She knows she can talk to me about what to eat or not eat.
8. Preplanning is key
I traveled a LOT during the summer which can be difficult when you eat gluten free. What do you eat in the airport or on car rides? When I went to visit my friend Molly, I had lots of foods that were gluten free to eat in the airport during my layover. In fact, I had to remove all of the foods from my traveling bag before going through security. There was a LOT of food stuffed in my bag.
While we were taking a road trip, I had plenty of food in my trunk in case we couldn’t find anywhere gluten free friendly.
It’s also key to look at menus before going out because a lot of places are not gluten free friendly. I know I CANNOT eat at KFC or Taco Bell. They are not gluten free friendly at all. I’ve tried to eat at KFC about a month ago. It made me sick. Check out menus and nutrition guides before going out.
9. Find ways to make substitutions of foods that contain gluten
This is not always going to be possible. However there are times when I want the flavors of the foods I used to enjoy. Find other ways to enjoy those flavors.
10. Allow yourself to grieve
It’s hard to no longer to be able to eat gluten. It’s a change of a lifestyle. It’s going to be hard to adjust to not being able to eat foods that you love. Allow yourself some time to grieve. It’s okay. Just remember you are doing this for your health.
Good luck with your journey.
When I went gluten free in late January, early February, it was a HUGE adjustment for me.
First of all my pantry was not gluten free friendly at ALL. I had to rebuild my pantry from scratch.
Second of all, my body had to detox from all the gluten I had in my system.
Third of all, I had not done my research when I made that decision. I went cold turkey so the adjustment was difficult for me.
Speaking of which here are the tips for going gluten free:
1. Do your research
There are different ways to eat gluten free. You can avoid foods that contain gluten or eat Paleo which is primarily gluten free. Maybe the Whole 30 may be the way you should go. Or you might want start eating whole foods and eliminate any convenience gluten free goodies.
There are many different books that will help you with your research. Plus there are plenty of websites.
Read up on what foods you should avoid when you are eating gluten free. It’s not just wheat that you should avoid.
2. Keep a food diary
Here is the food diary I kept of the first 3 days on my gluten free diet:
Breakfast: Smoothie – OJ, Greek yogurt, spinach, frozen fruit, coffee
Lunch: 1/2 c. oatmeal, walnuts, local honey, apple pie spice, freeze dried strawberries, unsweetened applesauce, water
Dinner: McDonald’s bacon ranch salad minus chicken, ranch dressing, small French fries, Sprite
Snack: blood orange, Garden of Eatin’ blue tortilla chips, apple salsa
Breakfast: 2 Van’s Gluten free apple cinnamon waffles, Milky Way frappe, water
Lunch: cheesy rice and broccoli, blue chips, blood orange
Dinner: stir fry beef with mint, olives, Feta cheese and oranges, zucchini and radish salad with homemade dressing
Dessert: 2 sour gummy worms and a piece of chocolate
Breakfast: 2 Aldi gluten free bread, peanut butter, cheddar cheese stick, mixed fruit cup, coffee, water
Lunch: cheesy rice and broccoli, blue chips, apple salsa, yogurt with Gluten free granola and freeze dried strawberries, water
Snack: blood orange
Dinner: turkey burger made with green chilies, lettuce, peppers, salsa, homemade hash browns, shredded mozzarella cheese, Sonic cherry limeade
Dessert: piece of chocolate
Not only do you want to keep the food diary, you also need to write about how you are feeling after each meal. Do you have a headache? Does your stomach hurt? Are you satiated? Did you get hungry soon after eating?
3. Grocery Shop BEFORE beginning your gluten free adventure
Since I had been ill before I began my gluten free diet, I had not gone shopping for food prior to beginning my journey. So the first day of eating gluten free was willy nilly. As a result, I was HUNGRY during most of the day. I had a stomach ache most of the day. My body was detoxing from the gluten and I was not feeding it what it needed.
4. Comparison Shop for Gluten Free Goodies
I am lucky to have 6 different grocery shops that carry gluten free goodies within 10 miles of my house. Plus a 7th within 20 minutes of my house.
My mom has suggested I start a notebook of where I should get various gluten free goodies so I can get the best deal.
For example, I know I can get Krusteaz gluten free flour blend at Meijers for 50 cents cheaper than at Krogers. Or that the best deal for almond meal flour is at Sam’s Club.
5. Be flexible
What do I mean by that? Going gluten free is going to be difficult because it is not the Standard American Diet. A lot of foods have some sort of gluten in it. Allow yourself some breathing room while trying to figure out how this gluten free diet is going to work for you. I’m at a point where I cannot be flexible. If I eat anything with gluten, I’ll get a headache because I’ve detoxed off of gluten. My body does not like what gluten does to it.
However you should not be flexible if you have been diagnosed with Celiac’s disease. That is a serious disease that needs to be treated as thus.
Join me tomorrow when I give you some more tips on how to go gluten free.
I hadn’t eaten Mac and cheese in almost 9 months. I used to love it. Then I went gluten free. It took me awhile to be able to find a gluten free pasta that I liked.
Finally I found the Aldi’s G Free elbow macaroni. It’s made of quinoa, brown rice, white rice, and corn flour. I decided to try it out. The pasta was great!
I used my basic mac and cheese recipe. It involves making a roux of flour and butter to thicken the sauce.
The Wee one told me that it was too cheesy! LOL!
This quick and easy macaroni and cheese is going on my Thanksgiving table. Yum!
– ½ package of gluten free elbow macaroni – 2 Tbsp. butter – 2 Tbsp. gluten free flour blend – 2 c. milk – 1 c. shredded mild cheddar cheese – 1 Tbsp. mustard – salt to taste
Gluten Free Mac and Cheese
– ½ package of gluten free elbow macaroni
– 2 Tbsp. butter
– 2 Tbsp. gluten free flour blend
– 2 c. milk
– 1 c. shredded mild cheddar cheese
– 1 Tbsp. mustard
– salt to taste
Here are a few other macaroni and cheese recipes I’ve posted on this blog: Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese (Gluten Free), Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese, Creamy Mac and Cheese (Countdown to Thanksgiving), Healthier Mac and Cheese, and Make Over Macaroni and Cheese.
This weekend, I took the Wee One to the Second Street Market. They were having a free pumpkin decorating event. Since he is 12 years old, I decided to take him because it would probably be the last time he would be able to do the decorating. He did not want to go at first but then ended up having a blast creating Jeff, his pumpkin.
They had feathers, stickers, pom poms, rolling eyes, and pipe cleaners to use to decorate your pumpkin. You could use a nail to help poke holes in your pumpkin so you could add the feathers and pipe cleaners. Since the Wee One is older than most of the children, I allowed him to safely poke holes in his pumpkin. He had a blast doing that.
The final product – Jeff the pumpkin
There is one vendor we go to whenever we are at the Market. They have the best granola and jams. The Wee One enjoys picking out a jam or jelly while I get my favorite granola.
Another vendor at the market sells hand crafted Popsicle. The Wee One enjoys squeezing Wilbur the pig. He was not going to get a Popsicle at first but then changed his mind when he saw the cookies and cream one. I got the apple cider flavored one. It was fantastic.
Some of the other things we saw while we were at the market.
The Wee One had fun when we were at one of the veggie vendors had beets and turnips. He told the Wee One to turnip the beet. The Wee One responded by picking up some of the beets and gently dropping them. He told the vendor “Drop the beet” in which the vendor laughed. Such a good memory.
After we were done at the market, we ran some errands. While we were at Walmart, we saw this Mickey and Minnie display.
A co-worker gave me the big pumpkin on Friday afternoon. Check out the size difference between Jeff and the Big Pumpkin.
Continue to page 2 for our menu for this week.
Welcome to today’s installment of 10 more gluten free recipes from my blog.
- Sausage, Cream Cheese, and Rotel Dip (GF)
- Green Beans, Potatoes, and Ham (GF, DF)
- Bacon Cheddar Ranch Smashed Potatoes (GF) – Make sure the ranch is Gluten Free.
- Chunky Vegetable Sausage Pasta Sauce (GF, DF, W30, Paleo) – Use Gluten Free Pasta, Zoodles, or Spaghetti Squash instead of whole wheat pasta.
- Iced Coffee (GF,)
- Pumpkin Puree (GF, DF, Paleo, W30)
- Pumpkin Spice Latte (Recipe #1)
- Homemade Ranch (GF)
- Italian Chicken (GF, DF) – Use gluten free soy sauce or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
- Pumpkin Granola (GF, DF) – Use gluten free oats
We used to go to Aldi’s when I was younger but quit going when I was an adult. It was not until Tanya died did I start going there again.
Now I love that place. It’s probably my most favorite grocery store.
I love how Aldi’s has labeled foods as being gluten free. It makes it so much easier to shop.
Here are five of my favorite gluten free foods from Aldi’s:
I found these when we were on vacation in Charleston, SC. I got some hummus and decided I wanted to dip crackers in the hummus.
These are especially good with the olive tapenade hummus they have at Aldi. Yum!
Blue Tortilla Chips
We love our tortilla chips here at my house. The Wee One and I enjoy snacking on tortilla chips with either apple or pineapple salsa.
I would take these to school last year. My students were fascinated with the fact they looked like black chips. Once they tried them, they realized they tasted similar to regular yellow corn chips.
Caramel Apple Baked Chewy Bars
Yum! These are nice to have as back-up bars when you are running errands.
Gluten Free Pretzels
These are delicious.
They have two different nut mixes that I really enjoy. Both are just raw nuts and /or seeds. One has cashews, walnuts, and macadamia nuts. The other has almonds, pecans, and sunflower kernels. Both are delicious. Enjoy in moderation.