My menu plan is now sponsored by the great people over at Better Batter Flour.  Stop by and say “Hi!” and check out all the fun.   For more menu planning inspiration at Better Batter Flour, check out the gluten free vegetarian menu from Cindy of  Vegetarian Mamma, the weekly menu from Kristi of Mommy Hates Cooking, and the informative gluten free articles from Gigi of Gluten Free Gigi.  Thank you Better Batter Flour!  All of our sponsored menus will now be published at Start Gluten Free, an online resource made to welcome people into the gluten free living community and help them not feel overwhelmed by new dietary restrictions.  I am honored to be a small part of this vibrant community!  

How was your weekend?  Mine was fan-tab-u-lous!  The kiddos had another Friday off (what is with all the weird days off, anyway) so that meant another three day weekend at our house.  On Friday morning my oldest went up north with the high school orchestra for a weekend retreat.  A trip like that usually requires extensive planning and my daughter hauling along a cooler with her sleeping bag and pack, but this year we got to skip that.  All she needed to bring was some dessert items.  The kitchen where they stayed were set up for gluten free and dairy free options.  So amazing!  It was very strange to be able to send her off with just a few cookies and a bag of gluten free pretzels to share with the other gluten free kids in the group.  Really, really strange.  I was a bit worried (as you can imagine) but she came back safe and sound, having eaten well and having had a great time.

Other exciting news from the weekend?  Our chicken, Gonzo, started laying eggs!  They are a lovely blue color.  That means three of our chickens are now officially hens.  Only four more to go!  In case you are wondering about my count, it turns our that Margo is not laying yet despite all her clucking and egg song declarations.  She clucks like you would not believe when the other hens are laying and make a general fuss.  I wonder if she will stop being so excitable when she starts laying eggs herself, or if we just have to accept that she is our chatty gossip in the hen house.  🙂


I got a little “just for mommy” time on Sunday when I was whisked off to the Mall of America to catch the Pioneer Woman’s book signing by friends of mine.  I had the best time chatting it up, getting a fancy coffee and just hanging out with two lovely ladies having grown up time.  Thanks, ladies!

This week, Heather of Celiac Family is hosting the Gluten Free Menu Swap.  This week she has picked Thanksgiving Desserts for the theme.  It’s the best part of Thanksgiving, am I right?  Sometimes I don’t think it’s about the Thanksgiving meal itself for me, it is more about the ability to have pie for breakfast on Friday morning!  Thanksgiving dessert in my family means pie.  Pumpkin Pie is a staple (of course), but the pumpkin pie that we most often make is Impossible Pumpkin Pie.  My oldest daughter has been making it every year since she was nine years old.  Let me tell you, not only is it delicious, but it is EASY.  Basically, you simply blend all the ingredients in a blender, then bake in a greased pie pan.   Can’t get easier than that!  Another pie that make the Thanksgiving cut is my Freezer Apple Pie.  Mmmmm…  I can’t wait for “Pie For Breakfast Day!”  Do you have any quirky ways to eat up your Thanksgiving leftovers?   Or is it just me?  🙂

Do you realize it is only 2 1/2 weeks until Thanksgiving?  Where did the year go?  Yikes!  But it is okay, we don’t have to panic.  Starting on Wednesday at Angela’s Kitchen, I will have a handy Thanksgiving guide (link will be live on Wednesday).  I, for one, do not like to feel all harried and crazy on a holiday.  I like to be able to relax and enjoy my family.  That is where my guide comes in.  It contains the recipes and steps I use for a delicious gluten free dairy free Thanksgiving, with a check list, time table, and a grocery list.  I hope it helps make your holiday a relaxing and delicious one!

Freezer cooking this week:  I’ll be starting my Thanksgiving pre-prep this week on Wednesday.   I will also be making double batches of Pineapple Garlic Pork Chops and Orange Marmalade Chicken during the week, freezing the second meal for another day.   This Saturday I will also be starting my annual bake-a-thon for Thanksgiving and Christmas by baking up a double batch of Ginger Snaps.  I’ll be packaging 1/4 of the cookies for Thanksgiving, a 1/4 for Christmas and (after putting a few in the cookie jar) the rest will be stored in the freezer for gift giving.  Cookies freeze really well, up to three months if packaged properly, so I like to take care of them ahead of time.

On to the menu plan! 

The week’s breakfast options:  Pumpkin GranolaChocolate Zucchini Bread and eggs (with sautéed spinach added roasted red peppers added), and various fruits.

The week’s lunch options:  Nut or sunbutter or chicken salad sandwiches on Amish Friendship Bread, hard boiled eggs, and various fruits and veggie sticks.

Monday:  Orchestra (elementary)/mom works/mom volunteers in school library/XC ski captain’s practice/dance lessons/high school orchestra ensemble at local bookstore/Boy Scout meeting

Silver Dollar Pear PancakesHomemade Turkey Sausage with fruit salad


Tuesday:   Jazz band/piano lessons

Ground Turkey & Veggie Tortilla Casserole (from the freezer) with a romaine salad topped with cherry tomato, roasted peppers and Dairy Free Ranch Dressing


Wednesday:  Orchestra (high school)/mom works/youth group

Pineapple Garlic Pork Chops, Apple Cranberry Squash, steamed green beans and gluten free biscuits

For the freezer:  Make a second batch of Pineapple Garlic Pork Chops for the freezer. While mixing the marinade for dinner, prep a freezer bag with ingredients for another meal.  Remove as much air as possible, seal, label and freeze.

Thursday:  Jazz band

Orange Marmalade Chicken and a mixed greens salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

For the freezer:  Make a second batch of Orange Marmalade Chicken for the freezer. While mixing the marinade for dinner, prep a freezer bag with ingredients for another meal.  Remove as much air as possible, seal, label and freeze.


Ultimate Beef Stroganoff, a spinach salad topped with pecans, pears and Basic Viniagrette.  For dessert, Monkey Bread!



Need more menu planning inspiration?  Head over  for Menu Plan Monday at Organized Junkie.  For an awesome month long gluten free money saving menu, see Melissa’s November GF menu plan at Stockpiling Moms.