I'm a working mom with 9 years experience raising a celiac kid. I have to eat dairy and gluten free, but my daughter only has to eat GF. I'm by no means an expert, but I'm happy to share a few of my cooking tips, school lunchbox ideas, and recipes with you. I'll be posting something new once a month.

If you're curious about me, visit my other sites (shown at the bottom of this page), where I have contact forms and About-the-Author pages.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Summer Cucumber Water: a Refreshing Drink for All

Last summer we went to my brother's house for the 4th of July. It was an especially warm summer, and his window-box air conditioner had a tough time keeping us cool.

So my brother's wife made a big jar of cucumber water to keep all of us hydrated. It was very refreshing!

Get one of those clear jars with a spigot on the bottom, like people use for iced tea or lemonade. Fill it with ice water and sliced cucumbers. Allow the cucumbers to steep in the water for at least an hour before serving.

It's as simple as that!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Gluten-free French Dip Sandwiches

It's possible to make your own French bread for French dip sandwiches, and I know that Gluten-Free Pantry has a pretty good French bread mix. I'm told Gluten-Free Goddess' recipe is tasty too. It uses one of the Pamela's bread mixes, which are a favorite of mine.

But whenever we have French dip sandwiches, we like to buy Udi's Gluten-free Baguettes. They're a little spendy, but they make the best French dip sandwiches, in my opinion. They're sort of like those almost-cooked baguettes you can buy at the grocery store; all you have to do is stick 'em in the oven for a couple minutes and they're nicely browned.

I usually make French dip after baking a beef pot roast at home the night before. Slice the leftover pot roast as thin as possible. Fill a sauce pan 1/2 full with Swanson's gluten-free beef broth (read labels to make sure it's GF) and bring the broth to a boil. Add the sliced beef to the broth. Return it to a boil, but then reduce the heat and simmer it a couple of minutes with a lid on it.

When you set your table, give each person a little au jus bowl. Ladle out the broth into the au jus bowls and remove meat with tongs.

Cut baguettes length-wise, like hot dog buns. Place sliced meat inside. Individuals can then dip their hot sandwich in the au jus before eating.

Some additions that can make a French dip taste extra yummy:

  • Saute onions
  • Swiss cheese
  • Mustard
  • French fries

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Gluten-Free California Roll Recipes (Safe for School Lunches)

The tricky thing about sushi is this: how safe can it be, when you send it to school with your kiddo? I mean, you never know what a kid might do: forget to put the cold pack in her lunch, take stuff out for a quick snack during recess, etc... So can you really trust your kid with raw fish? Probably not.

So I make my California rolls with canned tuna. It's not a perfect alternative, but it's safer than raw fish. Here's the recipe:


  • Nori (flat seaweed sheets)
  • sticky rice
  • your child's favorite veggies (carrots, cabbage, zucchini), finely diced
  • ginger, very finely diced
  • scrambled egg leftovers
  • Tamari sauce
  • canned tuna, drained
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum


  1. Have all your ingredients close by, because once the sticky rice is on the Nori sheet, it softens the Nori sheet. The longer it takes you to make this, the softer the sheet gets. And when the Nori is really soft, it tears. So you want to work quickly.
  2. Mix xanthan gum and water in a small dish and set aside.
  3. If you have a bamboo mat, lay your Nori out on that, shiny-side down. If you don't have a bamboo mat, wax paper can work as a substitute.
  4. Plop two heaping tablespoons full of sticky rice onto your Nori sheet. Spread the rice very thin, using the back of the tablespoon (a lot like spreading pizza sauce onto a pizza crust). You may need more rice than that. Keep adding rice until you have enough to cover the entire Nori sheet in a thin, 1/4 inch layer of rice.
  5. One half inch from the edge of the Nori, spread veggies, egg, and tuna in a long strip. On the opposite edge of the Nori, brush the edge with the xanthan gum/water mixture.
  6. Roll strip tightly (like rolling up a sleeping bag), starting at the veggie edge and working your way to the xanthan gum edge. Place the roll in the fridge for at least an hour. (You want the sticky xanthan gum/water mixture to solidify, so that may take longer if your fridge has a higher humidity.)
  7. With a very sharp knife, slice the roll into 1-inch cakes. Sprinkle tops of cakes with Tamari sauce.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Tips and Tricks for the BEST GF St. Patrick's Day Corned Beef and Cabbage

Okay, so I cheat. I have no idea how to make corned beef from scratch. I just go to the grocery store and buy the pre-packaged corned beef (reading labels to make sure it's gluten-free), and I plop it in the slow-cooker for our GF St. Patrick's Day tradition.

However I have learned a few tips and tricks over the years to  make it turn out yummy:

  • My grandmother told me that when you remove the corned beef from the package, you need to squeeze all the juice out of it. That juicy stuff is what makes it tender and tasty.
  • Cook your cabbage in one inch of boiling water for four minutes, no more. That way the cabbage is al dente. If it's a really large head of cabbage, I cook it for five minutes.
  • Pre-slice the cabbage before serving. That way, people who like their cabbage soft can get the outer leaves; people who like their cabbage stiffer can take the inner leaves.
  • Minute rice is fine, but don't use flavored rices with your corned beef and cabbage. Just cook plain old white rice. The corned beef provides all the flavor your need.
  • Potatoes go well with corned beef also, but if you substitute the rice for a potato dish, keep it simple. Boiled potatoes with butter and parsley is all you need. No gravy is necessary.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

How to Make Your Own Gluten-Free Spaghetti Sauce

When my daughter, Annie, was first diagnosed with celiac disease, I had to learn how to make everything from scratch. My mother had always used pre-made, store-bought spaghetti sauce. And in those early days, I had no idea that Ragu offered gluten-free sauces. I went through a time where I was afraid to feed Annie anything at all, if I didn't make it myself.

Of course I don't mind opening a jar of Ragu these days, but quite honestly, I now prefer my own, home-made spaghetti sauce to anything pre-packaged.

So here's the recipe I use:


2 lbs. hamburger
2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
fresh parsley
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 cup diced onions
1/4 cup diced peppers
4 med. white mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper (to taste)


Brown hamburger in a frying pan and drain the excess fat. Add onions and mushrooms. Fry for an additional minute. Add tomato sauce, parsley, chili powder, and onion powder. Mince or crush garlic cloves and add this as well. (For some people, 4 cloves might be too strong, but my family likes a lot of garlic.) Simmer. At the last minute, add peppers and simmer for 30 seconds until peppers are al dente.

To make spaghetti, of course, you just cook noodles according to package directions and pour this sauce over your cooked noodles. Our favorite brand of GF spaghetti noodles is Tinkyada, because this brand cooks up al dente.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Gluten-free Breakfast on the Go!

The Domestic Geek made this wonderful video, showing us all how to make spinach and tomato frittatas, potato roasties, and almond breakfast bites. Each of these is made in a muffin tin, so they're handy to take with you in the morning. Thanks for this great video, Domestic Geek!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Nutella Hot Chocolate

Yep! Nutella is gluten-free! I wish this recipe was dairy-free too, but it's not. 

2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Nutella
1/4 cup GF chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. GF vanilla extract
dash of salt


In a medium sauce pan, on medium heat, add milk, cream, Nutella and chocolate chips. Mix continuously with a whisk until smooth. Turn stove to low and add vanilla and salt, mixing nonstop.

Do not boil milk products. It’s ready to serve when hot.