Sunday, June 12, 2011

Absolutely the best Cinnamon Rolls ever!

I'll be working on making these over to be allergy friendly but if you don't have allergies you'll have to give the original recipe a shot!

Mock Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

These are THE BEST cinnamon rolls! The recipe is from Todd Wilbur's MORE TOP SECRET RECIPES. Ooooey, goooey and rich! The dough can easily be prepared in your bread machine, just follow your manufacturer's order of ingredients. I put the ingredients in the night before to make my dough, and then refrigerate it over night and roll out and bake in the morning.

12 servings

1¼ hours 1 hour prep

1 (1/4

ounce) package dry yeast


cup warm milk


cup granulated sugar


cup margarine


teaspoon salt




cups flour



cup packed brown sugar

2 1/2

tablespoons cinnamon


cup margarine, softened



tablespoons margarine

1 1/2

cups powdered sugar


cup cream cheese


teaspoon vanilla


teaspoon salt

  1. For the rolls, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl.
  2. Add sugar, margarine salt, eggs, and flour, mix well.
  3. Knead the dough into a large ball, using your hands dusted lightly with flour.
  4. Put in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approx 21 inches long by 16 inches wide.
  6. It should be approx 1/4 thick.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  8. To make filling, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
  9. Spread the softened margarine over the surface of the dough, then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the surface.
  10. Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge.
  11. Cut the dough into 1 3/4 inch slices, and place in a lightly greased baking pan.
  12. Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown.
  13. While the rolls are baking combine the icing ingredients.
  14. Beat well with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  15. When the rolls are done, spread generously with icing.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June Allergy Friendly Meals

I found a cool new reciepe site when I was surfing through some PCOS blogs and I'm starting to fill up my June calendar with meal ideas.

Don't these look divine!
I love experimenting in the kitchen and luckily I've got a pretty good taste testing audience (at least they eat it whether they like it or not LOL). So some new additions to our regulars this month will be Bombay Sweet Potatoes and grilled chicken, Chicken in Tomato Peanut Sauce which is a crockpot meal and will go perfect with a light side salad,Grilled Shrimp over Bean Salad, Spicy Broccoli with Beef served over brown rice, Coq-au-vin-Nouveau, Black Pepper Beef with Green Beans.

Eric is not nearly the fan of Quinoa that I am so I'll probably whip up some of these either when he's not around or for lunches. I love quinoa and the protein punch it packs!

Shrimp Sausage and Quinoa Jambayla (Yum), Toasted Quinoa Salad with Scallops and Snow Peas and since Eric can't have corn this yummy dish is all mine Chilequiles Verde ... well as much as I can wrestle away from the kiddos anyway.

And no meal planning is complete without something sweet! I saw these and thought I would try the brownies at some point for Eric and the Mocha meringues will be a sweet addition to the first birthday party we have planned this month.

Gluten free chocolate peanut butter brownies
Double chocolate mocha meringues

Cheers and happy cooking!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Memorial Day! Gluten Free, Egg Free and Corn Free Style

What's on your menu? We've got a roasted pork loin, roasted sweet potatoes and sauteed kale on the menu. I started a produce delivery service last week and I am truly loving the push that it's giving me to get out of my comfort cooking zone. Now to find something yummy to make with purple basil! :)

Gotta run Tyrant Number 1 is ready to put on a puppet show and I need to make him a stage to do it from!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

April Meal Plans - Week 3 ...the clean eating continues

It has been a crazy week...hmmm those words are nowhere near strong enough to describe the insane chaos that has surrounded this week. Livi still has awful allergies which has thrown her schedule into the black hole of early mornings and she is currently boycotting naps. These are not fun times people, but they will pass. To ride out the storm some extra indepth planning was called for.

So I'm sitting here today to plot out the next week worth of meals and snacks for everyone so that at least one thing will run like clockwork in this house.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April Meal Plans - Week 2

This week is all about trying to use up what I've got and clean out the pantry and freezer.

Monday: Crockpot Port Tenderloin and Cinnamon Apples, served with quinoa
Tuesday: Grilled Chicken and Butternut Risotto with sauteed baby spinach
Wednesday: Crockpot meatballs, mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli
Thursday: Tosca's Tilapia, steamed brown rice and sauteed lima beans.
Friday: Clean Eating Broiled Round Steak, roasted potatoes and squash

In an ongoing effort to trick the testosterone infested members of my household into healthier eating there are a few random veggies that have snuck in here and there throughout these meals. I also want to take this week to start really going through the stuff in our pantry that seems to outlast the month. Some are random ingredients we just never seem to use and I'm not quite sure how they made our shopping list at one point but nevertheless I need the prime real estate they are taking up.

Off to grab some coupons and hit the store! Happy Sunday!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April Week 1 Meal Plans - Allergen friendly, PCOS friendly, Calorie friendly

Whoops I forgot to post last week's recipes. We did eat out one night so here's the rest. More to come later today for this week's meal plans. After last week's craziness it's going to be crockpot central around here!

April Week 1 Meal Plans (many from PCOS Diva's new blog)
One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf
Raspberry Balsamic Chicken
Cincinnati Spaghetti
Baked Potato Casserole (Recipe Below)

Baked Potato Casserole

It's super easy!
Slice 4-5 good size butter gold potatoes thick au-gratin style, drizzle with EVOO, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake at 425 for 30 mins.

Top with 1 lb of browned & cooked ground beef, sprinkle with a few pats of butter, top with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, cover with foil and bake for 20 mins.

Take out and serve topped with chopped green onions and sour cream. Delish but it took way to long for this busy momma! I'll be making it in the crock pot next time.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Social media as a customer service tool

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase Finally a lazy Sunday to catch up...well as lazy as a Sunday can be around here. Kids are up before dawn, husband is spending the three day weekend finishing up our landscaping, I'm playing online working on the dining room re-design and then there is the usual cooking, cleaning and never ending "will you play with me" questions that I hate saying no to. :)

I've been pretty MIA from cyber space lately. My sister in law is now a Mrs. and weekends are now no longer dedicated to wedding plans, Alex is officially not in preschool any longer (OMG how did my baby turn into a Kindergartener??) and Liv is walking...plenty to keep me busy. It's funny how attached we become to our information sources. I use Twitter to stay up on news and to interact with friends, and lately also as a venting outlet for crappy customer service issues.

I hate dealing with customer service numbers. It never works out well for me. I end up in a never ending loop of hold music and lack of answers. Boy does that make me mad...enough that I had pretty much given up on calling anymore. Instead I got mad and shot my mouth off on Twitter. I had a rough day, McDonalds screwed up my coffee, Target wouldn't let me enter a prescription online (well they would, just at the end of the process they kicked it out since the person it was for was 9 months old and needed an adult...seriously like my prodigy 9 month old was entering it herself), Lumber Liquidators wouldn't refund half my money for a product I had never picked up for some unknown reason, and Sam's Club had double charged me and messed my order up and I was stuck in an endless loop of them insisting both issues were fixed because they refunded the overcharge. Not my best day and perhaps I can be forgiven for getting a little testy and shouting off on Twitter.

Imagine my surprise when I almostly immediately got direct messages back from Sam's Club, McDonalds and Lumber Liquidators. Direct messages asking me why I was frustrated (kind of hard to explain in 140 characters but I did my best). Direct messages flew back and forth and ended with me giving them my phone number. Within minutes my phone rang and without a minute on hold I was speaking with an awesome customer service rep based here locally. To keep this post out of the novella range suffice it to say that the morning ended with all my refunds being processed (plus some! Rock on Sam's Club for offering a 200% money back guarentee on flowers LOVE THAT), and McDonalds sending me out a coupon for free coffee.

Who knew how powerful venting on Twitter could be and closely some stores watch their brand. Target was the only store to never respond at all and believe me, I'll call 3 out of 4 a win win!
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

March Allergy Friendly, PCOS Friendly Meal Plan - Week 1

Our meal plan for the week. Sort of.I've been following a few blogs focusing on meal planning for a while now and
I'm inspired to start tracking my meal plans and posting them in case they help someone else out as much my favorite sites have helped me. With our family's various persnickety issues meal planning is a must and fast, healthy, tasty food is a bit tricky. This week we're attempting some new recipes to spice things up. All of these recipes will be slightly altered where necessary to be gluten, corn, soy and egg free (except the friatta which will be for me :)) Happy Cooking!

Monday: Beef Daube Provencal in the Crockpot
Tuesday: Brown Rice Penne with Sausage, Chard and Artichoke Hearts
Wednesday: Spring Chicken and Buckwheat Soup in the Crockpot
Thursday: Poached Chicken with Tarragon and Peas
Friday: Spring Rolls and Spicy Thai Curried Lentils
Saturday Lunch: Spring Chicken Salad & Toasted Pitas or homemade gluten free bread
Saturday Dinner: Mini Shepherd's Pies with roasted veggies on the side
Sunday: Mini Meat Loaves with sauteed broccoli and mashed potatoes

Breakfasts will be a combination of Friattas and Oatmeal and lunches will be made up of Pitas with whatever fillings I have on hand. I'm sure the occasiaional quesidilla will also make it's way in since it's a common standby in this house.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Quick Blog Update and then back to my lazy Sunday

Life is flying by so quickly recently I feel like someone in a movie who's standing still while everyone moves in fast forward around them. Livi is growing up so quickly, Alex is a self-proclaimed genius who never sits still and the daily grind just never lets up.

We're sitting around today doing our taxes in our jammies (don't knock takes me a bit of motivation to get around to taxes... a jammy day and a mocha latte are significant motivation in my book). I use Turbo Tax and while I'm waiting on hubby to supply the numbers I've requested I decided to flip over and update my very neglected blog. Sorry blog, there are just not enough hours in the day for everything calling my name recently.

Soccer season has started and I'm happy to say Tryant #1 is enjoying his time on the field and I'm highly enjoying the hard core serious soccer playing that gets interrupted every 5 minutes by one of the boys bringing us flowers, or pointing out a plane or just dancing in circles instead of watching the ball. It's hilarious! Tyrant #2 quite enjoys watching the chaos and I truly appreciate the 2 hours a week when I'm forced to sit outside and do nothing. Ahhh

I have so many plans and such limited implementation time! Stay tuned for upcoming blogs on free business resources, great ideas for work at home mommies to stay organized and productive and some great stress relievers like online journals.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dealing with Milk Soy Protien Intolerance -MPSI

So Delicious Coconut Milk YogurtImage by via FlickrI'm not vegan but lately it's become my primary adjective when I search for recipes. I find it far easier to locate a good looking, yummy sounding vegan recipe and then add on meat then the other way around.

A few nights ago my husband was quite brave and dug right in to the vegan Alfredo sauce I made to go with our gluten free brown rice pasta and blackened chicken. If you've ever thought about making a white sauce with no cheese, no butter and no milk, then you and I have shared a moment of "I just spent 30 minutes slaving over this and no one is going to eat it" panic.

Over the last five months I have experimented, avoided and substituted to no end. Although I can point you in the direction of a fabulous dairy free, soy free, gluten free chocolate bar, I can hardly remember the taste of real milk. Since I've fielded lots of questions lately on allergy free cooking and getting started I thought I would put together my top ten list of must haves for allergy free cooking and hope it helps someone else down the path to better health.

  1. Coconut milk-I was pretty pumped when Jillian Michaels jumped on the coconut milk bandwagon since this is one that really needs to become more mainstream. It tastes fabulous, makes one heck of latte and works in everything from baking to mashed potatoes. I buy the vanilla for baking and unsweetened for everything else. It has no coconut taste or smell whatsoever and they make everything from milk to yogurt to ice cream and coffee creamer from it. My favorite brand is So Delicious and you can usually find at least 2-5 items of it in my fridge.
  2. Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta- We tried a lot of pasta when my husband first went gluten free and if you cooked them just right they didn't turn to mush on your fork. Then along came Tinkyada with their fabulous brown rice pasta in all shapes and it's now back in our weekly rotation.
  3. Cashews-ground up superfine and cooked into a coconut milk sauce these lend (believe it or not) a cheesy texture and taste. I also through some nutritional yeast in there to increase the "cheesy" texture. The Alfredo sauce I mentioned earlier in this post was made up of olive oil, ground cashews, nutritional yeast and coconut milk, thickened with a tiny bit of arrowroot powder (could use corn if you aren't' corn free like we are).
  4. Rice flour (white and brown)- buy it in the Asian section or from an Asian supermarket to get the fine flour that works wonders in baked goods. I make my own flour mix up of 1/3 brown rice flour, white rice flour and sorghum flour, and substitute that cup for cup in any regular recipe calling for all purpose flour.
  5. Sorghum flour-see above. It's a staple in my house and I find it quite cheap at the Indian market. If you don't have something like that in your area try
  6. Starbucks Via-I love coffee and since Starbucks only offers soy or dairy milk I suffered for weeks before grabbing a pack of the VIA and trying it out. IT'S AMAZING! I use an inch of water, micro it, add my via, top it off with vanilla coconut milk, stir and micro that and there's my latte!
  7. Gluten free rolled oats- I'm a dessert fiend and most of my favorites went out the window with the milk soy protein intolerance diagnosis. My new favorite (healthier) replacement is a small corningware dish filled with frozen strawberries and mangoes (no sugar added, just plain frozen fruit), sprinkle with cinnamon. Then in a separate bowl melt a little Earth Balance dairy/soy free butter spread and mix in a few tablespoons of gluten free quick cooking oats and brown sugar. Top the fruit and bake for 30 minutes until cobbler like.
  8. Frozen fruit-I buy the big bags from Sam's Club and use it for everything from the recipe above to smoothies. Lot's of smoothies.
  9. Oatmeal (Quaker makes packets of instant with whole grain rolled oats) I use instant for a quick breakfast or make up a batch of oatmeal pudding (recipe to come soon) and eat on it all week.
  10. Google-There is so much information out on the web from people who walked this path before me. I am grateful for Google and all the help, recipes and suggestions it has brought my way!
I hope this information helps you or someone you know who is dealing with elimination diets for Milk Soy Protein Intolerance and be sure to email me or comment with any questions or suggestions.
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