December 30, 2010

Out with the old...

Hello, friends! First of all, this here has become a regular sight for me in the kitchen as I cook. It's quite fun, although I get nervous that at some point he will attempt to jump on my head!

We are back from our holiday, where we actually had a lot of really fantastic time with our families up in Massachusetts. We planned ahead for 5 or 6 days at home with Chex cereal, Udi's sandwich bread, Boar's Head cold cuts and cheese, and dinner planning in advance, and it was a stress-free few days away with the help of our families in making dinner selections that were GF-friendly. My mother-in-law was also kind enough to make a batch of cookies, brownies, and muffins, using the King Arthur mixes (which are FANTASTIC, if I do say so), which lasted us the whole visit - a bonus for breakfast and dessert each day! I even whipped up Christmas Eve dinner for 11 at my parents' house. I love cooking for large groups of people. Nothing makes me happier than putting a meal together for people I love to enjoy. We feasted on ham (made with brown sugar glaze), mashed taters, stuffing, green beans, and rolls.

Sunday evening, as winds whipped and snow fell down over New England, Mr. GF and I settled in and watched Julie and Julia, "the movie that started it all". It was after watching that movie last winter that inspired me to start this blog, to write what I know. My first year has been far from perfect; I don't blog frequently enough, and I need more variety. I try, though, and I hope you've enjoyed what I've posted to date, and at the very least, found it helpful and informative!

You know the line from the movie Juno, "Whoa! Dream big!"? It's said with sarcasm, but that's how I feel about 2011, minus the sarcasm. I have great plans. I rub my palms together with glee in anticipation for things to come! I want to make this blog a bit more user-friendly, so don't be surprised if you see some new things very soon, including:
  • Printable recipes - links to printer-friendly versions of recipes I post
  • Video blog posts - This will be *very* experimental, but I've been dying to try one!
  • A recipe archive for easier perusing
  • Lots more pictures!
Lastly, I have to thank you for reading. I've had numerous friends and family members tell me they've passed this blog on to people they know who have Celiac or have gone gluten-free, and I am so grateful for your support. I don't write this blog for myself. I know the gluten-free world can be daunting. It's getting easier, but it is still very new to a lot of people. And I know you are out there, looking for advice, recipes, and someone who understands. Since this is for you, I'd like to know what you'd like to see here. So please don't be shy - comment or email me, anytime!

I look forward to an amazing 2011, so cheers and blessings to you and yours in the year ahead!

December 13, 2010

Holiday Entertaining Recipe: Sweet and Spicy Kielbasa

I love entertaining friends and family. LOVE it. Especially during the holidays. Everyone is a bit more cheerful, the house is warm and full of the sound of laughter and friends reconnecting. It's definitely a time of reuniting and enjoying the company of those you may not get to see all that often.

This past Friday, we opened our home for the 3rd year in a row to our friends for an evening full of food, drink, and fun. I wanted the majority of the food to all be gluten free this year. With the exception of a tray of crackers and cookies (on separate trays from the GF cracker and cookies), it was a gluten free party! A challenge was coming up with some main dishes that I could make to feed anywhere from 20-30 adults, and I relied on a couple of my "signature" dishes (which will be featured shortly) as well as this new one. If you love hosting as much as I do, these dishes are a piece of cake!

Sweet and Spicy Kielbasa in the Crock


3-5lb. Polish kielbasa
1 1/2c brown sugar
3 tbsp spicy mustard


Slice kielbasa into 1/2 inch pieces, and place in crock pot (5lbs easily fit in my smaller crock pot). Add brown sugar and spicy mustard and turn on low. Allow to cook for approx. 4 hours, stirring occasionally.

The kielbasa should be pre-cooked, so the crock pot is really forming the glaze of the brown sugar and spicy mustard. The brown sugar may look like wet clumps for the first hour or so, but give it a stir every 30-45 minutes and it'll blend together.

Serve hot and enjoy!

Coming soon...Crockpot Meatballs and Baked Mac 'n Cheese 'n Chicken!

I apologize for not having any pictures for these recipes. As a photographer, this pains me. But as a hostess who got out home at 6 with guests arriving at 7:30, I just didn't have time! Eek!