It’s My Birthday Week!
I have no shame in announcing it to the world because whether it is mine or someone else’s birthdays are just the best! Obviously the presents and well wishes are a big bonus, but there is so much more to it than that. My favorite thing about my birthday, or birthdays in general is just the feeling and knowledge that it is a special day that is reserved for celebrating a person’s life. I believe every year we accomplish in our lives is absolutely a success and deserves to be celebrated.
Last year I spent my birthday making Christmas treats and goodies for our friends and neighbors and I found it a terrific way to spend the day, even if I did have a cold. I felt so satisfied with how I had spent the day that I decided to make a tradition of it. So come Tuesday next week you’ll find me covered in flour, trying to remember where I set down the measuring spoons, and most likely smiling head to toe, because…duh…birthday! Okay scratch that, my toes will probably not be smiling considering they are holding up so much excess weight these days, but you get the idea. I do plan to squeeze in a prenatal massage and Indian food sometime that day as well.
P.S. This week’s Snacks & Sweets section consists of the goodies I will be making to deliver to friends and family this year. Due to just being really pregnant I had to scale back a bit this year so I am not making the traditional Pizelles. I was really sad about it at first but, as my sweet husband reminded me, there is always next year. The Egg Nog Snickerdoodles are to die for by the way, they seriously taste like a Christmas candle smells…if that makes sense.
Shelf Cooking – I thoroughly enjoy meal planning (duh read my blog) but I also believe in saving money and not wasting, so I think I’ve found the happy medium for my own family. My invitation, and what I will be doing with my own meal planning from now on is this, whatever time period you meal plan for (two weeks, a month, whatever,) IN ADDITION to your leftover nights, plan at least one or two meals to be “Shelf Cooking” (phrase coined by blogger Jordan Page from Fun Cheap or Free) nights. Meaning, USE WHAT YA ALREADY GOT! Yes you will have to get creative, but that is TWO less meals you have to buy groceries for, or eat out for. Not having to throw out wasted food is a plus as well in my book.
Sugar Substitutes – When a recipe calls for cane or brown sugar I almost ALWAYS use a stevia baking blend or just plain Stevia. I take comfort in knowing I am feeding my family that much less sugar… plus it means I can have seconds guilt free. Winning!
I will no longer be adding the tag “GF” to any of the meals. Everything I make now must be gluten free so if the dish’s original recipe uses a gluten containing substance I will explain how and what I substitute to make it GF.
Snacks & Sweets – Below the dinners I hope you’ll be as thrilled as I to see a Snacks & Sweets section. Some of the recipes in this section I already absolutely love, and some I have yet to try. Some are guilt free and some are reserved for cheat days. Happy snacking!
*-Tried and true family favorite.
B4D-Breakfast for Dinner (There isn’t lot of time in the mornings and we love breakfast food so we eat it for dinner instead)
YoYo- You’re on your own. (Because I don’t believe that someone should have to cook every day of the week)
Not sold on meal planning yet? Check out my crash course guide and I’ll have you convinced!
Shelf Cooking – see “Noted” Section for explanation
B4D – Turkey Sausage Breakfast Burritos / Green Smoothies
GF note – we use warm corn tortillas instead of flour and top them with salsa and cheese. Sometimes I’ll chop up spinach and peppers really fine and toss that in with the meat.
Ground Turkey Tacos / Authentic Mexican Rice
Crock Pot Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese / Steamed Carrots / Cottage Cheese
Simple Baked Meatballs with Rice and Gravy / Romaine Salad
I use ground turkey so there is not as much grease in the pan.
*BBQ Shredded Pork/ Parmesan Potato Wedges/ Cornbread
I FINALLY found a GF cornbread recipe that we like. It comes from Elizabeth Barbone’s- How to Cook Gluten-Free
1 c gluten free cornmeal 1/2 c white rice flour (I use brown rice)
1/2 c sweet rice flour 1/4 c granulated sugar (I use half of this in Stevia)
1 tbsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt (omit this if using salted butter)
1/4 tsp xanthan gum 2 large eggs
1 c milk 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-inch baking pan with spray. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients and mix until the batter is smooth. Pour into the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
Skillet Lasagna / Roasted Asparagus
Snacks & Sweets (Holiday Goodie Giving Edition)
Egg Nog Snickerdoodles
*1 C flour 3/4 Tsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg 1/8 tsp salt
1/4 C egg nog @ room temp 2 tbsp unsalted melted butter
1 tsp vanilla 1/4 C sugar
1/4 C brown sugar
Coating: 3 Tbsp sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk dry ingredients in a bowl. In a mixer combine butter, egg nog, and vanilla. Mix in sugars. Add flour mixture until barely incorporated. Chill dough at least 30 minutes. Prepare coating and roll balls of dough in before placing on cookie sheet. This recipe only yields 12 cookies so I typically double it.
*Use spoon and level method when measuring flour