Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ABC's Episode of Man Up.....a gluten free response and letter

Gluten free food doesn't look bad to me..........

     Raise your hand if you were excited about gluten being talked about on ABC's Man Up last night! ME ME ME!! Raise your hand if you were sadly disappointed after about five minutes into the show. ME ME ME!!
      ABC horribly portrayed a kiddo (Character Nathan Keen) who had to eat a gluten free diet. His parents decided that the whole family would eat gluten free. However, the parents couldn't cut it. They both cheated on the diet. They were consulting with another family on the show, the mother of that family also cheated on the diet. The food that they were serving to the poor kid on the show looked horrible and sounded horrible. Soyasagna (soy lasagna), banana paste on millet toast, and some kind of a pizza (can't remember what they called it) that came out of the pan in a dry crumbly glob.
     There were funny parts to the show, but the parts that had to do with eating gluten free were horribly written. It was like they didn't even do research or consult with anyone who knew about eating gluten free.
      The episode didn't sit well with me last night, but I thought I would think it over. However, this morning I didn't feel any differently. It was poorly written. They would not have made fun of diabetes, cancer, lupus, or anything else the way that they made fun of eating gluten free. Viewers would have been MAD! Well this viewer is unhappy, so I wrote a letter this morning and submitted it online. I don't think I will probably hear back from them, but I do feel that they need to know that people don't like being made fun of. They had an amazing opportunity to put a positive spin on gluten free, but it was probably MUCH easier to take it in a negative direction. They would have had to use a little more creativity and energy to write it positively.
      Below I'm sharing my letter with you that I sent to ABC and I will also put a link to the episode just incase you missed it. If you feel so inclined, write your own letter to ABC and let them know how you feel about gluten free being put in the negative light. We fight so hard every day to break the exact stereotypes that this episode put out there. UGH!


My Letter:

November 30, 2011

Dear Producers of ABC's show Man Up,
     Under normal circumstances I enjoy your show. However last night's episode "Disciplining the Keens" was less than wonderful.
     I am a person who suffers from Celiac disease. I can not have wheat, rye, barley or oats. This of course means that I have to follow a gluten free diet.
      I was very excited to learn that your episode was going to talk about gluten. I thought it would be a great opportunity to create awareness with a little humor. I sat down in front of my television to tune in. However, I was quickly disappointed in the way that your show portrayed eating gluten free.
     The show seemed to make fun of people who eat gluten free. I'm not a big fan of people who make fun of others. I realize that you are a comedy show, however most of the jokes seemed to go past funny and straight on to mean.
     You had misinformation in the episode. Did you guys even consult with anyone in the gluten free community before the episode was written? If you had, I don't think you would have made alot of the silly mistakes.
     I hope that if you choose to continue any further episodes with the character of Nathan Keen eating gluten free that you will do some research. Eating gluten free is not horrible and terrible as portrayed in your episode. Eating gluten free can be challenging, but it isn't the death sentence that it was made up to be in your show.
     I think it would be very cool for you to do an episode showing Nathan eating a table of yummy looking goodies, and his parents walk in to find him. They freak out thinking he "fell of the wagon", only to find that all of the amazing looking foods are gluten free!! Now THAT is an episode I would enjoy watching. It still has humor while showing gluten free in a positive light.
     I hope that you continue to show Nathan eating gluten free in future episodes. I also hope that you do some further research so that Nathan's character can show gluten free eating in a positive way. I would hate to see the horrible stereotypes continue in future episodes. I will not be tuning in if the negative light continues. I know that many others in the gluten free community feel the same way.
     Thank you for your time.


Here is a link to the episode just incase you didn't catch it last night:
Man Up Episode :Disciplining the Keens

Monday, November 28, 2011

Peach Bread Pudding with Vanilla Caramel Sauce

     I was trying to think of a way to use up my leftover rolls from Thanksgiving. I either wanted to do a french toast or bread pudding. I let the folks on my USASillyYaks facebook page vote and the winner was bread pudding. I warned them fairly that I have never made bread pudding, so this is totally experimental.

Peach Bread Pudding with Vanilla Caramel Sauce

6 slices day-old bread or 5-6 leftover dinner rolls torn into pieces
1 large can of peaches
 4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk or 1 c milk and 1 c juice from the peaches
3/4 cup Brown sugar (divided)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large oven safe skillet melt the butter. Add peaches (drained) and cook for about 5 min on medium/high heat. Add raisins, 1/4 c of the brown sugar, and spices to the skillet. Mix well and turn heat down to medium. Cook another 5-7 min.
     Add bread crumbs into the skillet mixture. Stir and coat the bread crumbs with the peaches and spices.
     In a separate bowl beat the 4 eggs. Add the milk and juice from the peaches. Add in the remaining brown sugar (1/2 c) and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined.
     Pour the egg and milk mixture over the contents of the skillet. Let rest for about 20 min. This will allow the bread to soak up the liquids. Pre-heat oven to 350 deg. After the 20 min. rest time, then bake in a 350 deg. oven for about 40 min. or until the top springs back when lightly touched.

Vanilla Caramel Sauce

2/3 C Brown Sugar
1/4 C. Butter
1/3 C.  Evaporated Milk (1/2 of a 5oz. can)
1/2 Tsp. Vanilla

You will want to make the sauce while the bread pudding bakes. Whisk brown sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium/high heat until the butter is melted. Whisk in evaporated milk and stir until the sugar is dissolved and sauce is creamy smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract. Keep warm and serve over the bread pudding when it comes out of the oven. (I doubled this recipe because I love sauce)

Saute the peaches in the butter
Add raisins and spices and saute a little longer :)
Mix the bread in with the peaches, butter, and spices.
Pour the egg/milk mixture over the bread and let it sit to soak up the milk and eggs.
Bake at 350 deg. for about 40 min. It will come out golden brown.
While the bread pudding is baking, you need to make the caramel vanilla sauce.
Mmmmm Caramel Sauce
Dish up your warm bread pudding
Top with the amazing Vanilla Caramel Sauce and serve warm.

    Well the bread pudding turned out pretty yummy. I had never made bread pudding before, so I wasn't totally sure of what to expect. However, I liked it. I especially liked the sauce MMMMm. It would even make a great topping for ice cream!! (note to self). I hope you like my recipe!! Let me know what you think if you try it out!!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Ultimate Thanksgiving Pie..........let's use up those leftovers!!

     It is quite possible that this is my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. It happens a couple of days after you stuff yourself with turkey. You find your refrigerator full of Thanksgiving food and everybody is sick of eating the same leftover turkey. This recipe is the solution to those leftovers in your fridge.
     There really isn't a specific recipe to follow for this. You add in what you have. If you don't have it, then no worries!! Or if you just have a small amount of something that is ok too.
     Ok, so open that refrigerator door and gather up your Turkey Day leftovers!!! Here is what to search for:

Ultimate Thanksgiving Pie

Leftover Turkey cut into chunks
Leftover Green Bean Casserole or plain green beans
Mashed Potatoes

Preheat your oven to 325 deg. Lightly spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. In your pan mix together the turkey, vegetables, and gravy. Top the mixture with a layer of mashed potatoes. Crumble the dressing on top of the mashed potatoes. Bake for 30-45 min. or until heated through.

Dice your leftover turkey into chunks.
Mix the turkey and veggies together in a 9x13 pan

I unfortunately didn't have gravy, but I did have a partial box of stock in the fridge that needed used. Soooo I made some gravy using the stock, bouillon, milk, pepper and cornstarch.
Pour the gravy in with the meat and veggies. Mix until everything is coated.
Drop the mashed potatoes by spoonfulls onto the mixture. Spread with the back of your spoon.
Crumble the stuffing on top of the mashed potato layer.
Bake at 325 until heated through and stuffing is crispy.

It is ready to come out of the oven when it's bubbly and crispy brown on the top.
I hope you enjoy my solution to using up those Turkey Day leftovers!!


Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey Quesadilla with Cranberry Dipping Sauce....leftover heaven

     So you say you cooked a big enough turkey to feed a small country? No problem, this turkey quesadilla makes for amazing leftovers!! You will forget you are even eating leftover food! Oh and it's super easy to make. Here we go................

Spray a pan with cooking spray, place a corn tortilla and sprinkle with cheese. Turn your heat on medium/low.
Top with some leftover turkey
A little more cheese on top of the turkey
Place another corn tortilla on top of the cheese.
Cook until cheese is melted and tortilla is browned, then flip and brown the other side (think grilled cheese sandwich)
Cut the quesadilla into 4 pieces and serve with leftover cranberry sauce as your dipping sauce.

Mmmm Mmm Mmmm!!

What a great way to use those Thanksgiving leftovers! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chicken Meatloaf with Cranberry Sauce

     I had ground chicken out for supper tonight, but was having a very hard time trying to decide what to make. So I did what every person would do, I googled ground chicken recipes. I came up with a cranberry meatloaf recipe. However, it had alot of junk in it that I didn't care for, and their original recipe called for beef, not chicken. Beef and cranberries?? YUCK! However it gave me inspiration, and I had cranberry sauce in my refrigerator that I just made yesterday. I knew that we wouldn't eat the entire bowl of cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving so I figured it would be ok to take a little out for this recipe. This is what I came up with.......

Chicken Meatloaf with Cranberry Sauce

1 can (16 oz.) whole cranberry sauce
1 lb. ground chicken
1/2 Cup Minute Rice
1/2 cup tortilla chips crunched (or other variety of chips like funyons, lays etc)
1 small onion, chopped
1/3 cup milk
1 Egg
½ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. parsley flakes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In large bowl combine ground chicken, rice, chips, onion, milk, egg, pepper, and parsley, . In a loaf pan or a 8x8 pan sprayed with cooking spray, spread the meat mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Spread 1/2 cup of cranberry sauce on top of loaf. Bake 20 to 30 minutes more.

In small saucepan heat remaining cranberry sauce over low heat until heated through. Serve with meatloaf.
Sorry guys forgot to take pics of me mixing it up. This is after it had been in the oven for the first 30 min.
Top the meatloaf with cranberry sauce and return to the oven for 20-30 min. more.

     This recipe would be a great way to use up that leftover cranberry sauce after the holidays!!

5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Monster Cookie Bars....hold onto your hats!

     I am a HUGE peanut butter fan. So when I saw this recipe on Pinterest I just knew I had to convert it to gluten free and give it a try. The original recipe contained 2 cups of gluten full bisquick mix. The blogger said that it was so hard to mix up that she had to use her hands?!?! That tells me that there was WAY too much dry ingredients in the recipe. So I did some adjusting and I think I came up with a great gluten free recipe that won't break your spoon when you try to mix it up!

5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Monster Cookie Bars

3/4 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup Gluten Free Bisquick Baking Mix (or other gluten free substitute)
1 Medium Size Bag of M & M's

 Preheat oven to 325 deg.  Spray an 8 x8 pan with cooking spray.
 Combine peanut butter, brown sugar and eggs until well mixed and smooth.
 Stir in baking mix until completely combined.
 Fold in M&Ms.
 Spread mixture in greased pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
I love a recipe that has so few ingredients!!

I confess, I dumped everything together and mixed it all at once, except the M & M's.
The dough is a "play dough" consistency. It is very thick.
Mix in your M&M' bag had a crazy amount of blue M & M's. I should have called these Smurf Bars. :)
Spread the dough into your well greased pan.
Cook for about 40 min. or until golden brown.

     So these turned out very yummy and it's probably dangerous to have the whole pan in my house. If you are a fan of peanut butter and chocolate you will love these. They are very rich and would be amazing with a big glass of cold cold milk. YUM!


Turkey Day Recipe Recap

     Well I feel like we should have you pretty well prepped for turkey day. In case you are keeping track, it is just two short days away. I hope that you all have an amazing holiday with your families. Remember to focus on the time with your loved ones and don't stress out too much about the food.
     Thanksgiving is for being thankful.  I'm thankful for each of you who come here and read my blog. I'm thankful that I am able to help you on your gluten free journey. I'm thankful for my family and friends, without them I would go crazy. I'm thankful for my little orange fur baby Max, he keeps me on my toes and gives unconditional love. I hope that you are all able to pick out at least one thing to be thankful for in your lives.
       Ok that was my sappy paragraph, now let's do a little re-cap of the recipes and tips that you can use for your Thanksgiving feast!!!

So we have talked about gluten in your turkey and what to look out for. If you missed that blog you can find it here:

We talked side dishes to compliment your bird:
We even set you up with a yummy holiday drink

And we didn't forget the most important part............DESSERT!!

     I think that we've got you pretty well set up to have a successful Thanksgiving with your loved ones. Enjoy your holiday!! Happy Thanksgiving!