Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fried Cheese!

Ok.. so I normally don't necessarily cook this much after church on a Wednesday night but I ran across this recipe the other day and I can't get it out of my mind.  Does anybody else do that?  Please say yes.

There are some things I'm not sure my kids ever ate before they were GF and mostly that's fine.  If you don't know what your missing then no sweat right!  But some things it makes me a little sad for them.  Awhile back Shane and I went to a certain chain restaurant with excellent fried cheese.  It had been ages since we last had fried cheese and we indulged.  It was soooo good and I just thought it a little sad that Will and Jenny couldn't have that pleasure.

And then I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman.  I love her blog and lots of her recipes translate well GF.  I decided to give this one a try.  Here is what you need:

  Cheese sticks, egg, milk, oil and 2 specialty ingredients:
1) All purpose flour.  I have a whole post planned about that one but for this I used Pamela's bread mix
2) Bread crumbs.  I found these at a local health food store.  I'm glad to because I tried to make my own a few weeks ago and it really was not pretty.  The recipe calls for Panko bread crumbs and Kinnikinik makes those GF but alas no where in Jackson, Mississippi so regular bread crumbs it is!

Cut the cheese sticks in half and roll them in the flour, then dip them in the egg and milk mixture and then in the bread crumbs.

I used 10 cheese sticks, so ended up with 20 of the finished product. Math was my strong point.
Well, not so much but I was a home ec major!

I just lined it up like an assembly line and dipped and coated.

 I did all the sticks before heating the oil and frying them up

It did not take long for them to cook at all.  Maybe 1 minute total in the oil.  I left the last batch in a little longer and the cheese began trying to escape it's breadcrumb shell.

Here is the finished product!  We didn't have any marinara sauce but pizza sauce seemed to work just fine. 
These turned out really good!  The kids gobbled them up and they got Shane's approval.  This was all the leftovers I had.

I would say this was a success!  Total prep and cooking time was around 30 minutes with the hardest part being undoing all those cheese wrappers!


Mourning Convenience

I guess having to give up the drive through is not the worst thing that can happen, but.....  I think that is one of the hardest things about celiac.  The loss of convenience.  No more $5.00 pizza from Little Caesar's.  No more chicken biscuits, no more Wendy's bacon cheeseburgers.  Most days it's not that big a deal but some days-MAN!

Like today.  Play practice till 5:00.  Run carpool.  Church by 6:15.  Home at 7:30.  Homework.  No time to cook.  So what to do?

Over the last 2 years I have come up with a few things that I use on days like today.  Here is my gluten free version of fast food!

We love UDI's bagels at our house.  Can you tell?  Look at my freeze! I hit a sale and well-they better like 'em!

Break out an UDI's bagel.  This is tricky so get out your pencils!  Spread pizza sauce on the bagel.  We use Kroger brand, but whatever you use make sure its gluten free.  Sprinkle with cheese and stick it in the toaster over or under the broiler.

Yum!  Of course most people would add pepperoni but mine kiddos prefer just cheese.

Not fancy but good and filling to tide us over until we get home.  I have something really fun planned for after church so stay tuned!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Our Celiac Story

I'm excited about writing about and sharing with you our gluten free adventures!  We have been a gluten free family for 2 1/2 years and during that short time I have learned so much!  I love trying out new recipes and sharing with others who are going through the process.  I wanted to start out by sharing our story of how we ended up with not one but two celiac kids!

When my son, who is now 13, was about 18 months old he lost some weight without explanation.  This was distressing to me as a young mom but also concerned our pediatrician.  He ran a whole battery of test and one in particular came back positive.  A celiac panel test.  I had never heard of celiac and he told me that this particular test had a high false positive rate but he felt like we should follow up and he made us an appointment with a pediatric GI doctor in town.

When we went to the appointment the doctor took one look at my otherwise healthy son and pronounced that he did not have celiac-she could tell by looking at him.  Celiac kids have swollen bellies, chronic diarrhea and were generally sick kids.  What a relief!  She had me keep a food log for several weeks.  We had a follow up appointment at which point he had gained a little weight back.  She told me to be sure he got enough calories and sent me on my way.

Fast forward 8 years and I am sitting at the endocrinologist's office with a 10 year old boy who has not grown an inch or gained a pound in almost 2 years.  He was fast becoming the smallest kid in the 5th grade and was falling farther and farther behind.  We were testing to see if growth hormone shots would be beneficial.  Several weeks later the report from the doctor game back and stated that his growth hormone levels were fine and the only thing abnormal in his blood work guessed it...the celiac panel.

Fortunately over the last ten years a new GI doctor had come to town and I immediately made an appointment with her.  She examined Will, looked at all his records and scheduled an endoscope.  His intestines she said were classically celiac.  Gluten free here we come!

I made many mistakes over the next year and half but that is another post for another day.  On to child #2! 

 My daughter's birthday is the first of March and because so many kids are still sick I usually scheduled her well check up for the summer time.  I had done that but there was a huge outbreak of the flu late in the summer that year and the clinic called to say I might not want to bring my well child up to there office!  So by the time that passed it was sick season again and long story slightly shorter it was almost two years between well visits for her.  She was now 9 years old and her growth chart should have showed her hitting that preteen growth spurt.  Just the opposite seemed to be happening.  She had grown almost none at all.  This rang all to familiar for my liking and I called our trusted GI doctor and scheduled an endoscope.  A few weeks later, the day before Thanksgiving, I got the call.  Now I have 2 celiac children  

So there it is, in long form, our celiac story.  We are for the most part totally gluten free.  There is a secret loaf of real bread hidden for my husband, but other than that no gluten in this house!

I hope you will check back again as I share with you how our family copes and even flourishes Gluten Free!