Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Best Friend's Bridal Shower

As some of you might know, I have been working on a Bridal shower, for my best & dearest friend for the past 60 days. I was fortunate enough to have the honor of hosting this shower plus the help of three of Dana's friends to help me in planning and cooking and baking for this shower. So this week, (Tuesday)  I am going to share My recipe for Artichoke, Bell Pepper, Apple smoked Bacon with goat cheese egg bake, Kim's recipe for Hash brown Casserole, Anne's Recipe for Watermelon Cucumber Salad and Stephenie's  recipe for home made Hummus.

However today I'm going to share my decorations and flowers which we bought at the flower mart and then purchased vases at 99 cent only store . Which my two fabulous neighbors helped me put together. All  16 of these vases of  flowers were done for less than a hundred dollars.

We had a sit down brunch for 35 people with China, Sterling and the finest crystal.

My neighbor Annie brought both a fruit plate
 and this fabulous Watermelon Cucumber Salad this Thursday.

Kim made this Gluten Free Hash Brown Casserole with a corn flake topping, which I will showcase Friday.

I will be showcasing this quick and easy recipe for Hummus by Stephenie next week some time.

And for dessert  we had these fabulous pastries and this gorgeous cake made by Nende who is creating a gluten free recipe as we speak..

The party was a huge success and I also want to thank Christine for going to Porto's for the potato balls, cheese rolls and all of the fabulous Champagne.

Thanks Ladies! I had a blast and I can't wait to share all of your great gluten free recipes this week.

Sheila Fretz

Friday, April 27, 2012

Red, White and Green Pasta Served Hot or Cold

I hope all is well with you guys this week, I'm still swamped so here is a fabulous recipe from my archives that is well worth making this time of year. I love creating recipes that can be served hot or cold, especially in those warm winter or summer months. I am always looking for a meatless Gluten Free meal. 
Red, White and Green Pasta Served Hot or Cold Ingredients:
1 Bag of Penne Pasta Gluten Free
1 bullion cube
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/4 cup olive oil
8-10 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Pepper
The juice of One Large Lemon
1 cup of grated Parmesan
25 fresh basil leaves chopped about a ½ cup
1 cup of chopped buffalo mozzarella
6 small tomatoes Chopped about a cup

Cook Pasta according to directions adding in 2 tablespoons Olive Oil this help the pasta from not sticking and 1 bullion cube to flavor the pasta.
After Pasta is cooked strain and set aside.

In the same pan that you boiled the pasta in place 1/4 cup olive oil, 8-10 cloves of garlic minced or grated, 2 teaspoons Salt & 2 teaspoons Pepper cook until golden.

Add the juice of a lemon being careful to not add the seeds.
Simmer on low heat next adding cooked penne pasta tossing until evenly coated with Lemon Garlic sauce.
Add in your Parmesan and coat noodles thoroughly.

After Cheese has pretty much melted into noodles add last three ingredients tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and basil. Toss and serve either chilled or right out of the Pot! You decide.


Sheila Fretz

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Summer In a Bowl Pasta Salad

I know I have not been the best at posting in last week or so but this is the time of the year that we have a lot going on.  For instance last week I was in Cedar Rapids Iowa on business, then this week I had to go to Santa Barbara. In addition to I have offered to give my BFF, Dana a sit down bridal shower for 35 of her nearest and dearest friends. So with all of that on my plate I figured that i would look in to my recipes that I had previously developed and share a great one that I really love. Then next week when things calm down I will be sharing great ideas for your next luncheon or brunch you throw.

So now on to the recipes my dear friend Patty, who is a Mom,  helped me name this recipe. Patty has a little boy who has terrible food allergies just like me. However, he is allergic to a couple more items than me. Such as eggs and peanuts and goes into Anaphylactic shock  so I have to be very careful! So when W and his Mom come over for a play date with my daughter Miss J. I have to make sure we do not poison her son. So it was a Tuesday afternoon and we had scheduled a play date and it happened to be only 107 degrees that day. Just a little hot so I wanted something cool and refreshing that I could make and everyone could eat. So I created Summer in Bowl.


Summer In a Bowl:

1 Bag Brown Rice Pasta from Trader Joes -does not have Eggs in this pasta very rare!
1 ½ of 1 Orange Bell Pepper, Julienne (thin strips)
1 head of broccoli cut in small pieces about 1 1/2  cups cooked partially
1 whole cucumber peeled and chopped into squares
1 whole Large Tomato

Summer in a Bowl Dressing:

3 Tablespoon Brown Gulden's Mustard
1/4 cup Aged Balsamic Vinegar
2 Large cloves of garlic grated on planer to make paste
½ cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Boil Pasta as directed on pasta about 12 minutes. In a large bowl place julienne the bell peppers and broccoli, cucumbers , tomatoes. Next add cooked & drained pasta. While pasta is cooking make the dressing in a separate bowl., Combine all ingredients in bowl except Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and whisk together. Next Emulsify by adding olive oil in slowly while whisking. Poor on top and toss refrigerate for 2 hours tossing periodically so pasta can soak up dressing
TIP of the Day: If your looking for something to put in your child's lunch that is healthy this would be great with a sandwich or without!

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Egg Hunt at Disneyland Resorts

As you know from reading my last post on The Disneyland Resort.; my family had the pleasure to stay here at the Disneyland Resorts this past Easter weekend and as usual my daughter signed up for there annual Easter Egg Hunt in the Category of  7-12 years of age. They also have another category for the little set of 3-6 years of age. As you sign in they will ask for your child’s age and to see your room key and they asked her what resort she was staying at and her room key.


In each hunt there are 12 golden eggs and 500 dozen eggs. Each child is given an egg crate to fill up with 12 eggs but the one coveted egg is the golden egg and with over 400 children participating, it’s mighty hard to find that coveted golden egg. The reason for this is this hunt is only for the Disneyland Resort Hotels guest that includes the Paradise Pier Hotel, The California Grand Hotel and the Hotel I stayed at The Disneyland Hotel where the Egg Hunt took place.
As they were waiting first Goofy came out from Goofy’s Kitchen and stole some eggs and the children were yelling at him saying he had to wait his turn too. Next came Chip from Chip and Dale and he too did the same but the wait staff told him to put them back.
Miss J waiting patiently for the hunt to begin.

My daughter Miss J was lucky enough to spot that golden egg as she patiently waited with all of the other 300+ children for the egg hunt to start. Then the man said OK kids its time to Walk you may walk fast however, no running permitted.

She went to the golden egg grabbed it out of the tree and a little boy grabbed it right out of her hand! I said to her not to worry there has to be another one around here some where. Then she
looked down at her feet and sure enough right on her right foot was another golden egg she was ready to step on.  She quickly picked it up, and then said “Now Mom I need to get my other 11 eggs and I must put them in rainbow order. So that’s what she did.

After Miss J picked up the Eggs she quickly closed her egg carton and we went to the sign in desk where she originally signed in and they gave her arm band.  

She gave her egg carton to the staff working the table and she won the biggest prize of the entire golden egg basket.

The beautiful golden egg basket!
As it turns out it was a blessing in disguise, that she lost that first golden egg, as it turns out  it was a ESPN gift card. Which Miss J would not have been that all interested in.

Now what did you do this past Easter Sunday?  I would love to hear all about it, do tell…

Sheila Fretz

Monday, April 16, 2012

Staying at the newly renovated Disneyland Hotel

This week I am going talk about being gluten free while staying at The Disneyland Resorts. Did you know that there are many different gluten free options at all of the Disneyland Resorts whether you are staying at Disney’s Paradise Pier, Disney’s California Grand or The Disneyland Resort;  where I recently stayed in the newly renovated Disneyland Hotel. As I let you know in my earlier post in March that I would be staying at the Disneyland Hotel and Resort.

The Disneyland Resort has many activities and when you check in to the resort make sure you ask for a calendar listing all of the fun activities scheduled. We quickly perused the calendar and noticed there was an Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday and knew that my daughter would love to participate so we signed up right as we checked in. We also went for our annual Easter Sunday breakfast at Steakhouse 55, we went to the Pool for an afternoon visit and while taking a break from the park had a late lunch, and of course went back to the park for the parade and dinner. Which I will talk about in a later post’s within the next 2 weeks.

After we checked in to the hotel we went up to our room in the Main tower and we were amazed how spacious and beautiful the rooms have been upgraded. We love staying at the Disneyland Hotel especially during the holidays because they make you feel as if you are part of the Disney family.  We were there 3 days and 2 nights and it was just simply fabulous. The rooms all have free Wi-fi, a refrigerator, a coffee pot and coffee cups, complimentary robes for use while at the resort, an in room safe. To top it all off the beds feel like you are sleeping on a cloud; they are that comfortable! All of the beds have down comforters and my daughter miss J had use to the sofa that turns into a bed at the flip of a switch. .

If you looked at how the room looked before to what they look like now, in addition to the upgraded amenities that The Disneyland Hotel has today you will be sure to want to stay at this fabulous resort.  The rooms are spacious and sleep 5 comfortably especially if you have 2 Queen Beds; in addition to they have the pull out couch.

The Queen beds have a duvet cover of 500 thread count in a damask finish and if you looked real close there were hidden Mickey’s on the duvet.  I love the new carpets they look like royal carpets that they have installed in the room so fabulous and upscale with the royal blue background and the gold hidden Mickey accents. It looks just magical. The room  is decorated with famous pictures of Walt Disney himself walking through the castle and on the other wall there was a great bunch of old historical photo’s of the way Fantasyland looked back in the day when the park was first built.  

I also noticed the attention to detail in the bathroom all of the handles on the fixtures were hidden Mickey’s

plus the shower tile if you looked real close there were hidden Mickey’s there too. 

Last but not least I loved the alcove next to the bathroom this mirror was a god sent to me and my family while my husband was in the shower we just simply closed the door and I was able to put on my face while my husband was in the shower.

You may also call room service and they too have many gluten free options at many of there restaurants on the property. We personally did not do this on this particular trip however we have done so in the past.  

All and all I would always recommend this resort to anyone who has gluten intolerance and or has food allergies. The Disneyland Hotel and Resorts go on beyond the call of duty and wants to make sure that your stay is the most magical stay and you build the most magical memories between you your family and friends.  The Disneyland Resort has recently been given the 5 diamond reward by AAA and is also given a 5 star resort status on numerous websites, and I too believe it is well worth the money to stay here. .

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Gluten Free Blueberry Banana Bread French Toast

I love banana bread and I love to make it just to make the house smell good. Especially when the locations agent is coming to view my home for a commercial or a feature film or even a television show. Oliver Stone refers to my house as the banana bread house. Well the last couple of weeks we have had quiet a bit of locations agents looking at my home for jobs. Well because of this I have 4 loafs in my freezer so its time to make Blueberry Banana Bread  french toast.

Blueberry Banana Bread French Toast Ingredients:

1 egg
1 loaf of Blueberry Banana Bread  Sliced
1/2 cup Vanilla Coffee Mate
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon All Spice
1 teaspoon Butter for Griddle

1 Large Bowl
1 Whisk
A frying Pan or a grill

This is quick and easy and not super hard or fancy. Make Banana bread then slice in half inch slices.

Take one egg crack in Large Bowl and whisk until well blended add Coffee Mate and Milk plus Cinnamon and Allspice. Whisk together until well Blended

Next dip bread in egg mixture flipping being careful not to break. Heat frying pan or griddle add butter so will not stick .Cook until golden on low then flip.

TIP OF THE DAY: Make sure Eggs are completely cooked through! Do to salmonella being in the news I really want to stress that you need to make sure that your eggs are completely cooked!!! I like to put my french toast inside the oven after I cook it for 20 minutes at 250 degrees. This way my bacon or sausage is hot when I serve and my fruit is freshly cut.
Serve w/ Blueberries and or fresh fruit.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Runaway Raspberry Muffins

As you know Miss J has a gluten intolerance problem so no matter where we go. I always make a breakfast or snack treat to have with us on our travels. So the other day I thought that i would make some Raspberry Scones so I started to make them like the Strawberry Shortcake Gluten Free that I made for Valentines Day. I thought about all of the ingredients needed and was starting to make these fabulous muffins with Miss J and I realized a huge error had been made. we added way to much milk so I shifted my idea into muffins and we created this fabulous recipe. You see everything has a purpose and sometimes mess ups are the best! 

Runaway Raspberry Muffins Ingredients
1 1/2 cups Gluten Free Bisquick
1 1/2 cups Powdered sugar
1/3 cup cubed butter
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons Raspberry Jam
1 cup frozen Raspberry 

Muffin Tins
Cupcake liners

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Sift together Bisquick, powdered sugar

and cubed butter and use either a pastry knife or hands,  and mash together until a crumble mixture form.

Next add milk, then add eggs and vanilla mix together

 Add the jam and fold in.
 Add Frozen berries
Now place papers in muffin tins then place about 1/3 cup in each tin.
 Make sure there are no air bubbles by lightly banging  on counter.
Serve warm or cold your choice.

Hope you are having a nice Passover or had a Happy Easter Weekend.