Spaghetti and Meatballs evolved

cake ingredients

bananas, eggs, Pamela’s Chocolate Cake Mix

Today I am feeling ambitious. Let’s see how long it lasts after I get into the kitchen and on my feet. First I want to put a dessert in the oven. I’ve found tons of recipes I like, but I have a gluten free cake mix that I love and think I’ll try a recipe I found on

raw meatballs

brown meatballs in a cast iron skillet.

Next I’m going to make meatballs. The original plan for supper was spaghetti and meatballs but I don’t have any pasta sauce or canned tomatoes. Anyway, since going dairy free, Italian dishes aren’t as good without Mozzarella and garlic bread. So I opted for these delicious looking mushrooms and meatballs.

As a side dish for the family it’s sweet orange carrots. (because I don’t eat cooked veggies) Don’t worry readers. I’ll get my veggies in a smoothie form. (Spinach, celery and peppers, add ice and water in the Ninja)spinach smoothie

This dish evolved as it went along. I rarely follow a recipe to the T. I started out with my own ingredients for meatballs and meatball ingredientsbrowned them in a cast iron skillet. Next I intended to add mushrooms but it seemed to me that I should have started in my dutch oven so that is where I browned the onions, garlic and mushrooms. Finally, I added beef broth and placed in the browned meatballs. Simmered for about half an hour. Regret: should have started in the dutch oven and cooked slowly for over an hour. The liquid would have thickened and the onions caramelized. Then I would have put the mushrooms in last.

My first thought was how good this dish would be with mashed potatoes but then I decided that Polenta would add a nice texture and flavor.

meatballs and polenta

finished dish

cake slice

finished cake with a garnish of fresh raspberries.

Turns out I am motivated to cook but not to clean. I hope the family is up for the challenge of the messy kitchen. My feet hurt I’m putting a movie in.

Stay tuned for my review of McFarland USA

List of Ingredients in Dish:

Meatballs: Ground beef, ground pork, chopped onion, chopped garlic, gf bread crumbs, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning

Sliced mushrooms, chopped onions, chopped garlic, salt, pepper, beef broth

Polenta: cornmeal, beef broth, water, salt

Cake: Pamela’s Chocolate Cake Mix, 5 super ripe bananas, 1 egg


Memorial Day

Why is mom always waiting on the family? I’m the one that’s out of bed early. I’m the one that cleans and packs. I’m the bad guy who wakes everyone up and says it’s time to go. Too bad Family! Like the guy from the 80’s commercial, “It’s time to make the donuts.

Well, we’ve had a change of plans. I posted previously that our destination was Mackinaw City but it’s raining so we are going inland away from Lake Michigan. It’s wonderful to be able to change direction without a hitch. There’s something great about not making reservations or having an itinerary. And, with the beauty of the internet, I found two awesome stops: First, a gluten-free café located in Muskegon that I can’t wait to go to. Second, a campground that sounds like fun. There is a pond with paddleboats and kayaks, an arcade with a pool table, an outdoor swimming pool – and dare I say – legal fishing without a $65 Michigan license! Yay me! This girl gets to go fishing today. Even if it is raining I’m going fishing! Wish me luck Daddy!

Memorial Day Weekend Morning Two

What’s better than a pancake breakfast? A gluten-free pancake breakfast cooked over an open flame. I wasn’t sure it was going to work because I think that pancakes need just the right temperature to brown perfectly. Well, these weren’t perfect but they sure were good. I used Pamela’s Baking Mix. Normally I add apples or bananas to the batter or at least vanilla but today I did not. What was icing on the (pan) cake? I did it! I’m very proud of myself for being creative and not afraid to try. I could have made then on the gas top in the camper but what’s the fun in that?pancake on grill

pancake plateBacon would have made the breakfast complete but I’m not complaining. Today is our last day in this campground. Tomorrow we head up to Mackinaw City, MI. I’m very much looking forward to seeing it.

Cinnamon Role Recipe

Trying a new RECIPE


I stated out with a recipe I found on Pinterest from (HERE)

Then I adapted it to my own family’s needs. I’m the kind of person who takes a recipe and adapts it to the ingredients I have on hand or am familiar with. I usually don’t follow directions very well. In fact, I can read a recipe and then just create something based on the ingredient list. So, this is my version of gluten-free cinnamon roles.

They sound super good and I hope they turn out. We’ll see!


Ingredients (that I used):

  • 2 12 cups Bisquick Gluten Free baking mix
  • 13 cup Vanilla Almond milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy butter, softened
  • 14 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ cup chopped nuts (optional) I used a mixture I had leftover from another recipe
  • 14 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water

NOTE: For the confectioners’ sugar I made my own using a Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor

out of coconut sugar and tapioca starch then added dairy free butter.20150520_150459 20150520_150707  20150520_151022


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix gluten free baking mix, vanilla almond milk and egg until a soft dough forms. I used my KitchenAid for this step.  (I needed more milk than it called for. I just added as needed until dough formed.) 20150520_143212

Turn dough onto lightly gluten-free floured surface and knead gently until smooth.

20150520_143645 20150520_144016

Pat or roll dough into an 8 x 10 rectangle. Combine cinnamon and coconut sugar. This is when I sprinkled on the nuts. Spread dough with dairy-free butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and coconut sugar mixture.

Roll up tightly, Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Cut at 1 inch intervals ALMOST through to bottom, using scissors or sharp knife. I cut through and separated the rolls. 20150520_144505

Bake about 20 minutes or until light brown.

Optional: Mix powdered sugar and water until spreading consistency; spread over warm roll.


Finished Product

They are delicious. They don’t compare to the gooey, sweet, commercial cinnamon role but for us allergy sufferers and sugar watchers, they are great!