Valentine's Day Dinner

I made a special dinner for my husband for Valentine's Day...a day early. As I will be out of town on the actual day, I surprised him and prepared a fancy meal while he was helping out with the kids program at church. He was really pleased with everything...even if the chicken was a little dry. :)

I chose to make Oven Fried Chicken from Carol Fenster's Wheat-Free Recipes & Menus cookbook. In all honesty, I've had this book for years and it's just been sitting in my cupboard, patiently waiting for me to open it. It really is a great book, explaining what gluten free is and isn't, it has nutritional information for each recipe, and it even has menu suggestions in the back of the book if you are just starting out on your gluten free journey.

I made a few substitutions, like you do, as I used strictly what I had in my house. I used chicken breast tenderloins instead of chicken thighs. I didn't have buttermilk, but I had buttermilk powder, so I used that mixed with water instead. It called for cornmeal, again- which I didn't have at the moment, so I used my spice grinder to grind up some corn grits to make it finer. From there, I followed the rest of the recipe and instructions. (Except I did cook it at a lower temperature because I didn't want to dry the chicken out.)

While that was in the oven I prepared my "Beets & Sweets," which is cubed sweet potatoes, sweet onions and beets. This is a huge hit at our house, and since the vegetables are naturally sweet you don't need to add any honey- just a quick toss in olive oil and a sprinkling of salt.

On the stove top I steamed my brussel sprouts and finished them off with some melted butter and salt. The whole dinner was a big hit.

Dessert was great too. As I was preparing dinner, the mail carrier came to the door with box in hand. I wasn't expecting something, but I don't always have the best memory either. He handed me a box that said "Wisconsin Cheeseman." Ironically, this is the present my mom tried to send me at Christmas that never came. Well, it came that day with perfect timing. The cookies are called "Chocolano" which I think is a nod to Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies. They are manufactured by My Dad's Cookies. These are light and buttery with a rich chocolate filling. Brad and I each had 2, and I snuck another one a little later in the night. Definitely will be enjoying these for quite a few days to come!

I called my mom later that evening to tell her that she was the coolest mom ever and that I LOVED the gift. I think it made her day to have me say she was the coolest mom ever. She and I haven't always had the closest relationship, especially now that she lives in Tennessee and I'm here in Michigan. This is why it means the world to me that she would send me something gluten free. I'm a pretty lucky gal. <3