Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Schnitzel’s Austrian Grill Review ~ Gluten Free Eating in Reno and Sparks

I discovered my new favorite food truck in the Reno/Sparks area a few days ago. Schnitzel's Austrian Grill is AMAZING!

It is also a wonderful place to eat gluten free. Basically, everything except their bread can be (or already is) gluten free.

For those who eat gluten free by choice, it sounds like you can eat their GF ciabatta... but she doesn't feel safe serving it to people who are Celiac or have allergic issues right now. (There MAY be a cross contamination issue with the supplier currently.) Kirsten is extremely personable and very knowledgeable about gluten issues! 

The above picture is of the (Gluten Free) Pork Schnitzel with Red Beet and Apple Salad, Cucumber Salad, and Ligonberry Jam. It is shocking how wonderful this schnitzel is with a gluten free breading. It is perfect... not too dry, soggy, nor too thick.

The platters come with two sides and one condiment. They also serve their entrees as a sandwich.

I also had the opportunity to sample several of their items and loved everything. 

My favorite sides were the Red Beet and Apple Salad (this was crazy good even though it sounded a bit odd to me at first), Cucumber Salad, Chilled Chickpea Salad, and Sauerkraut (in the picture to the right). Their other sides are Austrian Potato Salad,  Mixed Salad, and French Fries.

My favorite entree currently is the Pork Schnitzel. I cannot wait to try their Fish Schnitzel. I arrived later in their day, so they had run out of the fish (I believe it's haddock). 

I also got to sample their Bratwurst, Currywurst, and Cranberry Horseradish Cream. Oh my! Their bratwurst is an authentic German Bratwurst and in my opinion is honestly the tastiest sausage in town! It has a perfect snap when you bite into it and tremendous flavors. I was a bit hesitant to sample the Currywurst, because I have never been a fan of curry. Maybe I haven't had good curry the few times I've had it before (who knows).... but this was so good that I wished I had some bread to sop the rest of it up. 

Now about the Cranberry Horseradish Cream. AAAAMAZING!!! I know it may sound a bit crazy and I am not really into straight horseradish, but this is crazy good and slightly tamer than a nice quality wasabi. I totally recommend this with whatever you order if you can handle some heat.

So how much do I REALLY love Schnitzel's Austrian Grill? So much that I told two workers I didn't even know at our local Natural Grocers later that day in quite a bit of detail and it inspired me to start blogging about great places to eat gluten free in the Reno/Sparks area. Yes, I Yelped this too, but I felt it deserved it's own post here. 

In conclusion:

  • The food here is amazing!
  • You can safely eat gluten free here with almost every item available to you.
  • The service is top notch. I felt like I have known them for a long time even though this was my first visit.
  • Where else can you get amazing gluten free schnitzels?

* I wrote this review without being asked and I paid for my meal in full. This review is filled entirely of my personal opinions.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Free Christmas Ebooks

I am using my Amazon affiliate links in this post. Clicking through them does not cost you anything extra, but it allows me to earn a little commission for any sales I refer. Thank you for your support. For more information, you can also read my my disclosure policy.

*  Remember that prices may change, so make sure that it is still free when you go to download. I have not read these books yet, so I am not personally recommending them for any reason other than they are free, about the Christmas season in some way, and looked interesting to me.

A Family for Christmas by Mona Ingram

This is supposed to be a real feel-good Christmas story that most of the reviewers really liked. I'm looking forward to reading this one, for sure.

Get your copy here.

Joy to the World! An Advent Devotional Journey through the Songs of Christmas by Ray Pritchard

I am definitely looking forward to this even though I am getting started late. It goes from December 1 to December 25.

Get your copy here.

A Christmas of Hope by Danyelle Ferguson

This is a collection of short stories and one of them is about a mom of a little boy who is on the Autism Spectrum. There is a range of reviews on this one, but I want to check it out at least for this particular story.

Get your copy here.

Killer Christmas (Holiday Series Book 1) by Harper Lin

This is an"Emma Wild Mystery with Recipes" and is a short story.

Get your copy here.

Make Ahead Christmas Breakfast and Brunch Recipes: Quick and Easy Breakfast Recipes by Kristina Newman

This has a lot of great reviews and 240 pages.

Get your copy here.

A Christmas Carol (Abridged and with extras... see below) by Charles Dickens

This ebook is abridged, but includes facts behind the fiction and commentaries throughout the years.

Get your copy here.

A Christmas Carol (Unabridged) by Charles Dickens

Here is a copy of the original in ebook format.

The Night Before Christmas: The Classic Account of the Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement C. Moore

What more is there to say about this one? Truly a Christmas tradition!

Get your copy here.

Summer Beach Vets: Playing Santa (Christmas Holiday Romance): A sweet small town beach romance set Down Under) by H.Y. Hanna

This short story is said to be a good, clean read... which is the way I like mine.  ;)   I'm looking forward to reading this one, too.

Get your copy here.

Bah, Humbug! (A Christmas Street Romantic Comedy Novella) by Heather Horrocks

This one says that it's rated PG and has a lot of positive reviews.

Get your copy here.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and happy reading!

Lobster Grilled Cheese ~ Gluten Free or Traditional

I combined two sandwiches from Slapfish to come up with this recipe. It's mostly based on their Crab and Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwich, but also has a nod to their Lobster Grilled Cheese. Since I live NOWHERE near a Slapfish and likely will not be traveling near one again anytime very soon... I felt that I needed to come up with my own creation. Plus, I won't be able to eat these particular dishes at Slapfish since theirs aren't gluten free.

Here is my gluten free version. Check each of your ingredients for gluten, if you have issues. It can be found in several of the items below, but easily also found gluten free. I used Trans Ocean imitation lobster that is found next to the imitation crab. It's gluten free, saved some money, was easy to work with, and worked fine for this recipe.

Ingredients per sandwich:

1/2 cup lobster meat (I used Trans Ocean imitation lobster, which is gluten free.)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 lemon (zest and juice)
1/2 tablespoon green onions, chopped
2 dashes of Tabasco
2 slices of bread (I used Shar Artisan Multi-Grain bread, it's gluten free.)
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
1/8 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 tomato, diced
few slices of cucumber (about 1/8 cup)
2 large slices of Brie cheese
1-2 tablespoon butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep all the vegetables and cheese before going any further.

Combine the lobster meat, mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, green onions, and Tabasco in a bowl. Set aside.

Heat the butter in a large non-stick skillet for 45 seconds until foaming.

Place the 2 pieces of bread in the skillet and toast on both sides until lightly brown and toasted.

Remove toast from skillet and place on a cookie sheet. 

Spread both slices of bread with the mascarpone cheese. 

Sprinkle the shredded cheddar for the next layer of one piece of bread. This will become the bottom of your sandwich.

Top with the lobster mixture. Scatter the chopped tomato over the lobster. Top the tomatoes with the sliced cucumber. Place the Brie on top of the cucumber. Top the sandwich with the other piece of toast with the mascarpone facing down onto the sandwich.

Bake in oven until the cheese is melted, about 5-10 minutes. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Turkey or Chicken Monterey ~ Great Way to Use Turkey Leftovers!

I was looking for another tasty way to use some of our leftover Thanksgiving turkey and came across a few recipes for Chicken Monterey.

This recipe looked the best and was easily adaptable for using leftovers. It got two thumbs up from both of my guys, so we will definitely have this often.

The original recipe is a copycat recipe of Chili's Chicken Monterey. I changed it up a bit by using the pre-cooked aka leftover turkey and replaced the chives with green onions. I also made my own Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese blend... heavy on the Monterey.

This is also extremely easy to make gluten free like I did. Just make sure that each of your ingredients are gluten free, if this is necessary. Some turkeys or chicken breasts are in a glaze or broth that isn't gluten free, Also check your barbecue sauce, shredded cheese, and bacon for gluten, if needed.

Turkey Monterey with Leftovers

Ingredients for One Serving:

1 serving of turkey or about the size of a chicken breast
2 teaspoons barbecue sauce
2 slices cooked bacon, crispy
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese blend (I mixed my own.)
green onion
diced tomatoes


Reheat your turkey or chicken. Top with barbecue sauce and spread evenly over the top. Lay 2 slices of crispy bacon on top, then sprinkle cheese over everything. 

Heat in the microwave until the cheese is melted.

Top with a sprinkling of green onions and diced tomatoes.  Enjoy!


Chicken Monterey with Boneless Chicken Breasts

Ingredients for One Serving:

1 boneless skinless chicken breast
2 teaspoons barbecue sauce
2 slices cooked bacon, crispy
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese blend (I mixed my own.)
green onion
diced tomatoes


Pound the chicken breast until it is flattened a bit. Season with salt and pepper.

Spray cooking oil in a skillet and cook chicken breast until it's done. Transfer to a serving plate.

Top with barbecue sauce and spread evenly over the top. Lay 2 slices of crispy bacon on top, then sprinkle cheese over everything. 

Broil chicken breast in the oven or melt the cheese in a microwave.

Top with a sprinkling of green onions and diced tomatoes.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Our Eclectic 9th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Plans

{This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.}

"Buddy" is starting his Freshman year this week. I cannot believe how quickly time has flown by.

We are excited and a little anxious as we embark on this new adventure. We have been a bit more "relaxed" in the past then we will be during our high school years.

In the past, we always studied the usual subjects, but also did quite a bit of student-inspired learning. We didn't do student-led or unschooling, but definitely with a little nod in that direction. If Buddy was interested in something in particular, we would often change things up to include his special interest as much as possible. We will probably do that just a little even in high school, but try to fit it into what we are "supposed" to be studying. I don't want to squash his love for learning.

I plan to use the "sticky note strategy" or something really similar (explained here) when something we are studying doesn't fit into whatever we are currently doing.

I still remember talking to a homeschool friend several years ago and telling her that I wasn't sure what to call our style of homeschooling. She said that we were, "Christian, eclectic, child-inspired, relaxed, homeschoolers with a focus on living books." Yes! That describes us.

The only thing that has changed over the years is that we really got into documentaries and video lessons this last year. Buddy absolutely loves Crash Course, Hip Hughes History  (some of his have a bad word, so might want to pre-screen), Mister Canton, and anything by Brian Unger.

So, here is what we are planning for Buddy's 9th grade year:

World History

World Geography



Survey of Sciences ~ From the Wonders of Creation Series

We only needed to choose 4 specific sciences from this series to create a year of science, but Buddy really wants to study all 5 of these.... so here we go! (There are a few others to choose from, too.)


JavaScript Programming



  • This is also included in our Notgrass World History. The passages to read and questions are included in the Student Review Book and the Bible Commentary for the passages can be found here.

We also are loving Traveling Through History With Doctor Who - Six Week Course (we have already started). We did the semester one course (which is longer) last year. We thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot. 

Buddy is taking the following classes at our local homeschool co-op this first semester:
  • Speech and Debate (as well as joining the team)
  • Cardio Kickboxing
  • Success for Teens
He is also continuing on the Special Athletes All-Star Cheer Team that he joined last year. They just added a weekly tumbling class that he is taking, too.

Buddy is also a part of our church's youth group and the local Navigators' Chapter.

If you would like some more ideas for homeschooling your high school student, you can check out my 9th Grade Homeschool Board and my Homeschool High School Board on Pinterest.

What curriculum do you use for your homeschooled high schooler? Please, leave a comment with your recommendations below.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Guacamole Burgers and Garlic Parmesan Fries ~ Easily Gluten Free

It has been awhile since I have made these extremely tasty burgers, but I have been only making these fries of amazing garlic yumminess for a few months. The original recipe I received for the fries says that these are like the ones at Red Robin. I have not had their version, because I do not know if they are gluten free or not. That's OK... I now make my own at home.

These burgers and fries definitely go well together, but it's not a meal that you will want to have TOO often if you are trying to eat healthy.... so just pace yourself and enjoy from time to time, because these recipes are too good not to enjoy every once in awhile.

I usually use lean ground turkey these days, but when it comes to this recipe, I just go ahead and go for ground beef. The flavors call for the spurge.   ;)

Guacamole Burgers


8 bacon strips ~ Gluten Free if needed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
2 lbs ground beef
4 slices Monterrey Jack cheese ~ GF if needed ~ I usually use Havarti 
4 buns, toasted ~ GF if needed
1/4 cup guacamole ~ We like more.  ;)


Check out the yummy filling of green chilies and onions!
They season the burgers from the inside.
Cook bacon until crisp, drain, and set aside. (I usually cook this ahead of time with another meal that includes bacon.)

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine onion and green chilies; set aside.

Shape beef patties into 8 relatively thin patties. Top half of the patties with the onion mixture. Cover with remaining patties and firmly press edges to seal.

Grill, covered, over medium heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. (I believe that ours take longer. Just make sure that they are done.) 

Top each with 2 pieces of bacon and a slice of cheese. Grill one minute longer or until cheese is melted.

Serve on toasted buns with guacamole. These honestly do not need any other seasonings on the meat or condiments on the burgers. YUMMO!


Garlic Parmesan Fries

* I actually 1/2 everything except the fries when I make these, because "Buddy" does not want anything on his fries and 1/2 of the topping is more than enough for us. 

Original Ingredient Amounts

1 bag steak fries ~ Gluten Free if needed ~ I use Ore-Ida Steak Fries
1/2 cup or 1 stick butter ~ GF if needed 
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated ~ GF if needed

* Ingredient Amounts That I Use

1 bag steak fries ~ Gluten Free if needed ~ I use Ore-Ida Steak Fries
1/4 cup or 1/2 stick butter ~ GF if needed 
1 tablespoon minced garlic ~ I usually use a bit more.... imagine
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/8 cup Parmesan cheese, grated ~ GF if needed


Cook the fries until crispy, using whatever method you like (baked or fried). I just bake them. It is easier and healthier.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Then stir in the garlic, parsley, and Parmesan cheese.

When the fries are done, place them on a platter or individual plates. Pour the garlic butter mixture over the fries. Enjoy!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Crockpot Italian Cabbage and Sausage ~ Easily Gluten Free

I make this extremely easy, inexpensive, and super tasty slow cooker dish quite often. It's one of my son's favorite meals with cabbage.

I don't have a picture of it, even though I made it again tonight.... mostly because it isn't as attractive as it is yummy.   ;)

With short and extremely easy prep and inexpensive ingredients... this recipe is definitely a winner!

I usually double the sausage and use two cabbages (one small and one medium).  It then barely fits into my 6 quart crockpot, but my family truly loves this and remember... the cabbage cooks down quite a bit.


(* See note below.)
1 medium cabbage
1 package of kielbasa ~ Gluten Free, if needed (I use John Morrell Polish Sausage)
2 cups tomato sauce (16 ounces)
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey


Slice cabbage. Place in greased 5/6 quart slow cooker. Slice sausage and place on top of cabbage. 

In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour over cabbage and sausage. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until cabbage is tender.

* If I do not double the entire recipe, I will then get a larger cabbage and usually double the sausage.

I also have another yummy cabbage recipe that "Buddy" loves: Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls ~ Quick and Gluten Free.