About Me

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I am mom to an 18 year old boy and identical twin 9 year old boys. I am the wife of a wonderful man. I have had celiac disease for 18 years, and love to share recipes I find or create!

Oct 13, 2017

Here's my list of possibilities for a Huntsville, AL trip :)

U.S. Space and Rocket Center
A must for every visitor to Huntsville, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center features a sprawling complex where I found the largest collection of rockets and space memorabilia in the world. A day’s worth of discovery and learning awaits along with an IMAX theater and glimpse into Space Camp.

Space Camp for Families
With programs for kids as young as 9 all the way until high-school seniors, Space Camp offers STEM-based camps in a variety of topics ranging from two-day introductory mini-camps to week-long summer resident camps.

Marshall Space Flight Center Bus Tour
The Marshall Space Flight Center houses NASA’s research and development facility for programs like the mission to Mars. Take a guided bus tour of the facility that remains closed to the public.

A.M. Booth’s Lumberyard
Dine on the patio of a restored 100-year-old lumberyard while enjoying live music. This complex features several restaurants and hosts special events. I found A.M. Booth’s Lumberyard at 108 Cleveland Ave.

Campus No. 805
Across 13-acres of a revitalized high school campus, I found a complex of craft breweries, restaurants, food trucks, retail shopping, live music and a speakeasy. Campus No. 805 is located at 2620 Clinton Ave. W.

DeSoto State Park
DeSoto State Park offers camping along with the lodge, cabins and restaurant. Pick up a Junior Ranger booklet for the kids and take a hike to discover the rugged beauty of northern Alabama. DeSoto State Park adjoins the Little River Canyon National Preserve.

Little River Canyon National Preserve
From Lookout Mountain, Little River flows through sandstone carving Little River Canyon as it passes over Little River Falls. One of the wildest and cleanest rivers in the Southeast, Little River offers recreational opportunities like rock climbing, kayaking and hiking. Stop by the Little River Canyon Center for a map, a Junior Ranger booklet and an educational movie. Located at 4322 Little River Trail NE and open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Little River Canyon National Preserve is open from sunrise to sunset and is free to enter.

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
In the early 1800s, the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole people were forcibly removed from their lands and relocated to the Indian Territory, present-day Oklahoma. Using several routes, including land and waterways, visitors can retrace the Trail of Tears.

Russell Cave National Monument
Near the Tennessee border, the Russell Cave National Monument offers a glimpse into the history of human civilization 1,000 years before European contact. Russell Cave provides one of the most extensive archeological records on the East Coast. Explore Russell Cave from the boardwalk only. Located at 3729 County Road 98 in Bridgeport, 70 miles northeast of Huntsville. Russell Cave is free.

Find a treasure at Unclaimed Baggage Center
The Unclaimed Baggage Center is located at 509 West Willow Street, Scottsboro, 40 miles southeast of Huntsville. Open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and closed on Sunday.

Brunch at the Wildflower Cafe
The Wildflower Café is located at 6007 Alabama Highway 117 in Mentone, 70 miles southeast of Huntsville.

Savor the Arts
After a hearty brunch at Wildflower Café, walk next door to Kamama Gallery for a collection of local artists’ work. I found pottery, landscapes and sculpture in the cultural hub of Mentone. Grab a cup of coffee at the Kamama Gallery’s café, located at 5951 Alabama Highway 117.

Another gallery, the Miracle Pottery, features the work of Valinda Miracle, who used ceramics as a form of physical therapy after a major car accident. In addition to a gallery, Miracle Pottery features classes in ceramics and located at 7811 Alabama Highway 117.

I haven't posted in a long time now! My oldest is in college now (eek!) and I finally have a little free time to myself again. I thought I would start posting about the cool trips we are either going on or planning to in the future, on our awesome homeschooling journey :)

We traveled to Birmingham, AL last month and holy cow was it a blast (and affordable!). I took my mom and my twins, and thanks to our Tellus Science Center membership we were able to visit the McWane Science center and the Southern Museum of Flight for free! The science center is SOOOOOO COOL! Check it out here: http://www.mcwane.org/. We all had a great time and spent hours exploring the exhibits there (pretty sure we spent 4 hours on the dot there!) and then splurged and ate in the cafe (I ate my own gf food I brought). The flight museum was very educational, my kids loved seeing the planes made from kits over the years, but especially enjoyed the military history room. We ran into the gentleman who runs field trips there, and he gave us a great tour of the military area. My kids learned so much! I want to go back when they are older and have a more thorough understanding of the wars we've been involved in and such. We also stopped at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens (which is always free yay!) and walked around through the beautiful scenery. We didn't stay long because it was HOT and I didn't want to get sunburnt, but holy cow did I feel like Alice in the queen's roses, the rose garden was so big and pretty! We did stop to see the Vulcan, a must see for tourists.

The last thing we did was visit the Barber Motorsports Museum, and whoa is that place big. Motorcycles everywhere! If you have a motorcycle enthusiast in your family, go. Just go. It's awesome.

Since we got into every attraction but one for free, we splurged and spent $102 on an overnight stay at the Drury Inn Grandview. The kids LOVED it! The pool is half indoors half outdoors, so even in the rainy weather they were able to swim. The hot tub is SUPER FUN, and we were down there alone the night we stayed (because we homeschool and can travel anytime haha). The hotel offers complimentary dinner, breakfast, and popcorn and drinks all evening too! We brought our roku stick and watched movies on netflix while eating popcorn and it was truly an enjoyable stay for us. I am going to look for Drury Inns for every trip now!

I highly recommend making the trip if you have an ASTC reciprocal membership, and kiddos who enjoy science museums. Birmingham isn't the prettiest city, and the flight museum isn't in the prettiest part of town, but be smart and don't leave ipads sitting out in your car and use good judgement and you'll have a blast! Next trip, we plan to check out the Birmingham Zoo and want to leave time for a little out of the way travel to one of the many National Parks in Alabama. We love the junior ranger program and want to earn more badges and learn more about our world!

Nov 1, 2014


I use this list as a start every halloween, to check my kiddos candy. I hope everyone had a safe and happy halloween!!

May 26, 2014

Painting concrete floors!

I am getting good at painting our cement floors! We got very grossed out by our nasty old carpets, so we ripped the carpeting out room by room and painted the cement slab floors! We have done every room downstairs but one (too many fish tanks to move!) and we are so pleased with how they look, and they are actually not showing any wear!

We cut the carpet into 1ft wide strips, to fit in trash bags for garbage day. There was so much disgusting... well dust and grime under our carpet pads, once we pulled one up we knew we had to do them all downstairs. The trick to removing that nasty white carpet glue off the floor - pour boiling water on it and scrub a little with a metal chore boy. I had to scrape a few spots, but overall it came right off! We painted the floors using Glidden porch and floor paint and sponged on behr premium plus ultra. We sealed the first floor with untinted Glidden porch and floor paint, but it showed scuffs almost immediately so we went back over it with Behr low luster sealant and used that for the rest of the floors. I will warn you it's a bit slippery for the first few weeks it's on, but once you walk on it a bit it becomes "normal floor" again. We love the sealant because it's so durable! It has stood up to our dog, three cats, and three boys with their hot wheels, etc. all over it - without so much as a mark yet!

To get the tile grout look, we used 1/4 inch quilting tape from Walmart! To make the transition from our tiled main area to the cement, we found a nice wooden door jam trim at Home Depot, and glued it down with caulk and painted it to match the floors. It does take some measuring and remeasuring to get good lines on the floor, but wow are the results worth it! We have put down a few area rugs, just because, but the tile floors are MUCH colder in the winter than our painted concrete floors are, I was shocked!!!

Here are some photos :) Post in comments if you have any questions!

Feb 5, 2014

February song

I have discovered that singing a song with our 6yr olds about the month as it begins really helps us all remember what month it is. So, this is how we start each Monday morning for school! We found most of ours on scholastic teacher resources :)

February (sung to "Yankee Doodle")

In the month of February, I'm so very glad Oh,
The groundhog comes on Groundhog Day a-looking for his shadow!

February, what a month! Cold and crisp and snowy.
Middle of the winter when the winds are sharp and blowy!

Presidents' Day in February, always sets me thinkin
About our special pair of heroes: Washington and Lincoln!

February, what a month! Filled with lots of cheer now!
Will you be my Valentine? Valentine's Day is here now!

Aug 9, 2013

Tate's Bake Shop Cookies, Gluten Free Double Chocolate Chip. Yum!!

So I'm going to start posting my opinions on some gluten free food. I have had many mishaps over the last four months or so, been glutened more than I would like to admit. I'm an extremely sensitive celiac, so I know within ten minutes if I have eaten a crumb I shouldn't have! I have been sick the last four times I have visited PF Chang's and ate gluten free, so no more going there ;( One more restaurant crossed off the list. Thankfully my local Steak and Shake and Chick Fil A have strict policies and I have never once gotten sick eating at either restaurant! Applebees gluten free is a joke, I got so sick last time I ate there I couldn't make it out of the restaurant, and all I had was a salad. That was supposed to be gluten free. Ugh.

I have sworn off a number of products because they make me gluten sick (I'm only a celiac, no other allergies), the one I remember most is Amy's products. Boy do they make me glutened!
These were given to me by my lovely sister in law, who gets so much joy out of finding good foods for myself and my celiac suffering son! I must admit, the cookies were really good. Yes, they're gone now. I will admit they are VERY crunchy straight out of the package, so I would open one of the little packaged rows and leave it open for a day in my little humid laundry room, while I did laundry. The next day they were soft and ohhhhh my gosh so yummy! I'm going to try the regular choc chip cookies from Tate's next :)

Jul 2, 2013

4th of July party foods!

Yes, I'm hosting a "happy birthday America" party! I decided to go with gluten free and full o' gluten goodies, since most of our guests are not gluten free. This year I'm making pulled pork bbq (pork roast in the crockpot all day with water, then pull apart and slather with bbq sauce), red white and blue cake balls (using gf cake mix),  stained glass jello, cupcakes of course (again, gf cake mix), a bacon explosion, and red white and blue rice krispies (using gf krispies of course!). I can't wait!!! We always ask guests to bring something "fun" to add to the table, so we always end up with more food than people :) HAPPY 4TH Y'ALL!!!

May 22, 2013

Gluten Free doesn't have to be EVERYTHING FREE, c'mon!!!!

I'm so disappointed, I really want to sit down and cry. I finally find a gluten free bakery and of course, I walk in and there's a lady asking if the bacon used on a frozen pizza is nitrate free or something, what they use for egg replacers, and have they experimented with vegan cheese. Really?! Why oh why can't something just be GLUTEN free, not "every allergen under the sun" free? I understand trying to please a broader audience, and I understand people with multiple food allergies need these places. However, I feel like there has GOT to be enough celiacs to warrant not removing every single thing that binds food together or makes it rise (heck, makes it taste like real food) for EVERY gluten free product!!!

Then I realize the products we're buying is not only gluten free, it's dairy/egg/soy free too. The brownie stuck to my teeth/roof of my mouth so terribly I felt like a dog with peanut butter in my mouth, and I ate numerous tan colored balls of unmixed flour in the dough  The bread makes my teeth stick together after I eat it (wtf is that?!) and the cupcakes are honestly enjoyable, but I think anything half good would be enjoyable smothered in sugary chocolate frosting!

This bakery has a sign that it's "voted one of the top gluten free bakeries in America", so apparently my expectations of gf food tasting like it's gluteny counterparts is bullhonky and I'm the only one who feels like that...

So, I will still be making all of my baked goods at home. Yes, I can make cupcakes and brownies that taste like REAL ones and yes they have eggs, milk, butter, all the horrible ingredients that make food taste like food, except gluten. And since Big Kid enjoyed the bread I might buy more. However, at $10 a loaf I expected a LOT more.

Apr 24, 2013

Fanta made us sick... well now I know why!

Fanta. Fanta Grape, Fanta Orange and Fanta Orange Zero, all Coca-Cola products, are considered gluten-free to 20ppm in the U.S., but don't appear on Coke's Canadian gluten-free list.

I think Canadians are onto something we have missed...

Apr 18, 2013

Our new Miniature Pinscher/Chihuahua Mix

                                                                        Meet Sadie!

We searched and searched for just the right dog for our family, and Sadie fit every want and wish we had for a dog. She is a snuggle monster, a great "guard dog" because she barks at any strangers in our yard or at our door. She is excellent with our kids and cats, and loves us all, but honestly she's a mama's girl :)

We found Sadie on a dog rescue's website, she was dropped off with another baby puppy at a shelter and since she and her friend had sarcoptic mange (dog scabies from what I understand) they were going to be put down. Mange can apparently infect the entire shelter, which they can't have. So, the rescue organization took Sadie and the other pup, and made them healthy happy puppies again. She lived in a foster home for a few months until she was ready for adoption, and now she lives with us! Her mange is gone of course, but her skin is still very dry and itchy so we are taking her every 8 weeks for a medicated shampooing and conditioning.

I am a cat person through and through (we have two) and never thought a dog could win my heart over as quickly as Sadie has! I'm doing my best not to carry her too much, or baby her terribly, but she is definitely still a baby. She 14 weeks old - sleeps a ton, chews on all of her toys (and our socks) constantly, and while she has figured out if she pees outside or on the puppy pads we have she will get a treat, she just can't get the hang of pooing on the pads or outside... but we're working on it! We decided against crate training her, she is just too sweet of a puppy not to sleep in our bed every night with us. She gets under the covers and snuggles all night!!!

I am so happy we waited and found the right dog, because wow are we happy people right now :) Hopefully, she is one happy puppy too!


Sadie has been with us for close to a year now, and let me tell you she is the sweetest dog! She lets our friends' babies pull on her ears and stick fingers up her nose without a twitch, and while she loves all of us she adores me. She is a complete cuddler, and loves to sleep under the covers with us. She refuses to go outside most of the time, so she uses a puppy pad inside and while she isn't the easiest to train, she has learned a few important commands. Most importantly, she has become a very loved member of our family! 

Mar 28, 2013

Gall Bladder Surgery

I have not posted recently, because I had gall bladder surgery! Three weekends ago I went to urgent care with terrible stomach pains, right under my ribs on the right and left side of my stomach. The doc pushed around on my belly and told me I had to go to the ER to get my appendix and gall bladder checked out. I had one very large gall stone, no infection, but man the pain was awful! I just couldn't get comfortable no matter where I sat or laid down. So, I had laproscopic surgery to remove my gall bladder two weeks ago!

The pain the day after surgery was mind numbing. First let me say they insert CO2 into your abdomen to make room to move around in, and to see what they are doing. So the gas is not in your digestive system, and even though they try to get all the gas out, you'll still have gas bubbles. That's what hurts after surgery. I was fine walking around and moving my shoulders to get the gas bubbles out of my shoulders, but I had one spot right where the two incisions were, where my gall bladder used to be, that was so painful I couldn't breathe. I had to go back to the ER and get better pain medication, and a medicine to help with the gas! It hurt to breathe in so much I was crying, and I never cry. I hate crying. That was just more than I could handle.

Once that specific pain was gone, I felt so much better! Of course, when your stomach muscles are cut even a tiny bit you have some recovery time. However, it's been two weeks and here I am, able to put my own socks on again and able to do some housework! I even picked up one of my twins today, who weigh 41lbs each! My incisions are all healed except for my belly button, which is healing just not healed yet.

I have kept to a very low fat high fiber diet. It helps, seriously. I have been eating a lot of fresh and dried fruit, gluten free breads, gluten free (oat free!) granola (I like Bakery On Main) and I have been sprinkling ground flaxseed over my cereals in the morning. I have been sticking to poultry, and plan to reintroduce red meat next week. So far I haven't had any issues like so many others have told me about (vomiting, diarrhea, all that fun stuff). I'm very thankful to have such an awesome doctor, and thankful she told me how to care for myself after surgery :)

Feb 27, 2013

The Lorax bulletin boards

My twins love The Lorax, and have been searching for the book to go with the movie. I see a book in their Easter baskets... anyway! These are the board projects they made after watching the movie, I am so proud! They did a great job - they did all the cutting and glueing. And the Hoodies from last month are still up, they couldn't bear to take them down yet. They are from the book Once There Was A Hoodie. They adore that book!

Feb 8, 2013

Gluten Free Bagels

Yesterday we grabbed a package of Glutino's NY Style bagels. I have loved every single product I have tried from Glutino, until today. These bagels are rock hard even when completely thawed - hard to cut, and taste ... lacking. If you are interested in gluten free bagels, I strongly suggest you try Udi's bagels. They are AWESOME and I will never stray again!!! They're amazing with cream cheese and jelly, just sayin :)

Jan 25, 2013

Gluten Free (ok allergen free!) Chocolate Cupcakes

These are moist, just awesome! I was stunned when I finished making them yesterday they are just so yummy!

1 1/2 C All Purpose Flour (we of course use gf pantry's ap flour!)
3 Tbs cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 C granulated sugar
5 Tbs canola oil (feel free to sub your fave veggie oil here)
1 Tbs white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C cold water

In a large mixing bowl combine cocoa, baking soda, and sugar and mix. Add oil, vanilla and vinegar, then pour water into the bowl. Stir well, making sure all lumps are gone. Pour into either lined cupcake tin (makes 12) or an 8x8 or 9x9 baking pan.

Bake for about a half an hour, test with fork for doneness. YUM! Cool completely before using your fave frosting :)

Jan 22, 2013

Mario Kart DIY Party Decorations

My twin boys have decided to have a Mario Kart Wii party for their 5th birthday. So, since I'm always trying to find ways to make a dollar stretch, I'm making the decorations myself! I thought I would share some of the decorations we're making, since they are SO easy! I homeschool, so I already have tons of construction paper and glue sticks laying around.

First, we made stars. Super easy - yellow paper, scissors, a black marker. We taped some to a string and the rest we used tape balls to stick to the wall, the side of our old projection tv, any place the boys wanted to stick them!

Then, we made mushrooms. This one required red, white, and tan paper, black marker, scissors, and a glue stick. Nothing too involved, see?! I drew my best mushroom on a piece of paper, using a picture I found online as a model. Then, I cut the pieces up that I drew, and used them as templates to cut the red tops and tan faces.
I drew the eyes on with a fat sharpie marker, and used a dip bowl as a template for the white circles. For the edges, I just cut extra circles, glued them to the edge of the mushroom, and cut off the excess and used them again on another mushroom!
I have a happy birthday banner from at least six years ago, and it has justice league squares on it. So, I cover the justice league squares up with whatever we choose to use each year! Last time we used it we covered the squares with basketballs I drew on orange paper. Again, super easy!!

The party we had was just awesome! We played Pin The Mustache On Mario, Mario and Luigi bingo (we found images online and made a 5 square by 5 square card with all the images in different orders - so each kiddo could cover something when we called it!), and of course we played Mario Kart Wii. We found images of all the Mario characters together and printed it out with "Happy Birthday" across the bottom, and put all of the boys' Mario Bros toy characters on the mantle. Who knew we had so many?! And of course I laminated just about everything we made, because I am in love with my new laminator :)

For treat bags we found Mario coloring books to print and put in 4ct crayola packs and a mario pencil (found at party city), and we used these question mark blocks to fill with chocolate coins! We used brown paper lunch bags with a star stapled on the front to hold everything. AWESOME PARTY and we didn't spend one dime!! Even the cake mix was free with coupons! LOL!

* My ideas for next Mario party:
Chomp Chomp pinata
Mario and Luigi cupcake stand
and I want to make a BOO out of a white paper lantern... or white balloons, not sure yet.

Jan 9, 2013

Have you ever had an anxiety attack?

I haven't posted in awhile, because I'm trying to better organize my life and find a way to carry less stress around. Yoga is helping a lot.

I've had these odd breathing attacks since I got pregnant with my twins five years ago. My chest would feel like a belt was tightening around me, in the beginning I would hyperventilate, I broke out in sweats and hives, and it felt like a heart attack. They would last a minute or two, then I would get this euphoric feeling and feel like I had just participated in a triathlon. They came and went, and seemed to be brought on only by me doing too much strenuous exercise. At first, it was if I worked too hard in the garden. Then, I would get an attack if I walked up the stairs too fast, picked up a heavy laundry basket, or picked up one of the kids. Well, this summer it became a week of 8 to 13 attacks every day my week of pms. I even had attacks sitting perfectly still. I would wake up out of a dead sleep stuck to the sheets having an awful attack. One happened while I was teaching my oldest, I was just sitting at the table not even talking, and it lasted almost three minutes. I was stuck in that chair, moaning in the worst pain I have felt since childbirth. That made me decide it was time to talk to a doctor.

I apparently have anxiety. I don't bite my nails, or pick at things, I don't over organize things, I am not a clean freak. The only symptom of anxiety that I have is the anxiety attacks that randomly hit me. I will say I do a lot within the confines of each day, but I have always been like that and it's just "me". I teach three kids, I keep the house pretty clean, I keep up with house chores, I take the kids on field trips and to classes and to parties and such. I help deal with the occasional broken bone or laceration, eye appts, leaking dishwasher, etc. I coupon and match sales to save as much as I can at the grocery store. I manage our budget and pay all the bills. I was the president of our HOA board, and I have been scheduling and organizing field trips for a homeschool group I sort of started. I make a lot of food from scratch because of our celiac disease, but even that I have always done, I just changed my ingredients to gluten free.

I went to my regular doc, who gave me klonopin for when I have the attacks. It's a tranquilizer and holy cow does it make me stupid. He sent me to a cardiologist because my heart skips a beat once in awhile. Turns out that yes, that's all it is and it's ok that it does that. The cardiologist said since it follows my pms so much I should see a hormone specialist. Mind you no one had mentioned anxiety at this point. So, off I go and after what seemed like all of my blood going into vials my hormone levels are perfect. Off to my gyno, to see if there's some tumor growing or something funny going on. He said he too has anxiety attacks and immediately recognized that's what I was going through. He agreed the klonopin should be for horses, and told me to try wellbutrin. I had never been depressed in my life until I started taking wellbutrin. It made me want to do nothing but stay in bed all day. I stopped cleaning the house, I stopped caring about schooling, it was awful. So, I stopped taking it. The doc said to try out lexipro, and bam - it is doing it! I haven't had one attack since I started taking the lexipro, I have felt a few coming on but have had a ton of crap to deal with lately and honestly I expected to have attacks. I was pleasantly surprised that a simple pill could help me so much!

So, I now am on a six month plan for myself. I want to be back off the medicine within the next six months. In the meantime, I'm learning how to relax. I quit the HOA, I'm letting others organize homeschool get togethers, and I'm starting to do yoga. I'm trying to ask for help when I need it (I'm a very independent person), and I have changed how Big Kid and I work at school. I still teach him social studies and math, for everything else he gets a weekly assignment list for each subject and can ask anytime he needs help. Fridays we go over the week's work, and as long as his grades are good and his work shows effort we'll continue the new schedule. Big Kid likes it because he can get a week's worth of grammer for example done in one sitting, and can work harder to have a day off if he wants it. I like it because it has freed me up SO much during the week! I can now work with the twins so much more (who love any school related anything), and it has given me time to sit and just relax. I am being completely honest when I say I have only recently started taking the time to sit and do nothing for five minutes during the day. I'm beginning to see that I do too much each day... hard to admit to yourself tho, it sort of feels like admitting failure!

Now you know why I have been away from the blog, I hope reading this helps at least someone who has suffered an anxiety attack in their life!

Nov 22, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

I'm trying a new twist to an old favorite - we love cheesecake at our house, and pumpkin pie is the only dessert we pine for when whispers of Thanksgiving dinner start. Here's what we're making this year!

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

2/3 C Gluten Free Pantry All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs cold butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Either in a mixer with a whisk attachment or by hand, whisk together the ingredients until they look like coarse sand. Even in my kitchenaid mixer, I had to finish this task with a hand whisk. Press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes, and allow to cool completely.

2 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
3/4 C sugar
1 Tbs vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 C canned pumpkin
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Using either a mixer or by hand, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg. Add pumpkin and spices into the mixture, and blend until well mixed. Pour into the prepared springform pan.

Bake for 55 minutes at 350 degrees, adding 10 minutes at a time if the pie isn't set yet. The middle should puff up as it bakes, then will lay back down. Filling should be "set", meaning the cheesecake won't be really jiggly if you shake it a little.

To remove from the springform pan, run a knife around the edge of the pie BEFORE you open the lock on the side, and please wait until the pie cools before you take the sides off. It will make a huge difference, I promise :)

I topped my pie with cool whip and a dusting of nutmeg, you could get creative and make it pretty! Ours didn't last five minutes so we didn't mind the presentation.

Nov 7, 2012

Gluten Free Banana Streusel Muffins

I had too many bananas, and 6 over-ripened. I found this recipe and was stunned at how tasty the muffins were! I of course bent the recipe to my own gluten free wants, here's what I did :)

Banana Streusel Muffins
1 1/2 C Gluten Free Pantry All Purpose Flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 over ripe bananas
3/4 C sugar
1 egg
1/3 C butter, melted
1/2 C brown sugar

1/8 C Gluten Free Pantry All Purpose Flour
dash of cinnamon
1 Tbs butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin tin or use paper liners.

I always use my kitchen aid mixer, but you can do this by hand as well! Mix together bananas, sugar, egg, and butter. Add flour, baking soda, and baking powder (I pile these together into one large measuring cup and mix them a little before adding to the wet ingredients).

Pour into muffin cups or tin.

Combine topping ingredients and mix until crumbly and well blended. Sprinkle generously over muffin cups and lightly press into the muffin batter.

Bake for 20 minutes or so, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

*I think you could also make this as a cake, but I would use a greased 8 or 9 inch pan and bake it at 350 degrees, maybe for 30 to 40 minutes, using the toothpick test again. I haven't tried making it into a cake yet, so don't quote me!!

Celiac Disease and dishwashers

I was diagnosed with celiac disease 6 years ago, Big Kid was diagnosed 5 months ago. I still hover trying to teach him about gluten safety, I can't help it. About a month ago he started getting sick here and there, obviously glutened. I started to go nuts wondering if he was eating at a table after someone else did and didn't wipe their crumbs, if he made his sandwich on a dirty counter, really going insane because who wants their kids' guts ripped up by gluten?! One day I was emptying the clean dishwasher and noticed one of the forks had a bit of food stuck to it... and it suddenly hit me. What if our 3yr old dishwasher wasn't doing it's job already? I stopped using it completely and bam, Big Kid stopped getting sick. He hasn't had a single issue since I started hand washing our dishes!

So I'm thinking my pretty, all black, pricey dishwasher will be freecycled soon and I will install a set of drawers in it's place. So far hand washing isn't that bad, we even survived washing by hand after a good sized Halloween party! I fill one side of the sink with super hot, soapy water and soak and wash there, then put the washed dishes in the other side to rinse. I'm hoping I'm not being too wasteful with water!

The only thing I really miss about the dishwasher is how nicely it cleaned all the sippy cup valves and lids... I have yet to find the perfect brush to get into all the crevices of those darn lids!! Might be time to switch to an easier to clean brand (sorry playtex). I guess once I uninstall the dishwasher I just keep the water turned off on the pipe, since there is only a flexpipe coming out from under my sink to feed the dishwasher. Have to read up on that part.

Oct 27, 2012

Tim Burton's Red Queen DIY costume

My mom is helping me with the sewing, and we're about half done with the Red Queen Costume! I'll keep updating with photos as we complete more. I'm so excited! So far we have made the triangle in the front (since I am so not wearing a corset), and have attached the beads and roses. We used stiff interfacing and gold fabric, and my mom sewed maroon ribbon stripes down the front. We found a ribbon with pearly decorations hanging from it at Joann's, along with some gold ribbon to tie around my arms. Mom's going to make puffy sleeve tops, and she's in the process of making the gold outer skirt and the red underskirt. We're going to gather the skirts (separately of course) and put each on a black waistband, with an elastic loop and a button. That way it's adjustable. I'm using gold fabric and fusible web to cut out the hearts, my mom knows how to do everything! She showed me how to put a silicon ironing mat under the fusible webbing so I could iron on just the gold, then iron the gold hearts once cut onto the black backing, then cut those hearts out. Easy peasy! What we have so far:

For the black top I found a (still had tags) dress at Goodwill that had black lace sleeves and black lace across the top of the dress, and we plan to cut the bottom of the dress off, possibly using part of it to roll netting or stuffing into so the skirt stands out around my waist. We also shopped Goodwills for the gold fabric (shower curtain) and red fabric (tablecloth). I already had a crinelin from last year's Goodwill finds for my princess peach costume, perfect! I found the leggings on leg avenue's website, perfect fit. I watched this how to online for the hair and this for the makeup! Should be interesting, between back combing my hair for the first time and applying makeup (which I never do either), I'll be busy for hours just on my BLOODY BIG HEAD! I'll post pictures of the finished product. * I had an allergic reaction to some of the makeup (and glue for my eyebrows), this was the best I got while staying comfortable!