About Me

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I am mom to a 15 year old boy and identical twin 6 year old boys. I am the wife of a wonderful man. I have had celiac disease for 15 years. Those things define me in that order, everything else falls in line! I homeschool because the public school system was just letting my smart child slip through not learning a thing, on the honor roll no less. While I eat a completely gluten free diet I don't keep a gluten free household. No reason to make the kids suffer with me! I am writing a gluten free cookbook (slowly!) because I can't stand all the gluten free recipes out there that use five hundred flours, and I want to eat normal food like non-celiacs do. Just like I used to, I use one all purpose flour that ROCKS, The Gluten Free Pantry's All Purpose Flour. No, I do not get paid to say that ;) Every recipe on my blog can also be made with regular flour, use it just like I use my gf flour!

Mar 29, 2010

Gardening


This weekend I moved the last of the Chinese Loropelatum bushes into our new garden, phew that was hard work! I also moved a bunch of grape hyacinth and daffodils, freecycled what I wasn't going to use. Freecycle is amazing, it's craig's list but all free! It keeps so much out of landfills, and has saved us tons and tons of money by reusing what others have outgrown. I'll try to put together a list someday of what we have received, I could never remember what we have given away it has been so much! I like helping others, and we always appreciate what we are "freecycled"! I really like the fact that when I'm done with an old picture frame or table or couch I don't have to take up space in landfills, I can find someone who will use it!

I love to garden, and am now awaiting delivery of my son's butterfly garden. We ordered from michigan bulb co, so it'll all come bare roots but hey it's affordable! We get 17 plants, various butterfly attracting ones, and I can't wait. I am talking it over with hubby about where to put the garden. I'm considering creating a garden out back towards the middle of our yard, so we can see it from the house and so our neighbors can enjoy it too... but that is a lot of hard work and I'm not sure I have it in me. I have been painting the interior of our house on and off, and that is physically trying on it's own without adding gardening to it! Ah well, it's a great payoff when everything's done - the house will be beautiful and the gardens will be so wonderful in bloom!


*Update 6/6/10
The butterfly garden is coming along nicely! I had to reorder two bee balm and two sweet william plants, but the blue butterfly bush is a foot high and already blooming, and the pink is at least a foot and the thicker of the two. The rest of the plants are coming in nicely, even in the nasty clay they are sitting in! WOOHOO! Come on over butterflies :) Michigan bulb co has impressed me!

Savings again!

Rite Aid ROCKS!

spent: $24.75 on my gift card
saved: $38.30

Bought:
two packs huggies overnight diapers
17 bags/pkgs candy for easter baskets
lysol hands free soap dispenser
$11 darth maul figurine
2 - 12 pks coke
2 - 20oz cokes
bag of Lay's chips
two goody brush/comb combos

Mar 22, 2010

Savings

Target -
Spent: $8.67
Saved: $29.33

Bought:
6 pack of socks
20 oz coca cola (my addiction)
3 sobe lifewaters
1 box transformers bandaids
airwick imotion freshener
3 gallons of milk
3 pk 3m scrubbing sponges
crest kids toothpaste

Rite Aid -
spent: $6.60
saved: $31.99

Bought:
2 20oz diet coke
2 frizzease conditioners
1 large jar planters peanuts
1 pkg huggies overnight diapers
1 20oz coca cola
1 always 18ct pads
St Ives body wash
St Ives face wash
I also transferred a script there and spent $15 on copay, got a $25 gift card! Not bad!! I am also owed $7.99 in Single Check Rebates on this, so technically I will make $1.39 plus the gift card. Pretty sweet!


I go to southernsavers.com on a regular basis for help matching coupons, Jenny ROCKS!

The Gluten Free Pantry


The Gluten Free Pantry are my heros. They produce an all purpose flour that I absolutely LOVE!! This is going to be what my cookbook is based on - the principle of using one NORMAL flour. I hate it when I try to find a gluten free cookbook and they try to teach you how to use fifty types of flour. I bought four or five of these books in the beginning (five years ago) and everything I made tasted like hummus, and I very quickly learned I hate rice flour, can't stand flax seeds, and have a severe distaste for anything "flour" that seems like it should be in health food. If I am going to take the time to make a brownie or cookie or cupcake, it had better be sinfully good!!! I have tried and tried using the various flours, gums, etc. out there and I have to say it was just too involved to try to make baked goods that really weren't that great. With the GF pantry's flour I can make anything just like I used to with normal glutenous flour! I just had to preach about them today, they are my favorite people this week. I made peanut butter swirl brownies last week that made my husband drool for more, and this weekend I made double chocolate cookies for my mother that were AMAZING as usual. WAY TO GO GF PANTRY!!!

This recipe I found floating around online and changed it a bit to fit my tastes :)

*as always, if you are making this as a gluten free recipe check your ingredients to ensure gluten free status! I have brands I am very loyal to, but I still check every time I buy a new container to ensure nothing has changed on the ingredient list.

Brownie Layer:
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
12 Tbs butter or margarine
2 C sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 C flour
Peanut Butter Layer:
1 Tbs butter, melted
1 Tbs sugar
2/3 C peanut butter
1 tsp honey (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 13x9 pan with foil, making handles over the edges for easy lifting.

Microwave chocolate and butter on high for two minutes. Carefully stir until chocolate melts. If you need to nuke it another 30 seconds or so this is perfectly fine!

In a medium bowl combine sugar, eggs, vanilla and melted chocolate mixture. Add flour and mix well. Spread into foiled pan.

Mix butter, sugar, peanut butter and honey. I usually throw it in my mixer and beat it until it lightens a tad in color, this seems to make the mixture creamier after baking. Spread it over the chocolate layer in the pan, and use a butter knife or toothpick to marble the top. Feel free to make any fun designs you want!

Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out fairly clean (not dripping!). Drool until cool enough not to burn your mouth and try not to eat them all!

Gluten Free Pork Tenderloin

Last night we made pork tenderloin for my mom's birthday dinner. I covered it heavily in the sauce and oh my was it delicious! We ate an entire pork loin just the four of us. Hubby found a great recipe for potatoes with filling made from garlic, mayo, and asiago cheese - that was amazing as well! I have not been cooking pork that often, most chops aren't the best cuts of meat and they toughen as you cook them. I am repeatedly impressed with tenderloin! YAY! I have a great recipe for an asian orange sauce for tenderloin as well, just excellent. I love broadening our food horizons, and last night definitely did. My oldest even loved it, and he claims to not like any form of mustard! WOOHOO!

Orange Pork Tenderloin
*as always, if you are making this as a gluten free recipe check your ingredients to ensure gluten free status! I have brands I am very loyal to, but I still check every time I buy a new container to ensure nothing has changed on the ingredient list.

Seriously, this seems like a lot of work but it's really not, and the end result is so impressive it's well worth the time you take to make it!

1 pork tenderloin
2 Tbs flour
dash of salt and pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
1 C orange juice
2 Tbs brown sugar
2 Tbs red wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I try to cook this in a 9x13ish glass pan with a silpat under it, just be aware anything with brown sugar in sauces has a good chance of sticking to the bottom of your dish! You can always line your pan with foil to try to prevent that.

Slice pork tenderloin into 1 inch slices or strips, whatever tickles your fancy. Coat pork with flour and place in oiled skillet. Saute pork for maybe five minutes each side at most, lightly browning them. Place pork in your prepared baking dish.

Combine remaining ingredients and pour this over the pork. Bake for 25 minutes or so. The liquid will thicken and the pork will come out oh so tender! It is amazing served over white sticky rice! Course, it would be amazing served over anything in my opinion ;)

Mar 15, 2010

Working late


Well, here I sit listening to my twin two year olds scream at their door for daddy. Hubby had to work late tonight (a rarity) and the kids don't want to go to sleep without him! They are currently knocking on their door to see if that will help. Normally we go upstairs, put on sleep diapers and pj's, and say "it's time for bed" - they magically jump into bed and almost every night pass right out without another peep. Except for nights like this. I know I shouldn't complain, I hear stories from friends about how it takes two hours and rotating shifts to get their toddler to bed. This is just hard for me (them!) because it's not the norm! So my oldest and I will sit here listening, until either daddy gets home or they get so tired they cuddle and pass out.

I made a box of gluten free mac and cheese I found at Kroger a few days ago, and man is it nasty. I took a picture, will post tomorrow - the cheese is as runny as milk, and it tastes almost like noodles with milk poured on them. Ew. I am eating them because I have nothing else handy to eat for dinner... but will never again buy a boxed mix of anything gluten free!! On the same aisle in Kroger I also saw a pouch of gluten free biscuit mix. Now this caught my eye, I haven't had a good ol flaky biscuit in years! I picked it up and the first few lines read something about "put in food processor" and "refridgerate overnight". Really, I have to work for two days to make a biscuit?! And did I mention the pouch was $8?! That will be my next project, to create a good gluten free biscuit recipe. Oh once I do that I can make chicken pot pie, biscuits and gravy, YUMM! I am salivating at the thought!

I know how to make an amazing homemade mac and cheese, but sometimes I just want to pop open a box and whip up something easy and fast like normal people!! Why is it that all gluten free boxed dinners are nasty? I know velveeta isn't the cat's behind, but it wasn't bad, was it? Hey, maybe I can use velveeta cheese with gluten free noodles to make an easy mac and cheese...

Mar 11, 2010

Enjoy Life Cocoa Loco

STAY AWAY!!! Unless you like unsweetened cocoa I guess... I spent $4.50 on a box of these, only to get home and spit out my first bite. Oh my these are nasty! They taste like unsweetened cocoa with rock hard little oatmeal type pieces in it. Gross. Wasted money! I have however had some food items in the past from enjoy life that I did actually enjoy, this was just not one of them. Really not one of them... ew!

Pork Stir Fry


This is a sweet and tangy dish - if you would rather it be more tangy than sweet, cut sugar in half and add a dash of hot sauce :)

*as always, if you are making this as a gluten free recipe check your ingredients to ensure gluten free status! I have brands I am very loyal to, but I still check every time I buy a new container to ensure nothing has changed on the ingredient list.

3 or 4 pork chops, cut into thin strips
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 package of frozen stir fry veggies
1 can pineapple tidbits or chunks, drained
1 Tbs cornstarch
1/4 C water
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C white vinegar
2 Tbs soy sauce (I use La Choy)
2 tsp ginger

Heat oil in wok or skillet and brown strips of pork.

Mix cornstarch, water, sugar, vinegar and soy sauce and pour onto pork. Bring to a simmer, and continue to simmer just until sauce starts to thicken. Add veggies and pineapple, and cover for three minutes. I like my veggies crisp, so check your veggies and cook until they are at your desired texture. Excellent with steamed rice!

Mar 4, 2010

GLUTEN!

Well, I somehow cross contaminated or blew a crumb into my food last night. Within a half an hour of eating my gluten free mac and cheese (I made myself so I know ingredients were gf) I was reliving my nightmare. Ew. I hate being sick! Within an hour it was over, and hubby rubbed my feet so I could fall asleep. That's really the only way to make the pain stop, to fall asleep. I was fine by morning, dizzy but I think that was dehydration. I hate gluten! That hasn't happened in so long, yet every time it does I feel exactly the same way - like I never want to eat again. Food sucks.