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!

Jan 27, 2011

Egg, Dairy and Gluten free Chocolate Cake... and no, it's not taste free!


Ok I have to admit I look at most things that are "free of" more than two ingredients and cringe, thinking it will taste like, well cardboard! This tastes surprisingly good! The trick is the cook time - it varies so make darn sure yours cooks through the middle!

I want to mention first that when I call for "flour" in any recipe, I have made the recipe using both "normal" all purpose flour and The Gluten Free Pantry's All Purpose Flour. I don't mess with other gf flours, they are all awful in my opinion.

1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
3 Tbs cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
5 Tbs vegetable oil (or canola, whatever you use)
1 C sugar
1 Tbs vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Cup water

Mix flour, cocoa, soda, and sugar in a large bowl. Add oil, vanilla, water and vinegar, and slowly stir until well combined. Once completely mixed pour into an 8x8 or 9x9 baking pan.

Bake for between a half an hour to 45 minutes, depending on your oven's mood and the time of year, moisture content in the air, who the heck knows I just know my bake time always varies a tad! Do the toothpick test in the middle of the cake to ensure you don't have any uncooked batter left.

Jan 26, 2011

The best present ever!


My mother gave me these for Christmas, and wow am I using them! I have a somewhat small kitchen, and the way the builders used the space is just silly - I have four tiny drawers and barely any counterspace. Notice even in this photo you can see the sink on the left and the stove on the right! Someday when we win the lotto we'll remodel...

In the meantime I'm using these stackable cooling racks! How genius are these? They click into each other making the stack very sturdy, I may go for another level! And yes, those are my gluten free peanut butter cookies. I have mastered those, my entire family loves peanut butter!

Jan 25, 2011

The twins turned three!


Big deal for us, they are growing up so quickly! Because their birthdays follow Christmas so closely, we didn't give them a ton of presents. I am so glad we didn't because it took them two hours to open the four we gave them at our little family party! They had to take time to play with each gift before unwrapping the next box, and when it was time for bed they slept with their "real" Buzz Lightyear and Woody dolls! Course we heard Buzz's laser going off everytime thing two rolled over...

It was sort of fun leaking presents to them, Nahnah was here Sunday so she gave them her presents Sunday afternoon to open, then Monday morning I gave them the big Buzz Lightyear spaceship tent (scored that on clearance at Target 75% off) and they played in it most of the day. Our good friends came for dinner and gave them all three Toy Story movies (whoa!) and then we had cake. I tried my hand at a egg, dairy and gluten free chocolate cake, was honestly really good! Course I used real icing that had milk in it, that helped, but the cake itself was pretty darn good... and moist! I'll post the recipe in a bit once homeschooling is finished today :)

Birthdays for your kids can be so much fun as long as you don't stress about them! We have the twins' party this weekend, invited six other kids around their age, then the grown ups celebrate - my birthday and our anniversary. March brings big kid's birthday, Dad's birthday, and Nahnah's birthday! When I typed that I ran the chorus from beastie boys "fight for your right to party" in my head HA! I love parties, and I love seeing my family members smile at their parties! I can't wait!!!!

Jan 18, 2011

Homeschooling

I have to say things with Big Kid are going amazingly well. When we started schooling at home in July he hated reading, I could barely read his writing, his grammar and language arts skills in general were awful... and he had a general distaste for anything that could be considered "educational". Six months later he now asks for more new books, and when he gets them he dives right into them. His writing is improving greatly, or at least his printing is. We haven't even attempted to start handwriting yet, the public school just sort of ignored it...

He is amazing with math, logical problems are his forte. He enjoys science as long as I can insert hands on projects here and there. We decided to go with life science this year, and it's a rather dry book, but it's secular and that's what I wanted. I have started him doing a "word quiz" every day out of a reader's digest collection of their quizzes, and it's teaching him how to use a dictionary and broadening his vocabulary like crazy!!

Social studies is just amazing as well - I truly don't understand what the huge difference is between me and school. Is it the one on one? The interest I take in what he is learning? Whatever it is the gap is huge. He talks about how beautiful Russia is when we read a book about it, how he never knew there were so many beautiful places in the world. We have studied the US, South America and Russia so far... can you imagine what he will think once we have studied all the continents?! I love that he is soaking in so many facts about so many things, in all subjects. He was excited to learn in our Russia book that bears aren't just carnivores, they are also herbivores. I love watching my son learn so much so quickly! He now has me record specials on tv about this animal or Pearl Harbor (yep, asked me to record Tora Tora Tora, I was floored), or about how our galaxy was formed.

Education is a beautiful thing!

Jan 17, 2011

New Pantry?


Yesterday mom and I sort of went spelunking, to a friend's mom's house that has been repossessed. No power, no heat, no room to move! She doesn't want anything she left in the house, and boy did she leave a lot! So I grabbed a number of shelving units and closetmaid shelves, and plan to make a new pantry! We have two coat closets in our hallway, and one TEENY and I mean tiny pantry in our kitchen. With the way I coupon and follow our local sales, everything goes on sale every six weeks or so, and so when something is on sale and I have good coupons for it I buy six weeks worth... yes, now you are understanding why I need a bigger pantry with a family of five to feed!!

I can't wait to start, but homeschooling comes first... after school I will begin!! Mwahahaha!

*update* The new pantry ROCKS!! I used plastic shelving that was 3 ft wide (closet is 3ft 1in wide!) to make three sturdy shelves, and then hung a nice little wire shelf system on the back of the door. I did buy a clear over the door shoe rack initially to help organize packets of koolaid, mixes and such, but I instead put that in our coat closet, to organize our hats, gloves and scarves. Worked SO well!! I am so happy to finally have some room to buy a few extra boxes of cereal! YAY!

Jan 12, 2011

Family Game Night

We decided last week that we are going to have a family game night every week. The twins aren't quite old enough to participate yet, but will be soon!! Last week we played Clue, which was fun for everyone! Hubby liked it because it's a logical game, not one where by total chance you can utterly lose like Sorry or Life. Every time we play Life he loses his job and lands on every pay space possible! This week I think we'll try Wii Sports Resort - however hubby and big kid have played numerous times, I'll have the handicap tonight as I have never played. They better be nice, I'm the only "girl" in the house!!!

I think it's so nice to have a night where we just play and spend time together - every week! I realized we were going through the motions of every day... and not really spending any "quality time" together! Granted homeschooling I spend a lot more time with big kid than I ever have, and I love that, but hubby misses out on all of that. I think this is going to be a great tradition in our house, we will all benefit from spending time together :)

Mmmmm pizza

I used to run a pizza shop years ago, before I had to go gluten free. As lots of people understand if you work in a restaurant you really don't want to eat what they serve. I didn't until I was pregnant while working there, and then I wanted to inhale half of the shop! I had two favorites, and I still crave them today and now I want to make them when I have the ingredients - I made french fries topped with mozz cheese and bacon bits - it's fried, fattening and omg so good. I also made buffalo chicken pizza (I'll now have to make the dough from scratch), layering buffalo sauce, then buffalo chicken, then mozzarella and bleu cheeses... yep, I have been in the house for too long now!

*Buffalo Sauce Recipe*
super easy - for every 1/2 cup of Frank's Red Hot Sauce use 1/3 cup melted butter or margerine, and voila, buffalo sauce! You can spice it up with more tobasco sauce, or habanero sauce, this makes a basic mild wing sauce.

Having been snowed in for three days now, I'm feeling a bit "stuck". I'm painting our master bathroom cabinets, which were a horrid yellow, and I think I have decided to paint the walls a nice antique blue... maybe. We have painted every other room in our house, we just ignored our bedroom and master bath! No one ever goes in there anyway!!! It's time!!!

Jan 10, 2011

Snow in Georgia?!!

Wow - in this photo you see the FIVE INCHES of snow on my car! We live in the south, this NEVER HAPPENS! Hubby said this is the most snow he has ever seen. Me being a yankee I'm used to this, but not in our area! And where I'm from if your governor declares a state of emergency you can't drive on the roads... our neighbors are doing it for fun!! Ugh. Love the snow, hate the cold! I want southern weather back!!! The white Christmas was nice tho, have to give mother nature that one :)

*Update - we are on day three of being snowed in, hubby is none too happy about attempting to work from home, big kid is unhappy that there is so much ice on top of the snow. Thing one and two haven't noticed the difference other than looking at the snow out the sliders, saying "wow mommy snow!" and going right back to whatever they were doing!

Jan 4, 2011

Wow, two new gluten free foods in one month that TASTE GOOD?!!

Yep, bought a bag of "food should taste good" chips/crackers yesterday and ate half the bag before I made myself put them away! They taste like a cracker my grandmother used to keep in her New England home when I was little, it brought me right back to her table. It made me miss her and want more of the crackers all at once! Definitely will be buying more of these, yum! And they're health food healthy and I still like them! AMAZING! Flax seeds, sesame something, all sorts of good for you ingredients and THEY STILL TASTE GOOD! I'm sold!

Freecycle HAUL!!!


Ok, so normally I don't post about every freecycle item I pick up or give away, it would take over my blog. Today I have to brag!! We picked all of these up from a fellow freecycler and homeschooler, I was so wowed. The twins played with a few while I cleaned them all (yes, I'm ocd about cleaning everything) and fixed up the boxes with packing tape. What a find!!!

Monster party invitations!


The twins turn three this month, and they requested a "monster party". Not Monsters Inc, just "rarrr monsters mommy". Okaaaay! Big Kid and I turned art class into making monster invitations yesterday, and wow did he do a great job! Together we made nine or ten invites, and they are all just awesome!! I hope people enjoy opening them, it was so much fun making them! Next on the to-do list is to get some posterboard and make a pin the ___ on the monster. What should we pin on the monster? Eyes, tails, mouth, teeth, what? We are trying to keep the party small, so they aren't overwhelmed. Our halloween party was pretty big, and they were a bit scared of the crowd!

I can't believe my "babies" are almost three! They are so much fun to watch grow, I feel so happy to have been able to stay at home and witness their "education"! Yesterday they started playing games together, elefun and a big mouth frog game similar to hungry hippos. They played with the board of sesame street chutes and ladders, but didn't really understand the game play. They are old enough to take turns easily and "play" the games, but not really old enough to understand rolling dice, moving spaces and such. We're going to try letter bingo this week, they have known all of their letters for a year and a half so that part is easy. I'm wondering if they'll enjoy the covering them up part!

To make the invitations I just cut little teeth out of white paper, a bunch of different sized white circles for eyeballs, little black pupils, and then started cutting the shapes of the cards out. Big Kid came up with the idea of the arms wrapping around the card instead of folding a plain old card, which was awesome! I had so much fun making these!!! I wrote silly little sayings like "Bring Your Little Monsters" and such on the cards :)

UPDATE* Here is a link to another blog that has lots of ideas for monster party items. I don't have ANY of the crafting machines and such she mentions, but it sure gave me a lot of ideas to run with! I can make most of her stuff by hand, and they are just great ideas :)


Jan 2, 2011

What do you feed your toddlers?

We have two almost three year olds, and one has a somewhat limited palate, the other eats a variety of food. No allergies, just picky! Every morning they try to kill each other over a big warm bowl of infant oatmeal and bananas (yes, infant cereal), they eat nutrigrain bars, most any type of fruit, applesauce, plain bread, rice, yogurt, steak, pork chops, some chicken dishes, most rice dishes, smart puffs and pirate's booty, cheese its, chex mix (they love the really hard brown pieces!!!), they love cookies and potato chips! OH, and of course they love chocolate birthday cake. Of course we don't give them those last three that often, they aren't near as healthy as everything else!

They drink milk and water, that's all they'll accept, and even after the doc says they should be very overweight for drinking this much they still drink around 5 to 7 sippies of milk a day... which works out to what, 45 to 56 ounces a day! They are not anything near overweight btw, they are perfectly sized to keep their pants up but definitely don't fill them out!

They won't eat bread once it has something on it, aka a sandwich, and they really shy away from most vegetables. Won't even touch deli meat, it's a texture issue. They used to eat cheese but won't eat it now. Other kids have offered them fruit snacks, candies, etc. and they say no and won't let it pass their mouths, which I still feel lucky about! I have tried giving them a gummy vitamin, but they just aren't old enough for them and I don't dare give them those hard chewables yet!

Anyone want to share what their toddlers eat? Maybe we can help each other??

After Christmas Sales

Wow - lately between hip2save.com and southernsavers.com I have really scored some good bargains!! The twins turn three soon, so I am trying to find some good toys for them at good prices, and wow is that working out! Ok, so I did pay full price for their talking woody and buzz dolls that I ordered, but I did get free shipping!!

I stopped at Rite Aid today and got ornaments, my fave candy in the world (peeps!!), toys, a really cool wooden organizational thing to hang on the wall for letters and keys (for my mom), a pkg of loose leaf for school, and my construction paper to make birthday party invitations - all for $16.32 after coupons! AWESOME! Receipt said savings was $42.75.

At CVS I used my $5/25 email coupon, and $5 ecb I had earned, and got nail clippers, eye shadow, 4-2pks of reach toothbrushes, a coke, and two pkgs of easy ups for $16.14. Again, awesome! I had to do two transactions so I could use the $12 ecb I earned from the first on the second, but I didn't mind! According to the two receipts I saved $49.35.

At Macy's this week I bought 2 prs of junior's levi's, 2 prs of toddler jeans, and four toddler polo shirts for $40 - the first pr of levi's for me was originally priced $44 for just that one pair! They are running a sale through 1/17 or so (check the hip2save post) where you get a $10 macy's coupon good on any apparel for every pr of jeans you buy, even if they are $9.99 on clearance! So I paid $22 for my two prs, then used one $10 coupon on each pr of toddler jeans, which ended up $2.30 each after the coupon, and earned another two coupons from buying them. I found some great striped toddler polo shirts on sale for $3.40 each, and got four of those to use one more coupon. The last one my mom used to get two toy story shirts for the twins, I think she may have paid $10 oop because they weren't on sale. How cool is that?!! Those receipts said I saved a total of $109.17!!! Whoa... I usually don't shop at Macy's, our clothing budget wouldn't cover a shirt there, but this one was too good to pass by. I was heading near the mall to get a Thomas the Train mat laminated at school box, which turned out to be only $2.17 to do, and it's a big one! I have to remember they do that, it's such a great service for an awesome price!

At Kohl's today I returned two prs of jeans for big kid, he needs "relaxed fit" not "standard fit"... whatever. While I was there I noticed their toy dept was so very nicely organized, and there were signs all over saying 50% to 75% off, so I had to stop! I grabbed gatorgolf for the twins for $8, regularly $27. There are TONS of 50% to 80% off racks in every dept, so I grabbed the twins a two pack of their favorite cars pj's for $12... normally $32! Great steals considering I didn't have my usual 30% off coupon! I never look at the amt saved at Kohl's to begin with, because their "original prices" are never what you pay to begin with ;)

Jan 1, 2011

New Gluten Free addiction!!

Ok, so everyone knows I love eating cheesecake, brownies, cheesecake brownies, baked goods are my weakness. However - I have discovered Udi's gluten free bagels and have had at least one a day since I found them! THEY TASTE LIKE REAL BAGELS! I have had them plain, buttered, cream cheesed, jellied, and love every single way I have prepared them. Who knew I missed good ol' bagels so much!!!

I found them in the frozen section of my local publix, what an awesome treasure!!!