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!

Aug 30, 2011

Glutino makes gf bread crumbs?!!!

WHAT?!! I have tried making bread crumbs at home and end up with croutons - bad tasting ones. I just went on Glutino's website to sing my praise of The Gluten Free Pantry's All Purpose Flour (do it every few years, it's time again!) and they have BREADCRUMBS?? Ohhhhhh, how I would love to make some fried chicken... crunchy baked pork tenderloin... fried chicken... I could finally try fried green tomatoes, maybe with some fried chicken?! I have GOT to figure out how to get my hands on some of these breadcrumbs! I'm cheap because I have to be, so my last resort will be to order online (hate paying shipping for food) but if I must I must! The search starts next payday!

Aug 29, 2011

THANK YOU UDI'S BREAD!!!!


So a few weeks ago I bought two loaves of frozen Udi's bread at a local Publix, and set one on the counter to thaw. The next morning it was the stalest bread I have tasted in fifteen years! I emailed Udi's to see if I had done something wrong thawing it on the counter, and they sent me two coupons for a free Udi's item as an apology, even though it wasn't their fault! Something going on at Publix... the loaves I buy at Kroger that are room temp are amazingly tasty and fresh.

So I went to Kroger instead and planned to grab two room temp loaves, and much to my surprise there were packages of Udi's HAMBURGER BUNS on the shelf below the bread!!!! I started jumping up and down, Big Kid thought I had lost it, and grabbed a package like someone was going to come tell me I couldn't have it.

Tonight we made cheeseburgers with swiss cheese, miracle whip, lettuce, and ketchup - your classic American burger. Before you say anything, I hate tomatoes unless they are cooked into oblivion in a recipe. It's a texture thing. My first bite of my burger just sent quivers of pleasure through my body. Today is the first time I have had a burger ON A BUN since my diagnosis with celiac disease July 11th 2006. I have waited five years for that moment, and let me tell you there wasn't one bite that was disappointing! I almost forgot to make the twins' dinners it was so distractingly good. I never even ate anything else, mashed potatoes were totally ignored and I forgot I had even cooked peas in butter sauce. It was that good. I enjoyed the burger so much I was full after the last bite!!

*UPDATE! I have now eaten these buns in all sorts of ways, and wanted to share my yummy findings! I used them like english muffins (toasted with butter and jelly), toasted with tuna and cheese, grilled with runny eggs on them for breakfast, I'm telling you the possibilities are endless! Next stop, creamy chicken with biscuits ;)

THANK YOU UDI'S!!!!!

Cranberry Crockpot Chicken

Last night we had such a nice dinner, I'm giving thanks to The Gluten Free Pantry's All Purpose Flour!!! We made cranberry crockpot chicken, with macaroni and cheese and a salad. For dessert we had Breakfast Apple Pie, yummmmm!!! It reminded me of family get togethers, maybe because of the cranberries? We usually only have cranberries on Thanksgiving! It was so darn good I thought I would share. This is a sweet dish, if you like savory not sweet it may not be for you.

To make the mac and cheese I just used a packet of cheese powder from a Kraft box, and used Mrs. Leeper's Corn Noodle twists. We make salad with whatever we happen to find on sale, so last night it was spinach leaves, matchstick carrots, cucumbers, iceberg lettuce and either Kraft Ranch or Catalina dressing. We are not watching calories, just gluten ;)

*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.

Cranberry Crockpot Chicken

3 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cut into strips
3/4 C dried cranberries (I used craisins!)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3 Tbs honey
1 C orange juice
3 Tbs flour mixed into 2 Tbs water

Place everything but flour mixture in crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Add flour water and check consistency. Depending on how much chicken you used you may want to cook it for another 15 minutes or so, to get the gravy like consistency. Sometimes when I use a lot of chicken I don't have to turn it back on at all, the residual heat thickens it nicely!

Aug 21, 2011

Lysol No Touch Systems


The first one I bought I used two coupons and with the sale price it was free. I was so impressed, I ran out and got another one for free. The second one broke, the company reps were jerks about replacing it, so I waited until there was another sale where I could get them for under a dollar and ended up with a total of three at home, having paid twenty four cents for all three. I have one in our downstairs bathroom and love how easy it is for all the kids to use! I have one on our kitchen sink, because it's so great when you have raw chicken all over your hands to just stick your hand under the sensor and get soap. I had the bright idea to put dishsoap in the third one we weren't using, and did so - it works perfectly!!!! Now all we do is stick the sponge under the sensor, and get the perfect amount of dishsoap every time we need it, no more squeezing too much out of the bottle. SCORE!

*Notice I have cut a hole in the top of the soap holders, because I refuse to spend $3 to $4 on a refill when I can simply refill the ones I already have. I used a box cutter. Yes, I am cheap ;)

Chex Muddy Buddies, mmmmmm


I happened across the muddy buddy recipe yesterday while poking around in my cookbook. It was stuffed in a page protector with marker on it, saying "make again". So I did! Mmmmmm is it yummy! Have you made muddy buddies lately?? I love that Chex is gluten free!!! Here's the recipe I pulled from online:

9 C Chex cereals (corn or rice will work)

1 C semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C peanut butter
1/4 C butter
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
Pour cereal into large bowl and set aside. Combine chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in 1 quart microwavable bowl. Microwave on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until smooth (stir after 1 minute). Stir in vanilla. Pour chocolate mixture over cereal and stir until all pieces are evenly coated.

Pour cereal mixture into large container (with seal) with powdered sugar. Seal securely. Shake until all pieces are well coated. Spread on wax paper to cool. Store in an airtight container. Makes 9 cups.


Play sand!!



I picked up a bag of blue crayola play sand from a freecycler, that had never been opened but was left outside and was very wet. I baked it on cookie sheets in the oven at 200 degrees until it all dried out, which was an all day affair for a 20lb bag! It was worth it, crayola play sand is just about the best out there. Yesterday we took the boys out back and let them play in the sand, with shovels, sifters and buckets we found on summer clearance sales ;) They had such a great time! It was a bit nerve wracking watching them to make sure they didn't flick sand into each other's still healing eyes, but they had such a great time it was worth it. I had completely forgotten we always had a sand table in our room when I taught pre-k! We just dunked into their little swimming pool once we were done, and all the sand came right off outside. Much better than rinsing off into our tub!

Aug 18, 2011

Does your washing machine smell musty?

Mine sure did, every time I opened my laundry closet the entire little room stunk like mildew. It was so noticeable that I pulled both the washer and dryer out, to see if water had leaked or something had died! Nope, just a huge pile of dryer sheets, lint, hangers, and a tank top I wore to paint the house a year or so ago. I poked around online and read that a few other people had the same smelly washer after a few years of use, and they suggested running two cups of white vinegar through the washer with hot water, and nothing else in it. While it went against every "be green, conserve water" vein in my body, I did it - and voila! No more smelly laundry closet! I mean that room smells wonderful!!! I do still wonder why my washer started stinking after three or four years of almost daily use... ha!

Aren't Children Amazing?




My children amaze me every day. Whether I sit there astonished at how quickly they can get over an argument, or I listen in wonder to Big Kid play the piano (after 10 lessons he went from knowing nothing to playing actual songs with two hands!), or I walk in the room and find Thing Two's favorite Mario Kart character's name spelled out in letters on the floor! My twins love letters, they can type all sorts of words but can't hold a pencil to save their lives.

I know every parent can look at their children and be amazed at who they are, what they have accomplished and what they will do in the future! I just hope every parent can slow down enough to notice that. I see so many parents shuffle children from breakfast to daycare to school to dinner to bed, I used to do that myself... it's just too important not to give your kids uninterrupted time and see who they really are, and let them know you are interested and proud!!

Aug 14, 2011

Christmas Shoe Box Donations

Did anyone participate in Operation Christmas Child last year? I did, I gave three shoe boxes full of items off of their list. I decided to see if I could put together three boxes this year with items I get for free or for under a dollar, taking advantage of sales and coupons. So far I have a box for a 10 to 14 yr old girl and a 10 to 14 yr old boy. I had one box for toddler items, but had to expand to two boxes because the first was so full! I have a toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth, soap, crayons, stretch gloves or mittens, and floss in each box. Thanks to the recent clearance sales with back to school items and toy clearances I have been able to add some awesome puzzles, memory games, puppets, and sidewalk chalk to the younger kids' boxes, and have been able to put pencil boxes full of pens and pencils, composition notebooks, scissors, jax games, decks of cards, and various other small school supplies in the older kids' boxes! And I have kept a running tally of what I have spent on all the boxes - $3.12! My boxes are almost full, just a few more free finds and they will be ready to journey to a child for Christmas! I did have an issue trying to find a donation site nearby, but there are so many participating churches around I just asked friends until I found someone who could take them to their church :) YAY! It feels nice to know we are helping a child's Christmas be a little nicer, and we will spend less than the cost of one lunch at a fast food stop for four boxes full of presents!!!

Aug 13, 2011

I love clearance shopping

I can't stand shopping for myself, nothing ever fits or is the right price in the right size for me! However, I love clearance shopping for my boys. Big Kid is in men's sizes, which are so pricey compared to the kids section! However, I found a ton of $2 tank tops for he and hubby at Kohl's a few weeks ago, which was great both for the rest of this summer and for next summer! The twins are growing so quickly I know we have nothing for them come fall when the weather cools down, so whenever I get a coupon in the mail for a clothing store I'm all over it for them. Today we went to Kohl's armed with two $5 off $30 coupons and 20% off. We found a lot on clearance as well as a lot of Carters and Osh Kosh marked 50% off for some doorbuster sale. Spent $23 and got two zip up sweatshirts, two long sleeved thermal shirts, a Mario Kart tshirt/short pj set, and a two pack of winter Mario and Luigi pj's. Clearance is my friend! Score! OH and I got $10 Kohl's Cash for shopping today, so did my mom, so I have another $20 in Kohl's Cash for next week to spend! Double score!

Then we went to JC Penney with our sticky $10 off $25 coupon from the paper, and got the twins four Mario and Luigi tshirts (omg in a size 4, finally!) for $21. Seriously, these shirts are always at least $15 each and two of them even came with a little Luigi and Yoshi toy! BONUS! I am so pleased. I know I spent money today - $44 to be exact - but I got a lot of fall/winter clothing for the kiddos and feel I spent the money well. If I wait until it's fall and the twins have no warm clothing I will spend a lot more buying what they need! At least doing it early I can hunt down sales and use coupons as they pop up, to save in the long run.

Aug 11, 2011

A little bit goes a long way

I gave the twins each a wooden ruler, and they have measured everything they can find - Big Kid's feet, Mommy's feet, the dining room table legs and tabletop, each other's feet, arms, backs, pants, it's so funny to see!

It makes me realize how much fun (and education) can come out of one little item! They are addicted to Leap Frog Bingo right now, it's so fun to see their excitement when they play! They played the drums for the morning, and had SUCH a great time. Who knew they were little drummers! Thing One asked where the microphone was, guess I need to look for one of those next ;)

Aug 10, 2011

Mini M&M cookies gluten free!

We made our good ol' chocolate chip cookies last night, but added mini m&m candies with the chocolate chips, so yummy! It makes me happy to be able to make yummy, soft cookies that look like the ones in the bakery at the store - gluten free! Man are they good too, woohoo!

Mini M&M Cookies
*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.



3/4 C butter flavored crisco
1 1/2 C brown sugar
2 Tbs milk
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1 egg
1 3/4 C Gluten Free Pantry All Purpose Flour (never tried anything else once I realized how great this flour was)
3/4 tsp baking soda
now comes the fun - you can add a cup of mini m&m's and mini chocolate chips, or you can just add chocolate chips - you can try white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts (a personal favorite!), or any other mixture of add ins you desire! This cookie recipe is so versatile!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together crisco, sugar, milk and vanilla until blended. Add egg, mix again. Add flour and soda and mix well. Stir your add ins into the mixture.

Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet, maybe 2 to 3 inches apart (they will spread!). Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, for me it depends on the time of year for bake time. Weird, right? Sometimes I bake them for 13 to 15 minutes, to make them good and crispy. Other times 8 minutes is all they need to be soft and chewy, depends on what I'm in the mood for. You can tell they are done when the entire cookie looks "set" - if they are not done the cookies will look raw in the middle still!

Aug 7, 2011

Peanut Butter Pancakes Gluten Free Style!!


Pawpaw got hubby an awesome griddle a few weeks ago, and the package came with a recipe for peanut butter pancakes with cinnamon glazed bananas. I didn't have the bananas but had everything else, so we tried the pancakes this morning and WOW were they awesome! I just had to share it - with credit given to Nordic Ware of course ;)

Peanut Butter Pancakes with Cinnamon Glazed Bananas
*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.

Pancakes:
1 1/2C gluten free all purpose flour
1/4 C brown sugar
2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4C milk
1/3C peanut butter (I always use honey roasted pb in recipes, yum!)
1 Tbs veggie oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
Glazed Bananas:
1/4C sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
4 firm ripe bananas, sliced
2 Tbs butter
1C maple syrup
Combine milk, peanut butter, veggie oil, vanilla and eggs in large bowl or mixer. Add flour, sugar, and b. powder and stir until smooth. Heat griddle and grease with butter. Pour batter by quarter cupfuls onto griddle. Turn pancakes when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Makes about 12 pancakes.

In a medium bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon. Gently toss sliced bananas in cinnamon sugar. Heat 1 Tbs butter in heavy skillet over med high heat until frothy, then add half of the banana slices in a single layer. Cook until golden, maybe 1 minute per side. Remove from heat and add half of the remaining syrup - spoon onto pancakes. Repeat with remaining bananas and syrup.


YUUUUUM! Ours were just the pancakes with plain ol' aunt jemima syrup on them, and they were just awesome! Even Thing One liked them!!!

Glutened AGAIN but I figured it out!!!

I drank a coke every time I got sick, last night it was the ONLY thing I had eaten or drank before getting the stomach pains followed by the awful half the night diarrhea. Yep, it's coke. They claim that most of their products are gluten free, but only to 200 parts per million. Um, that's not gluten free at all!!! So no more coke for me, and to all you celiacs beware - you are still hurting yourself drinking coke :( DARN!!! It must be something in an ingredient that changed, because six months ago I was not getting sick from drinking the occasional coke, and I get sick from the teeniest amount of gluten. Maybe it's the caramel coloring?

I found this very interesting article on a new site (new to me) on gluten free information - http://www.glutenfreeclub.com/Article.aspx?nid=806 - and it helped me to better understand what was going on. I even went to the Coca Cola website and couldn't find anything!!! I have GOT to stop believing something is gluten free simply because the company claims it is. When will the FDA step in here?!!!!

*I apologize, the tool that turns things into links on my blog is not working. You'll actually have to cut and paste the article link yourself :(

Aug 4, 2011

FDA regulation open for comments

If you have something to say to the FDA about regulating the labeling of gluten free foods, head over to:

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm265838.htm

Sorry, the link thingy won't work on my blog editing for some reason!

Back to normal

You ever have one of those months where you just keep holding out for when things go "back to normal"? That is what we are doing. The twins are pretty much back to normal, they are still a tad spoiled from being held so much during those first few days after surgery, but are fine. Next week we finally get back to five days of school a week, we had a deal for four day weekends through summer. Glad to have that over with, it's hard to accomplish much in a three day week! We did finish watching Gandhi, that movie with Ben Kingsley. It was excellent and really changed Big Kid's opinion about both Gandhi and India in general! Nice to have a visual like that sometimes :)

We are taking our first field trip of seventh grade, to a history museum, to start the year off right. I'm crossing my fingers that the twins do well, the last time we went to a museum it was an art museum and that backfired in my face. The twins were scared of the paintings on the wall, and we ended up in the little kids' room all day while Big Kid toured the museum! We happened across a website with field trip ideas for our area, and are so happy to have found it! We live near so many museums and educational centers, and had no idea! I am trying to make a tentative plan to visit some of them over the next few months. Yay!

I am just ready for life to swing back into the routine I am happy in - school five days a week, twins happy and learning, Big Kid happy and learning, and hubby happy with work! It'll come together soon, I know it will. In the meantime I'll wipe crusty eyes, put up with video games, and tackle the last of the little fixes I can accomplish on our house!