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!

Apr 20, 2012

Haflinger Shoes make my feet happy

Yes, these are my feet. I have VERY high arches. I may have mentioned (ok posted a photo and gushed) about my awesome Haflinger wool clogs. They are by far my most comfortable shoes, and my last pair lasted me 14 or 15 years. I take good care of my shoes, they are very expensive! I had the worst time last summer trying to find a comfortable pair of sandals, and eventually gave up and just wore cheap flip flops or sneakers, none of which were comfortable. Wool clogs are not "cool" in the summer, and I don't want nasty summer foot sweat in my clogs. Two days ago I went to two high end shoe stores, and tried on Wolkys, Naots, Finn Comforts, you name it and I had them on. A few were rather comfortable, but were in the $250 to $300 range. Too pricey for me! I went home and ordered my first pair of Haflinger sandals. They came today and oh my gosh are they just heaven on my feet! They support my arches when I walk, and are the perfect fit. It's not easy having "problem feet", but Haflinger makes it pretty painless - literally! My haflingers are right around $100 each pair, and are worth every single penny. Thank you Haflinger!!!!

Freecycle strikes again!

I just love freecycle. I live in an area with a fairly active freecycle group, and man have we used it! We have given away tons (yes, tons) of items and saved thousands picking up what we could use. And the best part is it truly lives up to it's mission - to prevent items from hitting the landfills! We have given away clothing, toys, baby items, furniture, appliances (both broken and working), you name it and we've probably given it away on freecycle at one point! We have received toddler beds (the cool fire truck and car ones!), a mini fridge box packed solid with baby boy clothes that carried us from size 9 months to 3T (clothing twins, it really really helped), a mandolin slicer, preK books, a wonderful train table, bulletin boards, school materials, an ikea toddler table and chair, seriously I could just go on and on.

I love the idea that instead of just throwing something useful away, you can find someone who the items will be useful to! Just today I freecycled a year's worth of our Popular Mechanics magazines. We are done reading them, but someone else who doesn't have a subscription was super excited to get them all for free! Our most recent pick up was this awesome pocket chart and stand. It was missing a screw and end cap, so I emailed the company and they shipped the missing parts to me free of charge, two day shipping no less!

I will say some items we have picked up on freecycle are being given away because they have something wrong with them - for example the train table we picked up was given to us because after minimal use a child stood in the drawer and broke the bottom of the drawer. We took the drawer apart (six screws) and took the broken piece to Home Depot. $4 later they cut a new piece to size for us, and bam - brand new train table. We asked if anyone had any wooden trains their child had outgrown, and we received a Brio bin overflowing with wooden train tracks! I went on craigslist and bought at least ten wooden Thomas trains for a buck or two each, and after a trip to Michael's I painted the chipped areas and clear coated them all - they looked brand new. So in total I probably spent $15, and maybe two hours of my time, and my twins have an awesome train table with more tracks than they really need, with a bunch of Thomas trains to play with!

The best pot roast recipe ever

I created this recipe after hearing my husband's polite comments on how bland my grandmother's pot roast and beef stew recipes are. She was a New Englander, and made pot roast with flour, a bay leaf, some boullion, and potatoes and carrots. Not my husband's first choice for dinner. So I threw half the kitchen into the crockpot with the roast and OMG I couldn't stop eating it. Hubby said it was just as good if not better the second day as leftovers! I highly suggest having some sort of bread on hand to sop up all the amazing goodness! You can use either all purpose flour - gluten free or not, and this will be show stopping :)

2 Tbs. butter
4 Tbs. flour
1/2 a sweet onion, sliced
1 C water
1 Tbs worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. sugar
1 envelope of Sazon Seasoning (I use Goya, found at any local grocery store)
1/2 C ketchup
small bag baby carrots, sliced
small bag fingerling potatoes, sliced
*this is amazing with some sweet potatoes thrown in, cubed into small pieces!

Put your crockpot on high while you start getting the ingredients together. Put onion slices, butter and flour in the crockpot and stir until the butter melts. Place the roast then the veggies on top of the onions once the butter has melted and the flour is mixed in. Combine the rest of the ingredients in medium bowl and once well stirred, pour over meat and veggies. I'm serious, this is magic in the making. Turn the crockpot to low and cook for 6 hours, covered.

You could make this with other vegetables I'm sure, I just like the reliable vegetables I'm used to. I used fingerling potatoes because I knew they would soften nicely and I happened to have them on hand - most any potato would be fine I'm sure! Mmmm, next time I might try sweet potatoes, oh wouldn't they taste yummy!

Apr 14, 2012

Vtech Digital Cameras ROCK!

The picture says it all - these are now the coolest things in our house, other than of course the pile of Mr. Men books. The boys have taken pictures of everything! Thank you Vtech! They did put games on the camera, but my kids don't know that and are very happy just using them as cameras. Excellent Easter present ;)

Bisquick Gluten Free Mix - it's not that bad!

I made the biscuits using the recipe on the back of the box, and was really happily surprised when I tasted them. I browned the bottoms a bit too much, but overall they tasted very much like the biscuits I remember eating before I went gluten free! I imagined chicken and gravy with biscuits drowning in the gravy... chicken and dumplings with biscuits to dip... a recipe using the mix with pot pie ingredients in it... my imagination went wild!

Apr 2, 2012

I glutened myself :(

I did something really ... really ... stupid. Two days ago I was making myself gluten free noodles on the stove, and when the doorbell rang I just put the wooden spoon down on the stove, and answered the door. Went back to cooking and just picked the spoon right up and finished cooking my noodles.

Once I started getting really sick I realized what I had done. The stove was not cleaned off from the night before's cooking, and there was gluten on the stove. I NEVER do that - I either clean the stove or just leave the cooking spoon right in the pot. Shame on me! Well I have definitely suffered. After puking almost nonstop for two hours then suffering awful diarrhea until I passed out (you really wanted to know that, didn't you?) I felt like death warmed over. Thank goodness my children just go to sleep when the lights go off, I would not have been able to attend to anyone's needs!

Yesterday I felt like someone had kicked me in my lower back, and all of my muscles felt like I had participated in a triathlon. I know these feelings well, I get them whenever I get more than a crumb of gluten. Well, here we are today and I'm losing my voice. It hurts to even try to whisper at this point. My wonderful husband is bringing me home Whole Fruit popsicles to try to soothe my throat. I can't believe I made myself this sick just from making one stupid move!!! Halls cough drops are doing *ok*, but nothing is making the pain in my throat go away enough to not be completely distracting.

Days (ok weeks) like this I really hate having celiac disease. I can handle not eating all the foods I used to love, I can handle the mediocre bread... Udi's muffins make it all ok. Feeling like this is not ok - it's horrible.

Things like learning about Al Gross make homeschooling AWESOME!

Today opened my eyes to how charmed my children's education really is. Big Kid was watching a National Geographic show about ancient Nubia on netflix, and the twins wandered in and couldn't stop watching. Maybe it was the deserts, or statues, or camels. Whatever it was, the twins were riveted! Big Kid said he liked the show too! The twins finally came in and started playing with their Marble Madness, talking about the paths of the marbles. Much better than any morning I ever had at public school!

I sat at my computer reading an article about Al Gross. I wrote a report for science class years and years ago in high school about some of his technology, and I never connected all of his projects! Al Gross really was an amazing man, up there with Einstein and maybe Steve Jobs. Al Gross invented the Joan-Eleanor radios in WWII, which used a higher frequency so the Germans never even knew the American soldiers had radios. He invented CB Radios, walkie talkies, and the basis for cellular communication. Here's a great article about him if you're ever interested! My grandfather was a great inventor himself, held many patents in the field of instant photography - I just have the utmost respect for inventors!!!