Whole Foods Helping Out Community

As I posted the other day, there are widespread power outages here in Central Ohio. Fortunately we have our power back on, but there are still thousands that don’t. As of Wednesday AM there were still over 100,000 in Franklin County without power and over 10,000 in Delaware County without power. The power company has crews from neighboring states to help restore power, but it is not a quick process. Monday there was no ice to be found anywhere. Yesterday when I was online at our local news website I read this blurb on Whole Foods:

Between 8 and 9 p.m. Tuesday, both Whole Foods locations, Lane Avenue in Upper Arlington and one in Dublin on Sawmill Road, will be giving away free ice to anyone who needs it. There is a maximum of 50 pounds per customer. Ice also will be available around 10 a.m. Wednesday. Plus, Whole Foods Market in Dublin has outlets to charge cell phones and free WIFI.

What a great thing to do for the community! An update last night on the 11:00 PM news said that Whole Foods has changed that to giving ice out all day (Wednesday) today, too, and every day until power is restored.

What a wonderful thing to do to help out the members of the community through a very tough time.


Pumpkin Ice Cream

I warned you all it was coming. My love of pumpkin everything is in full swing. The crispy, fall air has arrived and I am ready to get into full baking mode. My baking has been a little derailed over the past few days due to our power outage, but I hope to get back on track within a few days. In the meantime, I went to the grocery store today to grab some ground meat & ice cream. I pledged to myself only to buy 1 flavor and only 1, until it was gone, or close to it. 😉 I think the only exception might be if we have a non-GF flavor, then maybe we would have a second, GF flavor floating around. Jon quickly pointed out the Edy’s (or Dreyer’s depeding on where you live) Slow Churned Pumpkin Ice Cream. It is a Limited Edition flavor. Edy’s/Dryer’s is one of the companies that will clearly label gluten, so you can just read the label and know if the product is GF or not. I decided that this would be perfect for my fall pumpkin cravings!

After my lunch I sat down with my bowl of Edy’s Slow Churned Pumpkin Ice Cream. WOW! It was amazing! It was like eating a frozen piece of pumpkin pie. The texture was so smooth. The flavor, full of the fall spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves & nutmeg. It has almost a little spice kick to it in the aftertaste. Definitely Fall worthy and a must have. I think that this could be really good paired with a slice of pumpkin bread (either my traditional pumpkin walnut raisin or pumpkin chocolate chip). Now, the really, really good news. There are only 100 calories and 3 grams of fat per serving (1/2 cup). Now how is that for satisfying??

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday

This week I sat down on Sunday to plan out my menu for the week and put some simple things on there. Aaron’s b-day is on Thursday and we are going out to eat with his parents at The Fish Market. Wednesday night is Hannah’s skating class and we will grab a bite to eat at Cheeseburger in Paradise afterwards. And Friday is the dreaded tooth extraction day, so there will be soft foods for me after that for a while. Hopefully just a couple of days, but we shall see. I didn’t really have a theme or key ingredient this week, I was just going off of what I had in my freezer and what would work for us after my tooth surgery.

Sunday ~ Joan’s GF Great Bakes Pizza, salad & steamed broccoli. We ended up going to Cheeseburger in Paradise due to the power outage

Monday ~ Salmon, brown jasmine rice and steamed green beans (This will be brought to my Dad’s house and cooked due to the power still being out).

Tuesday ~ Filet (if it survives the power outage..YIKES!), baked potatoes, steamed veggies and salad. Now Spaghetti & Meat Sauce, Steamed Green Beans, Salad & Foccacia Bread. Filet is at a friend’s house in her freezer. 🙂

Wednesday ~ Cheeseburger in Paradise

Thursday ~ Fish Market for Aaron’s birthday

Friday ~ Homemade Macaroni & Cheese (if the power is still out, just shoot me), baked beans and soft veggies of some sort. Maybe some canned peas…gross normally, but the kids like them and they will be easy for Mommy to chew.

Saturday ~ Mexican Pizzas or Tacos for the kids, I will probably have refried beans a little meat, cheese and Mexican Rice.

The power is now back on and that makes me all warm & fuzzy inside. I hope to bake a Lemon Bundt Cake and some Meringue Cookies this week, in addition to some Cinnamon Rolls. YUM!! We shall see what I get done.

Oh, don’t forget to check out some other weekly menu plans over at Org Junkie

Let There Be Light

Sunday, September 14, 2008 started out like every other Sunday. I got up around 7:15, brushed my teeth, washed my face and put on my gym clothes. I headed out to the gym, grabbing an Envirokidz Berry Crisp Bar on the way out. Did my normal 60 minutes of cardio, abs & headed back home. The kids had already eaten by the time I got home. I made my grocery list, Aaron had his coupons ready and we headed out to the grocery store, as Sunday is typically grocery-shopping day. We bought all the necessities for the week, veggies, eggs, milk, stocked up on some pork baby back ribs & pork loin roast b/c it was on sale and headed home. I then headed out to take Hannah to a birthday party at the local bowling alley. I noticed it was really, really windy. I jokingly thought to myself that maybe we were getting wind from Hurricane Ike in Ohio. While at the bowling alley, the wind picked up. The power flickered on & off a few times. A Mom came to pick up her daughter from the party and said that there were quite a few traffic lights out and that it was going to get ugly out there. That is when I really started to get a little concerned. Hannah and I headed out and started on our journey home. I noticed that a lot of leaves and debris were flying around. I turned down the street, BK, to get to our house. This street is one of those that is lined with trees. Absolutely beautiful in the fall, but very dangerous on a day like that day. I don’t think I have ever been afraid of a tree falling on my car before, but I was very afraid. Just as I was rounding a curve, a large tree was down across the road (see, my fears weren’t all that unfounded). I, and several other cars, had to turn around and head back the way we came. I was planning on going into our neighborhood the back way, down A road. I get halfway down this road and there is another tree down, this one only blocking half of the road. I was able to get through and said a quick, silent prayer to God that Hannah and I would get home safe & sound. Aaron called and asked where I was, I quickly explained that the roads were bad, debris was flying and I was right around the corner at that point. He told me that the power was out at our house. Great. It was now 4:30, I sure hope that is on in time to cook dinner.

The boys were bored. They had been watching Sunday football when the power went out. Hannah was bored, she couldn’t watch Bee Movie like she wanted. I was fine. I have all kinds of books from the library to read. Around 5:30 we all started to get hungry. Aaron suggested calling Pei Wei Asian Diner and ordering take-out. I called, no one answered. Called a little later, still, no answer. Obviously they were without power as well. Called Molly Woo’s for take-out, their phone was busy. I suspected that they too had no power. We talked about ordering pizza, that doesn’t work so well when you have 2 people that can’t eat gluten and really no places that have GF pizza crust. Donato’s pizza does have a “no dough” pizza that they either make on a soy crisp (like a thin rice cake) or on a bed of cheese, but it seems to bother my stomach. We finally decided to just get in the car and drive to see what was opened and not too busy. We headed down BK road and immediately turned around, there were all kinds of branches down and who knew if they had even removed the large tree that was blocking the road earlier. We headed up O road to get out to P, the main road with all the restaurants and mall, as quickly as we could.

We were headed over towards Pei Wei, but traffic lights were all out over there, so we turned into the mall. We tried Cheesecake Factory (they have some nice GF options), they had a 50 minute wait. We tried Molly Woo’s, no power. We were headed to Red Robin, but they too had a long wait as evidenced by the people flowing out of the front door. I suggested calling Cheeseburger in Paradise to see what their situation was. They had no wait, but were getting busy. We headed right over. We enjoyed a nice meal, safe and yummy. I love that they have so many GF options. By the time we left, CIP was on a wait as well. It was 7:30 and more and more people were realizing that the power didn’t seem to be coming back on anytime soon. I was dreading heading home to a powerless house.

When we got home, surprise, no power! We settled down at the kitchen table and Aaron and the kids played Poker & War while I perused some cookbooks I had picked up at the library on Saturday. I quickly gave Hannah a bath before it got dark and we all got ready for bed. We had candles lit, so it looked really cool in the house. Hannah was very concerned about going to sleep in the dark house. She wanted a night light of some sort. I let her lie down with me and used a book light that I bought for vacation this past year. I never ended up using it in the car b/c it distracted Aaron when he was driving, but I have to say that I have never been so happy to have purchased something in my life. Not only could I read, but Hannah quickly fell asleep. Another added bonus, when I went to shower at 5:30 the next morning and there was still no power, it provided just enough light to see in the shower and in the vanity area.

I headed out around 10 ‘til 6:00 AM to go to Caibou Coffee. I knew that they had a free Wi-Fi Hotspot and I needed some coffee, it was going to be a long, long day. I called AEP to check on the status of our power outage. They estimated that all customers effected by the widespread power outage in central Ohio would have power restored by (are you sitting down???) Wednesday evening at 8:00 PM. Holy CRAP! It was now Monday morning at 6:00 AM. It was going to be a long 3 days. After getting to Caribou, doing my work and drinking some coffee, Aaron called and asked me to stop at Meijer and grab a couple extra coolers and some bags of ice on the way home. I had asked him about this before I left the house, but he told me not to panic, there would be no need. LOL…..boy, I wish he had been right! I checked for ice as soon as I went into Meijer, but I could tell before I rounded the corner at the front door that they were out as there were many people leaving the store empty handed shaking their heads. Ay yi yi! I raced (okay, I didn’t run, but I can speed walk with the best of them) back to the Sporting Goods section in time to grab 2 coolers. One was large enough that I could fit in it and the other was 36 qts. I also looked for wind-up lanterns, shake-up flashlights, etc, nothing. My grand total leaving Meijer was $135.99! OUCH! Oh, and what the heck was I going to cool my coolers with? I spoke with a woman on the way out who asked me that question. I asked if she had been all over looking for ice and she named off stores up and down the street I was on. At least she saved me some time! I headed home as I knew Aaron had to leave shortly and figured I could continue my ice quest later in the AM. The kids had a scheduled day off from school today (to make up for Curriculum Night and the teachers had some training, which, BTW, was cancelled due to the power outage).

I rounded up the kids and asked everyone to figure out what they wanted for breakfast, as I was only making one round trip into the fridge at this point. Jon opted for Yoplait Yogurt and milk. Hannah opted for Cheerios and Grape Juice. I just needed my fruit spread for my rice cakes & peanut butter. Things still seemed somewhat cold at this point.

Amanda showed up about a half hour later with baby E. She said that they had power and we were welcome to go to their house and hang out. I packed a cooler (I had some cold packs, but no ice) and we headed out. First I had to get gas, as my low gas light just came on. That wasn’t nearly as easy as it should have been. Traffic was bad; lights were out all over and everyone and their brother was trying to get into work. You are supposed to treat traffic lights that are out as 4-way stops, too bad lots of people have no clue about that. I had to go all the way into Delaware (about 20 minutes North) to find gas. I checked for ice, no go. A woman I spoke with there said she had looked last night for ice too and had no luck. We got safely to Amanda’s house and unloaded the car. Power was on, but no cable. At least I could heat up food for us and we didn’t have to go out to lunch. We stayed there until after lunch. Jon had Joan’s GF Great Bakes Sicilian Pizza for lunch….WOW!!! I snuck a bite and that pizza was amazing! It was like a deeper dish pizza. The crust was awesome. He loved it too! I didn’t get a picture b/c I hadn’t brought my camera over with me.

We headed back home this afternoon so that E. could take a nap here and that Jon could play outside with his friends. I was hoping and praying on the way home that the power would be on once we got there, but it wasn’t. Ho hum. This was getting old and quick. My Dad called and said that we could spend the night at their house tonight in D. We are going to take them up on that. We are heading over there once E. gets picked up around 6:00 PM. We will eat dinner there and sleep. Fortunately it isn’t too hot today. The high is 69 degrees, so A/C isn’t necessary.

We headed out to my Dad’s house around 6:00 PM. The kids were excited to play games, play with Regan and have some lights on! I cooked dinner for the kids and I once we got there and was able to squeeze in a work out too! I got online after dinner and immediately went to the power company’s website. At that point they were saying that it would be Sunday at midnight before the power would be back on. That would make it over a week without power. I have never experienced anything like that in my life. My Dad & Step Mom were nice enough to offer up their lovely home for the rest of the week if we needed it. We are thankful for that, let me tell you.

I had a hard time falling asleep, but woke up at 5:00 AM and got up and ready for the day. I was resigned to the fact that there would be no light/power and I would have to make lemonade with my lemons. At least we had a warm place to stay with a roof over our heads. We weren’t forced to go to a shelter, which would be tough for Jon & I to eat at. My phone rang at 5:30 AM and I knew by the caller ID that it was Aaron. I answered the phone and said “Please tell me that we have power?!” and he told me we did!!! I screamed! I was so excited. I was afraid that it would go off before I got home.

We got home and rejoiced in the fact that we had our power back. We really didn’t lose as much food as we could have. All of our meat was sent home with E’s Mom to her garage freezer (THANK YOU). We lost some ice cream (partially my fault since I feel the need to have 6 different flavors, all half eaten, at one time), mayo, salad dressing, egg whites, 3 frozen burgers, half pound of bacon and chicken broth. Not too bad. I can’t wait now to get back to our schedule. The kids are still out of school. Who knows when they will go back. I know there are still widespread outages in the area; there is a traffic light less than 2 miles up the road that is still out.

Oh, and come to find out, we did have Category 1 Hurricane force/Tropical Storm Winds come through the area. That storm collided with one from the North and diasaster happened.

Go Buckeyes!!

Once again it is Saturday and the Ohio State Buckeyes are playing tonight at 8:00 PM. It is very doubtful that I will see the whole game (who am I kidding, I’ll probably fall asleep before it starts!). We are playing the #1 ranked team, USC. Go Bucks!

Onward and upward. I did my thing and went for my mammogram this AM. Nothing big, get the results next week. Ladies, remember to do your monthly exams and keep up on your mammograms.

Tonight for dinner we had burgers on buns (the buns were courtesy of Joan’s GF Great Bakes), Parmesan Potatoes, Sauteed Zucchini and Spinach Salad. YUM! The buns were yummy! The texture was what I remember from gluten-filled buns. Excellent, Joan! Thanks! The Parmesan Potatoes were courtesy of Danna Korn’s new book, Cooking Gluten-Free for Dummies. I was at the library today and Jon came walking over with this book, so I checked it out. Some good stuff in there!

Dinner (the top of the bun got stuck to the plastic wrap when it was raw, so it looks funny on the top):

Trying to show the texture in the buns:

Parmesan Potatoes *Recipe Courtesy of Gluten-Free Cooking for Dummies

4 servings

3 TBSP EVOO (I cut this down to 2 TBSP and it was plenty)
¼ tsp garlic powder
2 TBSP grated Romano Cheese
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
¼ tsp Italian Seasoning
4 medium to large unpeeled red-skinned potatoes, cut in quarters, lengthwise

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Place potatoes in an 8 x 11 baking dish
3. Pour oil over potatoes. Sprinkle remaining ingredients over potatoes.
4. Bake at 375 uncovered for 40 minutes or until tender.

Calories: 202; Fat 11 g; Saturated 2 g.

Next week for the game I would like to make Buckeyes. I have never made them, but they don’t look hard. I am sure Jon will be in heaven. He has been gobbling up the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies that I made the other day. My FIL had some when he was over and he liked them too!

Tomorrow night is Sicilian Pizza made by Joan’s GF Great Bakes. I am nursing a cold (woke up with a horrible sore throat), so I am keeping things simple tomorrow night.

Have a good Saturday night!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Okay, I admit that I have been a PB & chocolate freak lately. I don’t really know what my deal is, but I can’t get enough PB & chocolate. I have been eating the Nature’s Path Envirokidz Leapin Lemurs daily as a snack. I also happened upon the Envirokidz Peanut Choco Drizzle Bars, which I can’t seem to get enough of either. So when I saw this recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, I couldn’t resist making them. I saw the recipe on the Yahoo Group that I belong to called Silly Yaks. It was posted by a woman named Donna S. Here is a picture of the cookies on my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes Plate (fitting since buckeyes are made out of PB & chocolate 😉 ):

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups peanut butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (I omitted these b/c the kids in my house won’t eat nuts unless they are well disguised)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and use an ungreased cookie sheet.

Combine peanut butter, sugar and eggs and mix well. I used my Kitchen Aid since it’s a heavy mixture. Then add the chips and nuts and that’s it!! Drop by rounded tablespoon and place cookies about 2 inches apart. Cook 10-12 minutes or till lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet a few minutes than transfer to wire rack

**A couple of notes. I followed the recipe as written except for omitting the nuts. The dough seems to get oily fairly quickly, so you need to get them on the cookie sheet and in the oven and not let them set at room temperature too long. Maybe you can place in the fridge while the other batches bake. I only bake 1 sheet at a time, so I probably should have placed the dough in the fridge.

The kids loved these. Jon said he still likes my regualar Chocolate Chip Cookies best, but Hannah couldn’t stop talking about these. They are very good and definitely satisfy that craving for PB & chocolate together. 🙂

Smorgasbord of Information

I love that word…smorgasboard! When I was a child, my grandparents (Dad’s side) used to take my sister and I to a “smorgasbord” to eat dinner. It was called The Main Street Smorgasbord.

From Wikipedia: Smörgåsbord [ˌsmœrɡɔsˈbuːɖ] is a Swedish word which refers to a type of Scandinavian meal served buffet-style in Swedish cuisine. In Norway it is called a koldtbord and in Denmark it is called a kolde bord. It is typically a holiday or celebratory feast at which the family and guests can help themselves to whatever takes their fancy from a range of dishes laid out for their choice. In a restaurant, the term refers to a buffet-style table laid out with many small dishes from which, for a fixed amount of money, one is allowed to choose as many as one wishes.

A traditional Swedish smörgåsbord consists of both hot and cold dishes. It is customary to begin with the cold fish dishes which are generally various form of herring, salmon, eel and so forth. After eating the dishes, people usually continue with other cold dishes, and round off with hot dishes such as Swedish meatballs (köttbullar), and other specialties like Janssons frestelse. Dessert may or may not be included in a smörgåsbord.


A plate from a smörgåsbordThe Swedish word “smörgåsbord” is a combination word consisting of the words smörgås (translated “sandwich”) and bord (translated “table”). “Smörgås” (sandwich) in turn consists of the words smör (literally “butter”) and gås (literally “goose”, but in its old meaning, it’s the churned butter floating on the skimmed milk).

According to a Swedish linguist, Catharina Grünbaum[3], gås referred to pieces of butter that formed and floated to the surface of cream when it was churned; these pieces resembled fat geese swimming to the surface. Such pieces were just the right size to be placed and flattened out on bread. Smörgås came to mean butter and bread together. In Sweden, the term bredda smörgåsar (buttered sandwiches) has been used since at least the 16th century, and nowadays refers not only to buttered bread but also buttered bread with foodstuffs between sandwiches.


Julbord is a compound word consisting of the elements jul, meaning Yule (today synonymous with Christmas) and bord, literally table. The classic Swedish julbord is the traditional smörgåsbord served from the beginning of December until just before Christmas in homes and at restaurants. A traditional julbord is typically eaten in three courses. The first course consists of the cured salmon, pickled herring and eel served in a variety of sauces. It is customary to eat particular foods together to ensure the appropriate combination of taste and textures. For example, herring is typically eaten with boiled potatoes and hard-boiled eggs and is frequently accompanied by a snaps of vodka with or without spice.

The second course of a selection consists of cold sliced meats, such as roast beef, and julskinka (Christmas ham). Sliced Cheese, cucumbers and liver pate are often eaten on top of hard bread.

The third course of hot dishes include köttbullar (Swedish meatballs), prinskorv (small sausages), kåldolmar (meat stuffed cabbage rolls), jellied pigs’ feet, lutfisk (a reconstituted dried cod served with thick white sauce), revbenspjäll (oven-roasted pork ribs), and Janssons frestelse (literally “Jansson’s Temptation”, a baked dish of matchstick potatoes layered with cream, onion and sprats). Side dishes include beetroot salad and warm stewed red cabbage.

Julbord desserts include risgrynsgröt, rice porridge sprinkled with cinnamon powder.photo Traditionally, an almond is hidden in the bowl of rice pudding and whoever finds it receives a small prize or is recognized for having good luck. There is also a traditional saying that the one who gets the almond will get married within a year.

Use of the term in English

In English, the word smörgåsbord (or often smorgasbord) refers loosely to any buffet with a variety of dishes — not necessarily with any connection to the Swedish traditions discussed in this article. In an extended sense, the word is used to refer to any situation which invites patrons to select whatever they wish among several pleasant things, such as the smorgasbord of university courses, books in a bookstore, etc. It is also used as a metaphor to indicate any diverse group, synonymous with hodge-podge.

In Australia, the word smorgasbord is often used for any form of buffet, including the noted Australian Buffet. Smorgasbords are very popular at privately hosted parties.

In Canada, Chinese smorgasbord is a buffet style used for Canadian Chinese cuisine. This tradition dates back to Gastown, British Columbia, which later became Vancouver, when Scandinavian-immigrant mill workers and loggers encouraged their Chinese cooks to arrange Chinese food as it was done in their homelands.

Back to real life. So, The Main Street Smorgasbord was not exactly like that, but you get the idea. It was the precursor to Ryan’s Steakhouse, Home Country Buffet, Hometown Buffet, etc. It was all you could eat for one price. Kids were all they could eat for their weight! The last time I remember going there I weighed 85 pounds. That was $.85!! I could eat a ton of food; I think I was 11 or 12 years old.

Anywho, this post is not about a GF smorgasbord, don’t get your hopes up. Just a collection of different information that I wanted to share and didn’t want to make several different entries. Though, I could be bribed to cook enough food for a GF smorgasboard! LOL!

First, I baked one of Joan’s GF Great Bakes Bagels this morning for Jon. WOW!! It was very easy to make, just turned on my toaster oven and put the bagel in after defrosting in the microwave. The bagel came out beautifully!

Here is a picture of it cut and buttered:

Kudos to Joan…this bagel had the texture of a gluten-filled bagel. The taste was amazing. I literally went on a trip back to my pre-gluten-free days. Jon said it was really, really, good, but a little chewy. I told him that that was how a bagel was supposed to be!!!! He wasn’t old enough to appreciate a good bagel (especially if you have had NYC bagels) by the time he was diagnosed with Celiac. He maybe had 1 or 2 Lender’s Bagels and those don’t count, in my opinion. I can’t wait to get into the remaining 4. I may have to make Jon some buttermilk pancakes or french toast to distract him from those remaining bagels. Then when they are all gone, oh well!

Next, I just wanted to share my first real fall meal of the season. Nothing spectacular, just pot roast, potatoes and carrots cooked in my crockpot all day long. I think that I have to say that fall is my favorite season. As I have posted before, I love pumpkin and I can’t wait to get into my pumpking baking. I already did the Chocolate Chip Banana Pumpkin Bread earlier this week (gone in 2 days, BTW). I have Pumpkin Cookies, a recipe from my dear Grandmother up next. So, without any further babbling, my first fall meal: (oh, had to have my spinach salad, though it was missing tomatoes b/c some critter is stealing my tomatoes out of my garden!)

Breast Cancer Awareness

Also, I believe October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Get your Mammogram Reminder HERE. I am going for my digital mammogram early tomorrow AM. Yes, it is a Saturday, but they had early appointments and Aaron will be home to stay with the kids. I don’t think that they need to witness a mammogram at ages 6 and 12. 😉