40-Something Odd Things

I got this in my email the other day titled “46 Odd Things”. I changed it to “40-Something Odd Things” b/c some of the things were “Who Will Send This Back”, etc. So, here are my “Odd Things”

1. Do you like blue cheese? Ewww….
2. Have you ever smoked heroin? No
3. Do you own a gun? Nope
4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? I have never eaten at Sonic
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Not usually
6. What do you think of hot dogs? Yuck..they make me feel sick
7. Favorite Christmas movie? ELF!! (“Buddy the elf, what’s your favorite color?”)
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? COFFEE and water
9. Can you do push ups? Yep
10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? my wedding ring
11 .Favorite hobby? cooking/baking, blogging (I guess “favorite” implies one)
12. Do you have A.D.D? Wouldn’t surprise me
13. What is one trait you hate about yourself? Super people pleaser
14. Middle name? Lynn
15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. I should bake something, I should clean something, No, I shouldn’t
16. Name 3 things you bought yesterday. Hmm…Starbucks Coffee, Cold Stone Ice Cream, Antibiotics for Jon & Hannah
17. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink. Coffee, water & wine…all the liquids you need
18. Current worry? Too many to list
19. Current hate right now? Cancer
20. Favorite place to be? anywhere with my family
21. Where would you like to go? someplace where cancer doesn’t exist
22. What shirt are you wearing? Pumpkin Orange Sweater..it is cold out today
23. What year would you go back in time to? I don’t want to go back in time
24. Can you whistle? Not really
25. Favorite color? pink
26. Would you be a pirate? No
27. Favorite girl’s name? Hannah
28. Favorite boy’s name? Jon
29. Last thing you dreamed about? I can’t remember
30. What’s in your pocket right now? lint
31. Last thing that made you laugh? When Jon told Hannah to “Get out of my grill” He meant to get out of his face. I had never heard that before, but it made me LOL!
32. Best Halloween costume? I probably won’t dress up. I am having surgery that day (nothing serious, just have to have a small cyst on a salivary gland removed), so I probably won’t dress up.
33. Worst injury you’ve ever had? Hmm…broke my finger
34. Do you like where you live?yes
35 How many TVs do you have in your house? 5
36. Favorite Halloween Candy? Heath Bar
37. Favortie Pie Flavor? toss up between pumpkin and apple
38. Favorite shoes you own? myUgg slippers
39. Favorite Pizza Topping? toss up between BLT and veggie (tomato, mushroom, broccoli & cheese)
40. Favorite burger topping? bacon & cheddar & mushroom
41. Does someone have a crush on you? Hopefully my husband
41. What is your favorite book(s)? Oh good grief…I don’t know
42. Favorite Sport? Ice Hockey
43. What were you doing 12 AM last night? Sleeping
44 What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? OMG, my legs are killing me (work out that I did at home the other day that included many lunges/squats).

Menu Plan Monday ~ October 20, 2008

This week I am hosting Menu Plan Monday and am thrilled to do so. I have chosen squash as the ingredient of the week.

Squash (aside from yellow, zucchini squash) is relatively new in my menu plan. I had just never really tried it before. Last fall I made some salmon and decided to makes some butternut squash along with it and I was quickly in love. I have now branched out to Spaghetti Squash, one of my new favs.

We have a very busy week this week. Last night I had planned on making homemade pizza, but was unable to do so, so we went out instead. I am planning on moving that now until Friday.

Monday ~ Salmon with Agave & Lime, acorn squash & salad

Tuesday ~ Mexican Pizzas, Mexican Rice and organic black refried beans

Wednesday ~ Hockey/Ice Skating night; Cheeseburger in Paradise

Thursday ~ Apricot Glazed Pork Loin (recipe to follow), butternut squash, salad & chebe rolls

Friday ~ BBQ chicken breasts, sweet potato fries, steamed broccoli, salad

Saturday ~ Homemade pizza, salad & steamed veggies

Baked Goods
Snickerdoodles
Bagels

Make sure to check out Org Junkie for more fun menu ideas.

Check out Cheryl at Gluten-Free Goodness. She has a wonderful menu planned this week. I am especially interested in her quinoa italiana. I may give that a try! Her vegan brownies from last week look scrumptious! The pumpkin cornbread has also caught my eye. I hope you share a recipe for that, Cheryl, I am a sucker for anything pumpkin. :)

Karen at Gluten Free Sox Fan has a great menu planned for the week. The chicken pot pie sounds wonderful! She is also looking for ideas about what to take to a Halloween party, so if you have some ideas, make sure to share. :)

Ginger from Fresh Ginger has a yummy menu planned. I may just move in with her for the week. ;) The Turkey tenderloins stuffed with spinach have caught me eye. I love spinach!

Brenda at Book of Yum has an amazing looking menu this week.
The pumpkin & black bean casserole has me drooling, as do some of her breakfast choices.

Manda at Aspargus Thin is loving the ingredient of the week. Squash is one of her favorites. Her Teriyaki Salmon with simmered squash sounds very good. I would also like to hear more about the pumpkin chip muffins, as I love any and all things pumpkin. :)

Kimberly at Living Free hasn’t been feeling well. I hope you feel better soon!! She is planning on cooking a pumpkin this week and using it for something. I can’t wait to see what she does with it.

Joe is My Friend

Joe is my new best friend. No, I don’t mean Joe The Plumber. I am referring to Trader Joe. :) I had ya there, huh? I ran into Trader Joe’s quickly yesterday. I had an appointment on that side of town and needed my GF French Rolls. While waiting in line, I noticed that they had Trader Joe’s Rice Krispy Treats. I picked up the box to read the label and the cashier offered me a sample (the sample was a whole bar!). I was planning on buying them anyway, but the sample sealed the deal. (See why Joe is my friend?) ;) The bars are $2.99/box of 5. Kind of pricey, but cheaper than some of the other GF alternatives out there. Not only are these puppies GF, but they are dairy free and vegan, too! The bars have a great taste to them and they are only 100 calories! :)

While I am on the subject of Trader Joe’s, I must talk about their GF brownie mix. Talk about an easy way to get your chocolate fix! The mix is $2.99 (I think) and you add 1/2 cup oil, 1/4 water, 1 egg and I added chocolate chips b/c one can never have too much chocolate. ;) Super easy to mix up and throw in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes (I actually had to bake for 40) and then cool for 15. Cut into squares and enjoy. These brownies are so fudgey and yummy. I was going to frost them, but I think I am going to leave them be. I would normally use a mix of powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla & milk for the frosting. I think that for dessert later I will be topping one with some Edy’s Slow-Churned Pumpkin Ice Cream, Hershey’s Syrup and more Chocolate Chips.

In the pan, before cutting

See the yummy goodness??

So, if you don’t have any weekend plans yet and you have a Trader Joe’s close by, you should go try out some of their GF products.

I Am in Love

It is no secret that I am a chocoholic. The funny part is that I was not a fan of chocolate until I was pregnant with my second child. If offered a choice between a sugary, fruity candy and a chocolate bar, I would have chosen a fruity candy, hands down, before my second pregnancy. But, once I was pregnant with Hannah, this strange force came over me. All of a sudden I had to have this double fudge chocolate brownie ice cream every night after dinner. I really should have bought stock in Edy’s, as I swear I kept them in business during that pregnancy. This sudden obsession with chocolate did not come without consequences, I gained 65+ pounds during that pregnancy. OUCH! 65 pounds of sheer, chocolate bliss. :) My craving for chocolate has never gone away since. I love chocolate. I can’t get enough. So, when I saw that Peanut Butter & Co. made a peanut butter with chocolate in it, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some. I happened to be in Wal-Mart yesterday and came across a jar of Dark Chocolate Dreams. I picked up up, saying a little prayer that it was gluten-free, and as I looked down the label, imagine my surprise when it said “Gluten-Free” right there on the label! YAY!! This PB was mine! It even had a $.55 off coupon right on the lid. There was no reason not to buy it, at least not from my point of view. ;) Aaron might beg to differ. I couldn’t wait for breakfast this morning to have some of this heaven on my rice cake and then top it with black cherry preserves. It did not disappoint. Wow. Why has it taken me this long to discover this amazing product? What better way to start the day than with peanut butter, chocolate and a piping hot cup of coffee? The bonus to this is that the nutritional value of this peanut butter is about the same as my Skippy Natural. It has 10 less calories, 3 g less fat, and a lot less sodium. There is no refined sugar or hydrogenated oil in the Dark Chocolate Dreams; it is sweetened with evaporated cane juice. This is a win-win in my opinion. The only downside that I can see is that it is a little pricier than my Skippy Natural. It is, however, cheaper than the Almond Butter I bought last week and it tastes better, too! :)

Another 100 List! I Can’t Help Myself!

I love these so much! Veggiegirl always has these cool lists on her blog. This is almost as much fun as getting mail used to be when I was a kid! Getting mail isn’t so fun now, b/c it is usually just bills. I do look forward to getting my magazines and cards, but that is about it.

Anywho, onto the list! It is a Sweet 100 list!!

First, here are the rules:

1.) Copy this list into your site, including the instructions!

2.) Bold all of the sweets you’ve eaten–or make them a different type color.

3.) Cross out any of them that you’d never ever eat.

4.) Consider anything that is not bold or crossed out your “To Do” List.

5.) Optional: Post a comment here linking to your results–or just post a comment letting us know how many you’ve tried, or what you’re going to try next!

And now, here is…


**Gluten-Free Is Life’s Sweet 100 List**

1. Red Velvet Cake

2. Princess Torte

3. Whoopie Pie

4. Apple Pie either topped or baked with sharp cheddar

5. Beignet

6. Baklava

7. Black and white cookie

8. Seven Layer Bar

9. Fried Fruit pie (sometimes called hand pies) - I have eaten Hostess Fruit Pies and miss them dearly since having to go GF. I really need to create these soon.

10. Kringle ~ YUM!! Love the raspberry filled kind. Again, need to make a GF one.

11. Just-fried (still hot) doughnut ~can you say Krispy Kreme???

12. Scone with clotted cream

13. Betty, Grunt, Slump, Buckle or Pandowdy

14. Halvah – also known as the “Turkish Delight.”

15. Macaroons

16. Banana pudding with nilla wafers – YUM

17. Bubble tea (with tapioca “pearls”) ~ never heard of it

18. Dixie Cup –

19. Rice Krispie treats – Yes, yes, yes!

20. Alfajores -

21. Blondies -

22. Croquembouche

23. Girl Scout cookies – Love Thin Mints & Samoas.

24. Moon cake

25. Candy Apple -

26. Baked Alaska

27. Brooklyn Egg Cream

28. Nanaimo bar

29. Baba au rhum

30. King Cake –

31. Sachertorte –

32. Pavlova

33. Tres Leches Cake -

34. Trifle

35. Shoofly Pie

36. Key Lime Pie (made with real key lime)

37. Panna Cotta

38. New York Cheesecake ~ my fav

39. Napoleon / mille-fueille -

40. Russian Tea Cake / Mexican Wedding Cake ~ I make these GF at Christmas time….I can’t wait!

41. Anzac biscuits

42. Pizzelle –

43. Kolache – love them with apricot filling & blueberry filling

44. Buckeyes - Ummmm..I live in Columbus, Ohio, home of the Ohio State Buckeyes. I think I might get shot if I hadn’t tried these! BTW, love them!

45. Malasadas

46. Moon Pie

47. Dutch baby –

48. Boston Cream Pie

49. Homemade chocolate chip cookies – Yes. I have my fav recipe here on my blog for them.

50. Pralines -

51. Gooey butter cake

52. Rusks

53. Daifuku

54. Green tea cake or cookies

55. Cupcakes from a cupcake shop

56. Crème brûlée ~ never tried until I was GF. Then I was in heaven since the ingredients are naturally GF.

57. Some sort of deep fried fair food (twinkie, candy bar, cupcake) – Hmmm…I can happily say “No”.

58. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting ~

59. Jelly Roll ~ LOVE my Grandma’s jelly roll!

60. Pop Tarts - Heck ya! I am going to make a GF version for Jon soon.

61. Charlotte Russe

62. An “upside down” dessert (Pineapple upside-down cake or Tarte Tatin) –

63. Hummingbird Cake

64. Jell-O from a mold – Yes. My Grandma (Dad’s Mom) loved her Jell-O molds. :)

65. Black forest cake

66. Mock Apple Pie (Ritz Cracker Pie)

67. Kulfi

68. Linzer torte

69. Churro – In Spanish Class we made these!

70. Stollen

71. Angel Food Cake ~ excellent with fresh strawberries

72. Mincemeat pie

73. Concha

74. Opera Cake

75. Sfogliatelle / Lobster tail

76. Pain au chocolat – in France.

77. A piece of Gingerbread House -

78. Cassata –

79. Cannoli – .

80. Rainbow cookies

81. Religieuse

82. Petits fours

83. Chocolate Souffle ~ This is on my to-do list to make

84. Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)

85. Rugelach

86. Hamenstashen –

87. Homemade marshmallows

88. Rigo Janci

89. Pie or cake made with candy bar flavors (Snickers pie, Reeses pie, etc) - Snicker’s Pie

90. Divinity

91. Coke or Cola cake

92. Gateau Basque

93. S’mores

94. Figgy Pudding

95. Bananas foster or other flaming dessert -
96. Joe Froggers

97. Sables

98. Millionaire’s Shortbread

99. Animal crackers - yes, and most recently, Envirokidz GF Animal Crackers!

100. Basbousa

Anyone notice that I didn’t cross anything out?? Now, that could be b/c I don’t know what some of these things are or b/c I really do have a sweet tooth and I haven’t met many desserts that I don’t like. ;)

Happy Birthday Mack and Chocolate Cake

Tomorrow is my father-in-law, Mack’s, birthday. We won’t share how old he is going to be, only that we all know that you get better with age, just like a fine wine. :) We met FIL and MIL out at Molly Woo’s Asian Bistro for dinner. It was really good. They have a nice size gluten-free menu, so Jon and I had a nice selection of choices. I chose the Black Pepper Steak (added in snow peas to the mushrooms & green beans) with brown rice and a couple of chicken lettuce wraps for an appetizer. Jon had Pineapple Chicken with brown rice. After we had a nice dinner, we came back to our house for coffee and dessert. I made an amazing Chocolate Cake that I found on Carrie’s, Ginger Lemon Girl, blog. It is called “Everyday Chocolate Cake” and it truly was amazing. The directions were super easy and the cake took no time to make at all. I frosted it with a chocolate frosting recipe from the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa can.

Hershey’s Chocolate Frosting
**From the Hershey’s Cocoa Can

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), melted
2/3 cup cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk (I used 1%)

Melt butter and mix in with cocoa until smooth. Add vanilla and then alternately add the powdered sugar and milk until the frosting is the right consistency. I had to add a little more than 1/3 cup of milk. Just do it a little at a time. Frost cake. This made enough for 2 layers, so for this cake, you may want to cut the recipe in half.

Enjoy!

Serve cake with ice cream. I had Edy’s Slow-Churned Pumpkin with mine, Hannah had Edy’s Cookies & Cream (not GF) with hers.

Not really on the topic, but I was nominated for the Blogger’s Choice Awards! WOOHOO!! You can vote for me by going here. Then search “gluten-free” and I am on page 2 under “Gluten-Free is Life”. How exciting!

Comfort Food for Fall = Warm Sandwiches

When I was growing up my Mom used to make us these amazing warm sandwiches in the fall. I remember looking forward to fall so I could have a hot pastrami & cheese sandwich (or should I say “samich”, as Jon used to say when he was little). My Mom would take deli pastrami (we lived in New Jersey at the time, and those of you who live there or have visited, know that there is nothing like deli pastrami from Jersey), cheddar cheese and a kaiser roll, wrap it all up in foil and stick in the oven for a period of time. Not sure what temp, not sure how long, I just know that when it came out, the cheddar cheese would be melted to perfection on top of the steamy, hot pastrami. The kaiser roll would be all warm and toasty. This, to me, was heaven on a cool & crisp fall day. I can’t exactly replicate this sandwich today. I have yet to find a kaiser roll that is GF and tastes like my old favorite or even comes close to the texture. Also, living in Ohio, I don’t quite have the deli options that we had available in Jersey. Yes, there are delis here. Being GF, I don’t get my deli meat from the deli due to cross-contamination risks. I buy pre-packaged deli meat for the most part. We use a lot of Oscar Mayer, a Kraft company, because they will declare all gluten, if present, on the label clearly. The Deli Fresh line is very good, with many varieties.

What do you do when you want something you can’t have? You get creative and make new favorites. One of my favorite sandwiches since going GF has been a tuna melt. I have made these on Kinnikinnick bagels in the past, but now I usually use homemade bagels made from Pamela’s Wheat Free Bread Mix or Trader Joe’s GF French Rolls. My tuna salad has evolved from your basic tuna, relish & mayo to a spicier version with some crunch added. Yesterday I had mine topped with grape tomatoes and sauteed spinach on the side (spiced with garlic, salt, pepper & nutmeg).

Tuna Salad Melt

1 can tuna in water, drained
1 – 2 tsp Hellman’s Canola Mayo
1 -2 tsp sweet pickle relish
chopped celery (to taste)
finely chopped walnuts (to taste)
Frank’s Red Hot (to taste)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Top with cheese (some of my favs are cheddar or muenster)
Bagel or French Roll, toasted

Mix first 7 ingredients together. Place tuna mixture on toasted bagel or roll and top with cheese. Broil until melty & bubbly. YUM!! Enjoy!

I have also used the Chebe Roll Mix to make buns (recipe on their site) and then I will make a deli meat & cheese sandwich with the bun, wrap in foil and place in the oven at 350 until the cheese is all melty. Roast beef & cheddar (topped with some horseradish) is especially good like this, as is ham & swiss (topped with spicy dijon mustard).

So, when you can’t have your old favorites due to a food allergy/intolerance, don’t fret. Make lemonade from your lemons and get creative! Keep positive and try not to worry about what you can’t have. Focus on what you can have. There are plenty of wonderful options out there.

Menu Plan Monday ~ October 12, 2008 – October 18,2008

Okay, so my plan really starts on Sunday, so it really should be called “Menu Plan Sunday”. It just sounds so much better when you say “Menu Plan Monday”. Don’t you think? Whatever. Hockey is ramping up, fall is here, the busy season is among us. This usually means Mom runs around like a chicken with her head cut off. Jon had his first set of 2 scrimmages this morning beginning at 7:40 AM. Yes, I said AM. Yes, it is Sunday. 7:40 is actually not early when you are talking about hockey and ice time schedules. You want early? How about having to be at the rink at 5:30 AM? Thank goodness the rink is 5 minutes from our house and that is where we usually play or have practice.

Jon goes Wednesday morning to get this current cast off. Thank God. If you have any idea how bad hockey equipment smells, then you know what his cast smells like. No, I am not getting my nose up real close like and smelling it. I can smell it from the other side of the room. Okay, so it isn’t that bad. But, if you sit close enough to him on the couch you can detect an odd odor coming from his area. Hopefully he won’t have to get a new cast. That will all really depend on what the x-rays show. At the very least, if he does have to get a new cast, at least it won’t stink right away. Give him a few weeks to stink it up really good.

Somehow this chatter isn’t getting me any closer to my menu plan. Sorry. The 2 glasses of Cabernet I had probably aren’t helping matters. They did help me relax. :) So, simple is my theme this week. No complicated or “new” menu items. Can’t handle it this week. Will I bake? Proabably b/c I have to get my sweet fix and I ran out of my Trader Joe’s Chocolate Meringue Cookies and TJ’s is too far away. Also, my Edy’s Slow-Churned Pumpkin Ice Cream is almost gone. Yeah, I could get more. Wal-Mart up the street carries it. Do I really need it? Ask me tomorrow. Today my sweet treat was a Heath Bar. YUM! I haven’t had one since last Halloween. I had the full-size baby too! I considered having half after lunch and then half after dinner and then reasoned with myself that I deserved the whole thing (went to the gym this AM) and that if I ate all the calories right then after lunch, I had a better chance of burning them off the rest of the day. Like my reasoning? Works for me.

Here we go:

Sunday ~ Burgers (with mushroom, bacon & cheddar), sweet potato fries, broccoli & salad

Monday ~ Grilled Garlic & Dill Salmon, brown rice or quinoa, roasted brussel sprouts for moi, mixed veggies for the picky ones

Tuesday ~ Grilled BBQ Chicken Breasts, spaghetti squash, sauteed snow peas in sesame oil & salad

Wednesday ~ out with Inlaws for FIL’s b-day

Thursday ~ Apricot Glazed Pork Loin, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Brussel Sprouts & Salad

Friday ~ Homemade Pizza with Fenster’s Crust (topped with veggies for me & pepperoni for the kids & DH), steamed carrots & salad.

Saturday ~ Sweet & Sour Chicken with broccoli & brown rice.

Baked Goodies

Work on creating a Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread or Muffin
Chocolate Crinkles
Some kind of Coffee Cake for Jon
bagels from Pamela’s Mix
Pamela’s Bread (baking right now..YUM)

Don’t forget to check out GF Goodness for more GF menu plans. Thanks Cheryl for hosting. :) Also, you can check out Org Junkie for even more menu plans, GF and not GF.

What Do You Eat?

This is usually the first thing out of peoples mouths when I tell them that I can’t eat any gluten. Actually, it is more like the 2nd thing, after they ask what exactly gluten is. I don’t usually run around telling everyone I meet that I can’t have gluten. It most often comes up in conversations pertaining to my son when his friend’s parents want to have him over or take him out to eat. Talk about a way to scare off new friends in a hurry! LOL! It has also come up at restaurants when servers or managers get curious and ask what I eat since I can’t have bread and pasta. I love to educate people on Celiac and the gluten-free diet. The more people that know about it, I feel, the better off all of us who have to follow a gluten-free diet will be. Not only that, but for those who ask about symptoms and how we figured out we had Celiac, they are now more aware of the disease and if it might be something that effects them or their friends & family. Now, my husband does not share my love of educating the public on Celiac and the gluten-free diet. He rolls his eyes and smiles (a little fake-like) when he detects me going into my spiel to the server, manager or parent of Jon’s friend. What can I say, I am passionate about things that involve myself or my family, and I like to help people.

Anyway, back to the question. What do you eat? When I first started my blog, I came up with a list of favorites for Jon & I. This shares more of the foods we use to replace the gluten-filled ones we can’t have. It doesn’t really show what we eat day-to-day. So, I thought that I would share a menu and some photos of what I eat day-to-day.

First up, breakfast. Breakfast for me is usually the same every day. What can I say, I am a creature of habit and I don’t like change. I typically have 2 brown rice cakes topped with either Skippy Natural Peanut Butter or Almond butter and some kind of 100% fruit spread. This picture shows me also having a bowl of fresh fruit with it, I have stopped that b/c the fruit was bothering my stomach for some reason. I now have 2-3 egg whites and grape tomatoes topped with fresh basil.

Jon usually has pancakes or cinnamon toast. Here are a picture of some pancakes. I usually make these once a week and package into individual ziplocks, 3 per bag, and freeze.

Snacks for me are usually one in the AM and one in the late afternoon. I usually eat every 3 hours or so. 3 bigger meals and 2 snacks. I find this helps keep my blood sugar stable and I don’t end up absolutely starving by my next meal. I also find that I need the energy to keep going. I usually go to the gym 6 days a week and I have to keep refueling throughout the day. Snacks vary day-to-day. I like cereal (Rice Chex, Envirokidz Gluten-Free Cereals, GF Oatmeal), Lara Bars, Cheese & Crackers (Diamond Nut Thins and Laughing Cow Swiss is my fav) or Enjoy Life Snack Bars. Jon will have cereal, Lara Bars, cookies, Nabisco Fruit Snacks or Carnation Instant Breakfast.

Cream Hill Estates GF Oats with Enjoy Life Granola & Blueberries

Lunches also vary day-to-day, but most times consist of sandwiches, veggies, salads and maybe some chips of some sort. If we have leftovers, sometimes I will eat those. I make my sandwiches on Pamela’s Amazing Wheat Free Bread most of the time. If I have bagels or GF French Rolls from Trader Joe’s, I will use those for melts or a bigger sandwich. Here is an example of what I had yesterday. I made a sandwich on Pamela’s Bread with cream cheese, Hillshire Farm Ultra Thin sliced Cracked Pepper Turkey and fresh spinach; on the side I had a veggie medley of okra, zucchini, yellow squash & grape tomatoes; I also sliced up a garden tomato and topped with fresh grated parmesan and fresh basil and completed my meal with some Smart Puffs, Wisconsin Cheddar, made by Robert’s American Gourmet.

Afternoon snacks are much like the ones in the AM. Sometimes I will get a non-fat Latte from Starbucks or Caribou as my “snack”. Like now, they have the seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Dinners obviously vary day to day. There are so many options out there that I never get bored and often find myself faced with too many choices and recipes when I do my weekly meal planning. I try to plan out meals on Sundays (watch for the weekly posts on Mondays) and then go shopping for the week. I start by seeing what meats I have in my freezer or what meats are on sale and build my menu around those. This helps me from buying too much food or letting things go bad b/c I forget they are there. We eat lots of brown rice (jasmine, short grain and basmati), potatoes (baked, mashed, sweet, roasted) and veggies. I make corn bread, foccacia or rolls to go with our meals if needed. I try to serve a meat or meat substitute, 1 -2 veggies and/or rice/potato. One staple that doesn’t change is salad. I will eat a salad with dinner 9 times out of 10. It is a great way to get a good 2-3 servings of fresh veggies for me and I love them! I use spinach mixed with other darker salad greens or romaine and add in all kinds of fresh veggies like mushrooms, tomatoes or grape tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, cucumber, green beans, black beans and occasionally cheese. I switch up my dressings to keep it interesting. I really like Kraft’s Light French dressing. I also use T. Marzetti’s Light Honey French (YUM), Kraft’s Light Ranch, Balsamic Vinaigrette and Ken’s Steakhouse Raspberry Walnut Spray. Here is a shot of a typical salad with the Light French dressing:

Desserts are not every night treats, but we do have something several times per week. I like Trader Joe’s Meringue Cookies or Edy’s Slow Churned Ice Creams (Pumpkin is a current fav). If I have been a baking fool, we will eat those goodies for dessert.

So, as can be seen here, there is plenty for those who have to follow a gluten-free diet to eat. I don’t miss many (read: any) meals. When I was first on the gluten-free diet, I easily got discouraged and frustrated when it came to eating and found myself eating the same thing every day….brown rice, black beans, cheese and tortilla chips. I quickly realized that I couldn’t live on that forever and embraced the opportunity to concentrate on all of the foods I could have. :)

An Umbrella? What is That?

Last week I wrote a post about my 6 year old diva daughter. Well, this week, the “divaness” has transferred over to my 12 year old son. I am sure a lot of what is going on with him is typical, pre-teen boy behavior and the laziness that come along with all of that. That does not make living with him any more pleasant. Maybe some of it is my fault. I try to do what I can to make things easier for him, right up until he starts to take advantage of the situation. I have really been doing a lot for him lately b/c of his broken hand. (He goes to the dr next Wednesday, let’s hope that the cast can come off and he can be re-instated to his position as my servant..ahem…I mean to do his chores.) So, in my helping him out over the past few weeks with chores, homework, getting his snacks & food that he is normally able to get, he has become increasingly comfortable with ordering me around and depending on me for everything. He is becoming more lazy, if that is even possible.

He wants us to write his math problems out for him, which in and of itself is not that big of a deal, (his teacher is only requiring him to do about a fourth of the problems) until he wants you to do all the problem solving for him! Then he gets mad and says that we are being mean and won’t help him with his homework even though he has a broken hand. He is playing us like cheap fiddles! I keep reminding him that his brain isn’t broken, just his right hand. I have also pointed out to him that he has a perfectly good left hand that he has repeatedly bragged about being able to use better than his right! Sigh. Calgon, take me away!

Wednesday morning it was raining outside and it was kind of chilly out too. I was in the middle of making breakfast for Hannah and packing her lunch. Jon is walking out the door and walks right back in and tells me (not asks) that I have to drive him to school. I asked him why. He said because it was raining. I told him that I couldn’t leave, I was busy making breakfast/lunch and waiting for Emma to be dropped off. Plus, I couldn’t leave his sister alone and she was no where near ready to even attempt to go anywhere. He said, again, that I had to take him. He went on to say that he couldn’t get his cast wet. Okay, put your sweatshirt on, pull up your hood, and put your hand in the front pocket (you know the ones like kangaroo pockets). He says he can’t. WHAT? I told him that they make these things called “Umbrellas” for people to use to keep the rain off of themselves when it is wet outside. I told him to go get his umbrella or get mine out of my car. He refused. Then he proceeded to tell me that it is going to be all my fault when his cast gets ruined from the rain. Sigh. By this time I am counting to 10 (make that 1000). He finally decided to put on his sweatshirt (YAY…his brain does work!) and pull it over his cast and put his hand in the front pocket.

When he came home later on that day his cast was just fine. Guess good ole Mom will get off without being blamed for ruining anything for Jon on that day. :)

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