Saturday, June 8, 2013
Are you familiar with Kim over at Cook It Allergy Free? She has an awesome blog, website and social media presence full of resources to help those with all sorts of food allergies. She even has an app! (It's neat, I've had it since she launched it.) And now Kim is offering food allergy coaching services and more to those who are in need of help navigating the overwhelming world of food allergies. Whether you personally have been diagnosed with them recently or in the past, or someone you care about has, Kim has a service that can help. I'm pleased to announce that Mama Me Gluten Free is supporting Kim's services and has joined up to refer them. (Full disclosure: This means I get commission on sales.)
If you are interested in more information, you can read the information below and click on the links, or the image above. There is a 20% off discount for the moment!
If you are living with food allergies or special diets, you know exactly what a journey it can be to navigate all of the ins and outs of knowing what is safe to eat, how to cook for the whole family so that everyone can enjoy a meal together, how to handle different social situations, and how to handle the stress of it all.
Living each day like this is definitely a journey. It's not a final destination. There are some great days and some not so great days.
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Sunday, May 26, 2013
So you've no doubt noticed that things have been a little different around here lately. A dog video in the last post and iphone photos to be expected in the cocoa baked oatmeal in a mug post before that. Work is keeping me busy, my chronic fatigue syndrome is beating me up and I'm desperately missing my best friend and hurting for her precious family.
Thanks for being patient.
And what a week we've had as a country. What a month we've had. What a time we've had the last few months ...
Lots of prayer going up for a lot of people in the country and in the world these days.
So, I've needed quick, simple and easy in my life lately and I'm assuming I'm not the only one. Another iphone photo for you - that doesn't even really show this iced coffee very well. I'm sorry. (By the way, the goldfish tumbler is my oldest daughter's. I always borrow her goldfish Tervis tumbler or my youngest's Hello Kitty Tervis tumbler for my iced coffee because they are the perfect size. Both were gifts from the grandparents from Bed, Bath & Beyond.)
A word on this iced coffee variety: We got a Keurig for Christmas, which made me very excited. But a little background, first. When I was a reporter, I had a serious coffee habit. Working 60-hour-plus weeks and deadlines until the middle of the night kind of does that to you. A big part of my paycheck went to the coffee shop, as I could only stomach the office coffee in the late hours. I got to where I was easily drinking 8-10 cups a day, and not just to keep me awake. I love coffee. My husband wasn't a coffee drinker at the same time I was.
When I got pregnant, I had to quit coffee cold turkey and it was hard. I had horrible withdrawal and was very sick. I swore I'd never get that way with coffee again, and for years wouldn't touch a drop. The last few years I've allowed myself a cup or two a month, and even though I wanted to immediately have another cup, I would fight the urge. After I gave up coffee, my husband started enjoying it. We had a Senseo maker (I don't think they even make those anymore?) at the time, and it was perfect for him being the only one drinking it. About the time I started feeling like I might be able to handle a cup every day without going overboard, the pods became too expensive and it was back to the drip machine. The only problem is he enjoys his coffee weaker than I like mine, so I decided to continue not drinking it rather than have a weak cup. The Keurig solved this, of course - and gave us lots of options.
One of the options when you order K-cups from Keurig.com (I have found it's worth it to register your maker and get the two free boxes, become a club member and get 10% off your order and in addition, wait to order when I can find additional coupon codes) is you can order small sample boxes. The Timothy's Cinnamon Pastry cups had good reviews, so I thought I'd give them a try in a sample box.
(*Please note that I researched this flavor before trying it, to verify gluten-free status. I read this concerning gluten in K-cups on Keurig's site, and this on Green Mountain Coffee's site (Timothy's is in the Green Mountain family). I tried contacting Timothy's directly, but basically received the same answer from the Canadian branch. I also came across several others who can't have gluten who drink this flavor without trouble. So I felt it was okay to give it a try, and both my husband and myself have been able to drink it without problems.)
Is the flavor as good as the reviewers said? Bleh. (But you might not think so - the reviews from others are very good.)
Here's the thing about me: I like my coffee black, no sugar, no creamer. The bolder, the stronger and darker, the better. The problem with this coffee flavor is it's one of those that tastes like it needs to be sweet with cream, and that's not my style for hot coffee. Iced coffee, however, I like sweet and creamy. I thought I'd give it a try, and it's actually pretty good. So, here's my solution if you have a Keurig brewer and want to make cinnamon pastry iced coffee:
1 Timothy's Cinnamon Pastry k-cup(*See note above)
1 cup ice
8 Tablespoons unflavored coconut milk (not canned, but the refrigerated kind)
4 teaspoons organic pure cane sugar (or sweeten to taste with natural sweetener of choice)
Place ice, coconut milk and sugar in 16 oz. tumbler or glass of choice and place in brewer.
Place k-cup in brewer and brew at 6 oz. size option.
Stir until sugar is dissolved.
(And yes ... iced coffee is usually a very occasional second cup of coffee in a day, later in the morning or afternoon, and only if I really need a pick-me-up. I stop at two now, and I limit that to a few times a week. It's all about moderation!)
Friday, May 10, 2013
Are you in need of a smile as much as I am today? I hope this helps.
If you follow this blog, you know things have been tough lately. Added to that we had the unexpected death of one of our beloved chickens a couple of weeks ago and I had to tell my oldest after school today that her fish had died. We are an animal-loving family, and every pet death is hard. Considering my daughter loves marine life so much she wants to be a marine biologist, I struggled when I discovered Thunder had passed on to the golden water in the sky.
Before picking them up, I watched this video that a friend posted on Facebook. I knew right away it wasn't a coincidence, and sure enough it provided lots of smiles and laughter for our sad girls.
I don't think I've ever shared anything like this here before, but maybe I need to give you all something to smile about more often?
Saturday, April 27, 2013
A mug breakfast dessert, of sorts, for you this morning. Gluten-free, as always, and dairy-free. Forgive the phone photos.
I'm not feeling well this morning. Yesterday I started feeling the scratch in my throat and took every supplement, essential oil and natural remedy I had on hand (properly spaced apart, of course) to avert the illness I felt imminent. My husband came down with a mild cold last week and my youngest came down with a bad cold this week, so I'm hoping it's the first cold and not the latter that I'm fighting. Regardless, I don't feel great.
After I slept in for a while, I got up and everyone else had already eaten. So no big breakfast. They'd finished off a pan of oatmeal (certified gluten-free, of course - and FYI - not everyone who eat gluten-free can handle even GF oats so use caution and listen to your body if you're not used to eating them). I didn't feel like cooking or baking. I wanted something simple, single-serving and yummy. I really wanted baked oatmeal (goodness, speaking of photos! I shudder at my early ones!) or something of the sort but wasn't about to wait that long or give that much effort. Mug baked oatmeal?
You have seen a couple of mug cake recipes posted here, and I have even more I have yet to put up. Some of them include oatmeal in them, but I hadn't tried pure baked oatmeal in a mug-microwave combination yet. I did a quick search to see if anyone else had attempted it yet. Given the way I'm feeling, I didn't want to mess with too much experimenting.
I came across this instant fudge brownie baked oatmeal in a mug and at first decided to not use the cocoa, because I thought I wanted cinnamon. I changed my mind, though, and went all out. I modified the recipe to suit my needs and desires, as you can see below.
Was it good? It was exceptional. A word of warning, though - as you can see from the photos, it overflowed from my standard size mug. Because it was a different consistency than other mug cakes I've made, it actually dribbled down the sides of the mug rather than just puff up and then shrink back into it. The Nutella mug pictured next to it below with my coffee would have been a better size for this microwave-baked oatmeal.
In the state of mind and all going on in my life lately, I'm likely to be posting more phone photos for you just so I can get posts up. It's really a little ridiculous considering I use my good camera nearly every day and am editing photos nearly every day, to not be taking good photos of my food for you! To be honest, though, I've been going through a lot and my family has been fed grits and eggs, toast and eggs and pancakes for more meals in the last couple of months than I'd like to admit. Thankfully I have an awesome husband and children who must think I even make eggs and grits with a magic hand - or they are just being really super sweet, which is more likely the case.
Projected time start to finish: 6 minutes
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon coconut milk
4 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/4 cup certified gluten-free rolled oats
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 small pinches kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
2 1/2 Tablespoons pure organic cane sugar
Grease inside of large microwaveable mug and add egg, coconut milk (or milk of your preference), applesauce and vanilla. Stir with fork until blended.
In a small bowl, combine oats, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and sugar. Mix into mug slowly until all is combined.
Microwave on high about 2 minutes and 15 seconds or until it's all "baked."
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
We were all in shock yesterday as the events unfolded at the Boston Marathon. When bad things happen, we usually are shocked at first. Then we grieve. We hurt. We cry. We scream, "Why??" We pray. We help, and to quote the beloved Mr. Rogers, we "look for the helpers."
Since a few weeks prior to this, I've already been grieving and hurting and screaming about a loss that has rocked me to the very core and has broken my heart into millions of pieces that can't possibly be fully repaired. I'll write about that sometime, the sudden passing of my dear kindred spirit on earth.
So as I'm already on the verge of tears every second of every day, the news yesterday morning that a beautiful blogger named Kate of Chasing Rainbows said goodbye to her son that so many of us had been praying for - it seemed like more than anyone could bear. And then the explosions at the Boston Marathon brought yet another tragedy into more lives.
It's too much. It's all too much.
And so I pray. I pray for those hurting and for those who have lost. I pray for our world and for love to reign. I pray for peace and for comfort, for all and for me. And when I don't feel like I can pray, when I feel too angry or bitter or "what's the point?" to pray, I take a big breath, and take one more step, and say, "I know you can hear me, anyway, God, and I know you'll be there waiting when I can start up again."
And then I look outside and see new life. I look at my husband and my children and I see love and joy, and eventually a smile or a laugh comes from me. I remember that there is no sadness or pain in heaven, and that those I've lost are there together, and have faith that one day I'll see them again. And that brings me joy, too, in the sadness of missing them.
And I look for the helpers, and I look for ways to help. Whether that's donating money to charities providing aid, or directly to families, or being a shoulder for someone to cry on or cry with, or an ear to listen, or writing a note, or praying. Or doing more. Or all of the above. There is something I can do, no matter what my strength. Something you can do, no matter what your strength.
And this cycle starts all over again. Pray. Breathe. Take another step. Smile. Laugh. Cry. Pray. Breathe. Take another step ...
Cherish those you love, and let them know. Squeeze them tight and make some memories.
And slowly, every day, there is light that comes out of the darkness. And there is morning after night.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Do you see these creamy pops freezing in this clever little popsicle maker? Those are addicting, delicious, wow-me-and-surprise-me, oh-so-simple Nutella popsicles made with very little dairy. They are so creamy, yet the only dairy in them is the amount in Nutella. And with this little pops maker, it took less than 10 minutes to freeze these two wonders.
Even my husband, who isn't a chocolate lover and could do without Nutella, and isn't that crazy about coconut milk, really really liked these popsicles.
I took quick photos with my phone yesterday because I knew I wanted to get this recipe to you today. (This is one of the main reasons why I've slowed down on the recipe posting - I try to take nice photos with my big camera and then life gets too busy to allow me time to edit these photos before I can give you the recipe!)
|Sorry, I had already eaten some before I remembered a photo :)|
I love Nutella. I LOVE Nutella. And ice cream pops. And I also am lactose-intolerant and am not able to eat more than a couple of spoonfuls of ice cream with taking a couple of Lactaid (one for each spoonful). So, I was determined to make these pops something that I could eat.
I mixed up some coconut milk, a little almond milk and some Nutella with an immersion blender in a matter of seconds, then we were good to go.
Can I just tell you how quickly I fell in love with this Zoku maker? When we received it I thought it was a very, very cool toy (and I'd seen them on several food blogs and was admittedly curious) ... but that it was also a gadget we might use a couple of times and then find inconvenient and not use much more after that. Nope. I was wrong. This is the most convenient way I've ever made popsicles, and they freeze so perfectly. It's like you just ripped them open from a wrapper out of a box you picked up at the store, but they taste fresher. And they don't get that icy taste that popsicles frozen the old-fashioned way do.
We also got this handy-dandy airtight Zoku pops storage case and this amazing recipe book with our Christmas present. I need to add extra popsicle sticks and the the cool tools to our collection at some point.
If you don't have one of these Zoku pops makers, you don't have to worry. You can make these the traditional freezer way, you'll just have to wait a lot longer. ;)
Projected prep time: 3 minutes; Projected freeze time: Under 10 minutes (if using Zoku, longer if traditional)
3/4 cup original coconut milk (not flavored or low-fat etc. I usually use Silk)
1/4 cup original almond milk (same info and brand as above)
1/3 cup Nutella (okay if it's slightly heaping)
Mix all ingredients together until blended well and no chunks of Nutella are evident. I used a hand immersion blender, but feel free to use the method of your choice. Cover and refrigerate until cold (the night before is perfect). Pour into popsicle molds according to the manufacturer's directions until frozen.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
|Logo designed by Anile Prakash|
If you've been keeping up with the rally, you've probably noticed that things have slowed down. So many of us have had such big changes in our lives, or busyness ... or both, that we've had to put some things on the back burner. There are only two participants in the rally this month, and I applaud them for carrying it on for us until we can jump back into things with them.
Morri over at Meals with Morri was the host this month, and she mentions several of these life events in her host post with these amazing and beautiful blueberry waffles.
Who doesn't love waffles?
Be sure to check out Morri's waffles, as well as Discovering the Extraordinary Heather's Sunshine Waffles.
If you aren't familiar with the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally, I have a rally page here where I link to all the challenges I participated in, as well as host posts to those I didn't. Try it out - baking by ratio gives you kitchen independence you never could imagined before trying it!