Tuesday, July 31, 2012

oh deer

We spent last weekend at Pipestem State Park in WV.

Someone made a new friend, while we were there.

The drive was long, and the kids didn't travel too well.
And our room was tiny and none of us got much sleep.
But the park was beautiful, the weather glorious and we enjoyed seeing some 
family members there that we haven't seen in a while.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Gluten Free Dinner #1 - Burgers and Fries

Gluten free can still be fun, healthy and even delicious! I find it a really fun challenge to give old, unhealthy, (usually gluten laden) recipes a more nutritious, gluten-free makeover.

My husband loves burgers and fries. (What American husband doesn't?) So this summer, instead of grilling fatty beef burgers, we've been eating lots of turkey burgers. Serve on a piece of gluten free toast, with grilled red peppers, mustard and a little cheese, and you've got an easy, yummy dinner that even your pickiest eaters will love. (Olive is my picky child, and even she likes turkey burgers.)

We have fallen in love with the amazing sweet potato, and it has pretty much taken the place of white potatoes in our house forever. They're so good, and SO much more nutritious than their white, starchy relatives. Making your own sweet potato fries is pretty easy, but if you're in a time crunch (or don't have the energy to peel and bake your own in the midst of cleaning up potty-training accidents behind your 3 year old and comforting your early-teething 4 month old...ahem, I digress...) just pick up a bag of frozen sweet potato fries at the supermarket. Most are gluten free, I've found, but make sure you check the ingredients list to be sure before you buy! (Rule #1 of the gluten-free lifestyle - ALWAYS read ingredient lists!) Most frozen fries are lightly coated with oil and a starch for crispiness. I've found the majority are coated with rice flour, but if the ingredient list reads "wheat" or "modified food starch" I'd beware.
Sweet potato fries are just as good (if not way better!) than regular fries, and again, it's something that young, picky eaters will enjoy. That's something that's important to our young family.

So, don't let a gluten sensitivity rob the joy from your kitchen! It's easier than you think to feed your family fun, healthy, GF meals!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Oodles of Doodles

I am loving these cute books by Sachiko Umoto. I've always loved doodling, and these little tutorials are so inspirational. I've been scratching up my new sketchbook with a pencil all week. (Well, in those rare spare moments when I'm not juggling feeding my infant and potty training my toddler. Let's keep things real.)

Easy Gluten Free Living & Fruit Crumble

I'm slowly easing back into blogging since we welcomed Mr. S into the family, and as I've browsed older posts on here, I realized I haven't said much about being gluten free, which surprises me since living gluten free is so important to my family!

2 years ago I made a decision to forever change my diet by saying goodbye to gluten. It was a decision that should have been made years before, (I had had the bloodwork and endoscopy reports proving I was allergic to gluten in my possession since I was a teen,) but I had been too afraid and too lazy to make the change. But 2 years ago, I hit a breaking point. I was in my early 20s, only 3 years into my marriage, with a one year old daughter and I felt like an old woman. I was overweight, had no energy, struggled with chronic joint pain and muscle fatigue, and had weekly migraines.

About 10 weeks after strictly following a gluten free diet, I started seeing miraculous results. Weight started coming off that hadn't budged in years, my migraines disappeared, I had a surge of new energy and started working out again (and actually enjoyed it for the first time in years, as my joint pain started to disappear,) and my appetite and cravings for junk were greatly diminished as I believe the healing that took place in my gut enabled me to start absorbing my food for the first time in a long time.

Living gluten free has changed my life for the better in so many ways, and I'm always so excited to share my successes with my friends. One thing that drives me crazy, though, is that I run across so many people who would like to benefit from this way of life, but are afraid of giving up good food and having to learn a whole new way of cooking. Maybe I can use this little old blog to be an encouragement to those of you out there who feel this way. It's been 2 years of being gluten free for me, and I am continually surprised how so many of my old favorite foods can very easily be made gluten free (and healthier!) and how learning to cook good gluten free food isn't half as scary or difficult as I once worried it would be.

Which brings me to this wonderfully simple, delicious fruit crumble recipe.

My pastor's wife, who is also gluten free, brought this crumble over for us while I was recovering after just having Silas, and it is SO good. When she shared the recipe with me I was shocked at the simplicity of the ingredients. I love recipes that are simple and versatile. This recipe can adapt to whatever you have in your kitchen (or garden) and turn out fabulously each and every time.

Preheat oven to 375*F.

4 apples or peaches (or a mix of both) peeled, cubed and placed in a lightly greased casserole dish.

1 - 2 cups of blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries (whatever tickles your fancy. We have a freezer full of freshly picked blueberries so that's what we used.)

For the crumble topping, just mix 1 cup of gluten free oats (we use Bob's Red Mill brand) with 1 cup dark brown sugar, a half teaspoon of cinnamon and one stick of softened butter. Blend with a fork until very well mixed.

Then you simple pack the oat mix on top of the fruit and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

It can stand up on its own, but is really decadent with whipped cream, yogurt or ice cream on top. A perfect summer dish!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I love this picture of Olive,
floating in air.
glowing with joy.


my kids are ridiculously silly.
and ridiculously cute.
i love them!

almshouse road

just some snapshots from an evening trip to the park recently...

summer nights in early june were lovely.
summer nights in late june and so far in july?
not so much.
too hot.