Monday, July 30, 2012


Lately I've been thinking about how awesome my husband is. *people barfing*

No but just a second.... I have a very specific and not all the mushy gushy reason (this time).

I stay home with Lorelai. It was one thing to get to do that in Utah where our living expenses were ridiculously low. Although I should also mention Chris managed school AND providing for our family.

But we live in California now. Just outside the most expensive city in the United States of America. In an area where even the Mormons don't do the stay-at-home-mom thing much. Certainly not with one child. Certainly not at 24.

I've talked to Chris about going back to work and he always says its a last resort. We would sell the car and get rid of our iPhones etc etc first. He is adamant about it. And I just absolutely love him for it. I've only ever wanted this. Since I was 10 I would answer the question "what do you want to be when you grow up?" with "a mom."

Its just one of those things that I sometimes forget how lucky I am to have. So lucky to have a man that wants to be the leader and provider for our household. Thanks bubs!


Saturday, July 21, 2012

New home

So we are completely moved in. Its so strange to think this is my new home. But I seriously couldnt love california more. Im so glad we ended up in El Cerrito. I love our ward. I love the area we are in and all the great shopping and restaurants. I love that people are so nice here and I feel safe walking around. We have been to our pool twice already! Our town home apartment was built in the 60s. It's been gutted and renovated recently but still has some classic original pieces liked the scalloped staircase railing. Here's a few iPhone pics :)


Sunday, May 20, 2012

2 years old

Lorelai loves reading and mommy has become addicted to finding her vintage books.

We were going to get a toddler bed but since we are probably moving soon it seemed dumb to buy a big piece of furniture just to move it... But Lorelai insisted on a big girl bed. So I just flipped the twin bed in her room around so the headboard could act as a guard rail and she loves it. She has been so easy on us with transitions and change. I am so grateful for her and all the joy she brings to our family. Love my little 2 year old. :)


More gluten free info

Sorry if this is bugging any of you "normal" folk ;) just skip it.

I went to the gluten free fair in sandy on Saturday and tried so many new and great things! is by far the highlight though. Cookies. Bread. Pizza crust. No weird textures or aftertastes. Twice I said to the lady "and this is gluten free?!" please get a coconut macaroon.

Also the same company that I get bread crumbs from, kinninick, makes a bomb pancake mix! My husband couldn't believe it was gluten free!

I also got some new info- dominos is now offering a gluten free pizza crust. They are of course warning that cross contamination is possible but let's be real- this not horribly sensitive girl is gonna try it out!



Sometimes you hear something and think, I needed to hear this. In fact, every person who is going to be a parent should hear this. I just loved it so much- so I'm posting it here to share it, as well as so I can come back and watch it to remind myself.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Life lately

Life has been a little crazy lately. Chris graduates in 2 days! So he's been gone pretty much the last month or so. We don't know where we are headed yet, and Chris is quite satisfied to stay in Utah for a little bit while he applies to various agencies... A little break... Maybe even a vacation?!

I can't get over this picture of little Chris. Can I have a sweet little freckle faced mini-him please? Ok yes I'm getting slightly baby hungry. Which is funny because we had a couple of great friends babysit the other night and they said "if we had a kid as good as Lorelai I think we would be done."

I've thought that many a night where Lorelai went to sleep at 7:30 pm and didn't make a peep until 9:00 am.... But I want a big family so the sleepless nights are far from over.

1. I finally saw the hunger games and was in awe! I loved the books, I loved the movie! That never happens. 2. I kinda love her hair in this pic. Looks like she is rockin the awkward grow out bangs too. Gotta love those.

Could it please stop pretending its winter? We built our snowman. Now we are done. Thank you.

Lorelai's has daddy withdrawals. He has to leave before she wakes up in the morning or it's just too sad. She clings and clings and cries. When he comes home at night she runs to the door and immediately demands to be held. This girl loves her papa.

Soon all the madness will be over! And then a whole new kind of madness can begin ;)


Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I took nice pictures with my SLR camera... But i probably won't see the Mac until post graduation so i guess my iPhone pics will do just fine :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012


This girl is almost 2. She is crazy and sassy and doesn't take any crap. Just exactly what I hoped for. She's a tough girl with a soft heart. So sweet, so helpful and affectionate.

When I took her for her 2 year immunizations, they stuck the needle in and she just twitched and gave the nurse the stink eye. No crying. Just "and what do you think you're doing? Huh?!"

I love her too much and very.

Chocolate gluten free waffles and toffee sauce

One of the first things I discovered upon becoming a celiac was that plain pancakes just weren't great. Tried a million mixes and recipes. Bleh. And since I made a big breakfast for my family every sat morning- I found this very depressing. Until I realized -duh!- chocolate fixes everything.

I start out with the simply organic pancake and waffle mix (gluten free).
1 cup mix
1 large egg or egg substitute
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup brown sugar
About 2/3 cup of milk (try using chocolate coconut milk... Oh buddy. But I also often use vanilla almond)

The amount of milk will depend on elevation. You want it to be pourable but batter-like (like regular pancake batter would be).

Butter a waffle iron (so it doesn't stick) and pour it on.

Toffee sauce:
1/3 a stick of butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup milk (I use vanilla almond or soy milk)

Just throw that in the microwave for about a minute. Obnoxiously easy and super addicting.

Add some strawberries and whipped cream if you are feeling extra fancy ;)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Quick gluten free cookies

If you are anything like me... When you want a cookie, you aren't willing to wait 3 days so you can go to 3 different stores to buy 6 different kinds of gluten free flour. Not to mention the cost and the fact that I'm not sure if I'll ever use the rest of that teff flour. Maybe I'm a bad celiac.

I want them quick. I want it all sitting in my cupboard. And I want it to taste good.

Here are my 2 favorite "recipes" for quick yummy gluten free cookies. It's a "recipe" because you get to use a premade mix as the base for both! And as will always be true, you can use the egg and butter subs I blogged about for any recipe.

Snicker doodles.

Go grab yourself one of the Betty Crocker gluten free yellow cake mixes from Walmart. Preheat your oven to 350. Mix up that mix with:
1/2 cup butter
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
Roll little balls of dough in cinnamon sugar and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Flatten them out a little- not a lot- they flatten out a bit in the oven. 10 minutes later... Yum. Easy freaking squeezy.

In the mood for some chocolate?

Gluten free Oreos.

Yes friends. Do this now. You won't regret it. I just did and Lorelai wouldn't keep her hands away... Ate batter and then unfrosted cookies and then more frosted cookies. I'm such a good mom............ She'll eat spinach tomorrow.

I start with a bob's red mill short bread cookie mix. Preheat to 375. Add:
1 cup cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup milk- I used almond milk
1 and 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) softened unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
Grease that sheet and lets go. You're about to make 3 dozen oreos. Ok now these cookies puff up. And if you want crunchy shortbread cookies like Oreos you need to flatten these suckers out. I tried a few and realized I needed to make them flatter. All though I kind of like the puffy softer variety as well. Up to you. Bake for about 8-10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to await frosting.

Ok let's talk for a minute. We're about to get to the part where some people might say- what?! How much crisco?! The creme filling...

Personally, I feel like my allergies force me to eat healthier than I would otherwise. I can't have pop tarts and cheese it's and wonder bread. I cannot eat from a drive thru. So when it comes to dessert, I will eat whatever I want, whenever I want it, and I won't think twice about how much crisco it takes to make it so fah-reaking delicious. I hope you share my passion for all things sweet. If not, try replacing it with peanut butter. ;)

For the Oreo cream:
1/2 cup plain crisco
6 tsp unsalted butter
3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Yikes. I know. You could always share with your neighbors. The ones 2 miles away. Just jog them over. See? Now everybody's happy. :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Whatcha gonna make for dinner?

Sometimes the hardest part of making dinner is coming up with new and yummy ideas. So I decided the easiest way to do this would be to give you a giant list of meals I often rotate. Ha. I plan to post my recipes for many of these but for now at least you have the ideas all together and could always look up a recipe online in the mean time. If there is a particular recipe you want- just let me know! And yes I make all of these gluten free but you don't have to. :)

Chicken parmigiana
Hot and sour soup
Egg drop soup
Pad Thai
Shrimp gazpacho
Indian spiced chicken burgers
Greek style burgers
Pasta prosciutto peas and cheese
Braised chicken with mushrooms
Sloppy joes
Lentil soup
Crispy apricot pork chops
Oven roasted herbed whole chicken
Crunchy spring rolls
Shrimp fried rice
Massaman curry
Fried taquitos
Tikka masala curry
BBQ breaded chicken (marinate the chicken in BBQ sauce and then use that to make the bread crumbs stick)
Cajun jumbalaya
Coconut breaded shrimp
Italian chicken (marinate the chicken in italian dressing... That's it)
Chicken Kiev
Jacket potato bar
Pastrami sandwiches
Spaghetti bolognese (add bacon!!)
Stuffed bell peppers
Cabbage rolls
Chicken lo mien
Coconut korma curry
Coconut curry soup
Chicken wings (you have to fry them)
Chicken teriaki stir fry
Shepherds pie
Meat loaf (Best ever)
fried chicken with mash and gravy
Fish and chips (or sweet pot fries!)
Risotto (oh sooo many ways)
Morrocan chicken

Bacon cheese burgers
Avocado spinach bacon pasta
Chicken Schnitzel and roasted pots
Chicken and rice soup
chicken, black bean, corn salad
Meatballs and tangy sauce over rice
Honey balsamic pecan chicken
Creamy spaghetti
Broc bacon pot soup
Lettuce wraps
Pasta and roasted cherry tomatoes
Fried chicken drumsticks
Cookie sheet nachos
Chicken florentine
Grilled cheese and Tomato soup
Creamy herb chicken and polenta
Chili (won 3 chili cook offs- believe it)
Steak and asparagus
Italian sausages and twice baked pots
Lasagna soup
Shrimp linguine
French onion soup
Chicken tortilla soup
Chicken carbonara
Chicken and wild rice casserole
Spinach, bacon, walnut salad with poppy seed dressing and goat cheese.

Woah man. Hungry yet? The cookbook pictured contains only a few of these recipes but is a great resource for new ideas to the allergy ridden folk.

Substituting dairy and eggs

"so you are allergic to gluten. No wheat, barley, rye etc etc for the rest of your life."

"woah. Are you freaking kidding me?!"

"oh and by the way I need you to stop eating dairy, eggs, beef, citrus fruits.... Etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc (not joking) for at least 6 months."

"ok. But could you do me a favor?"

"sure... what?"

"shoot me."

Yeah that's basically how it went. I am very lucky that after my insides got all healed up (and taking like 30 medications and supplements a day), I can now eat cheese and butter. Still no milk- but honestly I prefer the substitutes. I still don't eat egg whites (high allergy there) and I've had beef once since my diagnosis almost a year ago. Who needs beef when ground Turkey is the bomb and they make turkey pastrami? If I crave a steak i'll eat one, the once a year I crave it ;) anyway....

But oh I remember thinking "what in the hell am I supposed to eat?!!" I lived on carrot sticks and apples for 2 days until I got up the courage to go looking. The gluten thing was a big enough shock on its own. Goodness sakes.

And then I found out it wasn't AS HARD as I'd thought. Still difficult, but the challenge made me want it even more. Here are my favorite products that help with substitutions. You aren't going to be eating deviled eggs or macaroni and cheese with these... But you'll be able to bake without eggs or milk and put a slice of "cheese" on your turkey burger.

You can also substitute eggs in baking with cornstarch or pureed flax seeds. But I felt like this egg sub was no fail in everything I used it in.

Let's talk about "milk" for a second. First, not all soy milks, almond milks etc are gluten free. I don't drink rice milk now because it seems a lot of them contain trace amounts of gluten. And they also found trace amounts of arsenic in rice milk. All that plus low nutrition content... No thanks.

I love almond, soy, and coconut milk. I use regular almond milk for mashed potatoes or to eat with already sugary cereal. I use vanilla soy or almond milk for baking.... Or chocolate coconut milk for chocolate baked goods. I am not a huge fan of straight drinking regular coconut milk. But I use it in a lot of Thai and Indian cooking. It's not as thick as the stuff you get in a can though so its best for soups and to thin out sauces.

"cheese." I found that the soy mozzarella was fine as long as it was melted and not the main ingredient. I used a soy milk and goat cheese mix as a sub for ricotta in my lasagna. A lot of people who can't have cows milk can have goats milk just FYI :). Give them a try- just don't expect cheddar... Keep your mind open and just see if it tastes good. The stuff pictured above is great for a slice to melt on something.

And the butter sub above is my favorite. I used it in baked goods and on toast. Easy easy. But seriously though... Toast with coconut butter will blow your mind. Simple. So yum. Dairy free.

Lastly, whole foods carries a great gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, (food free... J/k) brownie. I am so annoyed I can't remember the brand but there was only one kind. It was over in the bakery area. And it's good. Like fulfill that craving, legitimately good.

Best of luck to ya!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mood board

Since we will probably be moving soon, Chris and I have been talking a lot about our next apartment. When we got married, we took every free piece of furniture available to us and didn't think much about the look of our apartment. We moved from an apartment with fresh carpet and tile to one with church carpet and linoleum because it saved us $165 bucks a month. Truth is, as poor students, we couldn't afford to care.
We have both decided that this time, when we move we only bring the things we love with us. And we actually (shock and horror!) spend some money on making our apartment look like its ours.
Did I mention I am peeing my pants with glee and cannot wait to move?

So here's the mood board we came up with. It's basically Scandinavian interior design. Chris is an extreme minimalist whereas I love pops of color and everything vintage so this seemed a great compromise. Plus it means we can do a lot of our shopping at ikea... Gotta love that. What do you think?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Gluten free groceries

This is gonna be like the golden globes but for groceries...

And the award for best gluten free bread is........ Rudi's multigrain!!!!!

No seriously though. It's the bomb. Keep it frozen and toast slices when you're ready. All the Rudi's varieties are good but multigrain is my favorite. But make sure you don't pick up their organic but not gluten free variety. Messed that up once and needless to say i'll never make that mistake again. Oh and it's not to be confused with udi's... Which does not compare. You can get it at Harmon's or good earth in Provo but I've seen it in a lot of health food stores in las Vegas and NYC.

What should you put on your toast? If you haven't tried coconut butter- you should. Also try peanut butter & co's white chocolate wonderful. Oh my heavenly peanut butter. Or some lemon curd. I've seen all of these at your average grocery store.

Best frozen meal? Amy's gluten free Mac and cheese. Usually about $4 or less. Quick, easy, and delicious. The pasta Is never mushy and is almost a little al dente which is a miracle really. I always over cook it a bit because I love the browned cheese on top :)

Best frozen waffle? Van's gluten free- I prefer the flax seed variety. Great crunch, great flavor. I eat mine with just butter but they work great for syrup too.

Craving a snack? Grab some glutino pretzels. Buttery flavor, great crunch. I can't tell they are gluten free.

It's awesome that there are a bunch of varieties of gluten free chex... I like to eat the plain rice kind with chocolate coconut milk. Oh that discovery made my day. Chocolate coconut milk is so creamy. Great for baking too. Or blend it with a banana and some peanut butter to make freezer pops. Yum.

Another great cereal is the enviro kids leapin lemurs peanut butter and cocoa puffs. My daughter pounds these.

My favorite bread crumbs are kinnikinnick. They are crunchy and work great for breading chicken.

Best ice cream ever? Hagen Dazs creme brûlée. Oh. Em. Gee. But if you aren't a lover of custard like I am try talenti's salted caramel or Caribbean coconut gelato. Bomb.

And a quick trick- did you accidentally get glutened? Or just want to calm your tummy? Try chamomile or peppermint herbal tea. I am a full on addict. I add a little honey or raw sugar sometimes. Hydrates you, calms your body. Just good for you.

I guess that's it for now. Upcoming posts will be about dinners we eat on a regular basis, baking easy gluten free cookies, gluten free chocolate waffles with toffee sauce, and substituting eggs and dairy if you need to. :) let me know if there is anything else you are wondering about.

Gluten free eating out in Provo

I have been getting so many questions about eating gluten free lately. It's so hard when you first find out you're a celiac... You try a few prepackaged gluten free cookies and breads and they all taste like garbage... So you assume that's your life now. Odd textures and strange aftertastes. Not so people. I promise. Not so.

I'm obsessed with food. I always have been. I like sugar and carbs. I love to cook and bake and have no issue spending 3 hours in the kitchen to make 8 dozen cookies. I love it. So I refused to accept that food wouldn't taste good anymore. I refused to accept a lack of variety. And mostly- I refused to accept that I'd never gain the weight back and I'd forever look like I was unhealthy. No.

So you're probably going to see quite a few gluten free posts from me in the next while. So if it doesn't apply to you- go get a cinnamon roll and skip right to the next blog. :)

Oh and here's the best recipe for gluten free cinnamon rolls I've ever made. And yes I bought their flour mix just to make cinnamon rolls :)

Ok so I'm gonna start with a list of places I have found that I can eat out without issues here in Provo or the surrounding areas. I obviously can't guarantee that your visit will go the way mine have, but these are my old reliables. And if you don't live in Utah this list will still give you ideas for types of food or dishes in your area.

Thai mango- I get the massaman curry (like cashew chicken) and Panang (like a coconut milk spicy chicken curry with eggplant and bamboo) with jasmine rice and they are so bomb. Each entree is about $9 and when we get those 2 curries, my husband, myself and my 2 year old eat dinner and lunch the next day. Cheap, delicious, fast, gluten free. And lots of dishes are dairy free as well since they use coconut milk. Gotta love it.

India palace- I get the chicken coconut korma and the butter chicken curry (it's a tomato based sauce). I envy my husbands naan every time we go but I'm grateful I can still eat so much of what I used to at least!

Sushi from Harmon's (I've also gotten it from whole foods)- I have my reservations when it comes to buying sushi from a grocery store... It is fresh? As in made within a few hours of consummation- not a few days.... But I have never been disappointed. I like the sushicado which is just salmon and avocado and the Philly roll... Cuz this girl likes anything that has cream cheese in it. Watch out for rolls with a brown sauce already on them and imitation crab... Both will contain wheat. While you are there don't forget to grab some gluten free soy sauce.

Red mango- frozen yogurt. All the yogurts are gluten free but I never get toppings as the probability of cross contamination is very high. Coconut and blueberry swirl- blows my mind.

Buffalo wild wings in Lehi- I get the traditional wings (they are fried- no batter) and 9 of the 12 sauces are gluten free. The ones that aren't are teriyaki, Asian zing, and Jamaican jerk I think- they have all the info online. All because of soy sauce. To make sure you don't get cross contamination, order sauce on the side. Sometimes they offer to get a fresh mixing bowl, sometimes they are busy and it's just easier to get it on the side.

Costa vida- I get a salad with corn tortillas, pulled pork, black beans and rice, tortilla strips, cheese, guacamole and house dressing. But they have so many gluten free options. They always change their gloves if you say you're gluten free. Love them.

Zupas- I get tomato basil soup (no orzo pasta) and their Caesar salad with no croutons. Once, the guy added croutons and tried to just pick them off... Lol the manager quickly stepped in to educate him and remade my salad. They are very gluten free friendly. And please get the creme brûlée. You deserve to be happy.

Malawis's- in the river woods. Best gluten free pizza I have ever had. The crust has a GREAT texture. Get the Malawi Capri and sub red sauce (their Alfredo sauce has gluten in it). Oh my yum.

Pf changs, olive garden, pizza factory, old spaghetti factory, red lobster, macaroni grill... All have gluten free menus online and I've never had an issue ordering. Chain restaurants seem to offer gluten free more and more these days, just be sure your server knows what's up. :)

My FAVORITE place- the place I will cry about leaving when we move- is cupcake chic. Oh my gosh. My husband gets gluten free cupcakes here even though they make regular because you cannot tell the cupcakes are gluten free. Call ahead and have them set them aside as they sometimes run out. My fav are the coconut. Once I was talking to the owner... She brought me out a fresh from the oven chocolate cupcake with salted caramel frosting... I nearly fell on the floor. And they do cakes too! For birthdays or weddings.... So so gorgeous.

I have honestly thought I was done with this list twice and then remembered something else. And I know I haven't covered every place. The point? A celiac diagnosis does not have to mean you are never going to go to dinner with friends or never going to be able to eat the most sublime food available. I LOVE everything I eat. I just do my research online before I go- I can't stand to be the person who sits down and has 30 questions. I want to get there and know what I am eating and that it will be safe and delicious. So get out there! Do some research online and go eat something yuuuummmy. Please and thank you.

Happy eating to you. :) xo

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Going with the flow

I don't like going with the flow. I'm a girl with a to do list and a plan. So no plan is much more stressful than a highly intense plan. I can get it done. Just tell me what it is!

Chris graduates in less than a month. All along my head was ready for new York. And then the last month or so Chris starts saying some of his top picks for design agencies are also in San Francisco. Which, let's be real, makes this west coast sunshine-aholic beach lovin girl quite happy. But now my brain is all crazy. The differences in life style are immense! But truthfully, it's all about where he gets a job. So I gotta calm down the efficiency Nazi in my brain and let the boy graduate.

So I am "going with the flow"... Sort of. Ive made to do lists for what we would do in each scenario and scouted apartments in both cities. So it's more like I am going with 2 flows trying to pretend they are both real until one actually is. And the funny part is we could end up somewhere entirely different.

I've never been to San Francisco. Anybody got any input on what to expect? The area I've been looking at is Berkeley actually. I've heard I should avoid Oakland... Any other tips?

Monday, March 5, 2012


(Turkey bacon, zucchini and parmesan risotto)

Random post... I eat risotto more than a person should. But it is rich and creamy and naturally gluten free so what's a celiac to do? Here is a recipe for risotto in case you are interested in trying it out. If you don't like mushrooms, you can make this with literally anything. I have used pancetta, zucchini (I grate it with a cheese grater so its fine shreds), butternut squash, or turkey bacon (as shown above), which as BACON is no substitute but as a meat for this or pasta is great.

Mushroom risotto
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 tbsp Olive oil
Mushrooms (I like to use a variety of white and wild)
1 medium sweet onion
1 tsp basil
1/2 cup parmesean cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

I use 2 pans... A skillet for the veggies or extras and a cast iron pot for the risotto - I combine the two at the end. You will have time to chop the veggies while you are waiting for the rice to absorb the chicken broth so get the rice started first. Dribble a little olive oil into the risotto pan and toast the rice for just a couple of minutes over medium heat. Add 2 cups broth and stir occasionally until it's absorbed. Add another 2 cups. Stir occasionally until it's absorbed. Add the last 2 cups and parm cheese and really stir the crap out of it. The stirring releases the starch which is what makes for a creamy texture. All and all the absorbing and stirring takes 30-40 min. And to prepare the extras, I just chop the onion, slice the mushrooms, add the basil (or whatever other combination you've chosen) and cook them in a little olive oil. I try to have them just simmering on low when I am finishing the last part of the risotto.

And in case you need some dessert... here's my fav cake. No eggs, no milk, no gluten. Wish I had a picture but i'm a lazy blogger.

Chocolate cake
1 1/2 cups gluten free oat flour (or all purpose gluten free flour mix)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 cup chocolate coconut milk (or soy or almond milk...)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Oil and sugar a 9x9 pan or circular cake pan (as in coat it in oil and then sugar... this is so it doesn't stick). Whisk dry ingredients and add wet ingredients. Batter should look like browny batter and should be pourable. If too thick add more coconut milk (depends on elevation). Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Do not overbake! Sprinkle powdered sugar on top. I have also used dark chocolate (dairy free) chips in this which is crazy intense but so so good with some vanilla bean ice cream!