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Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Cookbook

It is here, ladies and gentlemen. For a few weeks now I've been the very proud author of this gluten and dairy free cookbook:

Isn't it pretty???

My dear friend Abby painted the cover art as a gift before she moved away. It now has two places of honor...hanging up in my home and gracing the front of my new favorite book. ;-)

The recipes inside this book are not run of the mill gluten and dairy free recipes. For one, there is an entire chapter dedicated to Ethnic cuisine. Chinese, Pakistani, Irish, Italian, Thai! Another is that every recipe was written with families in mind. No insanely complicated ingredients or directions. Most dishes are 8 servings so no need to double the recipe to feed your family of _. The best part? It is BOTH dairy and gluten free. EVERY RECIPE. ALL 101 of them! (It's actually all soy free too!)

Where can you find a copy of this glorious treasure you ask? Through me! Click on the link to my Etsy page and purchase For the Love of Food: 101 Gluten and Dairy Free Recipes there. The price is $30. In it you will find my recipe for pasta sauce, curried lentil hummus, grilled hot wings, lemon cake, chocolate pudding, shepherd's pie, buffalo chicken pizza, chicken-fried steak and so much more!!!

This book has been 18 months of my life. For the last 3-4 months I lived, breathed and bled this book to get it published. Now that it's done, I feel amazing. A life goal has been accomplished. I am a published cookbook author! My friend Elizabeth (you can find her blog here) was a HUGE contributor to this lengthy process by editing and testing recipes as I went along. Thanks friend!!!

Scratch off bucket list.

Now on to the next cookbook! I have already started on the recipes for the next book. Crazy much?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kingergarten Girl No More

Do I have to take a picture? I wanted to play!

Today was the last day of kindergarten. Graduation is tonight, and her teacher knowing that I wasn't planning on coming gave Bel a role in the ceremony so that I'd have to come. Drat!

Wahoo! I'm done! I'm a first grader!!!

Currently, I am making a chocolate cake for her after graduation celebration. It makes her feel special and gives me an excuse to leave before the reception. Yes, I'm anti-social.

I am both relieved and sad about school being over for the year. Not having to wash and keep track of uniforms for two whole months sounds awesome. Having a hyperactive social butterfly six year old around for two months with little to do...not so much... We'll come up with something!

Cake's about done. (Before you ask, it's a wacky cake. I used this recipe: . Only I used strong coffee instead of water.) (And it isn't gluten free. Not sure why I made it actually...)


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Car Rant, Granola Recipe and General Random Ramblings

We bought a new car a couple weeks ago. New to us that is. A beautiful red Nissan Sentra. Absolutely perfect. Until we brought it home...and parked it in our driveway. A bird decided to build a nest on the branch above the car. You can imagine how disgusting the car is in the mornings. (one of the babies fell out of the nest on top of it too! Survived...shockingly.) But that was nothing compared to today...while shopping at Aldi an artistic person decorated my car with lovely zigzags.
This is the smaller scratch. The larger one is all curlicues...
See? Not even possibly an accident. I really hate people today. DIE! Ok, that's out of my system. Ish. Anyone know of an inexpensive way to fix car paint scratches? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

The reason I was at Aldi is irritating. Apparently I have very high cholesterol. (I'm 26! and basically vegan) My doctor is actually blaming my vegan diet (mostly beans as protein) and I've been ordered to eat more chicken and fish. If I wanted to eat chicken and fish, I'd have been doing it...and guess what? My stomach hurts more the last few days eating chicken than it did when I wasn't eating it. Anyway...I went to Aldi to buy oatmeal to make granola. Oatmeal lowers cholesterol. I hate oatmeal. And then my car was scratched while I was getting it. Today sucks.

The granola smells amazing though!!! Because I love you and it's been a long while since I shared a new recipe, here is my granola recipe.

5 cups old fashioned gluten free oats (Bob's Red Mill is good)

1 ½ cups sliced almonds

½ cup chopped pecans

1 ½ cup shredded coconut (sweet or un-sweet--your preference)

½ cup packed light brown sugar

½ tsp. salt

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground nutmeg

½ cup olive oil

½ cup honey

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 ½ cups dried cranberries (or preferred dried fruit)

                Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients (EXCEPT the dried fruit). In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil and honey until not quite boiling, turn off heat then stir in the vanilla extract. Quickly pour the oil mixture over the dry ingredients and stir well. Spread the granola on a 15x10 pan with sides. Bake for 30-40 minutes, carefully stirring every 10 minutes. Bake it until light brown in color then remove from oven. Cool completely before adding the dried fruit. Gently stir to break up the largest chunks. Store in an air-tight container.

You're welcome.

Yesterday while watching Fringe (I'm obsessed. Can't stop watching.) I painted my fingernails. That rarely happens because I neither have time nor patience to do it. But it was a lazy rainy day. If you've seen Fringe, you also know that sometimes one needs a break from the weirdness anyway.

Aren't they pretty?

Another new (or rather re-discovered) obsession is Dido. My husband was sweet and bought me her new CD. I've not listened to anything since. Unless it was her "Life for Rent" CD. =) I even listen to the Dido radio station on Pandora. She has a gorgeous voice. Her songs are sad though...not sure why I like her so much actually. Hmmm...

Nothing is happening really... Another senior class is graduating Saturday, among them a good friend of mine. She's headed to The King's College in the Fall. (I heartily approve ;-)) My daughter has her kindergarten graduation this week as well. It seems just last week I posted that picture of her first day. Where does time go? I'm not ready for a first grader. Or the Summer. At least there are no school uniforms to keep track of when school is out!

I think my granola is burning. Goodbye

Monday, April 22, 2013


All my life I have been accused of having a black thumb. The miniature rose I received as a high school graduation gift only survived through the first month of college. After my first child was born my father gave me a pot of cacti. They died too. Thus, the "You are less nourishing than a desert" speech.

Despite this, I have once again found myself puttering around the yard. So far so good. Would you believe that I have spent over 8 hours between Saturday and today weeding my flower beds? Eight hours. And I'm not done yet. Just mostly done. =) My entire body aches from the effort of pulling and squatting for so long. Which means it's really good for me. The sunshine isn't bad either. ;-) Especially since I picked up my new glasses (transitions!!!).

I am attempting to start a vegetable garden from seeds. Scary...I've never done that before... It's been a fun experiment for me and the girls. Every morning we run out to see which seeds are doing what. So far the green beans are the biggest, with the peas in second place. Aside from an incident with a chipmunk and a tiny tomato sprout and Tempe needing to "see" the sunflower there have been no casualties in this process. But the year is still young. Ha.

See? My little seedlings. Green beans, peas, two varieties of tomatoes, corn, and sunflowers. Not all pictured
Another fun thing about gardening is that I can be productive, completely ignoring the growing pile of dishes. Who needs to vacuum when there is weeding to be done?

Also, you find fun surprises in the yard. We moved in to this house almost one year ago so we missed most of the spring flowers...imagine my surprise when these showed their gorgeous faces!
My second favorite flower. Aren't they gorgeous?
We even have an apricot!
This tree hasn't even been here a year, and look!
So maybe my thumb isn't so black after all??? Maybe there is hope for me yet? We'll see...don't want to get my hopes up too much. If you have an handy tips for gardening, vegetable or otherwise please share! I need all the help I can get!

Stay tuned for more adventures in gardening...

Monday, December 3, 2012

My Newest Food Obsession with Recipe


OK, so here's the deal. My friend bought 9 lbs of these sausages a while ago. When she went to eat one, she found out they gave her terrible heartburn. So I inherited 8lbs of these delicious sausages. I'm sorry she felt bad after eating them, but I am thankful!!! Never would have bought these on my own. Now I will!

In a word: YUM.

Low calorie (for a sausage, that is) and low fat, full of flavour...sausage perfection.

An example of how much we like them: as I said, I was given 8lbs of sausage. We've already eaten half of them. SINCE THANKSGIVING. =) They're good.

They are excellent last minute meal ideas. The recipe below was dinner last night. Delicious! I just threw it together and the family enjoyed it. Cheap and easy is my dinner motto this week!

No, there are no pictures. We ate it too fast.

Chicken Sausage and Veggie Pasta

serves 4

1TBS olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 TBS minced garlic
3 links Casual Gourmet Roasted Red Pepper & Spinach Chicken Sausage, sliced into rounds
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
2 TBS tomato paste
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup wine
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 TBS sugar

In a dutch oven over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add the sausage and cook for 3 minutes. Carefully pour in the next 8 ingredients (crushed tomatoes through bay leaf) and stir until combined. Stirring occasionally, allow the contents to come to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sausage from scorching. Add the salt, pepper and sugar. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

2 medium zucchini, cut in half length wise and cut into bite sized half moons
2 medium yellow squash, cut in half length wise and cut into bite sized half moons
8oz Baby Bella mushrooms, washed and halved
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While the sauce is cooking, thoroughly wash and cut veggies according to the above directions. Spray a large baking sheet (with sides!) with cooking spray. Arrange veggies on the sheets so that all vegetables are touching the bottom and are in a single layer. Spray again with cooking spray. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, or until vegetables are soft and the undersides are lightly brown. Do not stir while cooking.

1 lb box of your favourite pasta, cooked according to package directions.

When all is done, toss everything together and serve. It's yummy. The sauce tastes sausagey with a hint of wine and the vegetables are lovely.

Try it and let me know what you think!

Don't cook this while starving though...the wine fumes will go straight to your head!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Lovely Afternoon and Pattern Woes

I've spent the afternoon reading a new book (Spying in High Heels, by Gemma Halliday. Funny) and listening to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey soundtrack online. It's free. And legal. I promise.

So aside from breaking up several little girl fights, this has been a pretty awesome day.

Oh yeah, and the Vogue skirt pattern I bought a year ago and couldn't make because my measurements weren't as small as Vogue said they should be is still too small. Darn Vintage Vogue. I wanted to sew it this weekend. But why bother if I can't wear it anyway? *Sigh* The pattern instructions sure do a number on your self esteem...according to the measurements, my waist is a size 20, and my hips a more reasonable 16. Trying to remember I'm half that size. AND LOOK GOOD, DARN IT ALL!

There you go, my size rant for the year. I am beautiful just the way God made me. Although a few more hours of cardio each week wouldn't go amiss...purely for health reasons!

I may someday be able to fit this...I like the mid-length best. Far right.
I have a love/hate relationship with sewing.

Friday, November 30, 2012


I'm doing it...a Currently post. Sorry if you are sick of reading this same format from other bloggers. Skip and come back another day. ;-)


Listening to: Christmas music! Michael Buble is my favourite at the moment, but that can always change. Tony Bennett is going in next...

Reading: Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul, by John and Stasi Eldridge. About halfway through and I love it. Highly recommend!!! It has given me many great things to think about and pray over after reading each chapter.

Feeling: TIRED! And a little cranky. The whole family has been sick for a while now, with Tempe being the sickest. I think we're averaging about 4 hours of sleep a night. And she's stopped napping. Very ready for health to reign supreme!

Working on: Two projects! One is my cook book (great progress this week!) and the other is a large Christmas ornament for a friend. It is going to be lovely. Black and white satin flowers covering a large Styrofoam ball topped with a large silver bow. Can you picture it? After I finish I'll try to remember to post a pic of it. Found my camera!!!

Looking forward to: My birthday! And the school Christmas play to be over. I love that my husband has the opportunity of co-directing the play and he's enjoying it! But...the family misses him. Tempe especially as she is sick and only wants Daddy snuggles.

Making me happy: Moroccan food! Seriously, I found a recipe for a vegetarian chickpea dish that I am obsessed with. Don't believe me? Made it Monday and making it again tonight. My hubby and I fought over the leftovers so I'm making a double recipe tonight.

Loving: This picture. It's not the best in the world, but I was happy. He was happy. And we actually have a pic of the two of us! If you know either one of us, you'd understand how difficult this actually is...we hate being photographed! It was taken at the craft fair...obviously, we are in costume! He was Dr. Jekyll AND Mr. Hyde, and I was Mary Poppins. I think we're cute! ;-)