Sunday, September 08, 2013

Back in the baking saddle again....

Since I found out I have Celiac's Disease, I've been trying to figure out this whole new gluten free lifestyle.

At first, I'd walk over to my baking cupboard. Open it up. Survey all the various types of flours for all of my cooking and baking. Get overwhelmed. And end up standing there, staring into the cupboard eating a handful of chocolate chips.

OK, two handfuls.

OK, OK, three handfuls.

Once that freaking back of chocolate chips was gone, I cleaned out the cupboard. 

Open items with gluten went to various friends and coworkers, as if I was finding good homes for my beloved baking supplies.

Unopened items (such as soups, beef stock, etc) went to the food bank. Have I mentioned before how annoying it is that wheat is in EVERYTHING!

But I digress. My friends and family have been so supportive through all of this! I've received new GF cookbooks! (Thanks Sara!) I've received emails, texts and facebook messages from friends with new GF blogs, websites, products, apps and recipes to try out.

So it was only a matter of time before I forced myself to snap out of my mope and get my GF butt back into my new cleaned and GF'd kitchen.

Megan (a friend named Megan, I haven't started referring to myself in third person, don't worry), sent me a link to the latest Martha Stewart cookie recipe for the month. It's                GF Oatmeal cookie with raisins and chocolate chips. And you know how I love Ms. Stewart! 

After trips to two different grocery stores (sigh...yes....two. On a Friday night nonetheless. Exciting, I know.) I was ready.

This one called for making your flour by pulverizing GF oats into a fine oat flour. 

Done and done. Thank you my lovely food processor.

I swapped out the raisins for dried cranberries. Used mini chocolate chips.



Freakin' delish! Just the right amount of crunch and gooey cookie ratio one needs.

Friends, readers be warned. There are more GF adventures in the kitchen to come.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Garden Update: August

OK, OK, this post is a little late, but what can I say, I was busy having fun in August (when I wasn't feeling like utter crap. See previous post.)

I dare say this was pretty much the last month for the garden sadly.

The heat wave forced our lettuce to bolt faster than I could keep it trimmed back.

The heat wave was also timed with our vacation so the lack of water also pretty much ended the green beans and anything else that was struggling along (leeks, squashes). 

The zucchini developed that white moldy film that all of my zucchini plants are destined to develop. But not before I got a few more out of the plant.

We did only really get one good pumpkin. There are two struggling ones still growing on the vines but I don't think they'll make it. But I'm cheering for them!

But the tomatoes! Oh, the tomatoes!

And the raspberries! Oh, the berries!

I do think the blueberries are done for the year, but we gobbled up every one of them before we even walked away from the bushes. I can't wait until next year when we'll get even more blueberries! They are growing well under the watchful eye of Clarence the Garden Gnome!

Since the summer garden is on it's way out, we're making plans for a fall garden. That's one of the many lovely things about living in Seattle, you could - and the hard cores do, garden year round. We've planted batch number two of lettuce and are planning on researching a few more items to go into the ground.

However, the biggest culprit of our garden this August was the moles! MOLES!!!! They are everywhere in my yard! And the day the bastards popped up in my raised garden beds that was it! I called the Mole Masters and got on their schedule. We've got three mole traps, one in the front and two in the back.

And yes, they've been successful. (PETA, don't even bother leaving a comment here. Those f&$^#@$ are gone!). Luckily we're on a weekly check in with the Mole Masters as more of the bastards have moved in.

But I will prevail.

Or rather the Mole Masters will prevail.

With my debit card, but still, you get the picture. (And I can post a few here too, but they aren't pretty.)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I dreamt of doughnuts

I had a dream the other night. It was one of those really vivid dreams where you wake up, somewhat suddenly and wonder, did that actually happen? When did that happen? That couldn't of been a dream. 

Yet it was a dream.

In my dream I was eating doughnuts. Not just any doughnut, a chocolate doughnut with chocolate frosting and coconut shavings from Top Pot, a Seattle favorite that's quite big around here. Even the Prez (yes, that one) has been known to stop by when he's in town.

I should probably backup in case you're wondering why I'm having such vivid, mouthwatering dreams about doughnuts.

I've recently learned I have Celiac's Disease. And after some tests and many doctor's visits, I'm now on a strict gluten free lifestyle. (I've opted not to use the word diet since I don't believe in those. Plus diets end at some point where as Celiac's does not.).

I confess I haven't been feeling that great for a while now. I just kind of chalked it up to stress - having a toddler, full time stressful job, working mama life,
life in general, etc. - one can get away with things like that. But after awhile, one doctor said, you know let's try and test you for Celiac's. 

I laughed and said, no, it's not that. I think I'm lactose intolerant. (I've got quite the extensive M.D. background...thank you Internet.) She said, that could be, but what's one more test. 

Yes. What's one more test.

Well, thank God she's the M.D. and not me. (FYI...many people with CD are often misdiagnosed with Lactose Intolerance. And many CD peeps are often LI. Personally, I have to wait a few months before introducing dairy back into my diet to see if I really am. Or if it's just all that evil gluten, as I know refer to it.)

Now I'm venturing into this big new world of strict GF. I've cleaned out the cupboards of the usual suspects: various types of flour, oatmeal, pasta, cous cous and bread. But it's the sneakier ones that have me double checking labels and cross referencing with the Internet as there's lots of code words for Evil Gluten.

Various friends and the food bank have all received items that once were staples in my life.

Thankfully I live in a city that gets what it means to be on a strict GF lifestyle. There are restaurants, bakeries and farmers market stands that all cater to those of us just trying to avoid gluten and still have tasty treats.

I'll admit, I've gone a bit overboard with the GF vigilance perhaps, new blogs to read, books to check out, a whole new cookbook section to browse, but then again, this is my life and my health. And now I look at crumbs on the counter from one of Ruby's snacks in a whole new light. Just 1/8 of a teaspoon of gluten is enough to make a CD sufferer really suffer again.

Many people say learning about a diagnosis that makes you eliminate an huge food group that was a major part of your life causes one to go through a mourning and anger period. I didn't experience anger. More like relief. More like, oh thank God. I'm not dying, it's just that freakin' sandwich (and everything else I ate.)

But I do think I'm going through a mourning stage, hence the doughnut dream. And really, just a stage of trying to figure out what this all means. For example, why is gluten in salad dressing? I get why it's in chicken broth, but does it really need to be in my ketchup too? Apparently yes. 

For now, I just keep double checking ingredients, trying new products at the store and looking for the opportunity to try new recipes and get back to the baking that I love.

I purchased my first bag of Xanthan Gum (a staple in any GF kitchen I've learned) on my last shopping trip. I feel like that's my next step down this new path.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

imom: Seattle's Great Glasses Play Day!

This weekend was the 2nd Annual Great Glasses Play Day, an event to celebrate and honor kiddos who wear glasses, patches & contacts. It's a great way for kids to see other kids their ages who also wear glasses & patches. It let's them know they aren't alone. And it give their parents a chance to meet others in their community who are going through the same thing.

This year Seattle had a celebration! Amber and her sweet little girl hosted our celebration in Carkeek Park (BTW, if you live in Seattle you must check out that place! So much fun to be had!)

Amber knows how to throw a party! Our spot was not only easily recognizable by the Great Glasses Play Pay balloons, but the large silver glasses she made! Several of the kids, including Ruby, thought these were the best!

She had sidewalk chalk.

She had bubbles. 


She had fun glasses & patching pictures to color.

And there were books to read where all the kids have glasses & patches.

Plus, there were cupcakes.

And you know you can't go wrong with cupcakes.

 However, despite what Ruby's shirt says, she didn't not patch for cupcakes. (Notice how her patch is on her shirt? Extra points if you spotted the patch on her boot.)

We'll keep up the faith though.

It was a lot of fun & great to meet other moms & dads & their be-speckled little ones! Can't wait for next year's party!

Friday, August 02, 2013

this moment 8.2.13

Over at SouleMama, she has a Friday ritual called this moment - a single photo, no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor & remember.
If you have a this moment, please leave the link in a comment, I'd love to see it!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

imom: Sharing her story & making superheros in the process

An Internet friend I've met recently through my various imom blogs & groups was featured on Today's Mom for her son's Scott's story. It's very similar to Ruby's story. But Scott wears glasses and those are about a year off for Ruby still.

Jessica was tired of the comments & looks people were giving her for having a young child in a patch & glasses (Come on peeps, like you've never seen that before?! Seriously what is wrong with people!?) so she decided to do something about it to make her son feel better.

And you know what, she did with Eye Power Kids Wear.

And she made a lot other kids feel pretty good too.

Ruby's shirts arrived this week. Can't wait to get her picture on their site!

Note how the eye patch is on baby doll & not Ruby. This is what happens when she gets a hold of eye patches.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Garden Update: July 2013

It's been a month since we planted the garden.

We've had rain, typical Seattle rain. 

But more importantly, we've had sun & heat! A not so typical heat wave and then this happened:

Everything exploded! We've got tons of lettuce, raspberries, zucchini, and cucumbers! 

The tomatoes are coming along as are the green beans and possibly the apples!

It's all very exciting....especially to my little garden helper! We even have done a little canning with our new produce. But that's a story for another day!