Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Current Go-To Gluten Free Breakfast

I don’t know about you guys, but finding a good gluten free breakfast has always been hard for me.

Before my diagnosis, I pretty much relied on Chick-Fil-A and Hardees to make my morning meal. SO NOT healthy for so many reasons. But it helped me get out the door quick.

Since going gluten free, I’ve had a few tried and true favorites for breakfast: breakfast sandwich with eggs, oatmeal, and pancakes.

Pancakes are delicious but usually leave me feeling super tired afterwards, and I think I just over did it on the breakfast sandwich. I don’t crave those as often as I used to. But oatmeal. Oatmeal! That has remained a favorite, and bonus points: it’s so darn good for me!

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Pre-pregnancy I loved to add yogurt and fruit to oatmeal, but since Baby Boy Ravelli decided that most textures make him throw up, I’ve had to go back to the basics with my morning routine.

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Whipped Banana Oats topped with 1 tbsp. Almond Butter and one Gluten Free Graham Cracker crumbled for crunch.

Making whipped banana oats is easy, and I love the creamy, pillowy texture it gives the oats.

In a pot over medium heat:

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1/3 cup gluten free rolled oats, 1/3 cup milk of choice ( I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk), 1/3 cup water, and 1/2 banana sliced thin.

When the liquid begins to bubble, start frequently stirring your oats for 20-30 seconds at a time until the banana melts into the mixture and the oats have thickened.

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It takes a bit of cooking time, but the effort is so worth it! I LOVE the creamy texture – plus the banana gives the bowl extra staying power.

Want more ideas for breakfast? Read more Gluten Hates Me Breakfast Posts HERE.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Weekend Recap and Crab Cakes Benedict

Happy Monday friends!

I hope you had a fun and restful weekend! I worked on Saturday, busy as a bee – but Sunday proved to be the perfect mix of work, play….and naps.

I started the weekend Friday afternoon with an awesome workout with Parrish. It’s funny how the definition of an “awesome workout” has changed for me!

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Not much running for this baby belly – these days I’m happy to walk a few miles at a steady pace with an incline. I’ve also had to slow up on weights a little – not too much but certain lifts just don’t feel good anymore. Listening to my body has never been so important – especially since I’m sharing it for another 4 1/2 months.

After work on Saturday I came home to a real treat:

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Supper in a skillet! Parrish combined all of our favorites: tiny potatoes, bok choy, okra, bacon, garlic, shallots, and cabot cheese. So good!

Sunday morning started bright early with laundry and chores, so Parrish and I treated ourselves to brunch at Primal Food and Spirits. We sat outside on the patio and soaked up the weather. Even though it was overcast, it was a cool 64 degrees. Autumn may really be coming!!

I ordered the Crab Cakes Benedict because…duh! When is the last time you had crab cakes with hollandaise?!

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It was tasty, but I’ll admit that it left me feeling SUPER sleepy. Too much deliciousness in one meal, and I was fighting a food coma all afternoon. I took a quick nap and headed back to the gym with Parrish to energize the evening.

We finished off the day with our weekly grocery trip and adding more items to our baby registry. Who knew babies need so many things?!

Speaking of which: I would love recommendations on baby monitors! Any that you loved? Any that you hated?

An early bedtime last night has left me feeling refreshed this morning, but I’ll admit – I wish I had one more day to rest before starting the week. It’s going to be a busy one!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Boy or Girl: Baby Ravelli Sex Reveal

Yesterday was a BIG day for the Ravelli family.

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It was finally time for our second ultrasound at 20 weeks! Parrish and I were both so excited at the chance to see our baby again, plus we could officially find out the sex of the baby if we wanted to.

Finding out the sex of the baby is surprisingly a hot topic in the parenting world. There are strong believers on both sides of the spectrum: those who want the surprise at birth and those who want to know as soon as possible. Being a planner, I always knew that I would want to know as soon as possible. For me, having a newborn is going to be enough of a surprise – I’m excited to have the time to prepare mentally for what diaper changes, etc. could look like.

But I also knew that I didn’t want to find out the sex of the baby in an ultrasound room with a sticky belly and a stranger. I wanted to find out with dear friends and family – and with Parrish in my arms. So we asked the ultrasound tech to write down the sex of Baby Ravelli, which we then handed over to MOH so that she could arrange a surprise reveal.

After we handed over the envelope, we added some items to our Baby Registry and then headed to Motorco: Parts and Labor for supper with a small group of folks and waited for our reveal.

MOH had wrapped us a gift, and my friend Katie did an amazing job capturing the moments:

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Yep. Baby Ravelli is BOY!

MOH made these adorable knit booties to use in the reveal. And since she didn’t know until the day of, she also knitted a pair of pink booties! Parrish and I are so lucky to have her as a best friend.

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And Baby Boy Ravelli is lucky to have her as an auntie.

In addition to the booties, our friend Katie treated us to cupcakes with a special touch from Daisycakes:

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6 gluten free Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting and 6 gluten free Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream

OHHHHMG so good.

And it was such a great way to find out the sex of Baby Ravelli. It was so much fun – AND SO SURPRISING – I’m so happy to have had this moment to share with others.

and with you!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Five Minute Fresh Pickles

If you ever decide to plant your own garden and you want a plant that you KNOW will work out, plant cucumbers.

Holy moly our cucumber plant is the gift that keeps on giving….and we actually planted TWO! Note to self for 2015: You only need one cucumber plant.

While we were at the lake this past weekend, we were lucky enough to be able to have supper at bestie’s house with my parents. I say lucky because I love my family AND because my brother-in-law smoked ribs! I watched my sister whip up a quick batch of pickles and as I crammed the 50th one in my mouth, I knew I had to make them at home.

Luckily, it’s SUPER easy and will taste oh so sour and fresh – you’ll be hooked!

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First, you need cucumbers. Any size will work but I like the extra crunch you get from small cucumbers. Give them a good rinse and then slice them in to rounds. The thickness of each round is your own preference.

Then you need vinegar:

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Bestie used Rice Vinegar and I loved it! Whatever vinegar you use, just be sure to check for Gluten Free on the label! Vinegars can be tricky, but there are tons of Gluten Free ones available.

Then just cover the cucumbers with vinegar. That’s it!

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They only need to sit for a few minutes – it doesn’t take long to get that yummy vinegar flavor. And the best part is, you can keep adding cucumbers to the jar of vinegar as you eat them. It’s like a perpetual pickle jar!

I’m telling you guys, if Baby Ravelli came out all puckered up and asked for a lemonade and a fresh pickle I wouldn’t be surprised.

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This baby LOVES all things sour.

Happy Thursday and Happy 19 weeks to Baby Ravelli!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Do You Drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes?

While it certainly doesn’t FEEL like autumn is just around the corner here in NC, the start of September always gets me in the spirit of the season. The season of college football, boots, scarves, and all things pumpkin!

Over the last few years, I have always been amazed by one particular Autumn Topic in the Gluten Free Community: Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

I think we all know that Starbucks is in no way supportive of the gluten free community. While I completely understand that they can’t promise a gluten free environment, their continued apathy towards disclosing gluten containing ingredients in their syrups and drink mixes is SO frustrating! I know plenty of other companies that let you know which drinks you can and can’t have – and since they’re a chain, Starbucks could do this easily. But I’m not holding my breath!

So here’s my question to you:

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Do you drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes?

In past years, I have often thrown caution to the wind and let my body tell me if I have a reaction. Honestly, this isn’t a safe or recommended route to take but at the same time, I have never had a known physical reaction to a PSL. And I’m super sensitive! Again though, the keyword is known reaction.

Last year, frustrated with Starbucks treatment of the Gluten Free Community, I banned them. I didn’t partake in the yummy PSL season.

This year, having already given up summer wine for Baby Ravelli, I have found myself wanting to indulge in a PSL. Which made me so curious as to your thoughts!

So, Do you drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes? Let’s discuss!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Stuck on Lake Time–Buttercream to the Rescue

I think it’s safe to say that I’m going to have a bit of trouble getting back in to the swing of things at work today. I spent the last few days on lake time at Lake Norman in Mooresville, NC.

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Mornings on the dock – Breakfast by the water

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Afternoons spent soaking up the sun

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Photo Credit: Ben Bipes

His and Hers Cocktails

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Naptime – whenever!

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It was a rough weekend Winking smile

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Luckily we had MOH’s birthday yesterday to help us transition back to reality. Because really, what better way to end a mini vacation than with cupcakes?

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Topped with homemade vanilla buttercream!?! Happy Birthday indeed!

You can find the easy recipe for that buttercream HERE. 

The next time you need a little bit of help coming back from a vacation I highly recommend trying cupcakes. Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Gluten Free White Pesto Pizza

Happy Wednesday friends!

Yet another week flying by. I was hoping to write this post yesterday, but you know the last thing I want to do when I’m trying not to throw up in the morning – write a blog post about delicious pizza.

Luckily Baby Ravelli is taking it easy on me this morning, and I can tell you guys ALL about this:

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Delicious gluten free pizza!

I’ve had a box of King Arthur Gluten Free Bread & Pizza Mix in my pantry for months, and I decided to finally use it this week.

I picked up a ball of local mozzarella cheese at the farmer’s market and perused Pinterest for recipe ideas. Then I remembered the nearly empty jar of pesto in my fridge and decided to keep it simple.

Sometimes simple is the best!

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I prepared the crust according to the pizza crust instructions on the box. NOTE: If you use this mix, give yourself plenty of time! This crust has to rise TWICE for a total of an hour of prep time before you’re ready to bake.

It should be said too that this crust is a sticky mess! I used plenty of olive oil to pat it out with my fingers, but you will definitely be amazed by how sticky it is. Just keep at it and use your fingers to spread the dough on your pan.

Once I had pre-baked the crust, it was ready to top! I spread the pesto on the crust and scattered the thinly sliced mozzarella, leaving a bit of space in between for melting. I baked the topped pizza for 8 minutes, or until I noticed the edges browning and the cheese had melted.

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Done! Fresh baked gluten free pizza!

Parrish and I were both impressed with the crust itself. It was thick and chewy with pockets of olive oil.

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The next time I use this crust, I plan to mix some Italian spices and cheese in to the mix before baking. I think that would help with the overall flavor of the crust which was a little bland. Luckily my toppings were not bland at all. I mean really, it’s all about the cheese:

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#cheeseforever

If you have access to local, FRESH mozzarella you should definitely try it on a pizza. Yes, it can be a bit more expensive that shreds from the grocery store BUT it’s TOTALLY worth it!

This topping combination is definitely a favorite. I love pepperoni but there is something about a white pizza!

What are your favorite pizza toppings?