Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Super Easy Oven Risotto

Since Mason was born, I think it's been pretty obvious that I've been in a food rut. 

I'm not really sure what to attribute this slump to, but I'm sure it has something to do with my life completely changing (for the better) the day that little babe was born. 

It's like I've honestly forgotten how to cook. Meals with more than a few steps just seem too hard. Also hard: even thinking of ideas for meals. Ugh. Hard. 

I need all the inspiration I can get. So in addition to Pinterest, I've started looking at blogs for meal ideas, including my own! It's hard to believe that I've been writing Gluten Hates Me for 8 years, and over that time, I've had some pretty yummy meals!

Including this:



Oven Chicken Risotto

A recipe from my bestie sister, I first blogged about this dish in January of 2012!

It's super easy to prepare and it reheats well - two of my favorite qualities in a recipe. But the best part of this recipe:


the pockets of cheese!!! I used Cabot's Seriously Sharp for this particular dish and it was oh so good!

You can customize the filling of this dish to meet your personal tastebuds. In 2013, I used caramelized onions and white beans with smoked gouda as my filling. My sister adds basil to her rendition, and I've even used sautéed mushrooms in the past instead of chicken. 

No matter what you choose, the base of the risotto will turn out perfectly every time, so feel free to experiment. It makes a big dish too, so you could serve 4 for dinner or have leftovers for lunch!


Gotta love leftovers!

I really can't recommend this recipe enough - try it, I know you'll love it!

Oven Chicken Risotto

You’ll need:

2 tbsp. butter

2 1/2 cups chicken broth (be sure it’s gluten free! I like the Pacific brand)

1 cup Arborio rice

1/2 small yellow onion, diced

8 oz. cheese, cubed (I used Cabot Seriously Sharp but mozzarella is great too!)

1 container cherry tomatoes, halved

1 bag spinach, roughly cut into smaller bite size bits

1 cup diced, cooked chicken (I use a rotisserie chicken – aka lazy man’s chicken)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large (and deep) brownie pan or roasting pan, add the butter and pop into the oven to melt. Once melted, add in the onion and give it a good stir.

Then add in the broth and rice. Stir to combine and then cover your pan with aluminum foil.

Bake for 35 minutes. While this bakes, prep the rest of your ingredients.

After the 35 minutes, remove the pan from the oven carefully, and remove the foil. Fluff the rice with a fork. The liquid should be sucked up and the rice cooked. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, stirring well to combine.

Pop back into the oven for another 5-10 minutes, to wilt your spinach and melt the mozzarella.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Gluten Free Doughnuts + Weekend Fun

Is it just me or do super fun weekends make Monday just a little bit harder?

I was smart and went to bed really early last night (like 8:15 early) so that I could make it to 5:30 bootcamp this morning. I have found that if I start the week out well rested, then it's easier to maintain my fitness (meaning get up well before the sun and workout) for the rest of the week.

Now, if only I could get back on track with meal prepping on Sunday! But that is a post for another day.

Back to the weekend - we had such a great one!

Saturday started out slowly. Parrish was working out of town, so it was a Mommy + Mason day. I cleaned up around the house while Mason entertained himself....


with popsicles and trucks...in Mommy's tank top! :) He has been so funny lately grabbing my clothing and wanting to wear it. He wore it as a dress for most of the morning. 

And those popsicles are SO EASY to make! I bought a popsicle mold at a local shop and have been filling it with pureed strawberries and blueberries all summer. That's it! Just pureed fruit - no sugar or added ingredients. He loves them and I love how easy they are to make.

Once the fun of trucks wore off, I decided to head to The Museum of Life & Science in our town, which is basically heaven for Mason.



I find full days of single parenting way easier if we have an activity that takes us out of the house. We explored for a bit, played in the water, and finished the trip riding the train. Then it was back in the car for snacks and the drive home.


I tried a new-to-me snack: Justin's Peanut Butter with Banana Chips. It was super yummy and definitely hit the spot, but at $1.99 price point (at Target), I think they will have to remain a special treat for very busy days.

After naptime, we headed back outside to play with the neighbors and you guessed it....


more trucks! Just in the last two weeks, Mason has really started playing with trucks. He affectionately refers to all vehicles as "go-gos" and can't seem to get enough. Luckily some of his neighborhood friends have quite a collection in their backyard and let him play with them whenever he wants.

Whereas Saturday started slowly, Sunday started with an adventure!

Since Parrish and I were both home, and I found a random $20 bill in a pair of old jeans, I devised a plan that would entail a new play place for Mason AND gluten free doughnuts for me!

First stop - doughnuts of course!


Fresh Levant in Raleigh has the most amazing gluten free doughnuts on Sundays! It's 30 minutes from our house, so we don't go often - they're a real treat!


Soft and doughy - they are worth every. single. calorie!

Fresh Levant is in this cute little area, that actually has something for the entire family. Doughnuts for me, a coffee shop with killer (full of gluten) biscuits for Parrish, and a big grassy area WITH a fountain for Mason!


Since we're keeping Mason gluten free for a while, I was excited to share my doughnut with him. He took one bite and that was it. Not interested! Apparently doughnuts have nothing on dirty fountain water.

After the pit stop for doughnuts, we headed in to downtown Raleigh to visit the Marbles Kids Museum. We had never been and I have to say - if you have kids in the Triangle area, it is a MUST visit! Mason had so much fun and literally wore himself out, which is not an easy thing to do!

Then it was back home for lunch and naps. I tackled our grocery shopping for the week while Mason slept and by the time I was back home, it was time for more fun. We headed to the park for the afternoon, but cut the trip short because it was just too dang hot!

I for one cannot wait until Autumn, playing outside will be so much more enjoyable for everyone.

And that was it! Such a fun weekend with our favorite little guy, which does make Monday morning and childcare drop off tough (just for me, Mason loves playing with his friends) but it's also nice to be back in to the routine.

Now - off to work!


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Summer + Snacks + Tacos

For the first time since college, I feel like I'm actually enjoying summer!

My new work/home life balance is allowing me to take it a bit easier than I'm used to and I have to admit - I LOOOOVE it! I was worried that I would miss my old job, but funnily enough I haven't even had a moment of longing to return. It's nice to know that I made the right decision, not only for me, but for my family too!

So far the summer has been FULL of fun. We've traveled a bit, played outside a ton, and eaten lots of yummy gluten free food.

In fact, yesterday I ate quite possibly the BEST taco I've ever had!


It's Restaurant Week in Raleigh, so a friend and I went to lunch at Virgil's Original Taqueria. That delicious taco above was INCREDIBLE. Pulled pork carnitas that was tender and crispy. I seriously can't wait to eat there again.

Plus the meal started with....


tasty guacamole, salsa, and homemade corn chips - so I knew it was going to be good!

The staff was super knowledgable on gluten free dining options, including cross contamination in shared fryers. The chips have their own designated fryer! The service was fast and the food was super tasty - I highly recommend trying it out. If you go for lunch, get there early!

Not quite as tasty as tacos, but I have been enjoying a few delicious snacks lately. Since I started going to Burn Bootcamp 5-6 days a week, I've had to really pay attention to what I eat....meaning, I have to be sure to eat enough!


My current favorite snack: apples with Cabot cheddar and Justin's peanut butter

And as it turns out, I'm not the only Ravelli that enjoys snack time ;)


One of the best parts of going to the pool - the snacks!

And yes, Mason is now 1 1/2 years old and sitting in a chair all by himself like a big kid - ugh. It's awesome and devastating...all at the same time!

What about you? What's your current favorite snack?



Monday, May 23, 2016

A Transition for Gluten Hates Me



Becoming a parent has taught me a lot. I'm definitely always learning, but there is one lesson that continues to hit me like a ton of bricks, which is the simple fact that time moves too quickly. 

2016 has been a year of change - good change - but still, the Ravelli family has had quite a bit of transition. The biggest of which was a job change for me. After 8 years with One World Market, 4 of which were directing the organization, I left my position on April 1st. There were a lot of motivations for leaving, some of which still feel raw. It's tough to admit when you're failing, and for me, it had started to feel like I was falling short at work and at home. 

Managing a non-profit and being a Mom to Mason (and a wife to Parrish....and a daughter and a sister and a good friend) just didn't work out for me. I ended each day feeling unbelievably pulled in a million directions, which is a part of why this space here - my blog - was left to sit. Everything in my life had a priority level, and it became all too easy to put myself last. 

So I gave ample notice to my job and started to journey down a new path that I knew would give me less responsibility at work and more flexibility in my schedule, two things that I desperately wanted. 

Then life hit fast forward. Everything started to fall in to place, and I found new rhythms and patterns and schedules (three things that help me thrive) but I still struggled to make it back here. I thought about posting a goodbye and ending the blog completely - I mean my last post was in February!! But each time I started writing an exit, it didn't feel right, because the truth is - I write blog posts to you guys everyday in my head. I reflect on my day and think about funny things. I continue to take pictures of my food. I don't write a lot of recipes anymore, but I hope I find that inspiration again soon. 

I just don't feel finished having this outlet for reflection. I'm not ready to close this book, but I do think we should start a new chapter. 

For a seriously candid view of my day: Snapchat - @glutenhatesme

For longer reflections, new products, restaurants, and workouts: Instagram- @glutenhatesme

For meal plans and recipes: Facebook

And when I have the time, I'll continue to post here. Be sure to leave me your handles here in the comments; I would love to follow you back!


Post-run Meal at the new Happy + Hale on 9th Street in Durham. So yummy



Thursday, February 11, 2016

Easy Homemade Buttercream Frosting - Take Two

Let's talk Buttercream Frosting.


I knew I wanted to make Mason's 1st Birthday Cake the moment we started planning the party. I LOVE Buttercream Frosting (it's my most viewed post EVER on the blog!!) but I couldn't decide if I should keep it simple or add in blueberries. Blueberries are Mason's favorite fruit and I thought it would be fun to change it up a little.

But as life typically goes these days, I ran out of time and ended up having to settle for just a simple Buttercream Frosting. Which isn't really "settling" because even at its simplest form, it's HEAVEN.


After I whipped up the Buttercream, I added a thick layer of frosting in between the two rounds of yellow cake. (I used the King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix - SO GOOD!!!) And then frosted the top and sides.


Don't forget the sprinkles!


I loved the way his cake turned out - which is a good thing, seeing as how I ate most of it!

We made a rookie mistake and fed Mason lunch just before his cake, so his belly was super full. He took a few bites from us but that was it. No smashing, which was a little disappointing but whatever - it's his birthday!

Plus I didn't mind helping out with that cake. It was so good!

I highly recommend making your own Buttercream the next time you need frosting. It's so EASY to make and tastes ten times better than pre-made.

EASY Homemade Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened – not melted
  • 3 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, SIFTED  
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • up to 4 tablespoons milk
Sifting your powder sugar is very important! Without the sifting your frosting could be clumpy.

Instructions

-Start by beating the butter in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed until the butter has broken down and begins to look whipped.

-Stop the mixer and add in your sifted powdered sugar. Cover your mixer and bowl with a towel and turn your mixer on the lowest speed for 30 seconds to a minute. (This keeps the powdered sugar from poofing up in your face and all over your counter!)

-Increase the speed to medium and add the vanilla, salt, and 2 tbsp. of the milk. Beat for 3 minutes on medium.

You’re done! Need thicker icing? Add more powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time. Need a thinner icing? Add more milk a tablespoon at a time. You could also add in food coloring at this point if you wanted a more festive frosting!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Mason Modesto Turns One


Happy 1st Birthday Mason Modesto Ravelli!

And in the blink of an eye - a year has passed. 

It always seems so cliche to hear parents talk about how quickly time passes. I've heard "the days are long but the years are short" no less than a dozen times this past week and my mama heart aches with that truth. 

In some ways it feels like just yesterday that I was holding a teeny tiny baby in my arms for 18 hours of the day. Now I have a very busy baby toddler on my hands. And while he still wants me to hold him, 27 squirmy pounds feels a little different than 10 pounds of baby love. 

But what a fun year it has been!

Quite literally the BEST year of my life, filled with so many highs and so many lows (sleep deprivation is real y'all) but most of all - SO MUCH LOVE. 

It takes a village to raise a child and that's because the parents need the support! I am so amazed by how truly incredible our support system is. From hand-me-down clothes and toys to phone calls to discuss how to actually throw a kid's birthday party to sending pictures of diaper rash - Parrish and I are so blessed with good family and friends. 

Which in turn means Mason is blessed, and there is nothing better than LOVE from your friends and family. That's the only gift you need when you're turning ONE. 

Well that....


and a cool car to get around town.

So what does one look like for Mason Modesto? I thought we could look at it in numbers, since this post has been so numeral focused.

12 - the number of books we read in the afternoon. Mason LOVES books. He received a few new books for his birthday, and I'm excited to change it up!

11 - the pounds of strawberries this kid eats in a week! I can't wait until the season starts this spring. Local strawberries are going to blow his mind.

10 - the seconds that pass by until he smiles again. Mason is a smiley, happy, funny baby. His humor is my favorite.

9 - the number of meatballs he eats in a day.

8 - the number of toy balls that he currently plays with. In food and play, balls are the best.

7 - days a week that this kid is walking! Mason took his first steps shortly before Christmas and he hasn't stopped since.

6 - the number of kitchen gadgets he is currently playing with! Salad spinner, sifter, whisk, measuring cup, spatula, and mixing bowl.

5 - the number of days he spends at Semilitas, the in-home childcare place that we just LOVE. Mason gets some FUN baby time and is always happy to be dropped off.

4 - the amount of toys currently being rotated in the bath to play with. Bath time is so much fun - it's everyones favorite part of the bedtime routine.

3 - the number of pacis in his crib. Once Mason started sleeping through the night, we decided to just toss some extra pacis in there for good measure. This has worked SO WELL and now if his paci falls out, he just feels around until he finds another one. #geniusbaby

2 - toys in his hands that he will hit together. This little trick started a few weeks ago and it never gets old. He gets one item in each hand and then enthusiastically beats them together. So proud.

1 - episode of Peppa Pig while he gets his diaper changed. Seriously - God Bless Peppa Pig, that is the only way Mason is laying flat on his back for any amount of time when he would rather be playing!



Happy Birthday Little Buddy! Your first year has been an absolute BLAST - we can't wait to see what year two will bring!


And I'll be back on the blog tomorrow to talk about THIS CAKE that I made. BEST gluten free cake ever and that homemade buttercream frosting!!!!!!!!! So good and SO easy - you'll never buy premade frosting again.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Gluten Free Snow Day Essentials



If you live on the eastern seaboard, then chances are, you just might be waking up to an unexpected snow day today!

Here in NC, we woke up to a state of emergency and a forecast predicting ice, snow, and freezing rain - at 6:30 am I can see the snow already starting to fall! And yes, we live in the South, so even a dusting causes SNOW PANIC and SNOWMAGEDDON and of course, a SNOW DAY for me!

In my younger days I would have made sure my pantry was stocked with wine and pizza, but I thought it would be fun to let you guys in on my #winterstormjonas shopping list.

- Immaculate Baking Company Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (so good!!!)

- Taza Chocolate (perfect for making hot chocolate)

- Ingredients for Skinnytaste Cheeseburger Casserole  (yes, I'm already making this a second time. So good!)

- Cabot Cheese Extra Sharp Cheddar (nothing like a warm gooey grilled cheese after playing in the snow)

- Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free Mountain White Bread (see above grilled cheese comment!)

- Toilet Paper (not the most fun item but necessary)

- Ace Space Blood Orange Apple Cider (just tried this for the first time at my local beer store, The Glass Jug. So good! Perfect for brunch!)

What about you? Are you waking up to snow this morning?
What are your Snow Day Essentials?