Friday, October 17, 2014

Hands Down BEST Gluten Free Dessert EVER

Happy Friday friends!

Funnily enough, this post started with “Happy Monday friends!” and then pretty much sat in my draft box until today. This week really got away from me – work was busy, busy, busy, and Parrish was out of town. Tis the season I guess.

It stinks that I just now found the time to write this post though because I have been DYING to tell y’all about my Baby Shower in Upstate South Carolina last weekend!

Not only was it filled with all the Fall Festive touches that I love:

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AND a coffee bar (yes please!) complete with homemade coffee creamers:

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But my two sisters and my Mom really hit it out of the park with the food! All gluten free of course.

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting:

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and two new-to-me treats from Bumbalooza:

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Banana Bread Mix which Bestie used to make Mini Banana Bread Muffins and Gooey Oatmeal Bars – both were AWESOME!!!! And locally made in NC – bonus points!

The Banana Bread:

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was super moist and flavorful! In fact, I’ve been munching on these ALL WEEK and they’re still moist! I will definitely be making a batch of my own again!

And the Oatmeal Bars. Oh y’all. THE OATMEAL BARS were INSANE!! SO GOOD! Seriously. Buy them. Make them. Enter them in to a Baking Competition and WIN – these Oatmeal Bars will blow your mind.

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Multiple folks asked bestie for the recipe and were shocked that these came from a mix.

I’m not going to comment on how many dozen squares I ate….. but the great thing is that the bars are dense and rich, so you can cut them in to small bite size pieces and they’re perfect. Plus you don’t feel so indulgent because the bites are so small!

In addition to the sweets, my sister Susan made tasty Mini Hotdogs and my Mom baked Gluten Free Sausage Balls – neither of which lasted very long!

I’m sure my pregnancy hormones have something to do with it, but honestly friends, just reflecting on my baby shower makes me a little weepy. I am so incredibly lucky and blessed to have such a loving and supportive family.

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But even more, Baby Ravelli is so lucky. He’s going to be surrounded by so much love. AND laughter! He will have Great Aunts that hug him tight; grandparents that will listen to his stories – no matter how silly they are. He will have cousins to run and play and grow with. He will be so loved.

When I found out that I was having a boy, a piece of me shed an invisible tear for the super cute girl’s clothes I wouldn’t be needing. BUT after my shower, I am now convinced that baby boy’s clothes can be just as cute!

I mean…. seriously LOOK at this tiny cardigan:

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Squeal!!!!! It’s so cute!!!

And with that, have a happy Friday and a great weekend!

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Do you LOVE Cabot Cheese as much as I do?  Don’t forget to Enter the GIVEAWAY for FREE Cabot Cheese!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

FREE Cabot Cheese and Race with Baby Ravelli

As a Cabot Fit Team Member, I love every opportunity I get to combine two of my passions:
Running and CHEESE!
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And now we can all be Cabot Fit together!
In the month of October, Cabot Cheese is hosting a VIRTUAL race to help fight hunger, and inviting you to join us for a good cause!
35% of your registration fee is donated to Feeding America and one lucky runner will have $1200 donated in their name to their local Food Bank! Cabot is even donating $100 in my name to my local food bank here in Durham!
So….Baby Ravelli and I were hoping that you would join us in running!
The details:
  • You choose your distance: 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon
    Baby Ravelli and I will be running a 5k!
  • Sign up to run at CabotVirtualRace.com
  • And because running a race is mostly about the bling, you’ll receive a finishers medal!
  • Share your love for cheese: First 100 runners to register will receive a Cabot Fit running shirt!
  • Post race, Cabot will select 1 lucky runner to make a $1200 donation in their name to their local food bank
PLUS:
  • I’m raffling a Cabot Legacy Collection Gift Box on the blog so sign up below! Winner will be selected at end of the month (Oct 31st at 12PM EST).
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Yup. FREE CHEESE!!
Running with Cabot has a SUPER special place in my heart. I first found out that I was pregnant 2 days before my trip to Vermont, so I ran my first Cabot Race with Baby Ravelli!
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I’d be lying if I said he didn’t slow me down, luckily he’s totally worth a slower run time.
A few weeks later I ran my second race, an 8K, with Baby Ravelli and got quite possibly the BEST EVER finishing photo:
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Bahahahahahaha. Seriously y’all. Sheer joy to be finished but I KILLED that race.
My race this October will be….the slowest of the three this year but I’m okay with that. I’m just excited for the opportunity to run with Cabot, run with you guys, and to work towards ending hunger in all of our communities!
Oh Cabot. You guys are the best – you care about others and you make the best darn cheese EVER.
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Now, about that FREE CHEESE!
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Simply Enter Below – The winner will be chosen October 31st! Good luck!





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 3, 2014

Gluten Free Sugar Biscuits

The best recipes, in my opinion, are the old ones.

Tucked in the back of dusty wooden recipe boxes, yellowing pages ripped from magazines or scribbled notes passed from generation to generation – these recipes stand the test of time.

But you know what, as gluten free folks we don’t always get to enjoy those recipes. Most of those recipes aren’t safe for us to eat and reworking the ingredients can’t always be done.

Lucky for us, Gluten Free Bisquick helps us recapture some of those old recipes, particularly one of my all time faves:

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This recipe lives at Bestie’s house and it was passed to her from my Mom. We aren’t sure of the exact age but we believe it to be at least 20 years old. In fact, when you look up this recipe online, the ingredients are different.

When we make this recipe, we leave out the pecans. Bestie is allergic to pretty much all nuts and honestly I’m not a huge fan of pecans. We had tons of pecan trees growing up and I think I ate one too many covered in dirt. So without the pecans, I like to call these Sugar Biscuits.

Simply follow the recipe above but substitute Gluten Free Bisquick. It’s as easy as that! The butter and brown sugar in the bottom of the muffin tin gives the biscuits an incredible crust, while the applesauce keeps the dough moist.

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For our most recent batch, Bestie made mini Sugar Biscuits and I loved them. Super pop able!

Also, I just want to throw it out there: I’m thinking about testing a batch of Pumpkin Sugar Biscuits. I’m thinking about subbing the applesauce for pumpkin and the cinnamon for pumpkin pie spice. I’ll report back with success or failure!

Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

To My Mama with Love

Since starting this blog oh so many years ago, I haven’t really held back.

I have pretty much made my life an open book on the internet – detailing for you guys the good times and the bad times - not just with food but with everything.

I reflected on the illness of my paternal grandmother and her passing. I told you all when my grandfather passed away, and when Parrish lost his father. Losing a loved one is never easy, but writing about here always seemed to help.

But something changed when I became pregnant. I started to feel…..closed. I didn’t want to overload you guys with daily pregnancy news, and in putting on that filter, I noticed myself leaving more and more of my daily details off the blog. And while I never intentionally hid anything, the past few weeks have left me feeling less than genuine.

Sunday night I lost my last grandparent. My maternal grandmother – my mama – left behind her broken and damaged shell and claimed her heavenly spot. It was one of the saddest and happiest moments in my life.

Sad because I lost an incredible force in my life. Happy because her suffering was over and because I know without a doubt that she was ready to go. Sad because Baby Ravelli won’t get to meet his Great Mama, but happy because of the great Christian legacy that she left behind for him.

My Mama was one of the sweetest people I know, second only to my own mother, who learned from the best. She loved her family and more than that, she loved Christ.

She is the most faithful person I know. She wore her faith on the outside; It was in everything and everyone she touched. She prayed without hesitation – it didn’t matter where she was or who was witnessing, if she felt moved to talk to God she did.

She touched your leg when she laughed. It didn’t matter how far away you were sitting, she laughed with her whole heart and touching you was part of it. She cared for her grandkids, and I’m lucky to call myself one. She loved you unconditionally, but she wasn’t going to sugar coat the facts. She was trustworthy beyond measure, and she made hands down the BEST hotdog chili.

She was loved by so many, and I know that I’m not the only one anticipating the day when I get to see her again. When she meets me in heaven, with those sparkling blue eyes, and we both get to tell Jesus that she is one of the main reasons that I’m there. 

All my love. Amen.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Let’s Have Coffee Together

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I am SO SO SO excited that it’s Friday! This week started off crazy, with way more traveling than I had anticipated. So I am very much looking forward to a weekend at home.

I would also tell you that I may have shed an invisible tear today when I learned that Trader Joe’s is completely SOLD OUT of their Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancake Mix.

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Is devastated the right word to use?

An Instagram friend tipped me off and MOH drove by on her way home from work. Yep. Sold out. And the guy working there said the only way they would get more is if TJ’s made more. Ugh. They’re so good!!!!

I would also tell you that you can go ahead and save your money and NEVER buy these:

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Biggest waste of money. These were a total impulse buy at Earth Fare and I wish I could return them! They are bland and dry – my least favorite combination.

I would however recommend my other Earth Fare splurge:

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for a very special occasion! Capello’s is not cheap – I mean it’s sort of CRAZY expensive. But for a very very very special meal, it was a nice treat.

The noodles cook up in only 45 seconds! It’s the closest thing to fresh pasta that I’ve had in YEARS.

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And of course I nullified the “paleo-ness” of the noodles by dressing them in a creamy spinach and artichoke sauce. But hey, it was good!

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I am currently in full-blown NESTING mode.

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Who knew there were so many shades of grey?!

Parrish and I need to get the paint color nailed down. The sooner the walls are painted, the sooner I can start setting up the real necessities, like the crib! As soon as I found out that I was having a boy, I started feeling like it was crunch time.

Especially since I’m well in to my busy season at work. Goodbye free time. I’m sure y’all noticed that blog posts were getting scarce, but if you’ve been reading for a while then you probably already guessed that the holiday season had started for me. BUT at the end of this holiday season, I’ll be 36 weeks pregnant!

Sooooo….yeah. I need to get those walls painted sooner rather than later.

And with that, our coffee break is over! Back to work Winking smile

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!