Sunday, November 29, 2009

How old is that in dog years?

 

Happy Birthday Max!

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My fur baby Max turns 7 years old today! It’s so hard to believe he’s that old! I took Max in when he was 5 weeks old! He suffers from the perpetual puppy-ness of his basenji/beagle breeding. For his “cake” I offered him a spoon of peanut butter, which he quickly gobbled up! The rest of the day was spent playing ball and taking the usual 2-3 naps while Parrish and I went to get our Christmas tree!!

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We searched and searched for the perfect tree. Parrish was very patient, and helped me look each one over.

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And then we found it!! An eight foot beauty!

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And then I took a nap in a bed of Christmas delight!

Have you guys bought your Christmas tree yet? I’ve been wanting to decorate since Halloween, so I was MORE than ready. While decorating the house, I snacked on the ever-so-delicious:

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Gluten Free Sausage Ball!!

So, if you’ve never eaten a sausage ball, I guess I would describe it as a cheesy, meaty biscuit. Some folks use hot sausage, and in those batches the heat is definitely there, but I got my Mom to use mild.

And they are super simple to make! In a food processor, mix one pound of sausage (we used local), one pound of sharp cheddar, and two cups Beth’s gluten free all-purpose flour. Roll the mixture into balls, the size of your choice. The smaller the ball, the less time it will take to bake. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. The original recipe my Mom used calls for Bisquick. So I think the next time I make  this recipe, I’ll use GF pancake mix and see how it turns out.

*****Ok, back to Extreme Home Makeover Edition and bawling my eyes out!! I hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving!! :) I am SO incredibly THANKFUL for each and every one of you. Writing this blog means so much to me, and reading your comments and emails mean even more. Thank you!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

One for Me, One for You

 

First, Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope you guys had an amazing day. I am pleasantly stuffed and watching The Office…heaven! :)

I started my day out by making a choice:

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Customized Gluten Free Cereal from Custom Choice Cereal!!

I was so excited when I was contacted by Custom Choice and offered the opportunity to make my own mix for a discounted rate. For months it seemed like bloggers (gluten lovers) were making their own Mix My Granola. They were having so much fun with their ingredients and naming them cute names. I was jealous obvi, because Mix My Granola doesn’t offer a gluten free base. Well Custom Choice Cereal does! All of their items are gluten free!! (PLUS, they’re a local company! Turns out, their office is in Durham…small world!)

Currently, they offer three cereal bases: Cinnamon Granola, Corn Flakes, and Good Morning Flakes. I chose the Good Morning Flakes, and then I mixed in almonds and blueberries.

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I love the way the Nutrition Facts update as you add or remove certain ingredients! The cereal was great! I’m glad that I went with the Good Morning Flakes. I often feel, as a gluten free gal, that I’m not mixing in enough whole grains. Sometimes I feel like I’m too heavy on rice or too heavy on corn.

I would love to see new mix ins added! My ideas: chocolate covered coffee beans, yogurt melts,and goji berries.

And now for the foodie earring winner:

#3 Veggie Girl!!!!!!!!!!!

Of course, I want all of you to win, but I was really excited when Veggie Girl’s number came up in the random number integer!! Email me VG, so you can claim your prize!

I promise a Thanksgiving recap tomorrow, complete with a Gluten Free Sausage Ball recipe. But for tonight I leave you with this:

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My gorgeous bestie of a sister Joan and my niece Ella. My sister wrapped her arms around her like a car seat to get her to fall asleep! Cutest. Baby. Ever.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

If you don’t have anything nice to say…

 

Don’t forget to enter yourself in my giveaway! Who doesn’t want a cute pair of earrings for free?!

Yesterday was one of the worst days I’ve had in a long time. By the time my head hit the pillow last night, my body was a GIANT stress ball. My day began with this:

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Soggy wetness. Which actually didn’t bother me at all. It was chilly outside which made me really happy. This also made me happy:

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KERF whipped gluten free oats with my granola. The last bowl!! :( But that didn’t bother me at all either. I’m excited about making my next batch of granola. I followed the bowl up with:

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A hot cup of Fair Trade coffee and a side of Ghost World. All of this made me happy.

And then I went to work. And everything went downhill fast. By the end of the day, the stress was weighing me down. The worst part for me is that I couldn’t even write a blog post. I felt like I shouldn’t share my bad day with you guys. If you don’t have anything nice to say right? But even tonight, I’m realizing that writing these posts, really does help. I think blogging may have helped. But I just don’t have bad days often. Actually, rarely. So in that sense I am SUPER thankful. I’m also thankful for Parrish. Who after my long day surprised me with:

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Freshly made Corn Tortillas and lime spiked chicken!

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I loved the sour punch!

After dinner I went and snuggled with this sleepy guy and read my Bible study, until all my worries were washed away.

So sleepy.

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And this morning I woke up and felt great! I think a long run would have helped yesterday too, but unfortunately I couldn’t manage to squeeze it in. How do you guys handle stressful days?

Less than TWO DAYS to enter into the

 GIVEAWAY!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

TGI-GIVEAWAY!!

 

Where to begin…let’s start with last night!

NC Blogger Date Night Meet-up!!

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From the left: Caroline, Jessica, Sarah, Meg, Yours Truly, Margaret, & Allie

We’re having such a good time, our eyes are glowing! Love the embossed look:

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Oh Windows Live Writer. You’re so fun! And distracting…back to it!

The meet-up was coordinated by Sarah and Allie, and they chose Six Plates Wine Bar in Durham. Everyone met at seven, but I had to work until 8:30. Thankfully, the ladies were still chit-chatting by the time I arrived! If you want to see pictures of the eats, visit anyone of the other lovely ladies’ blogs!

Six Plates was super nice. The atmosphere was cozy and warm, perfect for wine! We sat in the back, VIP style:

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(Photo Source)

I had such a great time! It was so nice to hang out with folks whose blogs I already read and who also read blogs! Who else would want to have a five minutes conversation about how awesome Google Reader is!?

I was SUPER nervous, and of course talking non-stop (which is one quality about myself that I don’t love) but hopefully it was ok… Embarrassed

We also had a conversation about how much we use exclamation points! I’m not the only one who goes back through the post and weeds out some over excitement! However, I still feel the need to use lots…but they agreed that I am genuinely talking with excitement!

Allie was sweet and made everyone goodie bags, complete with homemade treats. PLUS she was SUUUUPER sweet and made mine gluten free. Dang!

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This morning I woke up WAY to early, and started the day out right:

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Gluten Free Whipped KERF oats, topped with Homemade Granola!

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It’s like an oaty pillow! This bowl was the best I’ve had in a LONG time! Perfect amount of sweetness and creamy texture.

And then I spent the day work, work, working. My volunteer called in, so I was a lone wolf in the store. I had so many things to do and pretty much motored through. My eats were BOring. Veggies, hummus, lettuce. Water. Water. Diet Coke. Water.

On my way to work  I was thinking about this blog, and wondering how in the world I’m going to keep you guys entertained throughout December when I’m working crazy hours, and not eating very interesting items.

So I present you with my current favorite items at my work and a GIVEAWAY from moi!

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Fair Trade Ornaments from Cambodia! These are the cutest elephants evah! The artisan story can be found here. It’s the same group that made my wallet!

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The cutest nativity ever!! Look how happy the Baby Jesus is:

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Love it! Here’s how Fair Trade has helped the artisans living in Bolivia!

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And this chubby sheep! You can read about the Peruvian artisans here.

It was a nice break to snap these shots for you guys. And it was literally the ONLY time I was in the store alone! As soon as the last customer left, I ran to the bathroom and then took the pics! Craziness.

And now for the GIVEAWAY!

Artisans living in India have created something that no foodie should be without!

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Fork and Spoon earrings!!!! Seriously, how cute are these? Sterling silver and everything!

How to enter:

Leave me a comment with one thing that you’re thankful for. I will choose a winner via the random number integer on Thanksgiving Day!

Want multiple entries?

Tweet about the giveaway and comment with the link.

Blog about the giveaway and comment with the link.

Good luck!!! -And there may be a little elephant with this prize too :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

This is the way we go to school

 

Yesterday was an EARLY morning. I woke up BEFORE the sun! In my own personal opinion, I don’t think you should wake up before the sun. It’s crazy! So I sleepily fumbled through my shower and rushed to get dressed. I didn’t leave myself enough time for breakfast, let alone coffee. So I decided to try VIA.

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I bought a 3 pack of these when they were first released, but had still never thought to try them.

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It was actually really good! I definitely boiled my water too hot…I burned my tongue and spilt coffee on my shirt during my commute…but it was still great! Good flavor. I will def buy these again. My breakfast consisted of homemade granola (of course!) and a small glass of OJ.

And so as the sun was rising, I was already well on my way to DUKE University! Since April, I’ve been working within mere miles of Duke, but I still had never really explored. So when I was asked to do an offsite sale at the Duke Divinity School, I jumped at the chance!

Hello gorgeous! This is the Duke Chapel. The offsite sale was held outside the Refectory Cafe, in a building that connects with the chapel. It was such a pretty campus. Driving on campus is another story! I totally get why students love Duke…but why don’t any of the roads connect? I drove around for an hour (  I was given bad directions). It was so frustrating! I could see the chapel, but couldn’t figure out how to get to it. And with six boxes of inventory, walking on foot was not an option! But I finally figured it out, and shook off my bad mood as soon as I saw this chapel. Gorgeous!

I’m ashamed to say that I was so busy at the sale…I didn’t really have time for lunch. I ate an apple. Sad. I did laugh later however, when I spied this

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I of course thought of Ang! I was disappointed in the conventional, bigger then my head, apple, but it was all the cafe offered (no organic).

For dinner Parrish and I enjoyed leftovers! Which also aren’t pictured because by the time I got home, I was starving. (Obvi an apple is in no way an appropriate lunch!!)

So for dessert, I whipped up a quick treat from this sweet little book I got in the dollar grabby section at Target:

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On page 70 there is a recipe for no-bake peanut butter squares. And let me tell you, they are tasty! I used the Kinnikinnick Smoreables Graham Crackers (which are great BUT don’t read the nutrition facts…eek!!), but that was the only substitution made. I can’t post the recipe because it’s not mine BUT I did find it online here.

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Tasty! Parrish and I enjoyed these while watching the new Modern Family. I seriously love that show!

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These squares were so good! I loved the texture. The next time I make these, I’m definitely going to top with melted dark chocolate!

I hope you guys are having a great Thursday! Thanks to Veggie Girl for the shipping tips!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Greetings with Gluten Free Granola

 

I’ve been a bad blogger! I’m sorry that I’ve been gone for…an entire week! Geez. Where did I go? Well, I worked. I worked non-stop. My meals were…planned. Not at all boring, but all recipes that I have shared with you before. So to hopefully bring me back into your blogging good graces, I cooked up a new recipe for you: Gluten Free Mixed Berry Granola with Seeds

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I followed Giada’s recipe found here , but with a few changes. I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats, and I used mixed berry (cherry, cranberry, raspberry, and blueberry) dried fruit. But other than that, I found Giada’s recipe to be perfect!

You start with toasting the seeds:

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And then add the toasted seeds to the oats and slivered almonds.

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Then you add the mixture of maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cranberry juice to the dry mixture:

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(You can see our kitchen cabinets in the bowl!!)

Now it’s ready for the oven!

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You cook the granola for 20 minutes before adding the dried fruit. Once you add the dried fruit, you cook it for an additional 10 minutes.

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Holy Yum! ;)

It’s chewy, sweet, tart, and crunchy. Love it! I can’t wait to try it in milk! (and of course on top of oats!)

Okay, we’re back to regularly scheduled blogging now. I missed you guys! Coming up this week I have a few product reviews, a recipe that helps celebrate National Pomegranate Month, AND a fun date night with bloggers!

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Do any of you guys have experience with shipping cookies and sweet treats? I have some very special gluten free aunties that I want to send some cookies to, but I don’t know the best to wrap the items and ship. Any advice would be GREAT! :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Days Like These

 

…don’t come around very often! That would be a day off! Since today is my last day off of work until Thanksgiving Day…(wah), I decided to really  soak up the relaxation! I started with a French Press:

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Frothy! I paired it with gluten free oats, KERF style!

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Her whipped banana method made for a SUPER creamy texture. One issue: I don’t really like the taste of bananas! I’ve always been an “eat them cause I know they’re good for me” kind of gal, so the hint of nanner was blech. However, the texture was SO creamy. I’m wondering if there is a way to get the texture without the banana…

After breakfast I enjoyed a leisurely morning of the Today Show and menu planning, followed up with a chat with my Mama and a grocery store run. Lunch was quick and easy:

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Roasted Garlic Hummus and Grilled Cheese on Whole Foods GF Bread with:

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Ch-ch-ch-cheetahs! Or Roasted Sweet Potatoes for all you non-Snackfacers.

Then I did laundry all afternoon! But I mean I really did laundry. I folded, pressed, and hung. But I did make time to snuggle with this guy:

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He enjoyed his third nap of the day on a pile of Parrish’s clothes! :) He is the best snuggler! He likes to be the little spoon, but he makes for a warm companion. The only down side…he’s a snorer!

I also managed to squeeze in an episode of…The Young and the Restless. Embarrassed

Yes, I am a Y&R fan. Don’t shame me!

Plans for the night include watching Giada and making supper! I’m making gluten free Boneless BBQ bites tonight (recipe on the right). And then I’m going to make a fire and catch up on Google Reader! I live a wild life, I know! :)

What do you guys do on your days off during the week? I feel like they’re totally different than having a weekend day off!

Friday, November 6, 2009

FFWD and the giveaway winner!

 

Today started with:

a non-fat peppermint white mocha in a reusable mug ;)

But it should have started with oats. Today was a big day for me at work and I really should have had a bigger breakfast. But it wasn’t in the cards from the moment the alarm went off. It was a sluggish walk to the shower and then way too much time was spent waking up. So I had two GF Van’s MINIS and my Starbucks.

One of the neat aspects of my job is that we’re not only a non-profit working to help artisans and families in developing countries, but we’re a retail store. We sell fair trade items to help the artisans. And this time of year, we host off-site sales at different places of worship in our community.

Today was my FIRST off-site sale! It was a blast. It was truly sell, sell, sell from 11am until 5pm! I barely had time to snack on these beauties

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MmmmHmmm PURE bar! Love it!! And fresh from the NC mountains:

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Chomp. Chomp.

But by 4pm I was running on mere fumes and a positive attitude! What kind of fool was I thinking this was enough food?! By the time I finally made it out of there, I stopped at the Whole Foods on my way home and grabbed a bowl of lentil soup. Why no picture? Well, I DEVOURED it at an amazing rate.

So tonight I will be making a proper lunch to enjoy tomorrow at work (as we’re having our ONE SALE of the year!!!) so that I can healthfully make it through my day.

But before I head out I better announce the winner of the CSN sponsored Rachael Ray bakeware set!!!

I loved reading your emails and comments! I didn’t think it would be too hard to find a product in their 200+ stores that you would like!

And the winner is Anna!

Anna said...

how cool are these "lazy" spoon and ladle - by rachael ray, of course! they rest on the side of a pot or bowl so as not to drip on the counter! and i love the lime green color that goes with my kitchen! {http://www.csnstores.com/Rachael-Ray-51684-RRY1102.html}

 

Congrats Anna!!! Email me at marlowapril at glutenhatesme dot com to claim your prize!!

And MUCHO thanks to CSN for sponsoring the reader giveaway!!