Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Ugly Duckling

 

Today’s breakfast is proof that you “can’t judge a book by it’s cover”.

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Whipped Blueberry Oats with one tbsp. of peanut butter and poppy seeds!

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The combination was not photogenic BUT it was delicious. Sadly I was out of milk this morning, so I could only use water. Ehh…in all  honesty friends I couldn’t taste a difference. I’m also not sure if poppy seeds have any nutritional value, but I added them for fun!

I’m so excited that you guys like the stickers!! I put mine on my car this morning!

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I realize that I should have put this in yesterday’s post BUT if you would like a sticker, just email me with your address and I’ll send you one!! I plan on mailing a big batch on Monday! 

Alright friends, Office Marathon time!! I hope everyone has a Happy New Year’s Eve :)  Not sure what we have on tap. I wish I was going somewhere and wearing this beauty from Modcloth:

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Source

But…it’s sold out. I pretty much LOVE modcloth. I’m stalking this belt that’s sold out for a possible addition to my wedding dress:

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Source

Do you guys have plans for New Years Eve?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Best. Day. Ever.

 

Today started out really blue. I woke up with a gray cloud over my head. I couldn’t pin point exactly what was bothering me, but I hoped to shake it off quickly. I HATE waking up in a bad mood. (especially for NO reason!) Do you guys have those?

So I made a rockin’ bowl of oats to cheer me:

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Whipped Blueberry Oats with Cocoa roasted almonds

In the mix: 1/3 cup GF rolled oats, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup skim milk, handful of frozen local blueberries (whipped into submission) and topped with 100 calories worth of cocoa roasted almonds

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Work was work. We’re preparing for physical inventory on Sunday, so lots of organizing needs to be done. Business was slooooow. So I had plenty of time to organize stock and snack:

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Crispy corn tortilla with romaine and Daddy’s Pimento Cheese

Yum. So good! AND the last of the pimento cheese batch :(

On my commute home I was able to decompress on the phone with Alex. A lot of my bad day disappeared. It’s funny how just sharing your worries can help. Even when there’s no advice attached! Little did I know, Parrish was at home. Waiting. With the BEST Christmas present EVER!!!

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:)

100 Gluten Hates Me stickers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was SO surprised and SO happy, well I haven’t been able to stop smiling!! I pretty much love them to death!!!

Want one?

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Oh yeah, lets go through this stack dear friends. It would be my absolute PLEASURE!! Email me. Comment me. Get in touch and I will send you one of these beauties in a flash!!

So what was I upset about earlier?! :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Support

 

Success! …sort of

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This was my first Christmas all grown up. It was the first year that I didn’t sleep at my parent’s house on Christmas Eve and spend Christmas morning with my family. This was my first year of “taking turns” and Christmas Day was spent with Parrish’s family.

I was convinced to start new traditions this year, and gluten free cinnamon rolls seemed like a great place to start. Growing up we would have cinnamon rolls or orange rolls on Christmas Day, but since going gluten free I haven’t enjoyed either. So I researched a few gluten free recipes, but settled on using a glutenous recipe that I found here. I substituted Whole Foods 365 Gluten Free All Purpose Flour.

Unfortunately, time got away from me on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. So last night I finally found the time to start the dough. It’s an overnight rising dough, so you need 2 1/2 hours of prep time the night before and then it sits in the fridge overnight. The next morning it will need an additional hour to finish rising.

In all honesty, I didn’t take any photos of the process. I was fairly sure this recipe wasn’t going to turn out. But turn out it did!

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The taste…was good. But not great. Parrish said he liked them BUT you could tell they were gluten free. The dough was dense. Each roll felt like I was eating four. But the taste was good. The next time I make cinnamon rolls, I’ll use a different recipe. But the fact that they turned out at all I think was a Christmas miracle!

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I mean heck, brown sugar and cinnamon, it must be hard to mess that up! Max didn’t seem to mind the “gluten free” quality. Smelled good to him.

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So the rolls were a few days late, but the tradition was still started. As for my first grown up Christmas, it was super fun! I missed the morning with my parents, but times change. I can’t wait to celebrate with them on Monday! As for Santa he visited for sure! He EVEN left a few gifts for Max. He must have been good this year!

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Although he was a little depressed when he had opened (and eaten) all of his gifts.

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Depressed…sleepy?

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Santa was surely good to me this year! Like most foodies, I received Julie and Julia on DVD! So excited. Love that movie. But my favorite gift was actually a super sweet lap desk from Parrish perfect for blogging!

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What a handsome model. :)

For lunch Parrish’s Dad came over for lunch and for supper we went over to his brother’s house for a BIG family affair! The food was ahhmazing! Honey glazed roasted carrots and mushroom medley…mmmmmm. I made Brie and Artichoke stuffing. It was fun to see all of Parrish’s nieces and nephews play with their new toys. Both his brothers have two children and they’re all adorable! Well behaved and well mannered…rare these days. My favorite part of the night was when Parrish’s mom handed out her gifts, with a special one for me. A tin of handmade truffles with a list of the ingredients on top. :) Love her!

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I’ve really enjoyed reading your comments and emails about your holiday. It seems that the one thing that we all have going for us, is a super supportive family! It really makes all the difference. Not once this Christmas did I feel like I was missing out on some part of the holiday because I couldn’t indulge in every single side dish and dessert on the buffet. There were plenty of things I could eat and everyone made sure to let me know what I could have. In a way I felt thankful that my hate towards gluten allowed me to not sample every Christmas cookie offered…but I am wishing I hadn’t enjoyed FOUR GF Sugar Cookies. :)

More holiday posts soon! Tonight Parrish’s father is taking us out to the Angus Barn in Raleigh and then Monday I’ll be celebrating with my family and exchanging our Secret Santa gifts!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

 

and my twin brother is home!!!

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Otto’s flight got in at 7:30pm! He left LA at…7am this morning. Eesh. Not surprisingly, he was starving once he arrived at my parent’s house.

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Mouth full trying to smile. Not quite working. (How is he so tall??)

Christmas Eve at my parent’s house can be enjoyed in Southern-vision. A lot like Techni-color…but Southern.

Traditional foods were had by all…including me! My Dad called me this afternoon and clued me in to bring a slice of gluten free bread, so that I could enjoy this:

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in all it’s glory. My Dad’s Extra Sharp Pimento Cheese. Nom Nom Nom.

Washed down with my Mom’s specialty:

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Festive Green Punch. Positively Delicious.

I am blessed to have a family that is thoughtful enough to make room for my gluten free-ness. My mom had a tin of gluten free sausage balls waiting. Heaven.

All that was missing was the other half of my family, namely my two sisters!! (Hint Hint Joan) Susan was working late and Joan and her husband Scott are “up North” celebrating with Lil’ Gluten Loves Me and family. But we’ll all be celebrating with each other on the 28th…I just hope I can hold off on eating all my gluten free sugar cookies :)

I hope you guys are all having a MERRY Christmas Eve. (Or as they say in The Holiday and Bridget Jones’ a HAPPY Christmas) Tomorrow I’ll be celebrating the birth of my savior and taking my FIRST of four days off from work!!! :) Hallelujah.

Now, it’s OFF to bed!! Parrish just informed me that according to Google Tracker, Santa is in Charleston, SC. So I better hurry!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hi Ho. Hi Ho.

 

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I really didn’t want to go to work yesterday. I threw myself a mini pity party, which lasted for about…one minute.

It goes without saying, that not that much has been going on around here. Wake up. Coffee. Commute. Work. Commute. Talk to Alex. Treadmill. Eat. Kiss Parrish Goodnight. Sleep.

Not much blog contribution from me. Luckily, Parrish has really been stepping it up in the kitchen and making wonderful meals for us (and you)!

Two nights ago I came home to an amazing meal…which may have been the best yet! I know, I know. I really didn’t think anything could beat buttered steak. But this was pretty dang good!

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Wild Mushroom Polenta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

The specifics to this recipe can’t be shared, but if you’re interested in recreating this recipe, shoot me an email and give you a road map! The chef:

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doesn’t do the best job of keeping up with exact recipes, but he could get you there. I enjoyed this tasty dish with

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a trickle of pinot and my new planner courtesy of Sarah!

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Clean Plate Club for sure! I may or may not have licked it.

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Okay friends, off to work I go! Only 3 Holiday Shopping Days Left!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dashing Through the Snow

 

North Carolina has been buzzing all day about the possibility of snow. Because the non-profit I work for runs a retail store, I can’t wish for snow. We rely on these four weeks in December for 60% of our store’s income. But secretly, I was excited.

PLUS, it gave me a perfect opportunity to wear my new-ish Old Navy coat. WITH the collar popped. I bought this coat back before Thanksgiving when they were on sale, but we hadn’t really had any cold, cold weather yet.

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I have been pleasantly surprised at the warmth of this coat. It was 30 when I left for week and I was warm! I should tell you though, that I am EXTREMELY hot natured. I am my own personal space heater, so don’t take my word on anything temperature related!

Work was slow but steady. Overall it was a busy day, as each person wanted us to gift wrap for them. The snow started in Durham around 12:30 and I called Parrish and he said it was dumping in Chapel Hill. Luckily my boss let me switch my schedule with hers and I opened and she closed, since I live further away. For lunch I enjoyed left-overs from last night:

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gluten free noodles with roasted chicken, peppers, onion, neufchatel, and olives

In all honesty though, gluten free noodles don’t reheat all that well. I was able to make my way through about half, but it wasn’t nearly as tasty as last night. I also snacked on a Hugh Jass Honeycrisp apple. When I left work at 6pm, the ground in Durham started to show accumulation:

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And my car was a blizzards walk away!

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Ok…not quite a blizzard, but you can see the snow in the light post. It was pretty blustery!

After a very LOOOOONG drive home…and SLOOOOOOOW drive home, I arrived to find Parrish busy in the kitchen for the second night in a row!

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Gluten Free Chicken Tacos!! With a star ingredient:

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Caramelized Onions! Nom Nom Nom :)

I LOVE Nueva Cocina taco seasoning. It is Da Best!

And Max was outside:

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He normally doesn’t like to get his puppy paws wet, but for snow he makes an exception. Parrish also doesn’t like to get his paws wet, but that didn’t seem to stop him from nailing me with a snowball.

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*****************

Today  I received an email from a reader, asking for advice on going gluten free. Replying to her email reminded of how hard it really was at the beginning. (Alex, I’m sure you remember!!) I just wanted to tell all you guys who are new to being gluten free, that I LOVE your emails! Each time I share my story with someone else, it makes what I went through to get here seem easier and purposeful. And, the email also reminded me that I really need to do a post on my road to recovery before and after my Celiac diagnosis.

Yeah. But not tonight. Tonight I’m making another batch of sugar cookies! :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It’s a brand new day

 

Last night I enjoyed my second find of the day:

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aka: Christmas in a container! I had seen this beauty make it’s way around the blog world and I knew I wanted to try it! So glad I did. And with 1/2 the fat, how could I resist?!

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Topped with Dark Chocolate Chips. Tasty!

And then today, I enjoyed my third find of the day…from yesterday…

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A purdy new necklace I found at the Chapel Hill PTA Thrift Shop. Lovin’ it.

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I first took this picture to show you guys the necklace. WOAH. Bloggity Friends, I have GOT to get my hurr cut. Also, I have blue eyes but when I wear this shirt they’re green. How does that happen?

Any chance I get, I hit up the thrift stores and the habitat home stores looking for milk glass vases and containers. We’re using them at the wedding for table centerpieces. I also have family members on the look out, and all together, I think we have around 40 different pieces. Not quite enough, but definitely getting there!

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I am loving these holiday Target commercials! Have guys seen this one?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4OuBGCNsMI

It reminds me of how when I was little, my siblings and I would call our own phone number and then hang up to get the phone to ring. Then when it would ring, my mom would answer it and we would die laughing. :) Small town life!

Ok friends, off to bed. I’m working 12 hours tomorrow…

8 Holiday Shopping Days Left!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Full of Surprises

 

Today is my last day off of work until Christmas Day, so I really wanted to get the most out of my day. I woke up early and was even able to peel myself out of bed. I can’t say as much for this guy:

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Sleepy scrunchy face. I put the hat on him to keep his ears warm :)

But I have to say, I’m glad I didn’t laze around because in a morning I got a ton accomplished. I’m OFFICIALLY FINISHED with my holiday shopping, including Parrish’s stocking! But I did find one item on my shopping list that I thought…well, when I saw it in the aisle, I thought it was a mirage.

Look what I found!!!

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Hello Lover.

So it’s no surprise that my mid-day snack was a BIG giant bowl of:

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So good! It tastes the way I remember Cocoa Krispies tasted!

Crunchy. Chocolatey. Cold Milk. ‘Nuff said.

Lunch was pretty good too:

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Crispy Corn Tortilla with Chicken, Cheese, and Romaine Chilled lettuce.

I “C” a theme here today… :) OH, corny jokes. Parrish would be proud.

And no, that is not a swipe of mayo. It’s a dab of Laughing Cow. It was a double cheese kinda day. Served with a side of crunch:

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Munch. Crunch.

As for the rest of my day off, I have a walk planned with Max…if he can tear himself away from his third nap! Wedding website, dinner, and then SURPRISING Parrish with the latest Harry Potter movie :) And treating myself to the second great find…which I will of course share with you tonight!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tis the Season for Gluten Free Cookies

 

Everyday at work this past week, someone has brought in a platter of Christmas cookies, or brownies, or cake. And all week I’ve had to smile and say no thank you. In a lot of ways, I felt pretty lucky to have Celiac this past week. I didn’t have to worry about being tempted. I couldn’t eat any of it. But yesterday a platter of sugar cookies were brought in, and we sat them on the counter to share with customers. I didn’t want to eat one, but the smell of sweet sugar and sprinkles really got to me.

Tonight at work we’re having a party for our “staff” (volunteers) and inviting friends and family. So I decided to make gluten free sugar cookies to share!

Last Christmas I used the Cherrybrook Kitchen Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Mix and really liked it. So I decided to try it again…a year later! (Yeah, I don’t make cookies very often apparently!)

The dough does need work to roll out, but it’s worth it!

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I used the Betty Crocker Cookie Icing and India Tree Sprinkles. So pretty…and tasty!

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The blue snowflake is my favorite!

It will be interesting to see if any of the party-goers can taste a difference. I can’t…but I honestly don’t know if I could tell anymore!

Sadly, I think I love the sprinkles more than the cookies!

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So pretty and sparkly.

Ok, I’m off to work, only 11 Holiday Shopping Days Left!

I can see the end :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lettuce is Gluten Free

 

Usually dining out gluten free means lettuce. I’ll either order a salad or a sandwich off the bun on a bed of lettuce. Because of this, I don’t often make salads at home, unless you consider a green monster a salad :)

But tonight after a long day at work, my super sweet fiancé reminded me just how good lettuce can be, as a wrap! I call it:

Orange you glad I didn’t say tortilla chicken wraps

The key ingredient: Orange Zest

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Hello Vitamin C!! The best part about using orange zest in a recipe? You get to eat the slices for dessert!

Parrish followed a Rachael Ray recipe found here. He followed it exactly, except for leaving out the water chestnuts. For the hoison sauce, he used  San-J Asian BBQ Sauce. Yep, it’s gluten free! The result:

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Tasty!

Parrish bought a local lettuce that’s grown hydroponically. It is PERFECT for a wrap! It super light and the flavor doesn’t overpower the chicken.

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These will definitely be added to a regular rotation!

Thank you guys so much for the feedback on the wedding details! Keep them coming! :)

Okay, this was a quick post, but it’s T-minus 5 minutes until The Office!!