Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Sandwich

Two ingredients that never fail:

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Bacon and Cheese!

Seriously. Put it on a salad. Put it on a sandwich. Put it on a darn pizza – it’s going to be delicious!

So when Parrish and I pulled these Gluten Free Chicken Sandwiches from the depths of our freezer last night,

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I knew what we needed to kick them up a notch!

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Bacon and cheese!

I LOVE Cabot Horseradish Cheddar. It’s smooth and creamy like a Havarti Cheese, with just enough spice and a killer ability to melt in to ooey gooey goodness.

I also LOVE Free Bird Gluten Free Chicken Patties! I used to be OBSESSED with them (evidence HERE and HERE) but then my Whole Foods stopped carrying them.

So imagine my glee when I saw them in the freezer section of Target! ABSOLUTE GLEE!

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They are super tasty friends. Tender, Juicy, and no bad bits - Just yummy.

I bought this box just before the holidays and then lost sight of them in the freezer. So it was almost like spotting them in Target again when I saw them in the freezer at home, YIPPEE!

The only thing missing from this sandwich: Homemade Garlic Aioli

That really would have taken it over the top. Next time.

My fingers are crossed that your Target carries them – I know you’ll love them!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Gluten Free Cookie Priorities and Adventures in Nesting

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that the urge to “nest” and get everything ready for Baby Ravelli hadn’t fully kicked in for me yet. Honestly, up until a couple days ago, I was way more worried about making gluten free sugar cookie dough than decorating the nursery.

But who can blame me? Sugar Cookies are delicious!

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I am still IN LOVE with the Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Mix from Cherrybrook Kitchen! They are so soft and chewy.

Before this past Saturday, the only thing I had really completed was setting up the crib….

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and technically Parrish did that. Also, the baby won’t even sleep there for a while so I don’t know how prepared this actually made me. BUT it did give me a great place to toss clean laundry!

So this past Saturday Parrish and I motivated each other and completed a few more tasks. We went through all the AMAZING hand-me-downs we’ve received in the clothing department and cleaned, sorted, and stored it all. I’m talking EIGHT bins of clothing, so this was no easy task but a great one to complete.

Side note: I can’t share pictures of our nursery coming together without throwing out HUGE THANK YOUS. Parrish and I are CRAZY lucky to have the family and friends we have. We have been given so many hand-me-downs like our crib, glider, changing table, clothing, cloth diapers…..It’s honestly overwhelming how well we are loved, and a testament to the advantages of being the youngest children in both our families. I may have hated hand-me-downs growing up but as a grown up – they’re the best. Ever. We are so so blessed.

Back to tasks: We also finished hanging the Black Out Curtains and the decorative curtains in the nursery:

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Still nothing on the walls yet…

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but we discussed a plan for all our fun prints and pictures. Am I the only one who gets stressed about hanging pictures?!

I started my list for freezer meals and finished up the last of my Thank You Notes from my baby shower. I prepped our pre-fold cloth diapers and watched videos on different diaper folding techniques.

And….I spent 20 minutes stretching and folding our stash of reusable wipes from bestie

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definitely a “nesting” moment!

Which is a good thing because here we are – 35 weeks and 5 days – and I’m realizing how arbitrary that due date is.

For months I was SO focused on that date: January 29th. But now I’m realizing that that date actually means nothing. Baby Ravelli doesn’t know what a due date is. He could come early; he could come late. He’s a baby!

So starting to nest is definitely a good thing. Now if we can just finish our Birth Plan and get our car seat installed, we’ll really be ready….or as ready as we can be!

Any favorite freezer meals I should try?

Friday, December 26, 2014

December 26th

Post-Holiday Blues anyone?

For years, I would always get the Post-Christmas blues. I love Christmas so much and I look forward to it all year. The decorations, the food, the family – and of course, the birth of my savior – it always felt like I couldn’t get enough!

I would savor every moment: peppermint in my morning coffee and car trips to see Christmas lights. I would try to squeeze it all in.

But this year has been so…..different.

Yes I’ve enjoyed the food.

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And the family.

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And even the decorations.

But unlike in the past, this year I’m actually ready for Christmas to pass. I’m ready to take down my tree. I’m ready to pack up the stockings. Not because I didn’t enjoy this year, this year may have been one of the best years yet.

Seriously. I was able to spend precious time with all of my family and friends, even with a crazy work schedule.

But this year I am….pre-occupied.

This year, I am ready to clean, organize, and prepare. I am filling to-do lists with tons of tasks like washing diapers and making freezer meals. This year is unlike any other, because this year, God is saving the best present for after Christmas.

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This year I get a tiny Marlow – Ravelli miracle just a few weeks after Christmas and I couldn’t be more excited….and happy….and nervous.

2014: my year to BELIEVE,

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has brought me more miracles than I could have ever thought possible.

And I can’t wait to see what 2015 will bring. I’m still searching for my word of the year, but I know that BELIEVING will always be a big part of my life.

Because when you believe: in yourself, others, and the goodness of the world around you, you open yourself up to the BIG. To the NEW. To the NOW.

I’m going to spend the next few days reflecting on 2014 for sure….

and taking down the Christmas tree….and cleaning up…..and washing diapers. Smile

Monday, December 8, 2014

Gluten Free Spicy Sausage Balls

Tis the season of office parties, family gatherings, and having friends over for supper. And I don’t know about you guys, but all too often these Holiday Festivities are gosh darn FULL of GLUTEN.

And not just crackers or cookies, but the classic holiday favorites that you may have previously loved.

One of my favorites: Sausage Balls.

Maybe it’s a Southern thing, but I stinkin’ LOVE Sausage Balls! Pork, Cheese….what’s not to love?

When I first saw Gluten Free Bisquick a few years ago, I instantly thought of Sausage Balls.

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My friends, that was a smart thought!

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Gluten Free Sausage Balls are a cinch to make and are positively delicious! Serve them with a honey mustard dipping sauce and friends, you’re in heaven!

Gluten Free Sausage Balls

You’ll need:

1 pound ground sausage (I suggest using Spicy – it gives the recipe a real depth in flavor)

1 cup Gluten Free Bisquick

1 block (8 oz) Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar

1/4 cup chopped chives (You could use scallions, but I would mince)

1/2 to 3/4 cup milk (Start with 1/2 and see if you need a bit more liquid to get the ingredients to meld)

Start by handmixing all the ingredients in a large bowl. You want to get the ingredients fully incorporated, so this may take a few minutes. I started out with 1/2 cup milk but had to add another 1/4 cup to get all the gluten free Bisquick to meld.

Yes, your hands will be disgusting. It’s worth it!

Roll the dough into small one inch balls, and place on a greased cookie sheet. I suggest a cookie sheet with raised sides if you have it. The sausage will express a bit of grease, so you don’t want it to leak in to your oven.

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Bake the balls at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. You want the balls to be golden brown on top without burning the bottoms. So check it at 25 minutes and if you can go an extra 5 minutes do it.

Serve hot! And….with mustard. I’m telling you. Delicious.

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The best part of this recipe? You can prep ahead of time!

You can make the “dough” a few days ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. Or you can roll out the balls and freeze them before baking!

Enjoy!

Monday, December 1, 2014

GIVEAWAY–Tate’s Bake Shop Gluten Free Goodies

Happy Monday friends!
I hope you all had a delicious and relaxing Thanksgiving weekend….hopefully without gluten! Parrish and I enjoyed Thursday together with my parents, and we topped off our delicious meal with gluten free pumpkin pie. Definitely not a bad way to end a day!
And now I’m so so so excited because it’s OFFICIALY my favorite time of year. I LOVE Christmas!
When I came home from work on Friday, Parrish surprised me with a HUGE Christmas tree! It’s even bigger than this beauty from last year:
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And I’m enjoying my morning coffee out of my FAVORITE holiday mug:
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He’s so happy!
So it must be time to start giving gifts right? Good thing I have the perfect gift for everyone on your Gluten Free Gift List….including YOU!
One lucky Gluten Hates Me reader will win a Holiday Gluten Free Gift Basket from Tate’s Bake Shop.
When Tate’s contacted me and asked if I would like to host a giveaway, I jumped at the chance! Their Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies are HANDS DOWN my favorite ever! I was so excited to see them included in the Gluten Free Giveaway Basket!
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In this basket: Three HUGE packages of gluten free cookies.
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Gluten Free Ginger Zinger Cookies – Crispy, Buttery and bursting with hunks of crystallized ginger.
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Gluten Free Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
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and Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. I love ALL of the cookies, but I think the Chocolate Chip are still my fave. They’re delicious dipped in milk and they make the BEST ice cream sandwiches. I paired mine with Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream – YUM!
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Also in the basket, a Gluten Free Fudgy Brownie, Gluten Free Blondie, and a package of Gluten Free Peppermint Cookie Bark.
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So good!!! I wish I had taken a picture of the Gluten Free Blondie but I ate it so quickly and enjoyed it so much…that I forgot! Bad food blogger.
I love that Tate’s Bake Shop treats are baked with love in a dedicated GF facility, using only the freshest premium ingredients. They're tested for gluten content by a national lab and are certified by the Celiac Sprue Association. I never worry when I buy their products.
Want to win a Gluten Free Gift Basket of your own?
Tate’s Bake Shop Gluten Free Gift Basket Giveaway
How to Enter: Leave a comment on this blog post answering this question: What’s your favorite Christmas Cookie?
The winner will be chosen Friday, December 5th at 6pm.
Can’t wait to win? Tate’s Bake Shop has graciously given Gluten Hates Me readers a 20% OFF Coupon – valid through December 16th.
Simply use the coupon code: gfblog14 at Tate’s Bake Shop  and take 20% off your purchase of any Gluten Free Gift Baskets.
You can also follow Tate’s Bake Shop on all your favorite social media outlets to stay in the loop on future deals, discounts, and new products!
Tate’s Bake Shop on  Facebook
Instagram & Twitter: @TatesBakeShop
And yes, if you buy a gift basket for a friend or family member, you should DEFINITELY buy one for yourself! Tis the season right?!
Good luck!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Let’s Eat Gluten Free on Thanksgiving

Oh Thanksgiving.

How you scare us all with your plethora of pies, stuffing, rolls, and breaded onion casseroles.

So how can you Eat, Drink, and Be Merry with all those gluten landmines?

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Especially if the cooking is out of your control!? Eesh! It seems a little daunting, no? But hopefully with a little support and preparation, you can enjoy Thanksgiving without worrying about gluten coming to get you!

Help Me, Help You: If you’re spending the holiday with close family and friends, then help them create their gluten free menu. Let your family know the ingredients that are safe for you. Provide a list with gluten free cooking stocks or better yet, give the cook a few boxes. Give them the gluten free bread for the stuffing. Whatever you can do to inform and help will make it easier on everyone.

The Early Bird..: gets the ingredients! Show up early. Help in the kitchen. That way you’ll know what ingredients are in what items, and you can even help substitute to keep it gluten free.

Get Cooking!: Offer to make a side item or dessert. That way you’re helping lighten the load and ensuring you can eat that offering!

Show up Packing: When all else fails, make your own gluten free version of items you’re unsure of. Order a few inch thick slices of Boar’s Head turkey from your local grocer. I’ve been known to bring my own cupcake to a birthday party…..

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and I wouldn’t hesitate to bring my own dessert to Thanksgiving! Make sure you can enjoy your favorite part of the holiday – whatever that is.

Stick to Veggies: Mashed Potatoes are cool without the gravy. Greens and such should be cool. Cranberry Sauce? Check!

But most of all, don’t forget: it’s not about the food.

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Make new traditions for Thanksgiving that don’t involve stuffing and gravy. Create healthy habits that will be good for you and your family!

Still looking for gluten free foods to help you celebrate? Click the photos below for the recipe!

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savory

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Power of Persuasion

Another early morning for me thanks to pregnancy insomnia, but you want to know the craziest part: the past two days I’ve actually enjoyed it!

Parrish is traveling for work, which means that I have the house all to myself. So when I wake up at unnatural hours, I can embrace it. And….write a blog post two days in a row!

Yesterday and today I have crawled hoisted out of bed and let the dogs outside while I make my treasured morning cup of coffee and toast two slices of gluten free waffle.

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I’m telling you guys, that GIANT batch of waffles is paying off – I am in love with having fresh, homemade waffles in less than 2 minutes.

After the dogs have finished their business, I get back in to bed and start my morning off suuuuuuuper slow and for me, that’s just as good as sleeping in. I’m still giving my body rest but I’m not fighting the fact that brain is awake.

Which has also helped my mood. So much of how I feel these days is based on perspective and projection. For example, I made the decision last week to stop being brutally honest when everyone asks me how I feel.

Because here’s the thing: EVERYONE asks pregnant people how they feel. It’s just one of those small talk topics – I’m not even sure they actually care. And what I noticed was that when I was honest, it didn’t feel good to tell my tales of woe. Instead it just felt like wallowing.

So now I’m saving my true feelings for close friends and family who are here to support me when I tell them that if I throw up one more time I might scream, or that some days my belly feels so tight that I think it might pop. For everyone else, “I’m doing good…today.”

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And just saying that out loud has honestly started to make it feel true. In my daily life I interact with TONS of different people, so I say that “I’m feeling good today” or “I am so blessed to be having a healthy pregnancy” around 20-30 times a day. Call it the power of persuasion or fake it till you make it, but I will never stop being amazed by the power of words.

Fear is a story we tell ourselves.

That simple fact shattered my life the first time I heard it because at that point, I had been living in fear for years. I was afraid that I would never lose the weight that I had gained, that I would never be a truly happy person deep down, and from that fear sprang doubt in myself and my abilities.

For me, Zumba brought me back to life.

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It shook me up and exposed a confidence in myself that I hadn’t felt in such a long time. The more I exercised, the more I felt like feeding my body properly. The more I fed my body properly, the happier I became. The happier I became, the more weight just fell off.

In this pregnancy, I’ve had to scale back my workouts tremendously. No more bootcamps that make you nearly puke (in a good way) or long runs with Parrish on the weekends. I’ve had to put that part of myself on hold. I can still exercise, just not in the same way.

But what I’ve realized is, I still need to tell myself that I am a kick ass athlete. I need to feel confident in myself and my abilities – now more than ever actually because I have to get a baby out of my body pretty soon…..

So much about how we feel about ourselves, is what we tell ourselves. I love this quote:

I couldn’t have said it better myself First Lady!

So I’m choosing to feel better about myself, even when I can’t use exercise to get me there.

Want to read more about My Journey through weight loss? Find those posts HERE.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Homemade Gluten Free Freezer Waffles

Happy Monday friends!

Did you have a good weekend? Hopefully the weather cooperated with your weekend plans – we had a cold but sunny weekend. Too bad today’s weather didn’t follow suit! It’s a chilly and RAINY day here in Durham but I guess it could be worse, it could be snow!

Once again, I had a great balance of work and play over the weekend – here’s hoping I can keep that balance up through the holidays.

I started Saturday morning off slow with a GIANT stack of gluten free waffles:

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It was my first time using the King Arthur’s Gluten Free Pancake Mix and I mistakenly didn’t realize that the directions are for making the ENTIRE BOX! So I had more than my fair share of waffles. Luckily, they freeze beautifully – So I’ve been toasting up a few triangles since Saturday.

I really like the King Arthur mix! Have you tried it?

After breakfast it was time for a bit of work, followed by brunch with dear friends! Complete with adorable mugs…

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and tasty gluten free treats from Daisycakes!

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Yes. I am completely spoiled – I am so blessed with amazing friends…and Daisycakes!

After brunch, I had a bit more work through the afternoon. Luckily I was able to relax for the rest of the night and get in some much needed snuggle time with Max and Hazel.

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I’m trying to soak up as much one on two time with these snuggle bunnies before Baby Ravelli makes his arrival. Hard to believe that I have anywhere from 8-12 weeks left in this pregnancy – CRAZY!!

Sunday started bright and early with work. During the holidays, my organization hosts sales at area churches to share Fair Trade Goodies with a wider audience. I had my homemade gluten free freezer waffles to power my morning and a gluten free grilled cheese to get me through lunch.

After working for most of the day, I headed over to MOH’s house for Baby Ravelli’s Durham Baby Shower!

Complete with Hand-knitted Bunting:

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Burp Cloth Crafts:

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and completely adorable Onesies to paint:

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So much fun! In fact, I had such a good time and spent most of the night laughing so hard that my throat was raw last night! That’s how you know it was a good party – when your face hurts from smiling and your throat hurts from laughing.

And now it’s Monday. Time for more work but not before I finish my morning coffee!

Happy Monday!