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Since I am feeling chatty…

I was ill for over a week with bronchitis around 2 weeks ago.  With the illness (and the subsequent massive amounts of sleeping & total brain fog) my whole life got behind – home (especially cleaning), work and school. After this weekend and writing a past due paper, I should be just about caught up. w00t!

But what these 16 days of being laid low and then smooshing as much stuff into each day afterwards, including a few days with midnight or later bed times (I am usually in bed before 10), I haven’t been exercising at all.  And we won’t talk about some of my back sliding on my wheat free eating…

What I have noticed is that my knees, shoulder, wrist, etc. all hurt (arthritis aches & fibro hot spots) more than I was ever sore post getting my ass kicked by a P90x workout.  Hm… exercise really does help me with pain and it helps me sleep better at night.

Yoga tomorrow morning and then Saturday, I am restarting P90x and moving forward again.  Go me.

I feel ick…

Five days essentially GFCF… I am not to the point of worrying about hidden gluten in spices or things like that but I cut the obvious dairy and wheat – Monday – Friday. Then consciously blew new diet at Ronni’s enjoying her yummy baked goods and then again at Jimmy’s eating a half dozen homemade egg rolls. This morning I had a Chai which has has milk in it.

My tummy is extremely unhappy with me, has been since yesterday afternoon and now head is getting “full.” I had actually skipped my allergy pills a couple day. Just took it and hope it helps.

Well, I have some proof for myself, that my body is happier without the dairy & wheat.

Course, I plan to break the diet again this coming Friday & Saturday. I will just have to live with the consequences, but after that… we are going to start getting serious and see if we can rid this body of GERD and cut back on sinus issues.

Interesting experiment…

Finding what I want grocery-wise (except for Vegan cheese) locally so far. Have a couple more places to check out, before I start traveling more than 5 miles out of my way for “specialty” items.

Gluten Free Bread Ideas

Gluten Free Bread Machine Tips
Gluten Free Bread Recipe
Pumpkin Pie Bread
Gluten Free White Bread for Bread Machine
Gluten Free Bread

Gluten Free Casein Free Flour Tortillas
How to Make Gluten Free Tortillas
Gluten Free Tortillas

Gluten Free Pizza Crust
Gluten Free Pizza
Gluten Free Crust & Sauce

(Of course this means I have to find a casein free cheese but we aren’t going there yet, LOL… Besides there is more than one way to make a pizza… mmmm chicken pesto white pizza)

Health Update

A while ago… when she was several months pregnant, I decided to make an appointment with my friend Dr. Kendra Becker, she is a naturopath. We chatted a bit and she sent me off to the lab for a bazillion tests.

So I got nine vials of blood taken… insurance covered way more than I expected, woohoo. And Kendra had her baby. (Dom is a cutie!)

This past Tuesday we finally got to sit down talk it all over and make a plan.

Good news – thyroid fine (was a little worried about this one), no rheumatoid, no cholesterol issues, no tree nut allergies.

But I am a bit anemic (not surprised), borderline hypoglycemic (usually have issues with that test, but when I do the more involved one everything is normal), have inflammation issue (no kidding) and I am allergic to wheat & dairy (again no surprise, but didn’t want to hear it)…

That does this all mean? I get to go on some supplements (Vitamins D & B12, iron & trying glycine to help with sleep patterns – which is added to Fish Oil, Magnesium & BCQ which I am already on) and I get to cut gluten & casein from my diet.

This is going to be good. I cut carbs (my biggest food crutch) and I drop weight like water. But oh, cutting out milk. This is going to be hard. I’ve done it before, when Ryne was nursing. So hard. But instead of finding substitutes, I think I am going to be some replacing.

One thing I definitely want to try is making my own coconut water kefir.

So boys and girls, it looks like my recipes posted and listed here will be taking a bit of a curve as I work on cutting out bread & pasta and Greek yogurt & cheese.

I think my bread maker will get dusted off… pizza dough, maybe find a gluten free tortilla recipe.

Also think Sundays have to go back to being a food prep day like it used to be in my college days.

Hoping this move into more conscious eating, I am hoping to get back into the practice of daily exercise. Totally and completely off that wagon, pffft.


And on that note we are thinking of rescuing a dog or two this holiday season. Just want my ducks in a row (thorough house declutter & clean, dog crate(s) & waste management plan) before we make that leap.

Landlord is fine with dogs, but not cats. Weird but true.

Nothing but recipes…

Chocolate Chickpea Spread

1 15-Ounce Can Chickpeas
1 Tablespoon Peanut Butter
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon Instant Coffee Powder
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 – 4 Tablespoons Water

As with all hummus, this spread couldn’t be easier; Just throw everything but the water into your food processor or blender, and thoroughly puree, scraping down the sides of the bowl to get everything incorporated as needed. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the water, until you reach your desired consistency. Spread at will!

Makes about 2 Cups

il Buco’s Ricotta Fritters
Executive Chef Ignacio Mattos
Serves 6-8

2 eggs
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
10 oz. sheep’s milk ricotta
2/3 cup flour
3 tbsp. baking powder
3 tbsp. Vin Santo
Zest of one Lemon
Peanut or canola oil, for frying


1. Combine all ingredients and let rest in refrigerator.
2. Scoop the batter into peanut or canola oil heated to 350 degrees inside of a deep fryer or deep saucepan.
3. Fry until golden brown.
4. Serve with a nice drizzle of saba or vin cotto and sprinkle powdered sugar on top. Serve.

Thanks Ignacio!

Baked Apple Streusel Pancake Bars
Yields: 20 Bars
Adapted from: Martha Stewart’s Buttermilk Pancakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or slightly less table salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 3/4 cups buttermilk (whole milk can be substituted without any problems)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 small apple, diced into 1/2″ pieces
2 cups Granola (we used an apple cinnamon granola from Bear Naked)

For Topping:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Grease and Parchment your choice of baking dish. We used 2 8″x8″ pans (for the straight sides), but a large pyrex baking dish should work just fine! Set aside. Mix dry ingredients and stir with a wire whisk. Add wet ingredients and stir until just barely combined. Add in Granola and apples, stirring just until coated. You want your batter to be lumpy with out any dry spots.

Pour into prepared pans. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow batter to rest in pans while oven is coming to temperature and mix Streusel topping ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle over pancake mixture with a fork, or spoon into a zip top bag and use like a pastry bag, making thin, even lines. Bake for 12-15 minutes, when touched, it should spring back gently. Remove from oven and remove from pan (thanks parchment paper!) and place on wire rack to cool slightly. If you wish, brush tops with 2 more tablespoons of melted butter for a great shine.

These are great eaten the morning of, or as you have need throughout the week. You can also wrap individual portions and freeze them. Just take them out the night before, (or if you forget, pop them in the microwave to defrost) and let them sit on the counter so your breakfast is ready as you bolt out the door!

They’re great for a brunch where people might find themselves eating away from the table, serve them with a little lemon curd, apple butter, or small amount of maple syrup! Enjoy!

Paula’s Moroccan Lentil Stew
Makes at least 6-8 servings, depending on whether it’s served alone or with brown rice. Recipe adapted very slightly from one sent to me by a reader named Paula B; Paula doesn’t remember where she got it but everyone she has shared the recipe with has loved it!)

1 large onion, finely chopped
1 T olive oil (or perhaps a little more, depending on your pan)
1-2 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger (original recipe said 1 tsp, but I used 2 tsp.)
1 T finely minced garlic
1 tsp. ground turmeric
3/4 cup celery, finely diced
1 tsp. Garam Masala
1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4-1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper (I only used 1/4 tsp. because I’m a wimp for hot foods)
1 tsp. ground cumin (original recipe said 1/2 tsp., but I love cumin)
6 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock (I used 4 cups chicken and 2 cups beef stock, because that’s what I had. You could also use canned broth)
1 1/2 cups red lentils
1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed until no more foam appears
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes (I used petite dice, do not drain tomatoes)
cooked brown rice for serving (optional)
sour cream or plain yogurt for serving (optional)

Heat olive oil in a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add onions, ginger, garlic, and turmeric and gently saute, stirring often, for about 7 minutes, or until onions are quite soft but not browned. Add diced celery, garam masala, ground cardamom, cayenne pepper, and ground cumin and saute 3-4 minutes more, until celery barely starts to soften.

Add the stock, red lentils, canned tomatoes, and rinsed chickpeas and bring mixture to a gentle boil. When it starts to bubble, reduce heat to the barest simmer and cover pan with lid. Let mixture simmer, stirring a few times, until lentils are dissolved enough that mixture has thickened into a chunky stew. (The shorter time you cook it, the more chunky it will be. I cooked mine at the barest simmer for about 60 minutes.)

Serve hot, over brown rice and topped with sour cream or plain yogurt if desired. Paula said this is even better after it’s been in the fridge, and I’d have to agree that like many stews, the flavors were even better the next day.

This freezes very well, so I’d recommend making the whole batch, even if you’re only cooking for a small number of people. However, it’s so good it might not make it into the freezer!

Quiet Time

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Nature’s rhythm is cyclical. Everything alive waxes and wanes. If you’re smart, you honor that flow by periodically letting parts of your world wither or go to sleep. If you’re not so smart, you set yourself up for needless pain by indulging in the delusion that you can enjoy uninterrupted growth. According to my reading of the astrological omens, Gemini, this is your time to explore the creative possibilities of ebbing and slackening. Ask yourself the following question, which I’ve borrowed from the Jungian author Clarissa Pinkola Estes: “What must I allow to die today in order to generate more life tomorrow?”

This week’s horoscope makes a great deal of sense. I do indeed grow through periods of great energy, creative and need for “output.” Then I have times of slowness, quiet and recharging. And when I force myself through these times, I end up sick.

I am currently going through a quiet time, “forgetting” to turn on the radio, more reading than knitting (or crocheting, or drawing, or paper crafting, or spinning, or sewing) … more cooking than baking… more sleeping than evening plans. It’s all good, because this also when I gather, observe and note what interests me… often leading to inspiration later. Coming out on the other side recharged.