Finding My Way

Hello.

It’s been a minute since I posted here.  I have been feeling uninspired in my kitchen and exhausted when I get home at night.  I’ve been eating a lot of over easy eggs and toast for dinner.  No complaints here-eggs are one of my favorite foods-but it lacks creativity.  It’s been hard for me to feel creative in my kitchen recently because I decided to make my diet gluten free.  At first, I thought it was something that I would just try out and see how I felt, but after a month of not eating it, it was pretty obvious that I should stop eating it all together.

Gluten-free

I have a sickness that greatly benefits from me not eating gluten.  The symptoms associated with my sickness reduced in their severity and I started to feel the best I had felt in a long time.  I’ve been struggling for the last two months on how dine in social situations, without being that person with the food allergy.  I’ve struggled in my own kitchen, trying to recreate foods that I love but without gluten.  It’s been hard and eye opening.

This feeling of uncertainty in a kitchen is one that I am not used to.  A kitchen is one of the places I feel most comfortable in and the calmest.  A kitchen without gluten scares me and also makes me a little sad.  Most of my fondest food memories are associated with foods that contain gluten.  Cream cheese biscuits for Thanksgiving.  Coffee Cake on Christmas morning.  My mom’s perfect buttermilk scones.  Making cornbread for my dad.  Oatmeal pancakes on Sunday mornings.

I suppose this is an opportunity to rise to the gluten free challenge.  Could I make gluten free cream cheese biscuits?  Biscuits that even other family members would eat?  Almost certainly.  Could I sneak gluten free flour into Christmas Coffee Cake and no one be the wiser?  Probably.  This is also an opportunity for me and my future husband to start some traditions of our own.  As we start our lives together, we could make some new traditions that I will soon have fond memories of.

So, things might look a little different around here.  Don’t expect to see to much wheat floating around.  I’ll probably still bake things with wheat flour for others, but for myself, I will be venturing into the land of gluten free flours.  I’d like to start with pumpkin muffins.  It’s creepy pretty slowing into Autumn here (90 degrees is July weather, not September.  Get it together, Colorado!) and I’ve got spicy pumpkin muffins on the brain.  Anybody have a good recipe for gluten free pumpkin muffins?

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Mom’s Special Day

One time, I decided to do something insane and run 26.2 miles with my mom.  You kind of have to be insane, or at least have something slightly wrong with you, to want to run a marathon. I don’t know how well anyone’s first marathon goes, but I wouldn’t say that mine was awesome, or that I felt spectacular at the end.  Quite the contrary.  It’s totally true that the race starts at mile 20, when you’ve gone further than you’ve ever gone.

When I had a complete mental breakdown at mile 25 and was sobbing uncontrollably about why some idiot put a hill in the last few miles of the race, she just nodded and we trudged on.  I said the F-bomb more times than I ever have in front of my mother and she didn’t even flinch.  The last few miles of a marathon are a completely acceptable place to curse like a sailor.  Than again, I think almost any time is perfectly acceptable to curse like a sailor.

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We finished that race, and then went on to do more together.  Almost every race I’ve run has been with my mom.  It feels weird when I run a race without her now.  The first race I ever did with her was the Bolder Boulder in 2007.  We all wore matching Spongebob Square Pants nighties and even made it onto the big television in the CU stadium.

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We ran the Horsetooth Half marathon and survived the hills together.  My feet were on fire during this race and were quite painful, but my mom once again stayed with me.  I have a bad habit of hurting myself during long distance race training…  There was New Belgium beer at the end, an excellent motivator when running long distances.

 

 

 

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Then there was that time where a freak shard of glass sliced my left Achille’s tendon.  My mom had a house rented and was driving out here before I knew it.  She waited through my surgery, took me home and fed me.  She woke up every four hours with me to feed me Vicoden and anti-nausea medicine.  It was a rough year last year for me, but I am lucky that my mom was there to take care of me.

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I am not with my mom on her special day, but if I was, I’d be whipping up a huge feast, complete with sangria and her signature pomegranate cocktail.  I am so very lucky to have a mom who sets an incredible example for me, my sister and brother, who can run circles around me and is a fabulous cook.  See you in a few weeks, Mom!  I love you!  Happy Mother’s Day!

Of Little Words

Cinnamon roll made with biscuit dough.

Cinnamon roll made with biscuit dough.

Perfect avocado.

Perfect avocado.

Sleepy Indie photo shoot.

Sleepy Indie photo shoot.

Flakey Salt and Salt Restaurant.

Flakey Salt and Salt Restaurant.

Oliver is obsessed with water.

Oliver is obsessed with water.

Sweet potato and goat cheese sandwich at Under The Sun Restaurant.

Sweet potato and goat cheese sandwich with kale chips at Under The Sun Restaurant.

Almond croissant.

Almond croissant.

Sumo orange.  The best orange.

Sumo orange. The best orange.

Pesto and grilled cheese.  For breakfast!

Pesto and grilled cheese. For breakfast!

Food and cats-the majority of my phone pictures.  That pesto and grilled cheese sandwich is probably my favorite picture on here.  It was delicious and Steve made it for me.  He knows the way to my heart!  Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sustainable Gift Wrapping Contest

Yesterday was quite the fun day at work.  We had our annual sustainable gift wrapping contest and we got fed Thanksgiving dinner fixings!  My department submitted the boxes above as our sustainable gift wrapping.  The boxes are wrapped with old ten-key calculator paper that has old calculations on it.  The black ribbon is the carbon copy of our label makers and the cut outs are from sample holiday cards from last year.  We also found some old red tissue paper from last year’s holiday party lurking in the back with the filing cabinets and cut out those stars from it.

Bow!

My coworker and I ended up having the same idea about a bow on the top and we were pretty pleased with the results.  It actually turned out looking like a bow!  I decorated the middle box and oddly enough, found my name in one of the strips of carbon paper I was using.  I also recognized a lot of labels I’ve made over the past two months.

Fancy, fancy

After much debate, we decided to angle the boxes on top of each other instead of stacking them symmetrically.  We’re so artistic.

The Thanksgiving spread they set out for us was fantastic!  I tried green bean casserole for the second time in my life and it was all right.  It’s not something that my family eats on Thanksgiving and I didn’t like enough to try making it again.  Apparently, I’m non-traditional because my family doesn’t eat green bean casserole and we eat Thanksgiving dinner at normal dinner time, like six o’clock, instead of one or two in the afternoon.  We’re too busy doing the annual Thanksgiving seven-mile run to be eating that early!  (I’ll be drinking mimosas instead of running this year.  Darn.)

After much anticipation all day, they announced the winners of the gift wrapping contest and we won!

# 1!

Good job, boys!  Not bad for a bunch of number crunchers.  I love this time of year; it makes me so happy!  Off to start the weekend; enjoy yours!

 

Election Night

This election is a nail biter.   We were trying to watch Homeland with the TV on mute, but I couldn’t even concentrate on that.  I’m trying to distract myself by blogging, but this too is proving to be difficult to concentrate on.  I’ve eaten and seen some interesting food over the past few days, so let’s talk about that instead of politics.

 

Steve brought me home these crackers to try and I was pretty smitten with them.  The have an outstanding ingredient list of all foods I can pronounce and they are seasoned perfectly.  I was surprised at how little salt they had in them for how good they tasted.

Seed-filled!

I got a lot of weird looks eating these in the office, but I’m always eating weird things so I’m used to it.

Surprise!

I was roasting vegetables last week and when I was cutting into my beets, one of them need up being candy striped!  I love candy striped beets; I wish they would hold their stripes better when they cooked.  Their so very pretty and I hate destroying the stripes.  There’s butternut squash and Brussels sprouts on the pan as well.

Goat milk lollipop

I have yet to be brave enough to try this, but it’s lurking in my office drawer, waiting to be eaten.  I really enjoy goat milk, especially in cheese form, but for some reason this sucker really freaks me out.  Maybe it’s the color or maybe it’s just weird to think about eating a goat milk lollipop.  I’ll probably try it tomorrow.  Check back for a full report on the world’s weirdest sucker.

Sunday night beer

I tried a new beer on Sunday night that had some hoppiness to it.  The real news here is that I actually enjoyed it!  I’m what you’d call a pansy when it comes to beer and usually gravitate towards lighter, less hoppy beer.  Oddly, I enjoy a good stout though.  Any ways, I enjoyed this pale ale quite a lot.  It’s the Conniption Pale Ale from West Flanders Brewery.

Not food. Hi Indie!

My cat is cute and this is a silly picture of her.  There’s no real reason other than I think she’s cute that I included her in this post.  Well, time to watch a little more of this nail biter.  I’m trying really hard to stay up, but I’m getting really, really sleepy.  Night, night!

 

 

 

 

 

A Good Snack

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I don’t buy a ton on Greek yogurt, but I like it. I like that it has tons of protein, but I can’t eat unflavored Greek yogurt without a little sweetener. I have found a different way to “sweeten” my yogurt now.

I made Heidi’s “Do It Yourself Power Bars” from Super Natural Cooking a few weeks ago. I was eating them just by themselves, but the last two days I’ve been crumbling them up into a container of Greek yogurt. The oats in the bar start to soften from sitting in the yogurt and the dried fruit adds the perfect amount of sweetness. If you don’t own Super Natural Cooking, these bars are really similar to the recipe I used. I was trying to use up all the random bulk bags of dried fruits and nuts we have, so my mix ins included:

  • cranberries
  • raisins
  • raw pumpkin seeds
  • raw sunflower seeds
  • tamari sunflower seeds
  • raw cashews

The tamari sunflower seeds are the best addition. It makes the bar a combination of sweet and salty and extra addictive. Next time I will add more tamari sunflower seeds. Try this snack! It’ll keep you going for hours!