Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cheesy Potato and Broccoli Soup

Who doesn't love a fall day? I love waking up, looking outside and seeing the mist on the lake (yep, I have a lake view). Fall always gets me thinking of all of the yummy fall type foods I can make. However, being a gluten free family, I am now running into the issue of finding soups that do not use flour. Yes, I could easily use a gf flour, but it sometimes changes the taste of the soup, or the consistency. I have found the solution! Here is my Cheesy Potato and Broccoli Soup.

chicken stock
potatoes *no need to peel
shredded cheese
sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

How to do it

In a large soup pot pour about a 1/2 a cup of chicken stock into the bottom, add the celery. Let cook for awhile. Add the potatoes (cut up of course) and the milk. Cook until potatoes are almost done. Add the ham (precooked) and broccoli. Cook until done. Add the cheese (its up to you how much) SLOWLY. <-- very important, this prevents the curdle look that most homemade milk based soups get. Use the sour cream and butter to thicken. Again, add slowly. Serve with your favorite bread.

This soup only takes about 30 mins to cook. I LOVE it!

chicken stock and celery

after adding potatoes and milk

finished product

Even my kids loved this! I love when we can find a new family favorite.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Feelings about this pregnancy

I figure at some point, I can remember that I am indeed pregnant with another baby.

Thoughts on this pregnancy
  • I feel like baby is a girl
  • That on or around (+ or - a day) I will go into labor Jan 27th
  • Hopeful that baby will be around 8lbs and 21 inches
  • Labor will be fairly easy
  • Not super long, like less than 12 hours
Well that is it for now. 4-5 more months and we will know how it all ends

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Starbucks Pumpkin Scone - Bars

With Fall just around the corner, pumpkin sounds good. Not a big pumpkin spice latte fan (thank you but I will stick with my caramel latte) but I really love pumpkin bread. And Starbucks Pumpkin Scones. After working there for 2.5 years, its one of the few things I miss (that and the free coffee each week). So I found a recipe on Pinterest that doesn't use a ton of flour. Today is the first real dreary, Seattle like day since moving over here and I feel inspired.

This recipe comes from Just The Little Things.

Starbucks-ish Pumpkin Scones

2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
1/4-1/2 cup sugar *somewhere between there, and I used white sugar but would probably do brown next time
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons cold butter
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
5 tablespoons half-and-half
1 large egg

Powdered Sugar Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk

Spiced Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ginger
1 pinch ground cloves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Using a pastry knife, fork, or food processor, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half and half, and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Form the dough into a ball* dough didn't really form into a ball for me, it was a bit wetter, so I just poured it out onto a baking sheet

*Do this step if your dough forms a ball* Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle (about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide). Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 14–16 minutes. Scones should begin to turn light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

Mix the powdered sugar and 2 tbsp milk together until smooth.
When scones are cool, use a brush to paint plain glaze over the top of each scone.

Combine the ingredient for the spiced icing together. Drizzle this thicker icing over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (at least 1 hour). A squirt bottle works great for this, or you can drizzle with a whisk.

After they were baked

My husband says these are good. A "got milk" kind of bar.

Monday, September 10, 2012

How I spent my Sunday evening

I can tell you, it was NOTHING like I imagined it would be. Jesse cleaned the kitchen, we both picked up the living room, and then he started dinner. Tacos on corn shells. Mmm. Levi didn't want the meat or rice, but could have eaten his weight in black beans. It was smeared all over his face, everywhere. While sitting in his booster seat at the kitchen table, he put his feet up on the table and pushed. The end result was him falling backwards, splitting the back of his head open and mommy calling 911.

I am SO thankful that he missed the microwave cart that sits under the breakfast bar behind the table. Seeing him lying there, all I could hope for was that it was just blood. Nothing grey. I may have even silently prayed that. I started grabbing the towels and telling Jesse he needed to start applying pressure to it, that I would call 911. He said he would, but I knew he would have to ask me for information and it was just easier if I did it.

I was calmer than I though I would be, even though the dispatcher had to tell me twice to calm down. It was more that I was talking very fast, which I am totally aware, is not helpful to them. I got them all the information without having to be asked for it twice. Waiting for the medics to arrive felt like eternity. This was one of those few times that I really hate living out of town.

The medics arrive and were really nice. Very reassuring that these things happen. Levi finally stopped screaming, and as much as his screaming broke my heart, I wanted to hear it. He didn't like momma applying pressure to his owie. At this point, he started to get a bit sleepy, and that was concerning to me. So we rode the ambulance into town. Jesse and Jacob stayed behind and were going to come pick us up later.

4 staples later, here is the back of my little boys head

He took everything like a champ. Got home and after a bit of tylenol and "ba" (bottle with milk) he went right to sleep. Jesse stayed up and got up with him a few hours later to make sure he could be woken up. All is good, and before I know it, he will be back to terrorizing my house.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Baked Blackberry Oatmeal

Once upon a time I made baked oatmeal. No one liked it. Then my husband and oldest son went blackberry picking. I needed something to do with these berries. We made a compote for pancakes and then I found a recipe for a different baked oatmeal here.

And I wouldn't be me if I didn't make changes :-)

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus more for top
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups blackberries, or other fruit

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8” square baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, sugar, baking powder, spices, and salt.

In a small bowl whisk together the milk, egg, and butter.

Spoon in the oat mixture, and then pour in the milk mixture. Press the remaining berries into the oats, and sprinkle top with cinnamon.
Bake for 35 – 45 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling vigorously and the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Slice up and serve with a sprinkle of fresh berries.

This was amazing!

After it was baked
The aftermath

Monday, September 3, 2012

Crazy Stain Fighting Mom

  Yeah, that would be me. I can't STAND stains on my clothes. I have been like this my ENTIRE life. When I was 11, I was watching a friend's baby sister while they were outside doing chores. She had chocolate pudding before I got there. As soon as I could, I stripped her down to her diaper and soaked her jumper in cold water. And the pudding stains came out. Its like this anti-stainness has been bred into me or something. With having a husband that works on diry, greasy things, this has not helped my need for stain control.

I've researched how to get formula stains out, grease stains, food stains, and there has only been ONE time in my existence of being a mom that I have ever thrown a piece of clothing away because there was NO way in heck I was washing THAT out of the clothing.

Which leads me to my current stain battle. The dryer in our new rental is leaving lovely brown marks on my clothes *insert a scream here*. Maternity clothes, sheets, even my husbands underwear. These stains do not discriminate! So after a frustrating weekend of not being able to get a hold of the landlords (do they not realize that laundry is important?), of trying to figure out what is causing the staining (I wish it was as easy as a brown crayon), and of spending 15 mins researching on the internet, I have *hopefully* found the solution!

In the lower left hand corner you will see the brown streaks

They are friction burns. The clothes get caught between the seal and put a mark on them. We will be replacing this seal as soon as its NOT a holiday weekend. Until then, my clothes are soaking in the bathtub, in cold water, with a splash of oxy-clean.

I used one of these

to scrub out the stain while it was still soaking. That way if it didn't all come out, I just threw it back in the tub to soak.  Also a smaller load of laundry seemed to help, as I had an entire load NOT have a stinking stain on it!

Clothes scrubbed clean and waiting to be re-washed

Come to find out, the heating element is also going out (my clothes where almost dry after 10 mins on the low setting). In the mean time (until we can afford a new dryer) this is how we will be drying our clothes. 

Ghetto clothes line, but it works!

There is a bright spot! I did manage to get the stain out of all of the clothes, so long as they did NOT go back in the dryer.

Gluten Free Products We Love - Dinner Items

 Gluten Free Dinner Items

I thought since I have a 3.5 yr old and a 13 month old that I should review some of the store bought gluten free products we have tried and liked. Look for a post later of products that we have NOT liked.

As I was going through the products that we like, I realized its really too many to list in a single post. So I will be breaking it up into parts.

 This is seriously some of the best GF mac and cheese. I think it tastes so similar to Kraft Mac and Cheese that I don't even miss that ole blue box.

Canyon Bakehouse breads. Yum. Not too heavy, holds up well and actually tastes like white bread. Worth the money spent.

This was pretty yummy too. With a little bit of gluten free soy sauce. Great for a quick meal at home.

This is super yummy and tastes just like you would expect it to.
 These are pretty good. A bit on the spendy side and you do have to watch how you are cooking them as they are easy to over cook, but over all not too bad.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Onion Rings and Cheddar Bacon Burgers

Tonight's dinner started out with a pregnancy craving. I wanted onion rings. After jumping on Pinterest, I found a recipe.

Dip *I made a few minor changes. I didn't use horseradish and instead used Apple Cider Vinegar

Onion *I wanted beer battered ones, so of course, I made changes.

Jesse drinking the beer after reminding me I needed to use GF beer
  • 1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia (about 1 pound)
  • 1 1/4 cup Bobs Red Mill All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/4 cup Cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 bottle beer (I used Redbridge Gluten Free beer)
  • 1 gallon soy or corn oil
  • Kosher salt

Combine all of the dip ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate.

Slice the onion (see below). Whisk the flour, cornmeal, cayenne, paprika, thyme, oregano, cumin and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a bowl. In a small deep bowl, whisk the eggs, beer and 1/4 cup water.

Mix the dry mixture with the liquid mixture until it forms a batter. Coat the onion rings.

Heat the oil in a large deep pot over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 400 degrees. Pat off excess flour from the onion. Using a wire skimmer, carefully lower the onion into the oil, cut-side down. Adjust the heat so the oil temperature stays close to 350 degrees. Fry about 3 minutes, then turn the onion over and cook until golden, about 3 more minutes; drain on paper towels. Season with salt and serve with the dip.

 Here is the result

The Cheddar Bacon Burgers from Wildtree ( were not only gluten free, but not too bad. I however did not take any pictures of them.
And here is one of the reasons (if not the main reason) why I cook gluten free.

Dinner tomorrow night is chicken strips, fried pickles and roasted green beans.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

   The other night we got down to the last of the bananas. You know, when they start turning brown and you stop eating them. Or at least we do in our house. There is always the tried and true banana bread, but in a gluten free household, flour is at a premium. When I spend over $7 on two pounds of all purpose flour, I tend to horde the stuff. So finding something that tastes good and doesn't use flour is a bonus.

Pinterest has some amazing looking things. But really until I've tried it or someone I know has, I really don't know how its going to turn out.

I used the recipe for Banana Oatmeal muffins from Keeping Up With the Joneses. I made a few changes. I used 3 bananas instead of 2, I added cinnamon (cause in my opinion banana bread needs cinnamon) and I baked them in mini muffin tins.

*2 /1/2 cup oats (old fashioned kind, not quick cooking)

*1 single serving cup (or 1 cup) of plain low fat greek yogurt

*2 eggs

*3/4 cup sweetener of choice, I used the real stuff: sugar! or 2 tbs stevia sweetener

*1 1/2 tsp baking powder

*1/2 tsp baking soda

*3 bananas

Important: The paper liners don't work well when baking with a base that does not include flour, they always seem to stick to the paper. I sprayed the muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or you can use foil cupcake liners or a silicone muffin pan.

Let the Baking Begin!
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray tin with non-stick cooking spray or line 12 muffin tins with silicone or foil liners, (or just use a silicone muffin pan). *I have baked them both as mini muffins and as regular ones. The minis came out SO much better.
2. Place all of the ingredients, including bananas in a blender or food processor, and blend until oats are smooth. *Important: I add the oats a cup at a time and then add the liquids. I have to stop the blender and stir a few times throughout as well. 
3. Divide batter among cupcake liners, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.*if using the mini muffin tins, cut bake time in half
4. Most importantly: Enjoy!!!

Here is how they turned out

And here is Jacob enjoying them

These were a HUGE hit with everyone in the family. Super easy to make. Moist, not too dense.

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