Friday, June 28, 2013

Busy Bee

I have been a little busy lately doing a little home makeover.  To give you a little taste of what has been going down in Le Casa Team D I shall share my latest in progress shot. 
I decided a while ago that I wanted to redo my kitchen cabinets. It has been about 3 years since I tea stained the white cabinets we got when we bought our super cute teeny tiny house. I loved my brownish cabinets, but I was ready for something new and everything g needed a little cleaning spree. 

Here is a before shot of what tea stained cabinets look like just in case you were wondering. 
I started by taking everything apart and then I got down to business. I headed to Home Depot and bought myself some Valspar Notre Dame Grey (yes I know they don't carry Valspar at The De-pot but they gladly color matched it for me). I then swung by my in laws house and got their sander and got started. 

Thankfully the kitten was at her Mrs. Julie's house so I got a lot done this first day. I got all if the inner workings sanded and then i guess you could say I really got down to da bidness. I ended up having to do 2 coats on everything and after forgetting to give the bottom right lower cabinets a second coat I got almost everything completed on 2 days. 

Needless to say I have been really tired these past few days. Don't worry about me because my awesome husband brought me some wine to dull the pain tonight. 

I still have to sand and  paint the insides and outside Of the cabinet doors but after that I am fin! 

Now we just need to decide what we are going to a do with the countertops, find a stainless steel sink, and maybe did n awesome bask splash. 

I am so unbelievable happy with my kitchen redo and I really really love how clean all of my cabinets are now. It is amazing how seeing everything in your cabinets without doors to hide the mess really makes you want to organize the shiznit out of everything. 
Side note: I also got us a new shower curtain and I am jot one to toot my own horn, but I got it for $9 and I love the stupid thing. It really livens up ye ole potty  room. 

I  now giving myself a big ole pat on the back for checking so many things off of my summer break to do list. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013


To meal planning that is. I haven't changed any of my usual recipes except for a a few ingredient substitutions  like Gluten Free Soy Sauce, Homemade Lipton Onion Soup Mix, Homemade Taco Seasoning, and Homemade Fajita Seasoning. Sadly I have to go buy a new bottle because the one I bought last week fell out of the car as we were unloading groceries and smashed in the driveway.

I am glad I started with the last two weeks of June because I am planning on planning bi weekly instead of monthly this time around. i felt like we had too many leftovers and things stuffed in the freezer so this will give me a little more leeway to use everything up. I already have most of the ingredients I will need for the next two weeks except for the salmon, gf soy sauce, squash, red potatoes, green beans, fajita veggies which I may go ahead and buy put together and freeze, and the beef if I decide to do beef stir fry. 

So here it is in all it's menu planning glory. 
Nothing fancy and all easy to throw together or pre make. 

Happy Meal Planning. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What's For Dinner The Gluten Free Edition

I started meal planning again this week and hopefully tomorrow I can sit down and plan out the rest of the month of June. Just add this to my list of summer to do's along with my cabinet redo and shed cleaning. 

We started Tuesday since I was out of town all weekend and wasn't prepared to  really cook on Monday plus we had leftover pasta (quinoa noodles) to finish off. The best part about Tuesday is it just so happens to  be Taco Tuesday and everyone lives Taco Tuesday.  I have some Udi's gf tortillas which were pretty yummy. We like our tacos made with ground turkey instead of ground beef. Taco Tuesday is a family favorite that not only includes tacos, but delicious home made fajitas. We also like to make our own Taco Seasoning because if I make it I know it is GF and it doesn't hurt that it tastes so much better and is cleaner then the stuff you can buy in a package. Once you start eating clean you never want to go back to processed foods. Real food just tastes so much better. 

We continued our week with a new recipe I got from, where else Pinterest! I have been wanting to try a 1 dish meal for a while now and I am not sure what took me so long to give it a try. I had to hit up Whole Foods for some frozen bread products and since I already had some chicken at home I decided to use some fresh green beans and red potatoes. I found This recipe and decided it sounded yummy and fresh for such a hot spring day. Yes people I said spring!!!! Summer doesn't start until June 21 and it has already gotten up to 99! God help us all down south. 

I went ahead and cleaned my green beans, cut up my potatoes, visited school, and went to search for part of Brent's Fathers Day gift, and picked up the Little Lady while my chicken was thawing. Once we got home I went ahead and started putting everything together so I could get it in the oven since  it took almost an hour to cook. It all smelled and looked delicious when I was putting it together and I couldn't wait to eat since I had barely eaten anything all day hence the massive headache I am still rocking right now. 

I think this might have been the prettiest meal I have out together in quite a while. The yellow lemons, green beans, and red potatoes were pure dinner perfection. 

Looks delicious doesn't it? 

It could have been if I had completely skipped the lemons entirely and just gone with the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. I have decided unless I am eating  fish, lemon drops, sorbet or anything not chicken I don't care for lemon flavor. It was just too intense and lemony. It was fun watching Mckinley make a face and shudder each time she tried to eat a green bean. 

Don't worry my family is used to this by now. Meals either turn out perfect or they are revised and retried unless they are just plain awful. 

So we will try this one again another day. Tomorrow we will bump up our pizza night from Friday to Thursday perBrent's  request. I think he fears another lemon massacre.  Brent and Mckinley will enjoy a cheese pizza from Kroger's deli section and I will be enjoying an Amy's spinach and feta pizza. Lets get real. We all know the  girl will be helping me eat my pizza. I better get 2. 

Here's to not scrambling to throw together dinners anymore and a well stocked, healthy, and gluten free stocked freezer.

Living The Gluten Free Life

No I can not blame my falling off of the meal planning wagon on my food allergies. I fell off way before this new discovery, but I am planning on jumping back on this week. 

Monday we all ate leftover spaghetti (I had quonia pasta of course) since I had been out of town all weekend and the little family was fending for themselves all weekend. Yesterday we started back on our regularly planned schedule of Taco Tuesdays with our Turkey Taco secret family recipe. I gave the Rudi's Gluten Free Tortillas a try last night because I have gotten a little tired of only eating corn tortillas. They weren't the exact consistency of a good ole flour tortilla, but they were definitely yummy.

I have also tried Rudi's bread, but it is definitely not my favorite gluten free product. The consistency is ok, but it falls apart and has huge holes in the top. 

I am now going to give my awards for best GF products I have tried so far.

So far I have tried 3 brands of bread. I rushed out the next day after finding out I had a wheat allergy and grabbed the first GF bread I could find on the shelf. I can't remember the particular brand, but it was 
B-A-D! It was think and dry and just plain awful! After my first shopping disaster I did a little research and found This list of the 2012 Best of Gluten Free Awards and Udi's topped the charts. I cautiously ventured back out and did a little more research. I didn't want to spend a fortune on food so I went to the 3 major stores in our area to see who had the best prices. Kroger did not carry Udi's bread so that was a bust so it weas off to Fresh Market and Whole Foods. After a little comparing I found that Whole Foods actually has the best prices for most GF foods. So I bought my little frozen loaf of bread and I never looked back. 
Once again before finding out about my wheat allergy I found these crackers called Nut-Thins (Kroger). I wanted something that was "cleaner" then a regular cracker , but still tasted and felt the same. I like  Nut-Thins, but only as a dipping cracker. I use them when I want to enjoy some hummus. If you are going to venture into the Nut crackers I highly recommend the cheddar or ranch flavors. 

I have to give the GF Award to Glutino Crackers. Basically anything made by this company is delicious! Another snack I love from Glutino is their GF Pretzels (Kroger). They are so crunchy and delicious and it is all I can do to keep my child from eating all of them.

My go to cereal is Chex especially Cinnamon Chex or Mom's Best Crispy Cocoa Rice. You can't go wrong with any of these and you can find them all at Kroger. 

Once again Udi's tops the chart for bread products. So far I have tried the plain and cinnamon raisin bagels and both are absolutely delicious.

If you are looking for a delicious GF frozen pizza please make yourself happy by picking up an Amy's spinach and feta pizza. The cheese is also delicious, but nothing beats the spinach pizza! 

Pizza Crust
I only buy Amy's pizzas one Fridays for pizza nights, but my usual go to is Kinniknnick Frozen Pizza Crusts. I just buy GF pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese and this is what the Little Lady and I eat at least once a week.

Baking Mix
What can I say about Pamela's Baking Mix! My life was changed the day I found this GF product. I haven't tried any of the other Pamela's baking mixes, but the Baking and Pancake Mix is amazing. I can use it to make absolutely anything. We have made lots of pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin muffins, banana chocolate chip bread to name a few. 

We eat pasta 2-3 times a month so I wanted to find something that I could eat with my family. I have so far tried rice noodles and quonia noodles and The Ancient Harvest Noodles are by far my favorite. I usually don't get to eat alot of my pasta because my child eats it all, but I get a bite or 2 sometimes.

If you have just found out you have a Gluten Intolerance or a Wheat Allergy I hope this little list helps you a little and you don't waste your time or money on searching for good GF foods. This isn't what I eat in a typical day they are just the products I have found that taste the best for when I need them. 

The last thing I will add is if you are craving something sweet and need a cupcake please go to Whole Foods and get either a chocolate or vanilla Whole Foods brand cupcake. They are usually in a freezer end cap right after the frozen foods. You can thank me later. And if you are really really craving something sweet lime I was on National Doughnut Day , but you can't go to your amazingly delicious Doughnut shop down the street try Kinnikinnick's brand doughnuts. I have tried every flavor and they are all amazing, but the cinnamon sugar is the best. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Milkshake Brings All The Boys To The Yard

I just had to share my progress so far on my Post baby body makeover. Ever since discovering my wheat allergy I have been trying to be very vigilant about what I eat which has been quite the learning experience. At home when I am preparing my own food I am able to completely control what I ingest. It is the rare times that we do eat out that I have to be careful about. Then you have nights like this one where you have too much fun and have no clue what could or could not be affecting you later. All I know is Chick-Fil-A saved my life the next day. I did research the Polynesian sauce and am still not sure if it is GF or not. There seemed to be mixed reviews on this one, but I believe it was a key piece to my recovery. 

I have been trying to combat any wheat flares (That's what I am naming my accidental ingestion and subsequent flare ups) with Benadryl, but I have a 2 year old and I can not afford to be drowsy all day. I spoke with my Dr. today and she suggested taking a daily Allegra and seeing if that helps keep the symptoms at bay in case of accidental wheat flares.

Enough about all that bologna. What I really wanted to share was how my body is changing from all of the healthy changes I have made. I posted this little collage in March, but I wanted to add my newest picture to the pile.

Now don't get me wrong, not being able to eat wheat has helped a little, but I have definitely been working hard to get where I am today. I can proudly say I am well below my pre Mckinley weight! I NEVER thought I would ever be able to say that. I got so down on myself about it taking so long to lose the baby weight that I wasn't really doing anything about it, but eating healthy. I forgot how much I loved running and working out and now that I am past my Mommy guilt about leaving the kitten to hit the gym I am back to sweating.  I am no longer concerned about losing weight , but more concerned about toning and strengthening. 

I can't wait to get tortured in Cardio Mix class tomorrow by Julie. Wish me luck and pray I don't pass out!

Summer Summer Summer Time

I have had a few posts written for about 2 months now, but I just haven't been able to finish any of them. I was in a sad place for a while and I had all kinds of emotions that I just wasn't sure how to handle, but I feel like the funk has finally lifted.

I think the year anniversary of Mom's diagnosis and the intense feelings of my friends passing just culminated into 1 big ball of sad and I was lost in it. I was so afraid that summer break and being home every day would keep me locked away inside my feelings, but I feel like it has actually brought me back to life.

So instead of being sad I am going to celebrate the fact that my mom had her last round of chemo yesterday and that I can be thankful for the time I had with my friend. I know she is watching over us everyday just like my babies said. Oh the wisdom of babies. If only we could all be so trusting in God's plan for us all.

This summer has already been amazing and I can't wait to see what else these next few weeks hold in store for us. We will probably have a few tantrums, some battles of who is more strong willed, and lots of fun in the sun, but I wouldn't want it any other way.