Menu Plan Monday, September 1!

Standard


The theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap over at Celiac Family is gluten-free Italian food. My favorite is spaghetti and meatballs. It is not on the plan for this week, but I try it usually at least once a month. It can get complicated with 3 different noodle needs/preferences plus 1-2 different sauces and meatballs! Another favorite for me and my husband is lasagna. The last time I made it with cashew ricotta and Portobello mushroom caps and it turned out pretty good.

sunday dinner aug

This week I have a little extra time off work, so I am working on some freezer breakfasts! Today was Lighter Chocolate Muffins, and tomorrow is Peach Coffee Cake. I’ve also been reading through a new cookbook, “Choosing Raw.” I am hoping to integrate some of those recipes also. Some of them sound so easy and all of them sound healthy and yummy! A couple that I want to try are “Buckwheaties,” “Easy Pumpkin Soup,” and a raw chocolate granola.

Sunday
Breakfast:
Peach and raspberry fruit bowl, gf cinnamon raisin toast.
Lunch:
Irresistible Grilled Shrimp, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, fresh fruit salsa to go with the shrimp
Dinner: Leftovers

Rest of the week:
Breakfast Choices:
Pink Panther Smoothie
Eggs
Pumpkin Waffles
Chocolate Muffins
Peach Coffee Cake
Paleo English Muffins
Sweet Potatoes

Dinner:
Breakfast for dinner: Pumpkin waffles didn’t happen this week, so this is a repeat!
My husband’s famous Chili with cornbread or rolls
Chef Salad with croutons
Avocado Salad
Peachy Keen Smoothie from “Choosing Raw” cookbook with popcorn
Veggie soup from the freezer
Pizza, salad
Leftovers!

For more menu ideas check out Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for gluten-free menus check out Celiac Family and the Gluten Free Menu Swap!

Things I’m Into This Summer

Standard

This summer has been really hot, so my favorite things have been cold drinks!

First up, my water drinking:

Water!


I noticed at the beginning of the summer that I just wasn’t drinking enough. After pondering the whys and wherefores for a while I decided it was the plastic in my drinking glasses, the fact that I was suddenly bored with the taste of water, and some plain ordinary laziness.

So, I purchased a glass water bottle which has worked out wonderfully. I love the refreshing taste and I’ve definitely drunk more using it. Usually, a new water bottle works that way for me for a couple of months, but I will get bored using it daily. I’m going on six months with this one and I’m still not bored! A huge plus is that it is easy to clean. All sorts of disgusting things grow in water bottles in Florida if they are not cleaned daily.

Next I purchased a purchased a couple of water infusers. Basically, you cut up some fruit, put it in the plastic ball, and let the fruit flavor transfer to the water. It usually takes 12-24 hours to get the real flavor going and then a day later you should probably change out the fruit. I get the most yummy tasting water that way. I’ve tried all sorts of combos such as strawberry and mint to lemon and strawberry (my favorite) and just plain orange or just plain lime. It is so yummy and water hasn’t been boring at all!

Second up, my coffee drinking:

Coffee!


Some days have just been way too hot for hot coffee. Coffee shop coffees haven’t had much appeal since I can’t have creamers in them so I decided to come up with something I can have. I started making coffee concentrate (twice as much water as coffee–1 cup coffee grounds to 2 cups water–put into a container and steeped overnight on the counter and filtered in the morning) and mixing it with some almond milk and just a dash of either honey or maple syrup. It’s my own coffee shop only much, much cheaper! Plus I get to use some cute glass straws!

So there you have it–two easy ways to keep hydrated during the last few dog days of summer! What about you? Do you have a favorite beverage to keep you cool in the summer?

Menu Plan Monday, August 25th!

Standard

The theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap over at Celiac Family is quick and easy gluten-free meals. Quick and easy is my theme all of the time right now. Life is just too exciting to spend hours in the kitchen. The past couple of weeks I’ve spent just a couple of hours one afternoon and prepped or cooked most of the meals for the week. It’s worked out on the evenings that I have to work because I can just come home and warm something up. I’m excited to get some new ideas for quick and easy dinners this week!

My Mom made me a birthday cake!

My Mom made me a birthday cake!

My super yummy dinner!

My super yummy dinner!

This week is my birthday and when everyone came over yesterday for dinner, my mom surprised me with a birthday cake! It was super-duper yummy and I can’t wait to sample some of the leftovers today. Other than that we’re ready to attack our first full week of school with vigor and I am hoping that we get some sort of routine down.

Sunday
Breakfast:
grilled peanut butter and jelly for everyone else, grilled almond butter and apple butter sandwich for me.
Lunch: Shepherd’s Pie for everyone else, Tex-Mex Shepherd’s pie from Everyday Happy Herbivore cookbook for me with yummy Gluten-free Dinner Rolls and birthday cake from Gluten-free On A Shoestring Quick and Easy cookbook with ice cream (So Delicious Coconut Vanilla for me)
Dinner: Vegan Nachos (even without any dairy free cheese or guacamole these were delectable!)

Rest of the week:
Breakfast Choices:
Pink Panther Smoothie
Eggs
Favorite waffles
Leftover Gluten-free dinner rolls with nut butter and fruit
Chocolate Protein Bars from Gluten-Free On a Shoe String Quick and Easy
Paleo English Muffins

Dinner:
Breakfast for dinner: GF Pumpkin waffles (still searching for a recipe!)
Beans (using pinto beans because they are our favorite!) and Rice Chipotle style! If everyone else needs some meat then we have steak sandwich meat available
Fish in a pan with potatoes (depends on the time what type! I’d love French fry roasted potatoes if there’s enough time that night), broccoli
Tuna fish sandwiches
Pumpkin smoothie with popcorn
Pizza, salad
Leftovers!

For more menu ideas check out Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for gluten-free menus check out Celiac Family and the Gluten Free Menu Swap!

So Five Years Ago…

Standard

Dear Princess,

Five years ago this happened…

Princess

Princess

You were brought into my hospital room all cleaned up and with a Mohawk! You were so tiny and beautiful! And then after the two longest days of my life we got to bring you home:

monkey toes!

monkey toes!

That started one of the most exciting adventures of my life: Parenting!

One of our favorite things to do (then and now!) was take a walk. It started out with you falling asleep as we traversed the neighborhood. Then before I knew it you were awake and taking in the sights. It seemed like no sooner had I gotten used to your little baby noises than you no longer wanted to ride, but wanted to walk/run on your little toddler legs. You pretty much gave me a heart attack every time we left the house. You listened and learned quickly to stay with Mommy when there was a car coming, and to always ask if it was okay to go do some “Wees!” (Running ahead as fast as you could!)

So many walks, and so many memories, right now my favorite part of walking is the part where you put your still small, but growing bigger hand in mine and tell me everything that is on your heart. We have the greatest conversations while we walk around the block. Your hopes and dreams, your favorite parts of the day, and what holidays you are looking forward to coming around again. I plan to continue to keep this special time happening so that you always feel that you can talk to me about anything you want.

As our walk comes to an end you inevitably see our house and want to run off to get home first. After checking for cars I let you go and watch my big girl get smaller and smaller in the distance. It occurs to me as I watch you run with the wind that this is the perfect picture of what parenting really is about. Holding tight to that little hand as long as possible, but letting go and watching you soar whenever you ask. I am proud of the little person you are and the big person you are becoming! It is so exciting (and scary sometimes!) to be a part of your growing up.

Love,

Mommy
Princess sand art 2

Menu Plan Monday, August 18th!

Standard

The theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap over at Celiac Family is after school snacks. My daughter thankfully is doing a half day kindergarten, so when she gets out of school we just go home and eat lunch! She does have snack in school, but last year she mostly just ate gluten-free pretzel sticks. The parents bring in snacks consisting of cheese, fruit, and veggies but my daughter is still so picky she will only eat apples and occasionally muffins. I made some banana muffins for them to keep in the freezer for birthday parties for her and brought in lots of bags of pretzels over the course of the school year. When she wants a snack at home she frequently eats a trail mix with pretzels, nuts, dried fruit, and some chocolate chips. I try to offer apples when they are in season and sometimes I can get her to try some smoothie, but she likes her snack routines so I usually just roll with it.

What Sunday Dinner looked like!

What Sunday Dinner looked like!

Sunday dinner

This weekend threw us a curveball of stomach flu with the Princess. That was rather nasty and it made her miss the first day of kindergarten! (That sounds like one of the saddest things ever! So, I didn’t get some of the special back to school breakfasts done that I wanted to, but we’ve had plenty of toast and applesauce going on!

Sunday
Breakfast:
gluten-free cereal
Lunch: Honey Basil Kabobs, with grilled chicken for hubby and grilled salmon for me
These were super yummy and I was so excited to find an easy recipe that starred veggies for the grill!
Dinner: popcorn

Rest of the week:
Breakfast Choices:
Pink Panther Smoothie
Eggs
Favorite waffles
Paleo Chocolate Breakfast Cookies
Banana Bread

Dinner:
Breakfast for dinner: Pancake with cinnamon sautéed apples
Tex-Mex Shepherd’s Pie (from Happy Herbivore) & Regular Shepherd’s Pie
Sloppy Joes (Lentil Sloppy Joes)
Chef Salad with croutons
meatloaf (Recipe from my mom’s home economic class!)
Vanilla cream mango milkshake with popcorn
Pizza, salad

Leftovers!

For more menu ideas check out Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for gluten-free menus check out Celiac Family and the Gluten Free Menu Swap!

August Is the New January!

Standard

What our garden looks like right now...

What our garden looks like right now…

I was sitting in my living room the other day with the fan on full blast, listening to the air conditioner coming on again, and just pondering how hot it was. I came to the conclusion that August in Florida is as bad as January is in a northern state.

By August I am so over summer, plus it is just hot. Hot like the air conditioner keeps coming on even if you have it set on 80 degrees F and it is depressing to think what the electric bill is going to be like. Hot like you walk outside and you almost get knocked back indoors by the wall of heat and humidity. Hot like you don’t feel like doing anything (not even getting up and going somewhere to go swimming) because that would involve driving somewhere in a hot car, parking in the hot sun, and possibly in spite of applying oodles of sunscreen getting some sunburn that will then keep you hot for even longer!

By January up north the newness of winter has worn off. The holidays are over, and it is just cold and snowy. It isn’t always safe to go out, so you end up spending a lot of time at home. And I bet that the central heat runs almost constantly. You’ve probably made snowmen, drunk gallons of hot chocolate, and done all the winter sports you could think of. Now the bleakness of the next couple of months is staring you in the face.

I know that Farmer’s Markets up north are closed in January. Down here they are open all year-long and some people think that’s great. All that’s been available for sale for the past few weeks that is local and in season at our Farmer’s Market is tomatoes and zucchini. I do love both of those vegetables, but they are getting a bit dull. We had about 15 tomato plants going full blast in our garden until August when they all melted and died. Our squash gave it up before it even got going and melted right before our eyes. I’ve been taking a break from the Farmer’s Market this month in hopes that veggies will brave the still hot, but not quite so hot of September.

I’ve considered decorating for fall in hopes that cooler weather would hurry up and arrive, just like my mom used to read seed catalogs in January and plan her garden in hopes that spring would be just around the corner! I think both are equally effective in their end results.

What about you? What’s your favorite (or least favorite) month of the year? Why?

Menu Plan Monday, August 11th!

Standard

The theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap over at Celiac Family is packing gluten-free lunches for back to school! I am thankful that I don’t (yet) have to regularly pack a lunch as my daughter is going to a half-day kindergarten. However, we occasionally need one when she stays for after-school camp for a couple of hours. We’ve been packing lunches all summer long as we’ve had playdates galore and because of food intolerance packing a lunch was the way to go. Since we don’t do it everyday I usually end up packing a similar version of the same thing every time. The Princess isn’t used to the circus of eating with her peers and tends to not eat much during the eating period and then wanting to eat in the car on the ride home. So we pack several small snacks: a trail mix (with chocolate chips of course), crackers with nutbutter, a fruit stick, maybe a cookie or lollipop, sometimes lunchmeat, and sometimes just a regular nutbutter and jelly sandwich. I did dig out my old starwars thermos one day this summer and fill it with some super hot water, then added some super hot mac and cheese with some leftover chili. That was gone by the time I picked her up!

Cupcakes from the Princess' birthday party!

Cupcakes from the Princess’ birthday party!

The Princess had a birthday and a couple of birthday parties this past week! We had an amazing party with pink cupcakes and friends and then a family dinner with pink cupcakes and family. Pretty much the whole week was working and prepping bits and pieces for the party, so some cooking didn’t get done, but that’s okay. You only turn 5 once! This week I’m going to try do a bunch of cooking for the week on one day. Seems as the week goes on the energy and motivation for cooking gets less especially in the hot, hot, hot days of August in Florida.

Sunday
Breakfast:
gluten-free cereal, strawberries, blueberry muffin (I found them in the freezer and I don’t remember what recipe I used!)
Lunch: turkey burgers marinated in this recipe, veggie burger for me, potato chips, corn on the cob, and coleslaw. Pink Cupcakes for dessert (a friend who does baking on the side made these!)
Dinner: nutbutter and honey sandwich, fruit salad

Rest of the week:
Breakfast Choices:
Pink Panther Smoothie
Eggs
Favorite waffles

Dinner:
Breakfast for dinner: Favorite Waffles
Cauliflower Alfredo with frozen veggies (didn’t happen last week!)
Broccoli, Bacon, Tomato Pasta Salad
Spaghetti and meatballs
Vanilla cream mango milkshake with popcorn
Pizza, salad

Leftovers!

For more menu ideas check out Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for gluten-free menus check out Celiac Family and the Gluten Free Menu Swap!