Monthly Archives: July 2014

Olive Tomato Salad


Simple Tomato and Olive Salad

Simple Tomato and Olive Salad

This is a great quick salad to add a side dish to your dinner. It’s also great to use up those last few grape tomatoes that might otherwise end up in the compost bin!


adopted from cdkitchen
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon salt (to your taste)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine the spices in a large flat bowl. Pour the olive oil over. This also makes a GREAT dip for bread. If you use up the oil and have leftover spices in the bowl add some more oil! My favorite thing to do is to make this for the bread and use the leftover for a dressing.

Olive Tomato Salad

1/2 cup grape tomatoes, whole or quartered
1/2 cup black olives, whole or quartered
1/4 cup above dressing or more to taste

If cutting the tomatoes and olives up, do that first. Place in a bowl and drizzle dressing over the top. Stir to evenly coat and serve!


Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Bread


lemon blueberry bread 2

Normally, I don’t use recipes from Facebook, but a friend posted one called Lemon Blueberry Bread and I just couldn’t resist. It came from Nell’s Old Fashioned Recipes page, but I couldn’t find a direct link to it.

Lemon Blueberry Bread

Adopted from Nell’s Old Fashioned Recipes

1/3 cup melted butter*
1 cup sugar (used coconut sugar)
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mixture with xanthan gum (I used Better Batter)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plain full-fat kefir*
2 Tablespoons lemon zest
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

2 Tablespoons Lemon juice
1 Tablespoon melted butter*
1 cup confectioners sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large loaf pan or 3 miniature pans. Zest the lemons to get the 2 Tablespoons of zest and set aside.
Beat the butter, sugar, lemon juice, and eggs until combined.
Combine in separate bowl the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir the flour mixture in the wet mixture alternately with the kefir. Fold in lemon zest, blueberries, and walnuts if using. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top of the loaf is lightly brown.

Mix all the ingredients together. Drizzle over slightly cooled bread.

*I almost used coconut oil and I think either coconut oil or earth balance would be a good substitute for the butter. I used kefir because it seems to give an extra lift to gluten-free baked goods. If you can’t have it I would suggest a 50/50 mixture of almond milk and coconut milk. Sometimes just almond milk will give a grey color to baked goods.

Lemon Blueberry bread

Menu Plan Monday, July 14th!


What a busy week! And this week looks no better, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. This is the last Vacation Bible School week AND the last week of swimming lessons. Whew!

The theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap over at Celiac Family is summer squash! This is not my favorite squash (I prefer winter varieties), but a few years ago when I had tons and tons I learned a few tricks of what do with lots of zucchini. First thing I did was take a trip to the library where I found this delightful book: The Classic Zucchini Cookbook. I made zucchini bread and butter pickles and several other recipes. Last week I made some zucchini spaghetti! This year I figured out I can grill zucchini and put it in a wrap where it is quite tasty! Some of my favorite old standbys are Zucchini Potato Bake and Fabulous Zucchini Grinders.

Simple Tomato and Olive Salad

Simple Tomato and Olive Salad

The tomatoes are nonstop around here. Last week we skipped the sauce and froze a couple of quarts of crushed tomatoes. That is quite impressive since to freeze tomatoes you have to de seed them and take the skin off and after you do that there doesn’t seem to be much left! We still have another pile of tomatoes from what my husband picked yesterday so it looks like we’ll be freezing again!

gluten-free cereal
Lunch and Dinner: I didn’t feel like cooking and neither did anyone else. So these were just snacky meals with olives, pickles, pretzels, a smoothie, some leftover dessert, canned oysters, chips, etc.

Rest of the week:
Breakfast Choices:
Pink Panther Smoothie
Lighter Chocolate Muffins

Breakfast for dinner: Gluten Free Waffles
Cumin Black Bean Quinoa Salad with pinto beans, and added veggies such as tomatoes and zucchini
Broccoli quesadillas and salad
Pizza, salad (leftover from last week! It was really good!)
Blackberry Coconut Smoothie, popcorn
Last week I just gave up around Wednesday and got take-out Chipotle. It was such a big hit that I’m going to try to recreate it at home. I haven’t googled recipes yet, but I’ll report back next week!

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!

What Kind of Job Do You Really Have?


During college my sister and I hung out a lot during the summer at our job in the local (then) community college. It was an awesome job to have because it was on campus, you could and would take off time to go to class and during slow times you could work on homework or mess around on the computer. Little did we know that it was the time in our life that we would have the most free time in spite of working and/or taking summer classes and commuting almost 2 hours everyday.

To amuse ourselves during slow times, during the long drives, or just to take a break from studying/homework we goofed around. One of the notable things we goofed around with were more descriptive titles for our jobs current and what we were getting our degrees in.

For instance, I was studying to be an Administrative Assistant/Office Manager or in more common terms a secretary. I decided that this would mean (definitions taken from the classes that I had just passed) a lot of Paper Shuffling, Button Pushing, and Nodding and Smiling. I was always particularly good at anything that involved pushing buttons. I didn’t particularly like shuffling papers, but every job has to have a downside right?

Now that I’m a mom I would say that being a mom almost defies the description of all the possible things that you might be required to do in a day including some I still think are pretty gross. Sippy Cup Tracking Device, Special Toy Tracking Device, Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, Laundry Shuffler (because it never really gets done, now does it?), Child Toter (whether in a car or physically picking up), Story Teller, Explainer of Everything Under The Sun, Chief Snuggler, Treat Giver, Good Choice Reminder, and Good Listener, to just name a few.

I’ve had others say that their jobs seem mostly like Babysitting when their actual titles were Teacher and Building Contractor.

So what about you? What creative title would you place on your job?

Christmas All Year Round


Today, I successfully used one of my Christmas presents for the first time! I was excited because zucchini noodles seem a lot healthier than corn or rice noodles! And top those noodles with fresh tomato sauce made with tomatoes from our garden, and vegan Parmesan cheese and you have a delightful lunch!

Zucchini Noodles!

Zucchini Noodles!

I feel like I’m well on my way to keeping Christmas all the year through!

Menu Plan Monday, July 7th!


I never intended to take an entire month off, but that is exactly what happened! I had no idea I was in such a busy stage of life, but between Vacation Bible School(s), starting my new job, swimming lessons, being out-of-town, etc. this past weekend was the first time we had to “sit quietly and just smell the flowers.”

The theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap over at Celiac Family is peaches! What a lovely summer fruit. It’s not my favorite to eat because of the fuzzy skin, but whenever I get some I always make this lovely coffeecake. Even my husband who boycotts all cakes actually loves this coffee cake. Other than that we usually skip the peaches and go right to the nectarines!

Yesterday's Dinner!

Yesterday’s Dinner!

We are still in the middle of swimming lessons. The Princess FINALLY made some progress on the last two days of her 2 week class. We signed her up for another two weeks in hopes that we’ll have a little fish at the end. Swimming lessons really put a damper on cooking though as they are right around dinner prep and we get home starving with no time to cook!

In addition, our garden has taken off with TOMATOES of all sorts and shapes. We made around 4 quarts of fresh tomato sauce and froze some last week and this week we have another whole window sill of ripe tomatoes again. I’m trying to come up with some ideas of what to do with them that doesn’t involve canning.

Pancakes with strawberries and coconut whipped cream and frozen coffee!
Lunch: salmon, sweet potato tater tots (I used almond meal with mixed reviews from the troops), steamed brussel sprouts, corn
Dinner: fruit and cereal

Rest of the week:
Breakfast Choices:
Pink Panther Smoothie
Leftover Pancakes
Vegan Gluten-Free Waffles

Breakfast for dinner: Omelets with veggies
Spinach Melon Salad
Gluten-free pasta with fresh tomato sauce
Grilled Cheese
Garden Enchilada Bake (from Peas and Thank You, no longer available), using this Enchilada Sauce
Pizza, salad (I usually use daiya cheese for my pizza, but I’m going to try this! I use my own favorite gluten-free crust)
Blueberry Cheesecake Smoothie, popcorn

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!