Monday, July 27, 2015

And still counting (7088-7105)

friends at the table this week
sunny skies
pool splashes

cucumbers from our garden
zucchinis too
sweet potato fries
and that she liked them!
a loaf of bread at the table

and one in the freezer
kids with a hose washing a bike down
their laughter that squeals and shrieks, ringing loud and free
homemade cookies so good we ate the rest
my dad's voice

sunflowers in a vase
a night out for the girls with friends
a night out to Lowe's with my man
white paint
camera 2

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The story

This is the story of the day I ruthlessly scrutinized my grocery list and decided it would be in our best interest to shop at four different stores to scoop up the very best deals. (Yesterday.)

This is the story of how I was going to throw together a quick (corn) pasta with meat sauce for dinner. I considered splurging and trying out a loaf of gluten-free Italian-style bread (a third the size of its wheaty counterpart), and then changed my mind when I saw the cost. Who needs garlic bread with pasta anyway?

This is the story of how a friend came over to coach me on gluten-free living and baking and challenges and solutions. Just as she was leaving, a package arrived. She stayed while I opened it. Inside? Gluten-free muffins! Gluten-free cookies! Gluten-free breads!

Whoa, whoa!

"I have the BEST HUSBAND EVER!" I said. Seriously, my guy was going to hear it. I opened a package of bread and cut a piece into quarters to share between my friend and the girls.

It. Was. So. Good.

The first bread we'd had in over two weeks.

The kids wanted to try a muffin and cookie too, so I let them have some of each.

When Shane came home, I stood outside with a grin a mile wide.

"I got that package you sent," I said. "You are the BEST EVER!"

"I didn't send you a package," he said.

"Huh? You asked me the other day if I got a package in the mail? I thought you had something coming for us." I couldn't figure it out.

"I didn't send it. Connie did," he said.

I HAVE THE BEST SISTER-IN-LAW EVER!

our thank-you selfie to her

This is the story of how we ended up having garlic bread with pasta after all.

I chopped up some garlic and melted butter and we put it on one of the loaves of bread--and it was a delightful feast.

My in-laws are pretty special people. I'm so glad to be part of this family.

Shazam!


The end.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The first batch

We got a package of Better Batter to try out. I made a pizza on Sunday. Yesterday, we went for chocolate chip cookies. Erin wanted to help.

The recipe only called for one stick of butter, and similar amounts of remaining ingredients like in our former go-to cookie. After adding in all the ingredients and mixing, the dough had a slight elastic quality to it. The kids licked the mixers and said it tasted the same.

My mom's wheat-themed mixing bowl


Better Batter in a glass jar. Heart.


Each pan of cookies required a flash freeze and then bake off. When I pulled the first pan out from bake off, it looked underbaked and unattractively doughy. I let it set for ten minutes before removing them from the pan. That's when the magic happened.

They deflated and morphed into a regular-like cookie. And after waiting ten minutes as this happened, they were the perfect just-out-of-the-oven temperature. The chocolate flavor shined through.

Happy dance!

Also known as lunch.

I texted a gf friend we were making cookies.

"Save me one!" she replied.

"They're ready when you are!"

We gifted a bundle to a neighbor. We had some at dessert. (Yeah, ok, I basically ate four for lunch too).

Success.

Relief.

And then, as I put them on a plate, I realized we never had a cookie jar. I've always frozen our cookies. But these have such a delightful soft-baked quality, I wanted to leave them out. For whatever reason, at Zulily that afternoon, I found the cookie canister I missed out on over the weekend. And a cute shirt, which I scooped up immediately at Lanie's encouragement (it's a "Life is good." shirt with a rolling pin on it and the words "flour power." Sometimes things seem meant to be.)

Two weeks ago yesterday, we got the diagnosis ... sat at the table during a power outage with a sorry spaghetti squash ... uneasy sleep because the next day, you know, breakfast ... and I was in a distracted fog as I tried to figure out next steps. Two weeks later, I'm wowed (wow, wow!) by the support of friends and family, have read a summer-full of celiac and gluten-free books, shopped, planned, joined groups, pinned recipes and information, and now am in the experimenting stages as I relearn baking. My kids are eager helpers, and tasters.

Life IS good.

#flourpower

***

No affiliate links or paid endorsement. But you can check out the cookies we made at this fabulous blog--a true lifesaver. I bought 3 of her 4 books the day we were diagnosed. And as for summer reading, here you go:

What Nurses Know ... Gluten-free lifestyle by Sylvia Llewelyn Bower
Celiac Disease, A Hidden Epidemic by Peter H. R. Green and Rory Jones*
Jennifer's Way by Jennifer Esposito
Mayo Clinic Going Gluten-free by Joseph Murrary
Eating Gluten-free with Emily by Bonnie Kruszka
Gluten-free Kids by Danna Korn
Nom Nom Paleo by Michelle Tam and Henry Fong
The Paleo Approach Cookbook by Sarah Ballantyne
Gluten-free on a Shoestring by Nicole Hunn*
Gluten-free on a Shoestring Quick and Easy by Nicole Hunn*
Gluten-free Classic Snacks by Nicole Hunn*

*favorites

Monday, July 20, 2015

And still counting (8239-8272)

When we first got the diagnosis, my friend Lisa texted me, "Listen, the verses that talk about not worrying about what we eat, etc. apply here to (this situation) too. It's a learning curve and very stressful I know but God is going to direct your steps and He cares so much about (her) health and well being."


Thankful for

the incredible outpouring of love and support from friends and family
bags of gluten free food gifted to us over and over and over to restore a pantry

encouragement from friends to keep doing what God has made me to do
a lighter (summer) co-op reading load, thanks Nicole!, so I can focus on getting this house up and running
advice from gf friends on flour, storage, etc.
good deals on glass containers
a quick hello to Alex G. while she was in town

Lisa's kids at our pool, splashing the day away
free rocks from Linda
and a sunny sunflower towel and oven mitt set too
links and love from Connie
zucchinis from my very own garden

and cucumbers too
time to read all the library books I got on celiac disease and gluten free
Sandy
Ivette
Denise

Karen So
the woody smell of pine
frogs in the pool
a colander
a cozy mat for the dog

provision
plans on the calendar for my girl, good summer memories to make up for lost time
really good apples
a 5 pound bag of flour blend
homemade pizza

David at the table
Linda on a Friday night
spackle on the pantry wall
sunny skies
family swim, all of us

answered prayer
how You made a way