Take it From Me

Don’t worry.


What’s the best piece of advice you’ve given someone that you failed to take yourself?

This is a prompt I found on WordPress today and I couldn’t help but give my two cents.

It’s almost a joke that I should be telling people not to worry.  Anyone who knows me fairly well knows that I have awful anxiety.  I worry about things that might happen 10 years from now.  I’m terribly superstitious–if *this* thing happened *this* way 8 years ago, obviously that’s the way a similar situation is going to go nowadays.  It makes no sense the way my mind works sometimes.  It’s irrational to others and pretty irrational to me, too.

I love to listen to friends’ problems, though, and give advice.  It’s almost unfair for a person like me to tell others not to worry when I’m probably worry about something at the time.  For some reason, it makes a bigger impact when other people tell me not to worry than when I tell myself.  I really wish I could take my own advice.  Don’t worry would definitely be a piece of advice I give that I would love to be able to take myself.

Sunday Football the Gluten-free Way

This is quite possibly the most delicious lazy Sunday football night dinner.  My parents started to make it years ago to mimic KFC’s mashed potato bowl.  Besides the mashed potato component, it is so easy and yummy.  (Note: nowhere in that sentence did I say healthy.)

 

My dad makes the most amazing roasted garlic mashed potatoes that we use in this, but if you’re not up for boiling and mashing potatoes, the bag mix will do just fine.  Then, you bake up some chicken nuggets on a cookie sheet.  This is a great meal if you have people in your house who don’t eat gluten-free as well.  One sheet of their chicken nuggets and one sheet for your gluten-free chicken nuggets.  I typically use Ian’s or Bell and Evan’s.  Both are good and would work for this.

After your mashed potatoes and chicken nuggets are cooked, you pile up those along with canned corn and cheese.  Remember, I never claimed this was healthy.  But for a football game, it’s perfect.

Give this a try!  I promise you’ll love it.

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole

Alright, I’m not even going to try to trick you into thinking this is a healthy recipe.  It’s just not.  It should probably be served as a dessert rather than a side dish, but that’s not how we do it in my family.  Once you read the recipe you’ll understand.  It’s from the book God Save the Sweet Potato Queens by Jill Conner Browne that my mom read at least a decade ago.  The book and the recipe are so Southern it’s not even funny.  Hence the vague measurements and loads of butter.  Here is the recipe.  Please give it a try!  It’s absolutely delicious and goes over well every stinkin’ year.

 

Larrupin’ Good Sweet Potatoes (oh, the name is a tad bit Southern as well)

Sweet Potato Mixture

3. c boiled sweet potatoes (I used a 40 oz. can)
At least 1 cup of sugar
1 stick of butter
1/3 cup of milk
1 overflowing teaspoon of vanilla
A dash of salt
2 eggs

Topping Mixture

1 cup of dark brown sugar (I used regular, not dark brown)
1/3 cup of butter
1/3 cup of flour (I used Gluten-Free Pantry or sometimes I use Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour)
1 cup of pecan pieces

The recipe says boil the sweet potatoes with the skin on and then slip the skins off afterwards.  This is Thanksgiving, though, and there is no time for boiling sweet potatoes.  A nice big can will do.  Mash ‘em up real good depending on how smooth or chunky you want the casserole to be.

 

Then add in the sugar, milk, butter, vanilla, salt, and the two eggs.  I like to leave some little chunks of butter in the mixture.  When it bakes and you hit one of those spots…mmm…

After everything is nicely mixed together, put all of it into a greased casserole dish.

 

Now for the topping.  The usual topping for sweet potatoes is marshmallows, but I’m sorry to say that this recipe doesn’t use them.  This one has a streusel that I made gluten-free.  After eating this topping you will never go back to marshmallows on your sweet potatoes.  Mix together the brown sugar, butter, flour of your choice and chopped up pecans.

There will be enough topping to cover every square centimeter of the dish and more.  Pile it on and use every last crumb.

 

Bake it at 350 for 30 minutes are you are set.  :)

Does anyone have any delicious holiday recipes they’ve turned gluten-free that they love to use?  Any naturally gluten-free holiday recipes?
Comment or email me. I’d love to see them and try them!

First Video!

oh dear heavens.  Why did I put this out for the world to see?  Yay?  Nay?

This was for class where I tried to show off my blog.  I’m considering making more videos, but I could edit them and use better sound and video with my camera.

What do you guys think?  What would you like to see videos about?

I’m So Gelatinous

“Winston was gelatinous with fatigue.” 

-George Orwell, 1984

Gelatinous does not even begin to describe how I’ve been feeling lately.  I literally have nothing exciting to say.

Tired popped yesterday.  Woke up an hour early.  Registered for class.  Dropped flat tire off.  Went to class.  Picked up fixed tire.  Ran to school to get laptop.  Went to jury duty. Went straight to work.  Do homework.  And here I am now.  And for tomorrow?  Jury duty.  8 1/2 hours.  Oh, and the next day too.

My body is gelatinous.  My thoughts are gelatinous.

I can’t keep my eyes open.  I don’t want to move.  The only way I can move is in the way that I can’t stop yawning.

You guys understand, right?

Happy Birthday to Me!

It sounds so weird coming out of my mouth (or my keyboard), but…I’m 20 years old.  I’m not a teenager anymore.  I will never be part of that group that old people call “those pesky teenagers.”  Otherwise, there’s not really much of a difference between being 19 and being 20.  Lately, I’ve just been feeling so old.  I have jury duty this week (yikes), I scheduled my own dentist appointment (it’s more ground breaking than you think), set up an appointment to get braces put on (double yikes) and I had a job interview last week.  Oh my goodness, I’m old!

For my birthday every year, my mom makes us whatever we want for dinner, whether we live at home or not, whether she has time or not, and whether anyone else can make it or not.  She wants you to feel special on your day.  That’s why I love my mom.  She insists you get what you want on your birthday.  When my brothers and I were in high school, the birthday person would get the front seat on the way to school.  You have no idea how much off a fuss we threw over riding in the front seat.  She also doesn’t make us set the table, let the dog out…little things.  But they all count!

Tonight, she made me pork and cashew stir fry.  I haven’t had it in a while and it beats cafeteria food any day.  Amazingly enough, the recipe is gluten-free as is!  If anyone wants it, I will post it.  It’s so simple and good!  For me, any rice dish warms my tummy up and makes me happy.  And for dessert…one of these bad boys!

I used to get Dairy Queen ice cream cakes for my birthday every year.  And my brothers would have them.  And my parents.  And my friends.  Once I was diagnosed with Celiac, that tiny, millimeter strip of cookie in the middle of the vanilla and chocolate ice cream became quite the problem.  I would spend more time digging out the cookie pieces than eating the actual cake.  Then, we discovered we could call Dairy Queen the day before and ask them to make the cake without cookie but still with the fudge in the middle (obviously).  So that’s what we did this year again.

Know that options are out there!  You can still have an amazeballs birthday.

The Gluten-Free Diet: More than Just Lettuce and Water

Although it does seem like that often, there are plenty of choices out there.  I live on campus and eat in the dining hall, so my options are even more limited, but even within those boundaries, there is always something to eat!

For example, this was my dinner last night:

Looks good, right?  It’s not the best food in the world, but at least I have something.  I got roasted carrots, risotto (there is always some kind of rice–very good option because you can add things into it), honeydew melon (always some sort of fruit available–yum yum), roasted jerk chicken (love when they don’t batter their chicken) and a, yes a slice of beet.  I forgot what beets tasted like so I gave one a try.  I forgot I didn’t like them very much.

Often times, the main line doesn’t have something that I can call an entree, so the salad bar is almost always my second choice.  I load up my salad with carrots, cucumbers, a little bit of cheese, sesame seeds, etc.  For a while I was even on a soybean kick!  There are so many things you can eat if you keep your mind open.  Your meals probably won’t be the same basic components as they used to be, and that’s okay.  Fill up on vegetables, some fruit, a grain of some sort, maybe some meat or fish and call it a day.

I absolutely hate when people see my plate of food on a bad day (aka my only choices are a salad, carrots and dip, fruit and maybe some ice cream).  They think I’m anorexic, vegetarian or some other absurd thing.  No, I swear I’m not starving myself.  Let me explain!  That is how most of my meals go.

I’ll try to keep taking pictures of what I eat to show that your options are plentiful.  And to dispel my favorite line:

“You eat gluten-free?  You can’t eat bread?  I would die!”

4 years and I’m still kickin’…I’d say I’m alright.

NaBloPoMo–Day 5

November marks the ever-so-popular event of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month).  Basically BlogHer (the site that started it) encourages every blogger out there to try to write a post every single day of the month.  If you’re interested in participating, you can sign up on www.blogher.com.  Each day of the month has a prompt.  It’s not mandatory to use a prompt everyday, but if you’re blanking out, like I am today, that’s what they’re for!

I’m gonna use tomorrow’s prompt which says: “If you were President of the United States, what would be your first act in office?”

Easy.  I would have made it mandatory (a long time ago) for every food label to say if it contains gluten or not!  There was a petition out that needed 25,000 signatures by November 3rd (I definitely was one of them) for this.  You can look at the petition here if you like, even though it is over.

It got over 26,000 signatures!  I’ve been waiting for this rule to be finalized forever!  If I were president, I would have finalized it years ago.  But, hey, it’s a step in the right direction.

Hmm…what would be another good thing to create a petition for?  What else do we Celiacs want/need?

Celiac Problems

Since I started this blog, I’ve been reading a lot more on the internet about gluten-free eating than usual.  Recently, I saw some information about not eating specifically gluten-free foods.  Apparently, it’s healthier if you eat naturally gluten-free foods like quinoa, vegetables, fruits, meats, nuts, etc.  Now, I don’t constantly eat specially gluten-free foods (as I posted here), but maybe I’m eating too much of it.  Sadly, I still have some symptoms and I’m guessing it’s because I’m not eating enough natural foods like I listed above.

This is my cry for help.  I need to start eating healthier, more naturally gluten-free foods.  I need you out there!  For example, I’ve never had quinoa in my life.  I kind of steer clear of things that I can’t really pronounce.  But, does anyone have any good recipes or good ways to cook these foods?

1. Quinoa: Is it crunchy?  Is it soft like rice?  What do you cook with it?  So many questions.  Help!

2. Couscous: Basically, refer to #1.  I don’t have the guts (pun intended) to cook something like this. (I use Lundberg brand risotto that is gluten-free, so I’m guessing their couscous would probably be good, too.)

3. Seafood: I love me some fish.  I really do.  But I have yet to cook it myself.  I used to devour popcorn shrimp like no one’s business.  I want to use fresh seafood sometime to make a really awesome, delicious dinner/lunch.  (I have made shrimp fried rice, though, and it was amazing.  Frozen shrimp was used though. :()

4. Broccoli: Lord help me find a way to eat broccoli that doesn’t involve mounds of cheese.  I love the tops but the stems of broccoli scare me.  It feels like I’m eating a stalk of bamboo.

5.  Smoothies: I’m really, really bad at eating breakfast unless there is something right there that I’m specifically in the mood for.  This morning, I had an Udi’s blueberry muffin.  It was delicious, but again, it is made gluten-free and muffins aren’t exactly the best for you…so smoothies kind of catch my eye.  I love fruit!  So if I could put some carrots or fruit or anything else in a blender and call it a day, I’d be a happy camper!

6. Tofu: I can’t even believe I said that.  I keep looking back at that word wondering if I should delete it.  I’m torn.  Give me a good way to make tofu so I can change my mind.  I’m afraid it’s like eating a sponge.

If anyone, anyone has any way to help me with these foods, shoot me a comment below!  Or, you can email me.  My email address is on my about page.  I need to broaden my gluten-free horizons.  Please?  :)