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!

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.

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?  🙂

A Day in the Life

Many people have been asking me what I eat on a certain day.  I’ve never thought anyone would find my meals interesting, but I suppose if you’re not used to watching what you eat it’s probably a wee bit unusual.  (One of the residents is from Ireland and the word wee is starting to catch on..)  I can never remember to take pictures of my food because I don’t think to do that.  But, after practicing my photography one day last week, a bowl of noodles I made looked particularly yummy, so I had to take a picture.  Although I made it at home (where I have more options for food) and not at school (where there are literally no options), here’s a picture of something I whipped together for lunch.

I can’t just put together a peanut butter and jelly (oh how I miss those!), so I usually eat something frozen or if I’m at school I eat a salad, fruits, veggies, potatoes, etc.  Sometimes, I get tired of that, so when I’m at home I love making pasta.  My favorite is with salt and butter or maybe some garlic olive oil.  When I made this though, we had a little bit of parmesan cheese, so I put that in the bottom of the dish with butter and garlic powder and dumped the hot noodles on top.  I used my favorite noodle brand: Schar.  I believe they are mostly made of corn, which I find way better than rice, brown rice or any other sort of grain.  They get nice and soft with a little bit of a bite.  Just how I like them. 🙂  But when you put all the cheesy and creamy goodness underneath and mix it up, it gets so gooey and delicious.  It tasted so good.  Here, maybe this will help.


Here’s to gluten-free being easy and yummy.  Way better than a peanut butter sandwich, right?

Tomorrow I’m going to try to take a picture of my lunch at school to give you another look.  Cross your fingers I don’t forget!

Love always,


My Life in Cupcakes

A few years ago I jumped on the cupcake bandwagon and I haven’t been able to get off ever since.  I go absolutely insane for anything cupcake-related.  My obsession reached an all-time high when I started working at a cupcake bakery.  I’m surrounded by cupcakes multiple times every week.  I get to smell them, make them, decorate them…it’s a dream come true in my eyes.  The strange thing is that apparently isn’t enough.  I feel the need to make cupcakes even on my days off.  So here is a little trip down memory lane through the past couple years of my cupcake making.

Spaghetti Cupcakes(yes, spaghetti!)

Okay, this is one of my favorite cupcakes I’ve made.  Now, I can’t take credit for the design, but I absolutely love how it turned out.  For most of my cakes, I use Betty Crocker’s gluten-free mix and then I like to amp it up and make it a little something more. 🙂  Here is just a beige tinted buttercream which I piped on in strands.  At first, I started being very neat with it but it wasn’t turning out right.  Then I thought, hello, it’s spaghetti.  whose spaghetti is perfect? and I went crazy.  The little “meatballs” are Ferrero Rocher chocolates which are not gluten-free but I couldn’t find truffles without wheat, so I just made a separate one for myself without a meatball.  The “sauce” is raspberry preserves dumped sloppily over the top.  And the creme de la creme, the “parmesan cheese” (my favorite part of spaghetti) is shaved white chocolate.  Voila!  Spaghetti and meatballs.  I took these to a labor day party a few years ago and they were a huge hit.

These next cupcakes were a bit of an experiment from something I had seen a while back.  These were for Easter a few years ago.  I don’t remember what sort of cake I used for these, so let’s focus on the tops.

Marshmallow Flowers

I took about five ziploc bags and put a tablespoon of sugar in each.  Then, I used a drop or two of food coloring and smushed the sugar around with the dye until it was all colored.  Since these were for Easter, I used less for more of a pastel color.  Then, I dipped mini marshmallows that were cut in half on a diagonal in the sugar and stuck them on the cupcake.  Start on the edge and go all the way towards the center.  Now, you have to be one hungry person to eat all of those marshmallows, the cake, and some frosting.  Beware.  But, they are cute nonetheless.

Poinsettia Cupcakes

Here’s another precious variation for a Christmas party I went to.  (Have you noticed the trend? Cupcakes everywhere I go.)  For these, I added a little bit of peppermint extract to the buttercream underneath the marshmallows and made the colored sugar a very bright red instead of pastel.  And for the little stamen-y looking things I piped some yellow buttercream.  These are actually one of my favorites because of how festive they were. 🙂
My absolute favorite though…..get ready..

Grillin’ Brownies

Brownies!  Okay, they’re not cupcakes, but they’re baked in cupcake wrappers, so that kinda counts right?  I got this idea from a website that I don’t remember anymore, but these were (again) for a Labor Day party.  The “chicken breasts” are caramel taffy that I molded and then painted with black food coloring I made.  The grill marks are probably the cutest part of the whole thing.  Then, the “hot dogs” are Mike n Ike’s (my favorite candy) and the “kebabs” are Dots that I chopped into random pieces.  The actual “grill” was a basic black icing.  And for some embers underneath, I used some leftovers of my orange-colored sugar.  So, so, so cute!

If you can’t tell, I love cupcakes that look like other foods.  It’s not obvious by the flowers, but there’s something that catches my eye and gets me excited when I see a food-themed cupcake.  If you have any other ideas, I’d love to try them out!  Just let me know!

Surrounded by Gluten

Everywhere I go there is gluten.  It’s out to get me and it never leaves me alone.  And there’s nothing I can do about it!

Last Friday I was at work standing behind the counter and I thought to myself, man…this sucks.  Look at all of these cupcakes around me and I can’t even eat one.  I just stared.  Chocolate cake there…nope can’t have that.  A cookie on top of that one…that one either.  The frosting, though.  The miles and miles of frosting are gluten-free 99% of the time and you better believe I take part in that.

Anyway, here is what I saw that day.

  Look at all that gluten lurking in there looking so delicious.  Sigh.  I suppose I could eat that one walnut on top?  That’s just depressing.

Gluten-ous cheesecakes, too.  Not to be confused with gluttonous.  On a side note, you have no idea how many times I get asked about being “glutton-free” or even “glucose-free.”  I know since they don’t have Celiac they don’t think about it the way/as much as I do, but really?  Gluttonous?  Thanks!

And here’s one more cupcake to round it out.  Looks good, doesn’t it?  We could have those little pecans on top…and maybe an 1/8th of an inch of that frosting that’s not touching cake.

Okay, okay, I’m not trying to be bitter but I feel like I have to sometimes, you know?  I have to get some of my rage out every now and then and I think this is the perfect place to do it!  With all of you lovely gluten-freers 🙂

So, even after 8 hours of staring at these deathly (alright, not deathly) beauties, I went out to dinner.  And of all places, I go to a fish fry.  I love fish so much.  Fortunately, I have found a brand of breaded fish that I really love.  I will get back to you on that once I remember it.  There was soup and bread and breaded things all around me!  Going to restaurants still puts me on edge a little bit sometimes, but I deal with it as I go.  I’m not an extremely sensitive person, so if I get a little cross contamination in my food, I’m not paying for it days later.  Some places I have figured out that their gluten-free situation is really not good and I try to steer clear of it, but that only comes with experience.  For example, my school’s dining room.  Disaster.  It’s tough because it’s usually my only option for food, but the workers are extremely uneducated and they do not understand that I’m not doing it as a fad and it’s okay if I eat noodles a couple of times a week.  Doesn’t work that way!  This disease chose me.

–Rant over–

On a happier note, here’s something to make you smile.  I know it did for me!

Awwww, how precious! That’s my little baby Kramer.  I love coming home on weekends because he greets me like I haven’t seen him in years.  And then I get to stare at this adorable face.