Another salad…ho hum I wanna be done.


Okay – so just a word of warning:  this blog post is definitely a whoa-is-me whining post.  So feel free to move on if you have never had a day like I’ve been having lately.

I’m done.

I’m done having Celiac Disease.

Are you?

Well, okay. I just wish I were done.  Today is one of those days.  I’m hungry.  More hungry that my salad and pear are going to satisfy.  More hungry than my now longer-than-expected workday is going to handle.  And I hate it.

I hate the daily reaching in to grab some fish crackers for the Littles and wishing I could just as easily grab a snack for myself (crackers, peanut butter toast, etc) that I either didn’t have to make from scratch or would bust the budget.  After all, our grocery money only goes as far as yours and I want us to have as many fresh fruit and veg that it can handle rather than carbs anyway.

Yes, I can and do make crackers, muffins, toast, bread, etc for myself.  It tastes a hell of a lot better than the stuff I can pay for. Really.  And I know exactly what is in it.  Always an added bonus, right?

But this week I am tired.  Final exams were last week (I moaned about the papers/projects I am grading on Facebook) and grades are due i two days.  I’m practically done.  That’s not the problem.  But I’m tired – dog-dead-wrung out tired.  Grading, planning, etc and sticking to my absolute time-for-the-Littles each night to read, bathe, play and laugh together = all of that has worn me out.  Doesn’t matter that I’ve gone to bed earlier than usually (if you count 10PM as earlier – it is… earlier than my normal 11-11:30 when grades are due!).

Does tired make me more resentful of having Celiac Disease or just the minor amount of time required to PLAN and PREPARE for said hunger meltdowns or carb-needs?  Yes.

And this would be why – when people ask – why it is SUCH a pain in the butt to go “grab something” for lunch.  It’s not because it’s not always possible, because yes, I can go grab a bag of GF chips or carrots or whatever from the grocer.  (And no, I can’t run out to get something to eat while teaching.  We have 20 minute long lunch periods during which I eat at my desk and work – see photo above.)  It’s because of simple this:  sometimes it sucks not to be able “just to grab anything” convenient.

Simply that.

And I’m not about to go demand that people feed me correctly or safely.

I’m not about to go whining my way through the GF product chain about the need for better (and cheaper!) crackers or bread.

I’m just going to suck it up today and put on my big-girl pants.

And then tonight I am going to back the biggest batch of pumpkin muffins that ever existed on the planet.  By God, I will.

And I might just eat them all.  Unless these two little stinkers get their hands on them.  They are the reason why the last two batches got demolished in record time too.


Hope you are having a successful and happy GF Day today to help make up for the crab-pants I appear to be wearing.  

PS.  It does not help in the least bit that my next two classes are starting a unit about food in Spanish class. Really.  Today is out to ruin me, I swear.  Or… I might just eat my arm off before I get to the kids for pick up after work today.  That outta be pretty.

Gluten free weeknight meals & budgeting

So this blog post should really be a post of the numerous ways the month of September has come and is exiting before my head has been able to wrap itself around it all.  Surely I am not the only mom who finds herself witnessing myself both coming and going in the middle of the dark of night, right?

My new purse is even sporting some tag-along buddies.  I don’t think I go anywhere any more without things packed into my purse that aren’t really mine.  And despite the extra poundage, I wouldn’t really change the rest of it.

Now THIS is a MOM purse

Well, maybe I’d change my sleep schedule:  to bed late (or early) and it takes me forever to fall asleep and up no later than 5AM or we are ALL off late for the day already.  A change with these hours would be helpful, but I honestly don’t see that happening anytime soon.  Teaching doesn’t end with the kids leave… or even when my kids finally crash and go to bed.  (PS…they have been in bed for 45 minutes now… and the Chicklet just asked via the monitor “Hey Mom, what’s my cake going to look like?”  “Your cake?”  “Yes, for my birthday.”  “Babe….your birthday is in May.  It’s September. We have a while to think about it, okay?” = this is the kind of thing that never ends around here….LOL)  Evidence:  apple slices + goofy face photos…despite a few attempts we don’t have ONE photo for BOTH smiling nor BOTH making a goofy face at the same time.  Egad.

Apple slices + goofy faces

So I decided to share my working mom “Sanity Saver” meals.  I’ve been asking and posting here when I thought my world was careening off track, but seldom have I posted when I have done it right (finally) for a month.  I challenged myself this month to get the meals down and stick to them.

Next month, I am challenging myself to:

  • only go to the grocery store every 10 days to 2 weeks
  • STICK to my grocery budget – and SAVE every penny that I don’t spend in an account for a family trip
  • stick to my meal plan (come high water or sleep exhaustion)
  • stick to a reduced (extremely) budget for “eating out”

Seriously.  I’m starting at ZERO here people.  There is only room to grow, right?

Some of you are experts at all of the above (budgeting, time-management, meal-planning, saving (!), etc) but these are things I tend to stick to for a short time and then meander down some random thought-path-etc and I blow it.  We have had TWO four-day vacations/trips in the last EIGHT YEARS of our lives.  (My Love does NOT get time off from work.)  But we’ve had SO much fun on these rapid-paced trips to see family (my parents/his parents) that we want to do it more often.  And now the girls have seen an ad for Disney Land and CarsLand.

Yeap.  My budget better get in gear.  NOW.

Want to follow along on my endeavor?  Care to add your two cents/tips?  I’d love to hear them!

Okay… enough meandering.  Some of you are just here for the list of my weeknight go-to meals.  Take note:  the meals on this list HAD to be able to be prepared and ready to go in under an hour (or toddler + mom meltdown ensures).  Well, here it is:

  1. fajitas (chicken or flank steak)
  2. enchiladas
  3. taco salad
  4. one-pot rice dish (random meat/tofu, rice, veggies – a la jambalaya)
  5. tarragon chicken tenders
  6. Bo-jay-fan (Chinese one-pot chicken/rice/sausage/mushroom)
  7. pork chops and apples
  8. steamed fish + tofu
  9. split pea soup (thank you crock pot)
  10. jambalaya
  11. quinoa salad (a la fried rice/couscous – NOTE couscous is NOT gluten free!)
  12. pasta salad (schars or jovial)
  13. parfait (yogurt + granola)
  14. pancakes (corn ones here) or waffles (to save time, i’ve made “waffles” in a panini pan with pancake batter )
  15. chicken chili
  16. mongolian beef (marinate night before or immediately upon returning home for 45 min at least)
  17. spaghetti (schars, jovial or homemade on the weekend)
  18. lasagna (no boil/lazy method – make ahead, pop in oven)
  19. pot pie (make ahead OR make muffin-sized (lunch/dinner) OR make with crescent roll dough  for last minute)
  20. roasts (pork loin is our favorite as faster than whole chicken, etc)
  21. meatballs and mashed/roasted potatoes
  22. kebabs
  23. tortilla española (potatoes, eggs, onions, seasoning) – leftovers are great lunches too
  24. shrimp and grits
  25. chicken marsala
  26. risotto
  27. lettuce wraps
  28. migas
  29. corned beef (crock pot or reheat after cooking on Sunday), roasted cabbage
  30. curried chicken
  31. beef and broccoli
  32. spicy green beans and tofu
  33. arroz con pollo
  34. baharat chicken or lamb
  35. chowder (Chinese corn, OR salmon/fish, etc – whatever you got and put it in a pot!)
  36. arepa sandwiches
  37. jibaro sandwiches (plantains, flank steak, etc)
  38. burgers (bean or beef) (speedy buns – done in the oven while I grill/cook burger or pao-d-quejo buns – quick too!)
  39. beef stroganoff but served over rice, mashed potatoes, steamed cauliflower/broccoli in lieu of noodles
  40. teriyaki chicken (or whatever is on hand)
  41. quiche
  42. fried rice
  43. ….leftovers!  (the great list ender…I try to use up leftovers for lunch, but often there is a bit more)

I hope this list helps someone else pull a menu plan together.  My trusty purple spiral bound notebook and I roam the aisles of the grocer trying to make sure I have it all together.  Maybe that will be what I share next?  Ay!  Who knows!

Hopefully now that I am getting my feet under me at school the next blog post won’t be delayed as long as this one has been.  I’m sorry – and THANK YOU for sticking with me.

Happy GF Eating 

UPDATE: New Product: Mike’s *LITE* Hard Lemonade

MAY 18, 2011

I had a reaction, thus the withdrawal of my recommendation.

————EDITED TO ADD—————–

So there are quite a few questions about Mike’s via email already.  First and foremost, let me just say this:  It is a PERSONAL choice the GF foods you choose to eat or not.  Here is the answer provided by Mike’s in regards to the gluten free status of the Lite Hard Lemonade (which is what they claim to be GF) (the regular Hard Lemonade is NOT gluten free) when I posed the question about it’s gluten free status of the LITE version:

I wish that Mike’s would have used the Gluten Free Certification Organization to certify their product.  (In fact, I posted such a request/suggestion on their facebook page AND have sent an email to the company.  Please feel free to do the same.)  PLEASE make your own decision about this and ALL of your gluten free products.  

I, for one, am thrilled that manufacturers have “discovered” us as a market with the money to demand changes.  Now, let’s see if they respond to our absolute needs of having a standard for the term GLUTEN FREE.  (And to lend your voice to this effort, please don’t forget to support/stop by the “1 in 133” organization who is pushing for these efforts.)

For now, this batch of Mike’s is OUTTA here. =( After having a 1/2 a bottle last night, my body is REBELLING today. I’m CRUSHED. And these remaining bottles are on the way to a buddy’s house tomorrow. My health is NOT worth it. I’m back to my wine-every 3 Thanksgivings for now.

Well… until I can get another Cosmo like I had in San Antonio at that piano bar on the river. oh YEAH!

……….ORIGINAL POST…………. 5/17/2011

*Ages ago* before my GF diagnosis, I went on a conference trip to Boston.  (Incredibly RARE event for teachers!)  I couldn’t believe I was at a professional conference – in another state (!), being treated to a cocktail party (hello?  shrimp platters and waiters?? I’m a teacher!), and with an open bar (!).  It was surreal.  And it was outside and SWELTERING.  I was dying.  My bottle of water was good, but I wanted something refreshing.  The bartender suggested I try a Mike’s Hard Lemonade (NOT GF).  Oh, yes!  I love lemonade and it was good.  (And this endorsement comes from someone who drinks less often than Thanksgiving comes around, people.)

Since being diagnosed, I have occasionally sipped a glass of wine (ho hum) or a bottle of hard cider (better, but still).  Until NOW.  Yesterday,  swung into GF Joe’s (our local GF rockin’ market) and BEHOLD:  A shelf filled with Mike’s LITE Hard Lemonade ( which they claim to be GF).  It’s on!  Summer most definitely MUST be coming now, right?

Wahoo!  GF Lite Hard Lemonade!  Thank you, Mike’s!  (SEE EDITED NOTE BELOW)

Now… stop raining, Seattle!  Bring on the sun, the fun, and the BBQing!


Congratulations! and other tidbits

First, let me just say


to the Safeway Gift Card Winners:  Cara and Kim.  (Names were chosen using  I will be sending both of you a $25.00 gift card for groceries (GROCERIES!  I LOVE that!) to you this week.  You can use your gift card in any of the Safeway stores for gas or groceries.  Seriously – what great timing in our economy but a little spring-love in the form of FREE gas or groceries!  Sweetness!  Thank you, Safeway, for the gift cards for the GiveAway.


And while you are out shopping gluten free this month, take a minute to help the newbie standing next to you.  Remember how it felt to be out shopping and feeling overwhelmed?  How the 40 minute grocery trip became the FOUR HOUR grocery saga?  Now’s your turn to spread the wealth of knowledge.  And what perfect timing.  After all, May *is* Celiac Awareness Month!

Honestly, I feel like everyday is Celiac Awareness/Gluten-Free Eating awareness – and that’s a GOOD THING in my world!)  Another way to kick off the month is to check out the 1 in 133 Summit.  Click on the link to get more information and dream of taking bites out of the World’s largest gluten-free cake just like I will.  I’m so excited to know there is a summit to push the gluten-free world further.

Especially in light of the articles I’m reading about HOW LONG it is taking the FDA to move on making a standard for Gluten Free labeling.  It is driving me WILD.  Really?  10 years?  Come on, people!  Let’s get it together.

(And then thinking that it takes 10 years to move ahead… makes me forever grateful that I don’t work through that obvious slog of red-tape too.  BLECH.)

Big Sis

Reason #1

Happy baby = Happy Momma
Reason #2

Also, tomorrow there will be some new Gluten Free Ratio Rally posts about scones.  I’m sad to say that with baby & toddler keeping us SO busy this month, I never got a chance to whip any scones up or play around with flavors.  Suffice it to say, I have been brewing and stewing an excellent scone recipe to share with my mom.  She’s coming soon – the Chicklet turns three in just under two weeks (THREE!).  I will make some scones with my mom.  I’m thinking cinnamon nugget scones.  She loves cinnamon chips and I think I can take that on.  🙂

What are your favorite scone recipes?

I can’t wait to see what everyone came up with tomorrow!  I shall be drooling while I’m grading papers tomorrow night!

Happy GF Adventures!

PS.  Photos of my almost-recovered munchkins.  They might be sickly, but they are MINE! What a lucky woman am I!  I noticed the other day just how much more tired I am – (it’s unreal!) – than ever before.  But I would not change an iota of my life.  Well… I would do away with any need for antibiotics, investments in Kleenex, etc.  But after that?  Nah.  I’d be good.

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